IN OUR LAST CHAPTER (12) WE DEALT WITH YAHUSHA’S COMMAND FOR YISHARAL TO UPROOT AND DESTROY EVERY LAST PART OF THE CANAANITE MYSTERY RELIGIONS THAT WERE PRESENT IN THE PROMISED LAND. YISHARAL WAS TO MAKE NO COMPROMISES NOR ACCEPT ANY PEACE TREATIES THAT PERMITTED THE CURRENT RESIDENTS OF CANAAN TO CONTINUE WITH THE WORSHIP OF THEIR FALSE DEITIES. WHY? BECAUSE FIRST, THESE PRACTICES WERE ABOMINABLE TO YAHUSHA; AND SECOND, BECAUSE SUCH PERVERTED OBSERVANCES WERE DANGEROUS FOR YISHARAL BECAUSE THEY COULD EASILY BECOME ENSNARED, ALLURED, TEMPTED AND SEDUCED BY THE ATTRACTIVE PAGAN CELEBRATIONS. THE DANGER WAS SO GREAT THAT FOR YISHARAL TO DO SUCH A THING WOULD INVOLVE SEVERE PUNISHMENT FROM YAHUSHA, EVEN ENDING IN PERMANENT SEPARATION FROM HIM FOR SOME INDIVIDUALS. SO NOW TODAY (IN CH 13) WE’RE GOING TO SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ANYONE WHO TRIES TO RE-ESTABLISH THE MULTIPLE DEITY WORSHIP THAT YAHUSHA IS IN PROCESS OF STAMPING OUT. YAHUSHA HAS GIVEN THE ONLY WAYS OF WORSHIPPING HIM (BEHAVIOURS) THAT ARE ACCEPTABLE, SO SHOULD THE YISHARALITES CHOOSE TO ADD SOME OF THE PAGAN CANAANITE WORSHIP PRACTICES TO THEIR WORSHIP OF YAHUSHA, THIS AMOUNTS TO WICKED DISOBEDIENCE AND IDOLATRY (WHICH IS SPIRITUAL ADULTERY TO YAHUSHA).
DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT ALL WORSHIP MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE SPEAKS ABOUT OUR BEHAVIOUR HERE ON EARTH IN THE LAST DAYS.
Someday a prophet or visionary (AN INSPIRED PERSON OR DREAMER OF DREAMS) may come along who is able to perform signs, wonders and miracles or maybe even tell you what will happen in the future. So if what they say comes true and then they say, “Let’s start worshiping some new deities and idols that we know nothing about,”(INTRODUCING NEW BEHAVIOURS, TEACHINGS AND PHILOSOPHIES NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE) don’t listen to their madness because Yahuah will be watching you, testing to see whether or not you truly love Him with all of your heart and being and are willing to stay on your path and THE WAY that He’s given you to walk today. You must be completely loyal to Yahuah your Alahim and guard His Divine Instructions with fear and trembling, listening and clinging to His voice only, because remember, He rescued you from your slavery and bondage in Egypt.
So any prophet who tells you to disobey Yahuah your Alahim and stop following Him is committing a terrible crime (APOSTASY/FALLING AWAY) and must be put to death for this evil behaviour.
But what if your best friend, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, or even your own dear wife or husband tries to entice you secretly, saying “Those deities over there look interesting and exciting, let’s enquire and go serve and worship them?” Don’t listen to this wicked poppycock. Instead, you must stone them to death. And you must take responsibility and be the first to throw the first stones (ENSURING THE VALIDITY OF THE ACCUSATION AND DISCOURAGING FALSE WITNESSES), then others from the community may finish the job (THE EXECUTION). Don’t show any pity for idolatry or the people involved in it, for the fake-arse deities worshiped by those outside nations have never done anything for you or your ancestors. Anyone who asks you to follow and serve other deities are trying to ensnare you into disobedience and cut off your relationship with Yahuah, who rescued you from your slavery in Egypt. So put to death anyone who asks you to worship another deity, don’t agree or listen to them, don’t pardon or make excuses for them either, refusing to hide their crime or sweep it under the rug. No you will kill them for consorting with evil and seeking to entice you away from the good life of obedience, following Yahuah your Alahim, who brought you out of that hideous land of Egypt where you were slaves to the cruelty of the Pharaoh. And when the rest of Yisharal hears about this punishment for crimes of disobedience to Yahuah, they’ll be terrified, and no one else will ever do such an evil thing again.
Now after Yahuah your Alahim gives you towns to live in, you may hear a rumour about one of the towns, that some worthless people have talked everyone there into worshiping other deities, even though these man-made idols have never done anything for them. You must carefully find out if this rumour is true, and if the people of that town have actually done such abominable behaviour in your own country, you must take your swords and kill (UTTERLY SMITE) every one of them, and their livestock too. Then gather all the possessions of the people who lived there, and pile them up in the marketplace, without keeping anything for yourself (THIS IS TO `PUT THEM UNDER THE BAN’). Set the pile and the whole town on fire, and don’t ever rebuild the town, for the whole place will be a sacrifice to Yahuah your Alahim. Then He will turn from the fierceness of His fury and will show you compassion, love you and make you successful, just as He promised your ancestors. That’s why you must always do what Yahuah your Alahim says is right. So I’m giving you His Divine Laws and Instructions today, so you are without excuse, and you must guard them and obey them diligently.
THERE WERE A NUMBER OF WAYS IN WHICH THIS ABOMINABLE BEHAVIOUR COULD COME ABOUT AND IN CHAPTER 13 WE SEE THREE OF THOSE WAYS, AND IT HAS TO DO WITH INDIVIDUAL YISHARALITES WHO MAY ENTICE OTHERS AWAY FROM THE PURE WAY AND CAUSE THEM TO FALL AWAY THROUGH DISOBEDIENCE. THE FIRST IS WHEREBY A MAN CLAIMS ALLEGIANCE TO YAHUSHA, PUBLICLY SAYS HE HAS RECEIVED A WORD OR VISIONS FROM YAHUSHA, AND IS EVEN ABLE TO GIVE A VISIBLE SIGN (THAT COMES TRUE) TO PROVE THAT WHAT HE PROPHESIES IS AUTHENTICALLY FROM YAHUSHA. SECOND IS THE CASE OF A CLOSE RELATIVE OR FRIEND (IN ESSENCE A FAMILY MEMBER) WHO, IN PRIVATE AND IN SECRET, TRIES TO GET OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS TO ACCEPT FORBIDDEN DEITIES. AND THIRD IS WHERE A MAN HAS PROPHESIED SOMETHING AS FROM YAHUSHA AND SUCCESSFULLY GETS THE INHABITANTS OF AN ENTIRE VILLAGE OR CITY TO ADOPT SOME FORM OF PAGAN TRADITIONS AND/OR SOME PAGAN DEITIES. NOW THIS IS NOT MEANT TO EXHAUST ALL THE POSSIBLE WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO BE LED ASTRAY BY FALSE PROPHETS; IT IS SIMPLY THE MOST COMMON EVERYDAY WAYS THAT ARE BOUND TO OCCUR WITH REGULAR FREQUENCY IN SUCH A LARGE POPULATION AS YISHARAL, THAT WILL BE LIVING AMONGST SEVERAL CANAANITE NATIONS WHO HAVE NO INTENTION OF GIVING UP THEIR DEITIES TO FOLLOW YISHARAL’S ALAHIM. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, THIS APPLIES TO THE 21ST CENTURY BRIDE OF YAHUSHA JUST AS IT DID TO ANCIENT YISHARAL.
THE FIRST CASE TELLS OF A PERSON WHO IS REGARDED AS A PROPHET OR ONE WHO HAS VISIONS (DREAMS), AND WHO IS DIFFICULT TO REFUTE BECAUSE HE CLAIMS TO BE A PROPHET OF YAHUSHA AND WHAT HE OFFERS AS PROOF (A SIGN) OF HIS ABILITY TO SEE THE FUTURE, AS REVEALED BY YAHUSHA, SEEMS TO COME TRUE. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THIS PERSON WHO CLAIMS ALLEGIANCE TO YAHUSHA THEN SAYS THAT YAHUSHA HIMSELF HAS TOLD HIM THAT YISHARAL SHOULD BOW DOWN TO OTHER DEITIES AS WELL. NOW THIS MAY SOUND VERY ODD TO US, BUT TO ANYONE LIVING IN THAT ERA THIS WAS THE NORM. RECALL THAT ONE OF THE TITLES WE’LL FIND IN THE EARLY SCRIPTURES FOR YAHUSHA IS “AL” AND AL IS A TITLE THAT ORIGINATED FROM THE CANAANITE MYSTERY RELIGIONS THAT DENOTES THE CHIEF DEITY, THE HIGHEST DEITY, WHO RULES OVER THE PANTHEON OF LESSER GODS AND GODDESSES. IT WAS COMMON THAT A PROPHET OF THE AL (IN WHATEVER CULTURE WE MIGHT BE TALKING ABOUT) WOULD ANNOUNCE THAT AL HAS DECIDED THAT HIS PEOPLE ARE TO ADD A GOD OR GODDDESS TO THEIR WORSHIP. SINCE ALL THE LESSER DEITIES WERE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE AL, THIS WAS IN NO WAY ABANDONING WORSHIP OF THE AL, THE HIGHEST DEITY; IT WAS SIMPLY SAYING THAT ONE OF THE COUNTLESS NUMBERS OF LESSER DEITIES WHO REPORTED TO AL WAS NOW TO PLAY A ROLE IN THEIR WORSHIP PRACTICES. SO THE IDEA IS TO FOLLOW OTHER DEITIES IN ADDITION TO AL; AND THE HEBREWS WERE VERY COMFORTABLE WITH THAT IDEA.
Let’s be clear: Yahusha DID communicate to His people in ancient times by means of His prophets and through those who had visions. In general these were two different categories; prophets were the professionals. Prophets were often ordained as prophets and even supported by the community. So it’s not as though a person would just pop up and declare he was a prophet; rather it was a recognised position. A person who had visions generally was NOT a professional, but rather a layperson; it could be a person who found favor with Yahusha and had these divine dreams, or it could be a leader or authority who received a revelation from time to time in a dream. At times a prophet might receive his word from Yahusha via a dream or vision. So these words are simply lumping both possibilities together and saying do not listen to anyone, no matter how accurate their prophesies might be IF they also advocate worshipping other deities as well.
AND THEN YAHUSHA SAYS THAT THE REASON HE ALLOWS ONE OF THESE FALSE PROPHETS TO KNOW THE FUTURE (EVEN THOUGH THAT PROPHET IS TRYING TO LEAD THE PEOPLE ASTRAY) IS TO TEST THE HEBREWS TO SEE WHO WILL OBEY HIM AND WHO WON’T. THE KEY HERE IS THAT ANY PROPHET OR DREAM INTERPRETER WHO SUGGESTS FOLLOWING OTHER DEITIES, OR ADOPTING SOME ELEMENT OF PAGAN WORSHIP, IS NOT TO BE LISTENED TO BECAUSE THE VERY SUGGESTIONS THAT PROPHET IS MAKING ARE INDICATIONS THAT HE IS EVIL. INSTEAD THE PEOPLE ARE TO REJECT THAT PROPHET OR DREAM DIVINER AND PUT HIM TO DEATH.
NOTICE SOMETHING IMPORTANT; THE TEST OF WHETHER A PROPHET IS FALSE IS NOT WHETHER OR NOT HE IS CORRECT. IT ISN’T EVEN WHETHER OR NOT HE CLAIMS THAT HE IS A FOLLOWER OF THE ALMIGHTY YAHUSHA. RATHER IT IS THAT WHAT HE PROPHESIES IS IN TUNE WITH YAHUSHA’S DIVINE WRITTEN LAWS AND COMMANDS. THINK BACK TO WHEN WE STUDIED MOSES CONFRONTING PHARAOH. YAHUSHA GAVE MOSES A SERIES OF SIGNS AND WONDERS TO PROVE THAT HE WAS HIS SPOKESPERSON. HOWEVER IN MANY OF THOSE CASES PHARAOH’S SORCERERS WERE EQUALLY ABLE TO PERFORM SIMILAR SIGNS. SO WHO WAS TO BE BELIEVED? CERTAINLY IN A HEAD-TO-HEAD BATTLE YAHUSHA’S SIGN OVERCAME THE EGYPTIAN MAGICIANS’ SIGN, BUT THE MAGICIANS SIGNS WERE REAL NONETHELESS. A FALSE PROPHET CAN DISPLAY SUPERNATURAL ABILITY, SO WE MUST BE VERY DISCERNING. HOW DO WE DISCERN? WITHOUT KNOWING YAHUSHA’S WRITTEN WORD IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. HIS LIVING WORD GIVES US THE TRUTH SO THAT WE CAN COMPARE WHAT WE EXPERIENCE AGAINST IT IN ORDER TO KNOW WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT OF HIS SET-APART SPIRIT.
THE SECOND CASE IS OF A FAMILY MEMBER PRIVATELY TRYING TO ENTICE ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER TO SERVE OTHER DEITIES “WHICH YOU HAVE NOT KNOWN”. THIS IS REFERRING TO A VERY CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS DOING THE ENTICING BECAUSE WE ARE GIVEN SPECIFIC RELATIONS IN DESCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE (FOR THAT ERA, AT LEAST). FIRST IS THE BROTHER; BUT BECAUSE IT WAS VERY USUAL FOR A MAN TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE WIFE (AND A CONCUBINE OR TWO AS WELL), AND THEREFORE FOR A SON TO HAVE SEVERAL HALF-BROTHERS, THIS MAKES CLEAR THAT THIS IS REFERRING TO A FULL BROTHER (HAVING THE SAME MOTHER AND FATHER), THE CLOSEST SIBLING RELATIONSHIP POSSIBLE. SECOND IN IMPORTANCE IS ONE’S SON, AND AFTER THAT ONE’S DAUGHTER, AND AFTER THAT ONE’S WIFE, AND THEN A VERY CLOSE AND TRUSTED FRIEND. SO THE IDEA IS THAT WHEN A CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER APPROACHES ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER WITH THE SUGGESTION TO INCLUDE THE WORSHIP OF OTHER DEITIES, THE FAMILY MEMBER THAT WAS APPROACHED WITH THIS ILLEGAL SUGGESTION MIGHT JUST BE TEMPTED TO IGNORE IT OR COVER IT UP AND NOT DO WHAT YAHUSHA HAS INSTRUCTED TO BE DONE (EXECUTE THE INSTIGATOR).
THEREFORE WE’RE TOLD THAT IN ADDITION TO NOT CONSENTING TO SUCH A THING (NOT EVEN IF THAT FAMILY MEMBER IS YOUR OWN MOTHER OR SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY OVER YOU) YOU ARE NOT TO PITY THEM, NOT TO OBEY THEM, NOT TO FOLLOW THEM, NOR ARE YOU TO CONCEAL THEM (THAT IS PROTECT THEM FROM WHAT MUST RIGHTFULLY BE THE CONSEQUENCE). INSTEAD THE FAMILY MUST KILL THAT FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS TRYING TO ENTICE THE OTHERS INTO IDOLATRY. THE REASON FOR THIS DRASTIC ACTION IS SO THAT “WHEN THE REST OF YISHARAL HEARS ABOUT THIS PUNISHMENT FOR CRIMES OF DISOBEDIENCE TO YAHUAH, THEY’LL BE TERRIFIED, AND NO ONE ELSE WILL EVER DO SUCH AN EVIL THING AGAIN”.
THE MEANS OF EXECUTING THAT PERSON IS ALSO PRESCRIBED: STONING. HERE’S THE THING; THE IDEA OF STONING A PERSON TO DEATH IS THAT EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY IS TO PARTICIPATE. BY EVERYONE IN THE COMMUNITY PARTICIPATING, IT INDICATES THE COMMUNITY’S CONSENSUAL AGREEMENT TO REJECT THE EVIL AND DISOBEDIENCE THAT PERSON COMMITTED. THEREFORE WHAT IS BEING STATED IN THESE VERSES IS NOT THAT (WITHOUT TRIAL) A FATHER IS TO TAKE HIS SON OR HIS WIFE OUTSIDE THE CAMP AND THEN STONE THEM TO DEATH IF THAT SON OR WIFE SUGGESTS THE FAMILY WORSHIP OTHER DEITIES; RATHER IT IS THAT THEY ARE TO TURN THEM IN TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES, BRING THEM UP FOR TRIAL AND ACT AS A WITNESS, AND THEN IF THAT PERSON IS CONVICTED THEY ARE TO FOLLOW YAHUSHA’S INSTRUCTIONS THAT THE WITNESS IS TO BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE OF EXECUTION AND THEN THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY JOINS IN TO FINISH THE JOB. PRETTY SEVERE.
The principle is clear: our obligation of obedience to Yahusha and His Instructions is above any allegiance to our closest family member (even our parents, children, or spouse). When faced with the terrible choice of committing blatant evil in Yahusha’s eyes or maintaining a relationship with that fallen family member, one is to turn their back (if necessary) on the family member in order to remain obedient to Yahusha. This (as all of Yahusha’s Instructions) was not abolished by Yahusha, for He even said Himself, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate the behaviour of his own father and mother, wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own behaviour, he cannot be My follower. LUKE 14 BRS
Now hopefully you can see that Yahusha was not suggesting that upon accepting Him, we are to develop an active hatred for our families. He is of course not stating that loving Him means automatic rejection of our family. Rather it is that IF our family puts us in the awkward position (as they all will and can’t help themselves) where we must choose between following Yahusha and His Instructions (feasts, shabath, lifestyle etc) or remaining in good relationship with them by continuing to live by the customs and celebrations and same behaviour we always have (as they raised us), we are to follow Yahusha and let the chips fall where they may. Again they can’t help but take our change and new choice of lifestyle personally and it’s important for us to continue to love them and (if possible) reassure them that abstaining from xmas, birthdays, easter etc etc is not rejecting them but a personal decision between you and your Creator.
THE THIRD CASE GIVEN IS WHEN A PERSON ATTEMPTS TO SUBVERT AN ENTIRE POPULATION CENTER BY ENCOURAGING THEM (AS A COMMUNITY OR CONGREGATION) TO FALL AWAY FROM YAHUSHA BY WORSHIPPING FALSE DEITIES OR ADDING PAGANISM TO THEIR OBSERVANCES. IN FACT THE CASE HERE IS OF AN YISHARALITE TOWN WHERE IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. IT IS INTERESTING THAT THE INSTRUCTION FOR A TRIAL TO DETERMINE THE GUILT OR INNOCENCE OF THE ACCUSED IDOLATER IS RAISED HERE TOO. THE CONSEQUENCE IS THAT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY WHO HAS SUCCUMBED TO THIS APOSTASY/CRIME (NOT JUST THE INSTIGATORS) MUST BE EXECUTED.
NOW AS A FINAL JUDGMENT FOR THE CRIME OF IDOLATRY THAT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY PARTICIPATED IN, THE TOWN ITSELF (ALL THE BUILDINGS) ARE TO BE DESTROYED. AND THE RUINS OF THE TOWN ARE NEVER TO BE BUILT ON AGAIN. THE HEBREW WORD USED HERE FOR THE HEAP, OR RUINS, OF THE TOWN IS “TEL”. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TO ISRAEL TODAY HAVE BEEN TO MANY A TEL, BECAUSE A TEL IS JUST WHERE A SERIES OF CITIES HAVE BEEN REBUILT EACH UPON THE RUINS OF THE PREVIOUS CITY….OFTEN AS MANY AS 15 OR 20 TIMES. IN FACT THE WORD HEAP OR MOUND WELL DESCRIBES IT; BECAUSE ALTHOUGH THE ORIGINAL CITY WAS GENERALLY BUILT ON THE SAME LEVEL AS ITS SURROUNDINGS, OVER THE CENTURIES THE CYCLE OF DESTRUCTION AND REBUILDING LITERALLY CREATES A HILL WHICH GROWS WITH EACH SUCCESSIVE ROUND OF CONSTRUCTION TO THE POINT THAT SOME OF THESE TEL MOUNDS ARE 100 FEET HIGH AND MORE AND TO THE UNINITIATED SEEM AS THOUGH THEY MUST HAVE BEEN A SMALL HILL JUTTING OUT OF NOWHERE.
IN ADDITION TO BURNING THE BUILDINGS THE SPOILS OF THE CITY (THE PERSONAL ITEMS THAT ARE USUALLY CONFISCATED AND GIVEN TO THE MILITARY COMMANDER OR KING) ARE TO BE PILED HIGH AND BURNT WITH FIRE. THIS IS CALLED HEREM; AND THE IDEA IS THAT BECAUSE YAHUSHA ORDERED THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TOWN DUE TO HIS DIVINE WRATH BEING POURED OUT UPON IT, THIS WAS A SACRED AND SET-APART ACT. THEREFORE JUST AS A SACRIFICIAL ANIMAL IS TO BE COMPLETELY BURNT UP ON THE ALTAR AND ALL OF IT GIVEN TO YAHUSHA, SO ARE THE TOWN’S SPOILS TO BE BURNT UP SYMBOLICALLY THEREBY GIVING IT ALL TO YAHUSHA TOO.
Such is the seriousness of committing adultery against Yahusha. There exists no higher crime against His set-apartness and purity than for one who declares to be in union with Him, to willingly come into union with evil also…..in this case, false deities. It is an abomination to Him and He utterly hates it.