THE PRECIOUSNESS OF OUR BELIEF! - 1 Peter 2:1-10

                            10th of the 4th month 2017/2018

Shalom all,

As I was reading through the first letter of Kěpha/Peter, I was once again gripped by his words that remind us of who we are in Messiah and how we are to value the price that our Wonderful Master and Elohim has paid for our redemption. It is when we truly recognise and acknowledge the price that He has paid for us that we ought to be fully equipped to serve Him in complete set-apartness and have our lives cleansed through the obeying of the truth!

The belief we have in Messiah is a precious gift that must be faithfully lived out in a proper reflection of His truth being evident to all as we shine His light through our perfecting the set-apartness we have been called to as we walk in complete obedience to His Word and do so with much joy as we endeavour to be consistent in offering up our lives as a daily living offering that is well pleasing to Elohim!

It saddens me to see how many have clearly not grasped the preciousness of our belief, despite their vain lip service of an assumed praise, as their lives do not reflect the light of obedience to the Truth of the Word of Elohim as their disobedience or resistance to walk in the Torah of Elohim bear the wicked fruit of lawlessness rather than set-apartness and it is certainly time for true believers to worship the Master in Spirit and Truth. It is with that in mind that I would like to go through some of the words contained in the 1st letter of Kěpha/Peter, so that we can all be reminded of the precious gift our Master has given us through His life, death and resurrection – to those who belief!

In a message called, THE PRECIOUSNESS OF OUR BELIEF! I will take a closer look at the passage from Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:1-10 and hopefully stir up the proper remembrance of who we are, as living stones being built up in Messiah, and therefore stir up the urgency to live as such and be done with all evil, hypocrisy and deceit!

Please turn to Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:1-10 (Read)

These verses that begin Chapter 2 are a continuance from the previous chapter as they are related to the passage that begins in Chapter 1:22 and what Kěpha is basically writing here is that since believers have been cleansed in obeying the truth they must stop doing the things that can and will corrupt their walk of set-apartness and must concentrate on the very things that will cause them to grow in their maturity of the Word, so that their lives can be a true reflection of Messiah and be bold ambassadors that hold firm the calling of being a set-apart and royal priesthood.

Before taking a closer look at the words of Chapter 2:1-10 I want to highlight verse 22 from Chapter 1, which says:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart

As one stops and takes a proper look at these words it becomes very evident and obvious that Kěpha is highlighting a very important principle that has sadly been lost through the vain traditions and teachings of man, traditions and teachings that have sought to nullify the need to obey the Truth! It is through obedience to the Truth that we have our lives cleansed and therefore without proper obedience to the Truth one cannot be properly cleansed and have the proper garments of righteousness kept clean!

Messiah is our Husband who washes us through His Word:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, 26 in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, 27 in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless.

We are cleaned through obedience! In speaking of the prepared wife, we see in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:7-9Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him praise, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife prepared herself.” 8 And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true words of Elohim.” 

Messiah gave of Himself in order to set us apart and wash us by His Word! As an obedient Bride of Messiah, we are to make sure that we are properly preparing ourselves so that we can be the wife who prepared Herself and is given to be dressed in fine linen! Only those who have properly responded to the call and have prepared themselves, being cleansed and dressed in righteousness will have access to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, whereas those with wrong garments will be thrown out! The fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones!

In speaking of a wife/bride of noble character, in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31, we are told in verse 22 how she is dressed:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 31:22She shall make tapestry for herself; she is dressed in fine linen and purple.

The Hebrew word used here for ‘dressed’ is לְבוּשׁ leush – Strong’s H3830 which means, garment, clothing, apparel, raiment, put on and the Hebrew word used here for ‘fine linen’ is שֵׁשׁ shesh’ - Strong’s H8336 and the Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for ‘fine linen’ is the noun βύσσος bussos – Strong’s G1040 and from this word we get the adjective βύσσινος bussinos – Strong’s G1039 which is used in reference to the ‘fine linen’ that the Bride of the Lamb is given to be dressed in, in Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8.

The Greek word that is translated as ‘dressed’ here in Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 is περιβάλλω periballō – Strong’s G4016 which means, put on, clothe, wrap around, throw around, and this word is also translated as ‘dressed’ in the following verses:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.

This was to the assembly in Sardis, who were told to ‘wake up and repent’.

Ḥazon/Revelation 4:4And around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes. And they had crowns of gold on their heads.

Ḥazon/Revelation 7:9After this I looked and saw a great crowd which no one was able to count, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands

The reason for me highlighting the various Greek and Hebrew words, in terms of being dressed, is to make it abundantly clear that Scripture teaches us what the correct dress code is for anyone who hears the call and invitation to come!

Those who refuse the call and make vain excuses are not dressed and worthy of the call, for only the remnant few who has not defiled their garments will be chosen!

We are to be clothed in garments of righteousness and we know that it is Messiah who has given us His garments of righteousness to be dressed in, after having washed us in His Blood, through our immersion in His Name. Having been cleansed we are to keep clean and to do that we are to walk in righteousness and guard our garments in complete set-apartness! Scripture defines for us very clearly what righteousness is, as we see in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.

It is righteousness to guard to do all this command! What command? Well, we can see from the verse before this:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:24And יהוה commanded us to do all these laws, to fear יהוה our Elohim, for our good always, to keep us alive, as it is today.

We are commanded to do all He has commanded us to do – that is to guard to keep His Torah for our good always!!!

When we grasp the necessity of guarding to do the commands of Elohim – always – then we can understand what Kěpha is teaching us, when he says that, ‘now that you have cleansed our lives through obeying the truth through the Spirit’ we ought to be able to love one another with a clean heart, as we are empowered by the very Spirit of Elohim and submit to guarding to do all His commands which He has now written upon our hearts!
Recognising that the proper response to His cleansing us requires a steadfast obedience to putting off the false and putting on the Truth we can be well equipped in the preciousness of our belief in Him and makes sure we guard this precious gift with our all, at all times!

Having now made it clear that obedience to His Word keeps us clean, in the cleansing that He has worked for us in His own blood, we can therefore take a closer look at Kěpha’s words in Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:1-10.

In verse 1 he starts with, ‘having put aside, then,’. The Greek word that is translated as ‘having’ is οὖν oun – Strong’s G3767 which is used as a conjunction which means, therefore, having, then, however, now, and is used as a marker for emphasis and is put after one or more words in a clause, expressing the connection of two sentences or phrases, so that the one follows upon the other. It is also used to bring about the internal relation of cause and effect, denoting a transition or continuation from what precedes to what follows with the meaning of thereupon. What I am basically telling you is that he begins this section with the clear concept of the effect of what he has already said in Chapter 1. He is basically telling us that ‘now that you have been cleansed, by having put aside all evil, as a result of obedience… then…’.

Having been properly cleansed through obedience, all that should not be upon us must have been put aside! The Greek word that is translated as ‘put aside’ comes from the verb ἀποτίθημι apotithēmi – Strong’s G659 which means, lay aside, put off, lay down, cast off. In Ya’aqoḇ’s letter this word is translated as ‘put away’:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-22Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

What is abundantly clear in Scripture is that to be proper hearers and doers of the Word, and be on guard against deception, we have to first put off the former corruption of the sinful flesh, so that we can receive the implanted Word and allow it to bring forth the proper fruit of set-apartness!

The proper putting off and putting on is a clear instruction we see being given to us in Scripture, and to properly put on the armour of light we must put off all darkness:

Romiyim/Romans 13:12-13 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.

Kěpha makes it clear to us the very things that should have been put aside: all evil, deceit, hypocrisies, envyings and all evil words!

Let us now look at the Greek words used for the things that should be put aside!

Having put aside all ‘evil!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘evil’ comes from the root word κακία kakia – Strong’s G2549 which means, wickedness, evil, malice, trouble and comes from the root word κακός kakos – Strong’s G2556 which means, evil, wicked, bad things, loathsome, wrong. In teaching us what love is, Sha’ul tells us in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:5 that ‘love reckons not the evil’ and the Greek word that is translated as reckons’ is λογίζομαι logizomai – Strong’s G3049 which means, an account or reckoning, to consider, take count, think, occupy oneself with calculations.

We are not to sit and recount in our mind all the bad and wicked thing that are going on, or the evil that has been done to us, for this will only stir up bitterness, fear and resentment and render one unable to bear the true fruit of righteousness expressed in loving-commitment toward Elohim!

What things do you consider and recount in your mind – the good and functional way of Elohim, as given through the Torah, or on the wicked and destructive patterns of a lawless world? Having put aside all evil, teaches us that when we walk in true love, that we do not sit and recount everyone’s wicked past and occupy ourselves with past failings!

Often people relate their past wickedness and laugh and joke at the things they did, when we ought to be ashamed of our past sins, reckoning our lives as having been plucked from the fire, giving esteem and thanks to our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah! Our thoughts and speech must not be riddled with the past reckoning and gloating of a lawless life, but rather be esteeming the good way and walking in it with joy!

Having put aside all ‘deceit’! The Greek word used here for ‘deceit’ is δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, a bait, craft, deceit’. יהושע Messiah tells us in Marqos/Mark 7:22 that deceit is one of the defiling things that comes out of a man’s heart! In these last days when deceit is all around, we recognise how small the true remnant of Elohim’s Bride is, and as יהוה restores a clean lip unto the remnant few, they will call on the Name of יהוה and serve Him with one shoulder, and we are told in:

Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12-13 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה. 13 “The remnant of Yisra’ĕl shall do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood, nor is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth. For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, with none to frighten them.

No tongue of deceit found in their mouths!!!

Let no deceit be found in you, is a clear message we all need to hear in these last days – for the deceitful danger of deceit can cause us to be slain with the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, the treacherous and adulterers, who do know יהוה, nor love Him as they do not guard His commands!

Deceit causes one to refuse to know Elohim, and deceit is a very dangerous and poisonous thing – it will cloud your judgement and your ability to think straight!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:10-11For “He who wishes to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it.

I find interesting to take note of here is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, a very similar sounding word with only one additional letter – – and this can certainly help us realise how fine a line it is between being a true faithful servant of the Most-High, in which there is found no deceit and being one in which there is deceit!

What I find very interesting to take note of here, is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant,  bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, and this is a very similar sounding word to that which is used for ‘deceit’ - δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388, with only one additional letter – – and this can certainly help us realise how it is a very fine line between being a true faithful servant of the Most High, in which there is found no deceit, and being one in which there is deceit!

In Yoḥanan/John 1:47 when יהושע (Yahushua) saw Nethanĕ’l coming toward Him, He said this of Nethanĕ’l:

See, truly a Yisra’ĕlite, in whom is no deceit! – what a powerful compliment to receive! What we can learn from this is very clear: נְתַנְאֵל Nethanĕ’l – Strong’s H5417 means, given of Ěl, and here we are given a clear lesson of one who was a faithful servant of Elohim and one who knew the Scriptures and when he heard the voice of Messiah He knew the voice of the true Vine and Master and King:

Yoḥanan/John 10:27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

The time was ‘ripe’ and while most did not recognise Messiah, this ‘given one of Ěl’ did! Messiah had found a faithful servant in whom there was no deceit! This is encouraging for us in showing us that it does not matter how blind the masses are, we whose eyes have been opened can still guard His commands, sit and learn under the hand of our Master and have no deceit in us… the question is when He does come again… shall He find you walking in faith or in deceit!!!

Shelomoh tells us in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:8 that ‘the folly of fools is deceit’!

The Hebrew root word translated as ‘deceit’ is מִרְמָה mirmah – Strong’s H4820 which means, deceit, treachery, dishonesty, falsehood’, and is used in Amos 8:5 with reference to those who couldn’t wait for the Sabbath to be over so that they could trade and falsify their scales by deceit, and this word is also used in!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:24-26He who hates, pretends with his lips, and lays up deceit within him; 25 though he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. 26 Hatred is covered by deceit. His evil is disclosed in the assembly.

What verse 24 here in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26 is saying is that the one who hates, gives a vain lip service and his heart is filled with deceit; which is the total opposite as to what should be in the heart! The Torah is to be in our heart and in our mouths – to do it:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it.

Many today are rendering a vain lip service in their falsified confession of faith, while their actions reveal otherwise, as their lack of walking in the Torah reveals that the Torah is not in their mouth, nor in their heart; and if the Torah is not laid up in one’s heart then what is? Deceit!!!

There are many who will be found to not have put off deceit and as a result will have no access to the Kingdom! Cleansed ones have put off deceit and walk in the wisdom of Elohim through a proper guarding to do all He has commanded us to do!

Having put aside ‘hypocrisies!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘hypocrisies’ is the word ὑπόκρισις hupokrisis – Strong’s G5272 which means, hypocrisy, dissimulation (which is to hide under a false appearance), play acting, pretending, and our Master certainly condemned the actors of His day who tried to assume the appearance of righteousness, yet when confronted with the Light of the world, their pathetic act was exposed!

Hypocrisy and lawlessness tend to be found in the same dish; and while many desperately try to appear to be wearing the right garments, their lawlessness or rebellion to the Truth is exposed under the pure plumb line of the Truth of the Word of Elohim.

One who has not put aside hypocrisy is a hypocrite which in the Greek is the word ὑποκριτής hupokritēs – Strong’s G5273 which means, one who answers, pretender, actor, dissembler (one who hides under a false appearance)’, and a ‘hypocrite’ referred originally to one who judged from under the cover of a mask thus, assuming an identity and a character which he was not. This term was typically referred to the actors on the Greek stage – that is one who took the part of another, giving the appearance of a false identity in order to indulge the fantasies of the audience.

Romiyim/Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good.

Understanding this we can therefore see that Sha’ul is clearly telling us to not put up false appearances and indulge the fantasies of others! There are many hypocrites in the faith today as they are indulging the fantasies of those to whom they think they need to impress or please or follow, and are no different to an actor who must learn lines have been scripted for them. Hypocrite believers do not necessarily think for themselves, but will rather immerse themselves in learning the lines of a false identity and in doing so assume that identity in every aspect, becoming unable to properly discern what is truth and what is fiction! This is not the wife that the Righteous King is coming for!!!

We must learn to guard against ‘putting on a show or religiosity’ as the Pharisees did:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. 26 “Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Having put aside ‘envyings!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘envyings’ comes from the root word φθόνος phthonos – Strong’s G5355 which means, jealously, envy, envying and this word is always used with an evil meaning and is also understood in the Greek to describe the pain that is felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness. In other words, this Greek word describes the hatred that one feels or expresses at the sight of another’s joy and blessedness!

Galatiyim/Galatians 5:26 “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

There are many who despise others when they see them being blessed and true servants of the Most-High that have put aside all envyings rejoice will not hate and despise others but will celebrate with them with joy and thanksgiving!

Having put aside all ‘evil words!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘evil words’ is καταλαλιά katalalia – Strong’s G2636 which means, evil-speaking, slander, defamation, backbiting and is also understood as speaking out against somebody and falsely accuse them of something through wicked exaggeration.

Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:11Brothers, do not speak against one another. He that speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah but a judge.

What Ya’aqoḇ is basically telling us here is that we must not slander or falsely accuse a brother.

I have just mentioned 5 things that Kěpha highlights for us as things that ought to have been put aside by those who have cleansed themselves through obedience to the Word. The question we must all ask ourselves, as we look intently into the mirror of the Word, is whether we have actually put aside all evil, all deceit, hypocrisies, envyings and all evil words or do we find that the very things that we ought to have put aside is still on us and is defiling our set-apartness!!!

Kěpha tells us that as cleansed obedient ones who have put aside these things, we are to be as new-born babes that are so hungry for the Truth that we make sure that we never miss a meal, so to speak, as we eat our ‘daily bread’ and are sustained by the purity of the Word of Elohim that causes us to grow up in Messiah!

We are to ‘desire’ the ‘unadulterated milk of the word’! The Greek word that is translated as ‘desire’ is ἐπιποθέω epipotheō – Strong’s G1971 which means, to yearn, long for, greatly desire, pursue with love, have great affection for and comes from the two root words: 1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, upon, on, about, over and 2) ποθέω potheō which means, to yearn or long for.

The Greek word that is used here for ‘unadulterated’ is ἄδολος adolos – Strong’s G97 which means, pure, genuine, guileless, unmixed, unadulterated and comes from two Greek words: 1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter in the Greek alphabet that is used as a negative prefix, and 2) δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, a bait, craft, deceit, which we have already discussed in detail.

We are to have an absolute love, affection and desire for the Word of Elohim that is pure and is not mixed or corrupted by the deceit of man-made traditions that set-aside the Torah of Elohim! Kěpha utilises this image of a new-born that desires to have its mother’s milk and sadly many have lost the intense love and hunger for the Truth and as a result have fallen prey to twisted words of man that have corrupted the Truth, leaving them with a mixed and muddied concoction of lies and deceit that can never cause any to properly grow in the Master! So many people ought to be mature and eating meat yet still lack milk, so to speak, as they have not grown due to a lack of love for Elohim! Love for Elohim is this: that we guard His commands, yet many who set aside the need to guard to do the Torah of Elohim and choose a substituted counterfeit can never grow as they should and have, in effect, lost their first love, despite all the works they may claim to do!

In verse 3 Kěpha makes it clear that those who desire for the pure Word and grow in it are those who have actually tasted that the Master is good! This is a clear reference to a proper partaking of the Feasts of Elohim, having eaten of the Pěsaḥ (Passover) Meal, which represents the very body and blood of Messiah which we are eat of in order to be part of!

 

Yoḥanan/John 6:51-56I am the living bread which came down out of the heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed, the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” 52 The Yehuḏim, therefore, were striving with one another, saying, “How is this One able to give us His flesh to eat?” 53 יהושע therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Aḏam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves. 54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood possesses everlasting life, and I shall raise him up in the last day. 55 “For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink. 56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood stays in Me, and I in him.

 

It is by His Blood that we are enabled to draw near to Him, and as we partake of the Passover Meal, having first been immersed in His Name, we are enabled to taste that He is good and are enabled to draw near to that which we were once far off from, for by His blood we are grafted into His Covenants of Promise and are adopted as sons of the Most-High.

He is the Living Stone and being grafted into His Covenants of Promise and becoming His body, we too become living stones that are being built up in Him! We are built up as a spiritual house and a set-apart priesthood, which highlights that we have a significant purpose, which is to serve and worship our Master and Elohim in Spirit and Truth. This cannot be done if falsehood is not put aside and if we are not cleansed by obedience, for disobedience defiles the set-apart and causes one to be unfit for any purpose!

The Greek word that is used for ‘slaughter offering’ is θυσία thusia – Strong’s G2378 which means, a sacrifice.

This word θυσία thusia, is seen in:

Romiyim/Romans 12:1 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.

We are to offer ourselves daily – not just once – but daily! As called out and cleansed chosen ones, we do not just offer ‘some’ of our life, but rather we offer up our whole life/being – that is - all that we are and all that we have to give – always giving the best we have to give – continually!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘precious’, as in ‘precious stone’ is ἔντιμος éntimos – Strong’s G1784 which means, valuable, precious, costly, honoured, highly regardedand this word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek Translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 28:16, from which Kěpha is quoting from. The Hebrew word that is used in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 28:16 for ‘precious’ is יָקָר yaqar – Strong’s H3368 which means, precious, rare, splendid, noble, excellent, honourable, and in its primitive root form means, to be precious, prized, appraised, costly.

In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:15 we are told that ‘wisdom’ is more precious that rubies!

Tehillah/Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the eyes of יהוה is the death of His lovingly-committed ones.

What is extremely ‘precious’ to יהוה is the death of His loving-committed ones!!!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:10-11always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע, that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body. 11 For we, the living, are always delivered to death for the sake of יהושע, that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our mortal flesh

Romiyim/Romans 8:36 “As it has been written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are reckoned as sheep of slaughter.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:21 “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Messiah יהושע our Master, I die day by day.

To die day by day in Messiah is precious in the eyes of יהוה, and we do this by putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh, putting aside all evil, deceit, hypocrisies, envyings and evil words! Why I am mentioning this is to highlight that the enemy hunts for the precious ones! That is that the enemy is constantly looking to trap the precious ones of Elohim, and in understanding this we are warned and commanded to guard the Torah and not take our eyes off of our Prince and Perfecter of our faith, so that we guard the precious knowledge of our Mighty Master and Elohim! The promise given to those who believe on the Master, the Living and Precious Stone, is that they shall never be put to shame!

Romiyim/Romans 10:11 “Because the Scripture says, “Whoever puts his trust in Him shall not be put to shame.

The Greek word used here for ‘shame’ is καταισχύνω kataischunō – Strong’s G2617 and means ‘to put to shame, to dishonour, to disgrace, to cause to blush’.

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.

This preciousness, then, is for you who believe!!! What preciousness? Not being put to shame but rather lifted and built up in the Master as a living stone that offers up continual slaughter offerings of praise! The preciousness of our belief is that we shall not be put to shame! The Greek word that is translated as ‘preciousness’ in verse 7 is τιμή time – Strong’s G5092 which means, (to value, honour), a valuing, price, honour, honourable use, mark of respect, and is used in:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.

We were bought with a price and therefore must reflect that in our daily lives as we are valuable vessels in our Master’s hand! The way we do this is by making sure that we, as a royal priesthood, have lips that guard knowledge and speak that which is pure and righteous!

Mal’aḵi/Malachi 2:7For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and they seek the Torah from his mouth, for he is the messenger of יהוה of hosts.

Our Master has covered us with the pure silver of redemption through His own blood and purchased for us a redemption that we could not buy for ourselves! We have this precious gift of His deliverance deposited in us – a deliverance that we must work out with fear and trembling, so that we are not ashamed when He comes for His Ready Bride, as we guard obedience to His Word by faith – that is doing His Word and not just being a hearer only, no matter what we face!

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7-10And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע, that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.

In verse 7 Kěpha makes a clear distinction between the obedient and the disobedient as we see that the obedient who are built up in the Master are not put to shame while the disobedient are not. In this verse we can clearly see the relationship of true belief being equated with obedience for he separates two groups of people – those who believe and those who are disobedient, hence highlighting that disobedience reveals a lack of belief/faith, and we know that Ya’aqoḇ tells us that belief/faith without works is dead (Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:17-26)!

For the disobedient Messiah, the chief corner stone, becomes a rock that makes for falling, for He will crush the disobedient in His wrath! In verse 8 we are able to recognise that the disobedient stumble as their feet are not firmly planted on the Rock of our deliverance!

Ya’aqoḇ makes it very clear that belief that has no proper works is not a belief that can save a man!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 11:6But without belief it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Elohim has to believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.

The Greek word here for ‘believes/believed’ is πιστεύω pisteuō – Strong’s G4100 which is a verb that means, to trust, to be committed to, be entrusted with, be persuaded and placed confidence in to do, and comes from the root noun πίστις pistis – Strong’s G4102 which means, faith, faithfulness, pledge, conviction of the Truth which in turn comes from the primary root verb πείθω peithō – Strong’s G3982 which means, to persuade, to put confidence in, to follow, have confidence and rely upon. When looking at these root terms it is very clear, even in the Greek mind-set, that ‘to believe’ involves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.

Titos/Titus 3:8 “Trustworthy is the word, and in this regard I wish you to strongly affirm, that those who have believed in Elohim should keep their minds on maintaining good works. This is good and profitable to men.

A belief without obedient action is a useless belief and one that will get many cast away and told that they are not known by Elohim as their dead works of lawlessness is unable to save them!

The Greek word used for ‘stumble’ in Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:8 is προσκόπτω proskoptō – Strong’s G4350 which means, to strike against, stumble, and the Greek word for ‘disobedient’ is ἀπειθέω apeitheō – Strong’s G544 which means, to disobey, disbelieved. We are able to see from the clear words of our Master that when we walk as children of light then we will not stumble!

Yoḥanan/John 11:9-10יהושע answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.

To walk in the light is to walk in obedience whereas to walk in darkness is to walk in disobedience! The Word of Elohim clearly tells us that His Word is the light for our path:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:23For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light

The disobedient are unable to enter the true rest of the Master because of unbelief!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:18-19And to whom did He swear that they would not enter into His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter in because of unbelief. 

Kěpha makes a clear distinction between the obedient and the disobedient, and while the disobedient are appointed to not enter the rest of Elohim, the true obedient Bride of Messiah is a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a set-apart nation, a people for a possession!

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 7:6For you are a set-apart people to יהוה your Elohim. יהוה your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all the peoples on the face of the earth.

Kěpha is certainly referring to this verse, among many, when writing the clear truth that we, the obedient believers, are a chosen people!

The Greek word for ‘set-apart’ is ἅγιος hagios – Strong’s G40 and its fundamental idea is one of ‘separation, consecration, and devotion to the service of Elohim’, sharing in Elohim’s purity and abstaining from the defilement of the flesh, by being clothed in and walking in righteousness, that is from Elohim!

To ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’. We as a chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood unto Elohim, declare and make our lives solely devoted to the purpose of serving and worshipping יהוה our Elohim, and as we have certainly learnt through the Torah portions of ‘drawing near’ to Elohim, that we can only do so by the Blood of Messiah as we are continually being set-apart in Him through an on-going process of being sanctified as a people for a possession.

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.

The Hebrew word for ‘treasured possession’ is סְגֻלָּה segullah – Strong’s H5459 meaning valued possession or property. This could also be expressed as My uniquely valued and guarded treasure above all the nations!

How awesome is that!!! A hearing, guarding and doing people are the uniquely valued and guarded treasure of יהוה’s; that is to say that He holds us firmly in His hand and never takes His eyes off of us; and He guards us continually so as to never let us go, for we are extremely valued and precious to Him. When outsiders look at us they may see it as being locked away in a box, thinking that we ‘have to do’ things that are not required by them and claim erroneously that we have lost our rights and are ‘under law’ so to speak – but it is not so – we are kept secure and safe and are a prized possession.

True overcomers in Messiah are His ‘segullah’!!!

In the Greek, the word used for ‘a possession’ is περιποίησις peripoiēsis – Strong’s G4047 which means, purchased possession, preservation, acquisition, peculiar, property.  We, as a set-apart people unto Elohim, have been sealed with Set-apart Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession! Peculiar and set-apart – that is to be completely different to the rest! How different are you to the rest of the world?

What makes us set-apart and a peculiar treasured possession, is that we have been chosen by Elohim to be His own.

The Hebrew word for ‘chosen’ is בָּחַר baḥar – Strong’s H977 and means, to choose, choicest, selected, preferred, and this word is used to express that choosing which has ultimate and eternal significance. We see in Scripture how יהוה chooses a people, certain tribes, specific individuals, and a place for His Name; and in all these cases, service and obedience is at the heart of the choosing. Thus, יהוה chose Yisra’ĕl to be set-apart and thereby to serve as His witness among the nations. His choosing us has eternal significance!!! His choice is forever!!! The expected response of the chosen is loving obedience and complete commitment in uncompromised service to the One who has chosen us!

Yoḥanan/John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He might give you.

יהושע makes it very clear to us here in Yoḥanan/John 15 that we did not choose Him, but He chose us – and our acceptance to His choosing implies that we understand and acknowledge our needed response, which is to obey, and in doing so we relinquish and forfeit all ‘choice for self’, so to speak, simply because we accept our choosing and realise that we are no longer our own, but that we belong to Him who has purchased us with His own Blood – hence we are called The Chosen! While this may seem obvious at first glance, and it should; what we do find is that many do not recognise the consequence of their acceptance of the great choosing of Elohim upon their lives, for they simply continue to make ‘bad choices’ that render their garments defiled before the One who has chosen us and clothed us with His righteousness and therefore have no true understanding of the preciousness of our belief! Having been called out of darkness into His marvellous light in order to praise Him! When the preciousness of our belief is understood then a proper praise can be brought forth as we celebrate the light that He has called us in to!

The Greek word translated as ‘you should proclaim’ in verse 9 is ἐξαγγέλλω exaggellō – Strong’s G1804 which means, tell out, proclaim, publish, declare, make known by praising or proclaiming, and we see this word being used in the LXX (Septuagint) and translated as ‘we show forth’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 79:13 “And we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, we give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we show forth Your praise.

The Greek word used in Kěpha’s letter for ‘praises’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 and it carries the meaning of moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise, etc. In essence, this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture, who hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command! The preciousness of our belief is something that we are to treasure up with much diligence, as we guard righteousness in all we do and make sure that we have put aside all that in which darkness dwells, for we are no longer of the dark but now of the light and therefore we must shine as such and grasp the true preciousness of our belief so that we hold firm the calling of our Master firm to the end!

As we consider the words of Kěpha (Peter) let us all be continually reminded that we have a belief that is precious and as we guard this precious belief through proper obedience, as a clear expression of our fervent love for Elohim, then we have the full assurance that we shall never be put to shame! This is therefore a call to hold fast to the preciousness of our belief in the Master and let the light of His Truth shine brighter each and every day, until He comes!!!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:18But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

How precious is the belief/faith in our Master and Elohim to you? When you take time to carefully consider the preciousness of our belief then I am sure that you will be a true reflection and ambassador of Messiah by being the true chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood that He holds firm in His Hand as His own treasured possession!

The preciousness of our belief is something we all need to be continually reminded of, so that we can be encouraged to keep clean through a proper obedience and be found to be a ready and prepared bride when our Master returns!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!