|* Beth-EL or beth-aven:
Which are you in?
Can you tell whether you're in Beth-EL or beth-aven? One teaches Father's Word and does so Book-by-Book, Chapter-by-Chapter; and Verse-by-Verse, thus ensuring the sheep are fed to the full; providing milk, then meat and then manna. The other teaches leaven, and is more concerned with the traditions of man, denominational dogmas and doctrines and makes the Word of God of none effect. Let's first go learn their meanings, and then we'll go and read what our Lord and Father's Word has to say.
We'll start with Beth-EL:
Beth-EL or House of God (Eloah): In the Hebrew, in the Strong's Concordance, it is Hebrew word number H1008, - בּית־אל, - bêyth-'êl, pronounced - bayth-ale', and means: From H1004 and H410; house of God; Beth-El, a place in Palestine: - Beth-el., now let's look at H1004, - בּית, - bayith, pronounced - bah'-yith, and means: Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.): - court, daughter, door, + dungeon, family, + forth of, X great as would contain, hangings. home[born], [winter]house (-hold), inside(-ward), palace, place, + prison, + steward, + tablet, temple, web, + within (-out).. We find Beth-EL in 64 verses in the Old Testament starting with Genesis 12:8 and the last in Zechariah 7:2. Now from the Smith's Bible Dictionary: Beth-El or the house of God=“A well-known city and holy place of central Palestine, about 12 miles north of Jerusalem. If we are to accept the precise definition of Genesis 12:8, the name of Bethel would appear to have existed at this spot even before the arrival of Abram in Canaan. Genesis 12:8; 13:3, 4. Bethel was the scene of Jacob's vision Genesis 28:11-19; 31:13. Jacob lived there in Genesis 35:1-8. The original name was Luz Judges 1:2, 23. In troubled times when there was no king in Israel, it was to Bethel that the people went up in their distress to ask counsel of God Judges 20:18, 26, and 31; Judges 21:2. Here was the ark of the covenant Judges 20:26-28; 21:4. Later it is named as one of the holy cities to which Samuel went in circuit I Samuel 7:16. Here Jeroboam placed one of the two calves of gold. Toward the end of Jeroboam's life Bethel fell into the hands of Judah II Chronicles 13:19. Elijah visited Bethel, and we hear of "sons of the prophets" as resident there II Kings 2:2,3. But after the destruction of Baal worship by Jehu Bethel comes once more into view II Kings 10:29. After the desolation of the northern kingdom by the king of Assyria, Bethel still remained an abode of priests II Kings 17:27,28. In later times Bethel is named only once under the scarcely-altered name of Beitin . Its ruins still lie on the right and side of the road from Jerusalem to Nablus. (1) A town in the south part of Judah, named in Joshua 12:16 and I Samuel 30:27. In Joshua 15:30; 19:4; I Chronicles 4:29, 30 the place appears under the name of CHESIL, BETHUL and BETHUEL. Hiel the Bethelite is recorded as the rebuilder of Jericho I Kings 16:34. (2) In Joshua 16:1 and I Samuel 13:2 Mount Bethel, a hilly section near Beth-el, is referred to.”.
These are but some of the verses we find Beth-El or House of God. Now let's compare with: Beth-aven:
Beth-aven: (House of nothingness, i.e. of idols) — In the Strong's Concordance it is Hebrew word number H1007, - בּית און, - bêyth 'âven, pronounced - bayth aw'-ven, and means: From H1004 and H205; house of vanity; Beth-Aven, a place in Palestine: - Beth-aven.. There are only 7 verses with Beth-aven in them starting with Joshua 7:2 and lastly in Hosea 10:5, and now from the Smith's Bible Dictionary: Beth-aven=“A place on the mountains of Benjamin, east of Bethel Joshua 7:2; 18:12 and lying between that place and Michmash I Samuel 13:5; 14:23. In Hosea 4:15; 5:8 and 10:5, the name is transferred to the neighboring Bethel,— once the "house of God," but then "the house of 'idols,' of 'naught.'”.
Now that we have learned their meanings, let's go and see and read what Jesus says in Father's Word in — Matthew 15:1-11, and Matthew 16:5-12:
Matthew 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, -> Who was it that came to Jesus? The "scribes" and "pharisees;" and just who are the scribes and pharisees? For your ansewr to that, you can read my Study on the scribes and parisees. What are these scribes and pharisees up to? Let's read and find out:
Matthew 15:2 "Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread." -> Here is a great example of a "tradition of man" as, these kenite scribes and pharisees ask Jesus why His disciples "don't wash their hands "as the elders did?" Several things are wrong with this question: (1) Since when did Father's Law—and remember these scribes, pharisees and "the elders" claimed to be the Jewish Religious Hiearchy—say anything concerning the washing of hands?—it didn't and doesn't–(2) They unabashedly state to Jesus that it is a tradition of the elders, and thus not of Father or His Law.
Matthew 15:3 But He answered and said unto them, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? -> He therefore asked them very emphatically, why they transgress Father and His Law with their traditions? See, the kenite elders tradition of washing, was a ceremonial—think of "for show only"—washing, and they caused—or at least tried to cause—all the people to follow after how they did it, and if the people didn't do as they did, then they tried to charge them by saying, they were not being religious.
Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, 'Honour thy father and mother:' and, 'He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.' -> The Ten Commandments consist of 5 Spiritual Laws: No other gods before Father YHVH; Make no graven images to worship; Don't take Father's name in vain; Remember the Sabbath and keep It Holy; and Honor father and mother; and 5 Civil Laws: Thou shalt not kill; No committing adultry; No stealing; No bearing of false witness against your neighbor; and No coveting of anything of your neighbors. Therefore, Jesus pointed out to these kenite scribes, elders and pharisees that they were transgressing Father's commandments, because they were causing the people to sin by causing the people to forsake their parents by forcing the people to give everything they had to the church and let their elderly parents fend for themselves.
Matthew 15:5 But ye say, 'Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, 'It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;' -> Jesus further pointed that, what the kenite elders say is contrary to Father’s Law, i.e., "it is a gift," in other words, they say the offering is a set aside, or sacrifice to Father. So, what Jesus is pointing out, is that, these elders have set up a tradition that; if the children give all their money to the elders—God, Father—then, that released them of the obligation of caring for their parents in their old age. These were crooked priests who said that, for the right price, they would declare something "corban," which meant "of God". They would declare the item or money a gift, and allow the giver to use it for their own personal use.
Matthew 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free.' Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. -> The very moment these kenite elders started their tradition whereby they told the people that they could withhold their money for the caring of their elderly parents in order to gift it to Father, they caused the people to sin, in reality, they caused teh people to not only not honor their parents, breaking Father's Commandment; but, they also caused the people to not honor Father.
Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, [15:8] 'This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. -> Jesus was quoting the Prophet Isaiah who was quoting Father Who stated this as can be read in Isaiah 29:13, and Father spoke true as; even today, many people worship Him with their lips; however, because of their traditions, their hearts are far from Him. Think of christians who vote democratic today, 9/10ths of every democrat supports abortion and homosexuality, both of which go directly against Father and His Word. So, when they say they love Him; but, then, pull the voting lever in support of their democratic candidate, their heart is far from Father. This holds true even for immigration, or should I say, the illegal immigration which is happening in this Country today. Father and I support legal immigration; but, Father put stipulations on immigration, and those stipulation were and are that, the sojourner must honor, love, serve, and worship Father in order to be welcomed into the country.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'" -> The same holds true for many of the denominational church houses today as did it for these kenite elders, pharisees, and scribes as; then, their traditions went against Father and His Law, and today, it is still the same. Think of "propserity" doctrines; the false "rapture of the church" doctrine; "speaking in tongues;" "worship of Mary and the saints;" "evangelizing, rather teaching Book-by-Book, Chapter-by-Chapter and Verse-by-Verse;" see, in only evangelizing, they only teach—for the most part—the message of salvation every week, and thus, in teaching only the Salvation message they are not feeding their members the meat of Father's Word. Therefore, by their traditions, they make Father's Word of none effect.
Matthew 15:10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: [15:11] Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." -> Jesus now called the multitudes, in other words, all the people within earshot, and He told them that they weren’t only to hear what He was about to say; but, they were to also absorb it in their minds, think on it and turn it over in their minds for many days. What was it He told them? That it isn’t what goes into your mouth which defiled you; but, that which comes out of your mouth, that defiles you. In other words, He wasn’t only talking about the health laws and the eating of unclean scavengers here for, the Food Laws aren’t done away with. If you eat things which are not fit for the body, and contain large amounts of poisons; then, your body and your health will suffer for it. It has nothing to do with sin, and the death of your soul. However Jesus is talking about the biggest sin that can be committed, the sin which can cause the death of your soul. It’s what is in your heart and mind, the spiritual food of the teaching of Christ that matters, and gives the life that matters, eternal life; rather than the food that you place in your mouth for nourishment. Therefore, He was teaching them that what they say, i.e. the professing of the Messiah, or not, which was what defiled them.
Let's continue this by turning to and reading Matthew 16:5-12; but, before we turn there, let me set this up to get our understanding of it. At the end of Matthew 15 Jesus and His disciples had come nigh unto the sea of Galilee and went up into a mountain, and while there, there came unto Him great multitudes which were lame, blind, dumb, mame, and others who He healed. After healing them Jesus said unto His disciples, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way." He then asked His disciples what they had to be able to give to the multitudes—"four thousand men, beside women and children"—to eat, to which His disciples replied, "whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?" Jesus then asked them how many loaves they had, and they replied, "seven and a few little fishes." Jesus then commanded the multitudes to sit on the ground, He then took and Blessed the bread and the fishes, and then gave them to His disciples to feed the people. Notice, I said He gave them to His disciples in order to feed the people, He didn't feed them. After all the people had had their fill, He then told His disciples to go and gather all the leftovers, which they did, and after gathering it all in, they found that they had seven baskets full.
Understand brethren, "bread" is used for all sorts of food; but, most importantly, it is symbolic of our "Spiritual food," and Jesus didn't just feed this multitude only physical food; but, as they were eating He also filled them with Spiritual Food, i.e., "The Bread of Life."
Matthew 16:5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. -> So, they had just finished feeding the four thousand man besides women and children, and now have boarded a ship and come to Magdala. As soon as they reached Magdala, the pharisees and sadducees had come to Jesus desiring Him to show them a sign, to which He replied that no sign would be given, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. In other words, as Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days, so would He be in the earth three days, and then He would resurrect and ascend to Heaven to be on the right hand of Father.
No sooner had He finished His discourse with these pharisees and sadduces when His disciples discovered that they hadn't brought any food with them, and they started talking amongst themselves as to what they were going to do.
Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." -> Hearing them having their conversation about not bringing any food, Jesus told them to beware of the leaven of pharisees and the sadducees, which completely befuddled them and set them off on another discourse as to His meaning.
Matthew 16:7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread." -> As Jesus had not yet been crucified, resurrected, nor opened their understanding as described in Luke 24:45 they couldn't grasp His meaning and therefore they continued reasoning amongst themselves.
Matthew 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, "O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? -> After listening to them for some time, Jesus finally steps in and asks them why they're still grappling with His meaning concerning their not bringing any bread, and His statement concerning the leaven of the pharisees and the sadducees.
Since they could not figure it out for themselves, much like His parables, He was going to explain its—His—meaning for them. Let's listen in so that we too can understand His meaning.
Matthew 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? -> He begins by reminding them of the incident of the feeding of the five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves of bread and two fishes as described in Matthew 14:14-21. After feeding this multitude, He commanded His disciples to gather the remains, and here during this feeding, they gathered up the fragments, and upon doing so, they gathered in 12 baskets full.
Matthew 16:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? -> We had just covered this feeding above in this Study; and after feeding this multitude, His disciples gathered in seven baskets full.
Remember, during both these feedings Jesus didn't just feed the multitudes with the physical food of bread and fishes, He also fed them Spiritually as they ate their meals. Sadly though, the majority of the people who had come to see Him had come to only see Him perform a miracle and also to get a free "fish sandwich," they weren't necessarily there to be Spiritually fed. Just like in many of the church houses today, the congregants are there to "shoot the breeze" with their friends and hear a "message" from the preacher, and the whole time the preacher is before them delivering his message, they're looking at their wrist watches wondering how much longer they'll have to endure, before being able to walk out the door and resume their daily lives.
Matthew 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? -> Jesus asks His disciples: can you not keep track what is My bread and My teaching? Brethren, I don’t care where you go; but, anytime you have a multitude of people gathered together in one place, you’re going to pick up some false teachings, and wrong opinions. Jesus knows and understands this, therefore, He asks His disciples, “can't you differentiate between what is mine, and what is not mine? He tells them face to face, don't you even remember what I told you about in explaining to you the parable of the sower, and the tares? I wasn’t speaking about bread; so, get your mind on the subject, the leaven is the teachings of the Pharisees, and the Sadducees.
The leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees are the lies which come from the multitude, when you gather together in order to have a "religious experience," shall we call it. Any time you have a meeting, and the sharing of religious experiences, which is not the teaching of Father's Word—Book–by–book, Chapter–by–chapter, Verse–by–verse; but, a singular verse here and there with long "message" in between—it is the leaven of the Pharisees. It is not the leaven of Christ that will lift up; but, the lard of satan which will weight you down, it is unclean and unfit for consumption and consideration.
The disciples on the other hand were wondering, is He getting on us for leaving the bread and our supplies over there on the other shore? To this point, they just didn't "get it;" however, the proverbial light bulb is about to come on.
Matthew 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." -> Jesus’ disciples finally understood that He was not talking about bread; but, of the doctrine, dogma, teachings and traditions of the pharisees and the sadducees. The doctrine which comes forth today—which is claimed to be “from Father”—by idiots that are not even familiar with the Word of God. They can't even use the proper tools of study, and yet they set themselves up to be prophets and teachers.
We read in several places in Father’s Word—Ezekiel 14; 34; Jeremiah 23 and I Peter 4:17 come to mind—where Father addresses false shepherds, and that Father has His eye on these false shepherds, and they will be the first and the most severe to be judged on Judgment Day. Father doesn't like it when someone misleads His flock.
There is a copy of Father’s Word which is clear and cannot be changed, it’s called the “Massorah,” and it is the only form of the original manuscripts Father's Word which is precise. Dr. Bullinger devotes an Appendix to it in his Companion Bible. When these false shepherds run around and say things that do not check out with it, they lie, and are a disgrace to Father.
So now brethren, I ask you, which you do desire - Strong meat and\or manna, or another fish sandwhich? Which do you want to attend a "Beth-El," or a "beth-aven?"
This Bible Study was written by Scott Reis and is provided in order to be used as a private Bible Study Tool. Therefore, it may be copied in whole or in part and shared for private Bible Study; however, it may not be reproduced and published as an original work.