Sermons Series 3:79, 17 February 2007
Resisting the Devil
Part 4: Overcoming Gossip
Click here for Part 3
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O Elohim. My soul thirsts for Elohim, for the living Elohim. When can I go and meet with Elohim?" (Ps.42:1-2, NIV).
This passage of scripture, which I know you all know well, has been immortalised in a song that we also sing in our fellowship, whose lyrics go:
As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after You;
You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship You.
You alone are my strength, my shield, to You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship You
This verb 'pant' translates the Hebrew word sha'af which means to 'eagerly desire', or to use the original meaning of the English word, to 'lust' which unfortunately today has only a negative connotation. King David, who penned this Psalm, was the friend of Elohim because of this intense desiring or lusting. But longing for Yahweh was not simply for something abstract: he also said:
"I open my mouth and pant, longing for Your commands (mitzvot)" (Ps.119:131, NIV).
Last week I told you how it is possible to fall in love with someone only to discover that they were not remotely what you imagined them to be. Unfortunately, far too many Christians have the same kind of illusory 'relationship' with Yahweh based on fantasy rather than reality. They have thought out a 'picture' of Him - and remember I told you two weeks' ago that this verb comes from the Greek word for pornography. We form images after our own imaginations and then worship them. Thus some people think of Yahweh as a tyrant and others as a suggar-daddy because these are pictures they have created about Him.
How, then, are we to know the real Yahweh? How do we avoid this 'pornographic' imagining of the soul? We do that by coming to know Him as He really is through His Word. "I open my mouth and pant, longing for Your mitzvot" - His 'commandments'. David was a Torah-lover and He panted as much for Yahweh's Torah as He did for Yahweh Himself because He knew that the Torah was the revelation of Yahweh's Personhood - and He loved that Person! If we have a problem with Torah, then we have a problem with Yahweh, and it is time to have a closer look at our 'picture' of Him.
We continue today in our series on resisting the devil. And clearly, if we are to resist him, we have to have an accurate picture not only of Yahweh but also of Satan too. We have to understand their personalities and what it is that makes one desirable and the other loathsome. If any part of us loathes the Torah then we have a major relationship issue with the Father and Creator of our souls. We need to come to know the Father as He really is because we will never recognise and expose the satanic opposite properly until we do. It is not enough to have 'known' Satan through a life of sin. You will never see Satan for what He truly is until you have the only contrast and mirror that matters - the revelation of Yahweh Himself. The trite thing that most Christians say is that we come to know Yahweh through Yah'shua, and whilst that is perfectly true, you can't know Yah'shua fully until you know what He loved. And one of the things He loved was Torah.
My main topics today is the sin of gossip. There are lots of scriptures on this so we need to take a look at some of those first. First from the Torah through Moses:
"Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour's life. I am Yahweh" (Lev.19:16, NIV).
Solomon had a great deal to say about this subject in the Bible Wisdom literature:
"A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret" (Prov.11:13, NIV)
or as another version puts it:
"A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter" (Ibid., NKJV).
To begin with, then, we see in these two passages, some fundamental principles in having right relationships with people. Firstly, we are not to spread slander or rumours that are untruthful because this can endanger people's lives. Rather, we are to hold confidences, and that holding of confidences indicates a true and faithful heart. It is not wrong to keep private things hidden. Solomon also said:
"It is the glory of Elohim to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings" (Prov.25:2, NIV).
Different things belong to different spheres. The things of Yahweh are hidden to all but those to whom Yahweh chooses to reveal them. Yah'shua spoke in private to His three chief apostles about many things because these matters were for them alone because their headship responsibilities. Family matters belong within families, assembly matters within assemblies, and business confidences matters within the business. One of my relatives worked for British Naval Intelligence and to this day neither his wife or children have a clue what he did in the last war over 60 years ago. There are veils of concealment for certain things just as a man is not to expose his nakedness except before his wife, and vice versa. Respecting these boundaries constitutes righteousness. The world may disagree but we do not follow the world.
"A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends" (Prov.16:28, NIV).
A friendship is a friendship precisely because it is not a casual relationship where there is no mutual commitment. Yah'shua first began by treating His disciples as servants but as they became more trustworthy and obedient He referred to them as His friends, just as He did David. And He explains why:
"You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:14-16, NIV).
A son becomes his father's friend when that son is obedient. Similarly, a wife becomes her husband's friend when she is submitted and obedient. A father becomes his son's friend when that son has learned the true basis of their relationship, which is one of reverent submission. The same is true of a husband to his wife. Friendship is defined by the kind of relationship that Yahweh has set up. Thus the basis of the friendship between two brothers will not be the same as that of the brothers to their father. It's a different kind of relationship and therefore a different kind of friendship.
When Yah'shua speaks of His closest and most obedient disciples being His friends, He is not using the word 'friendship' in the same way we do today in our secular society - friendship is not about being 'buddies' or 'hanging out', if I may borrow some American vernacular, but about Torah-based relationship. We have to learn to define words and relationships the way Yahweh does, not the way godless man does. Only when we have the correct basis of relationship can we understand how to build those relationships and avoid the counterfeit or 'pornographical' ones based on false pictures or images. And then - and only then - will we avoid the trap of gossip and slander, because we will have a divine basis for respect.
If some of these concepts seem a little alien to you then I suspect that it is because some of Yahweh's Personality is alien to you too. And if that is the case, you need to get to know Him as He really is and adjust your perceptions and expectations accordingly. There is a world of difference between friendship in the sphere of Torah and friendship as the world knows it because the Torah version - which is the only genuine version - is rooted in the truth of Yahweh's character. And those who love Yahweh will want friendship Yahweh-fashion.
"The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" (Prov.18:8, KJV).
This reminds us of what the Torah says about not endangering a person's life. And what does that life consist of? When the Bible speaks of chayim or life, it refers not just to the physical life but to the emotional, psychic, mental and spiritual too - in short, the whole being or soul. Slander and gossip can make a person ill because of the distress they cause - they pierce the very fabric of someone's existence which is why they are favourite tools of Satan. And those who employ them are behaving like their master, Satan.
"Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down" (Prov.6:20, NIV).
Our responsibility when we hear gossip is to stamp it out - refuse to listen to it and inform the gossippers to do the same. But first we need to know how evil it is, being convicted in our hearts by the Ruach. We need to understand its destructive effects.
"A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbours deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart" (Prov.26:24-25, NIV).
Well now we are coming to the heart of this subject - Solomon draws our attention to seven abominations and these we will look at in some detail in just a moment. But before we do, let me share a couple of citations from the New Testament:
"We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies" (2 Thess.3:11, NIV).
or as another version puts it:
"For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies" (2 Thess 3:11, NKJV).
Idleness or laziness is one of the chief enemies of the soul. It is the product of a disorderly life. Yahweh told us - men and women - to work hard and industriously six days a week. We are to be busy, not busybodies. Most of those who attack this ministry have nothing better to do - they are idle and are just filling in their time with mischief. They are not creating anything, just trying to destroy under the pretence of being 'saviours'. And if you think about it, that's all Satan is doing - seeking to destroy everything that Yahweh and His servants are building up, encouraging people to be 'free thinkers' and 'do their own thing' in the name of 'freedom'. Freedom from what? Freedom from truth and responsibility. Freedom from truth. Freedom from the responsibility of relationship.
And finally, in this small crop of scripture quotations, another warning: gossip is devastating both for the listeners and the talebearers:
"If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler" (1 Peter 4:15, NIV).
or as another version puts it, "as a busybody in other people's matters" (NKJV).
I want to suggest to you today that one of the toughest assignments that we as Christians have is to resist the desire to gossip - to bear tales, whisper, or spread rumours, because gossip is common in the everyday world of Babylon. Thousands of magazines are devoted to gossip about sports and entertainment stars, royalty and other prominent people. People soak themselves in gossip because they have nothing better to do - they have no Elohim or cause to serve except their own unredeemed appetites. When people convert to Yah'shua they invariably bring these habits with them. They have to be properly discipled in the truth and learn to change these habits quickly. They must be taught to actively resist as spiritual guerillas at war.
At the Judgement we will be staggered when we learn of the damage done by this satanic weapon. Gossip is behind every church split and ruined ministry. We know what it is like - we have been under a constant, unrelenting barrage of it now for the last year. This makes our testimony all the more pointed - what we have to say is important. We hope that what we have learned will bless you and encourage you to resist this weapon of the devil with all the energy you have got.
Let us understand some basic facts about the gossiper before we go into detail. It doesn't matter whether what he says sounds reasonable or not - it doesn't matter if what he says seems to have some merit - because Yahweh says we are to put no credibility in it - period. And the reason why is stated perfectly plainly in Scripture:
"A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbours deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart" (Prov.26:24-25, NIV).
Here is a rule of thumb that we ignore at our peril. The moment we start listening to a gossip and a slanderer, we are listening to seven demons. We are listening to Satan's counterfeit Ruach haQodesh, to the seven deadly dark mothers. And that means we have stopped listening to Yahweh, because when you listen to a gossiper, you are giving assent, just as Eve did to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. The fall of Adam and Eve was not caused by eating the forbidden fruit - THE FALL WAS CAUSED BY LISTENING TO AND THEN BELIEVING SATAN! Eating the fruit was final act of what had already happened inside. That is where the whole problem of this wicked world began - by listening to a false source. And what has followed, as we shall see, is a sevenfold woe. Instead, we should be LISTENING TO YAHWEH who said in the Torah:
"If in spite of this you still do not listen to Me (Yahweh) but continue to be hostile toward Me, then in My anger I will be hostile toward you, and I Myself will punish you for your sins seven times over" (Lev.26:27-28, NIV).
Are you hearing this? When we refuse to listen to a proper authority - in this case Yahweh - we bring a sevenfold cursing upon ourselves because like it or not we are always listening to somebody or something. Nobody is able to cut their faculty of listening off. You may think you can, but you can't. You may say you're only listening to yourself but then that depends on what else lives in your heart because it is not possible to occupy your heart all alone. Either our heart is indwelt by Yahweh or by Satan.
When a wife listens to, and believes, an authority not her husband's, and which is contrary to her husband's instruction, then she is disbelieving and rejecting him, even if it's her mother or best friend. When children do the same towards their parents, they do the same. And it doesn't matter whether you are 'hearing' in your wakefulness or in your sleep, the results are precisely the same. You feel, think and react in your dreams as much as you do when you're awake because, when you wake, you sometimes wonder if it has been 'real'. Well, it's been real in a non-physical dimension - the dimension in which we receive and process information from the outside world. Remember what I shared with you about that Malaysian tribe, and how they had good relations with one another because they treated the inner world of dreams with the same respect and attention as they did the outer? Yahweh does not see as us 'two' parts - He does not see us as an 'inner' you and an 'outer' you - He treats you as echad or one. When the Bible speaks of a 'person' it is nearly always the whole person as an integral unit - body and spirit - that is being spoken about. A lot of people try to dismiss dreams as having no important meaning or as having no spiritual consequences, but they are wrong.
I am sure you are wondering what the seven abominations Solomon alludes to are. He does not specifically say. Since there are seven of them, and seven is a sacred number of very precise meaning and parts, as we know from our detailed studies of the symbolism of the Menorah, we can assume that they are the reverse of the functions and moral attributes of the Seven Ruachs. These have been revealed to us over the last two years as Pride, Jealousy, Mistrust, Envy, Greed, Fear and 'Dark Union' or anti-echad. Alteratively, seven being the number of completion in biblical symbology, 'seven abominations' could simply mean a 'complete abomination' or 'as abominable as you can get'. Either way, it's not good. Dr. Roy Hicks suggests seven of his own which I believe fit in well with the fruits of the spirit of gossip so I am going to share these with you now, talk a little bit about them, and then add a few other thoughts.
1. Murder. Gossipers murder not with sword or gun but with the tongue, pen or keyboard. With their idle (and sometimes deliberate and premeditated) conversation and speculations (e.g. 'he might be a rapist', 'she could be a thief') they murder the reputations of honest people. Talebearers, in their thoughtlessness, often wreck careers, ministries, families and even drive some of these people to suicide. What do you suppose Yahweh will say on Judgement Day to the talebearer who has caused the death of another person, destroyed his family or ruined his reputation? What do you think He will do to Him? What do you suppose His judgement will be? Because Satan is a liar and a murderer, whoever listens to him commits the same acts. No wonder Solomon said that tale bearing was an abomination. When you are tale bearing you are walking in the spirit of murder. Don't mess with that!
2. Theft. When a talebearer starts gossiping about someone, he robs that person of his peace, happiness, security and good name. He steals his reputation from him. One of the qualifications of a Pastor or Overseer is that he must have a good reputation with outsiders (1 Tim.3:7). Scripture says:
"If you argue your case with a neighbour, do not betray another man's confidence, or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation" (Prov.25:9-10, NIV).
Here it is the gossiper who loses his reputation because of his evil. Someone who talebears has a great deal to make restitution for before he can be received back into confidence again. His name will be blackened, his character exposed in disgrace. He deserves it, but his victim does not. Satan is a thief - a pilferer of men's worth just as Judas Iscariot was a pilferer of the apostles' purse.
3. Strife. Strife is an insidious abomination because gossippers do not initiate it - they keep it going! They may even feel innocent of any evildoing because they speak the gossip in the form of a prayer request. Just one comment or question may be enough to keep strife-causing rumours boiling.
"A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul" (Prov.18:6-7, NIV).
"Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended. He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend" (Prov.22:10-11, NIV).
It does not take much imagination to realise what kind of friends the mocker has. Again, do not suppose it is just non-religious people who create strife, as Paul reminds us:
"Some indeed preach Messiah even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: The former preach Messiah from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defence of the gospel" (Phil.1:15-18, NKJV).
There were Christian preachers in Paul's day who preached Messiah with a dark motive - not to convert souls to the truth but, using the Name of Yah'shua as a vehicle for selfish ambition. They wanted to make Paul's life in prison even more miserable than it was. They were preaching the Saviour in a spirit of Antichrist! And when you, a Christian, spread rumours, you are in the service of Antichrist. You're on Satan's team whilst deceptively wearing the badge of a believer. Yah'shua will not deliver such an unrepentant soul.
4. Revenge. Even the word itself should send a shiver up your spine if you are a godly man or woman. Revenge has been the reason the conflicts in the Balkans over the last 20 years never been properly resolved. Look at the vengeful murders being carried out in Iraq between Shia and Sunni Muslims. The vengeful person says: 'Because I have suffered, you too will suffer! And if you tell anything I've done, I'll tell everything bad about you than I can think of, and even make up things if I feel like it!'
Satan's fury against Yahweh and the Messianic Community is fuelled by revenge. Don't be party to it. If you suffer, do it alone. Don't drag others into your misery. The difference between someone who has a particle of nobility in them and one who has none is that the former suffers quietly alone without dragging others into their sinful behaviour. The latter reveal their baseless character by involving as many as they can. We all need to take Paul's counsel seriously:
"Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says Yahweh. Therefore 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom.12:17-21, NKJV).
Yahweh will always vindicate the righteous in His own time and way. All sin will be found out and reproved by Him. Yahweh is the judge, not us.
I have recently been following the life story of British journalist David Icke who has devoted his life to exposing the Illuminati. I don't agree with his religious ideas at all (he's a New Ager) but I admire his guts and find his factual information useful. When he first started exposing the evil underground of secret societies, he was publicly ridiculed and his life was made a misery. It was only ten years later, when people began to see that he had been saying the truth, as his predictions came to pass, that increasing numbers of people started believing him. He must have cried out for justice and vindication in those early years. But it takes time for people to awaken and overcome their scepticism. The reflexive action of the flesh is to meet vicious assaults by the forces of evil in kind but Yahweh expects better of us.
5. Exaggeration. It might surprise you to hear that exaggeration can be evil. But consider this. If someone makes a small mistake and it is exaggerated out of all proportion, then it can result in great evil. Someone who intentionally exaggerates to damage another's reputation commits a horrible evil.
Let me give you an illustration. I am sure you have heard people say in jest: 'Oh, I'll kill you if you do that!' Someone with filled with malice could turn that around to imply that that person had murderous intent. I am sure you have watched detective movies or read novels where this has happened. And I am sure you can think of dozens of similar examples. (That's one reason Scripture tells us to measure our words carefully and not speak hastily or presumptuously). What is our response supposed to be as believers? Scripture very clearly states that it is our obligation to do the exact reverse by downplaying people's faults as much as possible, but without lying:
"Love ... keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Cor.13:5, NIV).
"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins" (Prov.10:12, NKJV).
"... love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8, NIV).
6. Lying. Dr. Hicks considers this to be the worst of abominations because it comes from the father of lies, Satan himself (Jn.8:44), when he is performing at his best. Well, I certainly agree with him - lying is an abomination - it is a hallmark of the demonic. Often a person knows when he hears a lie but instead of checking its validity, he passes it on. What could be more irresponsible and thoughtless? For in that action, the person passing on or circulating that lie becomes as much a liar as the person who first told it.
Now you don't need me to tell you that Yahweh hates lying and resists the liar as vigorously as He does the proud. Let's be quite clear what is going to happen to you if you pursue a course of lying or sustaining others' lies:
"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev.21:8, NKJV).
That's right, let's not mince words here - liars are hell-bound and they are going to be severely punished for a very long period of time because of the destructiveness of lying. If you won't repent then at least close your mouth and don't make it worse for yourself and others. This is deadly serious! Get sober! And if you're guilty, save your soul by getting on your knees and then make right what you have done wrong!
7. Unhappiness. Now you might at first react to the suggestion that unhappiness is an abomination and I must admit that at first I wondered about this too. Have you ever noticed that really happy people rarely indulge in gossip and tale bearing? And have you ever wondered why? It's because their conversations are more likely to be about positive rather than negative things. They have no desire to wound anyone. They are socially well adjusted, they're happily serving Yahweh and they just don't have time to be busybodies. Remember what I said earlier about idleness? The happier you become in your joy of living for Yah'shua, the less time you'll have to take part in gossip about other people anyway. Unhappiness, suggests Dr. Hicks, is a 'camouflaged abomination'. It can often be an excuse to sin.
I think, probably, I would insert my own 'seventh abomination' and call it HARLOTRY because ultimately gossiping and tale bearing - especially amongst Christians - is setting up an 'abomination of desolation' in the temple which is our body (Mt.24:15; Mk.13:14). It's erecting an idol, the worship of self and of Satan, in Yahweh's House. It is spiritual prostitution and a lot worse than for an atheist who does not know or profess Yahweh.
Well, if gossiping is so evil, then it stands to reason we have to be both extra vigilant to avoid it and extra active to resist it. What practical steps should we take? This ministry in particular has been subjected to a tidal wave of slander followed by gossip this last year, much of it deliberately planned and promulgated with evil intent lying behind it (time for repentance is running out for those behind it), that has swept a few away - what should an investigating Christian do? What indeed should our own people do?
Firstly, when you hear gossip, name it as gossip. Don't call it something else. Turn the spotlight on it. Reveal it, expose it for the ugliness that it is. Don't try to minimise it or whitewash it. If you consciously (and preferably verbally) refuse to recognise or accept it, you are less likely to pass it on. Speaking out aloud before others, telling them you refuse to participate in this evil, will nail your colours to the mast for all to see and discourage gossipers from trying to recruit you into their evil combination. Mark them down for what they are and don't compromise. You do not owe it to them to stay in their 'good books'. They'll likely malign you for refusing to participate which should be sign enough who their spiritual master is.
There is no such thing as neutrality in the spiritual arena - making no choice, as Yah'shua has told us time and time again, is the same as choosing to agree with the enemy. Not choosing Yahweh makes you a passive supporter. Yahweh said you must resist, not accommodate! Look what neutral countries did in the last world war - they ended up supporting both sides in acts of double-mindedness. One such nation both gave sanctuary to persecuted Jews and at the same time supplied the nazis with essential war materials which probably prolonged the war by as much as two years. That is not righteousness - it's cowardice - and when people behave like this, Yah'shua makes it plain that such have no place in the Kingdom of His Father - their fate is the lake of fire alongside the liars (Rev.21:8). And in truth, their cowardly behaviour is lying both to themselves and to Elohim. They need to repent - change their ways.
Secondly, when a person tells you something about someone else (and that includes governments and 'professional' people), ask yourself: 'Is this hearsay or fact?' And remember also how little things can be grossly exaggerated. Do not pass along hearsay as 'facts' or as the truth. Check all of the facts and hear both sides of the story before you believe it.
When you let the enemy use your tongue to spread hearsay about the weakness of others, you are weakening the Kingdom of Elohim and doing damage to a brother or sister with whom you intend to spend eternity. Have you ever thought of that? Amazingly, years ago, one lady claiming to be a Christian said she had no intention of meeting me in heaven or having anything to do with me because she did not like my teachings. As far as she was concerned, I was persona non grata. However, the Bride of Messiah is not permitted to do that. Yah'shua's High Priestly prayer expresses very clearly the will of the Father that all true believers be echad or one because, like it or not, we will be spending eternity together. True, we may not inherit the same resurrection or even live in the same place because of that, but none of us knows where we'll be exactly until after the Judgement. It is, in any case, a wrong attitude. It's virtually a self-condemnation and a self-exclusion from the Kingdom. It might interest you to know that that lady ended up abandoning Yah'shua - her position was incompatible with the ministry of the Ruach haQodesh.
Thirdly, as I have already intimated, we have the responsibility to warn and correct the gossiper. Their souls are at stake. Their eternal destiny is at stake. Ask pointed questions: 'Where did you get your information?' 'How do you know it is true?' If you know the person is spreading gossip, you are under an obligation to make him aware that Satan is using him. Say this: 'Instead of talking to this person, let's bow our heads and pray for him'. Dr. Hicks suggests a prayer along these lines for those who agree to bless rather than attack:
"Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for (Joe Green). We know you love him and that Yah'shua died for him. Help us to love him by keeping this to ourselves. May his name never be mentioned by us again, except in prayer or in a Messiah-like manner, in Yah'shua's Name, Amen."
Someone who has the love of Yah'shua in their hearts - who has been truly born again- should have no problem praying like this. But if the gossiper - or potential gossiper - finds this objectionable and has resistance in his heart to such a prayer, know then that the spirit of Satan has entered him and that it is the prospective gossiper who needs serious ministry.
We had a case in question over the last few years concerning a Messianic Jewish brother. We have different beliefs to him in many areas but accept Him as a follower of the true Messiah. Some of you will know that he produced the first Hebraic-based translation of the New Testament ever, a brilliant scholar who has helped me along the way in many important doctrinal areas. Because I supported his translation - and still do - many in the Messianic Community drew my attention to some financial irregularities. And I am bound to say that the evidence was strong. It does appear that his organisation has failed to deliver prepaid goods because of financial mismanagement. However, no one was in a position to judge whether this was a premeditated fraud or just incompetence. All sorts of web sites started appearing 'exposing' this man, even accusing him of having bogus educational qualifications. Having myself been accused of never having been to Oxford University and of faking my degree certificates, I at once sympathised with him. He had to make a rebuttal site and prove that his qualifications were bona fide. There is a lot of slander about him on the net from Messianics and Orthodox Christians alike. Wisely, he has handed over publication of his Bible translation to another ministry who are promptly delivering orders to customers.
I refused early on to indulge in all the rumour-mongering that was being done against this man and chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. I do think that he needs to make a public statement to either clear up what has been happening or to apologise concerning the financial mismanagement of the publication of the first edition of his translation. This he has apparently not done yet which is a blot on his reputation. I am not, however, going to toss his work out and have nothing to do with his translation, as many have suggested, because these irregularities have not been resolved, anymore than I am prepared to toss out the Psalms because David committed murder and adultery. We all of us have to apologise when we sin. Pride may keep us from doing it for a long time but do it we must. I had to eat crow and apologise for mistakes in my early ministry for which I am still accused - the world will not forgive. We have to live with that. There are faults in all ministers and ministries. However, I choose, in harmony with Scripture and the will of Yahweh, to give them the benefit of the doubt and pray for them. I fully expect not to be forgiven by the world for the mistakes of the past - it would be naïve of me to expect otherwise. What concerns me more is how I treat others, for like you, I hope you take Yah'shua's warning seriously:
"Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offence comes!" (Matt.18:6-8, NKJV).
An anonymous Greek Orthodox writer, in an article entitled, The Snake That Poisons Everybody, has this to say:
"It topples governments, wrecks marriages, ruins careers, busts reputations, causes heartaches, nightmares, indigestion, spawns suspicion, generates grief, dispatches innocent people to cry in their pillows. Even its name hisses. It's called gossip. Office gossip. Shop gossip. Party gossip. It makes headlines and headaches. Before you repeat a story, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not, shut up!" 
Finally a last warning to slanderers and gossipers:
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Matt.7:1-2, NIV).
Here Yah'shua reiterates a Torah truth revealed through Moses: if you falsely accuse someone of an iniquity, you will yourself be judged for the same iniquity as though you had done it yourself, and be punished for it. That is why Yah'shua warns about judging others, especially if you are not a judge in Israel. Those who sow the wind reap the whirlwind (Hos.8:7).
In conclusion, and in summary, let me read you a revelation received in 1990:
"Gossiping and rumour-mongering I, Yahweh, hate. It is the duty of every member to rebuke sharply those who spin tales and whisper secretly about the deeds of their brethren and sisters. And if he who is in transgression will not immediately repent, then it is the duty of the saints to lay charges before the pastors, who shall cut off this sin in its infancy that its roots grow not. And if the transgressor will not repent before the pastors, then he shall be cut off and not [be] known among My people. He who speaks rumours shall go to him whom he has spun a rumour of and ask for forgiveness as if he had spoken the evil to his face. I, Yahweh, have established procedures for dealing with transgressions, and these the saints must follow, that righteousness, love and justice be known continually among My people.
"Behold, if you hear stories spun by those who should know better, you should pay no attention to them, but remind those who speak these things of the Law of My Kingdom. The tongue is as a raging fire -- see that you bind it, using it only in the service of righteousness, and always to edify, whether in [loving] rebuke or in praise. And see that you use it only when your heart is filled with love. He who controls his tongue shall become as the angels in Heaven, speaking only the Word of Elohim. But he who controls not his tongue shall become as the angels of darkness, who accuse in order to conceal their own wickedness and to destroy the righteousness of Elohim.
"These things you ought to know, beloved, but I say them again that you might not forget, for man is quick to forget the righteousness of Elohim and to listen to his own fallen nature. Each ill-considered word may be the flame that burns down a forest [of souls] -- therefore choose your words rightly, defiling not yourselves not those to whom, and of whom, you speak. Build one another up, esteeming not yourselves but only your neighbour. Beware of pride and self-righteousness always, for you know not your spiritual poverty. Before the Holy Ones in Heaven you are as filth: Therefore diligently reform yourselves, continually seeking perfection, until all guile has been extirpated from your hearts and your lips are pure. Measure not yourselves against the world, for the world is the sewer of Creation, but against the holiness of Elohim. And what man can approach the holiness of Elohim? Therefore call upon Me, your Saviour and Redeemer, humbling your- selves, that I may impart My grace unto you, which is free. Do unto others as I do unto you, and it shall go well with you. Amen" (Olive Branch 269).
- Dr. Roy Hicks, The Power of Positive Resistance (Harrison House, 1964)
|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 20 March 2007
Last updated on 20 March 2007
Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved