24th of the 2nd month 2018/2019
This week I was once again gripped by the letter of Yehuḏah/Jude, which is such a powerful letter that contains only one chapter yet carries great power in declaring a loud call of encouragement as well as warning! This letter of Yehuḏah/Jude is well placed before the book of Ḥazon/Revelation and can, in many ways, be a sobering call to stand and fight the good fight of the belief as we hold firm to guarding to do the commands of Elohim and possess the witness of יהושע Messiah!
This letter of Yehuḏah/Jude is both, a call for the true set-apart believers to contend for the true belief, as well as a severe warning against those who are pretending obedience and are denying the Master and Elohim of our deliverance!
In a message called, “ARE YOU EARNESTLY CONTENDING OR CONVENIENTLY PRETENDING?” I would like to take a closer look at this letter in assessing the urgent call for true believers to earnestly contend for the belief.
In his introduction, Yehuḏah is making it clear to his audience, which are those who are called, set-apart and preserved by our Master and Elohim, that he felt it extremely necessary to write a letter urging them to earnestly contend for the belief which was once for all delivered to the set-apart ones. This letter still carries the very urgent appeal to us today, in calling us to make sure that we are earnestly contending for the true belief!
The reason for the title of this message being a question of contending or pretending is simply dues to the fact that we are able to identify how the very things that Yehuḏah was warning the early believers against are still happening today. With that being said, we can recognise how many, who have been drawn away with the delusion of lawlessness, are not contending as true believers should but are rather pretending obedience! By that I mean that many today are, as displayed by their actions and fruit of their lives, being no different to the hypocritical show that the religious scribes and Pharisees displayed in their vain attempts at assuming an identity, while they openly held fast to vain traditions of corrupted teachings of man while forsaking the need to guard the commands of Elohim!
Putting on an outward show of following theological traditions of man that have set aside the need to submit to, and guard to do, the commands of Elohim, while claiming to be children of Elohim, are not true contenders of the belief but are rather pretenders, whose wicked works of lawlessness will be exposed as being worthless and burned up through the fiery wrath of Elohim that is coming upon the sons of disobedience.
The Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a ‘pretender’ as follows:
One that pretends, as: 1) one who lays claim to something, specifically: a claimant to a throne who has no just title, and 2) One who makes a false and hypocritical show!
The verb ‘pretend’ is defined as follows:
1: to give a false appearance of being, possessing, or performing
2: to make believe: feign (to feign means to give a false appearance, to assert as if true)
3: to claim, represent, or assert falsely
I believe that many are ‘pretending’ today and giving a false appearance of belief, as their works of lawlessness clearly deny the Master יהושע Messiah!
Yehuḏah introduces himself as a servant of יהושע Messiah, and brother of Ya’aqoḇ. This, in itself, is a powerful witness of the servant heart of Yehuḏah, who was the half-brother of יהושע Messiah! He did not try to use his physical lineage of being the half-brother of יהושע Messiah as a means of enforcing his plea across, but humbly identifies himself as a servant of יהושע Messiah! Yehuḏah grew up, being a younger brother of יהושע Messiah, who would have eaten with Him, possibly even played games with Him while growing up and may not have believed that His brother was Messiah, while growing up alongside Him, as we are told in the letters of Yoḥanan and Marqos that the brothers of Messiah did not believe in Him:
Yoḥanan/John 7:5 “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”
Marqos/Mark 3:21 “And when His relatives heard about this, they went out to seize Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”
At some stage, the true revelation of יהושע Messiah would have hot this half brother of Messiah very hard, and while he may once have not believed his older brother, he was now making a very urgent appeal, as a servant of יהושע Messiah, for the true called and set-apart ones of Messiah to earnestly contend for the belief!
As a true humble servant of Messiah, he was calling for obedience in action to be made evident by the true remnant body of Messiah! This is a vital role of any servant of Messiah that is contending for the belief amidst a world that fabricates a form of reverence which clearly denies Messiah through a vain perverted show of a false grace message that has cast the Torah of our Master aside, causing many to be pretenders rather than contenders!
True servants contend and do not pretend!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 which is translated in Scripture as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’.
This word is used repeatedly throughout the Renewed Writings, as we take note how Sha’ul, Ya’aqoḇ, Kěpha and Yehuḏah called themselves a ‘servant’ (doulos) of יהושע Messiah.
Romiyim/Romans 1:1 “Sha’ul, a servant of יהושע Messiah, a called emissary, separated to the Good News of Elohim”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:1 “Ya’aqoḇ, a servant of Elohim and of the Master יהושע Messiah, to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion: Greetings.”
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:1 “Shimʽon Kěpha, a servant and emissary of יהושע Messiah, to those who have obtained a belief as precious as ours by the righteousness of our Elohim and Saviour יהושע Messiah”
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:1 “Yehuḏah, a servant of יהושע Messiah, and brother of Ya’aqoḇ, to those who are called, set-apart by Elohim the Father, and preserved in יהושע Messiah”
True servants of Messiah not only earnestly contend for the belief but also call others to do so too!!!
A true faithful servant of יהושע Messiah is one who serves with their all and does so in complete set-apartness. Sha’ul told Timotiyos the following:
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.”
A faithful servant is also a good soldier of יהושע Messiah and seeks to please Him, for our Master has caused us to be enlisted, so to speak, by grafting us into the Covenants of Promise by His Blood. As faithful servants, and soldiers, of Messiah, we are called to fight to good fight, be strong and courageous and not be afraid of what the enemy can or cannot do, for our Master is with us and it is He who strengthens us, helps us and upholds us in righteousness, as we guard to do all He commands us to, by competing according to the rules, so to speak.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘servant’ is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’. We are all to serve in unity and perfection and work together and those refuse to submit to the clear pattern and order of the body of Messiah and are doing whatever is right in their own eyes are not true servants!
As children of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
The root word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 is used 800 times in the Tanak (O.T.) and is used as a noun and comes from the primitive root verb עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647 meaning, ‘to work, serve, observe, do the work, cultivate, worship’ and carries the understanding of ‘expending considerable energy and intensity in performing a task or function’ – in other words – ‘giving it your all’!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 is pictured as:
Ayin – עֶ
The original pictograph for this letter is which is a picture of ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’ as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures ‘a tent floor plan’ and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Dalet – ד
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back and forth movement’ as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the Tent of Appointment as being the only means of access.
When we look at this word in the ancient script for a servant, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE
This is what our Master calls us to do; and when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, guarding to do all His commands and guarding His Sabbaths and Feasts (His Appointed Times) – and this is how we too keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah!
Ok, so I have highlighted what a servant of Messiah is! Well, Yehuḏah was a servant of Messiah and in being a faithful servant he felt it necessary to write this urgent appeal for true servants of messiah to contend for the belief!
Are you being a faithful servant too, by calling others to earnestly contend for the belief? You can only call others to do so when you yourself are doing it too!!!
Called, set-apart and preserved in Messiah! This is who this letter is being addressed to, and it includes all who are alive today and are living set-apart lives unto Messiah, guarding to do all that He has commanded us to!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘urging’ in verse 3 is the word παρακαλέω parakaleō – Strong’s G3870 which means, ‘call near, invite, invoke, exhort, encourage, appeal, beg, urge, aid, help, comfort’.
This word is used in a variety of forms, for example: a) when summonsing someone to an action that is required; b) to beseech others for an urgent response to help; c) to ‘exhort’, as in the context used to encourage soldiers headed for battle; as well as d) to ‘comfort and encourage’, especially in times of hardships and grief. This word comes from two words: 1) παρά para – Strong’s G3844 which is used as a primitive participle meaning, ‘from beside, by the side of, by, besides, near’, and 2) καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564 meaning ‘call, to call, called out, invited, summoned’. What we take note of here is the value of hearing the voice and call of our Master and Elohim and how valuable it is for each of us to be encouraged daily by one another as we remind one another of the comforting and strengthening call of set-apartness that our Master has given.
It is from the root word καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564 that we get the Greek word ἐκκλησία ekklēsia – Strong’s G1577 which means ‘assembly or congregation’, coming from the words ἐκ ek Strong’s G1537 which means ‘from, from out of, belonging’ and καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564. The True assembly is made up of those who have responded to the invitation and call to come out and be separate and it is for this reason that we ought to encourage one another daily, in order to be strengthened in our Master as we walk in set-apartness and face the daily challenges that rage and battle around us.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘earnestly contend’ comes from the root word ἐπαγωνίζομαι epagōnizomai – Strong’s G1864 which means, ‘to contend with or for, earnestly contend’; and comes from the tow root words:
1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and
2) ἀγωνίζομαι agōnizomai – Strong’s G75 and means, ‘to contend for a prize, struggle, compete, labouring earnestly’, and this root word is translated as ‘fight’ in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.”
In his first letter to Timotiyos, Sha’ul encouraged Timotiyos to flee all evil, pursue set-apartness and fight the good fight of the belief and be trustworthy to the end. These words are words that we too ought to be encouraged to hear and apply in our daily lives as we stay in the Master and run the race set before us with much endurance.
Our sojourning is certainly not an easy road yet we must labour intensely in the Word as we seek to take our stand of righteousness. The language that Sha’ul used here would be typically applied to athletes and soldiers in his day.
We get our English word ‘agonise’ from this Greek word ἀγωνίζομαι agōnizomai – Strong’s G75, which describes the actions of a person straining and giving their best to win the prize or the battle. It is used metaphorically to mean, ‘to contend or struggle, with difficulties and dangers’, or, ‘to endeavour with strenuous zeal’.
This word is translated as ‘strive’ in the following verse:
Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.”
When we consider the word for ‘fight/strive’, we must realise that this war of our belief/faith is not an easy one, yet our Master tells us very plainly that His yoke is easy and light, making our ability to stand firm in Him a sure rock solid one and therefore, after having done all, to still stand, we have the full assurance of His complete protection and provision for our daily lives. Fighting the good fight of the belief is to fight according to the rules – that is according to our Master’s rules – His Kingdom rules, which is His Torah and commands!
We can only stand, properly armed in the Truth, when we ‘guard to do’ the Truth and not let our foot slip at all, by giving in to compromise when the battles of the flesh get hard to endure. We must stand firm in the Truth when the pressures of life get extremely tough and others around us are caving in to doing things according to their own ways, having no regard for the set-apartness that the Torah of Elohim prescribes!
To earnestly contend implies an action of striving and asserting oneself in the Truth, fighting the good fight of the belief, as you face difficulties and struggles and not be swayed to compromise that causes a contender to become a pretender!
In verse 4 Yehuḏah tells us very clearly that certain men have slipped in and perverted the Truth by perverting the favour of Elohim for indecency and in doing so they deny the only One true Master and Elohim!
The picture he gives here of men that have slipped in and perverted the Truth, carries the same picture that the parable of our Master gives us on the wheat and the darnel, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13, where our Master tells us that the darnel came about when the enemy came and sowed darnel while men slept! What Yehuḏah is echoing here is the clear picture of the parable of the wheat and the darnel that grows up together and identifies that the enemy has sown false traditions and lies into the hearts of men, a very long time ago. As a result of this, the favour of our Master has been perverted into a lawless grace that is being promoted and, in the process, pretenders are being produced instead of true contenders!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘wicked ones’ in verse 4 comes from the root word ἀσεβής asebēs – Strong’s G765 which means, ‘impious, destitute of reverential awe towards Elohim, living without regard for the belief and practice of set-apartness, without fear or reverence for Elohim’.
This word does not necessarily mean irreligious, but rather speaks of one who actively practices the opposite of what the fear of Elohim demands! When I stop to consider what this word describes I am gripped with a severe sadness by what I see happening at large today. So many who claim to be believers yet they practice the very opposite of what true fear of Elohim demands! While the subject of the ‘fear of Elohim’ is a topic for a separate teaching we are able to take note of a couple of verses that ought to highlight or expose how many are living ‘wickedly’ today! In the words given to the generation that was about to enter into the Promised Land we take note of the following:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:1-2 “And this is the command, the laws and right-rulings which יהוה your Elohim has commanded, to teach you to do in the land which you are passing over to possess, 2 so that you fear יהוה your Elohim, to guard all His laws and His commands which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days be prolonged.”
The Torah teaches us to fear יהוה and it teaches us therefore to guard ALL His laws and commands – and so we are to be a continual hearing, guarding and doing people.
Proper fear of Elohim can only be lived out when a proper guarding and doing of His commands are being lived out. In other words when we guard righteousness we can begin to walk in the fear of Elohim and we know that Scripture gives us a clear definition of what righteousness is for us, as we see in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
Doing His commands and walking in the True Fear of יהוה will keep us alive in Him! Those who do not are warned about the coming destruction that is coming upon the disobedient – that is those who do not guard righteousness and do not walk in the fear of Elohim, no matter how self-righteous they may deem to be as they may claim to be righteous yet their actions of lawlessness simply reveal that they are practicing the opposite of what the fear of Elohim demands!
An example of this can be readily seen in the world today by many claiming believers who assume that they are righteous yet they actively practice the keeping of mad-made feasts and their complete disregard in guarding the Sabbath and keeping it as we should!
They are not contenders of the belief but pretenders!!!
Kěpha reminds us that the destruction of Seḏom and Amorah was made an example to all who afterward would live wickedly (as seen below) and therefore the warning of this example still applies to those who are living wickedly today!
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:6-9 “and having reduced to ashes the cities of Seḏom and Amorah condemned them to destruction – having made them an example to those who afterward would live wickedly, 7 and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the indecent behaviour of the lawless 8 (for day after day that righteous man, dwelling among them, tortured his righteous being by seeing and hearing their lawless works), 9 then יהוה knows how to rescue the reverent ones from trial and to keep the unrighteous unto the day of judgment, to be punished”
In Yehuḏah/Jude 1:4, the Greek word that is translated as ‘perverted’ comes from the root word μετατίθημι metatithēmi – Strong’s G3346 which means, ‘to transfer, change, desert, remove’ and speaks of a clear removal and change of that which is pure and true. What have the wicked perverted and changed? The favour of Elohim!
The Greek word translated as ‘favour’ comes from the root word χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 which means, ‘grace, kindness, blessing, gift, favour’. This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for the Hebrew root word חֵן ḥen – Strong’s H2580 which means, ‘grace, adornment, favour, gracious’ which comes from the primitive root חָנַן ḥanan – Strong’s H2603 which means, ‘show favour, be gracious to, dealt graciously with, given to them voluntarily, shown favour’.
These two words, חֵן ḥen and חָנַן ḥanan, are collectively used 141 times in the Tanak (O.T.).
חֵן ḥen can best be described as ‘a gracious and favourable action passing from a superior to an inferior’ and is an action that cannot be forced upon or demanded! This in many ways carries the same concept of the ‘Christian’ idea or concept of ‘grace’ as understood through the Greek word χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485.
חֵן ḥen is poured out as a gift to a people who have no ‘claim’ to it as it is given freely and so we see that this certainly is not a ‘new’ concept as it is a continuous theme right through the Scriptures as seen in the Loving Kindness extended by יהוה to Yisra’ĕl, His Covenanted people!
In English the term ‘grace’ is often understood as being likened to the Hebrew word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 which means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’ and appears 248 times in the Tanak (OT) – almost 2 times more than the Greek word translated as ‘grace’ in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.)!!!
In the Hebrew, the concepts of חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ go hand in hand in understanding our loving relationship with יהוה. What we must understand clearly, is that both חֵן ḥen and חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ are uniquely related, in terms of understanding the fullness of our relationship with our Creator.
What we find in Scripture is that חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is used only where there is a prior relationship bond, be it through family, marriage or kinship; and it is used in regards to a bond or relationship that produces, in the bond itself, a requirement or an obligation for action, where both parties share חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ and can expect from each other and even demand, in a sense, reciprocal responsibilities! And so, חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ is not a free gift, but is rather the devotion and faithfulness shown as a result of a covenanted relationship! What we need to recognize is that חֵן ḥen is offered on the basis of חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ, as a result of a Covenant. Yisra’ĕl and יהוה are obligated to each other, in marriage, as a result of the Covenants made by יהוה with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ!
חֵן ḥen may certainly be, and actually is, the primary reason behind the establishment of the Covenants of Promise, however the moment the Covenants were made, obligation became attached to it by both parties.
And while Yisra’ĕl constantly broke their obligation to the Covenants we see how lovingly committed יהוה is by extending His favour to us, an undeserving people and by His חֵן ḥen, in being gracious toward us and adorning us with favour in His eyes, He has extended to us His Kindness – חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – His loving-commitment to the Covenants of Promise, which He remains faithful to, being obligated and fully committed to!
Therefore, because of His חֵן ḥen (grace/favour) which is freely given to us, we too are now, by our acceptance of His free gift, also required to express true commitment, in understanding our obligation to guarding the Covenant and not using His חֵן ḥen (χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485) as a license to sin and be lawless, but rather we are to guard righteousness and not pervert His favour by following a perverted grace message that has removed the need to obey the Torah and commands of Elohim!
Wicked men have crept in long ago and perverted the favour of Elohim for indecency!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘indecency’ comes from the root 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 being 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 and the gratification of the things of the flesh!
We need to know that we are standing in the midst of a war for our lives and our Master has called us out of darkness and set our feet firmly upon Him, the Rock of our Deliverance and we must do our utmost at keeping ourselves armed in His Torah in order to be equipped to keep standing, lest we fall away to indecencies and get led astray by perverted presentations of His favour!!!
When one does not hold firm to the Master and has no regard for guarding to do His Torah and the proper observance of His Sabbaths and Feasts, they deny Him!
To deny the Master and His mighty like power that has given us all we need for live and reverence will result in Him denying us! If we do not endure we shall not reign with Him!!! Lack of endurance under pressure reveals a denial of the Master!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:12-13 “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also shall deny us. 13 If we are not trustworthy, He remains trustworthy, it is impossible for Him to deny Himself.”
Titos/Titus 1:16 “They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
Sha’ul, in his letter to Titos, was making a clear reference to so many who profess to know Elohim, yet by their works they show that they do not, as their works deny Him! He was speaking of those who are unruly, senseless talkers and deceivers, and he says, “especially those of the circumcision”!
He was clearly warning Titos about many who are claiming to be teachers, yet they are teaching what they should not, for the sake of filthy gain, and in the process, they were upsetting entire households and leading many to follow in their depraved traditions and commands of men. Titos was given the task of appointing elders and Sha’ul made it very clear to him what the requirements for a true overseer should be. He also told him not to pay attention to Yehuḏite fables and commands of men that turn people from the Truth!
This warning and instruction that was given to Titos back then is still a very real warning to all today, as we see many who are led astray by fables and commands of men that are turning people away from the Truth, causing them to work unrighteousness and lawlessness. The lawless and unrighteous works of many that has been taught by the establishment of false dogmas, theologies and commands of man, clearly renders them as people who are denying the Master, even though they profess to know Him!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘deny’ comes from the root word ἀρνέομαι arneomai – Strong’s G720 which means, ‘contradict, deny, reject, renounce, disown’, and Sha’ul warns Timotiyos to turn away from people who deceive and deny, people who have a form of reverence, yet deny the power of the Truth being fully functional in their lives:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of reverence but denying its power. and turn away from these!”
Turn away from who? Those who are untrue to the Covenant and do as they please, without seeking the clear guidance of the Word as being the prescribed standard for set-apart living! Turn away from those who claim to be righteous yet claim that the standard of righteousness has changed!
Turn away from pretenders!
Yehuḏah is also addressing a clear identity of Messiah that was being denied, and that is that יהושע Messiah is יהוה our Saviour!!! Those who deny that יהוה is יהושע is of the anti-messiah and these we are to turn away from!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 john 4:2-3 “By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the anti-messiah which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”
For further studies in regards to this foundational topic of the Oneness of יהוה and יהושע, please see the other articles I have written, which can be found on our website (https://atfotc.com) under the articles menu, or by clicking on the following links:
My Master and My Elohim:
יהוה is One:
יהוה our Saviour:
The Messenger of יהוה:
Yehuḏah reminds of the fate of the wicked and rebellious as he reminds us of the wicked messengers who did not keep their position in the heavens and came and defiled women, during the days of Noaḥ and have been bound until judgement. He also reminds us of what happened to Seḏom and Amorah and reminds us of what happened to Mitsrayim, where he destroyed those who did not believe.
He says that these wicked men that have perverted the favour of Messiah for indecency and denied Messiah are also rejecting authority as the wicked who were destroyed did!
In verse 11 Yehuḏah gives a severe woe to pretenders and likens the pretenders to those who have:
1) Gone in the way of Qayin
Qayin is recorded in Scripture as the first to commit murder when he killed Heḇel after his offering was not accepted by Elohim. Going in the way of Qayin is a warning to those who run after the things of the flesh and do not walk according to the Spirit!
2) Given themselves to the delusion of Bilʽam
Bilʽam was the false prophet that was hired to curse Yisra’ĕl, and when he could not curse Yisra’ĕl, he taught Mo’aḇ how to infiltrate the camp of Yisra’ĕl by causing Yisra’ěl to whore with their women. This is a woe to those who love the wages of unrighteousness and mix their worship, which is abominable in the eyes of Elohim
The Greek word that is translated as ‘delusion’ comes from the word πλάνη plane – Strong’s G4106 meaning, ‘wandering, deception, error, deluding, deceitful’ and is simply understood in the Greek as ‘wandering out of the right way’ which is figuratively used to describe being in error! A derivative of this word is πλανάω planaō – Strong’s G4105 which means, ‘to cause to wander, deceive, mislead, misled, led or gone astray’, which is translated as ‘led astray’ in:
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:7 “Do not be led astray: Elohim is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap.”
We see this word πλανάω planaō used in the Greek text in the account when, answering the Sadducees over their dispute about the resurrection, יהושע Messiah said to them:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:29 “… You go astray, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of Elohim.”
These words are so true for so many today, as they go astray, simply because they do not know the Scriptures, and if they do not know the Scriptures it is impossible for them to know the power of Elohim!!! Because of this sad reality of most people who claim to know Elohim, yet do not know Scripture, we see how so many are easily led astray, misguided and deceived as they wander aimlessly away from the Truth, instead of running in the way of His commands as Dawiḏ declared in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:32 “I run the way of Your commands, for You enlarge my heart.”
We also see this word πλάνη plane – Strong’s G4106 being translated as ‘leading astray’ is:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:11-16 “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers 12 for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah, 13 until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah, 14 so that we should no longer be children, tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men, in cleverness, unto the craftiness of leading astray, 15 but, maintaining the truth in love, we grow up in all respects into Him who is the head, Messiah, 16 from whom the entire body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the working by which each part does its share, causes growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
The reason for me quoting this passage from verse 11-16 is to highlight the clear appointment of the Master, as He has given those who are to equip the body so that they are not being ‘led astray’ by every wind of teaching and the trickery and craftiness of evil men!
There are so many today who are being tossed about by every wind of teaching as they are not submitting to the ordered design of the body of Messiah and are not able to rightly discern between that which is set-apart and that which is not as the deceit and craftiness of the delusion of the lawless grips them and leads them away from being properly built up in unity as they fall away from the responsibility and accountability that each one should have toward the other within the body of Messiah, that ought to be built up and knit together in love!
3) Perished in the rebellion of Qoraḥ
The name ‘Qoraḥ’ – קֹרַח – Strong’s H7141 simply means, ‘bald’, and comes from the root word קָרַח qaraḥ – Strong’s H7139 which means, ‘to make bald, make yourself bald, shave your head’. In terms of this being a lesson on rebellion for us, we come to understand clearly that this ‘baldness’ is picturing for us a reference to a ‘baldness’ that is not natural, as many go ‘bald’ as they age, but rather it is a picture of a ‘self-imposed shaving of the head’!
Metaphorically, we are able to recognise that this rebellion of self-imposed removal of the covering of the head is a picture of refusing to submit to the authority of Messiah and a refusal to submit to the order and structure that Messiah has appointed to equip His body! Those who perished in the rebellion of Qoraḥ are those who rebelled against the appointed leadership and wanted to be their own boss, so to speak, and do whatever was right in their own eyes! This is still happening today, as we see pretenders refusing to submit and obey as they should!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘rebellion’ in Yehuḏah/Jude 1:11 is ἀντιλογία antilogia – Strong’s G485 which means, ‘rebellion, gainsaying, contradiction, dispute, hostility’, and it comes from the root word ἀντιλέγω antilegō – Strong’s G483 which means, ‘to speak against, contradict, oppose, object, obstinate, decline to obey, refuse to have anything to do with him’, which comes from the two words: 1) – ἀντί anti – Strong’s G473 which is a primary preposition that means, ‘over against, opposite, instead of’ and 2) – λέγω legō – Strong’s G3004 which means, ‘to say, address, speak, call, command, exhort, advise’. The root word ἀντιλέγω antilegō – Strong’s G483 is translated as ‘back-talking’ in:
Romiyim/Romans 10:21 “And to Yisra’ĕl He says, “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and back-talking people.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘disobedient’ is ἀπειθέω apeitheō – Strong’s G544 which means, ‘to disobey, disbelieved’.
Sha’ul was quoting from the following verse:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 65:2 “I have held out My hands all day long to a stubborn people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts”
Sha’ul was quoting this when referring to the clear fact that while the Word of Elohim had gone out into all the earth, there were still many who refused to submit and obey to the clear call to turn to יהוה and put their trust in Him. In Chapter 11 Sha’ul goes on and quotes the words of Ěliyahu and says that the rebellious had killed יהוה’s prophets and overthrown יהוה’s altars! While Ěliyahu felt all alone after fleeing the threats of Izeḇel, he was clearly reminded that יהוה had left 7000 who had not bowed their knee to Ba’al, and Sha’ul confidently proclaims that there was still a true remnant of faithful servants of the Most-High – even amidst a wicked and rebellious generation! Today is no different – the majority of mankind is still very rebellious, disobedient and vicious back-talkers! The Aramaic of Yeshayahu renders this verse as “I have sent my prophets”; and what we are able to see from these words of יהוה, in telling us that He has held out His hand all day long, is that He is making it clear that He has continually made known His Outstretched Arm and Hand through His servants, the prophets! The prophets were called to call the backsliding and rebellious back to Elohim, yet they refused to listen! What we can clearly see from this is how Elohim has continually made His Hand readily available to a people who disobey and speak against His clear commands!
Both of these Greek words (ἀπειθέω apeitheō – Strong’s G544 and ἀντιλέγω antilegō – Strong’s G483) are used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak) in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 65:2 to described a ‘stubborn’ people and the Hebrew word that is used here for ‘stubborn’ is סָרַר sarar – Strong’s H5637 which means, ‘stubborn, rebellious, backslide’.
It is a very dangerous thing to be stubborn and rebellious toward the Truth, and those who refuse to humble themselves and submit to walking in the Truth, a Truth that has been made known to all, stand the risk of facing an extreme judgement of fire.
Pretenders are not contenders! And the way you can actually discern between the two is by seeing their actions! Pretenders walk according to the flesh, will easily compromise and mix their worship and think that it is ok; and they will also refuse to listen to appointed leadership!
Yehuḏah goes on and says that these people are actually feasting with contenders, yet they feed themselves without fear!
This is a very sobering reality, as there are many today who claim to be Torah observant yet their compromised standards of mixed worship and their rebellion to the Master’s appointed leadership shows that they are pretenders who lack a proper fear of Elohim and are likened to waterless clouds! Waterless clouds are a picture of that which does not produce what it is intended to and is a clear picture of those who have a manufactured outward appearance of righteousness yet they lack in the ability in bearing fruit of righteousness! They are fruitless and their roots shall be pulled up, being reckoned as ‘twice dead’. The phrase ‘twice dead’ is a very clear phrase of judgement as we take note that it is appointed for man to die once, yet those who die twice are those who are judged and destroyed for not being found in Messiah!
Our Master and Elohim is coming to destroy the wicked and rebellious.
In a severe warning against the wicked ones who pervert the favour of Elohim and deny Messiah and blaspheme like unreasoning beasts, we take note that Yehuḏah tells us in verse 16 that these are grumblers and complainers:
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:16 “These are grumblers, complainers, who walk according to their own lusts, and their mouth speaks proudly, admiring faces of others for the sake of gain.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘grumblers’ comes from the noun γογγυστής goggustēs – Strong’s G1113 which means, ‘murmurer, grumbler’ and comes from the root verb already discussed – γογγύζω gogguzō – String’s G1111 which means, ‘to mutter, murmur, grumble, complain’. The noun γογγυστής goggustēs – Strong’s G1113 is only used here in Scripture and is clearly used to denote one who discontentedly complains against Elohim!
As we look at these words of Yehuḏah we are able to recognise some clear characteristics of grumblers being highlighted for us. Grumblers complain and walk according to their own lusts. They are proud and are only found to be admiring others when there is something in the relationship for themselves, for they are selfish!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘complainers’ is μεμψίμοιρος mempsimoiros – Strong’s G3202 which means, ‘complainer, complaining of one’s lot, discontent, querulous (habitual complaining)’. This word describes a person who is discontented and just loves to complain about their lot! In other words, they are always moaning about their life and how hard it is and fall into the trap of habitually moaning about everything! Why? Because they are not walking according to the Spirit but are walking according to their own lusts!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lusts’ comes from the root word ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, ‘lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting’; and this comes from the word ἐπιθυμέω epithumeō – Strong’s G1937 which means, ‘desire, covet, lust, seek that which is forbidden’ and is translated as ‘lusts’ in
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do.”
How many of you have found yourself looking at or seeking things that you know you should not! This can cause sin, and bring a breach in the wall which can affect the entire assembly!!! What happens when you are seeking that which you should not and do not get it? You grumble and complain!
We have been given the clear path to life, as we walk in and stay in the Master by guarding His Word and not being corrupted by lusts that destroy! The choice of how we walk is our own…!
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:7-9 “Do not be led astray: Elohim is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap. 8 Because he who sows to his own flesh shall reap corruption from the flesh, but he who sows to the Spirit shall reap everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”
Grumblers are people who speak with ‘proud mouths’, which is a metaphor used to describe those who mock others!
Grumblers are therefore mockers and those who speak ‘swelling words’ will be cut off:
Tehillah/Psalm 12:3 “יהוה does cut off all flattering lips, a tongue that speaks swelling words”
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:3 “Do not multiply words so proudly, proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for יהוה is an Ěl of knowledge, and by Him deeds are weighed.”
The proud and arrogant who walk according to their own lusts shall be cut off and grumblers are arrogant in their complaining of their own situations!
Grumblers do not listen to the Word and have ears that do not hear!
Tehillah/Psalm 106:25 “And they grumbled in their tents, they did not listen to the voice of יהוה.”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘grumbled’ comes from the root word רָגַן ragan – Strong’s H7279 which means, ‘to murmur, whisper, criticize, slander’.
Grumblers lack faith as they do not believe the Word of Elohim, as we take note of the 10 spies who gave a negative report of the land being that which caused many to grumble, showing us that grumblers will believe the negative report over the good and lack the proper faith to fight the good fight:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 1:26-27 “But you would not go up and rebelled against the mouth of יהוה your Elohim, 27 and grumbled in your tents, and said, ‘Because יהוה was hating us, He has brought us out of the land of Mitsrayim to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.”
Grumblers rebel against the mouth of יהוה! The Hebrew word translated as ‘rebelled’ comes from the root word מָרָה marah – Strong’s H4784 which means, ‘to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, disobedient’.
Tehillah/Psalm 78:8 “And not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation which did not prepare its heart, whose spirit was not steadfast to Ěl.”
This Psalm is an appeal to turn our ears to the Torah and walk in it and not be stubborn and rebellious like our fathers!
Stubbornness reflects a bad attitude toward submission to authority and is clearly seen in not taking up the responsibility of bearing the necessary requirements upon one’s shoulders!
In this very short yet powerful letter of Yehuḏah/Jude, we are able to clearly differentiate between a contender and a pretender, and in an urgent appeal for the true called, set-apart and preserved to earnestly contend for the belief, we are able to identify the heart of this message being an encouragement to contend while, at the same time, being a warning against pretending!
He reminds us of the warnings that have already been given by the emissaries, who warned us that mockers will come, mockers who would walk according to their own wicked lusts and cause divisions!
Those who are causing divisions do not have the Spirit! There is a clear difference between debating the truth in a productive, fruitful manner and causing divisions!
In closing his letter, Yehuḏah gives us 7 ‘instructions’ in how we are to earnestly contend the belief!
As we look at these 7 instructions given here, we are able to take note how they collectively equip us to be true earnest contenders of the belief and be on guard against conveniently pretending when things get tough!
Let us look at each of these 7 instructions given to us in verses 20-23:
1 – BUILD YOURSELF UP ON YOUR MOST SET-APART BELIEF
The Greek word translated here as ‘built up’ is ἐποικοδομέω epoikodomeō – Strong’s G2026 and means, ‘build up, build upon’ and this is an active verb which implies a continued action that is to take place. It can render the understanding in the Greek, ‘to finish the structure of which the foundation has already been laid’. It comes from two root words:
1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and
2) οἰκοδομέω oikodomeō – Strong’s H3618 meaning, ‘to build up, edify, to build a house, to be in building, to build up (from the foundation)’.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the emissaries and prophets, יהושע Messiah Himself being chief corner-stone, 21 in whom all the building, being joined together, grows into a set-apart Dwelling Place in יהוה, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of Elohim in the Spirit.”
By the Blood of יהושע Messiah, we have been brought near, and grafted in to, the body of Messiah, and by Him we are being joined together and built up together into a dwelling place of Elohim in the Spirit; and what we must clearly understand here, from this ‘being built up’ process, is that we are all to be actively engaged in the building process, as we continue to build upon that sure Rock, our chief cornerstone, that has been laid – as we diligently HEAR – GUARD and DO His clear commands!
In Mattithyahu/Matthew 7 our Master יהושע Messiah makes it clear that those who hear His words and does them, shall be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock and be secure until the end, while those who hear His words and do not do them, shall be like a foolish man that builds his house on the sand, which shall not stand when the latter rain storms come! In other words, we are all to be about building the House – His House, which He has called us to become a part of in order to dwell with Him forever. The question we certainly ought to be asking ourselves is whether we have sat down and considered the cost of building this House we have called to, or whether we find ourselves lacking in our clear responsibilities!
This season of counting to 50 should cause us to carefully reflect on our building abilities and the responsibilities we have been entrusted with, as we build each other up in the most set-apart faith!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘belief’ is the noun πίστις pistis – Strong’s G4102 which means, ‘faith, faithfulness, pledge, conviction of the Truth’ which in turn comes from the primary root verb πείθω peithō – Strong’s G3982 which means, ‘to persuade, to put confidence in, to follow, have confidence and rely upon’. When looking at these root terms it is very clear, even in the Greek mind-set, that ‘to believe’ involves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.
Building oneself up in the most set-apart belief also highlights how we are all to work out our own deliverance with fear and trembling and while we must certainly encourage each other and build each other up, we must build ourselves up.
2 – PRAY IN THE SPIRIT
In verse 19 we are told that the mockers who cause divisions do not have the Spirit and so we are able to recognise that pretenders do not have the Spirit of Elohim and if they do not have the Spirit of Elohim then they have the spirit of the anti-messiah!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:1-6 “Beloved ones, do not believe every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of Elohim, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is of Elohim, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the anti-messiah which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world. 4 You are of Elohim, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world, therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of Elohim – the one knowing Elohim hears us. He who is not of Elohim does not hear us. By this we know the Spirit of the Truth and the spirit of the delusion.”
The reason for me making mention of these words from Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is to highlight the clear truth that there is a counterfeit spirit operating in many people’s lives and as we have already discussed, to deny that יהושע Messiah has come in the flesh is to deny that יהושע Messiah is יהוה our Saviour and Elohim! This has even further depth of meaning, as we also recognise that to cast the Torah of Elohim aside and claim it is no longer valid is also a denial of Messiah and is a working of the false spirit of delusion.
Prayer is simply a means of communicating with our Master and Elohim, while prophesying is speaking about Him, and to pray in the Spirit is not a limitation of praying in tongues, as many seem to think, but is rather a clear reference to a proper means of talking to our Master and Elohim, being ready to present all praise, petitions and requests with thanksgiving and being ready to hear what His Spirit says, confirmed and witnessed through His Word, and diligently obeying what He instructs and commands. We are to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh! This simply means that we are to walk according to His clear pattern that comes from above and not according to the corrupted pattern of man that has set aside the Torah of Elohim and does whatever is right in one’s own eyes. When we walk according to the Spirit we do what is right in the eyes of יהוה, as we walk according to His Word. Therefore, praying in the Spirit is to pray according to His clear pattern, putting the proper seeking of יהוה and His righteousness as the first priority in our lives, seeking His direction, wisdom and understanding in order that His Torah can be the light and lamp for our path and feet!
3 – KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF ELOHIM
The Greek word that is translated as ‘keep’ comes from the root word τηρέω tēreō – Strong’s G5083 which means, ‘to attend to carefully, to take care of, to guard, metaphorically – to keep one in the state in which he is, to observe, to hold fast’, and this is a verb which clearly implies an action that is required rather than a passive nullification of the need to observe. It comes from the word τηρός tēros which is a ‘guard’, and we know that a guard cannot guard correctly if they are not alert and watchful!
Figuratively this word τηρέω tēreō means, ‘obey, fulfil a duty, precept, law or custom, and to perform watchfully’. To guard/keep the instructions of the One we know implies an active obedience to what we hear Him speak and instruct and therefore be diligent to be watchful over His clear Words!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-7 “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. 6 The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked. 7 Beloved, I write no fresh command to you, but an old command which you have had from the beginning. The old command is the Word which you heard from the beginning.””
We are to be true servants of the Most-High who properly make the good confession before many, as we Hear-Guard and Do our Master’s commands!
Keeping ourselves in the love of Elohim is to be properly guarding His commands!
Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.”
Yoḥanan/John 14:21-24 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Yehuḏah – not the one from Qerioth – said to Him, “Master, what has come about that You are about to manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 יהושע answered him, “If anyone loves Me, he shall guard My Word. And My Father shall love him, and We shall come to him and make Our stay with him. 24 “He who does not love Me does not guard My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father Who sent Me.”
Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love.”
The reason for me highlighting these three passages from Yoḥanan/John 14 & 15 collectively, is to simply present the plain truth of what our Master is telling us, which is that the one who guards His commands and does them is one who loves Him! He also tells us that we stay in His love when we obey Him! Ok, so that then means that when one does not obey Him then they do not stay in His love and do not love Him!
As one continues reading Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John we are also warned against loving that which is not of Elohim!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.”
Love is clearly an action and what we must understand is that our choice of action determines our true identity, and we who chose wisely, in choosing to love Elohim and obey His commands, shall remain forever, as we see here that the one “doing” the desire of Elohim remains forever, whereas those who choose to love the world and follow after its twisted ways of lawlessness and pride, shall pass away with the present world – and they will not see the renewed heavens and earth!
Keeping yourself in the love of Elohim is simply this: Guarding His commands!!!
Those who have set aside the walk according to His Torah and claim to be in Him are not contending but are conveniently pretending!
4 – LOOKING FOR THE COMPASSION OF OUR MASTER
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘looking’ is προσδέχομαι prosdechomai – Strong’s G4327 which means, ‘look for, wait for, expect: the fulfilment of promises’ and is constructed from two words: 1) – πρός pros – Strong’s G4314 which is a primary preposition meaning, ‘advantageous for, at (denotes local proximity), toward (denotes motion toward a place)’, and 2) – δέχομαι dechomai – Strong’s G1209 which means, ‘to receive, accept, welcomed’.
This word προσδέχομαι prosdechomai can be understood as ‘going toward that which is to be received and welcomed’, and is used in:
Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “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, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
How do we ‘wait expectantly’? By renouncing wickedness and worldly lusts and live set-apart lives in complete reverence of Elohim, for we recognise that Messiah has redeemed us from all lawlessness! We wait expectantly by guarding His laws!!!
As we consider our need to be looking to our Master’s esteemed appearance and His compassion, we must recognise the urgency in our need to be diligent in keeping our eyes on Him and not be led astray by things that can cause us to lose sight or focus of walking in and staying in Him and living set-apart lives in complete reverence before our Mighty Elohim and King!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘compassion’ comes from the root word is ἔλεος eleos – Strong’s G1656, which means, ‘compassion, mercy, pity’ and we see this word being used where Miryam was quoting from the Tehillim:
Luqas/Luke 1:50 “And His compassion is from generation to generation, to those who fear Him”
Tehillah/Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion for his children, so יהוה has compassion for those who fear Him.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘compassion’ comes from the root word רַחַם raḥam – Strong’s H7356 which means, ‘compassion, tender love, deep mercy’, and at its root it refers to a deep love (usually of a superior for an inferior) which is rooted in a natural bond.
We see this word רַחַם raḥam – Strong’s H7356 being used here in this Psalm, in describing the deep love Elohim has on those who fear Him, being likened to the love of a father for his children.
In a psalm of Dawiḏ we are reminded of the dealing of Elohim that we are not to forget, as he crowns us with His compassion:
Tehillah/Psalm 103:4 “Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving-commitment and compassion”
יהוה does not just put a crown on our head – He literally surrounds us with His kindness and tender love. I wonder how many times we have forgotten this.
Tehillim/Psalm 103:11 “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His loving-commitment toward those who fear Him”
יהוה’s loving-commitment to His Covenant has caused us to be born again to the living expectation we have in Messiah, who was raised from the dead:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master יהושע Messiah, who according to His great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of יהושע Messiah from the dead”
Compassion, in the truest sense, speaks of an unwavering commitment to walking in the Truth, and completely passionate about of steadfast obedience to our great king, who has by His compassion, caused us to have abundant life!
Looking for the compassion of our Master entails us not forgetting what He has done for us and making sure we keep our eyes fixed on Him, ensuring that loving-commitment and truth are never forsaken!
5 – SHOWING COMPASSION TOWARD THOSE WHO DOUBT
When we are properly looking for the compassion of our Master we should naturally be able to show compassion toward others who are doubting, being a true encouragement to those who are being weakened by trying circumstances. We are told that by this we know that we love the children of Elohim: when we guard His commands! Showing the proper compassion toward those who doubt is to be a proper light that directs others in the Truth, carrying one another’s burdens and encouraging others to keep standing and say to those with anxious hearts that that Elohim is coming!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 35:3-6 “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the weak knees. 4 Say to those with anxious heart, “Be strong, do not fear! See, your Elohim comes with vengeance, with the recompense of Elohim. He is coming to save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf be opened. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing, because waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy. 24 And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the day coming near.”
6 – SAVE OTHERS WITH FEAR – BY SNATCHING THEM FROM OUT OF THE FIRE
We have a responsibility of bringing the good news of deliverance and be bold in our proclamation of the Truth. Sha’ul commissioned Timotiyos to guard the commands and teach them, so that those who hear shall be saved:
Timotiyos aleph/1 Timothy 4:16 “Pay attention to yourself and to the teaching. Continue in them, for in doing this you shall save both yourself and those who hear you.”
The picture that Yehuḏah is giving us here is a very vivid one indeed! To pull people out of a fire takes courage and strength and skill. Firemen are expertly trained at rescuing people from dangerous fires and it is with this imagery that Yehuḏah compels us to be skilled and courageous in our urgency in rescuing people from the coming fire of the wrath of Elohim! We are not to simply just stand by and watch people burn, but we must do whatever we can in snatching them out of the fire of destruction, calling people to come out of that which leads to death.
An urgency in calling others out of destruction can only be done when we hate the sin which causes destruction, and this is why he states the following:
7 – HATING GARMENTS DEFILED BY THE FLESH
Hating garments defiled by the flesh will certainly be a motive to snatch others from the fire!
So many people do not see a problem with compromised standards and as a result the urgency of calling others to comes out from the destructive fleshly ways of sin will be severely lacking.
Those who are not earnestly contending with conveniently pretend to show love, while not making the urgent plea for sinners to repent!
When compromise is so easily tolerated then contending earnestly for the belief will not be actively present and any attempts at a show of worship will simply be revealed as being convenient pretenders that think only of themselves.
The picture of garments being defiled by the flesh is a metaphor for unrighteousness as we know that Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 tells us that the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones. Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 tells us that it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all the commands of Elohim.
We have been clothed in righteousness by the blood of Messiah and we are to keep our garments clean and not let them be defiled by the flesh but walk according to the Spirit!
We are to love Elohim, which is to guard His commands! Hate is the opposite of love and when one hates something they will not do it! The image Yehuḏah is giving us here is that we must hate compromise and all that defiles set-apartness!
Our love for Elohim must not be tainted by that which defiles!
Romiyim/Romans 12:9 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good.”
One cannot be earnestly contending for the belief when they are not hating that which defiles!
It is so sad to see how much compromise is being tolerated today, even within groups that claim to be Torah-observant, as they permit compromised and mixed standards to being acceptable as they do not want to offend!
We will not properly snatch others from the fire if we do not hate the garments that are defiled by fleshly standards of man!
In closing these instructions of how to be one who is earnestly contending for the belief, Yehuḏah reminds us that we are able to do this because of Him who is able to keep us from stumbling and present us blameless before the presence of His esteem!
All praise and esteem be given to the only wise Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah!!!
It is through our Master and Elohim alone that we are able to stand, for He has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and clothed us in His great compassion, giving us clean garments of righteousness and armed us in His Truth so that we can stand, and keep standing, so that in Him we shall never stumble!
As we carefully consider this very powerful letter of Yehuḏah, we can be strengthened and encouraged to be called out, set-apart ones that are earnestly contending for the belief and not be found to be conveniently pretending!
Perhaps you have found yourself pretending instead of contending. Let this little but powerful letter of Yehuḏah stir your heart into action today, to begin to be earnestly contending daily for the belief that Elohim has entrusted to you by the power of the His Set-Apart Spirit which has been graciously poured out into your life. Convenient pretending will not get anyone rescued from the fire, but earnest contending will keep you out of the fire and equip you to stanch others out from it too!
It is time for the true called, set-apart and preserved ones in Messiah to be earnestly contending for the belief, putting do death all forms of convenient pretending that denies the true power of our Master, in order that we may be found to have belief when our Master comes!
And so, I close this message with the closing words of Yehuḏah’s letter:
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:24-25 “And to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His esteem with exceeding joy, 25 to the only wise Elohim, our Saviour, be esteem and greatness and might and authority, both now and forever. Aměn.”
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!!!