Sermons Series 3:40d, 3 June 2006
The Spirit of Elijah
Part 4: Who's Authority?
Click here for Part 3
Brethren and sisters, I welcome you to our last study of the life of the prophet Elijah which I believe comes at a critical juncture in our own lives as we decide who are to be the spiritual authorities in our lives. Last week we looked at the aftermath of the contest at Carmel and saw Yahweh yet again supernaturally display His power by giving Elijah supernatural strength to run faster than the swiftest horses and chariot of the apostate king who rode in Baal's name. We saw the curse of drout and famine lifted off the land and then, probably within hours of these miraculous events, we see the prophet crumble before the threat of a pagan queen. The next thing we know this bold, faithful and zealous prophet of Yahweh is fleeing south beyond Israel's borders into the desert with his tail between his legs like a cowered dog, and we are amazed. How? Why?! What on earth has possessed this iron pillared messenger of the Covenant of Yahweh? He is so depressed, in fact, that he curls up under a tree and wants to die in his sleep. The man of Yahweh is committing spiritual suicide! He has flipped the switch of his life and said, 'No more.' What on earth has posessed him? Why has he taken leave of his senses?
I suggested last week three reasons why Elijah, the mighty crusader for Truth, may have fallen apart. He may have remembered the prophets that Jezebel had slaughtered and wondered why they had not survived as he had up to now and possibly believed the lie that he was somehow now unprotected. He may have been so exhausted from his daily warfare against the enemies all around him that he felt he just didn't have the strength for yet another contest, for such warfare is very emotionally draining. Or it may have been because of a connection he made between Jezebel's oath of vengeance and the words of Eli to the boy prophet Samuel. Today, though, I am going to suggest that there was a fourth reason and probably the main cause of Elijah's uncharacteristic panic - I propose the real reason was to do with authorities and specifically his fear of what psychologists call the 'dark mother' but which would better be termed 'demonic female authority'.
Before I go into that, I want to share a couple of dreams I had a week-and-a-half ago which were reminders to me of this very issue in me. My in-depth study of Elijah has been opening the windows of understanding for me in ways I have never experienced before and leading me to challenge some cherished, but wrong, beliefs about authority in my own life.
In the first dream I was with some other young men (for I was young in the dream) and our dress standards and etiquette were being judged by a sultan. Now as you know, I was raised in the Far East in a Muslim country ruled by an agong or king and sultans. One of my boyhood friends was the grandson of the Sultan of Selangore, a state in Malaysia. Naturally, a certain code of behaviour was expected in dealing with royals as my parents were, along with other Europeans who had positions of responsibility in the capital, on occasion the guests of the sultan at his palace. At any rate, I was brought up to 'behave' myself in a certain way, and to dress accordingly.
In the dream I was very sheepish and submissive and wanted to please the sultan by having the correct 'social credentials'. He was quite picky and clearly enjoyed having me under his influence and power. Nothing much more happened in the dream other than I did, in the end, please him in a very subservient way. When I awoke I knew at once that something was wrong. I realised that this was not the actual Sultan of Selangore, whom I had never known personally, but the 'spirit' or 'principality' that ruled him which I had acquired by forming soul-ties with people who had that dark authority. It was a demon! Of course, upon awakening, I at once renounced this spiritual authority in my life and declared that my dress standards, manners, behaviour and etiquette would be determined by my true Master, Yahweh, and by nobody else. I then began to see how in the past I had been repulsed by anything that contradicted this 'spirit' - this expectation that I had been programmed to have of myself which was supported and driven by a demonic principality. My intense study of the life of Elijah had created a tension and a contradiction. This prophet of Yahweh was not behaving in the 'sultan spirit'. He was not treating the political authority of his day - King Ahab - with the same reverence, respect and defference that this familiar spirit in me had driven me to give. And I began to see more sharply the brainwashing I had undergone in, like a patriotic Englishman, giving my allegiance to our national house of royals whose lives, with few exceptions, in truth have been quite reprobate. And though I had been through the process of rejecting the unconditional claims of allegiance to them for many years, except to that which was godly, the controlling principality or authority was still there inside me, making claims for unconditional patriotic loyalty.
Now I am not saying that I am rejecting patriotism or love of country. Most certainly not. However, I do not see my nation as 'superior' to any other nation. In any case, these days new allegiances are being demanded of us, to groupings of nations like the European Union (EU) which were never there before. We have a revelation on patriotism (OB 18) which tells us we should love our country like a spouse, but not idolatrously in place of Yahweh or Torah. That means any claims made on us by the ruling authorities of our nations which would lead us to break Torah we cannot, and must not, accept. In other words, our country - the land and the people who live in it - are greater than the changing opinions, ideals and expectations of any government who may happen to be in power by democratic or non-democratic means. We have already cast our vote with Yahweh and Messianic Israel.
In the dream, the demonic principality expected a certain behaviour from me towards the ruling classes. I think a lot of Christians fall for this trap and end-up creating ungodly soul-ties with the governing authorities of the land. We are not to give them blind obedience but are to sustain them in righteousness and pray for them. Once you submit to their every whim, you come under the authority of their controlling demons.
In my second dream I was at an airport being interviewed by an immigration official. He had piles of papers about me with which, seemingly, to intimidate me. Now emmigration officials, like other government agencies, represent temporal, political power. In the dream I cowered but when I awoke I reminded myself who the Sovereign Lord of the Universe was and what He says about the nations. They are under His control. And whilst He has given governments a certain amount of authority to levy taxes and to bring criminals to justice, He has not goven them carte blanche to do whatever they want. Whether they acknowledge Him or not, they are subject to Him; and if, and when, they start persecuting His servants, He brings them down in His own time and way. We are not to fear them, but give them the respect that is due to them, but hold steadfastly to Yahweh's Torah no matter their threatenings.
Last week I told you that Elijah did not follow royal etiquette. He told the king the blunt truth and called him to repentance. He did not accept any royal authority over him that would have required Him to break the Law of Yahweh. He did not cower but acknowledged Yahweh as His sole Master. Even in the mistaken monarchic system of Israel, which replaced the divine order of Judges, Yahweh made it clear that the King was not his own but belonged to the higher spiritual authority. The first monarch, Saul, had to do what Yahweh's prophet, Samuel, told him. The king's own authority was only good as far as He was obedient to Torah. Ahab had rebelled from that given authority and claimed his own which Elijah did not recognise. And yet a lot of Christians have this insane theology which teaches that since Yahweh has appointed governments and authorities for our own welfare, we should obey them unquestionly (Titus 3:1; Rom.13:1-7; cp. Ac.4:19,29). This mistaken belief was exploited by the Nazis who insisted that Christians obey the state even in their criminal activities and sadly far too many believers did that and compromised their salvation. Not Corrie ten Boom who, as you know, hid Jews in her home from them and refused to obey the Nazi racial laws.
One such spiritual authority which everyone has to contend with is the flesh. I have consistently noticed that when fleshy-based people get cornered by prophets of Yahweh telling them the truth which they don't want to hear, one of their refuges is to accuse Yahweh's servants of being 'rude' or 'ill-mannered'. The flesh resorts to formalism to justify and protect itself. However, you will not find Yahweh's prophets respectors of manners anymore than you will find Yahweh is a respector of persons (1 Pet.1:17). We can't hide sin behind formality and politeness - not with Yahweh, not with Yahweh's servants. People will often switch from discussing principles to making personal attacks when the truth has exposed them and they refuse to repent. This behaviourism is, of course, a fruit of pride which is demonic.
Elijah is now in the Sinai peninsular in a cave. Yahweh has asked him why he has come and he makes his complaint:
"I have been very zealous for Yahweh-Elohim Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (1 Kings 19:10, NIV).
Are we to understand from this that the Israelites returned to Baal worship straight after the contest at Carmel? Was their slaughter of the prophets of Baal and Asherah done in the heat of the moment? Was their repentance insincere? If he is right - and I think history would vindicate him - then their enthusiastic declaration: "Yahweh - He is Elohim!" (1 Kings 18:39, NIV) can only have meant it was a shallow conversion. They reacted in faith to what they had seen with their eyes rather than responding to any deep sensed heart-conviction as to what was right and wrong. Perhaps that is another reason Elijah ran - he saw, after all, that the people's hearts had not been changed even after such a powerful demonstration. Personally, I think that they did believe and that something of the Jacob awakened in them, but then they cowered, like Elijah, before the surviving pagan political authority. They were, I suspect, still double-minded but less double-minded than they had been before. I cannot believe that Yahweh's supernatural demonstration had been in vain - there must have been some kind of lasting impact. Fire coming down from heaven is not something you forget quickly either. And it meant, as we see, that the prophets of Israel were once more enabled to bodly breach their message.
You will recall how it was that Yahweh revealed Himself to Elijah:
"Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before Yahweh, but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but Yahweh was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but Yahweh was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave" (1 Kings 19:11-13, NIV).
What was the point of his series of events - the wind, the earthquake, the fire and the gentle whisper ... or as other translations put it, "the still, small voice"?
There was once a young man who had just lost his job and was desperate to feed his family and pay his bills. So he asked for an interview with his pastor. He paced the room and ranted and railed about his problem. "I have begged Yahweh to say something to help me," he wailed, "Tell me, Pastor, why doesn't Yahweh answer me??" The old Pastor, who sat across the room, spoke something in reply but it was so quiet that the young man couldn't hear him. The young man drew closer. "What did you say, Pastor?" He asked. The Pastor repeated himself but so softly this time that still the young man couldn't hear him. So the young man moved even closer this time until he was virtually leaning on the Pastor's chair. "Sorry", he said, "I still didn't hear you". With their heads bent together, the old Pastor spoke once more: "Yahweh sometimes whispers," said he, "so we will move closer to hear Him."
Now Elijah could have heard Yahweh's voice back at Carmel but when we lose trust and block out our hearing with waves of panic, we must sometimes journey far to discover what is near. He didn't have to go all the way to Mt. Sinai to hear Yahweh but he did have to have his walls of resistence and doubt broken down. He chose a path - a lesser path - the path of self-punishment, which never works, but which forces us to finally listen when we have been taken to the end of ourselves. When there is noise and confusion inside ourselves caused by demons whispering, talking or yelling - or whether the voices are our own voices of disbelief and rebellion (because it doesn't matter which), we all want Yahweh's voice to thunder through the chaos and speak to us. Yahweh does not, however, answer prayer on our conditions but His. And if His apparent silence provokes us to anger or frustration, then there is a spiritual issue to be dealt with - He is waiting for signs of humility and surrender - for a broken heart and a contite spirit. No voice of Yahweh was there to be in wind, earthquake or fire - Yahweh does not speak to men's ears through the parting of the Red Sea or through fire pouring out of heaven onto an altar of sacrifice. And the reason He doesn't is because the only thing that 'hears' such a loud voice is the flesh.
There is something quite remarkable about a whisper because there's nothing quite like a gentle whisper to draw a person's focus. When a person whispers you have to cut out all the surrounding noise to hear. When a person whispers you have to get nearer. When Yahweh whispers the only way you can hear Him is by meeting Him heart-to-heart. Yahweh's whisper means we must stop our ranting and move close to Him until our head is bent together with His. And then, as we listen, we will not only draw closer to Yahweh - which is what He wanted in the first place - but get our answer as Elijah got his:
"Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel - all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:15-18, NIV).
What did Yahweh say? "Go back the way you came." You have to retrace your steps. When you run away, you have to retrace your steps. You have to work through the issues and get to the point where you went off the Way of Salvation. There's no short-cut to this. If you tumble down a mountain you have to climb it again. If you break relationship with someone you have to rebuild it again. You can't just be magically whisked back to where you started. There's recovery and restitution to be made. There has to be reformation and restoration. The prodigal son has to pick himself out of the mire and walk home with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The prodigal had to go back to Dad as we must go back to our Heavenly Father (Lk.15:11-32). Don't expect any shortcuts because there aren't any.
"Go back the way you came." Now if you're not willing to do that - to eat humble pie - don't expect to be restored. Yahweh will be revolted by you, because refusal to return by the way we came comes of pride, which He hates. And don't offer excuses. The prodigal son could have made lots of excuses for leaving home like, "my father was too strict", "he cramped my style in front of the girls I fancied," "I needed a change of scenery to get some breathing space", or "he made me work too hard." Satan will always find thousands of excuses. The excuses for sin are legion - they're uncountable - and those who refuse to go back viâ the way they cam will always regurgitate them from hell's chambers.
"Go back the way you came." Because until you do, Yahweh will not use you - He cannot use you because you will still be carrying all the dead weight of sin. It's as we retrace our steps that and repent along the way that we re-qualify ourselves for service in the Kingdom. That's what repentance is. Repentance is a radical - as opposed to a casual or nonchalant - transformation of thought, attitude, outlook, and direction. And in the wider sense repentance is the turning from sin (as defined by Torah) back to Yahweh and to His service. And I stress the word service: repentance is not abstractly turning to 'God' - repentance is revealed and demonstrated in active service to Him with a right heart. There are fruits to repentance, and these fruits are service. Now I used the word 'radical' to describe repentance and in case you don't know what that word means, I will tell you: to be radical means to go to the root, to be thorough, and to deal with fundamentals. To be a radical means to be a revolutionary, and to be a revolutionary means effecting not merely surface change but total change. Repentance means total change - not just turning your head in the direction you're supposed to be going while continuing to walk in the wrong direction, but turing your whole body around. Unless your feet are carrying you in the right direction, none of your other body movements make a shred of difference. That's why Yah'shua washed His disciples' feet and that's why He didn't wash their whole bodies like Peter insisted. Let's recount that incident:
"After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' Yah'shua replied, 'You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.' 'No,' said Peter, 'you shall never wash my feet.' Yah'shua answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.' 'Then, Lord,' Simon Peter replied, 'not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!' Yah'shua answered, 'A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean'" (John 13:5-10, NIV).
Turning around and heading back begins the process of cleansing your whole body - your whole being. That's why Yah'shua needed only to wash His disciples' feet. The rest of your body may not wish to turn but once you have made that turn and set resolutely back in the right direction, everything else will follow. Obviously, the other parts of the body can hardly go their own say since it is the force of our feet on the ground that propells us.
I am reminded so much of Joseph, the betrothed husband of Mary. When he heard that his wife was pregnant, his heart just wanted to quietly divorce her. But the scripture said that he "considered the matter" (Mt.1:20) - he thought about it again. He could have had her stoned to death. He could have abandoned her. But there was greatness in this man, greatness than comes from a loving heart, greatness that comes through grace, self-sacrifice and fogiveness. He could have given up. He could have thought only about his own reputation. But he didn't. He looked past himself and consered her well-being. Once he was prepared to do that, Yahweh's malak or angel spoke to him and told him the truth. He had qualified himself to be the step-father of the Messiah. He had set his feet in the right direction and then everything good followed.
Jacob was the same. His son Joseph had these dreams which upset his brothers and his father. The second one got Jacob's blood boiling too - the idea that father, mother and eleven brothers would all bow down to this apparent 'upstart'. Joseph could have slapped the boy down. But do you know what? He, like Yah'shua's step-father, also "considered the matter". He did not roughly dismiss it (Gen.37:11). And so he too demonstrated his greatness. He was prepared in his heart to be do obeisance to his own son. He knew that Yahweh did such things as he must have remembered his own elder brother Esau. For destiny had picked out Joseph to be the firstborn amongst his brethren - he was marked by Yahweh for greatness, and Jacob knew it. For this was a man who never turned back - he set his feet toward the goal even in the midst of the worst affliction imaginable, demonstrating his own messianic qualities as a redeemer of Israel.
The prophets, as you will see, are called because they have many fine spiritual qualities, and one of those is decisiveness. Elijah went back as he had been commanded, retracing his footsteps, and did what Yahweh told him to do:
"So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. 'Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,' he said, 'and then I will come with you.' 'Go back,' Elijah replied. 'What have I done to you?' So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant" (1 Kings 19:19-21, NIV).
The prophets, as you know, often do very 'unorthodox' things in order to depict some radical message that Yahweh wishes to convey. Elijah has been complaining about being alone all these years, Yahweh tells him that there are another 1,000 prophets like him, and then gives him a young apprentice who will be his successor. To then demonstrate his total committment, and to make sure he can never return to his former trade, he slaughters oxen, cooks them with the plough, and gives a feast. And of course, since Yahweh has also called true believers in Yah'shua to be a 'Royal Priesthood' (1 Pet.2:9) and to have the "spirit of prophecy" (Rev.19:10) it follows that He expects us in our turn to make a total committment. We have an ordinance to demonstrate that in, as well as enter sacred covenants, and it is called baptism or total immersion in water. When we are buried under the water, we symbolically wash the old life away as we arise into a new one. That's why we immerse people in water in the Garden so that love washes away the heart's old dark ways. It is also why in Messianic Israel newly wed wives are baptised in water out of singleness and their father's protection and into their new husband and his covering as married women. Both Elisha's act of slaughtering his oxen, and baptism by immersion, indicate a complete severance with the past and the beginning of a new life. Lot's wife was told not to look back to the old life in Sodom but she rebelled and was cut off (Gen.19:26). Similarly, Yah'shua said that "no one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of Elohim" (Luke 9:62, NIV).
We can't look back to the world. Once we leave it, we leave it, and can't have feet in both parts. We have to die to worldliness or we are not fit for Kingdom service. How then can Yah'shua say: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Matt.25:21, NIV) if we are double-minded? How can we expect a reward? Do you remember the faithless servant and his excuse for not serving? "I was afraid", he said (v.35). His excuse was that He was afraid because Yahweh is strict. Well, guess what? Yah'shua does not accept that as a valid excuse, because there is "no fear in love" because "perfect love casts out fear" (1 Jn.4:18). Fear is just an excuse for faithlessness and disbelief. Fear is an excuse for not loving others. Fear is taking care of self-interest and protecting oneself instead of forgetting self as Yah'shua taught:
"The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves Me" (John 12:25-26, NIV).
It's obvious where Elisha's love lay, and it's obvious he would be a worthy successor to Elijah who, in spite of his relapse into doubt and fear, picked himself up and did what Yahweh told him to do: he went back from where he had come. They both had the right attitude. They did what Yah'shua was to preach: "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matt.10:39, NIV). Both Elijah and Elisha are in glory today. You too can be with them one day and you too can receive the Master's divine approbation and reward. Just forget yourself, put it to death in baptism, and go back to the place where you disbelieved and fled, and this time do it right. That's what He expects of you. No other way. If you don't - if you cast away His gift to you of eternal life and bury your talent in the ground, guess what's going to happen? "Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth", said Yah'shua (Matt.25:30, NIV).
Now you know I am not a 'hell fire and damnation' preacher - I almost never talk about this subject, but it would be wrong of me not to speak the truth to you. It would be wrong of me to omit any facet of the Gospel and let you be lulled into a false sense of security. The man who hid his talent was called a "wicked and lazy servant" (v.36). That's right. Those who do nothing with what Yahweh has given with them, because they fear, are called wicked and lazy, because not loving is wicked. A loveless heart is a wicked heart. Our heart is measured by what we do, not by what it feels or doesn't feel. The heart is "the wellspring of life" (Prov.4:23, NIV) but if it closes because it ceases to love, or receive love with a view to serving others, is a dead heart and is heading into the darkness where no joy is to be found, just anguish.
With Elisha now as Elijah's companion and apprentice, Elijah proceeds to execute the remainder of Yahweh's commandments. Military events dominate the next chaper of the account of Elijah's ministry. Now other prophets are standing up and boldly proclaiming Yahweh's Word, inspired, no doubt by the bravery of Elijah. One of them delivers a message to Ahab who disobeys - again - refusing to kill the enemy, king Ben-Hadad. Grace for Ahab is over and the prophet pronounces his death sentence:
"This is what Yahweh says [to Ahab]: 'You have set free a man I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.' Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria" (1 Kings 20:42-43, NIV).
Please, don't mess around with Yahweh. Don't mock Him with disbelief and disobedience. He is not some human politician you can scorn or heap approbium upon. This is the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe we are speaking of here. This is the Creator of all the Cosmos, the One who made everything and everyone with love. If you are going to fear anyone, fear Him! For it is written:
"The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise" (Ps.111:10, NIV).
"The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline" (Prov.1:7, NIV).
"The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through Me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer" (Prov.9:10-12, NIV).
We live in a disrespectful generation where authority in general is scorned. People these days want to be co-equal with God if not God Himself. Well, how foolish can you get! How foolish was King Ahab! And yes, you have the freedom to choose, but choice is not without consequence. Ahab, in again refusing to be obedient, has sealed his fate. The sword of justice is now suspended above his head.
And it is now I wish to remind you of an unpleasant truth regarding sin. I have heard people say, who have refused to repent and "go back" when they have backslidden, tell me that they will never repeat the mistakes of the past. The truth is, the moment you choose darkness, you become blind and forget. Yahweh Himself says He himself gives a "powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness" (2 Thess 2:11-12, NIV). If He has given you sacred things and you throw them back in His face, He will cause you to believe a lie so that you condemn yourself to hell. Do you suppose that you can resist Yahweh? Of course not! Yahweh's word never returns to Him empty (Is.55:11). Don't mess around with the Almighty because if you do, He will crush you, not because he hates you, but because He will not tolerate mockery. If you spurn His love after having tasted it, you have only one option left: hate. And hatred makes you the property of Satan. So don't exploit His grace - His undeserved loving kindness - but act quickly and with determination:
"Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light" (John 12:35-36, NIV).
From now on Ahab will descend into greater and greater wickedness. Once you choose darkness you're on the slippery slope. You can't stop and say: "I'll not be more wicked than this". You keep sliding and only repentance and the rescuing arm of the Elohim can save you. So what does Ahab do next? He starts coveting a vineyard adjacent to his palace. He offers to buy it of the owner, Naboth, who has the right to refuse and does so, explaining that this is his family inheritance. With the aid of Jezebel, he falsely accuses Naboth of sedition and has him murdered, seizing the vineyard (1 Ki.21).As the evil king goes down to vineyard, no doubt gleefully rubbing his hands in the belief that his wicked scheme has succeeded, he is met by his nemesis. We read:
"Then the word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite: 'Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth's vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. Say to him, 'This is what Yahweh says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?'Then say to him, 'This is what Yahweh says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth's blood, dogs will lick up your blood - yes, yours!' Ahab said to Elijah, 'So you have found me, my enemy!' 'I have found you,' he answered, 'because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of Yahweh. I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel - slave or free. I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked Me to anger and have caused Israel to sin.' And also concerning Jezebel Yahweh says: 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country'" (1 Kings 21:17-24, NIV).
How different is Elijah who fled from Jezebel because of a curse she uttered! Now he has returned into the presence of Yahweh and he is condemning her and her evil husband. She is, after all, nothing; but sometimes angry, evil women loom larger than life and they scare men. And yes, brethren and sisters, there is a difference between men and women. Women are more likely to fall than men because they have no covering of their own and are made by Yahweh to be utterly dependent on their fathers and husbands. When the men are out of line, their women are greatly weakened. But men, who have the greater responsibility by virtue of their calling as leaders, receive the greatest condemnation when they rebell. A woman is her man. She is nothing without him. And he is nothing without Yahweh. And they cannot exist without each other. They need each other and they need Yahweh. It stings some people to hear these truths, they'd rather redefine gender rôles and mock the One who made them. They'd rather go the way of Eve who believed the lie that she was her own goddess and Yahweh was withholding something good from her. And when women rebell in this manner, they are soon tempting their husbands who may compromise with them to assuage their fear of losing them. The man gets the heavier sentence of the two.
Now Jezebel, the archetypal whore with ultimate political power, sat in the position of co-regent with her husband Ahab. This highly demonised woman whose heart was filled with the dark passion of hatred against all righteousness and holiness, occupied one of the most frightening rôles that Satan has ever invented: that of the terrible mother. Though men are capable of every bit as much evil as women, there is domething 'terrible' when the gender created to be gentle and nurturing turns into a blood-sucking, man-hating and -murdering parasite, completely reversing the rôle of motherhood. Such women are possessive, entwining, devouring, and destructuve. Nature depicts them as the devouring female spider who eats her mate after he has served his funtion as a reproductive machine. This fallen behaviour may not, however, be premediated - not all Jezebel's are of the domineering, butch 'Aunt Agatha' type, but may subtly evolve into them by small increments. Many a Jezebel begins life as an 'over-enthusaistic' mother who keeps her children tied to her by unholy soul-ties, thus retarding their natural growth and development. This unnatural love and devotion can rapidly mutate into what some call the 'angry goddess' if not checked by proper patriarchal authority. I don't think you need a lecture from me today on the demonesses Lilith, Hecate and Jezebel to know what I am talking about.
This perversion of the divine female is indeed terrible and it was perhaps this that shocked Elijah into fear and flight when he headed off to Mt.Sinai, the towering symbol of the covenant which he adored at which such great things had happened earlier in Israelite history. Jezebel would have picked up this perversion from the demoness Asherah, known also as Astarte, whom she worshiped alongside Baal, a demoness that turns the heart cold to love but arouses it to passionate rage and hate against the holiness of Yahweh. At any rate, she was undoubtedly seduced by this dark feminine power, as Ahab was by Baal, and exercised it mercilessly in persecuting the true faith in Israel.
I think it appropriate that Elijah returned to Israel's roots at Mt. Sinai as he fled from Jezebel just as we are about to this evening and tomorrow as we now prepare ourselves for Shavu'ot or Penetcost. Only we are approaching Mt. Sinai from the direction of Egypt, leaving Pharaoh behind, on our journey home to the Promised Land. Sometimes, though, we backslide, as Elijah did, however briefly, and it is well to remember that we too can return to Sinai at any time and reacquaint ourselves with Torah and the root of our faith, whose chief message is that Yahweh owns us - we do not own ourselves.
"Hear O Israel, Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is Echad!" (Dt.6:4)
Click here for Part 5
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 7 March 2007
Last updated on 7 March 2007
Copyright ©2006 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved