30th of the 10th month 2020/2021
Titos/Titus 1:4 “to Titos, a genuine child according to our common belief: Favour, compassion, peace from Elohim the Father and the Master יהושע Messiah our Saviour.”
Greetings to you in the Mighty and Wonderful Name of יהוה.
Favour, compassion and peace from Elohim the Father and the Master יהושע Messiah our Saviour!
This was certainly a much-welcomed greeting from Sha’ul to Titos!
Titos was a man who was tasked with a great responsibility, in ‘setting straight’ a crooked people on the island of Crete, and believe me when I tell you that this was no easy task at all!
In this message, I would like us to look at the letter that Sha’ul wrote to Titos – yes, the whole letter, as we can certainly glean many great nuggets of truth from it, as it is clearly a letter that is just as relevant to us today as it was to Titos almost 2000 years ago. .
In a message called, “MISSION POSSIBLE – ONLY IF YOU’RE GENUINE!”, I would like us to be reminded, once more, as to who it is who has delivered us and called us to set-apart living and just who it is we are to worship and serve in complete set-apartness!
יהוה of hosts is His Name, aměn!
Please read Titos/Titus.
Titos, was a Greek convert who had travelled with Sha’ul and had also served faithfully in a troubled Corinth and it was around 63-64 C.E. after leaving Timotiyos behind in Ephesos, that Sha’ul and Titos went on to Crete, where Sha’ul had left Titos there in order to help sort out the assemblies in Crete. .
Later on, Sha’ul wrote this letter to Titos and the purpose of the letter to Titos was to instruct him about what he should do and teach in the Cretan assemblies.
What we have to understand here, is that this society was not an easy society to teach and instruct in the ways of righteousness and Titos had his work cut out for him.
This letter was clearly intended to offer encouragement and wisdom, as Titus endured ongoing opposition from the unruly and disobedient ones, as well as from religious legalists within his congregations..
This letter can be one of personal encouragement to each and every one of us today, as we recognise the chaos of lawlessness, rebellion, misguided religiosity, stubbornness and pride, that we are living in the midst of and the urgency in which we are to be encouraged and strengthened to shine the Light of our Master, without compromise.
We all have a clear task of shining the light and walking as children of light, amidst the thickening darkness, doing our utmost at making taught ones of the nations..
This introduction that Sha’ul gives, highlights the clear encouragement being given to Titos, as Sha’ul referred to Titos as a genuine child according to our common belief.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘genuine’ is γνήσιος gnēsios – Strong’s G1103 which means, ‘genuine, true, loyal and sincere’, and also carries the meaning of one who is ‘lawfully begotten or born’.
This in itself should remind us of the wonderful truth that we have been lawfully begotten, through the Blood of Messiah:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-13 “Therefore remember that you, once nations in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.”.
We are His “legally begotten ones”!
Those who share the common belief in The Master are the genuine children of the belief and now we, who are now in Messiah, must walk as He walked and seek out the lost sheep of Yisra’ĕl. We have a mission which is not impossible, but rather, is possible – if you’re genuine, that is! .
Sha’ul also referred to Timotiyos as a genuine child of the belief, as we see in his first letter to Timotiyos, similar words of encouragement:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:2 “to Timotiyos, a genuine child in the belief: Favour, compassion, peace from Elohim our Father and יהושע Messiah our Master.”.
Both Timotiyos and Titos were genuine believers and they needed to be encouraged with the reminder of this, as they both had to deal with a lot of pretenders of the belief, so to speak, yet they had to be reminded who they were in Messiah and that they had a role to bring the Good News, reflected in the visible witness of their genuine belief, that did not give in to compromising standards, as most around them were doing..
What makes one’s belief a genuine one?
I think that we all know the basic answer to this…. It is one who stays in Messiah and guards against the subtle, or blatant, compromises of lawlessness and hypocrisy, by guarding the commands of Elohim and showing perfect set-apartness through a genuine love for Elohim, which is to obey all He has commanded us to!
In verse 5 Sha’ul tells Titos why he left him in Crete: It was to ‘straighten out’ what was left undone and then he was to appoint elders who were worthy to assist in leading the assemblies on this large island.
Crete is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean and it had very fertile valleys, skilled seamen and it also played a huge role in Greek Mythology, being known by the locals as the ‘land of the gods.’
In other words, here you have Titos being placed right in the heart of this very pagan rooted territory, with a clear task of having to set some things straight!.
The Greek word that is used here for ‘straighten out’ is ἐπιδιορθόω epidiorthóō – Strong’s G1930 which means, ‘to proceed in correcting or setting in order’ or ‘to straighten out’ and this comes from the two root words:
1) ἐπί epi – Strong’s G1909 which is a preposition that can render the meaning, ‘upon, on, about, over’ and
2) διόρθωσις diorthōsis – Strong’s G1357 which means, ‘making straight, rectification, reformation’, which is a derivative of the root word ὀρθός orthós – Strong’s G3717 which means, ‘straight, erect, upright’ and when this is used in the idea of standing up straight, it can, in the moral sense, have the understanding of being straight as opposed to being crooked, and being true, upright and good, as we see this root word ὀρθός orthós – Strong’s G3717 being used in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:13, in the call to make straight paths for our feet!.
It is very clear here that Titos had a role to play and that role was to straighten out that which was not straight! He was to straighten out the crookedness!
We get our English words ‘orthopedist’ or ‘orthodontist’ from these Greek words and are able to get the understanding that an orthopedic surgeon or orthodontist refers to ‘one who is in the practice of correcting or preventing skeletal deformities, disorders or injuries’, whether it be a surgeon setting broken bones straight or a dental surgeon fixing crooked teeth! .
So, I do hope that you can see the picture here:
Titos had to “set straight” those whose walk was crooked and whose speech was perverse!
Broken bones that are not set straight, in order to heal back as one, can end up growing crookedly and can lead to weakness in that bone later on in life. .
What Sha’ul was telling Titos, is that the assemblies in Crete were liken broken bones that had not been set right and were in need of some serious attention or else their belief would continue to grow crooked and become permanently warped and dysfunctional, if they were not set straight!
Titos had to set straight that which was crooked and by all account, was clearly broken and dysfunctional, in order that they could heal properly and be strong in Messiah, with strengthened hands to obey and strengthened knees to run with perseverance! .
Whenever a bone has not been set straight, it often requires that a doctor breaks that bone again in order to re-set it to heal properly, in order for it to regain its full functionality! .
Now, you might be asking yourself at this point, ‘what has all this got to do with the price of eggs?’
Well, not much really, but it does have a lot to do with us understanding what is going on in our day!
The clear reality is that most are very broken and dysfunctional and have become so crooked because of there not being a proper setting straight taking place.
There is a setting straight that is required – and many bones have, due to erroneous teaching, been previously broken or dislocated and have not been set straight, which has resulted in a wicked and crooked generation! .
Now it is time for many, who are actually willing and receptive the process of a proper healing, to have their bones broken, so to speak, in order for them to be set straight again!
It certainly is a painful process for most, I know, but one that is severely needed! .
Sadly, there are so many people today that are so ‘stuck in their ways’ that they are unwilling and unyielding to be submissive to some “spiritual bone surgery”, so to speak, which they so desperately need in order that they may walk upright in Messiah and, as a result of their stubbornness, they are becoming more and more crippled, even though they assume to be fine and think that there is nothing wrong with them..
In verses 6-9, Titos is given a clear standard of the needed character traits for those that he was to be appoint into a leadership position and these requirements are necessary in order to ensure that the community does not become crooked and twisted again!
And while some may think that these qualities are required of them, if they are not is a position of eldership or as an overseer, we should all be able to recognise that these qualities ought to be qualities that are seen in all set-apart children of light, to be effective in their witness in calling people out from crooked way in order to walk upright and straight before the Master..
Therefore, as we consider these qualities that are required of appointed leadership as being critically important within the body of Messiah, we also take note that we all should strive to reflect these qualities, as we are all an integral part of the body of Messiah, whose Head is Messiah and in our display of set-apartness, which befits the House of Elohim forever, we all ought to be reflecting these clear qualities of set-apartness as we all strive to be genuine children of the belief!.
Let us therefore take a closer look at some of these qualities that are being listed here and allow the mirror of the Word to reveal key characteristics of a genuine belief that can be trustworthy in the task of being an ambassador of our Master’s coming reign..
The Greek word that is translated as ‘unreprovable’, in verses 6 & 7, is ἀνέγκλητος anegklētos – Strong’s G410 which means, ‘not to be called to account, unreprovable, above reproach, blameless’ and comes from the root words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is used as a negative prefix, and
2) ἐγκαλέω egkaleō – Strong’s G1458 which means, ‘to call in (as a debt or demand), to call to account, accuse, bring a charge against’..
This root word ἀνέγκλητος anegklētos – Strong’s G410 we see being used in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:8 “who shall also confirm you to the end, unreprovable in the day of our Master יהושע Messiah.”
These were part of Sha’ul’s introductory words of his first letter to the believers in Corinth, reminding them of who they are in Messiah, having been given favour and compassion and were not lacking in any gift, having all that they need to wait, with great expectation, for the return of our Master and be found to be blameless in Messiah.
We have a Master and Redeemer that has cleansed us and given us all we need to be fund spotless and blameless when He comes again, as we live out our belief in complete submission to walking according to His Torah and be found to have the working belief that He expects of His ready Bride!.
This word ἀνέγκλητος anegklētos – Strong’s G410 is also used in the opening chapter of the letter to the believers in Colossae:
Qolasim/Colossians 1:21-23 “And you, who once were estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works, but now He has completely restored to favour 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you set-apart, and blameless, and unreprovable before Him, 23 if indeed you continue in the belief, founded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the expectation of the Good News which you heard, which was proclaimed to every creature under the heaven, of which I, Sha’ul, became a servant”
Sha’ul makes it clear that while we once were enemies of Elohim, we have now been restored to favour, so that we can present ourselves as unreprovable before Him, simply because we guard set-apartness and keep our garments clean.
This is a quality that is to be in every member of the body of Messiah and the way that this can be maintained is by guarding righteousness and not compromising obedience in any way..
NOT ACCUSED OF LOOSE BEHAVIOUR:
This ought to be an obvious one, yet what we may find today, is how many claiming believers are behaving just like the rest of the lawless world!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘loose behaviour’ is ἀσωτία asōtia – Strong’s G810 which means, ‘unsavedness, wastefulness, dissipation, riot, excess’ and is also understood in the Greek as, ‘an abandoned and dissolute life’ and comes from the root words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is used as a negative prefix, and
2) σῴζω sōzō – Strong’s G4982 which means, ‘safe, well, to save, preserved, restore’ and a derivative of this word is σωτήρ sōtēr – Strong’s G4990 which means, ‘a saviour, deliverer’, from which we also get the word σωτηρία sōtēria – Strong’s G4991 which means, ‘deliverance, salvation’.
The reason I am highlighting these words here, is to show that the term/phrase loose behaviour, clearly reflects a life that has no deliverer!!!
We were once without Messiah and were living loosely, as we were given over to the excess of the things of the flesh, with no regards for any form of standard for set-apart living! Now, in Messiah, we have been called out of the depravity of loose living, in order to walk in His Word that gives us direction and stability, as we walk out our deliverance with fear and trembling before our Master’s face..
This Greek word ἀσωτία asōtia – Strong’s G810 is used in:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:17-18 “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the desire of יהוה is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is loose behaviour, but be filled with the Spirit”
Do not be drunk with wine…. Lest you find yourself exhibiting a loose behaviour that clearly reflects that there is no Saviour that is being lived for! We are called to be sober and alert, and being filled with the Spirit entails a proper sober meditation of the Torah of Elohim, in order to properly live upright and set-apart lives. We are not to be found being led astray by the drunkenness of the whore who leads many astray in a lawless and loose lifestyle that refuses to submit to the order and design of our Saviour and King.
So many people find a release in the drinking of wine or alcoholic beverages and here Sha’ul is reminding us that we are not to get our fill from that which causes one’s soberness to be corrupted in any way. This can be understood very clearly on a physical level as well as on a spiritual level, where we are also to be on guard against the drunken teachings of lawlessness that seek only to tickle the ears of those that are bent toward satisfying the desires of the flesh and setting aside any desire to adhere to the clear commands of Elohim!
Do not live loose!.
This word ἀσωτία asōtia – Strong’s G810 is also used in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:3-5 “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the desire of the nations, having walked in indecencies, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties, and abominable idolatries, 4 in which they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same flood of loose behaviour, blaspheming, 5 who shall give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”
Kěpha is reminding us to not fall back to the loose behaviour that we have been redeemed from, as loose behaviour of a drunken state of lawlessness is something that blasphemes the Name of our Saviour and while the world is surprised at you when you do not do what they do, do not be discouraged by their blasphemous living, but hold firm to your secure, sober and upright position in the Master, as a true genuine child of the belief!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘unruly’ is ἀνυπότακτος anupotaktos – Strong’s G506 which means, ‘not subject to rule, rebellion, rebellious’ and comes from the root words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is used as a negative prefix, and
2) ὑποτάσσω hupotassō – Strong’s G5293 which means, ‘to place or rank under, to subject, to obey, put in subjection, to submit to one’s control, to yield to one’s admonition or advice’.
This word is translated as ‘subject’, as in the clear call to ‘subject ourselves to Elohim’, given to us in Ya’aqoḇ/James 4.
Being unruly simply highlights the character of one who refuses to submit to Elohim and therefore highlights a clear picture of rebellious pride and stubbornness, as opposed to a humble submission that subjects one’s life to the Word of Elohim!
Our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, is our Commander and Chief unto whom we are to faithfully subject ourselves in complete humility, as we walk in and stay in Him through the diligent loving obedience of guarding His commands, which is righteousness for us!!!
As we subject ourselves to Elohim and put aside all evil, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all forms of corrupt speech, and draw near to our Master and Rock of our deliverance, we are then built up, as living stones, into a spiritual house and dwelling Place for the Most-High, in order to humbly serve faithfully, as a set-apart priesthood. .
Building our lives in any other way, that contradicts or compromises complete set-apartness through stubbornness and pride, will cause us to be destroyed.
True humility causes one to submit to and be in subjection to the commands of our Master and Elohim. Resistance to faithful subjection to walking in His Torah and commands reflects a heart that is full of pride and will be resisted by Elohim!
The unruly will be resisted and destroyed!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘self-pleasing’ is αὐθάδης authadēs – Strong’s G829 which means, ‘self-pleasing, self-willed’ and comes from the root word:
1) αὐτός autos – Strong’s G846 which is a pronoun that means, ‘self, he, she, it’ and
2) the base of the word ἡδονή hēdonē – Strong’s G2237 which means, ‘pleasures, lust, desire for pleasure, enjoyment’, and comes from the word ἥδομαι hēdomai which means, ‘to enjoy oneself, indulge in pleasures’.
It is from this word that we get the English word ‘hedonism’ which, according to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, is understood as meaning, ‘the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life’. .
There are so many people today, who live by this principle and are doing “whatever it takes” to indulge in fleshly pleasures and, in the process, they so quickly cast the Torah aside, as being something that is non-existent and unnecessary for them to follow.
Our Master clearly warns us, in the Parable of the Sower, that the pleasures of life is one of the things that choke out the Word:
Luqas/Luke 8:14 “And that which fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with worries, and riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”.
We are to be doing what pleases our Master and not be self-pleasers who seek fleshly pleasures that cast aside the need to obey the Torah of Elohim and do what pleases Him!
Sha’ul warns us, in his letter to Timotiyos, that in the last days people will be lovers of self and be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim!
True genuine belief reflects love for Elohim, which we know is to obey His commands, and dies to self in order to life according to the Spirit!.
In continuing with our looking at these character traits that are given here in Titos, for elders and overseers, we are able to clearly recognise that these are characteristics of set-apartness that are to be clearly reflected in the life of every genuine child of the belief in Messiah!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘wroth’ is ὀργίλος orgilos – Strong’s G3711 which means, ‘inclined to anger, quick tempered’, and comes from the word ὀργή orgē – Strong’s G3709 which means, ‘impulse, wrath, vengeance, anger, indignation, anger exhibited in punishment’, which is used in:
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:19-20 “So then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, 20 for the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of Elohim.”.
We find this word ὀργή orgē used in:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 2:8 “So I resolve that the men pray everywhere, lifting up hands that are set-apart, without wrath and disputing.”
The Greek word for ‘disputing’ is διαλογισμός dialogismos – Strong’s G1261 which means, ‘reasonings, arguments, disputing, speculations’.
This is a very powerful instruction that we are to take heed of – and that is that we are to be lifting up hands and praising יהוה, without impulsive anger that disputes and argues for the sake of arguing! Some people today, just like to stir up unnecessary debates, perhaps because their own hands are not ‘lifted up and set-apart’.
By that, I mean the following:
Hands, in Scripture, speak of one’s work and actions, and to have ‘lifted up set-apart hands’, also speaks of one’s life being lived out in pure devotion to Elohim, through living uncompromised set-apart lives.
Messiah told us that the one who put his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom; and so, we recognise that when one’s actions are not reflective of true set-apartness then fitness for the kingdom is in jeopardy!
Often, we find that those who stir up impulsive heated debates, are simply doing so because their own lives are riddled with compromise, and by stirring up disputes, silly reasonings and vain speculations, they are simply diverting the reality of their own depravity away from themselves!
When they do this, they become impulsively angered and will even neglect proper fellowship, as a result.
When we lift up devoted set-apart hands we are to put away all worthless rage and wrath:
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and displeasure, and uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all evil.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth.”
We are to put these off, for these are the weapons of the enemy, and if we are not careful to put these off, we may find that the enemy uses us as instruments in his wicked hand, that seeks to consume and swallow up the righteous!.
Genuine children of the belief are not wroth!.
NOT GIVE TO WINE:
The Greek word that is translated here as ‘not given to wine’ is πάροινος paroinos – Strong’s G3943 which means, ‘given to wine, drunkenness, addicted to wine’.
While many people love to excuse themselves from having this characteristic of not being given to wine as something that is for them to adhere to, as they reckon that this is for overseers and elders only and may even reason away that this word denotes one who is always drinking and does not refer to the casual drinking of alcohol.
While this word certainly does give us the understanding of one who is addicted to alcohol, we are able to clearly identify, throughout Scripture, the clear message of being sober and alert being a clear characteristic and quality of set-apartness..
We know that in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 10:9, the command is given regarding the priesthood to not drink wine or strong drink, when going in to the tent of appointment, and as a clear pattern from the Lĕwitical priesthood, which are to learn from on how we are to live in the order of Malkitseḏeq, as a royal and set-apart priesthood, we are able to identify that we, as the Body of Messiah, are in service to Him, having been bought at a price and therefore the question that many need to answer, when finding the desire to take an alcoholic beverage and justify why they feel they can, they simply need to be able to give a clear answer before the Master about when they deem themselves to not be in service to Him!
We are to stay in Him, and stand firm, which means we are always in service of His Tabernacle/Dwelling Place, which we are!!! .
Therefore, a genuine child of the belief is not given to wine and remains sober and alert, so as to not be found profaning their service, like Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu did!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘brawler’ is πλήκτης plēktēs – Strong’s G4131 which means, ‘a striker, a bruiser, ready for a blow’ as well as, ‘a pugnacious, contentious, quarrelsome person’ and figuratively, it represents one who is a reviler and by reproach and unbraiding language, wounds the conscience of brother, being a vicious and contentious person..
Genuine children of the belief in Messiah guards their tongues and refrain from reproaching and reviling others in a vicious and contentious manner..
NOT GREEDY FOR FILTHY GAIN:
The Greek word that is translated as ‘greedy for filthy gain’ is αἰσχροκερδής aischrokerdēs – Strong’s G146 which means, ‘shamefully greedy, greedy for money, indecent or dishonorable gain’
While this is a clear characteristic of set-apart leadership, as Kěpha also warns against the corrupt shepherds who use people for their own gain, we take note that a genuine child of the belief is to never be greedy for filthy gain!
Doing things right, without cutting corners, is the correct way that a genuine child of the belief ought to behave and in the process, we are to be on guard against the love of money, which is a root of all kinds of evil and causes some to stray from the belief. Our lives are be without the love of money as we are to be satisfied with what we have in The Master, who knows what we need and richly supplies all our needs according to His perfect kindness!.
KIND TO STRANGERS:
The Greek word that is translated as ‘kind to strangers’ is φιλόξενος philoxenos – Strong’s G5382 which means, ‘loving strangers, hospitable’ and comes from the root words:
1) φίλος philos – Strong’s G5384 which means, ‘beloved, dear, friend’, and
2) ξένος xenos – Strong’s G3581 which means, ‘strangers, foreigners, guest’.
I think that this characteristic of genuine belief is pretty clear – be friendly to strangers and be hospitable! No xenophobia! .
LOVER OF WHAT IS GOOD:
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lover of what is good’ is φιλάγαθος philagathos – Strong’s G5358 and comes from the root words:
1) φίλος philos – Strong’s G5384 which means, ‘beloved, dear, friend’, and
2) ἀγαθός agathos – Strong’s G18 which means, ‘good, generous, kind, useful, excellent, upright, honourable, distinguished’ and a word that is derived from this, and translated in Scripture as ‘goodness’, in speaking of the fruit of the Spirit, is ἀγαθωσύνη agathōsunē – Strong’s G19 which means, ‘goodness, uprightness of heart and life’
This is understood as corresponding to the Hebrew word that we have often looked at, for ‘good’, which is the Hebrew word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’.
We know, form a Hebraic perspective, that this root word טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 carries the idea of being functional, when walking according to the perfect Torah of Elohim, as opposed to being dysfunctional and evil in the eyes of YAHWEH!
Being a lover of what is good, from a clear Scriptural perspective, highlights the pure love that a genuine child of the belief has for the Word of Elohim and that love guards against falling prey to crooked and evil ways!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sensible’ comes from the word σώφρων sōphrōn – Strong’s G4998 which means, ‘sound mind, self-controlled, prudent’ and this is made up of the two words –
a) σῴζω sōzō – Strong’s G4982 which means, ‘safe, well, to save, preserved, restore’ and
b) φρήν phrēn – Strong’s G5424 which means, ‘midriff, heart, mind, thought’ – in other word, ‘thinking’. .
The Greek word σώφρων sophron – Strong’s G4998 is used 4 times Sha’ul’s letter to Titos (1:8; 2:2; 2:5; 2:6).
We are to live sensibly, meaning that we are to be sober and have a sound mind, which takes captive the thoughts.
What is the opposite of being sober?
Now, in terms of Scripture, we see that those who live lawlessly are living so, as the result of being drunk with the wine of whoring!
What is whoring?
It is to commit adultery!
In other words, whoring is what happens when one steps outside of the clear boundaries of a marriage covenant and breaks their commitment, through a complete disregard for the instructions that are given for living set-apart and showing true love to one’s betrothed!
Living sensibly in this age, can only be done with a renewed mind, which diligently meditates on the Torah day and night and does not turn aside, or wander, from the Torah!.
After the vision of the revelation of Messiah was given to Yohanan, we see the clear words that he was told:
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:11 “He who does wrong, let him do more wrong; he who is filthy, let him be more filthy; he who is righteous, let him be more righteous; he who is set-apart, let him be more set-apart.”.
The first Greek word that is translated as ‘righteous’ is the adjective δίκαιος dikaios – Strong’s G1342 which means, ‘righteous, innocent, just, upright, keeping the commands of Elohim’ and the second Greek word that is translated as ‘righteous’ is the noun δικαιοσύνη dikaiosunē – Strong’s G1343 which means, ‘righteousness, justice’ and this is the word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak), to describe Aḇraham:
Berěshith/Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in יהוה, and He reckoned it to him for righteousness.”
The Hebrew word used here for ‘righteousness’ is צְדָקָה tseḏaqah – Strong’s H6666 meaning, ‘righteousness, righteous acts, merits, righteous deeds’ and is the feminine form of צֶדֶק tseḏeq – Strong’s H6664 which means, ‘righteous, just, righteousness’..
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:6-9 “Even so Aḇraham “did believe Elohim, and it was reckoned unto him as righteousness.” 7 Know, then, that those who are of belief are sons of Aḇraham. 8 And the Scripture, having foreseen that Elohim would declare right the nations by belief, announced the Good News to Aḇraham beforehand, saying, “All the nations shall be blessed in you,” 9 so that those who are of belief are blessed with Aḇraham, the believer.”
The Greek word that is used here, in Galatiyim/Galatians 3:6, for ‘believed’ is πιστεύω pisteuō – Strong’s G4100 which is a verb that means, ‘to trust, to be committed to, be entrusted with, be persuaded and placed confidence in to do’, and comes from the root noun πίστις pistis – Strong’s G4102 which means, ‘faith, faithfulness, pledge, conviction of the Truth’ which in turn 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 correct obedient action and a confident response to the one you put your trust in and follow.
Aḇraham did exactly that – he trusted in and had total confidence in the Word of Elohim and obeyed it, even while it cost him his land, relatives and close family!.
Aḇraham believed – and his belief had works of righteousness!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘believed’ in Berěshith/Genesis 15:6 comes from the primitive root verb אָמַן aman – Strong’s H539 which means, ‘confirm, support, establish, faithful, believe’; and so, we clearly see that by Aḇraham’s obedience in guarding the commands of יהוה and trusting in His Word, he was established or ‘trustworthy’; and by his actions of obedience, he showed his confident trust in יהוה!
This was reckoned to him for righteousness!
Genuine children of belief obey and trust יהוה!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘set-apart’ is ὅσιος hosios – Strong’s G3741 which means, ‘devout, pious, righteous, set-apart’.
This word corresponds to the Hebrew word ‘lovingly committed’ is חָסִיד ḥasiḏ – Strong’s H2623 which means, ‘kind, pious, lovely, faithful, lovingly-committed’ and comes from the primitive root verb חָסַד ḥasaḏ –Strong’s H2616 which means, ‘to be kind, to show yourself kind, loving-kindness, mercy, unfailing love’, and therefore, this Greek word denotes the person who readily accepts the obligations which arise from the covenant relationship to Elohim, by being set-apart as He is set-apart!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘self-controlled’ 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’..
A derivative of this adjective ἐγκρατής egkratēs – Strong’s G1468 is the noun that is translated in Scripture as ‘self-control’, which 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. .
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..
Not reprovable, not self-pleasing, not wroth, not given to wine, no brawler, not greedy for filthy gain, kind to strangers, a lover of what is good, sensible, righteous, set-apart, self-controlled.
These are just some of the clear qualities and characteristics of what a genuine set-apart belief in the Master comprises of and the reason for me highlighting these, is to simply remind us all, that these are qualities that are to be seen in the entire body, not just in leadership, especially if we want to be trustworthy ambassadors that are proclaiming the reign of our Master and are urgent in the mission that is made possible for true genuine believers!.
Sha’ul was giving these instructions to Titos because a setting straight was required, due to the brokenness of crookedness!.
In Crete, there were some things that had aggravated that brokenness, and that was that the people in Crete were not the easiest to work with.
In fact, in Chapter 1:12, Sha’ul says that even one of their own prophets said that all Cretans are always liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons!
These are thought to be words that are quoted from Epimenides, who was a Cretan poet and philosopher from the sixth century B.C.E. and who was widely believed to be a ‘religious prophet’, although the quotation may originally have referred to a particular lie that was being proclaimed at the time, which was that Zeus was buried in Crete, and this was especially offensive to those who believed that Zeus was still alive.
By Sha’ul’s day, this saying of Cretans being lazy, evil liars, had become a proverb which merely emphasized the low reputations of Cretans, which was generally held by most.
So little did others think of the Cretans, that the verb ‘krētizō’ was invented to mean “to lie”.
The Cretans needed healing and Titos had to realise that he was dealing with damaged goods. A lesson that we can all do well to learn and realise, as there are many out there who are in need of some straightening out and are clearly damaged property, due to the corruption of inherited lies! .
Crete, which is written in Greek as Κρήτη Krētē – Strong’s G2914, is believed to come from a word that has the meaning of being, ‘carnal, fleshly’ and I find this very fitting, as it truly speaks of those who walk after the flesh rather than in the Spirit!
And, in essence, this could be phrased as,
“the sons of the flesh are always liars, and are evil creatures that are greedy and lazy”..
For many, this may seem to be a sad and misguided generalization; however, what we see from Scripture, is that if the Truth is not in you then you are a liar!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:4-5 “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 perfected1 in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Those who walk in the flesh are never content and they are only seeking that which is for self-gain, and are extremely lazy in making any effort toward others!.
What has all this got to do with me? You may ask!
Well, … everything!
What made Titos able to be the man for the job?
As mentioned, in verse 4, Sha’ul reminds him who he was:
Titos was a ‘genuine child according to the belief in Messiah’.
That is what made him able to the task of straightening others out!
He was the real deal and he walked the walk.
How about you?.
Our ability to lead others in to the Truth, must be from the walk of walking in that Truth wholeheartedly, otherwise we are only going to lead others astray and be unable to straighten out any crookedness in others.
If we are to be genuine ambassadors that are equipped to straighten things out, we had better make sure that all has been straightened out in our own lives, for if they are not then we cannot be the genuine child that we are called to be!
Titos was well skilled and he was well versed in the Word.
He was a man who was man enough for the task – and let me remind you that Sha’ul had high standards – the very standards that are given to us in the Torah – nothing less, nothing more! So, these standards are not too high – they are perfect set-apart standards for genuine belief! .
Titos had to be bold enough to rebuke those liars, so that they become sound in their belief and we know from Scripture, that the Word is useful for rebuking and setting straight:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”.
It is the Word that sets people straight and this is how Titos was to do it: by the teaching of the Word, as he would have to set straight all the false and twisted teachings that had been corrupting so many.
Sha’ul goes on to remind him that all matters are clean to the clean, but those who are defiled and unbelieving, no matter is clean, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
Now, we can clearly understand why so many are not even bothered in their conscience, when they are clearly walking out of line, simply because, in their crookedness, they do not see the clean for clean. .
Those with crooked bones are unable to rightly divide the Truth and they do not even bother about it! Isn’t that so true of so many professing believers today, especially those of the Christian group!
Titos/Titus 1:16 “For they profess to know Elohim, but in their works they deny Him – being abominable and disobedient and unfit for any good work”
What we must understand here, is that Titos was dealing with a people who were claiming to be upright and saved, yet their lives did not reflect any obedience to the Torah whatsoever!
Their lives did not reflect the Good works that have been prepared for us in advance to do!
These were a people who wanted the blessings of Elohim, but they were still following after the ways of the pagan rooted belief systems they had been brought up in, in their attempt at worshipping יהוה; and they were in much need of having their lives set straight, by setting things in order..
יהוה is very clear, in His Word, that we are not follow the ways of the nations and worship Him as they worship their false mighty ones.
Here are 3 passages, from the Torah, where יהוה makes this very clear:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 18:3-5 “Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim, where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kenaʽan, where I am bringing you, and do not walk in their laws. 4 ‘Do My right-rulings and guard My laws, to walk in them. I am יהוה your Elohim. 5 ‘And you shall guard My laws and My right-rulings, which a man does and lives by them. I am יהוה.”.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 12 :28-32 “Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim. 29 “When יהוה your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’ 31 “Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. 32 “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.”.
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:9-14 “When you come into the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those gentiles. 10 “Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 “For whoever does these are an abomination to יהוה, and because of these abominations יהוה your Elohim drives them out from before you. 13 “Be perfect before יהוה your Elohim, 14 for these nations whom you are possessing do listen to those using magic and to diviners. But as for you, יהוה your Elohim has not appointed such for you.”.
Some in Crete were also following after, and paying attention to, the Yehuḏi fables and commands of men, who were turning many away from the Truth.
What is a fable?
Well, pretty much anything that is sold as truth but is not!
This is a huge warning for us today too, as so many are leaning heavily toward the need to follow, and pay attention to, rabbinical teachings and insights that, admittedly, can come across as very ‘nice’ and appetising for us, yet we must be warned to not eat of their fruit, as those teaching them are people who turn from the Truth and are clearly denying the Messiah!
Do not handle – do not touch – do not taste!
Many people today, are coming out of the church (circus) system of perceived worship and find that they are going in the opposite direction or rather, over to the other side of the road, into another ditch, by falling prey to rabbinical sources and traditions, in an attempt to having their bones set straight, or so they think, and this will only cause them to be deformed even further, in the opposite direction. .
Sha’ul goes on to tell Titos that he must simply speak truth; not what the fable speakers speak, but that which is fitting for sound teaching – and that is the Word! .
SPEAK WHAT IS FITTING FOR SOUND TEACHING!
The time that Sha’ul was speaking of, is certainly upon us as we take note of how true his words to Timotiyos are, especially as we are able to easily recognise how sound teaching is scoffed at and most people are turning their ears to that which feeds their own fleshly desires and causes them to vainly justify their lawlessness and compromised lifestyles, as something that they deem acceptable, according to their own standards, while the clear standards of Elohim are being so easily set aside, or are being excused away as being something that is irrelevant and inconvenient!
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.”.
In the Greek text the word that is translated as ‘sound’, here in Titos/Titus 2:1 and Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:3, is ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 which is a verb that means, ‘to be sound, to be safe and sound, to be whole, to be healthy’, and is also used in the Greek as a metaphor for believers whose opinions are free from any mixture of error.
In other words, it is used as a metaphor to describe how pure, clean, healthy and sound the witness and speech of true believers are! .
Genuine believers listen to sound teachings and they speak sound words, as they do not lie or twist truths in order to satisfy and appease the desires of the flesh and, in a sense, they do not speak with a ‘fork-tongue’!.
One’s speech can often give away what they have been listening to! How is your speech? What are you allowing your ears to hear?.
This Greek word for ‘sound’ – ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 – comes from the primitive root word ὑγιής hugiēs – Strong’s G5199 which means, ‘sound, whole, healthy, restored, normal’.
The word ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 can be understood as describing something that is healthy and physically well.
It is from this word, that we are able to recognise the English word ‘hygiene’ which was derived in the 1670s from the French word hygiène, but ultimately comes from these Greek words that we are discussing here..
According to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the English word ‘hygiene’ is defined as follows:
1) A science of the establishment and maintenance of health
2) Conditions or practices (as of cleanliness) conducive to health.
I think that the meaning of this word is very clear, as it represents that which is good for your health and includes the necessary practices that are required to stay healthy!
With this understanding, we are able to get better insight into the words of Sha’ul as we consider how sick most people are today and are in desperate need of healing!
While this may literally be true, what I am talking about, is how sick most are when it comes to their knowledge and application of the Truth!.
The Greek word ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 is used 12 times in the Renewed Writings and I would therefore like to take a look at some of these occurrences, in order to grasp our need to be people who are bearing sound teachings and not falling away to poisoning myths and man-made doctrines that are killing people rather than giving the life-giving words of our Master!.
The first time that we see this word ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 being used, is in:
Luqas/Luke 5:31-32 “And יהושע answering, said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
In these recorded words of our Master, the Greek word ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 is translated here as ‘well’ and as we can see from these words, our Master makes it clear who is well and sound/healthy and who is not.
From this passage it is abundantly clear that the righteous are the ‘well’ ones and the sinners are the sick!
Those who guard righteousness are healthy and well, whereas sinners are sick and in need of our Master’s ‘sound words’ of healing!.
When looking at these two verses, we must recognise what being righteous entails; and we can see a clear definition of what righteousness is for us, in the following verse:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.’”
This verse could not be clearer!!!
Guarding the commands of Elohim is righteousness for us and by doing so, it keeps us healthy and well. ..
The Greek word that is used here, in Luqas/Luke 5:31, for ‘sick’ is κακῶς kakōs – Strong’s G2560 which means, ‘be sick, be diseased, miserable, sick people’, and comes from the root word κακός kakos – Strong’s G2556 which means, ‘evil, wicked, bad things, loathsome, wrong’.
This Greek word κακῶς kakōs – Strong’s G2560 can have the meaning of ‘being physically ill’, as well as describing, morally, ‘the evil, reviling and improper words or speech of the unrighteous’..
Sin has corrupted mankind and has caused the life of man to be drained out, through a decaying process, as we are clearly able to understand the words that Elohim spoke to Aḏam, when He said that in the day that he would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which he was commanded not to, he would die (Berěshith/Genesis 2:17)!
In the Hebrew, we see this phrase in Berěshith/Genesis 2:17 – “you shall certainly die” – being written as:
מוֹת תָּמוּת moth tamuth
This is a phrase that contains the repetition of the same root word, which is the root word מוּת muth – Strong’s H4191 which means, ‘to die, surely be put to death, perished, dying’; and the literal translation of these two words being repeated are best rendered as, “dying you shall die”.
So, what we see from this, is that sin causes a process of death to be started, as the ‘life’ begins to depart from man over a process of time.
It is not that when you sin you die straight away but rather, the body or life you have begins on a path to death because of sin!
Sin has left man in a state of decay and headed for death and in desperate need of a physician to heal and restore health and life, which can only be done by our Master, Elohim, Saviour and Kinsman Redeemer, יהושע Messiah!
He makes it clear that He came for the sick and He came to call sinners to repentance.
Our Master’s sacrifice satisfies, once for all, the required blood, for all who turn away from wickedness and sin and call upon His Name and then and diligent in guarding to do what He commands, guarding righteousness and walking in the healthy and sound Word of His Torah!
Without His sound Word we cannot walk well and be healthy and therefore, to turn away from His sound teachings is simply a foolish thing to do and fools are headed for death, not life!.
In Sha’ul’s first letter to Timotiyos, we see the following:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:8-10 “And we know that the Torah is good if one uses it legitimately, 9 knowing this: that Torah is not laid down for a righteous being, but for the lawless and unruly, for the wicked and for sinners, for the wrong-doers and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for those who whore, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and for whatever else that is contrary to sound teaching”
Many have twisted Sha’ul’s words that are written here and they make foolish claims that the Torah is no longer of any use for a righteous being.
What Sha’ul is using here, is court style language where he makes it clear that with the Torah not being laid down for the righteous, he was basically saying that for the righteous there is no sentence of punishment, that can be enforced upon the righteous, because the righteous guard the commands and ‘keep the law’.
The Torah IS laid down for the unrighteous and here Sha’ul expands the list of who is deemed to be unrighteous and ends the list with making it clear that whatever else is contrary to sound teaching can be added to this list!.
He is basically saying that the ‘punishment of the Torah’ is not applied to the righteous!
Another way to express this is basically to say the following:
When you keep the Torah, you are free form the Torah, or, when you keep the law you are free from the law!
What does that mean?
A simple example that can best explain this is as follows:
if you are driving along the road and keep the required speed limit and obey the rules of the road then the police have no authority over you and cannot charge you or fine you for you have not broken any laws but kept them as you should; however, if you go over the speed limit or break any of the rules of the road then you have broken the law and may be liable to the required punishment being laid down/applied upon you!.
As I have said, ‘sound teaching’ refers to the proper healthy teaching of our Master’s Word and anything that runs contrary to that will have the punishment of the Torah being laid down and enforced!.
Sha’ul warned Timotiyos to withdraw from those do not agree with the “sound” (ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198) words of our Master:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:3-5 “If anyone teaches differently and does not agree to the sound words, those of our Master יהושע Messiah, and to the teaching which is according to reverence, 4 he is puffed up, understanding none at all, but is sick about questionings and verbal battles from which come envy, strife, slander, wicked suspicions, 5 worthless disputes of men of corrupt minds and deprived of the truth, who think that reverence is a means of gain – withdraw from such.”.
We are to ‘hold fast’ to the ‘sound words’:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 1:13 “Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in belief and love which are in Messiah יהושע.”
Hold the pattern!
The Greek word that is used here for ‘hold’ is ἔχω echo – Strong’s G2192 which means, ‘to have, hold, consider, obtain, possess’ and expresses an active verb which can render the meaning, ‘to have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep’.
We are also told the following by our Master, in:
Yoḥanan/John 14:21 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Yoḥanan/John 15:10 “If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love.”.
Therefore, to ‘stay’ in the love of Elohim, we must ‘possess’ His commands and that means having a firm grip on the commands, and when we do this, by a genuine belief in the Master, we shall also ‘possess’ and have a firm grip on everlasting life!
Yehuḏah/Jude 1:21 “keep yourselves in the love of Elohim, looking for the compassion of our Master יהושע Messiah unto everlasting life.”.
Among the requirements for an overseer we see the following in Sha’ul’s letter to Titos:
Titos/Titus 1:9 “clinging to the trustworthy word, according to the teaching, in order to be able both to encourage by sound teaching, and to reprove those who oppose it.”
Clinging to the trustworthy Word of our Master is a vital requirement for any believer and in doing so, we are to encourage others with sound teaching as well, and be ready to reprove those who oppose sound teaching, when our lives are lined up with the genuine belief of a proper response to the sound Words of our Master and Elohim!
We are to speak what is fitting for ‘sound teaching’! .
This Greek word that we are looking at: ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 is used 8 times in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) and is used to translate the Hebrew word שָׁלוֹם shalom – Strong’s H7965 which means, ‘wholeness, completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, health, prosperity, well-being, safety, protection’, which comes from the primitive root verb שָׁלֵם shalem – Strong’s H7999 which means, ‘to be complete or sound, rewarded, make full restitution’.
I find this extremely interesting and powerful, in teaching us how important the Word of Elohim is for our lives, as it ‘completes us’ in Messiah and keeps us healthy and secure in Him – as long as we stay in Him, that is!.
I hope that you are able to carefully consider how important it is to bear sound teachings and not be deceived by ear tickling teachings that run contrary to the Word of Elohim, especially as we consider the chaos of lawlessness and paranoia that is being widely spread today, and as we also consider the need to guard the sound words of Truth, we must also make sure that we are being genuine, by guarding our mouths from speaking that which is not sound!
How is your speech? What are you listening to? What are you proclaiming?.
Our lifestyle should be reflected by our obedience to the Word and this is what Titos was to teach – he was to teach what the older men were to be like, as well as what the older women were to be like.
He was to urge the young men to be sensible, of which Titos was to be an example of ‘good works’, by leading a complete ‘torah observant’ life in all things, and in his teaching, he was to show no corruptness whatsoever. .
You see, when we stick to the Word and the Word alone, then there will be little opportunity for any corruption to creep in!
It is when we start to ‘add’ those ‘seemingly harmless’ and ‘nice’ traditions that actually have no Scriptural instruction as its teaching, that we can so easily lend ourselves to the danger of having our bones becoming broken again or even become more deformed! .
Titos was to teach the believers how to live – why?
Well, because the sad truth is that many believers often have a way of forgetting how to live according to the commands and instructions of Elohim and they easily forget just how important it is to live set-apart lives.
But why is it that so many tend to forget so quickly?
Firstly, because we live in a ‘pagan’ world, if you will, that is riddled with lawlessness and sin and we are sojourners in a foreign land!
Titos, for example, was teaching in Crete, which was an island populated by… Cretans!
A place that was primarily populated by evil flesh hungering liars and gluttons.
The believers that were living in Crete, were surrounded by a people who were notorious for being pagans – as they did not acknowledge יהוה as Elohim, being the Creator of the Heavens and the earth.
These people were well known for getting drunk, lacking self-control.
The women were huge gossipers, who neglected their families, and the slaves too, were liars, cheats and thieves, and as a nation, they were known for people who disregarded any form of authority whatsoever.
Pretty much sounds like where we all live today!
When you live within a pagan culture system, it often becomes easy to let obedience slip a little, especially under the heightened pressures of darkness that surround us..
When you are surrounded by people telling crude jokes, it can sometimes become hard not to laugh.
When you spend time with people who constantly curse or use vulgar language, it sometimes becomes hard not to pick up some of the sayings and mannerisms.
When you are constantly surrounded by drunkards and swindlers, it can often be very difficult for some to refuse a glass or a ‘drinking challenge’ or a celebration that is promoted as only being able to be done with alcohol!
When you spend time, be it at school or at work, where people cheat to get ahead, it can often become hard not to do the same just to get by and not lose out!
Do you get the picture?
I mean, when almost everyone disobeys thee rules of the road, it becomes easier to do it too – and breaking the speed limit, jumping robots and stop streets etc. is often something that becomes an acceptable practice – all because everyone does it – as the lawless approach within society can be very infectious!
This is how the influence of a pagan society can grip, even the most sincere believers… and I could go on… and what Sha’ul is, in effect, telling Titos, is that he must be teaching them that this must not be so! .
Sadly, it seems to be getting easier and easier for people to compromise when, in essence, the world’s ways are all about compromise to get ahead.
It is called peer pressure and it often squeezes many a believer like you and me! .
What we are to be reminded of, is that we are sojourners here and we need to heed the commands of יהוה, that we may live as we wait for the blessed hope to come!
Tehillah/Psalm 119:19 “I am a sojourner in the earth; do not hide Your commands from me.”.
We must be careful not to get tied down to the world’s ways, so we do not find ourselves becoming crooked and unable to follow the genuine belief in our Master.
We are to walk in the genuine ways of set-apartness, as a called-out people that are being cleansed for יהוה Himself, as a treasured possession, always being ardent, and full of zeal, to do the ‘good works’ of the Torah, in worship unto our Elohim and Saviour!.
Our Master’s saving gift has appeared to all!
Yes… to all and it teaches us to renounce all wickedness!
The Greek word used here for ‘saving gift’ is χάρις charis – Strong’s G5485 meaning, ‘grace, kindness, blessing, gift, favour’. Most translations may have this rendered in English as ‘grace’, and is often understood in the Hebrew as the word חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ – Strong’s H2617 which means, ‘goodness, kindness, deeds of devotion, faithfulness’ and appears 248 times in the Tanak (OT) – almost 2 times more than the Greek word that is translated as ‘grace’ in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.)!!!.
In Titos/Titus 2:12 Sha’ul tells us that this saving gift ‘instructs’ us on how to live in this present age and the Greek word that is used for ‘instructing’ is παιδεύω paideuō – Strong’s G3811 which means, ‘to train children, to chasten, instruct, correct, discipline, correcting, educating’.
This word παιδεύω paideuō – Strong’s G3811 is also used in the following verses:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:7 “If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline?”
We also see this word παιδεύω paideuō – Strong’s G3811 being used in the clear wakeup call that is given to the lukewarm assembly in:
Ḥazon/Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I reprove and discipline. So be ardent and repent.”
Now, we can clearly see what this saving gift does: it disciplines us, teaches us, rebukes us and calls us to repentance and calls us to turn away from living in sin! .
Sha’ul goes on and explains to us what this gift actually instructs us to do:
RENOUNCE WICKEDNESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS:
The Greek word that is translated as ‘renounce’ is ἀρνέομαι arneomai – Strong’s G720 which means, ‘say no to, deny, disown, refuse’..
What are we to say no to and deny or refuse to partake in?
1 – WICKEDNESS
The Greek word that is translated as ‘wickedness’ is ἀσέβεια asebeia – Strong’s G763 which means, ‘impiety, wickedness, lack of reverence’ as well as meaning, ‘a neglect or violation of duty toward Elohim’
2 – WORLDLY LUSTS
The Greek word that is translated as ‘worldly’ is κοσμικός kosmikos – Strong’s G2886 which means, ‘pertaining to the world’ in the sense of, ‘having the character of this present corrupt age, belonging to the world’.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lusts’ is ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 which means, ‘lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting’.
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 the world system that seeks only to satisfy the flesh. The saving gift disciplines us to disown and say no to the fleshly things, in order to live genuine set-apart lives according to the Kingdom of Messiah!
And this is exactly what the Torah (instructions) of יהוה does!!!.
To desire and lust after the fleshly matters of this world, renders one being sold under sin, while the Torah is spiritual and as genuine children of the belief, having been redeemed from sin, we must disown that which we once owned and that which once enslaved us, as we live as trustworthy ambassadors and sojourner here as genuine believers, 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 so 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).
Ok so it teaches us to say no to that which we must say no to, while at the same time it also teaches us how we are to live:
1 – Sensibly – which we have already discussed
2 – Righteously – which have already discussed as well
3 – Reverently – The Greek word that is translated as ‘reverently’ is εὐσεβῶς eusebōs – Strong’s G2153 which means, ‘reverently, piously, devout’ which expresses a pure devotion and commitment, to the proper respect and honour that is to be given unto our Master and Elohim..
This gift of life instructs us how to live a sober, upright life that walks in the fear of Elohim, with eyes fixed on Messiah, as we look forward with great expectancy His soon return – the return of our Beloved Saviour who gave Himself for us in order to redeem us from ALL LAWLESSNESS!
Yes – He redeemed us from ALL LAWLLESSNESS!!!.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘lawlessness’ in Titos/Titus 2:14 is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458 which means, ‘lawlessness or lawless deeds, unrighteousness’ and comes from the word ἄνομος anomos – Strong’s G459 which means, ‘lawless or without law, transgressors’..
This verse is very loud and clear – Messiah redeemed us from ‘lawlessness’.
If this is the case, which it is, then that means we are no longer lawless, but rather, we can now freely run in the commands of Elohim and no longer be without law and doing lawless deeds.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘redeem’ is λυτρόω lutroō – Strong’s G3084 which literally means, ‘to release by paying a ransom, redeem’.
In other words, Messiah has paid the price for us and released us from lawlessness, by paying the ransom for our lives with His Blood..
Sha’ul tells us in:
Romiyim/Romans 6:18 “And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.”
Released from lawlessness and here, Sha’ul is saying that we have been ‘set free from sin’ – and the Greek word for ‘sin’ is ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 which means, ‘sin, failure, miss the mark, to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong’, and also carries the meaning of, ‘wandering from the law of Elohim, violate the law of Elohim’.
So, in other words, we can see that The Master יהושע Messiah, has redeemed us and set us free from all lawlessness and sin, in order that we never wander from, or violate, the Torah..
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:4 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”
This verse spells it out very plainly for those who seem to miss the fact that to not walk in the Torah is sin!
It is as though Yoḥanan was spelling out this fact very bluntly and is being very straightforward for those who struggle with a Greek mind-set and see no need to walk in the Torah!
Well, right here in the Greek it is clear: If you are lawless (that is to walk contrary to the Torah) then you are indeed sinning!
ἁμαρτία hamartia – Strong’s G266 is ἀνομία anomia – Strong’s G458
When we understand this very simple truth, then we can see plainly what Yoḥanan is saying in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:18 “We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
This is a very sobering verse, as it is clear that everyone who is born of Elohim does not sin, but guards themselves – how?
By hearing, guarding and doing the Torah!
What he is, in effect, saying here, is that anyone who is born of Elohim does not keep wandering from the law of Elohim!
So many confessing believers, who claim to be born of Elohim, continue to wander from the need to walk in the Torah and this means only one thing – they have not been born of Elohim!!! And… they are not genuine children of the belief in Messiah!
Redeemed from lawlessness and cleansed to be a lawful and faithful Bride – that is our call in Messiah!!!.
His saving gift has come with very clear instructions!
Are you following them, as you dress yourself daily in Him, guarding the gift of life, as you walk diligently in His Torah and express your love for Elohim with great zeal in doing the good works that have been prepared beforehand for us to do?
Are you being genuine in your belief of our Master and His Word?.
We have been given a priceless gift – one that we are to be daily adorned with, as we put on the Master יהושע Messiah and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh. .
Are you ‘wearing’ this saving gift each and every day, as you offer up your lives as a daily living sacrifice or, do you find at times that you are neglecting the gift and refuse to be trained and disciplined by it, and wander from the call to be living sensibly, righteously and reverently in this present age?.
The saving gift (grace) comes with instructions! And those instruction are clearly given to us through His Torah.
It is time for the True Bride of Messiah to rise up and live sensibly in the present age and be urgent in calling many out from the drunken state of lawlessness, as we shine our clear commitment to not be found wandering from the Law of Elohim, proving that we are genuine children of the belief that are seeing that the mission of our sojourning here as ambassadors is possible – only if we are genuine!
How are you living in the gift of Elohim?
Are you following the instructions or not, for His gift is a gift that comes with instructions – let us guard to do them, as we recognise our obligation to the Covenants of Promise that we have been brought near to by the Blood of Messiah, aměn!
Anyone who claims to be under grace, yet disregards the Torah while claiming to be the bride, is not a part of the True Bride, but is rather a part of an apostate bride that is headed for destruction and will clearly be revealed as not being genuine believers!!!
Hear the call for the True Bride to stand up and, together with the Spirit, say, “Come!”
Let us delight ourselves in walking in the Torah (instructions) that came with the saving gift of Elohim!.
The Torah teaches us set-apart living and it has appeared to all – but who will embrace it is the question – as most will not.
But we who are staying in the Master have and we must therefore allow it to change us – ‘break our bones’, if need be, and set us straight in the Way, equipping us to live with genuine reverence, right here and now!.
Titos was told to speak these matters and urge and convict with all authority and let no one despise him – and that is our call today.
As a genuine child of the faith – speak these matters and be not despised!.
He was to remind the believers to be subject to authorities and obey!
You know what that means?
You must adhere the road rules, as an example – and all else, that is!
There are some who are professing to be believers, yet they will drive without license or drive an unlicensed car and excuse it away with petty reasons.
This is just a small example of how a genuine child of the belief does not live. .
What areas, if any, in your life are you not being genuine in your belief about?
There is a clear mission that our Master has ‘commissioned’ us all with and it is only possible if you’re genuine.
Are there any bad habits that you just seem to be refusing to let go of?
It might not be breaking any laws of the land, but it sure may be breaking your ability to be a genuine child of the belief, able to teach and speak sound doctrine, as your walk may be a little crooked!
Chuck out, throw off and discard the habits that you know are not fitting for a genuine child of the belief and be ready to do good works!
For if you do not, you are only crippling your walk and ability to be upright in Him!
For what – a stupid little habit of the flesh that has you living like a Cretan?.
Do not quarrel, but be gentle! This must have been tough for Titos at times and he needed the encouragement, as many would be in his face when the Word would convict them.
One thing we must not forget, and that is that we too were once as the Cretans were – all fleshly and hardly any spirit, serving lusts and pleasures etc..
But as we all look intently into the mirror of the Word, I am sure, we can testify to the favour, compassion, peace and love of Elohim our Saviour and the more that we embrace and learn His Torah, the more we will understand it and grow in our knowledge of our Elohim and Saviour.
What we must also be careful of, is simply this: Do not forget to apply that which you learn!
There are far too many who are “knowledge hungry” and want to know all the facts and know all the verses, in order to appear to be Set-apart before others, yet what they are not hungry for is “righteousness” – as that is the ability to do what is commanded. .
Righteousness as a verb – is an obedient response in living out the commands of Elohim! (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25!)
There are so many people who can recite many verses, yet their life certainly does not reflect the standard of set-apart living, which they so quickly and foolishly confess with their lips.
We are to get knowledge, yes, and we are to get understanding and we are to study His Word, grow in His Word and meditate on His Word – day and night – so that we will be successful and prosperous in all that we do!
We are not to just be found hoarding up knowledge so that we can win an argument –and let me tell you, there are many out there who are doing just that.
At times, I get some email requests for information on a specific Scripture, yet never get to see the person actually engaging in genuine Torah observance or community living, for some people just want the knowledge, in order to win some fight that they are in or are preparing for, so that they can look as though they know what the Word means, yet are never engaging in building a genuine belief, as the fruit of tehri lives does not match up with their confession – this is selfishness and it is not fitting for a genuine child of the belief!.
We must hear Sha’ul’s words here, especially these in Chapter 3:
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.”.
We have His trustworthy Word, and that is sufficient for us – we do not need fables, traditions or the commands of men, in order to maintain the Good Works of His Word.
Let us keep our minds upon His word!
That means that your mind is not to wander after the flesh like a gluttonous Cretan!
And make sure that you keep away from ‘foolish’ questions and genealogies and arguments and strife over the Torah. For quite frankly there is nothing to argue about – as Sha’ul says that it is unprofitable and useless!
Get into questions of the Torah, yes – for this is how we get to learn and grow!
Just stay away from foolish questions and I am sure that you all know what I mean, and in the process of walking upright, be prepared to reject a divisive man after the 1st and 2nd warnings!
In other words, there is always opportunity to reach one who is clearly divisive – but we reach him with the Word of Truth, which will itself be a warning to him.
Iron that sharpens iron, is not having a fight or duel to the death with someone over matters of the Torah. In fact, if you understand how iron is sharpened by iron, then you would realise that it is done in a controlled manner with delicate precision.
Iron is not ‘sharpened’ in a sword fight!
In a fight, it becomes blunt through use and therefore the sharpening that is needed is in the controlled environment of learning and growing, as one yields to the teaching of Torah.
Sadly, so many people today have the misconception that concept of ‘iron sharpens iron’ refers to those who rub you the wrong way and this is not true – that is simply battles – and for that your sword (that is His word in you) must be sharp and ready – in and out of season.
The true sharpening comes when we engage weekly in immersing ourselves as a community in the Torah on the Shabbat and then continue to meditate on it day and night!
The bottom line is this – if you do not live according to sound doctrine, then quite frankly you do not believe the sound doctrine!
After all, the Word tells us that the righteous – that is – those who are living righteous lives in keeping the Torah of Elohim – will live by belief! They will live by what they hear from the pure Word, for belief comes by hearing and hearing by the Word and the belief of the righteous results in good works – that is – His Torah commands, that are here for us right here and now, as a set-apart people who are genuine in their pursuit of apartness!.
Titos was confronted by a lot of the issues that we are confronted with today, and some of you may still need a lot of ‘straightening out’ to be done in your own life, which may require a few bones to be broken, spiritually speaking, in order to set you right on the path of righteousness, while others will have to be urgent about ‘setting straight’ many who you see each day.
Be encouraged by the Word to know that we have His Truth and the mission that He has given us, to make disciples, is not impossible, for as Sha’ul wrote to the believers in Philippi:
Pilipiyim/Philippians: 4:13 “I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.”.
As we have gleaned a little more insight through this short letter, my hope is that you are stirred unto good works and that your fervency to walk in righteousness grows immensely, as you walk as a ‘genuine’ child according our common belief..
MISSION POSSIBLE –
ONLY IF YOU’RE GENUINE!.
Be genuine and make it possible, for in Messiah it is….!
He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says….
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you peace!