Recent Blog Entries

  • 7 hours ago
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Bible Study, Acts Chapter 28 from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo. Transcript: Today we are going to study Acts chapter 28 verse by verse, and you can follow along in your own Bible if you like. I will be reading from the World English Bible because it is currently the only modern English tra...
  • 12 hours ago
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, 'This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.' Luke 15:1 WEBEveryone knows that Jesus came to save the lost sinner, and they were all drawn to Him like a magnet, but the rel...
  • Wed at 3:01 AM
    Posted by Dion Todd
    So Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys. He had also seven sons and three daughters. Job 42:12 WEBJob was a very wealthy man who went through a terrible trial, but w...
View All




Modern Day Pharisees

  • The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, 'Why don't your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?' He answered them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, But their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men'the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things. He said to them, Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.' Mark 7:5 WEB

    I grew up up in the Bible Belt, and the first time that I read the Bible all the way through, I was amazed at what was not in there. From hearsay, I had been told that the Bible tells us this and the Bible tells us that, only to find later that it didn't, and that they apparently had not read it either. I found that reading the Bible for myself was quite liberating. What I had mostly been taught were the traditions of men (Mark 7:7) that had been verbally passed down through the generations.

    The Pharisees in the above scripture were a strict religious sect that followed the written law of Moses, but also an oral law called the 'Oral Torah.' They believed that the written law of God was incomplete and so unwritten traditions were debated, refined, and expanded on. Rules were created to prevent Jews from breaking the law, and then that became taught alongside the word of God, as if it were the word of God. These were passed down through the generations as the word from God. It was a mixture of God's word and the traditions of men, and few knew the difference.

    The Pharisees developed an extremely elaborate tradition for hand washing from a single verse, Leviticus 15:11. This verse speaks of washing your hands after a bodily discharge, which I happen to agree with. Soon they had laws about the purity and color of the water, what it was to be poured from, how it was to be poured over the hands, how high the pitcher should be above the hands while pouring the water, and required washing each hand several times up to the elbow.

    The Pharisees condemned the disciples of Jesus for not practicing this hand washing, the 'tradition of the elders.' Jesus knew the word of God, He was, and is the word of God (John 1:1). When Jesus had to face satan, His weapon was 'It is written.' The Word is our weapon and is only as powerful as your knowledge of the Word. Jesus, who knew the word better than anyone, called these pharisees 'hypocrites', meaning actors. Jesus' point was that no amount of external washing would ever make them clean for their defilement came from the inside, and besides, what they were teaching was 'not written.'

    Fast forward two thousand years and we have our own 'oral law' to accompany the written scripture. Somehow, we know how people should dress, how they should style their hair, the music that they should listen to, the Bible translation they should read, the holidays that they should, or should not observe. In summary, we want them to be a reflection of us. We can completely ignore 'Love your neighbor' and then tell them how to dress appropriately, which would be like us. We would re-make them in our image, no matter how distorted and bent that is. If they are like us, they must be alright.

    Try to read the Word for yourself when you can or listen to it on audio. Do not trust what other people tell you without checking it yourself (Acts 17:11). As the Word soaks into your spirit, it will come back to your remembrance later when you need it. If you have never heard it, then how can it help you? You have to first know what is written, and what is not, in order to use it effectively.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please reveal the areas in my life that need to be cleaned up and wash me from the inside out. Help me correct the areas that I am mislead in and let me see the differences between scripture and the traditions that have been handed down, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

    Note: Good morning! For those who did not get the email, we have a special newsletter with details and photos of what happened while the power was out. You can find it under the News tab of the site menu. ALSO, a bit late (we are still catching up :)), but the highlighted group of the week is "Dreams: Meaning and Purpose": this group is centered around the truth that God often communicates to His people through dreams. The Dreams group is a great place to share what the Lord has shown you, discuss interpretations, and grow in wisdom and discernment when it comes to hearing His voice. We encourage you to post your dreams, questions, and thoughts about this subject in this group. FINALLY, the Creation Photographers theme of the week is "October Colors", in celebration of the season!

Tip: You must be logged into the website to leave comments.

 

Social Sharing

25 comments
  • 1
Mark Duell
Mark Duell

Amen.

October 13, 2016
  • 2
Mark Duell
Mark Duell

I think I have found that I have been commenting on things but the comments never showing up. I'm assuming it must be something with my computer. And yes I have been hitting the "Post Comment" button. LOL Godbless you guys greatly today.

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Mark, so sorry if some comments got lost somehow! I'm not sure what the factor is, because clearly some do make it, like today's :). I suppose you are not getting any kind of error message? If you are, please let us know what it is, and perhaps we can figure it out :).

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Mike OBryan
Mike OBryan

   Good Morning Breathren!!! Wha a Teaching.. deadon!!! Hum going with it, steming from a super dream-- one I have been having!!! Him showing Me the man I can and will be!!! Always first the suffering than the Glory!! segret to Us, he is with us through both!! Key we always give Him credit-thats the deal!!! rolling!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

October 13, 2016
  • 2
Mike OBryan
Mike OBryan

    Good Morning Mark-- great Teaching hey!!!!

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Mark Duell
Mark Duell

Good morning Mike.

October 13, 2016
  • 2
David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please reveal the areas in my life that need to be cleaned up and wash me from the inside out. Help me correct the areas that I am mislead in and let me see the differences between scripture and the traditions that have been handed down, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen Thank you <3 God bless

October 13, 2016
  • 2
Penelope Rhome
Penelope Rhome

thank  you lord amen

October 13, 2016
  • 2
Marie Hall
Marie Hall

This is so true and right. I was brought up being told how I was supposed to be act, present myself, ect. But after I have been in the Word and learning for myself my whole perception of the Lord has changed and is changing. I am getting to know Him daily and it is such a blessing. I am in another Bible study group and those people are helping me to learn and they are a blessing to me as well as you all here. For so long I have hated myself and turning away from the Lord because " I could not live for the Lord". The people who taught me growing up were so wrong and I pray the Lord keeps opening my eyes and heart to see. Some days is a real struggle but I pray that I may know Him.

October 13, 2016
  • 2
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Thank you Amen. 

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Rachael Burke
Rachael Burke

Amen, oh the precious Blood of Jesus, that makes me white as snow, thank you my Lord 

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Joseph Adams, Jr.
Joseph Adams, Jr.

"Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee." ~ Psalm 119:11 (KJV)

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt

I thank God for His word!

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Yada (Wendy)
Yada (Wendy)

Amen. It's strange to read scripture and see the commandments of men everywhere His Words should be. Especially where His Name should be.  I think Solomon references the Ark of The Covenant being near by in Ecclesiastes. It's subtle, but implied I believe. I was looking through the Hebrew one day wondering what he was seeing "done under the sun" and got the impression he may have done something great in response to seeing what would happen with God's Law. Just sharing for you to peek and wonder if ya want.

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Norman Glaze Sr
Norman Glaze Sr

Absolutely Amen. I think this is the very Best thing any Pastor can tell His Flock. One of(There are Many)reasons I am so disgusted with "Organized" Religion, is that It seems to me, many Pastors/Fathers/Teachers Etc., would rather keep some portions of The Scripture hush hush. I have learned The Holy Spirit will bring The Word up to you when you need it, if you have it in your Heart. Love and Prayers, Norm

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Albert Chau
Albert Chau

The Pharisees were just religious figures telling everyone what to do. In today life, we have practically everyone from friends, relatives, coworkers, bosses, spouses, and the list goes on and on telling us what to do. But, ultimately the one Person matter is God himself through His Word in Bible.

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Audry Reddy
Audry Reddy

Amen! When I first read the Bible at 24 yrs of age, I was surprised that some of the things I had been taught growing up were actually opposite to what the Bible said! And I knew the Bible was true because the God let me know in my heart that it was truth! From the very beginning, I realized I did things differently from most people Christians included ,but , I knew God was with me so Praise the Lord! Thank you Pastor Dion for preaching the truth and for being there (Refreshing Hope Ministries ) for me .

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Carol Pady
Carol Pady

Amen! We are reconciled by grace, not by works, not by rules, traditions or religious ceremonies, but by His grace alone. We have to be careful that we don't put unneccessary burdens on ourselves or others. We walk by faith and we should follow God's instructions in His word not adding to it or subtracting from it.

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Tayloredited: October 13, 2016

I had that exepriance when I first started reading the Bible as a teenager.  I expected it to be all about God's wrath on us sinners, complete with fire and brimstone. I remember being pleasantly surprised to realize that it was all about love!

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen thank you RHM for helping to teach me the written word of GOD I just love the TRUTH in my bible your a huge help.

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield

When we strive to live with rules, we are often left with guilt for not measuring up to those unreasonable standards. But remember, Jesus called the sinners, not the righteous!

October 13, 2016
  • 1
Ticardo Williams
Ticardo Williams

Amen.  Praise God!  Thanks Pastor Dion!   Heavenly Father, please reveal the areas in my life that need to be cleaned up and wash me from the inside out. Help me correct the areas that I am mislead in and let me see the differences between scripture and the traditions that have been handed down, in the Name of Jesus Christ I pray.  Amen.

October 14, 2016
  • 1
Diane Symborski✝
Diane Symborski✝

Amen!! Thank you Pastor Dion for taking the time to write this devotion. :-)

October 14, 2016
  • 1
Rosemary Marsh
Rosemary Marsh

Amen.

October 15, 2016
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen

October 17, 2016