New Moon Meeting: January 2005, 3:10 EST
Zahakiel: Okay. Is everyone active?
Qinael: <Raises hand.>
Crystle: Hello :)
Ron Odem: Hello.
Pastor “Chick”: Greetings.
Zahakiel: All right, let’s start then, and hope that others don’t delay too long :)
Luke, can you please open us with a prayer?
We thank you for this time to come before you together as a group, and to learn what you have for us. We thank you for the New Moon, the day you have given us to examine ourselves and help each other in our walk in salvation.
We pray that your Spirit be with us as we take in this lesson, and may it be a blessing to all who are present, and those who will read it in the future. In Yahshua’s name we pray, amen.
Zahakiel: Amen :)
Pastor “Chick”: Amen.
Zahakiel: Today’s topic is inspired from a couple different sources.
I was speaking with Luke on Friday evening and he mentioned the fact that I do not really have a dedicated article on the subject of Corporate Accountability.
Although the concept is dealt with in quite a bit of detail in most of my articles that speak about the Mark of the Beast and the calling-out movement from the General Conference’s SDA church, I do not have something in writing that specifically looks at it.
Interestingly enough, Brendan also told me last night that the SDAs he shares the trademark info. with do not see a need for separation as a result. I think therefore that this study will be timely for a number of reasons. In addition to that, I listened this past Sabbath morning to pastor Chick’s sermon on the first verses of Revelation 18. I must share with you that I found it to be quite moving, and a “must see” for those who were not present in the Tennessee congregation that day.
During the course of that message, however, one or two quotes caught my attention quite strongly, and they were taken from Psalm 106.
Zahakiel: This month, therefore, I would like to take us through that Psalm and examine the principles outlined therein, focusing on the aspect of corporate accountability, which you will see is strongly emphasized in this particular chapter of the Bible.
Another thing... Rachel asked me to look at the subject of “how far” Yah expects us to take our service to Him. By that she meant, what means are we to employ in the defense of our faith? We see the terrorist acts going on around us, all in the name of a religion’s god... and we know that the men are sincere, or they would not sacrifice their lives so freely. What is it that Yah requires of us, then, when He tells us through His messengers, “it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3b)?
We know that so-called Christians have used commands such as this to justify doing terrible acts on behalf of the Savior – but is that what He has asked us to do? In what ways are we to defend our faith? We will look at these things today.
Does everyone understand the topics we will cover?
Pastor “Chick”: Yes.
Ron Odem: Yes.
Zahakiel: Ok. Now, the Psalm begins as many of them do, with a tone of praise.
We read (and I will translate the King James’ wording into more familiar terms): “Hallelu-Yah! O give thanks unto Yahweh, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of Yahweh? Who can shew forth all His praise?” (Psalm 106:1, 2)
Praise is a key aspect of our relationship to our Creator. The Three Angels’ Message begins this way, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear Elohim, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:6, 7)
The FIRST thing the Gospel tells us to do is to fear (respect) Yah, to give Him glory, to worship Him. Another verse says it is the “beginning” the first part, of wisdom.
We read the prayer that Yahshua taught His disciples, and it begins in just this way, “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Mat 6:9, Luke 11:2)
“Hallowed by thy name.” May your name be considered holy, may your name be praised. Nothing can be accomplished for Heaven without an “atmosphere of praise;” and this idea should be familiar to those of you who attended the last camp meeting, or read The Two Temples, where we discussed the subject of atmospheres. The atmosphere of praise is that in which true service for Yah can be done. In this environment there is no complaining or grumbling about what Yah would have us do, (Phl 2:14) and no discontent.
It is in this atmosphere that we find our place, and our role in the family of the Most High.
Zahakiel: The most literal translation of the name “Judah” whose tribe we consider our current Church to reflect, is “He shall be praised,” and the letters of the name “Yah” are included in the way it is spelled. Our purpose as a people is to see that Yah’s name is praised (hallowed) on the earth, that the prayer of the Messiah should come to pass.
The next verse: “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.” (Psalm 106:3)
Remember, look for the principles in the psalm we are studying What teaching is reflected here?
Zahakiel: Right :) And no surprise... There is no book of the Bible that fails to teach this, the heart of the Gospel, in some form or another.
We know that only the “living” praise Yah: “The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.” (Isa 138:19)
We must therefore be spiritually alive, doing righteousness at all times, in order to truly praise Yah, and to make sure that He is praised. We must be living the victory.
“Remember me, O Yahweh, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people; O visit me with thy salvation, that I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.” (verses 4, 5)
These are still preliminary verses; we haven’t gotten to the “meat” of the psalm yet when our main topics will be most clearly presented, but I want to take an opportunity here to show you something both interesting and important.
I recently got an email from someone asking how we know that the soul is not a separate concept from the idea of a “person.” She cited one of the Psalms, where David writes, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” (Psalm 42:5)
It looks, on a cursory reading, that David is addressing some separate part of himself than his full being. But in reply, I had the opportunity to explain that the Psalms, like some other parts of the Bible, are composed of Hebrew poetry, and this means they have certain key characteristics that allow us to identify them. One of the main features of Hebrew poetry is something called parallelism; it is a method of saying the same thing in different ways. You can see it in examples like this one:
“Bless Yahweh, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” (Psalm 103:1)
“Return, O Yahweh, deliver my soul;
Oh, save me for thy mercies’ sake.” (Psalm 6:4)
These are relevant examples, because you see how the writer parallels the concept of “my soul” with “all that is within me” and simply “me.” I bring this up to point out something we have already seen in the verses of Psalm 106, such as verse 3:
“Blessed are they that keep judgment,
And he that doeth righteousness at all times.”
If you can see that the ones that “keep” judgment” are they that “doeth righteousness at all times,” you can see how this works. I also mention this aspect of the language here because it helps us to understand verses 4 and 5 a bit better.
“Remember me, O Yahweh, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people;
O visit me with thy salvation, that I may see the good of thy chosen;
That I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation,
That I may glory with thine inheritance.” (verses 4, 5)
One clear repetition of concept is found in the first two lines, where “the favor that thou bearest unto thy people” is the same in the writer’s mind as “thy salvation.” Obviously, the salvation Yah provides for us is His favor on us, is His work of grace for mankind. There is another idea running through these four lines, however...
Can anyone spot a common link for all four?
Brendan: thy people, thy chosen, thy nation, thine inheritance.
Zahakiel: Right :)
Does everyone else see how this works? This is a very important aspect to examine when we are studying the Psalms, so if you’re having difficult so far, let me know.
Brendan: I’m good.
Ron Odem: No problem.
Barb: I understand.
Pastor “Chick”: OK.
Qinael: <nods.> I think I understand it. :)
Crystle: I see it. :)
Zahakiel: Ok :) Now, here is why it is important... when we think of the word “inheritance” in English, we can get the idea of some physical object. Maybe land, maybe jewelry, something we get when an ancestor or relative dies. But that is not the meaning that the Psalmist has here... and if you understand parallelism, you don’t need to be a language scholar to realize that :)
We can tell that the Psalmist is using the word “inheritance” not to mean the land, or the treasures of the land, but rather the people IN that land that Yah has chosen: Thy people, thy chosen, thy nation, thine inheritance... All the same.
The idea of Yah’s people as His “inheritance” is not unique to this passage. We read this in another book, “And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Adonai [Lord], let Adonai, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.” (Exodus 34:9b)
The people here are again referred to as the “inheritance” and be aware that Moses, who was NOT stiff-necked, was identifying himself with his people. We will see this tendency again among Yah’s people, and it is very important for the issue of accountability that we will be looking at shortly... Remember, then, that it may prove useful to you when you read the Psalms or other parts of the Bible that are poetic... that if you look for common, repeated ideas, it will help you to more clearly see what is in the writer’s mind, and so get the best possible meaning from what you are studying.
It may even be helpful to write the verses out as I have, with each repeated concept on a new line. You can more easily see the parallels that way :)
Crystle: Thank you for the idea :)
Zahakiel: <nods.> The next verse of Psalm 106 reads: “We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.” (verse 6)
Here is the writer of Psalm 106 doing what Moses did, taking responsibility for his people, even though he personally may have committed no iniquity in this instance. When we are interceding for someone, or for some people, we are in effect standing in their place, and taking responsibility for their actions.
Brendan: Daniel does that as well, when he is praying about the 70 years prophecy and the restoration of Jerusalem.
Zahakiel: Yes, and I use him as an example when we look at accountability more directly.
Zahakiel: Now in this case, WHY did the people sin? The next verse tells us exactly why: “Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked Him at the sea, even at the Red sea.” (verse 7)
You’ll see that parallelism concept coming in handy here. Note that “understood not” is set alongside “remembered not,” therefore the lack of the peoples’ understanding did not come from the things they were shown being to hard for them to grasp. It came rather from the lack of a desire or effort to comprehend and retain the information they so vitally needed. Yah does not give us lessons that are too hard for us to understand, after all :)
But about remembering our Father’s mercies, Ellen White wrote this, “As in the days of Christ, the enemy of God works constantly to lead men to place the will in his control, that God may be forgotten. He knows that if this is done, he can control the whole man. He tempts men in many ways to forget their Creator.” [The Signs of the Times, November 19, 1896]
More significantly, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” [Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, page 196]
Zahakiel: Very insightful, aren’t they?
Crystle: Very much so!
Zahakiel: And the Scriptures certainly testify to this principle. We read, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and forgat Yahweh their Almighty One, and served Ba’alim and Asheroth.” (Judges 3:7)
Consistently, it is when the people called by Yahweh forget Him, forget His character and principles, that they fall into sin. It is often due to a willful neglect of rehearsing His promises, and the works He has already done on their behalf that leads to this condition. Those who believe it is not important to gather with the brethren, to devote time to personal study of the Scriptures, to pray often, they should see that even the Hebrews that were being directly led by Yah found it so easy to forget the miracles they had seen with their own eyes. How much more, then, do we need to actively remember and understand these things?
Paul writes, “And even as they did not like to retain Yah in their knowledge, Yah gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient...” (Romans 1:28) and a host of crimes against man and Heaven follow. If we do not retain Yah in our knowledge, we will undoubtedly begin to serve various Ba’alim (gods) and Asheroth (goddesses).
In spite of Israel’s chronic unfaithfulness, we read this: “Nevertheless [Yah] saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up; so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And He saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies, there was not one of them left. Then believed they His words; they sang His praise. [But] they soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted Elohim in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106: 8 – 15)
Let me know when you’ve read this.
Pastor “Chick”: OK.
Qinael: What is “leanness”?
Ron Odem: Done.
Zahakiel: Leanness... want, skinniness. A lack of something.
Qinael: Ah, okay.
Zahakiel: If you are not fat you are lean, so it is used metaphorically as a general “not having enough.”
Brendan mentioned Daniel a while ago, so we will look at him for a moment. Daniel the prophet, during one of his many prayers, uses this most touching language: “And now, O Adonai our Almighty One, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O my Almighty, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name; for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.” (Daniel 9:15, 18)
We cannot pray to Yah on behalf of our own righteousness. All we can do is express our trust in our Creator, and more clearly than the Old Testament saints, we see our Father’s mercy revealed in the sacrifice of His Son. When we therefore pray “in Yahshua’s name” we are saying exactly what Daniel did before the cross: “for thy great mercies.” The Messiah completely embodies the mercy of Yahweh, and therefore it is written, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Yahshua’s name represents the mercy of our Father, and reminds us as we pray that we are not presenting our own merits before the Throne, but the blood of One who suffered in our place. When Yah saves us, it is through Yahshua, it is for His name’s sake, that it will be seen and acknowledged by the universe that “Yah saves,” and that He does so for no other reason than pure, impartial, free love.
Notice that Daniel, like Moses, writes “we have sinned, we have done wickedly,” though we read nothing of Daniel’s life to suggest any great transgression. Now, of course “all have sinned” as Paul tells us, and so Daniel needed the Savior as much as anyone; and further still, he did not obtain to the translation as did Enoch and Elijah. If you read that chapter, however, you will find that Daniel is not confessing sins in general, but rather the national transgressions that led to the capture of his people and the desolation of the sanctuary in Jerusalem. (Dan 9:16, 17)
The prophet had no part in the idolatry that led to the destruction he is recalling, yet he identified with the sins of his people knowing, as did Moses and David, that we do take part in the consequences of sin. If those placed above us spiritually forget the works of Yah and as a result commit sin, we become guilty. We will look at this in more detail very soon.
Dumah: I believe Ezra did that as well.
Zahakiel: Yes. <nods.> But before we leave these verses, however, take note of the “changefulness” of unconverted worshippers. I am speaking specifically of this part: “Then believed they His words; they sang His praise. [But] they soon forgat His works; they waited not for His counsel..” As they see a miracle they rejoice... but they are not consistent; they are like reeds blown about in the wind, moving from one thing to the next with no stability, no true responsibility, and no REST.
It is easy to acknowledge wondrous works but a few days later these ones are doubting again, led by their own lusts to throw off the gratitude He inspired in them... and how often do we not see that happening today? And I am certain we will see it more often, and more blatantly, in the days to come.
The people of Israel in those days needed the Sabbath rest; as Paul said, though they kept the 7th day fairly consistently (at times), “it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:6b)
The people of Adventism, and all the world, need to enter into this rest, or they will not find any lasting peace in either among the things of this world, or the eternal things of Heaven.
Zahakiel: The chapter continues... “They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of Yahweh. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram; and a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.” (Psa 106:16 – 18)
The “changeful” followers of Yah, those who could not commit to consistent worship and praise of the Creator, eventually settled on open rebellion. How could it be any other way? When has it commonly been any other way?
Zahakiel: But now we start getting into the Corporate Accountability theme more completely, and it is very much a part of the “meat” of the Gospel. Let’s briefly look at the story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.
“Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men, and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, ‘Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and Yahweh is among them; wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of Yah?’ And when Moses heard it he fell upon his face.” (Numbers 16:1 – 4)
Say when you have read this.
Pastor “Chick”: OK.
Zahakiel: Okay, now... where have we seen THIS argument before? “We are all holy... why do we need leaders, teachers, guides? Why do we need rules?”
Brendan: And all down through history in some form or another.
Zahakiel: At Lucifer’s rebellion... this was one of the first charges raised against Yah and His messengers.
Zahakiel: Yes... very true.
Zahakiel: Those who have actually been given authority by the Most High are consistently told, “Who are you to tell us what to do?” “We don’t need your advice.” “What is this, some kind of a cult?” :)
Brendan: Wow, word for word what I hear.
Dumah: And like Lucifer, those who said that only wanted to appoint themselves absolute rulers.
Zahakiel: Oh, yes. <nods.> Oh, and that last one is particularly effective for scaring one’s self away from the truth... but here is the argument, and its true spirit, revealed in those travelling with Moses, and we have seen it from before there WAS a sun under which it could take place.
So Korah from the tribe of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram from the tribe of Simeon, raised themselves against this messenger, stirring up a lot of protesters with them, and then they came to Moses and Aaron with their “well-meaning concerns.” Moses, seeing the true spirit of what was going on, fell on his face in sorrow.
After prayer, Moses proposed a test. Let those who thought they would make better leaders bring a lit censer of incense before the tabernacle of Yah, and He Himself would perform a sign to indicate whom He had chosen.
Brendan: Very like Eli-YAH.
Zahakiel: We have to remember, now, that these were people recently drawn from slavery in the idolatrous land of Egypt. Yah had to do some things that we would consider quite “crass” by today’s standards to get the people to acknowledge His wisdom; this test is one such incident. But see what unfolds– all this is from Numbers 16: “And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, ‘We will not come up. Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us? Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” (verses 12 – 14)
Dathan and Abriam, the ones that the Psalmist mentions, did not even appear for the test! We often see this today too... those who disagree with us are content to hurl accusations, doubts and occasional Bible verses from afar, while they neglect to accept our invitation to come before Yah and work the matter out intelligently.
Dumah: It appeared for them :(
Zahakiel: It did, yes.
Now Korah did show up, censer in hand. He probably thought he could get away with a bit more, being of Moses’ tribe. “And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of Yahweh appeared unto all the congregation. And Yahweh spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.’” (Num 16:18 – 21)
Korah, Dathan and Abiram started a rebellion. Against whom was Yahweh angered?
Dumah: Against the congregation.
Zahakiel: That’s right. We see that it is not just the leaders that fall under the plagues. Note this well... by joining in their rejection of Moses and Aaron... in fact, just by going along with them to the tent, the entire congregation incurred the wrath of the Divine Judge. They had the opportunity to defend Moses, every one of them, instead they just stood there and watched the contest... “who will win?”
Dumah: Wow...apathy is a great sin.
Zahakiel: One of the most dangerous.
But now Moses, understanding how the concept of accountability works, realized what was about to happen, and he prayed: “O Elohim, the Almighty of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?” (verse 22)
Look very, very carefully at what Yah does next: “And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” (verses 23, 24)
Dumah: He gave them a chance to separate.
Moses’ response was: “And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spake unto the congregation, saying, ‘Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.’” (verses 25, 26)
We read in the rest of the chapter that there was a “calling out,” that chance to separate. “So they [the faithful people] gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.” (verses 27, 32, 33)
Men, women and little children... just like in Ezekiel 9. It is a fearsome truth, but just as in the flood... the children are swept away in the transgression of those responsible for them, unless they deliberately separate themselves from those who have misled them – be they pastor, priest, spouse, sibling or parent.
The Psalmist of 106 is bringing all these things to mind with that reference, and it should begin to look a lot like the CSDA message. We go to those Churches that have fallen away and we say to the people, “Look at what your leaders have done, or are doing. They have followed the traditions of men. They have transgressed the law and principles of God. Depart from the tents of these men, for Yah seeks to save your life and your soul.”
In fact, the Gospel itself is patterned after this symbolism and the principle of Corporate Accountability. Look at how Paul describes the procedure of salvation: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) Do you see the relationship of that verse to the Dathan and Abiram reference? If you do, you already understand corporate accountability.
Brendan: We are corporately responsible as sinners for all the sins since Adam, unless we separate and be “born again” into YAH’s family.
Zahakiel: Right. Is everyone else seeing that also?
Qinael: <nods.> I am, yes.
Ron Odem: Yes
Dumah: We receive the benefit of who’s banner we come under.
Crystle: I thank Brendan for that added explanation. Yes.
Dumah: So if we are under Satan’s we receive his reward… vice versa.
Now, some will say that it is not fair that the Almighty should hold people accountable for the sins of their spiritual leaders, or that even little children should suffer for the decisions of their parents. Fortunately, He invites our examination :)
Dumah: Well… we all get to chose sides… that’s fair.
Zahakiel: Yahweh is not the kind of Father who says, “Do it because I said so.” He may say that right at first, but He never fails to explain Himself as quickly as is convenient. Of the Ten Commandments, for example, He says (one of my favorite verses): “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29)
Dumah: We all have enough knowledge to know right from wrong.
Zahakiel: Some do, but I am thinking specifically about the objections that deal with “the little children.” So I am going to look at that in particular.
We know from the Scriptures that Yah does hold people accountable for their leaders’ actions. The two most commonly used passages, at least by me, to show this are Isaiah 9:16 – “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” Also Acts 2 where Peter says to the Hebrew travelers, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) Remember from The Two Temples... “ye” is a plural pronoun. Peter is telling these Hebrews, many of whom hadn’t even seen the crucifixion, much less directly contributed to it, that they were guilty of crucifying Christ.
By extension, of course, every son of Adam had done so. And when those who believed his words asked, in essence, “What must I do to be saved?” he replied, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua the Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (verse 38)
So we see that Yah does this... counts the actions of the leaders as the actions of the entire set of people. Why? Because of the principle of “Dominion.” It is closely related to Accountability. Here is where that is explained:
“And Elohim said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’” (Genesis 1:26)
Man was given actual responsibility over the earth. When Adam fell we read that, “Unto Adam [Yahweh] said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.” (Genesis 3:17, 18)
Brendan: Ahhh... that’s why the earth, and all the innocent creatures will also be destroyed by YAH...
Zahakiel: Right, exactly.
All nature was cursed by Adam’s sin. Plants became less beautiful and more dangerous. Animals began to die, and to slay each other. The ground itself became less able to sustain life.
What did the fishes do? And why were innocent sheep to be sacrificed? It is because Yahweh does not “play games” with people. When He gives someone responsibility for something, He really means it.
Crystle: Can you explain this a little further?
Zahakiel: All right, suppose I give you $5.00. If I tell you that you are “responsible” for this money, I wait to see what you will do with it, and I don’t tell you how to spend it. Now, if you waste the money and I say, “Don’t worry about it... here is another 5,” have I really taught you any responsibility?
Zahakiel: Right. So if I truly want you to be responsible for something, I leave its disposal entirely in your hand, and if you waste it, well... it’s gone.
If Yah had said to Adam, “Well, I put the earth under your spiritual care, and you sinned. But I won’t do anything to the earth, it’s not the earth’s fault,” then the responsibility He gave Adam was just an illusion. It was nominal (in name only).
Dumah: Makes sense.
Zahakiel: Is that helpful?
Crystle: Okay, but how did Adam waste Yah’s creation that it had to suffer?
Dumah: By sinning.
Zahakiel: He gave it over to Satan, in a very real sense. Adam was no longer able to be the head of a “very good” creation, being himself a sinner. Satan, seeing his opportunity, quickly set himself up as the “god of this world.”
Dumah: If a leader is under a dominion he automatically brings everyone or everything under him under that dominion as well.
Qinael: <nods.> Remember the way that Babylon was captured, in Daniel... The king, who had dominion over the land, was slain, and thus all the subjects, lands, and property became the dominion of the new kingdom.
The same with Adam.
Crystle: Okay, so really Adam was punished by his sin by seeing the “very good” creation go away, and since he chose to do what Satan wanted, could only see the “very good” creation cursed so that he could feel the deepness of his sin. Right?
Zahakiel: <nods at Luke.> That’s part of it, Crystle, but the cursing of the earth was not just a punishment for Adam. It was the natural consequence of the dominion being misused.
Crystle: Wow... so we as parents, have a really LARGE responsibility in our own actions.
Zahakiel: Yes, you do.
Brendan: Crystle, if you took that five dollars that David gave you, and gave it to someone else who misused it, you would still be responsible for it being misused.
Zahakiel: And it is a real responsibility.
Zahakiel: If you knew they would misuse it, particularly, yes.
So is everyone clear on these things?
Qinael: I am.
Brendan: I have a question.
Pastor “Chick”: I missed Luke’s point.
Zahakiel: Okay, we can ask him to clarify after K’s question :)
Brendan: Is this why YAH took upon Himself the responsibility... particularly in the sacrifice of YAHshua, but also in the many statements where He appears to bear upon Himself the responsibility... for what man has done?
Zahakiel: Well, in a sense. But He went far beyond the “letter” of the principle of Dominion. Yah gave Adam dominion over the earth fairly completely.
Zahakiel: If Adam sinned and the earth was cursed, and then Adam and all mankind died, that would have been enough to satisfy justice. Mercy extended a hand beyond what justice would demand...
Zahakiel: Luke can you go over your example again?
Qinael: <nods.> Adam had dominion over the earth, the sea, and all that was in them... he lost it when he gave into his appetite, and was “slain” by Satan, who then took over all that Adam had power over.
Likewise, in any war, but specifically the overthrow of Babylon by Persia in Daniel, Belteshazzar had dominion over Babylon, its lands, and all that was in them.
He lost it when he gave into appetite, throwing a party of indulgence, and was slain by the king of Persia. Persia didn’t need to kill every person in Babylon, every soldier, every general, burn every house... All that was needed was to take out the ruler, general, or whatever the case may be in the conflict, and it is won.
Thus, when Adam was “slain” his conqueror, Satan, took over the earth. Likewise, when the king of Babylon was slain, his conqueror, Medo-Persia, took over his kingdom, and all that was encompassed therein.
Does that clarify?
Pastor “Chick”: Got it.
Zahakiel: Ok :)
Brendan: <nods.> Good parallel.
Pastor “Chick”: So, when we stepped back into “dominion” via the victory message... Babylon IS fallen :)
Zahakiel: Ah, right :)
Qinael: <smiles.> Nice. :)
Zahakiel: In fact, we step under Christ’s dominion (which has never fallen) and so inherit the New Heavens and New Earth that will remain after this current creation passes away. So that is very fitting.
Crystle: Ahh... so that is why the “very good” things that were in the earth at the time of Adam’s sin had to be taken away... it was just like the tree of life had to be taken away... because sin was the ruler now and “very good” cannot abide with sin. Is that right?
Okay, we’re still in Psalm 106 :) The next few verses (19 – 33) give further examples of the same principles we have been examining:
The people rebelled and Moses interceded, except for one occasion on which he spoke unadvisedly, and that cost him quite dearly as we all know. The golden calf before Sinai is mentioned in the Psalm. The incident at Ba’al-Peor is referenced, where the false prophet Balaam caused the children of Israel to fall into fornication, and thus many of them were destroyed.
Qinael: Oh, there was a separation for the golden calf as well... not to interrupt. Moses gave whoever would the chance to stand separate from the idolaters (Only Levi did).
Zahakiel: Right. That is what I meant. The Psalm gives many examples of these same principles :)
Qinael: Oh <nods.>
Zahakiel: These events are all worthy of study, but let’s stay with that theme this New Moon: to explain what I mean when I say that Yahweh does not play games with the principle of responsibility and dominion. We can skip ahead to verses 34 – 43. These were actually the ones that caught my attention in pastor’s sermon on Revelation 18.
Ron Odem: May I interrupt?
Ron Odem: Did you get the point about children covered?
Zahakiel: I am about to deal with that in some more detail :)
Ron Odem: OK.
Zahakiel: In fact right with those verses I mentioned. This is a long passage, so let me know when you’ve finished reading it all.
“They [the children of Israel] did not destroy the nations, concerning whom Yahweh commanded them, but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols, which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. They were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of Yahweh kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times did He deliver them, but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.” (Psa 106:34 – 43)
Ron Odem: OK.
Pastor “Chick”: OK.
Zahakiel: All right, now Ron asked for further information on children, and Crystle made note of the fact that parents have a great responsibility. If a man decides he is going to serve the god Moloch, and then puts his child on a pagan altar and kills it, did the child do anything wrong? We would have to say no... yet he still suffers for the decision of his parent.
Yah has placed that child in its parent’s hands as a “responsibility.” The man has authority over that child, and is accountable for his welfare. Yah does not step in and interfere with the man’s freedom, even if it means that the child will die. If our Father prevented people from doing bad things to good people, there would be no true freedom.
Now, all we need to do is take the spiritual world as seriously as the physical world, and you will see that Yah is merely being consistent. If the parent does not choose to listen to Noah, and keeps his family outside the Ark, they will all be washed away – cause and effect. Innocent blood is shed when sin is committed. Guilty blood is certainly shed, but we must realize that sin (according to these principles) is not a sword, it is a bomb. It doesn’t just cut its intended victim, it makes a big, chaotic mess everywhere around its point of impact.
The Ark example is still a physical matter, but it is closer to the spiritual applications.
Suppose a spiritual leader says, “I think it would be better, and we’d win more converts from the pagans, if we make a few minor changes to our practices. Let’s change our day of rest and worship to Sunday, when most of the people around us honor the sun anyway, and let’s celebrate the birthday of the Savior on a day they already consider the birthday of a god... and let’s incorporate images into our gathering places, so that they will be reminded of the statues they bow to anyway, when they are within our churches.”
Suppose a spiritual leader says, “Christ is in Heaven, but we are here on earth. Let us expand His kingdom by force, and kill all who will not submit to baptism and membership.”
Or suppose they say, “Christ is in Heaven, but we are here on earth. Let us expand His kingdom by force, and put all those who would interfere with our mission in prison. If they try to confuse people about our doctrines or our name, we have a RIGHT to defend ourselves!”
Suppose the leaders do this, and they pass a church or civil law that says, “This is they way we do things.” Now, those leaders will surely be swallowed up by the earth, but what of the ones who follow them? What of the ones who hear a call to be separate from these men’s tents, yet do and say nothing? What of those who stand aside and wait for Yah to work some miraculous sign to prove that yes, He really meant what He said?
These principles, you see, apply to “children” in both the spiritual and physical senses. The ones who have misled the followers in these spiritual examples are just the same as that father who places his son on the fatal altar of Moloch, do not mistake it. They are just as responsible... and just as Yah cannot interfere with the freedom of the devil-worshipping father, so He will not directly interfere with those who teach another Gospel, another Christ.
This is corporate accountability: that the children do suffer the consequences of the fathers’ sins. Yah truly gives ACTUAL responsibility to the humans He has created, from Adam on down to the newest father and mother.
Now, there is a verse that says this: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)
We must be clear on our distinctions.
The son whose father sacrifices him to Moloch does not bear his father’s “iniquity.” The worship of devils is not counted against him in the judgment. The children who died in the flood will not be convicted of actively participating in idolatry. However, the iniquity is not the same as the consequences of the iniquity.
Zahakiel: Remember this: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I Yahweh thy Elohim am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Exodus 20:4, 5)
It is not the iniquity that is counted against the third and fourth generation, but the iniquity of the fathers is “visited” on the future generations. The word “visited” in Hebrew can mean several things. It can mean an actual visit, like someone going to see someone else. It can mean judgment; it can mean to observe something about someone. In this case it means something like “appointed.”
The consequences of the fathers’ sins are appointed to the children. The child of an alcoholic suffers greatly, in the majority of cases. The child of an atheist or idolater is swimming upstream in many respects when it comes to spiritual education; even if they survive the rituals, unlike the child in our example. Responsibility is a serious thing... the children of the flood may not be convicted of active idolatry, yet how many of them came to know the Savior as Noah knew Him?
The child who is sacrificed to Moloch... has he had an opportunity to be a faithful child of the King of Heaven?
We are told, “he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.” (Luke 12:48) Yes, that is so... but why do there need to be any stripes at all? We must be faithful stewards of those things with which Yah has entrusted us, be it a Church, a family, a single child... it is a real responsibility, one with eternal consequences.
Is everyone perfectly clear on these things?
Qinael: I am.
Pastor “Chick”: Perfectly.
Ron Odem: Yes.
Dumah: It is all about freedom.
A few more verses to go in Psalm 106, then: “Nevertheless He regarded their affliction when He heard their cry, and He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies. He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.” (Psa 106:44 – 46)
In all this discussion of righteous judgment and corporate accountability, we cannot forget that Yah is love, and that mercy triumphs over judgment. At the same time, this does not turn into a “stay with the sinking ship” argument :)
Yah could have destroyed Adam and Eve at their rebellion. He could have wiped out the entire congregation when Korah, Dathan and Abiram led the Israelites to sin. Because of His mercy, the Almighty provided a “way of escape.”
He gave Adam and Eve the rite of Sacrifice, that they could know (and retain in their knowledge) that One would come and die in their place. He gave the Israelites the command of Moses, to separate from those about to be destroyed.
Dumah: Those who “stay with ship” when they know it is sinking will not be miraculously saved, not when the life boat was provided.
Zahakiel: He gave the deceived Christians Martin Luther and the other heroes of the Reformation. He gave the Sundaykeeping churches the Advent movement. And finally, He has given the Advent movement, and all the world, the CSDA Church.
That is His mercy, and it has triumphed over judgment, for every one of us deserves death, but will be spared if we are found faithful on that Day. By our trust in the Savior, we know we will be :)
But let us not say, “Yah is merciful, therefore He will not destroy!” No, Yah will destroy, but His mercy allows us an opportunity to avoid judgment. Mercy and justice, you see, are not opposites.
One does not cancel or disqualify the other... rather, as the Psalm says, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (85:10) A kiss not weaken, but bonds. A meeting of this type does not destroy, but rather benefits both. Mercy is made honorable, and truth is made absolute. Righteousness is given a firm definition, shining as it does against the darkness of Araphel, and peace can only truly reign when evil is no more.
Someone gave me a parable recently, and I will change it a little to more perfectly suit this principle: A man was stranded on a desert island, and he began to be malnourished. Soon he was mad from hunger. A helicopter flying overhead saw a sign that the man had scratched in the sand when he was more sane, and landed to rescue him. Yet when the man saw the pilot urging him to leave the place with him, the man said, “I do not need to leave. God loves me, and He will not let me starve.”
You see the parallel. Yah saves, but He does not force His salvation on anyone.
Zahakiel: Yah does not withhold His judgment of sin, sinners, and sinful organizations (even those claiming to be His), but because of His mercy He allows us to escape. Remember, He who said “The wages of sin is death” did not cancel that penalty because He is merciful, but rather He sacrificed His own Son to show that mercy. This is a very important point. Death was not cancelled by mercy, it was fulfilled.
The generation that rebelled against Moses DID die in the wilderness before they encountered Canaan, even those who received forgiveness and pardon for the sins they committed. The consequences remained... Think on these things when you are confronted with the idea that “Yah is too loving to abandon us, though we have been unfaithful and ignored His repeated warnings. Stay with the ship.”
Brendan: And we DO need to die before we can be saved.
And in the matter of corporate bodies, Yah is too loving to let evil flourish for long unchecked. Yet because He is loving, He has extended a hand of salvation to all who will hear and respond in faith. “Save us, O Yahweh our Almighty, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. Blessed be the Yahweh, the Almighty One of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting; and let all the people say, ‘Amen.’ Hallelu-Yah!” (Psa 106:47, 48)
Now here, at the end of the Psalm, we see our answer to the question of how far Yah would have us go in the defense of our faith. We triumph in our praise. We overcome in the “battle” that Jude mentions (to earnestly contend) by maintaining our atmosphere of praise regardless of what is happening around us. The oppressed are not told to take up a sword, or a gun, or a legal mandate, or even harsh language, and use it to cause others to submit :)
Though these things appear in human eyes to differ in severity, they are all of the same spirit... and that spirit is far from holy.
When the apostles and early Christians were confronted with opposition, here is what they did: “Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” (Acts 6:10)
In a dispute, Stephen maintained a steady head, and those who opposed him were unable to find anything wrong with his doctrine. Of course, they had him stoned because they were convinced they were right “somehow,” despite the fact they couldn’t prove it... but Stephen submitted to even this treatment, going so far as to pray for them as he died.
“And when He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Yahshua with the palm of his hand, saying, ‘Answerest thou the high priest so?’ Yahshua answered him, ‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?’” (John 18:22, 23)
Even in the face of a physical confrontation, the Messiah did nothing but turn the other cheek, and attempt to lead the individual who hit him to an intelligent consideration of what he was doing. It is doubtful He was successful with that particular soul, but He did not fail to set before us an example of the kind of mind we must be of when we are attacked.
Brendan: “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ YAHshua.” [Phl 2:5]
Zahakiel: Right :)
So the faithful must not defend the kingdom of heaven with the weapons of earth. The two are of very different principles. Christ told us in that very chapter, “My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
It is verses like this that allow us to see things like the Crusades in their true light. It allows us to see the Inquisition in its full measure of iniquity.
It enables us to measure the faith of terrorists who destroy others because they will not submit to their theology. It allows us to see the spirit that motivated the Sunday Laws of the 1800s, for they ALSO attempted to destroy those who would not submit to their theology.
Brendan: And also the Trademark issue :)
Zahakiel: Yes, it allows us to see the face of the wicked being who inspired the Trademark lawsuits taking place in the world in this last generation. <nods.>
Brendan: Wow, I never thought of that verse in relation to this.
Zahakiel: Though in man’s eyes they may vary in intensity and effect, in Yah’s eyes it is the heart that is judged.
Oh, it’s very relevant. The spirit is the same, for each of these persecuting powers TRULY believed (and believes) it was helping the kingdom of Heaven.
Brendan: I get that a lot... “I just don’t see it is important.”
Zahakiel: Each of these powers was and is composed of sincere, dedicated, and often academically intelligent men. We need not question their commitment... but we must look at their fruits, and test the spirits. We can look at their actions and determine their motives and who, just who they think the Redeemer is.
My Redeemer says, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28) It is my honor to introduce THIS Redeemer to a world composed of many who claim to serve Him, but have not yet understood His mind. It is my privilege to say, as did Moses, “Separate yourselves from the tents of these wicked men, who oppose the work of our Almighty in this earth.”
Finally, it is my responsibility to say to an erring brother or sister, “See here, this is the way of salvation. Walk in it with me.”
But it is not my right to say to those who will not come, “I will make you do as I say... and it’s for your own good.”
Even worse, it is far from me to say, “I will cleanse this earth of sinners, by the sword or by the policy.” If I am connected to a body of people who does this, I can KNOW I’m in the wrong place... simply by virtue of the fact that I know the character of my Savior. And if I find myself in such a position, understanding Corporate Accountability as I have described above, I will quickly realize I have only one righteous course of action: to come out of her that I be not a partaker of her sins, and receive not of her plagues. (paraphrase of Rev 18:4)
Notice, and it is consistent in the actual verse, that it is “her” sins, and “her” plagues. I may not be actively responsible, but I will still suffer the consequences if I remain. To knowingly remain under an authority I know to be in transgression is its own kind of sin.
Peter once wrote, “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:18)
Even for the man whose faith is perfect, even for the man who trusts in the Redeemer so completely that he walks with the angels... even for this one, salvation is a gift. Nothing we can do, in faith or out of faith, can earn us everlasting life. We who accept it will do the works of righteousness, to be sure... but if we ever forget that it is a miracle of grace we have already stumbled off the path.
Just as there is corporate accountability in a “bad” sense, so the blessings that come on a spiritual leader continue down through the generations. Again, it is not the righteousness that is imputed, but the consequences. Ham benefited from his father’s righteousness in that he was spared the flood, but he himself did not partake of that same character until very late in life. Many of his children never recovered from his wavering and dishonorable example.
Fortunately for those in Christ it is different. If we partake of Christ’s righteousness, we also partake of His Character, His divine nature, (2Peter 1:4) and THIS is a corporate body, the Body of Christ, the Church, to which we are all lovingly, fervently, mercifully summoned.
Are there any questions about today’s topics?
Qinael: I do not have any.
Pastor “Chick”: Praise be to YAHweh!
Ron Odem: None.
Zahakiel: Okay. Shall we dismiss with a prayer, then?
Most holy and loving Father in Heaven, we thank you for this New Moon day.
We thank you for the opportunity you have given us to examine doctrines, and spirits, to try motives and test hearts as a people. We thank you for the benefits of discussion, to strengthen the weak areas in our understanding, and to come to agreement on these most vital doctrines for the understanding of your final warnings.
Grant us the power and boldness to take these truths to those who so badly need it, who may not understand, or acknowledge, the principles on which you have built your government: Dominion, responsibility, accountability, mercy, and love.
May your Holy Spirit guide our tongues as we speak of these things to a dark world, and may the love that you have for us spill over to draw the erring. Though we know the meat of the Gospel often requires some to “chew” for a while, we are told that the way to Heaven is lit up with rays of glory, brightly enough that the wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein.
We thank you for calling us home to your kingdom, and we go forth as your faithful messengers to invite those who have not yet seen the beauty of your mansions.
In Yahshua’s name we gratefully pray, Amen.
Ron Odem: Amen.
Pastor “Chick”: Hallelu-YAH!
Okay, I will send out the transcript in a day or so. I will close this window to make sure it saves correctly, but I will be online for a while if anyone has further questions. Yah bless :)