Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Imitators of Elohim
Shalom to you all as we continue to be faithful in coming together as the Ruach HaQodesh knits us together and builds us up in the faith as a strengthened family in Messiah, aměn! You have all heard I am sure of the saying, ‘like father like son’, which has been around for centuries. It presupposes that a son will become like his father, an apple does not fall far from the tree! Now this as real and proved as it sounds and can be very positive as well as negative depending upon the outcome. It can be encouraging or rather very embarrassing for either or both child and parent. It can be a pleasant or a scary experience when you realise that you are turning into your parents or your child is becoming like you! There will always be family resemblance in looks and mannerisms etc. And have you ever seen a little child trying to imitate his father, perhaps behind the steering wheel of a stationary car or with a play lawn mower, or even on a sad note, smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol or even taking drugs. It is a known fact that children learn more by observance and enactment, in other words by watching and imitating than any other way; and so we see this reality in the world today as there is a greater success rate at a child becoming like their parents than not. Again this can be a positive or negative outcome. How many of you here would like to be just like your parents? A few hesitations at that I am sure! Again parents, how many of you want your children to become just like you? A little more positive responses from the parents – perhaps not from the children!!!! Children, at a very early age, will often try to impersonate their parents and peers and so too then are we, as children of Elohim, to do our best to become like and impersonate Elohim our Father. That is what I want to briefly discuss tonight in a message, ‘Imitators of Elohim’. Please turn with me to Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:1-17 (read).
What Sha’ul (Paul) is describing here in this passage, in his teaching, is in fact saying that children are to be like their parents. We are to imitate our Heavenly Father, יהוה our Elohim, and so this is the basis for Sha’ul’s instructions to us as children of the Most High EL!
The word used here in the Greek for imitators is ‘mimetes’ which means to impersonate or mimic. Now a mimic is one who impersonates and copies or is a replica of someone else. The word ‘imitate’ simply means to follow as a pattern, a model or an example; to be or appear like – in other words resemble and to produce a copy of or reproduce.
Sha’ul starts off this section with great clarity – we are to be imitators of Elohim and he gives us here 3 admonitions in this section we have just read on how we are to be imitators of Elohim in our daily walk.
1 - Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.”
Elohim is Love – Therefore – Walk in Love!
2 - Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 1:5 “And this is the message which we have heard from Him and announce to you, that Elohim is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
Elohim is light – therefore - Walk as children of light!
3 – Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:6 “This is the One that came by water and blood: יהושע Messiah, not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the Truth.”
Elohim is the Truth – therefore – Walk in wisdom!
It is these three ‘walks’ that I want us to look at in hearing Sha’ul’s exhortation to us to walk in purity as we as children of Elohim seek to imitate Him:
1 – WALK IN LOVE! (1-2)
This admonition first up here in verse 2 to walk in love ties in with the last two verses of chapter 4 where Sha’ul warns against bitterness and anger – the very things we discussed on this past 5th day evening here. We cannot hold on to grudges and hurts and bitterness, which sadly is very tragic when these very attitudes surface in the family of Elohim. It takes real love in the heart for love covers a multitude of sins:
Kepha Aleph/1 Peter 4:8 “And above all have fervent love for one another, because love covers a great number of sins.”
Fervent love we are to have for one another and the reasons to walk in love, Sha’ul makes very clear for us here:
1 – We belong to Elohim! – He gave Himself for us, for He loved us first and now we get to walk in that love – how – through obedience – just as Yahushua was totally obedient to the Father’s instructions, and learnt obedience. He bought us at a price and we are His – we belong to the Mighty Elohim, יהוה of Hosts is His Name and this is why we are to walk in Love!
2 – We are His beloved children! – יהוה our Father speaks of us in the same way He spoke of יהושע Messiah when in Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:17 He said, “This is My Son, the Beloved”, and here we see Sha’ul referring to us to as Beloved children of Elohim. The Father loves us as He loves His Son –
Yoḥanan/John 17:23 “I in them, and You in Me, so that they might be perfected into one, so that the world knows that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
We are born into a relationship with Elohim through the Blood of Messiah that must result in our showing our love to Him by how we live in our daily walk unto Him:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
3 – We were purchased at a price! – Our Love for Elohim is a response to His love for us. Sha’ul compares the sacrifice of Messiah as a sweet smelling fragrance, and as we know all of the offerings that carried the sweet swelling aroma that was presented at the altar was a foreshadow of the pleasing aroma of the sacrifice of Messiah unto Elohim, and the very idea of it being a sweet smelling fragrance is that it is pleasing to Elohim. In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 1-3 we see the burnt offering, meal offering and peace offering all being sweet smelling offerings. The burnt offering represents the Messiah’s total devotion to the will of the Father; the meal offering represented His perfection of character and the peace offering represented His making peace between Elohim and sinners. The sin and trespass offerings in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 4-5 picture for us the Messiah taking the place of the sinner, which were never described as sweet smelling offerings – as there is certainly nothing sweet smelling about sin!!!
As we walk in Love we are to realise that this is fundamental to our daily living walk as the children of Elohim; and so too are we to be a sweet aroma in our walk of love, showing complete devotion, being perfected daily in our character as we go through trials of many kinds for which we rejoice, aměn, walking in the knowledge that we have peace with Elohim enabling us to show that to others. The truth of the matter is simply this – if we walk in love we will not disobey Elohim!!!
It is so sad to see today just how many people think that they are walking in love yet have a total disregard for His Torah – they are in fact not walking in love or in the spirit but rather walking in the flesh satisfying their own theologies and traditions that are in contradiction to the very living Torah of Elohim! Walking in His Torah is walking in His Love and by this – by guarding His commands we in turn are faithfully and well equipped in loving others:
Romiyim/Romans 13:8 “Owe no one any matter except to love one another, for he who loves another has filled the Torah.”
And we know that His love – His very Torah has been poured out into our hearts by the Ruach of Elohim:
Romiyim/Romans 5:5 “And expectation does not disappoint, because the love of Elohim has been poured out in our hearts by the Set-apart Spirit which was given to us.”
So as Elohim is Love – may we be imitators of Elohim and walk in Love!
2 – WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT (3-14)
Since Elohim is light as we read earlier, and in Him there is no darkness – then we who are desperate to imitate our Father should too walk in light and have absolutely nothing to do with darkness. In Hebrew the understanding of light and darkness in likened to knowledge and ignorance – we have the knowledge (the light) and walk in that knowledge (light) and not in ignorance (darkness). Too many are wilfully ignorant not wanting the knowledge and therefore the Truth is not in them and they cannot walk as children of light! We must have nothing to do with darkness and sin, which is lawlessness:
1 – Because we are set-apart ones! (3-4) – We are His and no longer belong to the world of darkness that is around us:
Kepha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9 “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”
In this passage in Eph’siyim Sha’ul warns us against any form of immorality and sexual sin which was very prevalent in his day and so too it is today – perhaps even worse today than then for we see more and more the attack on youth and even young children through subliminal messaging in cartoons that is programming them to engage in sexual immorality and feed the flesh! We know that sexual sin is a major cause for many family breakups and this is a real ploy by the enemy to destroy the very picture of the marriage between Messiah, the Lamb and His Bride. Sha’ul also warns us to not let covetousness or greed even be named among us! How inviting it is in the world to want what others have – the power of advertising catches many and leads them into greed and covetousness – wanting what others have – just to have it! Now placing greed and whorring in the same breath almost sounds out of place, yet it is not as they are simply two different expressions of the wickedness of the flesh – an uncontrolled appetite! The one who whores and the one who is greedy or covets both seek to satisfy their appetites by taking what does not belong to them! The lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh is what best describes these and Sha’ul says let these not be named among you – in other words do not even let there be a hint of it – no uncleanness!!! In verse 4 he goes on to warn us about the sins of the tongue – oh boy that is difficult for most of us at times – and it shouldn’t be!!! Sins of the tongue reveal sin in the heart. What is supposed to be upon our heart is His Torah, not lawlessness! Out of the overflow of the heart so a man speaks – we speak what is in our heart – our talk can reveal much of what is going on inside – and what should be going on is Light and Love, not darkness and lawlessness! For children of the light it is not fitting to use the tongue for nonsense but rather for thanksgiving! As we walk in the light, our hearts will always or rather should always season our speech with salt – favour in the heart means favour on the lips! This is a huge one for many – come on how many of you have let your tongue loose only to regret every word when lined up in accordance to the Word of Elohim! How is your speech in other words? We are told in Colossians that whatever we do whether in word or deed, do in in the Name of Yahushua – can your words be linked to Yahushua – the Living Word – if not then do not say it and have your heart cleansed by His Word!
2 – We are a Royal Priesthood (5-6) – Once we were darkness but now in the light. Being now a chosen race, a royal priesthood and a set-apart nation we are to have no part with those who partake in darkness. The word in verse 5 used for whores is the Greek word ‘pornos’ form which we get the word pornographic – which simply means the practice of illicit sex! The morally unclean and the greedy will join the fornicator in judgement. However we, as children of light, have an inheritance in the reign of Messiah and Elohim and for this reason we are to have nothing to do with darkness!
3 – We are Light (7-14) – Sha’ul says, if you notice correctly, that we were once darkness, not once in darkness but once darkness – we were darkness – ignorant –in sin – but now we are light – we have knowledge in Messiah What communion does light have to do with darkness? Light produces fruit and darkness is fruitless! A knowledgeable farmer will produce great fruit and harvest much when he uses that which he has been given wisely, yet an ignorant farmer who knows nothing will yield nothing and that which he was given will be taken from him! The works of darkness Sha’ul says is fruitless. The light produces goodness – which is love in action – for we walk in the good works prepared in advance for us – that is to walk in His Torah, the light produces also righteousness which speaks of our right character before Elohim – how we live daily in obedience obeying and guarding to do all He commands, and what we see clearly is that both of these qualities – goodness and righteousness are based upon Truth – which is a conformity to his Word eager to do His good pleasing will!
We know that Yahushua had much to say about Light and Darkness:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
Yoḥanan/John 3:20-21 “For everyone who is practising evil matters hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But the one doing the truth comes to the light, so that his works are clearly seen, that they have been wrought in Elohim.”
To walk as children of light is to walk before the eyes of Elohim not hiding anything! It is often very easy to hide things form others as we cannot see their hearts and minds – but we are to remember that all is laid bare before Elohim, our Maker and our Husband:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:13 “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all are naked and laid bare before the eyes of Him with whom is our account.”
Walking in the light simply means to reveal that very light daily in our lives through our character, conduct and speech as we make every opportunity to bring the light of Elohim in to a dark world, helping others to see the light of truth in יהוה.
His Light, His knowledge in us reveals יהוה and produces fruit and at the same times exposes the darkness. When you walk as children of light – imitating our Father – know that darkness will be revealed around you and this perhaps may be a major reason why His Bride is but a remnant – simply because too many in their ignorance of the Truth do not want their darkness to be exposed! We as children of light are to have no business with darkness for we are set-apart and royal and are qualified to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones:
Qolasim/Colossians 1:12 “giving thanks to the Father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones in the light” Come on this ought to make us give Him praise and thanks!!!
Imitating the Father will cause us to walk in Love, Walk as children of Light and …
3 – WALK IN WISDOM (15-17)
Sha’ul tells us to see that we walk exactly – ‘akribos’ in the Greek which means ‘perfectly, accurately, diligently, and exactly’!!! This is a strong instruction as it leaves little room for error – we have the Torah and we are to walk perfectly as wise children of the Most High El! This is totally opposite to the notion of living a carefree or careless walk that has no guidance and direction. We are to always be seeking wisdom for which the Father promises to those who ask. In verse 14 it appears that Sha’ul is kind of saying, “do not walk in your sleep”, and rightly so for we see masses of people today walking around as though asleep or dead to the Torah – they are like zombies – the walking dead – totally blind and oblivious to the Word and Torah of יהוה.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:48 “Therefore, be perfect, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.”
Luqas/Luke 6:36 “Therefore be compassionate, as your Father also is compassionate.”
Be perfect, be compassionate – just like our Father, and this we can do only as we walk in wisdom which is cultivated through knowledge and understanding which comes in the doing of the knowledge you find in His Torah! We are to be accurate and careful and diligent in our walk… why?
1 – It is a sign of wisdom – Fools will drift with the wind and tides of the pressure of life, while the wise will set his course, set his sights and guide his rudder on toward his destination. We as wise Master builders – that is building the Master’s way – set our course, fixing our eyes on Yahushua the author and Perfector or Prince of our faith, and if He is the Author of our faith then we will joyfully look intently in to what He has written in His Word and allow our rudder, that is our tongue to guide us as we continue to make the good confession of faith through our wilderness journey, making ourselves ready and looking for our Husband who is coming to fetch us – and the only way to do this is to walk in the wisdom of His instructions – for His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path – without His word we will be lost – without His Torah we would be lost – may we as we imitate our Father, walk as wise children.
2 – Life is short and the days are wicked (16) – We must redeem the time we have wisely and take every advantage and opportunity to witness to others as we walk in love, light and wisdom. In Sha’ul’s time the wicked days meant Roman persecution was on the way and as we know the days ahead of us are wicked days – such as none has ever been seen before, and so may we not be found foolishly wasting our time but be wise in being accurate and careful in our walk. My daughter, Catherine, had a dream 2 nights back which I feel is very fitting for what we are saying here tonight. She dreamt that we were here on earth and there was a great commotion as the crowds were streaming off together proclaiming, ‘Jesus is here’, and what was even more interesting was that even those who never attended a church service or believed in a Creator were running with all of the crowd. She then said that they were suddenly all gone – and we, who follow יהושע were left and there was total peace. What she said she felt was a deep regret that she never got to tell her friends the Truth. I believe that this dream is very powerful, how the Father can teach her and show her with great insight as to what is coming, and also believe it is a warning for us to not waste our time! We are to be telling everyone we know about the True Living Elohim and Messiah, יהושע. May we be found to accurately be walking in the Truth with great wisdom, imitating our Father that the world may see and know that יהוה is Elohim!
3 – Elohim has given us a mind – use it wisely (17) – Understanding what His desire is and not being foolish suggests to us that we are to use that which He has given us – our minds in order to discover the good and pleasing will of Elohim. Let me remind you that discovering His will is not some mystical experience to be pursued and pursuing any avenue toward any mystical teachings – even Rabbinical Judaism through Talmudic teachings or kabbalist practices and magic arts is very dangerous. We discover His will simply as our minds are renewed and we are transformed through this renewing of our minds as a diligent and accurate discipline of daily reading and meditating on His Torah, prayer, worship and fellowship, living as wise builders who build upon the Rock – יהושע Messiah!
יהוה not only wants us to know His will (that is to have knowledge) but to also understand His will as we do His will by faith applying the very pure knowledge of His Torah.
What Sha’ul was emphasising here in this section is on the contrast between our new life in Messiah, for which we imitate Him by walking in Love, Light and Wisdom as contrasted to the old life of selfishness, darkness and foolishness.
May we be found to be gladly, as children of the Light, imitators of Elohim by walking in Love that is His Truth, walking as children of Light – that is walking in His Knowledge and walking in Wisdom – that is the result of love and light faithfully combined.
Impersonating יהוה takes intentional living as we make the right choices daily to walk in Him and it takes an intimacy with יהוה which will never happen if we do not invest our time wisely with Him for we can never be like somebody we do not know.
Now as I said earlier most children do not often agree with great enthusiasm that they are to be like their parents, and for some we could well agree, but for us as children of יהוה our Elohim, there is great delight and joy in seeking every single moment we have to be like our Father. So then may we heed to admonitions of Sha’ul and follow Messiah in Love, avoid immorality, refrain from obscene language, do not allow others to deceive us as we test everything back to His Word as wise children, walking in the light, seeking His will and actually doing it and at every opportunity let us do good, aměn!
This teaching may simply be a wonderful reminder of who our Father is and what a joy it is to imitate Him, for others it may be a sober reminder that perhaps impersonating יהוה has been the least concern on your mind as you have perhaps found yourself in some dark places where there seems to be no light – may this admonition and instruction of equipping that Sha’ul gives us hear by the breathe of Elohim teach us, reproof us, set us straight and train us in righteousness that we can be great imitators of Elohim!
Tehillim/Psalm 1 “Blessed is the man who shall not walk in the counsel of the wrong, and shall not stand in the path of sinners, and shall not sit in the seat of scoffers, 2 But his delight is in the Torah of יהוה, and he meditates in His Torah day and night. 3 For he shall be as a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither, and whatever he does prospers. 4 The wrong are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wrong shall not rise in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For יהוה knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wrong comes to naught.”
Let us delight in His Torah and imitate Him – there is no other way – oh how I love to imitate my Father that it too can be said of me like Father, like Son!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!Shalom