6th of the 1st month 2020/2021.
Favour to you and peace from Elohim our Father and the Master יהושע Messiah.
As we are just days away from the Pěsaḥ Meal and the Festival of Matzot, I am sure that all of you are very excited, as we find ourselves preparing to Feast with our King. This year is certainly a different setting, as we find that many, like us in South Africa, are under a period of lockdown, due to a deadly disease that is spreading throughout the earth, which has caused us to not be able to have a physical gathering for the Pěsaḥ Meal and the Feast days of Matzot. We will therefore be having the Feast in each of our homes and we will continue to live stream times of gathering, in order to keep being committed to being a people who do not neglect the gathering of the set-apart ones, as we give thanks to our Master that He has given us the ability to do so online.
That being said, we take note that what we are seeing is a clear picture of the birth pains of the end, as we are drawing nearer to the Day of the wrath of our Master and Elohim, and a day when He is coming to fetch His ready and prepared Bride.
While many are completely focused on the chaos and panic that is engulfing all of the nations, we are to be reminded to not lose heart, but rather, we are to hold firm to the sure expectation that we have in our Master, and in doing so, we are to have our eyes fixed on Him and be focused on the Appointed Times of our Master that draws near, with extreme joy and thankfulness for His continued provision, protection, compassion and shalom..
What many of you may not have actually realised, is that this coming Shabbat will be the 10th of the 1st month, the month of Aḇiḇ!
And of course, this is what has typically been understood as ‘lamb selection day’, as it was the day when the spotless lamb would be chosen and be inspected for four days before slaughtering it for the Pěsaḥ Meal.
Shemoth/Exodus 12:3 & 5-6 “Speak to all the congregation of Yisra’ěl, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this new moon each one of them is to take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. … 5 Let the lamb be a perfect one, a year old male. Take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same new moon. Then all the assembly of the congregation of Yisra’ěl shall slay it between the evenings.”.
It was during these 4 days that led up to the sacrifice of our Messiah, that He too was ‘inspected’, in a sense, as He challenged the corrupt practices of the Pharisees and Scribes, who earnestly sought to find fault with Him, yet could not!
Our Master came into Yerushalayim and went to His Father’s house and was examined and questioned for 4 days where no one could find fault:
Luqas/Luke 23:13-15 “And Pilate, having called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 said to them, “You brought this Man to me, as one who turns away the people. And look, I have examined Him in your presence and have found no guilt in this Man regarding the charges which you make against Him, 15 and neither did Herodes, for I sent you back to him. And look, He has done none at all deserving death.”
יהושע was a ‘year old lamb’ as He perfectly came to fulfil the 70 week prophecy of Dani’ěl.
His ministry was 70 weeks and not 3 ½ years; which, if it was, would have rendered Him unable to be the Pěsaḥ Lamb!
What we often find, in our walk of complete belief in Messiah, is that during this time of year, or even for some weeks leading up to the Pěsaḥ and Matzot Feast, is how many are often challenged and confronted with some trying circumstances; which, in a way, is vital in bringing to surface any sin/lawlessness or rebellion that there may be in one’s life, as a hindrance to walking completely in the Truth.
Getting rid of the leaven is certainly a collective theme, or focus, for all true followers of Messiah at this time of year and as we ensure that by the end of the 14th day, that all leaven is out of our homes, we also recognise the lesson of how this practical application, on a physical level, has great impact on us on a spiritual level, seeking to ensure that our lives are not cluttered with the leaven of sin and rebellion.
Sha’ul writes in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:7-8 “Therefore cleanse out the old leaven, so that you are a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Messiah our Pěsaḥ was slaughtered for us. 8 So then let us celebrate the festival, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. , nor with the leaven of evil and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”.
With the focus of ‘cleansing out’ and observing, or serving, without leaven, we recognise that in order to serve and worship the Father in Spirit and Truth, the rotten stuff, or that which can cause rot, must be put out. And this we can only do, when we have truly chosen to serve our Master, The Pěsaḥ Lamb, in complete sincerity and truth, and in a message called, ‘TAKE FOR YOURSELVES A LAMB – MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE!’, I would like to us be encouraged to be a people who are continually serving, in sincerity and truth, because we truly have ‘taken the True Lamb’, in a pure acceptance of His sacrifice for our lives, that we may be cleansed and set apart to serve Him with as a true vessel unto value!.
The Greek word that is used here in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:7 for ‘cleanse’ is ἐκκαθαίρω ekkathairō – Strong’s G1571 which means, ‘cleanse out, cleanse thoroughly, purge’, which comes from the two root words:
1 – ἐκ ek – Strong’s G1537 which means, ‘from, from out of’ and is used as a preposition denoting the origin or point from where the action proceeds; and
2 – καθαίρω kathairō – Strong’s G2508 which means, ‘to cleanse, of filth and impurity; to purge’ and also has the meaning, ‘to prune trees and vines from useless roots’ and metaphorically, it is also understood as ‘cleansing from guilt’..
I find the meanings that these words express, highlight very clearly to us the clear fact that it is only by the Blood of Messiah, that we are able to be cleansed from guilt and be purged from the useless roots that we were held bondage to, in order to be grafted into the True Vine and His Covenants of Promise, by His Blood!
This word ἐκκαθαίρω ekkathairō – Strong’s G1571 is also used in Sha’ul’s letter to Timotiyos:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21 “If, then, anyone cleanses himself from these matters, he shall be a vessel unto value, having been set apart, of good use to the Master, having been prepared for every good work.”
Sha’ul outlined future challenges that Timotiyos would face, challenges, which I believe, we now face too, as we live in these ‘last days’, so to speak..
A time where we clearly see a superficial faith confession being made by so many, who are merely giving a worthless lip service while being further and further corrupted through the lies and false teachings that have been handed down through the generations, being taught by false teachers who are simply motivated by evil desires..
Anyone who cleanses himself from the dross of sin and lawlessness and rebellion, will be a set-apart vessel unto value and of good use to the Master!
The Greek word that is used for ‘vessel’ in Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21 comes from the root word σκεῦος skeuos – Strong’s G4632 which means, ‘vessel, implement, goods, article, jar’, and is used in:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the desire of Elohim: your set-apartness! – that you should abstain from whoring, 4 that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in set-apartness and respect, 5 not in passion of lust, like the gentiles who do not know Elohim, 6 not to overstep and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because the Master is the revenger of all such, as we indeed said to you before and earnestly warned. 7 For Elohim did not call us to uncleanness, but in set-apartness.”.
The Greek word that is used for ‘value’ in Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:21, in the expression, ‘vessel unto value’, comes from the root word τιμή time – Strong’s G5092 which means, ‘(to value, honour), a valuing, price, honour, honourable use, mark of respect’, and is also used in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.”.
This time of year, as we draw closer to Pěsaḥ and Matzot, we are able to celebrate and remember how we were bought with a price and therefore, we must reflect that in our daily lives, as we are valuable vessels in our Master’s hand!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7-10 “And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע , that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.”.
Our Master has covered us with the pure silver of redemption, through His own blood, and purchased for us a redemption that we could not buy for ourselves!
Our response to His purchasing us, is that we make sure that we allow His Word to be that which cleanses us and teaches us how to flee the lusts of the flesh, doing our utmost in presenting ourselves approved to Elohim, as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, by rightly handling the Word of Truth!
What I find very interesting, is that the Greek word that is used here for ‘treasure’ in Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 4:7 is θησαυρός thēsauros – Strong’s G2344 which means, ‘treasure, storehouse, magazine, repository’, and refers to, ‘the place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up’.
The English word ‘thesaurus’, in general use, is a reference work that lists words grouped together according to similarity of meaning (containing synonyms and sometimes antonyms). The main purpose of such reference works is to help the user “to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed”.
Do you see what treasure we have been given?
It is not just some random words, but rather, we have been given the very living Words of our Master, that He has put in us, in helping us ‘find’ the proper words and actions that can be most fitly applied to every situation!
He has put His thesaurus in us, so to speak!!!
His Word is so powerful that it enables us to rightly divide and discern the Truth, so that we can behave and live as true set-apart ones in complete righteousness, even whilst we are in exile, and are faithfully enduring, looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of our great Elohim and Saviour, יהושע Messiah!
His Good and established Word He has put in us, in order that we may be fit for every good work, as we stay in Him and exercise proper reverence!
However, our Master makes it clear to us that we cannot put our hand to the plough, look back and think that we are fit enough! Our eyes must constantly be fixed on the Prince and Perfecter of our faith, not turning to the right or to the left, but rather, we are to be pressing on with great endurance, as fit ones of the Most-High!.
The Greek words that Sha’ul uses in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 5:8 for sincerity and truth are as follows:
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sincerity’ is the root word εἰλικρινεία eilikrineia – Strong’s G1505 which means, ‘clearness, purity, sincerity’ and in the fuller sense of the Greek, it can mean, ‘tested in the light of the sun’, rendering one to be, ‘spotless and completely pure’, and we recognise that this is as a result of the ‘Light of the Word’ bringing to surface the impure, while being tested and cleansed. .
In order to serve the Master in this way – that is, in true sincerity – we cannot have anything that is still hidden in the dark from Him!
We must make sure that the light in us is not darkness!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘truth’ is the root word ἀλήθεια alētheia – Strong’s G225 which means, ‘truth, truly, according to truth’.
The Master יהושע Messiah tells us clearly, in Yoḥanan/John 14:6, that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life – and to walk in the Truth is to walk in Him! In Him in whom there is not spot or blemish – to walk in Him is to walk according to the Truth and in purity of the Truth, as we hear, guard and do His commands!.
As we carefully consider His instructions, on a daily basis, meditating on His Torah day and night, we must make sure that we do not take His work of redemption and the cleansing that He has brought us, lightly. In the washing away of our filth and dirt, He has given us clear and true garments of righteousness that we must keep clean until He returns.
If we do happen to spoil our garments, through sin, we must confess to Him in order that He cleanses us from all unrighteousness, which He is faithful to do, to all who come humbly to Him and acknowledge their sin and lawlessness and rebellion!.
And so, as we approach this up and coming Feast of Unleavened Bread, we also recognise how we are to examine ourselves, in order to ensure that we do not eat this Meal in an unworthy manner, lest we eat and drink judgement upon ourselves, for Sha’ul tells us in:
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 11:26-29 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Master until He comes. 27 So that whoever should eat this bread or drink this cup of the Master unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Master. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. 29 For the one who is eating and drinking unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Master.”
The antonym (word of opposite meaning) to the Greek word εἰλικρινεία eilikrineia (sincerity) is the word ὑπόκρισις hupokrisis – Strong’s G5272 which means, ‘hypocrisy, dissimulation (which is to hide under a false appearance), play acting, pretending’, and our Master certainly condemned the actors of His day who tried to assume the appearance of righteousness, yet when confronted with the Light of the world, their pathetic act was exposed!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:25-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. 26 “Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too. 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”.
Hypocrisy and lawlessness tend to be found in the same dish; and while many desperately try to appear to be wearing the right garments, their lawlessness or rebellion to the Truth is exposed under the pure plumb line of the Truth of the Word of Elohim.
And therefore, I once again say that while the practical obedience to the command of ridding our homes of leaven must be adhered to, on a physical level, and in doing so, it teaches us that we must be prepared to examine ourselves under the inspection and Light of the Truth, in order to ensure that the inside of our hearts are clean and rid of any leaven.
Collectively, we are the ‘House’ or ‘Dwelling Place’ of the Most-High, and if there is a little leaven in any of our lives, we are in danger of destroying the rest!!!
Serving the Master in sincerity and truth is not a game to be found playing without a care – it is the vital conduct that is necessary for daily living!.
And to highlight the seriousness of our choice that we are to make, in whom we shall serve, and the implication of that choice, as we consider this coming Shabbat, being the 10th of the 1st month, commonly understood as ‘lamb selection day’, I would like to briefly go through a passage in Yehoshua/Joshua and dig into some key words, as we carefully consider our words and commitments that we make with our mouths to our Master..
Please go to Yehoshua/Joshua 24:14-25 and read, before proceeding with this teaching..
This passage forms part of Yehoshua’s final address to Yisra’ĕl, and here, in this passage, he challenged them to serve יהוה, without hypocrisy.
By the redemptive work of the Master יהושע Messiah, in whom we have the assurance of a promised inheritance, we are to hear these very clear words of Yehoshua, given to a people who had been given what they did not labour for!!!.
Having received the cleansing of our Master, as we partake of His body and blood at the Pěsaḥ Meal, we also realise that we are to ‘work out our deliverance with fear and trembling’, and in this passage, Yehoshua makes it clear on how we are to do just that!.
In verse 14 we see that the call that was being given to a people who had been redeemed and delivered, were being instructed to:
1 – Fear יהוה
2 – Serve יהוה in perfection and in truth
3 – Put away the mighty ones your fathers served
4 – Serve יהוה
In effect, Yehoshua was presenting them with the responsibilities of possessing the inheritance that יהוה had given them and the effectual results of choosing יהוה..
Let us take a closer look at these 4 clear instructions that are being given to us, through this passage:
1 – Fear יהוה
In the Hebrew text, the phrase that is translated as ‘And now fear יהוה’, is written as follows:
וְעַתָּה יְראוּ אֶת־יהוה – v’attah yiru eth YAHWEH.
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘now’ is עַתָּה attah – Strong’s H6258 which means ‘now, at this time’ and with the conjunction of the letter – וְ – ‘waw’ it renders ‘and now’ or ‘but now’, and here, the emphasis on the call to ‘fear NOW’ is very clear and the Hebrew word for ‘fear’ comes from the root word יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 which means, ‘to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect’ and in the tense that this is written in (qal active), it actually carries the meaning of, ‘to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, honour, respect’.
It is NOW time to FEAR יהוה – it is NOW time to stand in awe and live reverently, in total respect to our Master – the very thing that cannot be put off until another time!
The call is to fear יהוה NOW – in the present – wherever you are or wherever you find yourself!.
We do not have to look too far today, as we see the hypocrisy and lawlessness of so many, who truly lack the proper fear of יהוה.
The responsibility of possessing our inheritance, begins with a reverent fear of יהוה.
The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom.
Yisra’ĕl was being called to have a reverence for the Elohim of such infinite power, and fear to not offend Him and forfeit His goodness, and to constantly maintain an awe of His majesty, having total respect for Him and giving esteem unto His authority, whilst maintaining a great fear of His displeasure, in having a continual regard for His ‘all-seeing’ eye upon them!
That same call to ‘NOW’ fear יהוה, given to Yisra’ĕl back then, has not changed for us today – it is still the same call to: ‘NOW’ fear יהוה.
I am not always sure if whether most, who claim today to follow יהושע, actually fear displeasing Him!!!
We are to have such a high and devoted reverence for Him, that we would not even think about displeasing Him in any way, so much so that that the reverence of who He is, and what He has done for us, would cause us to continually make right choices, in line with His Word.
When we fail to do this, we are, in fact, in danger of not heeding this clear instruction to ‘NOW’ fear יהוה.
True fear of Elohim equips the believer to ‘serve’ Him; and Yehoshua tells us how we are to serve Him:.
2 – Serve יהוה in perfection and in truth
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘perfection’ is תָּמִים tamim – Strong’s H8549, which means, ‘perfect, without blemish, complete, sound, and blameless, without defect’, and comes from the primitive root word תָּמַם tamam – Strong’s H8552 which means, ‘to be complete, to be finished, be at an end’.
He is perfect and His work is perfect and He calls us to be ‘perfect’ in Him!
The Word calls for us to serve יהוה with a perfect heart!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 18:13 “Be perfect before יהוה your Elohim”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:48 ““Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.”
“Be perfect”, is often a hard expectation, if understood in the wrong way, but what does it means to be perfect or have a perfect heart?
To not have a perfect heart often speaks of one who may have even began well, yet did not endure to the end – it can speak of one who does not carry on to completion that which they are called to! It can be a ‘doing right, but…’ kind of scenario.
There are to be no ‘buts’ in our committed life unto יהוה!
So, when we are told to be תָּמִים tamiym – ‘perfect’, we are told we are to be complete, and be mature in our thoughts and actions.
We are to move on to maturity, which comes through the perseverance of trials, in order to be complete and not lack anything.
It is those who are immature – those who stay on the milk of the Word, who cannot walk perfect before יהוה.
Although many ought to be teachers by now, they have not moved on to maturity in the Word and stumble continually through their inability to take responsibility of seeking, learning and growing in the Truth, as they would either wait for others to spoon feed them continually, or hold fast to, and rely upon, the man-made traditions that have held people captive on ‘sour milk’..
The Hebrew word for ‘serve’ comes from the primitive root verb עָבַד aḇad – Strong’s H5647 which means, ‘to work, serve, become slaves, cultivate, perform, serve, worship’, and carries the understanding of ‘expending considerable energy and intensity in performing a task or function’ – in other words – ‘giving it your all’!.
From this primitive root verb, which we get the noun עֶבֶד eḇed – Strong’s H5650 which means, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’.
In the ancient pictographic script, the words עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 and עָבַד aḇad – Strong’s H5647 are pictured as follows:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and is pictured as ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which is a picture of ‘a tent floor plan’ and carries the meaning of, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself..
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’.
It can also have the meaning of ‘a back and forth movement’ as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point.
It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or ‘hanging’ as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access..
When we look at this word, in the ancient script for a servant, or one who serves, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE!.
This is what our Master calls us to do; and when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah!.
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”.
And as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה, called to ‘serve’ in perfection and in truth.
True service that is perfect must be done ‘in Truth’ or else it is just vain service!.
The Hebrew word for ‘truth’ is אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, and this word carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability – and we know that The Word of יהוה is truth:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
Tehillim/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.”
Tehillim/Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous right-rulings are forever.”
Anyone who claims to serve יהוה without walking in and giving heed to follow His Torah, commands and instructions are not serving in Truth, and those who claim that the Torah/Law of Elohim has been done away with are sadly riddled with the leaven of the hypocrisy of man’s theologies and dogmas that seeks only to serve self rather than the Giver of Life, while claiming the opposite!.
In the ancient pictographic symbols of this word, we are given a greater insight in understanding how יהושע Messiah is
This root word – אֱמֶת emeth – Strong’s H571 which means, ‘truth, firmness, faithfulness’, is picture in the ancient pictographic script, as follows:
Aleph – אֱ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of an ox’, and represents ‘strength’, meaning ‘muscle’ as the ox is the strongest of the livestock animals. This also carries the meaning of ‘yoke’, as an ox is placed in a yoke in order to plough or pull a heavy load in the right direction. This can also picture for us the ‘red heifer’ sacrifice that יהושע Messiah fulfilled!.
Mem – מֶ
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture..
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
As we consider these letters, in describing Messiah as being the TRUTH, we are able to clearly see that it is by His strength and might, that He has passed through the waters in order to secure for us His Covenants of Promise!
Messiah is the Aleph and the Taw – the first and the last, who came from above (passing through the waters of the heavens and the earth) in order to redeem us according to His Word!.
He is the Truth and His Word does not return empty!
His Word is Truth and His Word leads us in His Truth.
His Word lights our WAY and as we walk in Him, by walking in His Word, we are assured that our feet are on His solid path!.
What I find very powerful, in this pictographic, is the immense insights that we can glean from these.
We know that the Aleph and the Taw are the first and the last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, and we also take note that the letter ‘mem’ is the 13th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.
The term אֶחָד eḥaḏ – Strong’s H259, in Hebrew, means ‘ONE’ and carries the numerical value of 13, broken down as follows: אֶ =1 (Aleph); חָ =8 (Het); ד =4 (Dalet), and so, we who are immersed in the Master are grafted into His body, and we walk in His Word, as we submit to His clear commands, as given through His Written Word!.
Another aspect of the Aleph and Taw, is seen in the Urim and Tummim:
אוּרִים Urim – Strong’s H224 means ‘lights, illuminations’
תֻּמִּים Tummim – plural of תֹּם tom, and carries the meaning of ‘perfections’
While there is no evidence to clearly tell us what the Urim and Tummim consisted of, be it stones or any other substance, what we can see is that the High Priest would use these in order to get right-ruling and so the Urim and Tummim speaks of our seeking the perfect truth from יהוה..
What is very interesting and worthy of noting, is that the first letter of ‘Urim’ is the א ‘aleph’ and the first letter of Tummim is the ת ‘taw’:
Ḥazon/Revelation 1:8 “I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, beginning and end,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:6 “Thus said יהוה, Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, and his Redeemer, יהוה of hosts, ‘I am the First and I am the Last, besides Me there is no Elohim.”.
What are the urim and tummim?
They are the things that illuminate and perfect.
We know that יהושע is the Light and He was the Perfect Lamb, and so this represents for us our need to hunger and thirst for righteousness and be perfect before Elohim, for He is perfect; and we are called to be the salt and light, which we can only be when we seek out His Right-Ruling and walk according to that which is to be upon our heart – His Torah (notice the positioning of the Urim and Tummim in the breastplate – by the heart!!!)
Our Master and Elohim writes His Torah on our hearts, and so it is in our hearts and mouths that we may do it (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 30:14)!
This pictographic lettering of the word for TRUTH, clearly shows us our need to seek, study, meditate upon and walk in the Torah; and anyone who claims to know the Truth, while refusing to guard and keep the Torah and instructions of Elohim, are liars and the Truth is not in them!
How can people say that the Truth is in them, when they say that the Truth is no longer applicable!!!.
When a true servant, who fears יהוה, serves in perfection and in truth, then the putting away of the falsehood that had been inherited from the past, is done with urgency and without hesitation!!!.
3 – Put away the mighty ones your fathers served
The Hebrew root verb for ‘put away’ is סוּר sur – Strong’s H5493 which means, ‘turn, turn aside, depart from a way, avoid, be removed from, put away’, and is used in Scripture, in reference to ‘putting away’ that which we should not be associated with and ‘to put away’, would be to turn aside from, and come out of, that which is foreign to the Covenants of Promise..
This word implies the concept of:
Turn away – leave – depart – come out from among them!!!
As we acknowledge the inherited lies of our fathers, we must act in accordance with the call, as true fearing servants of the Most-High, to turn away from, and leave, that which we were taught in error and come out from the leaven of the corrupted teachings of man that have defiled the Truth of true set apart and perfect service!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:11 “Turn aside! Turn aside! Come out from there, touch not the unclean. Come out of her midst, be clean, you who bear the vessels of יהוה.”
Qorintiyim Bět /2 Corinthians 6:17 “Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”.
Sha’ul tells us to ‘lay aside’ every hindrance and sin that entangles us.
What Yehoshua is telling us here, in the tense that this is written (hiphil active), is that we must, in effect, ‘remove, reject and abolish’ the lies of the past falsified and abominable worship practices, that have clearly rejected the need to walk in, and obey, the Torah!.
In verse 15 Yehoshua makes it clear – choose!!!
He says that if it is evil in your eyes to serve יהוה, then choose who you will serve – whether the Truth or whether the false lies of the fathers!!!.
As we consider that this coming Shabbat is, in a manner of speaking, ‘lamb selection day’, being the 10th of the 1st month, we are to be reminded of the choice that we are to make, and in this verse, what we can clearly understand from these words, is the simple option that is placed before all!.
After having described how a Covenant people ought to fear and serve יהוה, Yehoshua then says to Yisra’ĕl – if this call for complete and perfect service is evil in your eyes, then make your choice who you will serve!
The opposite to ‘evil’ is ‘good’ and in Hebrew, ‘good’ can carry the fuller meaning of being ‘functional’, whereas ‘evil’ can be seen as being ‘dysfunctional’, by not operating or working according to the Master’s instructions.
It is then safe to see here that Yehoshua is, in a sense, making it clear to all, the following:
If serving יהוה is ‘dysfunctional’ for you – in other words – if it doesn’t quite fit into your plans or schedule, and it does not suit your lifestyle to throw off lawlessness and inherited traditions and lies that have been erroneously taught as acceptable worship, then make your choice… but know this – that choosing the falsely inherited systems over the Truth, will cause you to no longer be a part of a Covenant People of Elohim.
So many today will say that to keep the Sabbath does not work for them – well, they have made their choice – and what they must realise, with that choice, is that they have no right to take His Covenant upon their lips and assume to be a part of the Body/House of Messiah!
Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 “While you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?”.
Yehoshua was basically saying that, as a redeemed people who had received their inheritance, they were now expected to fear and serve יהוה, and, in doing so, they were to throw away the lies and falsehood that they had inherited from their fathers and start serving in sincerity and truth!
And if that didn’t suit them, then they had to choose whichever way they wanted to go, because if they did not fear and serve, as instructed, then they could not be a part of the Covenant people of יהוה..
And Yehoshua then emphatically declares that he and his house serve יהוה.
What he was, in effect, saying to this nation, as a shadow picture of Messiah our Head, was that the Covenanted House of Elohim serves יהוה, and if you do not want to serve, then you are not part of this House!!!
Of course, all of Yisra’ĕl answered and said that they would serve יהוה, like so many will easily do with a quick response of a lip service, and in verse 19 Yehoshua basically tells them that they are unable to serve יהוה, as He is a jealous Elohim.
He was making it clear, that to serve יהוה, as a true redeemed servant should, is not easy – for He is set-apart and is jealous!!!
He was challenging their confession – “Are you up for the task?”, so to speak!
Because, if you go back on your word – you will be consumed!!!!.
Sha’ul tells the assembly in Corinth that there can be no union between the Dwelling Place of Elohim and idol worship of any kind, and so, to serve יהוה, calls for true set-apartness, which is not an easy task, amidst a crooked world.
Yehoshua warns that making the True choice to serve יהוה and not walk as He commands will be detrimental to your health!!!
By that, I mean that many say they choose יהוה yet they do not obey and, in the process, they do not realise that their vain choice, through a service that is only good in their own eyes, will render them as not being known by the Master and will be cast away for their lawless works!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:26-29 “For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins, 27 but some fearsome anticipation of judgment, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents. 28 Anyone who has disregarded the Torah of Mosheh dies without compassion on the witness of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think shall he deserve who has trampled the Son of Elohim underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was set apart as common, and insulted the Spirit of favour?”.
Having understood his words, Yisra’ĕl still continued to say yes to serving יהוה, and he then tells them that they are witnesses against themselves.
Twice they had said yes and by their own confession being given twice, they had now become witnesses against themselves – for at the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter is established!.
I find that so many, who are hoodwinked into a system of falsehood and lies, are never taught the full truth, as they are only told of blessings in the Word, which they actually have no right to lay claim to, as long as they remain in a state of lawlessness.
The whole Truth is not taught and so many people do not realise the danger of choosing יהוה and then walking in their own ways, or the ways of lies inherited from their fathers.
They are at risk of facing death!!!.
The knowledge of the danger of turning aside from the Truth, should cause the true worshippers, who confesses with their mouth and believe in their heart that Messiah has died for them and has risen from the dead, to hold fast to walking in the proper reverent fear of Elohim:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, receiving an unshakeable reign, let us hold the favour, through which we serve Elohim pleasingly with reverence and awe, 29 for indeed, our Elohim is a consuming fire.”.
People are perishing and headed for death, for lack of knowledge, that has sadly been veiled through the falsehood of inherited lies and traditions, and we who have turned to the Master and have had the veil removed, must take heed to the choice we have made in serving יהוה with our all!
Yehoshua gave these very vital words, to impress upon them the weight of the responsibility that lay before them, and we too must recognise the responsibility we have, in serving and worshipping the Father in Spirit and Truth daily, as true worshippers amidst a very crooked and perverse world that has many false mighty ones that are being served in error!.
In verse 24 the people declared a 3rd time that they would serve יהוה and obey His voice!!!
A 3rd yes and a clear statement that was being made, to obey the voice of יהוה!
That is: to obey all that יהוה has spoken – which is His Word, as given through Mosheh and the prophets and Writings – All Scripture is breathed of Elohim – and this 3rd yes, declares obedience to this!
Yehoshua then made a covenant with them that day and laid upon them a law and right-ruling!
I find this interesting, in seeing how it was 3 times that the people made the confession of their willingness to serve יהוה, while knowing and acknowledging the blessing of serving Him, as well as the consequences of not serving Him, if they turned away to other mighty ones!.
And so, we too can see how these 3 affirmative confessions to serve יהוה, can give us a clear picture of the 3 times a year that the males were required to go up to Yerushalayim to keep the Appointed Times of יהוה (collectively, the 3 times would cover all the Appointed Feasts).
Now, in a similar sense, we see that these 3 times that Yisra’ĕl ‘confessed’ their service unto יהוה, after which a Covenant was made, that full and complete reverent service unto יהוה is a non-negotiable condition for a Covenanted people – and the keeping of ALL His Appointed Times is critical to keeping our identity and inheritance intact..
Regarding this up and coming Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, we are clearly told, twice in Shemoth/Exodus 13, that it is a sign on our hand and forehead – that is – a mark of our worship, as a Covenanted people who choose to serve the Lamb that was slain!
It does not stop at this Feast, as full obedience in service, is required each and every day – as we fear Him ‘NOW’, SERVING THE MASTER IN SINCERITY AND TRUTH!.
Just as Messiah was ‘inspected’ or ‘examined’ and found without blemish, worthy to be a perfect Lamb for our sins; may we too use this time wisely, to ‘inspect’ and ‘examine’ ourselves, allowing the Light of the Word to bring to surface that which must be put away, as we make the Good confession of our belief, to fear יהוה and serve Him in perfection and truth..
Let us therefore draw near with a true heart in completeness of belief, having our hearts sprinkled from a wicked conscience and our bodies washed with clean water, able to come before the Master and eat with joy, the Pěsaḥ Meal, that we may proclaim the One whom we fear and serve, in sincerity and truth!.
As we draw closer to this coming Shabbat, which is “Lamb selection day”, take a good look in the mirror of the Word and ask yourself if you have truly chosen to serve the Master in perfection and Truth? Or have you found that there has been some leaven of hypocrisy lurking around in your life?
This is a time to confirm your choice and take for yourselves The Perfect Lamb, making the right choice each and every day!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘take’, in Shemoth/Exodus 12:3 comes from the root verb לָקַח laqaḥ – Strong’s H3947 which carries the meaning, ‘take, fetch, lay hold of, seize, snatch away, take away, lead’..
The picture of taking the perfect Lamb, is a picture of taking up the necessary responsibility of walking in the clear instructions of our Good Shepherd, our Pěsaḥ who was slaughtered for us!
A word that is derived from this root word לָקַח laqaḥ – Strong’s H3947 is the noun לֶקַח leqaḥ – Strong’s H3948 which means, ‘a learning, teaching, instruction, persuasions’, and in translated as ‘instruction’, in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:1-2 “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 “Let my instruction fall as rain, My speech drop down as dew, As fine rain on the tender plants, And as showers on the grass.”
When we understand the clear terminology being used here in this song of Mosheh, we are able to connect this with other prophetic shadow pictures of the two comings of Messiah that is clearly being spoken of here.
The instructions of יהוה shall come down like rain – in other words – the ‘Teacher of righteousness’ will come down like rain in the season of the harvests!
This is a powerful picture for us in recognising how it is by the instructions of יהוה that we are equipped and prepared for Him to come and fetch us as a ready Bride.
The root verb לָקַח laqaḥ – Strong’s H3947 is also translated or understood as being ‘married’, in the sense of a Husband ‘taking up’ His Bride:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 24:1 “When a man takes a wife and shall marry her, then it shall be, if she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found a matter of uncoveredness in her, and he shall write her a certificate of divorce, and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house”.
It is on the 10th of the 1st month that a perfect lamb was taken up by each house and in doing this, the choice was being made as the necessary requirements to have the shed blood of the lamb cover them would be made secure.
And so, as we draw near to this 10th of the 1st month, may we be reminded that we are a Bride that our Master has cleansed in His own blood, equipping us to take up His instructions for set-apart living and be ready to partake in His Appointed Times, without the leaven of hypocrisy and lawlessness!.
Yehoshua have the clear call to make the right choice!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘choose’ in Yehoshua/Joshua 24:15 comes from the root word בָּחַר baḥar – Strong’s H977 which means, ‘to choose, choicest, selected, preferred’, and this word is used to express that choosing which has ultimate and eternal significance.
We see in Scripture how יהוה chooses a people, certain tribes, specific individuals, and a place for His Name; and in all these cases service and obedience is at the heart of the choosing..
Thus, יהוה chose Yisra’ĕl to be set-apart and thereby to serve as His witness among the nations.
His choosing us has eternal significance!!! His choice is forever!!!
The expected response of the chosen is loving obedience and complete commitment in uncompromised service to the One who has chosen us!
Yoḥanan/John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He might give you.”
יהושע makes it very clear to us here, in Yoḥanan/John 15, that we did not choose Him, but He chose us – and our acceptance to His choosing, implies that we understand and acknowledge our needed response, which is to obey, and in doing so, we relinquish, and forfeit, all ‘choice for self’ – simply because we accept our choosing and realise that we are no longer our own, but rather, that we belong to Him who has purchased us with His own Blood – hence, we are called The Chosen!
While this may seem fairly obvious at first glance, and it should; what we do find is that many do not recognise the consequence of their acceptance of the great choosing of Elohim upon their lives, for they simply continue to make ‘bad choices’ that render their garments defiled before the One who has chosen us and clothed us with His righteousness!.
The ‘choice’ to serve who you want to, is given to those who have not fully accepted the ‘choosing’ of Elohim!
For those who have fully accepted and responded to the clear ‘choosing’ of Elohim, are called to fear Him and serve Him in perfection and truth, and in that acceptance the responsibility is clear – put away all falsehood and idolatry, that leads to death!
What I am trying to make clear here is that when we have understood the clear ‘choosing’ of Elohim, there is actually no more ‘choosing’ that we get to do, when it comes to fearing and serving in perfection and truth!.
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.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
If righteousness is forever (which it is, as is written clearly for us), and if it is righteousness for us to guard the commands (which it is, as is written clearly for us), and the Torah is Truth (which is it, as is written clearly for us) – then we are to walk in the Torah forever!!!
How can it be done away with – sadly many have chosen to serve falsehood, for it seems evil in their eyes to serve יהוה.
Tehillim/Psalm 25:12 “Who, then, is the man that fears יהוה? He teaches him in the way he should choose.”
The one who truly fears יהוה meditates upon His Torah day and night and is taught in the way He has chosen to walk!
Dawiḏ proclaims in:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:30 “I have chosen the way of truth; Your right-rulings I have held level.”
Tehillah/Psalm 119:173 “Your hand is a help to me, for I have chosen Your orders.”.
When we have firmly accepted His choosing of us, we are able to understand how His Hand is our Help and by choosing Him, we see how His right-rulings keep us level headed and able to stand firm!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
The Greek word for ‘chosen’ is ἐκλεκτός eklektos – Strong’s G1588 which means, ‘chosen, elect, favourite, picked out’.
The Greek word for ‘called’ is κλητός klētos – Strong’s G2822 and means, ‘called, invited (to a banquet)’, and so we are able to see how the wedding invitation has gone out to many, yet as in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, יהושע Messiah tells us how many are too busy with their own agendas, and were found not worthy.
The command was then given to go and find whoever they could.
The banquet was full and when the Sovereign came in, the one who was not properly dressed was thrown out!.
Today, there are many who simply refuse the invitation and acceptance to the choosing of Elohim, while some hear the call, yet refuse to acknowledge the expected requirements of being dressed in Righteousness, as they have hated the instructions of Elohim and cast His words behind them – they shall be cast out – all because they ‘chose’ for themselves that serving Elohim is evil!!!.
The choice of the chosen is clearly made, upon the acceptance of His choosing us!
That being said, it is then very clear that our ability to choose how we are to serve is not optional. The only choice we are given after our being chosen, is to choose to serve another, if fearing and serving Elohim is evil and dysfunctional in our eyes! And that is the wrong choice to make!.
By us being a set-apart, chosen and treasured possession of Elohim, who desire to love, obey and cling to Him and serve Him with our all, we have no choice in deciding whether we want to do what is commanded or not – our choice to obey was made the day we accepted His choice for us!
The choice of the chosen has been made!
Have you changed your mind?
Have you found yourself in a situation where you have chosen to compromise?
Have you found yourself reasoning away obedience by claiming a right to make your own choices?
Let this message be a reminder and encouragement to be faithful witnesses of His Truth, as you guard to do all He commands us; and walk in righteousness, as you walk in His Torah, meditating on it day and night; and walk as יהושע Messiah did.
He who has ears let him hear what the Spirit says!
Are there any forms of idolatry in your life that needs to be destroyed?
Are there some things that you have fashioned with your own thoughts and choices, only to find that you have been chasing after that which is as ‘the feeding on ashes’, so to speak, and is worthless and empty?
Hear the urgent call to hear the One who formed you and follow Him and serve as a chosen one should!
As our Master’s Pěsaḥ and Matzot (Unleavened Bread) draws close and as we consider the significance of the 10th of the 1st month, hear the clear call to:
TAKE FOR YOURSELVES A LAMB – MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE!.
May you all be strengthened in the love and perfect choosing of our Master, the Spotless Lamb, who shed His Blood so that we may receive the necessary cleansing and ability to make the right choice in taking up His instructions and delighting ourselves in Him.
As you prepare for the Feast of Pěsaḥ and Matzot, may you be refreshed in the joy of serving the Master in perfection, sincerity and truth and be a clear voice of a Bride that declares with His Spirit, a bold call for others to come and make the right choice..
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom!.