Posts Tagged With: flesh

The Jezebel No One Talks About

There are countless teachings that suggest that Jezebel is a controlling spirit, and can manifest in a man or woman. Like ancient Jezebel, there is an “Ahab” type of person that enables this spirit to thrive in a congregation as she wreaks havoc among the members, destroying foundations and relationships. My intention isn’t to uproot this insight, but to sharpen the focus using Yeshua’s message to the fourth church/congregation in Revelation, Thyatira.[1]

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. (Rev. 2:18-19)

Yeshua stands as the One in the midst of the menorah,[2] and like this figurative picture of golden light, His eyes are a flame of fire and His feet like brilliant burnished bronze. He is the Light in the Temple of YHWH and the world.[3] The fourth branch is the very center of the menorah and the source pipe for the remaining 6 branches. It is the shamash or Servant candle. He addresses the fourth church as the central fourth branch of the menorah. All authority has been given to Him.[4]

Thyatira had been growing in deeds or works. They are commended for their love, faith, and perseverance. But there is an issue that our heavenly governor wants them to deal with, the woman Jezebel.

‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (Rev 2:20-23)

Whether Jezebel was a real woman that this early church dealt with or whether she is a figurative picture is not the point of this post. I happen to believe both are likely true, but the message is the same either way. The Book of Revelation portrays two women, much like the Book of Proverbs. One is essentially a harlot and the other is a righteous (virtuous woman). These women simultaneously figure the wicked anti-Christ spirit and the Holy Spirit, and a wicked congregation (Body/House/Temple) and the righteous congregation (Body/House/Temple).

I will use Jezebel and the harlot interchangeably in this post as they have the same characteristics and depict the same theme. Ancient Jezebel was NOT a follower of the God of Israel. Thus, any teaching she is delivering to Messiah’s Body cannot be based in Torah. It is worldly and foreign, and likely rooted in the worship of false gods.

Jezebel calls herself a prophetess. She claims to have the spirit of prophecy, but Revelation says that the testimony of Yeshua is the real spirit of prophecy. (Rev. 19:10) Jezebel’s smooth words teach and lead “My bond-servants” astray. The people she is affecting (or infecting) are not just pew warmers. They are bondservants! These folks have a true relationship with Yeshua. And yet, they have become enticed by this message of the harlot. How can this happen?

How can a true follower of the Messiah be convinced to “commit acts of immorality” and “eat things sacrificed to idols?” It seems ludicrous, but I submit to you that it’s happening right under our noses, even in Torah communities. Jezebel isn’t as much about control as she is about perversion.

Everything the harlot appeals to is carnal, fleshly. We are all human and live in carnal bodies. We have flesh to contend with every day. Failing to put our pound of flesh on the holy altar to be consumed by the holy fire will result in some nagging nephesh issues. (I have my own daily battle!) What does flesh love most? Pleasure. Even eating a cupcake can be highly pleasurable (and no, cupcakes are not evil, just don’t eat five or one with every meal).

There are two primary pleasure centers that are exceptionally intimate. Food and sex. Jezebel is teaching an anti-Torah message on both fronts and has gained ground even among Yeshua’s bondservants.

  1. Acts of Immorality (fornication)
  2. Eating Food Sacrificed to Idols

What are acts of immorality? How does the Torah define this? The Greek word porneuo is often translated as immorality or fornication;[5] this is where the English word pornography originates.

Modern culture does not have the authority or right to define the parameters for lawful and unlawful sexual partners, nor can society define which creatures should be on one’s plate. Only the Word of YHWH can make such distinctions.

Leviticus 11, 18, 19, and 20 are a great place to start. In these chapters, we learn how unlawful sexual partners and eating certain creatures are described as detestable, wickedness, abominations, profane, etc. It is within this context that YHWH says, “you shall be holy, for I am holy.”[6]

Jezebel teaches Yeshua’s bondservants that partaking in the intimate acts of eating such things and having depraved sexual encounters aren’t really against God. “Did God really say?” She appeals to one’s pleasure centers and seduces true disciples from the simplicity of Adonai’s Word.

Perhaps she divides the Word into “dispensations” or “covenants”, making none of Leviticus applicable to Yeshua’s followers. Suddenly, adultery, homosexuality, incest, unlawful marital unions, pedophilia, gender confusion, and bestiality are no longer abominations, but the new progressive ideals of evolved Christians. Can any of these activities be found in the assemblies?

How does food dovetail into Jezebel’s message of sexual immorality? What does it mean to “eat things sacrificed to idols?” The vast majority of those that follow Yeshua assume that just because they aren’t literally offering and eating sacrifices to a foreign god that they aren’t participating in this depravity. Eating is as intimate as having sex. In Jewish writings, the altar is often called the Shulchan, or Table of Hashem. In the natural, consuming food sustains one’s health and keeps one alive. Eating spiritually then, provides one with the same benefits. It satiates, sustains, and gives (spiritual) life.

Food is not just physical, but also spiritual. “Man shall not live by bread alone.”[7] This is why we are told to “eat” Messiah’s Body and drink His blood. The symbol is partaking of God’s Table, His sacrifice, because it is LIFE. If YHWH has a “table”, then the enemy has a counterfeit. In fact, we are told that Jezebel indeed has her own shulchan:

When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and you have followed the Baals. “Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:17-19)

Again, in this passage, the number four (450 and 400) is linked with Jezebel. Four is associated with government, authority, and fullness. Elijah was challenging the authority of Baal and Asherah. While Jezebel and her false prophets frightened Elijah, he knew that he served the only true God of heaven and earth. The Jezebels and false prophets of today are also striking fear in the hearts of this Elijah generation. Messiah later tells Thyatira to “hold fast” to what we have. This is His Word and our testimony of Him. This is how one overcomes Jezebel.

Consequently, those that continue to “eat” at Jezebel’s table will suffer unless they repent. The result is sickness and death. Jezebel’s “food” is poison.

‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (Rev. 2:21-23)

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that certain creatures were never deemed by YHWH to be food in the first place. Pigs, rabbits, frogs, shellfish, and the like (Lev. 11) were never offered on the Holy Altar. Offering them would defile the altar. If our bodies are a form of the Temple of Adonai, should these creatures cross our “holy” lips?

‘You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean. ‘Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. (Lev. 20:25-26)

Peter reiterates this:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Followers of Yeshua should make a distinction between their former lusts, desires, and appetites and the loving instructions of YHWH (the Torah). Though we will still contend with fleshly desires, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our daily walk. Who you have sex with and what you consume with your mouth is deeply intertwined with the god that you serve. If we claim to be bondservants of Yeshua, then we must NOT tolerate Jezebel’s licentious doctrine. We mustn’t turn a blind eye to this type of immoral depravity. And, we certainly shouldn’t look for ways to twist the Word of YHWH to suite the desires of carnal flesh!

Yeshua relates these moral failings to knowing “the deep things of satan.” It’s important to remember that satan means adversary. Uncontrolled desires of the flesh are indeed a great enemy.

‘But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. ‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Rev. 2:24-29)

As the fourth church in Revelation, Thyatira stands in an authoritative position, one of governing (based on day four of creation). Considering this, Jezebel is the antithesis to the righteous or virtuous woman (bride). She is a false sun, moon, and stars. Her light is really darkness.[8] Jezebel doesn’t “give”, she takes as a thief would.

Her intimacy appeals to the carnal nature and pleasure. She is far more concerned about what feels good and right than true righteousness. Truth is relative to one’s personal appetites and desires which is contrary to the Word of YHWH.

Today, there is no lack of those that want to “be true to themselves”, “speak their truth”, “live their truth”, and “be free to be me.” After all, they were “born this way.” They want the whole world to bow down and tolerate the desires of their carnal flesh, feelings, and emotions. They want us to swallow this offering to an idol of their own making. Their lascivious rants have already infected millions in the Church.

Like Jezebel of old, those that speak against her agenda are viciously attacked and demonized. Thyatira was tolerant of Jezebel’s venomous message. I have to wonder: Are we? Has the Torah community become the proverbial Ahab that empowers Jezebel to operate? Are we being seduced by the words of a harlot? Are we turning a blind eye to sexual sin and adultery? If so, may we REPENT!

 


 

[1] This article is written within The Creation Gospel’s model of interpretation. Many of my conclusions are based upon the insight gleaned by studying the creation foundation for numbers, the 7 Spirits Adonai, and the 7 wicked spirits that counterfeit the former. (Is. 11:2, Pr. 6:16-19, Luke 11:35)

[2] Rev. 1:12-13

[3] John 9:5; 12:46, 1 John 1:5, Rev. 21:23-24

[4] Col. 2:9-10

[5] Strong’s G4203 πορνεύω porneuō From G4204; to act the harlot, that is, (literally) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (figuratively) practise idolatry: – commit (fornication).

[6] Lev. 11:45; 20:25-26

[7] Dt. 8:3, Mt. 4:4

[8] Luke 11:35

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The Unity of the Scroll

close-up-of-torah-scrollJust before Rosh HaShanah, I had the pleasure of being up close and personal with a Torah scroll. My mentor, Dr. Hollisa Alewine, author of the Creation Gospel, was preparing to sing the Akedia (Binding of Isaac) for their Rosh Hashanah service. I was like a fly on the wall watching her careful handling of the leaves (pages of the scroll) and the Words. The Scroll was rolled out to reveal Bereshit (Genesis) 22 in the Torah.

Although I’ve seen Torah scrolls open before, this time was different. As a matter of fact, many things really resonated down to my bones at this particular season of teshuvah. I gazed upon the leaf with its beautifully penned black letters. The deer skin hide upon which they were written 300 or so years ago had turned into a rich amber patina. What struck me so hard was the flow of the Hebrew letters. I was instantly reminded of the River of Life.

I knew that the vowel points would be absent, but the lack of spacing between the words caused my eyes to see (in the spirit) the unity and oneness of the Word of God. Each section of the Torah appears as one ginormous vowel-less Word! To put it another way, each letter is one building block in a stream of continuous Truth. There is no separation. No division. Nothing is disjointed. Everything is connected and cohesive. Removing even a single letter would diminish the beauty, oneness, and unity of YHWH’s Word.

However, to make these consonant letters come to life requires breath or Spirit. One must open their mouth and like a shofar become the vowels that ignite the fiery Words of our Elohim. The ebb and flow of the cantillation flows like rushing waters from the flesh of the Living. The scroll is made from the flesh of a beast created on day six, but it is the spirit of a man/woman made in the image of Elohim that gives it life. Are we a vessel that gives the letter life? Or is our focus only on the dead things of the flesh?

Though touching the letters can harm the scroll’s integrity, I was able to touch the baby soft under side of the scroll. A beast only shows or gives access to its most vulnerable parts when it is submissive to a Higher Power, the Alpha. When we submit our lower or beastly nature (flesh) to the Word of the Almighty God, we become like the deerskin scroll. Through the death of our flesh, we become a living testimony to the Life and Light and Power of a Greater Resurrected Life.

The Words of Life are inscribed on the flesh (of a beast). You are either a man (woman) created in the image of Adonai or you are ruled by the lower nature, the image of a beast. This is true in the beginning in Genesis 1 on day 6 and at the end in the Book of Revelation. Abba desires that His Word be upon a heart of clean flesh. Long after these flesh and blood bodies have worn out and passed away, the Word written on hearts of flesh LIVES.

When Abba teaches a lesson, He usually gives more than one example. When the Hidden Day (Feast of Trumpets) finally arrived, I witnessed this same message through the Living Stones of the people at the Olive Branch. During the service this same scroll was carried around the assembly in a processional and then lifted up high before the people. The Body was One with her King. The King was the focus and the unity was profound. We were of one accord, all connected like the letters on the scroll. All flesh was submissive showing its soft under belly to the Master of the Universe.[1] Words of Life were being etched upon clean flesh.

abrahamWhen Dr. Alewine began to sing the Akeida, the Shekinah (Divine Presence) was heavy and awe inspiring. I could barely stand on my feet. Abraham was willing to take the thing He loved most in this world and give it to Adonai. We also must be willing to submit ourselves to one another and to our King. Flesh must be sacrificed before one can enter the Presence. This is how unity is accomplished and where the glory of Adonai dwells. (Ps. 84)

During these Days of Awe, my prayer is that we learn to walk out the unity of the scroll. We are the Living Letters of Life that flow out from the throne of the King of the Universe. When we open our mouths of flesh, may they be filled with truth, mercy, and righteousness. May we be vessels of reconciliation, love, and light.

L’Shanah Tovah!

  As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. (Ps. 42:1)


[1] The unified Word written on flesh is not just about submitting to the King. It also requires submitting to and loving one another. These are the two great commandments. We will continue to see divisions and separations when the beast (person ruled by the flesh) reigns in our hearts and in our midst. May Abba send us a minister like Nathan to tell us that, “we are that man/woman.” If we have given ourselves over to the beast/flesh, may we repent.

 

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Garments of Light Part II

In Part I, we looked at the Hebrew word arom (naked). I’d like to revisit this briefly as it is the context of this post. Adam and Chavah (Eve) were naked and not ashamed before they sinned. They were innocent without anything to hide. The enemy was also arum (cunning), and he was certainly hiding something. Now, let’s look at some of the words he chose to tempt Chavah.

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5)

Before we examine the verses above, let’s look at one more.

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— (Gen. 3:22)

Did you notice the “cunning” of the serpent? He didn’t exactly lie to Chavah, did he? In fact, he used the truth. Perhaps the truth had a little twist or perhaps he caused her to doubt. Regardless, we all know the outcome. Their eyes were opened and they were like Elohim knowing good and evil. Sin stripped them (made them bare) of their heavenly garments (innocence), so Elohim covered them with ohr, mortal flesh of skin.[1]

One strategy of the enemy that we tend to overlook is that he often uses truth to strip us of our garments and cover us with shame. I wonder how many of us have followed his example unwittingly? Do we sometimes use truth to strip our neighbors? Do we sometimes leave people naked and in shame without covering them?

Dirty Laundry

Dirty-LaundrySin is likened to dirty garments in the Bible.

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by. (Zec. 3:3-5)

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Is. 64:6)

Conversely, clean garments can represent our righteous acts, salvation, wedding garments, or even the priesthood. (We will look at some examples in a later post.) Thus, we can figuratively “wear” anything from shame to salvation. This is a common biblical metaphor. But it is also an English metaphor. Not long ago, I heard the old Don Henley song “Dirty Laundry”. And it got me thinking about the sad state of social media, the news, and the like. People LOVE to put other people’s dirty laundry on display for the whole world to see. But even worse, those that claim to be followers of the Messiah are often the worst perpetrators.

After meditating on this, I printed out the lyrics to “Dirty Laundry”. You can see the full list here, but here is a sample:

Dirty little secrets

Dirty little lies

We got our dirty little fingers

In everybody’s pie

We love to cut you down to size

We love dirty laundry

 We can do the Innuendo

We can dance and sing

When it’s said and done

We haven’t told you a thing

We all know that Crap is King

Give us dirty laundry

Why do we feel the need to air another person’s dirty laundry? Why do we always seem to focus on the crap? What would possess us to post the downfall of another human created in the image of Elohim on Facebook? How does this serve the King of the Universe? Are we without sin? No, yet we are often the first to throw stones at our brothers and sisters. Something in us secretly relishes in another person’s demise. How sick and sad is this?

May I suggest that when we do things such as this we are following the image of the serpent beast and not YHWH? The nachash (serpent) was the first to use this tactic. He is the first liar, but he also used TRUTH to get Adam and Chavah to stumble. He made them doubt the motives and goodness of Elohim. His final blow was to tell them something that was true. They would indeed become like Elohim knowing good and evil.

You see, we think that just because we know something that it is always the will of the Father for us to reveal it. We fail to take into account the sovereign timing of YHWH. Only the Sower knows when the seed should be planted and when it will sprout to life. We are meant to be the holy vessels He uses to accomplish His will. We don’t decide these things, He does.

 Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting that we withhold the truth from people. Nor am I suggesting that we hide our light. But what I am proposing is that we need to be careful in our method of delivery and in our follow-up (discipleship). Even with good intentions, we can strip the robe off of our neighbor and leave them uncovered and naked. For example, you might tell someone the truth about the origins of Christmas. This reality is painful. The person most likely has strong emotions, memories, and traditions tied to this unbiblical festival. If all you do is strip them of this dirty garment, you have left them naked.

“Lately My people have risen up as an enemy— You pull off the robe with the garment From those who trust you, as they pass by, Like men returned from war. (Mic. 2:8 NKJV)

 And this is the problem. Many love to proclaim the truth ONLY to shake the foundation or faith of others. But this isn’t LOVE unless we are also there to cover and protect their exposed and tender flesh. We must be merciful and allow others to grieve their loss (false covering). We also must be there to bandage their wounds with oil and wine and cover them with the true festivals and white linen garments of heaven.

What is Shame?

Recall that in the beginning, Adam and Chavah were naked (arom), but not ashamed. But once sin entered the equation, their nakedness became something else entirely. They were now naked (arum) like the serpent, with something to hide: sin. Sin shames us.

The Hebrew word for shame in Genesis 2:25 is boosh (beht, vav, shin). It carries the idea of great disappointment (in self). Pictographically, it means to be linked with the destroyer of the house/tent. Isn’t this exactly what happened to Adam and Chavah? Were they not found to be in collusion with the enemy of Adonai?

Angry group pointing finger.Shame is the realization, sorrow, and guilt one feels when this truth is exposed. It is greatly humiliating whether the action was done in ignorance, through deception, or with our full intention. Our light or covering is ripped off to expose our weak and sensitive flesh. Shame can be quite devastating and is the cause of many suicides. Shame leaves a person in a state of worthlessness, despair, and hopelessness. And this is the goal of our enemy. He wants to kill, steal, and destroy any and all hope for a future.

How did YHWH respond to the “nakedness” in Adam and Chavah? We need to pay close attention to Adonai’s remedy, because it is THE pattern we are to use with one another when dealing with sin. Reread Genesis chapter 3. Notice that first, YHWH deals with their sin. He questions them about their participation while they are still exposed and trying to cover/hide themselves with fig leaves. Adonai hears both of their excuses, and then outlines the results of their actions. (He makes a righteous judgment.) The blame game didn’t absolve them from guilt or consequence.

But after making a righteous judgment, Adonai gracefully clothes the tender and exposed flesh of Adam and Chavah. He binds up their emotional wounds. He covers them with skins of flesh and takes them away from the temptation. This is mercy, grace, and love at its finest.

This is our model. If we are walking in the image of Elohim, we can remove the shame of our brothers and sisters the same way. Leaving them to wallow in their despair and hopelessness is the same thing as leaving them naked.

Clothing the Naked

 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (Mt. 25:35-36)

Messiah says that when we feed, give drink, clothe the naked, visit the sick and prisoners, we are His hands and feet in the earth. How we treat our neighbors is of great import. Does He just mean this in the literal sense or is He also speaking figuratively? The metaphoric language of Scripture demands that His statement is both literal and figurative (spiritual). After all, humans are both flesh and spirit. Elohim always deals with the whole person.

This analogy is the same when we think we need to announce to world another person’s sins, familial issues, finance issues, or the like. When we participate in tearing down the reputation and character of another human being created in the image of Elohim with great revelry, we are an enemy. We are a destroyer of the brethren. We are the man or woman that strips another down to naked shame. The only reason I can think of that would cause us to take pleasure in such treachery is on account of our own fig leaves of insecurity, rejection, and guilt. If we must tear down another person to make ourselves feel better about our own issues, then we are no better than a beast. We are a destroyer, a snake, and an accuser of the brethren.

As I write, we are in the Ten Days of Awe, the season of repentance. Yom Hakippurim is just around the corner. May we be reminded of the true reason for the fast:

“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. (Is. 58:6-10)

light and darkWe should mourn and fast when a brother or sister falls or when they are living in the bondage of ignorance and false traditions. We should not be pointing our scaly fingers in accusation. Our fast is meant to break the bonds of wickedness and cause a well of repentance to spring in our neighbor’s heart. This is the will of YHWH. Sin oppresses us with a transparent garment of shame. But Adonai says, if someone is naked and exposed to the world on account of his or her shame, we should cover him or her with mercy and forgiveness. All the while, never forgetting (not hiding from the fact) that we too have flesh just as tender and needy. (This requires humility!) In other words, we are no better than they.

This is how the original light that we bestowed in the beginning shines through the darkness of a fallen world. Which takes us to the subject of my next post in this series. Why did Moses’ face shine? And why does the risen Messiah radiate so much light? Coming up soon in Part III.


[1] For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. (2 Cor. 5:1-4)

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The Repairer of the Breach

repair the breachI promised this article in The Biblical Role of Women Part IX. Though this post is directly related to the building/destroying discussed in my last two posts on women, I felt this post was important enough to warrant its own title. I hope it brings you renewal.

Before I get into the meat of this post, I have to tell you something that happened as I was writing this article. I had just finished writing five pages and I hit the “print” button to proofread what I had written. I then hit “save” and POW, the entire document changed into a strange mixture of Asian symbols, English letters, and Arabic numerals. Someone more computer savvy than myself might be able to explain this odd phenomenon with computer science. I, however, have no idea how or why this happened. I searched and tried to recover the document to no avail. All my “saves” were contaminated with the gibberish I mentioned above.

But I did have the intact document in that single print I made. I would have to retype the whole thing to post it on the blog. My husband and children were witnesses to this fiasco and all were sorry for me, LOL. But I believe it happened for a reason. You see, in the original article I had written a lot about how we “react” to life’s interruptions and seeming setbacks. That cannot be a coincidence! I’ve pondered on this and have set out to do more than retype the original. Being a repairer of the breach requires more than a rebuild. It requires strengthening the area where the breach occurred.

What is a Breach?

Repaierer-of-the-Breach-370x215A breach is a gap in a wall, barrier, or defense. In warfare or agriculture, a breach is a place where the enemy comes in to destroy or where the sheep break out and get lost. It’s that one weak spot in the levy that gives way to the flood. It doesn’t take much digging to discover that God’s House is to be maintained, and that includes repairing breaches. The accounts of King Jehoash,[1] King Josiah,[2] and the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem in Nehemiah all teach us about how and why we are to rebuild what has been breached. And sometimes, due to great opposition, we must rebuild with a sword in one hand and our tools in the other.

Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. (Neh. 4:17)

If you’ve read my latest articles on the Biblical Role of Women Part VIII and Part IX, then you know that their themes are related to building. Sometimes, a breach occurs in the walls we have built. This implies two things. First and foremost we must GUARD what we have been building. If watchmen were/are needed in the natural, you better believe that they are needed in the spiritual realm. And secondly, we must be prepared to maintenance or repair any weak areas or outright breaches. We are fools if we don’t think this will be an ongoing endeavor in our lives. Thus, we must diligently search and inspect our building projects. Sometimes, things can be improved or strengthened. All of this is to prevent the enemy from having opportunity and to prevent us from straying.

Who is the Repairer of the Breach?

In my mind, I’ve always thought of Yeshua as being the Repairer of the Breach. And this is true; He does indeed mend what has been broken. He applies the salve we need to endure and the comfort we desire from the battle. However, it is YOU and I that are called to be His hands and feet in the earth! As His followers, we are meant to be the ones that shore up the holes in the wall. We are to repair His House! Our focal passage in this post is from Isaiah 58. Let’s begin by looking at the first eight verses. These serve as the context of our focus, so please don’t skip over them.

Is. 58:1-8  “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins.  (2)  “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.  (3)  ‘Why have we fasted and You do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?’ Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers.  (4)  “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.  (5)  “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?  (6)  “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?  (7)  “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?  (8)  “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Do you recall from Part IX how that the rabbis often infer from the text that the HOUSE is a reference to the women? If that is true in this case, then the “people” are in rebellion, but the House or women are in sin. Women can represent the intimacy of a relationship. In this passage, YHWH is truly speaking about intimacy or the lack thereof. The people desperately want to know why their cries and worship are not bringing YHWH near or close.

The problem, as YHWH has pointed out, is a heart issue. They may be doing what is required, but their motive is all wrong. Even their fasting has been for selfish reasons. YHWH goes on to delineate the true reason for fasting. I love these verses and have recounted them often. But now, I’m wondering if some of my own fasts have also been for the wrong reasons. Yah help me! So that we can recognize how we are to be repairers of the breach, I will enumerate the true reasons for fasting:

  1. To loosen the bonds of wickedness.
  2. To undo the bands of the yoke.
  3. To let the oppressed go free; to break every yoke.
  4. To divide your bread with the hungry.
  5. To bring the homeless poor into the House.
  6. To cover the naked.
  7. To not hide yourself from your own flesh.

I’m not going to analyze these seven things, but I would like you to notice the fourth reason – it is directly related to repairing the breaches in our own lives. Bread is more than physical sustenance. As we know, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of YHWH”.[3] Interestingly, this quote from Deuteronomy also mentions humbling ourselves and our clothing (coverings).

Now for the key verses:

Is. 58:9-12 “Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,  (10)  And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.  (11)  “And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.  (12)  “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

I wonder how many of us consistently call out to YHWH and feel that He is not listening. I wonder how many of us stumble through life in the darkness of depression, oppression, and “gloominess”. How many of us wallow in self-pity, without direction or satisfaction? What is missing? Why don’t we know what to do with ourselves? Why are we unsatisfied, lonely, and afraid? Why do we believe that everyone else “has it together” when we do not? Isaiah 58 has some answers if we are willing to receive it.

How Do I Get YHWH to Answer Me?

answer-me-1I think that too many of us stumble from one stream of chaos to the next. We are tossed to and fro; and we are tired. What is the root behind all this despair? We have a “breach” in our wall and we’ve not repaired it! The truth is that every single person will have to deal with one or more major “breaches” in their life. Sadly, many of these occur in our childhood and have left us maimed for decades. These gaping holes have left us less than whole. Every relationship is colored by our past experiences and our wounds just won’t seem to heal. The destruction from the breach continues to wreak havoc in our thought life and our relationship with God and others.

So, we cry out to YHWH and beg Him to take the pain away! But sometimes the pain remains, why? What are we missing? Based on our passage in Isaiah, there is something WE must do. Sure, God could supernaturally take it all away in one clean brush stroke. So, why doesn’t He? Perhaps, Isaiah can help us.

There are four things mentioned for us to do in verses 9-12. The text says, “IF” we do these things, “THEN”, our darkness and gloom will become as bright as the midday. The question is: do you want to get out of that pit? If so, let’s follow these words of our King and not only find that quench for our own thirst, but become the spring that never fails. Here are the four:

  1. Call upon YHWH.
  2. Remove the yoke from your midst (heart).
  3. Stop pointing the finger of blame and speaking wickedly.
  4. Give yourself to the hungry and the afflicted.

Call Upon YHWH

If you have a relationship with Abba, I’m sure you’ve been acting on number one rather frequently. That is, unless you are bitter with the Almighty. And you know if you are. If you can’t even bring yourself to worship or cry out to the King, then you will remain in that pit. You must forgive God for that breach. He didn’t cause it. And He hasn’t forsaken you. You have left Him. Whether it was the loss of a loved one, sickness, abuse, disappointment, or some other major struggle, you have allowed the breach to occur. Let it go and choose to walk in newness – trusting that YHWH really is smarter than we are and knows how to best care for His children.

I know this isn’t simple. But the reason it is not, is for one reason: your flesh and the pride of life. Yes, that’s ONE thing as they are tightly intertwined. If you are waiting for your feelings (flesh) to line up with what you know to do, then you will remain in disappointment.

Call upon YHWH, anyway. Call upon Him in your grief over life. Worship Him even though you don’t feel like it. (Especially if you don’t feel like it!) By making your FLESH do what your spirit knows to do, you are mastering your lower beastly nature. Eventually, if you’re consistent, your flesh will fall in line with your spirit. Like a strong and wild stallion, you’re flesh can be mastered. And true release will come! Abba says, “Here I am”!

Remove the Yoke from Your Midst

A yoke is a devise used to pair two beasts together at the neck to carry a load or plow a field. The Bible uses the imagery of yoke to explain what it is that controls us or directs our heads. There is the yoke of the enemy and the yoke of Yeshua. The former is nothing but slavery and bondage; whereas, the latter is light and easy. Yeshua’s yoke brings the protection of the Master’s House. His Kingdom has boundaries, but His walls ensure our safety and security. In order to receive His protection, we must choose to be lifelong bond-servants. For it truly is better in the Master’s House!Jesus-yoke-is-easy

But, to become His bond-servant, we must remove any other yoke we have attached ourselves to. Did you notice that the first verses of Isaiah 58 on fasting also mention “undoing the bands of wickedness and the yoke”? YHWH is serious about this. When we fast, it is our FLESH that must suffer. Fasting is one way in which our spirits can take back the upper hand and rule over our beast (flesh). Our flesh doesn’t like to feel hungry. It wants to RULE where we turn our heads. And it is the primary “enemy” you will deal with until death.

Beloved, the more I study, and the more I pursue a life in Torah, the more I realize that after coming into relationship with YHWH, everything is about this. The question of whether you will be a beast or a man (in the image of God) created on day 6 of creation is in nearly every single story of the Bible, culminating in the Book of Revelation with the “woman” and the “harlot who rides the beast”. The harlot gives her power to the beast.[4] God’s people have taken authority over (their) beast (flesh). They have instead, taken upon the yoke of Messiah.

Whip that flesh into submission! (I’m speaking to myself here as much as I am to you!) Force it to conform into the image of the Messiah. This is our calling. Go back and read the epistles in the Brit Chadashah. (N.T.). Notice the constant call to stop being carnal. Grow up by making your flesh submit. It’s time to build and no longer destroy. (As I’ve mentioned before, mussar is an awesome tool to help you “tame” your beast!)

Stop Pointing the Finger of Blame and Speaking Wickedly

The blame game. We all play it from time to time. The flesh ALWAYS has an excuse for its rotten behavior. Our favorite scapegoat is — everyone else. They’re not doing what they should be doing; thus, I’m justified in my own stinking actions. I was provoked. They hurt me. They won’t stop doing this or that. They always make me feel… you fill in the blank. They take advantage of me. They made fun of me. They… this or that. There is always a reason that we don’t do what we know to do.

cheating-blameThe problem is that “they” are not who we are supposed to master. We aren’t responsible for “their” behavior, no matter how crappy they treat us. YHWH says, “STOP!” Just stop pointing the finger. No matter what happened to you at the hands of some other person, we cannot use them as an excuse for our own bad actions. Go back and look at number seven in the list of fasting requirements. It says, do not hide yourself from your own flesh. Don’t justify your own fleshly nature while pointing out everyone else’s. That is being a hypocrite. Mercy is nonexistent in these scenarios.

The second clause in this statement is also true. If you’re pointing the finger, you are also running your big, fat mouth. You’re telling anyone and everyone “why” you are the way you are. And it’s all someone else’s fault. STOP. You will never find the healing and deliverance you so desperately seek while engaging in this relentless behavior. Hurting people hurt people. If you’re hurting right now, please stop and consider your actions. Don’t continue this cycle of chaos and destruction. Choose differently.

Again, this is all about your FLESH. Either Messiah has set you free or He hasn’t. You either wear His light yoke or you keep yourself yoked to your lower nature (flesh). Who is steering your head? Who dictates where you walk and what you say with that mouth? Who is at the helm of your ship?

STOP, says YHWH. Turn back and REPENT!

Give Yourself to the Hungry and the Afflicted

I’m not sure if you noticed this or not, but in the first verses of Isaiah 58 on fasting, and in our focal verses on becoming the repairer of the breach, the fourth thing required is to give bread to the hungry. Creation Gospel students understand the “authority” and “governing” aspect of the number four. It is actually a picture of seven and wholeness. You can read my article on The Rivers of Eden, to learn a little more about this number.

hands-holding-an-empty-bowl_shutterstock_68377594Four is also a picture of the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). Not surprisingly, this firstfruits festival involves the offering of TWO baked loaves of wheat bread. After you have called upon YHWH, removed the evil yoke, and stopped the blame game, the next requirement is to give yourself to the hungry and the afflicted. How do we give ourselves to the hungry?  The passage on fasting says to “divide” our bread with the hungry. Do you have a loaf to spare for your neighbor?

We’ve already mentioned that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of YHWH. But, in order to train our flesh, giving real physical bread is necessary. Our nephesh would rather keep as much for itself as possible. Like a child, anything in its reach is “MINE”! It doesn’t like to share. It doesn’t really care about its neighbor or being in one accord at the feast of Shavuot (Pentecost).

Thank heavens, YHWH does care. The final test for your flesh is in whether or not you will give yourself to the hungry and the afflicted. As the last step, it will be the most challenging. Giving yourself to another person requires great vulnerability. In order to give yourself over to or to love your neighbor, you must place yourself in a position to get hurt. Getting hurt is what caused the breach in the first place. It’s why you’ve built the walls (of sand) around your heart. It’s why you blame, it’s why you complain, and it’s why you’re in pain.

Does YHWH really want me to risk it all, again? The answer in an unequivocal: YES! And if you get hurt again, then you get hurt. God can mend you again. He risked everything for us. We are to risk everything for our brothers and sisters, because we are to be one. Scars, bumps, bruises, and all. This is perfect love. For every heart break and every disappointment we endure for the House, YHWH is right there with us. We are His hands and feet.

These things are the IF. Now let’s look at YHWH’s promised, THEN.

Then, YHWH

Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.  (11)  “And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.  (12)  “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell. (Is. 58:10-12)

By making your flesh submit, its “feelings” will eventually line up with the Word. Depression, apathy, and gloom are replaced with the brightness of God’s Light.

Tabernacle-Layers-Lesson-23Verse eleven is especially significant to me. “And YHWH will continually guide you”. Do you lack direction? Are you unsure of which way or where to go? Perhaps, all we need to receive this precious instruction is to give ourselves to our (imperfect) brothers and sisters. Strength will return to the body when we do. Notice that our “bones” or the frame of the House is restored. We become the builder we are meant to be. The living waters of the Holy Spirit are ever present in our midst.

Those willing to risk everything are given a name. Oh, how I want to be called by this name! Those that rebuild the ruins and raise up those old foundations are called “The Repairer of the Breach”!! The Kingdom and House have been restored and there we shall dwell in peace. Sigh. This is so awesome! All it will take is a little humility. We can do it!

One last note, the remaining two verses of Isaiah 58 speaks directly about the Shabbat. We are to deny our flesh, and delight in the Sabbath by resting in YHWH’s finished work. Real Sabbath delight requires gathering with our brothers and sisters — blemishes and all. Build, and do not destroy. Repair what has been breached. I hope to see you there. Shabbat Shalom!


[1] 2 Kings 12

[2] 2 Kings 22

[3] Dt. 8:2-6  “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  (3)  “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.  (4)  “Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.  (5)  “Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.  (6)  “Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

[4] Rev 17:13-16  “These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.  (14)  “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”  (15)  And he *said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.  (16)  “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.

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