Shabbat Shalom all,
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:15 “And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?”
As we consider these words that Sha’ul wrote to the assembly at Corinth, we recognise how clear his call was to the believers back then, and is still very clear to us here today. And that is, as followers of Messiah, we must be on guard against being influenced or corrupted by that which does not follow our Master and Elohim; and the urgency of this call to come out and be separate is still sounding very loud and clear. In a message tonight called, ‘HAVE NO AGREEMENT WITH BELIYA’AL’, I would like us to look at what Scriptures tells us about the one who is of, or is in agreement with, Beliya’al. What is ‘beliya’al’? It is only used once in the Renewed writings, in the verse I opened with, and the Greek term Βελιάρ Belial – Strong’s H955 means, ‘wickedness, worthlessness’, and is considered in the Greek as an epithet for the devil. It is a noun that is transliterated from the Hebrew word בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 which means, ‘worthlessness, wicked, naughty, evil, unprofitable’. Sha’ul makes a clear distinction between that which serves and follows Messiah versus that which serves and follows Beliya’al. While this term can be an epithet for the devil, it is also used to describe a person who walks contrary to the Truth, and is therefore not a servant of the True Master, but is a servant to that which the devil presents as an a twisted alternative. True worshippers of Elohim worship in Spirit and Truth, and any deviation from walking according to the clear plumb-line of the Word, be it through compromise and lawlessness, renders one to be reckoned as a man/woman of beliya’al. We cannot serve two masters!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:24 “No one is able to serve two masters, for either he shall hate the one and love the other, or else he shall cleave to the one and despise the other. You are not able to serve Elohim and mammon.”
The word ‘mammon’ is of Aramaic origin, rendered in Greek as μαμωνᾶς mamōnas – Strong’s G3126 meaning, ‘wealth, riches, where it is personified and opposed to Elohim’.
As we hear the call to come out and be separate, we must recognise the urgency for total set-apartness, and not be found to be having any agreement with that which is beliya’al!
The Hebrew word בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 comes from two words: 1) – בְּלִי beliy – Strong’s H1097 which means, ‘failure, wearing out, without, lack of, corruption’, which comes from the root word בָּלָה balah – Strong’s H1086 which means, ‘to fail, become old, wear out, decay, consume’; and 2) – יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276 which means, ‘to confer or gain profit or benefit, avail, furnish, that which is profitable and good’.
This word יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276 is used 23 times in 21 verses in the Tanak (O.T.), and is mostly used in relation to that which does not profit; yet we do see that which is best for us, when we see this word used in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 48:17 “Thus said יהוה, your Redeemer, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “I am יהוה your Elohim, teaching you what is best, leading you by the way you should go.”
יהוה teaches us what is best – He teaches us what is profitable for us and what is good for us! The root word for ‘teaching’ is לָמַד lamaḏ – Strong’s H3925 which means, ‘to exercise in, learn, accept, instruct, train’. It is יהוה our Redeemer and Elohim that teaches us to do what is best, through His Torah and instructions given to us through His Word, and therefore the laws and right-rulings of Mosheh that we are to ‘exercise in’ and learn, accept and become fluent in, as we diligently train ourselves to be true set-apart people, is what causes us to be true servants of Messiah!
We do not learn for nothing – we learn and are taught – TO DO!
The Torah was given through Mosheh, and revealed through the life, death and resurrection of יהושע Messiah, our Good Teacher whom we follow wholeheartedly! Those of ‘beliya’al’ do not do so; and as we can see from the two root words that בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al comes from, the term ‘beliya’al’ can be better understood as, ‘failure to profit, failure to do what is best’, and ultimately marks one who ‘fails to follow יהוה’, by refusing to submit to walking wholeheartedly in His commands!
When we consider the words of Sha’ul and realise that we, as taught ones of Messiah, are to have no agreement with Beliya’al, then it would be good for us to recognise what Scripture says about the man of beliya’al, so as to be on guard against any of the characteristics of beliya’al being evident in our own lives.
The term בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al is used 27 times in the Tanak, and tonight I want us to look at a couple of these verses and the relevant characteristics that are collectively designated to the man/woman of beliya’al. Turn with me to Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:12-15 (Read)
Here in this proverb we are clearly given a description of what a man of beliya’al is like. Let us therefore answer the question, ‘What is a man of Beliya’al?’:
Firstly we are told here in verse 12 that a man of beliya’al is a wicked man! The Hebrew word for ‘wicked’ is אָוֶן aven – Strong’s H205 which means, ‘iniquity, trouble, wicked, sorrow’.
In Hoshěa/Hosea 10 Yisra’ĕl is called a degenerate vine, due to the corruption of their false worship practices that they had adopted, as they were a nation that had become so twisted in their attempt at worship, that they resorted to the use of lying, cheating and twisting words to cover up their wickedness; and they had put more trust in self and their worship programmes and idols rather than in יהוה. They were more afraid of losing their calf to the enemy than actually stripping away the lies!
When Yaroḇʽam, the king of the northern tribes, had built Sheḵem in the north as the capital of Ephrayim, he did not want people to go to Yerushalayim to worship in fear that they would return to Reḥaḇʽam, the king of Yehuḏah, and so he made two calves of gold, setting one up in Bĕyth Ěl and another in Dan, made high places of all sorts and made many priests from all sorts of people who were not from Lĕwi. And this became the focus of their worship – calf worship – they had not learnt from the incident in the Wilderness many years before when Aharon built a golden calf proclaiming a festival unto יהוה, while in יהוה’s eyes it was an abomination (Shemoth/Exodus 32). This time was no different – יהוה does not change!
Yisra’ĕl was more concerned about their calf being captured due to the tightening grip of judgement that was coming upon them and in Hoshěa/Hosea 10:5 we see the place Bĕyth Ěl being called בֵּית אָוֶן Bĕyth Awen – Strong’s H1007 which means, ‘house of iniquity/ house of wickedness/ house of vanity’.
Hoshěa/Hosea 10:5 “The inhabitants of Shomeron fear because of the calf of Bĕyth Awen. For its people shall mourn for it, as well as its priests who used to rejoice over it, because of its esteem that has departed from it.”
What we see very clearly here is the fact that the House of Ěl had now become the House of iniquity!!! False worship was taking place and the people leading the services were false priests! The word used here for priests is כֹּמֶר komer – Strong’s H3649 meaning, ‘Idolatrous priests or priests in idol worship’!!! How did this happen? Well remember that Yaroḇʽam made anyone a priest and this is the result!!! It is יהוה who calls and not man; and today there is a man-driven system of appointing priests that adhere to man-made standards which primarily end up in priests who are engaged in idolatry and teaching others likewise! The word for idolatrous priests comes from a root word that can mean ‘black’ giving reference to the black garments of idolatry as opposed to the white robes of righteousness!!!
Why I am mentioning this is simply to show that a man of beliya’al is a wicked man – that is he is a man that is engaged in vain and wicked worship. Many today assume to be worshipping the Creator, yet they are not of the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim, but are rather of the house of iniquity or the house of beliya’al, as their false and twisted worship identifies them as such!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:12 tells us that the man of beliya’al is wicked and walks with a perverse mouth! The Hebrew word for ‘perverse’ is עִקְּשׁוּת iqqeshuth – Strong’s H6143 which means, ‘crookedness, deceitful, perverse, distortion’, and comes from the root word עָקַשׁ aqash – Strong’s H6140 which means, ‘to twist, pervert’.
The walk and talk of the wicked is a distorted walk and talk, that twists and perverts the truth for self-gain!
Titos/Titus 1:10-11 “For there are many unruly men, senseless talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths have to be stopped, who upset entire households, teaching what they should not teach, for the sake of filthy gain.”
To the Pharisees Messiah made it very clear when He said to them in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 12:34 “Brood of adders! How are you able to speak what is good – being wicked? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.”
The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart – your heart will be revealed in your words and corresponding actions!
In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8 which describes wisdom’s call it says of wisdom in verse 7:
Mishlĕ/proverbs 8:7 “For my mouth speaks truth; and wrongness is an abomination to my lips.”
In our getting wisdom, we too recognise that we who walk in the truth and seek wisdom are to have truth comes from our mouth and let no wrongness come from our lips! How is your speech? A man of Beliya’al has a perverse mouth, while the man of Messiah speaks truth and walks in it!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14 “For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.”
The Torah of Elohim is not far off and some set of difficult instructions to walk in, it is near us, and ought to be in our mouths and in our hearts to do it – as we meditate day and night upon His Word, for it leads us as we walk about, guard us when we lie down and talks to us when we wake up (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:22).
Verse 13 continues to describe the man of beliya’al by making mention that the corrupt and wicked will ‘wink with the eye, make signals with his feet and point with his fingers’, all of which describes or represents for us sinister body language, and can often reflect actions that contradict the words they speak. The man of beliya’al may tell you one thing but his actions reveal another. The wicked will also develop signs and signals that other wicked companions will understand and acknowledge what is being said beyond the words that is being spoken! Freemasonry has many signals and gestures that are used to identify one another, as a ‘secret language’ that can only be understood by members!
Our yes must be yes and our no must be no, anything beyond this is of the devil! How do your words and actions line up when mirrored against the true plumb-line of the Torah? Have you developed certain looks and signals that are saying the opposite to what you mean? If so, come out and have no agreement with such sinister body language!
Verse 14 continues to reveal what a man of beliya’al is like – he has perverseness in his heart; and the Hebrew word used here for ‘perverseness’ is תַּהְפֻּכָה tahpuḵah – Strong’s H8419 which means, ‘perversely, what is perverted’, and comes from the root הָפַךְ haphaḵ – Strong’s H2015 meaning, ‘to turn, overturn, change, pervert’
Mishlĕ/proverbs 21:8 “The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the innocent, his work is right.”
The one who is guilty of lawlessness will walk in the way that continually changes or overturns the clear right-ruling of Elohim! When one is guilty of lawlessness and compromise, the danger of perverseness settling into the heart is very real, and may cause one to pervert the truth to suit their needs and justify their sin!
The man of beliya’al plots evil at all times! The word used here for ‘plotting’ is חָרַשׁ ḥarash – Strong’s H2790 meaning, ‘to cut in, engrave, plow, devise, scheme, plot’, and also has the meaning, ‘to be silent, dumb, speechless, deaf, say nothing’. This word is used in the stern rebuke given to a wayward Yisra’ĕl, in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 10:13 “You have ploughed wrongness, you have reaped unrighteousness, you have eaten the fruit of lying, because you trusted in your own way, in your many mighty men.”
In other words the rebuke here is clear – doing things your own way and scheming, according to false and vain traditions of man, while turning a deaf ear to the hearing of the Torah, will have the result of the wicked fruit of unrighteousness, all because of the eating of lies and useless dogmas and traditions of man, instead of eating the daily manna and lawful bread of the Torah and Word of Elohim!
The man of beliya’al also sends out strife! The word for ‘strife’ is מָדוֹן maḏon – Strong’s H4066 which means, ‘strife, contention’, and it is from this word that we get the term – the Miḏyanites – הַמִּדְיָנִים ‘the (ha) Miḏyanites’ from Strong’s H4084, and so we can understand that the Miḏyanites were a people of ‘strife’.
Give no room to strife and put an end to it is the call for us today!
Titos/Titus 3:9 “But keep away from foolish questions, and genealogies, and strife and quarrels about the Torah, for they are unprofitable and useless.”
We would do well to heed this instruction – stay away from strife and quarrels about the Torah! The enemy is always seeking an opportunity to get us into a heated debate and argument over matters of the Torah; and while we are to certainly proclaim the Truth and defend it and guard it by doing it, we must be careful not to fall into useless arguments that just cause strife, which many who refuse to hear the Truth want to do! Give no room for strife!
Sha’ul tells Timotiyos where strife comes from – it comes from verbal battles – and in speaking of one who teaches falsely he says in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 3:9 “he is puffed up, understanding none at all, but is sick about questionings and verbal battles from which come envy, strife, slander, wicked suspicions”
We must steer clear of ‘verbal battles’ that lead to strife, slander and all forms of wickedness.
Verse 15 here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6 tells us very clearly what will happen to those of beliya’al – that is those ‘who fail to produce’ the fruit of righteousness! Remember that the basic meaning of beliya’al is worthlessness and wickedness, and when understood from the two root words it is constructed from, it means one who fails to profit, gain or be valuable.
This reminds me of the parable of the talents where the one who failed to make a profit or gain from what he had been given was a worthless servant who was thrown into outer darkness! (Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:30).
Those who continue to fail to produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness and continue to resort to having agreement with Beliya’al will find that their calamity will come swift. Having agreement with Beliya’al entails the lack of obedience to walking in the commands of Elohim, through the submission to twisted lies and corrupted worship practices that have distorted and perverted the Truth through vain traditions that are engraved into their lives as inherited from their fathers who have acted corruptly!
Those who do not know the times and seasons of Elohim, due to their continued wilful neglect of seeking and understanding the Truth, will find that their calamity will come swift and unexpected, without any means of escape:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:1 “One often reproved, hardening his neck, is suddenly broken, and there is no healing.”
The stubborn and rebellious who refuse to submit to the discipline of the Word will be broken, while those who endure discipline and are trained by it, will reap the needed fruit of righteousness!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:11 “And indeed, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but grievous, but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
The fate of the wicked and worthless is clear – they shall be destroyed and have no part in the kingdom of Elohim!
Naḥum/Nahum 1:15 “See, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace! O Yehuḏah, observe your festivals, perform your vows. For Beliya’al shall no more pass through you. He has been cut off completely.”
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:19 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.”
We all here name the Name of Messiah – have you turned away from unrighteousness – for if not you have taken His Name in vain!
יהוה declared in the vision given to Naḥum that Ninewěh would be destroyed and flooded and the counselor of Beliya’al will be cut off and the name of the wicked house of Nimrod will no longer be sown and Yehuḏah would once again keep the Sabbaths and Feasts of יהוה and be able to perform their vows of obedience unhindered. This ability to keep the Sabbaths and Feasts, we have in Messiah who has cut off the name of Ba’al from us – and this we are to proclaim, aměn!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:28 tells us that a witness of beliya’al scorns right-ruling, and the Hebrew word for ‘scorn’ is לִיץ lits – Strong’s H3917 which means, ‘to scorn, carry on as scoffers, mock, talk arrogantly’ – and this they do at יהוה’s right-ruling. The Hebrew word used for ‘right-ruling’ is מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him, we must DO!!! To scorn or scoff at His right-rulings is to be in agreement with Beliya’al, which means one cannot be in agreement with Messiah and will be thrown out into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!
In Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:12 we are told that the sons of Eli were sons of Beliya’al – as they did not know יהוה! They did not know יהוה because they did not guard His commands, and were called sons of Beliya’al !
Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3 “So let us know, let us pursue to know יהוה. His going forth is as certain as the morning. And He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.”
Despite the need to continually be pursuing to ‘know’ יהוה, so many quickly turn aside to falsehood as they do not ‘know’ the right-ruling of יהוה:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:7 “Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And a turtledove, and a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the right-ruling of יהוה.”
Yeshayahu was told to go and speak to a rebellious people:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 “And He said, “Go, and you shall say to this people, ‘Hearing, you hear, but do not understand; and seeing, you see, but do not know.’”
Hearing but not hearing, seeing but not ‘knowing’ – that is the state of so many today!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:20 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
This verse carries great insight for us, in that it clearly instructs us to set-apart יהוה’s Sabbaths, for that would be a sign between us and Him, in order to ‘know’ that He is יהוה our Elohim. I have often said that Sabbath is in many ways a door or entrance point in getting to know יהוה as we should, for it is on His set-apart day that we learn to know Him, as an assembled body of Messiah, that is being made ready as an adorned Bride!
Those who reject the Sabbath and its needed observance, as commanded, will never be able to ‘know’ יהוה, no matter how much they claim to ‘know’ Him, and will be classed as being sons of Beliya’al, and have no part in Messiah!!!
As we have briefly looked at what a man/son beliya’al is, I hope that you are able to see the urgency in our need to pursue to know יהוה, and have no agreement with Beliya’al. In closing I want to read Sha’ul’s words given to Corinth, and let us hear the urgency to come out, be separate and have no agreement with beliya’al, as we live pure, upright and undefiled lives in our Master!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:14-18 “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. 18 “And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty.”
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!