Continued from Part 1
Q. Your teaching that husbands possess their wives is a heresy! This is the kind of doctrine that cults are made from. Where in the Bible does it say a husband possesses his wife??
Inasmuch as this topic seems to have touched a nerve as raw that which the polygamy issue does amongst the monogamy-only only cultists it is plain that more than a couple of articles is going to be needed to settle this issue in the minds of the public who frequent this site. As I said in the previous FAQ, this subject tends to generate more smoke than heat, so it is important that this subject be kept properly in focus.
We live in a cult(ure) in the West which might best be described as narcissistc. Narcissism (for those of you who may not have stumbled across this word) is an exceptional interest in or admiration of oneself. It is derived from a Greek myth which tells of a youth called Narcissus who fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water. And in many ways one might say that narcissim is a form of Satanism which is the worship of the self or ego.
Christianity has, as its focus, not the self but Yahweh-Elohim, the Most High God, who has Himself given man a focus through which His salvation may be imparted and received, His Son, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). In illustrations like walking on the Sea of Galilee we are taught that when a soul focuses on self and his own powers he begins to sink and the miraculous not only departs from his life but he indeed begins to endanger it. Peter might have drowned. Of course, one need not step out upon the waters of spiritual adventure, nor respond to the Master's call, but if we do not, we can never approach Him in the ultimate sense. The Christian/Messianic faith is more than a set of doctrinal propositions (over which men and women wax eloquent in words) but a faith journey that requires the ultimate sacrifice of self that could call upon a soul to go so far as to lay down his life for his friend. It requires a willingness, moreover, to sell all in order to obtain a Kingdom fashioned in heaven and exclusively available through a Path which modern man finds repugnant: a path of self-abnegation.
When we study the scriptures honestly and cast aside the prejudices and carnal obsessions of our narcissistic and cultic Western mindframe, we start discovering things which initially bring discomfort and which, if we pursue them courageously to their full conclusion, bring satisfaction and joy. We are blinded by our own culture's blindness and sense of self-exaltation. For instance, how many of you have interpreted the parable of the pearl in Matthew 13:44-46 to mean that you must go and sell everything in order to purchase the Kingdom? And yet, as we ought to know, salvation can never be purchased, because salvation is not works-based. You can't purchase your relationship with Yah'shua (Jesus) because it is offered as a free gift. So what on earth is being purchased?
The parable of the treasure in the field which immediately preceeds the parable of the pearl gives us the answer. The Kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and hid. He then proceeds to sell all he has and buys the field. Earlier parables indentify Yah'shua (Jesus) as the man, and the world as the field. Furthermore, the treasure is conclusively identified as His people, Israel (Deuteronomy 26:18; Psalm 83:3; 135:4; Exodus 19:5). By some careful digging we learn that Yah'shua (Jesus) purchased the nation of Israel to be His possession by dying on the cross. The Judahite remnant of Israel at that time was a mere slave province of Rome, its glory reduced to servitude to a pagan master. The Jews at that time were owned by Rome whose military presence, taxes and oppression was proof that they were no longer owned fully by Yahweh, our Father in Heaven. They had two masters ... and we all know the impossibility of that.
And yet Yah'shua (Jesus) did not liberate the nation from Roman occupation as the Messianic expectations and scriptural misinterpretations of the people demanded. He liberated them first of all from themselves. And then He told His apostles to go out and bring the gentiles into this purchased nation of Israel, making place for them by metaphorically cutting off the branches of those descendants of Jacob who would not bow the knee and accept His lordship. He created no 'Church' as we understand it in our vocuabulary - He did not cast Israel off and make a new entity called 'the church', but made a new covenant with her as had been prophesied by Jeremiah. You will find a detailed examination of this important subject here. Thus there is no such thing as the Church and Israel - the Bible makes no such distinction, and yet millions of Christians believe the lie they are two separate entities. This alone confuses theology and leads believers into rebellion against the Most High.
You would be surprised just how much our cult(ure) had brainwashed us. We have been taught certain 'truths' and been taught how to twist and squeeze Scripture to conform with it. Polygamy is a glaring example, is it not? It's one of those 'taboo' subjects, but it's not the only one. There are other Gospel topics that hit raw nerves and send people spinning into an emotional catharsis. There are subjects that people just 'don't want to know' about ... subjects that cause them to be seized by anger or some other emotional cataplexy - a temporary paralysis of our rational being - as it gives way to a deep and frighteningly inexplicable volcanic eruption of raw passion. And the way people deal with such larva spills from the deepest recesses of their soul is to simply let them solidify into magmic rock and to pretend that the subject was never raised.
Yes, friends, there are areas of truth which most don't want to know about. These things are often either violently suppressed or explode in our faces when the truth demands a response of allegiance. Over the months I have tried to raise subjects which I know trigger off volcanic responses in the conditioned souls of men. I have started today with a 'simple' matter, namely, the fact that all true believers are Israel and not some mythical entity called 'the Church', a word which has acquired a meaning very different from the original sense of the word 'assembly' or 'congregation' from which our word is derived. And the reason people react violently to this is because the Congregation of Israel has degenerated into a circus of denominations all claiming to be the truest expositors of biblical truth (our English word 'church' is derived from the Roman circe meaning 'a circus'), recruiting its own private armies of disciples.
What this means for believers in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is that we have got to start getting reorientated as the nation of Israel (not the Republic of the same name which exists in the Middle East which is the subject of another discussion). This means, further, that we have no only got to start obeying the laws given to Israel (it's called Torah) but we have got to stop thinking like Greeks and rediscover the Hebrew mindset. It's time we accepted what the Bible teaches at face value and to stop imposing our Greek-derived cult(ure) onto it.
But let's return to the parable of the pearl. If Israel is the treasure, what is the pearl? Why did't Yah'shua (Jesus) use a diamond or a ruby, for example? Because the pearl is a symbol of the gentiles and is the only precious 'stone' that derives from living matter. As writer Barbara Richmond notes:
How many of you thought that the Kingdom was the pearl and that you thought you had to go and sell everything to get it? I know I once did. Do you see that that false belief is actually blasphemy and heresy? In wrongly believing this way, we make ourselves out to be Christ, which we aren't.
"A pearl is the response of the oyster to something which causes it injury or discomfort. A pearl grows out of hurt. A minute particle of sand gets into the oyster, constantly irritating, and the oyster has no way to rid itself of this aggravation except to transform the thing that is irritating it.
"What a fantastic picture of the community of the Gentiles who have come to believe in Yehshua and received salvation in His Name. Just as the oyster transforms something hurtful and foreign into a beautiful pearl, so the Lord took sin, not just of Israel, but of the whole world, family and foreigner alike, and by His suffering, by giving all He had, transformed us into His family and makes of us something beautiful and precious" (Jewish Insights into the New Testament, 2001, p.55; from The Elijah List).
Let's take a look at another volcano.
The Protestant reformation arose out of Catholic abuses. It might surprise you learn that there are no Catholics or Protestants in heaven - just Israelite believers. Heaven is not populated with protesters but with submitters. There are no denominational labels there.
One of the violent reactions of Protestantism was against the Catholic Church's claim that it could forgive sins on behalf of Christ through its priesthood. We rightly view such as a doctrine as priestcraft and rank heresy. However, is the Protestant view entirely correct?
I am sure you all remember the story of the paralytic who was lowered through the roof of a house on his stretcher. Yah'shua (Jesus) caused a stir when He uttered the words, "Son, your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5) before healing the man. He was accused of being a blasphemer because (they reasoned to themselves) only Yahweh can forgive sin. Three years later, having died on the cross to redeem you and me, Yah'shua (Jesus) appeared to His disciples in an upper room, He breathed on them and said:
Barbara Richmond writes:
"Receive the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit/Breath). If you remit (forgive) sins for a man they will be remitted to him, and if you retain of a man they will be retained" (John 20:22-23, HRV).
Now can anyone here deny that we have not been given the authority to forgive sin? It is undeniable! We have the authority to forgive sin against ourselves. I have the authority for forgive any sin committed against me. That is the limit of my authority. Does this mean that I have the intrinsic power within myself to forgive sin as Christ forgives sin? Of course not! The power to forgive sin is Christ's, and Christ's alone. However, He has extended authority to me to forgive on earth and in heaven anyone alive or dead who has wronged me. That is one of the first principles of deliverance ministry. It's the authority we have over demons in our lives and we can literally liberate others who are being oppressed because we forgive them for wrongs committed against us.
"There it was again - and so strategically spoken. The very thing unacceptable under the Law (Torah) now became a 'Law' of the New Covenant. Man was to forgive his fellow-man. This concept was radical to the first century Jewish mind, yet it is central to the message of the Good News. It was included in His instructions to the disciples as to how they should pray, 'Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us ...' As a matter of fact, it is so essential to the heart of the message of Yeshua, that it is the first authority delegated to us upon receiving the Holy Spirit.
"In recent years there has been much discussion concerning spiritual authority. Have you considered that the first area of authority given to the disciples the day of the Resurrection was authority to forgive? Strategically spoken? Absolutely! Learning to forgive is the first arena of spiritual warfare. The first opponent of a Spirit-led lifestyle that must be overcome is our carnal tendency to resent, to despise, to hold grudges, to own bitterness, to hate" (Ibid, p.36-37).
Now it has been suggested by malicious and/or ignorant, silly people that I am somehow claiming to be 'Christ' for my wives because I have said that I both own and judge them, but such is to fundamentally misunderstand (willfully or na´vely) what I stand for, and have always stood for. I have never preached or taught that a mortal man possesses the power to judge another person as Christ judges, and I certainly do not believe I have attained a power to forgive sin because of some atoning work that I have done (that is the Moonie doctrine)! All that I have said or implied is that certain authority has been given to me as husband as head of my home. And it is the same kind of authority that Pastors are given over congregations ... and none of us would ever dream of claiming that Pastors somehow atone for their flock or own their flock as a private possession.
Let us go on. Another taboo subject in modern Christianity is 'judgment'. Do we not frequently hear, 'Oh, you must not judge others!' And yet this is only a half-truth because a qualifier is conveniently omitted. Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
Confused? Did Christ ever judge? Of course He did. And His words to religious hypocrites (for example) were strong and uncompromising. And yet He said, "I judge no one". And that's true also, because it isn't His judgment in the first place, but the Father's.
"You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me" (John 8:15-17, NKJV).
We, in our turn, are commanded not to judge unless we are willing to be judged in the same way (Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:37). Indeed, judging in the flesh is a most risky business, for it will turn a full 180 degrees and strike us down. However, at the same time, we are told:
In other words, don't judge by the flesh but by the Word and the Spirit. We know that this is true because the Elders are required to judge the saints when they are in transgression of Torah. If there was no judgment of others, there would be no pastors, no community of believers, no church (messianic community), no Israel. Yah'shua (Jesus), in defending His own Deity, reminds that Israelites that they are elohim or "gods" (John 10:34; Psalm 82:6). Does that mean that Israelites are deity? Of course not! We all know that. But as any Hebrew scholar will tell you, 'elohim' is used of mortals in the sense of them being judges. And the goal of Israel has always been to be ruled by righteous Judges "judging with righteous judgment". That's what the Pastor and Elders in a local assembly are supposed to do, using Torah as their Law Book under the guidance of the Spirit. Indeed, those who cry 'heretic' and 'blaphemer' are doing this very thing! The question is: are they judging out of the Spirit and Torah (Law) or out of the flesh?
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24, NKJV).
Now let us consider husbands judging wives. I don't think anyone would dispute that Christ the Bridegroom judges us, His uniplural Bride? By what authority does He do this? Is it His own self-generated authority? No, it is not. He Himself said that He does not judge. His authority to judge His Bride - us - is delegated authority from the Father:
The authority of a husband over his wife is delegated authority from Christ. Does he judge her in daily life? Well if he didn't, he would have no authority over her, would he? What about judgment over her sins? Does he have any authortity there? Yes, he has authority to forgive her any sins that she commits against him, and vice versa. I don't think we can dispute that, can we? But does that authority go any further? Of course. If my wife sins against another, then I instruct her (if she has not already done so) to go and resolve the matter and ask for forgiveness. That is my duty.
"And Yah'shua (Jesus) came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth'" (Matthew 28:18-19, NKJV).
Let's briefly consider the right of a husband to judge. I think it is pretty plain that Yahweh has given authority to Pastors and other leaders in the congregation through Yah'shua (Jesus) to judge those believers who are in transgression of Torah. Thus if a believer is accused of homosexual fornication, and will not stop or repent, does the Pastor and a council of Elders have the right to excommunicate him? Yes, they do. Paul says so. They have that power, authority, right and duty to act as Judges in Israel.
Of course, it is a fearsome responsibility to judge another, and as we also know, a heavy judgment falls on teachers who teach wrongly (James 3:1). On the one hand, it is an authority one should tremble before because of the fearsome responsibility, and on the other, we should not fear to use it if we really believe we are walking in the Spirit.
As husband and father, I am judge in my household. I am judge over my children until they depart to start their own homes as married men and women, and I am a judge over my wife until ... well, that will depend what you believe about eternity. Most Christians/Messianics have been taught that marriage ends at death and that a husband's authority over his wife or wives ends at the grave, and therefore his judgeship over them is at an end too. I respect people's right to believe that's what Scripture teaches. But for myself, it is plain to me that the marriage union of Christ to His allegorical Bride, which is modelled on human marriage, covers both this life and eternity. I am assuming, with some justification, I think, that Yah'shua (Jesus) will remain subordinated to the Father in eternity. Why, we are even told that He will hand back the Kingdom authority which was delegated to Him back to Yahweh:
Does that mean Christ ceases to become our allegorical Bridegroom? That would make no sense since Yahweh does not go around busting up marriages that He has created. What it does mean is that the kind of authority to Judge sin will no longer be granted because it will no longer be needed. Any why? Because we will have attained to the fullness of the New Covenant Kingdom wherein it is written:
"Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to Elohim (God) the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:24-27, NKJV).
The kind of authority a man exercises over woman in this mortal sphere will not be required anymore because husband and wife will be fully echad or united, and there will be no tendency any more to rebel against Yahweh's Torah. In the same way, Yah'shua (Jesus) will not need His authority to judge us, which is why he returns it to the Father, because we will be perfectly submitted and in harmony. The disposition to sin will be no more. There will be no more Ahab- or Jezebel-spirit. Man will not need ruling by Christ as he is here, and woman will not need to be ruled by man, because she will be submitted and in perfect harmony with Yahweh's spiritual Order. It will be natural for all, the tendency to rebel having been utterly expunged.
""Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says Yahweh. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My Law 8Torah) in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim (God), and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know Yahweh,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:31-34, NKJV).
The authority to judge is needed so long as there is departure from Torah. A husband's judgment of his wives is not based on mere whim but on Torah. And Yah'shua's (Jesus') judgment likewise is not based in His own initiative but on His complete surrender to the will of Yahweh, His Heavenly Father.
Finally, will I be judging my wives before the judgment bar of Yahweh as though I were Elohim (God) or Christ Himself, as some have accused me of saying? Of course not. But I will be judging them nonetheless. And how will I do that? In the same way that Yahweh judged Israel, by speaking His Word through His prophets, who then delivered His judgment. It will therefore be my responsibility as my wives' head to relay His judgment to them as individuals. Quite how this will happen, I have no idea, and I am not particularly concerned about it. Maybe we will all stand before Him and He will address me as the head of the family unit. Given that everything in heaven is echad or uniplural, I suspect it will both be my relaying His judgment to them (to honour my authority over them) and His speaking to them individually as their Supreme Sovereign. But I do believe we shall finally be judged as one unit since that is the unit that will go into the eternities. Why do I believe that? Because that is how Yahweh judged His allegorical Bride, Israel, in the past. Sometimes the nation was split (into Judah and Ephraim/Israel) just as I am sure many plural families will split up in some families before the Judgment Bar. But again, we shall have to wait and see.
I wish now to categorically give the lie to the accusation made by some slanderers who wish to give the false impression that I am somehow a cultic 'Saviour' figure to my wives equal to Christ as Saviour of the Church. This is absolutely not so, never has been, and never will be. I suspect these are angry, disgruntled and rebellious voices possessed of a destructive spirit which even they do not yet fully yet understand because they remain, as many of us once were, slaves to the false mindframe of our dual macho-feministic cult(ure). We, as believers - as Israel - the buried treasure or the redeemed pearl of great price, are "the purchased possession" of Yahweh and His Christ (Ephesians 1:14), just as Yahweh "will take possession of Judah and His inheritance in the Holy Land" (Zechariah 2:12), and I shall possess my wives in the same manner, not of my own power, but by delegated authority. It is, in the end, our choice whether we shall be possessed or not; and if we choose not to be, then we shall either be single men or women in the eternities. I shall be - and already am - an elohim ('god'/judge) but not Elohim as Yahweh is Elohim. I shall be - and already am - a 'saviour', but not as Christ is Saviour, for it is written:
Who are these 'saviours' ('deliverers', NIV)? They are Yahweh's Judges from Mount Zion, His rulers, His New Covenant royal priesthood. They will govern Israel and the world under the Saviour or Deliverer, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Their authority will be deligated, the power not being their own. They will be accountable stewards, just as Pastors are stewards over their congregations, and husbands are stewards over their wives in the administration of Torah, and parents are stewards over their children in the same way.
"Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion
To judge the mountains of Esau,
And the kingdom shall be Yahweh's"
(Obadiah 21, NKJV).
The issue today for believers and unbelievers a like - as it always has been - is whether they wish to come under the Torah (Law) of husbands, fathers and pastors, or be lawless. Only that way will we finally cease sinning and truly belong to God:
So if anyone reviles you or accuses you, ask them these questions:
"Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness (Torahlessness), and sin is lawlessness (Torahlessness). And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Elohim (God) was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of Elohim (God) does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of Elohim (God)" (1 John 3:4-9, NKJV).
If you are not, you are in rebellion. If you will repent, and in faith observe Yahweh's proper order, then you are promised:
- 1. Are you under Yahweh, Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Torah?
- 2. Are you (a believer) accountable under a Pastor's authority in a local congregation?
- 3. Is your local assembly/congregation under apostolic authority?
- 4. Are you (a husband) under Torah?
- 5. Are you (a wife) under your husband's authority?
- 6. Are you (an unmarried man or woman) under your father's (or a male guardian's) authority?
- 7. Do you judge righteous judgment by the Spirit and Torah or by the flesh?
Click here for a continuing discussion
" ...the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My laws (torot) into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,' then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" (Hebrews 10:15-18, NKJV).