6th of the 12th month 2017/2018
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19-21 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.” 20 But in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some unto value and some unto no value. 21 If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work.”
In these very encouraging words of Sha’ul, in his 2nd letter to Timotiyos, we are able to recognise a powerful picture of a true servant and soldier of Messiah, being a vessel of value in the Master’s Hand. As we walk in the Master and allow His Word to cleanse us from the dross of sin and lawlessness, and stay in Him, we are truly vessels of value, set-apart and of good use to the Master.
I am not sure about you all, but how many of you have been going through some fierce battles of late? Battles that seem to be coming from all directions and in the process, you have found yourself warring inside, having been left drained to the point where you feel like you have little or no value at all?
What gives something its value? Well, there are certainly many factors that can be used to determine this, but firstly, what gives an object, or vessel, its value is, of course, the maker of the vessel, for the maker of the vessel is the one who determines its initial value and therefore sets the value of the vessel according to his design. When an object or vessel becomes dirty and tarnished it can lose its value and have little or now use left. However, even a tarnished vessel that has been cleaned up, polished and renewed, can have its original value restored and become a very sought-after object, with the vessel becoming one of great value.
Well, it is the same for us today. We have all been made with great value, being made in the likeness of Elohim; however, through sin, man has become tarnished, to the point where he has seemingly lost his value.
Through the Blood of יהושע Messiah, man can now be restored, cleansed and made new, becoming a vessel unto value and set apart for good use to the Master. In this world, where sin is increasing more and more, as we know that now in the last days sin will increase and become as in the days of Noaḥ, becoming a vessel unto value that is not tarnished takes a whole lot more than mere lip service.
In a message called, ‘CLEANSED, SET-APART VESSELS OF VALUE!’ I would like to highlight what being a vessel of value entails, and what is required of us to maintain and remain of great value in our Master, who sets us apart, having cleansed us from sin, so that we can serve Him in complete set-apartness, for that is His desire!
While I have already quoted the passage from Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19-21, I would like us to consider the entire chapter, in order for us to be able to examine our own lives, through the mirror of the Word, and be equipped and strengthened in the Truth to do our utmost in cleansing ourselves from all that defiles our called for set-apartness, and be further equipped to stand and fight the good fight of the belief, serving our Master with our all. After all, in Him, He has caused us to be a precious and treasured possession that is held firmly in His Hand!
In this 2nd letter to Timotiyos, Sha’ul expands what it would mean for Timotiyos, as well as us here today, to follow the pattern of the true wholehearted commitment that the Sha’ul had shown through his life, and how the need to follow this pattern as well as passing it on to others, is vitally important. In this address, Sha’ul uses images of a soldier, an athlete and a farmer, giving us greater insight into the application of living out these instructions faithfully.
He is very clear in stating the fact that, in following יהושע Messiah and living reverently in Him, we will face persecution, and the need to remain steadfast and committed is of critical value in standing firm. This is a call for a disciplined attention to the Scriptures and wholehearted service in the Body of Messiah! One that sadly so many have been unwilling to give; and so, we are called to cleanse ourselves in order to serve as one with value.
This kind of commitment that Sha’ul is calling for here is of the most rigid self-control, not only in the fleeing of all evil desires, but also, in the process of this, making sure that we maintain an attitude of love toward those who oppose our teaching.
Sha’ul outlines future challenges that Timotiyos would face, challenges in which I believe we now face too, as we live in these ‘last days’, so to speak. A time where we clearly see a superficial faith confession of many, who are merely giving a worthless lip service while being further and further corrupted through the lies and false teachings that have been handed down through the generations, being taught by false teachers who are simply motivated by evil desires.
Anyone who cleanses himself from the dross of sin and lawlessness and rebellion, will be a set-apart vessel unto value and of good use to the Master! The Greek word that is used here for ‘vessels’ in Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19-21 comes from the root word σκεῦος skeuos – Strong’s G4632 which means, ‘vessel, implement, goods, article, jar’, and is used in:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
The Greek word that is used for ‘value’ in Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21, in the expression, ‘vessel unto value’, comes from the root word τιμή time – Strong’s G5092 which means, ‘(to value, honour), a valuing, price, honour, honourable use, mark of respect’, and is also used in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.”
We were bought with a price and therefore must reflect that in our daily lives, as we are valuable vessels in our Master’s hand!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7-10 “And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע , that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.”
Our Master has covered us with the pure silver of redemption, through His own blood, and purchased for us a redemption that we could not buy for ourselves! Our response to His purchasing us is that we make sure that we allow His Word to be that which cleanses us and teaches us how to flee the lusts of the flesh, doing our utmost in presenting ourselves approved to Elohim as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth!
What I find very interesting, is that the Greek word used here for ‘treasure’ in Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7 is θησαυρός thēsauros – Strong’s G2344 which means, ‘treasure, storehouse, magazine, repository’, and refers to, ‘the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up’.
The English word ‘thesaurus’, in general use, is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and sometimes antonyms). The main purpose of such reference works is to help the user “to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed”.
Do you see what treasure we have been given – it is not just some random words, but the very living Words of our Master that He has put in us, in helping us ‘find’ the proper words and actions that can be most fitly applied to every situation!
He has put His thesaurus in us, so to speak!!! His Word is so powerful that it enables us to rightly divide and discern the Truth so that we can behave and live as true set-apart ones in complete righteousness, even whilst we are in exile, and are faithfully enduring, looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of our great Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
His Good and established Word He has put in us, in order that we may be fit for every good work, as we stay in Him and exercise proper reverence! However, our Master makes it clear to us that you cannot put your hand to the plough, look back and think that you are fit enough! Our eyes must constantly be fixed on the Prince and Perfecter of our faith, not turning to the right or to the left but pressing on with great endurance as fit ones of the Most-High!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘having been set-apart’ in Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21 comes from the verb ἁγιάζω hagiazō – Strong’s G37 which means, ‘make set-apart, be set-apart, to separate from profane things and dedicate to Elohim’, which comes from the adjective ἅγιος hagios – Strong’s G40 and its fundamental idea is one of ‘separation, consecration, and devotion to the service of Elohim’, sharing in Elohim’s purity and abstaining from the defilement of the flesh, by being clothed in and walking in righteousness, that is from Elohim!
To ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’. We, as a chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood unto Elohim, declare and make our lives solely devoted to the purpose of serving and worshipping יהוה our Elohim, and as we have certainly learnt through the Torah portions of ‘drawing near’ to Elohim, that we can only do so by the Blood of Messiah as we are continually being set-apart in Him through an on-going process of being sanctified as a people for a possession.
It is יהוה who sets us apart and therefore having cleansed ourselves by turning away from all unrighteousness, we become that which is of good use to our Master, having been set-apart and prepared, in Him, for every good work!
Knowing therefore our value in the Master, we are to make sure that we flee the lusts of the youth and pursue righteousness, belief, love and peace, with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart, highlighting that we are to make sure that we are pursuing the Master with others who too have been set-apart and cleansed for service in the Master, highlighting how important it is for us to be actively involved in the body of Messiah and not find ourselves in bad company that can corrupt!
We are certainly now living in the days where those who desire to live upright, set-apart lives, in accordance to the Torah of יהוה, will face ever increasing persecution! We can also see how evil will become eviller and the imposters (those wolves disguised as shepherds in sheep’s clothing) will become even ‘more evil’; and being led astray themselves, will lead many astray. It is in light of these facts, that we are now facing greater opposition, that we need to realise that we have a source of unique strength that will equip us to stand firm. This is a clear call for us to clean up and become true vessels of value, which deserves our utmost in pursuing apartness, whilst not allowing anyone to come and undermine our confidence in the very Torah that is now written upon the tablets of our hearts, living in loving obedience to them – living in יהושע Messiah, aměn!
With Sha’ul’s words to Timotiyos, we can recognise that he, in a manner of speaking, sounds a little like a drill sergeant who is giving his troops a pep talk, before stepping on to the battlefield, equipping us to face, with confidence in the Master, the war that we find ourselves living in the midst of!
We are in a war, in case some of you have been caught unawares and oblivious to this fact. There is a war for our souls. The soul, having become corrupted through sin, needs to be restored and revived unto purity, by the very breath of יהוה. His very Spirit living in us, by the Blood of יהושע, revives us to purity, in equipping us to be living according to His Torah; whereas the enemy is doing his best to lead us into sin, in an attempt to destroy our soul.
Sin destroys our soul and the perfect Torah of יהוה revives our soul, so that we can be cleansed and become a vessel of value.
In speaking to you all, as Sha’ul wrote to Timotiyos, I too want to use the imagery of a soldier, with the purpose of causing us to be able to stand and fight this good fight of faith!
In fact, when you look at the whole imagery of war, armies, and soldiers, then it is clear that belonging to יהושע Messiah’s, who has bought us at a price, and clothed in His righteousness, we ought to obey His righteous standards, aměn! When a soldier enlists or is drafted into the army, he gets a whole new wardrobe and gear, new bedding, new routines and a new diet! Unlike when we were forced to go to the army through conscription, the believer in יהושע Messiah, makes the personal choice to ‘enlist’, so to speak, and therefore accepts the code of conduct that is required.
Sha’ul tells Timotiyos, in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:3-4 “Suffer hardship with us as a good soldier of יהושע Messiah. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in the affairs of this life, in order to please only him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Sha’ul uses the imagery of a soldier and the army to impress the clear image of how we who have become the Master’s servants must not follow the ways of the world but be diligent in giving a proper ear to hearing, guarding
and doing the commands of our Master and Chief, so that we please Him who has caused us to be grafted in to His Covenants of Promise that we were once far off from!
He continues to emphasise obedience by using the image of games, where a competitor who competes will not be crowned if he breaks the rules of the game!
When one goes to the army, civilian life is gone!!! You are properly equipped for war, through the intense drilling and discipline of prescribed regulations that will keep you and your fellow soldiers safer in battle. Enlisting in the Body of Messiah, by faith, is not a 2-year or 1-year service duty; it is a lifelong commitment – the permanent force of יהוה.
It is with this picture of being a soldier that I would like to use the term ‘soldier’ as an acronym, in expanding on the teaching of being cleansed, set-apart vessels of value!
As we look at this word soldier, may we be encouraged to realise our need to stand up and be effective as a faithful soldier!
1 – S – STRONG:
A soldier needs to be strong, and we take note of Sha’ul’s words in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:1 “You then, my son, be strong in the favour that is in Messiah יהושע.”
To be strong here literally means to ‘be invested with power’. In other words, have power, show yourself to have it and abide in it! 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! 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.”
The Greek word translated here as ‘be strong’ is 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 the ‘how to be strong’ in the Master! For what follows are the instructions to put on the complete armour of Elohim! We have previously discussed, at length, that the reference to the armour of Elohim is a clear reference to the putting on of 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!
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘be strong’ is ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743!
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 lion’s 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? How often do you feel like giving up? How often do you allow crippling circumstances or battles cause you to fail in your trust and belief in the Master?
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 we see that the fruit of their lives proves otherwise and they are simply not qualified to be classed as being ‘brave’ or ‘able’, when we all should be, as we make our firm stand in Messiah, who empowers us! יהוה has given us a spirit of power, not of cowardice, but of love, power and self-control. יהוה has given us His power! Therefore, we are to be strong in Him, which is to be strengthened in His unmerited favour, not in the reliance of one’s natural ability, but in reliance of His favour! We are to stand up to the pressure amidst battles and look to where our help comes from – the Maker of heaven and earth.
When a soldier is ‘standing’ on parade, so to speak, his eyes are constantly set straight ahead and are fixed on his commander. When we fix our eyes on our Commander, we see where our strength comes from. Being strong is a call to look above and not at the physical circumstances, which often have the tendency to make us weak.
How do you handle problems and circumstances as they arise? A soldier is equipped to handle these – the question is: will you be equipped for unforeseen circumstances? Will you work enough – study enough – learn enough – pray enough – witness enough – preach enough – teach enough – endure enough – strive enough – and, even war enough, in the spirit? By enough, I mean giving it your all in every way! Now this calls for an unlimited strength – a strength that can conquer any circumstance and push through any task to completion. In יהושע we are more than conquerors and His joy is our strength, for, through Him who strengthens us, we can do all things! This is a call to be a strong soldier of יהוה – be strong in His mighty strength. Whatever you face – be strong!
2 – O – OBEDIENT:
Sha’ul was basically saying Timotiyos “Do what I ask of you.” Today, this message is still the same, coming from our Commander and Chief, יהושע Messiah, as His Word clearly presents to us the following clear instruction and command: “Do what I ask of you!”
You see, by choice we have enlisted in to a lifelong and permanent service in His Kingdom and so, we therefore, by choice, have accepted to obey all He commands us to do. If we love Him, we will obey His commands, and His commands are not burdensome or heavy, but are for our own good and wellbeing and protection of our souls.
A good soldier always follows the orders given from their commander, and a good soldier always pays attention and focuses, listening very carefully to every word spoken to him by his commander – or else he could die in a life or death situation on the battlefield!
If a soldier ever disobeys a direct command they get disciplined. When we were in the army if you didn’t listen properly and made a mistake or didn’t do what was asked of you, then it was often the case that you, and the whole platoon with you, would be punished or you, as an individual, would be sent to face severe punishment. When I was in the army, if that was the case, the one who was being severely punished for disobedience, would have to wear a red helmet for a certain time, where anyone of rank could punish him in whatever way they wanted to, and very quickly one would learn that you do not want to ever be charged by wearing the red helmet and so, would become very obedient in following every instruction given.
Now to be disobedient is to deny the authority and validity of the instruction and this could have serious repercussions. יהושע is our Commander – the very Word made flesh – the very Living Torah! So therefore, the Torah is our instructor and we are to heed the commands given therein! It is in the obedience to the Torah that we gain wisdom and understanding – where the proper understanding comes only in the obedient doing of what is commanded.
Sha’ul tells Timotiyos in 3:15 that the Set-Apart Scriptures (that is the O.T. Sha’ul was referring to as the N.T was not yet fully written and compiled), are able to make him wise for deliverance through faith in יהושע. So, obedience as a good soldier will grow us in wisdom and understanding, enabling us to hold firm and stand strong in the battle for our soul. As a soldier of יהוה – this is a call to be OBEDIENT!
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.”
The Greek word that is translated here in ka as ‘obedient’ is ὑπακοή hupakoē – Strong’s G5218 which means, ‘obedient, obedience, obey’, and this comes from the root word ὑπακούω hupakouō – Strong’s G5219 which means, ‘to listen, attend to, obey, heed, become obedient, to submit to’ and this comes from the two Greek words: 1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under’ and further means ‘to be controlled by or in subjection to’; and 2) ἀκούω akouō – Strong’s G191 meaning, ‘hearing, listen, give heed, understand’.
In other words, we clearly see from the Greek, the one who obeys the Master is one who is in subjection to the hearing of His commands, and diligently gives heed to obey and understand by making sure his ears are open to hear the Master’s voice!
Yoḥanan/John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
Proper obedience can only be expressed as a result of a proper hearing, and it is only when we hear, guard and do His commands that we are able to be properly equipped as a soldier that has been cleansed and set-apart and is value, in service to the Master!
When we obey, we are able to acknowledge and identify with the causer of our deliverance:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:9 “And having been perfected, He became the Causer of everlasting deliverance to all those obeying Him”
This verse is speaking of our Deliverer – יהושע Messiah, who became the ‘causer’ of everlasting deliverance – to who???
ALL THOSE OBEYING HIM!!!
This is a very important statement of truth being made here – it is only to those who are obeying Him, that He actually becomes the causer of everlasting deliverance! The Greek word translated as ‘causer’ is αἴτιος aitios – Strong’s G159 which means, ‘causative of, responsible for, that which is the cause of anything that resides, author’. The One who ‘causes us to be’ is the One who causes us to have everlasting deliverance!!! The author of our belief causes the obedient to obtain deliverance!
3 – L – LOYAL:
To be loyal means to be unswerving in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government. Our lawful government is the very Torah of יהוה, and we are to be unswerving in our allegiance to His every Word!
This means being faithful, in allegiance to a duty or to a person. One thing that a soldier learns very quickly in the army, is to take orders and do them! But a good soldier learns more than that – he learns to always be faithful to his commanding officer. It is יהושע who has enlisted us and has called us to follow Him, and as Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:4 tells us:
“no one serving as a soldier gets involved in the affairs of this life, in order to please him who has enlisted him as a soldier!”
Being enlisted by יהושע calls for us to lay down the affairs of this life, and to be loyal to Him; not merely out of a duty alone, but out of an unfailing love for Him! He died and rose again, in order to restore us back our fellowship with Him; in order for His Bride to be cleansed and be able to have the marriage restored and, in a sense, to enlist us to full time service in the army – that is – the body of Messiah – of which the Head and Commander is יהושע Messiah!
Let me ask you straight up, soldier of יהוה – are you being loyal to your Commander? How about the times when you simply do not feel like it? Or how about the times when you do not understand the instructions? Can יהושע, your Commander, count on you to be loyal in marching in step with Him, even when everyone else is taking a detour and are found to be A.W.O.L. (Absent without leave), so to speak?
Some obey one day and disobey the next, showing a lack of loyalty, a lack of integrity, and a lack of faithfulness that is required of a true soldier. How are you at following Him? Do you only follow Him when it is convenient or when it is comfortable, or only when you want to? A loyal soldier always follows faithfully – that is the difference between victory and defeat, in walking out our daily lives and working out our deliverance with fear and trembling?
Are there areas in your life that the Messiah is still calling you cleanse and become set-apart in, and calling you to pure loyalty that has been lacking in some areas? Anyone who competes is not crowned (does not receive the reward) unless they compete according to the rules – what rules are we talking about here? The very Torah and instructions of Elohim, that have now written by His Spirit upon our hearts!
This is a call to be LOYAL – soldier of Messiah! Are you hearing the call?
4 – D – DEFEND:
To defend or be defensive, is something every soldier is trained for – to defend everything they stand for, to defend the very code of conduct that they have pledged their allegiance to. We, as soldiers of Messiah, are to defend the Good News of Messiah. We are in a spiritual war – and it is real, and we are called to defend the Truth!
Ephesians 6:10-13 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength. 11 Put on the complete armour of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 Because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies. 13 Because of this, take up the complete armour of Elohim, so that you have power to withstand in the wicked day, and having done all, to stand.”
Be strong – put on – stand! That, in a nutshell, is how we defend. The war Sha’ul was speaking of is real, and is as real today as it was back then, and is going on right now, in and around all of our lives.
Some are fighting temptations, temptations that are trying to defeat and drag them down in to the pit of guilt and condemnation. Some are battling against discouragement and depression, and others are fighting to hold on to the Truth – having come out of the lies and deception of the church, yet are being attacked once again from that which they have come out of, as they are fighting not to give in to doubt or unbelief, as a result of attacks that are being manifested in, and through, family and close friends.
Learning to stand, and continuing to stand, in the Truth will come with much persecution. יהושע tells us that we are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness sake, for ours is the reign of the heavens, and we are blessed when people persecute us and falsely say all wicked things against us for His Name’s sake.
He tells us that we will be hated for His Name’s sake – not something that we all want to hear in a hurry – but this is the truth of the Word, as we stand to defend His Word in a major war for souls!
The encouragement we have, is that we can defend, for we know that יהושע has defeated the enemy and the enemy will have his day, where he will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire. This war calls for faithful endurance on the part of the set-apart ones! Faithful endurance, because we know we defend and fight the fight of faith from victory, not for victory – for the battle is His and He has won – the victory is ours! And as we defend the Truth, and stand, we allow Him to fight for us and bring us the victory. Our daily battles are not won with feint hearts, but with brave soldiers who are ready to die for the Truth, ready to die for those they love! The fight is not won by the one who has the biggest weapons and best missiles, but by the faithful defenders of the faith, who keep praying, keep believing, keep encouraging, keep strengthening each other and never give up until יהוה gives the victory.
Soldier of יהוה – this is a call to DEFEND!
Sha’ul, in his letter to the Philippians, says in Pilipiyim/Philippians 1:7 that he was appointed for the defence of the Good News! The Greek word that is translated as ‘defence’, in this letter, comes from the root word ἀπολογία apologia – Strong’s G627 which means, ‘a speech in defense, vindication, answer’, and is translated as ‘give an answer’, in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15 “But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear”
ALWAYS be ready to give and answer for the expectation that is in you!!! Always be ready to defend the belief and hope we have in our Master!
5 – I – INDIVISIBLE:
As Sha’ul says, and as I mentioned earlier, no one who is serving as a soldier gets involved in the affairs of this life!
A soldier is indivisible from his call and duty. Divisible means, ‘the capability of being divided’, and therefore, the word indivisible means, ‘not capable of being divided’. It means that it is impossible to be divided or separated. This is the mark of a true soldier, for a good soldier does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life – he stays focused, for he knows his purpose and does not divert from his duty.
Sha’ul is referring here to an active soldier – when a soldier is on duty and active, he cannot allow other interests to interfere with his military responsibilities to his commander and fellow soldiers, or else he puts his own life, as well as the others, at huge risk. A soldier is to always be alert and active, both mentally and physically.
This call is, for us as believers in יהושע, to be alert and awake to the times, and as a family of יהושע we must be indivisible – becoming unable and impossible for the enemy to divide or separate us from the Truth. This is also a call to let go of those things that are interfering with your walk of faith in יהושע! Your life in Messiah must leave no room for division and separation from the things of His Word, for when this does happen you will find yourself becoming weak and unable to stand your ground, as your faith gets shattered, tearing you away, bringing division and separation from the paths of righteousness, to wicked paths of sin and selfishness. Walking in יהושע calls for a heart that is indivisible – a heart that will not be prone to being divided in loyalty to the Truth. An indivisible soldier does not compromise at all! Have you found yourself compromising the Truth?
Soldier of יהוה – this is a call to be INDIVISIBLE from His Word!
6 – E – ENDURING:
In Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:4 we see the term ‘suffer hardships’ which comes from the Greek word κακοπαθέω kakopatheō – Strong’s G2553 which means, which means, ‘to suffer hardships, endure hardship and afflictions’ and
in verse 10 the Greek word that is translated as ‘endure’ is ὑπομένω hupomenō – Strong’s G5278 which means, ‘to stay behind, to await, endure, persevere, abide and endure’, which comes from the two words: 1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under, in subjection to’, and 2) μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, ‘to stay, abide, remain, stand’ – which is the word that is used in Yoḥanan/John 15 where we are told to ‘stay in, remain in’ Messiah!
Proper endurance in the Master calls for us to ‘stay in’ Him and ‘be in subjection to’ Him, by guarding His commands!
This call to possess our lives by endurance implies that endurance is certainly needed, especially as we live in a world that is corrupt and wicked and if one does not ‘possess by endurance’ they may just see their lives being stolen away through the influence of sin and compromise.
As faithful talmidim (disciples) of Messiah, we recognise that while He ascended to the Most Set-Apart Place, where He continually intercedes for us as our High Priest, we need to endure and be steadfast in staying in Him, as we walk in subjection to His clear Torah, bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
To ‘endure’ means ‘to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding’. Though it gets difficult we must endure! A good faithful soldier endures, suffers and shares in others hardships. He does not stay behind and look for an escape and refuse to carry his load. No, he does not give in to the enemies’ attack, no matter how long or hard it may be. A true soldier endures, sacrificing all he has for the cause! We, as faithful soldiers of Messiah must too, endure hardships, sacrificing all for the sake of the Good News of Messiah – for the sake of walking obediently in His Torah – for the sake of His Name!
Mattithyahu/ Matthew 10:22 “And you shall be hated by all for My Name’s sake. But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved.”
Many are sadly giving up the fight of faith for they cannot take it anymore – it seems easier to compromise the truth for a short lived and false comfort, and do not want to stand up for the Truth and fail to endure the hardships.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:12-13 “And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold. 13 “But he who shall have endured to the end shall be saved.”
Lawlessness is simply without the Torah of Elohim!!! This verse has struck me this week in a major way and brought great clarity as to understanding why many are so cold, and why so many who say they are friends can be so cold hearted and hate you! As lawlessness increases, in other words, as the refusal to walk in the Torah increases, so will their love grow cold. Without Torah there can be no love, but only a superficial counterfeit emotion that proves false through trials! יהוה is Love – יהוה is our Salvation through the Blood of יהושע – יהושע is the Living Torah – the Torah made flesh. Yahushua is Love. Therefore, the Torah is Love!!! Without Torah there is no Love! As people increase their ignorance and rebellion to the Torah, so will the love they have diminish and grow cold. But we who endure to the end, walking in the Torah of Elohim, walking in Love, shall be saved!! The fullness of our salvation for which we have been sealed in the Spirit will be completed at His return. May we certainly be found to have endured and held on to His love by walking in His perfect Torah!
The Greek word for ‘lawlessness is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 meaning, ‘lawlessness or lawless deeds, unrighteousness’ and comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 meaning, ‘lawless or without law, transgressors’.
When shooting an arrow or other object to a target, the distance that one misses is measured with a cord. The wrong actions of one are also measured against the correct action! The Torah is, in a manner of speaking, the ‘chord’ or ‘plumb-line’ that we are ‘measured against’; for we would not know what we have missed if there were no measuring line to guide and instruct us! Sinners are those who walk contrary to the Torah and ‘miss the mark’, so to speak, of the called for set-apartness and obedience to the Torah.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and 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’. I am sure some of you know where I am going with this!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 spells it out very plainly for those who seem to miss the fact that to not walk in the Torah is sin! It is as though Yoḥanan was spelling out this fact very bluntly and straightforward for those who struggle with a Greek mind-set and see no need to walk in the Torah – well right here in the Greek it is clear – If you are lawless (that is to walk contrary to the Torah) then you are indeed sinning!
Sin is lawlessness: ἁμαρτία hamartia is ἀνομία anomia!
We also take note of the words we see in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:17-19 “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death. 18 We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of Elohim, and all the world lies in the wicked one.”
When we guard righteousness, we are guarded against the deception of the lawless one!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘unrighteousness’ is ἀδικία adikia – Strong’s G93 which means, ‘unrighteousness, iniquity, wrong, deed violating law and justice’.
Ok…so… unrighteousness is sin – ἀδικία adikia is ἁμαρτία hamartia – that is pretty clear!
That means that unrighteousness is lawlessness, which is sin.
A strong soldier is one who endures and his love for יהוה remains steadfast no matter what, and he does not allow his love to grow cold in any way. Perhaps you have been facing great persecution and opposition to walking in obedience to the Word of יהוה, perhaps even family and friends have been on your case, calling you mad, always chirping and commenting on what they do not know. Perhaps you feel like you just cannot keep up the fight anymore, and are sick and tired of having to try and defend your faith in the Truth – take courage soldier of יהוה – this is a call to endure.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who does endure trial, for when he has been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which the Master has promised to those who love Him.”
The proving of your faith works endurance and we are to let endurance have a perfect work that we may be perfect and complete not lacking anything!
Will you be a good soldier of יהוה and ENDURE?
7 – R – READY:
A good soldier is always ready – ready to stand strong, be obedient, be loyal, defend, be indivisible, and endure! Always ready to fight the good fight of faith, always ready to fight even unto death! If we just have to look at the lives of the early believers and what deaths they faced under great persecution then what we can learn from them is how ready they were in living a life totally dedicated, being true faithful soldiers for the Good News. We today are called to be just as ready as they were!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the belief, lay hold on everlasting life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession before many witnesses.”
Timotiyos Bět /2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have guarded the belief.”
Are you ready? Are you ready to fight the good fight of faith in יהושע Messiah, laying hold of eternal life, confessing before many witnesses the Truth? Do you too want to echo the words of Sha’ul one day – that you fought the good fight?
Then it is time to rise up as a soldier of Yahushua and be faithful in adhering to the commands of our Commanding officer.
Be READY is the call – soldier of יהוה!
As a true soldier, in Messiah, be reminded of the responsibility of being cleansed from the things of the world and our need to keeping clean by hearing, guarding and doing the Word, having been set-apart as a vessel unto value!
Everyone who names the name of Messiah must turn away from unrighteousness and flee from the lusts of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace – with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart – this speaks of fellowship in the True Body, walking faithfully with other True Believers in Messiah who walk His Torah. For if we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him – so soldier of יהוה I charge you today to do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and rightly handles the truth.
Be Strong, Obedient, Loyal, Defend, Indivisible, Enduring and Ready to always stand in Him and for Him. We are in a war – but we are on the winning side, aměn! Be a SOLDIER for Messiah and heed His Torah – it will guard your life!
May we all take heed, as we see the illustration of a soldier teaching us to stand up and walk out our salvation with fear and trembling, living only as His Word prescribes and so, be cleansed through His Word, becoming a vessel of great value! You are valuable to יהוה – therefore cleanse yourself from matters of the world and the flesh; and having been set apart in Him, be a vessel of value, which is of good use to the Master, having been thoroughly prepared for every good work.
Will you fight this good fight with me, as we follow our Commander יהושע Messiah, all the way! To be a vessel of value means being a good and faithful soldier – and He has made you to be just that, aměn!
Many battles can bring great discouragement, and can often cause us to try and escape the onslaught of the battles and find ourselves so easily discarding our required duty of walking faithfully in the good works that have been prepared for us – which is to walk in His love – walk in His Torah and be obedient to His Word. When we neglect to do this, because of the pressures of life, we can often find ourselves being A.W.O.L (absent without leave), so to speak, and be ‘absent’ in our duty of obedient living. יהוה has not, and never does give us, who have chosen to follow Him, permission to go AWOL from obedient living. Perhaps you have found yourself AWOL – absent without leave, or rather, ‘Absent without Love’ – because it is through lawlessness, or Torahless living, that ‘love’ grows cold.
We have an intercessor that has paid the price for our sin and has called us, in Him, to pure Living, in complete obedience to His Word. Hear the call, soldier of יהוה, and valued vessel of יהוה, being given here, which is to be cleaned up through the washing of His Word and be a vessel of great value and heed the charge to obey the voice of our Commander, as a good soldier, and throw off that which hinders, and throw off that which so easily entangles and so, clothe yourselves in pure righteousness, in faithfully living in step with His voice.
Rise up soldier of יהוה, be cleaned up vessel of great value and be reinstated by His love and stand forever in Him, and having been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, stand firm and fight – for you are a:
CLEANSED, SET-APART VESSELS OF VALUE!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!