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.

  • The Romance of Tithing7/25/2021 6:13:58 PM

    God asks that we love Him with our whole heart, soul and might. A love that doesn't touch your wealth is no love at all. It is a 'love' with some things reserved out of the union. You would not accept that in a marriage, nor should you approach your relationship with God with reservations.

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  • Biblical Geography I7/23/2021 9:20:37 AM

    Part 1. This discusses the military and economic implications of Israel's location within the ancient world.

  • Balaam and the Feasts of God7/21/2021 2:45:50 PM

    When Balaam is called to curse Israel, he instead gives three blessings. Those blessings mirror the the three Feasts of Ascent given by God.

  • Balaam, A Preview of Antichrist?7/19/2021 9:21:14 PM

    Balaam's story mirrors the stories of Abraham and Moses in many superficial ways. In the same way, the Anti-Christ will mirror Y'shua.

  • Why Nations Fall7/18/2021 9:32:18 PM

    On Tisha B'Av we remember the destruction of the first and second Temples and the exiles from the Land of Israel. In both cases the calamity was brought on by internal strife which weakened the nation. We are seeing much the same situation in the United States today.

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  • Unnecessary Miracles7/14/2021 5:51:01 PM

    Every miracle in the Bible has a purpose and it's not to satisfy our desire for signs and wonders.

  • Tisha B Av7/12/2021 8:38:09 PM

    The ninth of Av when the spies in the wilderness brought back a bad report has marked Hebrew calamities throughout history.

  • Guarding the Tongue7/11/2021 10:07:33 PM

    The tongue is unique in that it is half hidden and half public. It is the organ by which the heart expresses itself. It has the ability either to cause great harm or to build healthy solid relationships. Learning to guard the tongue is of greatest importance, both for the individual and for the community.

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  • Three Spiritual Regimes7/10/2021 10:15:51 PM

    Biblically, Israel can exist in any one of three distinct spiritual regimes: wilderness, in the land, exile. Each regime has different rules and conditions. It is God who decides which regime is appropriate at any point in history.

  • Sinning with a High Hand7/7/2021 9:42:26 PM

    God is not harsh, but He does deal with rebellious sin.

  • Zechariah's New Covenant7/5/2021 10:30:24 PM

    Many believe the New Covenant is found only in Hebrews. Actually, it is all over the Tanak. This is Zechariah's version.

  • Revolution and Law7/4/2021 10:58:50 PM

    Law is the only lasting basis for liberty. The American Revolution was a reaction to the British Parliament changing laws without the consent of the American colonies. Without the stable rule of law, tyranny quickly follows.

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  • How Should We Behave?6/30/2021 9:30:06 PM

    In addition to worship, God demands that we look after the defenseless.

  • The Next Messianic Event6/28/2021 8:26:07 PM

    The pattern of Israel's exile and return suggests that another messianic event is eminent.

  • Torah and Awokening6/27/2021 10:33:19 AM

    The US is undergoing a 'Great Awokening' where secular culture is attacking Christian culture with religious fervor. The central fixture of this movement is a set of shifting standards of what is a 'sin'. This creates fear because one never knows what past or present behavior will be labeled a heresy and get one excommunicated. One point of the Torah being written in stone is that it does not change and is not subject to the whims of popular culture. What was sinful 3000 years ago is sinful today. On the flip side what was not sinful then is not so today either. Opposing 'cancel culture' requires a Christian revival - simple logic will not do it. The idea for this talk came from: https://bonifaceoption.substack.com/p/the-great-awokening.

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  • Luke Travel Parables6/23/2021 9:59:41 PM

    We have just finished and posted a teaching series on Luke 9-19 the Travel Narrative Parables. These are parables Y'shua told in rural villages as he was traveling to Jerusalem for the final time. These ten chapters in Luke form a chiasm. The study proceeds according to the chiastic structure rather that sequentially through the text.

  • The Land is Desolate6/21/2021 9:22:34 PM

    When God's people are not in His land, that land becomes desolate.

  • What Does This Mean?6/20/2021 9:38:35 PM

    As much as we try to order the events in our lives, often things happen that are beyond our control. That happened to Joseph. He was jumped by his brothers, sold as a slave and then framed for attempted rape by his master's wife and thrown into prison. He had every opportunity to become bitter and lapse into helpless victimhood. He did neither of those things because he was able discern a meaning for his circumstances and develop a sense of purpose. We have the same opportunity in our lives.

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  • Packing Up the Tabernacle6/16/2021 8:59:57 PM

    Everything in the Bible is significant. In the instructions for packing up the Tabernacle we can see a portrait if God - Father, Son and Spirit.

  • The Fig Tree6/14/2021 10:01:30 PM

    A cautionary tale for the leadership of Israel. Indeed, for anyone in leadership.

  • Fear6/13/2021 6:11:23 PM

    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.

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  • The Failure of Prophecy6/9/2021 9:24:47 PM

    God sends prophets hoping that their predictions will not come to pass.

  • Trials and Temptations6/7/2021 10:10:29 PM

    Temptation is a necessary part of life, but woe to the one by whom it comes.

  • Humility6/6/2021 10:55:02 PM

    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.

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  • The Prodigal Son6/2/2021 8:59:02 PM

    The wary relationship between Jews and Messianics can best be explained by the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

  • The Kingdom of God is Obvious5/31/2021 9:39:04 PM

    Only the willfully ignorant can deny that there is a God.

  • The Book of Remembrance5/30/2021 10:38:56 PM

    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.

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  • Abundance5/29/2021 10:51:28 PM

    When God gives you a bumper crop, it's probably not to finance new barns.

  • Strength5/26/2021 10:03:12 PM

    Strength of character is the only thing that keeps the flesh in check.

  • God's Feasts Show the Plan5/24/2021 6:35:12 PM

    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.

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  • What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?5/22/2021 11:47:27 PM

    In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Y'shua packs a lot of information into a very few words.

  • Humility5/19/2021 9:13:02 PM

    Humility is the ability to take up just the proper amount of space in the world.

  • Securing Freedom5/17/2021 9:50:18 PM

    The laws of God are the only source of worldly freedom.

  • Joseph's Tears5/16/2021 8:44:55 PM

    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.

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  • Nurturing a Prayer5/14/2021 3:54:18 PM

    What do you do in the time between when you pray about something and you get an answer?

  • Sweeping the House of Demons5/12/2021 9:47:44 PM

    Getting rid of demons is not the issue, it's keeping them from coming back.

  • God Judges Nations5/10/2021 1:52:08 PM

    When a nation falls because of wickedness, the righteous go down too.

  • One to Rule Them All5/9/2021 8:59:26 PM

    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.

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  • Fear Not, You Have a Purpose5/7/2021 3:32:41 PM

    The fact that you're not perfect has everything to do with why you were created.

  • Sacrifice5/5/2021 6:00:45 PM

    Offerings made to God are not for His benefit.

  • Under Attack?5/3/2021 9:16:48 PM

    Life's trials are not always from God or from Satan.

  • Idolatry Today5/2/2021 5:58:23 PM

    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.

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  • The Sovereignty of God4/30/2021 10:54:46 AM

    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 Wedding at Sinai4/28/2021 8:52:43 PM

    The events of Exodus 19 and 20 constitute a betrothal and marriage between God and Israel. Unfortunately something went wrong in the consummation.

  • The Ambiguity of Scripture4/26/2021 9:56:19 PM

    Why is the Bible not written more clearly? What can you trust?

  • The Lord's Prayer4/25/2021 10:13:01 PM

    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.

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  • Fear of Man4/23/2021 9:10:51 AM

    We tend to give more weight and attention to people than we do to God. Not so with Moshe

  • Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch4/21/2021 5:58:43 PM

    Philip was engaged in a very productive ministry when God diverted him to something else.

  • Last Will and Testament>4/19/2021 5:41:10 PM

    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.

  • Knowing God4/18/2021 9:58:20 PM

    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.

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  • Tithing4/14/2021 9:57:49 PM

    Without a Temple or Tabernacle, is tithing still required by God?

  • The Inferior Covenant4/12/2021 10:03:57 PM

    Why is the Covenant at Mt Sinai inferior to the New Covenant?

  • Fifty Days to Liberty4/11/2021 6:05:24 PM

    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.

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  • God Does not Say...4/9/2021 3:51:11 PM

    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.

  • Why Speak in Parables4/7/2021 9:34:04 PM

    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.

  • Is Moses Obsolete?4/5/2021 9:27:24 PM

    The Torah is not done away with, just obsolete. Just what does that mean to us?

  • History is Prophecy4/4/2021 9:33:03 PM

    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.

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  • God and Pharaoh4/1/2021 9:50:20 PM

    During the plagues, Pharaoh seems to have been remarkably thick in realizing what was going on. Perhaps he had good reasons.

  • Bitterness3/30/2021 9:58:55 PM

    Bitterness destroys the one who bears it.

  • Freedom in the Torah3/29/2021 10:08:59 PM

    Contrary to much Christian belief, the Law of Moses is the only source of liberty.

  • Prophets as God's Enforcers3/25/2021 9:49:21 PM

    Prophets serve an unique function in God's administration of Israel. They provide a check on human government's abuse of power.

  • Laying on of Hands3/24/2021 5:44:34 PM

    The Spirit is passed from one to another through touch.

  • Demons3/21/2021 11:24:23 PM

    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.

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  • How Do We Behave In Exile3/20/2021 9:42:57 PM

    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.

  • The Word Divides3/17/2021 11:03:19 PM

    When Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God divides soul, spirit, joints and marrow, what does that mean?

  • New Testament or Brit Chadasha?3/15/2021 8:54:27 PM

    Many Messianic believers refer to the Apostolic Scriptures - the New Testament - as the New or Renewed Covenant. Is this correct?

  • Why We Keep the Feasts3/14/2021 2:45:54 PM

    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.

  • God Created a Moral Universe3/11/2021 10:41:07 PM

    The structure of reality tends toward morality.

  • Apostolic Miracles3/8/2021 10:30:11 PM

    What was the purpose of the miracles performed by the apostles after the Resurrection?

  • The Church as Beachhead3/7/2021 7:59:16 PM

    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?

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  • Biblical Generosity3/4/2021 9:36:07 PM

    In God's economy generosity is the only policy that makes any sense

  • Lot, a Biblical Case Study3/3/2021 11:08:36 PM

    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.

  • Signs of the Holy Spirit3/2/2021 10:25:37 PM

    Scripture is very clear that when the Holy Spirit comes upon a person, those around him immediately notice that something has changed.

  • Missing God's Love2/28/2021 9:59:36 PM

    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.

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  • God's Loving Kindness2/25/2021 10:29:19 PM

    Despite the miserable things we often do, God shows us His loving kindness

  • Life's Purpose - Some Assembly Required2/21/2021 9:52:01 PM

    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.

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  • Jacob at the Well2/20/2021 7:01:04 PM

    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 Becomes Esau2/17/2021 8:59:47 PM

    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.

  • Judah and Esau2/16/2021 10:49:17 PM

    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.

  • Sowing the Word2/15/2021 10:30:41 AM

    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.

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  • Judah the Humble King2/14/2021 8:17:38 AM

    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.

  • The Gospel in Genesis2/10/2021 10:42:08 PM

    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.

  • Prayer2/9/2021 1:08:23 PM

     

    With the nation in turmoil over political events, the prayers of believers are increasingly important. Pray that God have mercy upon the United States.

Torah Portion
VaEra

Exodus 7:8—8:19
Joel 3:9-21
Luke 16:14-31

Thus said the Lord:
"Stand by the crossroads
and consider,
Inquire about ancient paths:
Which is the road to happiness?
Travel it, and find tranquillity
for yourselves."
(Je 6:16)