28th of the 11th month 2016/2017
As I was reading through the second letter of Kěpha/Peter I was once again struck by his words and how true it is that we have received such a precious belief by the righteousness of our Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah.
In his letter he appeals to believers, as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts that battle against the life and what gripped me once again, while reading this very powerful letter of Kěpha Bět/2 Peter, is how important it is for us to guard the set-apartness that we have been called to!
The passage I want to take a closer look at is from the first chapter, so please turn to Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:1-11 (Read).
This second letter is, in essence, addressing the danger of false teachers and a key concept that we see contained herein is knowledge, as where we see the word’s ‘knowledge’ or ‘know’ being used at least 13 times in this short letter. Knowledge of Messiah will keep you from falling for the misleading guidance of false teachers, who are those who claim the Truth and, at times, may even sound so genuine, yet they are cleverly and craftily leading many away from the Torah of Elohim as opposed to leading a repentant people back to His Torah!
As we look through this short passage that introduces his second letter I want us all to be reminded of how important it is for us to be properly dressed in the armour of Elohim and guard the righteousness of our Mighty Elohim and Saviour by guarding His Word and fleeing from the lusts of the flesh!
In a message called, ‘HAVING ESCAPED FROM THE CORRUPTION IN THE WORLD, CAUSED BY LUST!’ I want to take a closer look at some of the key Greek words that clearly highlight for us how our Master has called us out of darkness and equipped us to stay in His Light and flee from the lusts that battle against the flesh!
The title of this message forms part of the wording we find in verse 4, which is what struck me and stirred me to prepare this message, especially as we consider what lives we ought to be living, having escaped the corruption in this world that is caused by lust! While we are still in the world and are continually surrounded and bombarded with the corruption of the world that is caused by the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, we take note that through the work of our Elohim and Saviour, we have been given all we need to remain free from the corruption that surrounds us! Kěpha is making it very clear, in his opening section of his second letter, that in order for us to remain free from the effects of the lust that can so easily and quickly corrupt those who are not sober and alert, we need to be continually doing our utmost to strengthen our belief and love for our Master, Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
In this letter, Kěpha is writing to believers and in his opening statement he calls himself a servant and emissary of יהושע Messiah. The Greek word that is translated here as ‘servant’ is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 which means, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, and is also used as a metaphor to describe one who gives himself up to another’s will and is devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests!!!
This word is used repeatedly throughout the Renewed Writings (N.T.), as we take note that Sha’ul, Ya’aqoḇ, Kěpha and Yehuḏah all called themselves a ‘servant’ (δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401) of יהושע Messiah.
Romiyim/Romans 1:1 “Sha’ul, a servant of יהושע Messiah, a called emissary, separated to the Good News of Elohim”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:1 “Yaʽaqoḇ, a servant of Elohim and of the Master יהושע Messiah, to the twelve tribes who are in the dispersion: Greetings.”
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:1 “Shimʽon Kěpha, a servant and emissary of יהושע Messiah, to those who have obtained a belief as precious as ours by the righteousness of our Elohim and Saviour יהושע Messiah”
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:1 “Yehuḏah, a servant of יהושע Messiah, and brother of Yaʽaqoḇ, to those who are called, set-apart by Elohim the Father, and preserved in יהושע Messiah”
A true faithful servant of יהושע Messiah is one who serves with their all and does so in complete set-apartness. Sha’ul told Timotiyos the following:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:3-5 “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. 5 And if anyone competes in a game, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
A faithful servant is also a good soldier of יהושע Messiah and seeks to please Him, for our Master has caused us to be enlisted, so to speak, by grafting us into the Covenants of Promise, by His Blood. As faithful servants and soldiers we are called to fight to good fight, be strong and courageous and not be afraid of what the enemy can or cannot do, for our Master is with us and He strengthens us, equips us, helps us and upholds us in righteousness, as we guard to do all that He commands us to.
The reason I am mentioning all this is to make it clear that the ‘call of duty’ that we each have, as servants of Messiah, calls for us to be strong and courageous having escaped the corruption in the world, caused by lust, we are to be diligent in our duty as faithful servants of Messiah to make sure we keep our feet firmly rooted in His Word and make firm our calling and choosing, by doing the matters that we are called to in order that we never stumble.
In Hebrew the word that is used for ‘servant’ is עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 meaning, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
In the ancient script the word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ is pictured as:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and is pictured as ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which is a picture of ‘a tent floor plan’ and carries the meaning of, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as 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.
When we look at this word in the ancient script for a servant, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE!
This is what our Master calls us to do; and when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah!
Kěpha was also an emissary of יהושע Messiah and the Greek word that is translated as ‘emissary’ is ἀπόστολος apostolos – Strong’s G652 which means, ‘a messenger, one sent on a mission, apostle, sent one’, and comes from the root word ἀποστέλλω apostellō – Strong’s G649 which means, ‘to send forth, set-apart and send out (on a mission), ordered to go to a place appointed, send away’, and is a technical term for the sending of a messenger with a special task.
This letter of Kěpha is written to those who have obtained the precious belief, highlighting for us that this is a letter to true set-apart believers! We often need to be reminded that the letters of the Renewed Writings are letter that were written to and for believers and often highlights how some had wandered from the belief and needed to be reminded to get back on track, so to speak! It is no different for us today, as we look intently into the mirror of the Word we need to be continually reminded of our need to guard set-apartness and not be distracted by the lustful things of the world that corrupt good character!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘obtained’ in verse 1 is λαγχάνω lagchanō – Strong’s G2975 which means, ‘to obtain by lot, received, chosen by lot’ and this highlights for us that the belief that we have obtained is a gift of Elohim as He is the One who causes us to receive this precious belief, when we faithfully respond to His call to come out and be separate, having been given this precious belief by the righteousness of our Elohim and Saviour and not by ourselves! The Greek word for ‘belief’ is πίστις pistis – Strong’s G4102 which means, ‘faith, faithfulness, pledge, conviction of the Truth’ which comes from the primary root verb πείθω peithō – Strong’s G3982 which means, ‘to persuade, to put confidence in, to follow, have confidence and rely upon’.
When looking at these root terms it is very clear, even in the Greek mind-set, that ‘to believe’ involves action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.
Titos/Titus 3:8 “Trustworthy is the word, and in this regard I wish you to strongly affirm, that those who have believed in Elohim should keep their minds on maintaining good works. This is good and profitable to men.”
A belief without obedient action is a useless belief and one that will get many ‘cast away’ and told that they are not known by Elohim, as their dead works of lawlessness will be unable to save them!
In continuing with his introduction, writing to those that have been caused to receive this precious gift of belief, Kěpha says that they may have favour and peace increased in the knowledge of our Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
The Greek word used in verse 2 for ‘knowledge’ is the noun ἐπίγνωσις epignōsis – Strong’s G1922 which means, ‘recognition, knowledge, real knowledge’ and comes from the verb ἐπιγινώσκω epiginōskō – Strong’s G1922 which means, ‘to know exactly, to recognise, to acknowledge, ascertain, find, understand’, and this comes from two root words:
1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and
2) γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097 which is a primitive root verb that means, ‘to perceive, to learn, to come to know, comprehend, understand, recognise, learn to know, get a knowledge of’.
At the end of this second letter we see him expressing how we are to grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour:
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17-18 “You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, 18 but grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah. To Him be the esteem both now and to a day that abides. Aměn.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘knowledge’ at the end of his letter is the noun γνῶσις gnōsis– Strong’s G1108 which means, ‘knowledge, understanding the way’ and comes from the primitive root verb γινώσκω ginōskō – Strong’s G1097, which is also used in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
To have knowledge and continually grow in the knowledge of our Master, Elohim and Saviour implies that we have the clear ability to ‘hear’ His voice and guard to do what He commands as we have ‘ears to hear’ and diligently obey and follow His clear instructions, walking in the favour and peace of our Master!
As we sit under the instructions of our Creator and Redeemer, we learn to know Him and get a knowledge of who He is and come to know how we are to live in obedience to His clear Torah.
As we grow in the favour and knowledge of Elohim we are equipped to stand firm in the Truth and fitted with shoes of peace!
In verse 3 Kěpha makes it very clear to us that through the mighty-like power of our Master and Saviour, we have been given all that we need for life and reverence.
The Greek word for ‘the Life’ is ζωή zōē – Strong’s G2222 meaning, ‘life, alive, living’, and in the Greek this denotes the physical vitality of organic beings, animals, men and also plants. Without the saving gift of Elohim we have no life!
יהושע Messiah is The Way, The Truth and The Life and He gives us life and the true way in which we are to walk in the life He has freely given us!
The Greek word translated here as ‘reverence’ is the noun εὐσέβεια eusebeia – Strong’s G2150 and carries the meaning of, ‘well-directed reverence’, and at its root it carries the meaning, ‘to be true and to adore, speaking of one’s devout worship and being dutiful in one’s obedience’. This word, applied to a believer, denotes a life that is truly acceptable unto Messiah, indicating a proper attitude toward יהושע Messiah, who saves him. It comes from the adjective εὐσεβής eusebēs – Strong’s G2152 which describes a ‘pious, devout, reverent man’. These words are a construct of two words: 1 – εὖ eu – Strong’s G2095 which is an adverb meaning, ‘good, well done’ and 2 – σέβω sebō – Strong’s G4576 which is a verb that means, ‘to worship, revere, Elohim-fearing’. So true reverence, even in the Greek understanding is a ‘good and well done, Elohim-fearing worship’!!! εὐσέβεια eusebeia reflects both an attitude and a way of life, that is well pleasing to our Master, through the continued display of complete set-apartness without compromise!
When we understand what true reverence toward Elohim means, we will find that we will do our utmost to give no room for compromise, and forever strive for perfection in the Master, no matter where we find ourselves or in what circumstances we may be in. Let me be very clear – it is possible to fake εὐσέβεια eusebeia – that is to have ‘a form of reverence’ in appearance only, while not having the real thing. This is what many are doing today, as they are simply putting on a show, having a form of reverence but no power to actually live it out, as their neglect for a well pleasing and good Elohim-fearing worship is non-existent, as clearly seen through their neglect for the Torah and the need to guard the commands of Elohim!
I think we can all agree that we do not see much reverence toward Elohim today! A twisted message has caused many to not have a true reverence for Elohim whatsoever; and they do as they please while at the same time think that they can demand to walk in the Promises of the Word! The false prosperity message seeks to claim all the promises without actually walking in obedience as they want the presence and promise of יהוה while turning their noses up at the need to be fed their daily lawful bread and to walk in The Word and obey the clear instructions for set-apart living.
Here Kěpha is making it very clear – יהושע has given us all we need for life and reverence – through the knowledge of Him!!! Our Master, having giving us all we need for life and reverence, has called us to esteem and uprightness!
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘called’ comes from the word καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564 which means, ‘call, to call, called out, invited, summoned’. It is from the root word καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564 that we get the Greek word ἐκκλησία ekklēsia – Strong’s G1577 which means ‘assembly or congregation’, coming from the words ἐκ ek Strong’s G1537 which means ‘from, from out of, belonging’ and καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564. The True assembly is made up of those who have responded to the invitation and call to come out and be separate and be dressed in true garments of righteousness so that we may enter in to the Wedding Feast that we have been invited to!
We have been called to an honourable position of excellence in the Master, which we can only respond correctly to as we grow in the knowledge of Him, having been caused to know Him by His saving gift that has appeared to all. The gift and calling has been made known and how we respond does matter! Kěpha is writing to believers who have responded and have received this saving gift and calling; and is simply reminding us what we have been called to. Knowing that we have been called to walk in the way of set-apartness we ought to often assess ourselves through the mirror of the Word in order to keep check and make sure we are walking in that which we have been called to! Does your walk reflect a walk of esteem and uprightness?
Through the knowledge of Elohim and His esteemed call to uprightness, which we have been equipped for, we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises so that we can partake in His Mighty-like nature – because He has caused us to ‘escape from the corruption in the world, caused by lust’!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘escaped’ is ἀποφεύγω apopheugō – Strong’s G668 which means, ‘flee from, escape’ and comes from two words: 1 – ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and primitive particle, meaning, ‘from, away from, against’ and 2 – φεύγω pheugō – Strong’s G5343 which means, ‘flee, run away from, escape’, and is used metaphorically to mean, ‘to flee (that is to shun or avoid by flight) that which is abhorrent’.
We must shun or avoid by flight that which is contrary to the Truth! The idea of this strong verb implies an urgent action that does not hesitate or delay in escaping the danger of corruption and compromise. We are to flee from the love of money and from things that draw us out of our Master’s covering and favour. So many people get pierced with many pains and injure themselves when they do not flee as they should. The lusts of the flesh, if one does not flee from them, can cause serious harm and destruction. Fightings and strivings come from people not having what they want, according to the flesh! Many people will spend hours looking at pictures of what they would like to have or what they wish their life was like, and in doing so plunge themselves into a pit of destruction and self-pity that is never content or satisfied with what we have in the Master, and you will find that when this happens they can never be a true witness and ambassador for our Master but rather become the opposite as they present a profaned image that blasphemes rather than esteems our King, which severely sets them at risk of facing death!
We must be on guard against those things that attract the eyes and end up consuming one’s thoughts and emotions to the point where they think that they cannot be content until they have it, as covetousness sets in and steals away true reverence and contentment!
Sha’ul, in his first letter to Timotiyos, tells us that we must flee from all corruption and falsehood as well as the lust of the flesh and teaches us that reverence with contentment is great gain!
Being faithful sojourners in a corrupted world, caused by lust, we must recognise that in order to properly walk in the esteemed and upright call of set-apartness we must flee from the lusts that corrupt! We become or keep ourselves safe from danger by avoiding or escaping it! The best way to ‘stay safe’ is to ‘stay away’ from that which corrupts and destroys and so we escape the corruption of the world by not engaging or being involved in the depravity of lawlessness and the lusts of the flesh!
We have been set free from being slaves to sin and have been called to uprightness! Having therefore escaped from the corruption of the world through the saving gift of Elohim, we ought to live as one who is free from corruption and is no longer bound by the shackles of lusts that corrupt!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘corruption’ is φθορά phthora – Strong’s G5356 which means, ‘destruction, corruption, decay, moral corruption, rot, that which is perishable, killed’ and comes from the root word φθείρω phtheirō – Strong’s G5351 which means, ‘to destroy, corrupt, spoil’.
This Greek word φθορά phthora – Strong’s G5356 is used in the LXX (Septuagint) for the Hebrew word שַׁחַת shaḥath – Strong’s H7845 which means, ‘corruption, destruction, pit, ditch, grave’.
In Tehillah/Psalm 103 we are told to bless יהוה and forget not all His dealings and are reminded in verse 4 that: ‘He redeems our life from destruction’. He not only redeems us from corruption/destruction but also leads us in the path of abundant life as we have joy to satisfaction in His presence which teaches us that nothing else can satisfy us like the presence of our Mighty Master and Elohim!
Our Master has redeemed us from the corruption of the world and caused us to walk in the Truth of His Word – His Word that is forever!
Marqos/Mark 13:31 “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away.”
We have been given the clear path to life, as we walk in and stay in the Master by guarding His Word and not being corrupted by lusts that destroy! The choice of how we walk is our own…!
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:7-9 “Do not be led astray: Elohim is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap. 8 Because he who sows to his own flesh shall reap corruption from the flesh, but he who sows to the Spirit shall reap everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:22-25 “Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.”
The Good News is that our Master has redeemed us and caused us to be set free from corruption by giving us His incorruptible seed of His Living Word which we are now to walk in and stay free from corruption caused by lust!
In speaking of false teachers who bring in destructive heresies Kěpha gives a clear warning against being entangled by that which you were once free from!
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:18-22 “For speaking arrogant nonsense, they entice – through the lusts of the flesh, through indecencies – the ones who have indeed escaped from those living in delusion, 19 promising them freedom, though themselves being slaves of corruption – for one is a slave to whatever overcomes him. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the set-apart command delivered unto them. 22 For them the proverb has proved true, “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “A washed sow returns to her rolling in the mud.”
If you are entangled again in that which you have escaped from then the latter end will be worse than the first! The warning hear is clear – do not be like dogs that return to eat their own vomit and do not go and roll in the mud of sin again! You have been cleansed to serve the Living Elohim, having escaped from the corruption in the world, caused by lust!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lust’ comes from the root word ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, ‘lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting’; and this comes from the word ἐπιθυμέω epithumeō – Strong’s G1937 which means, ‘desire, covet, lust, seek that which is forbidden’ and is translated as ‘lusts’ in
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do.”
How many of you have found yourself looking at or seeking things that you know you should not! This can cause sin, and bring a breach in the wall which can affect the entire assembly!!!
No matter how pretty the worldly ways of worship may appear – be on guard against being drawn into desiring what is not fitting for the House of Elohim! Do not get captivated by what the ‘evil woman’ (whore) does.
Titos/Titus 2:11-12 “For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, 12 instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age”
Romiyim/Romans 13:12-14 “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.”
One of the greatest challenges we face in this world today is our continued ability to make sure that we make no provision for the lusts of the flesh, and what many believers often neglect to do is take an account and assess their daily walk, perhaps due to the fast paced lifestyles of today that keep many so consumed in what can be classified as “a survival mode”. When simply trying to survive each day and somehow face the demanding challenges to make ends meet, the danger of becoming distracted and consumed by the daily battles of life, is that one’s walk of set-apartness may often be in danger of being neglected. As the proper standards for set-apartness are put aside, compromise becomes something that is easily accommodated into one’s walk, so much so that it is not even recognised as compromise any more due to the mirror of the Word not being properly utilised in assessing how one looks and walks.
Sha’ul was making it very clear in his letter to the called out set-apart ones in Rome that no provision for the lust of the flesh must be made, and the need to walk ‘becomingly’ was of utmost importance! These words are still very much alive and applicable for us today.
The saving gift of Elohim disciplines us to disown and say no to desiring or lusting after that which is of this corrupt age and world system that seeks only to satisfy the flesh.
To desire and lust after the fleshly renders one being sold under sin, while the Torah is spiritual and having been redeemed from sin, we must disown that which once owned and enslaved us as we live as sojourners here while we wait for the blessed hope and appearance of our Master and Saviour! We are in the world but not of the world, having died to sins that we might live unto righteousness.
The gift of life teaches us through the Torah how to strip away that which does not belong and disciplines us to be able to bear fruit of righteousness, if we are actually willing to be trained by it! (Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:11)
Having escaped the corruption in the world, caused by lust, Kěpha tells us that for this reason we are to do our utmost to add to our belief some very important qualities or characteristics that will equip us to be able to stand firm and protected from stumbling. Let us therefore tale a look at these, as mentioned in Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 2:5-7.
Kěpha lists an additional 7 characteristics to belief that ought to mark our lives as faithful servants of our elohim and Saviour! These are not 7 stages of development or 7 steps to a better you – NO, these are all characteristics that we are to have in increasing measure, continuously!
The Greek word used here for ‘add’ is the word ἐπιχορηγέω epichorēgeō – Strong’s G2023 which means, ‘to supply, provide’ and carries with it the meaning to supply/furnish or present. In other words it simply means that we are to supply generously one to the other. As each quality or characteristic is exercised we are at the same time developing another, as they all relate closely to one another and grow out of truly living in the life and reverence of obediently walking in יהושע Messiah!
Kěpha writes that we are to ‘make every effort’ or ‘do your utmost’ to ‘supply generously’ one quality with another.
This requires great disciplined diligence! Diligence is the attention and care legally expected or required of a person! A diligent person is one who is characterised by a steady, earnest and energetic effort! Let me ask you, “How diligent are you in your life and reverence unto יהוה?” Do you pay close attention and take great care to do what is expected and required of you, not as dictated to by dogmas and traditions of men, but as spoken and written in His Word?
Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.”
How steady is your walk of belief? Are you earnestly seeking how you can add or supply to your belief these very qualities needed in order to truly walk in love – love for Elohim and love for one another?
Let us now look at each one:
The Greek word used here for ‘uprightness’ is ἀρετή aretē – Strong’s G703 and it carries the meaning of ‘moral excellence, virtue, purity, praise, etc.’. This word is also used in Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2 where it is translated as ‘praises’:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.”
In essence this can carry the understanding of being faithfully set-apart, as well as our ability to bring the proper rejoicing praise to Elohim in declaring the excellence of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light and are now the sheep of His pasture, which hear His voice and gather and rejoice at His command!
Adding uprightness to belief expresses a belief that is done in joy and represents the clear moral excellence of set-apartness that is displayed in our life through our willing and joyful obedience to The Torah of Elohim, along with a continual praise that is offered up to Him. Are you adding uprightness to your belief? Are you proclaiming the praises of Him who has caused you to escape from the corruption in the world, caused by lust, or has your praise been lacking due to the effect of lusts that corrupt the pure call to uprightness?
As you add to your belief ‘uprightness’ and express the proper joy-filled praise of a set-apart believer then you must do your utmost to add to your uprightness – knowledge!
We have already taken a look at the Greek word for ‘knowledge’ which is the noun γνῶσις gnōsis– Strong’s G1108 which means, ‘knowledge, understanding the way’. Adding knowledge to uprightness is vital as we recognise that we are to never stop growing in the knowledge of our Master and Elohim as we continue to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, meditating on His Torah day and night in order to grow and be properly equipped to walk upright before His face! While growing in knowledge is certainly a critical aspect of our walk of set-apartness we also recognise that growing in knowledge without the proper application of the knowledge that is learnt is a fruitless exercise and will simply puff one up instead of causing one to serve in humility!
Knowledge only puffs up when the knowledge is not proper applied in obedient works of love before Elohim! Without knowledge we shall perish as we take note that the Master tells us in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.”
The Hebrew word for ‘knowledge’ is דַּעַת da’ath – Strong’s H1847 which means, ‘knowledge, concern, premeditation, skill’, and comes from the root verb יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know’.
As we meditate on the Torah, day and night, we are further equipped to guard the Word of Truth and the knowledge of the Set-Apart One! People who disregard the need to guard the knowledge by casting aside the Torah of Elohim can never be prosperous in the walk of set-apartness and will perish due to the lack of knowledge being carefully guarded in their mouths, for the Torah is to be in our hearts and mouths – to do it!
‘To know’ Elohim is to guard His commands, commands that we are to be meditating on day and night. Those who are not doing so will perish and cease to be, as they will be violently cut off!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 describes for us those who are ‘seeing’ but do not ‘know’! It is one thing to look and see but to truly ‘know’ Elohim is to Guard and DO His commands!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
What we must recognise here is that knowledge of Elohim comes in the guarding and doing of His commands, and our understanding of Him can only come in the doing of His Word. If you do not understand Him them you do not know Him because you do not do what He says, and if this is the case you will die for lack of knowledge and be unable to have an excuse for ignorance! The clear knowledge of Elohim has been revealed through Messiah who came to fully proclaim the Torah and the Prophets and lead us as we walk as He walked! He has appointed some to equip the body so that the body can be perfected until we all come to a unity of belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim!
When you dig, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, you will be filled! This is what I believe is a vital aspect to what ‘adding’ to your uprightness is! It is the fervent and intense hungering and thirsting for the Word. What is worth taking note of is that you will be only be filled according to your hunger and thirst! If you only come to the Word for a ‘quick snack’ once in a while, so to speak, then that is as much as you will get from the Word – a snack’s nutritional value, which will never be sufficient for your health! Yet when you come daily to Word and take the necessary time to enjoy and eat of the whole buffet, so to speak, then you will certainly begin to taste and see that יהוה is good!!!
Having said that, let me ask you, “Just how hungry and thirsty are you – to walk in His Torah?” Are you simply satisfied in believing any old tradition that has been taught to you without having tested the validity of it against the Truth or do you desire to grow in the knowledge of our Master in order to grow in your upright walk before Him and are diligently learning and meditating on His Word day and night?
As you add to your uprightness knowledge you are to do your utmost to be adding to your knowledge:
The Greek word translated as ‘self-control’ is ἐγκράτεια egkrateia – Strong’s G1466 which means, ‘mastery, self-control’, and speaks of the virtue of one who ‘masters his desires and passions’, especially their sensual appetites. This word comes from the adjective ἐγκρατής egkratēs – Strong’s G1468 which means, ‘strong, master of, self-controlled, having power over, restraining, controlling one’s self’, and is made up of two words: 1 – ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting position and by implying the state of being instrumental meaning, ‘in or on, with, by’; and 2 – κράτος kratos – Strong’s G2904 which means, ‘strength, might, power, dominion’.
Let me ask, “Have you mastered your sensual appetites?” Or does the flesh get the better of you more often than you would care to mention? The fruit of self –control is critical in the life of any believer; and we are called to walk according to the Spirit. Sha’ul clearly tells us in Romiyim/Romans 7:14 that the Torah is Spiritual, and therefore we are to exercise great restraint and self-control, so as to not give in to the lusts of the flesh that hinder and damage a set-apart walk.
As you grow in knowledge are you actually being diligent in applying that knowledge – or does it just become more knowledge that you store up for no other use than to simply just ‘know’ more. Some people will hoard loads and loads of knowledge just so that they can be ‘in the know’ so to speak. They have all the information yet their lives do not change. They research the truth, find the truth – yet refuse to walk in the truth – why? This reveals a lack of self-control – as they just become a ‘knowledge store of information’ that actually has no impact in their own lives or in the lives of others around them as they refuse to simply exercise self-control and become puffed up, as they lack the ability to apply the truth; and Kěpha says clearly that just “knowing” without application is not enough! Self-control must be added to knowledge – that means exercising some discipline. For instance – you may know that you are to keep Sabbath set-apart and gather as commanded unto יהוה, and do no work, yet do not do what is required! Why is it that so many who know this lack the self-control to stick to doing what they know is the right thing to do? Growing in knowledge will help you walk out your belief in uprightness, but in order to do it properly and well you must add self-control to the knowledge you learn!
Do not let circumstances, situations, and relationships control you – exercise self-control in the application of knowledge. Add self-control generously without fear of persecution to that which you learn. To self-control we are to add endurance, and this means that self-control is an ongoing task, not just a one-time event!
Therefore, add to your self-control:
The Greek word used here for ‘endurance’ is ὑπομονή hupomonē – Strong’s G5281 which means, ‘a patient enduring, steadfastness, perseverance, a remaining behind’, and this word comes from the Greek word ὑπομένω hupomenō – Strong’s G5278 which means, ‘to stay behind, to await, 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.
Let me remind you that self-control is not a one-time event – you have to generously add ‘endurance’ to it– and that is the ability to be steadfast in your walk and not being rocked, as it were, by petty attacks or harsh words that are spoken against you for His Name’s sake. It entails not being flustered and taken out by trials of many kinds! Endurance added to self-control added to knowledge will enable you to walk it all out with joy – His joy that strengthens you.
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:2-4 “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance. 4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.”
Ḥazon/Revelation also repeatedly reminds us, in relation to what is to come in the days ahead, the clear call for the faithful endurance of the part of the set-apart ones.
Endurance is the ability to stay true to the Truth – keeping your eyes fixed on the Prince and Perfecter of our faith and running with great perseverance the race set before you. Have endurance in increasing measure, adding it to self-control and do not give up at the first speed bump or hurdle you face. Be focused in fighting the good fight of faith all the way to the end. With this kind of endurance added to self-control you will grow immensely.
To endurance you are to do your utmost to add:
We have already discussed the Greek word that is translated here as ‘revrence’, which is the noun εὐσέβεια eusebeia – Strong’s G2150 and carries the meaning of, ‘well-directed reverence’, and at its root it carries the meaning, ‘to be true and to adore, speaking of one’s devout worship and being dutiful in one’s obedience’.
It is through the very endurance of trials, and the ability to remain steadfast in His Truth, that one must generously add reverence – which is the proper honour, esteem, respect and piety that is rightly due to Him: this is a fear of יהוה!
Iyoḇ/Job 28:28 “And He said to man, ‘See, the fear of יהוה, that is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding.’”
Tehillah/Psalms 111:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, all those doing them have a good understanding. His praise is standing forever.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
To put it plainly – if we want to be able to endure under pressure and grow in our walk of faith – we must have reverence for יהוה! We do not take Him lightly – He is Mighty – He is a Jealous El! He is not our buddy – He is our Saviour, Redeemer and King, whom we serve in reverence for who He is. He is יהוה our Elohim!
Making sure that you are continually adding to endurance reverence you are to add to reverence:
This is the Greek noun φιλαδελφία Philadelphia – Strong’s G5360 which means, ‘brotherly love, love of brothers’, and comes from the adjective φιλάδελφος philadelphos – Strong’s G5361 which means, ‘loving one’s brother, being brotherly’, which comes from the construct of two Greek words: 1) φίλος philos – Strong’s G5384 which means, ‘beloved, dear, friend’, and 2) ἀδελφός adelphos – Strong’s G80 which means, ‘a brother, believing husband, fellow believer’.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands.”
Add this to reverence! This brotherly love is a fervent practical caring for others – do not put on a show when ‘trying to love others’ – be real and true to the Word.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:20-21 “If someone says, “I love Elohim,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love Elohim whom he has not seen? 21 And we have this command from Him, that the one loving Elohim should love his brother too.”
Brotherly kindness shows a deep concern for others and their needs and puts others first – a quality that we all can certainly increase in, aměn!
If you are carrying any offense or if you know your brother is – don’t wait for them to come to you – go to them and deal with it and resolve it and show the Master’s love!
Adding brotherly kindness to reverence expresses how one is actually growing in a proper reverence for Elohim and being ride of any selfishness and pride! To this you must do your utmost to add:
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘love’ is ἀγάπη agape – Strong’s G26 which means, ‘brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence, love feasts’ and is used 9 times in the 13 verses of Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13!!!
This noun comes from the verb ἀγαπάω agapaō – Strong’s G25 which means, ‘to love, welcome and entertain, be fond of, to be contented at or with a thing’.
The Hebrew equivalent to ἀγάπη agape – Strong’s G26 is the noun אַהֲבָה ahaḇah – Strong’s H160 and comes from the root verb אָהֵב aheḇ – Strong’s H157 meaning. ‘to love, dearly loved, friend, friends, lover’.
Qorintiyim Aleph/ 1Corinthians 13 speaks of what love is and makes it very clear that walking in love is THE MOST EXCELLENT WAY! It is not simply a feeling or an emotion as love is an action and the goal of the commands is love! Love for Elohim and love for our neighbours are what the Torah and Prophets hang upon! Please note that the Torah and the Prophets have not been “hung” and put them to death – Elohim forbid – No – they hang on them – so that we are able to properly carry out and uphold His Torah, by walking in the love for Elohim and love for one another through total obedience to what has been written and instructed for us in His Torah and The prophets.
Yoḥanan sums it up nicely for us in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
THE GOAL IS LOVE – this symphony of characteristics that we are to ensure we are doing our utmost at adding to our belief, as given by Kěpha, begins with belief and ends with love. As we also consider that the fruit of the Spirit begins with ‘love’, then we can clearly summarise that our called for walk of set-apartness begins and ends with love, for love never fails!
As we build on our faith in Messiah, we get to exhibit Him in our daily lives by being the salt and light of the earth as we do our utmost to continually add these qualities to each other in order to walk in love! An obedient and active love that begins with the gift of belief we have been generously given, having escaped the corruption in the world, caused by lust, and continues to grow in order to be the ready and prepared bride for her returning Husband and King!
In verse 8 Kěpha tells us very clearly that if these qualities or characteristics are in us and increase then we will never be inactive nor will we be without fruit in the knowledge of our Master יהושע Messiah.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘inactive’ is ἀργός argos – Strong’s G692 which means, ‘inactive, idle, careless, useless’ and comes from two root words: 1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter in the Greek alphabet that is used as a negative prefix, and 2) ἔργον ergon – Strong’s G2041 which means, ‘works, labour, business, employment, behaviour, deeds’. In Mattithyahu/Matthew 5 our Master יהושע Messiah tells us that we are the light of the world and that we must not hide the light, but that we should shine the light of His Truth in everything we do, and that our light should shine before all men, so that they see our good works and praise our Father who is in the heavens! Guess what the very next words of the Master are, after telling us to let our ‘good works’ be seen by all….:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.”
The clarity of His words are made plain in telling us that we shall be unable to let our good works be seen by all if we destroy the Torah and the Prophets! In other words, works done without the perfection of the Torah are not deemed ‘good works’ by our Elohim, no matter how good they may seem in the eyes of the flesh!
The Greek word ἀργός argos – Strong’s G692 can therefore be understood as meaning, ‘without good works’ and if these characteristics that Kěpha teaches us about are in us and are increasing then we will certainly never be idle or without good works but will be diligently guarding to do the good works of obedience before Elohim!
The Greek word that is translated here a ‘without fruit’ is ἄκαρπος akarpos – Strong’s G175 which means, ‘unfruitful, barren, not yielding what it ought to yield’, and this words is constructed from the two root words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is the first letter in the Greek alphabet that is used as a negative prefix, and 2) καρπός karpos – Strong’s G2590 which means, ‘fruit, benefit, gain, harvest, produce’ and typically refers to fruit that has been plucked, rendering the figurative meaning of the labours, works or acts of those who have fitted themselves with every good work unto everlasting life.
Romiyim/Romans 6:22 “But now, having been set free from sin, and having become servants of Elohim, you have your fruit resulting in set-apartness, and the end, everlasting life.”
The fruit of our lives, as set-apart servants of the Most High, must result in set-apartness, and this is an ongoing day to day process, which at the end will result in the promised everlasting life with our Master and Elohim!
What we can therefore clearly understand and establish is that our works of righteousness are vital in being evident in our lives, as we continue to produce much fruit of a people who are living pure and undefiled set-apart lives.
The Greek word ἄκαρπος akarpos – Strong’s G175 is used in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:22 “And that sown among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the worry of this age and the deceit of riches choke the word, and it becomes fruitless.”
Worries of this age and the deceit of riches choke out the Word causing one to become fruitless, showing that they are inactive and without good works as they are not growing in the clear qualities that Kěpha teaches we are to have!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8-11 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light –9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth – 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Master. 11 And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Having escaped the corruption in the world, caused by lust, we need to makes sure that we have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness by making sure that we be set-apart and have these qualities or characteristics that Kěpha is teaching us to have in us in increasing measure, for then we will certainly not be idle or fruitless! We are clearly told in verse 9 that those who do not have these in them are blind, short-sighted and have forgotten that they have been cleansed from old sins!
The Greek word for ‘blind’ is τυφλός tuphlos – Strong’s G5185 which can mean, ‘to be physically or mentally blind’, and comes from the word τυφόω tuphoō – Strong’s G5187 which means, ‘to be conceited, foolish, arrogance, vanity, to be lifted up with pride, high-minded’. It can also render the understanding of being enveloped with smoke and blinded so as not to see.
The assembly in Laodikeia (‘the lukewarm assembly’) was severely rebuked for being wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked, despite them assuming that they were rich and were in no need at all!
So many who refuse to recognise that they need to keep growing in the knowledge of our Master and have these qualities of set-apartness and uprightness in them are blind, despite them thinking that they can see and that they know it all!
This assembly in Laodikeia had become proud and measured things by human standards instead of spiritual values. They may have had beautiful clothes but יהושע urged them to wear white robes of righteousness which would cover their spiritual nakedness, in contrast to the famous black wool garments from the region. He then exhorted them to put salve on their eyes, and this was not the salve common to the city but rather the ‘heavenly eye salve’ – that is the ointment of the spiritual matters that are from above that can only be spiritually discerned. These people were living in a fool’s paradise and were blind to reality – pretty much the state of many claiming believers today.
So many today base their assumption that they can see perfectly by measuring their physical possessions while they are blind and in need of a recovery of sight!
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.”
The word ‘mind’ in this warning given is the word ὁράω horaō – Strong’s G3708 which means, ‘to see, perceive, attend to, take heed, see with the mind, beware, to see as in becoming acquainted with by experience’, and we are to take heed that we do not fall prey to the corruption of man’s rules and regulations regarding a form of worship that runs contrary to the Truth and watch out that we don’t get sucked into the need to gain possessions – because our life does not consist in the excess of possessions!
יהושע came to bring us a recovery of sight – by manifesting the very Truth in the Flesh, separating the light from the dark:
Luqas/Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of יהוה is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed ones with a release, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה.”
The word for ‘recovery of sight’ is ἀνάβλεψις anablepsis – Strong’s G309 and comes from the word ἀναβλέπω anablepō – Strong’s G308 which means, ‘to look up, recover sight’, and comes from the word βλέπω blepō – Strong’s G991 which means, ‘to see, to look at, beware, take heed, perceive’.
When we understand these words in their original meanings it further helps us understand that Messiah came to take away the smokescreen of tradition and man-made dogmas, and then we are able to clearly understand the words of Sha’ul in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:16 “And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.”
‘Diet’ has bearing on the condition of one’s eyesight, in a spiritual sense and a physical one, and if people do not want to ‘eat’ of the Truth and partake of the Table of the Master by keeping His Sabbaths and Feasts then they are being blinded by traditions and the delusion of lawlessness!
Not only are the people, who do not have these qualities in them, blind but they are also short-sighted which highlights for us that they are unable to see properly and therefore lack proper understanding as they clearly fail to understand the Word of Elohim and the required obedience of a set-apart believer!
When one has forgotten that they have been cleansed from old sins they will not guard against sinning as they are blinded by lawlessness which erroneously teaches an acceptance of sinful behaviour!
The characteristics of one who is not growing or not bearing fruit is simply this – they are:
a) Barren/idle – will simply not do anything;
b) Unfruitful and
c) Blind – having no insight due to a refusal to receive a love for the truth!
Supplying the right qualities in one’s life will keep one from becoming spiritually blind. Avoid spiritual blindness by doing your utmost to make firm your calling – and doing so to the esteem and uprightness of Messiah, as you stay in Him. Remember it is the ‘DOING’ of these that will cause you to never be idle and never lose your sight and never stumble – this is an awesome promise!
HAVING ESCAPED FROM THE CORRUPTION IN THE WORD, CAUSE BY LUST get busy supplying to all that He has freely given you and do your utmost to have these qualities increasing in you continually for then you will never stumble!!!
We are to do our utmost to make firm our calling and choosing! The matters that we are to be doing in order to never stumble are: “… to add to your belief uprightness, to uprightness knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control endurance, to endurance reverence, to reverence brotherly affection, and to brotherly affection love.”
The Body of Messiah is an assembly of chosen and set-apart people who have been caused to escape from the corruption in the world caused by lust; and these are the qualities or character traits that must always be evident in our daily lives as we stay in our Master and bear the proper good fruit that lasts!
As you consider the introductory words of Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:1-11 and consider the great saving gift that we have been given by our Elohim and Saviour, HAVING ESCAPED FROM THE CORRUPTION IN THE WORD, CAUSE BY LUST, then make sure that the lust of the eyes, the lust of the world and the pride of life does not blind you and cause you to stumble, by guarding righteousness and making sure that these are in you and are increasing:
BELIEF – UPRIGHTNESS – KNOWLEDGE – SELF-CONTROL – ENDURANCE – REVERENCE – BROTHERLY AFFECTION – LOVE
Be on guard against being entangled again by what you have escaped from and keep growing in Our Master!!!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!