ARMED WITH INTENT AND EQUIPPED TO SUFFER! - 1 Peter 4

13th of the 9th month 2014/2015

Shabbat Shalom all,

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:3-5 “Suffer hardship with us as a good soldier of יהושע Messiah. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in the affairs of this life, in order to please only him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And if anyone competes in a game, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

Urgent words that were given to Timotiyos indeed, and words that are still very much an urgent call for us to hear and take heed of! We are to be ‘good soldiers’ of Messiah, which takes great courage and faith to stand in the Master as we sojourn here as faithful ambassadors of the coming reign of Elohim. In the instructions given in the Torah in regards to facing battles we see in:

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 20:8And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘Who is the man who is afraid and tender of heart? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brothers faint like his heart.’

This was the 4th reason given for some to not go out and fight, and that is ‘fear of the enemy’. Fear of the enemy is extremely contagious, as we can remember how the wicked report of the 10 spies caused an entire generation to stumble in not being able to enter in to the Promised Land. Giḏ’on said the same thing to his men in:

Shophetim/Judges 7:3 “And now, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him turn back, and leave Mount Gilʽaḏ.’ ” And twenty-two thousand of the people turned back, while ten thousand remained.

יהוה reduced the army to 1% of the original size through this method and what we recognise here is that it is not about numbers that count, but it is about courage in the face of fire and suffering persecution and hardships for the Master’s sake! יהוה wants people with the right heart and mind to serve Him in Spirit and Truth, and He does not want those who procrastinate and think about the many ‘what ifs’ that most try to reason out before deciding to do what is right in the heat of daily battles, as this reveals the fear of the unknown when we should be putting our trust in Him who gives us life, and in Him who fights for us! The cowardly have no place in the kingdom!

Look at who the cowards are grouped with in Ḥazon:

Ḥazon/Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowardly, and untrustworthy, and abominable, and murderers, and those who whore, and drug sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the false, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.

Having the right heart and mind is crucial for our ability to stand firm in our Master and Elohim, and as good soldiers of our Commander and King we need to be armed with His Torah and be armed with the right mind to be committed to standing in the heat of the most intense suffering we may face for doing good – that is for doing what He commands!

In a message tonight called, ‘ARMED WITH INTENT AND EQUIPPED TO SUFFER!’, I want us to be reminded how sober minded we are to be, and what kind of mind-set we ought to have, ensuring that our attitude does not stink, but rather is armed with great faith and trust in Elohim. Please turn with me to Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4. (Read)

Very powerful and equipping words from Kěpha, and so in assessing our attitude and ability to stand armed in the Truth I would like to break this chapter down a little and take a look at many of the Greek words being used here, with the hope that a sobering alarm will be heard in making sure that our attitudes are right and that our minds are armed and ready to face the battles that rage against us on a daily basis! Tonight I ask that you allow the mirror of the Word to show you how your attitude should be and then assess what you look like against the clear standard that is instructed for us as a set-apart, called out and royal priesthood! Much of what we face and go through, and how we either endure or fail, is determined by our attitude!   Yeah attitude – have you honestly appraised your attitudes lately?

We all need to examine our attitudes and keep them in check, right? Although most of the time we don’t really want to do that, especially when we know that our attitudes have sucked! What problems, if any, have you been facing lately, be it financial, relational, health or job etc.? What has your attitude been toward these things? What has your confession been? It has been said before that outlook determines outcome; and so when you expect good, no matter what happens, you will not be disappointed, but expect evil and negativity and you will not be disappointed either! You know what I mean – you get what you expect. Our attitudes then are like any weapon; we can use it on our enemies or turn and use it on ourselves! We need to have the right attitude if we expect to live a ‘right life’.

The word ‘attitude’ can be defined as: ‘a mental position with regard to a fact or state’, or, ‘a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state’ and even, ‘a negative or hostile state of mind’. We can have either the right or the wrong attitude that will affect the way we live out our lives. And so tonight I would like to talk about the kind of attitude we ought to have as Set-Apart believers in Messiah.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:24What the wrong one fears comes upon him, but the desire of the righteous is granted.

This verse can in many ways reveal to us the clear difference between the attitude of the wrong and the righteous, along with the outcome of such attitudes!

As I said, our attitudes are our weapons, our “arms”, and if our attitudes are weak, negative, doubtful and wrong etc. then we will most definitely be defeated in battle. A right attitude is one of joy, energy, victory and expectancy; one that is positive in all ways, aměn! So tonight I want to ask you – “How have your attitudes been lately?

Let us now take a closer look at what Kěpha is telling us when he says that we are to arm ourselves with the same mind as Messiah, who suffered in the flesh!

The Greek word used here for ‘mind’ is ἔννοια ennoia – Strong’s G1771 which means, intent, mind, and implies, the act of thinking or consideration and meditation, relates to one’s, thinking, or  moral understanding. It comes from the compound of 2 words: 1) - ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting position, and is translated as, in, on, at, by, with, and 2) - νοῦς nous – Strong’s G3563 and means, mind, understanding, reason, intellect, and speaks of the faculties of the mind that perceives and comprehends.

This word ἔννοια ennoia – Strong’s G1771 that Kěpha uses, is only used twice in Scripture: here in this chapter that we have just read and is translated as ‘intentions’ in:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

We are to ‘arm’ ourselves with the ‘mind’ of Messiah, and the Greek word translated as ‘armed’ is ὁπλίζω hoplizō – Strong’s G3695 which means, to arm oneself, furnish with arms, and metaphorically has the meaning, take on the same mind. This word comes from the primary word ὅπλον hoplon – Strong’s G3696 meaning, a tool, implement, weapon, instruments, armour, and speaks of any tool or instrument used to prepare something, and is used in:

Romiyim/Romans 6:12-13 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to obey it in its desires, 13 neither present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to Elohim as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to Elohim.

Here it is translated as ‘instruments’ and it is translated as ‘armour’ in:

Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “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.

Furthermore we see this word ὅπλον hoplon – Strong’s G3696 being translated as ‘weapons’ in:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:4-6For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

What I am simply trying to highlight to you here tonight is the clear need for us to be good soldiers who are ready to fight the good fight as we stand firm in our Master who has given us all we need for life and reverence and has equipped us to suffer hardship as a good soldier. This simply boils down to the sobering question of whether our minds are as Messiah’s or not, or better perhaps even better put, “Is our attitude right?

In order to have the same mind as Messiah, we need to be ready and armed to suffer as a good soldier, for He Himself suffered in the flesh, and he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin!

The Greek word used for ‘suffered’ is πάσχω paschō – Strong’s G3958 which means, suffer, be vexed, to be affected, endured sufferings. This word is used 42 times in 41 verses in the Renewed Writings, and is mostly used in reference to the suffering of Messiah Himself – a suffering that He had to go through, as it was written!

Luqas/Luke 24:26 “Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these and to enter into His esteem?”

Ma’asei/Acts 3:18 “But this is how Elohim has filled what He had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that His Messiah was to suffer.

This word is also used in referring to the sufferings of believers for Messiah’s Name, and in speaking of Sha’ul, Messiah says in:

Ma’asei/Acts 9:16 “For I shall show him how much he has to suffer for My Name.

We, as believers are to share, not only in each other’s rejoicings, but also in each other’s sufferings :

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 12:26 “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is esteemed, all the members rejoice with it.

Sha’ul writes to the Philippians and says in:

Pilipiyim/Philippians 1:27-30 “Only, behave yourselves worthily of the Good News of Messiah, in order that whether I come and see you or am absent, I hear about you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one being, striving together for the belief of the Good News, 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose, which to them truly is a proof of destruction, but to you of deliverance, and that from Elohim. 29 Because to you it has been given as a favour, on behalf of Messiah, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same struggle which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

It has been given, as a favour, to suffer for His sake!!! Yet we take note that Messiah is able to help those being tried:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrew 2:18 “For in what He had suffered, Himself being tried, He is able to help those who are tried.

Our Master learnt obedience through what He suffered (Iḇ’rim/Hebrew 5:8).

Kěpha teaches us that we find favour when suffering for doing good – that is doing what we are commanded to do as we guard to do the good works that have been prepared beforehand for us to do – which is to walk in righteousness, and are always hearing, guarding and doing the commands of Elohim!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:20-21 For what credit is there in enduring a beating when you sin? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure, this finds favour with Elohim. 21 For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:14-18 But even if you suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not fear their threats, neither be troubled.” 15 But 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. 17 For it is better, if it is the desire of Elohim, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 Because even Messiah once suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to Elohim, having been put to death indeed in flesh but made alive in the Spirit

As we consider all these verses that I have mentioned we come back to the beginning of this Chapter we read tonight and recognise that since Messiah Himself suffered in the flesh, we better arm ourselves with the same mind!

How is your mind? How is your attitude? We need to ‘think like Messiah’, and we need to ‘walk as Messiah walked’ and ‘love like Messiah loved’! Understanding this then, we need to have the same mind that Messiah has toward sin! How is your attitude toward sin? Have you ‘in the intent of your mind’ ceased from sin?

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:6Everyone staying in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:18We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

Kěpha makes it clear – having the same mind of Messiah is clearly reflected by one who has ‘ceased’ from sin, and the Greek word translated as ‘ceased’ is παύω pauō – Strong’s G3973 which means, to cease, leave, refrain, no longer stirred by its incitements and seductions. Have you truly ceased from sin, or do you find yourself being stirred by the incitements and seductions of the flesh that scream for your attention and focus?

The Hebrew word that can be seen as the equivalent to this Greek word for ‘ceased’ is the root word שָׁבַת shaḇath  – Strong’s H7673 which means, to cease, desist, rest, observe, observe the rest, put an end, which expressed as a causative action can be understood as meaning, to cease or put an end to, remove, exterminate, destroy, cause to desist from. We are told in Shemoth/Exodus 12:15 to cause leaven to ‘cease’ from our houses for 7 days, which we know is for the Feast of Matzot beginning with the Pěsaḥ Meal. This Feast reminds us and pictures for us the beginning of the redemptive work of our Master, and therefore symbolically recognises for us the starting point of the work of Messiah in our own lives, as we are to be rid of sin and cause sin to cease from our lives. It is only then that the ‘good leaven’ of the Word can be worked in us and cause us to be waved as an acceptable and ready Bride before our Elohim, as we live our lives as a daily living offering! In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 2:13 we are told that we are to bring salt with all our offerings. Salt preserves, so it is a picture of eternity and the perpetuity of the covenant. A covenant of salt is part of a meal in which one promises to protect the one who is sealing the agreement through a meal. As we partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal we are committing our lives to walk upright and cause sin to cease from our lives.

As followers of  יהושע Messiah, as a daily living offering, we are called in a sense to be ‘salty’ believers’. Salt also represents a person’s willingness to do what יהושע demands of His talmidim (disciples).

Luqas (Luke) 14:34-35 “The salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 “It is not fit for land, nor for manure, they throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

What the Master is basically saying here is that if the willingness turns into unwillingness – in other words – if a talmid (disciple) returns to worldly ways after experiencing the truth and joy of following יהוה’s way – what else is left to restore him? NOTHING! As we live as a daily living offering we must never lack salt! We must never lack the willingness to do what is required, and this comes down to a right attitude and having the mind of Messiah, and not giving up because of the suffering we face for His Name’s sake!

What I want to highlight to you in the reason for sharing the Hebrew equivalent for the Greek word for ‘cease’ is that this Hebrew word שָׁבַת shaḇath  – Strong’s H7673 is the primitive root from which we get the word for שַׁבָּת Sabbath - Strong’s H7676 which is the intensive form of שָׁבַת shaḇath  – Strong’s H7673 and refers specifically to ‘theSabbath, as in ‘the7th day of the week.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrew 4:9-11 “So there remains a Sabbath-keeping for the people of Elohim. 10 For the one, having entered into His rest, has himself also rested from his works, as Elohim rested from His own. 11 Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

Sabbath-keeping is vital for us, as it is a sure sign of us ‘ceasing’ from our own works, our own ways and words!!!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:13-14 “If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’ the set-apart day of יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, 14 then you shall delight yourself in יהוה. And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and feed you with the inheritance of Yaʽaqoḇ your father. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken!

 And as we remain steadfast in entering into the completed work of the Master we are to make sure that we have ceased from sin!!!

Kěpha goes on and says that we who have the right attitude – that is the mind of Messiah – no longer live like the rest of the world! How are you doing in this regard? Do you find yourself doing what the world does and find that you conform to the lustful ways of the flesh or are you being transformed by the renewing of your mind – having the mind of the Messiah, being filled with and continually meditating upon His Torah?

We are to no longer live the rest of the time we have here in this body of flesh running after the lusts of men.

The Greek word translated as ‘lusts’ is ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting.

Titos/Titus 2:11-12 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age

For more on this saving gift of Elohim, please see the notes on a message called, THE GIFT THAT COMES WITH INSTRUCTIONS!” from our website (http://atfotc.com ) under ‘sermons 2012’ menu or click on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2012/223-the-gift-that-comes-with-instructions-titus-2-11-15

The saving gift of Elohim disciplines us to disown and say no to desiring or lusting after that which is of this corrupt age and world system that seeks only to satisfy the flesh. To desire and lust after the fleshly renders one being sold under sin, while the Torah is spiritual and having been redeemed from sin, we must disown that which once owned and enslaved us as we live as sojourners here while we wait for the blessed hope and appearance of our Master and Saviour! We are in the world but not of the world, having died to sins that we might live unto righteousness.

The gift of life teaches us through the Torah how to strip away that which does not belong and disciplines us to be able to bear the fruit of righteousness, if we are actually willing to be trained by it!

Attitude or mind-set toward sin must be as Messiah’s – is your mind-set as His? Are you ‘done with sin’? Are you allowing the saving gift of Elohim to instruct you to renounce the lusts of the flesh and have ceased from sin, or are you still battling in areas where you should not be? It is all about the attitude of the mind!!!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 2:12-16 “And we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from Elohim, in order to know what Elohim has favourably given us, 13 which we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Set-apart Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual matters with spiritual matters. 14 But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual discerns indeed all matters, but he himself is discerned by no one. 16 For “Who has known the mind of יהוה? Who shall instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Messiah.

Do you have the mind of Messiah? Kěpha says that we should have and that we should no longer live in the flesh for the lusts of men but should live according to the ‘’desire’ of Elohim! The Greek word translated as ‘desire’ is θέλημα  thelēmaStrong’s G2307 which means, will, desire, pleasure which comes from θέλω thelō – Strong’s G2309 which means, to will, have in mind, intend.

Romiyim/Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “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

Armed with intent – that is with the right mind – with the mind of Messiah, we ought to have a militant attitude toward sin! Sadly this is where many fail, as they are not armed with intent against sin and are rather accommodating sin instead of causing is to cease from their lives – all because they are not armed with intent and are not equipped to suffer as a good soldier! How about you?

Arming ourselves with the right mind clearly implies here a militaristic type command that Kěpha is giving us; one that ought to be heeded by the faithful taught ones of the Master, being ready and equipped to fight the good fight and stand armed in the Torah/Armour of Light, and after having done all, to still stand! The choice is very clear – live according to the fleshly lusts of men or according to the well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim!

Kěpha goes on and tells us in verse 3 that we have spent enough time in the past doing what the world does, as opposed to doing what pleases Elohim. What he is basically making very clear to us here is that the time of ‘the past ways’ in now over – ENOUGH of the past ways of fleshliness and doing what the world does and what the world wants to do – it is now time to do the desire of Elohim and cease from sin and lawlessness! He then goes on and lists the wicked desires of the nations that we are no longer to have part in. Let us look at the Greek words used here for these:

1 – IndecenciesThis is the Greek word ἀσέλγεια aselgeia – Strong’s G766 which means, licentiousness, sensuality. Licentiousness means, lacking legal or moral restraint, disregard sexual restraint, disregard for strict rules of correctness. Sensuality means, gratification of the senses or indulgences of the appetite,  devoted to or preoccupied with the senses or appetites,  deficient in moral, spiritual, or intellectual interests. Have you, at times found yourself deficient in the intellectual interest of spiritual matters? That is to say that if you have found a deficiency for the need to be intellectually engaged in Scripture and the study and meditation thereof then you may be given over to sensuality!

2 – Lustsas already discussed, is the word ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting.

3 – DrunkennessThis is the Greek word οἰνοφλυγία oinophlugia – Strong’s G3632 which means, excess of wine, debauchery, drunkenness’. Debauchery means, the extreme indulgence in sensuality, seduction from virtue or duty. We know that those who are following the wicked and twisted ways of the whore are, in a manner of speaking, drunk with the maddening adulteries of the whore who has led astray many through the extreme indulgence of sensuality and seduced them away from the called for duty of set-apartness!

4 – OrgiesThis is the Greek word κῶμος kōmos – Strong’s G2970 which means, revelling, rioting, carousing, a village festival. The enhanced Strong’s dictionary further describes this as: a nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honour of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry. (revelry is ‘noisy partying’)!

The world loves to ‘party’ and revel in making a loud noise about it. Bacchus was according to Greek mythology, their deity of wine. Komos is about feeding the lust of the flesh to the extreme and making a noise about it at the same time, while enticing others to join in.

5 – Wild partiesThis is the Greek word πότος potos – Strong’s G4224 which means, a drinking bout, drinking parties.

Just think about most of the ‘parties’ that are going on today – it is all about the drinking, and the media promote this! Most ‘parties’, events, functions or gatherings that we see happening in the worlds today is ultimately about the drinking. Think about bachelor parties, many birthday parties, end of year functions and product launches!!! I was in the hospitality industry for 16 years and I saw plenty of ‘wild parties’ being hosted by individuals, families and companies – where no matter what the reason was for the function or party, alcohol was a necessity and the excessive drinking that would take place and lead to revelry. In fact most events that had alcohol made available for free to its participants by the host had higher attendance than those that did not.

6 – Abominable idolatriesThe Greek word translated here as ‘abominable’ is ἀθέμιτος athemitos – Strong’s G111 which means, unlawful thing, prohibited by law, criminal, illicit, and the Greek word translated as ‘idolatries’ is εἰδωλολατρία eidōlolatria – Strong’s G1495 which means, idolatry, worship of false deities, formal feasts in honour of false deities, worship of mammon, and is the compound of two words: 1) εἴδωλον eidolon – Strong’s G1497 which means, an image (that is for worship), and by implication a false mighty one (idol), and 2) λατρεία latreia – Strong’s G2999 which means, service of worship, set-part service, and by the construct of these two words we are able to clearly see the picture of what so many are doing today as they are rendering an unlawful service of worship unto mammon and even keep designated feasts that are designed for such abominable idolatries!

Kěpha proceeds into verse 4 by telling us that the world is surprised when we do not engage in what they do, and are surprised by the fact that we do not run with them in what is clearly outright blasphemy against our Master. During this time of year we see how many are surprised, in a negative and vindictive way, by the fact that we refuse to have any part in the pagan rooted festival of Christmas, that is in honour of a wicked and idolatrous sun-worship system of man!

Those who partake in such blasphemous idolatries, lusts, wild parties, orgies, drunkenness and indecencies will give an account of their wicked works before Elohim at the second resurrection!

Do not be affected by the negative slander that is hurled at you for doing what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה, by guarding His commands and doing His desire, while ceasing from all sin and lawlessness!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:11-12Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.

 

It is time to be sober-minded and attentive in our prayers for one another, having a deepened love for one another, ensuring that we maintain the ability to be hospitable and welcome each other without grumbling! We are quickly reminded of what grumbling against the Torah and the commands of Elohim does as we consider how the children of Yisra’ĕl grumbled against Mosheh and against Aharon in the Wilderness, which caused them to fall in the Wilderness and not enter into the Promised Land!

If you grumble and moan about your required work, then you render yourself unable to shine the light of true set-apartness through your work and are in danger of being an unfit vessel which is of no use in the House!

The Blood of Messiah has cleansed us from sin, and we are to stay clean through the continual washing of the Word, and by doing so we learn how to keep away from the things that defile our set-apartness:

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work.

Our expectant attitude of mind ought to be ready and eager to live completely set-apart lives, not being idle in any way and ready to endure any suffering for the sake of the Name of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah. To summarise the instructions given to us here from this chapter in Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4, we see how he tells us what kind of people we ought to be, in having the same mind of Messiah. We are to:

Be sober minded and attentive in prayer. Love each other deeply and always be ready to offer hospitality without grumbling. Serve one another with the gift/s you have received.

Don’t be surprised by trials and suffering but rather rejoice that you share in Messiah’s sufferings and don’t be ashamed of your suffering for the sake of the Name of Messiah. Praise and esteem Elohim in suffering for His Name’s sake and commit your life to a trustworthy Creator in doing good.

Remember to hold fast to His joy that strengthens us to stand and suffer as a good soldier that is armed with intent and equipped to suffer! We are able to rejoice in Him continually as we recognise that:

WE CAN REJOICE WHILE SUFFERING BECAUSE – our sufferings do not catch יהוה by surprise and in it the esteem and blessing of Messiah is revealed upon us and through us, as long as we are suffering for Messiah’s sake, for our suffering is only temporary and Elohim is faithful to those who are committed to Him.

We who take part in suffering with Messiah will take part in His esteem when it is revealed at His second coming!

What Kěpha is giving us here in his letter is a warning of what is to come and he stressed the mental readiness required – are you going to be found holding on to joy, when persecution comes your way, or give in to the lusts of men?

Let me ask you – have you been suffering? Has it been for doing good or as the result of making some really dumb choices? If your suffering is due to sin or disobedience – then confess to Him and let His Word cleanse you from all unrighteousness and restore to you the joy of your deliverance. If you are or have been suffering for doing good, because of your witness of Messiah as you bear His Name by holding on to His commands – then well done and congratulations – יהוה is with you in a unique way and will keep you standing – so use your suffering for Him as a time of rejoicing and witness of His Truth as you are fervently ARMED WITH INTENT AND EQUIPPED TO SUFFER, serving as a good soldier!

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