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2nd of the 6th month 2021/2022.
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:14 “The backslider in heart is satisfied with his own ways, but a good man is satisfied from his.”
In this parable, Shelomoh contrasts the backslider with the good man and reminds us how each one is satisfied with their own ways!
The ways of the good man are יהוה’s ways, whereas the backslider walks in his own ways, and are ways that have left the path of righteousness!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘satisfied’ comes from the root verb שָׂבַע saḇa – Strong’s H7646 which means, ‘to be satisfied’, and a derivative of this word is שָׂבֵעַ saḇea – Strong’s H7649 which means, ‘satisfied, full, ripe’ and by implication, it can mean, ‘satisfied by nourishment’.
In Tehillah/Psalm 103:5, a Psalm of Dawiḏ, we are reminded that יהוה satisfies our desire with good!
In a Psalm and Song of Dawiḏ, in praise unto Elohim, we see him declaring the following:
Tehillah/Psalm 103:5 “Blessed is the one You choose, and bring near to dwell in Your courts. We are satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your set-apart Hěḵal.”
We know that יהוה satisfies our desires with good things and He satisfies His people with bread – which is symbolic of His Word that satisfies!
Tehillah/Psalm 132:15 “I greatly bless her provision, I satisfy her poor with bread.”
Tehillah/Psalm 147:14 “Who makes peace in your borders, He satisfies you with the finest wheat”
Tehillah/Psalm 22:26 “The meek ones do eat and are satisfied; let those who seek Him praise יהוה. Let your heart live forever!”.
What is made very clear here, in the parable of Mishlĕ/Proverbs 14:14, is that the true believer is completely satisfied with walking in The Way of יהוה, while the one who backslides, is not, and the backslider prefers to be satisfied in his own destructive and crooked ways, that may seem right in his own eyes, yet they lead not to life nor into the presence of Elohim, but rather, they lead to destruction and death!.
The contrast of the ways, being spoken of here, between the backslider and the good, speaks of the contrasting fruit of their lives that each one is satisfied with!
The backslider feels that he does not need to be satisfied by Elohim, as he finds satisfaction in the things of the flesh, that he gains, as a result of his own ways that run contrary to the Truth!
Today, we are able to see how many have backslidden from the Truth and are very content and satisfied in what they do, with no remorse for having backslidden from the path of righteousness!
Herein lies a very clear warning against backsliding – and that is: that when one backslides and turns away from the Truth, they may just find themselves finding satisfaction in wrong ways and never see the urgent need to repent and turn back to the Truth!
In compete contrast to this, the good man is completely satisfied with walking in the Good Way and has no inclination of seeking satisfaction from any other way, as he learns to be content no matter what!.
This parable not only contrasts, very clearly for us, how that which satisfies the backslider is completely different to the good man, but it is also a stern warning to us, against the real dangers of backsliding. .
And it is with that in mind, that I am presenting this message called, ‘THE DROSS OF BACKSLIDING’, in order to remind us to guard the satisfying narrow path of righteousness and keep standing firm in our Master, in order to keep our feet from falling, or drifting, as a result of backsliding that happens due to gradual compromises that are left unchecked!.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘backslider’ comes from the primitive root verb סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472 which means, ‘backslider, to move away, backslide, turn away, remove’.
When looking at this word in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to get a clear picture of what backsliding is.
In the ancient pictographic text, this root word סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472 is written/drawn as follows:.
Samek – ס:
The ancient pictographic script has this letter pictured as , which is a thorn and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose their flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing.
The Word of Elohim is sharper than a doubled edged sword and when we find that we do not grab hold of His Word and allow His Word to be our shield of faith, we may find ourselves being pierced through with sin and compromise! Our praise we have for our Master is that in Him we are upheld forever, for He is the shield of our Help, as He Himself took the crown of thorns upon His head, bearing our sin and shame that we may be found to be shielded in Him! It can also give a meaning of ‘TURNING’, for it is the thorn that turns us away from danger and to that which is secure.
Waw/vav – וּ:
The Ancient picture for this letter is , is pictured as a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items.
The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off.
The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’..
Gimel – ג:
This is the letter ‘gimel’, which in the ancient script in pictured as – –which is ‘a foot’ and carries the meaning to ‘walk, gather, carry’, as clearly referring to the functions of a foot; and it can also give the meaning of a gathering of people, and we know that ‘feet’ in Hebrew speaks of one’s walk and ability to keep the Feasts of יהוה, and represents one’s ‘walk’, and therefore also pictures for us the idea of ‘gathering’, as well as the ‘PATH’ that one’s feet walk upon!.
When looking at this pictographic rendering of this root word for as ‘backslider’ – סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472, then we can see how the thorn, which pictures a turning from something, and the tent peg, which renders the idea of being secure and the foot, which highlights the path of one’s walk, we can clearly see this pictograph rendering for us the following meaning:.
TURN FROM THE SECURE PATH!.
That is exactly what a backslider does, he turns away from the secure path of righteousness, in order to pursue his own path that he finds satisfaction in, in order to satisfy the needs of the flesh..
In terms of this pictograph giving us a clear meaning of what a backslider is, we ought to be reminded to do our utmost in keeping our feet secure on the narrow path of righteousness that leads to life..
With this pictographic rendering, I was struck by the words that we find in the following Tehillah, where we see the primitive root verb סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472 being translated as ‘turned’:
Tehillah/Psalm 44:18 “Our heart has not turned back, neither has our step swerved from Your way”
This Tehillah has the heading:
“To the chief musician, for the sons of Qoraḥ, a maskiyl’.
The Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל maskiyl – Strong’s H4905 means, ‘a song or poem of contemplation’, and we are reminded in Scripture who Qoraḥ was: he was the one who had led the rebellion against Mosheh and Aharon; and everyone who had joined themselves to him were destroyed! .
Some of the sons of Qoraḥ were not killed, as they had moved themselves away from their backsliding father and so, we see many of the Tehillim/Psalms that are written, are written as poems of contemplation to the sons of Qoraḥ – that is, to those who did not follow in their father’s rebellion! .
What is very clear in this poem/song of contemplation, is that their hearts had not backslidden and they confirm that their feet had remained steadfast on the path of righteousness!
They had not turned from the secure path!.
We need to be on guard against deceit and make sure that we do not allow the effects of the wickedness that surrounds us to cause us to fall away and lose our sure footing in the Master. In other words, we must on guard against backsliding:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 3:12-13 “Look out, brothers, lest there be in any of you a wicked heart of unbelief in falling away from the living Elohim, 13 but encourage one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened by the deceivableness of sin.”.
A derivative of this primitive root word סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472 which means, ‘backslider, to move away, backslide, turn away, remove’, is the noun סִיג siyg – Strong’s H5509 which means, ‘a moving back or away, dross (usually of silver)’, and can also carry the meaning of, ‘apostasy, backsliding, i.e., the state of being faithless, with a focus on worthless rebellion’ and can also be written as סוּג sug (similar to the primitive root verb from which it is derived)..
In the ancient pictographic script, this root noun for ‘dross’, when written as סִיג siyg – Strong’s H5509, looks like this:.
As you will notice, this rendering has a letter ‘yod’ in the middle, as opposed to the letter ‘waw’..
Yod – י
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’ and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter!.
In this pictographic rendering of the noun that is generally translated as ‘dross’, we are also able to see that the result of backsliding can be seen in the wicked fruit of one’s life, and can render the following:.
TURNING OF HAND AND FOOT.
In terms of this picturing for us the product of backsliding, we can better understand this pictographic as giving us the meaning of:.
TURN AWAY FROM THE WORK AND WALK
This is exactly what a backslider does – he turns away from the good works and walk of righteousness, which is a turning away from doing and walking in obedience to the Torah of Elohim!.
Yisra’ěl was severely rebuked for backsliding and becoming dross, as we see from the following text in Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22, which we are looking at, as a part of this week’s Sabbath readings:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22:17-22 “And the word of יהוה came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Yisra’ěl has become dross to Me. All of them are bronze, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace – they have become the dross of silver. 19 “Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, ‘Because all of you have become dross, therefore see, I am gathering you into the midst of Yerushalayim. 20 As they gather silver, and bronze, and iron, and lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it, so I gather you in My displeasure and in My wrath. And I shall blow and melt you. 21 And I shall gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so are you melted in its midst. And you shall know that I, יהוה, have poured out My wrath on you.’” .
In this passage from Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22, we see that all three uses of the word ‘dross’ comes from the root word that is used here in verse 18, which is from the noun סוּג sug – Strong’s H5509.
However, the first translation of ‘dross’, in verse 18, is written as סוּג sug, whereas the second and third uses of this root are written in the plural form of this noun and are written as סִגִים sigiym.
When looking at the ancient pictographic rendering of the plural use of this noun סִגִים – sigiym, we see it being written as follows: .
As you will notice here, in this plural construct of this noun in its pictographic form, we see the letter ‘mem’ being added to the end of the word..
Mem – ם:
The ancient pictographic 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. This also carries for us the picture of WASHING, as we understand the function of water being that which cleanses us and sustains us, showing us how we are washed and sustained by the Living Waters of the Word!
This letter can also represent any liquid, especially blood!.
As we consider the plural word that is translated as ‘dross’, we are again able to see what is being clearly portrayed here, in the pictographic letters:.
TURN AWAY FROM THE WALK AND WORK OF WASHING/
TURN AWAY FROM THE PATH AND WORK OF CLEANSING.
Remember, that the root word that is translated as ‘dross’, comes from the primitive root verb that is translated as ‘backsliding’.
Therefore, we can clearly see, from Scripture, that the product of BACKSLIDING is that you become DROSS, and are of no value at all, for dross is removed and discarded!.
In a Psalm of Asaph, we see the appeal being given to the Shepherd, to save His people and His Vine, with the commitment to not backslide being made very clear:
Tehillah/Psalm 80:18 “And we shall not backslide from You. Revive us, and let us call upon Your Name.”.
Here we see the primitive root verb סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472 being used and is written in the plural form as follows: נָסוֹג – nasog, and I want to highlight this in the pictographic form too, as we see it being rendered in the ancient pictographic text as:.
We have already discussed the letters ‘samek’, ‘waw’ and ‘gimel’, and now the letter ‘nun’:
Nun – נָ:
This is the letter ‘nun’, which in the ancient text is pictured as which is a ‘spouting seed’ and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s LIFE or life expectancy..
When considering the clear cry of this song, the declaration to not backslide is vividly pictured through these pictographic letters, as follows:.
OUR LIVES SHALL NOT TURN
FROM THE SECURE PATH.
When you commit to not backsliding, you are committing to stay on the path of life and let your life reflect one who turns not to the left or to the right, but meditates day and night on the Torah of Elohim, which is a light for our path and a lamp for our feet!.
Here are just a few verses to remind us of this:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”
Mishlĕ/proverbs 6:23 “For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 5:32 “And you shall guard to do as יהוה your Elohim has commanded you – do not turn aside, to the right or to the left.”
Yehoshua/Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous, to guard to do according to all the Torah which Mosheh My servant commanded you. Do not turn from it right or left, so that you act wisely wherever you go.”.
There are so many who have backslidden by turning away from walking in the Torah, having cast it behind them, in a vain declaration that they do not need to submit to, or walk in, the Torah. And a s a result, they have become dross and will be cut off!
The warning we see being made abundantly clear in Scripture, is that those who backslide or turn away from the Torah, shall be cut off.
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 1:1-6 “The word of יהוה which came to Tsephanyah son of Kushi, son of Geḏalyah, son of Amaryah, son of Ḥizqiyah, in the days of Yoshiyahu son of Amon, sovereign of Yehuḏah. 2 “I shall snatch away all from the face of the earth,” declares יהוה – 3 “I snatch away man and beast, I snatch away the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling-blocks, with the wrong, when I shall cut off man from the face of the earth,” declares יהוה. 4 “And I shall stretch out My hand against Yehuḏah, and against all the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and cut off every trace of Ba‛al from this place, the names of the idolatrous priests, with the priests, 5 and those bowing down to the host of the heavens on the house-tops, and those bowing themselves, swearing by יהוה and swearing by Malkam; 6 and those who turn away from following יהוה, and who have not sought יהוה or inquired of Him.” .
The phrase that is translated as, ‘turn away from following’, in verse 6, comes from the root verb סוּג sug (soog) – Strong’s H5472 and can be understood as those who backslide, highlighting for us that those who turn away from following our Master and Elohim, are backsliders. .
The reason for me quoting this passage, is to highlight how those who refuse to follow the Master, will be cut off from the face of the earth, for backsliders are grouped along with the wrong!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘wrong’, in verse 3, comes from the root word רָשָׁע rasha – Strong’s H7563 which means, ‘wicked, criminal, evil, offender’.
The word רָשָׁע rasha is frequently placed in Scripture, especially in Mishlĕ/Proverbs, as being in direct and unequivocal opposition to the צַדִּיק tsaddiq –Strong’s H6662 which means, ‘just, righteous, blameless, lawful’, which is therefore understood as ‘the righteous’.
It is from this contrast, that we are able to get the clearest profile of the רָשָׁע rasha – Strong’s H7563 (wrong/wicked) kind of people! .
The book of Mishlĕ/Proverbs contains a great deal of antithetical parallelism, which contrasts the רָשָׁע rasha and the צַדִּיק tsaddiq in black and white terms.
The focus is on both the quality of lifestyle and the results of these two ways of living. Whereas the wrong/wicked forsake יהוה, the righteous cling to him. Though the wrong/wicked are oppressive and dishonest, the righteous are upright and lovers of truth, etc. Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28 clearly deals with the blessings for the righteous (verses 2-14) and the curses for the wrong (verses 15-68)!.
There are many who are claiming to be righteous and guarding the ways of Elohim, yet they are simply being wrong/wicked and unrighteous, as they refuse to walk in the Torah of Elohim!
Many may claim to be ‘in’ Messiah, yet refuse to walk in THE WAY, due to their ignorant nullification of the Torah of Elohim!
And turning one’s walk and work away from the path of righteousness is wrong!.
It is WRONG to BACKSLIDE!!!.
We would all do well to hear this severe warning.
The result of backsliding, as I have already mentioned, is dross; and dross is worthless and useless and will be thrown out, after the refining process of the fire of יהוה’s wrath, that will separate the set-apart from the wicked, or the darnel from the wheat!.
In a severe rebuke from יהוה, we see how Yisra’ěl had become dross, as a result of backsliding and, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah, we are also able to see how a backslidden, apostate bride had become the dross of silver!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:22 “Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water.”
Here, we see the root word סוּג sug – Strong’s H5509 being translated as ‘dross’.
Yehuḏah had become a nation of whoring and murder; and their silver had become dross and their wine was mixed with water and, as a result, rulers were corrupt and the fatherless and widows were being neglected, having nobody to speak for them and יהוה made it clear that He would bring about a refining and remove all of the dross and all of the alloy. Their silver had become dross!
This was a serious rebuke and wake up call to get cleaned up from all the uncleanness of mixing and backsliding!
Silver is often understood, in Scripture, as being that which refers to redemption, as well as the purity of His Word that has been refined 7 times, in order to meet the requirements for atonement and redemption.
And what is interesting to take note of is that pure silver does not tarnish! .
Silver that we see today, is mixed with another metal in order to form an alloy and may consist of up to 92.5% silver, with the rest being made up of another metal, to bring durability and hardness into the product, which actually causes the silver to tarnish and needs to be maintained through regular cleaning and polishing.
Well, that is exactly what has happened with the Word that is being erroneously presented by the church, as well as that which is being taught in Rabbinic Judaism!
It has been made into an alloy, through the addition of foreign substances, such as man-made dogmas, doctrines and traditions and is therefore no longer pure.
And, as a result, that which is being erroneously presented as truth, needs to be continuously maintained and kept shining, in its appearance of worship, through programmes and systems and structures, that are in no way close to reflecting the true and pure service of the Tabernacle.
And יהוה says that He is going to remove all alloys!!! .
His pure message has been made dirty by corrupted man-made theologies, that have cast aside the need to guard and walk in the Torah of Elohim.
And the false ‘grace’ message that is being falsely proclaimed, has made it ‘cheap’. .
We also see how the mixed wine with water, is being presented as a picture of watering down the Word; and with both of these analogies being used together, we see that what has happened, is that His redemption message has been tarnished and His Pěsaḥ/Passover has been watered down!
And so, the Church has presented a falsified system of worship, that has taken up the form of pagan rituals!
And it is time for all to hear and listen and carefully consider, as יהוה clearly proves, through His refining Word, that they are indeed worshipping in a foreign manner, and, by all accounts, have become the dross of silver, due to their turning away from the secure path that the Torah provides, in our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah!.
Silver is symbolic of redemption, as silver is used in Scripture as redemption money.
It clearly represents and speaks of the price that יהושע has paid for us.
Silver was used in service of the Tent of Meeting for the Atonement of Yisra’ĕl as a remembrance before יהוה. .
The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ is כֶּסֶף keseph – Strong’s H3701 which in translated as, ‘silver, money, purchase price’ and comes from the root word כָּסַף kasaph – Strong’s H3700 which means, ‘to long for, eager, shame’.
Shemoth/Exodus 30:16 “And you shall take the silver for the atonement from the children of Yisra’ĕl, and give it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. And it shall be to the children of Yisra’ĕl for a remembrance before יהוה, to make atonement for yourselves.”
The tabernacle stood upon sockets of silver.
Both Yosĕph and יהושע were sold for silver. Yehuḏah was paid off in silver as the Scriptures said.
Silver is redemption money. Silver is symbolic of the redemption that comes through יהושע Messiah and Him alone. It prefigures the preciousness of Messiah as the ransom for sinners.
Silver also speaks of service and giving of oneself – the prefect work of Messiah:
Marqos/Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Aḏam did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”.
We also see another wonderful picture of the symbolism of silver, as is also likened to the pure Word of Elohim that has been tried:
Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 “The Words of יהוה are clean Words, silver tried in a furnace of earth, refined seven times.”
Tehillah/Psalm 66:10 “For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined.”.
The Hebrew word for ‘silver’ – כֶּסֶף keseph is pictured in the Early Script as:.
Kaph – כֶּ:
The ancient form of this letter is pictured as – which is an open palm of a hand. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape.
Samech – סֶ:
The modern name for this letter is samech, yet it is also known in the ancient script as ‘sin’.
This letter is pictured as– which is a thorn, and has the meanings of ‘pierce and sharp’ and can also carry the meaning of ‘a shield’, as thorn bushes were used by shepherds to build a wall to enclose his flock in the night against the attack of predators. Another meaning would be ‘to grab hold of’ as a thorn is a seed that clings to hair and clothing..
Pey – ף:
This letter in the ancient script is pictured as , which is an ‘open mouth’ and carries the meaning of ‘speak and blow’, from the functions of the mouth, and can have the meaning of ‘scatter’ by blowing. It can also mean sword or beard as in things with edges, as well as a region in depicting a place with edges or boundaries. It also can represent that which has been spoken forth from the words of one’s mouth, as being established!.
When we consider these 3 letters in the understanding of the word ‘silver’, when considering this as representing the redemption price, brought to us by the Blood of Messiah we are able to see from these pictures, the following:.
THE OPEN HAND OF ELOHIM, AS REVEALED TO US THROUGH יהושע MESSIAH, WAS PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSION AND TOOK THE THORN (SIN) UPON HIMSELF, HAVING BEEN NAILED IN HIS HANDS AND FEET, BECOMING A SHIELD TO THOSE WHO CALL UPON HIM AND GRAB HOLD OF HIS COMMANDS, AS SPOKEN IN HIS WORD! .
After His resurrection, when Messiah showed T’oma (Thomas) His hands that took the nails, T’oma acknowledged the redemptive work of יהושע Messiah and called Him His Master and Elohim. T’oma now fully believed the Word of Elohim, and he was told that those who believe and have not seen:
Yoḥanan/John 20:27-29 “Then He said to T’oma, “Bring your finger here, and see My hands. And bring your hand and put it into My side – and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And T’oma answered and said to Him, “My Master and my Elohim!” 29 יהושע said to him, “T’oma, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Our True redemption is in יהושע Messiah, who is the open hand of Elohim that took our sin upon Himself, as spoken in His written Word that does not return empty! .
Silver is symbolic of the price that Messiah paid for our sin of turning away from Him, and in His Blood, we have been given access to the redemption from dross to purity!.
With the rebuke given to Yisra’ĕl, in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1, that their silver has become dross, and in Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22, that they had become the dross of silver, we are able to see a clear picture of a muddying of the waters and a trampling underfoot, of the gift of redemption, by not keeping clean and not working out one’s deliverance with fear and trembling!
Their redemption/deliverance had become tarnished, with the alloy of sin and lawlessness, due to their turning away from following יהוה. .
These same words are still valid for our generation, especially as we see how so many people have ‘cheapened’ the Truth, so to speak, by presenting a false message of hope, falsely teaching people that they do need to walk in the Torah!
Their assumed redemption that they are proclaiming, has simply become dross and will not be able to make them stand in the Day of יהוה, as they will be rejected for their works of lawlessness and it will be declared to them that יהוה does not know them!.
In the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak), the Greek word that is used to translate the Hebrew word for ‘dross’ – סִיג siyg – Strong’s H5509 – is ἀδόκιμος adokimos – Strong’s G96 which means, ‘not standing the test, rejected, depraved, disqualified, worthless, unapproved’. .
This word ἀδόκιμος adokimos – Strong’s G96 is used in:
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves whether you are in the belief – prove yourselves. Or do you not know yourselves, that יהושע Messiah is in you, unless you are disapproved.”
The unclean are not fit for any good work:
Titos/Titus 1:15-16 “Indeed, all matters are clean to the clean, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving no matter is clean, but both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
Those who are defiled and unbelieving are unfit for any good work and are the ‘dross’ that will be removed from that which is pure and refined!.
This Greek word for dross – ἀδόκιμος adokimos – Strong’s G96 is constructed from the following two words:
1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 used as a negative prefix, and
2) δόκιμος dokimos – Strong’s G1384 which means, ‘tested, approved’ which is from the primary root verb δέχομαι dechomai – Strong’s G1209 which means, ‘to receive, accept, welcomed’.
Therefore, the Greek word that is translated as ‘dross’, can best be understood as meaning, ‘not tried, not approved’.
This word δόκιμος dokimos – Strong’s G1384 which means, ‘tested, approved’, is used in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”
Only those who can rightly handle the Word of Truth can present themselves, approved to Elohim, as a worthy worker.
Those who have turned aside from the Torah cannot rightly handle the Word and cannot present themselves as approved workers, for they are simply ‘dross’!.
As we dig into Scripture, we are able to find a very striking pattern that is able to teach us the vital lesson on being warned against backsliding and becoming dross, by simply guarding to do all that our Master has commanded us, and meditate on His Torah, day and night, so that we can be able to present ourselves as approved workers to Elohim!.
The Greek word ἀδόκιμος adokimos – Strong’s G96 which means, ‘not standing the test, rejected, depraved, disqualified, worthless, unapproved’ is used 8 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.), as seen in the following:
Romiyim/Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not think it worthwhile to possess the knowledge of Elohim, Elohim gave them over to a worthless mind, to do what is improper”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I treat my body severely and make it my slave, lest having proclaimed to others, I myself might be rejected.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 13:5-7 “Examine yourselves whether you are in the belief – prove yourselves. Or do you not know yourselves, that יהושע Messiah is in you, unless you are disapproved 6 And I trust that you shall know that we are not disapproved. 7 And we pray to Elohim that you do no evil at all – not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is right, even though we should appear unapproved.”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:8 “And as Yoḥane and Mamrě opposed Mosheh, so do these also oppose the truth – men of corrupt minds, found worthless concerning the belief”
Titos 1:16 “They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:8 “but if it brings forth thorns and thistles, it is rejected and near to being cursed, and ends up by being burned.”.
From these 8 verses, we can clearly see that the Greek word that is used in the LXX to describe ‘dross’, gives us a clear picture of how dross is something that is ‘worthless, unfit, unapproved, disapproved’ and shall be rejected!.
The Greek word δόκιμος dokimos – Strong’s G1384 which means, ‘tested, approved’ is used 7 times in the Renewed Writings (N.T.):
Romiyim/Romans 14:18 “For he who is serving Messiah in these matters is well-pleasing to Elohim and approved by men.”
Romiyim/Romans 16:10 “Greet Apelles, the approved in Messiah. Greet those who are of Aristobulos.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 11:19 “For there have to be factions even among you, so that the approved ones might be revealed among you.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 10:18 “For not he who commends himself is approved, but he whom the Master commends.”
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 13:7 “And we pray to Elohim that you do no evil at all – not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is right, even though we should appear unapproved.”
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your utmost to present yourself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who does endure trial, for when he has been proved, he shall receive the crown of life which the Master has promised to those who love Him.”.
The reason for me highlighting these various verses, where we see the words that are used for being approved and disapproved, we can take note of the significance of the number of times that we see each of these words being used. .
With the root word δόκιμος dokimos – Strong’s G1384 which means, ‘tested, approved’, being used 7 times, we are able to identify a clear picture of that which represents one who is accepted in the Beloved and is working out their deliverance with fear and trembling, having been refined by the Word, which is refined 7 times.
This pictures an obedience to the Sabbaths, Feasts and the complete Torah of Elohim..
With the root word ἀδόκιμος adokimos – Strong’s G96 which means, ‘not standing the test, rejected, depraved, disqualified, worthless, unapproved’, being used 8 times, we are able to see a picture of judgment being decreed over those who will not enter into the renewed heavens and earth, for they will be destroyed by the judgement of fire at the end of the 7th millennium and be rejected, as not being one who was refined through the Word, but rather, as one who became as dross that is removed by fire and is separated for destruction!
Those who are without approval will be rejected and destroyed..
What is also worth taking note of, is that the Hebrew root word that we have looked at, for ‘dross’, which is סִיג siyg – Strong’s H5509 which means, ‘a moving back or away, dross (usually of silver)’, and can also carry the meaning of, ‘apostasy, backsliding, i.e., the state of being faithless, with a focus on worthless rebellion’, is used 8 times in the Tanak (some of which we have already discussed), and is used in the following verses:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:119 “You have made to cease all the wrong of the earth, like dross; therefore I have loved Your witnesses.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 25:4 “Take away the dross from silver, and a vessel comes forth for the refiner.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 26:23 “Burning lips with an evil heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:22 “Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water.”
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:25 “And I shall turn My hand against you, and shall refine your dross as with lye, and shall remove all your alloy.”
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22:18-19 “Son of man, the house of Yisra’ěl has become dross to Me. All of them are bronze, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace – they have become the dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, ‘Because all of you have become dross, therefore see, I am gathering you into the midst of Yerushalayim.” .
We need the Word of Elohim to prove us, refine us and cause us to be brought forth, as that which can be presented as approved and worthy to enter His reign.
Those who reject the need to be proven by His Word will be rejected as being dross and will be destroyed..
Tehillah/Psalm 66:10 “For You, O Elohim, have proved us; You have refined us as silver is refined.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘refined’ is צָרַף tsaraph – Strong’s H6884 which means, ‘to smelt, refine, test, tried’, and we see this being translated as ‘proven’, in:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 22:31 “The Ěl – His way is perfect; the Word of יהוה is proven; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”.
The Hebrew word צָרַף tsaraph – Strong’s H6884 is translated as ‘refiner’, in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 25:4-5 “Take away the dross from silver, and a vessel comes forth for the refiner. 5 Take away the wrong from before the sovereign, and his throne is established in righteousness.”.
The reason for me highlighting this verse again, along with verse 5, is to point out a wonderful picture of how we are vessels that are to be refined and presented as pure and of good use to the Master!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘take away’ is from the primitive root verb הָגָה hagah – Strong’s H1898 which means, ‘to take away, remove, expelled, drive out’.
The benefit of removing dross from silver is paralleled with the benefit of removing the wrong from the king’s presence..
What you have in the end is a throne established in righteousness whereby proper clean vessels are used.
In other words: when dross and wrongness is removed, you will have pure vessels and a righteous government.
The parallels used here, also teaches us the similarities of vessels that are refined being likened to the righteous servants that have been cleansed to serve in complete set-apartness.
It is the Word of Elohim that refines us and when we refuse to be refined, we will be removed!
However, when we allow His word to cleanse us and refine us, then we come forth as a vessel that has value, before the Refiner Himself!
We are vessels that are being refined by our Master and we must do our utmost to live set-apart lives and allow His word to cleanse us from all dross that defiles. .
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘vessel’ comes from the root word כְּלִי keliy – Strong’s H3627 which means, ‘article, utensil, vessel, armour, weapon, tool for labour’, which comes from the root verb כָּלָה kalah – Strong’s H3615 which means ‘finished, completed, come to an end or accomplished’ and is very similar to the root word כַּלָּה kallah – Strong’s H3618 which means ‘a bride’, which comes from the primitive root verb כָּלַל kalal – Strong’s H3634 which means, ‘to complete, perfect, perfected’.
And this certainly carries a wonderful picture for us, of a bride prepared, that is – a bride who has made herself ready and presents herself as one prepared, before Her Husband and Redeemer, The Refiner of silver!.
Sha’ul wrote to Timotiyos and encouraged him to do his utmost to present himself approved to Elohim, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of Truth, and he was encouraged to keep away from that which defiles and he then uses the analogy of vessels and tells him the following:.
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 2:19-21 “However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal, “יהוה knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteous-ness.” 20 But in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some unto value and some unto no value. 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.”.
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 here for ‘vessels’ 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 the expression, ‘vessel unto value’, is τιμή time – Strong’s G5092 which means, ‘(to value, honour), a valuing, price, honour, honourable use, mark of respect’, and is 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.”
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 – if we have cleansed ourselves from all the dross of lawlessness and sin!
We are to be a spotless Bride of Messiah!
Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:14 “So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless”
Do your utmost!!!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘do your utmost’ comes from the word σπουδάζω spoudazō – Strong’s G4704 which means, ‘to make haste, to give diligence, eager, make every effort, exert oneself, endeavour’ and comes from the root word σπουδή spoudē – Strong’s G4710 which means, ‘haste, diligence, earnestness, effort, hurry, striving after’ and comes from the root word σπεύδω speudō – Strong’s G4692, which means, ‘to hasten, urge on, hurrying’.
Why I am sharing these root words with you, is to highlight the importance of being diligent in keeping oneself clean and unstained from the dross of backsliding, as we allow The Word of Elohim to refine us and guard us from becoming sluggish.
It is יהוה who refines us from our dross:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:25 “And I shall turn My hand against you, and shall refine your dross as with lye, and shall remove all your alloy.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘refined’ in Tehillah/Psalm 12:6 is זָקַק zaqaq – Strong’s H2212 which means, ‘to refine, purify, distil’.
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 3:3 “And He shall sit as a refiner and a cleanser of silver. And He shall cleanse the sons of Lĕwi, and refine them as gold and silver, and they shall belong to יהוה, bringing near an offering in righteousness.”
יהוה is the One who shall refine and purify us, and cause us to be a pure and set-apart royal priesthood, who are able to bring near to Him an offering of righteousness, having been cleansed in the Blood of Messiah and refined by His Word..
As we consider the clear destructive consequences of turning away from the secure path of the Truth and the dangers of backsliding that produces a dross that will be rejected, we must take heed to the call to be cleansed and to keep clean, having no dross being evident in our lives, lest we find that we are rejected, as a worthless servant because of not being on guard against backsliding.
Do not be satisfied with the backsliding ways of the flesh, but be satisfied with the Good path of righteousness and stay on it, so that the dross of backsliding be kept far from you at all times and let the Good Word of our Master refine you and bring you forth as a vessel unto value!.
THE DROSS OF BACKSLIDING –
do not let it be found in you!.
As you consider the clear and present dangers of the dross of backsliding, may you be armed with the Truth and do your utmost in possessing your vessel with great care, guarding righteousness at all times, being washed continually through the Word that cleanses us, equips us, sets us apart and appoints us to worship and serve the Master in Spirit and Truth!.
As we consider the state that the House of Yisra’ěl were in, as described in Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22:18-19, we can learn a great deal on the need to be on guard against becoming like dross before our Maker.
I will therefore highlight some of the words that we see being expressed before this, by taking a little closer look at the passage from Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22..
Please read Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22:1-19.
While we have already taken a pretty in-depth look at the dross of backsliding, I find it fitting to look at the passage that leads up to יהוה declaring, 3 times in this passage, how Yisra’ĕl had become the dross of silver..
This passage sets forth a clear judgment from Elohim, on Yisra’ĕl’s lawlessness and sin and a clear instruction to show the rebellious house, her abominations..
In verse 2 Yeḥezq’ěl is clearly told to judge the city of blood and show her all her abominations.
The repetition of the command to judge, carries a clear emphasise on the urgency of the matter and it is written in the interrogative, as he is given a clear command:
“you will judge, you will judge!”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘judge’ comes from the root word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 which means, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
We know that יהוה is our judge and lawgiver:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!
By telling Yeḥezq’ěl to judge them, it was clear that he could only judge them according to the proper right-rulings and commands of יהוה..
Here, in Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 22:2, the root word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 is written as follows: הֲתִשְׁפֹּט hatishpoth and the actual phrase ‘son of man, judge, judge’ is written in the Hebrew text as:
בֶן־אָדָם הֲתִשְׁפֹּט הֲתִשְׁפֹּט
ben-aḏam hatishpoth hatishpoth.
This can be more literally translated as:
son of man, you will judge, you will judge!.
We see this similar instruction being given to Yeḥezq’ěl, in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 20:4 “Judge them, son of man, judge them! Make known to them the abominations of their fathers.”
In the Hebrew text the phrase ‘judge them, son of man, judge them!’ is written as:
הֲתִשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֹתָ֔ם הֲתִשְׁפּ֖וֹט בֶּן־אָדָ֑ם
hatishpoth otam hatishpoth ben–aḏam.
Once again, we see Yeḥezqěl being given the command to judge, and declare the abominations, in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 23:36 “And יהוה said to me, “Son of man, judge Oholah and Oholiḇah! And declare to them their abominations.”
In the Hebrew text the phrase ‘Son of man, judge’ is written as:
ben- aḏam hatishpoth.
The reason for me highlighting these three passages, is to clearly show the instructions that Yeḥezq’ěl was given, as he was told to judge a backsliding people and show them their abominations.
In Chapter 20, he is told to show/make known the abominations of Yisra’ěl and the errors of their fathers that they had been following.
In Chapter 22, which we are looking more closely at, he is told to judge the city of blood and in Chapter 23, he is told to judge Oholah and Oholiḇah and show them their abominations..
The Hebrew name אָהֳלָה Oholah – Strong’s H170 means, ‘her own tent, she has her own tent’ and is the symbolic name that is used to describe Shomeron, as an adulteress with the Ashshurians and is a metaphoric reference to the divorced bride of the House of Yisra’ěl..
The Hebrew name אָהֳלִיבָה Oholiḇah – Strong’s H172 means, ‘tent is in her, woman of the tent’ and is the symbolic name that is used to describe Yerushalayim, as an adulteress wife of יהוה and is a metaphoric reference to the backslidden House of Yehuḏah..
Both of these names come from the Hebrew word אֹהֶל ohel – Strong’s H168 which means, ‘tent’ and is symbolic of wilderness life, and this is also the same word that is used for the Tabernacle and is used in reference to the Tent of Meeting and we are able to see, in Scripture, that the אֹהֶל ohel is often the place where man/congregation meets with Elohim.
Typically, in Scripture, we are able to recognise the clear connection of the tents of Ya’aqoḇ, being a reference to an obedient Bride sojourning with יהוה, yet here, in the rebuke given to Oholah and Oholiḇah, it becomes clear that they had departed from dwelling in proper set-apartness with יהוה, and had made their own tents/dwellings, by whoring away from the right-rulings of Elohim..
When looking at all three of these accounts, where Yeḥezq’ěl is addressed as the son of man that was told to go and judge and show the abominations to a backslidden people who had become the dross of silver, we are able to see the effects of backsliding.
Yisra’ěl had committed adultery with the nations and blood was on her hands, as they had shed innocent blood, killing the prophets of יהוה and they had passed their children through the fire to foreign mighty ones, in a perverted act of falsified fertility worship that was practiced by the nations that they were supposed to destroy.
They had defiled the set-apart place and had profaned the Sabbaths..
The address of ‘son of man’ forms the prophetic basis of Yoḥanan/John 5:27 where Yahushua, as the Son of Aḏam, is given authority to judge!
Yoḥanan/John 5:26-27 “For as the Father possesses life in Himself, so He gave also to the Son to possess life in Himself, 27 and He has given Him authority also to do judgment, because He is the Son of Aḏam.”
Messiah came to bring a sword!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sword’ is μάχαιρα machaira – Strong’s G3164 which means, ‘a short sword or dagger’ and comes from the word μάχομαι machomai – Strong’s G3164 which means, ‘to fight, argue, quarrel’..
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel was told to rebuke the false prophets who were leading the people astray through false visions of peace when there was no peace.
This rebuke for their backsliding was according to the clear judgement of the Word of Elohim.
We know that Judgement begins in the House and so, we take note that our Master and Redeemer, came to bring the clear sword of the Truth and establish proper right-ruling, according to His Torah, so that the House can be shown the abominations and hear the call to repent and get cleansed up and refined, in order to become the ready Bride for Her Husband who is coming again to judge the nations in His wrath..
This was time for Yisra’ěl to listen up and get cleaned up, or else!.
The son of man was told to judge and to show the backslidden bride her abominations.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘abomination’ is the noun תּוֹעֵבָה to’eḇah – Strong’s H8441 which means, ‘abomination, abominable thing, detestable thing, object of loathing’, and is the feminine active participle of the verb תָּעַב ta’aḇ – Strong’s H8581 which means, ‘to abhor, despise, reject’. .
Yeḥezqěl was shown the abominable things that Yisra’ĕl were doing, in Chapter 8, and in Chapter 16, he was told to go and make know to Yerushalayim her abominations, and in Chapter 36 we are told that Yisra’ĕl would remember their evil ways and deeds and loathe themselves, in their own eyes, for their crookednesses and abominations.
He was told to go and make known all the detestable things that they were doing and by doing them, they were rejecting Elohim and in danger of being completely destroyed, if they did not repent.
He was to set forth the clear right-rulings and declare to them that judgment had now come from יהוה.
Yehuḏah were about to be taken into captivity for 70 years, according to the clear judgement of יהוה, as they had profaned the Sabbaths and had not let the land rest on the Sabbath years. .
So, with the House of Yehuḏah being taken and sentenced to 70 years captivity, so that the land could enjoy its Sabbaths, we are able to recognise that for a period of 490 years they had not kept the Sabbath year.
Their time of punishment had now come..
Interesting, we are able to see that, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:22, Messiah says that we are to forgive 70 x 7, which equals 490 and herein we are able to see a clear picture of יהוה not being slow, but patient and His judgment does not get delayed.
This was now time for her separation, for her time had now come, because she had defiled herself! .
Through her whoring, Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah had become defiled and the Hebrew word that is translated as ‘defiled’ comes from the root verb טָמֵא tamey – Strong’s H2930 which means, ‘to be or become unclean, defiled, become impure’ and when written in the ‘piel form’ which expresses an “intensive” or “intentional” action, it can render the following meaning, ‘to defile: sexually, religiously, or ceremonially; to pronounce or declare unclean; profane the Name of Elohim’.
They had profaned the Name of Elohim by their backsliding and their abominable lawlessness and as a result they had become confused!.
In verse 5 we are told that they had defiled their name and great was the confusion.
They were no longer a light to the nations, but had now become just as dark as the nations and therefore, their name had become defiled. .
Defilement causes confusion, for there is no ability to distinguish between the clean and the unclean or the set-apart and the profane. And this happens when people cast aside the Torah of Elohim and do whatever is right in their own eyes..
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘confusion’ is מְהוּמָה mehumah – Strong’s H4103 which means, ‘tumult, confusion, panic, turmoil, disquietude, anxiety, discomfiture’, and comes from the root verb הוּם hum – Strong’s H1949 which means, ‘to murmur, roar, defeat in battle, to be in a stir’.
We see this word being used to describe that which will come against the enemies of Elohim:.
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 14:12-13 “And this is the plague with which יהוה plagues all the people who fought against Yerushalayim: their flesh shall decay while they stand on their feet, and their eyes decay in their sockets, and their tongues decay in their mouths. 13 And it shall be in that day that a great confusion from יהוה is among them, and every one of them shall seize the hand of his neighbour, and his hand rise up against his neighbour’s hand.”.
We are told in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy that it is יהוה who sends the confusion, as a judgment for forsaking Him:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 28:20 “יהוה sends on you the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.” .
The curse, the confusion and the rebuke will be upon all the work of the hands of those who turn away from Elohim, until they are destroyed!.
The Hebrew word used here for ‘curses’ is מְאֵרוֹת – me’eyroth which is the plural of the word מְאֵרָה me’eyrah – Strong’s H3994 which means, ‘a curse’, and is also used in:
Mal’aḵi/Malachi 2:2 “If you do not hear, and if you do not take it to heart, to give esteem to My Name,” said יהוה of hosts, “I shall send a curse upon you, and I shall curse your blessings. And indeed, I have cursed them, because you do not take it to heart.”
We take note of what Shelomoh tells us in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 3:33 “The curse of יהוה is on the house of the wrong, but He blesses the home of the righteous.”.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rebuke’ comes from the root noun מִגְעֶרֶת migereth – Strong’s H4045 which means, ‘rebuke, disapproval, reproach, state what is wrong’, and comes from the root verb גָּעַר ga’ar – Strong’s H1605 which means, ‘to rebuke, rebukes, rebuked’.
This noun, used in parallel with curse and confusion, indicates the fruitless conclusion of the actions and activities of people who turn away from Elohim.
The curses, confusion and rebuke will be upon all the work of the hands of those who turn away from Elohim, until they are destroyed!.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘destroyed’ comes from the root word שָׁמַד shamaḏ Strong’s H8045 which means ‘to be exterminated or destroyed, eradicate, annihilate, decimate, overthrow and get rid of’.
Tehillah/Psalm 145:20 “יהוה preserves all those loving Him, but all the wrong ones He destroys.”
Tehillah/Psalm 37:38-39 “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the latter end of the wrong shall be cut off. 39 But the deliverance of the righteous is from יהוה, their strength in time of distress.”.
This warning and rebuke for backsliding was the clear message that Yeḥezq’ěl was commanded to bring.
In verse 14 we see the clear rhetorical question of whether their heart would stand, or whether their hands would be strong, in the days when יהוה deals with them?
The obvious answer is NO, as they would not be able to stand or be strong, for their abominations had made them weak and defiled.
They no longer represented the redeemed Bride, as they had now become the dross of silver and as a result they were unable to stand and be strong.
Ḥazon/Revelation 6:17 “because the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”.
Only those who are in Messiah are able to stand and be made string, for they have been washed and redeemed from all lawlessness, while those who forsake the Torah and backslide, become the dross of silver and shall not be able to stand, for they build on the sand of confusion and mixing, which defiles..
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘stand’ comes from the root word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’. .
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:2, we see how Yirmeyahu was to ‘Stand in the gate of the House of יהוה, and proclaim the Word of יהוה to all who were entering the gates to bow down to יהוה’.
Yirmeyahu was not just told to stand up, but rather, more firmly, he was told to take a stand and be steadfast, in standing up to speak the Word of Elohim, as he was to confidently take a stand against the hypocrisy of false worship, and ‘proclaim’ the Word of יהוה. .
Only those who are firmly planted upon the Rock of our Deliverance, are able to stand and proclaim the Truth; and they are those who have not allowed themselves to become the dross of silver, but are diligently working out their deliverance with fear and trembling, being on guard against the corruption and confusion of mixing, by being set-apart and touching not the unclean!.
As we consider the question being asked of those who had become the dross of silver, whether they could stand and be strong, we take note that if one forsakes the Torah, their ability to stand becomes non-existent, despite their false assumtions that they can!.
This lesson on the dross of backsliding, must cause us to make sure that we put on the complete armour of Elohim and stand firm in His Truth and keep standing, by guarding His Torah and righteous right-rulings!.
Those in Messiah are able to stand!
In the ancient pictographic script, the root word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, ‘to take one’s stand, present oneself, abide, appoint, arise, stay, be steadfast, remain, be or become a servant’, is as follows:.
Ayin – עָ
In the ancient script this letter is drawn as – and is pictured as an eye and carries the meaning of ‘insight and understanding’ or that to which you look upon and the ability to ‘look and see’..
Mem – מַ:
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. Knowing this letter represents ‘water’, we are also able to see how this can render for us the meaning of ‘washing’ or ‘cleansing’..
Dalet – דֶ:
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..
In terms of this grouping of pictographic letters that render the word עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975, we are able to identify what is being clearly represented for us here, especially as we consider who it is that we are to be looking to, in order to be equipped to stand.
These pictures can render for us the following:
LOOK AT/SEE THE CLEANSING AT THE DOOR.
When we run to the Master, the veil is taken away and looking to Him, the Prince and Perfecter of or belief, we are able to respond to His calling us to our feet, by being immersed in Him and receiving the washing that He, the Door of the Sheep, brings to us, in order that we can be caused to stand and speak!
Our Master and Saviour is the Door of the sheep, and we come to Him and accept His offering of Blood that cleanses, through our immersion in His Name, giving us access to stand in Him and be equipped to serve!
This ability to be called to stand to our feet, is made possible by His Word that cleanses us and sets us apart: … to those who have ears to hear and respond as they should!.
Backsliders cannot stand!
The dross of silver cannot stand!
Let this study be a reminder of the need to guard against the dross of backsliding, so that the true set-apart ones of the Most-High can confidently take their stand and proclaim the reign of Elohim, guarding to do all He has commanded us to!.
In closing this lesson on the dross of backsliding and the clear warning that Scripture presents to us, I would like to close with the words of Kěpha, from:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:13-25 “Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to you at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, 15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour, 16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.” 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear, 18 knowing that you were redeemed from your futile behaviour inherited from your fathers, not with what is corruptible, silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, 20 foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, but manifested in these last times for your sakes, 21 who through Him believe in Elohim who raised Him from the dead and gave Him esteem, so that your belief and expectation are in Elohim. 22 Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, 23 having been born again – not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible – through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, and all the esteem of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, 25 but the Word of Elohim remains forever.” And this is the Word, announced as Good News to you.”
He who has ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says!!!
Our Master is coming soon, and He is coming for His Ready Bride!
How ready are you?
It is time to strengthen the hands and make firm the week knees and be done with the dross of backsliding!.
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you Shalom