TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!

28th of the 6th month 2017/2018

Shalom all,

With the 7th month just a couple of days away, it is with great anticipation that we learn to eagerly wait for our Master’s soon return, with the Feasts of the 7th month that we are about to celebrate giving a clear lesson of readiness!

As we approach the day of soundings, that is Yom Teruah, and recognise the need for us to have ears to hear as we stand firm in His Truth and be found to have a true set-apart belief that faithfully works obedience with much joy, fear and trembling!

As ‘The Day of the Awakening Blast’ approaches, I am reminded of the parables of our Master that speak of readiness, and more specifically I am reminded of the parable of the 10 maidens, which I would like to take a closer look at, along with a few other texts that call for a proper readiness.

In a message called ‘TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!’ let us look intently into the mirror of the Word to ensure that we are doing our utmost in being properly clothed in His Righteousness and guarding the deposit of His Spirit that He has given us as a pledge of our inheritance! Turn with me to Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:1-12 and let us take a closer look at this vital parable! (Read)

This parable is one that is widely known by many, yet it is most likely not properly understood, especially as we see how so many are being so foolish in their actions as their compromised living reveals that have no oil in their lamps and risk the danger of not entering in to the reign of Elohim!

This parable is a sobering wakeup call against complacency and the folly of working lawlessness and expecting to be right in the eyes of our Master. There are many who are displaying a dead belief/faith as their refusal to guard to do what our Elohim commands highlights that they have no proper works to validate their claim to a belief in Messiah.

Ya’aqoḇ clearly reminds us in Ya’aqoḇ/James 2 that belief without works is dead, and the way that he would show his belief was through his works, that is the proper works of obedience and not the working of lawlessness, for the working of lawlessness is not true working belief!

Before we take a look at this parable of the 10 maidens a little more closely let me first remind you what a parable is, as we know that our Master spoke in parables concerning the reign of Elohim!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘parable’ is παραβολή parabolē - Strong’s G3850 which means, a placing besides, comparison, parable, proverb, symbol, type. This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of Tanak) for the Hebrew word for ‘proverbs’ – מִשְׁלֵיMishlĕ, which comes from the root noun מָשָׁל mashal – Strong’s H4912 and means, a proverb, parable, a byword’, which in its primitive root form means, to compare, to represent, be like, and comes from the root verb מָשַׁל mashal – Strong’s H4911 which means, to use a proverb, speak in parables or sentences of poetry’. That is why we understand the words of Messiah when He spoke in parables by using terms such as, “The reign of the heavens is like…”, or, “The reign of the heavens shall be compared to…

 A ‘parable’ presents the truth very clearly by putting a fresh light on the matter, as it is often presented in a ‘story’ format that represents the message being given, using imagery known to the hearer, to illustrate and shed light on the result of past, current and even future events as determined by choices that are made.

Parables can only be understood by the attentive hearer and doer of the Word, while those who do not hear, in order to do, are never able to fully understand the teachings of or Master!

This parable of which the reign of the heavens shall be compared to, is one that calls for the hearers to wake up from any slumber and making sure that they are correctly prepared for the Master’s soon return!

This parable is about 10 maidens and in Scripture, the number 10 can often represent a quorum or the whole body, as an ephah basket consists of 10 omers and we also know from the Torah that an omer is also used to represent an individual being! Therefore, this is a parable which highlights the difference between those who are ready and those who are not! And despite many who claim to be part of the body of Messiah, there will be a separation between the ‘wheat and the darnel’, so to speak as one of the primary lessons that we can take from this parable is that if one is not ready and dressed in righteousness as they should be then scrambling at the last minute will not help!

All 10 of the maidens went out to meet the bridegroom, which teaches us how all 10 believed that they were the true and ready Bride, yet it was only the 5 who were wise that were proven to be the true Bride while the 5 foolish were rejected as those who were not known by the Bridegroom!

5 were foolish and 5 were wise! The Greek word that is translated as ‘foolish’ is μωρός mōros – Strong’s G3474 which means, dull, stupid, foolish, impious, unwise, nonsense. The word ‘impious’ means, ‘sinful, irreverent, wicked’, and this Greek word for ‘foolish’ can also speak of ‘thoughts that are devoid of understanding’, and highlight that the foolish do not understand as they do not have ears to hear!

In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4 we see the prophet identifying with the guilt of a backsliding Yisra’ěl, although he himself was not guilty, he saw that Yisra’ěl, as a whole, was guilty and he asks how long would he hear the sound of a shofar and people not actually listening!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:21-22 “How long shall I see a banner, and hear a voice of a shophar? 22 For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” 

Being in grief about the desolation of the land and the depravity of the people, an earnest cry is given here in this chapter asking a very clear question about how long will a banner be seen and a voice of a shofar heard; and then an answer is given about the reality of the situation as we see in verse 22 the clear words given through this weeping prophet about the state of this backsliding and rebellious people! They were being foolish and stupid and had no understanding! As a result of a lack of understanding they had reversed the concept required, as they were now wise toward the evil but ignorant toward the good as a result of a lack of knowledge… all because they were not listening to the voice of a shofar, which expresses a picture of not listening to the voice of Elohim and His Covenant standards for set-apart living as given through His Torah!

The reason for me highlighting this text as an example for us to learn from, is that we can see pictures of the foolish maidens being made clearer through this example of a people who had shut their ears to the Truth and had become foolish, while thinking that are wise!

Sha’ul, in his letter to the Romans, reminds the believers that the way to guard their obedience they need to be innocent towards the evil and wise toward the good.

Romiyim/Romans 16:19 “Your obedience, indeed, is reported to all. Therefore I rejoice concerning you, but I wish you to be wise indeed as to the good, and simple toward the evil.

The Greek word that is translated here as ‘innocent’ is ἀκέραιος akeraios – Strong’s G185 which means, unmixed, pure, innocent. In our running, with endurance, the set-apart race set before us, we must remain ‘unmixed’ as we stay clear of the paths and ways of the wrong and evil! The way to be simple toward the evil is to make sure that we stay faultless by not mixing, as we keep pure our set-apartness and make sure that we do not allow the evil ways to corrupt our walking in the wisdom of Elohim!

The Hebrew word used for ‘foolish’ in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:22 is אֱוִיל eviyl – Strong’s H191 which means, fool, foolish’. The Hebrew words that are rendered as fool in Mishlĕ/Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Tanak, denote one who is morally deficient. Such a person is lacking in sense and is generally corrupt.

From the proverbs of Shelomoh we can see how the אֱוִיל eviyl (fool) identifies himself as soon as he opens his mouth! He would be wise to conceal his folly by keeping quiet (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 17:28). When he starts talking without thinking, ruin is at hand (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:14). While a wise man avoids strife, the fool quarrels at any time (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:3). He cannot restrain himself and will “display his annoyance at once,” whereas a wise man overlooks an insult (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:16). Fools only have pride coming out of their mouths (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:3), and mock at sin and lawlessness (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:9).

A fool despises wisdom because it is too high for him (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:7), and when disputing with a fool there is no peace (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:9).

Foolish people are wise toward the evil yet are unable to walk in the good way of set-apartness as they refuse to give ear to the hearing of the Torah of Elohim. The foolish maidens represent those who are being wise toward the evil instead of being simple toward it and as a result they have no oil, as they lack the ability to walk according to the Spirit, which is to walk according to that which comes from above, that is according to the clear Torah and commands of Elohim!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:45 “Who then is a trustworthy and wise servant, whom his master set over his household, to give them food in season?

Our Master’s question is very clear here – “WHO THEN IS A TRUSTWORTHY AND WISE SERVANT?

The Greek word translated as ‘trustworthy’ is πιστός pistos – Strong’s G4103 which means, faithful, reliable, believer, trustworthy, and 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 be trustworthy’ involves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.

The Greek word translated as ‘wise’ is the adjective φρόνιμος phronimos – Strong’s G5429 which means, practically wise, sensible, prudent, mindful of one’s interests, and comes from the word φρήν phrēn – Strong’s G5424 which means, understanding, midriff or diaphragm, heart, mind, thought, thinking, and the Greek noun that comes from this root for ‘understanding’ is φρόνησις phronēsis – Strong’s G5428 which means, understanding, practical wisdom, attitude, insight.

What we can clearly see from a Greek perspective is that to have understanding implies an ability to think straight and engage in a practical application of the wisdom one has learnt and continues to seek and learn!!!

To be both trustworthy and wise servants involves the proper action of true set-apartness that is guarded through righteousness, which is to guard to do all that our Master and Elohim has commanded us to (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25).

We also know that in terms of guarding righteousness, by doing what we have been commanded and instructed to do, we know that this implies the keeping of our garments of righteousness clean, as a Bride who has properly prepared herself, and we are clearly told in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8And 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.

The Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, and is also used as a metaphor to describe one who gives himself up to another’s will and is devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests!!!

In terms of being trustworthy and faithful servants, we must take careful thought the question of our Master who asks, ‘who is then a trustworthy and wise servant’!

The trustworthy and wise have the full assurance of the promised protection by our great Elohim, as we see in:

Tehillah/Psalm 31:23 “Love יהוה, all you His lovingly-committed ones! For יהוה guards the trustworthy ones, and exceedingly repays the doer of pride.

The foolish are doers of pride as they do what they do whatever is right in their own eyes while having no regard for the clear standards given through the Torah and commands of Elohim!

In this parable of the 10 maidens we recognise that all 10 had lamps and while they all did have lamps, only 5 had oil in their containers while they were waiting for the Bridegroom to come. This highlights a clear picture of how some will be properly prepared while others will not be. The foolish who had no oil represent those who are not living set-apart lives, as they are not able to shine their light without oil. We are told by our Master that we are the light of this world:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city to be hidden on a mountain. 15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines to all those in the house. 16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.

These words of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, are words we need to carefully consider as we earnestly seek to serve Him in Spirit and Truth, making sure that we are shining the light of His Truth continually and consistently, as we do our utmost to properly reflect His Truth in our daily lives before all!

We, as taught ones (disciples) of Messiah, are the light of the world! This is certainly a wonderful thing indeed, yet comes with a very clear responsibility – and that is to shine continually! The Greek word that is translated as ‘light’ in Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14 is φῶς phōs – Strong’s G5457 which means, light, fire which comes from the word φάος phaos which means, to shine or make manifest, especially by rays. This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in the following verse:

Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 “And you, you are to command the children of Yisra’ěl to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. 

The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘light’ in this verse is מָאוֹר ma’or – Strong’s H3974 which means, a luminary, light, shining, and comes from the root word אוֹר or (oor) – Strong’s H215 meaning, to be or become light, give light, shine’.

The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 meaning, lamp, candle, light. Now a lamp in ancient times would primarily be a vessel with a wick for burning a liquid such as oil, in order to produce light; and as one would walk the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand!

The Greek word used in Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:15 for ‘lamp’ is λύχνος luchnos – Strong’s G3088 and is the Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint) for the Hebrew word נֵר ner and this call to keep our lamps burning reminds us of the clear instruction for the priesthood that were to make sure that the lamp would burn continually!

There is a responsibility for all of Yisra’ĕl (that includes you and me) to be bringing clear oil and allowing the lamp of His word to continually burn in us. We must not be found to be without oil like the 5 foolish maidens who were shut out for not having oil in their lamps. We keep the lamp burning, so to speak, through obedience to His Word as we walk in His Word that leads us.

The command given in Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 is seen again in:

Wayyiqra/Leviticus 24:2 “Command the children of Yisra’ěl that they bring to you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually.

In the ancient pictographic script, the word for נֵר nerlamp, would look as follows:

reshnun 

nun    - This is the letter ‘nun’ (נֵ), which in the ancient text is pictured as a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.

resh   - This is the letter ‘resh’ (ר), which in the ancient text is pictured as ‘the head of a man’, and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.

In terms of us seeing these letters being expressed as ‘lamp’, we are able to clearly identify who gives us our light and who is our lamp – יהושע Messiah, who is our Head and is The Seed!

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:8Remember that יהושע Messiah, of the seed of Dawiḏ, was raised from the dead according to my Good News

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.

We who are grafted in to Messiah by His blood become the seed of Aḇraham:

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:29 “And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.

יהושע Messiah, The Light of the world, has caused us to be equipped to shine His truth and be a light to the nations, as we walk according to His commands.

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

As we walk in His Word and guard His commands we not only walk in the light of His face but we also are equipped to shine as His light… and this can only be done if we are ‘burning continually’, which can only be done if we have oil!

There is a responsibility for all of Yisra’ĕl (that includes you and me) to be ‘bringing clear oil’ and allowing the lamp of His Word to continually burn in us. We must not be found to be without oil like the 5 foolish maidens who were shut out for not having oil in their lamps. The high priest was to arrange it day and night before יהוה and we see some very important lessons and picture contained herein. Firstly, clear oil could only be obtained by going through the process of being crushed under the weight of a millstone and then put in a mesh bag and placed under an olive press (gethsemane) where the oil would be squeezed out under the immense pressure of the weight of the olive press.

יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, intercedes for us day and night before the throne and He is the One who walks in the midst of the Lampstand, and we can understand from this that there is still a great requirement from each of us to bring the clear oil before our high Priest in order that the lampstand is continually lit!

The Hebrew word translated as ‘clear’ is זַךְ za – Strong’s H2134 which means, pure, clean, clear and comes from the root verb זָכַךְ zaḵaḵ – Strong’s H2141 meaning, to be pure, clean, to be bright. זַךְ za is used in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:8 “The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the innocent, his work is right.

The Hebrew word translated as ‘pressed’ is כָּתִית kathith – Strong’s H3795 which means, beaten and comes from a word that means ‘to be or crush by beating’, and this word for ‘pressed’ is only used 5 times and is always used in conjunction with the ‘pure’ oil that was to be brought with the offerings or for the lampstand.

If one is not bringing oil then how can you shine?

In this parable of the 10 maidens we see that while they all slumbered and slept, there was a great cry that was heard at midnight with the news that the Bridegroom was coming and they all rose up and trimmed their lamps! From this parable, we are able to recognise the picture of Yom Teruah echoing in the Awakening Blast of the news that the Bridegroom is on His Way! We know from Scripture that Messiah will come out of the Most Set-Apart Place on the day of Yom Kippur and trample the winepress in His wrath and then gather His Bride, but it is on Yom Teruah that the awakening blast and the shout of a shofar is heard, and for those who do not have oil at the sound of this blast it will be too late to scramble, no matter how much trimming they try to do!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘trimmed’ comes from the root word κοσμέω kosmeō – Strong’s G2885 which means, to order, arrange, adorned, trimmed, put in order, to embellish. This root word is used 10 times in 10 verses in the Renewed Writings and is also used to describe the adorning of a woman and the preparations of a bride:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:2And I, Yoḥanan, saw the set-apart city, renewed Yerushalayim, coming down out of the heaven from Elohim, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

The reason for me highlighting this is that we certainly see the need to be prepared for our Master and Husband’s soon return, yet what we are also to take very careful heed of here, is that we are to make sure that we are not like the foolish maidens that prepared themselves without oil!

The foolish tried to light their lamps yet they kept on going out, despite having trimmed them and then they asked the wise for oil and were told to go and get their own!

This teaches us a vital lesson on how each and every person is responsible for their own oil, so to speak, as each one must walk out their own deliverance with fear and trembling and they cannot rely on another’s oil to save them!

Being trimmed was not enough when there was no oil to keep the light burning!

In our preparation of trimming our lamps, we are to allow the Word to lead, guide, reprove and discipline us, so that we can have walk boldly according to His Word and Have His Spirit dwell in us as we guard our set-apartness, for then our preparations will be complete at His return; and those who have oil and have prepared themselves according to the Truth will be found by the Master to have a true belief with proper works of righteousness!

The 5 maidens who did not have oil were told by the 5 that did that they have to go and but their own and once again we recognise how the foolish maidens represent those who have not counted the cost of following Messiah and as a result find themselves being rejected as those who are not known by Messiah!

The foolish who are not known, are not known because they did not guard the commands of Elohim!

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:24And the one guarding His commands stays in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He stays in us, by the Spirit which He gave us.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:11-13Beloved ones, if Elohim so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen Elohim at any time. If we love one another, Elohim does stay in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we stay in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

The reason for me highlight the above passages from Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is simply to show that we are able to know that we know Him, only if we guard His commands! And we are able to know that we have His Spirit when we guard His commands, showing us that when we guard His commands, in a correct response to His love for us, then we know that He is in us By His Spirit that He has given us, thus giving us His clear oil that can cause us to burn continually and shine His light.

Those who do not guard the commands lack oil and are not known by Him and therefore whatever preparations they may do will be deemed as nothing more than a working of lawlessness!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!

These were the words that Messiah spoke right before the parable of the wise and foolish builders, where the wise builders who build on the rock are those who hear His Word and do them and when the storms come they remain standing, while the foolish builders that build on sand are those who hear the Word but do not do what is required and when the storm comes they are destroyed! This highlights for us the clear picture of the wise being those who are obedient to the Word while the foolish are those who are not as they set aside the need to submit to and obey the Torah of Elohim.

We are to be trimmed and oiled in order to burn bright and the way we are ‘oiled’ is to be girded with the Truth!

Luqas/Luke 12:35-36 “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, 36 and be like men waiting for their master, when he shall return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they open to him immediately.

Loins girded and lamps burning as you wait for the Master!

This command in itself carries immense insight and instruction when understood from a true Scriptural perspective, and as we look at the words contained herein we are able to see why!

The Greek word translated as ‘let’ is ἔστω estō – Strong’s G2077 which is the imperative of εἰμί eimi – Strong’s G1510 which means, I exist, I am, stay, remain; and so, what we see here in this phrase is the clear command to ‘exist in’ or ‘stay’ dressed for action!!! This instructs us to be in a continual ready state of complete service and obedience, with our ‘loins girded’ and our ‘lamps burning’! If we are not found to exist in the proper ‘clothing’ – that of righteousness (which is our guarding to do all He commands us to) and are not ‘dressed for action’, then we shall be rejected by Him and told to depart from Him!

The Greek word for ‘loins’ is ὀσφύς osphus – Strong’s G3751 which means, hip, loin, gird about, and literally refers to the lower region of the back, the hips, and the reproductive organs; and the term, ‘to have loins girded’ means to be in readiness for anything! The expression “to gird up one’s loins” means to belt the garment which is worn ungirded in the house or in times of relaxation, with a view to greater mobility for work, for travel, or for battle etc.

And here we are able to see that we are not to be ‘relaxed’ in our duties and responsibilities of a set-apart priesthood, but are to be continually watchful and alert, ready to fight the good fight of belief at all times. In speaking of Messiah, we are told what His girdle is:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:5 “And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and trustworthiness the girdle of His waist. 

Now if this is His girdle, then it is our girdle, for we are His Body – the ones who stay in Him!

The word used here for ‘girdle’ is אֵזוֹר ezor – Strong’s H232 meaning, girdle, belt, waistband and we see from this that Truth must be a belt for us – strapped around our waist and loins so that we continue to walk in righteousness and not stray, for it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all that יהוה our Elohim has commanded us. (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25)

Standing firm in the Master and having our loins girded is a clear command that is given to us and is for the clear purpose of proclaiming the Truth, no matter the circumstances we may find ourselves in!

The Greek word that is translated as ‘girded’ in Luqas/Luke 12:35-36 is περιζώννυμι perizōnnumi – Strong’s G4024 meaning, to gird, be dressed in readiness, and is constructed from two words: 1) - περί peri – Strong’sG4012 which is a primary preposition meaning, about, concerning, around, on account of and 2) - ζώννυμι zōnnumi – Strong’s G2224 meaning, to gird, and the essence of the meaning to ‘gird up one’s loins’ was to prepare for a hasty departure. It was a belt that one would use to gird up one’s garments, and herein lies the picture of being girded about with the belt of truth, for it is the Truth that holds us together!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:14 “Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness

As true lights of the world we are not to light our lamp and then hide it but make sure that we shine as a lampstand that reflects the Truth of our Master. For more on how we are to be trustworthy in doing that please see the message called, “PICTURES IN THE MENORAH – SHEDDING LIGHT UPON THE FEASTS OF YAHWEH!”, which can be found on our site (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2017/2018’ menu or by clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2017-2018/713-pictures-in-the-menorah-shedding-light-upon-the-feasts-of-yahweh

As wise servants of Messiah we are called to make sure that we are trimmed, girded and burning bright, so that when He comes HE will find a ready bride that has prepared herself through a proper obedience to His commands and a proper observance of His Sabbaths and Feasts, as we remain watchful and not fall astray to compromise and end up lacking oil!

In verse 13 of Mattithyahu/Matthew 25 Messiah tells us to ‘watch’ and we therefore recognise that a key lesson from this parable is that we are to be awake and watching, guarding the Torah and not be found to be sleeping and unable to bear the fruit of righteousness. יהושע continually reminds us to be an awake people:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Aḏam is coming

Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:2-3 “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before Elohim. 3 “Remember, then, how you have received, and heard. And watch and repent. If, then, you do not wake up, I shall come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know at all what hour I come upon you.

The Greek word that is translated in the above passages for ‘watch’ is γρηγορέω  grēgoreō – Strong’s G1127 and means, to be awake, alert, keep watching, stay alert and comes from the primitive verb -  ἐγείρω  egeirō – Strong’s G1453 meaning, to waken, to raise up, awaken.We need to always be awake and alert and watchful.

Watching is what we are to be doing as we guard ourselves and take heed not to fall asleep; and in light of what we are discussing here let us look further at some very critical words of warning that we are to take heed of from our Master in:

Marqos/Mark 13:33-37 “Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is – 34 as a man going abroad, having left his house and given authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening or at midnight, or at the crowing of the cock, or in the morning, 36 lest, coming suddenly, he should find you sleeping. 37 “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!

Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.

The word for ‘watch’ in the above verses of Marqos/Mark 13:34,35 & 37 is γρηγορέω grēgoreō – Strong’s G1127 which we have already discussed, and in Marqos/Mark 13:33 and Luqas/Luke 21:36 the word translated as ‘watch’ is the Greek word ἀγρυπνέω agrupneō – Strong’s G69 which means, to be sleepless, wakeful, alert, keep watch. It comes from the two Greek words: 1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 – which is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, used as a negative participle and 2) ὕπνος hupnos – Strong’s G5258 which is the Greek word used for ‘sleep’, and while meaning sleep it also carries the understanding of ‘being under, put under’. In fact, we get our English word ‘hypnosis’ from this word. Hypnosis is a trance-like state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject!

In Greek mythology ‘Hypnos’ was the personification of sleep and was the Greek mighty one of sleep whose palace was in a dark cave there the sun never shines and at the entrance there were poppies and other hypnotic plants. The Roman equivalent to this pagan mighty one was ‘Somnus’ from which the English word ‘insomnia’ is derived – ‘in..’ meaning ‘no or to not’ and ‘somnus’ meaning sleep!

So, what we clearly understand in the command to ‘watch’ is that we are to ‘keep awake, be vigilant’ and DO NOT SLEEP or get hypnotised under the spell of the false doctrines of man!

This is a huge wake-up call that should warn us against complacency and the vain assumption that many often have, thinking that they are standing strong while there are subtle compromises in their lives!

As we consider this clear parable of the 10 maidens and our need to be wise servants that keep watch let us make sure that as we approach the Feasts of the 7th month, that we are in fact wise servants who are:

TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!

How are you girded? How are you shining? Are you keeping watch or have you found yourself falling astray through compromise and in the process, have lacked the clear oil that is needed?

It is time for the Bride to rise and shine, for our Light has come and it is time to let His esteem shine through us:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you. 2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.

Are you ready? Trimmed, girded and burning bright? For the Trumpets are about to sound! How will you be found?

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 9:8 “Let your garments be white at all times, and let your head lack no oil.

The hour has already come for us to wake up from sleep! Hear the clear call to wake up and walk in life, and be urgent in calling those who are asleep to wake up too, as they see your good works of obedience as you stay clean, stay oiled and overcome, showing that you are:

TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!

He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies!

יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom