Saturday, November 26, 2011
Shabbat Shalom, praise be unto יהוה, praise His Mighty Name.
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:13 “I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me.”
How many of you have found yourself speaking this truth over your life… especially when the going gets tough? It is true that it is Messiah who empowers us to do all – to do all what? Well… to do all He has commanded us to, aměn!
He is our Strength and our Rock:
Tehillim/Psalm 62:5-8 “My being, find rest in Elohim alone, because my expectation is from Him. 6 He alone is my rock and my deliverance, my strong tower; I am not shaken. 7 My deliverance and my esteem depend on Elohim; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in Elohim. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; Elohim is a refuge for us. Selah.”
It is certainly His strength we need in these last days as He has called us to be salt and light and declare His truth calling the lost back to Him, and yes, He has chosen each and every one of us to be His ambassadors, His remnant voice in the wilderness calling the captives out of slavery, and in order to do that we certainly need to be strengthened by Him. You often may ask yourself, “how can he use me, I am not strong enough for this?” and you may be right yet in Him you have strength to do all and although we should realise that we do all have different gifts and calling yet we are all to be vocal in our walk of faith and be strengthened to speak out against that which is not of Him!
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 1:27 “But Elohim has chosen the foolish matters of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak of the world to put to shame the strong.”
It is when we often feel inadequate to the task at hand that יהוה can use us to shame the wrong. The Greek word used here for ‘put to shame’, also translated in other translations as ‘confound’ is καταισχύνω ‘kataischunō’ H2617 and means ‘to put to shame, to dishonour, to disgrace, to cause to blush’.
So what is this saying here? Elohim has chosen the weak to cause the ‘strong and arrogant and proud’ to blush and be ashamed’ – it is a verb and so speaks of how our active obedience in actions and speech must put to shame and disgrace that which is not of Elohim. Before Messiah comes again we know that in Mal’aḵi/Malachi 4:5 it says that the spirit of Ěliyahu must come first before the great and awesome day of יהוה. The spirit of Ěliyahu is that voice in the wilderness that prepares the way for יהוה, to which Yoḥanan the Immerser was called and once again the prophetic voice will and is in fact now sounding as we the remnant bride lift up our voice like a ram’s horn and declaring to His people their transgressions and to the house of Ya’aqoḇ their sins (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 58:1). In a message tonight called, “Against the Whitewashers and the Izeḇels”, please turn with me to Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 13 (Read).
I firmly believe and am sure we all agree that the time for compromising is over – in fact compromising in the life of a true disciple has never been seen as acceptable – so then when we are grafted in by the Blood of יהושע to the covenants of Promise our life of any form of compromise is to end! Sadly that is not always the case with many who call on His Name, as many believers are still falling prey to compromised living standards and false teachings, and I believe that this passage that we have just read has a two-fold message for us – firstly it is how we are to not fall prey to those false prophets and prophetesses who lead millions astray and then secondly we are called to put to shame and speak out against the false junk that is being sold as truth. The question is will you stand firm in your belief and be an Ěliyahu (יהוה is Elohim) and serve יהוה alone and be a Yeḥezqĕl who is obedient in speaking Truth in the face of great opposition? Yeḥezqĕl means ‘Elohim will strengthen’ and as we have read through Him we can do all – even lifting our voice like the ram’s horn!
This passage has gripped me greatly this week – in fact I have been going through the whole of Yeḥezqĕl and here was a man who was taken into Babylonian captivity and was called by Elohim to be a prophet and call people back to obedience of living according to the Torah (instructions) of יהוה.
Yeḥezqĕl spoke the truth without compromise and was often considered to be mad and a lunatic – I mean think about it – how many of you would lie on your side for 390 days and then turn over to lie another 40 days on the other side. He was told to shave his head and divide his hair into 3 parts and prophesy by burning a 1/3 of it, putting a 1/3 to the sword and scatter a 1/3 in the wind, and he remained faithful amidst great persecution and rebellion.
In this chapter there are for us some powerful pictures that clearly speak to us today and I would like us to look at some of these. Primarily the message is a call to those strengthened by Elohim to speak out against the false prophets and prophetesses who are whitewashing the Truth and causing many to whore.
Yeḥezqĕl was called to prophesy against the false prophets! The word prophesy is נָבָא ‘naba’ H5012 which simply means ‘to speak or sing (by inspiration) or communicate a message from a deity - either of proper behavior to a standard, or of future events’.
Yeḥezqĕl was to speak against the false messages that were being spoken by many false prophets of the day.
Prophets, who were not following the Word of יהוה, but rather their own spirit and were prophesying out of their own heart! The visions that they were declaring to the people were false and their divinations were but lies! Wayyiqra/Leviticus 19:26 forbids the practice of divination. Divination is the practice of witchcraft and the pagan state or process of stating or determining the future (or hidden knowledge) through signs, omens, and supernatural powers.
There are four broad classes of divination: 1- the position of stars 2 - speaking with dead spirits 3 - examining animal parts or potsherds and 4 – to cast lots for a yes or no answer.
They were in captivity due to their disobedience and instead of the prophets calling people back to obedience they were like foxes among ruins – they were not repairing the wicked state of the nation and were not building up secure walls of defense that would be able to stand in battle on the day of יהוה. They were declaring, ‘Thus said יהוה’, when יהוה had not spoken and they were even expectant for their false prophesies to be confirmed! יהוה is against false prophets and so too does He call us His called out set-apart ones to be too!
False prophets build walls of religion that lead people astray with fabricated edification, misleading exhortation and counterfeit comfort and in the process think that they can control the masses while they are ravaging them like a fox in ruins! Wall or walls in Scripture is often referred to as that which protects and keeps the enemy out and separates a people from another. Yeḥezqĕl in Yeḥezqĕl 4:3 was told to take an iron plate and set it as a wall between himself and the city and it was to be a sign to Yisra’ĕl that it would be besieged as they had been separated from יהוה because of their crookedness. In Yeḥezqĕl 8 יהוה brought him in a vision to a hole in the wall of the court and was shown the evil abominations that were being done. They had abominations carved on the walls, as the elders were doing wickedness in the dark, saying יהוה doesn’t see them, he saw women weeping for Tammuz, and 25 men bowing down to the east worshipping the sun!
The ‘walls’ of Yisra’ĕl was supposed to symbolically represent the protection of יהוה and here they had profaned His protection by trusting in their many idols and idolatrous living. Walls that should have represented deliverance and strength by the Hand of יהוה were built not on obedience to יהוה but rather idolatry as they would rely on other nations, corruption and sin – all of which could not protect them from Babylon or from יהוה who would use Babylon to discipline and destroy idolatry! The walls were weak and instead of repairing the breaches the false prophets were whitewashing them in order to hide the weaknesses through many false visions.
Whitewash – something that continues to this day. The word used here for whitewash is תָּפֵל ‘taphel’ H8602 and means ‘to smear’ and is also translated as ‘untempered, tasteless, unseasoned and foolish’, and symbolises that which is false and presented as something it is not. To be untempered means to not have elements mixed in satisfying proportions and are a picture of having elements of truth blended with lies – it is ‘taphel’ rendering a whitewashed appearance of falsehood. This word is translated as falsehood in:
Ěḵah/Lamentations 2:14 “Your prophets have seen Falsehood and folly for you, and have not shown you your crookedness, to turn back your captivity. But their visions for you are false and misleading messages.”
The work of a false prophet is primarily in being a whitewasher – it has not strength or substance and gives only false hope, and with the whitewashing of the truth they loudly proclaim peace, peace when there is no peace!
Whitewashers proclaim false peace:
Men crave peace – or at least the sound or perception of peace. Words of peace will not create peace – only יהושע, the Prince of Peace brings peace and peace does not come through flattering words – in fact peace is often preceded by storms and trouble! Listen to the words of our Prince of Peace:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:34-36 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword, 35 for I have come to bring division, a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – 36 and a man’s enemies are those of his own household.”
These are certainly not flattering words!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 6:14-15 “And they heal the breach of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had done abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. They shall stumble at the time I visit them,” said יהוה.”
The whitewashers don’t even know how to blush and it is time for us to stand up and put them to shame and cause them to blush as יהושע Messiah empowers us, aměn!
Whitewashers proclaim a false hope:
False hope offers the appearance of protection, and let’s face it – its appearance is often appealing and fair – the church has mastered the art of whitewashing through programmes, arts, culture and competes with even the most successful businesses today – that alone should be a warning sign – yet they continue to whitewash the cracks.
And while keeping people so busy with false works they are in fact unseasoned – that is that they are without salt or rather they are saltless and that which is saltless or has lost its saltiness is useful for only one thing and that is to be trampled underfoot – which is exactly what is going to happen!!!
And this is how the enemy proclaims a false peace and hope message that will certainly be destroyed when the storms come! False hope contains solid materials, hence the deceptive appearance – yet is untempered – the solid materials (that is the elements of truth) have been sugar coated and blended with lies in a very crafty way that has so many fooled by its mere glittering appearance. Let me remind you – a lie that contains a half truth is the most deadly lie!!! False hope lacks essential elements – listen if the mortar is rotten then all the rest is wasted too. יהושע in speaking to the man who asked Him what he should do to inherit eternal life was told that he knows the commands – keep them and then when he responded by saying he has done so since his youth and then יהושע said in:
Marqos/Mark 10:21 “And יהושע, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One matter you lack: Go, sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me, taking up the stake.”
This ‘one thing’ the man would not do – count the cost and die to self and put his full trust in the Prince of Peace, but instead put it in the false beliefs of whitewashed peace and hope that contain some solid material yet lacked one thing. It just takes one thing to lose it all!!! Religious systems can have almost every commendable element of beauty, fullness etc. yet lack the most important – The TRUTH! The false peace and false hope “proclaiming” that the church at large is doing today lacks the Torah that can hold it together and when the storms come then the walls they have built on false hopes will come crashing down!
I think there is a greater lesson here for us in that we too can so easily be found to be whitewashing compromised lifestyles thinking as they said in Yeḥezqĕl 8:12, “יהוה does not see us!” All too often people think that because nobody knows about their compromise then it is ok. We have even had it at times where people blush before us when that which they have tried to hide comes out before us – as if hiding compromise from us really makes a difference to the compromise – I mean really now!!! יהוה sees all, whether you try to whitewash it before man or not – יהוה sees all – and I think many of us need to realise this and give up on having cracks in our walls whitewashed but rather repent before יהושע and have the breach repaired so that the pure wall of His word that protects can be built up with joy! We need to speak out against the whitewashers – and listen to the charge given to Timotiyos which is for us today too and lines up with Yeḥezqĕl 13:
Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 4:1-5 “In the sight of Elohim and the Master יהושע Messiah, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His reign, I earnestly charge you: 2 proclaim the Word! Be urgent in season, out of season. Reprove, warn, appeal, with all patience and teaching. 3 For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths. 5 But you be sober in all matters, suffer hardships, do the work of an evangelist, accomplish your service completely.”
Today many are heaping up for themselves the ear tickling false prophets and prophetesses – and they are not builders in the kingdom – they are destructive foxes that ravage the ruins and feed on the sorrows of the masses luring them into a false message of peace and hope .
The sad reality is this – trials will shatter false hope.
True prophets point out the cracks whereas the false slap some whitewashed grace message on top of a problem and I wonder how many of us at times fall into this trap of entertaining the soothing sound of false hope. Think about it – when you last compromised in your total obedience, be it for the fear of man or any other stupid reason, and felt convicted yet whitewashed the conviction with a “He’ll forgive me this time and I am sure He understands” when you in fact have acted in rebellion and deliberately been disobedient, even in the little things that many of us often think can be brushed under the whitewash of a false grace that is used as a self-imposed licence to sin!
False prophets are often well spoken of and of course they will be as they tell people what they want to hear – it is easy to draw a large crowd of people if you can tickle their ears. True prophets as we see clearly in Scripture are despised and rejected among men – let me ask you at this point, “Are you up for the task of speaking Truth and speaking against the false?” – For you will be persecuted and hated and despised!
The Word challenges the True to stand up and speak against the false and put them to shame! We cannot tolerate compromised and whitewashed lies any longer and we need to realise that, as I am not so sure if we all do actually get it just yet, and in order to do this we need to let go of the false mixed whitewash completely – no more excuses – strengthened by Elohim and empowered by Messiah to speak up and raise a shout, sounding the alarm!
The whitewashed walls will fall – why? Because as יהושע told us that the foolish build on sand and when the rain comes and the wind comes it will collapse. The storm is coming and we need to be telling those living under the allusion of a whitewashed safety that it shall fall – yet we who build on the Rock – יהושע Messiah – the Word made flesh - the Living Torah will be safe. The Torah is as important for us today as it was in the days of Yeḥezqĕl and sadly the same whitewashing is going on today as it was back then. The good news is this – we sitting here can be used like Yeḥezqĕl – those willing to face being rejected and despised and persecuted for righteousness sake and although we may be few in number we are more than the one Yeḥezqĕl, when empowered by messiah can do all, aměn!
We are to be salt and light – not unseasoned and dark and we the salt and light must put to shame the saltless and dark!!!
Yeḥezqĕl was to also set his face against the women who were prophesying out of their own heart – and boy is this happening today – all the false teachers who are prophesying lies – just think about all the well-known women who are taking up spotlight of tickling many ears and using many tactics to do this. They sew cushions for all joints of the hand which can also be rendered as cover the knuckles – and more specifically ‘cover the knuckles of יהושע – as they cover the ‘saving hand of Elohim’ through false lies and hope, causing many to adulterate themselves. It can also give the allusion to providing false comfort making them comfortable in their current lives that are riddled with disobedience to the torah as they provide a false security.
I also see this as a picture to the church as being described as the daughters who promise a rapture and false security, and that lie will certainly be exposed when the storms come. The false daughters put veils over people’s heads in order to hunt them – that is they clothe and veil the truth with an allusion of security yet have profaned יהוה for barley and bread – they are in it for the money!!! They put to death those who speak truth and keep alive those living whitewashed lives as they continually lie in order that they are kept afloat. But there is coming a time when all the magic spells of the women/daughters will be torn away. The daughters or women have not led people back to Torah – they have only led them to their bank accounts and all the false comfort they teach will be exposed. There are many lies out there telling people they do not have to understand the book of Revelation because they will not be here as they will be whisked away – this is a lie. יהושע is coming at the 7th trumpet –not before – and there is certainly no picture of peace before then – yet we who are steadfast on the Rock will be able to weather the storm, aměn!
This woe in Yeḥezqĕl given to the women is a big woe! And we need to say woe to the daughters who are prophesying lies!
Here the message to the assembly is Thyatira:
Ḥazon/Revelation 2: 18-29 “And to the messenger of the assembly in Thyatira write, ‘This says the Son of Elohim, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like burnished brass: 19 “I know your works, and love, and service, and belief, and your endurance. And as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 “But I hold against you that you allow that woman Izeḇel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and lead My servants astray to commit whoring and to eat food offered to idols. 21 “And I gave her time to repent of her whoring, and she did not repent. 22 “See, I am throwing her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction, unless they repent of their works. 23 “And I shall slay her children with death. And all the assemblies shall know that I am the One searching the kidneys and hearts. And I shall give to each one of you according to your works. 24 “And to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not possess this teaching, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they call them, I am not putting on you another burden. 25 “But hold fast what you have until I come. 26 “And he who overcomes, and guards My works until the end, to him I shall give authority over the nations, 27 and he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron, as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces, as I also have received from My Father. 28 “And I shall give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.” ’
He who has an ear let him hear – there are so many not listening to the Word of יהוה and many are listening to whitewashed teachings or are themselves whitewashing their lives as they hang on to false prosperity teachings that allows for unrighteousness, which is lawlessness, to be acceptable and we need to stand up and speak out against the whitewashers and Jezebels! When we find ourselves saying, “Thus says יהוה”, we better be sure to be quoting His unadulterated Word in line with the plumb line of the Torah
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:4 “Those who forsake the Torah praise the wrong, those who guard the Torah strive with them.”
Those against the Torah praise the whitewashers and Jezebels and those who guard the Torah strive with the whitewashers and Jezebels – which one are you!
We need strong walls – יהוה’s protection – for the battles that lie ahead – whitewashed living standards are not going to make it – let us hear, guard and do and raise the sound of the ram’s horn as we live reverently in Messiah and speak out against the whitewashers and the Jezebels – they will soon know as we know – that He is יהוה!
יהוה strengthen you and empower you to hold fast and guard His works until He comes – and until then be not deceived with whitewash, fancy cushions or veils but keep your eyes fixed on our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
IF YOU’RE BORED – YOU’VE WHORED!
Shabbat Shalom family, it is good to be together and be able to worship our Maker, Redeemer and King – יהוה of Hosts, aměn! An oxymoron is a combination of contradictory words, and there are many – here are a few examples:
Freezer burn – plastic silverware – accurate rumours – dangerously safe – bitter sweet – terribly nice – exact estimate – plastic glasses. And there are many more I am sure we can all think of but how about this one – boring worship - That reminds me of the little boy who asked his mother if she could remember the highest number she ever counted to. The mother didn’t know so she asked him about his highest number. He answered, “5,372.” The mother was puzzled and asked him why he stopped at that particular one. The boy responded, “Well…church was over.”
So many today sadly find worship unto Elohim boring and so how about a more shocking oxymoron that would better describe many misguided individuals today – ‘a bored believer’! It is a contradictory term as when one discovers the true nature and importance of worship to Elohim then one quickly realises and recognises that a life of worship unto Him is far from boring, and if you do find worship unto Him boring then who are you worshipping? In a message tonight called, “If You’re Bored – Then You’ve Whored!” I would like us to be reminded of the joy of what worship unto יהוה is and what it entails – for pure worship for יהוה is anything but boring, and if in any way you find yourself being bored then you need to check out your lifestyle as to what is calling for your attention!
Please turn with me to Tehillim/Psalm 96 (Read).
Tonight I want us to be reminded of the imperatives of worship. This Tehillim that we have just read is based on Dawiḏ’s anthem as found in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 16 when the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to its resting place, and when you compare the two songs you find very similar phrasing. The context of this Tehillim/Psalm similarly represents for us the joy of the return of the presence of יהוה to a people who have been held in captivity to lies and enslaved teachings of man and the great and confident expectation we have of His soon return when He comes to judge the earth and establish His reign. This Tehillim/Psalm also reminds us of the wonderful blessings of יהוה that is intended for all who would call on Him and the urgent call here in this Tehillim/Psalm in our life of worship is the call to sing songs and break out in praise in the expectation of the soon return of יהושע Messiah!
In asking a simple question of what or who should be worshipped – we all know the answer to that – יהוה our Elohim. In fact His Name is mentioned 11 times in 13 verses and He is referred to by Name or pronoun in every verse except verses 11-12 which echoes the call for creation to rejoice after a great longing in anticipation for His return and the revealing of the sons of Elohim.
But before we go on and understand the imperatives of worship we must ask the question – what is worship?
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 66:23 “And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” declares יהוה.”
All flesh will worship before יהוה – that is a fact! But what is worship? Well the word used here in Yeshayahu/Isaiah is the Hebrew word שָׁחָה ‘shachah’ – H7812 and it means, ‘to bow down, to prostrate oneself before another, to humbly beseech, to do or show reverence, and to do or show obeisance’. Obeisance means ‘a movement of the body made in token of respect or submission as well as to acknowledge the superiority of another’.
In Greek there are a number of words used for worship:
Yoḥanan/John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. 24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”
The Greek word used here is προσκυνέω ‘proskuneō’ – G4352 means ‘to kneel down before as an act of reverence’ and is from two words - πρός ‘pros’ – H4314 ‘to, at, toward, unto’ and κυνέω ‘kuneō’ which means ‘to kiss’ and so ‘proskuneō’ means literally, to kiss toward someone, to throw a kiss in token of respect or homage. The idea or picture one gets is to kiss the hand as the word ‘kuneō’ is a probable derivative of κύων ‘kuōn’ which means ‘dog’, meaning ‘to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand’. This really struck me as we see the attempt that the enemy has done at gaining the worship of the masses – think about how so many are enslaved into having to bow before the ‘pope’s’ or any catholic priest’s extended hand and kiss (lick) the hand of their assumed ‘master’! Or how about the millions that ‘kiss’ the toe of the statue of ‘St. Peter’ which is in fact the pagan image of a pagan mighty one called Jupiter! We are to worship only One – and that is יהוה – not any man, woman, image or any other false mighty one! We are not to ‘kiss the hand’, so to speak, of another in subjection to enslavement – but we are to humble ourselves and show respect and reverence toward יהושע our Master – we are to worship Him Alone!
This Tehillim/Psalm tells us how we are to worship Him Alone:
1 – With Music (verse 1); 2 – With Proclamation of His deliverance (verse 2); 3 – By declaring His Esteem (verse 3); 4 – By bringing an offering (verse 8); 5 – By coming into His courts (verse 8); 6 – By living set-apart lives (verse 9); 7 – By witnessing for Him (verse 10).
This Tehillim/Psalm also tells us why we are to worship Him:
1 – Because He is our Deliverer (verse 2); 2 – Because of His greatness and esteem (verse 4); 3 – Because of His power (verse 5); 4 – Because of His Excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness (verse 6); 5 – Because He is righteous and True and is coming to judge the earth (verse 13).
This Tehillim also reminds us of where we are to worship Him:
1 – Among the nations – our light must shine (verse 3); 2 – In His set-apart place (verse 6); 3 – In His courts (verse 8).
And when are we to worship?
DAY TO DAY (Verse 2)!!!
Understanding this certainly must cause us to realise that we do not serve a boring Elohim and therefore worship in the life of a true believer is far from boring – or else you are whoring after others!
I would like to touch on 4 imperatives of worship of a believer unto Elohim as seen in this magnificent Tehillim/Psalm:
1 – EXALT HIS NAME (1-2)
Sing, Sing and Sing – 3 times here is the urgent call for all to sing to יהוה; a new song – speaking of life birthing forth great and joyous praise that all the earth resound in singing and exaltation of His High and Mighty Name! Singing and shouting for Elohim has been happening from the beginning and has never stopped and will continue forever:
Iyoḇ/Job 38:6-7 “Upon what were its foundations sunk? Or who laid its corner-stone, 7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of Elohim shouted for joy?”
Ḥazon/Revelation 4:8 “And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were covered with eyes around and within. And they do not cease, day or night, saying, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart, יהוה Ěl Shaddai, who was, and who is, and who is coming!”
Ḥazon/Revelation 15:3 “And they sing the song of Mosheh the servant of Elohim, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvellous are Your works, יהוה Ěl Shaddai! Righteous and true are Your ways, O Sovereign of the set-apart ones!”
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:1-3 “And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice out of the heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder, and I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. 3 And they sang a renewed song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.”
Singing a new song unto Him is a great indication of just how ‘alive’ His Word is in us and how new His compassions are every morning:
Ěḵah/Lamentations 3:21-23 “This I recall to my mind, therefore I wait: 22 the kindnesses of יהוה! For we have not been consumed, for His compassions have not ended. 23 They are new every morning, great is Your trustworthiness.”
There is reason, every single day, to sing unto יהוה a new song, aměn! I praise יהוה for the wonderful songs being birthed right here in our assembly and long may they continue as we continue to sing to יהוה and bless His Name!
2 – EXTEND HIS KINGDOM (2-3)
Singing unto Him a new song, day after day and blessing His Name can only result in one thing – a proclamation of His deliverance from day to day and a declaration of His esteem. Singing, proclaiming and declaring are not silent actions – they mean business and the question is ‘are we doing it or have we become bored because we have whored after others’?
Proclaim is the word בָּשַׂר ‘basar’ – H1319and means ‘to bear good news, to publish, to preach, to announce as good news’. We are to announce and proclaim the good news of His deliverance over us from day to day, and this isn’t going to happen if you don’t have a song in your heart, being ever ready to worship and walk in reverence of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light! In our worship of Him this is imperative that we do this – proclaim what He has done and is doing!
Declare gives a similar admonition as to how worship is not a silent matter. The Hebrew word used for ‘declare’ is:
סָפַר ‘saphar’ – H5608 meaning, ‘to count, recount, relate, celebrate, declare, speak or tell’. We are to make known who He is and the wonders He has done among all the people we find ourselves – if we find this to be a boring task in any way – then let’s face it you are not worshipping יהוה but are rather whoring after something else that may be catching your attention and getting your worship! We are His ambassadors and we need to make known who we represent – it may not always be a popular message or declaration to many, as it was not a very popular one in the days Messiah walked here among the peoples in the flesh and most will probably reject our declaring and proclaiming.
Let that not stop us for if we do not cry out the rocks will cry out just as the heavens are:
Tehillim/Psalm 19:1-2 “The heavens are proclaiming the esteem of Ěl; and the expanse is declaring the work of His hand. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
When we are truly living a full life of worship we most certainly enjoy the benefit of corporate worship and will desperately want to tell everyone you see. Just think about it – when you go to a concert or show or big sport event or the latest blockbuster movie and you enjoy it – don’t you tell everyone about it? Well then, how much more should we be telling everyone we see just how awesome it is to come together and be in His presence as a family and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth – come on ask yourself – when last did you tell someone just how awesome it is here for us to be gathered together in Him? Or has it nor been ‘wow’ enough for you in your giving of worship that you have become bored because you have whored after self? Let us be an excited people who will extend His kingdom as we declare and proclaim the deliverance and esteem of our King, aměn!
So the question is simply, “Are you proclaiming and declaring or are you bored?”
3 – EXPRESS HIS GREATNESS (4-9)
In case you haven’t realised – He is the King of all creation!!! He is great and greatly to be praised! Are you praising Him for who He is – is your praise toward Him great as He is great or is it mediocre due to boredom?
There are far too many so called believers today that are sadly expressing the greatness of other people rather than that of יהוה as they very quickly applaud the success and attributes of seemingly successful people according to world’s standards and tend to lend much of their worship unto man rather than Elohim! This Tehillim/Psalm makes it clear who is to receive all the praise – יהוה and He is to feared above all mighty ones and there are many mighty ones that people have set up in their hearts and minds that is receiving greater attention and praise than יהוה – not realising that all that they have made to be mighty are in fact matters of nought – and worship and praise of them will do you no good!
4 attributes are listed here and are personified as if they were attendants before His throne, expressing His beauty, vigour, mighty, power, and adornment is the 4 words: ‘excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness’. Excellency and splendour are the two greatest attributes of a king. Strength and comeliness are used as symbolic names for His Ark – that which represents His presence and so because of His presence – His strength and comeliness is where His presence is and also are two other characteristics of יהוה as king.
And here we are told 3 times to ascribe to Him what is His. Ascribe is the Hebrew word יָהַב ‘yahab’ – H3051 – and means, ‘to give, to choose’ provide, come or to ascribe or to set’. We are to ‘give’ to Him all He is and ascribe to him, that is give, acknowledgement and all that is due to His Name – so when we come before Him we are to come and ‘give to Him’ all excellency, splendour, strength and comeliness as expressed through our obedient, joyful and reverent worship. He expects nothing less than what is due to Him! To give or ascribe speaks of offering – bringing and offering into His courts. The call is to the ‘clans’ of the peoples! This is clear – we are to do this together as a unit, as a body – no lone ranger ascribing here – gathering for worship is critical to the life of the body and this requires your all as a living sacrifice and a slaughter offering of praise and to do good and share!
Romiyim/Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15-16 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share, for with such slaughter offerings Elohim is well pleased.”
Offerings were brought to the temple – we are the temple and when we neglect to come into His courts together we are neglecting the admonition to worship Him as He is and if worship is neglected the danger of boredom can set in. Neglecting to worship Him His way and not doing it together with others will reveal just how boring you think worship is and in fact will then reveal the issue – if you are bored then after whom have you whored?
Verse 9 sums up for us the need to express His greatness together and how – “Bow yourselves to יהוה”. The word used here for ‘bow’ is the word we looked at the beginning for worship - שָׁחָה ‘shachah’ – H7812.
And we are to ‘Shachah’ in set-apartness – the splendour of set-apartness – that is there can be no attachments to the world in our worship unto יהוה. We cannot come together to worship Him with a zillion things going on in our minds – the splendour of set-apartness – ‘splendour’ here is the Hebrew word הֲדָרָה hadarah – H1927 which means ‘adornment, beauty, array, attire’ and this speaks to us the need to be adorned with His beauty – his set-apart garments of righteousness as we worship Him who is set-apart. Are you ‘adorned’ in Him expressing His greatness or have you become tired and bored as a result if whoring after fleshly garments?
4 – EXPECT HIS COMING (10-13)
As we exalt His Name and Extend His Kingdom it will result in our sincere and devoted expressing of His greatness together which in turn will lead to the next imperative for complete worship and that is to hold on to the great expectation of His sure and promised return. He is coming again and He is coming to judge the earth in straightness!
Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His throne and He is coming to execute justice and righteousness – this will cause all of creation to rejoice and let me tell you – this will be a huge rejoicing as creation is groaning in anticipation for this – the heavens, the sea, the fields and the trees will rejoice and shout for joy at His presence!!!
Romiyim/Romans 8:20-22 “For the creation was subjected to futility, not from choice, but because of Him who subjected it, in anticipation, 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage to corruption into the esteemed freedom of the children of Elohim. 22 For we know that all the creation groans together, and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.”
Our King is coming soon, and we are called to wait on Him – and this is an active waiting as we be witness for Him and worship Him with our all.
When tempted by Satan in his fight for worship, יהושע said to him:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:10 “Then יהושע said to him, “Go, Satan! For it has been written, ‘You shall worship יהוה your Elohim, and Him alone you shall serve.”
The same Greek word is used here as we discussed earlier - προσκυνέω ‘proskuneō’ – G4352 and so when we are tempted by the world and Satan and all of his attempts at enticing us away in any form to worship after the flesh, may we too respond in the same way as we proclaim and declare whom we serve and to whom we bow down and reverently worship – ‘kiss not the hand of the flesh’!
There is a battle for worship – we know the One whom we are to worship in Spirit and in Truth – the question is are you heeding to the imperatives of pure worship or are you becoming bored in your worship – because if you are bored – you’ve whored after others and if this be the case – STOP and turn to the One who is worthy of all worship and begin to sing unto Him with great joy and gladness of heart as you esteem His Name and extend His kingdom by proclaiming and declaring His esteem and His deliverance, express His true greatness – ascribing to Him exactly what and who He is as you die daily as a living sacrifice of thanksgiving in set-apart living, living with the sure and promised expectation of His soon return.
A bored believer is an oxymoron – I trust that you are not one because if you are bored – you’ve whored and be charged this day through the encouragement of this Tehillim/Psalm of praise and be encouraged to heed to call to SING, SING and SING – PROCLAIM – DECLARE – ASCRIBE – BOW, saying יהוה shall reign!!!
If you truly understand what being a believer is all about, it will be impossible to be bored. If we are exalting, extending, expressing, and expecting, we will be fired up and will experience the joy of what it means to partner with יהוה in His kingdom work.
And so, stop sitting – flee whoring and start singing, sowing and serving. I guarantee you will never be bored again.
And so, stop sitting – flee whoring and start singing, sowing and serving. I guarantee you will never be bored again.
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!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
YOU ONCE WERE – BUT NOW ARE – SO DO NOT BE CARELESS!
Shabbat Shalom family, all thanks and praise to the Father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones in the light, and who has delivered us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into the reign of the Son of His love!!! The authority of darkness we have been delivered from and now, as children of light we are to walk as such! When you actually stop and think about the great power of יהוה and just what He has done for you, do you carefully consider the outcome of your daily lives in response to His Mighty Work of Salvation through the shed blood of our Messiah, יהושע, our Redeemer and King? Are you being vigilant in your walk of obedience as a child of light, or do you often find yourself being negligent and often very careless in walking as you should.
How many of you have noticed just how careless people can be today while driving? I mean just think about it – have you seen that guy who has a cell phone in the one hand and a coffee in the other while rushing to work – how is he steering and concentrating? I have seen people reading a newspaper – opened up and fully spread over the steering wheel! How about the guy who is shaving and then has the audacity to sound his horn at another car in front where the girl is putting on eyeliner!!! I know we have all seen these and worse I am sure – but it is all a typical example of being careless and being careless is no joke!
Sadly we see the same careless attitude in many a believer in their daily lives, and to be careless simply means ‘having no care or regard, and paying no attention to what one does, with little or no concern whatsoever for others’. Have you ever found yourself being careless, where you gave no thought to your actions or speech or have had no regard or care for others? Well there are so many today who are being extremely careless in their spiritual walk – and I say spiritual walk simply because we are to walk according to the Spirit!
In a Message tonight called, “You Once Were – But Now Are – So Do Not Be Careless!” I would like us to carefully consider the outcome of our daily lives and so in essence this is a loving and gentle reminder to us all that as children of light may we not be found in any way in being careless about our walk. Please turn with me to Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:1-21 (Read).
As the title of the message proclaims – you once were – once were what? Darkness – that is literally ‘in the dark’ and carries the meaning or picture of being hidden from the Truth! But now are – light in the Master! That is literally ‘made manifest’ and carries the picture of having now the revelation and knowledge in the Master יהושע! In other words we have been given the knowledge of the Truth that leads us in paths of righteousness!
Tehillim/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:23 “For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life”
יהושע Messiah, the Living Torah – the Word made flesh is the Light of the world and as we live ‘in’ Him and walk ‘in’ Him we walk as children of light! Now this we certainly all know as the Word tells us this very clearly – yet I ask you, “Are you at times being careless about your walk?”
It can often be so easy to seemingly slip into a comfort zone where the assumption of knowledge gained is sufficient in itself without the correct application. In other words if one is not careful and continually vigilant to keeping oneself in line with the Word, then little compromises have a way of settling in and causing one to become careless, and this we need to be constantly on guard against, aměn!
A few months ago I also spoke a message on this passage on how we are to be imitators of Elohim; but tonight the reason for revisiting this passage was with the urgency we are to have in ensuring that we are in no way being careless in our called out set-apart and blameless walk in Messiah.
As I said earlier that so many today are living careless lives and many believers are often found to be careless with their mouth, careless in their thought life and careless towards their prayer life or need to read and meditate on the Scriptures daily, and many are careless in their approach towards the much needed fellowship in the body of Messiah!
The obvious opposite of being careless is to be ‘careful’ – and in the Greek the word used for the term ‘be careful’ is φροντίζω ‘phrontizō’ – G5431 and literally means to exercise thought – which makes sense! When you are careless you are not thinking!!! Sadly too many today in their attempt at worshipping Elohim ‘DO NOT THINK’ and so when יהושע says ‘Do not think’ that He came to destroy the Torah and the Prophets – so many literally stop at ‘DO NOT THINK’ and go no further and end up living a careless and lawless life!
We are to THINK and exercise thought and consider carefully the outcome of our lives, and here in this chapter Sha’ul gives us clear instructions on how we are to be spiritually careful, warning us against the dangers of being careless. He basically writes that we, as children of light are to be: 1 – careful who we imitate; 2 - careful with whom we associate; and 3 – careful in regards to our ‘intake’ – that is what you take in – for what you put in is what you will put out! Let us look briefly at these 3 areas and see if we are in fact being careful or careless.
1 – WHO WE IMITATE (1-6)
We all know who we are to imitate – Elohim!!! The word used here in verse 1 for ‘imitators’ is μιμητής ‘mimētēs’ – G3402 and simply means to imitate or to follow and we get our English word mimic from. 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.
We are to imitate Elohim – that is to walk as יהושע walked – and He showed us how we are to be as obedient children! The problem that happens today is that many do not think about who they are to imitate and so they find themselves imitating other people, be it a pop star, movie star or sports star or any other that one aspires to be like. As exciting, fun and harmless as this may seem – it can however have detrimental effects in one’s life. To imitate יהושע is a natural thing – it is not like being a parrot and trying simply to copy superficially what He does – No – as His child His character flows in and through you. It is quite amazing how kids are more often than not just like their parents, yet at the same time our imitation is birthed out of a decision and it starts with love – and to walk in love is simply to walk in obedience to his commands:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.”
And so, just as יהושע gave Himself for us as an offering well pleasing to Elohim, so too are we to be presenting our bodies as a living offering, set-apart and well pleasing to Elohim – this is our reasonable worship and if we are not imitating or following Him wholeheartedly in all we do, think or say then our worship becomes unreasonable!
Sha’ul further addresses for us what should be avoided in our daily walk and verse 3 starts with a very big ‘but’! In Imitating Messiah we must avoid sin and lawlessness. Let us look at what should not be even named among us as walking in Messiah leaves no room for the following:
A – Whoring - πορνεία ‘porneia’ G4202 – translates as ‘fornication, illicit sexual intercourse, and sex with a divorced man or woman’ and we get our word ‘pornography’ from this. Metaphorically this also means the worship of idols and defilement through idolatry. We belong to Elohim – this must not be found among us – physically or spiritually, literally or metaphorically is the sense of worshipping and loving other things that many make idols out of. We are betrothed to the Lamb and must live like it!
B – Uncleanness - ἀκαθαρσία ‘akatharsia’ – G167 – ‘impurity, uncleanness – physically and in the moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant and self-indulgent living’. There is no room in the life of a follower of Messiah for self-indulgent and lustful living!
C – Greed of gain - πλεονεξία ‘pleonexia’ – G4124 – ‘covetousness, greediness’ – Do not Covet!!! To covet is ‘to feel the inordinate desire for what belongs to another’ - That is self-explanatory!
D – Filthiness - αἰσχρότης ‘aischrotēs’ – G151 – ‘obscenity, filthiness, filthy talk, foul talk’. Again we are to be severely reminded that this is not to be named among us and is not proper for true set-apart children of light! I think that this is often one area many tend to find themselves being careless in, and sadly they could not care less what others think when they engage in obscene and filthy talk. We are to watch ourselves and guard ourselves from such. Dirty jokes are not on for children of Elohim – hear what I am saying or rather what the Word is telling us!!!
E – Foolish talking - μωρολογία ‘mōrologia’ – G3473 – ‘silly talk’. Sha’ul goes on and says that not only is filthy talk not be among us, but there should not even be ‘silly talk’ – that is talking nonsense – it is a waste of time and we are to be wise at redeeming the time. I think we are all guilty to some degree of this as often our conversations can end up in us talking absolute nonsense – this is for fools and we are wise, let us not be careless with our speech!
F – Coarse jesting - εὐτραπελία ‘eutrapelia’ - G2160 – ‘vulgar speech, mockery, scoffing, sneering, joking inappropriately’. Sha’ul makes it very clear – our speech must be pure – no filthy talk, no silly talk and no vulgar talk – this is not fitting. We are to rather have thanksgiving on our lips. You once were – but now are – so do not be careless in your speech!!!
The admonition to not have the things that Sha’ul lists here are to be taken seriously as he warns and reminds us that no one who whores, is unclean, greedy of gain or an idolater will have any inheritance in the reign of Messiah. Now I know that we all want to reign with Him – so let us not be careless – but rather be careful who we imitate!!!
2 – WITH WHAT YOU ASSOCIATE (7-14)
Sha’ul just tells us what we are not to be and proceeds to say the obvious – do not be partakers with them – them being those who will not have any inheritance in the reign! In continuing the call from lasts week’s message from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2 – “Come let us walk in the Light of יהוה” – ‘walk – let us walk!’ You are not in darkness anymore, so do not walk in it and do not partake with the fruitless deeds of darkness. What we are to guard ourselves against is the very things that will tend to cause us to be just like those who walk in darkness, and that is that we must be careful what we are spending our time, money and resources on. Let me ask you – do you think about the kinds of movies you watch? Does it portray and promote and condone any of what we have described as not being fitting for set-apart children of Elohim? What about the music we listen to – does it encourage all of the above? How about books and other reading or visual materials that fantasize all of the above into something acceptable? When we are wasting our time and money on these, we are in fact wasting what is יהוה’s – His time and His money – His resources!
We are to have the fruit of the Spirit as we walk in all goodness, righteousness and truth – that is His Word!
Have nothing to do with darkness and its fruitless works – for it produces absolutely nothing – it is fruitless – yet so many waste their time and efforts on that which does nothing for you except lead you astray and away from the inheritance of the set-apart ones!
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 יהושע Messiah, 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, 15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour, 16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.”
Have nothing to do with darkness but rather ‘reprove’ them – that is expose them for what they are! Do not be found doing stuff that is a shame to be even spoken of in secret! This is a ‘wake-up call’ – so let us hear and slumber not, in being found out as careless, but rather being careful to hear, guard and do יהוה’s good and pleasing will!
What do you associate yourself with? Do not be careless in making wrong associations of any kind!!!
3 – WHAT YOU ‘INTAKE’ (15-21)
Be careful what you are ‘taking in’ as what you take in or put in you will give out or put out!!!
Sha’ul says we are to walk ‘exactly’ which is the word ἀκριβῶς ‘akribōs’ – G199 and means ‘exactly, accurately, thoroughly, more carefully, diligently’ and implies care and adequateness. Some translations translate this word as ‘circumspectly’ which means to ‘carefully consider all circumstances and consequences’. If we walk accurately according to His Word and carefully consider all circumstances and consequences I believe that we would make better choices that are in line with His Word and being careful about our intake is of vital importance. We must not get drunk on wine, but be filled with the Spirit. Filling yourself with the ‘flesh’ will only lead to loose behaviour – we spoke last week on what fills you! We need to be taking in His Word daily and when we do this we are filled with what we are to give out. We are to be careful what we are taking in – in our thought life, in our relationships, in our workplace – we need to be sober and in control of our thoughts subjecting all to Messiah!
Our speech must not be loose as we have said, however if we are taking in junk then our speech and actions will be loose and foolish. How are we to relate to each other? By speaking in psalms and songs of praise and spiritual songs! Is your life a pleasant song of praise unto יהוה and can we hear it?
We are to give thanks to Elohim, always for all and subject ourselves to one another in the fear of Elohim. This will only happen if we are careful about whom we imitate, with what we associate and what we intake!
You once were – but now are – so do not be careless!
We are children of light so let us live like it and to do that we are to put off some things and put on the right stuff – in closing let us take a look at some verses that tell us what we are to putt off and what we are to put on:
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:22 “that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put off the false, speak truth, each one with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth.”
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
Romiyim/Romans 13: 14 “but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the complete armour of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as chosen ones of Elohim, set-apart and beloved, put on compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, patience”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:14 “But above all these put on love, which is a bond of the perfection.”
Love for Elohim is obedience – put it on and do not be careless about walking in His marvellous light!
The heart of this message is this – I believe that as the Word says we are called to be separate and be set-apart and I fear that there is much carelessness being found in many who claim to live in Him and we would do well to be careful and not careless. We are to be encouraging one another – having none of what we have spoken about even being named among us. What each of us must ask ourselves is this:
Am I walking in: 1 – Love – as I imitate He who is Love
2 – Light – As I ensure that I am only associated with that which is of Elohim, who is the Light
3 – Wisdom – As I strive to be continually filled with the Spirit equipping me for good works
To do this we must:
1 – Exercise caution – walk in loving obedience to our Master
2 – Redeem the time because the days are wicked – not wasting any time
3 – Understand the will of Elohim – hungering for righteousness, being filled daily!
The days are wicked and we as children of light must shine that light brightly not allowing anything to diminish His light in us in any way, but rather shine brighter as we see the Day approaching. Hear the earnest call to pure set-apart living – in thought, in speech and in action – that we can be a pleasing body that He is building.
Maybe you have been careless is some areas – repent and allow Him to wash you clean in the Blood of messiah that cleanses us from all unrighteousness!
You Once Were – But Now Are – So Do Not Be Careless!
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!