Shabbat Shalom all,
Ya’aqoḇ/James 2:12 “So speak and so do as those who are to be judged by a Torah of freedom.”
In his clear message of having belief with works, Ya’aqob makes it plain in telling us to speak and do as those who are to be judged by a Torah of freedom.
Ya’aqob/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.”
Tonight I want us to be reminded of this vital truth – and that is – as we look perfectly into the Torah of Elohim and walk according to it, doing all that has been commanded us to do, then we are able to understand and experience a true walk of freedom! In a world that promotes a ‘different’ freedom, or rather a ‘lawless freedom’, we begin to realise the intense persecution that comes against the set-apart ones who live according to the Torah of freedom. Tonight in a message called, “SPEAK AND DO ACCORDING TO THE TORAH OF FREEDOM”, I want us to be strengthened and encouraged to continue to speak and do this perfect Torah that we look into and daily meditate on, even when persecution increases against us, as proclaimers and doers of the Truth! Please turn with me to Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 20:1-13 (Read)
I am often greatly encouraged and challenged when reading Yirmeyahu, as it certainly is a very powerful book that carries such vital lessons for us in these last days, where the lawless sneer at the words and actions of the righteous remnant that are being bold in their proclamation and execution of the Truth!
In the previous chapter Yirmeyahu, being instructed by יהוה, delivered a severe rebuking message and warning to the sovereigns of Yehuḏah and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim; of how יהוה was about to break this people as one breaks a potter’s vessel. They had shed innocent blood, offered up false worship on high places to Ba’al and had stiffened their necks so as to not hear the words of יהוה.
Yirmeyahu was a faithful prophet who, under the most life threatening circumstances, did not waver in his need to speak and do all that יהוה had called him to speak and do! At the beginning of this chapter, we see the initial response to the very clear words of rebuke given to a rebellious and wicked people, who had assumed a false sense of freedom to do as they wish. As soon as Yirmeyahu had finished speaking the message of יהוה, the priest and chief governor heard that Yirmeyahu had prophesied the words of יהוה, and in great arrogance and pride he came and struck Yirmeyahu and put him in the stocks that were in the gate of Binyamin. This priest and chief governor’s name was פַּשְׁחוּר Pashḥur – Strong’s H6583 which means, ‘freedom’, and comes from the root verb פָּשַׁח pashaḥ – Strong’s H6582 which means, ‘to tear in pieces, torn loose, torn to pieces’. And he was the son of אִמֵּר Immĕr – Strong’s H564 which means, ‘he has said’, which comes from the root verb אָמַר amar – Strong’s H559 which means, ‘to utter, say, speak’. As we consider this priest and chief governor’s name, we are able to see that he is a clear picture of those who ‘speak a freedom’, yet we need to ask – what freedom are they speaking and proclaiming? When we consider the root word that his name comes from – meaning to tear to pieces, torn loose – we can also be reminded of the time that the prophet Aḥiyah tore his new garment into 12 pieces and told Yaroḇ’am to take ten, when the reign of Shelomoh was to be torn out of his hand. This ‘tearing’ apart of the reign of Shelomoh was due to the nation being rebellious and not doing what was right in the eyes of יהוה, having bowed themselves to the false mighty ones of the nations, and had neglected their need to guard the commands of יהוה! (Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 11)
For most of us, when we heard the pure undiluted truth, we were in many ways torn to pieces, so as to be brought to the true place of walking in true freedom, yet this is not what this Pashḥur, son of Immĕr, represents. This false priest who was governing the House of יהוה, is a picture of that which represents a man-made theology of freedom. According to Christian theology, freedom to the Christian is to have the Torah of Elohim torn up and destroyed! This is not true freedom!!! Christianity today pictures for us those who ‘speak’ a freedom, yet their assumed freedom that has torn away the need to walk in the Torah of Elohim, leaves them unable to match up their words with the true works of freedom that is according to the Torah, as their words are empty and vain. Ya’aqob clearly rebukes those who claim a faith system without works, as he makes it clear that he not only speaks a freedom, but also does according to that Torah of freedom – making His words and deeds line up in accordance to a true freedom that we have been given in Messiah! True freedom is set with boundaries, boundaries that protect one from harm and the fear of the enemy, while a freedom without proper boundaries simply leaves one defenceless and an open prey for terror and the fear of the enemy to attack and destroy one’s life, as well as the unpreparedness for a judgement that is coming upon the lawless, or rather, those who have torn down the boundaries of the Torah!
Yirmeyahu was appointed to speak and do what יהוה had commanded Him, and so too are we, as set-apart ones of Messiah, appointed to speak and do according to the Torah of Freedom!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 26:2 “Thus said יהוה, ‘Stand in the courtyard of the House of יהוה, and speak to all the cities of Yehuḏah, which come to bow themselves in the House of יהוה, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.”
DO NOT DIMINISH A WORD!!! The Hebrew word translated as ‘diminish’ is גָּרַע gara – Strong’s H1639 which means, ‘to diminish, restrain, withdraw, cut off, limit, reduce, take away, keep back, clip or cut off’. When we are to speak and do according to the Torah, then we cannot and must never ‘diminish’ the Truth! We cannot ‘keep back and restrain, or reduce’ the clear Truth we are to speak and do! Sadly so many are doing this today, as they are often afraid of speaking straight, as they do not want to offend their hearers with the Truth! When one is afraid to be bold in speaking and doing the Torah without diminishing the clear Truth, then they simply are assuming a self-appointed position of being a mediator between those who need to hear the Truth and the One who has clearly spoken!!! We must speak and do what is right and never water down the Words of יהוה. In a critical time of urgency, we are to be proclaimers and doers of the truth – no compromise and no diminishing! I had a very open debate with someone this past week who claims to be proclaiming the Sabbath and the Feasts and the Torah to those that they are teaching, yet their hearers are not doing what is being proclaimed! While they are proclaiming the teachings of the Word, the inability to actually teach others to do the Word and not be hearers alone, renders their proclamation of an assumed freedom as a falsified one!
As we clearly can see through the life of Yirmeyahu, there is no ‘soft approach’ so to speak, there is only the plain Truth approach – one that speaks the Truth without diminishing the need to hear and do what is spoken! In making the Word of יהוה clear and to the point, Yirmeyahu was often rejected and rebuked by hearers who refused to submit to, obey and do the commands of Elohim – and these rebukes and criticisms often came from those who were in assumed positions of authority. Today we need to recognise that we may face, and in fact we will face persecution for speaking and doing according to the Torah! We are told that we who desire to live set-apart lives in Messiah will be persecuted! Living true set-apart lives, like Yirmeyahu, entails our ability and need to speak and do the Torah of Freedom, without diminishing a Word! Those who have an assumed authority in a lawless freedom of a man-made theology will more often than not come against our words and actions, with intense malice and hate for our set-apart lives!
The word translated here in verse 2 as ‘struck’ is –נָכָה ‘naḵah’ – Strong’s H5221– means ‘strike, make physical contact with a blow, cause the destruction of an object, strike with the mouth of the sword, kill’.
It is written in the ‘hiphil’ tense, which expresses a causative action, and so we see that as a result of hearing the truth spoken by Yirmeyahu, this ‘lawless’ priest literally struck him in anger and then ordered that he be locked up in the stocks that were in the gate of Binyamin. The Hebrew word translated as ‘stocks’ is מַהְפֶּכֶת mahpeḵeth – Strong’s H4115 which means, ‘prison, stocks’ and also represents instruments of punishment that compelled a crooked posture or distortion!
This word comes from the root verb הָפַךְ haphaḵ – Strong’s H2015 which means, ‘to turn, overturn, change’.
Stocks were often kept in a special house as a means of torture and punishment, in order to get the prisoner to confess their guilt or change their statements and overturn their accusations. These stocks that Yirmeyahu were put in were not in a closed house, but were in the open – so Yirmeyahu was publicly being displayed in a distorted position, and Pashḥur may have thought that this public display of Yirmeyahu being distorted would have caused Yirmeyahu to stop prophesying and apologise for what he had said and change his words and turn the words he spoke around!
Today we are able to identify how the lawless will often take the Word of truth that is spoken, and publicly distort these words, in an attempt to have these words nullified before the hearers, as they try to ‘embarrass’ us who speak and do the truth. While Pashḥur tried to make a spectacle of Yirmeyahu, we can see the faithfulness of this great prophet – Yirmeyahu did not apologise for what he had spoken according to the Word of יהוה, but rather he issued an even greater rebuke to Pashḥur! Yirmeyahu rebukes the one who claims a freedom through words alone, words without action – words that have changed or overturned the truth for man-made lies presented as a theology that is to be practiced!
After spending a day in the stocks Yirmeyahu was brought out by Pashḥur with the hope that his words had been changed – and here Yirmeyahu tells him that יהוה has not called this false priest’s name Pashḥur, but rather it was called מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב Magor Missaḇiḇ – Strong’s H4036 which means, ‘terror on every side’ and comes from two words: 1 – מָגוּר magur – Strong’s H4032 which means, ‘fear, terror, panic’ and 2 – סְבִיבָה seḇiḇah – Strong’s H5439 which means, ‘circuit, roundabout, surrounded’
While Pashḥur may have felt very secure in his assumed freedom, due to lawlessness he would be sent into exile, where he would be surrounded by the fear and terror of the enemy on every side. Those who have torn to pieces or set aside the Torah will face the severe consequences for a ‘freedom of lawlessness’, for any assumed freedom that is set on the wrong foundation will fall, and be exposed to terror. True freedom – that of the Torah – can never cause one to do whatever they please, but rather causes one to do what they should!
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now יהוה is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of יהוה is, there is freedom.”
The Greek word translated as ‘freedom’ is ἐλευθερία eleutheria – Strong’s G1657 which means, ‘liberty, freedom’, and true liberty, even in the Greek mind-set, is living as we should and not as we please!
Simply put – you are free from the law when you obey the law!!! By that I mean that when you obey the law, then you are free from the clear judgements and punishments that are set out in the law. For example, when you obey the speed limit whilst driving, you are free from the judgement of speeding and free from having to stand before a judge and receive a sentence of a fine and/or jail sentence for breaking the speed limit! The same applies to the Torah of Freedom – when you simply obey and walk according to the clear commands of Elohim then the righteous judgement for breaking the law shall not be imposed upon you, for you are free! We are to speak and do AS those who are to be judged by the Torah of freedom! When we speak and do the Torah of Elohim – it becomes a Torah of Freedom to us – and we shall not fear any terror that surrounds the wicked and lawless, for by His Torah יהוה has set pleasant boundaries for us!!!
Yirmeyahu continues to severely rebuke Pashḥur, and makes it clear that he would go into exile and not return, for he would die in his ‘lawless freedom’.
These words were certainly harsh words indeed – and words that would not necessarily have made Yirmeyahu feel good, yet he had to speak and do what is right without tearing or diminishing away from the clear Truth! Those who have prophesied falsehood and lawlessness shall die in their lawlessness, with no true freedom from righteous judgement that will come upon the religious stiff-necked and lawless claimers of a false freedom!
In verses 7-10 we see Yirmeyahu crying out to יהוה and basically saying how the Word of יהוה had gripped him so greatly that he could not keep quiet, and was unable to restrain himself from speaking the Truth, even if he tried! In fact when he did try to keep quiet, the more intense did the need to speak up become – so much so it burned inside him! Have you ever been so pressed to say something, and the more you try to supress the need to speak up the more it burns inside of you, so much so to the point of feeling sick and helpless???
When we faithfully speak and do according to the Torah of Freedom, we will be unable to restrain ourselves from speaking up and speaking out against lawlessness and falsely assumed freedoms that so many are arrogantly claiming as a way of life. When we meditate daily on the Torah and guard to speak and do it, it will grip you inside, so much so that it will burn in you, and while you face ridicule and mockery, you will not be able to keep quiet! If you are able to keep quiet, then perhaps the Word of Elohim has not gripped you as it should – perhaps because you have not allowed His Word to be that which is what you meditate upon day and night! We are living in a time where there is widespread lawlessness, being promoted as freedom, and it is time for the true appointed set-apart ones to speak and cry out!
In verse 8 Yirmeyahu says that whenever he would speak, cry out and proclaim – it would always be about violence and ruin! The Hebrew word for ‘speak’ is דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 meaning, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’, and the word translated as ‘cry out’ is זָעַק zaaq – Strong’s H2199 which means, ‘to cry out, call, issue a proclamation, call together’ and the Hebrew word for ‘proclaim’ is קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 & H7122 which means, ‘call, proclaim, encounter, befall’ and this word can, in a seemingly negative way, bring the meaning to approach and speak to others in an often challenging or aggressive way.
So whenever Yirmeyahu would speak, counsel, declare, cry out in a plea to gather, or summons people to hear – he would be speaking and shouting out violence and ruin! This is obviously not an easy or pleasant thing to be constantly doing, yet amidst the depravity and wickedness of a stiff-necked and lawless people, the only words that were necessary were words of violence and ruin – for that was the Truth! The Hebrew word for ‘violence’ is חָמָס ḥamas – Strong’s H2555 which means, ‘violence, wrong, malicious’. What is interesting to note is the Arabic term ‘hamas’ which is the term used of a militaristic terrorist group which uses politics and violence to achieve its goals!
When people turn aside from the Torah, their lives inevitably resort to a violent and malicious stand against the need to walk according to the Torah. The corrupted state of twisted man-made theologies that have shaped Christianity has inevitably caused many professing believers to show anger toward the thought of simply obeying the Torah; and have therefore corrupted their lives into a state of lawlessness, which assumes that the favour of Elohim has given them license to not adhere to His commands!
The Hebrew word for ‘ruin’ is שֹׁד shod – Strong’s H7701 meaning, ‘violence, havoc, ruin, destruction’ and comes from the root verb שָׁדַד shadad – Strong’s H7703 which means, ‘to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, completely destroy’.
In verse 10 Yirmeyahu states that he hears people mocking him by saying ‘fear on every side’ – which is interesting to take note of here, for it is the same wording that he said Pashḥur would be called – מָגוֹר מִסָּבִיב – magor missaḇiḇ. In other words they were watching Yirmeyahu’s life and waiting for him to mess up and stumble at his own words!!! This we must recognise as a vital lesson for us today – we who speak and do according to the Torah of Freedom, must stand fast in doing so, guarding ourselves from compromise, lest we find those to whom we have proclaimed the Truth, coming and accusing us of not guarding that which we have spoken! Many will simply wait until they can expose you and turn the Truth back on you, and this we must be aware of, causing us to stand steadfast without wavering – and while this can certainly be a tough struggle in itself, we are able to see from Yirmeyahu’s words in verse 11 that he knew where his help came from, and in whom he would find the strength to endure the persecutions, and mocking for speaking and doing the Truth!
Sha’ul warned Timotiyos that there would be a time when most shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear. Yirmeyahu did not tickle the ears of his hearers – he pierced their ears with the truth, and was mocked and ridiculed for doing so! Yirmeyahu states that יהוה was with him like a mighty awesome one!!! This powerful declaration of faith in יהוה, made him strong in recognising that while he was being persecuted and mocked and ridiculed for speaking and doing what was right, those who came against him would not prevail and would stumble in their false accusations and rebuke against the reality of the Truth! – and they shall be ashamed. His call to sing to יהוה and praise יהוה is another vital key in us being able to faithfully be able to speak and do according to the Torah of Freedom!
In the closing verses of this chapter Yirmeyahu’s emotions are greatly gripped, not only by his own situation but also for the state of the nation and the entire world, because what was happening in Yisra’ĕl was frightening, as they were so backslidden and in danger of complete destruction, and this prophet weeps at the depravity of life as it was in his day!
In Chapter 21:1-2 we see that despite all that the religious leaders had done to Yirmeyahu, they knew and had to admit that he had more influence with יהוה than they did, and while seeking this faithful prophet for what יהוה could do for them, were quickly forgetting their disobedience, rendering themselves undeserving of the favour of Elohim! So many today only want to seek יהוה for what they can get out of Him and how they can benefit, while they are blinded to their disobedience disguised as a lawless freedom! In Chapter 21:1 we see another man named Pashḥur, yet this one was the son of Malkiyah – מַלְכִּיָּה Strong’s H4441 meaning, ‘My king is יהוה’. This in many ways is a contrasting picture to the Pashḥur, the son of Immĕr, who struck Yirmeyahu! Our true freedom is understanding our identity and the proclamation of who our King is – יהוה is our King – and our King has Kingdom rules – rules that we live by and rules that we speak and do as faithful set-apart subjects of His coming Kingdom Reign; while others who are erroneously proclaiming a freedom, based on words without action, are unable to faithfully declare the Name of the True King, and are unable to submit to our King’s rules!
As we consider the life of Yirmeyahu may we be encouraged to speak and do according the Perfect Torah of Freedom!
Yirmeyahu – יִרְמְיָהוּ H3414 = ‘Yahweh has appointed/Yah loosens’, and this I find very powerful in helping us understand the life of a true prophet and servant of Elohim, as being one who was appointed to speak and do according to the Word of Elohim, and one who had truly been loosened from bondage of man, enabled to stand firm in the Torah of freedom!
My encouragement and call and cry to you all is to speak and do according to the Torah of freedom, and not be hindered by the ridicule and mocking and persecution that will come from the lawless! Has the word of truth gripped you so intensely within that you have found it hard to keep quiet? If so, then that is good – do not hold it in – speak up and proclaim the Truth without watering it down. Or have you found that when you have spoken the Truth, you have stopped speaking up due to the twisting and distortion of your words that have been thrown back in your face through ridicule and mocking? It is time for us – as appointed set-apart ones – to proclaim the truth – even if it is seemingly violence and ruin every time you speak – do not hold back.
יהוה is to us, like a mighty awesome one – who tries kidneys and hearts – he sees the inward parts of our being, as well as the inwards parts of the lawless – therefore we need not be ashamed of the Besorah – but rather we must proclaim it and live it – and let our lives result in us being a fervent singing and praising people of our Mighty and Awesome Elohim – יהוה of Hosts – because He delivers us from the hand of the evil ones!
SPEAK AND DO ACCORDING TO THE TORAH OF FREEDOM!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!