18th of the 9th month 2021/2022.
Kěpha Aleph 5:8-10 “Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in the belief, knowing that the same hardships are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 And the Elohim of all favour, who called you to His everlasting esteem by Messiah יהושע, after you have suffered a while, Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
These are some very clear words of instruction, and words that are still very much alive and applicable for us today, reminding us that we are to guard ourselves against the lies of the enemy! Lies that are not always clearly revealed as lies, under the disguised veil of the corrupt traditions of man.
If we are not being sober and watchful, in diligently guarding the commands of Elohim at all times, we may just find ourselves being seduced into a drunken state of drinking the lies that can so easily ensnare and weaken our ability to stand firm in the Truth in the day of battle!
Being sober and watchful, through diligently listening to and obeying the Torah of Elohim, on a daily basis, will help us in our ability to resist the devourer and equip us to endure through the momentary sufferings and troubles that we face; as we continue to hold fast to this sure promise of יהושע Messiah who is the One who is establishing, strengthening and settling us!.
In a message called, “BUT WHILE MEN SLEPT!” I would like us to be reminded of our need to be a sober and watchful people.
People who are not falling into the trap of the deceptive and destructive teachings that continue to cause many to fall asleep to the Truth, so to speak..
After the parable of the Sower, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13, יהושע Messiah gave another parable on the reign of the heavens, which He likened again to sowing, and He gave us the parable of the Good Seed and the darnel that is sown in the earth. .
Please read Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:24-30.
The words that clearly stood out for me when reading this passage again, were the words from verse 25, where we see the phrase:
“BUT WHEN MEN SLEPT”.
What we certainly see happening today, on a daily basis, is that when people are ‘asleep’ to the Truth, the enemy has a field day, in sowing poisonous junk into their hearts!
Poison that grows up and, to the undisciplined and untrained one, even resembles the Truth, yet is nothing more than a deadly killer. .
The Master יהושע, then explains this parable to His disciples, in verses 36-43
Please read Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:36-43.
These verses clearly explain the parable, and therefore, what we recognise in this parable, is that in this world there are sons of the reign and sons of the wicked one, that grow side by side until the harvest time comes, when messengers of Elohim shall come and reap and gather out the darnel from the wheat, removing all those who are doing lawlessness! .
In understanding the parable prior to this one, in regards to the conditions of hearts, and how the various responses to the Truth simply reveals the true condition of one’s heart, when the various pressures of this world and this life come to test the heart; then we are able to recognise that a ‘sleeping heart’ is a heart that the devourer just loves to come and infect with his poison. .
By ‘sleeping heart’, I mean: a heart that does not diligently guard the Torah that is supposed to be written upon our hearts. And by not properly guarding and watching as one should, a clear opening into one’s heart allows the deadly lies of the enemy to be sown in with the Truth, which can corrupt the heart to a point of becoming lawless!
And we can see by the words of our Master, what the end of the lawless shall be!.
As quoted at the beginning of this message, from Kěpha Aleph 5:8-10, we must be sober and keep watch!
When one is not sober, then the ability to concentrate and keep watch diminishes, even to the point of falling into a trance or deep sleep. .
While this can certainly be true on a physical level, the same principles apply to us on a spiritual level as well, so to speak, where we can clearly see how someone can be physically awake and sober, yet are not sober and watchful in the Truth and are drunk in the spirit, so to speak, and are unable to properly discern the set-apart from the profane or the clean from the unclean, as they have become so addicted to the wine of whoring that the enemy pours out lavishly upon ‘sleeping hearts’..
In Kěpha’s letter the Greek root word that is translated as ‘be sober’ is νήφω nēphō – Strong’s G3525 which means, ‘to be sober, abstain from wine, keep sober, watchful, circumspect’, and the word that is translated as ‘watch’ is γρηγορέω grēgoreō – Strong’s G1127 which means, ‘to be awake, keep watch, alert, vigilant, be cautious, give strict attention to’ and comes from the root word ἐγείρω egeirō – Strong’s G1453 which means, ‘to raise up, to waken, stand’.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘resist’ is ἀνθίστημι anthistēmi – Strong’s G436 which means, ‘to set against, withstand, oppose, resist’. .
If we are not sober and alert, giving strict attention to the Word of Elohim, we will not be able to oppose or withstand the seed of the enemy being planted in our hearts!.
In Greek, the opposite to νήφω nēphō (to be sober) is the word μεθύω methuō – Strong’s G3184 which means, ‘to be drunk, get drunk’ and this word is used, metaphorically, in describing those who are made drunk with the wine of the great whore, as we see being written in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 17:2 “with whom the sovereigns of the earth committed whoring, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her whoring.”.
In Ma’asei/Acts, we see this word μεθύω methuō – Strong’s G3184 being used to make it clear that those who were filled with the Set-Apart Spirit on Shaḇuoth were not drunk:
Ma’asei/Acts 2:15 “For these men are not drunk, as you imagine, since it is only the third hour of the day.”.
The modern-day concept of being ‘drunk in the spirit’ is NOT a clean Scriptural state to be in. I repeat: ‘being drunk is the Spirit’ is NOT a clean Scriptural state to be in.
This ought to makes us realise that those who claim to be in such a state, are in fact intoxicated by the poisonous venom of the enemy and, as a result, they are the darnel that is growing up in the world, as children of the wicked one, which may have the outward appearance of wheat, yet in the end will be clearly revealed for its darkness! .
As the ear of the wheat develops, it becomes heavy and causes the entire plant to ‘droop’ or hang down, giving us a picture of humility; whereas in darnel, the ‘ear’ does not develop and it remains upright. This is a picture of the pride and stubbornness to hear the Truth.
The wheat becomes white in the head, whereas the darnel becomes black!
This can only be revealed at harvest time..
Another Greek word that we see being used in Scripture, in reference to being drunk, and is derived from the root word μεθύω methuō – Strong’s G3184 is the word μεθύσκω methuskō – Strong’s G3182 which means, ‘to make drunk, get drunk’ and we are expressly told he following, in:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is loose behaviour, but be filled with the Spirit”.
Being drunk results is loose behaviour or lawless living, which reckons that the Torah is of no effect, and those who continue to get drunk on such lies, by following corrupt theologies and traditions of man that teach this, will be plucked out and thrown into the fire!.
Messiah makes it clear that the darnel are a reference to those who are lawless, and in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:41 the Greek word that is translated as ‘lawlessness’ is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 which means, ‘lawlessness or lawless deeds, unrighteousness’ and comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 which means, ‘lawless or without law, transgressors’..
Many translations try to hide this truth, by translating this word that clearly means ‘lawlessness’ as ‘evil’ or ‘sin’, which, under the intoxicated dogmas of man, is not understood as it should be; for as I have previously mentioned, that Scripture clearly tells us that ‘sin is lawlessness’.
The Greek word for sin is ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 which means, ‘sin, failure, miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong’, and also carries the meaning of, ‘wandering from the law of Elohim, violate the law of Elohim’.
And we clearly are told in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”.
So, what causes people to be so drunk on lies, that they are unable to hear or discern the truth?
Now please note, I am not talking of physical sleep alone, for we certainly know that we all need that, and we are also promised in Scripture that while we sleep our Master never sleeps nor slumbers, as He watches over us:
Tehillah/Psalm 121:3-4 “He does not allow your foot to be moved; He who watches over you does not slumber. 4 See, He who is guarding Yisra’ĕl neither slumbers nor sleeps.”.
What I am speaking about, is the sleep that many find themselves falling into, as they are easily led astray by false teachings and doctrines and, as a result, they become drunk, to the point of being in a state of ‘sleep’ toward the proper called for hearing, guarding and doing of the Truth.
Or they become weighed down and get exhausted with the worries of life and the pressures of this world, that they too fall asleep to the Truth, causing them to turn aside from the Truth, in their need to be diligent in their obedience to walking in the clear Torah (instructions) of יהוה. .
How often have you found yourself having slipped away from the Word – be it for a day or two or even a week or so, only to find yourself being bogged down with huge stress and fears and the worries of life? .
These fears and worries can often begin to drive your thought patterns and emotions, and lead you into a lawless state – as compromise sets in, even if just for something seemingly small, which you will certainly try to justify the acceptance of such compromise – all because you let your guard down and did not stay sober and alert, allowing the drunken and poisonous seeds of the enemy to be planted in your heart that you are supposed to guard in Messiah! .
What we are also to guard against, is the seeds of division that the enemy will sow into sleeping hearts!
When you ‘slack off’ and compromise in your walk of set-apartness, and slip off the narrow path, even for just a moment, the enemy will certainly try to sow poisonous seeds of twisted lies, in an effort to break down the unity in the fellowship of the body, by stirring up irritations and hatred towards others in the body, which then causes those who slack off to withdraw more and more from fellowship, to the point where they do not want to even be a part of what יהוה is building or where He has called them too, only causing the building of the House of Elohim to be neglected!.
Messiah made it clear, that it was while men slept that the enemy came and sowed the bad seed!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘slept’ is καθεύδω katheudō – Strong’s G2518 which means, ‘fall asleep, drop off, lie down to rest (figuratively or literally)’, and euphemistically it means, ‘to be dead’ and metaphorically, it means, ‘to yield to sloth and sin, or be indifferent to one’s salvation’.
In other words, to be asleep in Scripture, can often refer to one who does not care about their life or the salvation of their souls, and so easily yield themselves to sin and lawlessness.
Sadly, there are many people who do care about their lives, yet in their drunken state of lawlessness being sowed on their hearts, they are no different to the one who does not care!!!.
In the parable of the ten maidens, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 25, Messiah tells us that when the Bridegroom took long in coming, they all slumbered and slept, and when the call came, at midnight, that He was coming, all were awakened and they trimmed their lamps, yet those 5 who had no oil were not able to enter in. .
Now, while this is a parable, I believe that our Master was giving us a clear warning that we must not be found to be sleeping when He comes, lest we find out that we have no oil for our lamps and end up trying to trim them in vain!!!.
In recognising the urgency of this parable of the wheat and the darnel and how easy it is for darnel to get sown into one’s heart through a little sleep, we must do our utmost to be sober and keep watch, not living as the world does but rather, we are to be living according to the reign of the heavens that is coming, as we proclaim it through our works of obedience, as good ambassadors! .
Sha’ul, when telling the believers in Thessalonica that they were not to be ignorant of the times, as they knew the Appointed Times of יהוה, he told them that they were to be alert and awake to the Truth, and so he also warns us in:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:5-7 “For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 So, then, we should not sleep, as others do, but we should watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.”
Here, in verse 6, we see the very words we have already discussed. .
The warning is clear: if you do not watch and keep sober, you may find yourself in a state of sleep, where the enemy can sow doubts, fears and lies, which may, in turn, cause you to become drunk with the deceptive and wicked wine of whoring, causing you to become lawless and at risk of being gathered by the reapers who will be sent to pluck out those doing lawlessness!
Let those who have ears hear!!!
True hearers are NOT asleep to the Truth!.
When one is asleep, one’s hearing ability is not fully functional, and usually it is only by the sound of an alarm or fear that one is woken up.
Metaphorically speaking, we must not be asleep to The Truth and not be like so many people who will only be awakened by the Day of Alarm and Shouting, when it will clearly be too late for the lawless to be redeemed!.
Sha’ul tells us to walk in love by walking in the Torah and he warns us in:.
Romiyim/Romans 13:11-14 “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.”.
The hour has come to wake up from sleep and here in this word that Sha’ul uses for ‘sleep’ is the Greek word ὕπνος hupnos/hypnos – Strong’s G5258, and while meaning ‘sleep, deep sleep’, it also carries the understanding of ‘being under, put under, in a hypnotic state’.
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 consider as the Greek mighty one of sleep, whose palace was believed to be in a dark cave where the sun never shines and at the entrance of the dark cave, 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 ‘in..’ meaning ‘no or to not’ and ‘somnus’ meaning sleep!
What Sha’ul is telling us here, is that it is time to wake up from a lawless slumber!
And Messiah warns us, in Luqas/Luke 21, to not be caught being put under a hypnotic spell of lawlessness and that we must watch out and be on guard against this at all times.
We are to put off ‘darkness and sleep’ and put on the Master יהושע Messiah – The Light – and walk in His Torah as children of light!.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:14 “That is why He says, “Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall shine on you.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33-34 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Wake up to soberness, righteously, and do not sin, for some do not have the knowledge of Elohim. I speak this to your shame.”.
For far too long we have seen how the enemy has caused many to fall into a deep sleep, or hypnotic state, by promoting lawlessness as an acceptable means of worship, and we who are in Messiah, must recognise that we have a great responsibility in guarding the charge to be sober and alert, being watchmen on the walls and proclaiming the Kingdom and Besorah (Good News) of Messiah..
When I was considering this danger, of the enemy sowing wickedness when men slept, I thought of the events that happened with Shimshon, as recorded in:
Shophetim/Judges 16:19 “And she made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and shaved off the seven locks of his head. Thus she began to humble him, and his strength left him.”
There is so much to glean from this account, and in considering the topic of this message, what we see is how Delilah humiliated Shimshon by having his hair shaved off, the one thing he was not to do, as he was a Nazirite from birth, who was to never shave his head! .
In the Hebrew text, the word that is translated as humbled also carries the meaning of being humiliated, and this is what Delilah did, by stripping Shimshon of His strength in יהוה.
His hair itself was not Shimshon’s strength, but rather his obedience to יהוה was, and he forfeited the support that came with obedience, by telling his secret to his wife who would sell it; and she caused him to ‘sleep’, which led to the enemy having his way!!!
For a moment of weakness in the flesh, Shimshon slacked off and when he slept, his strength and covering was removed!.
Delilah is a picture of the subtleties of the whore, that seeks to cause the children of Elohim to slumber and sleep, so that she can have her way.
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 7:26 “And I found more bitter than death, the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are shackles. He who pleases Elohim escapes from her, but the sinner is captured by her.”
The lawless are captured by the whore and get drunk on her cup of whoring and we must realise that the way to guard ourselves against the trap of falling asleep in by doing what pleases Elohim!
Romiyim/Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”.
The enemy is constantly seeking a way to devour us, and if we slip for just a moment and find ourselves asleep to the Truth, he can sow many seeds of deceit, and cause many to be about building their own kingdoms while neglecting the House of Elohim!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness makes one fall into a deep sleep, and an idle being suffers hunger.”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘laziness’ is עַצְלָה atslah – Strong’s H6103 which means, ‘sluggishness, slothfulness, laziness, idleness that shows a lack of discipline’ and we see this word also being used in:
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 10:18 “Because of laziness the framework tumbles, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.”.
Being idle or lazy in guarding the commands of Elohim, will cause one to find themselves falling into a ‘deep sleep’ or intoxicated hypnotic state of lawlessness, where pure obedience in twisted and compromised, while trying to justify the inability to walk perfectly set-apart in Messiah, all because of a little laziness in doing what is required!!!
The danger of falling into sleep in this day and age is very real and one we must guard ourselves against. .
As we consider these words and the reality that the enemy sows when men sleep – have you found yourself asleep in areas of your obedience to the Master?
Have you, due to increasing pressures of the world, found yourself slumbering in complacency, only to wake up and realise that doubt, fear and compromise has been sown into your heart while you were not watching?
Has there been some close friends or family that have lured you into a ‘sleepy state’ of disobedience and you have lost your strength to stand, like Shimshon?.
Well then, hear the urgent call today to be sober and awake!
While men slept the enemy came and sowed darnel!!!
While you sleep, the enemy will come and sow poisonous and doubting thoughts and dogmas of lawlessness!
He who has ears let them hear!
This means that you must be awake to hear, guard and do all we are commanded to, so that when we do physically sleep, we have the assurance that our Master watches over us and our sleep is sweet!.
What we see in Scripture, is the clear instruction to sleep when we should and make sure that we are not be found sleeping when we should be awake!
As simple as that sounds, many find themselves riddled with the worries and cares of this life, and are robbed of the true refreshment that Elohim brings to us as we abide in Him..
We should not ‘sleep as others do’, as it says in:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 “So, then, we should not sleep, as others do, but we should watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But we who are of the day should be sober, putting on the breastplate of belief and love, and as a helmet the expectation of deliverance.”
The Greek root word that is translated in these verses as ‘sleep’ is καθεύδω katheudō – Strong’s G2518 which means, ‘fall asleep, drop off, lie down to rest (figuratively or literally)’, and euphemistically it means, ‘to be dead’ and metaphorically it means, ‘to yield to sloth and sin, or be indifferent to one’s salvation’.
In other words, this word can be understood metaphorically as describing those who ‘do not care’. .
Let us look at an example of a peaceful sleep amidst the chaos:
Ma’asei/Acts 12:5-6 “So Kěpha was indeed kept in prison, but prayer was earnestly made to Elohim on his behalf by the assembly. 6 And when Herodes was about to bring him out, that night Kěpha was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers. And the guards before the door were keeping the prison.”
When Herodes was about to bring Kěpha out, Kěpha was ‘sleeping’, bound between two soldiers.
What we notice here, is that this time there were tighter measures put in place by the prison guards.
This time Kěpha was bound to two guards and guards were also put on duty to guard the gates, especially after what had happened the last time Kěpha got out!
This time was slightly different to the other two times Kěpha was in prison.
The other two times (Ma’asei/Acts 4:3 and Ma’asei/Acts 5:18-20) he was imprisoned with some of the other emissaries. The previous two times he was arrested, was after some great victories, and he was given an opportunity to witness.
This time was slightly different, as it was after the death of his friend and colleague, Ya’aqoḇ.
This time he was alone and deliverance did not come straight away.
Yet, what we see here in this account is that Kěpha, as always, was not stressed or in fear of his captors.
His trust was in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, who would deliver him from his chains!
The Roman custom was to bind the prisoner to the soldier who had charge of him by means of a chain, which joined the prisoner’s right wrist to the left wrist of the soldier, typically leaving the ‘fighting hand’ of the soldier free to use in case the prisoner got out of hand. For greater security the prisoner was sometimes chained to two soldiers, one on each side of him, which was the case with Kěpha!
If you were chained to two Roman soldiers and facing the possibility of being executed the next day, would you sleep very soundly? Probably not, but Kěpha did. In fact, Kěpha was so sound asleep that the Messenger of יהוה had to strike him on the side to wake him up!
Kěpha could sleep, for the peace of Elohim could guard his heart and mind through the Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah..
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sleep’, in Ma’asei/Acts 12:6, is κοιμάω koimaō – Strong’s G2837 which means, ‘to put to sleep, to fall asleep, to die’, and is used as a metaphor to mean, ‘be calm, quiet, to still’. Looking at this word and its use in the renewed Writings, we are also able to see how this word is metaphorically used to describe those who have ‘fallen asleep’ or ‘died’ in Messiah!.
Sleeping when one should, is a blessing; it provides rest and refreshment and the assured protection of our Master.
Sleeping when one should not be, opens the door for the enemy to sow lies..
One who works hard, though poor, has sweet sleep; but the rich in their excess are denied this refreshment.
Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 5:12 “Sweet is the sleep of a labourer whether he eats little or much, but the plenty of the rich does not let him sleep.”
While sleep is good and refreshing, one is not to love sleep, for that will lead to poverty; nor is one to rob themselves of rest in order to increase wealth.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 20:13 “Do not love sleep, lest you become poor; open your eyes, be satisfied with bread.”
In speaking of those who do not submit to the Master builder we see:
Tehillah/Psalms 127:2 “In vain do you rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of toil; so He gives His beloved sleep.”.
When Kěpha was in prison, he was not sleeping because he did not care, but rather he could sleep because he did care and He knew who cared for him!
Kěpha was a man who put his trust in יהושע Messiah, and his sleep could be sweet amidst the toughest battles in life! .
We do find, however that before the death and resurrection of our Master and Elohim Kěpha was found to be sleeping, when the Master came to them in Mattithyahu/Matthew 26:40-41 and found them sleeping and asked if they could not even keep watch for one hour, and they were instructed to watch and pray, lest they enter into trial, for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
This ‘sleep’ was a slothful sleep – καθεύδω katheudō – Strong’s G2518 and not a calm and peaceful sleep – κοιμάω koimaō – Strong’s G2837.
In other words, the taught ones had been sleeping when they should have been watching. .
The parable that warns against the dangers of the enemy sowing his wicked seed while men slept, is a warning against not staying sober and alert to the Truth!.
I started this message with some powerful words from Kěpha, and I would like to end with some more from his powerful letter:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to you at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, 15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour, 16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:7 “But the end of all has drawn near. Therefore be sober-minded, and be attentive in the prayers.”.
There are real dangers that we are to be aware of, when not staying sober and alert, and we must guard ourselves from falling into the trap of the enemy, that tries to cause us to sleep from our called for set-apartness in Messiah, even if we just happen to ‘nod off’ for a while, letting the guard of pure obedience down! .
As we recognise that the Besorah (Good News) of Messiah has been sown in the earth, we also realise that when men slept, that the enemy too sowed his seed, and therefore, we must be awake and realise that our light has come!
Therefore, let us put on the armour of light and walk with great strength and courage in Messiah, as we obediently hear, guard and do His Torah, being sober and alert, resisting the devourer and standing firm in the faith..
BUT WHILE MEN SLEPT!
THE DANGERS OF NOT STAYING SOBER AND ALERT!!!.
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!!!.