Welcome to The Crimson Thread. the teaching web site of Jon Behrens, pastor of Restoration Messianic Fellowship in the Boulder/Longmont area of Northern Colorado. You will find here articles on various Scriptural subjects as well as Bible studies that have been recorded at RMF.
If you are looking for Restoration Messianic Fellowship follow the link.
A cautionary tale for the leadership of Israel. Indeed, for anyone in leadership.
Fear has been used by every aspiring slave master from Satan on down to the present. Looking at the past year's events in the news from Covid to cancel culture it is evident that the goal is to keep people fearful, divided and uncertain. That is why God in Scripture tells us over and over not to be afraid - fear clouds your judgment and makes you easy to enslave.
God sends prophets hoping that their predictions will not come to pass.
Temptation is a necessary part of life, but woe to the one by whom it comes.
In the Bible humility is regarded as one of the central virtues. In the Jewish mussar tradition it is the foundation upon which character rests. Both Moses and Y'shua are described as humble, so humility is clearly a trait to be cultivated.
The wary relationship between Jews and Messianics can best be explained by the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Only the willfully ignorant can deny that there is a God.
In the book of Malachi, God decried Israel's religious establishment for its cynicism and corruption. Their problem was that they did not see themselves and their behavior in the same way. There was, however, a remnant that feared God and spoke correctly about Him. These people are written in a book of remembrance that God will consult when He makes up His treasured possessions. Our nation today is every bit as corrupt as was Israel at the time of Malachi. The criteria for being entered into the book of remembrance is still the same.
When God gives you a bumper crop, it's probably not to finance new barns.
Strength of character is the only thing that keeps the flesh in check.
There are probably as many beliefs about the end times as there are denominations. That confusion serves as a method to keep us divided and arguing, making us much less effective than we should be. If we consider the seven appointed times on God's calendar, it is possible to clear away much of the clutter and attain clarity.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Y'shua packs a lot of information into a very few words.
Humility is the ability to take up just the proper amount of space in the world.
The laws of God are the only source of worldly freedom.
In Genesis Joseph weeps exactly seven times. His tears are never the result of the affliction that he suffers. Rather they are all in the context of his relationship with his family. In this we see a very powerful man who is ultimately alone. His power is unable to gain him the thing that is most important to him - acceptance. The idea for this talk came from an article by Rabbi Sacks.
What do you do in the time between when you pray about something and you get an answer?
Getting rid of demons is not the issue, it's keeping them from coming back.
When a nation falls because of wickedness, the righteous go down too.
Idol worship, the desire to get what appears to be a 'better deal' than God offers, is a constant temptation. Whether the idol be some pagan god or a politician or a man in a white lab coat, the details may differ, but the impulse is the same. In all cases the master idol is covetousness.
The fact that you're not perfect has everything to do with why you were created.
Offerings made to God are not for His benefit.
Life's trials are not always from God or from Satan.
The human impulse to seek a 'better deal' than they believe is available from God has not gone away. Idol worship today looks a bit different than in Biblical times, but all of its pathologies are still with us. This new look helps keep idolaters from realizing what they are doing - allowing them even to attend church with a clear conscience.
Believers are fond of saying, 'God's sovereign, He can do whatever He wants.' Unfortunately that doesn't mean what they think it means.
The events of Exodus 19 and 20 constitute a betrothal and marriage between God and Israel. Unfortunately something went wrong in the consummation.
Why is the Bible not written more clearly? What can you trust?
This is an extremely Jewish prayer reflecting a difference in focus between the synagogue and the church. The focus of both the synagogue and the early church was bringing Heaven down to earth or repairing the creation. About 300 years ago the church shifted focus to getting people into heaven and began neglecting earthly governance.
We tend to give more weight and attention to people than we do to God. Not so with Moshe
Philip was engaged in a very productive ministry when God diverted him to something else.
Hebrews 9 discusses the death of someone who has made a will as being necessary to obtain the inheritance. This is a poor translation as it does not fit with Hebrew culture.
As different cultures encountered God as described in the Hebrew Bible, they tended to try and understand and relate to Him in terms they were familiar with. Calvin, for example, was a lawyer and tried to fit God into a legal structure. The Catholic Church within the last decade wrote the humans could not understand God and out only access was through Jesus. These are all distortions. In the Bible, God presents Himself to man in very understandable and relatable terms.
Without a Temple or Tabernacle, is tithing still required by God?
Why is the Covenant at Mt Sinai inferior to the New Covenant?
The fifty days from First Fruits to Shavuot (Pentecost) are symbolic of the transition from slavery to liberty in God's Kingdom. Those 50 days are echoed in the 50 years between Jubilees where liberty is proclaimed "throughout the land." This had special significance for Israel and for the founding fathers of the United States.
In the Garden, God does not say to Adam, 'If you eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, I will kill you.' Rather, He says something very different.
Both the prophets and Y'shua speak to Israel in parables which are designed to tell the truth in such a way that most people will not understand.
The Torah is not done away with, just obsolete. Just what does that mean to us?
The events that happen in the Patriarch's lives echo through succeeding generations. This is also true for the Nation Israel. If one studies the events of the Passover, one may find the same events happening in the burial of Jacob hundreds of years earlier. One may also find them foretold in the prophets. This talk is based on ideas originally presented by Rabbi Fohrman.
During the plagues, Pharaoh seems to have been remarkably thick in realizing what was going on. Perhaps he had good reasons.
Bitterness destroys the one who bears it.
Contrary to much Christian belief, the Law of Moses is the only source of liberty.
Prophets serve an unique function in God's administration of Israel. They provide a check on human government's abuse of power.
The Spirit is passed from one to another through touch.
Dealing with demons was a significant part of Y'shua's ministry. It also featured prominently in the instructions He gave His disciples when He sent them out on their own. Demons are still very much a factor in the world we must deal with, and His instructions are still pertinent.
The four great men of exile in the Bible, Joseph, Moses, Daniel and Mordecai all handled themselves differently. Those temperamental differences trace back to the sons of Jacob.
When Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God divides soul, spirit, joints and marrow, what does that mean?
Many Messianic believers refer to the Apostolic Scriptures - the New Testament - as the New or Renewed Covenant. Is this correct?
As Messianic believers, we get asked by our Sunday church brethern why we are doing all this 'Jewish' stuff. The feasts of God are for all members of His Kingdom, not just the Jews.
The structure of reality tends toward morality.
What was the purpose of the miracles performed by the apostles after the Resurrection?
In the Gospels, Y'shua twice sent His disciples out ahead of himself to, "Heal the sick, cast our demons and announce that His Kingdom was at hand." In other words, they were to establish a beachhead in enemy territory. That was also the mission of the church after His resurrection. The church today has largely lost sight of that mission. It has been expelled from politics and has ceased to be an authority on cultural issues. As the church has faded, Satan has advanced. How should we act to regain the ground we have lost?
In God's economy generosity is the only policy that makes any sense
The Bible often teaches through case studies; telling stories of two men each faced with the same choices. In the case of Lot and Abraham, Lot's choices lead inexorably to his destruction.
Scripture is very clear that when the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, those around him immediately notice that something has changed.
Much Christian teaching is in terms of salvation, grace and law. While each of those subjects is important, they cause us to miss or neglect understanding that God, first of all, loves people. Grace, law and salvation all deal with punishment - or more accurately the avoidance of punishment. Such a focus misses the warmth of the relationship that is possible when we focus on love.
Despite the miserable things we often do, God shows us His loving kindness
Our society believes that the pursuit of happiness is the highest of goals. That is a dead end; leading to the spiritual cul-de-sac of appetite and consumption. Rather than happiness, we should be searching for meaning in our lives. This leads to purpose and the satisfaction of knowing that we are useful in God's hand.
Jacob's life was difficult, mostly because of the things he did as a younger man before his encounter with God. Despite his early character flaws, he was used by God to found the twelve tribes of Israel. His use by God is a source of great hope to those who are struggling to find our way.
Jacob stole Esau's blessing by tricking his father. He also 'purchased' Esau's birthright by taking advantage of his brother's impulsive nature. After over twenty years under his hard uncle Laban, Jacob has in many respects become the 'man of the field'. He has, in a sense become Esau.
Comparing the lives of Judah and Esau, it becomes obvious that they are the same character. This casts a different light on Jacob's theft of Esau's blessing in the face of Isaac's desire to split the blessing of Abraham.
In explaining the Parable of the Sower, Messiah concludes that the good soil is fruitful where the road, the rocks and the weeds are not. If we compare his to Genesis 1 where God tells us to be fruitful and multiply, it becomes clear that fruitfulness in God's eyes involves more than just children. We are also expected to reproduce spiritually.
Before Jacob died, he blessed his sons. To Judah he gave the role of king and to Joseph he gave the blessing of Abraham. Both of these men displayed extraordinary humility. In Joseph's case humility was forced upon him by slavery. Judah had to learn it through being confronted by his own failures.
Because Hebrew names all have a meaning, it is often possible to find sentences in Biblical name lists. That is the case in Genesis 5 where the names spell out the Gospel.
With the nation in turmoil over political events, the prayers of believers are increasingly important. Pray that God have mercy upon the United States.