Unless the Lord Builds the House
By Kellen Davison for IsraeliNewsLive
The continued adoration of a man that on the surface appears to many to be a messenger of light, continues to spread around the world. A recent example is in St. Louis where it is being heralded that Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists have come together to build a Habitat for Humanity House called the “Pope Francis House”. While the home was built for a local humanitarian worker, the mayor of the city didn’t let the occasion pass to praise the vicar when he said Pope Francis is “a champion for others, especially for the less fortunate.” To top things off they brought in a Jesuit priest to join the “Christian” gathering to bless the Pope Francis house with “holy water”.
They even had a comment from Pat Gibbons, 71, a retired physics professor from Washington University who serves as Habitat coordinator for Trinity Presbyterian Church in University City. Gibbons said – “What is there not to like about Pope Francis? You don’t have to be a Catholic to like Pope Francis.”
While this event was supposed to be about the social worker, it turned into an ecumenical blessing session of Pope Francis. Perhaps there is some spiritual foreshadowing of getting these denominations together to build a structure and praise Pope Francis? It is also worth noting that these ecumenical volunteers will be working every Saturday to complete this house. http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/community-leaders-gather-for-blessing-of-new-pope-francis-home/article_a2f4ce8f-03b4-5784-a77e-4db96fc11d4e.html
Let’s not stop at this example, I also want to highlight the fact that the person sitting in the seat “substituting” for Christ used his “authority” to call Jubilee year at his own desire that will start at the end of this year concluding in November of 2016. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/03/13/pope-announces-extraordinary-jubilee-year/
The example of the St. Louis house parallels what Francis has been doing since he took his seat, he is building an ecumenical spiritual house of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and others saying it is all about love and acceptance and the same god.
The reason I called out the fact that the ecumenical volunteers will be building the Pope Francis house on the Sabbath ties into the other Sabbath that we have called out a Jubilee year. Now we won’t get into the debate as to whether this Fall or 2017 is the Biblical Jubilee year, but what we will look at is why these Sabbaths are important to our true Holy Heavenly Father, not the sabbaths of the self-named holy father.
Two chapters after the God of Israel speaks about the covenant importance of the weekly Sabbath and the annual Sabbaths (a.k.a. the moedim), He then talks about another important Sabbath on His calendar.
‘You are to count seven Shabbats of years, seven times seven years, that is, forty-nine years. Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, on Yom-Kippur, you are to sound a blast on the shofar; you are to sound the shofar all through your land; 10 and you are to consecrate the fiftieth year, proclaiming freedom throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It will be a yovel for you; you will return everyone to the land he owns, and everyone is to return to his family. That fiftieth year will be a yovel for you; in that year you are not to sow, harvest what grows by itself or gather the grapes of untended vines; because it is a yovel. It will be holy for you; whatever the fields produce will be food for all of you. In this year of yovel, every one of you is to return to the land he owns.” Leviticus 25:8-13
After God instituted the yovel or Jubilee year which he said it was holy for the people of Israel (which did include the sojourner in their midst bound by the same laws) in chapter 26, Abba goes into greater detail for the consequences of not honoring His Sabbatical cycles. To start chapter 26, God reminds the nation of Israel of a couple key items that unfortunately mankind has trouble following:
“‘You are not to make yourselves any idols, erect a carved statue or a standing-stone, or place any carved stone anywhere in your land in order to bow down to it. I am Adonai your God. Keep my Shabbats, and revere my sanctuary; I am Adonai.”
God commanded, not suggested, that Israel must not make any graven images, honor His Sabbaths (note, He didn’t say the Jewish Shabbat, but His), and to revere His house. Please take a mental note that we have the House of God and another house we are covering.
Going back to the consequences of not honoring the Sabbatical cycles, God goes into great detail:
“But if you will not listen to me and obey all these mitzvot, if you loathe my regulations and reject my rulings, in order not to obey all my mitzvot but cancel my covenant; then I, for my part, will do this to you: I will bring terror upon you — wasting disease and chronic fever to dim your sight and sap your strength. You will sow your seed for nothing, because your enemies will eat the crops. I will set my face against you — your enemies will defeat you, those who hate you will hound you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you. If these things don’t make you listen to me, then I will discipline you seven times over for your sins. I will break the pride you have in your own power. I will make your sky like iron, your soil like bronze — you will spend your strength in vain, because the land will not yield its produce or the trees in the field their fruit. “‘Yes, if you go against me and don’t listen to me, I will increase your calamities sevenfold, according to your sins. I will send wild animals among you; they will rob you of your children, destroy your livestock and reduce your numbers, until your roads are deserted. “‘If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins. I will bring a sword against you which will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be huddled inside your cities, I will send sickness among you, and you will be handed over to the power of the enemy. I will cut off your supply of bread, so that ten women will bake your bread in one oven and dole out your bread by weight, and you will eat but not be satisfied. “‘And if, for all this, you still will not listen to me, but go against me; then I will go against you furiously, and I also will chastise you yet seven times more for your sins. You will eat the flesh of your own sons, you will eat the flesh of your own daughters. I will destroy your high places, cut down your pillars for sun-worship, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols; and I will detest you. I will lay waste to your cities and make your sanctuaries desolate, so as not to smell your fragrant aromas. I will desolate the land, so that your enemies living in it will be astounded by it. You I will disperse among the nations, and I will draw out the sword in pursuit after you; your land will be a desolation and your cities a wasteland. Then, at last, the land will be paid its Shabbats. As long as it lies desolate and you are in the lands of your enemies, the land will rest and be repaid its Shabbats. Yes, as long as it lies desolate it will have rest, the rest it did not have during your Shabbats, when you lived there.”
As you can see, God does not bend to man’s disobedience towards His ways, but He pursued them for it and judgement met them. I will call out a few verses of those consequences that sound a little like the book of Revelation:
I will cut off your supply of bread, so that ten women will bake your bread in one oven and dole out your bread by weight, and you will eat but not be satisfied.
Does this not sound like the judgements that God brings on the world for its disobedience in this passage? “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages!” Revelation 6.
Keep in mind the prior chapters of Revelation, Jesus is warning the communities before the judgement to return to obedience and love of His commandments (for example to Sardis – “I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of My God” – Revelation 3:2)
Next is –
I will destroy your high places, cut down your pillars for sun-worship, and throw your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols.
Does this not sound like – “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a den for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit and for every unclean and detestable beast. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich off the power of her self-indulgence. Revelation 18
Notice at the end of the judgements, God says the land will have its Sabbaths, indicating that He is the One that sets them, not the pontiff in Rome. Also – here is Rome saying they changed the Sabbath on their own website – http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a3.htm. You’ll see at that link that they worship on the day of the sun. We know how God feels about sun-worship (see the above verses).
The last stage of the consequence of not obeying God’s Sabbath’s from Leviticus 26 that I want to call out is –
“But if their uncircumcised hearts will grow humble, and they are paid the punishment for their misdeeds; then I will remember my covenant with Ya‘akov, also my covenant with Yitz’chak and my covenant with Avraham; and I will remember the land. For the land will lie abandoned without them, and it will be paid its Shabbats while it lies desolate without them; and they will be paid the punishment for their misdeeds, because they rejected my rulings and loathed my regulations.”
Notice that this is an “Old Testament” reference to circumcision of the heart being important to God and tied with obeying His commandments and then He will remember His covenant with Israel and those who sojourn (or grafted in) with them.
Now some like to paint God as angry in the beginning and then free and loving in the second half of the Bible. Well you can see above He holds the same standards in the book of Revelation as He does in Leviticus. But what about His blessings for keeping His Sabbaths?
“‘If you live by my regulations, observe my mitzvot and obey them; then I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit. Your threshing time will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvesting will extend until the time for sowing seed. You will eat as much food as you want and live securely in your land. I will give shalom in the land — you will lie down to sleep unafraid of anyone. I will rid the land of wild animals. The sword will not go through your land. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before your sword. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand — your enemies will fall before your sword. I will turn toward you, make you productive, increase your numbers and uphold my covenant with you. You will eat all you want from last year’s harvest and throw out what remains of the old to make room for the new. I will put my tabernacle among you, and I will not reject you, but I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, so that you can walk upright.” Leviticus 26
To recap those blessings, there is fruitfulness, shalom in the land, victory over enemies, God will remember His covenant with His people, and He would establish His House with His people and walk among them. In the order of the chapter, please note that the blessings come first, not the consequences.
We can see the detail that our Heavenly Father put in His Ways, Days and Love for mankind, and it does have to do with His House and Presence among His people circumcised in heart and flesh (see Ezekiel 44:9). We ought not to pay attention to those that tell us man can change God’s ways, days in support of the worldly love and idolatry.
Speaking of choosing the right house, Yeshua said the following:
“So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed — and its collapse was horrendous!” Matthew 7:24-27
Before Yeshua said this He was speaking about those on the Day of the Lord who think they know God and have been following His ways and doing His work, when they are turned away for lawlessness. Obedience to the Torah who is Yeshua is tied to what type of house you have. Note the one that does Yeshua’s commandments is called wise and the disobedient that was swept away by the storm was called foolish.
Perhaps this is why when Daniel is speaking of the end times he wrote in Daniel 12:10:
“Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
This passage ties into Revelation 22:14 – Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
The inhabitants of the New Heaven and New Earth must have a right, or permission to enter the City and it is tied to obedience to the commandments of God while also being covered in the blood of the Lamb.
The City in this chapter is where God dwells with His people that love His House, His Days, Ways and Sabbaths.
Let us remember what the Psalmist wrote in Psalms 127 – Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it.
Obey and love the God of Israel, He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Love His Sabbaths.