In this preface we pose some difficult and challenging questions which have arisen out of the ministry over the years to expose, as we believe, a subtle but wicked doctrinal deception has infiltrated conservative churches and assemblies viâ the charismatic movement which we have always believed was not inspired by Yahweh but at its heart is lawless and a pawn in the great end-time delusion leading to a One World Religion and New World Order. In this study we take a literal view of scripture as having application in all generations and in all cultures and in the process expose how cultural expectations have leavened Christendom with disasterous consequences for both marriage relationships, spiritual discernment and the end-time Kingdom of our Messiah.
Inevitably, in an increasingly anti-Christian, liberalised, secular and occultised world, anything which takes a literal biblical approach is bound to be controversial. Consequently, this sermon was not written for unbelievers or every type of Christian: it's appeal is solely to those who accept the Bible as the infallible and immutable Word of Elohim from Genesis to Revelation and to those who accept Yah'shua's proclamation that not a single letter or punctuation mark of the Torah will pass away until heaven and earth have themselves disappeared (Mt.5:17-19) and that it is as equally applicable to the Old as to the New Covenant, minus that which the Messiah has fulfilled in His Person (the sacrificial system), disbanded (the Levitical Priesthood which has been replaced by the Melchizedek), restored (the original marriage laws) or brought to completion (the full revelation of the love of Yahweh). Those who do not accept these positions will gain nothing useful from this sermon.
This is a long article and may need multiple readings, rumination and digestion over a protracted period of time before coming to any firm conclusion. There are numerous concepts to be understood and then integrated together. If the conclusions of this sermon are correct, as we believe they are, then the serious seeker after truth who loves Yahweh with all his or her might, mind or strength, may find themselves forced to re-evaluate the practical application of their discipleship in a number of critical areas. It will force you to make some key decisions or choices in your life, most especially if you are married. Ideally, this is a study that husband and wife should make together in a prayerful attitude, having compassionate consideration for one another and any issues that this material may surface. The author, in preparing this article, has himself gone through - and is still going through - a huge re-orientation in some areas of his life. That is why this sermon is only 'provisional'.
Comments on the article with your personal insights and experiences are very welcome.
All theology must, to be valid, have a practical application. It must be practicable in real life situations. And if it is true, it must, over time, bear fruit. However, true theology applied to daily life can, and does, produce struggle and pain as spiritual issues are flushed into conscious-awareness. Struggle and pain do not necessarily indicate that a theology is a 'bad fruit', however, even if the short-term reorientation process is less than enjoyable. All truth exposes sin, sin separated man from Elohim, sin creates unhappiness. We may not apprehend a false principle as sin in the first place, believe it to be harmful or detrimental to our spiritual, emotional, and mental well-being, and reflexly reject it. The purpose of the Torah is, as Paul explains, to expose and convict us of sin so that we can take the necessary steps to bring it to Yah'shua at the cross and then change our lives in the way that He wants and which will promote happiness and peace. This is particularly important for two believers intimately sharing their lives together as husband and wife. Unity in the home is essential for well-being and spiritual prosperity, and therefore it is worth the effort to get to know Yahweh's mind and heart on all issues that affect that relationship which will have such an impact both on home life and ministry. These things should therefore be studied with a Berean-like attitude.
Before I launch into this sermon I want to pose some real life situations that I have encountered in the ministry. The specific issues involved are not so important as the spiritual attitudes and implications behind them. You may have a different set of problems in your life that touch upon the same core issues which need urgent resolution. The purpose of this scenario is to get you to think and judge. When you have made your judgment, read the sermon and see if the reasoning process accords with the Word and then come to your own conclusions. May Yahweh bless your study here.
In this case study, both husband and wife have spiritual issues and deficiencies. Each thinks the other is out of line and is trying to convey to the other what they believe is at fault. A detailed scriptural analysis follows in the sermon so this will only be a summary of the main points with references to be checked up.
5. I realise that I have some big spiritual issues of my own which negatively impact the relationship but that does not mean that I am necessarily wrong in the areas which I want to be the rule of the household, which is my responsibility to discern and make decisions about after careful consultation and discussion.
Is this a typical scenario? There are many different kinds of issues in family relationships that can relate to money management, education, career, and so forth. Part of the problem is in the different make-up of men and women and the different rôles Yahweh has assigned to each. We will end this little case-study (which is obviously highly condensed) by rewriting key scriptures to fit the attitudes of husband and wife in this scenario. You should check back on the original scriptures (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5) to see what they actually say and then draw your own conclusions as to what has gone wrong and what needs to be done.
Does that sound comical? Ridiculous? Tragic? With variations here and there, it's the way millions of Christian and non-Christian husbands and wives relate to one another to one degree or another. It describes Western attitides to marriage pretty well. Now some couples may like that but my guess is that few if any actually do, except those into BDSM and the like, and that what keeps this system going is raw fear.
"Wives, when your husbands start loving you, then submit to them as you would to some other leader like a boss at work, but not the way you would to Christ. Never!. For the husband is only the head of the wife when he does this, but not before, because he's not really being a 'husband' until he loves you as Christ does. Husbands, love your lives as soon as they submit and are obedient to you in everything, but not before. Show them who's boss. But remember, they're not obliged to obey your wishes until you are perfectly Christ-like, so don't push your luck. Make compromises. Make a deal. Then as soon as you are Christlike, they'll tell you so, and you can relax. Meanwhile, walk like you would barefoot over eggshells. Wives, do not be submissive to your unbelieving husbands or they will abuse you! Win them over by aggressive logic and don't stop nagging them until they are loving you they way they should. Yell at them if you can't get through their thick skulls. Do not let them walk all over you. Protect yourself! Remember, men are all alike: vain, selfish and unloving. All they care about is what's between their legs and yours. If they don't love you the way they should, leave them and take the kids with you. File for a divorce and get all you can materially. Let your beauty be seductive like a sex-goddess, win him over in bed or in good cooking like Esau won Isaac's favour, for this is the way the holy women like Sarah in the past won their husbands' hearts. Men are wimps and need a strong woman at the helm. They were beligerent and forceful and their husbands caved in just like Ahab. They obeyed their husbands when they felt it was right to and turned on the charm and called them 'baby' when their husbands yielded."
Remember that there is a direct correlation between the character of Yahweh and the content of Torah. To know the heart and mind of Yahweh you need to know Torah. This little table (courtesy of Richard Anthony) will help you remember this:
||The Torah (Law) Is|
||1 Timothy 1:18|
||1 John 3:2,3
||1 Corinthians 10:4
||1 Corinthians 1:9
||1 John 4:8
Remember, if there is anything about the Torah that revolts you, it is you that have to change, not Yahweh, because it means that you have misjudged the character of your Heavenly Father. When a man loves Yahweh with all his might, mind and strength, what is it that he is loving? His character. What is it about His character that we love?
Now study the sermon and discern what Yahweh's model of true marriage is. Then we will start considering possible solutions to the case study described above. (14.06.2007)
Welcome in Yah'shua's Name to this special Yom Bikkurim or the Day of Firstfruits of the barley harvest service. I have many things on my heart today that I want to share with you at this pivotal time both for this ministry and for everyone in it. The choices that are made now and in the days to come will affect all our futures. These choices are wide-ranging, from the personal, to our marriage relationships, and to our relationship to Kol Beit Yisrael - all the House of Israel. Indeed what I hope to convey to you today is the importance of pursuing absolute emet or truth for the purpose of living absolute chayim or life. The choices we must make are not so much between absolutes (because I take it nobody here is planning to abandon Yahweh or choose Satan) but between choosing degrees of truth. Do we choose 'all truth' or 'some truth'? And in making our choice, will we actually pursue the derech or road we have chosen until we have come to the end of it, or will our choice just be some show to impress or delude either ourselves or others? Since I take it as given that everyone wants chayim or life, our choice then becomes choosing between Yahweh's life or the life of the world and of the flesh? The theme today is Yom haBikkurim. Let's begin with what Torah has to say about this day:
"Yahweh said to Moses, 'Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf (omer) of the first grain of you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before Yahweh so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to Yahweh a lamb a year old without defect, together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil -- an offering made to Yahweh by fire, a pleasing aroma -- and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your Elohim. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live" (Lev.23:9-14, NIV).
First Things First
If there is a keyword that describes Yom haBikkurim it is 'first' - it's all about first-things first, and what's important to you first of all in your life. At this season Yahweh says: "The first of everything is Mine". To be in right relationship with Him is to be echad or one with the divine mind and heart which insists that whatever is pre-eminent in your life - whatever is the most important - is consecrated to Him, to either be blessed or removed from your life. The choice we must make is whether Yah'shua is to be our 'first' just as Yah'shua was Yahweh's 'first'.
Firstfruits of the Resurrection
Today we celebrate the resurrection of Yah'shua who demonstrated by His work on the Cross and rising from the dead that Yahweh owned Him completely. As this is the Festival of Firstfruits, so was Yah'shua the firstfruits of the resurrection - no one had ever been resurrected before. The fruit of total submission was the resurrection - the bringing back to life in its perfect and immortal form that which before had been mortal and subject to decay, disease, pain and death. Not only was Yah'shua the firstfruits in the generation of the apostles, but He was the firstfruits for all future generations too (Mt.27:51-53). Yah'shua says of Himself:
"These things says the Amen, the Faithful (ISRV "trustworthy") and True Witness, the Beginning (HRV "head", RSTNE "first cause") of the creation of Elohim" (Rev.3:14, NKJV).
Yahweh says through the prophet Isaiah:
"I am Yahweh, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by Myself" (Isa.44:24, NIV).
Here is Yahweh saying that He is the Creator, and the first creation was Yah'shua. But Paul also tells us:
"He (Yah'shua) is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him (Yah'shua) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Col.1:15-18, NIV).
A Great Mystery
Yah'shua is therefore seen to be both the Creator and the Firstborn of creation. Trinitarians try to reconcile these passages in their own way, for certainly we have a great mystery here, as mysterious as Yah'shua simultaneously being in heaven as well as on earth as revealed in the Textus Receptus or Byzantine Text of the New Testament, of which the best example is the King James Version which reads:
"No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13, KJV).
What this implies is astonishing to our minds - it means that the mortal Messiah and the Heavenly Son of Elohim simultaneously existed in two worlds. It means that He was also uncreated and created at the same time. He is utterly unique, definitely a 'first' but also a 'last' (Rev.22:13), Elohim and man simultaneously in whom lived "the fullness of the godhead (RSTNE "El-Elyon"; Aramaic elhuta) bodily" (Col.2:9).
How do we grasp this? At Yom haBikkurim we are commemorating something amazing - the meeting of two universes, a living example of the Temple at Jerusalem where Yahweh took up His abode without leaving heaven - and yet He came down from heaven at the same time. And there were the two side by side - the Temple of stones and the Temple of the flesh. And when Yah'shua said:
"Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days" (John 2:19, NIV)
His carnally-minded listeners totally missed what He meant and thought He was talking about the stone building in Jerusalem made by Herod the Great. Temples had been knocked down and rebuilt through time immemorial. The Temple of Yahweh, built by Herod, where Yah'shua worshipped, had been rebuilt twice since Solomon's Temple was destroyed. But now Yah'shua was saying something much more incredible was about to happen: that amazingly complex yet mortal bundle of cells called the physical body, which He wore around Him like a suit, would die and be rebuilt into something indestructible. But more than that, every human being would one day get such a body too. This physical body obviously means enough to Yahweh that He would go to so much trouble and put Yah'shua through so much pain to ensure that we would get it back inseparably connected to our redeemed spirits.
This is a good example of a heavenly mystery. And we are going to meet many more of them. If you think it is difficult wrapping the concept around your mind that Yah'shua was simultaneously in two places at the same time, be prepared for more surprises, because throughout your Gospel walk you will have to adjust to realities that initially make no sense in our limited existences, and tempt us to be sceptical. Our discipleship will be challenged again and again as Yahweh seeks to expand our understanding of His ways and His reality. Having grasped one mystery, we believe we have 'understood', only to discover that there is much more to be grasped, more struggling to be done, more overcoming to be won through, until we have broken free of the limitations of temporality and really begin to see and act spiritually. Moreover, those who have passed along this derech or way and report it to those who have not are not untypically disbelieved. That is a trait of fallen human nature what we comfort ourselves as being 'human' and therefore OK but which in truth is one of our greatest liabilities. We grow comfortable in our limited universes and don't want them to be 'different'. We do crave for constancy. In spite of these changes there are, however, absolute constants: Yahweh does not change and His Word never returns to Him void. In these things we may, once we have been born again, have absolute confidence, so that in spite of change, the ground beneath our feet will always stay the same. We will walk on terra firma, on the solidity of the Messiah who rebirthed us and wishes to take us on to perfection. Great and marvelous vistas await us. Are you ready for them? Do you want them? If you're looking for a cosy niche to sit in for the rest of your life I have to honestly tell you that you will not find it here.
Three Harvests & Ecstatic Echad
And yet Bikkurim is 'only' the barley harvest. We are commanded to celebrate two other harvests too in the annual cycle of festivals. The next, Shavu'ot, Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks, celebrates the second harvest, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, when Israel was given Torah to love and obey. And if that is not enough, there is a third harvest, the last of the festivals, the grape harvest, at Sukkot. Not only are we to be resurrected and tried as Torah-obedient disciples, but we are to be united to Yah'shua in such glory that Yah'shua compares it to the ecstasy of a full marriage relationship. As such, then, this and all the festivals are reflections of set-apart marriage. Everything is about marriage - allegorically to Yah'shua and literally to our spouses. Marriage is the alpha and omega of our purpose for being. Do not be surprised to find, then, that Bikkurim has something vitally important to tell us about the marriage estate.
But we must start at the beginning, and that beginning is the resurrection of the body. We will not be abandoned to death. We will not be left as disembodied spirits. We will be restored, but, compared to the body we had before, it will be like transferring home from a wooden garden hut to a luxurious mansion house made of marble and gold.
The Jordan River Changeover
When Joshua crossed the River Jordan with the children of Israel, the manna which Yahweh had supernaturally provided for the people ended at Nisan 16, and the next day - Nisan 17 - the people ate of the corn of the land (Josh.5:10-12). Up until this time Yahweh had literally spoon-fed them, but with coming of age, as marked by entry into the Promised Land, suddenly the people had to feed themselves by working the fields. We suppose that on that first year they ate of the harvest of the Canaanites, but thereafter they had to produce their own corn. First came a free meal ticket on a new diet, but thereafter they had to bend their backs and get to work, and become subject to the curse of Adam. Also, their clothes and sandals started wearing out, which before they had never done because of the blessing of Yahweh in the desert. With the inheritance of promise comes sudden responsibility and hard work.
Bikkurim and Yielding to Pre-eminent Authority
The same is true in deliverance. There is a time when we are spiritually-speaking walking around in nappies or diapers drinking mother's milk, but a time of weaning comes followed by responsibility. If you've ever seen a child weaned, you'll know it can be quite distressing for him. He wants what is familiar. But by the by it is taken away and he must learn to eat and drink like everyone else. A lot of people don't like this stage - they like the drama of the parting of the Sea of Reeds, which occurred on Yom Bikkurim (Ex.3:18; 5:3,14). They like the miraculous supply of food from the sky which they don't have to labour for. And though other miracles follow, they are of a different sort. Even mothers have to readjust when they wean their babies. Suddenly their breasts get swollen and painful with no little one to be nursed but by the by they dry up and a new life routine results. So Yom haBikkurim is definitely a time of major change. So this festival is very definitely a 'first' or a new beginning, the third of seven. But it is 'first' in a special way - this is the time of supremacy for true authorities:
"And [Yah'shua] is the head of the body, the Messianic Community (church); He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy (NKJV "pre-eminence")" (Col.1:18, NIV).
The resurrection of the body demonstrated conclusively that Yah'shua was in "first place in everything" (Col.1:18, NASU), "supreme" (NIV), "pre-eminent" (NKJV), the "first in all" (HRV, ISRV), "the chief place" (Amp.Ver.). This Elohim, who humbled Himself as the lowliest of house-slaves washing the feet of His disciples (Jn.13:5ff.), demonstrated in this act His positioning above everything and everyone in the Universe. Since man is supposed to imitate His Messiah, how is the husband and father supposed to demonstrate his pre-eminence in the home under Yah'shua? Obviously he can't atone or be resurrected, though Yah'shua at some point will do the latter for him. What was it that Yah'shua did that qualified Him for this great cosmic honour? Simple. He submitted unconditionally to His Heavenly Father and obeyed every word Yahweh said to Him, doing His Father's will and not His own (Jn.12:50). This He did perfectly, without sinning once. For husbands and fathers, sinning will, sadly, take place, mistakes will be made, requiring repentance and forgiveness through Yah'shua's atonement. Through this process of surrendering and overcoming, a man is glorified and makes a demonstration - however imperfectly - of Yahweh's choice for him to lead his wife and children. He is, moreover, delivered supernaturally through a Sea of Reeds parting, whereby Yahweh works a miracle for him through his trusting. He and his family are delivered from a merciless enemy against all the human odds. He must arise, become prophetic, and part the waters of opposition through faith like a Moses, and lead his family over to dry land on the other side of worldliness and bondage.
Two Fall Curses and Two Redemptive Blessings
Does that sound simple? Well, the answer is 'yes' and 'no'. It's 'easy' because Yah'shua has already done it and equips us to do what we need to do, but it is hard because it requires the exercise of considerable faith. And when he has done it, his wife, like Miriam, can sing his praises, as she sees that Yahweh is with him and celebrates in song. In overcoming, the family patriarch becomes, like Adam, the provider of bread, on this occasion made of barley, the 'poor man's bread'. There is spiritual food for the family. He has tilled the earth and brought forth a harvest - the first fruits of his discipleship. As Adam had life through his hands and feet tilling the ground - literally and spiritually - so Eve, and the Christian wife, "has life by the hand of her children, if they remain in faith and in love and in sanctification and in sobriety" (1 Tim.2:15, HRV). And as we know in the account following the expulsion from Eden, there are many obstacles in the overcoming life. Let's remind ourselves of them as we look at the practical nitty-gritty of overcoming.
"To the woman [Yahweh] said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.' To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it", 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return'" (Gen.3:16-19, NIV).
Accepting Yahweh's Gender Assignments
In this cursing - first of the woman, and then of the man - Yahweh outlines what the chief carnal obstacles will be for each gender. And they are not the same. The literal physical or p'shat meaning is, of course, pain in childbearing and difficulty in the provision of food, but today we are equally interested in what these things are telling us about the spiritual. Men have another kind of 'ground' to prepare and women have another kind of 'birthing' to do. So I want you to ask yourselves, as we examine this topic in more detail, what you as a man are supposed to do in spiritually preparing ground, planting and harvesting, and what you as women are supposed to spiritually birth in the marriage relationship. As husbands plant, so wives are supposed to grow and birth. Are you each performing your divine mandate? Are you keeping to your assignments from Yahweh? Because this planting and birthing must be done together in an echad relationship, and the firstfruits or bikkurim will reveal if the the rôles have been correct and if there has been true harmony through love, trust and obedience or not. Because it is a cooperative effort, there must be proper order and proper nourishment. Husbands and wives need to constantly review their callings to make sure they are in alignment with the Word. That means immersion in the Word - regular systematic daily study, searching the Word diligently to find out what it says and not what we want it to say, and carefully guarding the mitzvot or commandments.
Bikkurim is only the first of three harvests. If this, the first, fails, then so will the other two. Therefore we must get the Bikkurim harvest right, and that means tilling, sowing, watering and birthing in the correct way. If the first harvest fails, then obviously you starve and the next two are irrelevent. Dead people don't prepare for new harvests. Similarly, marriages, to survive and prosper, must get through to the first harvest. We have to get this right and not compromise Yahweh's instructions. If we do, we are wasting our time and will have to start again ... and again ... until we do it His way.
Gender Failings & Overcomings
To understand the different elements of overcoming between the genders, we have to first remind ourselves of the nature of the original disobedience and rebellion of our first parents. When Eve rebelled, she rejected her heavenly authority, Yahweh, and disobeyed Him by doing that which is forbidden - she allowed herself to be seduced by the lust of her eyes and the flattering words of a demonic male authority, the serpent. Why was she alone in the first place? Where was Adam? Why wasn't he guarding her? Or had she just wandered off on her own initiative? She was persuaded to question divine authority. And this is where all women stumble first - they question authority and their positioning by listening to false authorities. Her carnal cursing will be the constant fleshy nagging to rebel against Adam's authority over her as his head which was given to her husband before the Fall in Eden. And Satan used the age-old seed of doubt that leads to rebellion - the doubt that her head intends the best for her. Indeed, the serpent said that Yahweh was lying, keeping back the best from her in the form of self-independence and the quest for knowledge and understanding through the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - of observing, comparing, calculating, and using human reason to figure out truth, and especially relative to her head - deciding in her own worldly wisdom over what he can rule in her life. That is occultism. It is Satanism. Instead, they were to seek the Tree of Life, not through reason but through chayim - life itself -- which comes through submission to proper authority. Only then can one safely reason, because then the mind flows with the Ruach-filled heart. But if the Ruach is not filling the heart, something else will be, and the reasoning and comparing will be perverse. So woman's primary struggle will, spiritually-speaking, always be one of authorities, of submitting to righteous authority or trying to set out on a personal quest of self-knowledge apart from the Life that comes from Yahweh through her husband's side - through intimacy with him as his tsela, rib or bosom-companion.
Subjects and Rulers
What does that mean practically? You will recall that Yahweh said to the woman: "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you". That word 'rule' upsets a lot of modern women because, they say, it implies that they are subjects of their husbands in some sort of demeaning way. Well, a ruler rules over subjects. If you have a ruler, then you are a subject. These are Yahweh's words. Wives are subjects. That's what the word 'submit' means - to be subject. Wives may be other things too - best friends, lovers, helpmeets, queens, bosom companions, but they remain subjects. And if they in the right spirit, they will not see it as demeaning. Paul said exactly the same thing as Yahweh:
"But as the Messianic Community (church) is subject to Messiah, so also the wives ought to be [subject] to their husbands in everything" (Eph 5:24, NAS).
Sovereignties and Absolutes
Nearly all Bible versions I am aware of agree with this translation, including those from the original Aramaic (e.g. HRV, ISRV, RSTNE). The Greek word for 'subject' is hupatasso which means 'to be under obedience, put under, subdue to, subject to, be in subjection to, submit self to'. We are subject to Yah'shua the King of kings, the Servant-King or Deacon-King, "in everything" in the same way as a husband is the 'king' of his wife and household, as the husband in his turn is subject to the King of kings. It's an absolute monarchy build on the foundation of love and righteousness. It's the only rule or principle of sovereignty to be found throughout the Bible. Once we accept Yah'shua as Master, we are subjects. Once wives have put themselves under covenants to belong to their husbands, they are their husbands' subjects - "in everything".
The Spiritual Definition of Gender
Consider also the phrase "ought to be" as though this is an obligation. In actual fact these words aren't in the original text - other versions say "should" (NIV), "let" (NKJV) and so on, but they're also human additions or interpretations. What the original text says is that "wives are subject to their husbands in everything". The Scripture is defining what a true wife is. In other words, if she is not subject, she is not being a wife - she is being something else. She is acting in some other rôle not authorised by Yahweh. Have you ever wondered what the word 'wife' means? To understand that, we have to return to the original Hebrew where a wife or a woman is an ishshah and a husband or man is an ish. Ish means 'man' and ishshah means 'female man'. A wife is only a female man when she is in full submission. If she isn't, she becomes something else that is not female. She becomes either another gender or genderless spiritually-speaking. Similarly, if a man does not lead, he ceases to be an ish but becomes either another gender or genderless, spiritually-speaking. What defines our gender is not external biology - essential gender is whether we are in proper positioning or not. So the question is: is your biological gender matched by your spiritual gender? If you're not sure, check Torah and see whether you are fulfilling your divinely mandated rôles or not. If you find they don't match, then repent! Men, start leading. Women, start submitting. There are no he-women or she-males in the Kingdom of Yahweh.
The Temptation and Sin of Adam
Wives, then, are to be subject to their husband's rule and be under obedience in everything. Man's sin was different. He was not deceived (1 Tim.2:14). He knew exactly what was going on. He understood the serpent's devices. But he feared to lose his fallen woman and listened to her counsel instead of Yahweh's and rebelled against Yahweh too. This is called in Hebrew Ozeh haRah or 'the evil ear', the same that Eve gave to the serpent. He knew that if his wife was cast out of the Garden he would be left alone and he feared that more than he feared doing Yahweh's will. It's a very, very common weakness in men - what man, having been alone and therefore lonely, and subsequently enjoyed such wonderful and intimate companionship with a woman, wants to be alone again? To him - if he is a godly man - that is hell. Indeed, it's an interesting question as to what Yahweh would have done had Adam not obeyed his wife and not joined her in her sin. I suppose only Yahweh knows the answer to that question. At any rate, Yahweh knew what Adam would choose, and since he did so, the question is academic. Adam rebelled against Yahweh for the sake of a woman who had rebelled against Yahweh and had replaced her husband with the serpent as head. Both were cursed. Both fell. But each fell differently and each must be restored slightly differently.
Our Primary Carnal Weaknesses
So here we have the fundamental flaw - the primary carnal weaknesses - in the two genders. The woman, hearing Satan's whisperings that she has been hard done by Yahweh or her husband, seeks a life apart or total independence under false authorities, thinking they are offering her 'true love' based on 'freedom' but which in fact only bring her misery and ruination. It may not be a complete declaration of independence. She may just want areas to rule. She might, for example, demand full or co-authority over the children, the household or the family finances. She might make it sound reasonable by declaring that without it she would have no worth or meaning. But it's a lie and it's a declaration of independence from true headship nonetheless. And what doesn't belong to Yah'shua or her husband fully is always claimed by the devil and taken by him. All it took was for Eve to listen to the serpent and to start doubting - all of that led to our fallen world. why was she even listening to another authority? Why wasn't she getting her instruction from Adam? Wives are supposd to be instructed by their husbands at home (1 Cor.13:25). Well, Adam chose to abandon Yahweh's headship too, so as not to lose her, and joined her in her rebellion.
Torn Between Two Loves
The man Adam, seeing he is about to lose his woman, the desire of his heart, is then torn as to whether he should follow his First Love, Yahweh (Rev.2:4), or his Second Love Eve, who seems so much more 'real' than his Creator at times. If any of you men have lost a wife you will know what I am talking about. Have they ever threatened to leave you if you don't submit to this demand or that? I know I have submitted in the past and gone through hell. I lost the close fellowship of the Ruach for years for making such a fateful decision once. Emotionally it is a terrible dilemma, especially when you are in love and you have this woman whom you adore. But the head of the family must rise above his feelings - which he will usually interpret as 'love' - and not yield to emotional blackmail. And what is the blackmail? It's the woman first giving her husband what is his and then withdrawing it and refusing to return affection or obedience until he has submitted to her in some area. She has no right to do this. None whatsoever.
Works of Love vs. Feelings of Love
Neither does a man have any business threatening not to follow Yah'shua until certain requests - which become demands - are met by Yahweh. Neither should he threaten to throw his wife out or abandon her if she does not do something that is unrighteous. So what must the man do in such a case of blackmail? He has no choice if He loves Yahweh with his might, mind and strength - He must always choose his First Love, and real love, which is based in truth and works, and not let his feelings rule him, and take the consequences. Kirkegaard best captures this carnal error of exalting feelings above the actions of love when he wrote:
"To the Christian, love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian, love is the works of love. Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what-not: it was the work of love which was his life" (Søren Kierkegaard, Journals).
What Authority? Whose Authority?
In this I have failed more than once, I am sorry to say. I have let the passion of the heart fool me into believing that it was somehow 'true love'. I have known far too many men who have fallen at this step of their sanctification. And I have known many women who have been lured by false authorities offering them something 'better' than what Yahweh has given them - whether another man or improved domestic conditions - even if they think those authorities are themselves. What authority do you actually have? And who gave it to you? And on what conditions? And yes, the rationalisations and scripture-twisting to justify both the male urge to rule harshly and without love, and the woman's urge to rebel against her husband, are legion. You'll find websites in abundance justifying human lusts over Yahweh's plain Word.
Feel Good vs. Be Good
For both genders, the lie is believed that somehow the heart or feelings are 'god' and are the most superior gauge of truth. A man is upset by his wife's rebellion so he throws a temper tantrum and humiliates her in front of others. A woman refuses to carry out a request asked of her by her husband in the presence of her husband and others and humiliates him. Feelings start dominating the spirit and covenants are forgotten, and the two go to separate corners. Yah'shua did not feel 'good' in Gethsemane or on the Cross. That is one reason husbands are called to lead their wives, because by disposition wives tend to follow their feelings more than men. But Yahweh warns against this - He resolutely says 'no'. For whilst the Ruach-filled heart is truly one of glory and exhilaration, bringing exulation and joy when the sunlight and fresh air of chayim or life is let into the soul, when it steps beyond the hedge of Torah by so much as a single footstep, it is being deceived and led stepwise to hell even though it may feel the same as it did before it stepped over that protective line - at least at first. Obedience must come first. Alienation, misery and despair soon result when that happens. We therefore need to ask ourselves the question: by what criterion or standard does Yahweh measure us? We must heed the warning:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I Yahweh search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve" (Jer.17:9-10, NIV).
We are rewarded, as both Jeremiah and Kirkegaard testify, not by whether our heart was full of feelings or what it felt but what in the end we did. Yahweh asks: "What are your works of love?" Was Eve rewarded for being lured by the fruit on the tree because it was pretty and delightful to look at - because it looked delicious and desirable to make one happy? Was Eve rewarded for listening to the words of the serpent because they were so very clever? No. She knew the rule. She knew to whom she should listen and obey. Satan might have made the rule feel limiting, burdensome, crushing and joy-killing, but was it? And was Adam rewarded for following his fear of losing his wife and copying his wife's example when she should have been imitating his? No. He chose her before Yahweh - wilfully. They were each measured according to their obedience or lack of it - by their deeds, not by their feelings or even by their faith! The apostle James rightly said:
"Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do" (James 2:18, NIV).
What you say, how you say it; what you do, and how you do it - these are the firstfruits or bikkurim of your heart, the outward manifestation of either true faith or false faith. Did you know that the demons have faith as we do?
"You believe that there is one Elohim. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder" (James 2:19, NIV)
but the difference is in what they do. They believe in the Plan of Salvation. They believe in Yah'shua! They even believe in the Cross! But what separates them from a believer is that they do nothing about it. They choose, instead, to rebel. So what else do they do? They quote scripture, just as Satan did in the Judean Desert. "My Bible says this," they say, taking verses out of context. They know their Bibles better than you and I. They are far better linguists, scholars, scriptorians and historians than we currently are! They 'know' Scripture but their 'knowing' comes from the Tree of 'Knowing' of Good and Evil. They have lots of facts at their disposal which they know how to twist. They know how to weave brilliant sermons, write ingenious academic treatises, and show off their 'logic' and 'common sense' and be, as they suppose, 'good observers' - but what separates them from Yahweh's people and the truth they may claim they adhere to, and what reveals the true state of their heart, is their rebellion. And it doesn't matter how sweet and 'liberating' the rebellion may feel ... at least at first. It's still the spirit of witchcraft. When Saul sought to rationalise his rebellion, he was told in no uncertain terms:
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, He has rejected you ..." (1 Sam.15:23, NKJV).
Demons know how to trick people into believing that rebellion is enlightenment. They even supply a false, counterfeit light along with it to give it a supernatural seal. That's what the serpent promised Eve - that she'd be 'enlightened'. And between the lines you can almost read: "Look, if you became like a god or a goddess, think of all the good you could do! Think how wise you'd be! You'd know so much and be able to bless so many people! And you'd even be able to liberate your husband from his Torah-limiting ways and lead him to higher ground." But that's vanity - that's pride - and it leads to delusion and death. Demons are experts at these scripts. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk. They talk of love yet their hearts are cold and wicked. They lure with 'love-talk'. They speak of holy deeds but do evil ones. Their thoughts are not on set-apart things but on self-glory and passion for its own sake, and they entice people to follow in their ways. I repeat, passion does not save - but obedience to Yahweh does, as it is written:
"If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love (but if you don't, you won't), just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love" (John 15:9-11, NIV).
"This is how we know that we love the children of Elohim: by loving Elohim and carrying out his commands. This is love for Elohim: to obey his commands" (1 John 5:2-3, NIV).
The prophet Daniel prayed:
"O Yahweh, the great and awesome Elohim, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants ..." (Dan.9:4-6, NIV).
Do you claim to be a Christian? Then make sure you measure up as one for the resurrected Yah'shua said:
or as it is better stated in the Hebraic original:
"Here are those who keep the commandments of Elohim and the faith of Yah'shua" (Rev.14:12, NKJV).
"Here are those who shomer ('watch', 'keep', 'observe', 'guard') the mitzvot of YHWH ('Yahweh's commandments', 'obedient works of Torah done in complete submission and willingness') and the emunah (faith) of Yah'shua" (Ibid., RSTNE).
There is nothing passive here. We are supposed to guard the commandments in the same way as a loving mother guards her children - with her life. Do you view the Torah in such a light and with equal passion? A husband absolutely must since he is the family teacher. How do you view the Scriptures we have been studying? Are you passionately dedicated to following them and propagating them? If you are a wife, do you trust your husband's teaching and his commission from Yahweh? Faith in Yah'shua also implies obedience to what He was obedient to and consistently endorsed.
The Patriarchal Imperative
It is one of my tasks as a husband, father and pastor to passionately guard the mitzvot at home and in the assembly, because they are chayim or life. Why are they life when sin springs up because of them? (Rom.7:9-12). Because they reveal what separate us from Yah'shua and then, if we love Him, force us to go to Him for cleansing from sin and guilt and so receive His Life. Without them we don't fully know what we lack, or what spiritual issues remain hidden. They are also a lamp, a light, a way of life ordained by Yahweh (Prov.6:23). I know what happens when they are viewed in the wrong way and so I want to share the symptoms that follow as a man or woman starts falling away from the true faith in Yah'shua, because a lot of people say they believe and trust in Yah'shua when in fact they do not.
Spirals to Apostacy
There are seven distinct steps in the spiral that leads to apostacy and it's vitally important that we are conscious of them so that we can nip sin in the bud when it enters into our lives. I have said this in various ways in the past - some of you may remember a sermon from many years ago entitled, The Way Back to Elohim and which I frequently cite which describes the spiritual journey of the Prodigal Son in which his fall is marked by seven steps:
The third of these - separation - is what happens at Bikkurim when Yahweh's ways are rejected, preceeded by egotism during Chag haMatazah and the fateful step that started the downward spiral at Pesach, namely self-will. The Prodigal Son's restoration begins with:
- 1. Self-will (anti-Pesach)
- 2. Egotism (anti-Matzah)
- 3. Separation (anti-Bikkurim)
- 4. Sensuality (anti-Shavu'ot)
- 5. Spiritual destruction (anti-Teruah)
- 6. Self-degradation (anti-Kippur), and finally
- 7. Starvation (anti-Sukkot)
- 1. Realisation of truth (Pesach), which leads to a
- 2. Decision to go home (Matzah)
- 3. Repentance (Bikkurim)
- 4. Return (Shavu'ot)
- 5. Reconciliation (Teruah)
- 6. Change of spiritual clothes (Kippur), and finally
- 7. Joy (Sukkot)
The Jewish scholar Rashid interestingly noticed some of the same pattern in the way believers relate to Torah. He also describes seven steps to apostacy:
Not everybody goes all the way - some may try to find a mid-position and hold their ground there, but it is hard to do that indefinitely, particularly if you are of a passionate and zealous disposition. What spirituality remains then becomes mere religious observance. Most go the full way until they're eating the husks along with the pigs.
- 1. It begins with the first step when we stop wanting to learn any more (anti-Pesach).
- 2. The second step is reached when we stop actually obeying the commandments (anti-Matzah), a few at first and then progressively more and more of them. I've noticed how Messianics on this slippery slope, for example, start talking about 'God' and 'Jesus' again instead of Yahweh and Yah'shua. Saturday worship slips into Sunday worship, or no worship at all, and so on.
- 3. The third step is reached when you find others' obedience of the commandments detestable and abhorrent (anti-Bikkurim). You start looking down on them as inferior, snobbish or deluded.
- 4. In the fourth step you come to actually hate the commandments and start actively resisting those who have authority over you from reminding you of your obligations (anti-Shavu'ot).
- 5. The fifth is a deeper compounding of sin that leads you to actually want to stop others from obeying the commandments whilst you start dedicating your life to other pursuits of a worldly nature (anti-Teruah). It might begin with your children or other members of your family.
- 6. The sixth step witnesses your actually denying the commandments which leads to progressive immorality as you seek to do whatever your heart wants (anti-Kippur) - and if you still believe in an Elohim, then you start believing in one of your own imagination, one who makes no demands of you, where there are neither positive ('do') or negative ('do not') commandments any more - in effect you start becoming your own god, morality and spiritual guide. This was the condition of Israel at the end of the Book of Judges where we read that "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judg.21:25, RSTNE).
- 7. Finally, the seventh and fateful step, you deny Yahweh altogether. You have become an atheist (anti-Sukkot).
The Importance of Obeying Right Teaching
Rebellion does not normally begin with something overtly evil. Especially amongst Christians, it starts with subtle twists of truth. One of the responsibilities of fathers and husbands is to teach their children and wives how to be on the alert against these demonic deceptions.
We learn these things first and foremost in the home, as I have said. If there is disobedience and rebellion in the home, then there is disharmony and sorrow. Wives must listen and obey Yahweh's authorised servant-kings, their husbands. Yahweh does not beat around the bush:
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Master [Yah'shua]. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which He is the Saviour. Now as the Messianic Community (church) submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything" (Eph.5:22-24, NIV; cp.Col.3:18).
This is the NIV which uses 'submit' instead of 'subject' but it's the same word hupotasso, which means 'subject', that is being used. It means only one thing: to be under the power or sovereignty of a ruler or a government, and here, to a wife's husband "in everything".
There are no exception clauses except the Law which went before, namely, breaking the commandments revealed in Torah is forbidden. "Everything" means "everything" and "as to the Master" means "in the same way you submit to Yah'shua". There is no other way to read these scriptures. If you don't like them, then you don't like Yahweh's rule. It means your heart is wrong. Maybe you have not understood why Yahweh's kingdom is set up this way, in which case He will teach you, if you're willing to learn. Learning to think as He does is a little different to that of the world.
Obligations of the Husband
So what is the husband's obligation in all of this? Yahweh says:
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah loved the Messianic Community (church) and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant community (church), without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself" (Eph.5:25-28, NIV).
Cleansing with Water Through the Word
How does the husband accomplish this hallowed goal? By being willing to suffer for the truth, first of all, as its spokesman. He must become the punch-bag if necessary until there is understanding and, when necessary, repentance. And he has to teach Yah'shua's way which is the really hard part. So how will he accomplish his goal? "By cleansing her with water through the word" - through teaching her scriptural truth, which is his responsibility - just as Yah'shua cleansed the Messianic Community consisting of all true, submitted believers. We become "radiant" as we submit to Yah'shua "in everything" (v.24). A husband does not become "radiant" if he rules in his flesh without love. Yahweh did not appoint him to be a tyrant. He can't behave in any way he wants to. He has to imitate his Master, and be corrected if he goes down the carnal path. If he is selfish and proud, Yahweh will humble him one way or another. Radiance comes from Messiah by being true and obedient to Messiah "in everything".
How to Correct and How Not to
A wife needs to be very careful if she feels that she has to be the instrument of correction. She is not authorised to take authority upon herself to correct him. That is what Rebekah did even though Isaac was wrong. What resulted was decades of misery for Jacob who got what was rightfully his by stealth and deception instead of waiting on Yahweh, aided and abetted by his mother who took matters into her own hands. To be sure, Yahweh can use anyone to discipline His people, including pagan potentates, but this is not the best way. It inevitably leads to misery. Scripture tells us how a wife is to 'correct' an errant husband, and that is by radiating the Ruach so that he will be shamed by her humility and compassion. If she tries to assume authority which is not hers, she will cease being a wife and switch genders, which is likely to repell her husband more than anything else. It is not her calling to discipline her head. When she attempts to do so, she is playing into the devil's hand, compounding the problem and prolonging the misery of both spouses. She is supposed to sanctify, not resist, establish new rules or in any way make threats or conditions (1 Cor.7:14). By following the heavenly formula, a wife can lead her husband to salvation and deliverance (v.16).
Radiant and Without Blemish
Similarly, a wife becomes "radiant" as she submits to her husband "in everything". When she refuses, the light of heavenly chayim or life goes out of her. Why does Yah'shua do this for the Messianic Community? Is it to present us to the Father? You might think that, but the answer, actually, is, 'No', it is "to present her to Himself". To Himself?? Yes! Why does He do this? So that He may receive us to Himself "without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy (set-apart) and blameless". He is preparing His Bride for Himself. "In this same way," the Scripture tells us, "husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies." (v.28). And then, perhaps the deepest deep of all: "He who loves his wife, loves himself" (v.28).
Owning the Created in Love
What does all this mean? It means that Yah'shua loved us because He created us. He loved what He made and owns it. He owns us. It means that a husband in Yah'shua will love his wife because she is him, just as Eve is Adam, being taken or created from him.
Now I am quite sure that carnal husbands who bad mouth their wives, abuse them, treat them as doormats, beat them, or whatever bad husbands do, would not do that to themselves! Before a husband bath-mouths his wife he should ask himself if he'd like his boss to do that to him, or his pastor, for that matter. He should look in the mirror and check whether his countenance is radiating love or contempt. And if he is correcting his wife - which he has the right and duty to do - is it for the purpose of psychologically reducing her to make himself feel bigger and in more control, or is it to restore her to truth and grace? Does he want to knock her down or build her up? He must ask himself why Yah'shua corrects men, and how. If the husband doesn't want to be treated the way he treats his wife, he should stop and have a hard look at himself and consider his ways.
There are two aspects of ownership - one is legal or de jure and the other is what is actually done, seen and experienced de facto. Yah'shua de jure owns everyone - the whole human race - by virtue of the price He paid for us on the cross. However, not every heart belongs to Him de facto because not everyone has surrendered to Him. The legal ownership is distant and cold until it is confirmed in the heart and becomes real: the fact that an unbeliever does not feel anything for Yah'shua, or may even hate Him, does not alter the fact of ownership - the illusion of being 'free' and 'unowned' lasts only as long as the illusion is maintained, being terminated either at conversion (at which time ownership is experienced as a blessed state) or at death and judgment (at which time it is experienced as deep remorse because of the long, long separation that must continue until the end of the Jubillee). We only experience the blessedness of ownership when we are anointed by its true spirit:
The final seal - which opens the heart to experience the glory of ownership in the de facto real world comes only as the Ruach is placed in our hearts.
"Now it is Elohim who makes both us and you stand firm in Messiah. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put His Ruach in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Cor.1:21-22, NIV).
How does this translate to the marriage relationship? How does he 'anoint' his wife in such a way that makes his de jure or legal ownership come alive in joy in her? By loving her as Yah'shua loves the Messianic Community! He has not fully and properly owned her until he has done this. Whether his wife experiences this or not will, of course, depend on whether she has opened her heart to his 'anointing' or not too, just as we must open our hearts to the love of Yah'shua to actually experience it and know how blessed it is to be owned in love.
Needless to say legal ownership and heart ownership are not without each other, just as the man is not without the woman, and vice versa. They are two aspects of ownership. A marriage covenant - the agreement between the two spouses to be true or teach other for life and eternity - is the de jure or legal aspect, and it is binding. It's what gives a woman her covering. It's what the malakim and demons 'see' - and it is also 'seen' by those in mortality, especially the two or three mandatory witnesses to the covenant. It is not a small matter and Yahweh upholds it with or without the 'anointing'. Moreover, ownership isn't something 'conferred' at a point of time. We have always been owned by Yahweh and our heart awakening is simply an acceptance of reality and dismissing false ownership claimants. Likewise we have always been married even before we make a formal de jure contact in mortality in the presence of witnesses. And once we've contracted for life, nothing but adultery can sever it - whether in the heart (as Yah'shua taught), in which case the anointing becomes corrupted, and can only be renewed by repentance and forgiveness, or in the flesh, which affects the de jure aspect - or both.
The Profound Mystery
A man's wife is his totally - which is why she is commanded to obey her husband "in everything" just as we, the Messianic Community, are to obey our allegorical husband, Yah'shua, "in everything". That's not many things, or even most things, but "in everything". Paul calls this a "profound mystery" (v.32) - not just a "mystery" but a profound mystery! This is something really deep, something very holy. And if that is the case, we should be looking at it reverentially with respect and in anticipation of something wonderful that Yahweh wants to show us. And as you know, the dominant theme in my ministry has been to teach this principle, which is why I have such a lot to say about it.
Now there is no way you will ever understand that "profound mystery" until you have fully submitted to its Author, anymore than those who have not been born again can understand the love of Yah'shua. It's critical when it comes to spiritual legalities because Satan seeks to exploit any refusal to be thus subjected. And how does he do this? Through lies and flattery, he tricks believers into being subjected to him through various agents whether in dreams or in the outside physical world.
To Love Your Wife
Now we still have to understand how a husband "loves his wife". It is the same way as Yah'shua loves us. In fact, it is identical, only on a much smaller scale, and it is the human side of Yah'shua, not the divine. As I taught you in a sermon some months ago, we believers are 'deliverers' or 'messiahs' (Obad.21) with a small 'm' (The Elect of Yahweh: Messiahs and Set-Apart Women, Series 3, #15, 10 December 2005) . We cannot save ourselves. Neither is a wife able to lead and direct herself, which is why she has been placed in the watchcare of her 'creator' (with a small 'c') because, if he is in Messiah, he knows her and what her needs are. Not every man is capable of pastoring a congregation or being a teacher in one. Yahweh has specifically called people and gifted them for the purpose. Oh, I know, this teaching greatly offends some, but it is clearly taught throughout scripture. What this does not mean is that the husband is some sort of saviour apart from Messiah. It is a rôle delegated by Yah'shua and empowered by Him even when he has his own issues otherwise a man would never be able to lead until he was perfect, or a woman submit by the same token. A man cannot possibly do this alone or in his own strength, ever. To be completely successful in his calling, he must fully submit himself, as Yah'shua submitted Himself to His Father in Heaven, even though He was Deity and even though in Him, as we have seen, the fullness of Deity or the Godhead dwelt. It is written in Scripture:
"Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect [in His humanity], He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him" (Heb.5:8-9, NIV).
Obedience Through Suffering
Do you recall the passages of scripture I shared with you on the Fall, and the curses placed on the man and the woman for their rebellion? We learn obedience through suffering so that we can become a source of light and truth for others, which light and truth comes from the Ruach haQodesh. How, then, do husband and wife suffer?
Suffering through Disobedience
A wife suffers when her husband fails to provide her needs, whether it be food in the larder or "the washing with water through the word" - when he fails to till her own heart through discipline and then plant seeds of truth in it. Because it is only by being disciplined that the soil becomes good enough for the truth to be planted, otherwise the seeds will be lost in the various ways Yah'shua described in the Parable of the Sower (Mt.13). When the husband fails to administer discipline and correct teaching to his wife, he causes her to suffer, because she will wander undirected along dead-end paths that lead to grief.
How does the wife cause the husband to suffer? Well, you will remember that one of her struggles is in submitting to his authority. Her carnal nature resists - it is constantly seeking independence and its own authority under the influence of the whisperings of other claimant authorities - false authorities, thieves and robbers - demons and other men and women. A wife has only one authority - her husband. That is why she is to obey him "in everything". When a wife turns to another authority, seduced by lust in her heart for delicious fruits supposedly denied her by an allegedly mean husband or by Elohim, questioning her husband's intentions as Eve questioned Adam's, she pierces her husband's heart with a sword. That is his suffering, if he truly loves her. And the author of both kinds of suffering is, of course, Satan, who uses both husband and wife as his instruments in breaking up the echad unity. What are Satan's devices? They are legion. It would take an encyclopaedia to list them all. He will, for instance, say that perfection is impossible, so - he says - just go ahead and take a share of the marriage cake and do what you like with it. But what does Yah'shua teach?
"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt.5:48, NIV; cp.19:21).
Now here, as with any revelation from heaven, we have three choices as to what we will do with it. We can say it is a joke. We can say it is a lie. Or we can say it is the truth and we had better believe it.
What does the scripture say a husband's job is? "To present her (his wife) to himself" just as Yah'shua laboured - and is labouring - to present His allegorical wife (us) to Himself. And in what condition is she to be presented to Himself? "Radiant", "without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" (v.27). In other words, perfect. And what do we mean by this word "perfect"?
Being Perfect for Who?
Well, consider what the purpose of all this costly and painful preparation is by asking yourself this question: who is Yah'shua making His allegorical Bride perfect for? Yes, Himself. He is making us for Himself. What, then, is the husband making his wife perfect for? Yes, himself. "Isn't that a bit egotistical?" you might ask yourselves? Well, then you must ask yourselves why Yah'shua went to all the trouble to make us His, and whether that is egotistical. And isn't the ultimate purpose of mankind worshipping Yahweh? Is that 'egotistical' or not? We aren't, after all, going to be our own at the end of the day, are we? We never have been, and never will be. And once we have got the 'third option' (self-rule and independence) firmly out of our minds, and finally see and accept that there is no such thing as self-ownership, but a straight choice between Yahweh and Satan, we will have divested ourselves of one of the greatest demonic lies in the universe, which is the foundation of occultism and Satanism, namely, 'you are your own god' - the very lie that Satan taught Eve in the Garden of Eden. What exactly did Satan say?
"'You will not surely die ... for Elohim knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like Elohim, knowing good and evil'" (Gen.3:4-5, NIV).
Defiance Leads to Death
When you defy divine authority or divinely appointed authority, you spiritually start dying. You cut yourself off from the source of all life to one degree or another. Satan's lie was a direct appeal to vanity. And one of the greatest weaknesses of women, apart from being seduced by false authorities, is vanity. The carnal woman is very fond of the mirror and her appearance, which is all right if she is doing everything for her husband, but not if it is for herself or, even worse, others because that is the spirit of adultery. The righteous married woman is out to please her husband and the righteous married man is out to please his wife, but first he must please Yahweh (1 Cor.7:34), by always putting Yahweh's Torah first. Now what happened after Eve had eaten? She became ashamed. Of what was she ashamed? Does anyone remember? Yes, she became aware that she was naked - uncovered (Gen.3:10-11).
A Consciousness of Nakedness
Now if a wife is in rebellion, and knows it somewhere in her heart, she will be ashamed of her nakedness. She might not, for instance, want to undress in front of her husband any longer. That is because she has given her covering to a demon, and is now ashamed of her husband, and hides from him, just as Michal was of David when he danced in the street (2 Sam.6:16). (There may be other reasons relating to different sets of issues such as low self-esteem but I am not referring to those here).
Adam too, because of his sin in obeying the woman, became ashamed of his nakedness, whereas before, they had been naked in the Garden of Eden and were unashamed. When a husband and wife are in right relationship with Yahweh and with each other, they are not ashamed of their nakedness. The symbol of being in a sinful condition is the covering of skin that Yahweh provided for our first parents, which of course came from an animal that had been killed, presumably for a sacrifice to cover their sin as prescribed by (the then unwritten oral) Torah. Yes, sin requires death. It requires atonement and covering - the death of animals in the Old Covenant and the death of the Messiah in the New. Your rebellion is, as scripture testifies, crucifying Yah'shua anew (Heb.6:6). And when a wife rebels against her husband, she crucifies him too. And when he fails to love, teach and cover her, he crucifies his wife. We are supposed to be crushing the serpent's head not one another's (Gen.3:15). So please, husbands and wives, let's crush the devil's head by cleaving to truth and to each other. Let us glorify Yahweh in our total committment and dedication to His love, rule and order (Heb.9:10).
Maintaining Integrity Through Truth
Sadly these are not truths that most people like to hear, and I am well aware that I will be accused of all kinds of things for saying them. However, what a fool I would be for not declaring them, and how irresponsible I would be for not teaching them to you, when our happiness is at stake, the integrity of family life and our eternal condition. All of what I have said is categorically stated in the Word. I am not ashamed of what I have to say on this matter because I have seen what happens when it is ignored.
Satan Targets the Family
The miserable condition that the world is in today is because Satan has struck at the heart of the family. He has struck at the most sacred relationship of all - marriage. And quite naturally, Satan does not want you to know the truth about salvation and deliverance - he would rather have you up in arms about it and demanding your 'rights' as your own independent god. Well, let him rant and rave, I say. As for me, and I hope you will agree with me, we will follow in the ways of Yahweh.
"Each one of you (husbands) also must," Paul says, "love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband" (v.33).
Respect and honour are prominent words in scripture. They define the quality of our relationships. I am sure you have some ideas as to what these two words mean and how we should respect and honour one another. But what does this word "respect" mean in the context of the whole revelation of Scripture on husband-wife relations? Well we only have to look into the next chapter of Ephesians to see how Paul uses this word in other contexts:
"Servants, obey your masters who are in the flesh, with fear and with trembling and with simplicity of heart, as unto the Messiah" (Eph.6:5, HRV).
Is not the language almost identical? In fact, if you look carefully at the Greek text, you'll find the language and meaning are identical to the language used to describe a holy relationship to the Messiah, and of a wife to her husband. The Greek word phobeo, which our Bibles often render as "respect", means to revere with fear, to be in awe, which, when used towards Yahweh, is the beginning of wisdom (Prov.9:10; 15:33; Ps.111:10; Job 28:28). That word phobeo is the same word used of servants in relationship to their masters, only the modern translators dishonestly drop the 'fear' aspect in defining the relationship between wives and husband for fear of upsetting our politically correct establishment. Nevertheless it is there. Why should a wife respect, fear and hold in awe her husband if he is imperfect and a sinner? Simply because Yahweh has placed that authority on him, and her attitude towards her husband is supposed to be the same attitude towards Yah'shua. But isn't 'fear' a negative word? Doesn't Scripture also say that love and fear are incompatible? Absolutely:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18, NIV).
Begin and End in the Right Way - Fear and Love
So how do you reconcile the two thoughts? How can a wife both fear and love her husband? Indeed, how can we both fear and love Yahweh, since we are commanded to do that too! The Greek word phobos is used in both situations, which is the root of our English word 'phobia'. The answer is to be found in many places in Scripture:
"The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom" (Ps.111:10, NIV).
It's the beginning of a relationship, but that fear slowly disappears as you get to know the one you are loving and serving if his heart is good. Scripture also says that this fear is healthy in the beginning because it teaches humility (Prov.15:33). But don't get this idea that you can just dismiss this fearful attitude whenever you choose. The Ruach will replace this fear with perfect love as you mature, as faith turns to knowledge, as you really get to know your husband, pastor, Yah'shua or whoever is in righteous authority. Remember this also:
"[Yahweh] will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of Yahweh is the key to this treasure" (Isa.33:6, NIV).
This fear - this reverential awe - is a key, not the end. And it is a key to a treasure. What treasure is that? Justice and righteousness! Unless there is fear of the Law - of Torah - people won't obey it and there can be no justice or righteousness. Torah is full of penalties for disobedience. If we rebel, there is a penalty called hell. It's not a joking matter! It's not something we can brush off with indifference. But, as we learn obedience, and as our relationship to Yahweh and to our earthly authorities grows deeper, and we see the love behind them, then what happens to the fear? It vanishes. But by then we will have become wise. By that time we will have no disposition to rebel any longer because we will have become sanctified and perfected through Yah'shua our Master.
A lot of people think that fear is altogether bad. Even secular biologists know that fear is a response that can save your life. It helps us avoid accident and death. So don't go and think: oh, this is wrong to fear. I love my husband! I shouldn't fear him! But as my wife was once told by Yahweh some time back when she was asking him about a similar matter, there is love and there is 'love' - a love which is perfect and one that isn't - one that is divine and one that is not - one that is pure and one that is impure - one that is of Yah'shua and one that is carnal. Perfect love does not fear but imperfect love does, and should, whilst it learns wisdom.
So there are no conflicts in scripture here. Fear has its place in the path to perfection and to complete love. It's what holds us back from sinning until we have no disposition to sin anymore. So don't go thinking that fear is necessarily 'bad' - it isn't. Sadly, unredeemed man makes this blunder and tries what he thinks is a 'safer' and 'fearless' path. It doesn't work. It's anything but safe. Solomon said, before he became a fool himself:
"The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline" (Prov.1:7, NIV).
The Precious Wife
So fear and respect in certain relationships are essential. And don't be deceived by our modern translations. They sometimes twist words and make non-related words appear equivalent. For instance we read:
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers" (1 Peter 3:7, NIV).
Now you might justifiably conclude, on the basis of what I have just told you about phobeo, that husbands should 'fear' and hold their wives in 'awe' too. Does that sound reasonable? Well, in an egalitarian secular society that sounds marvellous, doesn't it? And modern liberal Christians think that's just what the Scripture means. But they would be wrong, and the liberal translators have deceived them. You see, what the Greek text actually says is quite different. Where a wife respects her husband or Yahweh, the Ruach uses the word phobeo, but when it comes to the husband respecting his wife the word timê is used. And what does that word timê mean? No, I am sorry to say to macho males, it does not mean use your wife as a doormat because this word means that a husband should treat his wife with "honour", or better still, treat her as "precious"! Do you see the difference? The words are not quite the same. The husband is to honour his wife as precious while she reveres him with awe.
Carnal and Spiritual Approaches
Now I have not the slightest doubt that carnal men, who do not love and serve Yah'shua with all their might, mind and strength, will seize these scriptures and my comments on them and accuse me and Yahweh of wanting to make their wives chattels. And that is because their interest is not to present their wives to themselves as set-apart to Yah'shua. But a true man of Elohim is not calling his wife to submit or subject herself to him so that he may use and discard her - he does so to love her, because he wants to be known as he truly is, to know her as she truly is, and to give her everything that he has, which she cannot receive until she has first covenanted in her heart to yield "everything" to him that is by rights his anyway and to view him with the proper respect. And where has the husband received these gifts? From Yahweh - because he has submitted to Him or received them by grace. They all come from Yahweh ultimately anyway.
Being Careful of Abusive Men
Is this a little frightening to some of you ladies? Considering how carnal men have abused their wives over the millennia, and want to lord it over them as tyrants, I don't blame you if some of you are a bit scared. It's a risk, just as surrendering everything to Yah'shua is a risk. It's a risk electing a government and submitting to its laws when those laws may hurt you and maybe even imprison you or even kill you. That is why you need to know your prospective husband before you marry him, so that you know whether he is an Elohim-man or whether he is some brute of a man seeking after his own lusts and is just on some power trip that will put you into crushing bondage. That is why you must know a man's heart before you yield to romantic urges, because if you don't, he will fail to "wash you with water through the word" and your marriage will be one of pain and suffering. Similarly, a man must be careful whom he marries before he yields to romance and to sexual attraction because if she is not submitted to him, she will slice his heart into shreds as she follows her own vanity and is seduced away by ungodly authorities.
When Things Go Wrong
Now I guarantee that in every marriage both husband and wife will cross the border into sin. A husband may be cruel to his wife, dishonour her publicly, make her appear worthless and crush her heart in the process. He may be immature or just hurt inside and doesn't know how to treat a lady with respect. If he doesn't, he needs to own up to his problem and get help. A woman who experiences ungodliness in her husband will, understandably, and with a high degree of probability, see submission or subjection as very dangerous to herself and want to put up guards and claim some independence to create emotional (and perhaps even physical) distance. If she does that, both have to repent - BUT the husband must take the lead and woo his wife back to her proper placing by making his heart safe for her in the first place. That's his responsibility. He's supposed to be the protector, her covering. I confess I have been guilty of this sin, much to my regret, and it has cost me. And when a husband fails to love as he should, he risks a second evil - his wife declaring a measure of independence which takes her out of his covering, out of his garden and into her own, leading to progressive spiritual deception, and finally into open enemy territory. He will be shocked at how changed she has become - the sweet, passionate simplicity of her love will become history and it will terrify him. What he can't do is bully her back into returning what he drove out in the first place. That wifely submission must be restored by the example of his love in Yah'shua. At the same time, she can't wait for his perfection - it's not a quid pro quo arrangement from her side either. Each have duties. He must expect to put himself right before making heart demands and she must submit to his authority "in all things" while he, through his actions, demonstrates that he is becoming more trustworthy.
A submitted wife becomes "radiant" because she is in reception of both Yahweh's approbation and blessings for being obedient, as well as her husband's love which he desires to pour into her like a waterfall. But that well of love must be in the husband first. It's his job to love her first, just like Yah'shua loved us first (1 Jn.4:19). No, substitutes will not bring her happiness. Make-shift alternative realities in order to 'survive' can lead her into serious spiritual trouble. They will bring her loneliness and unhappiness. Putting up walls after he has repented, claiming authority not entitled to her, won't make her feel better for very long. She will either have pangs of pain drawing her out as he refuses to cleave to her lawlessness, or she will grow cold and distant. She will not find happiness that way. Both of them will be miserable.
The Bikkurim Principle Makes it Simpler
The "profound mystery" is, as Scripture also testifies, simple. It is not complex. You need no map to know the heart of one who is submitted and to whom you have opened unreservedly. It is as simple as a child's heart in innocence. And the key to this simplicity (Eph.6:5, HRV) is to be found by asking yourself this question: "Who or what is first in your life?" which is the question we are asking ourselves this Yom haBikkurim.
David and Jonathan
I have heard it suggested by some that there are actually human relationships that are superior to the husband-wife one and that the relationship between David and Jonathan is evidence of such. I have even heard women reversing this and saying the relationship between female friends can be greater than that of men or their husbands. And it's a fact that a wife's best friend is often another female rather than her own husband whereas for the husband the wife is usually his best friend. Upon hearing of his best friend Jonathan's death, David bewails:
The 'Christian' homosexual community additionally uses this as a 'proof-text' to justify their lifestyle. Whilst this is patently not true (since it totally contradicts Torah), it isn't what I want to discuss here. The question is this: is brotherly love (or even sisterly love) superior to the marrital love between spouses? Is that what this poem is suggesting? If it is, it contradicts everything the Bible says about that set-apart estate. So what did David mean exactly here? Is he hinting that fraternal love might be a 'first' and ahead of marital love?
"I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women" (2 Sam.1:26, NIV).
The answer to this apparent riddle is simple and I wish to clear it up today as wrongly interpreted this scripture can be a snare. What was it that David was supposedly so disappointed about when it came to women? Jonathan had been consistently loyal to David whereas Jonathan's sister, Michal, David's first wife, had not (1 Sam.18:27; 19:9-17). Jonathan's love is greater only in relation to his wife's and Jonathan's sister's. It's a comparison of the ties within the two families, Saul's and David's. This is poetry expressing deep sorrow and here David typifies the Messiah. 'Women' may also be viewed here as a metaphor for impurity or false religion (see Rev.14:4). Michal not only discarded David and adulterously married Paltiel (1 Sam.25:43-44; 2 Sam.3:14-16) but she also despised David when he reclaimed her after Saul's death and danced before Yahweh in the street. For her disrespect and contempt, as well as putting her father ahead of her husband David in her loyalties, Yahweh made her barren (2 Sam.6:17-23). No wonder Jonathan's love is here exalted because this is a comparison of faithfulness between a brother and a sister, one of whom has been true to his religion and one who has not. That is why fraternal love is exalted above marrital, not because it is intrinsically superior but because in this family's case the brother-in-law turned out to love more than the wife. So do not let anyone abuse this scripture to minimise the first place of the marriage relationship of other human relationships. Husband and wife come first - always.
Has Yah'shua Been Allowed to Give You Away?
The misery that follows rebellion comes about because there are multiple competing authorities in your life when Yahweh says there can only be one. "But," you may ask, "how can a wife put her husband first when she belongs to Yah'shua too?" The answer is, again, simple: she is able to put her husband first because her Master has given her to her husband and told her to put him first. That's all. Yahweh's word is final. It never returns to Him empty (Is.55:11).
Yahweh gave Eve to Adam - He 'gave her away' just like fathers give their daughters away in marriage and forfeit authority over them in doing do. It's a risk for every Dad when he does that, and not a few worry over how their daughters will be treated. Yahweh takes the same risk in handing His daughters over to His sons as wives, and He takes a huge risk in giving mankind free agency. All of life is a risk. But in doing that - in accepting that she has been given away by Yah'shua to her husband - a wife puts Yah'shua first, because she is still subjected to Yahweh's Torah and a condition of the husband receiving his bride is that he present her back to Yah'shua ... continually! The man is accountable for his wife's conduct. He is a steward over her. The stakes are high, but the blessings are enormous if the risk is taken and the Kingdom is put first (Mt.6:33). The fact that she has been 'given away' denotes a new owner. If I give you a gift it no longer belongs to me, even if I should per chance not look after the gift perfectly. It's still mine. A daughter of Yah'shua can't give herself back to the Giver when the Giver has already given her away! Only if he totally apostacises and abandons her does she revert back to her father (1 Cor.7:10ff.).
Understanding 'All Authority'
By the same token, how do we put Yahweh first when we are required to submit to the Son? Isn't Yahweh supposed to be pre-eminent? Isn't that the First Commandment? So how can we give everything to Yah'shua when we're supposed to give it to Yahweh?? It's simple: Yahweh has given Yah'shua "all authority" (Mt.28:18) which is why He said, "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (Jn.14:6). The Father took a risk too. The human Yah'shua could have said "no!" to the cross. It was a real possibility and Satan did his utmost to try to persuade Yah'shua not to go to Gethsemane. Yah'shua has, in His turn, given all authority to the husband and commanded his wife to obey him "in everything". "But," the wife may protest, "he is capable of hurting me badly!" To which I would reply: "Yes, and you are capable of doing the same to him, and probably will. But this does not alter the divine arrangement". You're both taking risks. That's life. Hedging your bets and keeping a hiding place where you can retreat when the going gets tough - as it will -- by retaining some private authority - or demanding it from your husband as a condition of submitting to him in other areas - is not the set-apart way of Elohim. It's rebellion! You can't hide from it even if you at times want to, and everyone does. Both, you see, are cursed because of the Fall. Husbands and wives are equally capable of hurting each other in the divine arrangement. The real question is: are they both willing to take the risk? That's where Rahab Do-Nothing, whom I spoke about last time, backs off, and ends her life single and alone.
To Be Owned or Not to Be Owned
Two Christian women were talking one day and the one said to the other: "Is your husband your boss?" to which the other replied: "Sort of". That's not submission. Yahweh isn't Yah'shua's boss "sort of" or "in some ways" or "in some things" - the Word is quite clear - our submission to our heads is "in everything". Why do I keep repeating this? Because people go blind at this word "everything" - they just do not want to see it! But it's there, and it's the primary Greek word pas meaning 'every way', 'thoroughly', 'all', 'whole', 'every' - you just can't reduce this word into parts, divisions or categories because they just don't exist. If you're trying to wriggle out of this, you're resisting the truth that will set you free. Face it, embrace it, and be at peace with it.
It is important to constantly have these things in focus. When Yahweh speaks of sovereignty and authority, it is always absolute ... within the framework of the commandments, of course. A man's absolute Torah-centred authority over his wife does not give him the right to tell her to break any of the mitzvot, or to break them himself. What if he breaks some of the mitzvot? Does that mean she should stop obeying him? No, then she is imitating disobedience. He must himself repent, and she has a duty to gently (1 Pet.3:4; 1 Tim.2:11) point out any disobedience on his part, but this does not give her the right to declare independence. We're all sinners and we must be aware not accuse others of the splinters in others' eyes when we have splinters or beams of wood of our own. Wives and husbands should, however, considerately put up mirrors for one another. As the wife puts her husband first, so he in his turn puts Yahweh and His Torah first. Her obeying Him frees Him to focus on surrendering totally to Yahweh, if that is His true heart's desire. That is why he wears tzitzit in his waking hours and that is why she wears a head covering in her waking hours. They are signs given by Yahweh to men and women to constantly remind them who owns them and what they are under. And what are they under? Obedience. Covenants. Always. Yah'shua said:
"If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well" (John 14:7, NIV).
The Way to See and Know
I guarantee that a husband who does not treasure, honour and love his wife, and see her as precious, does not - and cannot - know her heart. He can't possibly. He must treat her as his "peculiar treasure" just as Yahweh views Israel (Ps.135:4).What is it that makes her his treasure? The same as makes Israewl Yahweh's treasure - obedience to his voice and keeping his covenant (Ex.19:5). I guarantee that a wife not in complete submission cannot know her husband's heart anymore than we, if we are not fully submitted to Yah'shua and Yahweh's Torah, can fully know His either. This is a serious matter, so serious that Yah'shua adds this warning:
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me" (Matt.25:40, NIV).
A wife's obeying or disobeying is as if she is obeying or disobeying Yah'shua ... because He has given the wife this mandate, and her husband this authority. Yah'shua has given away a man's wife to him and the only condition to his complete ownership (Ex.20:17) is that he does not force her to disobey the mitzvot (the ownership rights are given within the context of the Ten Commandments), promises to love her, and washes her with water through the word. The way a wife treats her husband, and a husband his wife, is the way he or she treats Yah'shua. It's that simple, that elementary, that plain, and there is no ambiguity in Scripture about it. So deadly serious is this authority and rule that Yah'shua goes on to say:
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me. Then they will go away to eternal (aeon-long) punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (Matt.25:45-46, NIV).
What Submitting to Yah'shua Means
If we don't submit to our heads in the order stated in Scripture, then, ipso facto, we are not submitting to Yah'shua. And if we haven't submitted to Him, then what is the result? Aeon-long punishment, if we don't repent, and misery in the here-and-now. So let's do what is right and be counted righteous by our faith in His Word. Let's boil things down to the rudiments and no longer be in any doubt. Without this solid foundation or truth, love and order - for they are all one - the Kingdom cannot be built
The Marriage Bed and the Marriage Feast in Heaven
The Book of Hebrews says:
When Scripture speaks of "the marriage bed" we all know what it means. It is a metaphor for sexual intimacy. Moreover, if a man 'lies down' with a woman we understand this to be the same thing:
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for Elohim will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Heb.13:4, NIV)
In the English language we have expressions such as 'to make your bed with thieves' or to 'lie down with thieves' inplying a relationship between 'lying down' in the wrong way and getting into wrong company. This methaphor is to be found in Scripture too when David says:
"Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant" (Gen.4:1, NIV).
To 'make your bed' or 'lie down' with the wrong kind of people implies relaxing yourself in such a way that you open yourself to them mentally, psychically, spiritually and emotionally. How would you feel if your spouse lay down in a bed with someone else's husband or wife and slept with her without physically touching him or her or without having any kind of physical relationship? You would rightly be outraged! And you would be outraged simply because of the proximity. It just isn't done and for good reason because that too would be to "defile the marriage bed". There are many kinds of intimacy, even non-physical, and that is not allowed.
"If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there" (Ps.139:8, NASU).
To whom does the "marriage bed" belong? There are two possible answers here: (1) It belongs to the husband alone and he brings his wife into it; or (2) It belongs to both as co-owners. Which follows the Scriptural pattern of ownership? Who is supposed to guard and protect that bed? If the husband owns his wife, as Torah teaches us, then he owns the bed too.
If you are unsure about that, consider another kind of intimacy and what it represents. To whom does the wedding belong?
The wedding is "of the Lamb" - it's the husband's - the His wife makes herself "ready" for it. The "wedding supper" or "marriage feast" is likewise "of the Lamb" (Rev.19:9). They both belong to Him and He makes them for His Bride.
"For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready" (Rev.19:7, NIV)
It should be obvious as we read Scripture that every aspect of the marriage belongs to, and is the ultimate responsibility of, the husband. The husband likewise guards the borders of intimacy against all intruders at every level of being. And the wife is to be subject to that. She is not to be like Gomer, the wife of the prophet Hosea, who was used by Yahweh to depict the adulterous behaviour of Yahweh's allegorical, wives Judah and Israel (Hosea 1). Gomer ran around committing adultery and was pursued by her husband. Yahweh said to him:
He had obviously been broken-hearted by the affair and withdrawn his affections but now Yahweh tells him to go and reclaim his marriage bed. She has sold herself into sin and must be purchased back:
"Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as Yahweh loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes [of Astarte]" (Hos.3:1, NIV).
Only the husband can purchase his wife back, just as Yah'shua has purchased us with His blood. The whole of this book is about spiritual adultery and how we commit this gross sin by metaphorically 'making our bed' - or being intimate - with other gods, religions, false teachings, and so on. When we do, we have to be purchased back by Yahweh through the Son. We cannot redeem ourselves.
"So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, 'You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you'" (Hos.3:2-3, NIV).
The Kingdom Order at Home
I beg you to consider these truths soberly. How do you suppose we can become the Messianic Bride if the true order is not followed at home? If we try some other arrangement, of shared headship, or anything else that is not full and total surrender, our Master will tell us:
"I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!" (Luke 13:27, NIV).
And that in spite of doing many mighty works in His Name! Yes, the heart is desperately wicked when it tries to live life in its own understanding, in its own life, when it follows its own order, and takes to itself its own authority. If your heart is led by feelings instead of by the truth - instead of by "the washing with water through the word" - then no matter how 'right' you may feel you are, however 'alive' you may feel, you will go to hell and Yah'shua will say, "I don't know you" because you are following another way, another path, another 'life'. And do not think that being 'verbally-correct' is enough for we are also warned:
"These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Isa.29:13, NIV).
Beginning with a Decision
This has to be real, a choice based on will followed by a full opening of the heart so that Yahweh can fill it with the good things that come from submission to truth. It is easy to put on a pretence. It is easy to make behaviour look like the real thing but it is quite another thing to be living righteously. It is quite another thing to be living chayim - life - His life, not ours - pure life, not corrupt or wordly life. We may even confuse divine love with human love. And believe me it is very easy to get the two confused simply because both are passionate. It is equally possible to be passionately right as it is to be passionately wrong. Passion is not the measuring stick. Truth is. Torah is.
Choosing the Word of Truth First
At some point every man and woman has to make a choice to believe the Word or reject it. Today I have raised, again, critical issues of relationship, based on Yahweh's revelation to His Son, His prophets and His apostles. I have done so because I see very clearly that we cannot move forwards until every family has resolved this and become firmly established it. To reject the Word in any part and impose your own view based on personal revelation, impressions, beliefs or feelings, leads to the existentialist path, anarchy and spiritual destruction. As the Kongsvigner vision reveals (OB 467), there are many counterfeits to life which feel similar or even the same as the real thing but which belong to two mutually exclusive worlds. They're so similar that they're almost impossible to distinguish emotionally. And there is great delusion in these end-times concerning these things, even as it is written:
"...and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason Elohim will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false” (2 Thess.2:10-12).
The delusion is powerful precisely because the heart is so involved in it and people think the heart is a reliable measuring rod. It isn't. The heart is easily tricked. That is why we have Scripture revealed from Yahweh's own perfect heart. Read it, study it, memorise it, absorb it, love it. It's your life-blood. That's why Yahweh has called ministers to preach it and thereby save souls from the wiles of the enemy (1 Cor.1:21).
What was Yah'shua's prayer to Yahweh before He died?
"Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth" (John 17:17, NIV).
Our Commission as Yahweh's Witnesses
It is my commission as a minister to first and foremost preach the truth, and that truth is Yahweh's Word. Everything else, including personal revelations, impressions, feelings, and the like, take a firm second place. I will, as a minister, resist all that challenges the supremacy of the Word. So here, then, is your choice. If you doubt the Word but trust your feelings, you're in serious trouble even before you have begun. If you're unsure about the Word, get on your knees and pray until the Ruach haQodesh gives you the assurance that it is true, and for you. Christians are rightly called "the people of the Book (Bible)" - without it, we're rudderless and cast adrift. Without it, we'll never know the truth for sure because Satan will send lies and delusions to confuse, titillating our hearts like he did Eve's. So get back to it, every day. Choose to believe and live it - all of it.
This is not to say that people don't struggle with Torah. I think if we are honest many of us want to 'shelve' some of the commandments and love to rationalise that they are not for us, and especially not in 'our day', as though our day is somehow 'holier'. That rationalisation has been used in every generalisation. How, then, should be approach "hard questions" (1 Ki.10:1)? Torah is not always easy to understand precisely because we are not Elohim! Many things revolt our souls and we rationalise: 'Yahweh can't possibly mean that!' It is then we must make a choice to believe or not to believe - to obey or not to obey - and consider the consequences of disbeliefd and rebellion, and to remember:
This being so, we must approach Scripture a little differently than we do to other writings, and not use excuses like 'it's dead letter' and 'I'll follow the Spirit' because if the 'spirit' contradicts the letter, then you can know without a doubt that that spirit is false. And the 'Spirit' is not 'feelings'! The same feelings can come from multiple sources. Don't be led by them! The true Ruach will bring the letter into life but only as you accept the truth. Follow that chayim, that life.
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways', declares Yahweh" (Isa.55:8, NIV).
A good rule of thumb is trying to figure out Torah is to examine a matter that is troubling you and eliminate one by one all the impossible answers. The author of the Sherlock Holmes novels was quite right when he made his detective say these things:
This logic is impeccable. Once we have established what Yahweh is not saying - which means there can be no contradiction in what He says - then what remains must be the truth. This is pretty much what I have done today. What remains is the truth - those passages of Scriptures, however uncomfortable to our unspiritual nature, which nevertheless remain as the character witness of our Heavenly Father who loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us (Jn.3:16).
"Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth" (The Sign of the Four).
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" (The Sign of the Four).
"We must fall back upon the old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" (The Bruce-Partington Plans).
"When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" (The Blanched Soldier).
Your New Covenant Firstfruits Offering
Your firstfruits offering today, if you will make it, must be to yield your life to the proper authority set over you by Yahweh. And don't delay it - it could cost you not only your marriage but eternal life as well because it's only when we are properly positioned that we are covered, protected, secure and - ultimately - loved and loving. Only when a husband can say with his whole being: "Yahweh is my fortress, and Yah'shua is my covering" - and only when a wife can say with her whole being: "Yahweh is my fortress and my husband is my covering" - are both completely safe. Don't be deluded into believing anything else, no matter how persuasive the reasoning may be - don't listen to the slippery words of the devil. Don't, as I have heard some people say, believe that because all authority is in Yah'shua that we only have to obey Him - it is Yah'shua who has delegated His authority to the husband and He will tell the wife drifting out of her husband's authority: "Go back to him", because if she doesn't, she'll be in free fall (cp. OB 371). Always go back. Return home. When Yah'shua gave her away to her husband, He did not intend to take her back again! He'll only do that, and assign her a new head, if he totally apostacises and tries to destroy her. Don't be of two minds and don't reject what Yah'shua has placed over you - you might as well commit spiritual suicide! The apostle James wrote:
"He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created" (James 1:18, NIV).
Regular Rededication is Essential
Brethren and sisters, rededicate everything to Yahweh through Yah'shua - completely - not half-heartedly, not 99%, but 100%. Husbands, rededicate yourselves to Yahweh and to His Word, the Scriptures, and subject yourselves to them totally. It is your responsibility to cleanse your wives "by the washing with water through the word" (Eph.5:26, NIV), in love. It's your responsibility to teach them at home and for them to be taught, and for them to seek confirmation in the Word themselves, establishing their husbands even more firmly in their hearts through the truth.
Wives, rededicate yourselves to your husbands, subjecting yourselves to them "in everything". That is why the Ruach haShanee has been sent to us - to give us this opportunity on this set-apart day to dismiss all false authorities in our lives and to yield to the ones appointed by Yahweh. If you have set up your own principalities independent of your husband, that contradict Scripture, return them to him at once - without delay - because what is not given to him is claimed by the enemy of our souls - always! My commission - and the commission of all husbands and fathers is plain:
"In the presence of Elohim and of Messiah Yah'shua, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Tim.4:1-2, NIV).
I pledge, on behalf of this ministry, to teach you the unadulterated word of truth in the congregation and at home and I will not depart from it, no matter what may come. If I err, I will happily be corrected and revise what I have said or done before. I do not wish to remain in error, if I am in error, ever - how could I present my wife to Yah'shua as an allegorical virgin bride if I established her in a lie? How could I stand before the judgment bar of Yahweh? What would happen to me? I would be dismissed! And her broken heart would haunt me throughout eternity. Therefore I take this commission most soberly as I believe you brethren will too.
Yom haBikkurim, as we have seen, represents baptism or immersion, for the children of Israel were baptised into Moses as their spiritual father just as we are baptised into Yah'shua (1 Cor.10:2) and as wives are supposed to be baptised into their husbands as we all return home. It is time to be re-immersed. It is time to be buried in the waters of truth in love and to have all the lies and the pain that comes from them washed away.
Yahweh is offering you a new spiritual baptism - it won't come again quite like this until next year so don't waste it, though of course we can repent at any time of the year, and especially each Yom Shleshi, which is a mini-Bikkurim. And may you be richly blessed in Yah'shua's Name and may His countenance shine upon you. I look forward to seeing you next Sabbath on Yom Revee (Wednesday) morning for the last day of Chag haMatzah. May the fullest love of the Father fill you and may the peace of the Ruach haQodesh be within you also, in Yah'shua's Name. Amen.
Postscript to the Sermon
As I have pointed out earlier, the commandment to men is to love their wives as Yah'shua loves the Messianic Community. This at once poses the 'dilemma' of a resurrected, perfect immortal being who is Deity representing the model for mortal and fallible men. A solution to this 'great divide' is to actually look at the way Yah'shua treated women in general while He was still the mortal Messiah and tempted in every point just as we are, learning obedience through suffering just as we do. As we look at His behaviour towards women in the New Testament we discover some rather interesting traits which as mortal men it is not too difficult to imitate. It's knowing what to 'do' that is the hardest thing rather than the 'how'. We can all learn 'practical love' even if emotionally we are not yet in agreement or (if we have issues) even hostile. So I would like to pose this question: had Yah'shua been married (and we will not get into a debate here as to whether He was or not), what kind of a husband would He have been like? The beauty of this approach is that we can use the spiritual principles encapsulated by His life to look at all male-female relationships - to wives, mothers, sisters. Since He was the perfect man He must by default also be the perfect example. So how did He treat women?
Yah'shua, the Perfect Husband
There is a great deal about women in the New Testament and Yah'shua's relationship to them. Some have even called the Gospel of Luke 'the women's gospel'. There are many prominent women to be sure. Five imemdiately spring to mind: Mary (Miriam), His mother, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha of Bethany, and Joanna. Women were the first at Yah'shua's cradle, the last at His cross, and the first to discover and witness His resurrection.
So . . . what kind of husband WOULD Yah'shua have made? Would He have opened a door for a member of the opposite sex? Would He have shared "sexist" jokes with His disciples? Would He have involved Himself in physical or emotional abuse of women? Would He have looked at pornography? We all know the answers to these questions.
Yah'shua came to a rabbinical Talmudist world that did not appreciate women because it had radically departed from true Torah precepts. One of the prayers spoken by male Jews of the first century was 'Adonai, I thank you that I am neither a Gentile, nor a Samaritan nor a woman.' This, of course, is not Yahweh's view. It is not a Biblical view. But it was the view of most Jewish men in Yah'shua's day.
Yah'shua's attitude toward women was completely different. He treated women with the utmost respect and tenderness. When addressing someone as "Woman," the term He used, which has been translated into Greek, is one of endearment and tenderness. Even when speaking to His own mother, He used this beautiful term, "Woman" (John 2:4). Yah'shua treated all women with respect and courtesy and He desired to give them the freedom to be what Yahweh had created them to be. Here are many such freedoms that Yah'shua provided for the women that He interacted with. Do you provide these freedoms to your wife?
The Freedom to Trust. To the woman at the well Yah'shua said, "Woman, believe Me...." (John 4:21). The Messiah asks women to believe in Him. Do you feel comfortable asking your wife to believe in you?
The Freedom to Ask Questions. I don't know if you ever noticed, but the woman at the well asks a lot of questions, five in all. Yah'shua patiently answers each of her questions and leads her to understanding. This is one of the major adjustments a man has to make when he gets married. The typical woman speaks 25,000 words in a day; the typical man speaks 12,000. Most men have used up their 12,000 words by the time they come home from work. So the wife says, 'I thought you might talk to me while I sew.' And the husband replies, 'Why don't you sew to me while I read?'
But Yah'shua had time to talk with women. Women need to talk. Conversation is how they establish relationships and feel secure in relationships. Do you ever get impatient with your wife's questions? Are you impatient with her need to have conversation? A husband like Yah'shua would sacrifice His need in order to meet a wife's need to relate.
The Freedom from Sickness. According to Mark 1:31, Yah'shua was taken to Peter's house for dinner, but they found Peter's mother-in-law sick in bed. Was Yah'shua upset that dinner wasn't on the table? No, Yah'shua "went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up." Matthew adds that Yah'shua tenderly "touched her hand and the fever left her" (Matthew 8:15). How do you react toward your wife when she is 'under the weather'? Are you sympathetic and compassionate to her physically weak times, to her PMS, to her transition through menopause?
The same incident is recorded in all three synoptic gospels and all three verify that, after her healing, Peter's mother-in-law began to wait on them. Do you see a connection between Yah'shua's tenderness to Peter's mother-in-law in sickness and her serving them?
The Freedom from Accusation. Yah'shua asked the woman caught in adultery (John 8:10), "Woman, where are your accusers?" What have you accused your spouse of lately? Yah'shua said to the woman, "I do not accuse you" (John 8:11). Men can be very critical and judgmental of the women in their life. We accuse our wives by criticism, put downs, and sarcasm. Your wife will wilt in this atmosphere. She needs the sunshine of mercy and encouragement to blossom. For her to grow, you need to give your wife ten compliments and encouragements, for every one criticism.
The Freedom to be Wrong. In Matthew 20, we find a lady asking Yah'shua to allow her sons to sit on either side of Him in His kingdom. This is a fairly prideful and theologically foolish request. Yah'shua cleared up her theology on this point, but HOW did He do it? Did He degrade her? Scold her? No. He simply said, "You do not know what it is you are asking" (Matthew 20:22). And then Yah'shua goes on to gently correct her theology.
Does your wife have the freedom to be wrong? In what manner do you discuss doctrine with your wife? Do you put her down when she doesn't have it just right? Or do you sensitively and tenderly correct her?
The Freedom from Need. Even to young females, Yah'shua's manner is consistently loving. Jairus' daughter is an example of Yah'shua's love and care. To this young girl who had died, Yah'shua said simply, "Little lamb, arise" . . . and then He requests that something be given to the girl to eat (Mark 5:41-43). What a tender picture of provision.
At the cross, Yah'shua entrusted the care of His mother to the beloved disciple, John (John 19:26-27). One tradition tells us that John would not leave Jerusalem until she had died in his arms. In what ways have you provided for the needs of your wife and children? Do you force your wife to hassle money out of you for legitimate needs? Are you willing to temporarily work that second job to pay off debts you have incurred?
The Freedom from Attack. It is just six days before Yah'shua's death. Yah'shua is in Bethany just outside of Jerusalem. Some of Yah'shua's friends hold a supper to honor Him. Mary of Bethany comes in, breaks a jar of very expensive nard, and anoints Yah'shua's head and feet with the ointment. The gospels tell us that the disciples "rebuked her harshly" (Mark 14:5). I have this picture of Mary standing there, eyes downcast, being lectured and sneered at by twelve angry, judgmental men.
One person comes to Mary's defense. Yah'shua says, "Leave her alone. She has done a beautiful thing to me" (John 12:7; Matthew 26:10). "Leave her alone": Those must have been beautiful words to Mary.
Do you defend your wife from attack? Is she free under the protection of your wing?
The Freedom to be Spiritual. Yah'shua went to visit Mary and Martha of Bethany. Martha objected as Mary sat at the feet of Yah'shua and listened (Luke 10:42). With a tone of patient affection, Yah'shua said, "Martha, Martha, although you are stressed about many things, Mary has chosen that which will not be taken away from her." One thing is essential -- that you allow your wife to sit at the feet of Yah'shua. Don't put down her spirituality. Don't disrupt her quiet time with Yahweh. Volunteer to do some housework, if necessary, so she can have time with Yahweh.
The Freedom to be Emotional . Yah'shua had died and was laid in a garden tomb. Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb and finds it empty. She cries at not being able to find His body. As she is crying Yah'shua appears behind her and asks her (John 20:15), "Woman, why do you weep?" What is your reaction to the tears of your wife?
Time magazine reported a startling discovery. It had a cover story stating: "men and women are different." What an insight! And Time even told us why they are different: "Because they are born that way" (Time Magazine, January 20, 1992).
What is so sad is that in our radical feminist, unisex culture we try to ignore male/female differences. Thank Elohim we are finally awaking to gender differences! Your wife is different from you. She is different emotionally, physically, and even spiritually to you. She is not necessarily wrong. She is different. Let me repeat. This is not a matter of right or wrong. It's just different. Accept her emotional make-up. In many cases, she feels more deeply than you do. Rejoice in her ability to weep and laugh and let your world be enriched by the emotional texture of life that many men don't see.
The Freedom from Sorrow At the garden tomb Mary Magdalene cannot see clearly through her tears. She thinks Yah'shua is the gardener and so she says, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." Yah'shua is so tender with Mary. He says her name with the greatest compassion: "Mary" (John 20:16). Yah'shua doesn't want to see women grieve. What do you do when your wife is hurting? Do you ease your wife's sorrow? Do you speak her name tenderly? (Or do you just say, "Get over it!")
Conclusion. So . . what kind of a husband would Yah'shua have made? What is evident in every situation when Yah'shua interacted with women? Respect, love, tenderness, instruction tempered with mercy. Are you ministering to your wife with such qualities? Yah'shua was tender, concerned and loving with the women in His life. Men, we need to be as tender as Yah'shua. Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah loved the Messianic Community (Church) and gave Himself up for her to make her holy (special, set-apart, different)." Now we know a little bit better how to love the women in our lives.
How are we going to do this with our male selfish, self-centered hearts? Well, we can't. We need a new heart. But this is the beauty of the gospel. We repent of what we are not doing and being and we go to Yah'shua, the perfect husband, and ask for a change of heart. And He changes our heart to be more like His (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). So don't just vow to be different. Believe to be different. Our Father is just waiting for you to ask.
What Kind of a Husband Would Jesus Have Made?
A Wife's Ten Commandments
Linda Hayase has, with great insight, converted the Ten Commandments for use by wives:
1. You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and you shall love your husband as your self (Mt.19:19);
2. You shall not make your husband into an idol (putting Him above Yahweh), but you shall love, honour, respect and submit to him as you do to Yahweh (Eph.5:22);
3. You shall not take your husband's name in vain, through gossip, slander, criticism, complaint, or mockery; but you shall bless him both privately and publicly;
4. You shall work heartily as unto Yahweh, and as directed Him, and your husband, not by your own ideas of what should be done (Prov.31). You shall not be so busy working, however, that you neglect to get alone with Yahweh everyday. During this quiet time, you shall pray diligently for your husband. You shall also be willing to put aside work in order to 'play' (be intimate) when your husband asks you;
5. You shall honour your mother and father, but you shall not elevate their position or opinions above your husband's;
6. You shall not resent, revile, or hate your husband, but you shall grant him grace, forgiveness and mercy;
7. You shall not commit adultery, nor shall you think lustfully toward another man; but you shall thank Yahweh for your husband and be pleased with him;
8. You shall not steal from your husband. You shall not steal his marriage by threats of divorce. You shall not steal his wife by leaving him alone all the time. You shall not steal his spiritual leadership by taking control. You shall not steal his time by placing unnecessary demands on him. You shall not steal his joy by complaining or moping. You shall not steal his peace by endless nagging. You shall not steal glances from other men by wearing provacative clothes and causing them to stumble. This defrauds your husband of an honourable wife, the other man of pure thoughts, and the man's wife of her husband's faithfulness;
9. You shall not lie to your husband, but you shall speak the truth in love. You shall also practice a quiet and gentle spirit (1 Pet.3:4);
10. You shall not covet another woman's husband, her children, her friends, her house, her decorating style, her garden, her looks, her wardrobe, her possessions, her talents and gifts, her ministry, or any other thing that is hers; but you shall be content with all Yahweh has given you.
Further Reading Materials
 Co-Headship in Marriage: Exposing a Modern Heresy
 Preserving the Sacred Tie: Introduction to the Marriage Repair Manual
 Holy Echad Marriage: The Mystery of Oneness & In Practice (2 Part Series)
|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. kanôn = 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 Êl-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 viâ 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. paraklêtos)
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 Êl') = 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
Zoë 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 8 April 2007
Last updated on 26 March 2009
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