News Letter 5849-052
14th day of the 12th month 5849 years after the creation of Adam
The 12th Month in the Fourth year of the Third Sabbatical Cycle
The Third Sabbatical Cycle of the 119th Jubilee Cycle
The Sabbatical Cycle of Earthquakes Famines, and Pestilences
February 15, 2014
Shabbat Shalom Family,
On the 13th day of the 12th month (also known as “Adar”) is Purim. We find this “Holy Day” told to us in the book of Esther. I know this is a “Holy Day” now because many other Ministries are telling me it is, and so are many of the brethren. They have whole doctrines and timelines which tie into both Purim as well as Chanukah, another well known “Holy Day.”
So, here is my problem. We are now supposed to keep this “Holy Day” on the 13th day of the 12th month. However, we do not know for certain if the barley is going to be ripe, thus making the next month Aviv and commencing the count to Passover on Aviv 1. But if the barley is not Aviv, then we must declare the next month “Adar Bet.” So, do we keep this “Holy Day” on the 13th day of the 13th month on the 12th month?
I know what to do! I wish I had thought of it sooner. I will just go to Leviticus ch 23 and see what Yehovah says to do in this situation. After all, the Jews are keeping Purim next month, but those who keep the Sighted Moon calendar and regard the barley to start the New Year are keeping Purim this month. Which month should we keep Purim in?
As I read Lev 23, I find NOTHING that tells me how to keep Purim, nor ANYTHING that tells me what to do in this situation with an Adar Bet month. But I do read something in Deuteronomy and the book of Proverbs which may help:
Deu 4:2 You shall not add to the Word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commands of Jehovah your God which I command you.
It appears to me that Esther and Mordichai never read this part of the commandments.
Deu 12:32 All the things I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it.
Pro 30:6 Do not add to His Words, lest He reprove you and you be found a liar.
I know that they also have access to these three verses that state quite clearly NOT TO ADD TO THE TORAH, yet they do. It is so serious that you need to see what will happen to those who do add to the Torah, as Revelation explains:
Rev 22:18 For I testify together to everyone who hears the Words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add on him the plagues that have been written in this Book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which have been written in this Book. 20 He who testifies these things says, Yes, I am coming quickly, Amen. Yes, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.
You could have your name removed from the book of life and you may be removed from the Holy City and the blessings of the Millennium… it is that serious. Why do you play Russian roulette with your eternity? You have, right there in Leviticus ch. 23, the Holy Days you are to keep. Do not mess with them. Do not add anything nor take away anything from them. Period.
Russian President Vladimir Putin- what can I say? I am liking this man more and more with each passing story.
Last week we wanted to release the Great Enlightenment of Mankind. This 2 part video teaching explains, in great detail, the Daniel 9:27 verse about the “Covenant made with many.” It was not yet downloaded when we posted our last Newsletter. I insist on reviewing each video once or twice before releasing them to the public in order to make any changes needed. So, last week did not work out. This week we are sending out this video, but it is Yehovah who has provided the World News headlines for it. It is just amazing to see this.
The Olympics opened up in Sochi, Russia last Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. As I drove home before Shabbat last week, I listened to the news and I could not help but wonder:
“Has the world gone mad?” Calling “evil” good and “good” evil? Russia has anti-gay laws. Russia is saying homosexuality is against the law and against human moralities. (Yes, President Putin is standing up and calling a spade a spade).
In Vladimir Putin’s Russia—official Russia—there is no controversy about the rights of gays and lesbians. Controversy suggests a serious clash of ideas and opinions; controversy suggests points of view that are in opposition and, potentially, subject to change. This is not the case when it comes to the human rights of homosexuals in Russia. In the Kremlin, in the parliament, in the courts, in the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church, and on television there reigns a disdainful and intimidating unanimity: homosexuals are a threat to morality, to the family, and to the state.
In June, the Russian parliament, the Duma, passed a law barring “propaganda” about “nontraditional sexual relations” without a single dissenting vote. (Some local legislatures, including those of Ryazan, Arkhangelsk, and St. Petersburg, had already approved versions of their own.) The national law is an extraordinary expression of hysterical and vindictive homophobia. The law defines the offending “propaganda” as “the purposeful and uncontrolled distribution of information that can harm the spiritual or physical health of a minor, including forming the erroneous impression of the social equality of traditional and nontraditional marital relations.” It effectively prohibits gay-rights demonstrations, opens the door to implicitly sanctioned discrimination, and inflicts second-class citizenship on gays and lesbians in Russia.
Back in January President Putin was also quoted as saying the following:
President Vladimir Putin, former KGB Agent of a once-atheistic Nation, rebukes America, a once “Christian Nation,” saying that by “Forsaking Traditional Christian Values and Putting Same-sex Marriage on the Same Level as Traditional Marriage with a Man, Woman, and Children,” the Nation is Forsaking God and Believing in Satan and Will be Led into Degradation and Chaotic Darkness.
Here in Toronto, Canada, we had some news of our own. Earlier this week, Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford said he would not attend this years “Gay Pride Parade.” This year Toronto is hosting the “WorldPride” from June 20th thru 29th. This is a huge deal as Toronto host gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites and every other immoral behavior known to man and is “proud” of it, hence the word pride.
Also today, Toronto City Hall raised the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag, along with many other cities across Canada and the world who raised the flag in protest against Russia’s anti-gay laws. Mayor Ford wanted it taken down; he then put up the Canadian flag in his office window.
I want to point out that Mayor Ford is in the news and on the late-night comedy shows for one reason and one reason only. Yes, he is guilty of some personal bad habits; but he has been hounded and castigated by the liberal left, including the media (which is stunning to me just how pro-gay they are and how anti- conservative they are). He even had lawyers take him to court over the most trivial of things. All of these attacks have come as a result of Mayor Ford’s lack of support for the Gay community. This liberal-left-gay community continuously attacks Mayor Ford and has now, through city council meetings, stripped Ford of his mayoral powers as this gay community tries to force him to accept their lifestyle. Yet, he refuses to do so and for this reason alone I am a fan of Mayor Rob Ford.
So, I have a question for each of you. It is gut check time. How many of you are feeling empathy for the poor gay activist who is being arrested? Are you feeling sorry that all forms of protest are brutally put down in Russia? Do you feel bad when you see them arrested? Do you dislike Mayor Ford for his anti gay position and feel he should take part in the parade and support the “WorldPride” event in 2014?
The world calls President Putin and Mayor Ford homophobic. What does the world call you? What will you call me?
In the news Saturday night, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday that the Justice Department will use a landmark Supreme Court ruling to apply sweeping changes to the way the government treats same-sex marriages in the courtroom. In short, the US is now making gay marriages equal to heterosexual marriages and gives them the same rights and benefits across the board. The Obama Government has now legalized what the Torah states is illegal and an abomination. The nation that is Israel is now anti-Torah.
I really do not care nor give a damn what you think of me or what you call me.
I do care what Yehovah calls me and in case some of you are mixed up, having been part of the world views, let me show you what Yehovah says about homosexuality:
1Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (NKJV)
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (Sodomites) (KJV)
You will notice though that Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, mentions that some of them were formerly homosexuals. Note the words “such were some of you.” It does NOT say “are” (still). This means they have repented and left that lifestyle.
We have all read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I have also been there and taken many people to see these cities that are, to this day, devastated and utterly destroyed.
Gen 19:5 And they called to Lot, and said to him, Where are the men which came in to you this night? Bring them out to us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out to the door to them, and shut the door after him. 7 And he said, I pray you, brothers, do not act evilly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man. I pray you, let me bring them out to you, and you do to them as you see fit. But do nothing to these men, for this is why they came under the shadow of my roof. 9 And they said, Stand back! And they said, This one came in to stay, and must he judge always? Now we will deal worse with you than with them. And they pressed hard upon the man, Lot, and came near to breaking the door. 10 But the men put out their hands and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is abomination to God.
Lev 20:13 If a man also lies with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be on them.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed within them, for God revealed it to them. 20 For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being realized by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse. 21 Because, knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. 25 For they changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this cause, God gave them up to dishonorable affections. For even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature. 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error. 28 And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; being full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, evil habits, becoming whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, insolent, proud, braggarts, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, perfidious, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous order of God, that those practicing such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but have pleasure in those practicing them.
Deu 23:17 There shall be no harlot of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 You shall not bring the hire of a harlot, or the price of a dog, into the house of Jehovah your God for any vow. For even both these are hateful to Jehovah your God.
Now, I want you to read the incident in Judges 19. Pay attention to verse 22 and know that because of this event, the entire tribe of Benjamin was nearly wiped off the face of the earth.
9 And when the man rose up to leave, he and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the girl’s father said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening. Please stay all night. Behold, the day grows to an end. Stay here so that your heart may be merry. And tomorrow go early on your way, so that you may go to your tent. 10 But the man would not stay that night, but he rose up and left, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem. And there were with him two saddled asses. His concubine also was with him. 11 They were beside Jebus, and the day was far gone. And the servant said to his master, Please come, and let us turn in to this city of the Jebusites and stay in it. 12 And his master said to him, We will not turn aside here into the city of a stranger that is not of the sons of Israel. We will pass over to Gibeah. 13 And he said to his servant, Come and let us draw near one of these places to stay all night, in Gibeah or in Ramah. 14 And they passed on and went their way. And the sun went down on them beside Gibeah, which is of Benjamin. 15 And they turned aside there, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah. And he went in and sat down in a street of the city. For no man took them into his house to stay the night. 16 And behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at evening, who was also from Mount Ephraim. And he lived in Gibeah, but the men of the place were of Benjamin. 17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a traveler in the streets of the city. And the old man said, Where do you go, and where do you come from? 18 And he said to him, We are passing from Bethlehem-judah to the side of mount Ephraim. I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem-judah, but I am going to the house of Jehovah. And there is no man who receives me into his house. 19 Yet here is both straw and food for our asses. And there is bread and wine also for me, and for your slave woman, and for the young man who is with your servants. There is no lack of anything. 20 And the old man said, Peace be with you. Yet all that you lack shall be on me. Only do not stay in the street. 21 And he brought him into his house and mixed fodder for the asses. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank. 22 They were making their hearts merry. And, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, set upon the house all around and beat at the door and spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring out the man that came to your house so that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, No, my brothers, I pray you, do not do evil, since this man has come into my house. Do not do this foolish sin. 24 Behold, my daughter, a virgin, and his concubine. I will bring them out now, and you humble them and do with them what seems good to you. But do not do so vile a thing to this man. 25 But the men would not listen to him. And the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and rolled themselves on her all night until the morning. And they sent her away at the dawning of the day. 26 And the woman came, in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, until it was light. 27 And her lord rose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way. And behold, the woman, his concubine, had fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold. 28 And he said to her, Up, and let us be going. But there was no answer. Then the man took her on an ass, and the man rose up and went to his place. 29 And he came into his house, he took a knife and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, with her bones, into twelve pieces and sent her into all the borders of Israel. 30 And it was so that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the sons of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day. Think of it, take advice and speak.
1 Kings 14:24: “And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”
1 Kings 15:12: “And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.”
1 Kings 22:46: “And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.”
2 Kings 23:7: “And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.”
1Ti 1:8 But we know that the law is good if a man uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous one, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Knowing these Scriptures, I would say President Putin, who is the head of Gog and Magog, is more righteous than any of the Israelite nations who allow and promote and create laws in favour of homosexuality and the gay lifestyle. Even Jerusalem has now condoned the Gay Pride Parades. Even Jerusalem! They, too, now call evil good and good evil.
How quickly and easily we have forgotten the incident of Ba’al Peor. Moses chastises Israel at the end of his life for forgetting this lesson.
Because Israel was upright before the Lord, Balaam’s attempts to curse the nation failed. They had been to the high places of Satan. Now King Balak takes Balaam to yet another high place called Peor (meaning “open”). Here they repeat the sacrifices and petitions to God. Once again, God blesses Israel. Balaam also prophesies about the pending victories Israel will achieve.
H6465 ????? pe?ôr peh-ore’
From H6473; a gap; Peor, a mountain East of Jordan; also (for H1187) a deity worshipped there: – Peor. See also H1047.
H6473 ???? pâ?ar paw-ar’
A primitive root; to yawn, that is, open wide (literally or figuratively): – gape, open (wide).
Although Balaam could not curse Israel, he counsels King Balak on how he might get the upper hand over Israel- because Balaam desperately wanted to receive the rewards Balak was offering. This is recounted in the following Scripture:
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Revelations 2:14
What was the stumbling block Balaam offered to King Balak? The worship of Baal-Peor. After Balaam departs from Moab, we see the ramifications of this instruction as Israel joins itself to Baal-Peor:
“Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab.They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel.” Numbers 25:1-3
This caused a plague on the nation of Israel which resulted in 24,000 being slain.
“Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.” Numbers 31:16
Because of his deception in teaching others how to ensnare Israel in this sin, Israel later killed Balaam (Joshua 13:22) and he is set forth as an example of a false prophet.
“They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” II Peter 2:15
“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Jude 1:11
Lessons from Balaam
There are several lessons to be learned from this text:
- A spirit of whoredoms and abominations is also being released in the latter days to prevent you from obtaining the promises of God. This temptation happened to Israel right as they were prepared to enter the promised land. They had overcome 40 years in the wilderness and were right on the edge of victory.
- No one can take your Godly inheritance away from you, but you can compromise it through disobedience and idolatry. Remember, the Moabites were powerless against Israel until Israel opened up the door through sin.
- We must stay before God and ask that our motives and hearts be kept pure. If there is any part of you that still wants something from this world, you will find a way to skirt around God’s commands, giving an appearance of obedience while you really seek after that which your heart is set upon. While we can try to fool others, even ourselves, we cannot fool God.
The Worship of Baal-Peor
Yet what was this worship of Baal-Peor and why did it draw such wrath from God?
Baal-Peor is a Moabite god who was worshiped with obscene rituals. The name means “Lord of the Opening” from “Baal” meaning owner/ husband and “Peor” coming from pa’ar meaning “open wide”.
“I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, And separated themselves to that shame; They became an abomination like the thing they loved.” Hosea 9:10
The worship of Baal-Peor IS an abomination. Notice that those who join themselves to Baal-Peor also “become” an abomination before the Lord.
Another name for Baal-Peor is Belphegor who was depicted either as a beautiful naked woman or a bearded demon with open mouth, horns, and sharply pointed nails (the open mouth being an indicator of the sexual rites used to worship him). St. Jerome reported that statues of Baal-Peor he encountered in Syria depicted the god with a phallus in his mouth.
Legend has it that Satan sent Belphegor from hell, to validate a rumor that people were experiencing marital happiness on earth. Belphegor was able to report back that the rumor was baseless.
Watch this video to see how some of the most popular songs even you might be singing are praising this evil worship.
Lev 26:23 And if you will not be reformed by Me by these things, but will still walk contrary to Me, 24 then I will walk contrary to you and will punish you seven times more for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword on you that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant.
And when you are gathered inside your cities, I will send the plague among you.
And you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 When I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight. And you shall eat and not be satisfied.
Baal-Peor & Marriage
After seeing these videos, some have asked us, “Are you saying that acts of sodomy are sinful, even in marriage?” While there are likely a number of mixed messages people give to this question, it is a sin – even in marriage. There are several reasons why.
Sodomy /?s?d?mi/ is generally anal sex, oral sex or sexual activity between a person and a non-human animal (bestiality), but may also include any non-procreative sexual activity. Originally, the term sodomy was usually restricted to anal sex, and is derived from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in chapters 18 and 19 of the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Sodomy laws in many countries criminalized not only these behaviors, but other disfavored sexual activities as well. In the Western world, however, many of these laws have been overturned or are not routinely enforced.
- Sodomy is a sin. Similar to the meaning of Beor (Balaam’s father), the Hebrew word for Sodom literally means “burning.” Sodomy is defined as “anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex; copulation with a member of the same sex; or bestiality.” The act is considered sodomy even when it pertains to the opposite sex. Heterosexuals who participate in this act are sodomites by the very definition of the word. It wouldn’t take long in reviewing the Scriptures to understand how God feels about sodomy. The Bible is not silent on this topic.
- It is idolatry. The word “sodomite” in the Old Testament is the word “qadesh” which means “male temple prostitute”. The female counterpart to that (the word “q?deshah”) is often translated as “harlot” or “whore”. Some say that God only disapproved of this act as it related to temple prostitution. Yet, the act itself is an act of idolatry no matter who performs it. One does not have to be a temple whore of Baal for the act to be sinful. On the contrary, one becomes a temple whore of Baal by doing the act. Holding true to the definition of the word sodomy, these temple prostitutes would perform homosexual acts on anyone, regardless of gender. The act itself was the means by which the participants were joined to or became one with Baal; the act itself was the means of worship by which Baal was sought to cross over and indwell the participants.
- The marriage bed should be kept in honour (Hebrews 13:4). Some assert that there is an “anything goes” mentality to intimacy in marriage because “the marriage bed is undefiled.” However the Bible prefaces that text by saying that marriage is first honourable. The text also states that fornication and adultery defiles the marriage bed. The word for fornication is the Greek word porneia which means illicit sexual intercourse. So, sex acts that God deems as illicit are not acceptable just because they are practiced in the confines of a marriage. It defiles the marriage bed which should be held in honour. The question then becomes: are acts of sodomy illicit?
- God gives us GOOD gifts (James 1:17). God does not give us gifts that would cause us harm. Therefore, we can look at the function, purpose, and design of certain acts to determine whether or not these would be considered natural in God’s eyes. If a sexual act is ordained by God (i.e. it is natural), then it would have certain inherent protections for the participants in the act. Design – The woman and man are given sexual organs that physically correlate to and fit each other. They are designed to meet together naturally, without forced manipulation. Protection – God designed protections into the body for this interaction. The lining of the uterus is designed to prevent the semen from entering into the bloodstream of the woman. God does not provide the same protections for acts of sodomy. These acts can disrupt normal bodily functions and cause damage to bodily systems. There is also an element of danger involved in the act of oral sex performed on women that can lead to death. It is not a protected act (in terms of the body’s design) the way that sexual intercourse is. Union – Man and woman being joined together sexually and becoming “one flesh” occurs only during sexual intercourse. Procreation – Children can only result after sexual intercourse. We can see by its design, function, and purpose that sexual intercourse between a man and woman is a natural use of sex. All of these elements work together to provide a safe, enjoyable, and purposeful interaction. The same cannot be said for acts of sodomy.
- It is uncleanness. Apart from the physical uncleanness of the act, there is also a spiritual component. Romans Chapter 1 describes mans degradation into becoming reprobate. Man doesn’t just wake up one day reprobate, but there are a series of steps man takes further and further into sin. The sin immediately preceding homosexuality is men and women dishonouring their bodies between themselves with uncleanness. The word for “dishonour” in that text is a derivative of the word “honourable” in the Hebrews 13:4 text about marriage. This refers to all heterosexual sexual sin which includes oral copulation, anal copulation as well as bestiality, etc.
- It is an “unnatural use.” Romans 1:26 states, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” The word “use” is the Greek word “chr?sis” which refers to use of the sexual parts of the woman. Note that there is a “natural” use and an “unnatural” use. What the women were doing with each other sexually was an unnatural use of that part of their bodies. Similarly, we are told in Romans 1:27 that the acts performed between the men was likewise unnatural. “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27 not only condemns the affections that draw men and women to the same gender (vile affections), it also condemns the acts that they performed as a result of these desires (against nature).
- It formats the mind to be a-sexual. The act itself is not gender-specific. In an attempt to validate homosexuality as a norm, Jamake Highwater’s book The Mythology of Transgression: Homosexuality as Metaphor states how the masculine and feminine depiction of Baal-Peor represents a bi-gender nature. He goes on to say “during the worship of Baal-Peor, priests dressed as women and priestesses dressed as men.” The transgender cross-dressing is entirely consistent with the a-sexual nature of the act. Since it can be performed by anyone who has a mouth, gender becomes irrelevant. It is an intentional blurring of the sexes. That makes participation in this act a critical step for Satan to use in preparing man’s mind for the acceptance of homosexuality. This is discussed a little more in the post Turning the World Upside Down – Part 5.
God is able to give husbands and wives a fulfilling, exciting, and pleasurable intimate relationship because that is how He designed it to be. We sometimes forget that sex was God’s gift to those who choose marriage…and He knows what He is doing.
Yet, through the worship of Baal-Peor, Satan was able to ensnare the nation of Israel and he is still trying to do the same today. Are you part of the problem or part of the cure?
Triennial Torah Cycle
We continue this weekend with our regular Triennial Torah reading Cycle
Gen 25 1 Sam 3-5 Ps 51-54 Mark 1:29-2:28
From Abraham to Jacob (Genesis 25)
This chapter presents a rapid transition from Abraham to Isaac, whose life will be presented very quickly and with little detail. The narrative of Genesis is dominated by Abraham, Jacob and Joseph, with Isaac’s history serving as a brief interlude between the lives of Abraham and Jacob. In fact, the majority of the narrative concerning Isaac serves mainly as a prelude to the life of Jacob. For this reason some have called Isaac a shadowy figure.
The chapter begins with a list of Abraham’s sons and descendants by a later wife, Keturah. The descendants of many of these sons have apparently become peoples of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Then follows the list for the descendants of Ishmael; most of these peoples live in various countries of the Middle East. The list for Isaac begins in verse 19 and moves directly into a narrative about the birth of Isaac’s sons, Esau and Jacob. As can be seen, the purpose of the chapter is to distinguish between the sons of Abraham, with the story line being passed along through Isaac to the father of the Israelites, Jacob. Comparing patriarchal ages, it is interesting to note that in spite of the order of verses, Abraham’s life overlapped that of Esau and Jacob by about 14 years (compare Hebrews 11:9).
The Genesis 25 narrative is continued by relating the events surrounding the births of Esau and Jacob. The fundamental theme in the narrative of these two sons is that of competition for supremacy. Even in the womb of their mother, Esau and Jacob struggled—and this would be continued throughout their lives and on into the histories of the nations descended from them.
It is interesting to note that Esau is described as a “skillful hunter, a man of the field,” while Jacob is called a “mild man, dwelling in tents” (verse 27). These descriptions are intended to draw a maximum contrast between the two brothers. The mention of Jacob dwelling in tents is intended to show him to be a civilized and more refined person than his elder brother. That Jacob dwelt in tents, whereas his brother was a hunter in the field, also seems to imply that he showed more interest in the family’s mercantile and herding business. Moreover, the word translated “mild” (verse 27) is the Hebrew tam, which is normally translated “blameless.” Jacob was a blameless man—blameless as far as the letter of the law went. But Jacob was also a cunning man, one who would manipulate people and events in order to obtain what he wanted. This character trait would cause him years of grief before it was rooted out of him—before he became truly blameless in letter and spirit.
The purchase of a birthright has been documented in several contracts of the ancient Hurrian people, and thus Jacob’s actions can be seen in the light of cultural precedent. That Esau would so lightly esteem his birthright is just another story element showing the great contrast between the two brothers. At least Jacob rightly appreciated its great value—and his dealings with Esau show him to be the more business-savvy of the two brothers. The Scripture tells us that Esau, in connection with the sale of his birthright, was a profane person (Hebrews 12:16), and Paul also makes use of the phrase “whose god is their belly” (Philippians 3:19) when describing those who set their hearts and minds on earthly things—an interesting phrase given Esau’s coveting a mere bowl of stew. The intent is to get us to understand that man often forfeits spiritual realities for the temporary pleasures of physical things, and that such mis-ordered priorities and behavior render a person profane and indicates who that person’s god truly is. The result in such cases is the loss of the spiritual reality, and the inheritance of a curse rather than a blessing.
The Lord Calls Samuel (1 Samuel 3)
While still a child, God speaks directly to Samuel. In his first message, God reiterates His prophecy regarding Eli. And through subsequent messages and their fulfillment, it becomes clear to all Israel that Samuel has been called to be a prophet (verses 19-21), and God is once again making his will known through a servant of His (see verse 1). “The term prophet means ‘spokesman’ and refers to one who speaks for another (see Ex. 7:1, 2)” (Nelson Study Bible, note on 3:20).
The Philistines Capture the Ark (1 Samuel 4)
The Israelites had developed a superstitious approach to God, the tabernacle and the ark. They thought that if they brought the ark into battle, they would automatically have God’s help. Instead, God teaches them a lesson about thinking this way. The ark is captured, the Israelites are defeated and the sons of Eli are killed as God had prophesied would happen.
When the bad news reaches Shiloh, it results in the deaths of Eli and Phinehas’ wife during her grief-induced labor. Although it is not stated here, apparently in connection with the death of the priests and the removal of the ark, Shiloh was abandoned soon after as the place of worship, as we read in Psalm 78:56-69. Samuel, who takes over all duties as judge, is never mentioned in connection with Shiloh again, taking up residence instead in the hometown of his family at Ramah (compare 1 Samuel 7:17).
Shiloh’s abandonment is further described in Jeremiah 7:12-15 and 26:4-9, where God uses its example to demonstrate that the presence of the temple and the ark was no guarantee of protection from Israel’s enemies. The Israelites would receive God’s protection only insofar as their ways pleased Him.
The Ark in Philistia (1 Samuel 5:1-7:1)
The plague many of the Philistines suffer and die from produces “tumors,” the Hebrew word for which “literally means ‘swellings’ and may refer to any kind of tumor, swelling, or boil” (Nelson, note on 5:6). When the ark is sent back, the people include an “offering” consisting of five golden sculptures of these “tumors.” But they also for some unstated reason include five golden rats. It would appear that rats had some sort of involvement with whatever the plague was. It is interesting to note that bubonic plague, the black death of the Middle Ages, is characterized by the formation of buboes, i.e. inflammatory swellings of the lymph glands, especially in the groin area—and that the plague was spread by the fleas of rodents, particularly rats. This, then, may have been what the Philistines were suffering from.
When the Philistines decide the ark is most likely the cause of their problems, and agree to send it back, they devise a test to try to determine for sure whether the God of Israel is behind all of this. They find two cows that have never pulled a cart and that have recently given birth, and they take their calves from them. If the cows are willing to be harnessed to a cart for the first time and cooperate together to pull it without balking, without any guidance, and in the correct direction away from their own calves, then, the Philistines reason, God would have to be involved. The lords of the Philistines follow the cart in astonishment as the cows pull the ark directly back to the land of Israel.
For some reason, the ark is never returned to the tabernacle. It remains in the house of Abinadab for 70 years or more until David brings it to Jerusalem when he pitches a new tent for it (1 Chronicles 15:1; 16:1). Meanwhile, the tabernacle and altar of burnt offering somehow find their way to Gibeon (16:37-40).
Godly Repentance; The Destruction of the Godless (Psalms 51-53)
We return now to psalms attributed to David, with Psalm 51 being the first in Book II of the Psalter that bears his name. We read this psalm earlier in conjunction with the event described in the superscription—that of the prophet Nathan confronting David after his sin of adultery and murder (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 2 Samuel 11 as well as 2 Samuel 12:1-13; Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 12:13-31; 1 Chronicles 20:1-3). David immediately confesses, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:9, 13). And here in his psalm of repentance, David provides a model of repentant prayer for all of God’s people when they sin. It may have been placed here in the Psalter as a response to the calling to account and instruction on sacrifices God gives in Psalm 50.
In Psalm 51, David doesn’t justify his actions or try to improve his position. He appeals to God for mercy, hesed—God’s unfailing, steadfast love (verse 1). David agonizingly faces what he has done and confesses it to God using all the basic Hebrew words for sin. The word “transgressions” (verse 1) is from the Hebrew pesha, meaning transgression in the sense of rebellion or revolt. “Iniquity” in verse 2 is from awon, meaning perversity, wickedness or fault. The word for “evil” in verse 4 is ra’, meaning something bad, wrong or hurtful. And the word for “sin” in these verses, hata, means to miss the mark. All essentially imply deviating from a standard—that is, from God’s standard.
In verse 4, David says to God, “Against You, You only, have I sinned.” This might seem odd, for David appears also to have sinned against Bathsheba, Uriah, other soldiers who were killed in the battle in which Uriah died, and the nation of Israel, over which David had a responsibility to govern righteously. Yeshua later said that one person can sin against another (Matthew 18:15). So what did David mean?
Some take it to be a matter of comparison. That is to say, what he did against these others is nothing compared to what he has done against God. Yet the answer is probably more a matter of nuance in perspective. Sin, we must consider, is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4, KJV). Since God is the one who defines the law’s standards, any violation of the law is against Him. Acting against another person is sin because God has set the rules of conduct forbidding this. The standard we have violated, the mark we have missed, is God’s. In this sense, sin itself can only be against God, the Lawgiver. It would certainly be proper to say that one has sinned in acting against another person. And it is easy to see that the statement could be shortened to say that one has sinned against another person. But here we should realize that while the affected person is the object of the action that is sin, he is not the object of the sin (or transgressing) itself, as it was not his law that was transgressed but God’s.
David’s statement in Psalm 51:5 has caused much confusion: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” This does not mean David’s mother sinned in conceiving him. Nor does it mean that David was born stained with “original sin,” as many maintain. Rather the Hebrew prefixed preposition b’, usually translated “in,” can also mean “into.” As Gesenius’ Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament says in one of its definitions of this word, it often occurs “with verbs of motion, when the movement to a place results in rest in it, into.” Thus, David is most likely stating that he was brought forth into iniquity and into sin. As with all human beings, sin had characterized his life from a young age.
In verse 6, David says that God desires “truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part…to know wisdom.” It is one thing to know God’s truth in an academic sense. It is quite another to also live by it in our inward thoughts and motivations. This, David knew, is what God really wants. And whenever we repent, we must consider what it is that God wants from us. It comes down to an educated change and a lifelong commitment—and that we follow through.
David asks God to “blot out,” to “wash” and to “cleanse” him (verses 2, 9)—to thoroughly scrub him clean from His spiritual uncleanness (verses 6-7). In its note on verse 7, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “The unclean, such as lepers, used to present themselves before the priest on the occasion of their purification. The priest, being satisfied that the unclean person had met the requirements for purification, would take a bunch of ‘hyssop’ and sprinkle the person with water, symbolic of ritual cleansing. Here the psalmist [David] petitions the Lord to be his priest by taking the hyssop and by declaring him cleansed from all sin.”
In this cleansing, David prays that God would create in him a clean heart and would renew a steadfast, faithful spirit within Him (verse 10). David realized he could not be faithful on His own. He needed God’s constant help. So he pleads to remain in God’s presence and to continue to have God’s Holy Spirit to help him—not himself cast out and that Spirit taken away as he knew he deserved (verse 11).
Guilt over what he had done was always present in David’s mind (verse 3). It took the joy and gladness out of life (verse 8). David figuratively refers to God having broken his bones (same verse), meaning that the overwhelming guilt he had from considering his sin in light of God’s laws made him feel hobbled or crushed and greatly humbled. He prays to be forgiven and relieved of this guilt (verse 14)—and that His joy would return (verse 12).
David declares what he will do when God restores him. He will teach others God’s ways (verse 13), He will sing about God’s righteousness (verse 14)—no doubt in public psalms—and he will openly proclaim God’s praise (verse 15). David was thinking outwardly, not selfishly about only himself. When we ask God for restoration, an important part of our motivation should be so that we can better serve Him and others.
In verses 16-19 we return to a major theme of Psalm 50—the kind of sacrifices God really wants (also touched on in Psalm 40). At the time he wrote, David was required to bring physical sacrifices to the tabernacle. And he no doubt did on this occasion soon after his confession before Nathan. Perhaps Psalm 51 was written as a song to accompany the sacrifice. Verse 16’s statement about God not desiring sacrifice “or else I would give it” should not be understood to imply that David would not bring a sacrifice. The point is that he’ll give God whatever God wants—he’ll do whatever it takes—to be right with Him.
But David knows that God does not desire any physical sacrifices apart from the inner sacrifices of a right heart and mind—”broken,” meaning humble, and “contrite,” meaning repentant and obedient (verse 17). David used these same terms in Psalm 34:18. And the prophet Isaiah would later use them as well (Isaiah 66:2)—again in the context of the kind of sacrifices and service God is truly looking for. Psalm 51:19 uses the words “sacrifices of righteousness”—showing that it involves living the right way of life.
David concludes by asking God to “do good” to Zion or Jerusalem and to build its walls—meaning to bless and protect the people—including leading them to a right mindset—so that the people and their physical offerings would please Him (verses 18-19). This shows that God is pleased with physical offerings—but only when part of an inward devotion to Him and life of obedience. The holy city is likely here representative of the entire nation—and in a prophetic sense of spiritual Zion as well as God’s Kingdom in the world to come.
It should be noted that Psalm 51 has, thematically, many points of contact with Psalm 25.
Psalm 52 is a maskil (perhaps meaning instructive psalm or, as the NKJV translates it, “contemplation”) of David—the first of four of these in a row. We earlier read this psalm in harmony with the story of the event mentioned in the superscription—when Doeg the Edomite, a servant of King Saul, told Saul of the high priest Ahimelech giving provisions to David and his men (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 1 Samuel 22:6-23; Psalm 52). Recall that Saul then ordered his men to execute Ahimelech and the other priests at Nob—which his men refused to do, whereupon Doeg carried out Saul’s order, slaughtering 85 priests plus additional men, women, children, infants and animals living in the city (verses 18-19). To the one son who escaped, David lamented that he was to blame for having put the priests in jeopardy (verse 22).
In Psalm 52, written on that occasion, David questions the intelligence of any “mighty” man that would boast about doing evil since God’s love and goodness will not be thwarted. Those who use their tongue for evil—such as in lying and passing on information to hurt innocent people—will be destroyed.
Doeg was apparently a wealthy man (verse 7)—perhaps having his pockets lined through spying and other misdeeds. Saul may have rewarded him handsomely after his massacre of the priests. Yet it is foolish to trust in money and evil accomplishments. This verse connects Psalm 52 with Psalm 49, concerning “those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches” (verse 6). Both psalms show that this is the way to destruction.
In contrast to the wicked, who will be uprooted from the land of the living (52:5), David says that he is like an olive tree (verse 8), which lives for hundreds of years. Indeed, planted securely “in the house of God”—ultimately not the ancient tabernacle but the family and Kingdom of God—he and the rest of the saints will flourish under the attentive care of the Master “forever and ever” (verses 8-9). The picture of the righteous as flourishing green trees ties back to the imagery of Psalm 1.
Psalm 53 is another maskil of David. “To Mahalath” in the superscription, which may be part of a postscript to Psalm 52 (and also found in the superscription of Psalm 88 as part of a longer phrase), could represent the psalm being set to the tune of another song. Yet it might mean something else. The words have been variously interpreted as “On sickness,” “On suffering,” “To pipings” (on wind instruments) or “To dances” (or some sort of choreography).
Psalm 53 repeats much of Psalm 14 with some minor variation (see the Bible Reading Program comments on Psalm 14). The placement of nearly the same psalm here provides a further commentary on the sort of arrogant godless fool described in Psalms 49 and 52—and thus brings the cluster of psalms beginning with 49 to a close. It also helps to demonstrate that originally the various books of the Psalter were probably separate collections or hymnals.
One noticeable difference between the two psalms is that here the word Elohim (“God”) is used throughout rather than Yhwh (the Eternal or “LORD”).
The other significant difference occurs in verse 5. As the Zondervan NIV Study Bible notes on this verse, it “differs considerably from 14:5-6, though the basic thought remains the same: God overwhelms the godless who attack his people. Here the verbs are in the past tense (perhaps to express the certainty of their downfall).” As to God scattering the bones of the enemy, it means “over the battlefield of their defeat, their bodies left unburied like something loathsome (see Isa 14:18-20; Jer 8:2…)” (same note). However, it could also be that so many will be destroyed at the end that they will not be able to be buried for some time, such as when the godless army of Gog is destroyed (see Ezekiel 39:11-16).
The closing verse of Psalm 14 and of 53 are identical in expressing a great yearning for salvation, rejoicing and gladness when God restores His people to their land. This speaks prophetically of the future establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
“Be Merciful to Me, O God, for Man Would Swallow Me Up” (Psalms 54-57)
Psalm 54 is the third maskil of David out of four in a row. Neginoth in the superscription, which may be part of the postscript of Psalm 53, is probably correctly rendered in the NKJV as “stringed instruments” (and in the next superscription, which may be part of the postscript of this psalm).
Psalm 54 begins a cluster of seven prayers of David for help against enemies and betrayal at the center of Book II of the Psalter (Psalms 54-60). Note in going through these psalms that the main weapon of the enemy in most of them is the mouth. We earlier read Psalm 54 in conjunction with the account of the event mentioned in the superscription-when the people of Ziph informed Saul that David was hiding in that area (see the Bible Reading Program comments on 1 Samuel 23:15-29; Psalm 54).
These informants put David’s life in danger, as Saul was out to kill him. So David prays for God to save him by His “name” (verse 1), meaning everything God’s identity implies-who He is and what He stands for. He further asks God to vindicate him (same verse)-the context here meaning either to prove David right for trusting God (by God coming through for him) or to prove David, though a fugitive, in the right (by saving him and judging his enemies).
The “strangers” who have risen against David (verse 3) apparently refers to the Ziphite informants. And the “oppressors” seeking his life (same verse) would seem to refer to Saul and his officers. None of these, David says, are following God.
In verses 4-5, David declares his confidence in God to help him and his supporters and to punish his enemies. He prays, “Cut them off in Your truth.” The Expositor’s Bible Commentary states: “The resolution of the prayer lies in the conviction that God is just. He will not permit his children to suffer without vindication. The imprecation [or curse] is not vindictive but expressive of trust in divine justice. Evil must be repaid. The people of God believed in the boomerang effect of sin: ‘Let evil recoil [i.e., come back on those who perpetrate it]'” (note on verse 5).
Trusting in God’s deliverance, David says he will “freely sacrifice” to God (verse 6)-or “sacrifice a freewill offering” (NIV). This refers to a peace offering (see Leviticus 7:11-18; 22:18-30; Numbers 15:1-10), “given only when the worshipper wanted to say an extra-special thanks to God for his gracious, saving love” (George Knight, Psalms, Daily Study Bible Series, comments on Psalm 54).
God’s name, hearkening back to verse 1, is good-and worthy of praise (verse 6). Verse 7 may mean that deliverance has come in the midst of the song’s composition, though it perhaps more likely means that David has foreseen it clearly. Rather than including the NKJV’s interpolated words “its desire,” a better sense might simply be “My eye has seen what will come upon my enemies.”
Mark continues the testimony of Yeshua and His great healing authority of illness, disease, leprosy, and many others. We are told of how Yeshua healed the mother-in-law of Shim’on who was very ill and immediately after being healed by Messiah was able to literally resume her normal duties. She was “completely” restored. His healing was so powerful that it seems that the people became focused on the healing alone and the Gospel was getting pushed aside. One wonders if that was the focus of the many times Yeshua went off alone to pray. One wonders if this was troubling to Him.
We read of several times that Yeshua rose early, praying early, off by Himself praying and so forth. It is plain this is a good practice for us to follow as well. Yeshua desires to change the focus of His ministry and directs a re-focus of His mission: to “proclaim” the Good News and to call to repentance. The Reign of the Heavens, the Kingdom Heaven, is near.
He continues on proclaiming and casting out demons and heals a leper. Seems no matter where He went during these days, He was bombarded by people needing physical healing and they were unable to understand that what they truly needed was spiritual healing.
In Kephar Nahum (Capernicam) He was teaching and He was brought the paralytic and Yeshua spoke words of forgiveness to him. The Scribes accused Him of blasphemy for He was forgiving people of their sins. Yeshua understood the parallel between bondage from sin and bondage from disease. The words He spoke to rise up and walk are the same as “thy sins are forgiven thee.” But the Scribes and Pharisees did not understand this.
Yeshua later met Levi the tax collector and had supper at his house, which was unheard of at those times. No Kosher Rabbi would be caught fellowshipping with tax collectors (who were seen to be in submission to the enemy who was Rome) or with sinners.
Scribes and Pharisees confused about Yeshua eating and visiting sinners and tax collectors. Yeshua explains Himself with His own words. It is the sick who need healing, the sinners who need a savior and deliverance. He takes care of those who need. Those who already have are in no need so why go to them? Additionally, Yeshua recognized that those “learned” would be unable to hear His message, just as it is today. He uses the parable of the wineskins to explain.
Yeshua and His disciples are accused of breaking the Sabbath when they went through the grainfields and plucked wheat and ate them (without washing their hands too!!). We need to understand that these rules were man made and not the Torah of Elohim. The Scribes and Pharisees were the ones who said the Sabbath was being broken, not Elohim. We need to understand this. Yeshua and His disciple never broke the Sabbath according to Torah.