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THE INHERITANCE OF HERETICS

Chadbourne Zitek

Proscribed. Banned. Off limits. Devoted to destruction. These are all words that describe a particularly difcult-to-translate-straightto-English word in Hebrew: ( cherem). This is a word that those who call themselves believers or even Hebrew Roots Messianic needs to learn. Our focus today will be on the Warrior Prophet Joshua and his use of cherem against the Canaanites. However, since this story ts on the span of about 7 chapters or so, we will quote verses of interest. It will be your job to go back and read the entire span of chapters all the way through. And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of ax, which

she had laid in order upon the roof. (Sefer Yahoshua, Joshua 2:1-5) I want you to notice a few things here. Rahab is a harlot, whitewashed now by later commentators who attempt to portray her as an innkeeper. Yet the Inspired Biblical text clearly uses the term of whoredom, , to explain who Rahab is. Of interest is that Joshua sends the spies from Shittim, the exact place where Israel fell for the whoredoms of the Moabite women, and engaged in harlotry with them and in spiritual harlotry with Baal Peor. Now we see this highlighted in this story, contrasted with the harlot Rahab. Will Israel fall once more from the Spiritual heights? Another point of interest is this. Since when do women own houses? Obviously Rahab would have been a sort of Madam in this house of harlotry but the spiritual implication is a bit more signicant in light of the story - she is without a covering. She has no husband, no covering, no priest. She is also a Canaanite, people who were doomed to destruction. Yet she hides the spies and lies to save their lives! She puts her own life on the line. And she said unto the men, I know that YHWH hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how YHWH dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for YHWH Eloheikha, he is El in heaven above, and in earth beneath. (Sefer Yahoshua, Joshua - 2:9-11)

In all of this, she is recounting the deeds of YHWH, and she is including herself among the Canaanites: OUR hearts melted...when WE heard.... Yet the following statement changes gears: Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by YHWH, since I have showed you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And the men answered her, Our life for yours , if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when YHWH hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. (Sefer Yahoshua, Joshua - 2:12-14) Do you see how she accepts the God of Israel, putting herself at His mercy, and the mercy of His people? She showed kindness to the spies and saved their lives. She wished for the spies to do the same towards her. She who was without a covering gained a covering of ISRAEL. She that was once a gentile according to the esh, stranger to the covenants and once without hope and without Elohim...she was brought near. She changed her citizenship. A plain text reading will see this - but a drash level reading will show us some more insight on the process of this conversion. The spies answer Our life for yours, .

What a signicant pronouncement. We also see Rahab using the cord of scarlet which is loaded with signicance as well. We will delve more into the statement of the spies in a moment, as well as an interesting fulllment of it.

Now, you know the story - the spies return from hiding in the mountains, bringing good news to the camps of Israel. YHWH has given this land over to us! Joshua and the Host of Israel go around the city of Jericho every day for a week, and on the seventh day they go seven times. It is here that Joshua pronounces Shout; for YHWH hath given you the city! The city shall be , even it, and all that are therein, to YHWH: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the , lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto YHWH: they shall come into the treasury of YHWH. (Sefer Yehoshua, Joshua - 6:16-19) We have to stop and ask ourselves - What is cherem?

CHEREM
Cherem - off limits, devoted to destruction, banned...I want you all to get a rounded picture of this word. It helps to look at related languages and see how it is used. The useful thing about Arabic is that it uses the same alphabet and the same roots as Hebrew, and yet is still in use today. We can see how the term Cherem could be used in a culture by examining the Arabic usage, and Hebrew biblical usage, and Hebrew modern cultural usage. Haram in Arabic describes something devoted for a particular use or banned from particular people. From it is the word Harem, where concubines and multiple wives of a sheikh or sultan or nobleman would live, off limits to all but him and the attendants.

From it is the Arabic word Haram, which is the opposite of Halal Islamic version of kosher. Halal is Muslims version of kosher, and Haram is Muslims versions of Off limits. Also, Haram can refer to certain Mosques - off limits or devoted places of worship. Of course, this is only to get an understanding of the word. When you take it further back into the actual Hebrew, we see that YHWH uses it more denitively. Cherem in the Bible refers to anything off limits, because it is devoted for destruction or because it is dedicated to God. It carries similar meaning to the Arabic but has more of a connotation of shunning or banning rather than simple boundaries. In fact, in modern Hebrew, cherem means to ban or even formal censure from the community. In other words, a sort of excommunication. Now, seeing that YHWH was very concerned with cherem, and that it represented complete devotion to the destruction of God - I gured it would be a good thing to look up in the Renewed Testament, to gather more insight onto how we can avoid it. There were two ways I checked this. First of all, I went to the Greek Septuagint to see what greek word was the equivalent of the word Cherem. The word I found was Anatamous - occuring only six times in the Renewed Testament. All of them were translated as cursed, a close match to the Hebrew meaning. Here is the most striking example: If any man love not Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach, let him be Anathema. (cherem) Maranatha. (Come, Lord) - 1 Corinthians 16:22 And another,

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Ruach Elohim calls Yeshua ANATHEMA/CURSED/CHEREM: and that no man can say that Yeshua is Adonai, but by the Ruach haKodesh. - 1 Corinthians 12:3 To be thorough, I checked the Aramaic for these verses, and sure enough - the word is in use, linking these verses with our study so far. In total, this word is found in Acts 23:14, Rom 9:3, 1 Cor 12:3, 16:22, Gal 1:8-9. But this presented an interesting dimension for me, to this word. Those who do not love Yeshua the provided Messiah, the leadership ordained in the world - they are cherem! This is a pretty big thing to say - yet a few clarications must be made here. Cherem status in the NT only applies to 1) those who have known Yeshua and turned away from him (Galatians), and 2) those who call Yeshua cherem - in other words, those who say it is sinful and off-limits to believe Yeshua is Messiah. Those who say Yeshua is cursed. Those who call him Yeshu and know what it means. Yeshu is a acrostic that spells out: "May his name and memory be blotted out"! This means anti-Missionaries and former Hebrew Roots who now curse the Messiah and King of Israel. It also means those of the world who do the same. Now that I have layed this groundwork, I am going to look at the next battle of Israel, after Israel won a great victory with the help of YHWH at Jericho. We will be in chapter 7 of Yahoshua. But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the cherem: and the anger of

YHWH was kindled against the children of Israel. (Sefer Yehoshua, Joshua - 7:1) Did the children of Israel commit a sin, or did Achan? Why did YHWHs anger become kindled against the entire nation of Israel, when it was Achan who sinned? Perhaps we will nd some clues by analyzing the text. As there is sin in the camp, Joshua sends up two more spies to the next city that is ready for capture. Listen to the change in tone, as those spies report back to Joshua: Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite HaAi; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. (Sefer Yehoshua, Joshua - 7:3) They had stopped relying upon YHWH! They had an overestimation of their own power, a condence gained by the great victory at Jericho. But all of Israel sinned, and this battle became a failure! The Israelites lose 36 men in the battle. Did you know that 36 is the Gematria for the exclamation, Eikhah?! This word, , means Alas!, or How? And it is the name of the book of Lamentations! The number of deaths asks us - how did this happen? Alas! And the Prophet Joshua asks the Most High that very question, to which YHWH responds: Get up, why are you lying on your face? Yisra'el has sinned; yes, they have even transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: yes, they have even taken of the , and have also stolen, and dissembled also; and they have even put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Yisra'el can't stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, because they are become cherem: I will not be with you any

more, except you destroy the cherem from among you. (Sefer Yahoshua, Joshua - 7:10-12) What an immense statement. To hear those words from the mouth of the Most High - I will not be with you any more, except you destroy the cherem from among you - must have been absolutely staggering for Joshua to hear. The scary part is, these words apply to us too! We will not stand before our enemies and YHWH will not be with us unless we rid ourselves of the cherem that which is devoted to destruction. In fact, it is even worse than that - we are become cherem when we partake in it - not just the partaker, but the WHOLE Assembly of Israel. This leads to a very interesting concept that I cannot disagree with, and that is Kol Yisrael Arevim zeh bazeh. All Israel is accountable, one to another. Why did the rst verse of Joshua chapter 7 say that The children of Israel sinned, when it was only Achan that took of the cherem? Could it be the spiritual setting that the children of Israel produced together, that allowed the sin to easily take place? For instance, did the pride of the victory over Jericho, and the feeling of condence and self-sufciency cause Achan to desire spoils for himself? Truly, the culture we set in our fellowships and in the greater Hebrew Nation DOES affect an individuals choices in a way. Little attitudes, behaviours, thought processes, and false doctrines can inuence things in big ways. This means - ALL OF US are accountable. Everybody in this Hebrew Nation, whether at Restoration Fellowship, or down the street, or over at Montes felowship, OR! Perhaps even our Yisraelite brethren in the church and the synagogue...we are all accountable, one to another - and every one of us together make the Hebrew Nation. Every one of

us must watch and be careful not to become cherem - otherwise we affect our brethren! Every secret sin affects the brethren! Every false doctrine or belief we have affects the brethren! And every time we disregard or allow someone to disregard the One True King of Israel - Yeshua the Messiah - we affect the brethren. We become cherem together. This is why we must care about what doctrines there are in the Hebrew Community. I have noticed that it is easy for us to become psuedo universalists about doctrines as long as they sound Hebraic. We have been called heretics by every religion we have come out of, and so we are weary of the term. Heresy is unpopular, we see images of the inquisition and other tragedies, and we reject in our minds the idea of any sort of orthodoxy altogether. But YHWH still has a straight path, truth is truth and falsehood is falsehood - and these truths are found in the Scripture! We must recognize that Scripture supports the concept that there is right and wrong - and when one is vehemently opposing the right, he or she is left to the judgement of YHWH, and not allowed to be a part of the camp.

Do you think that in Moses day, or Joshuas day, if someone rejected their authority and therefore YHWHs authority, because of some religious doctrine or other reason, they would just say Oh thats alright, we all have different opinions I guess. As long as you do _________, youre ne by us.? No! In fact, we see the opposite - Korach and his band of rebels were not tolerated. They became cherem. How is it any different when one sees that Yeshua the Messiah is the appointed King and Ruler of Israel, and a supposed Israelite rejects Him? Is it different because we cant see Yeshua? Is that it? Blessed are those that have believed and not seen.

Consider, then, that Rashi midrashically states the motivation of Achan was inuenced by theological interpretation: When I saw among the spoils: I reected upon that which is written in the Torah: And you shall eat up the spoils of your enemies. That verse is found in Deuteronomy 20:18. However, the following verses after Deuteronomy 20:18 say: Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.But of the cities of these people, which YHWH Eloheikha does give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breaths: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as YHWH Eloheikha hath commanded thee: That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against YHWH Eloheikha. Now, whether Achans motives were truly rationalized by this pasuk (verse) taken out of context is impossible for us to know. However, we can nd clues of why his sin was so signicant. 1.The city was cherem, dedicated to destruction according to the command of Joshua. Joshuas command was according to the command of the Torah. Achan did not listen to Joshuas leading and interpreted for himself what was right and wrong, taking of the cherem which belonged to YHWH for His destruction and judgement, a type of rstfruit. 2.In taking of the cherem, Achan himself became cherem just as all of the Canaanites were. In fact, this is what was prophesied when the two spies said, Our lives for yours - an exchange. Indeed, the entire nation of Israel became cherem - devoted to destruction. Yet only Achan was truly devoted to destruction and judgement - once he and his belongings were destroyed, Israel

was given favor again for obeying YHWH and destroying the sin out of their midst. 3.The things that Achan stole have signicance also - One ne Cloak of Babylon, a Tongue of Gold, and 200 shekels of silver: a.The cloak (aderet, )is the same word used of a prophets garment. Could it be that Achan, a base fellow, rejected the leadership of Joshua the Prophet of Elohim, and attempted to make himself a Prophet in the authority of Babylon? As he took the Cloak of Babylon, he lost his covering as an Israelite, and took on the covering of the Canaanites - he lost His kadosh status and gained a cherem status. b.A Wedge of Gold, 50 shekels weight, and 200 shekels of silver. In Hebrew, wedge in this case is the word lashon, which means tongue! Psalm 119:72 says The Torah of your mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Achan disobeyed the commands of Yahoshua and YHWH. He did not follow the God of Israel. Since he took a cloak of Babylon, which hints to a prophetic mantle, and disobeyed the Most High, we could midrashically say that he was wanting to do his own thing, to make his own choices - possibly even to become a prophet instead of Joshua. We could say he was a Son of Belial.

SON OF BELIAL
Belial is a Hebrew composite word, meaning it was made up from two other words put together. means without, and means Worth or value. Therefore, a son of Belial is someone who is lacks value, a worthless and base person. It could also be translated as Yokeless, meaning without the yoke of Torah, or Never rising.

It is used in various places concerning base men. When I was searching about the word cherem, I came across this verse which links those who are cherem with those called Sons of Belial. In the Torah, we see it in Deuteronomy 13: If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which YHWH Eloheikha hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods [AFTER-ELOHIM], which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with re the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for YHWH Eloheikha: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. And there shall cleave nought of the cherem (things devoted to destruction) to thine hand: that YHWH may turn from the erceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; When thou shalt hearken to the voice of YHWH Eloheikha, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of YHWH Eloheikha. (Deuteronomy 13:12-18) Let me ask you this question. These men of Belial say Let us serve other gods, or Elohim Acherim. Does the word Elohim always mean gods? It doesnt. It is ambiguous. It means gods or rulers, mighty ones. The men of Belial could be rejecting the authority of their King. In

other words, that verse is not ONLY talking about serving other gods - it could also be talking about serving other mighty ones, other rulers and kings. It means both things because the word goes both ways. We see Achan, the troubler, fullling these roles quite well. We see him taking on the prophetic mantle of Babylon, and taking also of the cherem that was off limits. We can call him a Son of Belial, or, a Worthless Man, or a Lawless man. Why? Because, just like Deuteronomy 13 stated, he wanted to follow after another ruler. In this case, himself. Or, if we interpret his taking of a prophetic mantle of Babylon and possibly a golden idol - we could say he also wanted to follow other gods. Another example of a Son of Belial can be found in 2nd Samuel 20: And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a shofar, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel. So every man of Israel went up from after David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri: but the men of Judah clave unto their king, from Jordan even to Jerusalem. (2nd Samuel 20:1-2) In this story, Sheba the son of Bichri from Benjamin rejects David His King. But he blows a shofar, Chad! Surely hes a good Hebrew! Now you can see, it is not all about the appearance of Law-keeping. He broke the Torah of YHWH by rejecting David His King. Interesting also is that we are told these sons of Belial will entice people to Other elohim. Well, in Hebrew the phrase is Elohim Acherim. Remember we can translate it as Other gods or

Other rulers? In this verse in Samuel, it says that every man of Israel went up from AFTER David. That word AFTER is also the word acherim! So let me ask you this. Now that we have seen a Son of Belial, a yokeless man, is one who goes up after other elohim, gods or rulers, how does one fare when one turns away from the one who is both Ruler AND Elohim? Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Moshiach. For in him dwells all the fullness of Elohim in esh. Colossians 2:8-9 Through this study, I have learned that those who reject Yeshua are aligning themselves with Sons of Belial throughout history, with worthless base fellows. They align themselves with the Canaanites, with Korach, with Achan the Troubler, and with others like Sheba, who rejected David, Yahwehs Annointed. (Mashiach) And like these sons of Belial, they too are devoted to destruction. They are the goats on the left. In fact, we could link our current weeks parsha to this concept - The entire earth had become corrupt, and it became cherem unto YHWH - only Noah and his family were spared, when they got into the Ark. This represents salvation - being in Yeshua. Just as Rahab set the scarlet cord upon her house, just as the Israelites put the blood upon the door - it was all to identify with the sacrice of Yeshua haMashiach, our Passover Lamb and our Atonement sacrice. I have heard far too many people - even people that I personally knew - giving up Yeshua because they have been deceived. They say, like Sheba, What portion do we have in this Son of David? To your tents, O Israel! They may blow a shofar like Sheba - they may be a quintessential Hebrew like Achan - but they become

cherem like the Canaanites upon rejecting the authority that has been put into place by the Most High. Think about it - YHWH has given Yeshua to be our King, Priest, Prophet, and Intermediary. He is the one that Yah has given authority to. When we reject Yeshua but still try to worship Yahweh, it is a slap in His face. It is like a CEO appointing a manager over you, but then you go around that managers back and try to take orders directly from the CEO! Do you think that would y? How much more so when it is YHWHs own Son, the Creator of the Universe - an Emanation of His very being? How will YHWH receive those who reject that part of Him? Would you receive someone who rejected your wife? She is part of you. You would have no grace towards one who was friendly to your face but hated or ignored your wife. Another thing to mention before I nish out is this. When I titled this teaching, I chose the words The Inheritance of Heretics. I didnt want to use it, because heretic, as I said before, is an unpopular concept, but it seemed to me that Yah wants to teach us something in all of this. Many will say that heresy does not have to do with what one believes about Elohim, but only about our actions. This is partially true, but illogical and imbalanced for the following reason. If I believe that God wants me to slaughter my children to Molech - then I certainly am a heretic, but even more so if I acted upon such a belief. If I believe that it is okay to have sex with everything under the sun, I am a heretic - but if I act upon it, even more so. In other words, beliefs change our actions. Beliefs direct our ways. Belief is important, because it will change what you do and how you act toward Elohim. This is why I am concerned with our

belief towards the one that He has appointed ruler and king over us. This is why rejection of Yeshua is a big deal to me. Like the Galatians, those who reject Yeshua accept another Good News - that they dont need Messiah, they can do ne without Him. Paul says to them: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other good news unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be CHEREM. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other good news unto you than that ye have received, let him be CHEREM. - Galatians 1:8-9 To be cherem is the inheritance of heretics. May there be none among Israel that become cherem. May we all keep accountable to one another and honor the leadership that Yahweh has put into place, our great Elohim, King, Priest, and Prophet - Messiah Yahushua. And may the shalom of Messiah be with you all.