Pattern In The Bible - WEB1920x1080

Patterns In The Bible, Episode 1

EPISODE 1 of 4: The Story of The Bible

This week (August 4) on Shabbat Night Live, we’ve all heard sermons that focus on one verse — but it’s completely unnecessary. The Bible is a story in itself that doesn’t need conjecture and rationale!

Pastor Matthew Vander Els invites us to take another look at the Bible as a single story with repeating themes built on a promise that never fails.

Watch the episode — included in this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 16:12) How can I cultivate wisdom from reading the Bible?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 18:22) What is the context of Jeremiah 29:11 and how does it relate to the character of Yehovah and the story of the exiles of Israel?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 20:54) What is the grand narrative that the whole Bible is collectively leading us to?
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 21:30) What are some of the risks of looking at the Bible microscopically as a collection of verses or chapters instead of macroscopically as a story?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 22:13) How does the context of Ezekiel’s bread affect our understanding of its meaning and significance?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 26:42) What term does Matthew bring up and Michael uses that defines the biblical authors’ use to connect their stories and experiences of Yehovah?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 29:14) How does the biblical theme of eastward movement relate to the
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 30:15) How does the book of Judges show the downward spiral of Israel as they lose touch with Yehovah?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 31:53) How does the story of Noah and the flood represent a new creation and a fresh start for humanity?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE – 39:10) What are some of the implications of God’s decision to not flood the earth anymore and to leave it as it is?

The Temple System, Episode 5

EPISODE 5 of 5: The Temple Abroad

This week (July 28) on Shabbat Night Live, were sacrifices allowed in places outside of the Temple in Jerusalem?

Steve Siefken offers thought-provoking proof from the Torah that animal sacrifices were indeed sanctioned throughout the tribes of Israel — with one very important condition.

This episode will open your eyes to the truth you’ve likely never considered! 

Watch the episode — included in this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. What is the term that Steve Siefken uses to refer to a priesthood that is not Levitical or Aaronic?
  2. What is the term that Steve Siefken uses to refer to understanding God’s intent behind what he said?
  3. What was the name of the innermost chamber of the tabernacle where only the High Priest could enter?
  4. What are the two types of killing that God prohibited in Leviticus 17:3-4 unless they were brought to the door of the tabernacle?
  5. What are the three main routes to Jerusalem that Steve Siefken shows on a map?
  6. What is the purpose of studying God’s law according to Steve Siefken?
  7. What are the three times a year that God expected the Israelites to travel to Jerusalem for the feasts?
  8. What is the phrase that Steve Siefken says is only used for the tithing system and indicates what one can spend their tithe on?
  9. What is the name of the system that God built for the whole world and that every nation will go to in the millennium?
  10. What are the two groups that make up the dual judicial system of Israel, according to Steve Siefken?

The Temple System, Episode 3

EPISODE 3 of 5: YeHoVaH’s Butcher Shop

This week (July 14) on Shabbat Night Live, God knows how to party — in fact, He gave instructions on how to do it! He also gave us instructions on how to butcher meat, how to serve it, how to cook it, and even when to throw out the leftovers.

Steve Siefken explains the deliciously practical instructions in the Torah about food regulations, overseen by authorities in the Temple system. 

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How does the recognition of the Temple and tabernacle as centers of divinely-mandated food and dietary standards serve to dramatize the controversy over secular influence in these matters that exists today? How does the increasingly aggressive and pre-emptive corporate advocacy about sustainability in health matters contradict the example of the ancient Hebrews?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how do the passages referenced here from Leviticus underscore both the presence of meat as a permitted food for consumption and the ritual importance of its preparation according to YeHoVaH? How does our present civilization contravene this principle by the animal cruelty of factory farming and the heavy pressure toward veganism and insect consumption?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) Aside from the latter-day politicization of diet and sustainable health, how do the regulations discussed here indirectly reveal our abandonment of the sacrificial nature of food preparation and consumption in today’s age of abundance? What are some examples from scripture of decadent living by arrogant figures who then receive chastisement over their exploitation of the nourishments that sustain life? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) Similarly, how can the commonplace practice of prayer or “saying grace” before meals be said to reveal a remnant of the ancient Hebraic value of a binding agreement or contract within an important transaction? How do the various wordings of this prayer – even those that are parodic – suggest our obligation to acknowledge our privilege of receiving sustenance and our responsibility to utilize it wisely and devoutly?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) How does today’s corporatization of food – from industrial livestock production and pervasive additives and preservatives to the nutraceutical and pharmacological establishments – provide an arguable example of the ethos behind the dietary laws of the ancient Hebrews? What are some staples of our Western diet that are in effect “polluted in sacrifice”?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) Similarly, how do current controversies over agribusiness products like genetically modified wheat or high fructose corn syrup reflect an ignorance over the practice of grain inspection that was part of the tabernacle offering? Are believers unwittingly reaping the whirlwind of chronic obesity and drug dependence thanks to our acceptance of Big Food and Big Pharma?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) How do the Hebrew dietary laws enumerated in Leviticus, particularly those involving the inspection and procedures for utilizing grain, indirectly reveal the scale of commercialization of bread products, all for the apparent purpose of greater health?  How does our plethora of organic, keto, and gluten-free varieties appear almost comic against the sudden popularity of such products as biblically-derived sprouted-grain breads?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) Similarly, how has the ancient Hebrew institution of the storehouse been overlooked in our secular, consumerist environment that is centered around the franchised supermarket or the generic warehouse? How does the original location as an ancillary to the tabernacle or Temple represent an awareness of our dependence upon the bounty of YeHoVaH through tithing in contrast to today’s indifference to perishability in our throw-away culture?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) How does the role of the Temple as a depository for the community help to define the temple system as an example of the inextricable relationship between the worship of YeHoVaH and virtually every facet of ancient Jewish life? How has our common post-Enlightenment distinction between the sacred and the secular served to obstruct our recognition of this context for the study of scripture?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 53:00) How is this interpretation further enhanced by the demarcation of the temple as an environment for a range of financial and business transactions involving loaning and repayment? How does the practice of contract ratification through burnt offerings dramatize the inherent seriousness of honesty and integrity in capital management with YeHoVaH as witness and final arbiter?

The Temple System, Episode 2

EPISODE 2 of 5: The Holy Hospital

This week (July 7) on Shabbat Night Live When you think of the Temple in ancient Jerusalem, do you envision a hospital? There was more healing going on in the Temple than we realize, and there’s plenty of evidence of it in the Bible.

Steve Siefken leads us through scriptural references that show us how the Almighty intended us to heal each other.  

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How does Israel, in either its ancient or modern demarcation, transcend our current definitions of “nation,” “ethnicity,” or “theocracy”? Has this venerable civilization of people, through its longevity over several millennia, effectually outlived these conventional categories and exceeded the capabilities of the English language to characterize the scope of its identity?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how do the Tabernacle Offerings demonstrate a comprehensive range of service to YeHoVaH, whether voluntary or compulsory? How does this dynamic between material giving and spiritual appeal serve to acknowledge both the civilizational capacity of the Hebrews and its delimitation?  How has this ritual significance become almost trivialized throughout the growth of denominational religion?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How has the Tabernacle’s function as a place for healing of the sick become another casualty of the minimalism and oversimplification of much evangelical Christianity throughout the centuries? How has this important facet of charity been further obscured by the politicization and controversy generated over historical movements like the Crusades or various fraternal organizations that were founded to help the poor? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How does the contemporary distrust of the pharmaceutical industry serve to dramatize the spiritual ethos behind medicinal remedies drawn from nature, in the prescribed manner of the ancient Hebrews? How likely is today’s reflex toward holistic health to encourage a reappraisal and interpretation of the “tree of life” whose leaves are “for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:2)?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Similarly, how does the breadth of the Hebrew term “leprosy” and the cultural practice of quarantining the sick underscore the general public’s confusion and even hysteria over the official mandates of prevention during the pandemic? How do the references to treatment in Leviticus indirectly reveal the ignorance and lack of personal resourcefulness behind the mantra of “follow the science”?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 37:00) How might our contemporary culture of holistic health also revitalize and redefine the concept of the apothecary as a figure of medical expertise? How does the range of meaning in this term, long relegated to the status of an archaism, demonstrate the importance of anointing as a venerable practice for healing with materials whose efficacy is becoming increasingly corroborated?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) Similarly, how could scriptural references to the interconnectedness of the human body’s various systems serve to bolster the reputation of such practices as chiropractic or complementary and integrative medicine? Has the skepticism toward conventional medicine that resulted from the pandemic ironically reversed our definitions of “pseudoscience”?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How has the ritual burning of incense been poorly understood or trivialized in our postmodern culture? In light of the recognition of its health properties by the ancient Hebrews, what is the ironic common ground of both its utilization in Christian rites of worship and its questionable, short-lived appropriation by the secular pop culture of the 1960’s?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) How does the ambivalent meaning of epitithemi serve to enlighten today’s believers regarding the inherent aggressiveness of Yeshua’s benevolent gestures of healing during his ministry? How does the absence of this connotation in the phrase “laying on of hands” often fail to remind us about both the constant need for our own chastisement as sinful creatures and the power of YeHoVaH’s love for his creation in the restoration of health?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) Similarly, how do the various terms used to describe Yeshua’s methods of healing offer distinctions that are lost in tedious and enduring arguments about whether or not these actions constitute miracles that prove his identity as the Messiah? What is the essential difference between therapeuo and iaomai with regard to Yeshua’s ministry as part of the divine plan for our salvation?

The Temple System, Episode 1

EPISODE 1 of 5: A Day in The Temple

This week (June 30) on Shabbat Night Live, the Torah gives detailed descriptions of everything in the Temple. Every piece had a specific purpose for Israel’s religious ceremonies. But each piece had everyday uses as well.

Steve Siefken brings an enlightening perspective on the ordinary practicality of the Temple, many aspects of which we still use today. 

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) Why have such vital elements of our Judeo-Christian culture as the tabernacle of Moses and the history of the first and second Temples received so little attention and exploration in postwar religious education environments, whether denominational or home-based? How does this gap in information serve to weaken much evangelical pursuit of learning and personal witness?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how have many believers over time lost their perception of the dynamic between the letter and spirit of the law, whether in reference to the Torah or more generally in their approach to scripture? How can this be viewed as a factor in much of the oversimplification that occurs in the private evangelism that emphasizes selective principles drawn from scripture instead of established and historically verified doctrine?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How have latter-day controversies over the public posting of the Ten Commandments served to dramatize the distinction between earthly, manmade regulations and spiritual priorities? How do the first four commandments admonish the faithful to distinguish between these loyalties in the pursuit of salvation?  How can this be said to have motivated the often savage backlash against spirituality in contemporary public policy and advocacy? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How does our longstanding distinction between church and state serve to undermine our awareness of their inseparable ethos in the history and culture of the ancient Hebrews? How can Yeshua’s seeming endorsement of this separateness in his admonishment to “render unto Caesar” actually be interpreted as an indirect reference to the kingdom of YeHoVaH that we are obligated to maintain as professed believers?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) How does the current reflex toward a one-world government indirectly underscore the Bible’s many references to “nations,” irrespective of size or scale of communities or civilizations? Do apprehensions over the possible loss of this phenomenon in today’s free world suggest an eventual revival of the nation-state as an alternative model, or is our cynicism over “limited” government such that this is no longer viable?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 36:00) How likely are various grassroots evangelical efforts throughout the Christian world to effect a more enlightened public perception of the inherent spirituality of our nation’s founding? What are some examples of contemporary policy and activism that recall the fundamental weakness of collectivist and atheist governments whose orientation toward materialism served to ensure their eventual downfall?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) How do many contemporary believers reveal a pervasive ignorance of both the literal definition of “tabernacle” as exemplified by the ancient Hebrew culture and its range of significance as a locus of received wisdom, sacrifice, and worship? How has this grounding in devotion and ritual been corrupted in the postwar period by attempts to reconcile church design with secular or commercial elements in an effort to be progressive or relevant?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How has the significance of the brazen laver virtually disappeared from our Western approach to worship? How has the streamlining of ritual in much evangelical and denominational Christianity deprived our culture of the significance of purification while in the presence of YeHoVaH, to say nothing of its importance to germ prevention, which has helped to sustain our divinely-given lives?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) Similarly, how have the inner reaches of the tabernacle as a place for a ritual meal for the priesthood been virtually forgotten by many worshipers owing to a compulsion to innovate with such liturgical practices as communion? Moreover, how has the reverence illustrated by the reflected light of the golden menorah been undermined by utilitarian church design that often proves to be embarrassingly short-lived?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) Finally, how has the Mercy Seat within the Holy of Holies suffered the questionable treatment of historical revisionists who have sought to challenge its significance for the presence of YeHoVaH? What is the essential futility of linguistic efforts to reduce it to a symbol-laden cover for the Ark of the Covenant, or facile scientific attempts to portray it as a prototypical device such as a storage battery?

How To Teach The Torah (Episode 4)

FINAL EPISODE: Hear, Learn, Keep, Do

This week (June 23) on Shabbat Night Live, the Torah is our example for everything — in fact, the way that YeHoVaH wants to hear and obey, learn from him, and keep his word and do it is the same way we need to teach our children.

Kraig and Anne Elliott explain how inspiration and visions from the Father set the framework for their Torah-observant homeschool curriculum.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How has the component of leadership as an outcome of a good education become almost forgotten in our contemporary world? To what extent has the marginalization or elimination of our Judeo-Christian culture contributed to teaching and learning as a relativistic or even arbitrary activity that is no longer oriented toward the pursuit of truth?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how has the weakness throughout conventional education for theoretical jargon and superfluous innovation in classroom approaches served to further undermine student awareness of their own innate capabilities and limitations? How has the trendy notion that “learning styles have changed” ultimately raised more questions than it has answered?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How might the Hebrew language serve as a model for the next generation of students who must learn proper English to assume significant positions within the professional world? How does the Hebrew tradition of close reading, textual accuracy, and spiritual interpretation suggest an orientation for the lingua franca of English that could improve communication through precision and articulation? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) What are some examples of how the Bible could be utilized as remediation for students who have experienced brain damage or who are afflicted with vision or comprehension difficulties? How does the Hebrew practice of transcription recall the simplicity of learning through copying, which has become lost in the present-day administrative categorization of “special needs” students?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Similarly, how has the familiar reflex toward bureaucratization throughout our schools and universities prevented many otherwise intelligent students from reaching their potential because of categorization and division? How do expressions such as “learning disability,” “individualized education,” and “compensatory programs” become euphemisms that can impede improvement through the stigma of demarcation?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) Many theologians and media commentators throughout the Christian world have recently advocated for a rediscovery of discipline and application in both schooling and professional life. How has a growing lassitude toward the practice of diligent, focused work as a fundamental value undermined the learning potential of today’s students, many of whom view education more as an entitlement than an earned goal?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) Similarly, how has our educational system lost sight of instilling the value of having a purpose in life in the minds of students? How are our arbitrary and time-worn distinctions between “vocational-technical” and “social science-humanities” belied by the ethos of Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man who excels in his work? / He will stand before kings”?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) How can the questionable approach toward educational training (its lack of scholarly specialization in teacher programs, its syndrome of overwork, and low pay for teachers) be blamed for our diminishing educational profile against other nations? To what extent can this also be blamed on the relegation of Sunday school programs to well-intentioned but unlearned volunteers?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) In light of the imagery and sentiment of Isaiah 57:14, what constitutes the “stumbling block” that has impeded our Western approach to education over the past half-century? What are some examples of attempts to clear the path of learning that have failed through over-theorization, politicized curricula, and so-called deep learning through technology?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 54:00) How might latter-day infiltrations of such elements as LGBTQ Pride, gender dysphoria, or pedophilia effectually undermine and corrupt our educational institutions to the breaking point?  How does the hyper-sexualization of vulnerable young people in this environment serve to demonstrate the power of demonic influence that appears to be marshaled against marriage and the nuclear family?

How To Teach The Torah (Episode 3)

EPISODE 3 of 4: Curriculum By Conversation

This week (June 16) on Shabbat Night Live, school is not what you think it is, and neither is homeschooling!

In this episode, Kraig and Anne Elliott explain how to make the most of your children’s education — in far less time per day than you might think — and why having a conversation with your kids is the best way to teach.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) Why have numerous educational innovations in recent decades – homeschooling, charter schools, asynchronous online learning – failed to cohere into a satisfying standard for most parents who seek proper schooling for their children? Are biblical- or Torah-based curricula sufficient to counteract the relativism and sexualization of children that have become entrenched in most public schools?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Despite the historical reputation of the “one-room schoolhouse” as an inferior model, its recent repurposing as the “microschool” purports to offer an affordable, constructivist dynamic of hybrid and real-time learning for today’s young learners. How could its flexible schedules and lack of age restrictions be further enhanced by curricular programs that are grounded in scripture to combat the politicization of today’s classrooms?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) Similarly, how likely is a rediscovery of unstructured learning to provide enhancement of education for all age levels through the mentoring of beginners by advanced students? Is this practice vulnerable to loss of a valuable resource like time through vapid, endless discussion, or could it potentially enrich both learning and morale by removing the stigma of age-based grade levels and false distinctions of students’ “falling behind”? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) How has the reflex toward homeschooling ironically served to remind the general public of the still-controversial adage that the most important life lessons are “learned at home”? How do various overlooked passages in texts like Deuteronomy and Proverbs underscore the need for engagement between parents and children for enculturation and formation of a faith-based intellect?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Similarly, how does Ephesians 4:11 serve as a reminder of the importance of education as part of YeHoVaH’s plan for our individual apostolic work during our lives? How is its reference to teachers further enhanced in verse 14 by its warning against children being misled “by the trickery of men,” whether in ministry or through those who would trivialize the educational endeavor through false teaching or power-seeking?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) How does today’s reflex toward faith-based education differ from previous efforts in times of excessive politicization, such as the founding of Great Books programs in liberal arts colleges in the 1990s, many of which were sponsored by major denominations? Will current endeavors also be marginalized or dismissed as reactionary and impractical, or will they inspire a developing trend?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) Similarly, how might this earlier development be likened to the experience of the younger Hebrews, who, having been brought to the Promised Land, then faced the prospect of settling, civilizing, and cultivating it? Is today’s generation of proactive educators like that of Joshua’s followers?  If so, how might they prevent the decadence of their successors, who were castigated in the Book of Judges?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) Why have such factors as the time-efficiency and personalized potential of homeschooling and asynchronous learning been prevented from development by an adherence to the 9-month agrarian calendar that still dominates primary, secondary, and higher education? What are some examples of questionable bureaucratic interests or influences that continue to confound ongoing efforts of reform?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) How has the constant updating and revision of curricula that is made possible by the online environment not only transcended the limitations of print culture, but also that of administrative agendas and their resistance to change? How might this contemporary factor provide an unexpected parallel with the Hebrew ethos of fostering a constant, interactive practice of learning between parents and children?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 54:00) Similarly, how is this ancient example poised for rediscovery in the near future thanks to geopolitical and infrastructural changes that have occurred since the millennium? If, as recent commentators have said, we now inhabit a leaderless, multipolar, and digital-based world order that is largely governed by technology companies, how has the struggle for control of our children’s education escalated to the scriptural perspective of a battle between good and evil?

How To Teach The Torah (Episode 2)

EPISODE 2 of 4: The Torah Is The Schoolmaster

This week (June 9) on Shabbat Night Live, is it possible to use the Word of God to teach every subject in school? Even most Christian homeschool curriculum programs say “no.

Kraig and Anne Elliott explain why they decided to take a leap of faith and develop their own way to teach school using the Bible as a master textbook.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section, and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How does the contemporary argument in favor of sustainability conflict with the Hebraic proscription against particular foods? How should faithful followers of the Torah attempt to negotiate the latter-day reflex of highly processed comestibles that purport to prolong both human life and the environment, yet also violate the dietary laws that support the faith lives of many?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Why is it difficult for many believers to discern the sometimes inexplicable paths on which YeHoVaH leads us as part of our individual apostolates? How do such figures as King David, Elijah, and Paul demonstrate our need to accept interruption and even obstruction as inextricable elements of our spiritual growth and as cautions against presumption or false pride?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How does the ongoing proliferation throughout religious education of new programs, teaching approaches, and curricula serve to indirectly reveal scripture as the most fundamental and influential “syllabus”? How have efforts to make doctrine more contemporary or relevant to successive generations of learners reflected a man-centered and secular ethos?
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 28:00) Similarly, how can the marginalization of the Bible as a source of diverse instruction be viewed as a factor in our chaotic present-day educational environments, from primary to college-level? What are some examples of subjects, ideas, and intellectual orientations in today’s curricula that flagrantly violate the moral and ethical precepts delineated and developed from the Tanakh through the Christian New Testament?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Despite the inherent personal drama of conversion, how does one’s earliest experience of religious formation often continue to influence or even compromise future spiritual growth? How does the imperative for every believer to recognize this factor become an inextricable element in the critical perspective that we must develop as we engage with YeHoVaH’s plan for our salvation?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) Although Psalm 23 remains unsurpassed as a popular verse used for personal testimony of praise for YeHoVaH, how might Psalm 19 become a rediscovered text that stands as a comprehensive statement delineating a code of conduct as well as belief? How do its images hearken back to the ethos of the Torah and foreshadow the fulfillment of Messianic worship?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) How has the notion of dietary restriction become narrowly defined or even ridiculed throughout the Judeo-Christian world, both within religious institutions and among the general public? Why has a more enlightened view of such practices as the refusal of pork, abstinence from alcohol, or vegetarianism as voluntary apostolates failed to become accepted by many as examples of strength and integrity within faith?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) As referenced earlier, how does YeHoVaH often guide us on our apostolic path through restriction, frustration, or delay as part of a providential plan of discovery of our own hidden resources? Further, how can the “easy grace” of much evangelical Christianity offer a false perspective of material prosperity as reward for spirituality that can potentially lead to the sin of despair through its absence?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) What is the likelihood in today’s climate of agnosticism of a reflex toward Western religion as a response to curricular needs in public education? How might scripture provide a subtle but formidable template for virtually all disciplines as a delineation of moral, ethical, and cultural values that would illuminate the inherent failure of ongoing back-to-basics efforts?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 54:00) Aside from its fundamental importance to our engagement with YeHoVaH, how is obedience an essential element in our efforts to persevere in the face of limitation while seeking answers to our prayers?  Why are we, as fallen creatures, so often reluctant to make an examination of conscience part of our faith lives, even amidst evidence of its place in our private revelations?

How To Teach The Torah (Episode 1)

EPISODE 1 of 4: Teachers Become The Students

This week (June 2) on Shabbat Night Live, just when you think you have it all figured out, YeHoVaH takes you to the next level.

From coaching football, teaching in France, and detouring through a Native American reservation, Kraig and Anne Elliott learned to trust the Almighty’s leading — and ended up with everything they needed for a dream career they could never have imagined.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section, and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How has the advocacy of cultural relativism, sexual transgression, and radical egalitarianism by the radical Left continued to undermine homeschooling, despite its utilization throughout contemporary faith communities? Have Christian colleges and universities been negligent in recognizing forgotten values owing to their reputations as reactionary institutions?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) How has the notion of teaching as a higher calling become corrupted by the cynicism of administrative pursuit of power and control, along with falling standards of competency within faculties? Is it still feasible for an educator to pursue an apostolate in primary and secondary education in the face of inflated bureaucracy and massive teacher unions?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) More optimistically, can the hand of YeHoVaH be discerned in the potential fragmentation of public and higher education thanks to the moribund nature of accreditation, tenure, and the brick-and-mortar campus? Could the homeschooled children of believers soon redefine independent learning through their utilization of digital media?
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 27:00) How has the latter-day normalization of sexual transgression and promiscuity throughout our culture served to corrupt our standards of education, particularly at the primary level? How can recent curricular changes and textbook selection be viewed as evidence of Satan’s attempt to target the family as part of his agenda of the destruction of YeHoVaH’s creation?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 31:00) How is the difficulty of evangelizing Native American communities as described here further compounded by forces on the cultural Left who continue to exploit these peoples as victims of colonial oppression? How has a view of Christian faith efforts as cultural imperialism only served to reduce them to a stereotype of unurbanized nature-worshippers rather than viable converts to lives of faith?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 36:00) Similarly, how has the familiar practice of community outreach toward other faith cultures in the United States been obstructed by ostensible collusion with the very same media-industrial complex that could facilitate its success? Is the provision for religious freedom in our First Amendment in danger of extinction, despite its anti-state orientation?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) As with homeschooling, why does the larger matter of homemaking as a career continue to be controversial, despite its proven advantages to the personal and spiritual growth of children? What is the fear behind the reiteration of the chauvinist cliché of the “stay-at-home mom”?  How does this reflect the failure of the cultural Left to recognize the nurturing power of women as a defining characteristic of genuine feminism?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How has the spiritual ethos of today’s clergy been progressively undermined by the same bureaucratization that has afflicted most professional institutions in our contemporary world? How have members of the laity unwittingly contributed to ecclesiastical “administrative bloat,” owing less to spiritual zeal than to the temptations of power, however illusory?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) Furthermore, how has this phenomenon indirectly encouraged the exploitation of disabled or special needs children as a designated group for public education in its perpetual search for funding? How could a reintroduction of Judeo-Christian values into today’s curriculum, however incremental, arguably achieve more rapid results than merely demarcating these students as an unofficial “cash cow”?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) Similarly, how could an innovative ministry such as that introduced by the Elliotts be viewed as a viable conduit for these values?  How might such a program of study lead to the rediscovery of an Old Testament text such as Proverbs, which continues to be a relevant source of learning, professionalism, and ethics despite its ancient provenance and its general neglect within denominational Christianity?

Impossible Odds (Episode 3)


This week (May 26) on Shabbat Night Live, it’s difficult to truly understand Yeshua’s love without understanding what it means to be adopted — to have all the rights, privileges, and freedoms of a member of a family that we don’t belong to.

Rodney Thompson helps us grasp what it means to be grafted in by sharing his own story of being forgiven and brought into the family of YeHoVaH.

Watch the episode — included on this blog post.

While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section, and let’s get some discussion going!

  1. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 14:00) How can the prophecy in Malachi 4:4 be viewed as a relevant, if not ominous, warning to both believers and skeptics in our contemporary world? Are there any legitimate latter-day Elijahs who have provided us with convincing evidence from scripture that anticipates our need for urgent repentance and reform before we invoke the wrath of YeHoVaH?
  2. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 18:00) Similarly, why is the imperative construction of this verse – “Remember the Law of Moses” – particularly applicable to both the faithful and the lukewarm in light of today’s culture of death and the material avarice which sustains it? Is it fair to state that our world has reached a point of spiritual ignorance that is more dangerous than forgetfulness or outright rejection?
  3. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 22:00) How can the current state of affairs regarding faith and spirituality in a hostile world be viewed as a result of the refusal to recognize the continuity between the narratives of Moses and Yeshua as a standard that must be followed? How do many current pop hymns like those of Marty Haugen or Dan Schutte express an egalitarianism that essentially rejects the notion of “following the rules of the house” with regard to sin? 
  4. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 26:00) While controversies over the “true meaning of Christmas” are likely to continue between secular materialists and believers, Easter has seemingly taken on a more threatening aspect for the forces of agnosticism and unbelief in our Western world.  Why has this holiday been so aggressively criticized over the past decade by advocates of atheism and even vulgarized toward children by powerful commercial interests?
  5. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 30:00) Similarly, how has our society become decadent by failing to recognize the notion of adoption as a valid social practice that ultimately derives from the divine premise of the faithful as YeHoVaH’s children? Why has the evil practice of abortion become so insistently promoted as the sole alternative to unwanted pregnancy?  And how does this represent Satan’s campaign of destruction toward the intact family?
  6. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 35:00) What are some examples of a latter-day recognition and rejection of syncretism throughout the Christian world? How does this coincide with revelations of financial and sexual corruption among many clergy or denominational figureheads?  Is this likely to remain a short-lived, reactionary phenomenon, or is this a manifestation of a genuine and widespread search for truth among seekers of salvation?
  7. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 38:00) Similarly, how does syncretism reflect our fallen human weakness for pagan influence in worship and belief? How can the practices described here be tenably viewed as our own unwitting attempt to unify and reconcile large groups of antithetical forms of worship in our evangelism rather than to demarcate and adhere to a formidable standard that challenges the vague conceit of a diverse and permissive religion for all peoples?
  8. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 42:00) What are some typical examples of the “Jonah Complex” in the experiences of many believers who face stubborn dilemmas in their evangelism and faith lives? How does YeHoVaH often challenge us with unexpected evil that we must confront, or compel us to recognize our own failures of discernment with his seeming silence?  How has Jonah become an enduring exemplar of the renewal of faith following persecution?
  9. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 46:00) How do the closing verses of Galatians 5 constitute a similar challenge to all who accept and profess the truth of Yeshua, especially in a world that is increasingly fraught with narcissism, division, and threats to personal freedom? How is the cultivation of self-control a particularly significant virtue as part of an apostolate?  How does its absence serve to exemplify a failure to “walk in the Spirit” rather than pay mere lip service?
  10. (VIDEO TIMELINE: 50:00) What are some contemporary examples within both faith communities and the greater world of the remnant influence of the Law of Moses, even among those citizens and subjects who profess no ethnic, cultural, or spiritual affinity with the Hebrews?  How does this suggest a yearning, however inarticulate, for a transcendent standard amid a global environment that is increasingly hostile to the notion of such intangible concerns as spirituality?