25th of the 4th month 2016/2017

Shabbat Shalom all,

Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 “I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.

This is a very powerful verse that speaks great volumes, as it highlights for us the true reality that we are unable to do all without Messiah! If He is not empowering us, we cannot do it all, yet when we allow His Word to empower us and lead us, we can do all. In these past few weeks I have been battling with a serious bacterial infection which caused me to be hospitalised and have intravenous antibiotics administered in order to fight some very inflamed lymph nodes. When one goes through a battle of any kind, be it for health or for financial of for relational struggles we may not often grasp the full reason for the battle yet find that we need to get through it as best as we can. This is where the powerful truth of this verse comes in; as we need to recognise that without Messiah we are actually unable to do all. While reasons for various battles may or may not be identifiable what we, as believers in Messiah, must recognise and allow is that it is Messiah who empowers us to have the strength to go through whatever we face and this truth must not be neglected or misunderstood in any way.

In a message called, ‘IS MESSIAH EMPOWERING YOU?’ I would like to highlight the importance of the complete trust that we are to have in our Master and Elohim so that He can strengthen us and empower us to face any given circumstance or situation.

Sha’ul was making a very clear statement of courageous and confident faith and was basically encouraging the believers in Philippi, as well as us who are alive today that regardless of what happens he could face all conditions and it made no difference by what happens! He could do so only because of having the strength to do all through Messiah who empowered him. So many believers today crumble in their belief at the first hint of a battle and find themselves worrying and getting anxious over what may or may not happen and in the process their eyes are so focused on the problems or battles they are facing that they no longer have them fixed on the Author and Perfector of our belief which leaves them ‘powerless’ instead of being properly empowered.

Many may like to recite this verse and think that by speaking positive words that they will stimulate a positive attitude that will get them on the go. While positive speaking can and does have certain effects on stimulating our brain, what we must recognise here is that simply saying these words without the followed up response of obedience to His Word, will not bring about the proper and honest fruit of set-apartness! And no matter how many times one recites this verse, if they do not hear, guard and do all that our Elohim and Messiah commands us to do, then they will not have strength to do all!

יהושע clearly tells us in Yoḥanan/John 15:5 that He is the vine and we are the branches, and the one who stays in Him and He in them, bears much fruit, for without Messiah we are able to do nought!

The Greek word translated in Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 as ‘empowers’ is ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 which means, to grow in power, increase in strength, strengthened, strengthens, be made strong. This word is used 8 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.) and as we consider the use of this word we are able to see that we are only truly strengthened or empowered in/by the Master when we walk as He walked and stay in Him by guarding His commands!

We see this word being used in:

Ma’asei/Acts 9:22 “But Sha’ul kept increasing in strength, and was confounding the Yehuḏim who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this is the Messiah.

After Sha’ul had a huge awakening to the Truth of the revelation of who Messiah is, he kept getting stronger and stronger, confounding the Yehuḏim so much so that they plotted to kill him! As he grew in the strength of the Master, and grew in the proper understanding and knowledge of Elohim, he did not see the treats of others as a hindrance to keep being strengthened to prove who the Messiah is! As one is strengthened in the Master and is strengthened in His Word, confidence and boldness increases and is clearly displayed in the proper, reverent and honourable manner, without the fear of man being a hindrance to one’s walk of faith and proclamation of the Good News! Many people struggle with strength and courage in the Master and lack the ability to be a faithful witness, due to them not being strengthened daily in the Word and living completely set-apart lives in total faith, as the pattern of their walk is not being properly assessed against the clear plumb-line of the Word of Elohim!!!

We see this word being used in describing Aḇraham:

Romiyim/Romans 4:20-21 “he did not hesitate about the promise of Elohim through unbelief, but was strengthened in belief, giving esteem to Elohim, 21 and being completely persuaded that what He had promised He was also able to do.

How much are you being strengthened in belief? Are you completely persuaded that what has been written and instructed for us to do ‘is’ the Truth and ‘is’ the clear pattern to walk upright and set-apart amidst a dark and depraved world? If you say you are completely persuaded that what יהוה has promised He is able to do, then ask yourself if your life and the pattern of your walk lines up with that confession of belief, especially when faced with battles that you did not expect! Or do you find yourself at times hesitating about the promises of Elohim, promises that are yes and aměn in Messiah?

Sha’ul, in his letter to the Ephesians, says:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.

The Greek word translated here as ‘be strong’ is ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743! He says this after giving some very clear instructions in this powerful letter, and what follows these words can be, in a way, a clear picture of the ‘how to be strong’ in the Master! For what follows are the instructions to put on the complete armour of Elohim! We have previously discussed at length that the reference to the armour of Elohim is a clear reference to putting on the whole Torah and serving in garments of righteousness as a set-apart priesthood that stays in our Master, Head, High Priest and King, יהושע Messiah!

Once again – the ‘how to’ of being strong in the Master, or ‘being strengthened’ in the Master, is in our ability to ‘stay in’ Him and guard to do all He commands us to! Sha’ul writes to Timotiyos and says:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Messiah יהושע our Master who empowered me, because He counted me trustworthy, putting me into service

He was telling Timotiyos that although he was a blasphemer, persecutor, insulter and a terrible sinner, compassion was shown to him, as he saw that what he did previously he did in unbelief, yet now in the Master continues to give abundant thanks to יהושע Messiah who empowered him and put him to service! I love the wording he uses here as we can clearly learn from this that despite how terrible we once were, as we acted in unbelief, we are able to give a joyous thanks unto our Messiah and King who empowers us in His Truth and counts us worthy to be of service in His royal and set-apart priesthood! He empowers us to serve!!! How are you serving? This is a word that should inspire a true assessing of the pattern of your walk!

In his second letter to Timotiyos we see the words of Sha’ul in:

Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:16-17At my first defence no one stood with me, but all forsook me. Let it not be held against them. 17 But the Master stood with me and did strengthen me, so that through me the preaching might be completely accomplished, and that all the gentiles should hear. And I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth.

Can you hear the words of Sha’ul here? When everyone forsook him… the Master did not! The Master strengthened him so that he could accomplish completely what he was to do, even being rescued out of the lion’s mouth – that is he was rescued from a sure death sentence! When everyone had forsaken him and no one would stand with him…! How often have you felt all alone and forsaken by all? How often do you feel like giving up? How often do you allow crippling circumstances or battles cause you to fail in your trust and belief in the Master?

We can learn from this how the Master’s Word is true and sure – He will never leave nor forsake us – even when everyone else will! And we can be sure that even while everyone may forsake you and stand against you, you can still be strengthened in the Master to accomplish all that you should do! The question is, “do you believe it or not?”

This Greek word ἐνδυναμόω endunamoō – Strong’s G1743 is the construct of two words: 1) – ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting position, and is translated as, in, on, at, by, with, and 2) – δυναμόω  dunamoō – Strong’s G1412 which means, to make strong, enable, strengthened, and it is this word δυναμόω  dunamoō – Strong’s G1412 that we see being used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) 4 times. We see it being used in:

Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If an iron tool is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he needs more strength, and wisdom is advantageous to make right.

This is plain and simple – if your sword is blunt… you need more strength! The Word of Elohim is living and working and is sharper than any double edged sword and is profitable for teaching, reproof, setting straight and instruction in righteousness, so that we can be fitted for every good work! The Hebrew word used here in this verse for ‘strength’ is חַיִל ḥayil – Strong’s H2428 which means, strength, efficiency, wealth, army, ability, capability, excellence and comes from the root word חִיל ḥil – Strong’s H2342 which means, to be firm, strong, endure, prosper’. This is the same word that is used to describe the ‘able’ men that Mosheh’s father in law instructed him to seek out! While many ought to be ‘able’ and ‘brave’, given the length of time that they have been walking according to the Torah, we see that sadly the fruit of their lives proves otherwise and they are simply not qualified to be classed as being ‘brave’ or ‘able’, when we all should be, as we make our firm stand in Messiah, who empowers us!

In Sha’ul’s letter to the Philippians the Greek word that is translated as ‘strength to do’ comes from the word ἰσχύω ischuō – Strong’s G2480 which means, to be strong, have power, strong enough, healthy, and has the understanding of having sufficient strength, ability and power, both physically and morally. Our ability to be strong and able to be faithful witnesses of our Master and His coming reign comes through Him empowering us through His Living Word, as we submit and obey and guard to do all He has commanded us to. The Master tells us that many will not be strong enough, as we see this word being used in His words in:

Luqas/Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, because many, I say to you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able.

Here this word is used in the negative sense of highlighting how so many seek to enter the narrow gate, yet will not be able to or have the strength to do so, all because it is not Messiah who is empowering them!

The Greek word used here for ‘strive’ is ἀγωνίζομαι agōnizomai – Strong’s G75 and means, to contend for a prize, struggle, compete, labouring earnestly’.

Our sojourning is certainly not an easy road yet we must labour intensely in the Word as we seek to take our stand of righteousness, for when we labour in the Word by meditating day and night on it and guard to do all that is commanded, as a pure love response of obedience to our Master then His Word will cause us to be empowered to face all, no matter what we face… whether it be a physical challenge, an emotional battle, a relational one or any sort that tends to get us flustered when we should be strengthened and empowered by our Master and Messiah!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:28-31 “Did you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting Elohim, יהוה, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31 but those who wait on יהוה renew their strength, they raise up the wing like eagles, they run and are not weary, they walk and do not faint.

This passage of Scripture is a powerful Truth that reaffirms why Sha’ul could say that he has strength in all situations because it is our Master and Elohim and Saviour who empowers and strengthens us. The One who made all is the One who empowers us!!! This is something that we must never forget. There will certainly be times when we may feel faint and out of strength. Yet as we properly wait on יהוה we will have our strength renewed to not faint or grow weary but press on and overcome.

Wait on יהוה’ – and in the Hebrew this word for ‘wait’ is the word קָוָה qavah – Strong’s H6960 which means, to wait for, eagerly wait, expect, hopefully waiting and this word carries the intensity of being commanded to look eagerly for the soon return of our Light, Saviour and Refuge in who we continually trust and praise and are taught by; for when we wait on יהוה our strength is renewed – and waiting on יהוה requires our active response to who He is, with great intensity.

The word used here in Yeshayahu for ‘renew’ is חָלַף ḥalaph – Strong’s H2498 which means, to show newness, change for the better. The message is clear – if we are not being continually renewed and refreshed and changing for the better then we are not waiting on Him in the way we should, and are in danger of becoming stale! His Word is alive and we are to be refreshed each day, keeping His presence fresh in us as we do not forget His dealings!

The word used here in Yeshayahu for ‘strength’ is כֹּחַ ko‘aḥ – Strong’s H3581 which means, power, might i.e. the potential to exert force in performing some function; physical strength; virility; power and ability to do that which on is capable to perform’.

In other words this word speaks of one’s ability to be firm and do what is required!

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:5 Mighty is the wise in strength, and a man of knowledge strengthens power

Knowledge and wisdom of Elohim increases our power or strength to do what is required! Being adorned in righteousness as a true chosen and called out Bride is our strength!

I could certainly present many passages that speak this clear message of the need to be strong and courageous and that it is only by Messiah who empowers us that we can be properly strengthened to stand and endure whatever comes our way, yet the simple but very important issue I am presenting in this brief message is the issue of being empowered by Messiah and not by other means that carry no ability to strengthen in the Truth.

The question I ask you all is simply this – “IS MESSIAH EMPOWERING YOU?”

It is a very simple question yet a very sobering and valid one that we ought to ask ourselves continually, especially when going through times that may be tougher than we expected to face. The last verse in the Tehillim/Psalms tells us that everything that has breath should praise יהוה yet why is it that so many people are unable to do so? If we have breath and are alive we must praise, no matter what we are facing! The dead cannot praise our Master, but the living should! Are you? Can you truly give Him thanks in all circumstances or do you find the tougher battles causing your breath to lack the praise you ought to bring to our Master, Elohim, Messiah and King?

Our Master did tell us that we will have pressures in this world but that we are to take courage as He has overcome the world and as long as we stay in Him we too can overcome whatever pressure we face, for we can be strengthened to face all through Him who empowers us! While this short teaching may seem to be an obvious truth that we all know, the reason I decided to do this teaching is for the simple truth that we all need to assess our lives on a continual bases to make sure that we are in fact being empowered by our Master as we diligently stay in Him and guard His Word with great joy, even in the heat of the toughest challenges and battles we may face, knowing that when we may feel faint that He is the One who renews strength to take up His Armour and fight the Good fight of belief.

While we may not always have the answers as to why we go through what we do at times, we must take courage in the sure confidence of the trust we are to have in our Mighty Master and Elohim and His Living Word that strengthens and empowers us on a daily basis, giving all we need for live and reverence and the ability to stand and after having done all, to stand in the mightiness of His strength!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.

All too often many try to do things in their own strength and find that they grow weary and weak and end up losing heart, yet when we continually seek יהוה and His strength we shall be strengthened and empowered in Him.

Tehillah/Psalm 105:4 “Seek יהוה and His strength; seek His face always.

The first Hebrew word used here in Tehillah/Psalm 105:4 for ‘seek’ is דָּרַשׁ darash – Strong’s H1875 which means, to resort to, seek out, ask, avenge, consult, investigate, search carefully, make inquiry, question. Now when we see that this word carries more than simply just take a quick peek, but rather emphasises the need to be digging deep in seeking out carefully and with great diligence, through consultation, and asking.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the reign of Elohim, and His righteousness, and all these matters shall be added to you.

When we are told to ‘seek’ first the Kingdom – we must recognise that this is not an instruction that gives the notion that you look at it and now that you have seen it you can go on your merry way – NO! To seek His Kingdom requires hard work and discipline each and every day. Here we are being clearly instructed to ‘seekיהוה and His strength. We need to ‘seek’ Him and this implies an inquiry after knowledge, advice, and insight into any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in. A word that is derived from דָּרַשׁ darash is מִדְרָשׁ miḏrash – Strong’s H4097 means, a study, record, writings or story, commentary.  A ‘miḏrash’ speaks of the ability to search out something and often refers to that which is written to teach, and later became known as a Hebrew word relating to the in-depth study of the word, often done together. The point is that we are to be a people who are earnestly growing in wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures so we can remember what we look like when we look intently into the mirror of His Word!

The second Hebrew word used here in Tehillah/Psalm 105:4 for ‘seek’ is בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245 which means, to seek, aim, search, look, inquire, and it is written in the ‘piel’ form which expresses an intensive or intentional action and could therefore be expressed as, seek earnestly or seek the face, seek to find, demand, desire, ask, and this kind of ‘seeking’ is an intense seeking with a purpose!

We who stay in the Master and walk in integrity are to seek (בָּקַשׁ baqash – Strong’s H1245) יהוה and His righteousness with great intensity and desire to please Him.

The reason for me highlighting these words on ‘seeking’ is to highlight that while we recognise that it is Messiah who empowers us we must also recognise our responsibility that we have in properly seeking Him and staying in Him so that we can be strengthened to all through Him who empowers us.

This short message may be a sobering challenge to some, especially as one honestly assesses their current position of strength in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah. Do you have strength to do all through Messiah who empowers you or do you find that your strength has been weakened by battles and challenges that often seem too hard to bear and your faith has thus been weakened through compromise as a result of your proper seeking first His kingdom and righteousness being neglected? Let this message stir your faith to seek יהוה and wait properly on Him and allow Him to empower you to be string and full of courage. It simply comes down to our belief/faith, for we face the daily choice to firmly believe His Word and live according to it no matter what we face and trust in our Master and Elohim, or fall prey to fears and worry and risk not being able to enter through the narrow gate.

IS MESSIAH EMPOWERING YOU? Or has troubles and worries of this life disempowered your trust and belief in the Master due to your eyes being focused on the earthly matters of the flesh rather than the matters above!

Qolasim/Colossians 3:1-2 “If, then, you were raised with Messiah, seek the matters which are above, where Messiah is, seated at the right hand of Elohim. 2 Mind the matters above, not those on the earth.

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in יהוה, and whose trust is יהוה. 8 “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit.

Do you have strength to bear fruit in all seasons as you are being empowered by Messiah or do you find that when facing some heated circumstances that your leaf fades and anxiety grips you resulting in their being no fruit of righteousness?

Let this brief message stir your belief to seek יהוה and His strength as let Him empower you through His Word and His life-giving Spirit! IS MESSIAH EMPOWERING YOU? If yes, good, keep being strengthened in Him to do all, and if no then take the opportunity to start being empowered in Messiah so that you have strength to do all… after all… you know what you should do… now go forward in the Master in belief… a belief that works as your hear, guard and do all He has commanded us to do!

I will close with the words of Kěpha from both of his letters:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 5:10-11And the Elohim of all favour, who called you to His everlasting esteem by Messiah יהושע, after you have suffered a while, Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the esteem and the might forever and ever. Aměn.

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17-18You, 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.

יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom