The Spiritual Orphans
Sabbath Day Sermon, Saturday 18 December 2004
Last Wednesday morning I had a long dream in which I was shown a bunk bed covered with children - literally hundreds of miniature boys and girls packed tight with toys and other perishable things. The bunk below was a Mediterranean scene, a coastal resort, where young men and women of great beauty concerned themselves with leisure and lovemaking. They were totally disconnected to the children who had shrunk to thumbnail size and were part human and part sweet (candy). I felt this great pity for the children and began to separate them from the toys and gather them together. An angry young man came up to see what I was doing, seemed relieved that I was taking the children but was also angry because I had not taken them fast enough - he wanted the upper bunk for his love affairs. Later on in the dream I saw the children again - they were being cared for by several women under my headship who were dedicated to loving them. My heart went out to them. They were no longer tiny little sweets but fully human and growing - it was a gratifying and heart-warming sight.
The writer of Lamentations said:
"We have become orphans and waifs, our mothers are like widows ... our fathers sinned and are no more, but we bear their iniquities" (Lam.5:3,7, NKJV).
Whenever the fathers turn away from Yahweh's Torah the result is spiritual orphans - millions of them. We live in a world where the majority of children are growing up without any kind of spiritual parenting, who are totally unacquainted in the ways of Yahweh. Children are pushed aside "onto the top bunk", 'out of mind and out of sight', into nurseries, schools, and into the world without the tools to survive emotionally and spiritually. Their parents are interested only in sex, money, careers and furthering their own power. Children are 'sweet things' to have when they are born and can be used to reinforce parents' own egos or meet their supposed 'needs', but when those children become demanding they are simply pushed aside. Children are commodities. Worse still, children are becoming objects of sexual and physical abuse, the play things of perverts and sadomasochists. These children of the first generation of mass abuse have come of age - those who were delinquent children have now become lawless, delinquent adults. And the Church stands powerless to help them because it too has abandoned its parenting rôle and has, to all intents and purposes, simply imitated the world. Now they are being run by those delinquents.
I mentioned to you the other day that as many as 70,000 to 80,000 children are born into the world unregistered. They do not officially exist and have no official protection. These are the ones sold into slavery, prostitution and worse. They are the fruit of a world which declared that it wanted 'freedom' and to be liberated from antiquated and restricting 'rules'. But in so doing, they dug the graves of their own children.
Two and a half thousand years ago Yahweh warned Ephraim (principally the forefather of the North European, American and Australasian peoples) who at that time had sunk into deepest idolatry and abomination, not to spurn His 'rules'. This is what He said:
"For Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, yes, to him altars are intended for sinning. I wrote for him the ten thousand things of my Torah (Law), but they are counted as strange to him [as something which does not concern him]" (Hos.8:11-12, Amp.Ver.).
Almost all Christians regard Torah as 'strange' as though it has come from a 'foreign god'. This is confirmed by the almost universal hostility to it by Protestantism, fuelled by the prime reformer himself, Martin Luther, who not only hated Jews but anything to do with them, a Catholic legacy that he never divested himself of. He threw off the pagan yoke of Rome, rediscovered salvation by grace, and then discarded the only measuring rod of salvation, our obedience to Torah. Well did Hosea also write:
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [Torah]; because you, the priestly nation, have rejected knowledge [of Torah], I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the Torah (Law) of your Elohim (God), I will also forget your children" (Hos.4:6, Amp.Ver.).
Torah is the blueprint of interpersonal relations - the way the nation and the family should be structured. Torah is about FAMILY - family values, family structures and order, family ethics and family morals. Torah is about the Family of Yahweh. Torah defines the fruits of a proper relationship between His people Israel and their Heavenly Father through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). It defines our daily, weekly, monthly, and annual living patterns - it tells us about the divine way of life. It tells us how fathers should be fathers, mothers should be mothers, and how sons and daughters should be related to their parents and to others in the nation.
Throughout His ministry, Yah'shua (Jesus) taught Torah and nothing but Torah, elevating it morally, modifying it where it had been corrupted by the spiritual rulers of the day, and adding new mitzvot (commandments) to give full expression to the will of His Father that He was bringing. And His apostles taught the same things. Male-female rôles were retaught and emphasised, and parental values re-instilled. Believers not only forget that the Messianic Community is a nation - Israel - but that it is ruled by a King, Yah'shua (Jesus), who has set princes and other rulers over His people - apostles, pastors, elders, and father-patriarchs. But the Church, infected with false Protestant theology which hates Torah and anything smacking of rules, and which today has become communistic and socialistic in its view of men and women, blurring gender rôles and making everyone jurisdictionally 'equal', has destroyed the divine pattern. Your modern Christian is clueless about what Torah - Yahweh's Law - actually is. And even though there are those who do claim to have returned to Torah, they often only uphold it with their lips and secretly hate it when it makes any kind of demand on them. People are usually glad to talk about holy things so long as they don't have to live them.
Yahweh's laws were instituted not to enslave but to liberate, not to suffocate but to create a righteous vessel for life to flourish, expand and multiply in. Today's world is a far cry from Israelite Theocracy and Patriarchy. Indeed, Isaiah foresaw our own day when he wrote:
"As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths" (Isa.3:12, NKJV).
You only have to casually look at modern Western society to see that women rule and children oppress. And the churches have let much the same thing transpire - women are elevated into the fatherly rôle as pastors over flocks and the youth have become separated from the adults - today there are 'youth groups' and 'youth pastors' in the churches - they have created a wall of partition between parents and children and overturned the patriarchal family order.
In NCCG children start attending adult meetings from about the age of 10 because they have been taught in the ways of Yahweh and automatically fit in. It is natural for them. They engage in prayer warfare - they are involved at all levels of ministry. For them the family is one, not two. They are not shoved off alone into corner to develop in their 'own way'. They are fed a constant diet of faith in Yah'shua (Jesus) and obedience to Torah, as the Book of Revelations says will characterise the end-time Messianic Community (Church). They are in submission to their parents, as wives are in submission to their husbands, and deacons are in submission to elders, elders to pastors, and pastors to apostles. In short, the Messianic Community is patriarchal from beginning to end, because Torah is patriarchy, and patriarchy is Torah. And I am not speaking of the abusive kind of headship which has also unfortunately acquired the label 'patriarchy', but which we call 'ultra-patriarchy' to make a clear distinction, but patriarchy-in-love, even if that love is sometimes painfully corrective and chastising. Thus it is written:
"It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth" (Lam.3:27, NKJV).
Today's youth have been let loose into the world without any proper kind of parental guidance and when they come to Christ they enter the Body with much of the old mindframe. Mistaking equality of salvation for equality in positioning in the Israelite Nation, they often demand 'equal rights' and treat their heads with scorn and disrespect, forgetting that disrespect of parents - whether literal or spiritual, carries the death penalty in Torah. Though Yah'shua (Jesus) has disarmed the curse of Torah - the death penalty on many crimes - He does continue to execute discipline on those who disobey His Father's Law and empowers the heads of the Nation - the fathers (patriarchs) - to carry out discipline as Israel's elohim or judges.
Today's world is ruled by women - or at least their feministic values - and the youth have been allowed to run riot without the correcting discipline of the fathers because the fathers "are no more" as a force of headship and Torah-centred discipline. What is left is a mixture of weak, emasculated, vacillating men or the very opposite, those driven by hate and fear who are violent abusers. The true man, father and husband - who combines the virtues of uncompromising strictness mingled with overflowing compassion and love - is a rare species indeed. And it is our first responsibility to raise them up so that the congregations can be properly fathered.
We all know the carnal disposition of youth because Scripture defines it for us clearly. And we all know what Yahweh thinks of it. I am sure you remember the story of the old prophet, the youths and the bears. We read:
"Then [the old prophet] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, 'Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!' So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of Yahweh. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths" (2 Kings 2:23-24, NKJV).
Though under the terms of the New Covenant (B'rit Chadashah) we are no longer permitted to curse, Yahweh's judgement against rebellious youth is no less severe. Please note well that the bears were female - it is the wrath of the female demonic which destroys these youths, the insatiable appetite of the devouring mother.
I think we who are older often envy a little the energy that comes with youth, a good and positive energy when it is properly yoked in obedience and submission. But the kind of wild abandon that has seized youth today who have turned away from Yahweh, His Messiah and His Torah, will not be allowed to continue indefinitely, for El Elyon says:
"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on Yahweh shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isa.40:29-31, NKJV).
You all know this passage well. A youth in Yahweh, properly submitted to Yahweh, can be an incredible instrument in His hand. But yoked to unredeemed passion, he is a snare to his own soul and to others, and will faint and be weary. How blessed it is, then, for children to be raised in the admonition of Yahweh from the very beginning. Thus the prophet Ezekiel could confidently exclaim: "Ah, Yahweh-Elohim! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now" (Ezek.4:14, NKJV). How blessed to be undefiled by the world! How blessed to be bound to the holiness of Torah.
When Yahweh upholds the ideal of Israel before His people it is always in its youthfulness, pure and obedient. Thus He says of His chosen people through the prophet Hosea:
"'Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. And it shall be, in that day', says Yahweh, 'That you will call Me 'My Husband, and no longer call Me 'My Master,' For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more" (Hos.2:14-18, NKJV).
Please notice that Yahweh brings Israel into the wilderness - the desert - to comfort her. This comfort comes only through chastening and disciplining, as we know only too well when Israel was forced to wander therein for 40 years. Once disciplined, the youth may serve mightily. Paul said of the young pastor and evangelist Timothy:
"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" (1 Tim.4:12-13, NKJV).
We value our youth, we treasure them, we love them, but we do not permit them to run riot or to overturn the divine order, and if necessary they must 'cool off' in the wilderness while their passion is worked off and they acquire a proper patriarchal perspective. When we discipline our youth who have a tendency to get a little haughty and to occupy a place above their station, we leave them a while as Yahweh did the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Sinai, not because we cease to love them, or because we are 'proud', but because we precisely do love them, and know only too well the destruction they cause to themselves and to others when they are in a state of rebellion against proper authority. It saddens us when we have to do this until we remember that we too were 'put out' into the desert heat until we learned sense, submission, obedience and respect. We do this not because we regard ourselves as perfect - for we are not - but because of the offices Yahweh has created, which are holy and must be upheld, and in which He places whom He will.
"But the fruit of the Ruach (Spirit) is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no Torah (law). And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Ruach (Spirit), let us also walk in the Ruach (Spirit). Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another" (Gal.5:22-26, NKJV).
The desert does, unfortunately, have its casualties ... for those who will not repent. We know of those who perished in Sinai, from the rebellion of Korah to the plague of snakes. There are many object lessons there. Everybody in this covenant - without exception - has been through that desert, and if they haven't, they are on a waiting list for sure. We therefore speak of what we know and have lived. We do not follow the rules of the world or of the churches but of Torah, the divine institution of Yahweh, which is not of men. That Torah was made for us, to school us, and to bring us to perfection:
"For while we were in the flesh, the passions of sins that are [revealed] by the Torah were working in our members, so that we would bear fruit unto death. But now we are brought to an end from the Torah, and we are dead to that which was holding us, that we should serve from now on in the renewal of the spirit and not the oldness of the writing" (Rom.7:5-6, HRV).
Once Torah is written in the heart, then we are able to live perfectly as Yahweh intended us to. Until then - and it is usually a lifelong process for most - we must use the written Torah in the manner originally given by Yahweh and upheld by Paul:
"All Scripture [Torah] is given by inspiration of Elohim (God), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of Elohim (God) may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim.3:16-17, NKJV).
Until this happens, the churches will be filled with spiritual orphans, alienated from Yahweh, from their parents, and from their spiritual elders and fathers (1 Cor.4:15). To those who will trust Yah'shua (Jesus) and obey Torah He says:
"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18, NKJV).
This must also be the promise of the fathers in Israel, and so it is ours. We therefore leave this blessing with our youth that they may know that we love them, care for them, and know what is best for them, whatever their inner protests may on occasion be. There is only one safe path to walk in this life, and that is the Path of Torah. If they will learn this lesson, and live a life of faith in Yah'shua (Jesus), they will not go far wrong, and prosper. Amen.
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