Month 2:5, Week 1:4 (Revee/Shavu'ot), Year:Day 5939:35 AM|
Jericho March 5/7, Van Staden Count 5/14
2Exodus 2/40, Omer Count Sabbath #2/5
Gregorian Calendar Thursday 23 April 2015
The Condemnation of Gilgal
Continued from Part 25
Introduction: Linking Belief to Obedience
"By emunah (faith) the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. By emunah (faith) Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient ("refused to believe and obey" - AmpV), because she had received the spies in shalom (peace) ["without enmity" - AmpV]" (Heb.11:30-31, NRSV).
You will indulge me, I hope, as I move back and forth between prophetic scenes and theological purviews on this the fifth day of the important Jericho March this year. I quote the Amplified Version alongside the text of the New Revised Standard Version in our opening passage of Scripture to remind us not to be to go to an evangelical extreme. Since emunah (faith) is so critically important to us, and in dangerous times such as our own especially, we had better understand what it is before we again reflect on what it is we are doing right now in what is a complex time. The Amplified Version is undoubtedly correct in bringing into focus the emet (truth) that biblical emunah (faith, trust) is always linked to obedience:
Confusing Belief With Biblical Emunah (Faith)
"You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by emunah (faith) alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?" (Jas.2:24-25 NIV).
If Rahab had simply believed Israel was going to defeat Jericho on the basis of their reputation for defeating Pharaoh and the kings in trans-Jordan and done nothing to help the spies, would she have been justified in her emunah (faith)? Not according to the apostle James. It wouldn't have been real Hebrew emunah (faith). You cannot separate belief from works because the one cannot but follow from the other, unless you are a thief nailed to a cross and can not do anything more. Then you are justified as if you had done it because Yahweh knew your heart. Likewise if you're in the middle of the Sahara Desert and can't get properly baptised by immersion because there isn't any water, your believing will be enough for the time being. But don't let that emunah (truth) make you careless when you could have done something.
Three Things About Rahab You Need to Know
Three things I want to say about Rahab before we backtrack to Gilgal again. First, Rahab was not an Israelite (or 'Jew' to use incorrect modern terminology), a thorn in the side of racial supremacists. Second, she rescued herself and her whole family (who did nothing to earn their deliverance...one supposes they had no idea what Rahab had done or else were persuaded to keep their mouths shut. Third, Rahab lied - big time - but this did not stop her from being delivered:
Breaking Lower Commandments to Obey Higher Ones
"Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim (Acacia Grove). 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. The king of Jericho was told, 'Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.' So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: 'Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.' But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, 'Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.' (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut" (Josh.2:1-7, NIV).
Please do not suppose that I am going liberal on the sin of lying. It's one of the ten commandments (Ex.20:16). But what I do want everyone to pay close attention to is the fact that sometimes (that is to say, as a rare exception) we must break lesser mitzvot (commandments) in order to obey higher ones. How can you know which is 'higher' and which is 'lower'? That ought to be common sense. However, a warning - don't play around with this. Yahweh knows the motives of the human heart all too well and how we love to lower the moral and ethical high-jumper's bar to suit our own weaknesses and spiritual laziness. We will be accountable, as was Rahab.
Rahab Chose a Higher Good
So what did Yahweh think of Rahab? Scripture commends her twice. She is listed alongside great men of emunah (faith) like Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a pretty impressive honours list to be added to. And as we have seen, she was justified by her works too - in saving the spies' lives. Rahab is a wonderful example of belief in action, that is to say, true scriptural emunah (faith). Yahweh not only does not condemn her but holds her up high as an example to follow. She chose to save two faithful believers' lives as the higher good and was prepared to lie to do so. I doubt she ever lied again or was ever given occasion to choose between two mitzvot (commandments) which could not be simultaneously obeyed.
Ultra-Messianic vs. Ultra-Evangelical
Yahweh knew Rahab's heart and He knows ours. He knows the many dilemmas we face in life where we must make difficult choices that would appear to set one mitzvot (commandment) up against another. Here we must be evangelical, we must consider grace and the greater good. Since, as I said the other day, we are collectively a 'Rahab' redeemed out of a life of miserable sin (proestitutes to the world and to the satanic fleshy nature) by the undeserved loving kindness (grace) of Elohim (God), we should be merciful with one another's weakness without compromising the high moral and ethical ground we are expected to stand on. So don't go and beat yourself up over having broken a lesser mitzvah (commandment) like accidentally swallowing a friend shrimp (as an ultra-messianic friend of mine once did and thought he was going to hell) when your heart is veritably singing Yah's praises and diligently seeking to be obedient in all things. At the same time don't go lax - become spiritually weak and limp like a lot of ultra-evangelicals who mistakenly think, like Lutherans, we can lower standards because grace will sweep up the mess again and again. It doesn't work like that. I assure you Rahab did not become an habitual liar or resume being a prostitute. The high standard remains - it will not be dislodged by anti-Torah slovenliness.
Strange Things Afoot Right Now
Some of you have written into me and asked me what I make of all the strange things going on in the invisible, especially since this Jericho March began. I can certainly testify that things have been bizzare. One sister wrote to me a day or two ago and said:
Dealing With More Unrepented Sin
"I keep getting a feeling of [the] sureal, like [being] out of the body...it's unnerving. I've prayed and gone through things I may have needed repentance over, but am still feeling spiritually queasy. [I] can't pin it down."
I know exactly what she means. I have seen some mightly strange things these last four days, both during the time I was extremely ill as well as after. I'm still expeiencing it. I do, though, now have an answer as to what's going on. And it's as the sister said - it's to get us to pray over things we might never have dreamed we needed to repent of which are being churned up by all spiritual assaults leading to great confusion.
I Saw My 'Adamic Man' and How to Deal With It
Twice I have been in and seen the Heavenly Sanctuary, in the Holy Place, these last few days (I'll tell you more of that another time). Recently too I had an ominous looking man dressed in a dark grey suit (like the jackets worn in India and China) stand next my bed who wouldn't go away when I ordered him to. Why? Because Yahweh is permitting the Adversary to violently stir up the pot of my being. There are still things to be done, sins to be dealt with, as the brother mentioned yesterday. Who was the man? 'My' fleshy part - smooth, polished, self-assured, arrogant, condemning. Understand this - the Adamic man isn't 'us' so don't own it. Turn to Yah'shua (Jesus). It can't be thrown out or exorcised like a demon. It's always there, until death. Our choice is to either face it and yield to it or turn away from it and face Yah'shua (Jesus) to be transformed by Him.
The Meaning of Cricifying the Flesh
That's what it means to 'crucify the flesh' (Gal.2:20; 5:24) by identifying with the Crucified One, not by engaging in spiritual self-flagellation or monasticism like the aescetic cults. That's not spirituality - it's abusing the Temple of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), violently or otherwise (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19). The 'fleshy nature' isn't your physical body of 'flesh' - it's in the physical body or flesh. Don't make the mistake so many believers do in confusing the two. This is such an important doctrine to get straightened out and will spare you so much misery and defeat. The 'Adamic Man' can only give you trouble if you give it your time and attention. Ignore it. Starve it of your attention and it will finally fall asleep. Turn to Yah'shua (Jesus) instead. Read your Bible. Pray. Meditate on the Davar Elohim (Word of God). Yes, you can reawaken it by turning your gaze away from Yah'shua (Jesus) - even the most spiritual and mature can fall. It's a perpetual choice.
Conversing With the Soul
May I share with you a revelation Yah'shua (Jesus) has been giving me recently? It will help you make sense of a lot of things. Have you ever wondered about all the voices you hear in your head? Of course you have. But I am not talking about the whispering or screeming of demons so many hear. I am talking about your voices - voices which actually are you with whom you can, if you choose, engage in conversation. (I am not speaking here of alters which those with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) struggle with - you can read all about that on our Deliverance website). I am talking about something that is perfectly normal that is acknowledged in the Psalms. (I must add this has nothing to do with 'imaginary friends' to 'talking to plants' either). You'll be able to better understand what David was talking about when he admonished himself:
Some Research Materials
"Why are you downcast, O my nephesh (soul)? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in Elohim (God), for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour (Deliverer) and my Elohim (God)" (Ps.42:5-6, NIV; also 42:11; 43:5).
"Praise Yahweh, O my nephesh (soul); all my inmost being, praise his qadosh (holy, set-apart) Name (Yahweh - not 'Adonai', 'haShem', 'Jehovah' or 'LORD'" (Ps.103:1-2, NIV; also v.22 104:1,35; 146:1).
"Return to your menuchah (rest, quiet, ease, stillness) once more, O my nephesh (soul), for Yahweh has been good to you" (Ps.116:7).
I don't want to get into a theological discussion of what nephesh/nefesh (soul) is because it's more complex than what most messianics and evangelicals (and certainly not Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and a number of others) suppose. I recommend you make an in-depth study by reading What the Bible Teaches About 'Soul', Body, Soul and Spirit: The Teachings of Kenneth E.Hagin Compared With the Bible, Spirit, Body and Soul? or review the several articles on Soul-Sleeping on our website if this is a topic you haven't seriously looked into. So many errors have been made on this topic that have led to as many heresies that have shipwrecked souls (no pun intended) that it is very important to straighten out.
The Multi-Faceted Self
But it's not etymology that I principally want to focus on right now. It's the experiential or existential side of addressing the soul. What was going on when David spoke to his nephesh or inner man? We must not fall into the MPD/DID concept of believing we have multiple personalities when we address ourself or admonish ourself to 'straighten up' or be encouraged. I include an interesting illustration (see right) to illustrate what may be describes as facets of the soul, rather as a diamond has multiple facets or faces. Yet it's still a single stone. Rather than get too theoretical and try (and probably fail) to build a scientific-type model (which I admit is my default disposition as a scientist-cum-theologian) I'd like to share an experience or two of the soul dialoguing with itself.
Identifying the Inner Voices
As many of you know, I have to be careful with my diet - perhaps some of you do too. Many a time I will see something delicious but unhealthy and a voice within will say, "Don't eat that!" Most believers would be tempted to say that the 'Holy Spirit' or 'Jesus' or 'God' told them to do - or not do - this or that. I know for a fact that it was me speaking because in longer dialogues I recognise the way I think and talk. It is most definitely me. In the past I probably would have interpreted this as the Ruach (Spirit) being filtered through my flesh (which I still think is a valid analogy though somewhat limited). What I have realised now over the past few days is that when we yield to the flesh and are in 'flesh-mode' Yahweh speaks to us indirectly though our unconscious (because we chose the flesh) 'essential spiritual being', if I can call it that. My conscious-awareness was flesh ("Yummy poisonous food, eat and the health consequences be damned!") but the spiritual side of me in communion with Yahweh said, "Don't eat that!" Had I been Ruach-minded and Messiah-focussed I would have heard Yah'shua (Jesus) speaking directly to me. But because I was facing the flesh He could not because "no unclean thing" can exist in the presence of Elohim (God). If you remain flesh-centred for too long then demonic voices will start crowding in and causing commotion and confusion, progressively taking charge. So the conscious momentarily flesh-centred 'me' was being addressed by the unconscious Ruach-centred 'me' relaying the Davar Elohim (Word of God): "Don't eat it!" I didn't obey, I suffered terribly. Lesson (eventually? - that's the ongoing choice) learned.
Get Your Act Together
The reverse happens too. We can get depressed, for no apparent reason, often because the unconcsious part of 'me' is focussed on something fleshy. David's response was, "Why are you downcast, O my nephesh (soul)? Why so disturbed within me?" He had His eyes on Yahweh and was telling the rest himself, discouraged by betrayal and the like, to 'get it together' and "put your hope in Elohim (God), for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour (Deliverer) and my Elohim (God)".
We are Truly Free Agents and Can't Blame-Shift
I'll not make it any more complicated than that. I just wanted you to be aware a little more of the mechanics of the soul and how we are designed. It illustrates in any case my main point in any struggle to be aware that we can quickly flip out of a bad attitude or disposition into a good one by listening to the spiritual-self in communion with Elohim (God) by making a choice to stop listening to the flesh and to once more listen to the Ruach (Spirit). But it is a choice - we are never helpless victims - ever. We don't believe in fate (like Muslims and others) and we're not Calvinists either. We have free agency - free choice - inside at all times. We just don't want to admit we're responsible because the tendency is to play the Victimitis card by blaming something or someone else. It's never as hopeless as the Enemy wants us to believe - we can choose and come out of Satan's mesmerising nephesh even if some deliverance ministry may be needed if we have chosen ourselves deep into the darkness and we have come to believe we are hopelessly stuck. Though through the tricks and illusions of the Enemy it may appear a hopeless situation, it never is. Just change your focus and see Yah'shua (Jesus) work.
It All Starts With, and Builds Upon, Micro-Obedience
One final point about - and conclusion to - this matter. Understand that learning obedience so that it becomes the default way of life with us facing Yah'shua (Jesus) at all times, effectively starving and crucifying the flesh in the process, is a matter of hundreds of small Ruach-led daily choices in things we may consider unimportant. We learn to be obedient in the big things only by learning to be habitually obedient in the small ones. As Benjamin Franklin wisely said, "we are all born ignorant but one must work hard to remain stupid". It's actually hard work living by the flesh which keeps us doing stupid things again and again. And it all starts with flesh-based micro-choices which become macro ones.
Returning to Gilgal - Is There More to Learn There?
I said I had to take you back to Gilgal and I will do that now. So often we fail to be heart-circumcised at Gilgal. We fail to get our disgrace and reproach rolled away. A reason for that is not one we might ordinarily think of but Yahweh made sure an important historical incident took place that would seal the fate of a very rebellious king indeed who went from bad to worse, descending into murdering Yahweh's servants and consulting mediums. He, and his righteous son, perished ignominiously on the battle field at the hands of pagan. I have talked to you about the Judgment of the Messianic Movement. I'm afraid that's happening right now, and in earnest. Let's see what the chief besetting sin is.
The Obedience Testing Ground of Gilgal
"The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
"Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul's men began to scatter. So he said, 'Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.' And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
"'What have you done?' asked Samuel.
"Saul replied, 'When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought Yahweh's favour.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.'
"'You acted foolishly,' Samuel said. 'You have not kept the mitzvah (command) Yahweh your Elohim (God) gave you; if you had, He would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; Yahweh has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept Yahweh's mitzvah (command)'" (1 Sam.13:5-14, NIV).
There are so many things going on here. Gilgal is a testing ground. Like I said before, circumcision is both painful and leaves you feverish. Do you believe a man or woman can have a spiritual fever? I do. I know it to be true. For when you are having a fever you become disorientated. Your dreams at night can be quite insane. Even nevi'im (prophets) and seers start seeing crazy things when they are in a fever. The enemy seems to have the field all to himself at such a time and it's wise to trust little or nothing ot what you hear and see until the 'fever' has passed. And as I experienced, he might not even leave even when you are exercising Yah-given toqef (authority).
Refusing to Wait
This is very different from the grace shown to Rahab. Here the Benjamite king - Saul - has presumed a toqef (authority) that he had not been given. Like the Israelites at Sinai who gave up waiting for Moses to back come down off the mountain when, in their view, he had been 'too long away' and presumptuously took matters into their own hands (by building a Golden Calf), so Saul took priestly toqef (authority) into his own hands when the navi (prophet) Samuel didn't turn up when he said he would (never mind that it was very close to the time he said he would be coming).
When Leaders Organise Presumptuously
A lot of messianic leaders are racing ahead these days and assuming toqef (authority) not given to them because they think Yahweh is being too slow in setting up Kingdom mandates, or because they're misinterprating the prophetic signs around them. They're organising the Kingdom beyond the level permitted whilst Israel is in diaspora (dispersed throughout the nations) and they are doing so without revelation and without the requisite anointing. They will sadly pay dearly for their sin, and their followers too. Look at all the new Scriptural 'canons' out there, the new 'Sanhedrins' making (as they suppose) lawfully binding halachah on Israel albecause they have become mesmerised by their 'new' theologies and think that that is the 'main thing'. They are in major self-delusion.
Evangelical Chaos Too
The evangelicals are no different. Look at all the new fads and delusions. Now it's the turn of 'Chrislam', a blasphemous (and impossible) blending of Christianity (lawless, of course) and Islam. Leading charismatics are becoming Roman Catholics. Many are the roads leading to delusion and destruction. You don't have to go down them. All you have to do is trust Yah'shua (Jesus), obey thye Torah and obey the hundreds of little instructions you get every day through the Ruach (Spirit).
Why the Late Passover?
Are you still wondering why we have been commanded this year not to celebrate the main Pesach (Passover) but the late one? It's not just because that was the way Hezekiah was told to do it in order to rededicate the Temple at Jerusalem. It's because we have to revisit Gilgal and consider whether we did anything presumptuously foolish in the past, like Saul, and to repent fully of it before we can get the New Year properly going, even though this is already the second month.
Well, I'm a leader and I have been presumptuous in the past in my eagerness to hurry the Kingdom along. I have had to endure the humiliation of getting a lot of egg on my face. However, the King will not be hurried. He has His own timing of which we know nothing. Nor are we supposed to. We are to simply walk in obedience without knowing why always. That's what emunah (faith, trusting) is, after all - it's not having a perfect knowledge of the why's and the wherefore's. It's trusting the King. There is no friendship with Elohim (God), as was enjoyed by Abraham and David, without first learning the lessons and disciplines of being a bondservant. That's how divine tavnith (pattern) works in heaven-made marriage too.
From Grace to Obedience
Yahweh wants to remind us most emphatically about the messianic and evangelical components of the Besorah (Gospel) and how they are supposed to function together. It's not a lesson easily learned because it requires an emunah (faith) and obedience not at all liked by the competing flesh-nature. That's why the latter has to be cut off - rolled away - at every Gilgal. And we get the opportunity every year in during Aviv (the first) and the second month. And it must happen before we partake of this firstborn Pesach (Passover). So in a way, time has been rolled back as well to allow us to get important matters resolved and settled. The prostitute has found grace but thereafter she must be an obedient, strictly chaste wife - uncompromisingly and without deviation. Are we getting it now?
What the Harlot Soul Knows
The Drake Commentary tells us that "harlotry is the epitome of self-inflicted, gut-wrenching brokenness. The prostitute knows it is wrong, but she can not escape due to various reasons. And each time a prostitute commits the act, he or she is broken into further smaller pieces that seem irreparable. She feels like it is too late to turn back." She knows her sinfulness and is horrified by it. But, for the repentant harlot:
Unbroken Leaders are in Trouble
"Yahweh is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Ps.34:18, NKJV).
No one - I repeat, no one, is qualified to be a leader or a cohen (priest) in the Messianic Kingdom who does not know this brokenness - who does not know how disgusting, contemptible and disgraceful he is. You can't pretend to be broken and get away with it for long. People will see through it. The qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) will see through it because they too have been broken. Both know how wretched they are. But, knowing that, they don't wallow in self-pity. They get on, as Rahab did, and do noble things. And they are honoured by Heaven when they do.
Huge Changes in Ministries are Imminent
There are far too many proud, rebellious and unclean Saul's about. I personally know leaders out there who have never admitted they have robbed people or that they have abadoned wives and children. They have left devastation in their wake but have never owned up or made themselves accountable. They have made no attempt to put matters right. Their new flocks don't even know about their past which they are desperate to keep hidden. They're in big trouble but don't believe it because they have got away with it for so long. They won't reign as kings or leaders of ministries or congregations for long. Indeed they're being called to face the Judge right now before He brings the nations to task. Who do you think Yahweh is going to use to call the nations to repentance? Certainly not unrepentant leaders, not sin-stained cohenim (priests) whose robes are soiled with filth. There's a huge shake-up about to happen and woe to those who still try to keep their sins hidden and unresolved.
Lessons Learned from Benjamites and Edomites
So, brethren and sisters, we are back and at Gilgal still - the Saul's and all the other rebels. By the way, have you ever wondered why Yahweh permitted a Benjamite - Saul - to be called when rulership was given to Judah (at least until Shiloh - Messiah - came the first time)? Do you remember that it was at the place Shiloh that the Benjamites siezed women from the other tribes - and at a sacred moed (appointment) no less! - to prevent their tribe from going extinct? That a Benjamite was permitted is to show believers who is qualified and who is not, who has real spiritual toqef (authority) and who does not. It's why Esau (Edom) was allowed to take control of the Holy Land in 1948 so that the true Israel can finally become visible. This is a big thing! It must happen before Yah'shua (Jesus) returns and it requires time. It is starting - now:
We All Have Rehabite Backgrounds
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of Elohim (God)" (Rom.8:19-20, NKJV).
Would you perhaps finally believe me when I tell you they all the sons of Elohim (God) have a Rahabite background? They none of them come with impeccable credentials. They have all failed. The difference between them and all the others who have failed (and that's everyone) is that they have admitted it and done something about it. Sometimes they have been beset with sins for decades which they haven't been able to shake off. But it's going to happen now, if they enter the Tabernacle in the way we've been told. Some are a bit slower than others which is why we have an extra period of grace. But not for much longer. Yahweh's Timetable won't allow for indefinite procrastination. So He has allowed the enemy to stir things up a bit once more. See it as good news.
So there are things to resolve before the next Sabbath and thyings to resolve before the Late Pesach (Passover). Keep marching, friends, keep marching, and on Yom Sheshi, the day before Shabbat, march seven times! This year it's on a Roman Saturday, at their 'weekend' - so take advantage of it, spend seven times more time than you have these last days so that the walls of unbelief and rebellion in you can come crashing down and Messiah set you free to be His. Amen.
Continued in Part 27