In Christ

In the Harem by Fabio Fabbi  (1861 - 1946)

In the Harem by Fabio Fabbi (1861 – 1946)

Or in the harem to stay with our little allegory. One needs to understand that the harem is where all the women’s work was done, unlike what our western fantasies are. The cooking, cleaning, and laundry where all done in the harem and by the harem.

But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. Rom. 8:10

This is a term only Paul uses. The inherited churches have made this out to mean salvation. As if it is the same thing; Messiah in you, and you in Messiah.

In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. Rom. 15:17

But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; 2Cor. 1:21

Back up the Bible Bus. Being in Messiah has something to do with that hated word, WORKS. After all isn’t a commission a JOB?

To be “in Messiah” is to follow His teachings, to be His student, His servant, to obey His words, to do as He did. Noah and his family had to be in the ark to be saved, the man-slayer had to be in the city of refuge to be safe from the avenger of blood. [Num. 35:6] To me “in Messiah” is not a metaphor or figure of speech, it is a reality. It is a job, a profession, ones life’s work.

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

So what are we to do? Well! to start with, there are Ten Commandments, they were never suggestions.

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Satyrs in the Bible

DionysusSatyr2Unlike the bad translation that gave us Unicorns in the Bible, the satyrs are actually there in the Hebrew. The Hebrew word sa’ir can mean goat or in these passages it means those mythological half man half goat creatures from the ancient religions that surrounded Israel.

So it is understandable that they like the rest of pagan mythology are condemned by the Bible.

So they shall no more slay their sacrifices for satyrs, after whom they play the harlot. This shall be a statute for ever to them throughout their generations. Lev. 17:7

. . . and he appointed his own priests for the high places, and for the satyrs, and for the calves which he had made. 2Chr. 11:15

Then we come upon what at first glance seems a very strange Isaiah passages. In an oracle concerning Babylon’s demise. Isaiah seems to be treating these mythological creatures as if they were real. This is a cultural misunderstanding.

But wild beasts will lie down there, and its houses will be full of howling creatures; there ostriches will dwell, and there satyrs will dance. Is. 13:21

The satyrs that dance is a reference to the constellation we call the little dipper. The ancients called this constellation the goats and goat-herder or Pan and the satyrs, because to them these stars danced around the Northstar every night. Isaiah is chiding Babylon’s pride by saying in a very poetic manner is that when great Babylon is gone the stars will still turn in their place.

No Other Gods

Amoureox dans la palmeraie, claire de luneOne of the many problems with the post-modern church’s teachings is that they excuse putting things before God. Sometimes they even encourage it. They no longer teach truth to error. Are we faithful brides to our Lord or are we whores?

They teach that if good things happen to one then God is blessing, if bad things happen it is Satan’s fault. There is no responsibility for ones own condition.

That’s not exactly what the Word says.

25   Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,  27 and give no opportunity to the devil.  28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need.  29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.  30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice,  32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:25-32

Holding to false teachings, being angry, not working for what our grandparents called an honest living. All these things grieve the Spirit and give opportunity to the devil.

If Satan has an opportunity he will surely take it. If we entertain false teachings, false prophecy, or false beliefs, then we leave ourselves open to attack.

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

All lies come from Satan. So if your belief is in falsehoods you are following Satan and not following God. Especially if those lies are of a religious nature. In a conversation Messiah had with the Pharisees, he told these teachers of the Bible that they were not teaching truth.

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

The devil has not changed his stripes. He works the same way he did back then. So how is our faith? Is it Biblical? Or is it the Traditions of men?

There are Ten Commandments they were not suggestions. They are the “Perfect Will of God.”

It all comes down to That very first commandment.

1   And God spoke all these words, saying,  2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3   “You shall have no other gods before me. Ex. 20:1-3

What are we putting before God?

See Also: The Pagan Origins of Christmas

Messiah as Firstborn

Our Messiah is the firstborn of all creation, as well as the firstborn of the dead, as well as being the firstborn of Mary and Joseph.

Can an unclean things bring forth a unclean thing? Once there was this tomb outside of Jerusalem that did.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Rom. 8:29

Aside from being the great “predestination” verse we are also informed the Messiah is the firstborn of the brethren. He is the pre-eminent leader of His Congregation. The firstborn were to be dedicated to God, they were the head of the family and as such were responsible for the others welfare. No one can or should try to usurp His firstborn status. He is our leader. We have no king but Messiah.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; Col. 1:15 

This is not to mean as some cult teach that Messiah is a creation. The Greek is actually prototokos pases ktiseos which is, born before all the creation. The word, with only the change of the accent, prototokos, signifies actively the first begetter or producer of all things. The firstborn here is used in the sense of His pre-eminence.

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. Col. 1:18

He is the head of the Congregation as ancient kings were heads of the kingdoms. He is the head of the government with the right to make and enforce laws. The Greek is arche, prototokos ek o nekros, beginning, ruler, principle, born or the dead.

The Curse of rebuilding Jericho

The city of Jericho from the ruins of the old walls

The city of Jericho from the ruins of the old walls

A little known passage about Jericho.

Joshua laid an oath upon them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man that rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.  At the cost of his first-born shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.” Josh. 6:26 

And yes someone over 400 years later did rebuild Jericho.

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho; he laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his first-born, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun. 1Kings 16:34

Who are the First Born?

In our culture we no longer honor firstborns the way they did in agrarian societies. In the culture of the Bible the firstborn was given a double portion of the inheritance. Part of his double portion was that all the father’s land usually came to the firstborn undivided. With this extra wealth came extra responsibilities, for the firstborn was responsible for his widowed mother and any unwed sisters. This is why we see at the cross Messiah handing the responsibility for His mother’s care to John. It was probably not because he felt his brothers were unworthy but rather His knowledge that John would live longer.

There are several passages concerning firstborns in the Bible. Over the next few weeks we will look at all of them. There are the firstborn of Egypt, the first born of Israel, the Levite who become the firstborn, the curse on the firstborn of any who would rebuild Jericho, our Messiah is the firstborn of the dead, and last of all the congregation is the assembly of firstborn.

First and Foremost the Firstborn is one who must be Redeemed

Egypt’s Firstborn a type of Israel’s Firstborns

For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of cattle. Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all the males that first open the womb; but all the first-born of my sons I redeem.’ Ex. 13:15

Because the Lord had taken the firstborn of Egypt He now requires the service of the firstborn of Israel. These firstborn were to be consecrated to the Lord as priests. However things are changed after the tabernacle is built. In Numbers 3-4 the Levites and their cattle replace all the firstborns of the other tribes, and those of the other tribes are redeemed and no longer must serve the Lord and his temple.

And you shall take the Levites for me — I am the LORD — instead of all the first-born among the people of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the people of Israel.” Num. 3:41

Every time a newborn came into a family this law is reemphasized as five shekels were to be paid to the high priest.

FYI: A shekel is not a coin but rather a unit of measure. Coins don’t come into existence until just prior to Alexander the Great. Five ancient shekels amount to just about 100 grams of pure silver. This fluctuates to modern currencies see Silver Gram Price Calculator
Joseph – Rachel’s firstborn son, was sold by his brothers for twenty silver pieces, the equivalent of five shekels. This established that the standard “price” for a (firstborn) human is five shekels, which are given to the priest to redeem the child.

The changing of the law is troublesome because God never changes.

But thou art the same, and thy years will never end.” Heb. 1:12b

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Heb. 13:8

What must be remembered is that He is not changing the need for redemption but rather who will provide the required sacrifice. The change in the law of the redemption of the firstborn is a type for the change in the law of the insufficient sacrifice of the blood of goats and bulls to the one sufficient sacrifice of His own Son.

. . . he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. Heb. 9:12

For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Heb. 10:4

Jezreel is The Valley of Decision

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 

The valley of decision is not a literal place, just as Armageddon is not literal (see the Battle of Armageddon). The valley of Jezreel in Israel represents a state of mind or rather the nations religious beliefs.

At the western end of the valley of Jezreel stands Mount Carmel where Elijah called down fire from heaven [1Kings 18]. This is where Elijah had challenged the priest of Baal to a kind of duel between his God and theirs.

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo by AVRAM GRAICER

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo by AVRAM GRAICER

The sight was chosen to make Elijah’s point. If you stand on top of mount Carmel and look east toward Mount Tabor you would have seen the city of Megiddo on the north side of the valley and the city of Jezreel on the south.  Megiddo means “the place of cutting”.  The priests of Baal had come from city of Megiddo for that is where their cult center was. Cutting themselves was a central part in the worship of Baal.

 

Jezreel- 24 December 2005, picture by Ori~

Jezreel- 24 December 2005, picture by Ori~

Whereas Jezreel mean “God sows”.   This is what Elijah was referring to,

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1Kings 18:21 

Make your choice, which city do you belong to?

At the time of Elijah these two cities no longer stood in contrast to each other. Ahab and Jezebel lived in and had corrupted Jezreel. For which they and their children paid a terrible price. Not one survived.

” He said,  “Take them alive.” And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them. 2 Kings 10:1-14 

The lesson or principle here is that we are to have nothing further to do with the false church. The false preachers, priests, and teachers who have compromised with paganism from the beginning.

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   

This is what happens to those who conspire against God and His purposes, and those who associate themselves with them. Like the kinsmen of Ahaziah the neighboring kingdom, you should have nothing to do with the apostates. [2 Kings 10]

But God is able to restore us to a right relationship with Him. But we must stop the Baal and Ashtaroth worship.  We must stop mixing the pagan with the divine. Stop standing in the middle of the valley, get yourself into Jezreel.

 “And in that day, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth;  and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel;  and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Not pitied, and I will say to Not my people,  ‘You are my people’; and he shall say ‘Thou art my God.’” Hos. 2:21-23

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Eph. 6:14

For a complete understanding of what is Babylon see: The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship Proved to be The Worship of Nimrod and His Wife by Alexander Hislop.