BEING THE FRAGRANCE OF MESSIAH MEANS THAT NO DEAD FLIES ARE ALLOWED! - Ecclesiastes 10

27th of the 10th month 2015/2016

Shabbat Shalom all,

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2:14-16But thanks be to Elohim who always leads us on, to overcome in Messiah, and manifests through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 Because we are to Elohim the fragrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death to death, and to the other the fragrance of life to life. And who is competent for these?

In our proper sojourning as true ambassadors of our Master and His coming reign, we are to give thanks and praise to our Master and Elohim who leads us on, to overcome in Messiah. As we remain steadfast in Him and stay in Him, He enables and equips us to truly manifest the fragrance of His knowledge in every place that we find ourselves. We are to be the true fragrance of Messiah wherever we are, and Sha’ul teaches us that we are to be that fragrance among all! We cannot change our fragrance to suit the company we are in, but as true ambassadors and servants of the Most High we are to be the fragrance of His deliverance among all. To some we will be the fragrance of life to life, while to others we will be the smell of death to death! To some we will be a very unpleasant smell while to others we will be a sweet aroma! The Greek word that is translated as ‘fragrance, smell’ in verse 14 and verse 16 is ὀσμή osmē – Strong’s G3744 which means, sweet aroma and carries the idea of an aroma or scent of sacrifice that is pleasing to Elohim. It is used to describe the aroma that filled the house when Miryam anointed the Master’s feet:

Yoḥanan/John 12:3Then Miryam took a pound of costly perfume of nard, anointed the feet of יהושע, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

She poured out a highly prized aromatic oil that was most precious, and the Greek word used here for ‘nard’ is νάρδος nardos – Strong’s G3487 which means, nard, ointment of nard, which we find being used in the LXX (Septuagint) in:

Shir HaShirim/Song of Songs 1:12 “While the sovereign is at his table, my nard shall give its fragrance.

The Greek word is used here in the LXX for ‘fragrance’ is ὀσμή osmē – Strong’s G3744.

I find this verse a very fitting and powerful verse that speaks of a loving Bride being a sweet fragrance to Her Husband as she gives Him her all, and the Hebrew word used here for ‘nard’ is נֵרְדְּ nerd – Strong’s H5373. Miryam’s perfume speaks of the sweet smelling fragrance of an acceptable offering that we are to be, as a faithful remnant bride, unto our Master and King, for this is our reasonable worship!

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.

In verse 15 of Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 2 the Greek word that is translated as ‘fragrance’, as in ‘the fragrance of Messiah’, is εὐωδία euōdia – Strong’s G2175 which means, fragrance, fragrant, sweet smelling, and is a compound of two words that literally means, a good smell: 1 - εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, good, well done and 2 – ὄζω ozō – Strong’s G3605 which means, stink, smell, to give out an odour (either good or bad), to emit a smell.

We find this word εὐωδία euōdia – Strong’s G2175 being translated as ‘sweet smelling’, in:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:1-2 “Become, then, imitators of Elohim as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

The Greek word here for ‘frangrance’ is ὀσμή osmē – Strong’s G3744, and so we see both words that are translated as ‘fragrance’ in his letter to the Corinthians being used here together. We are to be a sweet smelling aroma that smells good!

Sha’ul then asks the sobering question of competency! The Greek word that is translated here as ‘competency’ is ἱκανός hikanos – Strong’s G2425 which means, sufficient, fit, able, adequate, worthy, and here Sha’ul is putting forth a very challenging question by asking who is fit, able and worthy of being the true fragrance of Messiah! He then tells the believers in Corinth in the next chapter, the following:

Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:5-6Not that we are competent in ourselves to reckon any matter as from ourselves, but our competence is from Elohim, 6 who also made us competent as servants of a renewed covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.

Praise be unto our Master, Elohim, Messiah and King who, by His Spirit, has caused us to be competent for such a task! With that being said, there is now no excuse for any true taught one of Messiah to not be competent for these and ought to be the true fragrance of Messiah, all the time! Understanding our need to be the true fragrance of Messiah, we recognise that we cannot have our lives mixed with the smell of bad things! In a message tonight called:

‘BEING THE FRAGRANCE OF MESSIAH MEANS THAT NO DEAD FLIES ARE ALLOWED!

We are to be imitators of Elohim and be the fragrance of Messiah as we walk in complete set-apartness, as we see in Sha’ul’s words in:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:3-4 “But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones – 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving.

Being the true fragrance of Messiah comes with the clear responsibility of keeping our garments of righteousness clean and not allowing any whoring or uncleanness to be named among us, nor anything that is not fitting for a true set-apart one of the Master!

It is the Spirit of Elohim that makes us competent for such a task, yet we are warned against bringing an ointment that is tainted and defiled by that which should not even be named among us. In other words – NO DEAD FLIES ALLOWED! What do I mean by that? Please turn with me to Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 10 (read).

The first verse of this chapter clearly summarises for us what mixed or compromised worship does, as it causes the ointment to stink! Therefore, in understanding our need to worship in Spirit and in Truth, we must realise that there can be no compromise in our lives, for that would render our ointment as no longer being a sweet smelling fragrance before Elohim, but rather would become a stink!

Dead works and compromise will only contaminate the perfumer’s ointment and render it as ‘stink’ before the Master. Let me ask you – “are there any dead flies in your ointment?” ‘Flies’ in Scripture can be used to reference that which renders a false and corrupt worship that leads to death and the title בַּעַל זְבוּב Baʽal-Zeḇuḇ - Strong’s H1176 which means, lord of flies’, was the name of a false mighty one worshipped by the Philistines at Eqron that Aḥazyah had sent his messengers to inquire of instead of seeking יהוה (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 2:2), and it is also a title that is commonly used in referring to Satan as the prince of demons! The 4th plague in Mitsrayim was of flies and was a direct attack on the established worship system of which you can read more about in our Torah commentaries.

The term, ‘dead flies’, in the Hebrew is written as זְבוּבֵי מָוֶתzeuey maveth which could be literally translated as ‘flies of death’. The Hebrew word for ‘death’ is מָוֶת maveth – Strong’s H4194 which means, death, plague and comes from the root verb מוּת muth – Strong’s H4191 which means, to die, bring about my death, put to death.

What Shelomoh is making very clear here is that the things that can bring about death will cause the ointment to stink!

The Hebrew word that is used here to describe the ‘stinkis בָּאַשׁ ba’ash – Strong’s H887 which means, to have a bad smell, to stink, act disgustingly, become foul, and is also the word that is used to describe the wrong that are ‘loathsome’, in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 13:5A righteous one hates a lying word, but a wrong man is loathsome and comes to shame.

What is very clear from the definition of this word is that the wrong are a stench and horrible smell before Elohim!

Having the things that lead to death present in one’s life will cause the ointment or fragrance of one’s life to become a disgusting stink before our Master and Elohim. Shelomoh then highlights the reality of this by telling us that a little folly outweighs wisdom and esteem! What he is telling us here is that it only takes a little bit of folly and foolishness to destroy the ointment of wisdom!

As one reads through the whole of Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes we are able to see how Shelomoh made it very clear, after searching out both wisdom and folly, that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. Here he is warning us against the impact of the littlest of folly that will turn what is to be a sweet fragrance before the Master into a disgusting stench! In this chapter Shelomoh expands on this and goes on to highlight some of the ‘dead flies’ that can cause one’s ointment to sink.

He begins in verses 2-3 by highlighting the dangers of the lack of wisdom being present in one’s life. The clear contrast is drawn between the hearts of the wise versus the foolish. In Scripture we often find that the reference to the right hand pictures for us the work of righteousness while the left hand pictures for us the workings of unrighteousness. In Mattithyahu/Matthew 25 Messiah made it clear that when He comes again that He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. He will then say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the reign prepared for you from the foundation of the world, while to those on the left hand He will say, Go away from Me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his messengers.

A fool lacks wisdom for he does not walk in the way of Truth according to the spirit but walks in the folly of the flesh and all its lusts, neglecting the need to pursue apartness! Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:8 tells us that the wisdom of the clever is to understand His Way – that is the way of יהוה – while the folly of fools is deceit!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:5Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:7The beginning of wisdom is: Get wisdom! And with all your getting, get understanding.

Wisdom, at its core, speaks of one’s ability to clearly separate the good from the bad, right and wrong, left and right, and up and down; and this we are to be able to do as we exercise true discipline – the discipline of separation!

Folly, on the other hand, lacks proper discernment and mixes the profane with the set-apart, rendering a mixed worship as no worship at all! Wisdom must be sought out and understanding comes in the proper doing of the wisdom that is sought out, studied and applied!

When one forgets to ‘GET WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING’, the ointment of one’s life becomes festered with compromise and ferments, rendering an unpleasant smell before our King. Fermentation takes place when yeast is added, and is a picture of the leaven of sin that begins a fermenting of one’s ointment, caused by the drunkenness of sin and lawlessness.

What Shelomoh highlights here for us is that when a fool walks along the way he shows everyone that he is a fool, telling us that there are many ‘fools’ out there today who claim to be walking in the Truth, yet the folly of the deceptive theologies of man and false traditions that they walk in simply show everyone that they are not wise at all, and are unable to rightly handle the WORD OF TRUTH!

This is a warning against not seeking wisdom and understanding through a proper study and meditation of the Torah of Elohim, for a person’s walk will clearly reveal whether they are wise of foolish; and we are to be on guard against any kind of deceptive folly that can render one being found to be like the foolish maidens that lack oil when the Master returns!

In verse 4 Shelomoh highlights for us the danger and folly of the lack of endurance and perseverance that is required for true wise servants of the Most High! The clear instruction here is to not leave our post!!!

The Hebrew word for ‘post’ is מָקוֹם maqom – Strong’s H4725 which means, standing place, place, home, country, ground. There is a standing ground and post upon which we are to remain, and that is upon the Rock of our deliverance! No matter the battle, we are to stand armed in the Truth, and after having done all, to stand and never leave our post or position in the Master!

Galatiyim/Galatians 6:9 “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary.

The warning against losing heart is clear – it will make you stink! We are to stand our ground and not lose heart but be steadfast in our loving-commitment to our King as we guard to do all He has commanded us to, without wavering in the folly of compromise! I came across a saying that I found very fitting, as it says:

Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that stood its ground.

Having been declared right by belief, we have peace with Elohim through our Master יהושע Messiah. To be rocked by the worries of this age and the deceit of wealth that choke out the Word will cause a festering smell to develop in our ointment!

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks to Elohim who gives us the overcoming through our Master יהושע Messiah. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Master, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Master.

In his search for wisdom and folly, Shelomoh found that the right rulership is not always found, which makes us realise our need for our Mighty Master, Elohim and King to come and establish His reign here on earth, of which we are to be faithful ambassadors of, without the folly of compromise and the foolishness of the corrupted fleshly world that we live in the midst of, causing a festering of our ointment!

In verse 7 he highlights the unusual situation that he witnessed where the worthless are exalted to dignity and those of dignity are degraded to worthlessness. It is also very sad today when we see many who claim to be believers yet are often found to be no different to the world as they so quickly resort back to the folly of sin that they were once a part of, even if it is only for the slightest of moments! A little folly outweighs wisdom and esteem!

We must never compromise our position in our Master and be on guard against the folly of ‘old ways’ that can destroy our ointment!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:17-24 “So this I say, and witness in the Master, that you should no longer walk as the gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having been darkened in their understanding, having been estranged from the life of Elohim, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart, 19 who, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecency, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Messiah, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and were taught by Him, as truth is in יהושע: 22 that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the renewed man which was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and set-apartness of the truth.

In verses 8-9 Shelomoh warns us against the folly of lacking proper perception and consideration of what one is doing on a day to day basis! These two verses gives us four examples of occupations where the worker is exposed to certain risks, and if one does not take heed of the very real and dangerous risks that can bring about destruction and death then it will simply highlight that they were foolish in their work!

A little bit of folly or sin can destroy much good, and the smallest of errors can bring about some very disastrous results, teaching us to guard the fragrance of our Master in both word and deed!

The picture that Shelomoh is presenting to us here tells us that the one who digs a pit may fall into it, and the root word used here for pit is גּוּמָּץ gummats – Strong’s H1475 and is only used here in the Tanak and we are able to relate this word to describing for us destruction and the grave, as we take note of the similar wording we find in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:27Whoever digs a pit falls into it, and whoever rolls a stone, it turns back on him.

The Hebrew word translated here as ‘pit’ is the noun שַׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7845 which means, corruption, destruction, pit, ditch, grave. In Tehillah/Psalm 103 we are told to bless יהוה and forget not all His dealing, of which we are reminded in verse 4 that ‘He redeems our life from destruction’. The root word translated as ‘digs’ is חָפַר ḥaphar – Strong’s H2658 which means, to search out, dig or search for, look around, spy.

What we are able to recognise here is the clear warning against the searching out of the dead things of destruction that we have been redeemed from, for in doing this you simply make yourself stink!

We are to be simple toward the evil and not go seeking it out, which many love to do, yet as redeemed and set-apart ones of the Most High we are to seek out His Word and keep the fragrance of our Master pure and pleasing before our King!

In the picture of one breaking through a wall we are able to recognise this as a picture of one who is disobedient and breaks out against all sound knowledge. The Hebrew word used here for wall is גֶּדֶר geder – Strong’s H1475 which means, wall, fence, which speaks of a fence or protective boundary and therefore highlights for us the clear picture of breaking through this wall will present the danger of being bitten by the snake!

When people walk outside of the protective boundaries or covering of the instructions of Elohim then they open themselves up as prey for the enemy who will bite at any chance he can get. All the enemy has to do is lure a person away from obedience and the proper guarding of set-apartness, through a littles folly and compromise, and then he can bite and destroy. In verse 9 we are given two more pictures of different kinds of work, such as the quarrying or removing of stones and the splitting of wood! As one digs into the root words here we are able to further understand the metaphors that Shelomoh is giving us here, as we are to be building one another up in the Most Set-Apart faith and not be breaking each other down! The warning here is against strife, fightings and divisions that will render the body to stink!

The picture of these two occupations of quarrying stones and splitting wood can also picture for us the dangers of the lack of trying to do something without the proper preparations, training and skill that are needed. Both of these tasks require skill and precision, without which the worker can get seriously hurt. Our ability to properly build one another up must be done out of a proper preparation, as we do our utmost to show ourselves as workmen approved.

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:15Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.

If one does not know how to rightly handle the Word of Truth they can hurt and endanger themselves as well as others and end up corrupting the fragrance of one’s ointment of set-apartness before our Master!

Verse 10 teaches us the clear truth that a blunt tool requires more strength and effort, which teaches us how the lack of wisdom will lead to a blunt tool, which is the Sword of Truth that we are to have in our hands!

The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘blunt’ is קָהָה qahah – Strong’s H6949 which means, to be blunt, dull, set on edge, and only used 4 times in Scripture. The other 3 times this word is used is in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:29 & 30 and Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:2, with the clear reference being made to teeth being blunted due to sin. This gives us a clear and powerful picture of the dangers of sin and compromise that will weaken one’s ability to properly eat and meditate on the Truth and allowing a corrupted counterfeit to be foolishly rendered as acceptable.

When people are using or eating up a corrupted and twisted message they are like blunt tools that are unable to truly penetrate deep into the heart of man, and therefore cannot cut with precision but make a big mess instead and can kill rather than heal!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:12For 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.

In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 5 we are told that the lips of the strange woman is sharp as a two-edged sword, yet the Word of Elohim is ‘sharper’ than any two edged sword. This teaches us the need for us to be skilled in the Word of Elohim, lest we find that the sharp two edged sword of the strange woman is in our hands as opposed to the sharper sword of Elohim. The strange sword that has been twisted by false theologies and commands of man has made this sword blunt in comparison to the Pure Truth!

In Verse 11 Shelomoh likens the master of the tongue to a snake that bites without enchantment! The ‘master of the tongue’ is a clear reference to one who has smooth lips and is a charmer! One who easily seduces many away from the truth and makes people hang on to their every word, without much effort! What he is saying to us is that if the snake bites before it has seduced or charmed then the master of the tongue does not get any gain and is not better or different than the snake! So many have been ‘bitten by false traditions’ so to speak and will therefore so easily be charmed by the deceptive talkers who tickle the ears! The ‘charmers’ are like the serpent that bites without enchantment!

The smooth talker does not need to charm what has already been bitten and he actually has an open pass to speak whatever nonsense he wants and the bitten will believe him! What is worth taking note of here is that we see a reference to snakes without and enchanter being used in Yirmeyahu as a severe discipline that Elohim would send due to sin and corruption:

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 8:17 “For look, I am sending among you serpents, adders, which have no enchanter, and they shall bite you,” declares יהוה.

A serpent without a charmer is a servery dangerous thing as it will bite anyone as it is not controlled or held back, and so we recognise how dangerous the master of the tongue is, for the ear tickling smooth talkers of this age will bite uncontrollably and without restraint and poison the hearts of many through the maddening adulteries of the whore that are being erroneously taught!

Shelomoh then goes on to teach us that the words of a wise man’s mouth shows favour while the fool destroys. The end talk of the fool is utter madness. We do not have to look to far today to see the reality of this as the corrupt teachings of falsehood are simply a wicked madness that is rendering many to become a stench before our Master!

Another warning Shelomoh gives us here in this chapter is a warning against laziness and idleness, and warns against the corruption that laziness and idleness brings. The house of the lazy and idle cannot stand and will fall, despite their many man-made feasts and corrupted building schemes that tries to accumulate wealth to gain a prominent position.

Ḥaggai is a good book to read in this regard, as the clear call to consider one’s ways is clearly given, especially as we recognise that as it was back then so it is still today, where many are building their own panelled houses while the House of Elohim lies in ruins, due to laziness in the Truth!

The word used here for ‘laziness’ is עַצְלָה atslah – Strong’s H6103 which means, sluggishness, slothfulness, laziness, idleness that shows a lack of discipline’.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness makes one fall into a deep sleep, and an idle being suffers hunger.

The lazy often want everything for nothing, and we are also able to take note of how there are many ‘lazy’ people who claim to be believers and want to claim to have a right to demand all the blessings of the Word while they reject the need to guard to do what the word commands us to!

The danger of falling into sleep in this day and age is very real and one that we must guard ourselves against.

For more on this very real danger please see the notes from the message called, BUT WHILE MEN SLEPT!”, from our site (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2012/2013’ menu, or simply click on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/~atfotc/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2012-2013/473-but-while-men-slept-matthew-13-24-30-36-43

Shelomoh contrasts the severe woe of having an inexperienced youth as ruler and the keeping of feast at the wrong time which leads to drunkenness that weakens versus the blessing of having the True Noble Ruler where the proper feasts are kept at the proper time which strengthens. The kingdom of Elohim is not a matter of eating and drinking but righteousness, peace and joy in the Set-Apart Spirit! Many have become a festering smell due to their falsehood and drunkenness of a corrupted leadership of lawlessness and the depravity of man-made feasts that seek only to enrich and enslave rather than build up and strengthen!  

The last caution we see in this chapter is in regards to the fruit of our lips! Ya’aqoḇ tells us that out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing and it should not be so, for true set-apart believers!

The words we speak reveal the reality of our faith! And the words we speak will be found out! We need to always watch what we say and be cautious of words used in vain, idle chatter and gossiping.

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for the use of building up, so as to impart what is pleasant to the hearers.

We need to pray as Dawiḏ prayed:

Tehillah/Psalm 141:3 “O יהוה, set a guard for my mouth; watch over the door of my lips.

As we consider the clear examples that Shelomoh gives us, we are able to clearly identify the very things that can cause the perfumer’s ointment to stink, be it wrong actions, lack of wisdom due to a lack of proper study and meditation of the Word, or compromise due to laziness. Is the ointment of your life being corrupted due to a need to seek out that which leads to death rather than life?

The question today is, “Is there anything in your life that shouldn’t be there?” Are there ‘dead flies’ in the ointment of your life in Messiah? Perhaps it is one of these mentioned today or perhaps something else which has caused you to lose the aroma of Messiah in your life. Flies have no place in perfume just as a little folly has no place in our lives that are to be marked by the wisdom of Elohim in compete set-apartness.

As we do our utmost at pursuing apartness and be the fragrance of Messiah, let us also echo the words of Dawiḏ on a continual basis:

Tehillah/Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O Ěl, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; 24 and see if an idolatrous way is in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

As we allow our Master and Elohim to lead us on to overcome in our Messiah let us make sure that we be the true fragrance of Messiah, with no dead flies corrupting our life of set-apartness!

‘BEING THE FRAGRANCE OF MESSIAH MEANS THAT NO DEAD FLIES ARE ALLOWED!

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!