The story begins in Gibeah when an old man extends hospitality to an unnamed Levite, his concubine and his servant and lodges them for the night. In the middle of the night, however, a strange thing happens.
“As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “While they were enjoying themselves, the men of the city, who were wicked men, surrounded the house and pounded on the door. They said to the old man, the master of the house, ‘Bring out the man who came to your house, so we can have relations with him'” (Jud. 19:22)
The expression “perverted men” literally means “sons of Belial,” and it refers to a group of vile men who sought to satisfy their homosexual desires on the unnamed Levite visitor. The men of Sodom also made a similar request to abuse Lot’s visitors in a sadistic, homosexual manner (Gen. 19:5). These accounts reveal the decadence of both of these periods of time in Israel’s history. Homosexuality is the only reason the Scriptures give for Sodom’s destruction. Jude 7, which is referenced later in this article, confirms this also.
Ceremonial laws were specifically for Israel to obey, but moral laws are universal and apply to the entire human race. One of the universal moral laws of Israel states:
“There must never be a cult prostitute among the daughters of Israel nor a cult prostitute among the sons of Israel” (Deut. 23:17)
The Hebrew word for “perverted” is qadesh, which means one practicing sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals.
Isn’t that the height of deception—to mix sodomy and prostitution with religion?
Under God’s Law Israel was commanded to remove this type of evil and wickedness from the land. This is a type and shadow of what is now operative in this Church dispensation. Paul commanded the Corinthian church to “put away from yourselves the evil person” (1 Cor. 5:13).
We need to understand that the practices of the Old Testament do not carry over into the New Testament, but the principles do. For example, we don’t stone violators and transgressors of the Law in the same way they did in the Old Testament, but we are to apply the same principle in disciplining the church member (1 Cor. 5).
“The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the whole tribe of Benjamin, saying, ‘What is this evil that has been committed among you? Now hand over the wicked men in Gibeah, so that we can kill them and purge the evil from Israel.’ Yet the Benjamites were not willing to listen to their fellow children of Israel” (Jud. 20:12-13).
After an ensuing battle with the tribe of Benjamin, who refused to comply with God’s Law, godly order was eventually restored as the land was indeed cleansed of perversion. But the cycle of sin and perversion resurfaced again in Israel during the time of the kings.
“And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel” (1 Kin. 14:24).
The abominations of the nations were infiltrating into Israel and influencing them in the same way the sin and immorality of the world has infiltrated much of the Church today.
David’s son, Asa, was a godly king and he did right in the sight of the Lord and cleansed the land once more.
“And he banished the perverted persons from the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made” (1 Kin. 15:12).
Jehoshaphat followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and did the same during his reign.
“And the rest of the perverted persons, who remained in the days of his father Asa, he banished from the land” (1 Kin. 22:46).
Then in a later period King Josiah did the same.
“Then he tore down the ritual booths of the perverted persons that were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the wooden image” (2 Kin. 23:7).
Do you see a pattern here? Israel, just as the church is today, were God’s chosen people, and they were to be separate from the world and the sin, immorality and perversion that is in the world.
We are no longer under the Law as they were, but the Law is still good for the lawless and insubordinate (1 Tim. 1:8-10), and accounts like these are given to us as examples for our admonition (1 Cor. 10:1-11). As I said, moral laws are universal laws that apply to everyone.
These and other examples serve as a warning to the church today to stand true and hold fast to the ordinances of God so that in the end they would not suffer the same vengeance of eternal fire. We are not to let the culture of our nation dictate the direction of the Church. If we do, we can actually lose our standing with God.
“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:5-7).
Once again, in this Scripture “strange flesh” is speaking of homosexuality. God has not changed. His attitude toward sin and this sort of perversion has not changed.
The manifestation of the wrath of God in eternal fire against sin is seen in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Scriptures do not balk at the use of very plain language to describe the revolting sexual depravity as a prime justification for their annihilation.
The burning commentary on this record is seen in Romans 1, with Paul’s indictment of “men with men committing what is shameful” so rightly described as unnatural.
By such deeds men dishonor their own bodies and become lower than the beasts of the field.
Sodomy is one of the most degraded sexual offenses, and it is appalling how our culture has embraced it and celebrated it, and continues to promote it.
Paul’s explanation of the gospel always included the wrath of God on those who will not repent.
All unrighteousness and especially the perversion of sodomy usually leads men to suppress the truth and hold false views of God and the Bible because they know that the truth would require them to repent. The terrible truth is that as people continue to reject God, He gives them up to increasingly immoral and self-destructive activities (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28).
Look at our nation, people! We are so far down this road of decadence. The apostle Paul is clearly showing us that homosexuality is a final order of rebellion against God. It is a sure sign that a society is in the last stages of decadence.
The apostle Peter takes this a step further and tells us that this judgment begins in the house of God.
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (1 Pet. 4:17-18)
And sandwiched around two verses (2 Pet. 3:10 and 12) that speak of the heavens dissolving and passing away with a great noise, and the earth’s elements melting with fervent heat and the works of the earth being burned up, Peter says:
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness? …Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Pet. 3:11, 14)
Oh, how these verses make me tremble with the fear of God!
This should be the response in both the heart of the Christian and the sincere seeker.
And yet an increasing number of churches and entire Christian denominations are moving toward an apostasy unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed in our time and maybe in history. This is a solemn warning to these churches and denominations to turn back to the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
When you listen to the wisdom of men concerning this controversial topic you gain the impression that the rise of the popularity of this perversion is simply a part of the larger transformation that’s been happening in the U.S. This younger generation of “Christians” increasingly accepts lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and find themselves at odds with churches that don’t. Even in what is referred to as the Bible belt in the South this deception is spreading. Concerning one of these apostate churches, one lady was quoted as saying, “We thought we’d never find a church that’s loving and progressive in the Southeast.”
As my friend Larry Tomczak said in a recent article: “We cannot downplay the seriousness of this issue in our culture today. It is the tip of the spear and leaders must be courageous enough to speak the truth in love and equip their people so they’ll stand strong and not be swept away.
If churches do not remain faithful to biblical standards on sexuality, the younger generation will drift further into the throes of confusion regarding sexual identity, the sanctity of marriage and the institution of family as God ordained it.”
God help us to call a spade a spade and avert the disaster of a multitude of hell-bound apostates who will lead others down this terrible path. Today I’m standing on that highway to hell waving my arms frantically before this multitude falls off the cliff into everlasting torment.
Warnings are for the purpose of averting such a disaster.
Will the church and our nation heed it?
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several books including The Real Spirit of Revival and the newly released My Son, My Son—a beautiful father-son book co-written with his son Daniel for the purpose of parenting and training up a holy generation. He is also the co-host of the New England Holy Ghost Forum, a school of the Spirit. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.