Shabbat Shalom everyone, praise the Mighty Name of our Elohim, יהוה of Hosts is His Name!!!We serve and worship the Mighty One of Hosts aměn! We have just enjoyed another time of feasting in keeping Pěsaḥ (Passover) and Matzot (Unleavened Bread) and it is with great joy that we can once again be here together on His weekly Sabbath which too I must remind you is also His Feast/His appointed times and it is commanded for us to have a set-apart gathering for which we must not neglect. It is out of love for Him in that He first loved us that we can in obedience to His Word be diligent in gathering as He instructs us too. And as you all know that when walking in obedience and experiencing the joy of growing in our understanding of His Word as we walk it out by faith that certainly much persecution comes. In fact the more we become set-apart and have those things of the world and flesh stripped away, the more it seems as though the persecutions come, even from sources closer to home than we think.
Yoḥanan/John4:23-24 ““But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. 24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.””
The hour is coming, and now is when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and TRUTH!!!! יהושע was speaking to a Samaritan woman almost 2000 years ago, saying already then that the time had come for true worshippers to worship in Spirit and Truth – so that means there is certainly no excuse today for us who claim to be worshippers of Elohim – in that we are to be worshipping the Father in Spirit and Truth! Elohim is Spirit – Sha’ul tells us very clearly in Romiyim/Romans 7 that the Torah is spiritual and that we are not to walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit – according to the very Living Word – which is Spirit and was made flesh, dwelt among us and paid the penalty for our sin/lawlessness and now by His Spirit – His Torah we can now walk in Him, abide in Him and trust in Him as we live a life of obedient worship unto the Father!!! In a world that wrestles us for our time and resources; it certainly can be very challenging and in fact is often too challenging for most who simply give in to the worship of self and flesh rather than pure set-apart worship unto the Father! A time of pleading ignorance is over!!! Well it was actually over a very long time ago – Ma’asei/Acts 17 we are told that in Him (that is in יהושע (Yahushua)) we live and move and are and in verse 30 it says: “Truly, then, having overlooked these times of ignorance, Elohim now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Notice how the date on this letter is not a 21st century time stamp that many would love to claim in order to substantiate their ignorance and excuse it away but this was written in the 1st century and the command is as clear back then as it is today – His Living Word is clear – no more ignorance – it is time to repent and worship the Father in Spirit and Truth – that is to walk in love – that is to walk in obedience to His Word. In a message tonight called, “True worshippers of יהוה please stand up!” I would like us to be encouraged to truly worship the Father in Spirit and Truth and stand up and be firm in our faith as we live in a world that competes for our worship! Worship unto the Father is more than a song, it is more than a sense of duty, it is more than scheduling in a time of prayer amidst your busy schedule – worship unto the Father is an offering of your life – daily as a living sacrifice pleasing unto Him – it is giving your all unto Him as you have died to self and are made alive in Messiah in whom you move and live and breathe. Worship is offering your life unto Him in praise for who He is – He is the great I AM; the One who gives you existence – the One who gives you your breath – the One who has taken the punishment for your sin, providing for us in Himself the perfect Passover Lamb. As True worshippers we give unto Elohim – give Him our all – and worship brings joy – His joy that strengthens us.
Tonight I would like us to look at a great example of true worship unto יהוה! So please turn with me to Diḇre haYamim Bět/2 Chronicles 13 (Read).
Here we have a very interesting chapter that contains great insight for us as it reflects the contrast between true worship and that which is not true and here from these accounts we can learn how we are to stand up against the evil that confronts us daily trying to take us out! Let us look briefly at this text in a little more detail in order for us to learn what the Father whom we worship is calling for today!
To give a little background leading up to this chapter – when Shelomoh (Solomon) had died Reḥaḇ’am (Rehoboam) his son took over the reign of Yisra’ĕl and Yaroḇ‘am (Jeroboam) who had fled Shelomoh, after Shelomoh’s death came back to Yisra’ĕl from Mitsrayim and came to Reḥaḇ‘am asking him to lighten the service which Shelomoh had put on them to which Reḥaḇ’am ignored the advice of the elders and increased the yoke of hardship upon Yaroḇ’am and so came the split and when Reḥaḇ’am wanted to fight against the rest of Yisra’ĕl under Yaroḇ’am the word of יהוה came to Shemayahu the man of Elohim saying not to go up and fight and Reḥaḇ’am listened. During this time Yaroḇ’am had rejected the Lěwites from serving as priests and had appointed their own priests to serve on the high places and for the goats and calf idols they had made. Reḥaḇ’am actually walked in the ways of Dawiḏ and Shelomoh for 3 years after which it went all pear-shaped! When Reḥaḇ’am had established his reign he forsook the Torah of יהוה and was delivered into the hands of Shishaq sovereign of Mitsrayim and after the rulers and sovereign of Yisra’ĕl had humbled themselves the wrath of Elohim was turned away from destroying them. Sadly though Reḥaḇ’am did evil because he did not prepare his heart to seek יהוה, and all his days there was fighting between him and Yaroḇ’am. When he died, Aḇiyah his son of the wife he had loved more than all his wives and concubines, whose name was Miḵayahu, became king and reigned 3 years in Yerushalayim. It is during his reign that we pick up in this chapter where the north – south conflict that had raged throughout the reign of Reḥaḇ’am continued and here in this one battle Aḇiyah found himself outnumbered 2 to 1 by Yaroḇ’am’s men. Let me ask you, ‘How do you handle life’s battles when you are outnumbered and surrounded on all sides by the enemy?’ Well, let us learn from how Aḇiyah handled this seemingly overwhelming against all odds battle:
First up we must realise just what his name means as it gives us great insight into the lesson we can learn from these events. Aḇiyah (אביה)means ‘my father is Yah’ (Strong’s H29– coming from the root H1 – אב – ‘Aḇ’ meaning ‘father’ and H3050 יה – ‘Yah’ – the shortened form of יהוה (Yahweh) and also often used in the poetic form of praise unto יהוה.
This is so significant for me – His name declared who his Father was – He knew the Father’s Name! There are so many today who claim to know the Father and will even recite the manner in which יהושע taught us to pray by saying, ‘Our Father…’, yet they do not even know His Name. Worshipping the Father in Spirit and Truth begins with knowing who He is and what is His Name – that is why He told Moshe to tell Yisra’ĕl “I AM יהוה your Elohim”. The Ten Words begin with, “I AM יהוה your Elohim.” Aḇiyah knew who His Father in Heaven was! His mother’s Name meant ‘who is like Yah’ and His grandfather Uri’ěl means ‘flame of Ěl’ or ‘my light is Ěl’. As we see the meaning of name’s playing a significant role in history in order to understand the Scriptures in light of the events that transpire around various people we see here in this chapter the battle between true worshippers of יהוה and those who worship themselves! Yaroḇ’am means, ‘whose people are many’, and also carries the meaning, ‘the people will contend’ meaning the people will fight or rebel!!! Well that is exactly what Yaroḇ’am did. So here this passage is a picture for us of the constant battle that rages between those who are true worshippers of יהוה and those who rebel!
2 classes of people – those who create problems for themselves and others by their self-made religions and doctrines and theologies and then those who recognise the sovereignty of Elohim – the true seekers of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness – which is to do all that He commands us to do:
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.’”
What we see here is the struggle between pure worship and obedience against all that hides behind a veil of man-made dogmas and rules that simply bring a heavy yoke of bondage that is always disguised as a form of freedom yet quickly forsakes the responsibility of obedient living unto יהוה for self!
Religion of man will never be satisfied and will continue to wage war against obedience to the Torah of יהוה as it looks for things to debate away, always rebelling against the Truth, devising a system of compromising the Truth to satisfy selfish needs. Then there are those, who are of the remnant – always the fewer, who will seek the Truth – hear the Truth and rejoice in the Truth – “Hear-Guard-Do!” It is the true worshippers that prevail and overcome!!!
As we can see from the account of Aḇiyah – worship becomes an instrument of warfare that crushes the power of darkness! Our pure worship in living in obedience to His Word crushes the power of darkness that tries to enforce on the masses through religious programmes and tickling ear messages, dogmas and theologies that only lead them away from the Torah; and based on the Scriptural definition – those who do these are classified as false teachers and false prophets, sent by יהוה in order to test us!!! It is time for true worshippers of יהוה to stand!
And stand up is exactly what Aḇiyah did!
He stood up on Mount Tsemarayim in the mountains of Ephrayim and shouted out to the enemy! Picture the scene for a moment – 800 000 enemy troops against 400 000 – odds were very much against the true worshippers – battle was drawn – knives were out – it was war time! By all physical accounts this seemed like a no win situation that Aḇiyah and his men would not get out of – what do you do when all seems hopeless? You do what Aḇiyah did – why? Because he knew who his Father was!!!
1 – You remind the enemy who you belong to! Let me remind you that we do have enemies that we wrestle against – Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:12 tells us who they are: “…against principalities, against authorities, against world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual matters of wickedness in the heavenlies.”
And we are told to take up the complete armour being able to have the power to withstand in the wicked day and stand, stand and stand. The ability for us to stand is grounded in the Torah – the Living Word – as we put on our armour of His Word living it our daily in Messiah! Yes we have an enemy just as Aḇiyah had, but listen – to the Truth – we have authority in Messiah to pull down strongholds:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
How do we punish disobedience? By our obedience – we cannot compromise is the slightest if we are to pull down the strongholds and vain reasonings that are set up against the true knowledge of Elohim. Your walk of obedient living will destroy the enemy!!!
Luqas/Luke 10:19 “See, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and none at all shall hurt you.”
Ya’aqoḇ/James 4:7 “So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devil and he shall flee from you.”
You see in Messiah we have all authority as we walk in total submission and obedience to His Torah, able to pull down those strongholds of often confusing threats of twisted truth and overthrow vain reasoning as to why the masses live under a false and twisted ‘grace’ message. As I said it begins with His Name – when the enemy surrounds you – what do you do?
Tehillim/Psalm 119:10-12 “All the gentiles surrounded me, In the Name of יהוה I shall cut them off. 11 They surrounded me, Yea, they surrounded me; In the Name of יהוה shall I cut them off. 12 They surrounded me like bees; they were extinguished like burning thorns; In the Name of יהוה I shall cut them off.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of יהוה is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”
Aḇiyah stood upon Mount Tsemarayim (which means ‘dual-fleece’ or ‘double witness’) in the mountains of Ephrayim (which means ‘doubly fruitful’ or ‘double portion’) and here he reminded Yaroḇ’am of the covenant of salt יהוה made with the house of Dawiḏ. He was basically saying: “Give it up Yaroḇ’am, there is no way you can win, in the natural you are stronger than us and the odds do not favour us, however there is one thing I remind you of as I stand in the place of double portion – and that is the Covenant of Salt that Elohim has made with the house of Dawiḏ.
Aḇiyah was charging Yaroḇ’am and his followers with 3 major sins:
1 – They had ignored the Davidic Covenant
2 – They were worshipping idols
3 – They had expelled the legitimate priests and set up their own to worship their man-made systems
Aḇiyah predicted that although they were surrounded they would be saved!
I have spoken a while back on salt and how every offering had to be brought with salt – check out the message ‘seasoned with salt’ for more on that – but here he was reminding Yaroḇ’am of a Covenant that would not be broken and salt signified life and that which preserves life. It is interesting to note that in salt – NaCl (Sodium Chloride), Na (Sodium) needs ‘7’ outer electrons to be completed but only has ‘1’ and Cl (Chloride) needs ‘1’ outer electron to be completed and has ‘7’. To produce ‘salt’ there has to be 8 – 7+1= 8!!! Isn’t it wonderful that Torah teaches you how to count – we are learning to count past 3!!! 8 is a number is symbolic of ‘new beginnings’, a picture of eternity – as in the 8th day of Sukkoth – the Shemini Atzeret – the last Great day. The Davidic Covenant of salt was the 7th Scriptural Covenant and made complete in יהושע by being the 8th – the Renewed Covenant in His Blood bringing forth fulfilment and a renewal – new beginnings. In Messiah we are the salt of the earth – as we walk in obedience we bring the very ministry of purification and preservation!
Despite this Covenant with Dawid Yaroḇ’am still rebelled against Shelomoh, against Rehoboam and Aḇiyah and ultimately against יהוה!
Aḇiyah reminded the enemy who he/they belonged to!
2 – Tell the enemy who he is:
He is a rebel with very limited authority and will not prosper. As we stand for truth we expose the lies of the enemy – exposing their wicked twisted ways for what they really are – but in order to do tis correctly we are to be sure we are firm in our obedient walk – no compromise – compromising in any way will simply compromise your witness!!! Aḇiyah represents the minority against the masses who think they are strong – proclaiming a prosperity gospel that is all about self and worldly show – all about numbers and performance in the physical! It is time to expose the lies and see how they have thrown out the legitimate priests and appointed their own ear tickling specialists who draw a crowd who will empty their pockets for a lie! As it says in Hoshěa 2:2 – “Strive with your mother” – in other words ‘rebuke’ your mother – that is the harlot whore – the catholic church – the mother of Christianity – it is time to tell the enemy who she is!!! This may sound harsh but it is time for true worshippers of יהוה to stand up!!! Those who have not forsaken Him, those who have returned to Him and are serving Him daily with the sweet fragrance of sacrificial living for the Truth of His Word, guarding His Torah in Spirit and Truth!
I was wrestling through the night 2 nights back and the heading that kept coming to me was this: “Christianity – Truth or Dare?” I kind of saw this as a topic or a title of a teaching or book that must expose the enemy’s lies. We all know what the ‘truth or dare’ game entails I am sure – most have at some stage played it in one form or another and basically you have the option of telling the truth or doing whatever the dare challenge would be – for most they do not want to opt for the truth and rather risk the dare – well isn’t that what Christianity has done – the enemy has through his trickery caused Christianity to simply be a ‘dare’ of sorts where the masses will simply do whatever they are told to do – jump through hoop after hoop set up by self-made leaders who are leading people away from the Truth as opposed to leading them to the Truth, where the masses who choose the dare do not seek out the Truth for fear of exposing their weaknesses and faults and lawless (torahless) life and will follow the dare of the enemy behind the banner of Christianity masquerading as the light! Christianity is NOT Truth – but rather a sick and twisted dare well-crafted by the enemy – we must expose the lies!!! For many these words may sound a little harsh – but the fact is that as you dig into the roots of the ‘Christian’ faith it is very clear and alarmingly obvious that it is founded on lies – truth that has been twisted in order to manipulate and control the masses in the disguise of freedom! It is time for True worshippers to stand up and to expose the ‘dare’ trap of dogmas and doctrines (Man-made systems of worship and rules) that I must remind you – יהושע has destroyed and nailed to the stake – He did not ‘nail the Torah’ to the stake as erroneously taught in Christianity – NO – He nailed man-made rules, regulations, dogmas, theologies, catechisms etc. – Those body of man-made rules that have added to or taken away from the Torah and only hinder one’s walk in Him – Torah is life – He is life – the Living Torah – in Him we move and live and are!! True worshippers please stand up and walk in the Living Torah – walk in יהושע Messiah!!!
3 – When the attacks come – cry out to יהוה – Raise the Shout of great faith!
Let me tell you, when you stand for truth the attacks will come – be ready by crying out to יהוה, cry out for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding – when the enemy is all around – cry out – this is no silent matter – let the enemy know unto who you call – no secret agents stuff – make it known unto whom you call!!!! Let your life be a declaration of your love for Elohim, as you live out His Way – His Narrow Way of Torah (Instructions). Your display of wilful and joy filled obedience unto His Torah will speak very loud and clear – make his name known and let the sound of faithful obedience shout out aloud in your daily walk of faith in Messiah יהושע!
Verse 14 says that when he saw that they were surrounded they cried out to יהוה and the priests began to sound the trumpets and the men gave a shout – not a whisper – there cry was lifted high and far and wide. The battle is יהוה’s and the victory is ours in Messiah – raise a shout to יהוה – serve Him with gladness, come before Him signing – know that יהוה is Elohim – He has made us and we are His – He will not forsake us!!!
Sha’ul in Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 4:8 said that they were hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair – we need to learn to cry out aloud and give a shout offering of praise – especially when the enemy has you hemmed in on all sides!!!!
Encourage one another in יהוה in battles a struggles – take a stand of faith and raise the standard by not giving in to compromise – stand – stand and stand – and the best way to stand is in giving the victory sound of praise – watch how יהוה – delivers us from our enemies as we raise the declaration of victory in the heavenlies!
4 – Attack!
Use your authority in Messiah and break down the gates of the enemy by making your stand and confession of faith through you loving and willing obedience, unwilling to compromise the standards of His pure Torah!
Listen 500 000 choice men of the enemy died that day. That is 100 000 more than the troops that the remnant had – יהוה humbled Yisra’ĕl that day – for he will humble the proud stiff necked and Yehuḏah (worshippers of Yah) prevailed because they relied on יהוה!
The heart of this message tonight is simply this – will you, as a true worshipper of יהוה, please stand up!!!
Just as Aḇiyah stood on the Mount of ‘double portion’ so to0 must we stand up and be firm in the double portion – what do I mean by that? Well we see that with the victories we see in Scripture – it is not always the masses or the big crowds that win – more often than not – in fact it is always the remnant – that is the faithful few that are the overcomers and the ones who walk in the promises. Eliyahu came up against 450 Ba’al prophets at Mount Karmel – 450 to 1 and preached repentance. Elisha received a double portion of the anointing of Eliyahu, so as we know that Yoḥanan the immerser came out of the wilderness preaching repentance to which the masses of religious fold turned against, and יהושע told His disciples that the spirit of Eliyahu had already come in the form of Yoḥanan may we be bold enough to rise up and walk in the double portion of the anointing of Eliyahu given through our Saviour and King Messiah יהושע, who has given us all authority over the wickedness in high places – may we be bold enough to take a stand and preach repentance, calling people out of bondage – even when the enemy has us hard pressed on every side and physically it looks like a daunting task to stand firm in our obedient walk – will you please stand up and be a worshipper of יהוה?
True worshippers stand up and fight the good fight of faith, enduring at all costs knowing who our Father is, equipped and enabled to praise Him in every way that our lives are a complete worship offering unto Him as we do not shrink back but press on by faith to the preservation of life in Messiah!
Will you be like Aḇiyah in the text we read enabled through Messiah to stand against the enemy?
True worshippers of יהוה please stand up – Let us raise a shout to Elohim as we sing the Song ‘Tehillim/Psalm 100’ and declare His praise. Perhaps you are facing battles right now and it seems as though the enemy has you closed in on all sides – stand up and worship יהוה, and declare His Truth and as we sing together may we truly declare to the enemy that he is a defeated foe as we earnestly declare our loving commitment to our Elohim, יהוה of Hosts!!!
Stand up and worship!!! For the time has now come for the True worshippers to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth!!!