Shabbat Shalom family,
As I was reading the accounts in both books of Shemuʼěl/Samuel this week, I was again gripped by the clear difference we are able to see between that which comes as a result of obedience versus the results or product of disobedience. Then one verse kept sticking in my head, and was once again reminded how we are able to truly recognise who are true sons and daughters of Elohim and who are not.
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:12 “And the sons of Ěli were sons of Beliya’al – they did not know יהוה.”
The sons of Ěli were Ḥophni and Pineḥas: חָפְנִי Ḥophni – Strong’s H2652 means ‘pugilist’, and the definition of a pugilist is regarded as a person who fights with his fists, or a professional boxer; and פִּינְחָס Pineḥas – Strong’s H6372 means, ‘mouth of brass’. This of course is not the same Pineḥas who rose up in zeal for יהוה and put to death the couple who whored in the camp – that was Aharon’s grandson. This Pineḥas, the son of Ěli, was not zealous for יהוה – he was more zealous for himself and his own comforts, while using his position of authority to satisfy his own fleshly desires.
These two sons of Ěli, who were supposed to be serving as faithful priests of Elohim, and by bloodline were of the Lĕwitical priesthood, yet here were called ‘sons of Beliya’al’, and further explains why they were called ‘sons of Beliya’al’ and not regarded as ‘sons of Elohim’ – because they did not know יהוה!!! This verse carries a very powerful and clear warning to those who think that they are sons of the Most High, while their actions reveal otherwise. In a message tonight called, ‘TRUE SONSHIP GUARDS THE COMMANDS – ADOPTED TO OBEY!’, I would like us to be reminded how we, as true sons and daughters of the Living Elohim, are to be ardent in our obedience in guarding the commands of our Creator and King.
Here we have a very clear verse that shows us that physical bloodline does not necessarily make you a true son of Elohim. When I refer to son or sonship in reference to our relationship toward Elohim, I am collectively speaking of both male and female children (or sons and daughters) of the Most High, as the Hebrew word for son – בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121, which is used over 5000 times, is not exclusively a reference to the male offspring of human parents. It is also used idiomatically for children generally, as well as for descendants, i.e. grandsons; and for people or items belonging in a category or group e.g. sons of prophets. And we also recognise that in Scripture the term בֵּן ben often specifies an intimate relationship between a father and his children. We see the plural of this word – בָּנִים – banim being translated as ‘children’ in:
Tehillim/Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion for his children, So יהוה has compassion for those who fear Him.”
The term comes from the primitive root verb בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’, and a derivative of this word is the Hebrew word אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’, and gives us a better understanding of how we are being built up as ‘living stones’ in Messiah, as Kěpha describes in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
Sonship in Scripture is not always regarded to being a natural position based on physical bloodline, but rather sonship of Elohim is that which is conferred to us by an act of Elohim. Sonship should not be understood as an assured sonship based on natural descent or merit; but rather it is based on Elohim’s extended favour and mercy that is received by faith in Messiah; and He extended His great loving-commitment toward His Covenants of Promise by coming in the flesh to redeem us, and to restore to favour all unto Himself – so that we who were once estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works could be completely restored to favour in the body of His flesh through death, and be presented set-apart and blameless before Him, having received an adoptions as sons of the Living Elohim – if indeed we continue in the belief, not being moved in our fully committed loving obedience to His commands as faithful sons!
When we consider how the sons of Eli, who by physical bloodline could be regarded as children of Elohim, were regarded as sons of Beliya’al because they did not know יהוה, we are clearly warned in not being presumptuous in our daily walk by overstepping the clear boundaries of the Torah and think that we can do however we please by casting His instructions aside.
The Hebrew word בְּלִיַּעַל Beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 meaning, ‘worthlessness, destruction, wicked, wickedness’, and comes from two words: 1 – בְּלִי beli – Strong’s H1086 meaning, ‘a wearing out, unconcerned, unrestrained, without’ and 2 – יַעַל ya‘al – Strong’s H3276 meaning, ‘to confer or gain profit or benefit’.
When understanding this concept and term as derived from these two words we see that these two foolish sons were unrestrained and unconcerned as to how they gained benefits or profits for self, showing no regard for the Torah of Elohim! As a result of not fearing יהוה they became arrogant and thought that they could do whatever they wanted to and however they wanted to and get away with it.
In understanding their names as meaning those who fight with the fists and mouth of brass, we can see how stubborn these two were in their words and deeds, as they clearly blasphemed the Name of יהוה with their falsehood and pride, using their position for self-gain, and in one aspect they could be described as being ‘brawlers who were greedy for filthy gain’ – the thing that Sha’ul tells Titos that an overseer should not be:
Titos 1:7 “For an overseer has to be unreprovable, as a managing one of Elohim, not self-pleasing, not wroth, not given to wine, no brawler, not greedy for filthy gain”
These guys were wicked, worthless, destructive and sought only their own profit, with no care or regard for others; and for this they both were killed in one day, after which their father also died on that same day after hearing that the Ark of Elohim had been captured. By their clear actions, these wicked and worthless priests showed that they did not know יהוה, for their disregard for the Torah of Elohim was clearly evident, and in verse 17 of Shemuʼĕl Aleph/1 Samuel 2 we are told that their sin was very great before יהוה, for they despised the offering of יהוה. This is a very clear picture of so many today, who think that they have a right to the blessings of יהוה, and even assume to have a position of authority and claim to be children of Elohim, yet they are not – simply because they do not know Him!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘know’ is the word יָדַע ‘yada’ – Strong’s H3045 and means ‘to acknowledge, clearly understand, to perceive, distinguish and discern’ and implies the ability to respond to and recognise the Master’s voice and follow His commands. Dawiḏ instructed his son Shelomoh in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 28:9 that he was to ‘know’ the Elohim of his father, and further expands on the implications of ‘knowing’ Elohim – and that is that he was to serve Elohim with a perfect heart and a pleasing life.
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Our reasonable worship unto Elohim – that which is well pleasing to Him – is to be a living sacrifice and live set-apart lives as we faithfully obey His voice – for then we are able to faithfully declare that we know Him!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
The sons of Beliya’al are liars and the truth is not in them! So many claim to ‘know’ Elohim yet they have no regard for His Torah – they are LIARS and the truth is not in them. It does not matter how big their gatherings are in their attempts at claiming a falsified worship that ‘knows’ Elohim while His commands they have cast aside – The Spirit of Elohim is not in their midst!!!
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 6:15 “And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya’al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?”
A true son of Elohim – a true believer – is one who guards the commands, having the love of Elohim being perfected in him. The Greek word used for ‘know’ in Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which means, ‘to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of’. As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah. There are so many liars out there today who claim to know Elohim, yet they have no knowledge of His Torah at all, as they refuse to sit and learn His Word – how can they know Him!!! It is one thing to claim that you know Him, yet whether we know Him or not is seen in the fruit of our obedience to His commands, and all will be clearly revealed when He returns – as many will come running claiming they know Him, yet will be rejected!
A synonym of this word γινώσκω ginōskō is the Greek word οἶδα oida – Strong’s H1492 which also means, ‘to have seen or perceived, hence: to know, to have regard for’, and this word is used in the negative sense when Messiah declares to those who think that they know Him and think that what they have been doing is right:
Luqas/Luke 13:25-28 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master, Master, open for us,’ and He shall answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you shall begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.’ 28 “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ and all the prophets in the reign of Elohim, and yourselves thrown outside.”
There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when the lawless see those to whom the Covenants of Promise were given, and to whom sonship belongs – the lawless are not sons of Elohim, regardless of physical bloodlines!!!
The characteristics of sons of Beliya’al are not only a disregard for the Torah of Elohim, but they also will seek to divide and draw people away from serving the Beloved King as we should. After Dawiḏ mourned the death of his son Aḇshalom and was returning to his home in Yerushalayim, there was a division among Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah and there was a man of Beliya’al whose name was Sheḇa, the son of Biḵri, a Binyamite who came and blew a shofar and said that they had no part in Dawiḏ and told Yisra’ĕl to go to their tents; and many followed this man of Beliya’al, which shows us how powerful and influential liars can be; and it is no different today as we see masses who turn aside from clinging to our Beloved King and follow lies. This man was hunted down and eventually had his head cut off by the people of the city he tried to hide in. The wicked and worthless will often take advantage of the confused – that is those who are still caught up in ‘Baḇelon’ so to speak – Baḇelon in Hebrew is the word בָּבֶל Baḇel – Strong’s H894, which was the name of the site where יהוה confused the language of all the earth, and it comes from the verb בָּלַל balal – Strong’s H1101 meaning, ‘to mingle, mix, confuse, confound’ and so בָּבֶל Baḇel can best be understood as meaning, ‘confusion (by mixing)’. Confusion certainly does arise when the True and pure Word is mixed with man-made doctrines, dogmas, theologies and traditions that aspire to build for themselves a ‘tower’ of self-identification! The word אוֹן On – Strong’s H204 was the name of a city in Mitsrayim which bordered Goshen and was the centre of sun-worship, where Poti-Pherah lived – he was a priest of On and was the father-in-law of Yosĕph. Now when we hear the term Baḇelon, we are further able to understand the concept of the need for so many to come out of the lies and confusion of sun-worship, which many are being led astray into submitting to under the influence of the sons of Beliya’al who are teaching as teachings the commands of men!
In the instructions regarding the release of debts we are warned in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 15:9 “Be on guard lest there be a thought of Beliya’al in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is near,’ and your eye is evil against your poor brother and you give him naught. And he shall cry out to יהוה against you, and it shall be a sin in you.”
We must be on guard to not have any wickedness or worthlessness in our hearts that causes us not to forgive our debtors, and be in danger of the Father not forgiving our debts, as we are reminded in the parable of the unforgiving servant and the fate of the wicked in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:34-35 “And his master was wroth, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So also My heavenly Father shall do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Therefore we also see another characteristic of the sons of Beliya’al – they hold grudges and do not forgive debts, whereas the sons of Elohim forgive as often as needed when one comes and repents, even if they come over and over – even up to seventy times seven!!!
In the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) the rendering of Beliya’al is written in the context of being lawless, and a couple of the Greek words used for Beliya’al are:
1 – λοιμός loimos – Strong’s G3061 which means, ‘pestilence, plague, malignant, troublemaker, mischievous person, a pest’, which helps us better understand the Torah of leprosy in the house in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 14 where the infected stones are removed and thrown outside the city in an unclean place! This word is used in Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel in describing Ḥophni and Pineḥas. The wicked malignant troublemakers shall be cast outside where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
2 – παρανομέω paranomeō – Strong’s G3891 which means, ‘to transgress the law, violation of the law’ and is used to describe Sheḇa, the man who led many away from Dawiḏ. It is from two words: para – which means ‘beside, set aside, alongside’ and nomos which means ‘law’.
3 – ἄφρων aphrōn – Strong’s G878 which means, ‘without reason, foolish, unwise’ and is used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:28 “A witness of Beliya’al scorns right-ruling, and the mouth of the wrong ones devours wickedness.”
This Greek word is also used in:
Luqas/Luke 12:20 “But Elohim said to him, ‘You mindless one! This night your life shall be demanded from you. And who shall own what you have prepared?’”
This was in the parable of the rich man whose land yielded well and the response to the rich man who thought he could store up for himself and enjoy life as it were.
Lukas/Luke 11:40 “Mindless ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?”
These were the words of Messiah to the Pharisees who make the outside of the cup clean but their inward parts are full of greed and wickedness.
Those who are only interested in themselves and put on an outward show of worship are mindless fools and sons of Beliya’al!
We are not called to be sons of Beliya’al but rather we are called to be sons of the Living Elohim!!!
And while we were once in darkness and without Elohim in the world, we have been adopted to obey!
Hoshěa/Hosea 1:10 “Yet the number of the children of Yisra’ĕl shall be as the sand of the sea, which is not measured nor counted. And it shall be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ they shall be called, ‘You are the sons of the living Ěl.’”
The sons of Beliya’al are those who live according to the flesh, but we who live according to the Spirit are sons of Elohim:
Romiyim/Romans 8:13-16 “For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim”
We have received a spirit of adoption as sons, and the Greek word for ‘adoption’ is υἱοθεσία huiothesia – Strong’s G5206 from a presumed compound of υἱός huios – Strong’s G5207 which means, ‘son, attendant’ and τίθημι tithēmi – Strong’s G5087 which means, ‘to place, lay-up, lay aside, establish, set, appointed, destined, set down’, and as sons of Elohim we known that He has laid up His good treasure in our hearts – that is His Word.
When we understand adoption and the clear choice that Elohim has made in calling us to Himself as sons, we further understand how awesome our responsibility is, in serving Him with great joy, as our faith is seen in our good works – that is in obedience to His Torah!
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע. 27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah. 28 There is not Yehuḏite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע. 29 And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 1:4-5 “even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be set-apart and blameless before Him in love, 5 having previously ordained us to adoption as sons through יהושע Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desire”
True sonship embraces the guarding of His commands, while assumed sonship that does not will be proven false, and Messiah was very vocal to the outwardly religious traditionalists who claimed to have a right to the inheritance, while they neglected to obey the commands of Elohim.
Yoḥanan/John 8:41-47 “You do the works of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of whoring, we have one Father: Elohim.” 42 יהושע said to them, “If Elohim were your Father, you would love Me, for I came forth from Elohim, and am here. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 “Why do you not know what I say? Because you are unable to hear My Word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you wish to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 “And because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 “Who of you proves Me wrong concerning sin? And if I speak the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 “He who is of Elohim hears the Words of Elohim, therefore you do not hear because you are not of Elohim.”
All may claim to ‘know’ Elohim, yet few are ‘known’ by Him and we know that we know Him when we guard His commands and His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of Elohim – once were not, but now are, having been adopted to obey and serve Him with joy!
As we realise that Scripture gives us clear evidence and examples of those who assumed a sonship but were rejected, may we be sober in our judgement of our own lives in accordance to the true plumb line of His Torah, and rejoice that He ordained for us to be adopted as sons through Messiah, and share in the wonder of the inheritance of the set-apart ones of Elohim; and in acknowledging this on a daily basis let us be warned to not fall to the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes or the pride of life, so as to guard ourselves from all hypocrisy and lies, that we may walk in the Truth and worship the Father in Spirit and Truth.
It is all about identity and who we are as a Covenant people, set-apart for Elohim. Sometimes there are those who sadly forget their identity for a moment and forget the price Messiah paid for our adoption, and find themselves displaying wickedness and worthlessness and engage in things that do not profit, at a risk of selling their adoption right for the things of the flesh – for a fleeting moment of passion of lustful desires and wants. And this message is simply a call to guard against such moments – for we are not sons of Beliya’al but sons of the Living Elohim and what part do the sons of Elohim have with the works of Beliya’al? NONE!!!
Have you found yourself ‘fighting’ against doing what you ought to do as you find your hands doing that which you should not, or have your words been harsh towards others and have allowed anger to get you to fight until you get your own way (kind of like a Ḥophni and Pineḥas)?
Have you sided with the lawless and agreed with them either through word or deed that it is ok to not cling to the Beloved with your all, as your own lives at times do not line up with a perfect heart of obedience (like Sheḇa, son of Biḵri)? Then hear the call to sonship – that is the call to hear-guard and do our Father’s commands, who in His great love for us adopted us to serve Him with our all – for this is our reasonable worship before Him.