Tuesday, December 19, 2006
By John of AllFaith © 12.17.2007
The Holy One looked into the Dark Cloud of material existence and said, "How can I help these beings find freedom and return Home to Me?"
And the Holy One looked and behold, the peoples of the planet were divided, each said, "I have increased with goods and power and have need of nothing!"
And the Holy One was saddened because the people did not understand.
So the Holy One sent unto them religious thinkers who might unify the people around the One Truth, and the people said, "Yes we will learn more from you, for behold what the Holy One has wrought among us!"
And the people honored their teachers and the teachers said among themselves, "Behold! My insights are deeper than those of all others. I should be honored above all my peers!
And the people replied, "Yes! Your words are supreme! By receiving these truths we will be glorified beyond all others! But for those others, their saying are strange to our ears. They speak blasphemies and must be punished! What shall we do about them?
And the masters replied, "Behold! Truth is One, the sages merely call it by different names."
But the people said, "Nay! Our light is higher than all other lights! We will vanquish those infidels of different faiths so that our faith will be glorified!"
The Holy One looked upon the people and wept tears that fell upon the earth as tears of sorrow.
But the people proclaimed, Behold! These waters show that we are approved!" But the Holy never said this thing.
And the Holy One rose up in their midst other teachers who might lead the people into the ways of love.
And the people said, "Who are these people who speak things our Holy religion forbids?" And they took those teachers and killed them in diverse ways and the people said, "We are righteous!"
And the Holy One wept.
From time to time the Holy One sent unto the people teachers who presented the Ways of Love in ways the people might understand, and some heard these teachings and held them to heart, and they were blessed.
But others did not receive the teachers and they did lie, changing of the Holy Words they had been given into something never intended. Words of hatred and exclusion.
These created diverse religions and preached their teachings and there was much sadness and bloodshed and much knowledge was forgotten.
Then the Holy One sent others who spread the truth of universal love and many people embraced the Light and it was good.
One such teacher met a person and said, "Behold here is Truth!"
And that person asked, "Where is Truth?"
And the teacher said, "You can be a Jew."
And the person replied, "But I was born a Gentile."
And the teacher said, "Behold, You can convert."
And the person said, "But the 613 Commandments are too difficult for me."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Hindu."
And the person replied, "But there are too many gods."
And the teacher said, "Behold, You can be an Advaitin."
And the person said, "But there is no god there."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Christian."
And the person said, "But their truth is too externalized."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Tibetan Buddhist."
And the person said, "But their practice is too loud."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can practice Zen,"
And the person replied, "But my concentration is too weak."
And the teacher said, "Behold, You can be a Sikh."
And the student replied, "But their hair and beards are too long."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Vaisnava."
And the person replied, "But they shave their heads and beards."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a neo-Pagan."
And the person replied, "But their traditions are too new."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Taoist."
And the person replied, "But they are too Chinese."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Scientologist."
And the person replied, "But their teachings are too expensive."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can be a Muslim."
And the person replied, "But their religion is too strict."
And the teacher said, "Behold, you can pray for guidence."
And the person said, "But I don't know who to pray to."
And the teacher said, "Behold you can meditate."
And the person said, "But I do not know how."
And the teacher said, "Behold, sit quietly and listen to your breath.
And the person replied, "Don't tell me what to do you damn know-it-all!"
And the Holy One sighed.
And the people said, "Behold! If there was a God we would be led!"
And the scientists agreed and said, "Behold! There is no God!"
And the Capitalists said, "We will lead you!" And they became exceedingly rich while the people worked hard.
But the people said, "We will do as you lead," and they became drones unto their Capitalist masters.
And soon 2 percent of the people owned eighty five percent of the wealth and the Capitalists said, "Behold, it is good... but we want more!"
And it came to pass in those days that the earth began to heat and the Scientists said, "It is nothing. Drive your cars and let the pollution increase."
And it was so.
And the poles did melt and the earth was heated and the people used ever stronger sunscreen lest cancers appear on their flesh.
And the ice became water and did flow until much of the world was flooded and many people drowned.
And the Capitalists said, "Behold! for a pretty penny we will sell you boats that you might rise above the waters of the earth!"
And in those days did the Holy One weep and say, "Let Us try this again!"
And Behold, There was a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heavens and the former earth was found unworthy.
And the Holy One said, "Maybe they will do better this time!"
And it may be so...
Monday, October 16, 2006
Well, I was just kicked out of the
WebRing RingMaster Forum.
Here's why: I posted the following two e-mails that they apparently didn't like:
Here is a fundamental issue:
...With respect to ring memberships... consider that if you were to sign up with an ad service to promote your site you could expect to pay a minimum of 10 cents PER CLICK to get traffic.
if a membership gets you just 1 click PER YEAR it is cheap. If not,
why have it?"
When WebRing began it was not a for-profit program. A LOT of us who use(d) the WebRing System don't make any money from our sites.
We do it for the joy of community, for sharing our beliefs, for sharing our lives etc. We would never pay anything for clicks.
In my case, I usually show up near the top of the search engines using free services but get very few clicks through the WebRing system. I join (and used to own) many rings as way of sharing with like minded people. WebRing was the ALTERNATIVE to money grubbing ad companies. THIS is what you folks have stolen from us. If you sense anger in our responses this is why! At least for many of us.
The Internet is becoming just another capitalist enterprize and many of us are deeply saddened by this. The WebRing, once viewed as a comrade in the struggle for free speech, has betrayed us all.
Of course, you don't care about any of this, you just want our money,
so I'm doubtless just wasting my breath here...
Why I wont tell others (ref. the poll on the page)
I wont tell others because I think everyone should just abandone their
rings now. If we all do it, Webring will have to listen to us or shut
down. WE make the money for them! WE bring the websites in! We do the
work! With some people accepting this BS and other's not everything is in limbo. If we all refuse enmasse, and if Webring still refuses to return to what it once was, a FREE community building service, then someone else will be in a good place to create a new Web Ring that works.
WebRing is obviously dead, so we should all abandone it and let it go
I wonder why this upset them? hehe
If anyone else is still on that board (you must be a ring owner to join it) I'd be interested in A) knowing what if anything they say to the posts and B) whether they just removed it.
Do you own a WebRing?
Did you know that the WebRing.com is becoming a for-profit operation?
Do you belong to any WebRings?
Did you know that around January '07 you'll have to pay for this "priviledge?"
Have you left WebRing?
Do you plan to?
Will you pay WebRing.org?
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Oh, by the way, I just made a Video Telling of my "Dark Days Come to Blaenkych" story if anyone is interested: http://allfaith.com/vids/pagan.html#dark
Among the great things about the original movie was the way it handled gender polarity. The men of the island were allowed to be gregarious and loud. The women clearly had a "men are so silly sometimes" attitude that both granted the men this freedom and kept them in line. For instance, during the singing of barkeeper's daughter song, the woman is positively blushing, yet she demonstrates her absolute control of the situation and clearly enjoys herself immensely. In our hung-up society, these guys would have been fined for sexual harassment, but in this wonderful Pagan Society it was welcomed and expected, "they were only being men after all," because the women were strong and powerful and not intimidated by male foolishness. Indeed, being secure in their own power, they were aroused by it, as is obvious when they all take to the fields! This is utterly missing in the sequel, where the guys in the restaurant (no longer a pub) sit in fearful silence lest they offend their betters.
In the original, everywhere one looked there were frank symbols of nature and fertility in balance. In the original it is clear that without either gender the Isle would never have worked. As my Welsh Teacher used to say, "In balance there is freedom." Every one of the islanders had a role to fulfill and they each played their parts with gusto.
In the new movie, sadistic women treat males like slaves. Did you notice that only one island man speaks during the entire film? I got the impression their tongues had been cut out, but I'm not sure about that. Its not worth seeing it again to find out!
There was none of the hedonistic playfulness and yearnings in the sequel. In the original, the maidens who danced nude outside of Lord Summerisle's manor house typified the regenerative Earth Mother, the object of the Lord's longing, whose mystical incarnation, Lord Summersisle, looked on in a spirit of near worship and palpable longing and desire. The cop thought it all positively lewd! ...Yet as he peers at the maidens, 'as though through closed fingers,' he too feels the rising yearning of the natural man to merge with the inviting Queen of the Earth through Her nubile priestess daughters; he is drawn to embrace his own concealed Pagan Soul. Symbolically Lord Summersisle was the Apple Isle Lord incarnate who was preparing to welcome his Queen and Equal so that Her annual reign might begin even as his own drew to its seasonal ending. This entire Pagan reality is lost in the sequel.
In this critical scene in the sequel, now Lady Summersisle is in her manor house as a rich overlady overseeing her enslaved kingdom while terrified male servants scramble to do her bidding. The cop is now motivated by suspicion, what is this woman up to? Where is the corpse of the girl? What's she hiding? To his mind, she's nothing more than a demented female separatist cult leader that he is determined to unseat.
In the original, the cop was lead on by the mystery of what he knew he was missing within his own soul, he was drawn by his own ancestral yearnings to live among a people so pure in their lust and zest for life. Symbolically, he was the figure of modern humanity for whom life has become empty of meaning due to the absence of the Lady, emotions, ritual and lust. We can almost see the gradual rejection of his Puritanical faith in the New Religion building as he is drawn more and more toward the Old that still burns deeply within his heart and soul (no pun intended ;-).
The sequel leaves out the school children dancing the May Pole and singing the about Lugh, a powerful scene in the original. The phallic representations are all vile and perverse, stunted, the few goddess symbols are intimidating and fearsome. There is nothing seductive here, only fear and sadism.
I haven't see the original film in years, I'm just going from memory here and I don't want to give too much away for those yet to see it... I need to rent this movie! hehe.
Just a few rambling thoughts,
~John of AllFaith
Cadifor ap Colwyn
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Imagine this scenario:
First he steals the Reichstag's fire justification
Now he builds his own Berlin Wall!
Prepare a hiding place for those you love!
Dark Days Are Coming!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
John of AllFaith's
| Correctly Understanding Romans One |
A Study by Pastor John © 1999 (revised 8-1-2006)
(For more information on the Bible and Homosexuality visit http://allfaith.com/Grace/romans1.html)
To begin with, please read Romans chapter 1. I'll be using the Authorized King James Version throughout. As editions do vary, I'd recommend using the KJV now. Later you can check the newer paraphrases if you'd like.
Our CONTEXT begins at 1:15 and 16:
"So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Paul, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, begins the topic by stating that he is talking about the Gospel of Jesus and how it must be preached and practiced, and how those who love God will accept it joyfully. We note, for the purposes of this study, that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) Christians do accept the Gospel both readily and joyfully. This study exists to demonstrate that neither the Bible in general or Romans 1 in particular prohibits this community from accepting and living the Gospel fully.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven onto those who hold this truth in unrighteousness. We are therefore speaking of people who hold God's spiritual Truth and salvation in unrighteousness, i.e.. we are discussing abuses which are done in the name of religious truth. Devout Christians do not knowingly do this regardless of the sexual orientation.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
"Because that which may be known of God..." Again, religious truth is the topic, not sexual orientation or even sexual morality. 'That which may be known' of God' is that which has been revealed in the Holy Scriptures and by the Holy Spirit. These things attest to God's righteousness and should be honored.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
From what is visible we should know the invisible, i.e. God and God's truths are revealed through our senses. We can behold the handiwork of God all around us if we but look and these things confirm the existence of God, hence we have no excuse to deny God's existence.
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
These people being discussed knew God but chose to submit themselves to their "vain imagines" rather than to God. In other words, they invented new forms of religion, forms that satisfied their base urges and ungodly desires. We are still discussing religion here not sexuality.
Verses 22, 23:
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
These people claimed to be wise in their spiritual beliefs, and yet they were foolish, rejecting the true God, they worshiped false idols and "changed the glory of God into an image..." and worshiped that rather than the true God. Still, we're talking about religious practices and abuses, not sexuality. The Roman Empire, which would include Jewish Palestine, was filled with such worship. Pagan temples offered everything desirable and blasphemed the Creator of heaven and earth. Paul here condemns such worship.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
"WHEREFORE..." Wherefore, i.e. because they rejected God and worshiped idols and followed the paths of their vain imaginations rather than worshiping the One True God... FOR THIS REASON God gave these people up to their lusts.
The CONTEXT of these lusts is the unauthorized desire-based religious practices of the day. These have nothing to do with modern day consensual sexual relationships, whether they be heterosexual or homosexual.
As was common throughout the very religious Roman Empire, such idol worship INCLUDED sexual 'sacrifices' and rites wherein the worshiper engaged in 'sex magic' with temple priests and/or priestesses in the guise of spiritual ecstasy -- AS THOUGH the temple prostitute were the Pagan deity incarnate. THUS, the context here has NOTHING to do with contemporary homosexuality among Christians (or otherwise).
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
"WHO..." i.e. these people engaging in ritual sex magic and worshiping the Pagan idols, who were "exchanging the truth of God for a lie," and who were committing idolatry through their sex rites and thereby serving the created images and their own carnal desires rather than the true God, who alone is blessed for ever.
Verses 26, 27:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
"FOR THIS REASON..." i.e. because these people exchanged the worship of the true God for idols and sex rites, God "gave them up" to their own carnal desires.
The natural use or purpose of sexuality according to the Bible is procreation AND building/sustaining strong marital relationships (comp. I Cor 7:2). These people however were using their sexuality "against nature" by employing it to worship the idols of false gods. Through such sexual activities they sought two basic goals: One was the physical pleasures of sexual congress and the other, perhaps more significant in this context, was the promised spiritual union with their gods and the acquiring of benefits thereof. This is not the goal of sexuality intended by God but as these people willfully rejected God, they were allowed to go their own ways. Again, this was very common at the time throughout the empire.
These worshipers were "working that which is unseemly." The use of the word "working" shows that there was a specific end result in mind, i.e. earning the blessings of the Pagan deities, the normal reason for all idolatry. All they received for their "work" however was venereal diseases "...and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was fitting..." The sex cults throughout the empire were hotbeds of sexual diseases and the worshipers often became infected.
THOSE WHO TWIST these scriptures by saying they refer to HIV in our contemporary culture -- and I know some of you are out there! -- need to consider that this verse is the only one in the Bible that can be TWISTED to include lesbians. Lesbians remain among the lowest at risk for HIV and, after years of education, the gay male community is no longer the highest at-risk group. If this dreadful illness were God's wrath against homosexuals neither would be the case, nor would children be so at risk, nor the disabled, nor those in need of blood transfusions etc..
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge...." The subject is still religious faith; it has not changed. These people did not want to acknowledge the true God's existence. They preferred to worship idols of their own imaginings and trust in dangerous sex rites for their salvation. AGAIN AND STILL the subject matter, the context, is not homosexuality but idolatry coupled with sex rites, heterosexual AND homosexual. FOR THIS REASON, because of their spiritual harlotry, God gave them over to a "reprobate mind" and allowed them to believe that their false worship was approved by God when in reality, they were in direct opposition to God's holy will due to their pseudo-spiritual abuses.
In sharp contrast with this, LGBT Christian ministries are growing like wild fire, individual independent churches, groups like the Alliance of Christian Churches, the Gay Pentecostal Alliance, The Evangelical Network, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches and so on, are now home to thousands of sincere homosexual followers of Jesus who WANT God in their knowledge, their minds, their hearts and in their lives just as other Christians do. In addition to these ministries, more and more mainline churches and denominations are becoming "reconciling and affirming" of LGBT people. This fact alone demonstrates that these verses are not referring to gay and lesbian Christian people. As with any other community, lesbians and gays vary as to their acceptance and understandings of the Gospel message. A very large percentage of those who are not pro-Jesus have had their hearts hardened by abuses which well meaning Christians have subjected them to. The Church is failing miserably at evangelizing this community and will doubtless be held accountable by the one who said "Whoever comes unto Me I will in no case reject."
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents; without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:"
What resulted from their being "given over to a reprobate mind?" As a result of their religious rebellion against God, these developed the various moral weaknesses described in these verses. LGBT Christians, as all other Believers, seek to avoid such traits in their lives.
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
"Who knowing..." i.e. the people being discussed in the previous verses, these idolatrous worshipers who are filled with all unrighteousness etc., "knowing the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death..." That idolatry merited the death penalty for Jews under the Mosaic Law is clear. As I explained elsewhere however, despite the two verses in Leviticus which are sometimes cited, homosexuality is not a capital offense nor even negatively commented upon in the Torah.
CONTEXT IS ESSENTIAL in understanding the Word. God loves YOU
Just as YOU are!
- According to Christians, Matthew 1:23 explicitly refers to this section of Isaiah and foretells the conception and birth of Rebbe Yeshua of Nazareth to Mary, an unmarried teenage virgin. They see in this solid evidence that Rebbe Yeshua was the Messiah. Here we'll consider these verses in context in order to determine what is being taught. First, Matthew's account:
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
- In this study, we will consider whether or not this is an accurate reference to the Isaiah passage. Ordinarily when studying such questions we begin with the text in the Tanakh in order to determine its meaning, and then address the New Testament reference. In this case however we begin with the New Testament in order to keep the question clearly in mind as we go through the verses in Holy Writ.
- In order to understand the context of the verse in Isaiah we will begin at the beginning of the chapter.
1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.
3 Then said יהוה unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;
4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,
6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:
7 Thus saith the Lord יהוה, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
- The situation looks hopeless to Ahaz and the House of David, his people. According to the New JPS (see below for the 1917 JPS) the armies approached "but they were not able to attack it." In either case, when Ahaz learned that Aram's alliance with Ephraim had been achieved they were very worried! They were outnumbered and their enemies were approaching. There seemed to be no hope. However יהוה provided them hope! He ordered his prophet Isaiah to meet with King Ahaz and assure him that he and his people, the House of David, would survive. The prophet told Ahaz that the thing he feared "will not take place" In order to build Ahaz's faith, in the next few verses יהוה explains how things will go with the various peoples involved:
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.
- It was vital that Ahaz and his followers have faith in יהוה. It was in the mind of God to save them and preserve the House of David among them, however they needed to have faith and to rely on God's protection. Yet both Ahaz and his people continued to doubt. This was very important and so יהוה offered Ahaz a remarkable boon:
10 Moreover יהוה spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of יהוה thy Elohiym; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
- Notice here the reason Ahaz was offered a sign. He could ask for any sign that would bolster his faith in God's protection, for both himself and his people. The purpose of the sign was to rally the morale of the people involved, to satisfy their doubts at that time and to give them courage. And yet for reasons not made clear in the text, Ahaz refused to ask for a sign when prompted by יהוה's spokesman! His given reason sounds good at first listen, very pious, but I believe the real reason he refused to ask was because Ahaz was a coward! If יהוה gave Ahaz the proof, then Ahaz would have to act upon it! One cannot trick the יהוה however:
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt יהוה.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore Adonai [the Lord] himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. 17 יהוה shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.
- You have no faith, Isaiah charges. Not only do you try my patience, but יהוה's as well! OK then, the Lord will give you a sign so that you will stand firm before your enemies!
- Who was this sign for? This is very important! Re-read the section if you need to: "... Therefore Adonai [the Lord] himself shall give you a sign..." Was this sign given for people living 800 plus years in Ahaz's future? Did it have anything at all to do with the coming of the promised Shiloh? No, clearly it was for Ahaz and the House of David, so that they would stand against the enemies of יהוה. This sign was for the Jews huddled there in fear and indecision waiting for Ahaz to lead them.
- Some Bible teachers have argued that since the text says the sign is for the House of David, "Hear now, you house of David," it is for the House of David for all times. But notice verse 2, "Now the house of David was told..." The House of David יהוה is clearly speaking to, through His Prophet, are the followers of Ahaz present at that time and place and fearful of their enemies.
- "Therefore..." Because of something... Because of what? Because these people were afraid to do their duty to יהוה. "Therefore, יהוה himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." יהוה will give "you," Ahaz and your followers, a sign that He is with you.
- Is this sign a virgin conception? The word translated as virgin is "almah." Any Hebrew dictionary will tell you that this word does not mean "virgin," it means "maiden" or "girl." That's all it means. Strong's number for it is 5959 (Hebrew), look it up! Had Isaiah been inspired to say this was a virgin, he would have called her a "bethuwlah" (Strong's 1330), the word he uses for "virgin" every other time (as does Jeremiah and others). The passage therefore should read, as it does in the JPS:
"Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Or as in the 1917 KJP:
"Assuredly, my L-rd will give you a sign of His own accord! Look, the young woman is with child and about to give birth to a son. Let her name him Immanuel."
- In context, there is no way the verse is referring to a girl giving birth to a child 800 years or so in the future! What kind of sign is that? "I know you are all afraid these two kings are going to attack you, but here's a sign: 800 years from now a girl is going to have a baby!" I don't know about you, but that wouldn't help me much!
- Its worth noting that when Mary's son was born 800 years later, she named him Yeshua (Hebrew for the Greek Jesus), not Immanuel. Yeshua, "Yah shua" means "YHVH Saves" while Immanuel, which is a proper name, means, "God is with us." IF this was indeed a prophecy concerning the child, his mother misnamed him!
- How and why such biblically inaccurate teachings came about is discussed in some detail in my study entitled The Noahide Nazarene Way.
- In context it is clear: Isaiah is telling Ahaz, if you wont ask for a sign and stand willingly, then God will give you one! See that pregnant girl over there? By the time her son (note that יהוה foretold the child's gender) is old enough to choose right from wrong the kings you fear will be done for! Now that's a sign that would help! As a reminder to Ahaz and his follower that יהוה cares for them, the child was named "God is with us" (Immanuel)! We continue with the text:
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that יהוה shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.
20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;
22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.
23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.
- If one wishes to 'rightly divide the Word of Truth' as we are commanded, it is absolutely essential to examine the context of the verses in order to discover and preserve the original intent of the authors. Without doing this, any verse in the Bible can be a proof text for anything one wishes to teach.
- This has been a basic summary of our Noahide Nazarene beliefs concerning Isaiah chapter seven. More information is available in the other articles on this web site and this article may be updated from time to time.
- Do be aware that no official body speaks for Noahide Nazarenes (or for Noahides in general). Each of us must prayerfully study to show ourselves approved unto יהוה.
~John of AllFaith
AKA Ben Ruach haKodesh
Yisheyah 6 in the 1917 JPS (JEWISH PUBLICATION SOCIETY BIBLE).
1: And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it; but could not prevail against it.
2: And it was told the house of David, saying: 'Aram is confederate with Ephraim.' And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the forest are moved with the wind.
3: Then said HaShem unto Isaiah: 'Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fullers' field;
4: and say unto him: Keep calm, and be quiet; fear not, neither let thy heart be faint, because of these two tails of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and of the son of Remaliah.
5: Because Aram hath counselled evil against thee, Ephraim also, and the son of Remaliah, saying:
6: Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set up a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeel;
7: thus saith the L-rd GOD: it shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.
8: For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people;
9: And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not have faith, surely ye shall not be established.'
10: And HaShem spoke again unto Ahaz, saying:
11: 'Ask thee a sign of HaShem thy G-d: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.'
12: But Ahaz said: 'I will not ask, neither will I try HaShem.'
13: And he said: 'Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my G-d also?
14: Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
15: Curd and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16: Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou hast a horror of shall be forsaken.
17: HaShem shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.'
18: And it shall come to pass in that day, that HaShem shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
19: And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the rugged valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all brambles.
20: In that day shall the L-rd shave with a razor that is hired in the parts beyond the River, even with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also sweep away the beard.
21: And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall rear a young cow, and two sheep;
22: and it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give, he shall eat curd; for curd and honey shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land.
23: And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, shall even be for briers and thorns.
24: With arrows and with bow shall one come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
25: And all the hills that were digged with the mattock, thou shalt not come thither for fear of briers and thorns, but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of sheep.
"The Earth belongs to יהוה and the Fullness Thereof." Looking at Isaiah 7:14 in Context
(For more, Visit the Noahide Nazarene Way
I'm the owner of AllFaith.com where you will find lots religious studies from various religions, many are not what you might expect!
From time to time, I'll be posting certain of these studies and observations here. If you are interested in more, I encourage you to visit AllFaith.com.
If you have questions of a religious nature, chances are, I have answers. Post your questions or read my previous answers at John of Allfaith's Questions and Answers
In case you're interested, I hold a Calvary Chapel (Christian) Ordination, an independent Missionary Baptist (Christian) ordination, an MA in Religious Studies from JFKU, an ordination in Ministry and Spiritual Counseling from the Interfaith Seminaries, an ordination from the Universal Life Church, and am Pastor Emeritus of Grace Inclusive Church.
To varying degrees I have worked and studied with many different groups. I attained the position of Vaisnava brahmana within the International Society for KRSNA Consciousness and within the Sri Gopinath Gaudiya Math (both members of the greater Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya). I'm a former student of Swami Muktinanda's Sidha Yoga Foundation and an initiate of the Yoga Society (of Sri Ramamurti Mishra). I was initiated as a Welsh Traditionalist Pagan priest. I have been a Wahabi Sunni Muslim. I've been a Taoist and a member of various Buddhist sects, including the Dharmad Hatu of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. I've been involved with various Hindu sects from diverse traditions. I've delved into the Occult Arts and the teachings of Gurdjieff, Madame Blavatsky and others. I've worked, worshipped and studied closely with numerous Christian denominations and movements including Missionary, Primitive, Seventh day, and Southern Baptists, Roman and Eastern Orthodox. I've been one of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, a Pentecostal, a Charismatic, Methodist and an active member of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), etc. I was a Missionary to Central America, carried a 12x6 foot wooden cross on my back from Atlanta Georgia to San Antonia Texas, and have been involved with numerous other groups and movements too numerous to mention, although more is mentioned in Mystory and my Religious Studies sections. All this and eighty bucks will buy my next tank of gas! (Can you believe these prices! Sheesh!)