Shabbat Shalom family,
Marqos/Mark 10:28 “And Kěpha began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and we have followed You.””
These words of Kěpha spoken to our Master and King, יהושע Messiah, were after some interesting events that took place, causing Kěpha to make a remarkable statement of commitment to following the Master.
Tonight in a brief message called, “FORSAKE ALL AND GIVE YOUR ALL – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE ‘ALL’!”, I want to take a closer look at what ‘ALL’ entails, especially as we are fast approaching the Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, where we remember and celebrate the gift of life that Messiah has given to us all, through Him giving us His all, by dying on a stake and being raised to life that we may have the assurance of an everlasting life as we stay in Him, and walk as He walked!
יהושע had given a clear lesson to His taught ones who were rebuking the little children that were being brought to Messiah while He was teaching. He told them not to forbid the little children and that anyone who does not receive the reign as a child would not enter the reign. After these sobering words Messiah and His taught ones went on their way and a man came running to the Master and knelt down before Him and asked what he needed to do to inherit everlasting life. Messiah tells him plainly that he knows the commands and proceeds to mention some of them, to which the man said that he has kept all since his youth. יהושע then says to him that he still lacked one thing, and that he was to go and sell all he had, give it to the poor and then follow the Master by taking up his stake! This grieved the man, for he was obviously very wealthy and had a lot of possessions, and he left and never followed the Master!!!
Before going on to Kěpha’s statement that would follow soon after this, I just want to make it clear that יהושע was not limiting the commands that we are to keep by only mentioning 6 commands. He was making it clear to this man that he knows what the Word says, and so He should follow it. What the man didn’t know, was that the heart behind the called for obedience to all the commands of Elohim calls for your all! This verse is also not a precedent that commands people to sell all they have, as the Master was identifying and addressing the one hindrance in this rich man’s life, which was his wealth and possessions.
We are clearly told by Messiah in:
Luqas/Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, “Mind, and beware of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the excess of his possessions.”
When one places a life value on the excess of possessions then the ability to follow the Master wholeheartedly is greatly hindered. Having said that, we take note that the Master then turns to His talmidim (taught ones/disciples) after the rich man went away grieved and makes a valuable statement to them by saying, “How hard is it for or those who have riches to enter into the reign of Elohim!” Possessions and wealth can certainly be a crippling factor that chokes out the word in one’s life, rendering one powerless to follow with your all. The taught ones were very astonished at His words and then He addresses them again, and this time as children, as He says, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter into the reign of Elohim!”, and basically teaches them that putting trust in riches does not profit anyone!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:4 “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”
Riches themselves are not the evil, but the trust one puts in them and the love one has for them is a root of all kinds of evil! Sha’ul tells Timotiyos in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Charge those who are rich in this present age not to be high-minded, nor to trust in the uncertainty of riches, but in the living Elohim, who gives us richly all for enjoyment, 18 to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, so that they lay hold on everlasting life.”
Reasoning this out, the taught ones then asked who is able to be saved and Messiah makes it clear that man is unable to save himself, but with Elohim all is possible, teachings us to put our trust in Elohim alone! This is where we then come to Kěpha’s bold statement of commitment on behalf of himself and the other taught ones who had left all to follow the Master!
Last week we looked at Luqas/Luke 14:15-35 and discussed the difference between being a true follower on the field who lives according to the rules versus being a lawless fan in the crowd, and Messiah makes it clear in that passage we read last week, what following Him entails:
Luqas/Luke 14:33 “So, then, everyone of you who does not give up all that he has, is unable to be My taught one.”
In answering Kěpha and His taught ones, we see here in:
Marqos/Mark 10:29-30 “יהושע said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for the sake of Me and the Good News, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come, everlasting life.”
You will notice from this account in Marqos that the Master states very clearly that those who have left all for Him will receive back, in this time…. with persecutions… and in the age to come, everlasting life!
Our sojourning here comes at a great cost… leaving all will come with intense persecutions, yet we are called to endure until the end of this age and have the full assurance of everlasting life!
As I was wrestling with various passages in Scripture this week, I meditated over some of the Master’s parables, specifically in relation to what it means to forsake all and to give your all. I have already mentioned a couple of verses where we see the terms, ‘left all’, and ‘give up all’, and so I would like to highlight some key lessons we are able to find in a couple of the Master’s parables that will give us insight into a closer and more refined understanding of what it means to forsake all and give your all!
In Luqas/Luke 14:33 the Greek word for ‘give up’ is ἀποτάσσω apotassō – Strong’s G657 which means, ‘to set-apart, take leave of, bid farewell, send away, forsake, separate oneself from anyone, renounce’, and comes from the two Greek words: 1) ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and the word 2) τάσσω tassō – Strong’s G5021 which means, ‘appointed, draw up in order, arrange, designated, devoted, established, set’. From this we are able to get some clear insight into the Master’s words, even from a Greek perspective!!! To ‘give up’ all can literally speak of saying good-by to set ways that one was devoted to, or forsaking the established ways that one was typically used to! In order to faithfully and wholeheartedly follow the Master, a complete separation from old ways must be done and all devotion to a false order must be renounced! You have heard the term, ‘set in their ways’! Well the Master says that in order to follow Him you had better forsake the ‘set ways’ that contradict His leading and instructions! When Kěpha said, ‘we have left all’, we take note that the Greek word used for ‘left’ is ἀφίημι aphiēmi – Strong’s G863 which means, ‘to send away, leave alone, abandon, divorce, forsake, to disregard’, and can also carry the meaning, ‘give up a debt, forgive, give up or keep no longer’. Once again we are able to deduce the clear words that Kěpha was making in declaring that they, the true taught ones, had truly forsaken all in order to faithfully follow. In Luqas/Luke 5:28 we are told that Lĕwi, the tax collector, left all and rose up to follow the Master.
Luqas/Luke 5:28 “And he, having left all, rose up and followed Him.”
The Greek word used on this account for ‘left’ is καταλείπω kataleipō – Strong’s G2641 which means, ‘to leave behind, forsake, abandon’.
Lĕwi left behind all he knew, rose up and followed Messiah! The term ‘rose up’ is from the Greek word ἀνίστημι anistēmi – Strong’s G450 which means, ‘to raise up, arise, stand, rise up from lying down, rise up from the dead’, and comes from two words: 1) ἀνά ana – Strong’s G303 meaning, ‘up, upwards, back’, and 2) ἵστημι histēmi – Strong’s G2476 which means, ‘to make to stand, to stand firm, be established, stand upright, stand ready and prepared, be of a steadfast mind, to uphold and sustain the authority of something’, and is also the word used in Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6 where we are told to ‘stand’ firm in the armour of Elohim; and so we can clearly see that this ‘standing’ is an equipped standing.
ἀνίστημι anistēmi is also used in:
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.”
This Greek word is also used in the LXX (Septuagint) in:
Berěshith/Genesis 19:15 “And when morning dawned, the messengers urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.”
The Hebrew word used in the command to Lot to ‘get up’ is קוּם qum – Strong’s H6965 meaning, ‘to arise, stand up, stand’ and in the tense this is written in, we see that it is in the active voice and is a clear command, which renders the clear meaning, ‘to rise, to become powerful, to stand firm, to maintain oneself, to be established, endure’.
This is the same Hebrew word used in:
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.”
The call of the Master is clear – those who want to follow Him better stand up and leave all, and then give their all!!!
The Greek root word used for ‘all’ is πᾶς pas – Strong’s G3956 which means, ‘all, everything, continually, every kind, everyone’, and what ‘all’ entails is literally just that – ALL – everything.
Pretty simple isn’t it! Yet so many make this so hard as the need to hold on to things and set ways becomes more important to them than letting go of them in order to follow the Truth! As we consider a few pictures from some of Messiah’s parables we certainly can and must be challenged in our daily walk by assessing our walk in the Master and allow the mirror of His Word to show us if we are in fact following with our all, or if we are at times found to be falling short of a clear standard of set-apartness that He commands!
In the parable of the sower and the seed Messiah makes it clear that we are to have hearts that are free from the influences of the ‘wayside’ where the truth that is heard is snatched away by deception. We are to have good soil that is tended and kept free from the rocky places that have no root structure causing that which is heard to be forgotten when pressures and persecutions come! We are to keep our hearts free from the thorns that choke out the Word – that is the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things, as this causes one to be fruitless and in danger of being cut off, as the tree that bears no fruit shall be cut off and thrown into the fire! The good soil of the good heart that is kept pure and clear is able to yield a fruitful harvest.
When Messiah explained this parable to His taught ones in Marqos/Mark 4, He made it clear that if they did not understand this parable that they would understand the rest (verse 13)! Good soil reaps a good harvest and brings in an acceptable offering of righteousness as the Word is guarded with complete set-apartness without any form of compromise. In setting this parable as a standard to understanding the rest we recognise that the Master is greatly concerned about the fruit of our lives and the state of our hearts, for, “the good man brings forth what is good out of the good treasure of his heart, and the wicked man brings forth what is wicked out of the wicked treasure of his heart.
For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.” These words are from Luqas/Luke 6:45, and directly after these words He asks the sobering question, “But why do you call Me ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?”.
Many may claim to follow the Master and even call Him Master, yet the fruit of their lives proves otherwise, as there disregard for His Torah and commands renders them as fruitless in the eyes of the Master, despite the efforts they make in presenting a form of righteousness that lacks proper power in the Spirit!
In the parable of the talents from Mattithyahu/Matthew 25 we are told that the one who had received 5 talents went and worked with them and made another 5, and the one who had received 2 talents went and worked with them and made two more. Both of these were called trustworthy servants and were given access into the joy of the Master, while the one who had received 1 talent went and hid it in the ground and when the Master came to take account, he was regarded as being a lazy and wicked servant and everything was taken away from him, being unable to enter into the joy of the Master. What we can recognise from this parable is that it is not in the amount of talents or gifts that you have received that counts, but rather what does count is that you go and bring back a 100% return – that means you give your all. The one who got 5 went and made another 5 with what he had, not 4 or 3 or even 6 or 7; and the one who got 2 went and made another 2, not 1 or even 5!!! What you have received you must use to work out your deliverance and give your all, as His Mighty-like power has given to us all we need for life and reverence, through the knowledge of Him who called us to esteem and uprightness. (Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:3).
What we must realise here, especially as we approach Pěsaḥ/Passover, is that we have all received the gift of life, and so we are therefore called to give our all, as a daily living offering, and this requires proper preparation and commitment, as half-hearted measures will not measure up to the called for standards of set-apartness! We are called to be set-apart as Elohim is Set-Apart, and this will take your all, just as He gave His all – for us all!
In the parable of the maidens in Mattithyahu/Matthew 25 we are able to once again glean a clear lesson on proper preparation and application of the Word! 10 maidens – 5 wise ones with oil and 5 foolish ones without! All were sleeping, and when the call came that the Bridegroom is coming they all rose up to trim their lamps and the 5 foolish maidens who had no oil asked for some oil from the other 5 wise maidens who had full lamps. They were clearly told by the wise maidens that what they had was only sufficient for themselves and it would not be enough for all of them, and the 5 foolish ones were told to go to those who sell and buy some for themselves. While they went to go and buy oil the Bridegroom came and those who were ready went in and the door was shut. Later, when the 5 foolish ones came back and knocked on the door asking to be let in, they were told by the Master that He did not know them!
There is a great deal we can learn from this parable, but primarily what I want to highlight is the clear lesson on being properly prepared by giving your all! Firstly we are able to recognise that each person must work out their own deliverance with fear and trembling, as one’s oil is not sufficient for another, which shows us the clear requirement for each and every one to ensure that they are filled and ready for the Bridegrooms return. Being ready now, so that that when the trumpet sounds there will not be a sudden wake up and frantic search for what is needed! The 5 foolish maidens with no oil were rejected as the door was closed – why? Because they were not properly prepared and went to try and buy what they should have already had.
What struck me, when I meditated on this parable, was the timing that is mentioned here. We know that at Yom Teruah we shall begin to hear the Trumpet sounding of the imminent return of our Master, yet it is on Yom Kippur, as we know, that our Bridegroom and King is coming out of His Most Set-Apart Place to trample the winepress and take up His ready Bride. With Him coming out of the Set-Apart Place as King, He has changed His garments as High Priest that intercedes day and night for His Bride, and now with no High Priest in the Most Set-Apart Place the door for deliverance is shut, and those who are not ready and girded in righteousness shall be shut out!
The 5 foolish maidens went to buy oil when the Bridegroom came!!! When did they go and buy? We are told that while they went to buy the Bridegroom came! Do you see what I see? The Bridegroom is coming on Yom Kippur, which is the only other day in Scripture that is called a Sabbath, apart from the weekly Sabbath, irrespective on which day it falls. All other set-apart days that occur outside of the weekly Sabbath are called ‘Sabbath-like days’, while Yom Kippur is definitively called a Sabbath. For more on the key root words in this regard please see our Torah commentary notes for further clarity. What I want to highlight here is that the 5 foolish maidens were busy buying their oil on the Sabbath of Sabbaths!!! They were clearly doing what Scripture tells us not to do! Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58 teaches us that we are not to do our own pleasures nor speak our own words on the Sabbath, but must call it a delight and delight ourselves in The Master! We also see in Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 10 that if any of the nations were to brings their goods to sell on the Sabbath, or any other set-apart day, that they would not buy from them! What we can learn from the parable of the maidens is clear – proper preparation entails a proper 100% Sabbath keeping, lest we find that the door is shut and we are unable to be taught ones of the Master and enter into His joy!
Each and every week we are given the clear opportunity at guarding the clear commands of delighting ourselves in and guarding the Sabbath of יהוה, which is a continual cycle and reminder of how we are to be a ready and prepared Bride for His imminent return on Yom Kippur, when it will be too late for the foolish to get what they need!
Having said that what we also recognise from this parable and the timing we can glean from this, is that we should not be waiting for that final Yom Kippur, which we do not know by the way, to scurry around and get ready, but that we are to be ready now, with the clear sign of a proper Sabbath-Keeping being lived out each and every week. Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20 tell us twice that the Sabbath is a sign between us and יהוה, that we are His and He is our Elohim!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:12 “And I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, to know that I am יהוה who sets them apart.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 20:20 “And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim.”
Yeḥezqěl was clearly repeating the clear words of Elohim to Mosheh, in:
Shemoth/Exodus 31:13 “And you, speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, יהוה, am setting you apart.”
The sign that יהוה has given between us and Him for all generations is His Sabbath that we are to guard by all means, for then we shall know Him and be known by Him!
Therefore we are able to understand that the parables that I have mentioned tonight remind and teach us that nothing less than our all is expected and required, all of the time, and the sure sign that we are His is a 100% proper observance of His Sabbaths, as we live set-apart lives to Him every day and enter into His joy each week, as we delight ourselves together as a Bride who embraces the sign and appointment with Her soon coming Bridegroom!
One of the toughest challenges that many face when coming to the knowledge of the Truth is a proper Sabbath keeping, and it should not be so, when it should be easy as the yoke of our Master is easy! Giving our all for the Master entails a forsaking all that we have been accustomed to in erroneous teachings that have been handed down through vain traditions of man! Having said that, this “giving of our all” means our ALL, not only for the Sabbaths, but for every single day!
Sha’ul tells us in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13:3 “And if I give out all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I am not profited at all.”
Without going in detail tonight on what love is, as we have done so in the past, we recognise that love for Elohim is, as Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 tells us, and that is that we guard His commands which are not heavy!
What Sha’ul is teaching us here is that you can give, give and give all you want …. If you have no true love for Elohim then your giving is in vain! What is worth taking note of here is that the Greek word used here for ‘give out’ is not the same word that we looked at when Messiah says that unless we ‘give up’ all we are unable to be His taught ones. The Greek word used here in Sha’ul’s words is ψωμίζω psōmizō – Strong’s G5595 which means, ‘to feed with morsels’, and also means, ‘to feed by putting a bit or crumb (of food) into the mouth, to feed, nourish’, and comes from the word ψωμίον psōmion – Strong’s G5596 which means, ‘a fragment, morsel’.
What we see here in the difference of giving out and giving up is that while many may give out a lot and do many wonderful works of giving, even giving all their possession, if they have no love their giving does not profit at all. We notice that the difference being pictured here between Sha’ul’s words and the rich man, is that the rich man claimed that he kept all the commands and by essence was declaring that he ‘loves’, yet Messiah gave him a further test to see if he truly loves by asking him to give up all and give to the poor. Here in Sha’ul’s words we see the reverse being given, in saying that you can give out all you have, yet if you lack proper loving obedience your giving is in vain, as you have clearly not given up all!
We are called to be steadfast in the Master, for then our giving up all to follow the Master shall not be in vain:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Master, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Master.”
While we are to give up all, forsake all or leave all, as true taught ones of the Master do, we recognise that in doing so we are called to give our all, and give our all in all!!! For instance, we are told in Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we are to give thanks in ALL circumstances – do you? In Tas’loniqim Bět/2 Thessalonians 4:5 we are told to be sober in ALL matters – are you? Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:8 tells us that a double-minded man is unstable in ALL his ways – How single minded and sure are you in the Master each day? Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:15 tells us that we should become set-apart in ALL behaviour – are you? The clear point I am presenting to you tonight is one of understanding that it is ALL about the ALL!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 “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, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.”
Can you honestly say that you are always ready to give an answer to everyone asking you why you believe what you believe, as you are always giving your ALL in ALL? Or do you find that the ALL that is required is not always a true ALL when measured against the plumb-line of the Word, and that the giving of your ALL only occurs sometimes?
Perhaps the mirror of the Word reveals to you that your perception or understanding of forsaking ALL and giving your ALL does not measure up to the clear set-apart standard of our Master’s call for your ALL?
Do pressures and worries cause you to compromise your walk of set-apartness and cause you to stumble in forsaking ALL, which then hinders your ability to give your ALL?
I know that you ALL know what I am talking about, and those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying to us, His Bride, as the Master is calling for your ALL in ALL!
As we approach this year’s Pěsaḥ meal may this word stir in your hearts to ensure that you guard the good deposit and keep the soil of your heart good, being able to bear much fruit that lasts, with ALL you have, as a daily living offering that is well-pleasing and your reasonable worship before Elohim, so that none eat at the Master’s Table in a wrong or unworthy manner!
Perhaps there are still things you need to separate yourself from and let go of, in order to grab hold of and take possession of the true life the Master has bought for us. If this is the case then do not be like the foolish maidens that wait for another day, get ready and filled now, while we are able to!
“FORSAKE ALL AND GIVE YOUR ALL – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE ‘ALL’!”
Galatiyim/Galatians 2:20 “I have been impaled with Messiah, and I no longer live, but Messiah lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh I live by belief in the Son of Elohim, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
When we do not count our lives of any value to self, and ‘lose’ our lives for Messiah’s sake, dying daily to self, then we shall find true life in Messiah and give our all –
Let us not be a people who ‘blow’ our mission, but rather, having forsaking ALL to follow Our Beloved King, let us ALL give our ALL unto our Master and King, serving Him with joy, that we may enter into His joy, aměn!
“FORSAKE ALL AND GIVE YOUR ALL – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE ‘ALL’!”
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!