27th of the 6th month 2019/2020
With the 7th month just a couple of days away, it is with great anticipation that we learn to eagerly wait for our Master’s soon return, with these Feasts of the 7th month, that we are about to celebrate, giving a clear lesson of readiness!
As we approach the day of soundings, that is Yom Teruah, we recognise the need for us to have ears to hear, as we stand firm in His Truth and be found to have a true set-apart belief that faithfully works obedience with much joy, fear and trembling, before His face!
As ‘The Day of the Awakening Blast’ approaches, I am reminded of some of the parables of our Master, that speak of readiness, and more specifically, I am reminded of the parable of the 10 maidens, which I would like to take a closer look at, along with a few other texts that call for a proper readiness.
In a message called ‘BE WISE AND NOT FOOLISH – BE TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!’ let us look intently into the mirror of the Word, in order to ensure that we are doing our utmost in being properly clothed in His Righteousness and guarding the deposit of His Spirit that He has given us as a pledge of our inheritance!
Turn with me to Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:1-12 and let us take a closer look at this vital parable! (Read)
This parable is one that is widely known by many, yet it is most likely not being properly understood, especially as we see how so many are being so foolish in their actions, as their compromised living reveals that they have no oil in their lamps and they risk the danger of not being able to enter in to the reign of Elohim!
This parable is a sobering wakeup call, against complacency and the folly of working lawlessness and expecting to be right in the eyes of our Master, while doing so. There are many who are displaying a dead belief/faith, as their refusal to guard to do what our Elohim commands, highlights that they have no proper works to validate their claim to a belief in Messiah.
Ya’aqoḇ clearly reminds us in Ya’aqoḇ/James 2 that belief without works is dead, and he said that the way that he would show his belief was through his works, that is, the proper works of obedience and not the working of lawlessness, for the working of lawlessness is not true working belief!
Before we take a look at this parable of the 10 maidens, a little more closely, let me first remind you what a parable is, as we know that our Master spoke in parables, concerning the reign of Elohim!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘parable’ is παραβολή parabolē – Strong’s G3850 which means, ‘a placing besides, comparison, parable, proverb, symbol, type’.
This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of Tanak) for the Hebrew word for ‘proverbs’ – מִשְׁלֵי – Mishlĕ, which comes from the root noun מָשָׁל mashal – Strong’s H4912 and means, ‘a proverb, parable, a byword’, which, in its primitive root form, means, ‘to compare, to represent, be like’, and comes from the root verb מָשַׁל mashal – Strong’s H4911 which means, ‘to use a proverb, speak in parables or sentences of poetry’.
That is why we understand the words of Messiah when He spoke in parables by using terms such as, “The reign of the heavens is like…”, or, “The reign of the heavens shall be compared to…”
A ‘parable’ presents the truth very clearly, by putting a fresh light on the matter, as it is often presented in a ‘story’ format that represents the message being given, using imagery that is known to the hearer, in order to illustrate and shed light on the result of past, current and even future events, as determined by choices that are made.
Parables can only be understood by the attentive hearer and doer of the Word, while those who do not hear, in order to do, are never able to fully understand the teachings of or Master!
This parable, of which the reign of the heavens shall be compared to, is one that calls for the hearers to wake up from any slumber and being urgent in making sure that they are correctly prepared for the Master’s soon return!
This parable is about 10 maidens and, in Scripture, the number 10 can often represent a quorum or the whole body, as an ephah basket consists of 10 omers and we also know, from the Torah, that an omer is also used to represent an individual being!
Therefore, this is a parable which highlights the difference between those who are ready and those who are not!
And despite many who claim to be part of the body of Messiah, there will be a separation between the ‘wheat and the darnel’, so to speak, as one of the primary lessons that we can take from this parable, is that if one is not ready and dressed in righteousness, as they should be, then scrambling at the last minute will not help!
All 10 of the maidens went out to meet the bridegroom, which teaches us how all 10 believed that they were the true and ready Bride, yet it was only the 5 who were wise and were proven to be the true Bride, while the 5 foolish were rejected, as those who were not known by the Bridegroom!
5 were foolish and 5 were wise!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘foolish’ is μωρός mōros – Strong’s G3474 which means, ‘dull, stupid, foolish, impious, unwise, nonsense’.
The English word ‘impious’ means, ‘sinful, irreverent, wicked’, and this Greek word for ‘foolish’ can also speak of ‘thoughts that are devoid of understanding’, and highlights for us that the foolish do not understand, as they do not have ears to hear!
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4 we see the prophet identifying with the guilt of a backsliding Yisra’ěl, although he himself was not guilty, he saw that Yisra’ěl, as a whole, was guilty and he asks how long would he hear the sound of a shofar and see that people are not actually listening!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:21-22 “How long shall I see a banner, and hear a voice of a shophar? 22 For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”
Being in grief about the desolation of the land and the depravity of the people, an earnest cry is given here, in this chapter, asking a very clear question about how long will a banner be seen and a voice of a shofar be heard.
And then an answer is given about the reality of the situation, as we see in verse 22 the clear words given through this weeping prophet, about the state of this backsliding and rebellious people!
They were being foolish and stupid and had no understanding!
As a result of a lack of understanding, they had reversed the concept required, as they were now wise toward the evil, but ignorant toward the good, as a result of a lack of knowledge! All because they were not listening to the voice of a shofar, which expresses a picture of not listening to the voice of Elohim and His Covenant standards for set-apart living, as given through His Torah!
The reason for me highlighting this text, as an example for us to learn from, is that we can see pictures of the foolish maidens being made clearer, through this example of a people who had shut their ears to the Truth and had become foolish, while thinking that they were wise!
Sha’ul, in his letter to the Romans, reminds the believers that the way to guard their obedience, they needed to be innocent towards the evil and wise toward the good.
Romiyim/Romans 16:19 “Your obedience, indeed, is reported to all. Therefore I rejoice concerning you, but I wish you to be wise indeed as to the good, and simple toward the evil.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘innocent’ is ἀκέραιος akeraios – Strong’s G185 which means, ‘unmixed, pure, innocent’.
In our running, with endurance, the set-apart race that is set before us, we must remain ‘unmixed’, as we stay clear of the paths and ways of the wrong and evil!
The way to be simple toward the evil, is to make sure that we stay faultless by not mixing, as we keep pure our set-apartness and make sure that we do not allow the evil ways to corrupt our walking in the wisdom of Elohim!
The Hebrew word used for ‘foolish’, in Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:22, is אֱוִיל eviyl – Strong’s H191 which means, ‘fool, foolish’.
The Hebrew words that are rendered as fool in Mishlĕ/Proverbs, and often elsewhere in the Tanak, denote one who is morally deficient. Such a person is lacking in sense and is generally corrupt.
From the proverbs of Shelomoh, we can see how the אֱוִיל eviyl (fool) identifies himself as soon as he opens his mouth! He would be wise to conceal his folly by keeping quiet (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 17:28).
When he starts talking without thinking, ruin is at hand (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 10:14).
While a wise man avoids strife, the fool quarrels at any time (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:3).
He cannot restrain himself and will “display his annoyance at once,” whereas a wise man overlooks an insult (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 12:16).
Fools only have pride coming out of their mouths (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:3), and mock at sin and lawlessness (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:9).
A fool despises wisdom, because it is too high for him (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:7), and when disputing with a fool, there is no peace (Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:9).
Foolish people are wise toward the evil, yet they are unable to walk in the good way of set-apartness, as they refuse to give ear to the hearing of the Torah of Elohim.
The foolish maidens represent those who are being wise toward the evil, instead of being simple toward it and, as a result, they have no oil, as they lack the ability to walk according to the Spirit, which is to walk according to that which comes from above, that is, according to the clear Torah and commands of Elohim!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:45 “Who then is a trustworthy and wise servant, whom his master set over his household, to give them food in season?”
Our Master’s question is very clear here:
WHO THEN IS A TRUSTWORTHY AND WISE SERVANT?
The Greek word that is translated as ‘trustworthy’ is πιστός pistos – Strong’s G4103 which means, ‘faithful, reliable, believer, trustworthy’, and comes from the primary root verb πείθω peithō – Strong’s G3982 which means, ‘to persuade, to put confidence in, to follow, have confidence and rely upon’.
When looking at these root terms, it is very clear, even in the Greek mind-set, that ‘to be trustworthy’ involves ‘action’ or ‘active obedience’, and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘wise’ is the adjective φρόνιμος phronimos – Strong’s G5429 which means, ‘practically wise, sensible, prudent, mindful of one’s interests’, and comes from the word φρήν phrēn – Strong’s G5424 which means, ‘understanding, midriff or diaphragm, heart, mind, thought, thinking’, and the Greek noun that comes from this root for ‘understanding’ is φρόνησις phronēsis – Strong’s G5428 which means, ‘understanding, practical wisdom, attitude, insight’.
What we can clearly see, from a Greek perspective, is that to have understanding implies an ability to think straight and engage in a practical application of the wisdom that one has learnt and diligently continues to seek and learn!!!
To be both trustworthy and wise servants, involves the proper action of true set-apartness that is guarded through righteousness, which is to guard to do all that our Master and Elohim has commanded us to. For one of the clearest definitions, in Scripture, of what righteousness in, we see the following, 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.”
We also know, that in terms of guarding righteousness, by doing what we have been commanded and instructed to do, that this implies the keeping of our garments of righteousness clean, as a Bride who has properly prepared herself, and we are clearly told in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
The Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, and is also used as a metaphor to describe one who gives himself up to another’s will and is devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests!!!
In terms of being trustworthy and faithful servants, we must take careful thought the question of our Master who asks, ‘who is then a trustworthy and wise servant’!
The trustworthy and wise have the full assurance of the promised protection by our great Elohim, as we see in:
Tehillah/Psalm 31:23 “Love יהוה, all you His lovingly-committed ones! For יהוה guards the trustworthy ones, and exceedingly repays the doer of pride.”
The foolish are doers of pride, as they do what they do whatever is right in their own eyes, while having no regard for the clear standards of set-apartness that is given through the Torah and commands of Elohim! The foolish are walking in the deceit of unrighteousness, as they have not received a love for the truth, for true love for Elohim is to guard His commands!!!
יהושע Messiah tells us, in Marqos/Mark 7:22, that deceit is one of the defiling things that comes out of a man’s heart!
In these last days, when the deceit of unrighteousness is all around, we recognise how small the true remnant of Elohim’s Bride is.
And, as יהוה restores a clean lip unto the remnant few, they will call on the Name of יהוה and serve Him with one shoulder, and we are told in:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12-13 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה. 13 “The remnant of Yisra’ĕl shall do no unrighteousness and speak no falsehood, nor is a tongue of deceit found in their mouth. For they shall feed their flocks and lie down, with none to frighten them.”
No tongue of deceit found in their mouths!!!
Let no deceit be found in you, is a clear message that we all need to hear in these last days – for the deceitful danger of deceit can cause us to be slain with the wrongdoers and workers of wickedness, the treacherous and adulterers, who do not know יהוה, nor love Him as they do not guard His commands!
Deceit causes one to refuse to know Elohim, and deceit is a very dangerous and poisonous thing – it will cloud your judgement and your ability to think straight!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:10-11 “For “He who wishes to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit, 11 let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it.”
The Greek word used here for ‘deceit’ is δόλος dolos –Strong’s G1388 which means, ‘a bait, craft, deceit’.
What I find interesting to take note of here, is that the Greek word for ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, a very similar sounding word, yet with only one additional letter – ῦ.
And this can certainly help us realise how fine a line it is, between being a true faithful servant of the Most-High, in which there is found no deceit, and being one in which there is deceit!
In Yoḥanan/John 1:47 when יהושע (Yahushua) saw Nethanĕ’l coming toward Him, He said this of Nethanĕ’l:
“See, truly a Yisra’ĕlite, in whom is no deceit!” – what a powerful compliment to receive! What we can learn from this is very clear: נְתַנְאֵל Nethanĕ’l – Strong’s H5417 means, ‘given of Ěl’, and here we are given a clear lesson of one who was a faithful servant of Elohim and one who knew the Scriptures and when he heard the voice of Messiah, He knew the voice of the true Vine and Master and King:
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
The time was ‘ripe’ and while most did not recognise Messiah, this ‘given one of Ěl’ did!
Messiah had found a faithful servant, in whom there was no deceit! This is encouraging for us, in showing us that it does not matter how blind the masses are, we whose eyes have been opened can still guard His commands, sit and learn, under the hand of our Master and have no deceit in us… the question is, when He does come again… shall He find you walking in faith or in deceit!!!
The equivalent Hebrew word that we see being used the Greek word δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401, for ‘servant’, is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 which means, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and comes from the verb עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647 which means, ‘to work, serve, become slaves, burdened, cultivate, do the work’ and is also translated, at times, as ‘worship’.
As a child 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 Hebrew 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 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 words עֶבֶד eḇeḏ and עָבַד aḇaḏ are pictured as follows:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is 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 , which is 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 the only means of access. And we also know that Messiah is ‘the Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him!
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, and praising Him as we diligently are serving in spirit and truth, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we too keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah with true joy!
Fools cannot be regarded as trustworthy servants, for they will be found to have no oil and nothing to show for themselves, when our Master comes to take account of all that each has done with what He has given!
In this parable of the 10 maidens, we recognise that all 10 maidens had lamps and while they all did have lamps, only 5 of them had oil in their containers while they were waiting for the Bridegroom to come.
This highlights a clear picture of how some will be properly prepared while others will not be.
The foolish who had no oil and this represents those who are not living set-apart lives, as they are not able to shine their light without oil.
We are told by our Master that we are the light of this world:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city to be hidden on a mountain. 15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines to all those in the house. 16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
These words of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, are words we need to carefully consider as we earnestly seek to serve Him in Spirit and Truth, making sure that we are shining the light of His Truth continually and consistently, as we do our utmost to properly reflect His Truth in our daily lives before all!
We, as taught ones (disciples) of Messiah, are the light of the world!
This is certainly a wonderful thing indeed, yet comes with a very clear responsibility – and that is to shine continually!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘light’ in Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:14 is φῶς phōs – Strong’s G5457 which means, ‘light, fire’, which comes from the word φάος phaos which means, ‘to shine or make manifest, especially by rays’.
This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in the following verse:
Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 “And you, you are to command the children of Yisra’ěl to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘light’, in this verse, is מָאוֹר ma’or – Strong’s H3974 which means, ‘a luminary, light, shining’, and comes from the root word אוֹר or (oor) – Strong’s H215 meaning, ‘to be or become light, give light, shine’.
This word אוֹר ‘oor’ – Strong’s H216 comes from the primitive root verb אוֹר or – Strong’s H215 which means, ‘to be or become light, give light’, and from this we see the derivative – אוּר ur – Strong’s H217 which actually means, ‘a flame, fire, fires, light’ or ‘light of fire’.
The plural of the word אוּר ur is used in:
Shemoth/Exodus 28:30 “And into the breastplate of right-ruling you shall put the Urim and the Tummim, and they shall be on the heart of Aharon when he goes in before יהוה. And Aharon shall bear the right-ruling of the children of Yisra’ĕl on his heart before יהוה, continually.”
אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’ – this was placed in the breastplate of right-ruling of the High Priest, together with the תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’
While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so speaks of seeking the perfect truth from יהוה.
What is very interesting, and worthy of noting, is that the first letter of the word אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 is the letter א ‘aleph’, which is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the first letter of the word תֻּמִּים Tummim is the letter ת ‘taw’, which is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”
What are the urim and tummim?
They are the things that illuminate and perfect.
We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)
He writes His Torah on our hearts and so it is our hearts and mouths that we may do it!
In our Master, יהושע Messiah, is life and the life is the light of men!!! (Yoḥanan/John 1:4)
Those who are in the Master and stay in Him have life and life abundantly and need not fear the darkness of evil.
When we consider the clear picture of Yisra’ĕl having light while Mitsrayim were in thick darkness we are also able to recognise the joy of having the strength and power of our Master giving us secure light in our sojourning.
What is worth taking note of, in terms of the Hebrew word for light, we are able to see a powerful Truth being given to us through the ancient pictographic of this word:
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘light’ – אוֹר oor – Strong’s H216 is written in the ancient pictographic script as follows:
Aleph – א:
This is the letter ‘aleph’, in the ancient script is pictured as , ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!
Waw/Vav – וֹ:
This is the Hebrew letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’ as well as ‘bind’.
Resh – רִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. It has the meaning of ‘top’, as in the top or head of a body, and ‘chief’, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people.
Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!
When we consider these ancient pictographic letters that render the word for ‘light’ we can clearly see a powerful lesson, in terms of our Master, the Light of the world, giving us the rendering:
STRENGTH SECURED IN THE HEAD!
We have great confidence and security in being able to be strong and courageous as we walk in the Light as our Master, who is our Head, is in the Light and in Him we have been secured into His Covenants of promise, having called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, for His Word lights our path in a dark and depraved world!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘lamp’ is נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 which means, ‘lamp, candle, light’.
Now a lamp, in ancient times, would primarily be a vessel with a wick in it for burning a liquid such as oil, in order to produce light; and as one would walk, the lamp would typically be carried in one’s hand!
The Greek word that is used in Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:15 for ‘lamp’ is λύχνος luchnos – Strong’s G3088 and is the Greek word used in the LXX (Septuagint), as being equivalent for the Hebrew word נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 and this call to keep our lamps burning, reminds us of the clear instruction for the priesthood, who were to make sure that the lampstand would burn continually!
There is a responsibility for all of Yisra’ĕl (that includes you and me), to be bringing clear oil and allowing the lamp of His word to continually burn in us.
We must not be found to be without oil like the 5 foolish maidens who were shut out for not having oil in their lamps.
We keep the lamp burning, so to speak, through obedience to His Word as we walk in His Word that leads us.
The command given in Shemoth/Exodus 27:20 is seen again in:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 24:2 “Command the children of Yisra’ěl that they bring to you clear oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually.”
In the ancient pictographic script, the word for נֵר ner – lamp, would look as follows:
– This is the letter ‘nun’ (נֵ), which in the ancient text is pictured as a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
– This is the letter ‘resh’ (ר), which in the ancient text is pictured as ‘the head of a man’, and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. Top as in the top or head of a body and chief an is head of a tribe or people as well as the one who rules the people.
In terms of us seeing these letters being expressed as ‘lamp’, we are able to clearly identify who gives us our light and who is our lamp – יהושע Messiah, who is our Head and is The Seed!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:8 “Remember that יהושע Messiah, of the seed of Dawiḏ, was raised from the dead according to my Good News”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:16 “But the promises were spoken to Aḇraham, and to his Seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.”
We who are grafted in to Messiah by His blood become the seed of Aḇraham:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:29 “And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.”
יהושע Messiah, The Light of the world, has caused us to be equipped to shine His truth and be a light to the nations, as we walk according to His commands.
Tehillim/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
This word for lamp – נֵר ner – Strong’s H5216 – is also used in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:29 “For You are my lamp, O יהוה, and יהוה makes my darkness light.”
Shemoth/Exodus 25:37 “And you shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall mount its lamps so that they give light in front of it.”
This was part of the instructions given for the construction of the Tabernacle and the lampstand with its seven lamps that were to be in the Set-Part Place giving light over the table of showbread, and this is also a clear pointing to the seven lampstands as seen in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 & 3, and how יהושע walks in the midst of these!
To the assembly in Ephesos in Ḥazon/Revelation 2 יהושע reveals Himself as the One who walks in the midst of the 7 golden lampstands and warns the assembly at Ephesos that if they do not repent and return to their first works (that of walking in the Torah – the good works prepared beforehand for us to do!) then He would remove their lampstand!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 tells us that The Word of יהוה is a lamp for our feet, and as we understand, in the Hebraic mind-set, that ‘feet’ is a term that is often used in reference to the keeping His Feasts and His commands, which speaks of actively walking out our belief in obedience, in doing the ‘works of faith’, then, it becomes clear that the ‘clear oil’ that we are have and bring, is a clear picture of our ‘belief/faith with works’ – that is – works of obedience to the commands of Elohim, in being a set-apart people who guard His commands and keep His Feasts.
And this we do as we walk ‘in’ Messiah’. For then, we are able to ‘bring our oil’, as we walk in the Spirit, to Him, so that He can continually keep our lampstand alight! Fools without oil are not burning bright as they should, for their lack of obedience has drained any chance of them having any possible oil that they may have thought to have had.
As we walk in His Word and guard His commands, we not only walk in the light of His face, but we are also equipped to shine as His light… and this can only be done ‘if’ we are ‘burning continually’, which, can only be done ‘if’ we have oil!
There is a responsibility for all of Yisra’ĕl (that includes you and me) to be ‘bringing clear oil’ and allowing the lamp of His Word to continually burn in us.
We must not be found to be without oil, like the 5 foolish maidens who were shut out for not having oil in their lamps. The high priest was to arrange the light for the lampstand, day and night, before יהוה and from this we are able to see some very important lessons and picture contained herein.
Firstly, clear oil could only be obtained by going through the process of being crushed, under the weight of a millstone and then, put in a mesh bag and placed under an olive press (gethsemane), where the oil would be squeezed out, under the immense pressure of the weight of the olive press.
יהושע Messiah, our High Priest, intercedes for us day and night, before the throne and He is the One who walks in the midst of the Lampstand, and we can understand from this, that there is still a great requirement from each of us, to bring the clear oil before our high Priest, in order that the lampstand is continually lit!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘clear’ is זַךְ zaḵ – Strong’s H2134 which means, ‘pure, clean, clear’ and comes from the primitive root verb זָכַךְ zaḵaḵ – Strong’s H2141 meaning, ‘to be pure, clean, to be bright’.
This root word זַךְ zaḵ – Strong’s H2134 is used in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 21:8 “The way of a guilty man is perverse; but as for the innocent, his work is right.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘pressed’, as in ‘clear oil of pressed olives’, is כָּתִית kathith – Strong’s H3795 which means, ‘beaten’ and comes from a word that means ‘to be or crush by beating’, and this word for ‘pressed’ is only used 5 times and is always used in conjunction with the ‘pure’ oil that was to be brought with the offerings or for the lampstand. I find it very interesting that this root word is only used 5 times in Scripture, especially as we are expanding upon this parable of the 10 maidens, where only 5 wise ones had oil! They had the clear oil of pressed olives, so to speak!
If one is not bringing oil then how can they shine?
In this parable of the 10 maidens, we see that while they all slumbered and slept, there was a great cry that was heard at midnight, with the news that the Bridegroom was coming and at that awakening blast, they all rose up and trimmed their lamps!
From this parable, we are able to recognise the picture of Yom Teruah, echoing in the Awakening Blast of the news that the Bridegroom is on His Way!
We also know, from Scripture, that Messiah will come out of the Most Set-Apart Place on the day of Yom Kippur and trample the winepress in His wrath and then gather His Bride. However, it is on Yom Teruah that the awakening blast and the shout of a shofar is heard, and for those who do not have oil, at the sound of this blast, it will be too late to scramble, no matter how much trimming they try to do!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘trimmed’ comes from the root word κοσμέω kosmeō – Strong’s G2885 which means, ‘to order, arrange, adorned, trimmed, put in order, to embellish’.
This root word is used 10 times in 10 verses in the Renewed Writings and is also used to describe the adorning of a woman and the preparations of a bride:
Ḥazon/Revelation 21:2 “And I, Yoḥanan, saw the set-apart city, renewed Yerushalayim, coming down out of the heaven from Elohim, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
The reason for me highlighting this, is that we certainly see the need to be prepared for our Master and Husband’s soon return, yet what we are also to take very careful heed of here, is that we are to make sure that we are not like the foolish maidens that tried to prepare themselves without oil!
The foolish tried to light their lamps, yet they kept on going out, despite having trimmed them and then they asked the wise for oil and were told to go and get their own!
This teaches us a vital lesson, on how each and every person is responsible for their own oil, so to speak, as each one must work and walk out their own deliverance with fear and trembling and they cannot rely on another’s oil to save them!
Being trimmed was not enough, when there was no oil to keep the light burning!
In our preparation of trimming our lamps, we are to allow the Word to lead, guide, reprove and discipline us, so that we can walk boldly according to His Word and Have His Spirit dwell in us, as we guard our set-apartness, for then our preparations will be complete at His return.
And those who have oil and have prepared themselves according to the Truth, will be found by the Master to have a true belief with proper works of righteousness!
The 5 maidens who did not have oil were told by the 5 that did that they had to go and buy their own and, once again, we recognise how the foolish maidens represent those who have not counted the cost of following Messiah and, as a result, find themselves being rejected as those who are not known by Messiah!
The foolish who are not known, are not known because they did not guard the commands of Elohim!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:24 “And the one guarding His commands stays in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He stays in us, by the Spirit which He gave us.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:11-13 “Beloved ones, if Elohim so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen Elohim at any time. If we love one another, Elohim does stay in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we stay in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
The reason for me highlight the above passages from Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John is simply to show that we are able to know that we know Him, only if we guard His commands!
And we are able to know that we have His Spirit, when we guard His commands, showing us that when we guard His commands, in a correct response to His love for us, then we know that He is in us, by His Spirit that He has given us, thus giving us His clear oil that can cause us to burn continually and shine His light.
Those who do not guard the commands, lack oil and are not known by Him and therefore, whatever preparations they may do, will be deemed as nothing more than a working of lawlessness!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!”
These were the words that Messiah spoke, right before the parable of the wise and foolish builders, where the wise builders who built on the rock are likened to those who hear His Word and do them and when the storms come, they remain standing, while the foolish builders that built on sand are likened to those who hear the Word but do not do what is required and when the storm comes, they are destroyed!
This highlights for us the clear picture of the wise being those who are obedient to the Word, while the foolish are those who are not, as they set aside the need to submit to, and obey, the Torah of Elohim.
We are to be trimmed and oiled, in order to burn bright and the way we are ‘oiled’, is to be girded with the Truth!
Luqas/Luke 12:35-36 “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, 36 and be like men waiting for their master, when he shall return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they open to him immediately.”
LOINS GIRDED AND LAMPS BURNING AS YOU WAIT FOR THE MASTER!
This command, in itself, carries immense insight and instruction, when understood from a true Scriptural perspective, and as we look at the words contained herein, we are able to see why!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘let’ is ἔστω estō – Strong’s G2077 which is the imperative of εἰμί eimi – Strong’s G1510 which means, ‘I exist, I am, stay, remain’.
So, what we see here, in this phrase, is the clear command to ‘exist in’ or ‘stay’ dressed for action!!!
This instructs us to be in a continual ready state of complete service and obedience, with our ‘loins girded’ and our ‘lamps burning’! If we are not found to ‘exist’ in the proper ‘clothing’ – that of righteousness (which is our guarding to do all He commands us to) and are not ‘dressed for action’, then we shall be rejected by Him and told to depart from Him!
The Greek word for ‘loins’ is ὀσφύς osphus – Strong’s G3751 which means, ‘hip, loin, gird about’, and literally refers to the lower region of the back, the hips, and the reproductive organs.
And the term, ‘to have loins girded’ means to be in readiness for anything!
The expression “to gird up one’s loins” means to belt the garment which is worn ungirded in the house or in times of relaxation, with a view to greater mobility for work, for travel, or for battle etc.
And here, we are able to see that we are not to be ‘relaxed’ in our duties and responsibilities of a set-apart priesthood, but are to be continually watchful and alert, ready to fight the good fight of belief at all times.
In speaking of Messiah, we are told what His girdle is:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:5 “And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and trustworthiness the girdle of His waist.”
Now, if this is His girdle, then it is our girdle, for we are His Body – for we are the ones who ought to stay in Him!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘girdle’ comes from the root word אֵזוֹר ezor – Strong’s H232 which means, ‘girdle, belt, waistband’ and we see from this that Truth must be a belt for us! And it must be strapped around our waist and loins, so that we continue to walk in righteousness and not stray, for, as I will remind you again, it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all that יהוה our Elohim has commanded us. (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25)
Standing firm ‘in’ the Master and having our loins girded, is a clear command that is given to us and is for the clear purpose of proclaiming the Truth, no matter the circumstances we may find ourselves in!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘girded’ in Luqas/Luke 12:35-36 is περιζώννυμι perizōnnumi – Strong’s G4024 meaning, ‘to gird, be dressed in readiness’, and is constructed from two words:
1) – περί peri – Strong’sG4012 which is a primary preposition meaning, ‘about, concerning, around, on account of’ and
2) – ζώννυμι zōnnumi – Strong’s G2224 meaning, ‘to gird’, and the essence of the meaning to ‘gird up one’s loins’ was to prepare for a hasty departure.
It was a belt that one would use to gird up one’s garments, and herein lies the picture of being girded about with the belt of truth, for it is the Truth that holds us together!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:14 “Stand, then, having girded your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness”
As true lights of the world, we are not to light our lamp and then hide it, but rather, we are to make sure that we shine, as a lampstand that reflects the Truth of our Master.
For more on how we are to be trustworthy in doing that, please see the message called, “PICTURES IN THE MENORAH – SHEDDING LIGHT UPON THE FEASTS OF YAHWEH!”, which can be found on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2017/2018’ menu or by clicking on the following link:
As wise servants of Messiah, we are called to make sure that we are trimmed, girded and burning bright, so that when He comes He will find a Ready Bride that has prepared herself, through a proper obedience to His commands and a proper observance of His Sabbaths and Feasts, as we remain watchful and not fall astray to compromise and deceit, ending up lacking oil!
In verse 13 of Mattithyahu/Matthew 25, Messiah tells us to ‘watch’ and we therefore recognise, that a key lesson from this parable, is that we are to be awake and watching, guarding the Torah and are not be found to be sleeping and unable to bear the fruit of righteousness.
יהושע continually reminds us to be an ‘awake’ people:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, because you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Aḏam is coming”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into trial. The spirit indeed is eager, but the flesh is weak.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:2-3 “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before Elohim. 3 “Remember, then, how you have received, and heard. And watch and repent. If, then, you do not wake up, I shall come upon you as a thief, and you shall not know at all what hour I come upon you.”
The Greek word that is translated in the above passages for ‘watch’ is γρηγορέω grēgoreō – Strong’s G1127 and means, ‘to be awake, alert, keep watching, stay alert’ and comes from the primitive verb – ἐγείρω egeirō – Strong’s G1453 meaning, ‘to waken, to raise up, awaken’.
We need to always be awake and alert and watchful.
Watching is what we are to be doing as we guard ourselves and take heed not to fall asleep; and, in light of what we are discussing here, let us look a little further at some very critical words of warning, that we are to take heed of, from our Master, as seen in:
Marqos/Mark 13:33-37 “Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is – 34 as a man going abroad, having left his house and given authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening or at midnight, or at the crowing of the cock, or in the morning, 36 lest, coming suddenly, he should find you sleeping. 37 “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.”
The Greek word for ‘watch’, in the above verses of Marqos/Mark 13:34,35 & 37, is γρηγορέω grēgoreō – Strong’s G1127, which we have already discussed, and in Marqos/Mark 13:33 and Luqas/Luke 21:36 the Greek word that is translated as ‘watch’ is ἀγρυπνέω agrupneō – Strong’s G69 which means, ‘to be sleepless, wakeful, alert, keep watch’.
It comes from the two Greek words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 – which is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, used as a negative participle and
2) ὕπνος hupnos – Strong’s G5258 which is the Greek word used for ‘sleep’, and while meaning sleep it also carries the understanding of ‘being under, put under’.
In fact, we get our English word ‘hypnosis’ from this word. Hypnosis is a trance-like state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject!
In Greek mythology, ‘Hypnos’ was the personification of sleep and was the Greek mighty one of sleep, whose palace was in a dark cave where the sun never shone and at the entrance, there were poppies and other hypnotic plants.
The Roman equivalent to this pagan mighty one, was ‘Somnus’, from which the English word ‘insomnia’ is derived: with the negative participle ‘in..’ meaning ‘no or to not’ and somnia, from this word ‘somnus’, meaning sleep!
So, what we clearly understand, in the command to ‘watch’, is that we are to ‘keep awake, be vigilant’ and therefore, have ears to hear the clear instruction: DO NOT SLEEP! Do not get hypnotised, under the deceptive spell of the false doctrines of man!
This is a huge wake-up call, that should warn us against complacency and the vain assumption that many often have, thinking that they are standing strong, while there are subtle compromises in their lives!
As we consider this clear parable of the 10 maidens, and our need to be wise servants that keep watch, let us make sure that, as we approach the Feasts of the 7th month, we are in fact wise servants who are trimmed, girded and burning bright:
BE WISE AND NOT FOOLISH – BE TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!
How are you girded? How are you shining? Are you keeping watch or, have you found yourself falling astray through compromise and, in the process, have lacked the clear oil that is needed for a trustworthy and wise servant of Messiah?
It is time for the Bride to rise and shine, for our Light has come, and it is time to let His esteem shine through us:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you. 2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.”
Are you ready be wise? Are you making sure that you are daily being trimmed, girded and burning bright?
For the Trumpets are about to sound! How will you be found?
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 9:8 “Let your garments be white at all times, and let your head lack no oil.”
The hour has already come for us to wake up from sleep!
Romiyim/Romans 13:11-13 “And do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for us to wake up from sleep, for now our deliverance is nearer than when we did believe. 12 The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 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.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.”
Iyoḇ/Job 29:14 “I put on righteousness, and it robed me; right-ruling was my cloak and turban.”
Tehillah/Psalm 132:9 “Let Your priests put on righteousness, and Your lovingly-committed ones shout for joy.”
These are just a few verses that highlight for us the clear need for us to ‘put on’ the Master and righteousness! To put on righteousness is to put on the Master and vice versa! Many who claim to have put on the Master יהושע Messiah, yet show no regard for walking in righteousness (which is to guard the commands of Elohim), are clearly deceived and are not dressed as the set-apart priesthood and bride should be, but are simply lawless counterfeits who will be cast out of the Master’s presence when He comes for His ready Bride!
The Greek word for ‘put on’ is ἐνδύω enduō – Strong’s G1746 which means, ‘to clothe or be clothed with (in the sense of sinking into a garment)’, and is made up of two words:
1 – ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting a fixed position (in place, time or state) meaning, ‘in or on, with, by’; and
2 – δύνω dunō a form of δύω duō – Strong’s G1416 which means, ‘to enter, sink into, setting’.
With the idea of ‘setting’ we can see how the 12 stones of the breastplate of the High priest were set into the ephod.
This word simply carries the understanding of putting on something or clothing oneself with something!
Hear the clear call to wake up and walk in life, and be urgent in calling those who are asleep to wake up too, as they see your good works of obedience, as you stay dressed in the righteousness of Messiah, stay oiled and overcome, as you continue to shine the light of His Truth, showing that you are being wise and not foolish:
BE WISE AND NOT FOOLISH – BE TRIMMED, GIRDED AND BURNING BRIGHT!
The very next parable that the Master spoke, after this one of the 10 maidens, was that of the talents that were given and therefore, as we see the flow of His words that teach us to be dressed, ready and shining the light of His truth, we must also be on guard against ‘hiding’ that which He has given us, so that we can be wise workers of the harvest, with our hands filled with the good works of obedience!
With Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) just a couple of days away, how wise are you being in your service unto the Master?
He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies!
יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom