17th of the 2nd month 2019/2020
Shabbat Shalom all,
Luqas/Luke 21:28 “And when these matters begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
These were some of the words that our Master spoke to His taught ones, when He shared with them what would take place, before all shall see Him coming in a cloud with power and much esteem.
As one reads through Luqas/Luke 21, Mattithyahu/Matthew 24 and Marqos/Mark 13 in regards to what will take place before our Master returns, we can certainly see how much of what our Master describes in these chapters is already clearly evident in these last days, and He tells us that when we see these things, that we are to see to it that we are not troubled by these things that have to take place and that we must possess our lives by endurance.
Here in the account of Luqas/Luke, we take note that our Master tells us that when these matters begin to take place, that we are to ‘look up’ and lift up our heads!
In a message called, ‘LOOK UP, LOOK IN… and LOOKOUT!’ I want us to be encouraged to be keeping our eyes fixed on the Prince and Perfector of our belief as we faithfully possess our lives by endurance.
In this message, we will take a closer look at Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6 in order to glean some powerful insight and illustration of our need to look up, in and out, as I find it a very fitting passage in terms of our Master’s call to look up amidst a time where depravity and lawlessness is increasing at a rapid rate on a daily basis.
Before we look at Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6, I first want us to take a look at the Greek word that is used here in Luqas/Luke 21:28 and translated as ‘look up’, which is the root word ἀνακύπτω anakuptō – Strong’s G352 which means, ‘straighten up, stand upright, lift oneself up, look up (as a person in hope)’.
The call of our Master here is clear – straighten up and hold fast to the hope we have in Him and stand upright and firm in the belief!
This is also a kind of a military type instruction that is given by our Commander to us, His troops, with the call to lift ourselves up from any despair and stand upright, being ready and armed in His Truth.
We can only do this if our eyes are fixed on Him!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:1-2 “We too, then, having so great a cloud of witnesses all around us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 looking to the Princely Leader and Perfecter of our belief, יהושע, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, having despised the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘looking’ is ἀφοράω – aphorao – Strong’s G872 which means ‘to look/ to turn eyes away from all other things and fix them on something’.
Metaphorically speaking, it means ‘to fix the mind upon/ give full attention/ looking intently upon/ to take heed’, and it can also carry the meaning, ‘to consider carefully, attentively look at’.
This word comes from the two Greek words:
1) ἀπό apo – Strong’s G575 which is a preposition and participle that means, ‘from, away from, at, in, to’ and
2) 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’.
The two words that are used here for our Messiah, are the following:
1) PRINCE – this is from the Greek word ἀρχηγός – archēgos – Strong’s G747 which means, ‘prince, captain, chief leader and author’ and describes ‘one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer’.
2) PERFECTER – this is from the Greek word τελειωτής – teleiōtēs – Strong’s G5051 – this is the only place in Scripture that this Greek word is found and denotes a ‘finisher, completer, perfecter’ and describes ‘one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith’.
This is a description given only to יהושע Messiah who has become the supreme model for us to follow.
We are told to be ‘looking’ to Messiah – and what we can see from the verse before this one, is that in order to be able to properly ‘look’ at Messiah, we need to throw off, and lay aside, every weight and sin that easily entangles us and run with endurance, by looking intently at our King, as we run faithfully as servants of the Most High Elohim!
Many are trying to run, yet find themselves getting tired and unable to endure the hardships and persecutions that come as a result of trying to be set-apart amidst a crooked generation! The question that you need to ask yourself, as you take an eye test, so to speak is, “What are you looking at?” Are you looking at Messiah?
We are to look to Messiah and careful consider our ways; and we are, at the same time, to make sure that our eyes are not looking elsewhere, as we ‘take heed’ of the dangers of the corrupt teachings of man-made dogmas and traditions that lead people astray.
If we are not looking to our Master, Saviour, Elohim and King then our eyes may be dangerously looking at that which cannot save us!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Mitsrayim for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, nor seek יהוה!”
This is a severe woe that is given to those who are not looking to יהוה, the Set-Apart One of Yisra’ĕl!
The prophet Miḵah prophesied about 20 years prior to the House of Yisra’ĕl’s divorce and he prophesied from the southern kingdom of Yehuḏah, in the face of the northern kingdom’s impending dispersion.
Despite the clear depravity and corrupt worship practices that were taking place this prophet made it clear who he looked to:
Miḵah/Micah 7:7 “As for me, I look to יהוה, I wait for the Elohim of my deliverance, my Elohim does hear me.”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘look’ is the primitive root verb צָפָה tsaphah – Strong’s H6822 which means, ‘to look out, watchman, keep watch’.
This prophet made it clear where His eyes were looking and in doing so recognises his need to be a true watchman of יהוה, hence his urgency in speaking the Truth!
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:20-21 “But you, beloved ones, building yourselves up on your most set-apart belief, praying in the Set-apart Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of Elohim, looking for the compassion of our Master יהושע Messiah unto everlasting life.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘looking’ is προσδέχομαι prosdechomai – Strong’s G4327 which means, ‘look for, wait for, expect: the fulfilment of promises’ and is constructed from two words:
1) – πρός pros – Strong’s G4314 which is a primary preposition meaning, ‘advantageous for, at (denotes local proximity), toward (denotes motion toward a place)’, and
2) – δέχομαι dechomai – Strong’s G1209 which means, ‘to receive, accept, welcomed’.
This word προσδέχομαι prosdechomai can be understood as ‘going toward that which is to be received and welcomed’, and is used in:
Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “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, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
How do we ‘wait expectantly’?
By renouncing wickedness and worldly lusts and live set-apart lives in complete reverence of Elohim, for we recognise that Messiah has redeemed us from all lawlessness!
We wait expectantly by guarding His laws!!!
As we consider our need to be looking to our Master’s esteemed appearance and His compassion, we must recognise the urgency in our need to be diligent in keeping our eyes on Him and not be led astray by things that can cause us to lose sight or focus of walking in and staying in Him and living set-apart lives in complete reverence before our Mighty Elohim and King!
With that in mind I would like us to look at the experience that Yeshayahu had when he ‘looked up’ and saw the Master’s esteem!
Turn with me to Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6 (Read)
In the first verse, we take note that Yeshayahu looked up and saw the esteem of יהוה, in the year that the Uzziyahu, the king of Yehuḏah, had died.
I find the introduction of these events that took place, very fitting, in teaching us a great lesson on how we are to look up to our Master, who is seated in the heavens!
The Hebrew name עֻזִּיָּהוּ Uzziyahu –Strong’s H5818 means ‘my strength is Yah’ or ‘Yah is my strength’.
Uzziyahu was certainly one of the most successful, and powerful, kings in Yehuḏah’s history and his reign lasted 52 years and had started out very well as he humbly recognised that he could do nothing without יהוה.
Sadly, we take note that once he had experienced success, he forgot that it was יהוה who had helped him and strengthened him and he then became very proud and ignored the instructions of יהוה and even went into the Hěḵal of יהוה to burn incense, which he was not allowed to do, because he was not a priest.
He was chased out by Azaryahu and 80 other priests, which made Uzziyahu mad and he immediately became leprous and remained a leper until he died.
What we can see from the first 5 chapters of Yeshayahu/Isaiah, is that Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah had become extremely leprous, so to speak, as the apostasy and depravity of the people was clearly evident and Yeshayahu was called to speak up against the rebellion and lawlessness that was happening.
With this account in Chapter 6, happening in the year that Uzziyahu had died, we take note that, in many ways, the strength of the people had died too, or rather, that the people were not being strengthened by יהוה, as worship had become so corrupt that it did not bring esteem to יהוה at all.
Yeshayahu certainly felt the frustrations, of people not listening to the call to repent and get cleaned up, and at a time when there may have seemed to be no strength left in Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, this prophet is given a clear opening of his sight, to see יהוה enthroned in His Hěḵal!
A once great king may have died and had left his throne on earth, yet Yeshayahu looked up and saw the King of kings, seated on His throne in the Heavenly Temple!
What a magnificent sight this must have been for this courageous prophet, who was called to speak to an apostate Bride.
When he looked up, who did he see?
He saw יהוה seated on His throne!!!
Yoḥanan/John 12:41 “Yeshayahu said this when he saw His esteem and spoke of Him.”
What did Yeshayahu say, when he saw the esteem of יהוה?
In Yoḥanan/John 12 our Master tells us, in verse 38, that Yeshayahu said,
“יהוה, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of יהוה been revealed?”
and then again in verse 40, our Master tells us that Yeshayahu said:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn, and I should heal them.”
The people to whom the arm of יהוה had not been revealed, due to apostasy, remained veiled and hardened, and were unable to see, and understand, who יהוה is!
Yeshayahu saw the arm of יהוה!
He saw the esteem of יהוה!
He saw יהושע Messiah seated on the throne!
He saw our Mighty King and Saviour, and his eyes had been opened to see our Master and Elohim.
Many people today still have a veil over their eyes and have hardened hearts, as they fail to acknowledge that יהושע Messiah is Master and Elohim and that He is seated on the throne as King, while at the same time, He is before the throne and interceding for us, as High Priest!
Sha’ul tells us in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 3:15-18 “But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away. 17 Now יהוה is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of יהוה is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, as with unveiled face we see as in a mirror the esteem of יהוה, are being transformed into the same likeness from esteem to esteem, as from יהוה, the Spirit.”
This text is so true for so many today, who may even be going through the weekly Torah readings and deny that יהושע is יהוה our Saviour who came in the flesh, as their eyes and hearts remains veiled, when looking into the mirror of the Word, that clearly reveals to us the powerful revelation of how יהושע our Saviour is our only One True Master and Elohim!
Yeshayahu ‘looked up’ and saw יהוה our Saviour!
Can you picture the scene for a moment! As one reads the first 5 chapters of Yeshayahu/Isaiah, things do not look good at all, as I have already mentioned, and this unique moment, where this prophet is given the opportunity at seeing יהוה seated on his Throne, was certainly a very extraordinary and powerful moment! A prophet, who, by all accounts, only had ears and eyes for the Word of Elohim, now had a clear revelation of Elohim!
Yeshayahu saw the Arm of יהוה seated on the Throne! In a manner of speaking, he saw the Hand of YHWH that is on the Throne, giving us a reminder of the assurance that, because a hand is on the throne of Yah, יהוה is to fight against Amalěq, from generation to generation – the very words that Mosheh said after he built a slaughter-place to יהוה and called it יהוה Nissi, after Yehoshua had defeated Amalěq in eth valley of Rephiḏim (Shemoth/Exodus 17).
The picture of a hand on the throne of Yah, highlights a secure sovereignty of our Master and the assurance that we have a Mighty Elohim and King of Hosts, who fights for us and defeats our enemies!
Amidst a depraved time, in Yisra’ĕl’s history, Yeshayahu would be greatly comforted by this revelation and vision he was given, having the assurance and hope being made abundantly clear that the rulership of יהוה is intact and everlasting, ready to destroy the enemies of His throne! He saw the Word of Elohim, seated on the Throne!
When you look intently into the Word who do you see?
Especially as we consider the times that we are living in, when it seems as though the strength of so many is being diminished by the chaos of this world?
‘Looking up’, can be a metaphor, or picture, of having a proper expectation and longing for our Master and Elohim, accompanied by the proper belief that works out one’s deliverance, with fear and trembling.
It can also represent for us a picture of humility and a proper submission, as we look up to our Master and Elohim for direction and protection!
The opposite of looking up, is ‘looking down’!
The question I ask is simply this, ‘Are you looking up or looking down?
‘Looking down’, can be a metaphor for depression and anxiety, where one’s eyes are drooped down, without any expectation or hope, and it can also picture for us pride, in the sense of when someone ‘looks down’ on another, without showing a proper respect or regard for them!
Have you ever had someone ask you, ‘why are you looking down?’?
Looking down, in that sense, can picture for us a loss of hope and a position of being anxious and afraid and having no help, or rather, not finding help and feeling hopeless and in despair.
When we are ‘looking up’, on the other hand, we are exercising true faith and seeking our Master and Elohim as we seek first His Reign and His righteousness, amidst what may certainly be desperate and worrisome times, where the strength of so many has failed!
Tehillah/Psalm 121:1 “I lift up my eyes to the hills; where does my help come from?”
Tehillah/Psalm 123:1 “I shall lift up my eyes unto You who dwell in the heavens.”
In both of these Psalms we see the psalmist making it abundantly clear where and who His eyes were being fixed upon!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘lift up comes from the root verb נָשָׂא nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means ‘lift up, carry, take up, exalt, and accept’.
This word, we also see being used, in describing Dawiḏ’s ability of lifting up his being to יהוה:
Tehillah/Psalm 25:1 “A psalm of Dawiḏ. To You, O יהוה, I lift up my being.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘being’ is נֶפֶשׁ nephesh – Strong’s H5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’.
The clear image we are given here is that Dawiḏ lifted up his whole being unto Elohim, revealing that he was intentionally turning his thoughts, emotions, desires, cares, anxieties, doubts and fears over to יהוה, by ‘looking up’ and fixing his eyes on יהוה and the Truth of His Word!
Despite the torrid threats and the intense dangers that Dawiḏ faced, he focused his attention on seeking and praising the Most-High, יהוה of Hosts!
When you are going through some rough times, do you find yourself intentionally seeking יהוה and earnestly give Him the due praise, or do you find that your eyes are so fixed on the distress and difficult circumstances you might be going through, that you become so blinded by pressures that you fail to see the Truth and stand firm in our Mighty Elohim and Saviour?
When you look around at the depravity and corruption of the world, which we are to be faithful sojourners in, are you looking up and fixing your eyes upon our Master and Elohim or are you falling prey to the panic of increasing conspiracies and threats that are crippling the belief of many?
When Yeshayahu looked up, and saw יהוה, he also saw the seraphim that stood above the throne.
The Hebrew word שְׂרָפִים – seraphim – is the plural of the word שָׂרָף saraph – Strong’s H8314 which means, ‘fiery, fiery serpent’, and comes from the root word שָׂרַף seraph – Strong’s H8313 which means, ‘to burn, burn up completely’.
The vision of these ‘burning, fiery’ creatures, relates a clear picture of the consuming set-apartness of Elohim, as they continue to cry out:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:2 “And one cried to another and said, ‘Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart is יהוה of hosts; all the earth is filled with His esteem!”
We see a similar picture being given to us, with the vision that Yoḥanan had, as seen in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 4:8 “And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were covered with eyes around and within. And they do not cease, day or night, saying, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart, יהוה Ěl Shaddai, who was, and who is, and who is coming!”
At the sound of the declaration, of the set-apartness of יהוה Ěl Shaddai, there was a great shaking and the House was filled with smoke and the declaration that was made clear, is that the earth is filled with the esteem of Elohim!
The Hebrew word for ‘set-apart’ is קָדוֹשׁ qaḏosh – Strong’s H6918 meaning, ‘consecrated, set-apart’ which comes from the root קָדַשׁ qaḏash – Strong’s H6942 which means, ‘set-apart, consecrated, dedicated’ – and that is what we have been called to be!!!
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 11:44-45 “For I am יהוה your Elohim, and you shall set yourselves apart. And you shall be set-apart, for I am set-apart. And do not defile yourselves with any swarming creature – the one creeping on the earth. 45 ‘For I am יהוה who is bringing you up out of the land of Mitsrayim, to be your Elohim. And you shall be set-apart, for I am set-apart.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Yisra’ěl, and say to them, ‘Be set-apart, for I יהוה your Elohim am set-apart.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 20:26 “And you shall be set-apart to Me, for I יהוה am set-apart, and have separated you from the peoples to be Mine.”
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 21:8 “And you shall set him apart, for he brings the bread of your Elohim, he is set-apart to you. For I, יהוה, setting you apart, am set-apart.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:13-16 “ Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to you at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, 15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour, 16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.””
I have quoted the above verses, in order to highlight the clear call, we are given in Scripture, from our Set-Apart Elohim: and that is we are to be set-apart, because He is set-apart!
The Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 which means ‘apartness/ consecrated/ dedicated/ that which is dedicated and separated unto יהוה’, is rendered as follows in the ancient pictographic letter/symbols:
Quph – קֹ:
This is the letter ‘quph’, which is pictured as , and is a ‘horizon’ and depicts the elements of ‘time’, as it pictures the sun in its rising and setting. It therefore carries the meaning of ‘circle’ or ‘to go around’, representing for us both, appointed cycles or times as well as eternity and speaks of continual adherence to the Appointed Times.
Dalet – דֶ:
This is the letter ‘dalet’ which is pictured as , which is 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. And we also know that Messiah is ‘The Door’, for we only are able to have access into the Kingdom through Him!
The commands are also to be written on the doorposts teaching us to remember to guard the commands of Elohim as we go out and come in, so that our going out and coming is in peace!
Shin – שׁ:
This is the letter ‘shin’ which in the ancient script is pictured as , which is ‘two front teeth’ and carries the meaning of ‘sharp or press, chew or devour’; which is what the teeth do, and also speaks of the sharpened word that comes forth from the mouth as the teeth ‘chew’ or ‘meditate’ on the Truth, making what comes forth pure and sharp! It also carries the understanding of consuming or destroying – as teeth do to food.
Looking at the rendering of this Hebrew word קֹדֶשׁ qoḏesh – Strong’s H6944 in the pictographic form that renders set-apartness or to be set-apart we, are able to see what this clearly implies as we take note that this word can render for us the following meaning:
CONTINUALLY COMING TO THE DOOR OF APPOINTMENT TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD!
Our ability to be properly set-apart involves our ability to properly meditate on the Word on a daily basis as well as making sure that we do not neglect the set-apart Appointed Times that are clearly commanded as ‘set-apart gatherings’, which are All the Appointed Times of יהוה, as outlined and instructed in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 23, which includes the weekly Sabbath!
Set-apartness, in the Greek, is ἁγιασμός hagiasmos – Strong’s G38 – ‘consecration, sanctifying’.
In English, to ‘consecrate’ means ‘to make or declare to be set-apart and be devoted to a purpose with the deepest irrevocable dedication’.
We, as a chosen, set-apart and royal priesthood unto Elohim, declare and make our lives solely devoted to the purpose of serving and worshipping יהוה our Elohim; and as we have certainly learnt through the Torah portions of ‘drawing near’ to Elohim, we can only do so by the Blood of Messiah and as we are continually being set-apart in Him through an on-going process of being sanctified as a people for a possession.
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”
Being set-apart requires the ability to be a people who judge themselves according to יהוה’s standard and be able to discern between the clean and the unclean, the set-apart and the common. Our ability in being ready to hear from יהוה, we must recognise that our minds must be renewed as we set things apart in our minds as well, no longer conformed to the standards of the world – for now we live according to the highest standard – יהוה’s.
Those who refuse to judge themselves, or be judged by the Word, can, by definition, never be set apart, as it is clear that their ears are not open to hear and are as Yeshayahu says – hearing yet not perceiving!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:48 “Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.”
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘perfect’ is τέλειος teleios – Strong’s G5046 which means, ‘having reached its end, complete, perfect, mature’ and is used in the following verse in regards to the body of Messiah being equipped unto maturity:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:13 “until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah”
This word is also used in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:25 “But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
Looking into the ‘perfect’ Torah and continuing in it – that is, to be one who guards to do what is instructed in it – shall be blessed – for it is the Perfect Torah that perfects our set-apartness!
The idea or concept of being perfect is often misunderstood by so many, due to a lack of proper understanding in what this word entails and what our Master, Elohim and Saviour demands of us. Many may deem it impossible to be perfect and therefore, relegate themselves to finding vain excuses for their compromised lifestyles as they find that the expectation of being perfect is a task too hard to achieve. To think as such, simply reveals a level of gross immaturity that refuses to endure the necessary discipline required of a true follower and taught one of Messiah!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:13 “Be perfect before יהוה your Elohim”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘perfect’ is the adjective תָּמִים tamiym – Strong’s H8549 which means, ‘complete, whole, sound, perfect, without blemish, blameless’, and this word comes from the primitive root verb תָּמַם tamam – Strong’s H8552 which mean, ‘to be complete, to be finished, be at an end’.
This Hebrew word carries with it the more expanded meaning of being mature, whole and complete and emphasises the need to be one who is earnestly seeking to learn the Truth, and abide in it, and walk according to the Spirit, rather than being childish and chasing after the feeble matters of the fleshly attractions, that a wicked and corrupt world has to offer as an alternative.
What becomes clear, as we grow in the knowledge of our Master, is that we all have a choice to make, each and every day; and that is, to either be set-apart and perfect before Elohim and serve Him in Spirit and Truth, or fall away to the ways of the world and run after the things of the flesh that can never satisfy the spirit of a man!
The Hebraic understanding, or concept, of being perfect before Elohim, entails one being fully committed to Elohim with their all, having their heart and mind in the right place, exercising true belief through works of righteousness and not being double-minded and unstable!
In other words, to be properly perfect before Elohim, means being loyal to Him, while living in the midst of an unstable and wicked world that presents many corrupt ‘alternative options’ for people to follow, through compromising standards that are abominable before the face of our Mighty Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!
I have expanded on our need to be set-apart and perfect, for good reason, especially as we consider this account of Yeshayahu hearing the words of the seraphim declaring the set-apartness of יהוה of Hosts!
What we take note of here, is that, despite the depravity of man, and the fact that Uzziyahu the king had died, and much of what was happening looked very bleak from Yeshayahu’s view on earth, we take note, that from heaven’s point of view, the whole earth is filled with the esteem of יהוה of Hosts!!!
This teaches us a clear lesson and vital truth of what we must acknowledge and that is, that יהוה is in control and He rules from on high, highlighting for us that there is absolutely no excuse for us not be perfecta and set-apart!
When things look terrible from our earthly perspective, we need to recognise our need to ‘look up’, so to speak, as we look intently into His Word and find great comfort in our Righteous King who reigns!
Having said that, we also take note that He is יהוה Ěl Shaddai and therefore recognise that He is the One who can destroy.
The Hebrew word שַׁדַּי Shaddai – Strong’s H7706 means, ‘the Almighty’, and comes from the root verb שָׁדַד shaḏaḏ – Strong’s H7703 which means, ‘to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, completely destroy’.
When שַׁדַּי Shaddai is collectively used with אֵל Ěl – Strong’s H410 it becomes a compound title that is used for יהוה Elohim!
He is Ěl Shaddai which means that He is Ěl Almighty – The Mighty One who is Almighty!
He is the One who can completely destroy, and the One who deals violently with those who do not know Him, while being The All-Powerful One, who protects His own that are known by Him!
יהוה Ěl Shaddai/ יהוה of Hosts!
The compound title יהוה צְבָאוֹת – ‘יהוה tseḇaoth’ means, ‘יהוה of Hosts’ and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘hosts’ comes from the root word צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6635 which means, ‘army, war, warfare, battle, conflict, host (of organised army)’, which comes from the primitive root verb צָבָא tsaḇa – Strong’s H6633 meaning, ‘to wage war, perform, fight, serve, mustered, gone to war’.
He is not only our Commander and Chief, who fights for us, He is also the One under whom we march and fight the good fight of belief! And the call/question becomes very clear:
“who is standing up and being counted in Messiah, our Head and Chief?”
In seeing the esteem of יהוה of Hosts, sitting on His throne, and seeing and hearing the fiery creatures declaring His set-apartness, Yeshayahu is gripped internally and declares a severe woe over himself!
After having looked up, Yeshayahu then ‘looked in’, so to speak, as this was the natural response to the true set-apart presence of the Almighty Elohim of Hosts!
The perfect mirror of His set-apartness will highlight the imperfections of the sinful flesh in us!
At the sound of the declaration of the set-apartness of יהוה of Hosts, the posts were shaken and the house was filled with smoke! This would have certainly been a trembling experience for this prophet!
As we consider this moment, I am remined of the similar image that we see in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 15:8 “And the Dwelling Place was filled with smoke from the esteem of Elohim and from His power, and no one was able to enter the Dwelling Place until the seven plagues of the seven messengers were ended.”
When the smoke of the esteem of Elohim filled the place, Yeshayahu would have clearly reminded that יהוה of Hosts is a consuming fire and by the sight of the house of Elohim being filled with smoke certainly got Yeshayahu trembling!
The set-apart presence of יהוה highlights our depravity, and Yeshayahu was greatly convicted within, and all he could do was say, ‘woe is me’ and confess that he was a man of unclean lips!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘woe’ is אוֹי oy – Strong’s H188 which means, ‘woe’ and is an interjection that highlights a passionate cry of grief and despair! We often hear the expression ‘hoy vey/oy vey’ which, in essence, expresses a cry of grief or sorrow and declares, ‘woe is me!’
In the face of a perfect and set-apart Elohim of Hosts, Yeshayahu could only respond with a cry of grief for his own depravity!
We have all sinned and fallen short of the esteem of Elohim, and the sooner we realise that, the sooner we can allow the Word of Elohim to cleanse us, as we look up and look intently into the mirror of the Word!
The natural man, when looking at one’s life from a fleshly perspective, is unable to understand, or receive, the spiritual matters of Elohim, as Sha’ul tells us in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Why I am mentioning this, is to highlight the fact that when one walks according to the flesh, then the ability to see that which needs to be corrected in one’s life, does not happen and the one walking according to the flesh, is, for the most part, very well contented with himself. He does not deal much in self-scrutiny, and is often not troubled by the twinges of his conscience.
If at any time he has any faults, he compares himself with others, and readily persuades himself that he is quite as good, if not better than his neighbour and is in no need of any change. It is seldom that he wakes up to true conviction of sin until, in some way or another, there is revealed to him some “vision of Elohim” and some conception of the true nature of that Pure and Set-Apart Creator who made all and rules all.
When one’s eyes are truly opened to the perfect and pure set-apartness of Elohim, and who He is, then one cannot but be driven by the total contrast, to recognise one’s own weakness, wickedness, impurity, unrighteousness and deeply engrained sinfulness, in the face of a perfect and set-apart Elohim.
A conviction of sin flashes upon the one whose eyes are opened, and it is a good thing, if that conviction hits deep enough, in order to bring him to the point of confession, before an Almighty Saviour and King!
Yeshayahu’s confession, in the sight of The Set-Apart One, led to his cleansing, and we take note of what Yoḥanan tells us in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
Yeshayahu cried out, to be cleansed inwardly, and Elohim heard his cry and met his need for cleansing.
Like Yeshayahu, many of the great heroes of the belief saw themselves as they are, in the sight of an Almighty Elohim and humbled themselves before יהוה:
Let’s take a look at some of them:
Berěshith/Genesis 18:27 “And Aḇraham answered and said, “Look, please, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה”
Berěshith/Genesis 32:10 “I do not deserve the least of all the kind acts and all the truth which You have shown Your servant, for I passed over this Yardĕn with my staff, and now I have become two groups.”
Iyoḇ /Job 40:4 “See, I am insignificant, what would I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.”
Shemu’ĕl Bět/2 Samuel 7:18 “And Sovereign Dawiḏ went in and sat before יהוה and he said, “Who am I, O Master יהוה? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:15 “Trustworthy is the word and worthy of all acceptance, that Messiah יהושע came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.”
Luqas/Luke 5:8-11: “And when Shim’on Kěpha saw it, he fell down at the knees of יהושע, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a man, a sinner, O Master!” 9 For astonishment had seized him and all those with him, at the catch of fish which they took, 10 so too were Yaʽaqoḇ and Yoḥanan, the sons of Zaḇdai, who were partners with Shim’on. Then יהושע said to Shim’on, “Do not fear, from now on you shall catch men.” 11 And having brought the boats to land, they left all and followed Him.”
When we look intently into the mirror of the Word, we must not forget what we look like and we must make sure that we are true doers of the Word and not hearers only!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:23-25 “Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
What we must never lose sight of, as king Uzziyahu did, is that we need a Saviour/Deliverer to continually lead, guide and teach us, in the Way of set-apartness!
When we have sight and can ‘see’ our Master, through His Living Word, and can understand who He is, and make the bold confession before many witnesses, then we are enabled to have the proper ability to look in at our own lives and measure it up against the plumb-line of the Truth of our Elohim!
As we look up, and are then enabled to properly look in, and do what the Word instructs, then we can be properly cleansed through the Word, and are further enabled to look out and see the need for the reign to be boldly proclaimed, as we call many sinners to repentance!
Yeshayahu’s unclean lips were cleansed and his crookedness was taken away, as he received the refining fire of deliverance, straight from a live coal that was taken from the slaughter place, which shadow pictures the sacrifice of our Master, who entered into the Most Set-Apart Place in the heavens with His blood, having obtained an everlasting redemption, and by His sacrifice, He can restore unto those who draw near and confess, a clean lip!
By His Blood, we are able to have our conscience cleansed from dead works, in order to serve the living Elohim!
With Yeshayahu having his unclean lips cleansed we are also able to see a powerful shadow picture of our Master restoring a clean lip unto the peoples, so that they can call upon His Name and serve Him perfectly:
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:8-9 “Therefore wait for Me,” declares יהוה, “until the day I rise up for plunder. For My judgment is to gather nations, to assemble reigns, to pour out on them My rage, all My burning wrath. For by the fire of My jealousy all the earth shall be consumed. 9 “For then I shall turn unto the peoples a clean lip, so that they all call on the Name of יהוה, to serve Him with one shoulder.”
His lips were cleansed and his crookedness was taken away!
This is a powerful picture of a proper cleansing of our Master, who cleanses us from all unrighteousness, when we confess our sin and crookedness to Him!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘crookedness’ comes from the root word עָוֹן avon – Strong’s H5771 meaning, ‘iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity, blame, perversity, depravity’, which comes from the root verb עָוָה avah – Strong’s H5753 which means, ‘to twist, bend, distort, make crooked, pervert’.
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore I judge you, O house of Yisra’ĕl, every one according to his ways,” declares the Master יהוה. “Repent, and turn back from all your transgressions, and let not crookedness be a stumbling-block to you.”
The stumbling block of crookedness is a big stumbling block for so many and herein lies the awakening call to return to יהוה. This was a call to repent and not let crookedness be a stumbling block, showing us that the clear call was to guard loving-commitment and truth in order that their crookedness could be pardoned!
It is a blessing when crookedness no longer becomes a stumbling block in one’s path! By that I mean that it is truly a blessing to walk in the Truth and not have the stumbling blocks of twisted and perverse teachings of man that seek only to nullify the commands of Elohim!
In another Tehillah we see the psalmist declaring the following:
Tehillah/Psalm 130:3-4 “O Yah, if You should watch crookednesses, O יהוה, who would stand? 4 But with You there is forgiveness, that You might be feared.”
It is a blessing to receive the forgiveness for our perverted crooked ways and therefore must recognise how important it is to guard righteousness and have no crookedness imputed/reckoned to us!
Tehillah/Psalm 103:1-5 “Bless יהוה, O my being, and all that is within me, bless His set-apart Name! 2 Bless יהוה, O my being, and do not forget all His dealings, 3 who forgives all your crookednesses, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with kindness and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desire with the good, your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘forgives’ is סָלַח salaḥ – Strong’s H5545 which means, ‘to forgive, pardon, spare’, which is the same root word used in Tehillah/Psalm 25:11 for ‘pardon’!
Tehillah/Psalm 25:11 “For Your Name’s sake, O יהוה, You shall pardon my crookedness, though it is great.”
Sha’ul understood this blessing being declared here in this contemplative poem:
Romiyim/Romans 4:7-8 “Blessed are those whose lawlessnesses are forgiven, and whose sins are covered, 8 blessed is the man to whom יהוה shall by no means reckon sin.”
Lawlessnesses forgiven, sins covered and no sin reckoned – what a blessing!!! Our Master redeemed us from lawlessness, as Sha’ul writes, in:
Titos/Titus 2:11-14 “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, 13 looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.”
We have been redeemed from ALL lawlessness and have been cleansed so that we are now equipped and enabled to walk in the Torah, not continue in lawlessness!!!
When we truly recognise and acknowledge that we have stumbled in our crookednesses and have been led astray through the twisted and corrupt teachings of lawlessness, we are then equipped to understand the mighty redeeming work of our Master and what He has done for us. When we fully grasp the forgiveness that our Master extends to us then we should be urgent in our return to Him, as we turn completely away from every stumbling block of crookedness!
Yeshayahu was now cleansed and ready to serve!
After having looked up, and looked in, he responded in humility, with an honest confession and was cleansed from crookedness and was now equipped to serve with a clean lip!
A cleansed servant becomes a willing servant!
Yeshayahu jumped at the opportunity to be the one whom יהוה would send!
What we can learn from this, is that when one is reluctant to speak up and proclaim the Truth, it may be a sign that there is some uncleanness that still needs to be dealt with, which calls for a proper ability to ‘look up’, and by that, I mean looking intently into the Word and seeking our Master and Elohim, after which, the proper ability to ‘look in’ will be done, with humility and honesty, by looking intently into the mirror of the Word and doing what the word commands, without compromise or excuse!
The harvest is ripe and the workers are few!
Our Master said that we should pray that the Master of the harvest send out more workers!
What we need are more people that will look up, look in and then look out!
In my title of this message I said ‘lookout’, as one word and not two, in order to bring in a play on words, so to speak, as we take note of a two-fold responsibility of a true cleansed servant, that looks up and in!
Firstly, we are to ‘look out’ and see the need for the Truth be proclaimed, without compromise and that we are to ‘look out’ for each other and encourage each other daily in the Word, yet, secondly, we are also called to be on the ‘lookout’, and by that I mean, that we are to be watchmen on the walls, so to speak!
When we understand that we are living stones, being built up in the Master, then we who are watchmen on the walls are to watch out for each other and warn each other, when an attack is coming, or when we see something that is not right!
As part of us being called to go and make taught ones of the nations, we too recognise that we are to go and speak to a people who will most likely not hear the Truth, nor see what has been clearly revealed to us.
Do not let this stop you, for we take note that the question of how long he should make the heart of the people fat, their ears heavy and shut their eyes, he was told, ‘until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant’.
This means that we are to proclaim the reign until our Master comes!
Today, we can learn a lot from this amazing experience that Yeshayahu had with our Master.
The outlook was bleak, so he looked up! Which in turn, caused him to look inwardly at his own sinfulness, in contrast to a pure and set-apart Elohim; and in the process, he could do nothing but recognise his depravity and repent of his sin before יהוה and receive a complete cleansing and forgiveness from יהוה our Saviour and Redeemer.
The ability to see, as יהוה sees, was clearer and he was now not simply looking at the bleak outlook, but rather, he recognised the need, and that יהוה wanted to use Him, despite the negative reaction that would come, for Yeshayahu knew the truth!
Yeshayahu had seen יהוה on His throne and the esteem of יהוה had been revealed to him, which had now made him responsible to be a watchman and speak up, calling a hard-hearted and blind people to repentance!
For all of us, who have turned to the Master, have had the veil of traditions and falsehood removed, in order for us to know our Mighty Elohim and draw near to Him, in complete humility and reverent fear, in order that we can serve Him and be His ambassadors, amidst a wicked and crooked generation!
There are many lessons that we can take from this account, of which one of the most important ones is simply to recognise the set-apartness of our Mighty Elohim, for He calls us to be set-apart as He is set-apart.
If anyone struggles at being set-apart, then it is because they do not understand, nor know, the set-apartness of Elohim, which may be the result of not properly seeking Him and meditating on His Word day and night!
When people struggle with being set-apart, by allowing too much compromise to still be prevalent in their lives, then it can be a sure sign that they are not ‘seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness’!
Our Master encourages us to not worry as the nations do, but make sure we are seeking Him and His righteousness:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the reign of Elohim, and His righteousness, and all these shall be added to you.”
The Greek word used for ‘seek’ is ζητέω zēteō – Strong’s G2212 and means, ‘to seek, inquire, try to obtain, strive after, to aim at, crave for, and to seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating and reasoning’.
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.”
To ‘seek’ takes diligent effort; and to ‘seek His kingdom and His righteousness’ speaks of diligently seeking and meditating on Him and His instructions (Torah) – something that is severely lacking in a great way today!
The question remains, ‘what are you seeking?’
Whatever you are seeking will take time and effort and what everyone needs to assess is whether they are seeking their own interests or whether they are seeking first the reign of Elohim and His righteousness!
For more on intently seeking יהוה and His righteousness, please see the notes of a message called, “AWAKE YOURSELF, LOOK UP AND LISTEN! (Isaiah 51)” which can be found on our site (https://atfotc.com) under the sermons 2018/2019 menu or by simply clicking on or using the flowing link:
As we consider the times that we are living in, and how many have hardened their hearts to the truth, and shut their ears to the hearing of the Torah, we must recognise the responsibility that we have, with what the Master has given us, and be bold in our confession and declaration of who He is ,and proclaim His reign that is coming.
Perhaps circumstances that have not been as favourable as you would like them to be, has caused you to stop ‘looking up’ and, in the process, your ‘looking in’ has been destructive, rather than constructive, as you have fallen prey to the pity party of doubts and fears that silence your confession, and as a result, has made you weak in your walk, which in the process has caused you to point fingers at others, causing your ability to ‘look out’ to be a slanderous, one as opposed to a ‘lookout’ that builds and encourages.
We know that the Hebrew name יְשַׁעְיָהוּ Yeshayahu – Strong’s H3470 means ‘salvation of Yah/ Yahweh saves’, and I want to remind you today, that our Saviour and Elohim reigns and the earth is filled with His esteem.
Knowing this, should cause us to be urgent in our need to be looking to the Prince and Perfector of our belief, as we ‘look up’ and lift our heads, for our redemption draws near!
What we must also be prepared for, is the cleansing power of His Word that washes us from all that stains and defiles, and we must allow His Word to do that, without kicking against the called for set-apartness and perfection.
When we can properly look up, and look in, then we will be fully equipped to look out, and be unhindered in our walk of faith, as we lift the banner of praise to Him who reigns!
We are the Dwelling Place of Elohim, and we take note of what Tehillah/Psalm 95:5 tells us:
Tehillah/Psalm 95:5 “Your witnesses have been very trustworthy. Set-apartness befits Your house, O יהוה, forever.”
As we consider the set-apartness of our Mighty Elohim and that which befits His House, may we be a people that are fervent in our love for Him and urgent in our need to look up, look in and look out!
While most have shut their eyes and closed their ears … let us hear the words of our Master, who makes it clear in His Word that which is required of us, and then declares to us… “He who has ears let him hear”!!!
How is your vision? If it has been impaired in any way – let Messiah give you a recovery of sight and maintain the 20/20 functional eyes that יהוה has made, and be equipped in Him to:
LOOK UP, LOOK IN… AND LOOKOUT!
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