Sermons Series 3:72, 6 January 2007
The Trusting that Saves
Understanding Biblical Faith and Surrender
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense - Yah'shua the Messiah, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know Him if we obey his commands. The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, Elohim's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Yah'shua did" (1 John 2:1-6, NIV).
Shabbat Shalom and welcome to our first sabbath in the secular new year of 2007. Many in the world have made their 'new year resolutions' and most of them will fail to keep them, probably because they were only half-hearted about them. How privileged we are to work on a smaller time scale of one week at a time as we come to this little Sukkot to celebrate a microcosmic version of the seven annual feasts. Sometimes we fail and enter the Sabbath heavy-hearted because we have not adequately repented on our miniature Yom Kippur the day before at Yom Sheshi, but mostly we come with buoyant hearts knowing that our faith has been true and we have lived up to our profession of it.
I am sure that most of you have heard famous preachers like Billy Graham teaching that we are saved by faith alone. Millions have believed him and still believe him. Faith is certainly one of the most important doctrines of the Gospel because without faith we can do nothing. It's important, then, that we truly understand what faith is, and it is to that cause that I wish to devote myself to discussing with you today. So let me begin with a biblical definition that I have prepared and we'll take it from there.
"Faith is the attitude whereby a man or woman abandons all reliance on his or her own efforts to obtain salvation, be they deeds of piety, of ethical goodness, or anything else. Faith is the attitude of complete trust in Yah'shua the Messiah, of reliance upon Him alone for all that salvation means. Faith is the one and only way by which we may obtain salvation."
However, faith is not something that stands alone. You can't say: "I have faith." Biblical faith is: "I have faith that ...." Faith is concerned with facts and with reality. However, faith in any old facts is not enough. Neither is faith itself enough. James said that the demons have faith, because they believe the facts - they know that there is one Elohim, they know that Yah'shua is the Messiah, they know that He conquered death, and they know that He conquered them. But this believing - this faith - doesn't do them a bit of good, does it? (Jas.2:19) Facts are important but facts are not enough. The only faith that matters is the faith that accepts facts and does something about them. But what? What is it that is necessary for faith to have efficacy? What is necessary for faith to bring life and salvation to a soul? The scriptures are very clear indeed - true faith brings about obedience. True faith brings about positive action.
Let's look at some of the actions that complete, as it were, that faith in the facts. Yah'shua said:
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16, NIV).
Belief produces the desire to comply with the commandment to be fully immersed or baptised in water because this is the external sign of the Covenant of Messianic Israel, or belonging to Yah'shua. The water represents the River of Life. In baptism we send a signal to two or more witnesses, who can then testify on our behalf to others who were not there, that we don't own ourselves anymore - we are owned by Messiah. Since in the ordinance of immersion we don't baptise ourselves but are being baptised by someone else who stands in the place of Messiah, we are sending out another signal - and that signal is that we can't save ourselves - it has to be done by someone else for us. The one baptising is Yah'shua's proxy or representative. The physical act of baptism is a contract 'signed' before witnesses in water, and recorded in Heaven by angels, that we fully relinquish all self-ownership. It's an exact dupication of the marriage mikvah or baptism whereby the husband baptises his wife into himself and into his own heart-waters to signal a change of ownership from the bride's earthly father to her new husband. That marriage mikvah is also a confirmation of her earlier baptism into Messiah which ideally should have been performed by her father. And finally, this is paralleled by the baptism of Israel into Moses when they crossed the Sea of Reeds (1 Cor.10:2). Moses became Israel's father and proxy owner for Yahweh, as evidenced by the fate of those like Miriam, Korah and others who raised their hands against his authority or Aaron's.
Now there are many who don't think baptism is important and don't even bother with it. Some just shake hands to admit them into their church. Others just sprinkle babies. And yet baptism is clearly identified with salvation by Yah'shua for those who are capable of being baptised - obviously the converted thief on the cross didn't have the opportunity to be baptised (because he was impaled on a cross and dying) yet he was promised Paradise by Yah'shua. But for everyone else, it's mandatory because it demonstrates obedience. It's undeniable. There are some who protest that Mark 16:16 doesn't say "but whoever does not believe and is not baptised will be condemned" and think that means that baptism is not, after all, important. But the point is someone who doesn't believe won't be baptised because he is already in rebellion. So the Baptists are perfectly correct about this ordinance. Full marks to them. Compliance with the ordinance and all it signifies, which includes dying to the old man and being raised a new man, is important. The willing compliance with the ordinance is an evidence of salvation. But it's not the only evidence so the 'once saved, always saved' gang will get no comfort from me today.
The apostle Peter said:
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Yah'shua the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Ruach haQodesh" (Acts 2:38, NIV).
Two things here. First, repentance must precede baptism. That means a genuine change of heart that leads to a remorse for sin and a desire to be quit of sin is needed first. Baptising a person with a hard and unrepentant heart is not going to lead to salvation or a remission of sin, and it will make the ordinabce of water-baptism a mockery, because the baptism is supposed to be an external sign of what has already happened inside. But if you hear the Gospel, repent but neglect baptism, do you think you will get a remission of sins? No, because you have not repented from rebellion. You have not been obedient to the ordinance. And it doesn't matter what your church tradition may teach, what the apostle Peter teaches is what counts here. And he says that if you have not been obedient and been baptised when you have had the opportunity, then you have not received a remission of your sins. That doesn't mean that dipping yourself in physical water washes away sin, as some people think, because physical water cannot change your heart. What remits your sins is your attitide to Yahweh's words and commandments - when you refuse to do what He asks, then you are in rebellion against Him, whether it's failure to comply with the ordinance of baptism or anything else He has asked you to do. There's always a period of grace but it should not be exploited indefinitely.
To illustrate the absurd teaching of salvation by faith alone let me illustrate with something else Peter said:
"Elohim does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right" (Acts 10:34-35, NIV).
Now is there anyone here who would argue that Elohim accepts people on the basis of 'fear' or 'reverence only'? I can think of a lot of non-Christians who respect and revere Yahweh but who don't "do what is right" or as other versions put it "work righteousness" (HRV, KJV). I had a Hindu friend at College who held Yah'shua in the highest regard and never spoke disrespectfully of Him. In fact I was amazed to one day find him reading the Gospel of John. Now do you think he was saved? Salvation by fear or reverence alone no more works than salvation by faith alone. To be saved also means to be showing the evidence of salvation by good works by doing "what is right". The apostle James says the same thing, doesn't he?
"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:14-17, NIV).
There is 'dead faith' and 'life faith' - one leads to death, or keeps you dead, and the other leads to life or keeps you alive. It's not something you 'do' once and just forget it. Life is not just about being born but about living too. A baby when it's born doesn't just sit down on the ground and do nothing - it has a life to life! Faith, in the same way, must be lived in order to continue being faith. There is faith without deeds (or works) and there is faith with deeds (or works). The first is useless because the demons already have that kind of faith, as James said. What is it that true believers have that demons and false believers and unbelievers do not have? Yah'shua's words to the Samaritan woman contain the answer:
"Everyone who drinks this (physical) water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:13-14, NIV).
Water. Have you ever wondered why baptism, the ordinance of committment to Yah'shua, which confers membership as a citizen of the Kingdom of Messianic Israel, uses water? We have already seen how the laver outside the Tabernacle contained water and was the place where the priests dipped themselves before entering the Holy Place, and that this water represented fire - the fire of purification that is the Lake of Fire - a place that is good for the righteous but a terror for the wicked. In the Garden of Yahweh, water represents the heart-love of Yahweh. It purges demons - they writhe and scream in it - but it cleanses those who desire Yah'shua and His Kingdom even though they will initially feel this discomfort and repulsion while their demons are ejected. Immersion in water in the Garden indicates an opening of the heart to and in the fire of the Elohim. It not only cleanses but also makes the heart alive! There is a concrete response of the heart spiritually, emotionally and physically as the spirit is immersed in these Garden waters. And remember, the Garden is your heart in the spiritual.
When we are baptised in water we are doing the many things I have already described but we are also covenanting to keep our hearts open wide so that they will be touched by the fiery love of Yahweh. It is this love which cleanses and makes alive. It is not something abstract - it is real, tangible and to be experienced. It is experiential love. One who has repented, transferred ownership to Him, fears Yahweh and shows it through good works, has an opened heart that receives those living waters that Yah'shua promised the Samaritan woman. He becomes alive, joyful, loving, bubbly, and totally focussed on Yahweh and his brethren and sisters. The waters of baptism symbolise the actual life imparted to a true believer who has opened his heart and relinquished self-ownership. But Yah'shua says more:
"To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life" (Rev.21:6, NIV).
To 'get' this "water of life" doesn't include a fee - you don't have to earn it by good deeds. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be doing a good deeds because these are evidence of salvation because your good deeds should not have a price tag on them, especially when you're doing them for others. If your attitude is: "I'll love you if you love me", you're missing the point entirely. However, to to get the waters you have to be thirsty, and to be thirsty reflects a need. You just have to acknowledge a need. Some people are too proud or afraid to admit that, but it is im portant. Please note the verse that follows:
"He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his Elohim and he will be My son" (Rev.21:7, NIV).
He who overcomes what? Well, Yah'shua explains in the next verse:
"... the cowardly (HRV - 'fearful'), the unbelieving, the vile (HRV - 'unjust'), the murderers, the sexually immoral (KJV - 'whoremongers'), those who practice magic arts (KJV - 'sourcerers'), the idolaters and all liars" (Rev.21:8, NIV).
If you are a coward or fearful, if you are unbelieving, if you are unjust, if you are a murderer or have the spirit of murder in you that wishes someone was dead, if you are sexually immoral or have sexually perverse desires towards others not lawfully yours in Yahweh's eyes (i.e. only your spouse), if you involve yourself in the occult or think of Yahweh as someone to be manipulated to meet your desires, if you are idolatrous in setting up other things above Yahweh ... which could include yourself, and if you are a liar and not being honest about your true feelings and thoughts, then you are not an overcoming believer and these waters are not available to you because you are slaking your thirst in anti-life and in what we call 'dark waters', which are visible in the Garden as a thick, black oily substance that resides in the heart and/or the nervous system. This substance is what demons deposit in you and is a bit like refuse that sits in your heart and makes you angry, sullen, or otherwise of a dark disposition, or sits in the psychic equivalent of your nervous system and interferes your health.
"And the Ruach (haQodesh) and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev.22:17, KYV).
Who is the Bride? The Bride is those who are the children of the first resurrection, the sons of the firstborn and their believing wives, the families of the Council of Yah's elohim. Why have they attained to this resurrection? Because, like every Bible student knows, they have done what Yahweh expects - they have demonstrated their faith by their obedience to His commandments. They have opened their hearts wide, given full sovereignty of their lives to their Messiah and husbands, and drunk freely of the free gift of the waters of life:
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month" (Rev.22:1-2, NIV).
They - the true believers - are doing these things because of the commandments, because every commandment of Yahweh expects an obedient response in love, and that love comes only by actively trusting in Yah'shua - because of faith. Faith in Yah'shua leads to repentance - changing direction, remorse for sin and forsaking sin; this leads to obedience to the commandments as an instantaneous and joyful response, as the commandments are made known to the saved soul, because this initial faith has produced love, and this love is the waters symbolised by baptism which heals and instantly refills the heart with more love, with a greater desire to give, and to go on and on to perfection. When our hearts go dry and cold we need to remember that watery grace that we were immersed in and remind ourselves to whom we belong by covenant, and of the constant necessity of re-dipping our hearts again into the living river of life - seven times like Namaan did, once a day every week! If we have done as we ought this week, and followed the living principles of the seven festivals represented by the seven days of the week, we should be able to enter every Sabbath with our thirst quenched and our hearts alive with love again. Our faith - if it is true, active faith, and not a passive faith that has not led to an obedient response - will have led us through the weekly cycle of rebirth at Yom Rishon in the Ruach haRishon and led to a walk in Yah'shua that brings us to the marvelous shalom of the Shegal haShabbat which is promise to those who trust and obey.
Do you remember the passage I opened with today? This is how it ended:
"Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Yah'shua did" (1 John 2:6, NIV).
Just as faith minus love does not bring salvation to the believer, so legs that do not walk do not get a soul anywhere. Just as commandments are given to direct and govern our behaviour away from sin and into the Light of the Messiah, so these commandments were given so that they would not linger in the head but be translated into action. There are those who regrettably believe that faith is mere mental assent, or perhaps a warm glow in the heart too - But that isn't true faith. It's unborn faith. It's latent faith, waiting to become real and tangible. It's faith waiting to move. These commandments cannot, moreover, be done robot-fashion. I may decide to not eat pork and feel resentful. The action is good but the heart is wrong. The fact that I did what was right demonstrates that I have a kind of faith - a faith that has the will to do right but not the heart for it. It is certainly better than eating pork. The faith, however, is not fully manifested until the heart is united with the will and obeys willingly and happily. When that happens, the thirst has been assuaged - the heart has drunk of the living waters. There may be demons in the way because of lies we believe and these must first be removed before the heart can properly respond.
"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before Elohim and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him. And this is His command: to believe in the Name of his Son, Yah'shua the Messiah, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Ruach He gave us" (1 John 3:21-24, NIV).
Please notice that 'belief' or 'faith' here is not a solitary condition because true faith immediately turns our hearts towards other true believers in love. To love someone you have to walk to them because the kind of love being spoken of here is not just a warm glow in the heart but action that leads to service. True faith, therefore, is not so much believing in but believing INTO! This is the faith which takes a man or woman out of him- or herself, and puts him into Messiah - that's what we mean by the phrase being 'in Messiah' or 'in Christ'. This what may be called a faith-union or the faith that leads to echad. It's active and it's inside - the believer is in Yah'shua, as the wife is in her husband, being baptised into Messiah and husband, just as Israel was:
"They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" (1 Cor.10:2, NIV).
This kind of faith - true, saving faith - is not mere intellectual assent, but results in the believer cleaving to his Saviour in the same way a wife is supposed to cleave to her husband and he to her (Gen.2:24). The Amplified Version calles it 'adhering to' or 'sticking to'. Believers should be stuck to Yah'shua like super-glue and so should husbands and wives be to each other. We should be "abiding" in Yah'shua and our spouses as Yah'shua said:
"Abide in Me, and I in you" (John 15:4, NKJV).
Abide in Him. Why do we need to abide in such a close, intimate and 'inside' way?
"As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love" (John 15:4-10, NKJV).
Isn't that beautiful? We are abide in Him and in our spouses as closely as a branch 'abides' in the trunk of the vine. That means TOTAL INGRAFTING. The NIV uses the word 'remain' which is much weaker that the original intent - to 'abide in' means to 'LIVE in'. We are to live in Messiah because He is the source of all Life. Those who refuse to abide, or to fully abide, but want to retain a degree of self-sovereignty, are condemning themselves to the second resurrection as a disobedeient believer or one who refuses to believe at all. Ultimately, then, faith is not about believing in true facts but a TRUE PERSON:
"I am the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6, NIV).
When you marry someone, you don't marry the facts about that person. You don't marry a resumé or a curriculum vitae - you don't marry a list of their good qualities - you marry a person with a living heart (or you do if you have any sense). When you have faith in Yah'shua, you don't adhere to attractive facts about Him but to a real, living, resurrected Being who is Deity. And when that attractive force is in operation, you rush to him like a magnet! When Yah'shua said: "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32, NIV) He didn't mean it would be a gentle attraction. The verb here is helkuo which means to DRAG - when you open your heart to the resurrected Messiah the force is more akin to an explosion! This is no 'peck on the cheek' of His Bride but a passionate embrace and kiss! Remember what happened to Mary at the tomb?
"But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Yah'shua had lain. Then they said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' She said to them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.' Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Yah'shua standing there, and did not know that it was Yah'shua. Yah'shua said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, 'Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.' Yah'shua said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and said to Him, 'Rabboni!' (which is to say, Teacher)" (John 20:11-16, NKJV).
How do you suppose she uttered the word "Rabboni!"? A gentle whisper as she gazed up at Him from, a respectful distance? No way! Read what the Scripture says next:
"Yah'shua said to her, 'Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father" (John 20:17, NKJV).
This was not some Stoic or impassionate response - she must have verily cried it out because she was clinging to Him for dear life! The KJV (and sadly most other versions) uses the word 'touch' as though she had gently laid her hand on His - the ISRV says, "Do not hold on to me" - she had literally flung herself onto Him and grabbed Him. When Mary Magdalene saw Who it was she was talking to, she went into hyperdrive, her heart exploded, and she was clutching on to her Lord. This was no passive, timid response - this was the response of overjoyed passion.
When you are born again in the Ruach haRishon, this is the attractive force that fills you - it transforms you into a supernova of love that cannot resist coming to the object of your love. Mary simply could not help herself because as one who was owned by Yah'shua, she readily and joyously abandoned herself to Him too, like a wife to a husband when both are filled with this Divine Love.
Which brings me back to the concept of a 'walk' in Messiah. "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Yah'shua did". Now when the Bible speaks of a 'walk' it means the normal activity of men and women. This is what you usually do. It's your daily habit, not something you engage in occasionally. When you 'walk with Yah'shua' or 'walk as Yah'shua did', you are living the kind of life He lived when He was on earth. But sometimes, for various reasons, we lose this ability to 'walk' in much the same way as outwardly paralytics lose their ability to walk on their legs. I am sure you remember the miracle of the paralytic Yah'shua healed in Mark 2:9 and will recall that whilst a physical miracle did indeed take place, and was obviously important to this cripple, what interested Yah'shua more than this was the inward action enabling the man to walk spiritually through inward renewal - and specifically, in this case, through the forgiveness of sins. But Yah'shua also wants us to understand yet anther aspect or dimension of walking which we might thing of as being impossible:
"He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night He went out to them, walking on the lake" (Mark 6:48, NIV).
Remember that? And you know, Yah'shua didn't do this specifically to 'impress' His disciples, because His intention was simply to walk across the lake without bothering them:
"He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' Then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened" (Mark 6:48-52, NIV).
What did John say Yah'shua wanted us to do? "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Yah'shua did". Get that! Yah'shua wants us to "walk as (He) did". Does that mean He wants you and I to go out and walk on stormy lakes? Not necessarily that but He certainly wants you to be prepared to walk supernaturally in His power when He calls you to. Don't fall for the rhema heresy of some charismatics who think that if you have true faith you can duplicate every miracle of Yah'shua any time. Some Korean Pentecostals tried to walk over a raging river once, beleiving in that, and most if not all drowned. On the other hand, some Indonesian believers, who were being persued by enemies bent on killing them, did flee across open water on foot just as Yah'shua did, because that is what He told them to do.
Your walk - my walk - must be like Yah'shua's, to live in the expectation that He will enable you to do whatever He wants, not because you have the natural power or ability to do it but because He has. We don't 'choose' to walk miraculously. We walk naturally, like He did, 99.9% of the time, doing 'normal' things like normal human-beings. But we have to be prepared to engage in the kind of faith that enables Yah'shua to work the supernatural with us when He chooses, not when we want or expect it. Remember, that Peter walked on water too and was doing well until his faith deserted him. When did it do that? When he took his eyes of Yah'shua and looked down at the raging torrent under his feet (Mt.14:28-32).
The faith that saves in all conditions and in all situations is the faith that adheres, clings to and abides in Yah'shua. This is done by having a right heart as Job knew when he said:
"... if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes ..." (Job 31:7, NIV).
and then asked Yahweh to restore him. Our walk is our heart-attitude which propels our spiritual feet inside to Yah'shua and physical feet outside towards others 'into' Yah'shua. Our walk in the whole manner of our life and conduct, and Yahweh's walk - as when He was walking in the Garden of Eden (Gen.3:8) - is the attitude He takes up toward us, so that Yahweh can then say to us:
"If ... you are not reformed by Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I will punish you yet seven times for your sins" (Lev.26:23-24, NKJV).
Yahweh has a 'walk' too, He has given us the example in Yah'shua, and we must submit to being reformed and walk as our Master does. His walk is our Rule of Life and defines the way we must walk when we receive the Waters of Life should we wish to continue receiving them. It stands to reason, doesn't it? If we ask for the River of Life, and He supplies this free gift to us, but then we point in another direction and walk a different way, how can He continue to fill us? How can the living waters continue to well up in our bowels?
"Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38, NIV).
When the supply of living water has ended, and we feel empty and downcast, what does this mean? It means we have stopped believing. We have ceased to have faith in Him and have either turned to a dark source or (almost just as bad) to ourselves. It is indeed astonishing how the fleshy man so readily turns to himself to deliver himself and then ends up falling flat on his face. The living waters are, of course, the Ruach haQodesh (v.39).
Saving faith must be productive of obedience to the Word - the Word in Scripture and the Word He speaks to us for our own use. Above all, saving faith must be productive of obedience to love:
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of Elohim is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning" (1 John 2:3-7, NKJV).
"Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to Elohim must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb.11:6, NKJV).
I think one of the reasons that people are weak in faith, or refuse to exercise faith, is that somewhere in them they believe the lie that either Yahweh doesn't keep His Word or that what He does reward us with, is inferior to what we believe we can obtain by our own efforts. Whatever may be the cause of your weakness, please know that He will give you the assurance you need to make the leap of faith necessary to salvation. Many people offer the excuse saying they want to believe but can't. And they say they can based usually on a feeling like fear. Invariably, I have discovered, the 'fear' is just an excuse, based in pride, to not relinquish self-sovereignty to Yah'shua. They will offer all kinds of intellectual excuses that sound very reasonable but which are, at ground level, just lies.
We live in an age of tremendous technological advance but which has simultaneously created more psychological and spiritual dysfunction than perhaps any time in man's history. And the reason this has happened is because technology has given us the means to hide from our responsibility to grow up and mature. People these days just don't want to grow up. They would rather 'act out' the adult life in artificial environments like cyberspace or computer games where they don't have to meet people eye-to-eye and be seen as they see. Next week I want to talk more about that and our infantile society where boys refuse to become men but want the authority of manhood nonetheless and where women, unable to find true men, end up drifting off into Cinderella-like worlds of fantasy playing out an illusion. As a result neither meet and both are frustrated at the other for not being real. We are being drowned in 'alternative realities' that kill off the heart and isolate it from the head.
Our first priority must be to bring our hearts into total reality and the only way to do that which doesn't take a lifetime is to open it fully to Yah'shua, step off the heart-throne of self-rule and let Him become the genuine and not merely symbolic Head of your being. This is not so simple as mumbling a few words under your breath or putting on a theatrical performance in a church or assembly meeting - it means genuine surrender. It means quitting being your own manager, it means letting go of your own agenda, it means becoming a true follower, it means being willing to be disciplined or discipled - it means becoming correctable. Now you might not like that at first - the chances are you'll positively hate it and accuse Yahweh of being a 'control-freak' or whatever the current term is in vogue, but it's really just letting Him lassoo you before you go charging off a cliff to your destruction and letting Him bring you within the boundaries of true freedom, which is Torah.
Dr. F.B. Meyer once said that when he was young he was very irritable, and an old man told him that he had found relief from this very thing by looking up the moment he felt it coming, and saying "Thy sweetness, Lord." By telling this, that old man greatly helped Dr. Meyer, and he told it to tens of thousands. I pass it on to you because I have found it a certain and a quick way of escape from thje pull of the flesh back into lawlessness and despair. Take the opposite of your temptation and look up inwardly, naming that opposite: Untruth Thy truth, Lord; Unkindness Thy kindness, Lord; Impatience Thy patience, Lord; Selfishness Thy unselfishness, Lord; Roughness Thy gentleness, Lord; Discourtesy Thy courtesy, Lord; Resentment, inward heat, fuss Thy sweetness, Lord, Thy calmness, Thy peacefulness. When we declare that we want things to be done His way, we are renouncing our own independence and claiming dependency on Him to make is what we always wanted to be but which we were afraid to be because we doubted it was possible; and we doubted because we always tried in our own strength, and failed. Yes, we may have managed to keep up the performance for a while, but then finally had tyo admit it was impossible and gave up.
Although it's become quite a cliché in Christian circles to ask ourselves: "What would Yah'shua do in this situation?" I still think it is very important that we do, but this time I recommend we get specific. If we feel impatience, we should declare: "Thy patience, Lord". If we feel angry, we should petition: "Thy stillness" and remind ourselves of good scriptural counsel by reading and memorising Bible passages like: "Be still, and know that I am Elohim" (Ps.46:10) without neglecting what comes before and after because we often miss vital keys: "Be still, and know that I am Elohim; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth" (Ps.46:10, NIV). In other words, if you want to be still and know Yahweh so that he can change your heart, seek for His exaltation and not your own.
I think that no one who tries this very simple plan will ever give it up. It does, of course, take for granted that all is yielded the "I" dethroned and Yah'shua put there in its place. Why don't you try it? The moment something negative comes up which you know is not of Him and not in His will, petition the Throne of Grace for the opposite and surrender yourself to it and to its Giver? I think you will be pleasantly surprised. May prayer to end my message to you today echoes the apostle Paul who said:
"May the Elohim who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Messiah Yah'shua, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the Elohim and Father of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah. Accept one another, then, just as Messiah accepted you, in order to bring praise to Elohim" (Rom.15:5-8, NIV).
|Glossary of MLT Hebraic, Greek and English Terms |
For other terms and full details please see the Micropedia
AGlossary Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved
Adon(ai) = Master, a pagan fertility god, Adonis; used by many Messianics but not MLT
(a)eon(ian) = 7 dispensation- or age-long time periods, not forever (see le-olam-va-ed)
Alef-Tav = Alpha-Omega, A-Z, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet = Yah'shua
Amen = truly, let it be so, written Amein by some Messianics
Apocrypha = Hebraic Scriptures not a part of the Protestant canon (e.g. Baruch)
Anti-Messiah = Hebraic term for the end-time Antichrist or anyone opposed to the Messiah
antinomian = lawless Christian who disregards all or part of Torah/commandments
Ashkenazi Jew = East European Jew descended from the Turkic-Japhethite Khazars
Assembly = church, congregation, ekklesia, community, fellowship, koinonia, gathering
Azazel = the Yom Kippur scapegoat
Baal, Ba'al = any other master than Yahweh, usually demonic in MLT terminology
Bachor(im) = firstborn son(s)
Bar/Bat Mitzvah = Son/Daughter of Commandment, covenant to obey Torah at age 12
being = soul, the whole person (spirit and body), e.g. "my whole being"
Beit, bet, beth = house, e.g. Beit Yisrael (House of Israel), Beth Lechem (House of Bread)
Beit haMikdash = Yahweh's Temple in Yerushalayim
B'rit Chadashah = the New Covenant; B'rit Chadashah Scriptures = New Testament
B'rit Milah = circumcision - abolished in the B'rit Chadashah, replaced by Mikvah
canon = authoritative Scripture (Heb. qaneh, Gk. kanŰn = measuring instrument)
Catechumen = a serious, covenanted investigator seeking Mikvah or Baptism in MLT
Chag haMatzah = Feast of Unleavened Bread, second of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Chavurat Bekorot = MLT's Priesthood Order, Holy Order and Assembly of the Firstborn
Cohen = priest; Cohen Gadol = High Priest (also spelled Kohen)
Council of Yah's elohim = the heavenly Assembly of the Firstborn or Chavurat Bekorot
demon = fallen malek or angel in rebellion against Yahweh (Heb. shad; see l-Shaddai)
derech = the Way, Path or Road - Yah'shua and the Gospel are the Way
Drash = moral or homiletic interpretation of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Echad = One, Union of two or more in one (as opposed to Yachid) - see Elohim
Echad Godhead Doctrine = Father Yahweh, Son Yah'shua and Sevenfold Ruach (Mother)
Êl, Eloah, Elah = God the Father, Yahweh
Êl-Elyon = Most High God, Yahweh
Êl-Shaddai = Master/Lord over all shads or demons
Elohim = God, the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), lit. 'Mighty One(s)', 'Ruler(s)'
elohim = Israelite judges, rulers, angels or gods (false deities, idols, demons)
emunah = faith, actively trusting, clinging or adhering to (especially Yahweh or Yah'shua)
emet = truth, Yah'shua is the Emet
Ephraimite = descendant of the patriarch Ephraim and head of Messsianic Israel
Feasts of Yahweh = the 7 annual Moedim (Pesach, Chag haMatzah, Yom haBikkurim, Shavu'ot, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot)
Gan-Eden = Garden of Eden, Paradise and state of the purified heart in Messiah
goy(im) = nation(s), Israelites or gentiles not born in or converted to the Covenant
hallelu-Yah = praise Yah(weh)!
Heylel = proper name of Satan or haSatan = the Adversary, the devil
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Hochmah = Wisdom, title of the 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
IDL = International Date Line, false man-made time division in Pacific Ocean
IDL Zone = Area between the true Divine Date Line (Lake Van/Eden) and the false one
Israeli = citizen of the modern Edomite-Khazar Republic of Israel (not Biblical Israel)
Israelite = citizen of biblical state of Israel or a modern follower of the Messiah
Jew = post-biblical term describing descendants of Edomite and Khazar converts to Judaism
Johannine = pertaining to the Apostle Yochanan (e.g. Gospel of John)
Josephite = descendant of the patriarch Joseph, the head of Messianic Israel
Judahite = a person in direct descent from the patriarch Judah, forefather of the Messiah
Judaism = a Talmudic-based religion rejecting Yah'shua the Messiah
Judean = a citizen of the Kingdom or Province of Judah until the 2nd Century diaspora
Kadosh la Yahweh = set-apart or dedicated to Yahweh, 'Holiness to the Lord', MLT motto
Karaites = Jews (from 700 AD) who reject the Talmud and accept only the Tanakh
kashrut = keeping kosher, food laws of Yahweh and correspinding lifestyle
Ketuvim = Writings or Hagiographa of the Tanakh
Khazar = a Turkic convert to Judaism ~700 AD forming the Ashkenazi Jewish community
kosher = clean foods authorised by Yahweh for human consumption
Lashon Hara = evil-speaking, gossip or slander
legalism = false route to salvation through works (self-salvation)
le-olam-va-ed = dispensation- or age-long, aeonian, not eternal, forever or for eternity
Lev = heart, as in Lev-Tsiyon = heart of Zion
Lev-Tsiyon = Heart of the Fortress [of Yahweh], Hebrew name of MLT's founder
Master = Lord, Sir, Adon(ai) - (one in authority, a ruler - a king, husband, prophet, judge)
Malak(im) = Angel(s), heavenly supernatural messenger(s)
manna = wafers of honey, bread from heaven (lit. 'what is this?')
matzah = unleavened bread, see Chag haMatzah
Menorah = 7-armed candlearbra = the 7 annual Moedim and 7-fold Ruach haQodesh
Messiah = Christ; Anti-Messiah = Antichrist
Messianic Community = Body of Christ, sum total of all true believers; all true fellowships
Messianic Israel = all who worship Yahweh, trust in Yah'shua, obey Torah and overcome
Messianic Jew = Messianic convert from Judaism still clinging to Talmudic traditions
Midrash = aggadic interpretation of scripture vi‚ Drash, a scriptural discussion
Mikvah = baptism by immersion of convert into Yah'shua or of wife into husband
Mishpachah = family: nuclear, congregational, tribal or the whole of Messianic Israel
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon = family of the heart of the fortress [of Yahweh]
Mishpat = right-ruling or judgement
mitzvah/mitzvot = commandment(s)
moed(im) = appointment(s) of Yahweh, 7 Annual Feasts, Sabbath and Rosh Chodesh
Nefilim, Nephilim = giant offspring of materialised demons and human women
Nevi'im = prophetic writings of the Old Testament or Tanakh
New Birth = spiritual conversion in the Ruach haRishon, being 'born again' with new heart
Nidah = a woman's menstruation period during which no intercourse is permitted
Olive Branch = collection of revelations, prophecies and visions published by MLT
Paraclete = Comforter, Advocate (NEB), Counsellor, Ruach haQodesh (Gk. paraklÍtos)
PaRDeS = method of textual interpretation (homiletics) - see P'shat, Remez, Drash, Sod
Patriarch = a father who is head of his family, clan or tribe (lit. 'father-ruler')
Pentateuch = first five books of the Tanakh (Genesis-Deuteronomy), also called Torah
peribolaion = headcovering worn by daughters/wives in submission to fathers/husbands
Pesach = Passover, first of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Peshitta = an Aramaic version of the Bible
Prototrinitarianism = early, simplified MLT formulation of the Echad Godhead Doctrine
Prush(im) = Pharisee(s)
Pseudepigrapha = Non-canonical Hebrew writings additional to the Apocrypha
P'shat = literal, contextual, philological, exoteric, outer meaning of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Qadosh Qadoshim = Holy of Holies, most sacred set-apart room of the Beit haMikdash
Qodesh, Kodesh = set-apart, holy (see Ruach haQodesh)
Rabbi = Teacher, term used by Messianic Jews and some Messianic Israelites = Pastor
Refuge, the 12 Cities of = divinely protected MLT fortresses during the 7-year Tribulation
Remez = hint or allegorical level of Hebraic understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Rosh Chodesh = monthly New Moon appointment of Yahweh
ruach = spirit of a person (lit.'breath')
Ruach Elohim = Spirit of God (the Spirit of the collective Godhead or Elohim)
Ruach haChamashee = 5th Ruach presides over Yom Teruah and Yom Chamashee
Ruach haQodesh = the Sevenfold Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (lit. 'Set-Apart Breath')
Ruach haRevee = 4th Ruach presides over Shavu'ot, Yom Revee and Bar Mitzvah
Ruach haRishon = 1st Ruach presides over Pesach, Yom Rishon and the New Birth
Ruach haShanee = 2nd Ruach presides over Chag haMatzah and Yom Shanee
Ruach haSheshi = 6th Ruach presides over Yom Kippur and Yom Sheshi
Ruach haShleshi = 3rd Ruach presides over Yom haBikkurim, Yom Shleshi and Mikvah
Sabbath = Yom Shabbat (Friday to Saturday sunset, add 1 day in IDL Zone)
Satan = rebel archangel Heylel, father of lies, devil, chief demon (lit.'Adversary')
Sephardic Jew = West European Jew of mixed blood containing many Judahites
Septuagint = Greek translation of the Tanakh, LXX
Shegal haShabbat = 7th Ruach (Sabbath Queen) presides over Sukkot and Yom Shabbat
Shekinah = Divine Presence and Glory of Yahweh-Elohim
Set-apart = holy, sanctified, consecrated, dedicated, separated (to and by Yahweh)
Shabbat-Shabbaton = High Sabbath (e.g. Yom Kippur)
Shalom = heavenly peace, standard Hebraic greeting invoking Yahweh's peace
Shamash(im) = servant(s), deacon(s), attendant(s)
Shavu'ot = Pentecost or Weeks, fourth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Sheol = grave or pit, euphamism for Hades or hell - also see Tartarus
shofar = ram's horn, blown during Yahweh's Moedim
simcha = joy, keynote of Sukkot
Sod = mystical, anagogic, inner or esoteric understanding of Scripture - see PaRDeS
Sukkot = Tabernacles or Booths, seventh of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Synagogue = Greek word used by Jews and Messianics (but not MLT) for a meeting house
talmid(a) = male/female disciple or student
Talmud = scriptures, teachings and commentaries belonging to non-Messianic Judaism
Tanakh = acronym for Old Testament Scriptures - Torah, Nevi'im & Ketuvim
Tartarus = place of imprisonment under the earth for rebellious angels and Nephilim
teshuvah = repentance, remorse and contrition leading back to Torah obedience
Torah = Yahweh's teachings or Law; New Covenant Torah includes Yah'shua's teachings
Tribulation, the Great = the final 7 years of the present aeon when Anti-Messiah rules
Trinity = Catholic Godhead formula - see Echad Godhead Doctrine and Prototrinitarianism
Tsiyon = Zion, a fortress, a name of Jerusalem and a prominent hill
Tzitzit/Tizitziyot = tassel(s) worn by men in remembrance of Torah
Universalism = salvation of all at the cosmic Yovel, with different rewards and punishments
Yachid = one, single person or item, as opposed to Echad (many in one, unity)
Yah'shua the Messiah = Jesus Christ (the Son)
Yahudah = Judah - see Judahite
Yahweh, Yah, YHWH = the true Name of our Heavenly Father, also carried by Yah'shua
Yahweh-Elohim = LORD God (the Father, Yahweh as Head of the Godhead or Elohim)
Yahweh haQatan = the sent Yahweh = Yah(weh)'shua, Malak of Yahweh's Presence
Yam Suf = Sea of Reeds, the true Israelite Exodus water crossing, not the Red Sea
Yarden = Jordan River (lit. 'meanderer')
Yerushalayim = Jerusalem
Yisrael = Israel (lit. 'ruling with l') = true believers under the New Covenant
Yom Chamashee = 5th day of the week (Thursday, Friday in IDL Zone)
Yom Din, Yom haDin = (the) Day of Judgement
Yom haBikkurim = Feast of Firstfruits, third of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Revee = 4th day of the week (Wednesday, Thursday in IDL Zone)
Yom Rishon = 1st day of the week (Sunday, Monday in IDL Zone)
Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement, sixth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yom Shabbat = 7th day of the week and Sabbath Rest (Saturday, Sunday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shanee = 2nd day of the week (Monday, Tuesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Sheshi = 6th day of the week (Friday, Saturday in IDL Zone)
Yom Shleshi = 3rd day of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday in IDL Zone)
Yom Teruah = Day of Trumpets, fifth of the annual feasts of Yahweh
Yosef = Joseph - see Josephite
Yovel = Jubilee or Year of Jubilee
Zaqen(im) = elder(s) of an assembly or congregation, or senior members of a community
ZoŽ Life = Greek term for spiritual life in the Messiah
Commonly Used MLT Abbreviations
For additional abbreviations and explanations,
please see the Micropedia
Amp.V(er). = Amplified Version of the Bible
Aram. = Aramaic
AV = Authorised Version of the Bible - see KJV
BCAY = B'rit Chadashah Assembly of Yahweh - see NCCG
BoA = Books of Abraham (e.g. 1Abr., 2Abr., etc.)
cp, cf = compare with
CB(Q) = Chavurat Bekorot
CEV = Contemporary English Version of the Bible
ch. = chapter
CJB = Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT = Concordant Literal New Testament
CYe = Council of Yah's elohim
Eng. = English
ff. = and onwards/forwards
fn = footnote
Gk. = Greek
GNB = Good News Bible - see TEV
Heb. = Hebrew, Hebraic
HEM = Holy Echad Marriage, eternal marriage
HO = Holy Order - see Chavurat Bekorot
HOC = Holy Order Collection of revelations - see OB
HRV = Hebraic-Roots Version of the Bible
ibid. = ibidem (lit. 'in the same place'), referring to a book previously cited
ICJC = Independent Church of Jesus Christ, earlier name of NCCF
ISRV = Institute for Scripture Research Version of the Bible
JB = Jerusalem Bible
JBP/Phillips = J.B.Phillips translation of the New Testament
JNT = Jewish New Testament
KJV = King James Version of the Bible - see AV
LB = Living Bible
lit. = literally or literature
LXX = Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT
MLT = Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon
Moff. = Moffatt translation of the Bible
MRC = Messianic Renewed Covenant Version of the NT
MS(S) = Manuscript(s)
NASB, NASV = New American Standard Bible/Version
NC&C = New Covenants & Commandments - see OB
NCCF = New Covenant Christian Fellowship, earlier name of NCCG
NCCG = New Covenant Church of God, earlier name of MLT - see BCAY
NCP = New Covenant Press, publishing arm of MLT
NCW = New Covenant Witness, MLT magazine
NEB = New English Bible
NIV = New International Version of the Bible
NKJV = New King James Version of the Bible
Nor. = Norwegian
NT = New Testament, B'rit Chadashah
NWT = New World Translation of the Bible, unreliable Jehovah's Witness version
OB = Olive Branch - see NC&C
op.cit. = opere citato (lit. in the work cited)
OT = Old Testament, Tanakh
p(p). = page(s)
pl. = plural - see s.
PWNC = Prophetic Words of the New Covenant, revelation cataloging system - see OB
QED = quod erat demonstrandum (lit. which was shown to be proved)
RCF = Restoration Christian Fellowship, earlier name of ICJC
RhQ = Ruach haQodesh, Holy Spirit
RSTNE = Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition of the Bible
RSV = Revised Standard Version of the Bible
RV = Revised Version of the Bible
s. = singular - see pl.
S&G = Smith & Goodspeed Version of the Bible
TEV = Today's English Version of the Bible - see GNB
Vulg. = Biblia Vulgata, Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible
WEB = World English Bible
This page was first created on 20 March 2007
Last updated on 20 March 2007
Copyright ©2007 Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon (MLT) - All Rights Reserved