Message preached on 16 July 2010
Bless Yahweh! Praise be to Yahweh our Elohim. Last week we looked at the responsibilities for possessing our inheritance and tonight I would like us to reflect on assessing our lives in light of what YHWH has done for us and what lays ahead for us as His Beloved children and how we are to live out His promises now. This weeks Torah reading is from Deuteronomy 1-3 and we will go through this tomorrow in a little more detail, but for tonight I wanted to just give you a summary or book review on this most amazing book and then understand and look at the need for us to assess our lives according to the Word of Elohim, in order that we may truly walk in great joy and victory in possessing all He has for us, amen! My message tonight is called ‘Assessing your position for possessing – it is time to go and possess’!
Moshe (Moses) gave His last words in addressing the whole Israelite nation before he died, and he reflects on the 40 year journey of the Israelites through the Wilderness, in relation to Yahweh’s teaching and instructions for them. He recalls the lingering effects of Egypt that was revealed in the rebellious behaviour of this set apart, chosen nation – to the miracles and mercy of Elohim, so underscoring and understanding the progressive work of redemption, foreshadowing Messiah Yahshua – our Redeemer. The Book of Deuteronomy (D’varim) summarises their desert wanderings, and in this way closes the life of Moses. It is a wonderful picture for us that shows us how Moses leads the Bride (that is those who walk in the holy ways of Messiah) to her betrothal. The Bride’s days in the Wilderness are now over once she understands and walks in the Torah, for then the Bride can proceed to her wedding. It is the teachings of Moses (Torah) that takes the Bride to her betrothal but it is the Spirit of Elijah that takes the Bride to her wedding. We worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. The truth as set forth in the Torah (Instructions) of Yahweh, given through Moses, revealed in the flesh by Yahshua and now empowered by the Spirit having the Torah written on our hearts enabling us to transform our lives into becoming a ready Bride, taking possession of what he has given us in Yahshua daily in our lives now! Deuteronomy (D’varim) is sometimes called the ‘Mishnah ha Torah’ – a repetition of the Torah, for in it Moshe (Moses) reiterates much of what he has said in the rest of the Torah, speaking to a new generation what possibly was not taught to them by their parents. Deuteronomy (D’varim) is the most quoted book in the Renewed Covenant (N.T.); and in fact Yahshua Himself quotes from Deuteronomy (D’varim) 3 times in response to the temptation He faced by the devil in the Wilderness. Deuteronomy (D’varim) is the powerhouse, if you will, that holds the vision and the mandate that we have in Yahshua Messiah. Those who choose to walk in and obey the words of Yahweh find that it becomes a place of anointing, righteousness and empowerment. Those who listen to and take to heart the words of the Torah would be carried into victory, and that is what we all want, amen! The goal and purpose of Torah is Yahshua – for He is the very Torah made flesh. I would like us to read Deuteronomy 1 and then turn to 1 John3 that through the Word we may assess our position for possessing all He has for us, amen! He has a lot for us – are we positioned to take hold of it?
Read Deuteronomy (D’varim) 1
In your walk with Yahweh, what new things is He calling you to? What is Yahweh saying to you, in terms of taking ownership of what He has given you? Do you find yourself procrastinating and in essence stuck on the wrong side of the promises? As we briefly look at this introduction in Deuteronomy (D’varim), we find some great insight and truth in equipping us to step in and take hold of all that Yahweh has for us, given to us by grace through faith in Yahshua Messiah.
The theme of Moses’ message is simply that the possession of Canaan was dependant upon keeping the Law/ Torah – keeping the instructions of Yahweh. Possession demands purity in order that we do not defile what has been freely given to us. Yahweh will always prepare us for what He has prepared for us! He cares about our preparation because He doesn’t want us to just simply ‘visit’ places or things that we cannot possess. In other words, He does not want us to just ‘visit’ our promises – He wants us to possess our promises, amen! The Promised Land lay ahead for the Israelites and Moses recaps all they have been through up until this point, emphasising that it is Yahweh who had brought them this far, and it would be Yahweh who would take them forward, and in order to go forward and be victorious is possessing the Promises of Elohim they had to be obedient and trust Him!
So what do we take from Deuteronomy (D’varim) 1? Firstly, in verse one we see names of places that are profound in understanding the need to have the right motives in our heart in order to walk victoriously in Yahshua Messiah. I spoke on Wednesday night about this and just want to recap once again to help us understand that in order to be in a position to possess any promises from Yahweh we need to ensure that our hearts are rightly positioned and aligned in Him. The places in verse 1 that I want to highlight are: Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hatseroth and DiZahab. Moses spoke these words between these places – so this in essence can signify for us and assessment area – an area of making sure that the motive for stepping into the promises and possessing them is pure and not selfish! Let’s look at each one to get a better understanding of what I am saying:
1 – Paran – Paran is a wilderness situated in the East central region of the Sinai Peninsula, NE of Sinai and SSE of Kadesh. It is from the root word ‘pa’ar’ which means ‘to beautify, glorify, adorn’. Paran, giving reference to fruitfulness and so what we see from this is something that is ‘gleaning, adorned, and beautiful. Pretty much the kind of description you would give to a Bride adorned with great beauty. We are His Bride that is to be adorned by the beautifying of His Word, bearing much fruit, that lasts!
2 – Tophel – Is a place where Israel camped opposite the Jordan, east of the Dead Sea, and carries the meaning, ‘lime, unseasonable or white’. It comes form the same word ‘taphel’ used in Lamentations 2:14 describing, folly, deception or false, and so carries with it the idea used to refer to something false or make it something it is not!
3 – Laban – means ‘white’ or ‘brick’ or rather to ‘make white’ or ‘make brick’.
Grouping Tophel and Laban together can clearly speak of ‘plastering’ something – making it an unnatural white!
We all need to decide on what we follow and adhere to – be it the Word that makes us beautiful as a Bride should be, on the inside and out and nearing good fruit that produces after its kinds – seed bearing fruit, or the ‘plaster’ or ‘appearance’ of doing and saying the right things, but with no change on the inside. You see we can ‘do Torah’ out of a legalistic viewpoint and not ‘live Torah’ out of a reverence and love for Yahweh! The Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold inside and out. The question we need to ask ourselves in assessing whether we are truly in a position to possess the promises that are yes and amen in Yahshua is, “Am I covered inside and out, adorned and made beautiful by the Word or am I just ‘whitewashed’, having only appearance of righteousness?”
There are many today, calling themselves followers of Messiah, who are simply going through the motions for appearance sake, yet their lives bear no good fruit that lasts, or they are bearing what has the appearance of fruit, yet it is ‘seedless’! Today we see that the fruit we are buying is becoming less and less able to reproduce after itself – no seeds or pips. We bought a whole bag of lemons from the Fruit and Veg and when we cut them open there are no pips! A Paw-Paw that is normally filled with hundreds of black seeds only had 3 in!!! Unfortunately that is the state of many Believers – seedless, carrying no nutritional value in the Word! We need the Word to produce from the inside, fruit that comes forth for many to eat of! So will we allow the Word to produce in us or are we merely ‘whitewashed in appearance?
The next two places also carry great meaning for us in understanding us having the right heart to enter in to possessing all Yahweh has for us:
4 – Hazeroth - Another place where they had camped and has the meaning of a settlement or fenced enclosure consisting of, “a low wall of stones in which thick bundles of thorny acacia are inserted, the tangled branches and long needle-like spikes forming a perfectly impenetrable hedge around the encampment” of tents and cattle which they sheltered or used for a sheep pen. It also means trumpet shape enclosure for sheep.
5 – Di’Zahab – was a region of gold and means ‘enough gold’.
Once again the question or the motive of our heart in taking possession is at stake. A decision is to be made before ‘crossing the Jordan’ into Promises before us so to speak and we need to decide as we assess our position and ask, “Will we be about gathering the lost sheep, making a pen that is impenetrable with breaches in the walls, or about amassing wealth, if the latter the land will only be defiled again?”
Is it to be that strong knitted community looking out for each other and gathering other lost sheep into the safety of the Word or is it to amass for oneself great wealth? In other words – is the motive for blessing and promises self motivated or will you love one another as the commands tell us?
There is a principle of accelerated blessing here – the faster you trust and obey – the faster you will receive the blessing of Yahweh!!! On a journey that would normally take 11 days – took 40 years!!! Why? They were very slow in trusting and obeying, and even when they did – it didn’t last long? This must be a great lesson to us – the longer we procrastinate about trusting Yahweh and obeying Him wholeheartedly the longer it will take for us to get to where He has called us to! We need to learn to stop staying at certain mountains, where we had great provision and insight, I might add, and learn to go up and take possession of every promise he has prepared for us, amen! Kadesh Barnea was the threshold of promise – it was the entry point to the Promised Land, where they sent out the 12 spies from to spy out the land – 40 years earlier!!! Some of you today are at the threshold of entering into great promises, at the Kadesh Barnea so to speak, and so we can do well to learn from the mistakes of the Israelites. The fatal faith killing mistake they made was to stop trusting Yahweh and stopped relying on Yahweh to lead them and began to lean on their own understanding – Big Mistake.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in YHWH with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.isten, if you are trying to be in charge of your life, if you are relying on your own intellect, your own talent and strength to get through life, you are making a HUGE mistake! Yahweh loves it when you trust and obey Him! Yahweh loves it when you rely on Him to take you though life’s journey. He rewards faith, and the quicker you trust and obey, the sooner you’ll reap the benefit of His blessing. It’s the principle of “accelerated blessing.” We often become impatient and want Yahweh to do something for us right now, but we forget about His purposes and His timing. We don’t understand why it’s taking Yahweh our Elohim so long to answer our prayers. Catherine, my daughter, came to me the other day with a great illustration:
Yahweh was having conversation with a little boy, and the boy asked Yahweh, “How long is a million years to You?”, Yahweh answered, “like a second”, and the boy again inquired, “And much is a million dollars to you?”, to which Yahweh replied, “like a cent.” The little boy, very courageously, then asked Yahweh, “Can I please have a cent?”, and Yahweh replied, “Just wait a sec!”
Yahweh is not slow as we understand slowness, His timing is not our timing – His timing is perfect! We must trust and obey! Listen to me now, if you are completely trusting and obeying Yahweh, your prayers will have top priority and they will be answered in the fastest possible time according to His plan. That plan may require you to wait 4 years for an answer to prayer. But if you are not trusting and being obedient, then the answer might not come for 40 years. Which would you rather have a 4 year wait or a 40 year wait?
Yahweh is moving you – He is moving us into something new, a new, fresh and deeper relationship with Him - a more dynamic walk with Yahshua Messiah - a new adventure in His Holy Spirit. We are about to enter this promised land and capture souls for Messiah as we march under new orders from Elohim. Let’s not make the same mistakes that the Children of Israel did at Kadesh-Barnea.
It is time to truly assess your position for possessing all He has for you – it is time to go and possess. Are you ready to possess all he has for you?
Turn with me to 1 John 3, for this is the passage that I would like us to look at before presenting you will some points of assessment that need to take place in every Believers life and dealt with in order to fully embrace and joyfully take possession of the abundant life given freely to us. We need to come to the Kadesh-Barnea’s of our walk and assess our position for possessing every promise in Him!
Read with me 1 John 3
What an awesome way to start this passage – “See what love the Father has given us!” Do you see what he has given you? Do you realise and see what the Father has given you – do you recognise and appreciate the great love he has given you? Do you see it? The Israelites had seen, yet failed to take possession at first and waited 40 years for the next generation to take it!!! We are called children of Elohim!!! Do you realise who you are? You are a child of the Living Elohim – the Mighty One of Oaths! That is why the world hates you!!! Yes we only know and see in part but one day we shall see the fullness of what we shall be – being like Him and see him as He is!!! Now this is something to be excited about – wouldn’t you say? You see verse 3 tells us that we who have this expectation, this hope must cleanse ourselves in Him. Yahshua came in the flesh, knew no sin and took our sin upon Himself and if we live in Him we will sin no longer!!! It makes sense – if I am in Him, and there is no sin in Him, then there can no longer be sin in me! The Word also says that if we say we have no sin then we are liars and the truth is not in us. The point I want to make is this – if there is sin in my life then I need to question whether I am walking in Him – in Him in whom there is no sin? We must cleanse ourselves and throw off sin!
I want to give you 21 reasons not to sin – yes 21, although I think that we only need one reason not to sin – because the Father has told us not to and we are to hear His Words and obey them, amen – but for the sake of helping us understand just how terrible sin is and how it affects our walk in Yahshua, then let us look at 21 reasons not to sin! 1 John 3 is clear, it says that everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him – not what many preach today is it!!!
We are to cleanse ourselves – to rid ourselves of sin – the problem is that most don’t get rid of sin, why? Because they like it! Remember sin will keep you from possessing all that He has prepared for you! Sin will keep you from possessing the very love that the Father has given you!
21 reasons not to sin:
Well firstly what is sin? Sin according to 1 John 3:4 is ‘lawlessness’ – ‘anomia’ in the Greek – ‘without nomos’ – ‘nomos’ means law and so ‘anomia’ is without law, ‘lawlessness’. Sin is the transgression of the Law / Torah!!! 1John 5:17 tells us that all unrighteousness is sin. James 4:17 tells us that he who knows to do good, and does not do it is sinning! We have no excuse, we know how we ought to live – time for pleading ignorance is over. We may have inherited lies, in fact we have inherited many lies that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries, but Yahweh is calling everyone everywhere to repent. We need to rid our lives of sin (that is walking in disobedience to the Torah) and start walking in the right direction as we follow Messiah, the Living Torah – we are to walk in Torah, for that will be our righteousness – to guard and do all His commands as he has commanded us (Deuteronomy 6:25), leading us victoriously in to His Prepared Promises!
1 – Sin does not satisfy! Yes often sin may seem to bring pleasure and even Hebrews tells us that sin only pleasures for a season – it is temporal and only leaves us with an empty, unclean, hollow, discontent feeling inside.
2 – Sin leads to more sin! Proverbs 5:22 “The wrong one is entrapped in his own crookedness, and he is caught in the chords of his sin.” Sin ties you up and giving in to it only fuels the fire for more destruction.
3 – Sin leads to worse sins – only a little yeast can destroy the whole batch – leave no room for those seemingly ‘little sins’
4 – Sin enslaves you – whatever you serve shall be your master and sin will demand more of you!
5 – Sin degrades and humiliates – Ecclesiastes 10:1 tells us that dead flies make the perfume stink – you cannot hide the ‘smell’ of sin and it will degrade you! Sin will diminish your value, becoming worthless and ‘stinky’.
6 – Sin steals joy – The joy of Yahweh is our strength – when you sin your joy is stolen away. David in Psalm 51 cried out to have the joy of His deliverance restored – sin had taken away his joy in Yahweh!
7 – Sin steals your confidence before Yahweh – it steals your innocence, makes you uneasy with others and uncomfortable before Yahweh – that is why when many are in sin they cannot come into fellowship – it is too uncomfortable for them! When in sin there is no boldness to come to the Father!
8 – Sin’s wages are death!
9 – Sin does not go unpunished! Praise Yahshua that He took away the punishment for our sin, however we must repent and confess to Him our sin in order for Him to forgive!
10 – Sin hurts Yahshua every time – it is like we are spitting in His face, wounding Him and making a mockery of His love! This alone ought to rock you at the core!
11 – Sin hurts the sinner – there is no good that comes from sin!
12 – Sin hurts family and friends!
13 – Sin brings reproach to the sinner, to the body of Messiah and to the name of Yahweh
14 – Sin makes light the Blood of Yahshua – Hebrews 10:27-29 “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 judgement, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents. 28 Anyone who had disregarded the Torah of Moshe 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?”
15 – Sin puts the sinner on the side of the devil – 1 John 3:8 “the one doing the sin is of the devil…”
16 – Sin sets the sinner against Yahshua – Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me…” When you are sinning you are not with Yahshua – guess what that means…!!!
17 – Sin stops the anointing!
18 – Sin steals away time – what could you have done with all the time you spent sinning? What could you have done more productively in service to Yahweh? What could you have done more in relationships, be it in your marriage, family or friends? What projects never got completed because of sin?
19 – Sin has eternal consequences – your sin affects those around you – all of us influence people whether we realise it or not and those who look to you can be seriously affected in their relationship with the Messiah if you sin! Matthew 18: 6 tells us that whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in messiah to stumble, it would be better for them to have a millstone around their neck and thrown into the sea! An individual’s sin affects a family, and even a nation – Achan is a good example of this – when he took of the plunder from Jericho after being commanded not to! He hid it in his tent and what happened – go read about it in Yehoshua (Joshua) – when Israel went to battle against Ai, they lost and 36 were killed, because of Achan. Not only that, but his whole family – sons and daughters were killed too, along with his cattle and sheep etc. Why the sheep and cattle? Because his whole house had become defiled, so the animals would no longer be acceptable as offerings unto Yahweh!!!
20 – Sin always finds you out – Numbers 23:32 tells us that!!!
21 – Your sin could cost you your salvation
Enough reasons not to sin!!!
1 John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us form all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Yahshua Messiah is the only One Righteous and Trustworthy to forgive – no man can forgive you – no priest or any man!!!
1 John 2:1-4 “My little children, I write this to you, so that you do not sin, and if anyone sins, we have an intercessor with the Father, Yahshua Messiah, a righteous One. 2 And He Himself is an atoning offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all the world. 3 And by this we know that we know Him, if we obey His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him”, and does not guard his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
One thing is clear as we assess our position in possessing the promises of Elohim – there is no room for sin – we must cleanse ourselves of sin – rid ourselves of faulty and sinful traditions and begin to walk in the truth of Torah!
There is much to take from 1 John 3 in helping us assess where our lives are at and I would like to give you a 14 point test!!! Yes 14 areas that we should assess in our walk with Yahshua! This is assessment time!!!
1 – The Companionship test – Do I demonstrate that I love the fellowship of our Saviour living it out in fellowship with His body, able to consider others better than myself looking out not only for my own interests but the interests of others or am I living for self? (Philippians 2:3-4)
2 – The Comfort test – Am I sensitive to sin – do I recognise the effects of sin or do I find myself unable to break the ‘comfort zone’ of habitual sin – not realising that it is sin! Why would one not know or identify sin? For lack of Torah knowledge, for Paul tells us that Torah reveals sin in us, for he would not have known what coveting was if the Torah had not said, “Do not covet”. What we must ask ourselves is, “Am I comfortable in my ignorance or do I truly want to walk in total freedom to worship my Saviour, obeying his commands that will reveal in me any shortfall that requires his cleansing?”
3 – The Cleansing test – have I experienced and accepted His forgiveness and embraced being made whole and clean, in faith do I recognise and accept that He has washed me whiter than snow and removed my sins far from me and forgotten them!
4 – The Commandments test – Boy do we need this test in the ‘churches’ today!!! Am I keeping His Commands – Love for him is to keep his commands which are not burdensome!
5 – The Conformity test – Does my life conform to His will? Is my life being transformed by the renewing of my mind through the Word or am I simply going with the flow and conforming to the patterns and standards of the world?
6– The Conduct test – Am I doing righteousness or am I just speaking it and being whitewashed in all I do? – Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before Yahweh our Elohim, as He has commanded us.” Is my conduct in my daily walk righteous – How am I living?
7 – The Coming test – Am I looking forward to Yahshua coming again and am I living accordingly? (1 John 3:1-3)
8 – The Conquering test – Am I no longer marked by habitual sin? (1 John 3:4-9) I am done with sin!
9 – Charity test – Am I demonstrating by my actions and attitude a genuine love for my brothers and sisters in Messiah? (1 John 3:10-19) do I hate my brother, yet say I love Elohim?
10 – Conscience test – Am I free from the plague of moral guilt? (1 John 3:20-21), can I boldly come to Him as the Word tells me to, or is there stuff in my life that causes me to be unable to approach Him with gladness and joy?
11 – Communication test – Have I experienced true answers to prayer? (1 John 3:22) Are my prayers an abomination to Yahweh, because I am not guarding and doing his Torah?
12 – Counsellor test – Do I show evidence by my obedience to His Word that His Holy Spirit is present in my life? (1 John 3:24) Is it evident in my daily walk with Yahshua that I am being led by the Ruach (Spirit) of Elohim, or am I walking according to the desires of the flesh? Am I led by the Spirit or by the flesh?
13 – Compatibility test – Can I rightly divide the Truth, and recognising the lies, knowing the difference between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of delusion and be able to hear from those who are of Elohim? (1 John 4:6)
14 – Constraint test – Do I love Yahweh? 1 John 4:19-21 “We love Him because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says. “I love Him,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one not loving his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love Elohim who he has not seen? 21 And we have this command from Him, that the one loving Elohim should love his brother too.”
What is your motive behind wanting to possess all He has prepared for you, behind wanting to fully possess His love – is it love for Him – then Know that this is love for Him – to obey His commands. Ultimately the way for you to assess your position for possession is to assess your love for Him. Are you covered inside and out with His precious love or have parts of your life been merely a whitewash effect. See what love the Father has given you and love Him because He first loved you. There are great promises ahead – it is time to take possession – are you in a position to possess!!! May this word stir your faith to expel any fear or discouragement that may have kept you from entering in to all he has for you, as you by faith press on and step into His great love and his great promises for your life, walking in the assurance of that which He has promised to give. May we all be dedicated to him in giving ourselves over to Him as a daily living sacrifice, depending upon Him, delighting in Him as we rejoice in every victory He gives, attracting others to Him as we express His unending joy, being directed by Him on every step equipping us to be dynamic for Him as we become bold witnesses of His goodness and His love, amen!
Moses was getting Israel to assess themselves before taking possession and he is doing that today with you – let me ask you, “How are you positioned?”
Yahshua has gone before us and he has provided for us the life of abundance that is in Him, that we are to live out to the fullest right here, right now! As you come to that pace of assessment, that Kadesh-Barnea of your life so to speak, are you ready to fully embrace all He has ahead for you! I believe that Yahweh has made you ready – do you see it, do you see His great love that he has given you? Can you live it – then it is time to go and possess!!!
May Yahweh bless you and guard you, Yahweh make his face shine upon you, and show favour to you; Yahweh lift up His face upon you, and give you peace, now and forevermore, amen! Now go and possess!!!