6th of the 2nd month 2015/2016
Shabbat Shalom family,
Romiyim/Romans 13:12-14 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
One of the greatest challenges we face in this world today is our continued ability to make sure that we make no provision for the lusts of the flesh, and what many believers often neglect to do is take an account and assess their daily walk, perhaps due to the fast paced lifestyles of today that keep many so consumed in what can be classified as “a survival mode”. When simply trying to survive each day and somehow face the demanding challenges to make ends meet, the danger of becoming distracted and consumed by the daily battles of life, is that one’s walk of set-apartness may often be in danger of being neglected. As the proper standards for set-apartness are put aside, compromise becomes something that is easily accommodated into one’s walk, so much so that it is not even recognised as compromise any more due to the mirror of the Word not being properly utilised in assessing how one looks and walks.
Sha’ul was making it very clear in his letter to the called out set-apart ones in Rome that no provision for the lust of the flesh must be made, and the need to walk ‘becomingly’ was of utmost importance! These words are still very much alive and applicable for us today.
The Greek word translated as ‘lusts’ is ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, ‘lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting’.
Titos/Titus 2:11-12 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age”
What I also want to make clear here is that the ‘lusts of the flesh’ can also be applied to that deep longing and desire to have things changed and different, or the coveting of a different circumstance and in so doing will cause one to do whatever it takes to achieve it, even if it means departing from the prescribed path of set-apartness! Lusting in the flesh is not only the longing for and desiring of the things you may tend to day dream about, but can also be the drive to make the change to one’s fleshly circumstances that causes one to set aside the commands of Elohim and conveniently neglect a proper obedience to His Torah in order to satisfy fleshly needs and demands! Messiah has given us all we need for life and reverence and in Him coming to take the punishment for our sin and redeem us from all lawlessness, we are enabled to walk upright and be taught to renounce all wickedness and worldly lusts, and be able to live sensibly, righteously and reverently today! While the demands of the world grow and the pressure to survive increases each and every day, we need to be on guard against the real danger of falling into any form of compromise and neglect for complete set-apart living! As we continue in our ‘count to 50’ from the waving of the sheaf of the first fruits to Shaḇu’ot, with tonight beginning day 14 of our count, we must continually be reminded of our need to daily count the cost of following our Master and Elohim as we are instructed to, making sure that we look intently into the mirror of the Word and not forget what we look like but rather do our utmost in being the faithful Bride who is walking perfectly in set-apartness and walking becomingly before our Husband and King!
The Greek word translated as ‘becomingly’ is εὐσχημόνως euschēmonōs – Strong’s G2156 which means, ‘honestly, decently, becomingly, properly, in a seeming manner’, and comes from the word εὐσχήμων euschēmōn – Strong’s G2158 which means, ‘honourable, comely, respectable, presentable, appropriate’. This word is constructed from two Greek words: 1 – εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, ‘good, well done’ and 2 – σχῆμα schema – Strong’s G4976 which means, ‘figure, shape, appearance, form’.
Why all the words? Please bear with me! What I am making very clear here is that we, as set-apart ones of Elohim, are to walk properly in complete honesty, and in the appropriate and respectable manner that is instructed for us in the Word of Elohim, walking in the good appearance and form that is prescribed for true set-apartness. In other words we are to walk in the pattern provided, and this pattern should be visibly seen in our lives, done so in the proper manner, and not be found walking and doing whatever seems right in one’s own eyes!
In a message tonight called, “ASSESSING THE PATTERN OF OUR WALK!”, I want to encourage you all to do just that as we look at our need to be a people who are walking as we should and stay in the Master so that He stays in us!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
We have just been through the design and pattern of the Tabernacle, as we finished the Book of Shemoth/Exodus last week, and in the morning we will begin looking at the actual functioning of the Tabernacle as we begin our journey through Wayyiqra. What we continually recognise and learn from our weekly Sabbath readings and Torah studies is that the pattern and design for our walk and service has been made abundantly clear. Messiah Himself came to physically show us how we are to walk in His prescribed pattern and our need to walk as He walk is critical, for He walked according to His own perfect design, given to us in His Word and revealed to us practically through His Life, death and resurrection!
For anyone to say that they stay in Him while clearly failing to walk in His Torah and commands are not walking as He walked and simply reveal that the Truth is not in them, showing that they are in no way different to the rebellious and stubborn Yisra’ĕl when, in the days that they had no Sovereign, everyone did what was right in his own eyes! (Shophetim/Judges 21:25 / 17:6 & Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12:8)
Living in the midst of this fast paced rat race that we often find ourselves being consumed by, one can often become so overwhelmed by the trials they face that they find their strength to overcome being diminished as they set aside the need to be refreshed daily in the Word that sustains them. When this happens, the ability to fight the good fight seems to become a task that looks too difficult to bear, and shoulders are shrugged at the responsibility of guarding the Truth at all costs and many scoff at the need to remain set-apart in all matters, with the vain excuse of ‘I just can’t do it!’! Have any of you ever felt like this? Have you ever felt like the whole world is on your shoulders and the last thing you want to hear is how you are to be doing what the Word instructs, especially when you know that you have not been completely faithful and set-apart in all matters – be it in words or deeds?
Part of this message tonight is to remind you to be diligent in taking the time needed to assess the pattern of your walk, and address the urgency to do so with all honestly and reverence before the face of our Master and Elohim, whom we all claim to be ambassadors of.
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 “I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.”
This is a very powerful verse that speaks great volumes, as it highlights for us the true reality that we are unable to do all without Messiah! If He is not empowering us, we cannot do it all, yet when we allow His Word to empower us and lead us, we can do all. Many may like to recite this verse and think that by speaking positive words that they will stimulate a positive attitude that will get them on the go. While positive speaking can and does have certain effects on stimulating our brain, what we must recognise here is that simply saying these words without the followed up response of obedience to His Word, will not bring about the proper and honest fruit of set-apartness! And no matter how many times one recites this verse, if they do not hear, guard and do all that our Elohim and Messiah commands us to do, then they will not have strength to do all!
יהושע clearly tells us in Yoḥanan/John 15:5 that He is the vine and we are the branches, and the one who stays in Him and He in them, bears much fruit, for without Messiah we are able to do nought!
The Greek word translated in Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 as ‘empowers’ is ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 which means, ‘to grow in power, increase in strength, strengthened, strengthens, be made strong’. This word is used 8 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) and as we consider the use of this word we are able to see that we are only truly strengthened or empowered in/by the Master when we walk as He walked and stay in Him by guarding His commands!
We see this word being used in:
Ma’asei/Acts 9:22 “But Sha’ul kept increasing in strength, and was confounding the Yehuḏim who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this is the Messiah.”
After Sha’ul had a huge awakening to the Truth of the revelation of who Messiah is, he kept getting stronger and stronger, confounding the Yehuḏim, so much so that they plotted to kill him! As he grew in the strength of the Master, and grew in the proper understanding and knowledge of Elohim, he did not see the treats of others as a hindrance to keep being strengthened to prove who the Messiah is! As one is strengthened in the Master and is strengthened in His Word, confidence and boldness increases and is clearly displayed in the proper, reverent and honourable manner, without the fear of man being a hindrance to one’s walk of faith and proclamation of the Good News! Many people struggle with strength and courage in the Master and lack the ability to be a faithful witness, due to them not being strengthened daily in the Word and living completely set-apart lives in total faith, as the pattern of their walk is not being properly assessed against the clear plumb-line of the Word of Elohim!!!
We see this word being used in describing Aḇraham:
Romiyim/Romans 4:20-21 “he did not hesitate about the promise of Elohim through unbelief, but was strengthened in belief, giving esteem to Elohim, 21 and being completely persuaded that what He had promised He was also able to do.”
How much are you being strengthened in belief? Are you completely persuaded that what has been written and instructed for us to do is the Truth and the clear pattern to walk upright and set-apart amidst a dark and depraved world? If you say you are completely persuaded that what יהוה has promised He is able to do, then ask yourself if your life and the pattern of your walk lines up with that confession of belief! Or do you find yourself at times hesitating about the promises of Elohim, promises that are yes and aměn in Messiah?
Sha’ul, in his letter to the Ephesians, says:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.”
Be strong – ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743! He says this after giving some very clear instructions in this powerful letter, and what follows these words can be, in a way, a clear picture of ‘how to’ be strong in the Master! For what follows is his instructions to put on the complete armour of Elohim! We have previously discussed at length that the reference to the armour of Elohim here is a clear reference to putting on the whole Torah and serving in garments of righteousness as a set-apart priesthood that stays in our Master, Head, High Priest and King, יהושע Messiah!
Once again – the ‘how to’ of being strong in the Master, or ‘being strengthened’ in the Master, is in our ability to ‘stay in’ Him and guard to do all He commands us to! Sha’ul writes to Timotiyos and says:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Messiah יהושע our Master who empowered me, because He counted me trustworthy, putting me into service”
He was telling Timotiyos that although he was a blasphemer, persecutor, insulter and a terrible sinner, compassion was shown to him, as he saw that what he did previously he did in unbelief, yet now in the Master continues to give abundant thanks to יהושע Messiah who empowered him and put him to service! I love the wording he uses here as we can clearly learn from this that despite how terrible we once were, as we acted in unbelief, we are able to give a joyous thanks unto our Messiah and King who empowers us in His Truth and counts us worthy to be of service in His royal and set-apart priesthood! He empowers us to serve!!! How are you serving? This is a word that should inspire a true assessing of the pattern of your walk!
In his second letter to Timotiyos we see the words of Sha’ul in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:16-17 “At my first defence no one stood with me, but all forsook me. Let it not be held against them. 17 But the Master stood with me and did strengthen me, so that through me the preaching might be completely accomplished, and that all the gentiles should hear. And I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth.”
Can you hear the words of Sha’ul here? When everyone forsook him… the Master did not! The Master strengthened him so that he could accomplish completely what he was to do, even being rescued out of the lions mouth – that is he was rescued from a sure death sentence! When everyone had forsaken him and no one would stand with him…! How often have you felt all alone and forsaken by all? Do you feel like giving up? We can learn from this how the Master’s Word is true and sure – He will never leave nor forsake us – even when everyone else will! And we can be sure that even while everyone may forsake you and stand against you, you can still be strengthened in the Master to accomplish all that you should do! The question is, “do you believe it or not?”
This Greek word ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 is the construct of two words: 1) – ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting position, and is translated as, ‘in, on, at, by, with’, and 2) – δυναμόω dunamoō – Strong’s G1412 which means, ‘to make strong, enable, strengthened’., and it is this word δυναμόω dunamoō – Strong’s G1412 that we see being used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) 4 times. We see it being used in:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If an iron tool is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he needs more strength, and wisdom is advantageous to make right.”
This is plain and simple – if your sword is blunt… you need more strength! The word of Elohim is living and working and is sharper than any double edged sword and is profitable for teaching, reproof, setting straight and instruction in righteousness, so that we can be fitted for every good work! The Hebrew word used here in this verse for ‘strength’ is חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 which means, ‘strength, efficiency, wealth, army, ability, capability, excellence’ and comes from the root word חִיל ḥil – Strong’s H2342 which means, ‘to be firm, strong, endure, prosper’. This is the same word that is used to describe the ‘able’ men that Mosheh’s father in law instructed him to seek out! While many ought to be ‘able’ and ‘brave’, given the length of time that they have been walking according to the Torah, sadly the fruit of their lives proves otherwise and they are simply not qualified to be classed as ‘brave’ or ‘able’, when we all should be, as we make our firm stand in Messiah!
In the Hebrew ancient pictographic symbols the word for ‘able, brave’ – חַיִל ḥayil was written as follows:
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘ḥet’, which in the early script is pictured as a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘separation’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent, or can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. A wall is also built up by stones, which can also picture for us as living stones being built up in Messiah!
– this is letter ‘yad or yod’ which in the ancient script is pictured as ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!
– this is the Hebrew letter ‘lamed’, which is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, representing ‘authority’ and can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority, as well as be submitted under the Authority of the Good Shepherd!
When we see these letters in the ancient script being used to describe someone who is considered ‘brave, and able’ we can certainly glean from this the following:
The true brave and able one in the body of Messiah is the one who truly represents what it means to be separated as a living stone, and submitted to doing the work of obedient service, being led under the Authority of our Good Shepherd, and equipped to teach and lead others to maturity in Messiah!
We are able to see a number of Hebrew words that are translated or understood as the ability of being strong or being strengthened, and one I am sure we are all aware of is the word that used in the clear command given a number of times to Yehoshua, when he was commanded to ‘be strong and courageous’:
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and courageous, for you are to let this people inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 “Only be strong and very courageous, to guard to do according to all the Torah which Mosheh My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it right or left, so that you act wisely wherever you go. 8 “Do not let this Book of the Torah depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you guard to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and act wisely. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, nor be discouraged, for יהוה your Elohim is with you wherever you go.”
3 times in 3 verses we see Yehoshua being clearly commanded to ‘be strong’, and with it the clear ‘how to’ of being strong being given as well – and that is to guard to do all the Torah and not turn away from it, but meditate on it day and night.
The word in Hebrew for ‘be strong’ is חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, ‘to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take hold of’, and can have the concept of ‘grasp between your ears, get a firm handle on the matter’.
In the Hebrew ancient pictographic symbols the word for ‘be strong’ is חָזַק ḥazaq and was written as follows:
Ḥet – חָ:
The ancient script has this letter as which is a ‘tent wall’, and carries a meaning of ‘SEPARATION’, as a tent wall separates two halves of the tent; or it can also reflect the outside walls that separate the people inside from that which is outside and so can also symbolise protection and security to those inside, while picturing a cutting off of those who are outside. Hence this letter can mean ‘established, secure’ as well as ‘cut off, separated from’. As a tent wall we are also able to recognise the picture of stones being built up to make a complete wall, having been separated from the world and built up in the master!
Zayin – זַ:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is a mattock (a sharp digging tool such as an axe or pick) and carries the meaning of ‘a weapon or tool that cuts, farming instrument’. A mattock would be a tool that was also used to dig up the soil so that seed could be planted. As we continue to remember to guard His Sabbath and His Appointed Times, and remembering to keep His commands, we are able to break up the tillable soil of our hearts and allow His Word to be worked in us, allowing His Word to cut away any dross or weeds that arise and allow the fruit of righteousness to spring forth!
Quph – ק:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘quph’, which is pictured in the ancient script as – – which is a picture of ‘the sun at the horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity. It also is understood as the ‘gathering of the light’.
As we consider these pictures that render the word for being strong, we are able to see how we are to be strong in the Master as we are to be Separated by cutting with the sharp tool of His Word continually! Or we are only truly made strong when we are established in the sharp Word of Elohim that we continue to guard with our all!
With both of these words that we have looked at, we are able to clearly see that our ability to be strong in the Master is only made possible when we are continually guarding His Word and faithfully serving as we should, taking up His easy yoke of the Torah that leads us in every way, causing us to be strengthened to do all and be prosperous in all.
I want us to look at one more Hebrew word, for the purposes of this message, that calls us to assess the pattern of our walk.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 8:14 “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, mightiness is mine.”
Mightiness is His!!! The Hebrew word used for ‘mightiness’ is גְּבוּרָה geḇurah – Strong’s H1369 which means, ‘strength, might, courage’ and comes from the primitive root verb גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396, which means, ‘to be strong and mighty, prevail’.
Our ability to be strong and courageous can only come from the One who is Mighty, and to seek strength from traditions of man that have corrupted and perverted the truth will result in many being unable to stand when the raging heat and wrath of Elohim comes upon the wicked! So many people try to find their strength and confidence in self-help books written by people who have a perverse mouth and teach a lawless doctrine, when the people should be studying the Scriptures and finding their strength and courage in the One who is Mighty, for mightiness is His.
In this verse we can see how Shelomoh is making a very clear statement in setting forth the powerful parable of declaring where true counsel, sound wisdom, understanding and mightiness comes from and where it can be found by those seeking hard enough! So many will spend much money on books written by false teachers with perverse mouths while they will not simply dig in to the powerful Truth of the Word and let wisdom become clear by the Spirit of the Living Elohim!
In the Hebrew ancient pictographic symbols the root verb גָּבַר gaḇar – Strong’s H1396, which means, ‘to be strong and mighty, prevail’ was written as follows:
Gimel – גָּ:
This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as – –which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk! It also represents the ability to lift up and carry that which we should, as seen in our daily walk.
Beyt – בַ:
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. As a floor plan we recognise how this ancient pictographic symbol also reveals to us the clear pattern or design by which the House is to be built.
Resh – ר:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘the head of a man’ and carries the meaning of ‘top, beginning, first, chief’, as in being the top of the body or the head of a tribe and the one who rules; and also speaks of possession or inheritance that is decided by the chief.
As we look at these pictures grouped together to give us the understanding of being strong in the Mightiness of Elohim, we can see the message being given very loud and clear, as: WALKING IN THE PATTERN OF THE HEAD!, or,
Lift up and carry the design of the House/body of Messiah our Head!
This picture makes the words of Messiah very clear when He instructs us in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:28 “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 16:24 “Then יהושע said to His taught ones, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:29-30 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your beings. 30 “For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”
With the 3 clear pictographic words we have looked at in terms of being strong and being strengthened in the strength of our Master, we are able to recognise how the pattern for our walk has been made abundantly clear! Having said that we must be a people who are daily ASSESSING THE PATTERN OF OUR WALK, by grabbing hold of, lifting up and carrying the Torah and commands of Elohim, which is His clear pattern and design for our lives!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan Bet/2 John 1:6 “And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
ASSESSING THE PATTERN OF OUR WALK – a needed task each and every day, to ensure that we are indeed found to be staying in our Master and are strengthened in Him to stand firm no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in!
How have you been walking? Is the pattern of your walk a mirror image of the Word of Elohim?
As you meditate on our clear responsibility of being faithful ambassadors who ought to be proclaiming the coming Kingdom Reign of our Master, that should be clearly seen in both our words and actions, I ask you tonight if you have been faithful in ASSESSING THE PATTERN OF OUR WALK?
Have you been weakened by trials and persecutions, to the point where your understanding and knowledge of the pure pattern or design for our lives has been jaded by compromise? Have you found that you have not been seeking your strength in His Word, daily as you ought to be, and as a result are feeling like you can barely stand anymore, under the heavy weight of the oppression and fleshly lusts and burdens?
How does your walk line up against the pure plumb line of the Torah of Elohim? Have you allowed compromised standards to set in and become a part of your life, or have you allowed the corrupted patterns of the traditions of man to cause you to stray from walking in complete set-apartness?
Hear the call to be faithfully ASSESSING THE PATTERN OF OUR WALK, and BE STRONG in the favour that is in Messiah יהושע, and thoroughly ASSESS THE PATTERN OF YOUR WALK through the clear picture and teachings of His Word!
Be strong… has not יהוה commanded you to be strong! Therefore be strong in the Mightiness of His Strength!!!
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!