Bastards In The Assembly

The first time I heard this distasteful word was when I was five years old and about to go to kindergarten. My mother sat me down and made me promise not to tell anyone that I was adopted. I was very confused by this request. But she went on to explain that there were people in the world who might be mean to me because my parents were not married when I was born and call me a bastard. I was still more confused because my dad and mom were married. She smiled and explained that yes they were married and that I was their daughter and no one else’s, and therefore not a real bastard.

Then as an adult I saw this verse.

“No bastard shall enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD. Deut. 23:2 

This brings to mind two questions. What is a bastard? What does it mean to enter the assembly?

Bastard

The English translation seems pretty straightforward. However mamzer is one of the rarest words in the Hebrew. The standard way of ascertaining what a word means is to look at all its uses. That’s hard to do when it is used only one other time in the whole of the Old Testament were it is translated mongrel not bastard.

. . . . a mongrel people shall dwell in Ashdod; and I will make an end of the pride of Philistia. Zech. 9:6

So what is a mamzer? That’s a little hard to tell. It should be noted that none of the children born in the Bible to unmarried or incestuous relationships are called mamzer. [Gen. 38:26-29; Judg. 11:1-2; 2Sam. 12; Hos. 1:2]

The mongrel people dwelling in Ashdod were most likely a group of people who moved into the empty cities of the Gaza. These new people are not the Philistines, the warrior giants of the famed Goliath and his brothers. These are people that have moved into the area after the Philistines had long disappeared from the historic record. The last mention of Philistines in the Bible was king Ussiah breaking down their walls. After this, the Egyptians and the Assyrians stop recording dealings with them.

And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. 2Chr. 26:6

All this leaves us with only one conclusion. They are children of a mixed religion marriage, e.g. a Israelite married to a pagan worshiper.

Enter the Assembly

If you look back at Deut. 23 passage you will see that there are others that are restricted from entering into the congregation for ten generations, the eunuch, the Ammonites,  and the Moabites. Edomites are only restricted for three generations.

“He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the LORD. Deut. 23:1 

“No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none belonging to them shall enter the assembly of the LORD for ever; Deut. 23:3 

The children of the third generation that are born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD. Deut. 23:8

Some think that these people were excluded from communication with the   people of God in their religious services. This is because the eunuch, the Ammonites, and the Moabites were servants or slaves and would have been present during services.

However eunuchs and foreigners are encouraged to stay in the congregation.

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” Is. 56:3

Then there is a theory that it only means that they are excluded from having an office in the congregation, meaning they could not be judges or elders. The reasoning behind this is because those of the priestly class were not allowed to served as priests if they had a blemish, such as crushed testicles than these excluded people were to be treated the same. [Lev. 21:16-24]

The only other place were there is an explanation of this is the putting away of the foreign wives and children in Nehemiah.

On that day they read from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people; and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God; Neh. 13:1 

It was permitted to marry people from these nations as long as they proselytized. Ruth is the prime example of this. She merely states “Your God is my God.” [Ruth 1:16] However after their time in Babylon they had acquired wives and therefore children that were unconverted.

So based on the Nehemiah passage those that were excluded from entering the assembly were those that were attached to the Israelite in some manner but never changed their religion. These are the mamzers.

The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; yea, she has seen the nations invade her sanctuary, those whom thou didst forbid to enter thy congregation. Lam. 1:10

This is why Paul must clarify the position of individual faith, over corporate faith.

For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. 1Cor. 7:14 

Messiah gave us the Kingdom Age. We are no longer instructed to maintain a physical nation, but rather a worldwide spiritual kingdom.

Woe to The Rebellious

Jude’s letter is addressed to the BELOVED. Not to unbelievers.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 

He has written because there is a problem among the true believers of God. Some have strayed from truth. There are three different errors that are exposed.

Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion. Jude 1:11 

Now we must figure out from the Old Testament just what these three men represent.

Cain flying before Jehovah's Curse by Fernand Cormon

Cain flying before Jehovah’s Curse by Fernand Cormon

The Way of Cain

The way of Cain is that which seeks to kill truth. He thought to gain a worldly advantage. Having failed at that he killed what he viewed as his competition. He thought little of his own soul or of God’s future world. The next life meant nothing to him. He is the ultimate of rebellion as represented in the Word. Cain was the first atheist.

. . . and not be like Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 1John 3:12

Balaam’s Error

Balaam and the Ass is a 1626 painting by  Rembrandt

Balaam and the Ass is a 1626 painting by Rembrandt

Balaams error is one of greed. For gain, Balaam taught the Moabites to corrupt Israel’s faith.

But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice immorality. Rev. 2:14

When we consider church history we see that all the corruption in dogma and doctrine were at their root done for gain. He who has the biggest congregation gets paid the most. So give the people what they want. Don’t confront sin or error. That would bring in less people and therefore less money.

The Punishment of Korah and the Stoning of Moses and Aaron. Fresco by Sandro Botticelli in the Sistine Chapel

The Punishment of Korah and the Stoning of Moses and Aaron. Fresco by Sandro Botticelli in the Sistine Chapel

Korah’s Rebellion

Numbers 16 is where we find the tale of Korah’s rebellion. Korah thought that he was just as good as Moses and Aaron. Korah claimed that all were holy, or set apart for God.

. . . and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them; why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” Num. 16:3

This is where the inherited churches have brought us. They are at odds with Moses. It is as if Moses and Aaron worshiped another god. As Korah they think that they are just as good, if not better than some Jew thousands of years ago.

Because Jesus/Yeshua is much more worthy than Moses, the church has decided that they do not need Moses at all.

12 These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they boldly carouse together, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, carried along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for ever. 

Christianity was never suppose to throw the law away. They were suppose to improve it by spiritualizing the sacrifice. They would then be able to leave in environs of Jerusalem and GO into the whole world.

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom. 3:31

The Churches calls us Heretics

The Church is all about salvation and grace, which is fine, in and of itself.  So because they do not hear those teachings coming from us on a regular basis they think that we do not hold to them and are therefore are heretics. We have heard all that, and we do tell our children who haven’t heard, but the Hebrew Roots community wants more than just salvation by grace. We want to know how we should live, being given such a great gift.

We see that our ancestors were judged because they did not put away the Baals and the Ashtaroths. We don’t want to go that way again. So naturally we don’t want the church’s Christmases, Easters, or anything else that came from Babylon.

That brings us back to the commandments and holy days of our Lord, a.k.a. the Song of Moses.

Paul said, contrary to Dispensational teachings, that the Law has not passed away.

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom. 3:31

Our Lord said to do all the Pharisees said.

2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. Matt. 23:2-3

He repeated that obedience was the sign of our love.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments”. John 14:15  

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” John 15:10

James taught that we are known by our works.

So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. James 2:17

There is nothing more freeing than to obey God. The lightness of this yoke is far beyond the burdens laid upon the people by the churches.

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1John 5:3

Those who would over come, must keep the commandments and faith in Yeshua/Jesus.

Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. Rev. 12:17

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:12  

2  And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,  “Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! Rev. 15:2-3

People from all over the world, not connected in anyway to each other, have woken up one day and said. “If I love God I should keep His Commandment.” The next question we ask ourselves is, “what does that mean?” So we find Ex. 20 and read the commandments and everything is fine until we get to number 4. What about that Sabbath? And from there our journeys begins. Back to a simpler purer faith.

We must, by the leading of the Spirit, put out of our hearts and minds all the traditions and dogmas of the church, and hold on only to that which is Biblical. Traditions are fine as long as they are based on the Word. Whenever we find one an error floating around in the back of our minds, we must take out our sword and slay it with the Word.

 

Theology is what is in the Bible.

Doctrine is what we believe about the theology.

Dogma is what we do about the doctrine.

Tradition is how we repeat the dogma over and over for years.

 

Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:19 

Doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation, just makes them least.

Forgiveness without Repentance

Oh how many times do we hear from sinners that we have to forgive them or not judge them? The “What would Jesus Do?” people seem not to remember that He took a whip to the sinners outside the temple. Like little children who say they are sorry after they intentionally hit their sibling, or the man in the Parable who was forgiven a great debt, yet extracted money from others. Sinners think they should be allowed their sin or mishaps as they are trying to do better.

Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; Luke 17:3

It doesn’t help that the congregation ignores the actual laws of God while producing a whole list of new prohibitions that are not sins at all. All this causes confusion as to what is right and what is wrong. There was a time when the Ten Commandments were part of every liturgy, but this is now viewed as old fashioned and out of date, and if might hurt people feelings, and we can’t have that. People with hurt feeling don’t stay and put money in the plate.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in thy commandments. Psa. 119:66

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Is. 5:20

True forgiveness only comes after repentance. In English repentance means regret and/or remorse, however in Greek metamelomai means to change directions, to change one’s mind, to turn and go the other way. Crimes must be paid for and victims must be restored. I’m sorry, just doesn’t cut it for the truly repentant.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. 2Cor. 7:10

The first step in repentance is a full recognition of the sin. Then and only then can there be forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

The congregation must return to the teaching of our Messiah. We have lost our way. We have forgotten our commission.

. . . and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:47

Religion without the Holy Ghost

Every where we look we see religion without the Spirit of truth.

. . . 5  holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people.   6 For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses,  7 who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.  2Tim. 3:5-7 

There are false spirits everywhere; the spirit of the evolution of species, the spirit of communism/socialism, and the most subtile of them all the spirit of false Church leaders. These and many more plague the Congregation.

Most churches are nothing more than social clubs, where everyone shares the same social/economic status. They are full of weak people (and yes most of those are women) who never check the facts of the Bible.  There is little accountability for ones life-habits. We all struggle with sin, however the congregation is not being taught to confess and repent of these.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

The Spiritual Leaders are only really interested in how much their members puts in the collection plate. They have no interest in calling members to account for any behavior. Those accused might leave the congregation and then the money might be reduced. Therefore they no longer teach the truth of God’s Word. No one wants to accused of being judgmental. They –

. . . continue in sin that grace may abound? Rom. 6:1b 

Which of course in not the full reading of the verse.

15   Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.  17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever. 1John 2:15-17

We are Deceived

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1John 1:8 

We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1John 4:6 

The “We” who “are of God” here, can only be the apostles. The post-modern church has left the apostles teachings. No one reads what they have written and preserved for us in the Bible. Simple test, does your spiritual leader listen to the spirit i.e. read the Bible? Or are they just making things up, quoting secular sources, or relying on the teachings of other men?

There is a great many things that go on in congregations that have nothing to do with God or the Bible. Imposing things that are not strictly “theology” is of no spiritual value. Dogmas and Doctrines are not binding to true faith and often hinder spiritual growth. So much of what we think we know and believe is actually pagan.

The dead do not become angels, nor is Satan the ruler of Hell, our Messiah was not born on the 25th of December, nor can one bribe God with a tenth of ones income, and there is no guarantee of health or wealth in this present age.

We like our master are not of this world. Our hope and our rewards are yet to come. This world with its wealth and power is just something we must pass through. We must not let it get into our hearts and minds. We must not mix with Belial or paganism.

14   Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  17 Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you,  18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2Cor. 6:14-18

We are the temple. True spiritual growth comes after we put out of our hearts and minds all that is pagan, for all paganism comes from the first rebellion, which was in Babylon and the congregation is full of Babylonian ideas and worship.

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,  “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; Rev. 18:4 

We must take back our faith. We must clean out the paganism. We must stand up for truth. We must gently lead the weak back to truth, by coming out of Babylon.

. . . for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 2Tim. 1:7 

Wearing Tzitzi

800px-TzitzithWe are frequently asked “what are those strings?” “Why are you wearing them?” And my all time favorite, “Is that hemp?”

The English Bibles translate these as tassels.

We wear them because God told us to.

38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and bid them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue; 39 and it shall be to you a tassel to look upon and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to go after wantonly. Num. 15:38-39

If the person claims to be a believer we will ask why they are not wearing them. The most common answer is that they are not “under the law”. Oh Really, where does it say that? Sometimes they even know where the verse is, sort of, “Somewhere in Romans.”

If we take the time to show them the verse they usually get angry with us. It just doesn’t say what they think it says, and that is somehow our fault.

Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom. 3:31

Apparently there is something wrong with upholding the law.

Woman_grabbing_Yeshua_s_tzitzitLook salvation is a gift of unmerited favor. We can’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, we can never be worthy of if. But that said it is also not a license to be rebellious.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15 

We are only working out our salvation.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; Phil. 2:12 

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:19

Buying Christmas

Christmas-PresentsAnother negative paper about christmas. The only thing that makes the inherited churches more angry with Messianics then our teaching on Sabbath is our stance against christmas.

Christmas is pagan, an anyone telling you different is selling something.

Imagine that there is a wonderful married couple. But every year on one of the spouses birthdays nothing is done for them. No present, no cake, no party, just nothing. However 2 months later on the day of a previous lover’s birth the other spouse throws a lavish party for everybody. There is feasting and gifts for everyone. How long will this marriage last? That is what christmas is to Jesus/Yeshua. It is someone else’s big day.

For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough. 2Cor. 11:4

The true Messiah was born at Tabernacles.

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