Are you addicted to your smart phone (and computer)? Think about it for a minute. Maybe, in reality, you’re addicted to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Everywhere I go I see it…and so do you. People walking down sidewalks, smart phone in hand, hunched over their device. Just the other day, I saw four mom’s crossing a busy street on their way to pick up their kids from school. The eyes of three of the four were glued to their smart phones. They didn’t even look up see if traffic was coming!
“Smart phone” may be the oxymoronic label of the day…don’t you think?
At our finger tips, we have all the knowledge of the world—both good and evil. Sounds like the biblical tree of the knowledge of good and evil to me.
Remember the tree in the Garden of Eden that Elohim told Adam and Eve not to eat from? The same tree that the serpent hid in and lured the first humans into eating from?
We don’t know what kind of fruit it was. The Bible doesn’t tell us. Tradition tells us, however, that it was an apple. Hmm. Apple. The most popular “smart” phone on the planet has as its logo an apple with a bite out of it. Now connect the dots.
Look, I love my Apple I-Phone, my Apple I-Pad and my Apple computer. I don’t exactly live in a cave and grunt my way through life. But do these things master us or do we master them? Do you spend time with your electronic devices that you should be spending with YHVH? Are you spending more time feeding from the tree of knowledge or the tree of life?
I know, no one reading this is guilty of the concerns I’m positing. Each of us has a myriad justifications why the shoe doesn’t fit me. We’re all right in our own eyes. But what does YHVH think about it? We can’t fool him. He sees through our human machinations and excuses.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed YHVH and ate from the tree of knowledge instead of being faithful to his instructions in righteousness, they sinned. This was their first step on the proverbial downward spiral, slippery slope away from the Creator. Do you really think the devil has stopped attempting to deceive humans away from Elohim? Do you really think that in these modern times he’s going to take you to an actual tree that is labeled “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”? Get real. He’s smarter than that. But I can’t think of anything that fits the bill better than a beautiful device you can hold in your hand, that you can get in any color you want, and that has an apple logo on it (or whatever logo it may be) that more qualifies.
When Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree, they fell into idolatry. Anything we put above Elohim becomes an idol to us. When our phone or laptop becomes more important to us than our Bible—there’s a problem.
Deuteronomy 6:7, 10–16, 20–25, Instruct your children in the Torah, so they don’t fall into idolatry. YHVH is constantly warning his people against idolatry; idolatry is anything that gets in the way of our relationship with him. What is of higher priority in your life than serving YHVH? What in your life takes more of your time, energy and money than serving YHVH? What draws your heart away from the study of his written Word, from prayer and fellowship? What or who hinders you from moving forward in your spiritual walk? What in your life keeps YHVH from getting out of a spiritual box in your life? This is idolatry!
Several times YHVH instructs the children of Israel to be certain to instruct their children in the ways of Torah-righteousness. In the Shema, YHVH commands, “And you shall teach them [i.e., his Word] diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up” (6:7). Then in verses 20–25 of the same chapter we read,
“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which YHVH our Elohim has commanded you?’ Then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and YHVH brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and YHVH showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And YHVH commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear YHVH our Elohim, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before YHVH our Elohim, as He has commanded us.’”
Too often in the church-system the children have had to take the backseat when it comes to discipleship and ministry. They get a few table scraps thrown at them called “Vacation Bible School” (once a year) and a little “Jonah and the Whale” type teaching on Sunday morning accompanied by some, often inane, craft project. Seldom does the head pastor of the church bother with the children’s ministry. Usually, this function is relegated to the younger associate pastor. Typically, the position of “Youth Pastor” is viewed as nothing more than a stepping stone to the “top dog” position of “Head Pastor.” Furthermore, seldom do parents spend any meaningful time during the week instructing their children in the ways of YHVH. As redeemed Israelites, it is our opportunity to follow the Torah and to place the highest ministry priority on instructing our children in the truths of the written Torah, in the truth of Yeshua the Living Torah, and in the fundamentals of who they are as members of the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12) and in preparing them for the kingdom of Elohim. If we don’t, who will? As parents, what are you doing on a regular basis to diligently instruct your children all day, every day? As grandparents, aunts and uncles and members of gospel-orientated Torah community, what are you doing to help in teaching the children? What was the attitude of the disciples when they attempted to shoo the children away from Yeshua. What was Yeshua’s response? Read and compare Matthew 19:13–15 with 18:1–5 and go and do likewise, for they are our future and our legacy!
Ezekiel 6:3–5, High places…idols…corpses. As a judgment against the backslid and idolatrous “mountains of Israel” (Ezek 6:1), YHVH promises to bring a sword against his people as they are worshipping their idols instead of him.
The “mountains of Israel” in this instance is a poetic and prophetic Hebraism for the nations of Israel that YHVH has scattered around the world because of his judgments against their sin.
In this modern age, few people bow down to literal idols, but idolatry is as rampant now as it was in ancient times. Any person, thing or idea that gets in the way of or hinders a person from worshipping and obeying Elohim is an idol to that person. It may be money, sex, drugs, education, power, sports, philosophies, entertainment or pleasure.
The “mountains of Israel” today are largely the Christian nations of the world, which are backslid spiritually.
Typically, YHVH raises up Israel’s enemies to punish his backslid people in hopes they will repent of their sinful ways and return to him. The biblical Edom (or the jihadist Moslems) are YHVH’s end times paddle by which he is spanking his wayward people.
So what are the high places of the Christian nations where their idols are located that Edom is attacking resulting in slain corpses being strewn about? Think of the places where Edom has been detonating bombs and spraying bullets in their attempts to massacre the “people of the book” (as the Koran calls them), who are the Jews and the Christians. The West’s high places of idol worship include sports arenas and sporting events, Christmas parties, schools, night clubs, “gay” night clubs, financial centers, churches and other places of religious activity, places of governmental authority and military installations to name a few. All these high places where idolatry occurs represent the gods and idolatrous concepts of post-Christian Israelites who have rejected Elohim for their idols.
These are YHVH’s judgments upon his people to bring them to repentance.
Exodus 7:14, The ten plagues plus one. The ten plagues were Elohim’s judgment against the gods and idols of Egypt (Exod 12:12; 33:4; Num 33:4). Here are the list of plagues and possible suggestions as to which gods of Egypt YHVH was judging. Modern man worships these same false gods, and YHVH will bring his judgements against them in the last days.
- The first plague was the water turning to blood. This may have been a judgment against abortion (the Egyptians threw their babies into the Nile for sacrificial purposes) and against materialism (since fewer children mean fewer expenses for a family, and the Nile River was the source of Egypt’s prosperity).
- The second plague was frogs. This may have been a judgment against pride (frogs puff themselves before they croak) and environmentalism or animal worship. In America, for example, after 9/11, how many bumperstickers did we see that had the words “pride” on them, and “God bless America” as if YHVH is duty-bound to bless America? How can YHVH bless a nation that refuses to repent and turn from its arrogant and wicked ways?
- The third plague was lice. This may have been a judgment against pride and narcissism (self worship), since the Egyptians were highly focused on their personal appearance and hygiene, their appearance and in shaving of body hair.
- The fourth plague was flies, which may have been a judgment against devil worship, occultism and witchcraft (i.e., the whole religious system of Egypt). A biblical name for Satan was Beelzebub, or lord of the flies (Matt 2:25–27; Luke 11:15–19).
- The fifth plague was the death of the livestock. This may have been a judgment against transportation and commerce.
- The sixth plague was boils, which may have been a judgment against the Egyptians obsession with their bodies and faith in medical science.
- The seventh plague was hail, which may have been a judgment against their agriculture industry and earth worship.
- The eighth plague was locusts. This may have been a judgment against Egypt’s food production. The Nile River and its delta was one of the bread baskets of the ancient world and a source of great wealth to Egypt.
- The ninth plague was darkness. This may have been a judgment against Egypt’s intelligentsia and religious system, which was spiritually devoid of the light of truth.
- The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn, which was a judgment against Egypt’s future and posterity.
- The destruction of Pharaoh and his armies in the Red Sea was a judgment against Egypt’s political and military might.
Is YHVH Elohim bringing America and other “Christian” nations under judgment for the sins they have committed against him even as he brought judgment against the gods of Egypt? What are the similarities between gods of ancient Egypt and those of western and Christian culture? In America, for example, in recent years, there has been a marked increase in adverse weather conditions, natural catastrophes, terrorism, bank and financial failures, personal and corporate bankruptcies, high unemployment and inflation rates, and high foreclosure rates on homes just to name a few possible judgments against a nation that has turned its back on Elohim and the Bible.
Genesis 31:19, Household idols. Heb. teraphim, from rapha meaning “to heal, make healthful.” The ancient pagans viewed these idols superstitiously as good luck charm for good health and prosperity.
But there is more. In ancient Babylon, each family had a shrine where it worshipped its household gods, which were in the shape of clay figurines. These family gods served as guardian angels of the home, and would be left to the eldest son, who, acting as the family high priest, would perpetuate the family’s idol worship after the father’s death. The theft of these household idols left Laban in a very agitated state in that he was willing to pursue Jacob to retrieve them, by force, if necessary.
The reason is that these gods conferred the right of primogeniture (to the firstborn son), and acted as a title deed to the father’s inheritance. Thus, Rachel must have stolen her brother’s inheritance thereby making Jacob the legal heir of Laban’s estate (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, pp. 119–120, by Fred H. Wight; TWOT, p. 980).
Genesis 31:43, These daughters are my daughters. Laban claims that Jacob’s wives and children belonged to him. Laban was also steeped in the idolatry of Babylon having in his possession idols or images called teraphim (Gen 31:19, 34–35). Is there a modern counterpart to this? Does modern Babylon want to control and possess the wives and children of redeemed Israel, indoctrinate them in its pagan religious system and then keep Jacob’s modern descendants from returning to their spiritual and physical homeland and birthright inheritance, and from returning to the Torah-faith of their fathers?
Are governmental systems (e.g., public education and Child Protective Services, social welfare programs, various government regulations that have greatly diminished or eliminated many of our personal freedoms), socio-political organizations (e.g. ACLU, UN) and greedy corporate systems (banking systems that enslave people through debt, corrupters of our food supplies that destroy people’s health, pharmaceutical companies and the mainstream medical establishment that enslaves people’s minds and bodies through drugs) modern-day Labans who want to kill, steal and destroy for the benefit of money and power?
Revelation 18:13 says that Babylon the Great traffics in the souls of men. This speaks at Continue reading
Let’s look at a series of events that occurred as the children of Israel were leaving Egypt, which have major relevance to what is occurring in mainstream Christianity in our day. If we fail to learn the lessons of history, we’ll likely repeat the mistakes of history. It has to do with golden calf worship.
YHVH redeemed the children of Israel out of Egypt and set the slaves free. He blessed them not only by giving them their freedom, but by giving them the wealth (gold and silver) of Egypt as well. We read that the Israelites exited of Egypt with a high hand. They were victorious, free and wealthy.
YHVH led them into the wilderness en route to the Promised Land — normally an eleven day journey. They had some difficulties: Pharaoh tried to kill them at the Red Sea, they lacked clean drinking water, and they had food issues, but YHVH provided them deliverance from Pharaoh, gave them clean water, manna and meat, and they overcame these trials.
Next, YHVH led the Israelites to the foot of Mount Sinai, and on Shavuot he made a covenantal agreement with them and gave them his Torah as their national constitution. They agreed to obey him and to keep his commandments. He promised to bless them if they remained faithful to him.
Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah-covenant on two tablets of stone. While he was gone for 40 days, the people grew worried and anxious and become weary of waiting for Moses to return. This was a test they had to pass of their faithfulness. Would Continue reading