Who is my neighbor?

neighborhoodIn this class, Ross explores the biblical concept of holiness. He begins by making the point that the solutions to the problems in our world might not be as difficult to solve as we think. What if the solutions we seek are to be found in the ancient texts of the Bible? Could it be that the growing sense of hopelessness and helplessness will continue until people turn to, trust in and apply the Scriptures in order to solve the issues with which we are faced? As Ross points out in this class, we do not live in a God forsaken world, but we do live in a God forsaking world. The answers are to be found within the ancient Bible of Israel, specifically in the rules contained in the holiness code of Leviticus chapter 19. In this teaching, Ross focuses on how our behavior can lead to a better world. In particular, Ross highlights a command that most people know, but that few have taken to heart. You will not want to miss this teaching.


The Bread of Affliction

unleavened-breadIn this week’s teaching Ross focuses on the ancient festival of Unleavened Bread by covering the biblical texts related to what the Hebrew Bible calls chag hamatzoth. He works through the relevant passages carefully, discussing the details about the seven days associated with the festival. He points out that this ancient festival is related to the great salvation of the children of Israel from Egypt, and shows how the festival became associated with joy, but then turns his attention to another aspect of these holy days. The unleavened bread is described in Deuteronomy as the bread of affliction. Why would a season of joy, a time set apart to remember salvation, redemption, and deliverance be associated with bread of affliction? This class seeks to answer that question. The answer might surprise you. You will not want to miss this teaching on the Bread of Affliction and the coming redemption.

The video can be seen on www.livestream.com/rootsoffaith in the video on demand section.


History, Passover, Covenant Renewal, and Redemption

340px-Louvre-antiquites-egyptiennes-p1020372_Cropped_and_bg_reducedIsrael Sojourned in Egypt during a time of political turmoil. The Asiatics from Canaan had immigrated to Egypt after a severe famine. Within a few generations, these immigrants became so populous that they overthrew the traditional Egyptian monarchs in the Delta (Goshen) area. Manetho, a 3rd century Egyptian scribe whose history is known to us through Josephus, tells of a time of enslavement as those once prosperous in the Delta now became servants to foreigners. Another ancient scribe, Ipuwer, also relates the atrocities of the people’s revolution: a coup not too dissimilar from the French Revolution or the Bolshevik revolution where the peasant immigrant classes not only overthrow the Egyptian government, but where the people drain the very granaries and systems that sustain their future. Ipuwer tells us that not only were nobles enslaved like commoners, but infants were slaughtered, and mortuary tombs were plundered, and women did not risk pregnancy. It is in this setting that the Exodus story transitions from Aaron’s birth, in which there was no overt threat to the Hebrews to Moses’ birth three years later in which infanticide was not only a threat to the Hebrews, but to many who had ties or demonstrated loyalty to the traditional Egyptian pharaohs.

In the Promised Land Covenant that YHWH contracted with Abraham (Genesis 15), YHWH tells the patriarch that his children will be oppressed in Egypt (Gen 15:14). At the end of the Sojourn, YHWH will judge the oppressing nation and give the land of Canaan to Abram’s descendants when the sins of the Amorites “come to the full” (Gen 15:16). Traditional approaches to the Exodus consider the Egyptians to be the Hebrews’ oppressors. The prophet Isaiah, however, tells us that the Assyrians oppressed Israel in Egypt (Isa 52:4), indicating that the Hebrews’ oppressors were foreign and were not Egyptian.

Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt began with the Passover ceremony, a self-imprecating commitment to treaty with God and to walk in his covenant. Self-imprecation is the act of taking on a curse against yourself and your descendants if the treaty should be breached. These curses were ratified by a self-imprecation ritual ceremony wherein a sacrifice was ceremonially eaten by those committing to the covenant. The Passover bound Israel to the Sinai covenant and its’ curses (found in Leviticus 26) should they or their descendants breach the agreement. Throughout Israel’s history, the nation continually forsook the covenant and breached its stipulations. During righteous epochs, Passover was often associated with covenant renewal-as we see in today’s teaching in the covenant renewal and Passover celebrations that took place during the reigns of Josiah and Hezekiah. Israel’s prophets continue to build on the significance of the Passover commitment to the covenant by foretelling of a day, when Israel would finally renew the covenant, uphold its stipulation, and never more depart. It is Israel’s final act of taking hold of the covenant and obeying its regulations that will allow God to activate the redemption promised as a blessing for compliance. Please join us as we walk through God’s plan of salvation from the 1st Exodus until the future 2nd Exodus of Israel’s scattered descendants.

The video can be viewed on www.livestream.com/rootsoffaith in the video on demand section.


The Day of the Glory of YHVH

1100px-Holman_The_Tabernacle_in_the_WildernessIn this week’s teaching, Ross returns to his series on the making of the Mikdash to cover an important point. After Moses completed all of the work in the making of the Tabernacle, having done everything as commanded, the Glory of YHVH filled the tabernacle. Ross shows that this remarkable event provides us with a glimpse of something greater, spoken of by the prophets, when the Glory of YHVH will fill the entire earth. Does Scripture describe this coming manifestation, and if so, what does it tell us? You will not want to miss this teaching.



Making a Mikdash – The Final Phase

SciniaIn his final teaching on the making of a holy place, Ross shares insights from the last two Torah readings in the book of Exodus. He briefly goes over some of the essential teachings from previous classes to establish a foundation for addressing one of the questions that arise from a study of this subject. Who is to build this holy place? In some texts we read that the work is in the hands of God, while the people are at the same time commanded to make it. How are these two seemingly different answers to be reconciled? Is the building of the holy place to take place without human hands? Are we to simply wait for its appearance? Or does the task depend on the people? You will not want to miss this teaching.