Monday, September 2, 2013
Push Back - Part Fourteen
Joseph Herrin (09-02-2013)
I began this series having discerned homosexuality to be an issue that Yahweh would have me to address with His people. The e-mail responses I have received thus far have revealed that this series has been timely, insightful, and challenging to many who read these posts. One of the remaining issues I want to address before wrapping up this series may be described as “intimate union.”
Mankind is familiar with the intimate physical union of the man and woman. The sexual union is the focus of television shows, movies, romance novels, pornography, advertising, etc.. The world is being flooded with messages related to sexual union (most of them immoral), but it knows almost nothing about intimate union at other levels. Mankind was created to be a tri-part being as the following Scripture declares.
I Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Yahshua Christ.
This series has focused on homosexuality, which is a perversion of intimate union at the physical (bodily) level. To understand how homosexuality deviates from Yahweh’s design for creation, and why the Bible describes it as “unnatural,” “depraved,” “gross immorality,” an “abomination,” and going after “strange flesh,” it would be helpful to understand Yahweh’s design for intimate union at the level of spirit, soul, and body. Let us begin by looking at some Scriptures that refer to intimate union.
The apostle Paul, writing to the church of Corinth, speaks of the mysterious parallels between the physical union of a man and his wife and the spiritual union of Christ and the church.
I Corinthians 6:16-20
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The two will become one flesh." But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
In the passage above, we have two of the three parts of man mentioned. Paul speaks of intimate union at the level of body, and at the level of spirit. Paul mentions the physical union of a man and a woman as being parallel to, and a type and shadow of, spiritual union between humanity and “the Lord.” One could rightly say that the goal of creation is “HOLY union” of body, soul, and spirit.
Again, we are most familiar with intimate union on the level of the body. Because of sin in the world, mankind has greatly defiled the physical union that Yahweh designed to be regarded as holy.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
This is a most serious matter with God. He will judge those who defile that which He ordained to be holy and pure. Mankind has always understood the sanctity of the marriage union. Even those in society who are strangers to the life of Christ have referred to the union of the man and woman as “HOLY matrimony.” Traditional wedding vows begin with a statement similar to the following:
Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony.
The holy character of the marriage union traces its source to the second chapter of Genesis.
For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
In the act of sexual intercourse, the man and the woman become “one flesh” with each other. It is worthy of consideration that in all other settings and relationships, it is regarded as a shameful thing for a man or woman to expose their nakedness. Yet there is no condemnation from God, and no consciousness within the soul of man, that it is immoral, nor an unholy act, for a man and wife to see one another’s nakedness. Yahweh has sanctified the intimate union of a man and his wife, declaring it holy.
Unholiness, and the judgment of God, enter in when the man or the woman go outside of the marriage to participate in intimate physical union with another. Paul states that “fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Fornication is sexual union outside of the marriage covenant. Adultery is sexual union with another person’s spouse.
It is important to understand that marriage is a covenant, and that sexual union is an act of covenantal intimacy. I have explored this subject in greater depth in the book The Marriage Covenant, but I will give a brief summary here.
Yahweh ordained that certain covenants should be sealed in blood, for “life is in the blood.” These covenants were appropriately called “blood covenants.” The Scriptures refer to the New Covenant inaugurated between God and man through the blood of Yahweh’s Son. This is an inviolable covenant, for it is established in blood.
I Corinthians 11:25
In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood...”
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained age-lasting redemption.
When God designed the creation, He did so with covenant in mind. He fashioned the bodies of the man and the woman so that a blood covenant would be enacted whenever a man knew a virgin sexually for the first time. The body is designed as a temple. There is a correlation between the Holy of Holies, the innermost and most sacred part of the Temple, and the reproductive organs of a woman’s body. Even as there was a veil in the Tabernacle of Moses, and the Temple of Solomon, to guard the entrance to the Holy of Holies (or the Most Holy Place), so too has Yahweh placed a veil at the entrance to the woman’s reproductive organs. This veil is called the “hymen.” The word “hymen” literally means “veil.”
When a virgin has sexual intercourse for the first time, the hymen is torn as the man penetrates the woman’s flesh. The tearing of the hymen causes bleeding, and the man carries this blood on his covenant organ (male circumcision is a sign of covenant) into the woman’s holy of holies.
The Veil of the Temple is Ripped
There is a great mystery contained in the sexual union of a man and his virgin bride, for Yahweh has designed this union to mirror the spiritual union of God and man that was inaugurated by Christ. When the High Priest entered beyond the veil to access the Holy of Holies, he always had to bring blood with him.
Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship, but into the second (the Holy of Holies) only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood...
So too, we are told that when Yahshua died on the cross, His flesh being rent, that the veil guarding the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem was rent in two.
And Yahshua cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom...
Yahshua then ascended to the greater Temple in the heavens, entering into the Holy of Holies bearing His own blood.
Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Yahshua, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh...
This was the act that established the New Covenant of faith that replaced the Old Covenant of law. This is an inviolable covenant, a holy covenant, a covenant of blood. So too, Yahweh has designed the bodies of the man and the woman so that when the woman experiences first sexual union, and the man enters beyond the veil into her holy of holies, that a blood covenant is enacted.
This is why a man who raped a virgin under the old covenant of the Law was required to take the woman to be his wife. By being the first to engage in sexual union with the virgin, the man had enacted a blood covenant with her. He was bound to the covenant. It is a covenant of blood.
If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
The same is true if a man seduced a virgin. He was required to pay the bridal dowry to the girl’s father, and to take the girl to be his wife. The man has enacted a blood covenant with the virgin.
And if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.
Under the covenant of the Law, only one man could ever go beyond the veil in the Temple and enter the Holy of Holies. This man was the High Priest. When the High Priest died, another High Priest would be appointed, and then only he could enter beyond the veil. This limitation of one living man having access to go beyond the veil is mirrored in the relationship Yahweh has established between a man and his wife. The apostle Paul speaks of it in this way.
For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
The woman’s body is most holy. Only one man may enter her body, that man being her husband. As long as the woman’s husband is living, no other man may engage in sexual union with her. To do so is an egregious violation of the will of Yahweh. The woman is committing adultery if she allows another man to enter into sexual union with her as long as her husband is living. It matters not whether the woman gets a divorce. The commandment of Christ is that if a woman leaves her husband, she must remain single, or be restored to her husband.
I Corinthians 7:10-11
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband)...
Yahweh desires holy union among His creation. The word “holy” (kadosh in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, and hagios in the Greek language of the New Testament) bears the meaning of “something declared clean, set apart as sacred.” Such is the will of Yahweh for the bodily union of the man and woman. It is to be preserved in purity and viewed s holy.
Under the covenant of the Law, the penalty for adultery (violating the holy physical union of a man and his wife) and the penalty for idolatry (violating the holy spiritual union between man and God) were the same. They were both punishable by death. The judgment of God, that those who defiled either the holy physical union, or the holy spiritual union, were worthy of death, reveals the seriousness of the matter.
Under the New Covenant, there has been NO alteration of the way in which Yahweh views violations of holy union. The difference between the Old and New Covenant is that there is now forgiveness of sin through the atoning blood of Christ. With very tragic consequences, many Christians are confusing forgiveness with the idea of acceptance. Neither idolatry, adultery, or any other violation of holy union, have become acceptable in Yahweh’s sight. The apostle Paul reproves such errant thinking among believers.
Romans 6:1-2, 12-14
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?... Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
Speaking specifically of violating the sanctity of the human body by engaging in sexual immorality, the apostle has even stronger words of warning.
I Corinthians 3:16-18
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. Let no man deceive himself.
Bear in mind as you consider the above words, what has been shared here about the body being designed as a temple. There are many ways to defile the temple, and one of the most grievous ways is through engaging in sexual immorality and debauchery. In this same letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle informed the saints that much of the sickness and death among them was due to the judgment of God upon their unrestrained sinfulness. Having informed them that many are suffering sickness and death in this life for walking in a manner unworthy of Christ, Paul informs them that the judgment of God will also be manifested in the age to come.
I Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
The satanic agenda to redefine marriage to include same sex couples is an act of tremendous pride and rebellion in the eyes of Yahweh. Celebrating homosexuality is no different than celebrating adultery. Both will call forth the judgment of Yahweh. The marriage covenant is not a manmade ordinance that can be altered at the will and whim of man. It has been divinely instituted to be a holy union between a man and his wife; a relationship whose fidelity is guarded, and whose purity is sacrosanct.
As this series has reported, homosexual relationships are highly promiscuous, even among gay “couples.” Same-sex unions violate the design of Yahweh for holy union in numerous ways. When a man sticks his sexual organ into another man’s mouth or anus, is this a holy union? Absolutely not! The apostle Paul described it well when he wrote:
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
Same sex union is an “indecent act” driven by “degrading passions.” Same sex unions lack another attribute of those unions Yahweh has blessed and declared holy. They cannot produce life. When Christ entered beyond the veil in the Temple in the heavens, He purchased with His own blood spiritual life for all mankind. Similarly, when a man enters beyond the veil to enter into physical union with his wife, he is engaging in an act that has the potential to bring forth new life. Homosexual unions CANNOT produce life. On the contrary, they are barren, and they lead to sickness and death.
The works of Satan and the works of Christ are obvious. They are contrasted in the following Scripture.
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
As one examines the fruit of faithful, heterosexual unions between men and women, and contrast them to sexual union among homosexuals, it becomes evident that the former unions are a fountain of life while the latter are bereft of life and bring forth death. Following is an excerpt from an article titled The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality.
Anal intercourse has been linked to a host of bacterial and parasitical sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS...
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is "almost universal" among homosexuals. According to the homosexual newspaper The Washington Blade: "A San Francisco study of Gay and bisexual men revealed that HPV infection was almost universal among HIV-positive men, and that 60 percent of HIV-negative men carried HPV."
HPV can lead to anal cancer. At the recent Fourth International AIDS Malignancy Conference at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Andrew Grulich announced that "most instances of anal cancer are caused by a cancer-causing strain of HPV through receptive anal intercourse. HPV infects over 90 percent of HIV-positive gay men and 65 percent of HIV-negative gay men, according to a number of recent studies..."
Hepatitis: A potentially fatal liver disease that increases the risk of liver cancer.
Hepatitis A: The Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report published by the CDC reports: "Outbreaks of hepatitis A among men who have sex with men are a recurring problem in many large cities in the industrialized world."
Hepatitis B: This is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people of all ages contract hepatitis B and close to 5,000 die of sickness caused by AIDS. The CDC reports that MSM (Men having Sex with Men) are at increased risk for hepatitis B...
Gonorrhea: A CDC report documents "significant increases during 1994 to 1997 in rectal gonorrhea . . . among MSM..." In 1999 the CDC released data showing that male rectal gonorrhea is increasing among homosexuals amidst an overall decline in national gonorrhea rates. The report attributed the increase to a larger percentage of homosexuals engaging in unsafe sexual behavior.
The incidence of throat Gonorrhea is strongly associated with homosexual behavior. The Canadian Medical Association Journal found that "gonorrhea was associated with urethral discharge... and homosexuality (3.7 times higher than the rate among heterosexuals)." Similarly, a study in the Journal of Clinical Pathology found that homosexual men had a much higher prevalence of pharyngeal (throat) gonorrhea--15.2 percent compared with 4.1 percent for heterosexual men...
Syphilis: A venereal disease that, if left untreated, can spread throughout the body over time, causing serious heart abnormalities, mental disorders, blindness, and death... According to the CDC, "transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex." In addition, the Archives of Internal Medicine found that homosexuals acquired syphilis at a rate ten times that of heterosexuals.
The CDC reports that those who contract syphilis face potentially deadly health consequences: "It is now known that the genital sores caused by syphilis in adults also make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually. There is a two to five fold increased risk of acquiring HIV infection when syphilis is present..."
Gay Bowel Syndrome (GBS): The Journal of the American Medical Association refers to GBS problems such as proctitis, proctocolitis, and enteritis as "sexually transmitted gastrointestinal syndromes." Many of the bacterial and protozoa pathogens that cause GBS are found in feces and transmitted to the digestive system: According to the pro-homosexual text Anal Pleasure and Health, "[s]exual activities provide many opportunities for tiny amounts of contaminated feces to find their way into the mouth of a sexual partner... The most direct route is oral-anal contact."
Proctitis and Proctocolitis are inflammations of the rectum and colon that cause pain, bloody rectal discharge and rectal spasms. Proctitis is associated with STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and syphilis that are widespread among homosexuals...
HIV/AIDS Among Homosexuals. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is responsible for causing AIDS, for which there exists no cure.
Homosexual men are the largest risk category. The CDC reports that homosexuals comprise the single largest exposure category of the more than 600,000 males with AIDS in the United States. As of December 1999, "men who have sex with men" and "men who have sex with men and inject drugs" together accounted for 64 percent of the cumulative total of male AIDS cases...
A paper delivered at the Fourth International AIDS Malignancy Conference at the National Institutes of Health reported that homosexual men with HIV have "a 37-fold increase in anal cancer, a 4-fold increase in Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph nodes), a 2.7-fold increase in cancer of the testicles, and a 2.5 fold increase in lip cancer..."
Homosexuals with STDs Are at an Increased Risk for HIV Infection. Studies of MSM (Men having Sex with Men) treated in STD clinics show rates of infection as high as 36 percent in major cities. A CDC study attributed the high infection rate to having high numbers of anonymous sex partners: "[S]yphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia apparently have been introduced into a population of MSM who have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid and extensive transmission of STDs." The CDC report concluded: "Persons with STDs, including genital ulcer disease and nonulcerative STD, have a twofold to fivefold increased risk for HIV infection."
Anal Cancer: Homosexuals are at increased risk for this rare type of cancer, which is potentially fatal if the anal-rectal tumors metastasize to other bodily organs.
Dr. Joel Palefsky, a leading expert in the field of anal cancer, reports that while the incidence of anal cancer in the United States is only 0.9/100,000, that number soars to 35/100,000 for homosexuals. That rate doubles again for those who are HIV positive, which, according to Dr. Palefsky, is "roughly ten times higher than the current rate of cervical cancer..."
Lesbians are at Risk through Sex with MSM: The homosexual newspaper The Washington Blade, citing a 1998 study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, reported that "the study's data confirmed previous scientific observations that most women who have sex with women also have had sex with men..." Lesbians have more male sex partners that their heterosexual counterparts. A study of sexually transmitted disease among lesbians reviewed in The Washington Blade notes: "Behavioral research also demonstrates that a woman's sexual identity is not an accurate predictor of behavior, with a large proportion of 'lesbian' women reporting sex with (often high risk) men." The study found that "the median number of lifetime male sexual partners was significantly greater for WSW (women who have sex with women) than controls (twelve partners versus six). WSW were significantly more likely to report more than fifty lifetime male sexual partners..."
"Exclusive" Lesbian Relationships Also at Risk. The assumption that lesbians involved in exclusive sexual relationships are at reduced risk for sexual disease is false. The journal Sexually Transmitted Infections concludes: "The risk behavior profile of exclusive WSW was similar to all WSW." One reason for this is because lesbians "were significantly more likely to report past sexual contact with a homosexual or bisexual man and sexual contact with an IDU (intravenous drug user)."
Cancer Risk Factors for Lesbians. Citing a 1999 report released by the Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the homosexual newspaper The Washington Blade notes that "various studies on Lesbian health suggest that certain cancer risk factors occur with greater frequency in this population. These factors include higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, poor diet, and being overweight." Elsewhere the Blade also reports: "Some experts believe Lesbians might be more likely than women in general to develop breast or cervical cancer because a disproportionate number of them fall into high-risk categories."
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Lesbians. In a study of the medical records of 1,408 lesbians, the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections found that women who have sexual relations with women are at significantly higher risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases: "We demonstrated a higher prevalence of BV (bacterial vaginosis), hepatitis C, and HIV risk behaviors in WSW as compared with controls."
Compulsive Behavior among Lesbians. A study published in Nursing Research found that lesbians are three times more likely to abuse alcohol and to suffer from other compulsive behaviors: "Like most problem drinkers, (91 percent) of the participants had abused other drugs as well as alcohol, and many reported compulsive difficulties with food (34 percent), codependency (29 percent), sex (11 percent), and money (6 percent)." In addition, "Forty-six percent had been heavy drinkers with frequent drunkenness."
The article above goes on to discuss the greater prevalence of violence, mental health problems, and suicide among homosexuals. It also mentions that homosexual men have a shorter life expectancy than their heterosexual counterparts. In one major Canadian city, a study revealed that homosexual males have a life expectancy 8 to 20 years below that of heterosexual males. All of these facts demonstrate the truth of the apostle Paul’s words, “women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”
Even having fallen under the curse of sin, the creation favors behavior that Yahweh has declared to be righteous and holy. Sinful behavior increases sickness and leads to early death. Homosexuality violates the natural order of the creation.
The image above reveals the irrationality embraced by advocates of same-sex marriage. Heterosexual marriage did not come into being by a vote of man. It was ordained by Yahweh. The design of creation promotes the holy union of a man and woman and penalizes all violations of the same. A vote by homosexuals will not make AIDS go away. A vote by advocates of same-sex unions will not result in offspring being born to gay couples. Men and women cannot vote and change the judgment of God upon that which He declares to be a sinful lifestyle. Voting to legalize homosexual marriage is a fool’s errand. Can man contend with his Creator and prevail?
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.
The will of Yahweh will be accomplished. Holy unions will once again be esteemed as holy. Those who have warred against God, uttered reproaches against His name, and striven to loose themselves from His bonds, will repent in dust with bitter tears. All the nations are less than a drop in a bucket before the eyes of Yahweh. An hour is coming when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, that only in Yahweh are righteousness and strength. Those who have been angry with God will be ashamed.
To be continued...
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