11th of the 9th month 2021/2022.
Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.”
In speaking of the end times, our Master made it clear that we are to be sober, watchful and awake, praying always and doing our utmost to stand!
In this call to watch at all times, and be a praying people who are standing in the Master, we must recognise the two-fold responsibility that we have: and that is that we are each to work out our own deliverance with fear and trembling!
Yet, as we do that, we must also recognise how we are called to encourage each other along the way!
That means that we have a huge responsibility toward each other, praying fervently for each other, as well as praying for those who are still under the bondage of a corrupted lawless system, and are clearly ‘asleep to the truth’..
Therefore, we must realise that we are called to be awake in our obedience, while seeing the necessity for us to be praying for others to be woken up from the slumber of delusion! .
In a message called, ‘GET UP, GIRD UP AND GO – AND THE POWER OF INTERCESSION!’, I want to remind you how we are all to be sober in our estimation of where our lives are at, when looking intently into the mirror of the Word, in order to ensure that we do not forget what we ought to look like, so that we are correctly girding ourselves continually in the Truth!
To do that, in this message I will be taking a closer look at a famous prison break, and learn some key lessons in escape, as we do our utmost to be found standing before our Master, and escape what is about to take place on the disobedient!
This great prison break that I am referring to, is that of Kěpha’s escape, from the chains of a Roman prison!
Please read Ma’asei/Acts 12:1-11.
This was the third time that we have record of Kěpha being put in prison.
The first time is recorded in Ma’asei/Acts 4, where the taught ones were arrested because they annoyed the priests and Sadducees, as they boldly announced the resurrection of the dead in יהושע, and then again in Ma’asei/Acts 5, when the emissaries were seized and put in public jail, when the high priest and the Sadducees were filled with jealousy, because of the many sick and troubled who were coming to the emissaries were being healed.
The Messenger of יהוה opened up the prison doors at night and called them to go and speak to all the people, the words of this life.
This time, here in Ma’asei/Acts 12, we find Kěpha being imprisoned, as Herodes was on an evil spree of killing those of the assembly of Messiah.
He had just killed Ya’aqob, the brother of Yoḥanan; and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Yehuḏim, he went and arrested Kěpha, who was being held on ‘death row’ during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, where he had planned to kill Kěpha after the Feast! .
And from this great prison escape, we are able to learn some very valuable lessons.
In verse 5 we are told that while Kěpha was kept in prison, prayer and intercession was being made to Elohim on his behalf by the assembly!.
We have regularly spoken a lot on the power of the prayers of the righteous, and here in this chapter, we are given a clear example of what prayer does, and in recognising this, we can also be reminded of what we are told in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:12 “Because the eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers, but the face of יהוה is against those who do evil.”
Kěpha could certainly write this in his letter, as he had experienced first-hand how this was indeed a vital truth!
The prayers of the righteous were being heard by יהוה, and this teaches us a great deal about the power of intercession!.
In Ma’asei/Acts 12:5 we see the words “but prayer…” being used midway in the sentence, and this is the turning point in the story.
We must never underestimate the power of a praying assembly! .
The Messenger of יהוה brought Kěpha out of prison, yet we recognise the power of intercession that brought the attentive response of the Messenger of יהוה.
With that in mind let’s look at some key actions displayed by Kěpha, in the midst of a faith testing experience..
Firstly, we are told, in verse 6, that 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 that had been put in place by the prison guards.
This time Kěpha was bound to two guards and more 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 that 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 that 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 out and was not in any kind 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 here 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!
Well, you know what: Kěpha did.
In fact, Kěpha was so sound asleep that the Messenger of יהוה had to strike him on the side in order to wake him up!
What gave Kěpha such confidence and hope?
Well, to begin with, many believers were praying for him, and they had kept it up day and night, for a week, and this helped to bring him peace..
The assembly had prayed earnestly to Elohim without ceasing!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘earnestly’ in verse 5, comes from the adjective ἐκτενής ektenēs – Strong’s G1618 which means, ‘zealous, earnestly, fervently’ and comes from a verb which means ‘to stretch out the hand’, which highlights the intensity of the action.
The clear picture that we are given here, is that of an intense seeking of Elohim, being done by the assembly, making their petitions and requests known to Elohim:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not worry at all, but in every matter, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Elohim. 7 And the peace of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Messiah יהושע.”
The Greek word that is translated as for ‘peace’ is εἰρήνη eirēnē – Strong’s G1515 which means, ‘peace, welfare, undisturbed, rest and quietness’, and is also understood as having exemption from the rage and havoc of war, and speaks of security, safety, prosperity, and felicity which is the quality or state of being peaceful!.
Having peace in our Master and Elohim, gives us the comforting assurance that we are perfectly equipped, in Him, to endure the raging storms that surround us, for we have access, by belief, to His perfect favour and shalom that causes us to stand:
Romiyim/Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been declared right by belief, we have peace with Elohim through our Master יהושע Messiah, 2 through whom also we have access by belief into this favour in which we stand, and we exult in the expectation of the esteem of Elohim.” .
Kěpha could sleep, for the peace of Elohim could guard his heart and mind through the Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah. .
I want us to look at this Greek word that is translated in verse 6 as ‘sleeping’, as we begin to explore some key lessons from the account of Kěpha’s escape!
The Greek word that is used here 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 κοιμάω koimaō – Strong’s G2837 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!
It also speaks of the confidence that we can put in the Master, and we see this word being used in the LXX (Septuagint) in:
Tehillah/Psalm 4:8 “I lie down in peace altogether, and sleep; for You alone, O יהוה, make me dwell in safety.”
This was a confident prayer of Dawiḏ, as he expressed his complete trust in יהוה.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘sleep’ comes from the root word יָשֵׁן yashen – Strong’s H3462 which means, ‘to sleep (figuratively to die), to cause to sleep’. .
Sleep is a blessing; as it provides the necessary rest and refreshment that we need.
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.”
What we see in Scripture, is the clear instruction to sleep when we should and making 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 καθεύδω katheudō – Strong’s G2518 can be understood, metaphorically, as describing those who ‘do not care’.
This is not the same word that is translated as ‘sleeping’, in Ma’asei/Acts 12:6, that we looked at when we saw that Kěpha was sleeping in the prison.
Kěpha was not sleeping because he did not care!
He was sleeping, and 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 one of 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 by our Master 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. .
Here in prison, Kěpha could have a peaceful sleep, for he knew who His Master was, and the fear of those who had persecuted him did not cause him to lose sleep over their false accusations!
We too can, and should, learn from this, and in doing so, be encouraged to not lose sleep over those ‘harsh words’ and ‘accusative insults’ that others may speak against us for walking in righteousness and guarding the commands of our Elohim! .
What we should be doing for those who speak against us, is simply to pray for them, and let them, by observing our good works, esteem Elohim in the day of His visitation!
Sleeping when we should be sober, awake and watchful is a dangerous thing!
In the past, I gave a message called, ‘BUT WHILE MEN SLEPT!’, and looked at the real dangers of not staying sober and alert; and I encourage you to go and look at those notes which takes a closer look at the Parable of the sower in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:24-30 and can be found on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2012/2013 menu, or by clicking on or using the following link:
While we can learn a great deal about having peaceful sleep at night, we are also able to learn more lessons from this escape, of how we are to wake up from any misguided and foolish sleep and ensure that we are being sober and alert in our ability to stand firm in the truth, as we stand armed in the Torah! .
In the parable of the 10 maidens, all 10 were asleep, and when the awakening sound came, only 5 of them had oil in their lamps, and only they were able to enter into the wedding feast, while those who foolishly did not have oil could not enter in, for the door was shut and they were sent away as ones whom the Master did not know!.
Kěpha, being awakened here, is a picture of a clear call to those who are armed in the Truth, being called to wake up and stand ready!
This can also picture the time of distress that is coming upon us, for which we must have our lamps trimmed and full.
Kěpha was sleeping so soundly between two guards, that the Messenger of יהוה had to ‘smite’ him on his side!
The Greek word translated as ‘smiting’ is πατάσσω patassō – Strong’s G3960 which means, ‘to strike, strike down, afflict, cut down, visit with evil, kill, slay’, and is used 10 times in the Renewed Writings, and is primarily used to describe an aggressive action of striking one down.
It is used in this chapter, in Ma’asei/Acts 12:24, when the Messenger of יהוה smote the wicked king Herodes, for he did not give esteem to Elohim, and becoming worm eaten Herodes died!.
Why I am mentioning this here, is to show just how urgent this call for Kěpha to wake up was! The Messenger of יהוה ‘smacked’ him awake, so to speak, and this was a big whack! Today, we see so many people who are oblivious to their twisted lawless attempts at worship, and they too need to be woken up with the mighty Hand of Elohim!
For most of us who have come out of the corrupt systems of falsified worship, it took a bit of a serious wake up call (smack), for us to hear and respond correctly!
I firmly believe that the ‘wake up smiting of the Master’ over our lives, comes as a result of the fervent and earnest prayers of others, as we see in this clear example that is given to us in this text!
Do not underestimate the power of prayer and intercession, as your earnest prayers may be that which יהוה will respond to and ‘smack’ some people awake, from their deepened sleep.
It took the ‘smiting’ of יהוה to get Kěpha to wake up and then he was given some very clear instructions, which he obeyed.
Kěpha obeyed these instructions without wavering!
So much so, that he thought that he was in a vision, until he actually came out of prison and suddenly realised that this was real! .
This can teach us a great deal, about the unwavering belief that we are to have, in following the clear commands of Elohim; and to do so without trying to stop and reason things out in the flesh, for that will only hinder our walk and witness!.
It is in the faithful guarding and doing what His Torah commands us, that we find clarity and understanding.
It all makes sense when we ‘just do it’, and so it was the same here for Kěpha! .
Let us look at these clear instructions that he was given, after being radically awakened!
In verse 7 he was told to ‘get up’, which is translated 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 which means, ‘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 that is 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. .
This Greek word ἀνίστημι anistēmi – Strong’s G450 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 ἀνίστημι anistēmi – Strong’s G450 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 that is used in the command for Lot to ‘get up’ is קוּם qum – Strong’s H6965 which means, ‘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 that is 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 Light and esteem of יהוה had shone in the building and while darkness still covered the eyes of the guards, Kěpha was able to get up, gird up and go!
The night was far advanced, yet he was able to put off darkness! .
This reminds me of the words of Sha’ul 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.”.
It was not time to sit around and wait for better days, it was time to get up and do as commanded; and this is something that we must take heed of, as we recognise that the hour for us to wake up from any kind of sleep has come! .
The word that is used here in Romiyim/Romans 13:11 for ‘sleep’ is another Greek word, which is ὕπνος hupnos – Strong’s G5258 which means ‘sleep, deep sleep’, and 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 considered as the Greek mighty one of sleep, whose palace was in a dark cave where the sun never shone, and at the entrance of the 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. .
Do not, for a moment, let your mind be caught by the distractions of the worries of this age, and the deceit of riches, and the desires for other matters, which will choke out the breath of life in you and cause you to be under the hypnotic spell of lawlessness, if you are not awake and watchful, that is! .
He was first told to wake up, get up and then he was told to gird up!
In verse 8 Kěpha is told to gird himself and bind on his sandals!
These are similar sounding words to the words that we see in the clear command that was given to the prophet in Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 2, where Yeḥezqěl was commanded to ‘stand on his feet’!
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 2:1 “And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, so that I speak to you.” .
To stand on your feet, implies a readiness to do what is instructed, as well as being completely submitted to the commands of the Chief. .
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘stand’ comes from the root word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’. .
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:2, we see how Yirmeyahu was to ‘Stand in the gate of the House of יהוה, and proclaim the Word of יהוה to all who were entering the gates to bow down to יהוה’.
Yirmeyahu was not just told to stand up, but rather, more firmly, he was told to take a stand and be steadfast, in standing up to speak the Word of Elohim, as he was to confidently take a stand against the hypocrisy of false worship, and ‘proclaim’ the Word of יהוה. .
In the ancient pictographic script, the root word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’, is as follows:.
Ayin – עָ
In the ancient script this letter is drawn as – and is pictured as an eye and carries the meaning of ‘insight and understanding’ or that to which you look upon and the ability to ‘look and see’..
Mem – מַ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.
We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’..
Dalet – דֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back-and-forth movement’, as one goes back and forth through a tent door, and so speaks of an access point.
It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access..
In terms of this grouping of pictographic letters that render the word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975, we are able to identify what is being clearly represented for us here, especially as we consider who it is that we are to be looking to, in order to be equipped to stand.
These pictures can render for us the following:
THE CLEANSING AT THE DOOR.
When we turn to the Master, the veil is taken away and looking to Him, the Prince and Perfecter of or belief, we are able to respond to His calling us to our feet, by being immersed in Him and receiving the washing that He, the Door of the Sheep, brings to us, in order that we can be caused to stand and speak!
Our Master and Saviour is the Door of the sheep, and we come to Him and accept His offering of Blood that cleanses, through our immersion in His Name, giving us access to stand in Him and be equipped to serve!
This ability to be called to stand to our feet, is made possible by His Word that cleanses us and sets us apart: … to those who have ears to hear and respond as they should!.
With this command given to Yeḥezq’ěl, to stand on his feet, there was an expected service required of him, just like a soldier receiving orders from his commanding officer.
We who are commanded to STAND on our FEET, and stand, stand and stand, and after having done all, to keep standing, are to do so in reverent awe of Elohim, and with great courage, as a faithful soldier of our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!.
This girding and standing that Kěpha was commanded to do, is a clear picture of the urgent call for complete obedience amidst a dark and wicked generation!
Kěpha was called to gird himself and put his shoes on!
This was a call to be armed in the Torah and not in the Roman armour that he was being loosened from!
The Messenger of יהוה broke the chains of the worldly ways from Kěpha, and now commanded him to stand up on his feet and be dressed in righteousness!
Tehillah/Psalm 34:7 “The messenger of יהוה encamps all around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘gird’ is ζώννυμι zōnnumi – Strong’s G2224 which means, ‘to gird’, and the essence of the meaning to ‘gird up one’s loins’, was to prepare for a hasty departure.
It was a belt that one would use to gird up one’s garments, and herein lies the picture of being girded about with the belt of truth, for it is the Truth that holds us together! .
The Greek word that is used in Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:14 for ‘girded’ is περιζώννυμι perizōnnumi – Strong’s G4024 which means, ‘to gird, be dressed in readiness’, and is constructed from two words:
1) – περί peri – Strong’sG4012 which is a primary preposition meaning, ‘about, concerning, around, on account of’ and
2) – ζώννυμι zōnnumi – Strong’s G2224.
This Greek word περιζώννυμι perizōnnumi is used in the LXX (Septuagint) and is used in reference to the command for readiness, that was given to Yisra’ĕl in obeying the instructions regarding Pěsaḥ:
Shemoth/Exodus 12:11 “And this is how you eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Passover of יהוה.”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘girded’ is חָגַר ḥagar – Strong’s H2296 and carries the meaning, ‘to gird, gird on, gird oneself, be armed, dressed, come trembling’ and can carry the essence of being ‘belted’, as in ‘girded up and ready’!
This word is also used in:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:18 “But Shemuʼěl was attending before יהוה – a youth, wearing a linen shoulder garment.”
Shemuʼěl, as we know, was dressed in righteousness amidst an adulterous and wicked people!.
Gird yourself and bind on your sandals!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘bind’ in verse 8 is ὑποδέω hupodeō – Strong’s G5265 which means, ‘to wear, to bind under, shod, be shod with’, and comes from two words:
1) ὑπό hupo – Strong’s G5259 which means ‘under, in subjection to’, and
2) δέω deō – Strong’s G1210 which means, ‘bind, tie, knit, be in bonds, fasten with chains, put under obligation, to be in subjection to (law and duty), to be bound to one (husband or wife)’ and this word also implies ‘being under the authority of another’. .
What is worth taking note of here, is that a derivative of this word δέω deō – Strong’s G1210 is the word for servant in the Greek, which is the word δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’. .
What we are able to see here, in this clear instruction given to Kěpha, is that by ‘binding on his shoes’, he was to be in subjection to walking in the Torah of His Master and Deliverer, as a faithful servant!.
We ‘bind on our sandals’, by walking in subjection to being under the authority of the One who has called us out of darkness and into His marvellous light!
By ‘binding on our sandals’, we are ‘bound’ to walk as our Master walked, and hear, guard and do His Torah!.
As I mentioned earlier, we see in verse 9 that Kěpha thought that he was in a vision, while all of this was happening; and we can also take note from this, that there are times when this walk may seem to be like a vision; especially when we see the mighty power of Elohim moving in our lives and bringing us great favour and shalom – but know this: IT IS REAL!!!.
And the clear call to ‘put on the armour of Elohim’, is not some fantasy vision, but rather it is an urgent reality call for complete obedience without any form of compromise!.
In verse 8, he is then told to ‘put on’ his garment and ‘follow’ the Messenger of יהוה; and the Greek word translated as ‘put on’ is περιβάλλω periballō – Strong’s G4016 which means, ‘put on, clothe, wrap around, throw around’, and this word is also translated as ‘dressed’ in the following verses:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be dressed in white robes, and I shall by no means blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I shall confess his name before My Father and before His messengers.”
This was to the assembly in Sardis, who were told to ‘wake up and repent’..
Ḥazon/Revelation 4:4 “And around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes. And they had crowns of gold on their heads.”.
Ḥazon/Revelation 7:9 “After this I looked and saw a great crowd which no one was able to count, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands”
Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 “And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones.”
We are to be dressed in righteousness and follow our Master and stay in Him, as we guard His commands!.
The Greek word translated as ‘follow’ in verse 8 is ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō – Strong’s G190 and comes from: Α, α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter of the Greek language and is used here as a participle of union, along with the word κέλευθος keleuthos which means, ‘a road, or way’ and therefore this word ἀκολουθέω akoloutheō expresses the intention to ‘follow closely or going behind someone who leads the way’ or ‘to attend, to accompany, to go with or follow a teacher’..
Luqas/Luke 9:61-62 “And another also said, “Master, I shall follow You, but let me first say good-bye to those in my house.” 62 But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.”.
The equivalent expression in Hebrew for ‘I will follow you’ is:
This phrase come from two root words:
1) הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 which means, ‘to walk, to go, to live, manner of life, cause to live’ and literally speaks of how one lives.
It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life. .
This verb is written in the ‘qal active’ tense and therefore renders the meaning, ‘to go, to walk, come, proceed, depart, move, go away, to die, live, manner of life (figuratively)’.
2) אַחַר aḥar – Strong’s H310 which means, ‘the hind part, following part, after, afterwards, behind, following’,
And so, in the Hebraic mind-set, to say that you will follow, declares that you will live and walk as the one that you are following, and do as they do.
To follow Messiah is not for those who just want to go for a stroll to see what happens – it is a commitment to walk and live as He walks and lives!
You cannot follow the Master if you are not girded about with truth and have not put on righteousness, as you will be unable to walk as He walked!.
If you are not properly girded in the Truth and are still bound in your walk of uncompromised obedience, then even the greatest intentions to follow will be rendered as invalid, when the things of the world are still chained to you!.
In verse 9 we see that Kěpha obeyed and we are told that in coming out he followed Him! The Greek word that is translated here as ‘coming out’ is ἐξέρχομαι exerchomai – Strong’s G1831 which means, ‘depart, come out from, go forth’, and is the same root word that is used in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”.
Only when you truly ‘come out’ and ‘be separate’, can you properly ‘follow’ the Master!!! You cannot follow if you are still attached, or chained, to worldly things!.
As we consider this great escape, and the powerful intercession that took place by the assembly, we are able to recognise our need to get up, gird up and go!
And in hearing this truth, I ask you:
Are you sober, awake and watchful?
Have you heard the clear call to be girded up with truth, and are you continually guarding the need to be constantly dressed in righteousness and come out in haste?
Or are you, in some ways, still chained to the worldly lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life?
Are you still chained in darkness to a roman soldier, so to speak?
So much so, that you cannot seem to let go of fleshly ‘stuff’?
Are there any ‘chains of selfishness and pride’, or bitterness and unforgiveness, that is stopping you from waking up from sleep and girding yourself with the truth and walking in it?
Is there any compromise in your life that may be causing your delayed approach at completely surrendered obedience, and has delayed the urgency of getting up and getting dressed in the Master?.
Let us learn from this great escape and recognise how the shalom of Elohim, which surpasses all understanding, can guard our hearts and minds in our Master and Deliverer, יהושע Messiah!
And let us also recognise, and be reminded by, the power of earnest prayer being made for each other! For your prayers may be that which our Master hears and answers, in bringing others, who are bound in darkness, out into His Marvellous Light! .
Disobedience and pride will keep you chained to the flesh and that can cause you to retreat and spend your days imprisoned as a slave to unrighteousness.
This is not what Elohim wants from us; יהושע came to set the captives free. .
If you find yourself in a tough spot, you need to find rest in Him in order that you can ‘sleep peacefully’, knowing that Elohim is in control and that no matter where you may find yourself, you can keep your cool..
This prison break gives us so much to draw from, and I think that the key aspect on man’s part was the ordinary practical obedience of praying for a brother in chains, and the simple submission to complete uncompromised obedience, allowing the Messenger of יהוה to do the extraordinary. .
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:3 “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them, and those being mistreated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”.
There is a responsibility on our part as believers, to pray for our fellow believers who are in prison, whether physically or spiritually.
There are many who are, at times, so ‘tied up on all sides’, so to speak, and cannot seem to find an escape from the bondage that they are trapped in.
This may be a bondage to habitual sin, or the inability to break free from an imprisoned lifestyle of running after the flesh; or even being trapped in the guilt, shame and condemnation of their failings.
There is power in prayer, and our Master יהוה answers prayer, and we can stand firm on the promise of Romiyim/Romans 8:28, for we know that in all things Elohim works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
It is through prayer we can receive the peace and reassurance of Elohim in Messiah, our Redeemer and King!
It is by walking in complete obedience to hearing, guarding and doing the Torah that our prayers are heard!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:8 “The slaughtering of the wrong ones is an abomination to יהוה, but the prayer of the straight is His delight.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:9 “He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.”.
Hear this awakening call to:
GET UP, GIRD UP AND GO
And in doing so, recognise:
THE POWER OF INTERCESSION!.
As you do this, do your utmost to run with joy, this race that has been set before you, as you fervently run in the commands of our great and mighty Saviour, Master and Elohim!.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!.