Saturday, November 26, 2011
Against Whitewashers and Jezebels
Shabbat Shalom, praise be unto יהוה, praise His Mighty Name.
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 “I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.”
How many of you have found yourself speaking this truth over your life… especially when the going gets tough? It is true that it is Messiah who empowers us to do all – to do all what? Well… to do all He has commanded us to, aměn!
He is our Strength and our Rock:
Tehillim/Psalm 62:5-8 “My being, find rest in Elohim alone, because my expectation is from Him. 6 He alone is my rock and my deliverance, my strong tower; I am not shaken. 7 My deliverance and my esteem depend on Elohim; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in Elohim. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; Elohim is a refuge for us. Selah.”
It is certainly His strength we need in these last days as He has called us to be salt and light and declare His truth calling the lost back to Him, and yes, He has chosen each and every one of us to be His ambassadors, His remnant voice in the wilderness calling the captives out of slavery, and in order to do that we certainly need to be strengthened by Him. You often may ask yourself, “how can he use me, I am not strong enough for this?” and you may be right yet in Him you have strength to do all and although we should realise that we do all have different gifts and calling yet we are all to be vocal in our walk of faith and be strengthened to speak out against that which is not of Him!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:27 “But Elohim has chosen the foolish matters of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak of the world to put to shame the strong.”
It is when we often feel inadequate to the task at hand that יהוה can use us to shame the wrong. The Greek word used here for ‘put to shame’, also translated in other translations as ‘confound’ is καταισχύνω ‘kataischunō’ H2617 and means ‘to put to shame, to dishonour, to disgrace, to cause to blush’.
So what is this saying here? Elohim has chosen the weak to cause the ‘strong and arrogant and proud’ to blush and be ashamed’ – it is a verb and so speaks of how our active obedience in actions and speech must put to shame and disgrace that which is not of Elohim. Before Messiah comes again we know that in Mal’aḵi/Malachi 4:5 it says that the spirit of Ěliyahu must come first before the great and awesome day of יהוה. The spirit of Ěliyahu is that voice in the wilderness that prepares the way for יהוה, to which Yoḥanan the Immerser was called and once again the prophetic voice will and is in fact now sounding as we the remnant bride lift up our voice like a ram’s horn and declaring to His people their transgressions and to the house of Ya’aqoḇ their sins (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:1). In a message tonight called, “Against the Whitewashers and the Izeḇels”, please turn with me to Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 13 (Read).
I firmly believe and am sure we all agree that the time for compromising is over – in fact compromising in the life of a true disciple has never been seen as acceptable – so then when we are grafted in by the Blood of יהושע to the covenants of Promise our life of any form of compromise is to end! Sadly that is not always the case with many who call on His Name, as many believers are still falling prey to compromised living standards and false teachings, and I believe that this passage that we have just read has a two-fold message for us – firstly it is how we are to not fall prey to those false prophets and prophetesses who lead millions astray and then secondly we are called to put to shame and speak out against the false junk that is being sold as truth. The question is will you stand firm in your belief and be an Ěliyahu (יהוה is Elohim) and serve יהוה alone and be a Yeḥezqĕl who is obedient in speaking Truth in the face of great opposition? Yeḥezqĕl means ‘Elohim will strengthen’ and as we have read through Him we can do all – even lifting our voice like the ram’s horn!
This passage has gripped me greatly this week – in fact I have been going through the whole of Yeḥezqĕl and here was a man who was taken into Babylonian captivity and was called by Elohim to be a prophet and call people back to obedience of living according to the Torah (instructions) of יהוה.
Yeḥezqĕl spoke the truth without compromise and was often considered to be mad and a lunatic – I mean think about it – how many of you would lie on your side for 390 days and then turn over to lie another 40 days on the other side. He was told to shave his head and divide his hair into 3 parts and prophesy by burning a 1/3 of it, putting a 1/3 to the sword and scatter a 1/3 in the wind, and he remained faithful amidst great persecution and rebellion.
In this chapter there are for us some powerful pictures that clearly speak to us today and I would like us to look at some of these. Primarily the message is a call to those strengthened by Elohim to speak out against the false prophets and prophetesses who are whitewashing the Truth and causing many to whore.
Yeḥezqĕl was called to prophesy against the false prophets! The word prophesy is נָבָא ‘naba’ H5012 which simply means ‘to speak or sing (by inspiration) or communicate a message from a deity - either of proper behavior to a standard, or of future events’.
Yeḥezqĕl was to speak against the false messages that were being spoken by many false prophets of the day.
Prophets, who were not following the Word of יהוה, but rather their own spirit and were prophesying out of their own heart! The visions that they were declaring to the people were false and their divinations were but lies! Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:26 forbids the practice of divination. Divination is the practice of witchcraft and the pagan state or process of stating or determining the future (or hidden knowledge) through signs, omens, and supernatural powers.
There are four broad classes of divination: 1- the position of stars 2 - speaking with dead spirits 3 - examining animal parts or potsherds and 4 – to cast lots for a yes or no answer.
They were in captivity due to their disobedience and instead of the prophets calling people back to obedience they were like foxes among ruins – they were not repairing the wicked state of the nation and were not building up secure walls of defense that would be able to stand in battle on the day of יהוה. They were declaring, ‘Thus said יהוה’, when יהוה had not spoken and they were even expectant for their false prophesies to be confirmed! יהוה is against false prophets and so too does He call us His called out set-apart ones to be too!
False prophets build walls of religion that lead people astray with fabricated edification, misleading exhortation and counterfeit comfort and in the process think that they can control the masses while they are ravaging them like a fox in ruins! Wall or walls in Scripture is often referred to as that which protects and keeps the enemy out and separates a people from another. Yeḥezqĕl in Yeḥezqĕl 4:3 was told to take an iron plate and set it as a wall between himself and the city and it was to be a sign to Yisra’ĕl that it would be besieged as they had been separated from יהוה because of their crookedness. In Yeḥezqĕl 8 יהוה brought him in a vision to a hole in the wall of the court and was shown the evil abominations that were being done. They had abominations carved on the walls, as the elders were doing wickedness in the dark, saying יהוה doesn’t see them, he saw women weeping for Tammuz, and 25 men bowing down to the east worshipping the sun!
The ‘walls’ of Yisra’ĕl was supposed to symbolically represent the protection of יהוה and here they had profaned His protection by trusting in their many idols and idolatrous living. Walls that should have represented deliverance and strength by the Hand of יהוה were built not on obedience to יהוה but rather idolatry as they would rely on other nations, corruption and sin – all of which could not protect them from Babylon or from יהוה who would use Babylon to discipline and destroy idolatry! The walls were weak and instead of repairing the breaches the false prophets were whitewashing them in order to hide the weaknesses through many false visions.
Whitewash – something that continues to this day. The word used here for whitewash is תָּפֵל ‘taphel’ H8602 and means ‘to smear’ and is also translated as ‘untempered, tasteless, unseasoned and foolish’, and symbolises that which is false and presented as something it is not. To be untempered means to not have elements mixed in satisfying proportions and are a picture of having elements of truth blended with lies – it is ‘taphel’ rendering a whitewashed appearance of falsehood. This word is translated as falsehood in:
Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14 “Your prophets have seen Falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.”
The work of a false prophet is primarily in being a whitewasher – it has not strength or substance and gives only false hope, and with the whitewashing of the truth they loudly proclaim peace, peace when there is no peace!
Whitewashers proclaim false peace:
Men crave peace – or at least the sound or perception of peace. Words of peace will not create peace – only יהושע, the Prince of Peace brings peace and peace does not come through flattering words – in fact peace is often preceded by storms and trouble! Listen to the words of our Prince of Peace:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword, 35 for I have come to bring division, a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – 36 and a man’s enemies are those of his own household.”
These are certainly not flattering words!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:14-15 “And they heal the breach of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had done abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. They shall stumble at the time I visit them,” said יהוה.”
The whitewashers don’t even know how to blush and it is time for us to stand up and put them to shame and cause them to blush as יהושע Messiah empowers us, aměn!
Whitewashers proclaim a false hope:
False hope offers the appearance of protection, and let’s face it – its appearance is often appealing and fair – the church has mastered the art of whitewashing through programmes, arts, culture and competes with even the most successful businesses today – that alone should be a warning sign – yet they continue to whitewash the cracks.
And while keeping people so busy with false works they are in fact unseasoned – that is that they are without salt or rather they are saltless and that which is saltless or has lost its saltiness is useful for only one thing and that is to be trampled underfoot – which is exactly what is going to happen!!!
And this is how the enemy proclaims a false peace and hope message that will certainly be destroyed when the storms come! False hope contains solid materials, hence the deceptive appearance – yet is untempered – the solid materials (that is the elements of truth) have been sugar coated and blended with lies in a very crafty way that has so many fooled by its mere glittering appearance. Let me remind you – a lie that contains a half truth is the most deadly lie!!! False hope lacks essential elements – listen if the mortar is rotten then all the rest is wasted too. יהושע in speaking to the man who asked Him what he should do to inherit eternal life was told that he knows the commands – keep them and then when he responded by saying he has done so since his youth and then יהושע said in:
Marqos/Mark 10:21 “And יהושע, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One matter you lack: Go, sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the stake.”
This ‘one thing’ the man would not do – count the cost and die to self and put his full trust in the Prince of Peace, but instead put it in the false beliefs of whitewashed peace and hope that contain some solid material yet lacked one thing. It just takes one thing to lose it all!!! Religious systems can have almost every commendable element of beauty, fullness etc. yet lack the most important – The TRUTH! The false peace and false hope “proclaiming” that the church at large is doing today lacks the Torah that can hold it together and when the storms come then the walls they have built on false hopes will come crashing down!
I think there is a greater lesson here for us in that we too can so easily be found to be whitewashing compromised lifestyles thinking as they said in Yeḥezqĕl 8:12, “יהוה does not see us!” All too often people think that because nobody knows about their compromise then it is ok. We have even had it at times where people blush before us when that which they have tried to hide comes out before us – as if hiding compromise from us really makes a difference to the compromise – I mean really now!!! יהוה sees all, whether you try to whitewash it before man or not – יהוה sees all – and I think many of us need to realise this and give up on having cracks in our walls whitewashed but rather repent before יהושע and have the breach repaired so that the pure wall of His word that protects can be built up with joy! We need to speak out against the whitewashers – and listen to the charge given to Timotiyos which is for us today too and lines up with Yeḥezqĕl 13:
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 4:1-5 “In the sight of Elohim and the Master יהושע Messiah, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His reign, I earnestly charge you: 2 proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching. 3 For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths. 5 But you be sober in all matters, suffer hardships, do the work of an evangelist, accomplish your service completely.”
Today many are heaping up for themselves the ear tickling false prophets and prophetesses – and they are not builders in the kingdom – they are destructive foxes that ravage the ruins and feed on the sorrows of the masses luring them into a false message of peace and hope .
The sad reality is this – trials will shatter false hope.
True prophets point out the cracks whereas the false slap some whitewashed grace message on top of a problem and I wonder how many of us at times fall into this trap of entertaining the soothing sound of false hope. Think about it – when you last compromised in your total obedience, be it for the fear of man or any other stupid reason, and felt convicted yet whitewashed the conviction with a “He’ll forgive me this time and I am sure He understands” when you in fact have acted in rebellion and deliberately been disobedient, even in the little things that many of us often think can be brushed under the whitewash of a false grace that is used as a self-imposed licence to sin!
False prophets are often well spoken of and of course they will be as they tell people what they want to hear – it is easy to draw a large crowd of people if you can tickle their ears. True prophets as we see clearly in Scripture are despised and rejected among men – let me ask you at this point, “Are you up for the task of speaking Truth and speaking against the false?” – For you will be persecuted and hated and despised!
The Word challenges the True to stand up and speak against the false and put them to shame! We cannot tolerate compromised and whitewashed lies any longer and we need to realise that, as I am not so sure if we all do actually get it just yet, and in order to do this we need to let go of the false mixed whitewash completely – no more excuses – strengthened by Elohim and empowered by Messiah to speak up and raise a shout, sounding the alarm!
The whitewashed walls will fall – why? Because as יהושע told us that the foolish build on sand and when the rain comes and the wind comes it will collapse. The storm is coming and we need to be telling those living under the allusion of a whitewashed safety that it shall fall – yet we who build on the Rock – יהושע Messiah – the Word made flesh - the Living Torah will be safe. The Torah is as important for us today as it was in the days of Yeḥezqĕl and sadly the same whitewashing is going on today as it was back then. The good news is this – we sitting here can be used like Yeḥezqĕl – those willing to face being rejected and despised and persecuted for righteousness sake and although we may be few in number we are more than the one Yeḥezqĕl, when empowered by messiah can do all, aměn!
We are to be salt and light – not unseasoned and dark and we the salt and light must put to shame the saltless and dark!!!
Yeḥezqĕl was to also set his face against the women who were prophesying out of their own heart – and boy is this happening today – all the false teachers who are prophesying lies – just think about all the well-known women who are taking up spotlight of tickling many ears and using many tactics to do this. They sew cushions for all joints of the hand which can also be rendered as cover the knuckles – and more specifically ‘cover the knuckles of יהושע – as they cover the ‘saving hand of Elohim’ through false lies and hope, causing many to adulterate themselves. It can also give the allusion to providing false comfort making them comfortable in their current lives that are riddled with disobedience to the torah as they provide a false security.
I also see this as a picture to the church as being described as the daughters who promise a rapture and false security, and that lie will certainly be exposed when the storms come. The false daughters put veils over people’s heads in order to hunt them – that is they clothe and veil the truth with an allusion of security yet have profaned יהוה for barley and bread – they are in it for the money!!! They put to death those who speak truth and keep alive those living whitewashed lives as they continually lie in order that they are kept afloat. But there is coming a time when all the magic spells of the women/daughters will be torn away. The daughters or women have not led people back to Torah – they have only led them to their bank accounts and all the false comfort they teach will be exposed. There are many lies out there telling people they do not have to understand the book of Revelation because they will not be here as they will be whisked away – this is a lie. יהושע is coming at the 7th trumpet –not before – and there is certainly no picture of peace before then – yet we who are steadfast on the Rock will be able to weather the storm, aměn!
This woe in Yeḥezqĕl given to the women is a big woe! And we need to say woe to the daughters who are prophesying lies!
Here the message to the assembly is Thyatira:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2: 18-29 “And to the messenger of the assembly in Thyatira write, ‘This says the Son of Elohim, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished brass: 19 “I know your works, and love, and service, and belief, and your endurance. And as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 “But I hold against you that you allow that woman Izeḇel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and lead My servants astray to commit whoring and to eat food offered to idols. 21 “And I gave her time to repent of her whoring, and she did not repent. 22 “See, I am throwing her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction, unless they repent of their works. 23 “And I shall slay her children with death. And all the assemblies shall know that I am the One searching the kidneys and hearts. And I shall give to each one of you according to your works. 24 “And to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not possess this teaching, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they call them, I am not putting on you another burden. 25 “But hold fast what you have until I come. 26 “And he who overcomes, and guards My works until the end, to him I shall give authority over the nations, 27 and he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron, as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces, as I also have received from My Father. 28 “And I shall give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.” ’
He who has an ear let him hear – there are so many not listening to the Word of יהוה and many are listening to whitewashed teachings or are themselves whitewashing their lives as they hang on to false prosperity teachings that allows for unrighteousness, which is lawlessness, to be acceptable and we need to stand up and speak out against the whitewashers and Jezebels! When we find ourselves saying, “Thus says יהוה”, we better be sure to be quoting His unadulterated Word in line with the plumb line of the Torah
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:4 “Those who forsake the Torah praise the wrong, those who guard the Torah strive with them.”
Those against the Torah praise the whitewashers and Jezebels and those who guard the Torah strive with the whitewashers and Jezebels – which one are you!
We need strong walls – יהוה’s protection – for the battles that lie ahead – whitewashed living standards are not going to make it – let us hear, guard and do and raise the sound of the ram’s horn as we live reverently in Messiah and speak out against the whitewashers and the Jezebels – they will soon know as we know – that He is יהוה!
יהוה strengthen you and empower you to hold fast and guard His works until He comes – and until then be not deceived with whitewash, fancy cushions or veils but keep your eyes fixed on our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah!