Recent events (2001) have accutely highlighted the success which the Adversary has been having in sowing confusion in the minds of members of the patriarchal community. However, what most doesn't realise is that Yahweh has permitted these things for a redemptive purpose, as He does with all opposition. Nothing that transpires in our lives is accidental.
A PROPHETIC DREAM
My fourth wife had an interesting prophetic dream which describes many of the current events concisely but which also has a wider application in terms of understanding spiritual principles which will be of benefit to everyone.
In the dream she watched a lion swimming in the sea being devoured by a killer whale. To the prophetic mind, the lion, which is a land-based animal, represents the devouring carnal mind whereas the killer whale represents the devouring carnal emotions. Satan, as we all know, is referred to as the devourer, and specifically a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). Because this is his nature, we are admonished by the apostle to be alert and vigilent, and to actively resist him, being steadfast in the faith, "knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (v.9, NKJV). And wisely, demonstrating spiritual maturity, he adds: "But may the Elohim (God) of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus), after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (vv.10-11, NKJV).
A lion swimming in the sea was being devoured by a killer whale
These current oppositions are for our perfection, and specifically, to prepare a vessel able to contain the spiritual anointing that is to come. It will not come to unclean vessels:
When the refining fire of Yahweh's Spirit falls on a believer He is cleaning out, the first thing that happens is that the carnal nature is awakened, and its reaction is ferocious. It begins by launching a civil war against its spiritual self. First the roaring lion of the thoughts, followed by the roaring feelings of the great emotional deep. And guess what happens? The feelings overwhelm the lion and swallow him whole.
"Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
You who bear the vessels of Yahweh.
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For Yahweh will go before you,
And the Elohim (God) of Israel will be your rear guard."
(Isaiah 52:11-12, NKJV)
The dream that my wife saw (and she gets many of these, having been told years ago when she was a child that she would become a prophetess) was a classic example of carnal warfare between male and female. The whale, whose habitat is the water (feelings), is in many ways far more dangerous than the lion, whose habitat is land (thoughts). In water, the lion is helpless. On land, the whale.
There is no calming an angry woman, and the Bible warns us about her often:
"Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman" (Proverbs 21:19, NKJV).
In the world of carnal feelings, she reigns supreme. There she is a slaughteress and to be avoided. But in the realm of carnal thought, she is as a stranded whale on a beach, and will always be outwitted by the devilish mind of man.
This whale-lion conflict is presently taking place in some patriarchal marriages I know of. And the carnage is not a pretty sight. But it is purposeful. Yahweh wants the carnal man (and woman) DEAD.
This is actually the core issue confronting this fraternity. To whom much is given, much is also expected (Luke 12:48). And those of us called into Christian/Messianic polygamy have been given very much, far more than most ... not in terms of family size, but in terms of understanding some of the deepest mysteries of the faith. With such knowledge comes a sacred trust and responsibility. And abusing that trust means a fearful punishment for those who do.
"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26-27, NKJV).
There are one or two who think I am off the way over my previous article, though almost everyone has supported me to date (though often, interestingly, for varying reasons). I did not write it to defend myself but to defend sacred principles and to expose the machinations of the devil who wishes us destroyed. It has sparked a real whale-lion contest in the family concerned which will either gloriously redeem and elevate it in the sackcloth of repentance, or destroy it after turning some of its members into vicious tale-tellers. The choice as to where it goes resides in its members. (There was no repentance).
Part of the problem we face is that because of the teachings of the neo-pagan secular society, people have little or no idea of the true rôles of men and women. It has even coloured the theology and domestic life of believers in the polygamous movement who often believe they are operating according to true principles but are not. A sure sign that they are not is that when their false paradigm is challenged, it arouses the fiery wrath of either the carnal feelings of the female principle (whale) or the carnal thoughts of the male principle (lion) and, because Satan is always divided against himself, sets male against female - husband against wife - and vice versa. Typically, a pseudo-Christian/Messianic rationale will be appealed to, which says: 'We must not fight - we must be united!' And if the environment of this clash is based in the feelings, guess who wins in the home? The woman. And you have, at once, the basis of carnal matriarchy. If the reverse, carnal patriarchy.
The carnal mind and heart rarely portray reality accurately, tending always to exaggerate and twist, for their sole purpose is to recruit allies to their carnal goal ... usually other people, of course. The one way to distinguish between the carnal and the spiritual is that the latter has no other agenda than the justification of truth. The carnal seeks only self-justification, usually to preserve an unrighteous dominion status - it wants the carnal status quo left undisturbed.
Because Yahweh loves us, He disturbs such false systems, often violently, setting the members of a family one against the other (Matthew 10:35ff). Though the carnal man (prompted and enabled by demons) will often try to establish carnal alliances in order to prevent the spiritual man from overturning their hegemony and establishing a régime where Christ sits on the throne of the heart-room of man, Yahweh will frequently intervene to prevent that happening. And, as ever, in spite of the sorrowing, His purposes are always redemptive, and always merciful. Typically, Satan will recruit counsellors - believers for the most part - at different stages of spiritual maturity and with different spiritual connectivities, to inhibt His work. Inevitably, this will mean disagreements and polarisations. But even this has its purpose, painful though it is, for it is to teach the ministry to discern aright. It is for this reason that, whilst always saddened by conflict of this nature, in the deepest part of my soul I rejoice, knowing that "all things work together for good to those who love Elohim (God), to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28, NKJV). Please notice the two qualfiers to the promise of everything turning out well in the end - "to those who are called according to His purpose". Don't miss this. If we have not been called to support or oppose, or are not acting according to His redemptive purpose, the result is foreordained: it won't work out. But if you are working in His will, good will result.
The carnal nature always likes to shift blame from self on to others. Always. It hates taking responsibility. And yet we must never forget that even though we may not be able to control our circumstances, however terrible, we do have the ability and the responsibility, to react in the godly way. If we react with devilish thoughts, feelings and actions, it is because we have chosen to.
This key must never be forgotten, especially when turmoil descends upon a family. And there is plenty of that around at the present, and will continue to be amongst those believers seeking the face of Yahweh, until the carnal has been burned out.
Violent opposition is only permitted by Yahweh when all else fails - appeals, pleadings, reasoning, and so forth. When Yahweh opens the flood gates of wrath against us it is tempting to think that either we are being punished for something terrible we have done (self-pity) or that others are to be blamed (self-justification). The wise and more spiritually attuned will understand that all Yahweh is actually doing is trying to get our attention so that He can apply a corrective, medicinal blessing upon us.
There are many patriarchal families which are currently (2001) out of order. Women are ruling and controlling where their weak husbands ought to be. Self-inflated men are oppressing good women. And in all cases, the blame is being shifted from where it should be lying. When Yahweh violently breaks in upon such situations, after all appeals have failed, it is to execute justice on behalf of those family members who are being wronged as well as to bring grace on everyone for love's sake. The medicine may hurt but it works if you'll stomach it.
When all suddenly goes wrong around us we are actually being confronted with a classical Flesh-Spirit paradox. There is no logic or meaning when two diametrically opposite worlds collide. At this very moment we are wisnessing a similar collision between the carnal West and carnal Islam. The result is fear and insecurity, plenty of finger-waving, and very little cool, calm, collected and rational thought analysing the multipicity of causes. Even though one side may be more wrong than the other, that doesn't mean that the less wrong side is right. This ought to be remembered in in any carnal family conflict. As far as Yahweh is concerened, both have to repent, whether one has to repent "more" than the other or not. Where two sides are in the wrong, instead of finger-pointing, there must be an inward looking acknowledgedment and confession.
The spirit does not think like the flesh. The spirit does not feel like the flesh. The spirit does not act like the flesh. They are two entirely different worlds, the one a negative photographic image of the other. And because this is true we are not to treat everyone alike:
On some they have compassion (mercy), with others save with fear (judgment), making a distinction. Unfortunately, there are many Christians/Messianics who believe that we are to treat all people with problems in exactly the same way. We are not. The problem is we cannot know how without having the Holy Spirit to guide us. You won't know.
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), keep yourselves in the love of Eloah (God), looking for the mercy of our Lord Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jude 20-23, NKJV).
Which brings me back to the question of pardoxes, not this time between the flesh and the spirit, but between two aspects of the spirit, Judgment and Mercy (Love). You will remember that this is what Christ tore a strip off the Pharisees over, for they lacked both, saying that they "(had) neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith" (Matthew 23:23, NKJV). These two principles, justice and mercy, are the seats at either end of the see-saw, with faith the fulcrum:
There are many who fear to pass judgment thinking that Christians/Messianics are not to judge at all. This is totally false. We are to judge in the way we wish to be judged by others, showing consistency, honesty and integrity. But that judgment must never be without mercy, for then it slips off the see-saw whose fulcrum is true faith. We are to "judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24b, KJV).
Judgment which is righteous and merciful (loving) is redemptive. Judgment in the flesh is destructive. And those who say 'Don't judge!' are often those operating out of the flesh who don't want to be exposed. Christ does not say: 'Do not judge!' but "do not judge according to the appearance"! (John 7:24a, NKJV). And Paul said: "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" (1 Corinthians 6:1-2, NKJV), which is of course the world system built upon the fleshy carnal nature. Accordingly, we are commanded to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11-12, NKJV). We have to learn how to judge aright because our final calling is to "judge angels" (1 Corinthians 6:3, NKJV).
It is interesting that the two things believers should not be doing - judging unrighteously through the flesh according to the appearance, and refusing to judge righteously in the Spirit as we ourselves would wish to be judged - is what they are in fact doing, and Satan is having a field day. We must judge, and we must judge rightously, in faith, in the Spirit. Without this judgment there can be no Christian/Messianic community, let alone a patriarchal one. And who is responsible for judgment? To whom has Yahweh committed the responsibility of judging? TO THE PATRIARCHS.
A Patriarch is a Judge and Ruler in his own home over his own family, and a Judge and a Ruler in the Congregation of Israel (as a Pastor or an Elder). With one exception, when all the men had fled their holy calling, was there a female judge in Israel, Huldah, who was the exception to the rule. In desperate circumstances, the rules must sometimes be bent.
As believers we are to judge one another in holiness, not for judgment's sake, but for righteousness' sake, and only when required, to prevent that roaring lion access to our homes and congregations. Whilst we are to submit to one another in love, the younger are to submit to their elders (1 Peter 5:5), wives to husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18), female servants to misstresses (Genesis 16:9), and all to Yahweh (James 4:7).
There is a tavnith (pattern) here we must not ignore. If a woman has a grievance against a man who is not her husband, she is not to accuse him, but present the facts to her husband who shall, if necessary, confront the man himself in the presence of witnesses. And the reverse is true - if a woman is out of order, the man should confront her husband and not confront her himself except under extraordinary circumstances.
Please notice that Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) - it is gender-specific. He doesn't waste his time accusing the women, because the women are covered by their men. Like the angels, and when necessary (in righteousness), the men (patriarchs) are to rebuke a transgressor and not bring a railing accusation (Jude 9). For this reason, women are to be silent, save to appeal to their husbands for justice and covering (1 Corinthians 14:34), for their desire (longing - heart) is to be towards their husbands who shall rule (govern, have dominion - mind) over them (Genesis 3:15).
The heart is an unruly species, wonderful in compassion and love, hopeless and deceptive in judgment. That is why the woman is not to judge. The government of the home and the church (assembly) has been given to the men. Each have their respective weaknesses, hence their different callings.
For the patriarchal movement to be cohesive and in Yahweh's will, all self-determined domestic and ecclesiastical government must be stripped from the wives. Though I am sure that many, if not most, are, when properly submitted to Yahweh, more than capable of governing (look at Huldah and many other brilliant women leaders throughout the centuries), that is not their calling. And when they have found themselves in positions of government, there has always been a price to pay - a loss of femininity and a distortion of their God-ordained predispositions. There are always salvational exceptions to any rule (like Esther marrying a pagan king) but should never be accepted as 'normal'.
Misreading what I have stated here is very easy and must be taken in conjunction with all my other writings. I am not advocating arbitrary, unrighteous male dominion as everyone should know. Look at the see-saw again. A man must combine the virtues if both male (justice) and female (mercy), the latter of which he obtains from his wives in their proper female position. And in their turn, the women acquire perfected attributes of justice with which they may righteousnly judge their own gender, just as Elders in the Body of Christ (Messianic Community) in female (bridal) position to Christ, must judge the saints when such is mandated and required for the peace of Israel. There is a divine harmony here which we ignore at our spiritual peril.
If these truths are not learned, and submitted to, voluntarily, by those claiming to be submitted to them, then Yahweh will intervene and execute redemptive justice. If you are having severe family troubles right now, a cause may very well be these very issues, though Satan, whose interest is in the hegemony of your carnal nature, will distract you and, if he can, cause you to blame, accuse, or rail against, those who are trying to help you. Don't fall for that trap, for the result is spiritual death and destruction, and family breakup. And because polygamous families are larger than simple monogamous ones, the dangers are infinitely greater, particularly if alliances form between sister-wives in rebellion.
I share these truths with deep love and concern, especially for those who choose to resist them and revile. Time will, in any case, prove who was telling the truth. But remember, the Gospel is not a game of carnal roulette where you either take all or lose all, but of submission to the truth. Be wise.