Begin an authentic relationship with the Lord

Harem Dancers by Fabio Fabbi

This is not a normal teaching from your normal church.  Some experiences cannot be shared by the congregation.

This blog is not for the immature or new believer. It is for the believer who sits up one days and says “I want more, in my relationship with God. I want to be closer to my God, my King, my Redeemer, and my Beloved.”

The Song of Songs teaches that we are all in God’s harem.  We are all brides of Messiah, individually. For purposes of the blog I have substituted Harem where one would normally write congregation, church, or believers. The great love poem was left for us to understand that the  relationship with out Lord is to be as intimate as any passionate encounter.

Ezekiel 16:1-7 A Foundling’s Tale

Prosopopaspia – Judah is personified as a young woman.

newborn baby girl  wiki commons  5001   Again the word of the LORD came to me:  2 “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations,  3 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.  4 And as for your birth, on the day you were born your navel string was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor swathed with bands.  5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you; but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. 

6   “And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live,  7 and grow up like a plant of the field.’ And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full maidenhood; your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare. Ezek. 16:1-7

 

FYI: Our passage starts with a familiar scene in the ancient world, an abandoned baby. There was an appalling how be it common practice in the ancient world of abandoning newborn babies, especially girls. The early church was persecuted by Rome for going out at night into the open spaces and fields around the city and collecting these unwanted, rescuing and adopting them. The pagan’s considered this interfering with their gods. It was believed that if they were worthy that a god or goddess would see them and take care of them. The story of Hercules is just this, His mother Alcmene abandoned him in an open field, where Hera queen of the gods saw him and suckled him. This went well until she found out that he was the son of her own philandering husband Zeus.

The true God is Almighty in the Hebrew El-Shaddai, this is not strength of arms, rather strength of breast, a nurturing strength. He speaks “Live” and His people grow like plants of the field. His word is just and true, and will always comes to pass. Unlike the pagan gods who manipulated exploited, and engineered to get what they wanted, the true God needs only speak, and a thing is so. The One True God is jealous of the pagan gods. They are not real. They did not/cannot do the thing He did and does. They are just the personifications of men, they have desires and cravings, that they scheme and plot to acquire. They are easily understood, unlike the God of creation, who is so far beyond our comprehension that we are at a lost to explain why He allows or disallows things. Where did Satan come from? Why do good people suffer? Why do bad people prosper?  Zeus can be explained, the one true God, not so much. We must simply clutch our mohar and trust.

So there we were the people of God, discarded and rejected, left for some animal to tear apart. Left in our own blood, we were not cleaned or cared for, but rather abandoned, unwanted, and unloved. That about sums up how the world feels about us. We are not worth acknowledging that we were worthy of anything but disgust.  But the creator of the Universe, said “live”, and so we have.

(The Hebrew word blood is plural here which is put for the defiling guilt of bloodshed. Ezekiel will later make this blood guilt connection quite clear in 22:2; 24:6.)

Girl Veiling HerselfOur hair grew, which sounds kind of sweet in English, however what is meant is the pubic hair of maidenhood. God compares His attentiveness to that of a man watching the young girls in His community. Waiting and watching for the one that He wants, to be ready for love. There is a warning in Songs of Solomon that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please. [S of S 3:5] But He has been watching. He knows that His people are ready. It is not too soon. He knows that our hair has grown for we are naked. [not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Rev 3:17b] It is time, to give ourselves wholly to our God. Hold nothing back. He knows that we are ready for love. He is ready to fulfill that hunger, and gratify our desires.

The Mohar

Engagement_RingsThe Mohar is the bridal present given at the time of betrothal in ancient Jewish customs. Now days, the Jews like the rest of those in Western Civilization give a ring, usually with a stone, usually a diamond. However in ancient times it could be any costly jewelry, often mounted coins.Corte A - Femme Turque

The haggling between families during the marriage arrangements could go one for weeks even months before the final price of the troth was arrived at. Once all is settle the Mohar is given as a promise that the rest will be delivered. Once the woman excepts the mohar the betrothal is set and the only way out is divorce. [Gen 34:12; I Sam 18:25]

We are the bride of Messiah and our Mohar came at Pentecost/Shavout. Rabbinical tradition says that God gave the Torah to Israel on the very first Pentecost, celebrated in the wilderness [Ex 19-24]. And again He gave the Holy Spirit on  the same holy day of Pentecost/Shavout. Shofar-new_ezr[Acts 2] These are our mohar, the Word and the Spirit. We have accepted them so now we wait for the wedding day. Straining to here the trumpet call. For a Jewish bride is called to the wedding tent i.e. chupah with the sound of a shofar i.e. trumpet.

Follow or Believe

fishing_nets27607Believe

To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43 

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 

From these verses the fundamentalist churches have constructed a false doctrine of “asking Jesus into your heart.” Belief is just that belief, there is nothing to be done beyond that. The “act” of “asking Jesus into your heart” is somehow sufficient for salvation. However this prayer is nowhere in the Scriptures. It is the work of man, and as such is no different, than any other penance that is the creation of men. We can do nothing to be saved, it is a free gift from God.

However because the teaching of this easy believism is so prevalent in the post modern fundamentalist churches there needs to be a change in our language. The concept of “belief” has been so abused that it no longer carries any real meaning, and the warning that demons believe is lost.

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe — and shudder. James 2:19

It is incumbent on us to change our language and tell people that they  must FOLLOW Jesus. He must be Lord and King of ours and their lives.

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Acts 2:36      

Follow

What does it mean or look like to FOLLOW Jesus?

19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matt. 4:19-20

Those that followed, are fishers of men. If our chief proposes in life is something other than spreading the Gospel, we are not following.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17

If what we are doing does not glorify God, then we need to find something else to do. We have left the strait and narrow path and need to find our way back. We have a job it is to Go and Make Disciples.

And he said to them,  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

There is a cost to following and it can be very hard.

But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Matt. 8:22

This is Jewish hyperbole, and many have misunderstood that Messiah was telling the man to abandon old or ill parents. The real meaning of His word are that those that do not or will not follow, are in fact already dead.  There is no point in staying among the dead, for the dead cannot hear the message of the Gospel. We are not to waste time begging people who will not follow to follow.

And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Matt. 10:14

Sometimes we do follow for our own benefit. But even as these two beg for mercy, they seem to be the only ones who understood that He is the Son of David.

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” Matt. 9:27 

Another misunderstood passage. Mostly because people see “saved” or ‘salvation” even where it is not so stated. Jesus says if you want to be “perfect” which is an impossible task. He man’s imperfection was his love of money and position.

21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” . . . 27 Then Peter said in reply, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matt. 19:21, 27-28

Then our Lord allows Peter to get away with a half truth. He claims to have given up everything, however we know that his boats and nets where still there and being kept in working order, so one can only conclude that his business was still running. [John 21:3]

Who are the true followers? According to Messiah it can be anyone.

38  John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:38-41

So even offering a cup of cold water is an indication that one is a follower.

Following Strangers

We have created too many Simon Magnuses. [Act 8:9-14 and Justin Martyr’s First Apology Chapter XXVI.—Magicians not trusted by Christians.] These evil men preach health and wealth, and that God can be bribed with a tithe. They buy and sell religious positions for personal gain and profit. The only ones who get wealthy are they themselves as they sell their religion to ignorant people who never seem to ask where the tithe money is going, or where the commandments say they should go. We are admonished not to follow these strangers.

4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” . . . 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; John 10:4-5, 27

When we meet those that are following false teachings, there seems a deep laziness inside them a desire to turn the responsibility of the faith over to someone else. Their condition is to be lamented. However we are admonished not to worry about others faith, we are to follow alone if necessary. We can’t fix other peoples faith. We can only fix our own, through prayer and the study of the Word. We must continue to only follow the true shepherd and never listen to the stranger.

Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” John 21:22

One way to know the strangers from true believers are that those who follow or abide in the Lord, keep His commandments.

. . . but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Deut. 5:10

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15  

He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10 

Be Holy

holy_light_by_mj_magic-d5fsvoxThose in the Harem are called to be holy.

. . . 15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)

At first look this seems like a tall order, because over the centuries we have lost the definition of holy. Most people think that the word means to be morally or spiritually superior. The Hebrew word kadosh means to be separated for God’s purposes and it can apply to inanimate objects, such as the utensils of the temple. It is not an attitude but rather a purpose.

Peter is quoting from the passage on kosher eating, explaining what is clean and unclean for those separated for God’s purpose.

For I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls upon the earth. Lev. 11:44 

Now the standard teaching in most churches is that we don’t have to eat kosher. (Fine go ahead and eat that which is not good for you.) They instead spiritualize the law saying that we are to stay away from things that are pagan or some behavior that they find repugnant such as drinking alcohol or dancing. For them it all becomes a list of “do nots.”

Peter’s point is not what to give up, but rather to find our purpose or destiny. What it is to obey our calling.

13   Therefore gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,  15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct;  16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  17 And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile.  18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,  19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.  21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1Pet. 1:13-21

We are already separated, we must now find our purpose. We must find the deeds that by which we are to conduct ourselves.

What is your purpose? Mine is to sit and write theology since I have finished raising my children. However all the time I was raising them I was reading and studying knowing that this day would come somehow. I had no idea that the computer would open the world, I just kept studying because I knew it was my purpose.

Finding one’s purpose is a journey in submission to God. Whatever He has for us we must be willing to make any sacrifice to do it. A good place to start looking is in The Gifts. Find you purpose, find your holiness.

Narrow Gate & The Camel Through The Eye of a Needle

narrowdoorThe Narrow Gate is from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, a Sermon given early in Messiah’s ministry.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Messiah first begins to explain John’s teachings that the Kingdom of Heaven or God was at hand.

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:1-2

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 4:17

Now if the perceiving the kingdom of heaven and salvation are the same thing, then it is not as easy as most inherited churches have been explaining it for the last 150 years or so, for both John and Messiah said the Kingdom was about to begin  in their time, and only a few would comprehend it.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matt. 7:13-14

There are many who teach and or believe that the Kingdom was delayed. However that makes both John the Baptist and Messiah Himself to be liars and not prophets. Messiah explains over and over that the Kingdom is spiritual in nature and not physical. Those that cannot see that the Kingdom had come, our by inference outside the Kingdom.

camelthrougheyeofneedleThe Camel Through The Eye of a Needle, is late in Messiah’s ministry. He was near Jerusalem where according to some preachers there was supposed to be a gate called The Needle. (There is no evidence of such a gate.)

For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:25

The “rich young ruler” had just failed to follow, and by failing he could not see the kingdom. Messiah is stating how hard it is for those who love material wealth to see the kingdom. c.f. Luke 18:25

The preachers often explain that the camel must be unloaded to pass through this gate. Or that the word is really rope and a rope can be pulled apart till it fits. However that’s not quite the point, the point being made in one of hyperbole. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. He does not mean that the man cannot find the kingdom but that it will be really hard. Which He goes on to explain, for the crowd is now confused, if a rich ruler can’t be saved, who can? Think about it, the young man is a ruler. This means that he is someone connected to the judicial system of the temple. Someone who interprets the law to others, and he is lost.

26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” Luke 18:26-27

The only way to acquire the Kingdom is to reach out to God.

FYI: The Messiah used hyperbole.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Matt. 5:30
And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matt. 24:22

The way to the Kingdom is narrow and hard to travel. The map and directions are hard to read. One does not automatically find the way because of the magic prayer  of “asking Jesus into our hearts.” One must persist in the struggle. One must open their eyes and their ears.

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Matt. 13:16 

If we are truly following our Messiah then the Kingdom will manifest to our spiritual eyes and ears. For it is really there, and not delayed.

There is however great reward for the effort and sacrifices taken to perceive the Kingdom.

29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no man who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive manifold more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30

Ezekiel 23: 36-49

Dancer Ouled Nail 1890 by Etienne Dinet 1861 - 1929

Dancer Ouled Nail 1890
by Etienne Dinet 1861 – 1929

36   The LORD said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominable deeds.  37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is upon their hands; with their idols they have committed adultery; and they have even offered up to them for food the sons whom they had borne to me.  38 Moreover this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my sabbaths.  39 For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And lo, this is what they did in my house.  40 They even sent for men to come from far, to whom a messenger was sent, and lo, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and decked yourself with ornaments;  41 you sat upon a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil.  42 The sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort drunkards were brought from the wilderness; and they put bracelets upon the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. 

43   “Then I said, Do not men now commit adultery when they practice harlotry with her?  44 For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a harlot. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah to commit lewdness.  45 But righteous men shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is upon their hands.” 

46   For thus says the Lord GOD: “Bring up a host against them, and make them an object of terror and a spoil.  47 And the host shall stone them and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses.  48 Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done.  49 And your lewdness shall be requited upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry; and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”   Ezekiel 23: 36-49

Son of Man 

This is what the Lord calls Ezekiel though-out the book. It was also the favorite title that Messiah called Himself, and to many who are not all that familiar with the Bible this comes as a bit of a shock. They are often troubled the first time they see that Ezekiel is addressed as such, because they have come to believe that it is a title that only refers to the Messiah. But Ezekiel is always addressed as just a Son of Man, never The Son of Man, as Messiah used it. The point God is making, is that Ezekiel is the ordinary common man, who is in captivity, no longer living the victorious life, his wife even dies in chapter 24, he is a broken man with nothing, yet he receives direct communication from God.

Only one person other than Messiah,which is ever recorded as using this title for Messiah, Stephan as he was being stoned [Acts 7:56].

. . . will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? 

Not really a question in the Hebrew, it is just the cleanest way to deal with the tense differences between Hebrew and English. In English all things are past present and future, but Hebrew tenses are completely different. There is complete action, incomplete action, and several intensities of causation’s.

Where in English we never put a “the” before a verb  “the” only goes before a noun, in Hebrew it is common and sometimes required. “The Judgment” is a verb and it is continuos action, they are to be judged forever. Where “to tell” is in a causative tense, so Ezekiel is being caused to tell, of their “abominations”. So it is not a question of will he judge them, he has no choice. It is now his assigned duty.

The First-borns belong to the Lord. According to the Law the first-borns must be redeemed, [Ex. 13:11-16; Ex. 34:19-20; Num. 3:11-13; 18:15-17]. This was to remind the people that the first-born of Egypt died so they would be set free, and is also a type of Messiah who was first-born and died to set all men free.

Ezekiel is set the task of explaining to the Judean’s why they are out of God’s favor, sitting in Babylon. The people of God were committing the abomination of sacrificing these first-born to the pagan god Moloch. Scholars argue as to how these sacrifices were actually done. Some claim the children’s throats were slit and then they were thrown into the fire, others say they were thrown alive into the fire, and that great drums and trumpets were played to cover the screams. Many still keep a memory of this in the tradition of the yule log of christmas. See our sister blog’s The Pagan Origins of Christmas.  To top off their abomination, after they had thrown their own children into the fire, they then turned and went up to the temple of God, as if God would accept any sacrifice from anyone who would kill their own child.

They got 70 years in Babylon for this abomination, how much more will we, who have a greater light, get for all our abortions, and the continued keeping of this same pagan festival, which we now have whitewashed and renamed Christmas. We hide from ourselves and others what is really behind it. Why are you dragging a Green Tree into your house? Why are you putting lights on it? What is Christian about this? It is not Jesus’ birthday. Where in the Bible is anything like this? We tell ourselves it all means nothing, yet we cannot do without any of it. We think nothing spiritual is going on here? We have to indulge ourselves and our family in gluttony and conspicuous consumption. Then we make ourselves feel better buy giving money to the nearest charity. We are compromised with the things of Satan, and we don’t even know it. Our spiritual leaders are not telling us the truth of this, because they make money off of the whole system, and us. They are not praying for us. They are preying on us. We were told to pick our spiritual leaders carefully. We were warned not to listen to just anybody.[Deut 13]

Just like the ancient people of God. We want to be liked and fit in. We want to have friends. We don’t want to stand out, or be thought of as weird. We want to be like everybody else. We never appreciate what God has done to set us free. He gave us TRUTH. But we keep going back and enslaving ourselves to the same pagan ideas they had. Like ancient Israel we want a king. Even though Messiah left us The Kingdom. We were to be a nation of priest-kings. But we keep submitting ourselves to some authority other than the Word of God. We keep putting our lights under a bushel.

Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Matt. 5:15

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet. 2:9 

Men come from afar, for whom you deck yourselves out, and spread a feast. These men are called Sabeans in the KJV but drunkards in the RSV. The Hebrew word can mean either. Take your pick. Sabea was to the south of Israel in what is now Yemen.

. . . and they put bracelets upon the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. This seems a strange accusation. What is the big deal about bracelets or crowns? However in the Hebrew the words “hands” and “heads” are in the masculine but the pronouns attached are in the feminine. In other words folks, Ezekiel is calling these drunken or Sabean lovers, effeminate. They wear women’s style jewelry. This comes from the fact that all paganism, but in particular the fertility cults seek to emasculate the men. Changing the rightful place of leadership from the males to females. Paganism always tries to compromise the line between men and women. It always seeks to make the two sexes equal. It always prefers celibacy to marriage. But the celibacy is rarely real, it just leads to prostitution, orgies, adultery, and child molestation. The idea that one should deny ones nature in this way, is not taught in the Scriptures.

Then the LORD God said,  “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Gen. 2:18  

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 1 Tim. 4:1-3

God whole heartedly allows sex in marriage. He created it. He encourages us though out the Scripture, and exclusively and explicitly in the Song of Solomon.

All our spiritual leaders are required to be married. Anyone not meeting this basic qualification, should be never be ordained but rather rejected.

Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, 1 Tim. 3:2

Let deacons be the husband of one wife, and let them manage their children and their households well; 1 Tim. 3:12

But righteous men shall pass judgment on them

This does not mean that the Babylonians were righteous, they were not. But, their attack is an act of righteousness, as Judah had been so wicked and unfaithful to her God. Judah was living with the false idea that she was God’s chosen people and as such would suffer no ill, no matter what.

Just like them the Western World is now facing Islamic terrorism, Mexican drug cartels, and Union riots, and just like the people of Judah we think that they are too evil to be the hand of God. Yet here they are, and we are not repenting. Just like Judah we have mixed our faith with paganism. We have even moved our paganism into the churches. It is one thing to go to a Christmas party, and quite another to bring the green tree into OUR buildings and hearts [Jer 10].

The Abandoned by Etienne Dinet 1861 - 1929

The Abandoned
by Etienne Dinet 1861 – 1929

 Bring up a host against them, and make them an object of terror and a spoil

 

For 70 years the land was empty and barren. Caravans moving between Asia, Europe, and Africa passed by. No longer stopping to see the great temple, only stopping to note the empty destroyed towns and city, and refresh themselves at the neglected wells.

The church leaders these day have busied themselves with telling the people, that everything is OK, we are going to be Raptured. The evil people will have 7 years of Tribulation under and evil political Antichrist, with his One World Government. None of this is actually in the Bible.  We are all looking for the wrong things.

We are completely in the mesmerizing control of the whore of Babylon.

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; Rev. 18:4

Babylon is the corrupted church. It is far passed time to leave her and her abominations. She however is not to be left like Jerusalem was, but rather the way ancient Babylon was. No one lives there and no one has for over two millennia.  Even though Saddam Hussein in his madness tried to have it rebuilt it is still empty.

. . . and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,  “What city was like the great city?” Rev. 18:18

Once more they cried,  “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” Rev. 19:3 

What ever this means, it is an indication that at the very least we will remember this corruption forever and like the Jews returning from literal Babylon, we will never mix our faith again, as we did in Mystery Babylon.

Ezek. 23:22-35 Oholibah

James Tissot, The Flight of the Prisoners.22   Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will rouse against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side:  23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and warriors, all of them riding on horses.  24 And they shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples; they shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet, and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments.  25 And I will direct my indignation against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire.  26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fine jewels.  27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your harlotry brought from the land of Egypt; so that you shall not lift up your eyes to the Egyptians or remember them any more.  28 For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust;  29 and they shall deal with you in hatred, and take away all the fruit of your labor, and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your harlotry 30 have brought this upon you, because you played the harlot with the nations, and polluted yourself with their idols.  31 You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand.  32 Thus says the Lord GOD: “You shall drink your sister’s cup which is deep and large; you shall be laughed at and held in derision, for it contains much;  33 you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. A cup of horror and desolation, is the cup of your sister Samaria;  34 you shall drink it and drain it out, and pluck out your hair, and tear your breasts; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.  35 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, therefore bear the consequences of your lewdness and harlotry.”  Ezek. 23:22-35

Remember from our first post on this chapter that Oholah means “her tent”, and Oholibah means “my tent is in her”. This is because ancient Israel always had two opinions. They built the Tabernacle in the wilderness, but they also had a tent for Moloch. [Acts 7:43 ] After all the years God now condemns His people’s for this unfaithfulness. While the Northern Kingdom had under the leadership of her kings, adopted full out paganism, the Southern kingdom has instead created a compromise religion, where everything goes. They had merged ideas from paganism with their worship of the one true God.

As punishment for these hybrid religious activities, God is sending the Babylonian Empire to judge them. How strange it must have seemed to the people, that the source of all paganism was coming to judge them. The passage uses the oldest way of referencing the Chaldeans (the ancient name for the peoples who live between the two rivers the Tigris and Euphrates) now modern day Iraq. Pekod, Shoa, and Koa, are not tribal or geographical names. Pekod means “visitation” Shoa  means “rich” and Koa means “noble”. So the rich, noble, people are about to visit judgment on Judah. They are coming up to take the people of Jerusalem captive for seventy years. During which the city will lay desolate. Even thought the false prophets are telling the people that nothing will happen to them, because they are God’s people [Lam. 2:14; Ezek. 13].

The Babylonian armies were coming with war horses and chariots. The word translated here as “wagons”, is actually “gilgal”, which means “to go around”. So the idea is more like a whirlwind is coming, or that they will be surrounded. These armies of the empire are well protected with buckler, shield, and helmet, none of these are offensive, they are all of these are defensive, meaning that Judah will not be able to strike a blow. No matter what they do, they will end up under the judicial system of the Babylonians. A judicial system that is still used in most of the Arab world, The Code of Hammurabi.

24 . . . and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments.

 

Nose Ring 2God continues with His allegory of their adultery to Him. He states that their noses and ears’ will be cut off. This was the punishment for adultery among both the Egyptians and the Chaldeans. As the we have mentioned in other posts, the ornaments of the Orientals were often worn in their ears and noses. This punishment would mean that they would not be able to wear any of their precious ornaments. Such jewels were to be taken away leaving them humiliated.

All of this God is doing, so they will understand that they must put aside everything that they brought from the land of Egypt. They have continued to worship a bovine god, that the Bible purposely misnames Moloch. (Moloch being a combination of the Hebrew consonants for “king” with the vowels for “shame”.) The worship of this god required the sacrifice of human children, by being thrown into the fires of Moloch. Scholars argue as to whether these victims were killed first or thrown in still alive. (See Also: the Pagan Origins of Christmas)

So to Babylon they are sent. There they will see where all that is pagan started.

FYI: The tower of Babel still stood and was in active use. Later Alexander the Great had it torn down in order to rebuild it to its past glory. But he died before the reconstruction was started, and so it remains a ruin to this day.

After their time in Babylon there was no longer a question as to what is pagan and what is required by God. The paganism was fully revealed. They learned what not to do. After they returned from Babylon we no longer hear of anything pagan, Molech is never mentioned, Baal is gone, Ashtaroth is never mentioned. God’s people learned never to hybridize their faith.

The Babylonians were forever changed as well. The God of Daniel confronted Nebuchadnezzar with his arrogance. [Dan 4] Belshazzar learned to late that he did no measure up. [Dan 5] When the empire falls to the Persian, Cyrus the Great find in the book of Jeremiah orders that he is return the Jews to their homeland. [Ezra 1]. He must also have been shown the book of Isaiah written long before Cyrus was born. [Is. 44:28] That calls him by name. Cyrus was so changed, that we know from history that he evicted the Chaldean mystics from his empire.

FYI: After this eviction, the Chaldean mystics relocated to a Greek city in Asia Minor known as Pergamos, where they continued keeping the ancient religion. They renamed it all the Mystery Religions, so the seat of Satan moved from Babylon to Pergamos, later it moved to Rome[Rev. 2:13].

The consequences of their unfaithful whoredom, was to drink the cup of their sister. Drinking the cup of God’s wrath is a symbol of judgment though out the Bible.

Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine, therefore the nations went mad. Jer. 51:7

You will be sated with contempt instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and stagger! The cup in the LORD’s right hand will come around to you, and shame will come upon your glory! Hab. 2:16

And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird;  for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness.” Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev. 18:2-5

In the passage from The Revelation, is clearly a call to the church to come out of the same paganism that had infected the Hebrew nations. Jeremiah told them to stop bringing in the green tree [Jer 10] which the church does at Christmas.  Ezekiel reported that they are weeping for Tammuz [Ezek. 8], which which the church has renamed as Lent. God is even angry with hot cross buns of Easter.  [Jer. 7:18]

Just about everything in church tradition is pagan in origin. If God did not put up with this from the Hebrews, why does the church think He is going to tolerate it in our hearts? When the Jews came back from Babylon, they never again adopted the pagan ways of those around them.  They never reintroduced these abominations.

I here over and over from Christians who tell me the Christmas tree doesn’t mean anything it is just a pretty tradition. Well, if that is the case, why can’t they do without it? Why do they not even consider not having one? Why must they have it? Why are they, of all the silly things to do, dragging a tree into their houses? And they don’t think anything spiritual is going on? Its a TREE! The tree came from paganism, it is pagan, it is like all other things pagan to be sent back to Babylon from whence it came. [Zech 5:5-11]

Our Messiah was not born at Christmas, He was born at Tabernacles. He was not crucified on Good Friday, but rather on Passover, because He is our Passover Lamb. He did not raise from the dead on Easter, but on First Fruits, because He is the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep [1Cor. 15:20]. To teach otherwise, is to be preaching another Jesus [2 Cor. 11:4]. It is pass time to give up the churches traditions. It is time to return to a Biblical faith. Pick up your Bible and start reading it for yourself.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32