Sunday, November 28, 2010



Praise our Wonderful and Mighty Maker – YHWH our Elohim, we are to praise His Name, and our ability to truly praise Him and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, despite the circumstances we find ourselves in, becomes greater the more we walk in and trust in His Word. Shabbat Shalom everyone, blessed be YHWH our Elohim who has given us His Shabbat! This week I was intrigued by a passage in Yeḥezqĕl and the more I meditated on it, the more I saw this is for us living today as much as it was for Yisra’ĕl back then. We are entering in to a season that is a much worshipped and served pagan festival, yes we all know what I am talking about – Christmas. A very pagan feast that has sadly been adopted by many well-meaning confessed followers of the Saviour. This is nothing other than a pure abomination unto YHWH and should be to us too. The sin that is so prevalent in our time – in worshipping false deities must come to an end – at least for those who claim to be followers of Messiah. Yeḥezqĕl was a watchmen for Yisra’ĕl and he continually warned them of coming judgement that would come upon the land – the whole land that is where none would be able to escape. In two messages that Yeḥezqĕl delivered unto Yisra’ĕl, we see that YHWH was the source of these messages given in chapters 6 & 7 as they both began with, “And the word of YHWH came to me, saying.” The first message was on Yisra’ĕl’s idolatry and the cause for judgement and the second, in chapter 7, depicted the nature of the judgement. It is chapter 7 that I want us to look at tonight in a message entitled, “A lesson on sin”. What jumped out at me while reading this was the repetition of YHWH repaying for their abominations, abominations that were in their midst – in other words – sin that was still very much alive and active! Turn with me to Yeḥezqĕl 7 and let us look at this very stern message of YHWH spoken through His prophet. (Read)

Yeḥezqĕl‘s message was that the end had come on the four corners of the land. He used the word ‘end’ five times, at the beginning of this message. The events about to unfold on Yisra’ĕl would bring a new revelation of YHWH’s character; the people would realize that YHWH, being righteous, punishes sin. YHWH vowed to unleash His anger against Yisra’ĕl without pity. He would judge her according to her conduct and repay her for her detestable practices. These judgments were repeated for emphasis. Then she would know that He is YHWH, a clause that appears again at the end of this message.
So what is this passage all about? Well, we know that YHWH hates sin and that there will come a day where he will judge all according to their works. This is an eschatological message, speaking of the day of YHWH – it is at hand. And it was a warning to Yisra’ĕl to turn from their wickedness or else… as we have just read what would happen!
We know from the messages Yeḥezqĕl gave to Yisra’ĕl that the sin that caused the judgment of YHWH was:
1 – Idolatry – at which he called the people to account for their disgusting behaviour – they had set up sun-pillars, were worshipping false idols and had high places of worship and slaughter-places unto pagan deities. Sounds the same today, especially as we see the pagan feast of Christmas, also known as saturnalia approaching! Mixing worship is an abomination to YHWH.
2 – Greed – the love of money made them stumble in sin.
3 – Bloodshed – the land was filled with crimes of bloodshed and violence.
4 – Pride – YHWH was going to break down their pride and destroy their set-apart places of adulterous worship!
The severity of this impending judgment would be:
1 – Continuous disaster and calamity – there would be terror after terror with no one to guide – they would seek peace yet not find any.
2 – Without YHWH’s pity
3 – Death by plagues in the city and by sword outside the city.
The words here in Yeḥezqĕl can be very alarming and should be, as the message is very clear regarding YHWH’s view on sin and idolatry – He will not tolerate it and the day is coming when He will repay according to the abominations that are in the midst of His people.
I would like us to look at sin, which as we know is the Hebrew word “ḥa-ta”  and means to miss the mark. What mark? The Torah! Torah in its root meaning carries the understanding of aiming in the right direction and moving in that direction. How do we aim – we fix our eyes on the author and Prince or Perfector of our faith – Yahushua Messiah – the Living Torah! So if we are not looking intently in to the Torah of YHWH and moving in that direction, where are we looking and moving to? Well you would be missing the mark and so be in ‘sin’. This chapter shows us a lot of lessons regarding sin, lessons that ought to help us adjust our focus on to the right mark – His Torah!
Galatiyim/Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be led astray: Elohim is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap. 8 Because he who sows to his own flesh shall reap corruption from the flesh, but he who sows to the Spirit shall reap everlasting life from the Spirit.

May we be found to be a people who sow to the Spirit – and we know that as Sha’ul tells us that the Torah is spiritual – that we may reap everlasting life from the Spirit!
As we look at this chapter we can certainly see the result of sowing to the flesh – the results of sin, so let us briefly take a closer look at sin as we find the inescapable truth that we find woven through this chapter and that is YHWH’s judgment is a result of sin -Sow righteousness and reap mercy, sow sin and reap judgment.
Yisra’ĕl were about to bring in a bumper crop of judgment, at the end of which they would acknowledge that YHWH is Elohim and there is none besides Him. What we can learn from these words is clear – get under grace – that is receiving his free gift and sow righteousness – that is to guard to do all His commands, for we do not want to reap the crop that sin grows! Let us look at 6 aspects of sin here in Yeḥezqĕl 7:

Micah had spoken about a hundred years earlier that YHWH would destroy the entire nation, yet because of His great mercy he had withheld judgment until NOW! YHWH has His appointed times – He has a day appointed for judgment. We know that YHWH is longsuffering with us – He put up with our sin since the Garden and has done everything necessary to save us from the consequences of our sin – giving us His Word in the flesh, yet His appointed time is drawing near. As in the days of Noaḥ - it is YHWH who shut the door and sealed it – so too will it be Him who ‘closes the door’ so to speak before He pours out His judgment and all who are not ‘in the boat’ will suffer the result of judgment of sin!
Sha’ul in Romiyim/Romans 1:18-32 makes it clear that those who continually refuse to accept the grace of Elohim will eventually cross a line of no return - a point at which they have given themselves so wholly over to sin that YHWH gives them over to it and the judgment that it brings.
Pharaoh first hardened his heart and then YHWH hardened his heart! As long as we have breath, may we praise our Elohim!

2 – WAGES OF SIN (v5-9)
It is interesting to note the repetition of the word repay is used four times here in regards to their sin. Listen I know there are a lot of things we would like repayment for but sin is not one of them! In Romiyim/Romans 6:23 Sha’ul reminds us that ‘the wages of sin are death, but the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah Yahushua our Master’.
The point is this, disobedience in whatever form – be it a wrong thought, motive or every ungodly word spoken earns itself a wage – death and judgement. There are some today who are six figure sinners and have earned a whole lot of death. A price we could never pay – but thanks be to Yahushua who became our sacrifice and paid the price for our sin and given us access to His unlimited grace which teaches us to say no to sin and yes to His Torah. YHWH’s judgment on Yisra’ĕl here is a sober wake-up call that sin increases our spiritual debt and if not dealt with can bring about a very bitter ‘pay-day’!
The only way to avoid YHWH’s repayment of our sin debt is to have our debt cancelled by the Blood of Yahushua, aměn!
The choice is clear – either choose to walk in His favour and sow righteousness through obedient living according to His Torah or sow sin and reap its wages!!!

3 – HARVEST OF SIN (v10-13)
Here in verse 10 YHWH uses an interesting picture of a budding rod of pride. The budding rod is certainly a picture Yisra’ĕl would understand and know! Remember Aharon’s rod – when there had been a rebellion among the people who thought that they should have a share of the ministry of the priesthood. YHWH judged Qoraḥ and his followers and set up a unique demonstration to show which people YHWH had chosen to serve as priests. Each tribe placed a rod in the Tabernacle and the miracle of Aharon’s budding rod demonstrated YHWH’s selection. Now in view of that understanding, to which Yisra’ĕl was very familiar, here in verse 10 we see that YHWH has selected Yisra’ĕl, not for service unto Him but for judgment!
We must recognise that the harvest is coming. There are two harvests – the good kind and the bad kind. Yoḥanan (John) 4 speaks of a harvest that is ripe now of those souls, whom YHWH has called, for which we may not have laboured yet we can go out and reap. Ḥazon (Revelation) 14 speaks of the harvest of the wicked who will be put into the winepress of the wrath of Elohim. As we know in farming, harvest time is dictated by the ripeness of the fruit, and one thing is sure the fruit of sin and rebellion against YHWH is very ripe. Our prayer should be that before that harvest comes that YHWH would grant us more of the harvest of salvation of souls for righteousness.
What you sow you shall reap; may we not be found sowing to the flesh and reap corruption but rather sowing righteousness and be secure in our faithful endurance of everlasting life.

4 – WEAKNESS OF SIN (v14-17)
A severe consequence of sin is that it weakens the sinner in their ability to stand against the enemy, and will cause you to fall before your enemies! In verse 14 it says the trumpet call for battle has gone out, but no one goes out to battle – why? Because their sin had weakened them and they had no strength whatsoever to fight. How many of you have found this true in your life that when you are not walking wholeheartedly in His will, in other words you are in sin, that you just cannot muster up the strength to fight the very sin that is weakening your ability to stand in Truth?
You see the reality of Yisra’ĕl’s strength was not in their great numbers or in their military power, or even in their leaders – it was in their ability to walk in obedience to YHWH’ instructions! Walking in right relationship with YHWH strengthens you for the battles of this life, yet sin weakens!!!
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:7-8 we see the promise of victorious results through faithful obedience:
And you shall pursue your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. 8 ‘And five of you shall pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you pursue ten thousand. And your enemies shall fall by the sword before you.
Gideon and his 300 men against 150 000 is a testimony to this truth! Yet here Yeḥezqĕl is predicting that Yisra’ĕl would, as a result of their sin, find themselves weak and so would see a fulfilment of YHWH’s Word in the event of disobedience:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26:17 “And I shall set My face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies. And those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.
What is the Word showing us here? The answer is simple – sin weakens you for battle and you will not be able to stand, however walking in His Torah will cause you to stand, stand and continue to stand dressed in the full armour of His Word, able to endure the battles that rage against you in the spirit! We see in verse 17 that he says that all hands go limp and all knees become as water! In Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:12-13 we are told to strengthen the hands that hang down and the weak knees and make straight paths for your feet – that is to walk in the Torah and do the good works of Torah that He has prepared in advance for us to do – do not be found weakened by lawlessness or sin!

5 – SHAME OF SIN (v18-23)
Sin brings shame, for we know as Dawiḏ says that our sin is forever before Him. Yisra’ĕl would recognise their weakness and shame would be on every face and they would shave their heads. They would put on sackcloth, which was a course cloth woven form long goat or camel hair and its dark colour rendered it appropriate for serious somber occasions, and to put on sackcloth was a sign of grief and mourning and repentance.
Yaʽaqoḇ/James 4:8-10 “Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded! 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.
When the shame of sin hits home the result must be one of repentance and not merely being sorry because you got caught, but rather a true turning away from sin. Too many people today are ‘laughing’ at their sin or rather their ‘lawlessness’ and take lightly the wickedness of their ways! There are so many who profess to ‘know’ Yahushua yet they are not keeping His Torah – they have brought His Name to naught and replaced it with pagan deity titles and incorrectly translated names that speak not of our Saviour but rather of false pagan deities. The Sabbath is not being kept by the ‘masses’ who claim they ‘know’ Him – in other words I see a picture here of the ‘church’ as we know it today are by their ‘lawless’ actions ‘laughing’ at their sin and have not seen the shame of their sin.
Here, in Yeḥezqĕl 7, we see what the result would be from their shame and disgrace of their disobedience and lawlessness. They would ‘throw out’ their silver in the streets and their gold become ‘as filth’! The idea here is that they would recognise that they had allowed materialism or rather the worries of this life (you know the ‘I got to have’ pressure) and the deceitfulness of wealth to become sin in their lives, and so would throw it out realising that those things cannot save them on the day of YHWH’s wrath. They would realise that the very wealth that they had pursued could not provide them security from their enemies, nor bring satisfaction in life nor buy food in the famine. And so throwing it in the streets they were recognising its lack of true value.
This is a picture for us to ‘throw out’ the old life – throw out that which does not truly satisfy, but only steals away your obedience to YHWH! What things do you value so much that actually has become a stumbling block or sin in your life? By that I mean what has such value to you that it steals away your time and obedience unto YHWH? Have you found that because of those things your ability to endure battles is almost non-existent? You see until you see the shame of it – you will not throw it out, and it may continue to weaken you, emotionally, spiritually and physically!

Sin not dealt with will only lead to desolation and destruction! YHWH said that their enemies would possess their houses and their pride would cease and their set-apart places be profaned. They would seek peace yet find none! They would seek a Word from YHWH and find none! And a result of this entire calamity would be that they would know who YHWH is!
Now I do not know about you but I want to know who YHWH is through obedient living, not through calamity and destruction because of disobedient living! Sin leads to destruction and we are to have no part in it.

When Yeḥezqĕl speaks saying 5 times the end has come, may we realise that there is an end that should come now, and that is:
1 – An end to our sin
2 – An end to indecision – how long will you waver between two opinions?
3 – An end to the gloom of doubt and half-hearted service! The night is far spent and the day is at hand, so wake up o sleeper!

Hear these words from Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John:
1:7-10 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, (we can ‘fellowship with one another as we walk in the Light – as we walk in Torah we can be in unity and able to truly fellowship – it is His Torah that unites us in fellowship as a body in Him!) And the blood of Yahushua Messiah His Son cleanses us from all sin (a progression if walking in the Torah and in fellowship is the ability for His Torah to teach and guide us and cleanse us from lawlessness). If we say that we have no sin, we are misleading ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

2:1-2 “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, Yahushua Messiah, a righteous One. And He Himself is an atoning offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all the world.

2:12 “I write to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His Name.” (We have been forgiven on account of His Name - His Name declares His Work - Yahushua - Yahweh is our Salvation - there is no other name which saves - not Jesus or any other - only the Name of YHWH - Yahushua our Messiah, and on account of His Name we are forgiven!)

3:4-6 “Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Everyone staying in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.(Yahushua is the Living Torah – if we are in Him then we are not in lawlessness or sin! If we are walking in sin ((that is apart from His Torah)), we are then not ‘staying’ in Him – I spoke a message last week on ‘staying in Him’)

3:8-9 “The one doing sin is of the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Elohim was manifested: to destroy the works of the devil. Everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, because His seed stays in him, and he is powerless to sin, because he has been born of Elohim.

4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved Elohim, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning offering for our sins.

5:18 “We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin,1 but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

We know that the righteous Torah of Elohim is eternal and will never end, and His Love is eternal and there is no end to His grace – for His loving-kindness endures forever! We also know that there is a day of judgement of YHWH. May we receive His favour (grace) with great joy, not as a licence to sin or walk torahless, but to walk in obedience!
We know that this word speaks clear today – a call to righteous living. The role of the prophet was to lead people back to Torah, and if they would not listen then they were told what their end would be. May we take this message of Yeḥezqĕl to heart and make sure that we are done with sin!

We all reap a harvest – what kind of crop do you want to bring in? Will you sow righteousness and fully walk in His ways, throwing out that which is not pleasing to Him, or will you sow to your own flesh reaping the corruption of the flesh. This chapter 7 in Yeḥezqĕl is a lesson in sin, a lesson we all need to heed and take careful note of and may we truly walk in the fullness of His righteousness and so guard ourselves that the wicked one will not touch us. Realise that on account of His Wonderful Name, our sins have been forgiven and let us therefore be strengthened to stand, enduring faithfully through every battle that lies ahead. Let the ‘end’ that we hear here be the end of unrighteousness, that we may bear much fruit – fruit that will last.

YHWH bless you and guard you, YHWH make His face shine on you and give you favour, YHWH lift up His face to you and give you peace!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holding on to Joy

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:12-19

Shabbat Shalom everyone, Praise our Wonderful Creator, YHWH our Elohim that we can be together and rejoice in Him. Joy… what is joy? Joy can be described as a positive human condition that can be either feeling or action. The Scriptures uses joy in both senses – as a feeling, joy is brought forth by well-being, success or good fortune in which a person automatically experiences joy because of favourable circumstances. This responsive joy cannot be commanded, as when the shepherd would find his lost sheep, or how the multitude felt when Yahushua healed a woman bound by Satan for many years. The believers in Antioch were also filled with joy when they heard the response from the Yerushalayim council that they did not have to be circumcised to keep the commands of YHWH. However joy is not only a condition based on a feeling, but also as a result of an action. An action is an active response to the will or choice that a person makes. Our actions are based on our choices; our act or action of faith in Messiah is based on our choice to obey His commands. Now, there is a joy that Scripture commands! That joy is action that can be engaged in regardless of how the person feels. Yahushua instructed His disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted, reviled, and slandered (Mt 5:11–12). Sha’ul (Paul) commanded continuous rejoicing (Phil 4:4; 1 Thes 5:16). Yaʽaqoḇ (James) said that believers are to reckon it all joy when they fall into various trials because such trials produce endurance (Jas 1:2). Joy in adverse circumstances is possible only as a fruit of the Ruach HaQodesh being present in our lives. Today I want is to talk about holding on to joy, and that is my message for tonight, “Holding on to joy!
How many of you have truly been struggling or have struggled to really be joy-filled? How many of you have in the face of persecution and suffering lost your joy? What often happens when a believer goes through trials of many kinds, joy gets quickly ‘chucked out the window’ and the ability to actively respond to a circumstance with joy just seems to not be an option readily available, and we, as believers in Messiah, need to learn to heed the Scriptures command to rejoice – and to ‘rejoice’ means to be full of joy, be glad or to possess joy. Often when circumstances are rough and persecution is coming at us, especially from people we did not expect, we can so easily be caught in drawing away from Elohim, and find that our attitude toward Him has diminished and lost its joy. As children of the Most High we are called to excel in our attitude toward Elohim in our suffering.
How is your attitude in suffering? More specifically how is your attitude toward Elohim in your suffering? Because your attitude toward Him with determine your attitude toward others! Yahushua Himself told us that we will face some tough stuff and be persecuted for His name’s sake – so we know that we are in for some pretty hard times – the question is “are we truly equipped to handle them?” In the first century, the believers under the persecution of Emperor Nero faced immense persecution and suffering for the sake of the Name of Yahushua! Nero was a very cruel ruler who persecuted the believers in unimaginable ways. He had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then attacked by dogs until they expired; and others he ‘dressed’ in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them for show. This persecution grew and grew and yet did not diminish the fervent spirit of the early believer’s. Sha’ul and Kěpha were both martyred in the first century under this intense period of persecution, and it was either during this time or in anticipation of what was to come that Kěpha wrote his first letter to the believers in the Roman Empire. If his work was given a title it may have been something like, “The believer’s behaviour in a hostile world”. There are more references to suffering in this epistle than any other letter in the Messianic writings (N.T.).
What Kěpha seeks to show us is that suffering is the inevitable lot of those who serve and follow Yahushua. Not only will we suffer the many problems common to humanity, we will also suffer unique problems because of our faith in Yahushua Messiah. What is your attitude when you have to suffer for Messiah's sake? If you were to be ridiculed for being a follower of Messiah, or left out of someone's plans, or lost association, or perhaps even were discriminated against on the job how would you view this? What if we had to face governmental persecution for our faith? How would we handle it?
I believe that just as it was back then so too are these kinds of persecutions going to increase in these last days toward the True believers. In his letter, Kěpha tells us how to live in a hostile world, and how our attitude should be toward our persecutors, as well as toward each other. Today I want us to look at his instructions for us regarding our attitude and response toward Elohim when we suffer. Please turn with me to Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 4:12-19 (read).

As we know from the Scriptures, we are in for some tough times in the end of days, as we need to be prepared to be well equipped in our ability to rejoice for the sake of His Name and the persecution that comes with it. A faith that is not tested cannot be trusted and so as we look forward with great joy to the return of our Messiah, it is of critical importance that we understand the need to daily make the choice to rejoice and hold on to the joy of our salvation. I want to share with you from this passage 5 facts to keep in mind as they pertain to rejoicing while suffering for his Name’s sake, or rather 5 reasons why I can rejoice in the midst of suffering and persecution:
Do not be surprised! All too often I think when we go through a trial or suffering of some kind we tend to react in the wrong way toward Elohim and wonder why YHWH would allow us to suffer if we are His child! We must realise that we live in a corrupt and fallen world, plagued by sin and those who are lost stand opposed to those who take a firm stand in Yahushua Messiah! Let me ask you - How many of your friends and even family have turned a cold shoulder toward you because you have taken a stand for the Truth and walked away from the lies that have been handed down?
How many of you have been shrugged by those who called themselves friends simply because you have now chosen to call on His True Name, keep His Feasts, walk in His Torah as you are learning it and are holding on to what you have that no one takes your crown as Yahushua instructed the Philadelphia assembly in Revelation? How many of you have been chastised by others because you have taken a stand against sin, which is lawlessness – without Torah?
There are numerous accounts of many who have lost friendships, family and their jobs for taking a stand for the Truth. Some have lost their jobs because they have chosen to keep Sabbath and not work! It is a sure thing that when we go out there and live in this world according to the Word of YHWH by faith as seen in our action and speech, that we will be avoided, ridiculed, mocked, ignored, neglected, overlooked, cursed and the list could go on…!
And here in verse 12 Kěpha (Peter) is telling us to not be surprised when all this happens… and believe me when I tell you that these things will happen more and more in increasing measure as we see the Day of YHWH speedily approaching! Be not surprised at this, just as YHWH Himself is not surprised – He knows what is going on – He knows everything from beginning to end, and Yahushua Himself told us that we will have trouble and persecution, however we can take heart for He has overcome the world and as we walk in Him with great joy we can be more than conquerors and not be surprised when the ‘expected’ unexpected happens to us for His Name’s sake!
So then what do we do when we suffer rejection, neglect, slander, hatred etc…? Well that is easy! We choose right! We choose to believe YHWH and take Him at His Word – He promises that HE will meet our needs and that He is always with us and that He has our best interests in His mind – if we will but only choose to trust and follow Him by His Word.
In other words then, I can be sure that my suffering does not and will not catch me by surprise and I can live a life of rejoicing because I believe the Scriptures and abide in the Truth – If YHWH be for me, who can be against me, aměn!
All too often people base their responses to pain and suffering and trials solely upon their emotions and feelings generated by circumstances. Let’s be honest here, no one ‘feels’ like rejoicing through intense suffering and pain. But what Kěpha (Peter) is calling for here is not simply an emotional response but rather a choice to rejoice, a choice that goes beyond emotions! Yaʽaqoḇ (James) tells us in his letter that we are to ‘count’ it ‘all joy’ when we go through trials of many kinds, and the word for count means to ‘consider or reckon’. In other words - make a mental evaluation as opposed to an emotional response. The early believers faced intense persecution for their faith, yet could respond with rejoicing as they truly considered it worthy to suffer for Messiah. When Polycarp, a first century believer, who sat under the teaching of John, was martyred he was filled with only praise for Messiah. They placed him on a stake and set fire to the stake (all the time while he praised Yahushua Messiah) – the flames, according to Josephus (a first century priest, and historian), went all around Polycarp and did not burn him. A guard was then instructed to pierce his side, after which the blood burst out of his body killing all the flames of the fire! After he had then died they burnt his body. There are many gruesome factual events that took place in martyring many followers of Messiah – all who considered it pure joy – for the sake of His Name and the esteem and blessing of Messiah being revealed through them! How about you? Are you willing to rejoice under trial and persecution, or do you simply get you knickers in a knot when somebody you know just rejects you and accuses you of trying to be ‘Jewish’ simply for following the Torah and keeping the Feasts of YHWH? That is not persecution – it is time for the Bride to grow up in the Word and stand firm, because intense persecution is ahead in the last days! We must not allow a few simply words of ignorant onlookers to cause us to want to throw in the towel in following Messiah wholeheartedly – it is time that we learn to hold on to joy! The early believers understood that suffering is graced by Elohim’s glory/esteem, as He Himself goes with us through it all – just as He was with the three men in the blazing furnace as recorded in Daniel 3. He was with Daniel when at around 80 years of age was thrown into the lion’s den. He was with Stephen when he was being stoned to death for preaching the Good News of Messiah as recorded in Acts 6. Here in this passage, Kěpha writes that ‘the Spirit of Esteem and of Elohim rests upon you” – the esteem or glory of Elohim rests upon you and where His esteem is there He is too. Going through pain and sufferings for the sake of the Good News is hard and going it alone is even harder, but the knowledge that Elohim is with us by his Ruach (Spirit), gives us peace, joy and strength to endure whatever we face. We are truly blessed by His presence amidst trials, which is revealed in and through us when we suffer in this life and therefore “I can rejoice!” Anything we suffer for the sake of His Name is a privilege, not a penalty!
Kěpha makes it clear that we are not to be suffering because of our sin. It is possible to suffer for both the right and the wrong reasons. Let us make it clear if you are in sin and not living according to the Torah and as a result find yourself suffering the consequences of your sin and disobedience, then do not be a hypocrite and try to claim that the suffering you are facing is a result of living in Him. For when you sin or are disobedient you are separating yourself from Him. Suffering as a result of sin, does not call for rejoicing but rather mourning and repentance as you draw near to Him that He may draw near to you. The suffering we are talking about here is the kind Yahushua said we will face because of Him and His Name – that is assured and we cannot get away from that. If we suffer as a Messianic or follower of Yahushua Messiah then we need not be ashamed but rather praise Elohim that we bear His Name!
Many people today, even professing believers, suffer simply as a result of their wrong choices and find themselves unhappy and uncomfortable, as YHWH allows the natural result of their unwise and often disobedient choices that were sown to be reaped. Some are reaping the suffering of what they have sown in the past while some are suffering as a result of the discipline of YHWH possibly because of unconfessed sin. The suffering we are talking about here tonight is what you could call as ‘acceptable suffering’. Suffering for the right choices we make in Him – right choices we make each day in following Yahushua and the ability to not draw back or compromise in any way. We are not to suffer as a sinner, but rather as one who suffers for being a believer.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:19-20 “For this is favour, if because of conscience toward Elohim anyone bears up under grief, suffering unrighteously. 20 For what credit is there in enduring a beating when you sin? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure, this finds favour with Elohim.
Persecution is not an excuse for lawlessness – just because we may face a little persecution, even from our family or those close to us, we must not compromise and give in under pressure to neglect our faith walk!
We who suffer because we are sincerely following Messiah are called to rejoice and not be ashamed. This is what the body of Messiah needs to embrace – we are to hold on to joy at all costs! I can rejoice in my suffering if I am suffering for the right reasons!
Let us not be ashamed for suffering for the Good News. In Roman law at the time of this letter each citizen was required to pledge his loyalty to the emperor and once a year would have to go and sprinkle incense upon the altar and declare that ‘Caesar was Lord and Master’. But for the early believer this could not be done as they would openly confess that YHWH is Elohim and Yahushua is the Messiah, and so would wilfully refuse to bow to Caesar. Often the officials would write the name of Messiah in the road or on the wall and command believers to trample upon or spit on the Name of Messiah and if they refused would be arrested, tried and often killed in the most cruel way – the True believers rejoiced under suffering not being ashamed of the Name of Messiah and the Good News – we must learn from their example and not be ashamed to declare our faith in the True Messiah – whose Name is not ‘Jesus’ but Yahushua – Yahweh is our Salvation! Today, sadly, many are spitting upon and trampling upon the True Name of our Saviour – Yahushua and bowing to the Roman rule of ‘church governance’, and we as true believers must not be caught bowing to a system that is only headed for destruction. When I am suffering I should ask myself why I am suffering – am I ashamed (as a result of sin) or am I glorifying the Messiah as a result of obedience - rejoice in the suffering for His Name’s sake!
Here Kěpha asks the question that if it is now time for the House of Elohim to suffer then how bad do you think that it is going to be for those who are in a sense causing us to suffer or those who are simply disobeying the Good News of Messiah.
Listen it is far better to suffer now for obedience sake than later for disobedience sake! Those who are living and doing as they please now – in other words not living or walking in righteousness by faith and pleasing Elohim will have to one day face Him face to face and it isn’t going to be pretty! We can rejoice in our suffering now, as we can be assured that it is only temporary!
YHWH never fails! We can therefore trust in His unfailing Word and sure promises of His Word. We are therefore able to rely on Him and commit to fully serving Him with all joy – His joy! Committing our lives to a trustworthy Creator, doing the good works he has prepared in advance for us to do – and that is to walk in His ways – will cause us to truly rejoice regardless of the suffering we may face as a result of obedient living. He has good plans for us and will fulfil His plans for us. The charge here is to simply continue to live, and to do good – that is to walk in His Good Word – walk in His Torah – living in Messiah – and to continue to actively rejoice, no matter what you face or what others may do or say against you – because we serve and follow a faithful Elohim! To commit is a banking term which carries with it the meaning of depositing for safekeeping:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 1:12 “For this reason I also suffer these matters, but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to watch over that which I have entrusted to Him until that Day.
When you deposit your life into YHWH’s bank you will always receive greater eternal dividends on your investment! This commitment is a continual constant attitude – not a single act – committing every area of our lives every single day to walking in His ways, obeying His Word and rejoicing in the process!
Unsaved people have a present that is being controlled by their past – we who are in Yahushua have a present that is controlled by our future!
What we are talking about here today is joy, joy even in trials. Joy is derived from love – YHWH’s love not ours and is therefore closely associated with love in Sha’ul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit. Since it is a gift, every believer is called upon to share in the joy of Messiah by a daily obedient walk and as messiah we too are to love righteousness and hate wickedness that we may also receive the anointing of His joy:
Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Because of this, Elohim, Your Elohim, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
It is when we truly love righteousness – that is to walk in obedience to His commands (Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25), and hate lawlessness – that is to rebel against obedience to Commands – then the anointing of His joy will come!
It is a joy to share in the sufferings of Messiah:
Sharing in the sufferings with Messiah results in:
1 – Joy with Messiah (1 Peter 1:6)
2 – Fellowship with Messiah (Philippians 3:10)
3 – Exaltation with Messiah (Romans 8:17)
4 – Reign with Messiah (2 Timothy 2:12)
We who take part in suffering with Messiah will take part in His glory when it is revealed at His second coming!
What Kěpha is giving us here in his letter is a warning of what is to come and stressed the mental readiness required – are you going to be found holding on to joy, when persecution comes your way!
Let me ask you – have you been suffering? Has it been for doing good or as the result of making some really dumb choices? If your suffering is due to sin or disobedience – then confess to Him and let his Word cleanse you from all unrighteousness and restore to you the joy of your salvation. If you are or have been suffering for doing good, because of your witness of Messiah as you bear His Name holding on to His commands – then well done and congratulations – YHWH is with you in a unique way and will keep you standing – so use your suffering for Him as a time of rejoicing.

We as the body of Messiah must start holding on to joy – His joy imparted to us by His Ruach (Spirit) and encourage one another, support one another and rejoice with one another. One of the things that the enemy is very hard at trying to do is to get us to lose our joy and we cannot and must not allow this. Suffering under trial as we walk in obedience against the stream of the world’s ways and even against the western pagan gentile church and its institutionalised living, we are to do with great joy – for we have the Joy Giver with us, aměn!
So fellow brother and sisters, do not be surprised at the persecutions and trials that will come for the sake of His Name and walking in obedience to His Torah – rejoice and be blessed, being not ashamed but committed to doing good for the sake of our trustworthy Creator! And may we continually be found to be holding on to joy!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Yoḥanan/John 8:30-37

HalleluYah, all you servants of YHWH praise His mighty Name… HalleluYah! Shabbat Shalom, we have come again together in obedience to His Word that we may fellowship in His Word and allow His Word to change us, shape us and transform us becoming like Him, walking sinless in a corrupt sinful world – that is to walk in total obedience, remaining in the True Vine.
But how do we do just that? Just what…? Well walk, sinless that is, in a sin-filled world? After all, much of the western paganised twisted teaching teaches that we are all useless and there is no way in which we can live without sin – just do your best! But is that what Scripture teaches? No! Scripture teaches us that we can live set-apart upright lives, in fact the Word commands us to live set-apart, upright lives. Listen to what Kěpha (Peter) tells us in his letters:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:13-16 “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 Yahushua 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.
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:1-3 “Having put aside, then, all evil, and all deceit, and hypocrisies, and envyings, and all evil words, 2 as newborn babes, desire the unadulterated milk of the Word, in order that you grow by it, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Master is good.
It is clear - Just believing is not enough … the application of that faith is vital! I want us to look at the Words of Yahushua our Messiah as He addressed those who believed in Him. My message tonight is called ‘Stay in My Word’, and we are going to look at Yoḥanan/John 8:30-37, so please turn there in your Scriptures. (Read)
What we see here is clear that as Yahushua spoke, many believed in Him, at the hearing of His words, yet this faith would need to be tested and as we know that many fell away as they would not allow their faith to be tested through trials.
The context or setting of this passage we read is as follows: it was around the time of Sukkoth or Feast of Tabernacles, in fact in chapter 7 we see that on the last great day (Shemini Atzeret), that is the 8th day of the Feast, He stood up and cried out and invitation to the thirsty, perhaps after the traditional water pouring ceremony that was performed in taking water from the pool of Siloam up to the alter where it would be poured out. There arose some division among the masses as to who He was. In chapter 8 we see how the Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery in order to test Him, and we all know the outcome – He told them that he who was without sin cast the first stone and none could do that and all the accusers left, so He forgave and told her to go and sin no more! In other words he was telling her to now walk in the Torah and no longer walk in sin. He then spoke to the crowds who were following Him and told them that He is the light of the world, and whoever follows Him would by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life. Whoever follows Him and walks in Him, obeying Him will possess the knowledge of the Truth and not be ignorant or in the dark regarding the Truth. We are to ‘possess’ the light of life!
Yahushua was declaring to them and showing them that walking in the Light – that is to walk in Him will cause you to no longer walk in sin; that is to walk in darkness or ignorance of the Truth!
At this many believed in Him – that is they believed the very words He was speaking, and this is where we come to our short passage tonight where He speaks to those who believed Him.
We see clearly that many believed – but was it true faith?
True or real talmidim (that is true disciples) of Yahushua obey Him – in other words they do what He tells them, which is more than just a mental acknowledgment of who He is! The Truth setting you free is conditioned upon the obeying of what Yahushua says!
In the text here we see that many of the Yehuḏim thought they were free and thought that they knew their father, and in a sense were very proud of their freedom and their father, but they were wrong – dead wrong that is!
It is here that Yahushua explains true freedom. Some of the followers paid attention to Yahushua’s words without necessarily committing themselves to Him personally.
Yoḥanan/John 6:53 “Yahushua therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Aḏam and drink His blood, you possess no life in yourselves.
This was a very hard teaching, especially for those who claimed to be His followers and were doing ‘great’ works – we just read in Kěpha that “if indeed you have tasted that the master is good”!
Many believed His words but were not willing to walk in them. Many who followed Yahushua could not follow Him after hearing these words that unless you eat of His flesh and drink of His Blood you possess no life! His Word is our life, without which we die!!! So what we see here is clear, although very puzzling at times to understand, that many ‘believe’ in the message of repentance and the coming Kingdom, without becoming true Talmidim of Yahushua. Many hear the word of truth yet will not die to self and continue in the Truth that gives life. For the ability to stay in His Word, that is to continue in the Truth, is the true sign of the true followers and learners (Talmidim) of Yahushua.
Yahushua tells them here that the prerequisite (that which is necessary) to freedom, is firstly faith in Him – for without faith it is impossible to please Elohim, and to continue in their faith evidenced by the works produced by the very living faith built up in them through the Life-Giving Word. Sadly many ‘churches’ today are not taking people the whole way so to speak, they are presenting them with a half-truth, and so many may believe in the words of Yahushua yet there is no emphasis on the demands Yahushua places upon those who follow after Him. In fact the entire Torah is being shunted aside as of no importance while a false message is being taught that all you have to do is ‘believe’.(full stop!)
But Yahushua makes it clear here that the true ‘taught ones’ are those who stay in His Word, for then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free! Let me ask you tonight – “Are you ‘staying’ in His Word?”
True faith is abiding faith – that which remains in His Word!
Why am I emphasising this point! Well the word is clear – Yaʽaqoḇ (James) tells us that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only and deceive ourselves (1:22). Sha’ul in Romiyim (Romans) tells us that that not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be declared right (2:13)!
There are multitudes today that are hearers only, even though they profess to be doers, yet the evidence of the good works of the Word are not seen in their daily lives – they break the commands of Elohim under a misguided banner of ‘grace’ totally twisting the true favour (grace) of our Elohim! For True favour (grace) teaches us to say no to sin and yes to the Torah of Elohim!
Perhaps there are times, even in our own lives where we are hearing the Word and believing it, yet not doing it!
The result of staying in His Word is knowledge of the Truth, the result of this freedom is not only a knowledge of the Truth but also a freedom from the bondage of sin through the application of the Truth.
Yahushua in His words ‘if you stay in My Word’, speaking in the present tense, was at the same time revealing that our future loyalty to His teaching will prove the reality of our present profession, so the conclusion of this future condition is put here in to the present tense.

In verse 33 the response of those who ‘believed’ showed clearly that they had not grasped Yahushua’s message. It was like this – they were ‘under’ Roman rule and living according to it, yet they insisted that they were Aḇraham’s descendants and were free men! They had no sense of their bondage to sin, and so how then could Yahushua save them and make them free they arrogantly argued! This same mind-set we see still today. There are many who claim to be believers yet they are ‘under’ Roman rule, serving a Roman devised system of syncretised pagan worship which makes people think that they are of Aḇraham, yet are in bondage to a pagan system and are enslaved by it to serve it and do not recognise or have a sense of their bondage to sin and their desperate need for freedom!
Think about it – these Yehuḏim had claimed to be children of Aḇraham and that they have never been slaves. They had quickly forgotten about their slavery in Mitsrayim (Egypt), Assyria, Babylon, Greece and now the Roman Empire.
This was nothing other than pride, and a development of self-righteousness that assumes a position of righteousness without the necessity of the walking in adherence and obedience to the Righteous standards of the Word of Elohim! Today masses are claiming to be ‘fine’, as their ‘Jesus’ has done it all for them – let me remind you that this ‘Jesus’ that is being presented by the “Roman rule” is a false portrayal of our True Saviour – Yahushua, as the ‘Jesus’ that us being preached today in much of our western culture is being presented as one who is seemingly leading people away from the Torah, saying it is ok to not keep the instructions and commands of Elohim and the “Old Testament” is not for today! According to the Torah, if a prophet comes and performs signs and wonders and leads one away from the Torah then he is a false profit sent by YHWH to test the hearts! Believing alone is simply not enough! There is a term used today that has been misunderstood, twisted and used loosely and preached by many, called faith-righteousness, which we see is not new as it was what these Yehuḏim thought – as long as they just ‘believed’, then I am free! The Word is clear, abiding or staying in His Word will give you knowledge of the truth and the truth will set you free!
In verse 34 Yahushua answers them with a bold repetition of the Word truly… “Truly, Truly I tell you…” He was making a clear point and getting their attention declaring the truth of the matter – the very fact that there is the act of committing sin reveals that the one doing the act is under the power and authority of sin and sin is a cruel master!
Listen, the Words here of Yahushua are very clear and need to be made loud even today!
Truly truly!!! Hear the urgency in His voice! – Everyone doing sin, which is living in the commission of it, following after its desires and leading, is a servant of sin!
Mattithyahu 7:23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!
You can be doing as much works of the flesh as you want, even performing some of the miraculous deeds of casting out demons, healing the sick… If you are not walking in and staying in His Word – His Torah – He says very clearly He will say He ‘NEVER’ knew you and will command you to depart you who work lawlessness (Torahlessness) .
Many today are claiming to be free yet they are being controlled by a lawless system, they are in subjection to a system that teaches and commands the breaking of Torah, and so find themselves serving the sin, serving the system in bondage to traditions and customs that are far removed from the Truth of the Torah of YHWH.

We who are ‘under’ favour (grace) or ‘upo’ in the Greek, meaning ‘in subjection to’ means that we have accepted the yoke of Yahushua, which is easy and light to be ‘under’ and so we live within the framework of the Torah.
Listen to Sha’ul’s words from Romiyim/Romans 6:
14 “For sin shall not rule over you, for you are not under the law but under favour. We are not in subjection to legalism and traditions and customs of men, but in Messiah we are in subjection to His favour (grace) that leads us in His Word.
16-18 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves servants for obedience, you are servants of the one whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? But thanks to Elohim that you were servants of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.
20 “For when you were servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.
22-23 “But now, having been set free from sin, and having become servants of Elohim, you have your fruit resulting in set-apartness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the favourable gift of Elohim is everlasting life in Messiah Yahushua our Master. We see here again the term ‘set-apartness’, a repeated call for followers of Yah – to be ‘set-apart’ – the result of fully obeying His Word is the fruit of being set-apart from the world – we are not called to become ‘socially acceptable’ – we are called to ‘set-apartness’ – serving Elohim, walking in the fullness of His Word – serving righteousness – and we know that Bemiḏbar (Deuteronomy) 6:25 tells us that this will be our righteousness: when we guard to do the commands of YHWH!!! – Hear, guard and do!!!
It is clear – slaves to sin earn their wages – that is death, and slaves to righteousness receive their favourable gift – everlasting life in Messiah!
Yahushua was making it clear that they were in bondage to sin – for they were not obediently following His Word and whoever you present yourselves for obedience to, you are servants of the one you obey. Today many so called believers are obeying the Roman rule of worship! And here Yahushua makes it clear – just as Ishmael, Aḇraham’s slave son was ‘cast out’, so then too those in sin are also in danger of being cast out of the house of YHWH. Yitsḥaq, the son of the promise, the son of faith, belonged and remained in the house!

He who serves sin has no place in the House of Elohim, but he who serves YHWH is done with sin and has a secure place in His house.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:6 “Everyone staying in Him does not sin. Everyone sinning has neither seen Him nor known Him.
Let me ask right now – “Are you sinning?” “Are you only hearers and not doers of the Word?”
This is very clear – we see the term giving reference to staying in the Word – the result is simple – no sin! So then it is safe to say that sin is a result of not staying in His Word!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 5:18 “We know that everyone having been born of Elohim does not sin, but the one having been born of Elohim guards himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:4 “because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.
Faith in Yahushua applied causes us to overcome and walk free from sin!

The Yehuḏim here in Yoḥanan 8 did not have true faith but rather tentative faith – in other words it had not yet been fully worked out or developed, they would not make room in their hearts for Yahushua’s words! And Yahushua identifies this in them saying that His Word has no place in them. In effect what He was telling them was that His teaching makes no headway in them; nothing He said penetrated into them – sounds pretty familiar today as we see with so many – they will nod their head in agreement yet fail to walk out in obedience.
There is a call today to come out of slavery and bondage to sin and the enslavement of a wicked and twisted and perverted system of worship. Many are hearing the very Word of our Messiah, yet they are arrogantly refusing to see their enslavement, blinded by pride in their self-righteousness. The condition and promise of walking free is rooted in our choice in whom we follow and serve – hence the word – ‘if’. If we do not stay in His Word then the net result will be enslavement to another which will lead to death, for Yahushua is the only way.
As I was pondering upon these words, it struck me that we must heed these words very carefully. Many tend to think that following the truth is dull and boring, as they have to seemingly give up much of their social preferences, which many are reluctant to do due to the hardening of their hearts.

I wonder at times how many times we have been found to sound just like the Yehuḏim Yahushua was speaking to?
We will nod our head in acceptance yet continue in the futility of the corrupted customs and traditions, not realising our need to remain in the Vine, stay solid in the Word that we may have abundant life and be directed accordingly.
The question we must ask ourselves is ‘are we truly done with sin’! All of us would certainly like to think so and claim it, but is it so? Or has the ability to stay in His Word been hard and very tough due to the shackles of lawlessness that has been handed down and taught to us through lies pulled us away from complete surrender?
We all desire to be true talmidim – talmidim who walk in Him and are done with sin – well now is that call – are you done with sin? Many ask the question how? The answer is plain and simple – stay in His Word, and do not become hardened by deceit and corrupted traditions that draw you away from His Word!

May we heed these words spoken by our Master and walk in Triumphant faith – that is a conquering faith, a victorious faith as we devote our lives to stay in His Word and possess the true freedom He gives us – to walk shackle free from sin and worry, stress and despair and be able to lift our hands in worship of the One who has set us free, abiding in total obedience.

I firmly believe that we are confronted daily with this very choice – to simply agree alone is not sufficient – we must walk out His Word by faith. This means cutting many things away that need to be cut away – let the Truth of His Word enable you to walk out of bondage to submission to worldly lusts and ungodliness that only kills and walk free in Him.

You see we can debate and ask why can’t I do this or that… but the real question we must ask is who will I serve – for the one I serve I will obey – and if it be Yahushua then I must obey and stay in His Word, no matter the cost! Let me ask you… Are you free? Or is there some sin that has you trapped and in bondage, and you find yourself in agreement with the Word you hear yet unable to live it out fully? Then hear these words – do not be like those Yehuḏim who were ignorant of their enslavement. If you belong to Messiah, then you are Aḇraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise and those who are led by the Ruach (Spirit) of Elohim are sons of Elohim and sons stay forever.

Staying in His Word will present many challenges, we know this for sure – much persecution will come, even from within our own families – yet let us not be deferred from remaining in His Truth – staying in His Word – for the True Freedom comes from staying in His Word. If you have been struggling with breaking free from sin or the obstacles that you have allowed to hinder your walk of righteousness – then hear Yahushua’s Words afresh – don’t simply just get in His Word, which is a good start – but ‘Stay in His Word’.
When I truly choose daily to ‘STAY’ in His Word I am wilfully choosing to:
S – Surrender
T – Totally to
A – Almighty
Y – Yahushua
And obediently allow His Word to lead me in Truth, being free from the bondage of sin and corruption.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Consider your ways!

Ḥaggai 1 &2

Shabbat Shalom! Praise YHWH, all you servants of YHWH – praise His Name! Let me ask you all, “How many of you have had a really exhausting week?” I mean how many of you have worked really hard this week? You have laboured and found that there were simply not enough hours to get everything done! There just seems like there is too much to do and find that you have exhausted yourself and stretched yourself just to make sure that you can make ends meet so to speak and ‘get by’. You have done all you can to secure that next deal, or secure that next pay check just so that you can know that you will be able to pay the bills at the end of the month – and pay off the credit card debt for the things you just needed to have! How many of you, if you just think about it for a second, have been preoccupied with things like your career, the TV, the internet or hobbies – or so preoccupied with what is being built up in and around your life – that you seldom have a chance to stop and consider your ways? How many have had such a crazy week that, being honest with yourself, can admit that you found yourself so preoccupied with so much seemingly important things, which I am not suggesting they are not, but have, because of this, neglected to spend time in His Word? Tonight, we are here to ‘stop’ so to speak, lay down all the ‘stuff’ that has had your mind preoccupied and reflect on where your life is heading. My message tonight is called, “Consider your ways!” And that is what I am asking you to do tonight. The word ‘consider’ simply means ‘to think carefully about, contemplate, reflect on, examine, and give thought in order to reach a suitable conclusion.’ Turn with me to Ḥaggai and let us read this short yet powerful book. (Read)
The prophetic words of this book are as much alive for us today as it was for Yehuḏah back then, and we will do well to heed to words of YHWH of Hosts to consider our ways from this day forward! Let us look at this book and understand the setting for YHWH to tell them to consider 4 times in these 2 chapters.

Ḥaggai was one of the prophets to whom the word of YHWH came after Yehuḏah had returned to Yerushalayim from the 70 years captivity in Babylon. It was the second year of Dareyawesh, which would have been 520 BC when the word came to Ḥaggai. It was in 538 BC that the king of Persia allowed Yehuḏah to return to Yerushalayim to rebuild the temple of YHWH. Two years later in 536 BC construction began which was led by Zerubbaḇel the governor who was a direct descendant of King Dawiḏ. After 2 years the work had stopped, due to persecution and threats from the enemy and the restoration and rebuilding of the temple was grossly neglected. All that basically had been rebuilt was the altar and the foundation. The rebuilding process lay dormant for 14 years when work resumed in 520 BC and was then finished 4 years later in 516 BC in the 6th year of the reign of Dareyawesh (Ezra 6:15). So it is here in Ḥaggai that we pick up in 520 BC when construction resumed after the strong words of YHWH came by Ḥaggai the prophet. It is always important to note that the office of a prophet is always to point the people of YHWH way back to the right path and not simply to tell you nice fairy tales!
Ḥaggai’s name means ‘feast’ or ‘festival’ and some say it is a shortened form of ‘festival of YHWH’.
So we have here Yehuḏah, who have come back to Yerushalayim, has started with great zeal in rebuilding and after a wave of persecution stopped and for 14 years were more concerned about building their own lives as opposed to doing what was required of them and that was to rebuild the House of YHWH. In Ezra we can read how much j0y there was at the start of the rebuilding process:
Ezra 3:10-11 “And when the builders laid the foundation of the Hĕḵal of YHWH, they appointed the priests in their robes, with trumpets, and the Lĕwites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise YHWH, after the order of Dawiḏ sovereign of Yisra’ĕl. 11 And they responded by praising and giving thanks to YHWH, “For He is good, for His loving-commitment towards Yisra’ĕl is forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised YHWH, because the foundation of the House of YHWH was laid.
But after 2 years the building stopped under great discouragement and was derailed by a lack of focus.
There were many reasons I am sure why they would say that it was not time to build the House of YHWH, things like:
• Yerushalayim has laid waste for 70 years – a little longer won’t hurt
• It was too hard – often an excuse to put aside what needs to be done!
• Not enough resources and finance – lost focus on who the Provider is!
• Hostile enemies – Crumbled under enemy threat instead of standing firm in YHWH of Hosts!
• Crop failures – result of disobedience and lack of focus – they would have tried to fix their own problems!
• They remembered the seemingly ‘easier’ times in Babylon
What we clearly see here is that they made their excuse sound very spiritual by not speaking against the rebuilding of the House but rather against the timing of the building! The same happens today – where many will make their excuses sound very spiritual and will not argue against the need to change and do what the Word is telling them – they agree that it is right – but that it just is not the right time to do it!

YHWH had moved on the heart of an ungodly king to release Yehuḏah form bondage and go back to rebuild, for as we know YHWH can move anyone’s heart to action, yet now after 14 years of doing nothing the people’s faith had diminished to the point of living only for self, totally neglecting the work of YHWH.
Luke 18:8 Yahushua asked the question that when He comes again will He find faith on the earth! Or would He find a defeated bunch of faithless people?

It is interesting to note in chapter 1:2 of Ḥaggai that YHWH speaks of Yehuḏah as ‘this people’ and not ‘My people’. These words were a result of their pathetic excuses and their lack of priorities, and were certainly not living like His people should! There are many today who may fall into the ‘this people’ category as their priorities are not in line with the Word!
And so the word of YHWH came – He had an answer for their excuses. They were saying that it wasn’t time to build the House of YHWH, yet by their actions they were happily building their own houses and living in nice, secure homes while the temple was in ruins – their priorities were wrong. Again it is easy to see and understand how 14 years could have brought this lethargic approach to commitment unto YHWH – they had begun with great joy, yet when they encountered resistance from the enemy they very soon turned and got busy with their own lives, and how true is that today. Many of their excuses may have been something like:
• “I’ve got to first give attention to my home”
• “Yeah, I would love to help, but I got to finish my living room”
• “You know, someone should get to work on the temple – I can’t as I have to finish panelling my house”
• “We can get to it later”
• “Listen, the altar is there, so at least we can sacrifice and we are getting by, so no rush” – doesn’t that sound familiar in today’s world – “Listen, I go to church once a week if I can so that’s ok!” No it is not – firstly get out of Babylon worship (Sun-day worship), and stop neglecting the work of building the House of YHWH!!!
The circumstances of seeming defeat caused them to neglect what matters and ended up being so preoccupied by their own things that the work of YHWH got neglected, and as a result it showed. And YHWH came along and said emphatically, “Consider your ways!” An instruction He repeated showing the need for them to truly consider where their life was heading. In the Hebrew the term ‘consider your ways’, literally means to ‘put your heart on your way (path/road)’. In other words think carefully as to what direction your life is headed in, and do you want to continue along that path?
When one’s priorities are wrong, then the path will only lead to setbacks, destruction and never being satisfied.
One translation says to ‘take a good hard look at yourself’, and that is what they needed to do. They needed to see the world from a heavenly kingdom mind-set and not from the world’s standards and systematic approach to a look after yourself first attitude. This was a warning to them that they were more interested in their own personal agendas than with what YHWH expected from them. They had worked hard at trying to build up their own lives yet did not see the fruit of what they had put in. They never had enough – the never enough mentality is the result of wrong priorities – Sha’ul tells us that he learnt to be content no matter what, and here YHWH’s message to Yehuḏah here was simply to turn back to Him and take care of that which He has asked and He will take care of them. Matthew 6:33 Yahushua tells us to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things (Food, clothes, houses etc.) will be added. Too many people today have the same problem as Yehuḏah had back then – their priorities are all messed up and as a result they are simply chasing endless schemes to try and survive the world’s rat race, growing weak and weary in the process to a point where YHWH has no place in their lives. YHWH by telling them to go up to the Mountain and get wood to build the house was a call for the righteous to come and build together. The response of the people was very positive and they quickly adjusted their priorities, looking beyond their own personal lives to build Yahweh’s House. Think about it – Once they started working again it took another 4 years – that means in total they rebuilt the House of YHWH in 6 years with a 14 year break in between – the last 14 years could have been so much more fruitful if they had just stuck to the plan!
But praise YHWH for He always works out everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purposes – that is He will work all out for the good of those who obey Him – for if you love Him you will obey Him. Obedience results in much blessing!
Let me ask you today, as you sit here and consider your ways before YHWH – have you truly given yourself fully to YHWH and His purposes? Or are there things that are keeping you from giving your all? Perhaps it is because of a little resistance that you have faced as a result of having come out of Babylon so to speak – by that I mean that all of us who are sitting here have come out of a Babylonian system of worship called ‘church’ and have acknowledged that many lies have been handed down to us, and as a result have started to rebuild the ancient paths of the True Word in our lives. However in the process, some resistance comes to this rebuilding and can cause many to adjust their priorities away from the rebuilding process. Ḥaggai’s message was to a discouraged and seemingly defeated people – people who were faced with the harsh reality of living by faith in the real world – does it sound familiar? Then this word is for us today! YHWH used Ḥaggai to call them back to the main purpose for their lives and that is to be about YHWH’s business and bearing His Name! It is all about His Name – YHWH chose a nation and put His Name upon them that they may go into the world and declare His Name. We see why YHWH disciplined Yisra’ĕl – because they profaned His Name – they did not represent who He was! And so brought dishonour to His Name – It is for the sake of His Name that He has chosen us to reveal who He is to the nations – and our priorities need to be in line with His Word in order to do just that and not profane His Name! So have you truly given yourself fully to Him and His ways or are you perhaps being found to also profane His Name?

We can see from this passage that there are at least 4 hindrances to full commitment to YHWH – 4 things that will hinder our ability to faithfully walk in Him:
They said that it was not time to build… who said it wasn’t? YHWH certainly did not! Let me ask you, when is it ever a time to not be building YHWH’s house? The problem here was that they had put their heart and soul in to building for themselves nice secure homes and lives and put all they had into ‘self’.
In the process they simply dressed up their spiritual wounds by saying it is not yet time, fooling themselves under the disguise of a need to build a secure life now while they can. This was a lie, as YHWH says that He will never leave nor forsake us and will always take care of us – He is our provider – as long as they had their priorities right – YHWH would lead them in the rest and the same is true for us today. They believed the lie that they couldn’t build.
What lies have you believed? Much of what we have been taught under the banner of ‘church’ has been a twisted truth – it sounded nice yet it has sadly left the True House of YHWH in ruins while it (the church) has been building up a system of religion that has sucked many into a false sense of security in building their own homes/panelled houses so to speak!
It is now time to truly shale off the lies and come back to the Truth and walk in it with our all despite the opposition we may face. When we believe the lies, we can so easily find ourselves caring more about what others or self says than what the Word says. They believed the lie and cared more about their comfort than the Truth – too many today choose comfort over truth and just want their ears tickled! The effects of neglecting the Truth was that they planted much yet harvested little, they wore clothes yet were cold and there money was never enough – sound familiar.
Believing the lies of the world and its system will have you so tied up in debt that you will never have enough and so get sucked more and more in to running after the deceitfulness of wealth and neglect YHWH. As you consider your ways, ask yourself, “Am I truly seeking YHWH first or am I rather seeking my own comfort, wealth, bond to be paid off, my next holiday etc.?”
This is a warning for us today to make sure our priorities are not upside down! It is time to reject the lies once and for all and desperately seek his Truth with our all!
Fear of the enemy is a huge hindrance in walking fully in YHWH – fear of the enemy, fear of circumstances, people and things robs us of the joy He commands us to have! In verse 13 of chapter 1 YHWH tells us that He is with us – this truth ought to chase all those fears away!!! As they heard the Word of YHWH we see a great turn of events taking place – in verse 12 it says they ‘obeyed’ the voice of YHWH and the words of Ḥaggai. The word obey is the Hebrew word ‘Shama’ which means to hear, listen to or obey. They listened and we know that faith comes by hearing the Word – which caused them to not only to hear but to listen to and obey and repent – that is to turn form serving self to serving YHWH. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance – His loving Kindness is ever lasting – he could have just wiped them out – yet in His great mercy gave them His Word. We are here today because of His loving-kindness – when we deserved to die – He gave us His Word – Yahushua Messiah is the Word. Our response is vital – we too should let his kindness lead us to repentance and fully walk in His ways.
So we can see a process here:
1 – Hear the Word – faith is stirred
2 – Obey the Word – faith in action
3 – Reverence for the Word
4 – Assurance in the Word
5 – Spirit is stirred
In a nutshell – Hear – Guard and Do = Great results!
When YHWH speaks to us and we listen and obey, He strengthens us to do, promising to be with us!
They immediately started building. May we learn to carefully listen, obey and do and let His Ruach Stir us.
The third hindrance to walking fully committed to YHWH is living in the past. Yahushua tells us that whoever puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom. We need to learn to leave Babylon behind!
Too many reminisce over the ‘good old days’ as if YHWH cannot do something new and radical again! The former temple had gone, yes, and we see in Ezra that when they built the foundations many who had seen the former house wept while others shouted for joy and YHWH tells them that the latter will be greater than the former. YHWH always progresses from glory to glory. Yahushua also said in Yoḥanan/John 14:12 that whoever believes in Him will do greater things than He. The latter is always greater than the former – so do not live in the past – it will stop you from fully living for YHWH!
YHWH reminds them that His Covenant given when they came out of Mitsrayim (Egypt) and his Ruach (Spirit) was in their midst. What Covenant? The marriage contract given at Mount Sinai – the very Torah – the Truth and the Spirit was with them. We have His Truth and His Spirit – and as Yahushua said the true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in Truth. When we have His Spirit and His Truth we need not fear and can go forward in Him no matter our past! This was the feast of Sukkot when YHWH spoke this to them and this as we know is a feast of rejoicing, and they were being encouraged that just as Sukkot promises His dwelling with us forever, here He tells them that His Truth and His Spirit is with them - a deposit and seal that will keep us for when He comes to Sukkot with us – we can look forward to a future tabernacle that far outweighs any that has ever been built by man – let us rejoice as we look forward expectantly, aměn!
Yehuḏah were back in Yerushalayim and just as they had now repented for living for self they had to remain faithful and devoted to a set-apart life that would not fall back into defeat on sin and compromise with world’s traditions and practices. This was a call to consider now their ways from now on and not to simply carry on living in defeat. Do not bring those Babylonian practices with you on your walk of faith! It is all a choice and we must choose – if we choose sinful attitudes, thought and lifestyle then we must be willing to accept sin’s curse at work in our lives as a result. This is the reason that we see so many defeated believers who are leading very complicated, joyless and fruitless lives – because they compromise and live a defeated life as though that is their lot and refuse to stand up for the Truth being afraid of persecution and confrontation. I have heard a friend tell me that even though he is battling so much in his walk, he has simply accepted that this is the way it should be and has accepted defeat in a sense, being unable to get up and live a joy-filled faithful walk of victory in Messiah. Too many today refuse to let go of Babylonian worship practices and live in defeat and so can never fully commit to YHWH, unless they defeat that which has defeated them and leave pagan worship behind and follow the Truth of His Torah! Too many today are too afraid of confrontation as they stand for Truth so they compromise into living a defeated life, afraid of having to stand, stand and stand again for the sake of His Name!
The call to consider carefully how you will go from this day forward – will you walk from victory going form strength to strength in Messiah or live defeated by sin and fear and regret?
YHWH promised them words that still ring true for us right here today – “From this day on I shall bless you!”
Wow – words we can certainly claim as we hear – guard and do His instructions!

The heart of this message is clear – consider your ways:
• Are you spending your time wisely?
• Are your friends helping you live a life of faith or are they taking you away from YHWH? If they are taking you away then they are not true friends!
• Are you helping others live a life of faith?
YHWH’s response to our obedience is clear – He is with us and He will bless us.
As we see from the 2 questions in verses 12-14 of chapter 2 – holiness cannot be ‘passed on’ simply by contact, however defilement can be passed on by touch. Just because some go to a prayer meeting and hold the hand of a believer doesn’t make them holy – each one must work out their own salvation with fear and trembling – each one must consider his own ways – if they are not holy they can and will defile others!!! Defilement is passed on by touch – if you spend time with the defiled you will become defiled – “Bad company corrupts good character”!

As we consider these words today, may we truly consider from this day forward carefully to obey YHWH. We are His Temple and let us not neglect His House – that is His Bride – you and me – that for the most part today is lying in ruins and it is now time to set our priorities right in line with His Word. This will mean for some a whole mind shift and a whole comfort shift – but carefully consider today and make sure your priorities and not upside down. Those things that you have been preoccupied with – things that have been in the way of His Word truly impacting your life – get them out of the way – lay down your life and follow His plans, aměn!

Do you need to fix your obedience toward Him, or do you need to fix your focus – then do so today and know that from this day on He will bless you.
Many have left Babylon, yet Babylon has not left them – it is time to let go of that which he has called you out from, step up and be faithful to what he has called us to do and that is to bear His Name – consider today your ways – may they forever be pleasing to Him – it is time to build His House. Do not allow anything to hinder your faithful walk of obedience – do not believe lies, do not live in fear, do not live in the past and do not live a defeated life. The Truth will set you free as you walk in reverent obedience looking forward to the Blessed Hope of the return of Yahushua and live a victorious life in Messiah, aměn!
It is certainly time for the Bride of Messiah to consider Her ways – and that means each of us here today need to heed this instruction form YHWH – Consider carefully your ways from this day on, for He promises that in turning wholly to Him, He will form this day forth bless you!!!

Sons of Zadok - a call to righteousness

Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 44

Shabbat Shalom everyone, praise YHWH our Elohim, for it is He who gives us the ability to be together and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, aměn! I have been reading the same chapter in Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel over and over this week, stirring a great hunger and desire to fully understand what YHWH is saying to us at this time. Yeḥezqĕl’s name means ‘in the strength of EL’ or ‘Elohim will strengthen’, and his name indicates to us a great deal about his character and the nature of his ministry – to walk in the fullness of his calling he needed Elohim to strengthen him, and he knew where his strength comes from – of course he did – his name reminded him constantly! He prophesied concerning 3 different time periods – he prophesied concerning events that would take place in his day, about events that would take place at the first coming of Messiah and also about events that concerned the second coming of our Messiah and His Millennial Reign. Yeḥezqĕl is the only person in Scriptures beside Yahushua who is called ‘son of man’ and is a picture of Yahushua eschatologically.
The second half of his book is largely concerned with the Millennial Reign and here in chapter 44, the chapter I have been glued to as a base camp for other Scriptures this week, and he in a sense shows for us the priesthood duties of the Millennium. But in showing this we see a clear contrast between two priesthoods – that is in the form of the sons of Tsaḏoq (Zadok) and the ordinary Lĕwites (Levites). Please turn with me to Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 44 and let us be challenged by the call of YHWH for us at this time as I believe that He is restoring the very Tsaḏoq priesthood in our time! My message is called ‘Sons of Tsaḏoq – a clear call to Righteousness’. (Read)
Yeḥezqĕl is in the process of being shown the Temple in the Millennial Reign and begins this chapter by coming back to the set-apart place and sees that the East gate is shut as YHWH has already entered. The partial fulfilment of this took place when Yahushua came riding on a colt through this gate but will ultimately be fulfilled in the Millennium.
The East Gate lies on the western slope of the Temple Mount, opposite the Mount of Olives, with the Kidron Valley in the middle, and is now cemented up. This happened because there was once a Turkish sultan during the Ottoman Empire, after they had conquered Israel, who knew that the Messiah would have to come through that gate according to Jewish beliefs. So he put an Islamic cemetery in front of the East Gate so that the Messiah could not go through it without being ritually defiled, and he cemented up the gate. He did not know, of course, that he was in part causing the prophecy to be fulfilled concerning the East Gate.

Yeḥezqĕl (Ezekiel), while prophesying from captivity about coming events, the people were more concerned about listening to false prophets, even though they were being proven false, than the Truth of the Word of YHWH that was being proven TRUE. The people would rather have their ears tickled with lies that face up to the Truth! The same is true today. I get very annoyed when people say that these prophetic words of the Scriptures do not apply to them today as it has already happened! They are so short sighted, as much of what the prophets write about still has to come and is clearly of the end days, and so we would do well to wake up and listen and do what YHWH requires of us! And in this passage he shows a clear contrast between the sons of Tsaḏoq and the ordinary Lĕwites. Not all Lĕwites were Tsaḏoqites, yet all Tsaḏoqites were Lĕwites! What this shows us today is the same message he was showing them back then for the coming kingdom – we are called to be priests – the question I ask you tonight is which priesthood do you belong to?

‘Tsaḏoq’ means ‘right’ or ‘righteous’ or ‘just’ and is from the Hebrew word ‘Tseḏek’.

In Hebrew ‘sonship’ is more than just an ancestral line – it also carries with it the character of a person, as we see for example in the two pictures of Messiah in Hebrew: 1 – ha Maschiach ben Yosĕph and 2 – ha Maschiach ben Dawiḏ - that is 1 – Messiah son of Yosĕph, who is a suffering servant and 2 – Messiah son of Dawiḏ, is a conquering King. Yahushua in His first coming came in the character of Yosĕph as a suffering servant and when He comes again He is coming in the character of Dawiḏ as the ‘Melek – Tseḏek’ – The Righteous King where He will rule and set up His Kingdom!
So when we see the sons of Tsaḏoq, it is not only linked directly to an ancestral line, but also to that which represents and carries the very character of Tsaḏoq. Those who are truly characterised by righteousness in the fullest meaning and form can too be referred to as the ‘sons of Tsaḏoq’. So who was Tsaḏoq and why does his name, or rather the character of his name, carry great importance in the millennial reign?

Well what I share with you tonight is by no means a completion of the understanding of the sons of Tsaḏoq, yet I believe that we can begin to see what the Father is doing in our time as He is truly restoring the righteous priesthood that will serve in total faithfulness.

Tsaḏoq was the son of Aḥituḇ, and one of the two chief priests in the time of Dawiḏ, Eḇyathar being the other. Tsaḏoq was of the house of Elʽazar, the son of Aharon, and the eleventh in descent from Aharon. He joined David at Hebron after Saul’s death and remained faithful to Dawiḏ, even when Aḏoniyah set himself up as king and persuaded Eḇyathar the priest to join his party – Tsaḏoq remained unmoved and steadfast in his loyalty to his king! He was then commissioned to anoint Shelomoh (Solomon) as king and Shelomoh dismissed Eḇyathar, the last descendant of Ithamar of which family was Ĕli, from being priest to YHWH fulfilling the word that was given to Ĕli at Shiloh, where Elohim told Ĕli that the priesthood would depart from his house and Tsaḏoq was made high priest in his place having the promise of the everlasting priesthood given to Pineḥas being kept true as Tsaḏoq is from this lineage:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 25:11-13 “Pineḥas, son of Elʽazar, son of Aharon the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Yisra’ĕl, because he was ardent with My ardour in their midst, so that I did not consume the children of Yisra’ĕl in My ardour. 12 “Therefore say, ‘See, I am giving him My covenant of peace, 13 and it shall be to him and to his seed after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was ardent for his Elohim, and made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl.’
What we have here is a clear picture of a faithful line – a remnant of zealous priests faithful to their duties unto YHWH, regardless of the circumstances they found themselves in.
We are called to be a faithful people of Elohim! As you look at some of the descendants of Tsaḏoq you see this faithfulness being displayed and carried through:
1 – Azaryahu (Azariah)– When he was high priest he opposed king Uzziyahu who did lawlessness and told the king to get out of the set-apart place. Uzziyahu was mad and YHWH struck him and he became leprous until his death.
Azaryahu stood up for righteousness in the face of a wicked king (Diḇre haYamim/2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Azaryahu means ‘Yah has helped’ and what a wonderful declaration for where does our help come from? From YHWH!!! And when we need to stand up for the Truth amidst a wicked rule, we need the Helper – the very Ruach (Spirit) of YHWH!
2 – Ḥilqiyahu (Hilkiah) – he was the high priest who found the Torah in the time of king Yoshiyahu (Josiah) (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 22:8-13). Ḥilqiyahu means ‘portion of Yah’.
3 – Ezra – Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Torah of YHWH, and to do it, and to teach laws and right-rulings in Yisra’ĕl.” It was Ezra who brought the Torah and read it before all the assembly which you can read about in Nehemiah 8:1-5.

These are just a couple of examples of great men, great priests of the Most High and their dedication to walking wholeheartedly for the Truth, not compromising in the least.
That is what we are called to do as a royal priesthood and set-apart nation:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. 11 Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, 12 having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works,1 esteem Elohim in a day of visitation.

But what is it about the sons of Tsaḏoq that make them special to YHWH? They are the ones who guarded the duty of YHWH’s set-apart place when the rest of Yisra’ĕl went astray. They are the ones who have a zeal and jealousy for the honour of YHWH. Right through the ages there have been the faithful few who were willing and bold enough, having the zeal to stand up for the Truth of the Torah of YHWH and not back down in the slightest – this is the character of the ‘sons of Tsaḏoq’ or rather could be better translated as the ‘sons of the righteous’.
This is exactly what YHWH is raising up in our day – the righteous priesthood that serve Him with their all. The Tsaḏoq priesthood is not for the fainthearted or the timid or the lukewarm or those who are concerned with the cares of this life.
The Tsaḏoq priesthood is for those who are passionate about the Truth, the passionate Torah warrior whose only desire is to follow and fellowship and serve Yahushua in the most set-apart place; a dedication that requires a full yielding to the work of the Ruach HaQodesh.

The modern day son of Tsaḏoq is one who worships in Spirit and in Truth. We are called to worship YHWH and be directed by the very same breath that directed the nation of Yisra’ĕl in the Wilderness as a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. He is the One and same breath that came in to the upper room on Shavuot and descended on those who were waiting. It is the very breath of YHWH, His very Ruach that leads us to worship and live surrendered at the feet of Yahushua in spirit and in Truth, living sanctified from those in the world.

Yeḥezqĕl (Ezekiel) speaks of the linen garments they are to wear so as to not cause sweat – the linen garments spoken of in Ḥazon/Revelation 19:8 is the righteous acts of the set-apart ones! Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 tells us that ‘it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before YHWH our Elohim, as He has commanded us.’
The Tsaḏoq priesthood in its character represents the pure set-apart Bride of Messiah.
YHWH is raising up the natural priesthood of Tsaḏoq that is those who are natural; descendants from the line of Tsaḏoq who are being trained at present, as well as the spiritual priesthood that has the heart of the natural priesthood.
Without the characteristics of the Tsaḏoq priesthood we cannot rule and reign with Messiah.
It is of vital importance that we guard His Torah, guard His Honour and guard His Name or else we will not be qualified to rule with Him. A belief system alone does not qualify us to rule and reign with Him. If a person cannot obey Him now then then YHWH cannot trust Him to rule over others with a rod of iron by the standards of Torah. It is a call to righteous living, a call to being ‘lawful’ now. The ‘lawless’ get no reward – and sin is lawlessness – torahlessness which is rebellion against the Most High.
I want to ask you – do you have the zeal of the Tsaḏoqites? The Tsaḏoqites are the ones who teach the difference between clean and unclean and between the set-apart and the common. In order to teach others we must be living it!!! And in order to live it we need to hear and obey – hear – guard and do!
The Tsaḏoq ministry is one that has separated itself from the desires of the world and walks every step by faith in Messiah being the very light of His Word to a dark world.

Zeal in Hebrew in the word ‘qa-na’ which means ‘to burn with intense passion for a person or thing’ or to have ‘love and emotion that involves a high level of commitment’. As we look back and see this zeal for YHWH through the lives of His called out priesthood, we see how Pineḥas was zealous, which is an active word that also means to glow or shine, being fiery hot. He was on fire for YHWH!!! He could not just sit by and watch the nonsense that was going on – he could not sit around and be blind to the immorality and debauchery and drunkenness that was going on – he stood up in zeal and made a stand and took action. When he thrust the spear threw the two who were in the tent, the plague that had already killed 24000 people stopped. What we are to realise is that as long as we sit idly by not taking a righteous stand and walking set-apart, people are dying!!!
Sha’ul tells us in Galatians 4:18 that we are to always be zealous for good not just when people are looking!!! He was telling the recipients of his letter to always have a zeal for good – what is the good he is referring to? The Torah – they were to be zealous always for the Torah of YHWH and not only when he was with them. How many times we see today many people who only get a little ‘zealous’ when the crowd is looking or when they have gathered for their weekly meeting, yet the rest of the week the zeal for the Word is the farthest thing from their minds!!!
In 1 Corinthians 12:31 he commands us to be zealous for the gifts, not just sit and expect the gifts to just happen, but rather be zealous and passionate about seeking the gifts and exercising them by great faith.
Yahushua is our perfect example of having zeal for the house of Elohim after He turned the tables of the money changers and chased them out of the Temple:
Yoḥanan/John 2:17 “And His taught ones remembered that it was written, “The ardour for Your house has eaten Me up.
In Romans 12:11 Sha’ul instructs us to not be idle in our duty but be zealous in spirit to serve the Master!
Let me ask you, does zeal for the House of YHWH ‘eat you up’ or could you simply not be bothered and be only concerned with your own welfare? True sons of the Most High are zealous for His House!!!

The Tsaḏoq priesthood is something that will become more and more apparent and visible as we see the Day of YHWH approaching. There is however another priesthood and that is not the Tsaḏoq priesthood. In Yeḥezqĕl 44 we see the contrast between the sons of Tsaḏoq – those who are zealous for His Name and guarding His Covenant and the other priests who have compromised their duties.
I believe that from this we can see this clear distinction going on right now – those who are truly seeking to walk wholeheartedly after Yahushua and those who are merely giving lip service and putting on a show to entertain a crowd.
What we see is the clear distinction between the true and the false – even though the false may have a Name attached to them it carries no fruit. Many of the wicked kings we read of had great Hebrew names yet did not live accordingly and so it is a reflection of the Anti-Messiah who sets Himself up as Messiah yet is false. The difference between the Tsaḏoqite and the other priests, or rather those who claim to be priests:
The Tsaḏoqite teaches discernment as they diligently seek and learn the pure and unadulterated Word presenting themselves as workman approved able to correctly handle and divide the Truth, being able to discern and teach other to do the same.
The false priest will prefer to rather be politically correct where anything and everything is permissible – as long as you pay your dues!!!
The Tsaḏoqite will minister righteousness unto YHWH and take a stand and judge according to Scripture and give the people what they need.
The false believer will compromise as they no longer minister unto YHWH but rather unto men being men pleasers, giving people what they want to hear as they mix their worship. A kind of like worshipping at the base of the mountain with a golden calf – they just can’t get rid of the world!!!
In verse 8 of Yeḥezqĕl 44 he says that the rebellious (that is the lawless) did not guard that which was set-apart unto YHWH but have set others over the charge of His set-apart place. This speaks of allowing the wolves in sheep’s clothing to come in and take over the worship and turning it into a circus business, manipulating many by their schemes and traditions – in other words giving place to the alien – by that I mean giving place to allow those who have no right to teach the Word, as they have twisted the truth to suit themselves and build their own empires and denominations.
The Tsaḏoqite will quickly kick out the alien – giving no room for false doctrine as they are well equipped and zealous for the Truth!
The Tsaḏoqite does not mix – hence the linen garments – there is no mixture in what they believe, teach and do. They live and teach His Word simultaneously.
The false will compromise, teaching one thing and doing another – mixing their worship with pagan practices and saying it is ok – it is not ok – it is an abomination unto YHWH
The Tsaḏoqite walks by faith and not by sight – YHWH is the provider and they trust totally in Him. YHWH is their inheritance and their possession, and we see here in this chapter that YHWH is restoring His pure Torah and taking care of his priesthood!
Much is being studied and discovered at present in regards to the Tsaḏoq priesthood. You can get the Tsaḏoqite files, also known as the Damascus Documents that were found at Qumran and see the great standards they early Tsaḏoqim lived by in adherence to the Torah of YHWH.

Eḇyathar who defected to the revolt of Aḏoniyah represents those who attach themselves to the false teachers and prophets who seek only their own gain as their followers have their ears tickled. Aḏoniyah did not invite Nathan the prophet of Tsaḏoq the priest and seer because the false will never seek confirmation from true servants. The false will always seek after the false to verify and confirm their own falsehood to justify their own standards that are in clear rebellion to the Torah of YHWH. So as we see the many today that refuse to walk in obedience to the Torah, so we will see how they will not seek the Truth but rather a twisted watered down version that soothes their conscience.
But those who are desperate for the Truth and are willing to forsake all for the sake of His Name and follow Him no matter what may come – these are the Tsaḏoq priests that YHWH is raising at this hour. The Righteous are being raised and taught and tested in this time.
The Philadelphia Assembly spoken of in Ḥazon/Revelation for me is a clear picture of the Tsaḏoq priesthood, as they hold fast to the Truth, guarding the Word of endurance and do not deny His Name. The Laodicea Assembly on the other hand is a picture of the false priesthood that is mixing its worship with pagan practices and have denied the Truth of His Word by ignoring the feasts, the Sabbaths and have denied His Name by adopting pagan titles as an accepted norm – this is the assembly that Yahushua said He will spit out of His mouth!!!
Today we have clearly seen the false being more and more exposed as we can see the lies that have been handed down and caused a lukewarm worship that is nothing but a failed attempt at trying to worship YHWH while mixing it with pagan worship. At the same time YHWH is raising up the Tsaḏoq priesthood – the ones who will not compromise the Truth, the ones who will hold fast to the Word and walk in it fully obeying His commands, decrees, statutes and instructions – obeying His Living Torah, the ones who will not deny His True Name, but will proclaim His Name, worship His Name and Esteem His Name in every way – this is the priesthood that He is raising up at this time.

Is the Ruach urging you/ Are you being refined by fire? Do you weep at the abominations you see all around? Do you hunger and thirst for purity? Are you constantly casting down idols? We, who have called on the Name of YHWH and accepted the Blood of Yahushua, are chosen, royal and set-apart – we are priests. The Question I have for you now is – what priesthood do you belong to -Tsaḏoq or Eḇyathar?
In the midst of the ruin and the apostasy the Tsaḏoq remnant is coming forth – visible and anointed.
Those of the Tsaḏoq remnant speak the same language – they walk in faithfulness to Yahushua, repentance is lived and taught and proclaimed, they are separate from the world and have and intense hunger and thirst for righteousness willing to go through the refining process! What language do you speak, in other words!!! Is it the language of the sons of Tsaḏoq? For this is a call unto righteousness!

Ask yourself – why are you here? Are you here because you truly burn with zeal for righteousness? If so, then be a Tsaḏoq – be right and just and walk in His ways with your all – being prepared to change as you learn and grow, being transformed by His Word and able to lead other in righteousness.
It is time for the sons of Tsaḏoq to rise and take up their rightful role – this is a call to righteousness - he who has ears let him hear what the Ruach is saying at this hour!!!