One of the four altar judgments (see CG Workbook Four) is wild beasts. The other three altar judgments are famine, sword, and plague. The beasts of the field were at the origin of the problem in Eden. Edom, who was red and hairy all over like a beast of the field, is the redhead of the nefesh (soul appetites, emotions, desires, and intellect). He acts first and thinks later as Esau did with the birthright and his marriages.
With Edom, it's "Fire! Ready! Aim!" Because he acts before he hears the Spirit of the commandment, Edom often acts as a wild beast, which is a hunter in the field, not the patient farmer or shepherd who discern the appointed times and seasons of action. The hunter can use traps to hunt wild game, or ironically, the hunter can become the hunted with the bait that appeals to his desire to prevail in the competition of the hunt.
The bait shop includes things that appeal to the soul appetites, emotion, desire, and intellect. Watch 30 minutes of television commercials, and it will pretty much sum up the human bait shop. In Greek, skandalizo, or offense, is defined as a trap.
skandalízō, from G4625; to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure):-(make to) offend.
What type of lure are we swimming after?
- offense at the Church?
- offense at Jews or Judaism?
- offense at those who don't agree with our idea of "correct" Torah observance?
- offense at family members who aren't "on board" with the Shabbat?
A beast often attacks not because of literal hunger, but because of jealousy, scary past experiences, and covetousness. He covets more territory so that he has more opportunities to fulfill his appetites and so that he can secure the safety of his regular "income" of food, water, reproduction, and approval. Kain became angry and jealous when Abel's offering gained approval and his didn't. Approval is a type of security. Dogs are great examples of how the nefesh responds to approval or disapproval.
Human beings also feed on approval, so they exert great effort to acquire approval or admiration of others for the things that humans value. Physical, spiritual, and intellectual abilities all earn an income of approval from others.
The actions of a wild beast are metaphorical of the jealousy the nefesh (soul) has for the ruach (spirit) of a human being submitted to the Ruach of Elohim.
The Ruach HaKodesh will subordinate the will of the nefesh and its appetites to the long-term vision of the Spirit. Frequently this may mean the nefesh loses territory. After all, if the mitzvah is that one fast leaven for a week of Pesach, then the nefesh has lost territory of the appetite. If the mitzvah is that one fast food and water for Yom HaKippurim, then the nefesh no longer controls eating and drinking that day, so it has lost authoritative territory within the obedient man. If the mitzvah is that one refrain from marital relations during a woman's niddah, then the nefesh has lost reproductive rights for a period of time.
The Ruach emplaces these mitzvot of weaning so that the nefesh will relax, cease to fear "death" of lowered position within the human being, and give the man's ruach the higher authority. In other words, the Red Head becomes a deadhead, for the nefesh is dead to its desire so that the ruach may be quickened and given control.
The wild beast, or the Red Head, fights the instruments of tribulation, which are flesh and blood, mistaking the instruments of Egypt or brothers and sisters as the origin of their tests. The Red Heads resist the tests that are designed to wean them from their quick victories of the appetite. This manifests often as jealousy between people, for people, especially brothers in faith, are the instruments of Egypt.
When the beast senses that its "territory" is threatened, it arouses the jealousy that is a catalyst for the spiritual test. It is an overblown sense of competition for resources that the nefesh mistakenly believes are scarce and must be protected.
In a sense, Joseph was torn by wild beasts just as his father thought. His immaturity in relating to his brothers aroused their Red Heads to different degrees. This week's text says that Joseph was "blundering" in the field and couldn't find his brothers. Is it likely because he was such a tattletale to his father? When we blunder in our own congregational or fellowship fields, is it because we are such tattletales to our Father?
When we are jealous of someone else's special coat of approval, have we thought through ALL the possibilities of why the Father gave our brother or sister that special garment? Joseph had just been orphaned! He'd lost his mother, and he was grieving. Could Jacob have given Joseph something special to say, "I'm sorry you lost your mother, Son, and I know you're hurting, but Daddy still loves you." We don't always know why someone else seems to always have more approval or position before the Father than we do, but becoming jealous over bitter over it is not the answer!
Becoming bitter, jealous, or envious over other believers exposes the wild beast. Paul says he fought with "wild beasts" at Ephesus. The silver idol-makers attacked him because his preaching began to wreck their economy and position within the community, which was underpinned with the income from Diana worship. We could expect this behavior from pagans losing ground to the testimony of Yeshua, but from other believers? Brothers and sisters in Messiah and Torah? Please.
Why would we harbor bitterness against the Church or synagogues? Why would we tattle on their problems? Keep it up, and we'll keep blundering around and find the longest way home to Father. A brother might find himself torn by stronger wild beasts than his own self-righteousness. Approval from the Father is found with one's personal best offering, not by demanding that He compare one's report card to his brothers'. I think Yeshua told a parable about someone like that.
Today, that praying Pharisee would likely have posted his brother-disparaging prayer on Facebook. I shudder to think how many Likes, Hearts, and Wows it would have accumulated. The clue is in the text. It says that the Pharisee prayed to "himself." (Lk 18:11) He wasn't working on his relationship with the Father by bringing the best of himself to offer, but by using the tax collector's sins to create a prayer offering report card. It wasn't, "My Father, judge me and approve me according to the special coat of understanding you've given me," but "Father, judge him and disapprove him according to the special coat of understanding You've given me."
The Father is able to make our brothers and sisters in Torah and Yeshua to stand (Ro 14:4). He doesn't say how, and it's not our business. As Yeshua told Peter when he inquired about John's future, "What is it to you what I do with him (John)?" Our business is to work on humility, sincerity, and growing our best offerings to present to the Father. Our business is to walk the walk the Father has set before us uniquely, with or without a special coat of approval from others. Help others when they ask for it, but don't trouble them when they don't.
Don't be baited into correctness comparisons; it's just a trap. Don't be bitter; it's just a trap. Don't be too impressed with the high marks on the spiritual report card you fill out for yourself; it's just a trap.
The altar judgment of the wild beast tests the relationships between brothers and sisters of Israel. If the disciple does not eventually grow to maturity in relationships, then the judgment brings separation of the Body and destruction, not just a test. When the disciple learns to yield authority to the Ruach, then the wild beast is mastered. It is killed and resurrected to live in peaceful order like a weaned child.
As he suffered from an altar test of wild beasts, Joseph was subject to the trial of spiritual leadership among his brothers. Jealousy is manifest as a brother slaying another, such as Kain killing Abel. Kain's name means "acquisition," while Abel's name is a "vapor." The nefesh relies on tangibles to measure its well-being, but the vapor of the Ruach is nonsense to the nefesh. The beast must perpetually acquire in order to satisfy its appetites and feel well, but wellness of the ruach does not depend upon the tangible acquisitions.
Even the sight of a "spiritual" person antagonizes the wild nefesh, for it is a potential source of deprivation and loss of territory.
If you follow that humble path of obedience to the Torah and maintain your testimony of Yeshua, you will antagonize many wild beasts who want to tear your coat of approval into shreds. Try turning that special coat of approval inside out while you work with your brothers in the field. Quit trying to make your brothers better shepherds; instead make yourself a better shepherd. Like Jacob, just "keep in mind" your dreams and visions until the dream is safely revealed, or reveal it only to those who are not bitter. It doesn't mean you don't still have the coat and the dream. It means you've learned how to wear approval and dream dreams humbly.
It will save a lot of stitches.
Passover in Israel
If you plan to go with us on the study trip to Israel for Passover, please go ahead and register for the trip at the link below to hold your place. I don't think you'll find a better price at that season. We need to meet our minimum of 20 participants before we start booking our flights, and we need around six more to meet that minimum.
There is a reduced price available for anyone who would like to stay a few days longer (or more) and to help with planting trees, cleaning, etc. This volunteer job requiring good health and a little muscle.
If you want more information on the tour or volunteer opportunities for discounted tour, please
contact the Blossoming Rose soon (not The Creation Gospel). Our page on their site is here, and you can locate the phone number to call here: