Monday Nov 06, 2023
Monday Nov 06, 2023
Vayera "And appeared"
2 Kings 4:1-37
This week’s Torah portion Vayera gives insight to a city (actually five of them) cited often in Scripture, even in the New Testament. The infamous city is Sodom and its four satellite cities. This was often the case in ancient times: there was a main city, then it was surrounded by smaller satellite towns. In the case of Sodom, the wickedness of Gomorra, Zoar, Admah, and Zevoiim were simply on a smaller scale, but reflective of, the main city of the district. In fact, ancient districts were called a kikar, meaning round, like a kikar, a round loaf of barley. Sodom was likely the center of the round district, or at least the biggest and most influential. In terms of wickedness, Sodom set the example for the others. Lot chose to settle in Sodom even though he’d lived a nomadic life with Avraham and Sarah.
Oddly, Lot retained a modicum of “righteousness” even living in Sodom:
- But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. (2 Pe 2:1-21)
Most of us are thinking: “Ummm…righteous? Compared to what?”
And then we’re probably very thankful that Adonai doesn’t compare us when He judges us, that we have an advocate in Yeshua just as Lot had an advocate in Avraham who would pray for him and intercede. Avraham can possibly teach us something about how to intercede for those who have embedded and surrounded themselves in places of wickedness.
Peter gives us a clue about Lot. Lot benefited from living in Sodom, yet he hadn’t completely lost a sense of morality. The wickedness really did vex him day after day. The real question is why did Lot remain in such a wicked place? Why do any of us refuse to leave things from which we benefit, yet we know in our hearts that it is eaten up with immorality?
We can be a lot like Lot, surrounded by twisted thinking and sin, yet preferring to keep a low profile in order to derive a good income. Lot had held onto some shred of righteous behavior, and he tried to protect the angels by urging them to leave the city square where they would be vulnerable to sexual assault, robbery, torture, and murderous violence. He hadn’t forgotten Avraham and Sarah’s hospitality to strangers and a sense of responsibility to keep them safe.
Unfortunately, Lot’s attempt to protect the angels was found out. Sexual and blood lust had overtaken the city, and they would not rest until they’d brutalized and killed the heavenly visitors. When they were struck with blindness, the Sodomites couldn’t process logic and reason. It was a supernatural blindness. No matter how physically blind a person is, it would take only a few minutes to locate a door.
They were confused-blind, not just blind-blind. How did they attain that level of wickedness so that logic and reason made no difference whatsoever? This takes us back to our Wars of Kings lessons, the siege tactics that parallel the plagues of Egypt, another nation that would be supernatural blinded and eventually pursue the Israelites beyond all logic and reason. After all, the score was Moses-10 Pharaoh-0. And yet, they were drawn after the Israelites in insatiable bloodlust. Confused blind.
In both cases, the populace were deceived and believed lies. Their thinking process operated on petrified lies, petrified because they continued to believe them even when the Spirit of Adonai within them had to be contending with them each time they worshiped an idol, hated their brothers, robbed, or stood by while unjust laws were enacted and used to torment the innocent.
The first plague on Egypt was blood. The bait for the final judgment on Egypt was bloodlust. Blood is actually an attractant to demonic activity, so sacrificing to idols as the Egyptians did was part of their process of making idols for themselves. In its own realm, an idol is nothing. That’s where it was assigned and that for which it was designed. When human being entice the spiritual being into the human realm to which they were not assigned, it is often through setting a “table” for demons:
- Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? (1 Co 10:14-22)
We are warned in Leviticus 19:4 “Do not turn to idols,” which is explained, “If you turn after them, you thus make them into gods...” (Sefer HaChinnukh §213)
Deuteronomy explains that these entities that human beings turn into gods by sacrificing to them are actually shedim, or demons:
- They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they Him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils [shedim], not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. (Dt 32:16-17)
In general, “species” of spirits such as shedim or elilim are created for other realms and do not interact with human beings. They have their own assigned “business.” They have form, but not matter. They are nothing to us and we have no business communicating with them. We communicate with their and our Creator. When we attempt to access them, or we perform actions to attract them, then we make it an idol, not its purpose. We have to do specific things to attract them or repel them.
To benefit from the innate “iron dome” against demons or unclean spirits, one must follow the life manual of human beings, the Torah. Unclean spirits (things not of our realm) are repelled by:
- Holiness as defined by the Word.
- Righteousness as defined by the Word.
- Reading, praying, or singing of the Word (as young David playing for King Saul)
Those spirits willing to leave their realm are unclean. They are attracted to the soul (nefesh) of a human being or secondarily, animals. The life is in the blood. The life is the “nefesh,” or appetite, desire, emotions, and intellect. The unclean things can “drink” from a cup or “feed” upon a table of unmanaged:
- Bloods (the life/nefesh is in the blood), including violence (chamas) and bloodshed, bloodlust
- Impure sexual activity
- Appetites, desires
- Thoughts, especially prideful ones
Given access to these unmanaged according to the Word, they can begin to manipulate them. This is why walking according to the Torah of Life is a must. It is protection against many oppressive things, but especially against believing lies that are pleasing and comforting to the soul. The ruach [spirit] of a human being is guided by “It is written…” The soul of a human being is guided by “I think, I feel, I want…” The walk of a disciple is to discipline the saved soul into thinking, feeling, and wanting the precepts from the Book of Life, not the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
While the “food of your God” at the holy altar is understood to be the devotion of the heart to Adonai-He doesn’t literally “eat” sacrifices, it is the repentance and devotion of the soul/nefesh which Adonai consumes. With a pure heart, we give Him the opening to manipulate our souls, purifying and making holy, acceptable to Him. We allow His thoughts and desires to become ours.
Offering the soul to a shed or even a ministering angel is idolatry, activating “nothing” into something, opening to them to manipulate our souls. The demons feed on the life of the undiscipled soul devoted to appetite, emotion, desire, and intellect, and the consequences are observable: more bloodlust, more immoral sexual appetite, more addiction, more twisted thinking, and so on.
When concentrated within a particular group of people, a particular sin may proliferate, for the people united in sin are feeding what they are creating, and as Yeshua taught, the unclean spirits are masterful recruiters to attach things even more wicked than itself to a willing host. Other species of spirits “more wicked” do more than feed on the nefesh-they move in and possess and attempt to destroy the host, for they “davak,” or cling to the host, whereas a shed may be willing to simply “feed off” a host for a prolonged period because it provides steady “meals” from its darkened soul:
- “Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” (Mt 12:45)
Leviticus is the management manual for all unclean things. Of all the precepts of Leviticus, perhaps the most well known is: Love your neighbor as yourself.
The malevolent forces of evil have been fed liberally from the altars of human sexual lust, ideological rebellion against the Word, twisted justice, unbridled emotions, and especially hatred and bloodlust. They have been gathered like vultures to locations like Sodom and Egypt where humans have thrown open the doors and windows for those unclean beings to cross into our assigned realm, not theirs. They first oppress, then possess.
In our Wars of Kings series, we saw how the plague of frogs was actually a spreading of lies. The frogs call and gather to battle; they are a step in the process that is advanced by sound. Pharaoh’s magicians also produced frogs, not just blood. The governments and people of this earth are being gathered by lies.
- And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.” (Re 16:13-14)
- The serpent is a deceiver
- The beast is the human soul apart from the discipline and truth of the Ruach HaKodesh, “It is written.”
- The false prophet intentionally speaks a word or performs a sign that leads away from the Torah.
The Mishneh Torah (8) clarifies the work of the false prophet:
- What is this [false prophet] similar to? To witnesses that testify to a man concerning something that he saw with his own eyes, [but they claim to have] seen something different than what he saw. [And so] he does not heed them, but rather knows with certainty that these are false witnesses. Therefore, the Torah states that [even] if the signs and wonders come [true], "You shall not heed the words of this prophet" (Deuteronomy 13:4), as behold, this [false prophet] is coming with signs and wonders to contradict something that you have seen with your own eyes. And since we only believe in wonders because of the commandments that Moshe commanded us, how can we accept this sign that is being brought to contradict the prophecy of Moshe that we saw and we heard?
The frogs spread lies that to a logical mind are clearly lies. Not so to those who do not use “It is written…” as the guide to truth. To them, the truth is incomprehensible, for it is confusing. It doesn’t fit their chosen twist of the heart and mind.
The Jewish scholars’ discussed whether it was many frogs or one frog spawning many frogs in Egypt, which at first sounds strange, but it is especially salient considering our lesson on how the entire army of Egypt was “one” chariot wheel because it was of one heart and it was influenced by the spiritual entity appointed over Egypt named “Egypt.”
One frog? Yes. Many frogs? Yes. One lie? Yes. Many liars? Yes.
- Sanhedrin 89a:15 The mishnah lists among those liable to be executed as a false prophet one who prophesies that which he did not hear.
The Three Liars usher in a period of rampant lying. The rise of mass media, especially digital communication, enables the proliferation of lies, especially intentional ones. The lies originate with the serpent, the father of lies, are aimed at the beast’s vulnerable essence [appetite, emotion, desire, intellect], and “verified” by false witnesses who have no firsthand knowledge, or “hearing.” When mixed with the confusion of the tzirah (hell-bugs) from Abaddon and the plague of darkness, the liars will experience mental and emotional anguish and an inability to derive truth from either natural logic or the Word.
The lies will be amazingly uniform once translated into many languages:
- Same slogans or tropes
- Same symbols
- Same misconstruction and re-construction of facts and history
A Lot of Prayer
In Creation Gospel Workbook Two, you learned about the tzirah. These are the HORNET-LOCUST-HORSE-SCORPION-SERPENT-MANLIKE CREATURES whose work was to shoot venom at the foes of Israel, cutting off the root and fruit and blinding the eyes:
- Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet [tzirah] against them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you perish. (Dt 7:20)
- Then I sent the hornet [tzirah] before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow. (Jos 24:12)
They mark periods of:
- Torment and confusion
- Destruction of reproduction and offspring, or “fruit”
If we marvel at the world's sudden extraordinary inability to process logic and reason, then we can look to the siege tactics of the Wars of Kings. The bloodlust symbolized by the bloody water and the lies of the frogs set the stage for the succeeding plagues. We should not be amazed at the bloodlust, lies, darkness, confusion, and mental anguish we see around us, for this is what the Egyptian-Sodomites have chosen to offer on their altars to demons:
- The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” (Re 16:3-7)
The "angel of the waters," a spiritual ministering angel, is agreeing that punishment must be poured out on his assigned domain. The altar agrees, for the holy altar has witnessed their sacrifices to demons. This may also reflect the voices of those righteous under the altar awaiting resurrection, testifying to their blood that was spilled. While the wicked poured out their blood to demons, it was actually the martyrs' own holy sacrifice on the altar sanctified by Yeshua's sinless life, death, and resurrection. They share in that holy altar, that holy table, that holy cup.
The Sodomite and Egyptian populations invested in the prolific lies preceding their judgments and destructions. Those eras were characterized by rampant lies, unjust legal edicts, blood, sexual immorality, and twisting not only of the Word of Adonai as they were given it, but common-sense human ethics. Love your neighbor.
When the Egyptians could process not a shred of truth in their confusion, they followed Pharaoh headlong into the flood of the Reed Sea:
- “As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD.” (Ex 14:10)
The English translation tries to fix an anomaly. The text actually says ”Egypt was journeying after them...”
Rashi explains the singular Egypt thus:
- “With one heart, as one man...” like the frog-liars
- “...the Israelites saw the ministering angel of Egypt traveling from the heavens to aid Egypt.”
The army was united by its bloodlust. The second explanation also explains 14:25, which alluded to “Egypt” oddly as well. “He removed the wheel of his chariot...Egypt said, ‘I shall flee before Israel, for YHVH is waging war for them against Egypt.”
Rather than ofanayim, wheels, the text states ofen, “wheel.” Egypt is referred to by the Egyptians as if it is an entity outside itself, perhaps alluding to the spiritual prince of Egypt. It is thought that their willingness to accompany Pharaoh and the “King of Egypt” was due to the loss of the power of reason, the end result of hardening the heart. One’s complicity with an idol activates it in the physical realm. One unifying lie marked the Egyptians for destruction.
In our Wars of Kings lessons, we saw one of the other siege tactics was the plague of wild beasts. Wild Beasts is equated to attack by foreign mercenaries. These people are hunters for sale, unrooted, unstable mobs, living in the fervor of the moment. They may not even have any personal connection to the conflict, but they “feed” on it, and in turn, feed those strong emotions to idols. The plague of wild beasts was not first exercised on the Egyptians, but the Egyptian wild beasts upon the Hebrews. They plundered the Hebrews in the same way the cities of Sodom plundered travelers and rioted against its own citizen, Lot.
Social justice may demonstrate for just or even religious causes. Historically, however, the cause has frequently been unjust, twisted, an opportunity for the swarms of wild beasts to hunt People of the Book. Pogroms, Kristallnacht, the Inquisition, Farhud, etc. An entire population can be frozen in fear that the roving bands of beasts will attack and tear them, too, which silences their objections and hands the potential power of many to the few. This was Lot’s position in riotous Sodom. The Sodomites complained that Lot thought could judge their morals. The ethical laws Lot learned from Abraham were not their laws. That made Lot the enemy.
Some sages offer an alternative view of Avraham’s prayer in this Torah portion Vayera. While we often cite the bargaining prayers as evidence of Avraham’s lovingkindness toward the lost, a question is asked:
Is it really “righteous” to pray that wickedness be allowed to prevail and perpetrate endless violence against its population or unwitting passersby so that ten righteous people may not be destroyed with the wicked? Was there a better prayer in the circumstances?
Why not pray that with “righteous” Lot, they would leave the wicked cities with supernatural help? Why not pray that the strong hold of economic prosperity (or whatever they loved) over them be broken and they depart so that their souls would not be consumed by the wild beasts, confused by lies, torn and violated by demonic oppression?
Why not pray the citizens of the five cities would repent? It’s apparent that neither Avraham nor Lot understood the severity of wickedness. The demonic oppression and suggestion was proliferating, feeding on bloodlust, greed, and immoral sexual behavior. It had become the habitation of every unclean and demonic thing, a human meal. Eat up.
- And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality...I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people...’ 8 For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. (Re 18:2-8)
Because the burning of Sodom is referenced so many times in judgment, and the story of Lot takes place during days of unleavened bread, we should be more prepared than ever at Pesach this year. Egypt’s final judgment was at Passover. The tzirah, or “hell-bug” of Revelation may be tormenting during these five dark months between the Seventh Month and the First Month of Nissan, Passover month.
To those whose souls are offered on the table of Adonai, sanctified by Yeshua the Living Word, sealed by the truth of the Ruach HaKodesh, there is no confusion, no lie, no darkness, no hatred, no bloodlust. We must, however, pray a lot. Pray for repentance. Pray that the righteous and innocent be supernaturally delivered from wicked cities. As Peter wrote, Adonai DOES know how to deliver the godly from temptation and destruction.
Pray that it happens before the full Revelation plague of hail and fire descend, a plague much more devastating than any hail or fire that a human army could ever muster.
Please SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter to get new teachings.