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When one is immersed in the Name of our Savior, Yahshua Messiah, he is basically making a two-fold commitment. Not only does he commit himself to bury his past sinful life, but he also agrees to change his life style and walk in the newness of life,
Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, Rom. 6:4.
This newness of life is what is blueprinted in Colossians chapter 3. Here we read of those things we are to put off, to mortify (put to death), to turn our backs on, and of those things we are to turn toward, to put on, and the things we should do, and,
Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master Yahshua, giving thanks to Yahweh the Father by Him, verse 17.
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto the Messiah; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of the Messiah, doing the will of Yahweh from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Master, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Master, whether he be bond or free, Eph 6:5-8.
Since we are to serve Yahweh and not man as we have just read, we should do those things which are pleasing in Yahweh's sight,
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemn us, Yahweh is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward Yahweh. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight, 1 John 3:18-22.
We, in this life, are exhorted to build up our character, to strive toward perfection. We, who profess to be members of Yahshua's body, are to build that body up and not tear it down. We, in our lives, are to live according to the spirit, over and above the letter of the law. We, in our lives, must let our behavior attest to our willingness to serve Yahweh.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after Yahweh is created in righteousness and true holiness, Eph 4:22-24.
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living Elohim, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach, 1 Tim 4:10-11.
But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior), 1 Peter 1:15.
Having your conversation (behavior) honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify Yahweh in the day of visitation, 1 Peter 2:12.
Here is what Paul urged in Phil. 1:27, a good lesson for us in our day, also.
Only let your conversation (behavior) be as it becometh the [glad tidings of Messiah]: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the [glad tidings].
The alphabet used in any language is an integral part of those who used that language. Without it, one could not communicate with others via the written word. We are very dependent on the alphabet to convey the correct thoughts to others by correctly arranging the letters in some proper sequence. If the sequence of letters is not correct, then others will not know what we are writing. Since each letter in the alphabet has its own function, we must know the function of each and how to correctly apply them. Let us draw an analogy of correctly using the letters of the alphabet to form words, to the picture of correctly living an exemplary life attributed to a member of Yahshua's body. Thereby, we will be able to convey to Yahweh that we are willing to change our life style to one worthy of wearing the crown of life, that crown of glory which shall not fade away. It will be noted in this study that the letter "x" is omitted. This is because there is no appropriate word in the English language found in the translation of the Scriptures which begins with the letter "x" that could be applied to our lives.
A - Abase
The word “abase” is not used too often in the King James Version of Scriptures as the translation from the Hebrew or Greek. In fact, it appears only in Job 40:11, Isa. 31:4, Ezek. 21:26 and Dan. 4:37. In the NKJV and the NIV, the word “abase” does not appear. In its place the translators use phrases like, “bring down” or “humble.” In the KJV, the Hebrew words translated “abase” are OT:8213 shaphel (shaw-fale'); a primitive root meaning to depress or sink (expec. figuratively, to humiliate), and OT:6031 anah (aw-naw'); a primitive root meaning [possibly rather ident. with OT:6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating] to depress.
Let’s compare the three translations of Job 40:11.
Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. (KJV)
Disperse the rage of your wrath; look on everyone who is proud, and humble him. (NKJV)
Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low. (NIV)
To get a better grasp as to its meaning, one only needs to use the dictionary, where it means to lower oneself or to humble oneself. We should recognize the meaning of the word humble. If we do not, then let us go to Yahweh's Word for its meaning.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as Yahweh hath dealt to every man the measure of faith, Rom 12:3.
This verse explains the word humble to mean: "not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think." What this means is don't be arrogant or have pride. Ungers Bible Dictionary tells us that humility (the state of being humble) does not demand undue self-deprecation, but does demand a lowliness of self-estimation. Pride is one thing we are to turn our backs on.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy ... Having a form of righteousness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away, 2 Tim. 3:2, 5
Yahweh tells us to humble ourselves.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of Yahweh, that He may exalt you in due time, I Pet. 5:6.
Humble yourselves in the sight of Yahweh, and He shall lift you up, James 4:10.
If we do not humble ourselves but are arrogant in our ways, then we can only expect shame (When pride cometh, then cometh shame, Prov. 11:2a), to be contentious (Only by pride cometh contention, Prov. 13:10a) and, lastly, destruction (Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall, Proverbs 16:18).
Yahweh says in Matt. 23:12,
Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased. See also Prov. 29:23 and Luke 14:11. Why should this happen? It happens because Yahweh loathes a proud person (The fear of Yahweh is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate, Prov. 8:13) and promises to resist (oppose) the proud, (But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, Yahweh resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble, James 4:6; and For Yahweh resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble, I Pet. 5:5b)
Who amongst us desires the fate of opposing Yahweh? Knowing Yahshua humbled Himself (And being found in fashion as a man, He Humbled himself, Phil. 2:8) and that we are to follow Yahshua (For even hereunto were ye called: because the Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps, I Pet. 2:21), therefore we should do as Col. 3:12 says: Put on therefore, as the elect of Yahweh ..., humbleness of mind...
B - Believe
Webster defines the word “believe” in three ways:
(1) To have a firm conviction as to the reality or goodness of something. What this means is to exercise a living Faith. As Paul says in I Cor. 11:1, Be ye followers (imitators) of me, even as I also am of the Messiah. If we do this, then we, as Paul says in Acts 24:14b, should believe all things which are written in the law and in the prophets, for the commandments are good (Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, Rom. 7:12), the law is good for us if we use it correctly (We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully, I Tim. 1:8) and we are to cleave to that which is good (Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good, Rom. 12:9; and Prove all things; hold fast that which is good, I Thess. 5:21).
(2) Webster also defines “believe” as being persuaded of the truth and validity of something. This idea is brought out in Acts 7:1-4, 11-12.
Then said the high priest, Are these things so? And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; the Elohim of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell... Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.
(3) Gen. 15:6 is an example of the third way the word “believe” is used:
And he believed in Yahweh; and He counted it to him for righteousness.
Here we read that Abram (Abraham) believed in what he heard. When Abram was told to leave his own land (Gen. 12:1), he left immediately (Gen. 12:4). He believed that what Yahweh told him was the truth. He remained steadfast and Abram's believing was counted for righteousness. Abram had faith and this faith came by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Yahweh,
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Yahweh, Rom. 10:17.
Therefore, we must “believe” in the Word of Yahweh as the Truth.
C - Confess
If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, I John 1:9.
Yes, Yahshua's blood cleanses us from all sin, I John 1:7. When we confess our sins we acknowledge that we are sinful and unclean. This confession is a test of our faith:
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us, I John 1:10.
The Greek word translated "confess" is homologeo (hom-olog-eh'-o) which means to assent, i.e. acknowledge. Not only are we to confess (acknowledge) our sins but also are to confess (acknowledge) Yahshua (Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven, Matt. 10:32 and That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Master Yahshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that Yahweh hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, Rom. 10:8-9.). The reason being so that we may have Yahweh's Spirit dwelling in us (Whosoever shall confess that Yahshua is the Son of Yahweh, Yahweh dwelleth in him, and he in Yahweh, I John 4:15 and John 4:24a says that Yahweh is spirit and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, Rom. 10:10b). When we confess our sins, our sins are placed upon Yahshua's shoulders, for Yahshua died for the sins of the whole world - those sins committed before, during, and after the time He dwelt on this earth as a man.
In the sacrificial system performed during Old Testament times there is a parallel. Lev. 4 deals with the sin offering made in this sacrificial system.
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before Yahweh: it is a sin offering, Lev. 4:24.
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering, Lev. 4:29.
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering, Lev. 4:33.
In these three verses, when the offeree brought his sacrifice to the priest he placed his hand upon the head of the animal and then proceeded to kill the animal. The placing of his hand on the head of the animal signified the transmission of the sins from the offeree to the animal in the same manner in which our sins are transmitted to Yahshua when we make confession of our sins. The animal typified Yahshua and each sacrificial animal had to die in order to make atonement for the sins. Now the impact of these two parallels should be more significant when one realizes that the Hebrew word translated “confess” in the Old Testament means to use, to hold out, or to extend the hand. The Hebrew word translated “confess” is yadah (yaw-daw') OT 3034; a primitive root; used only as denominative from OT:3027; literally, to use (i.e. hold out) the hand; physically, to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); intensively, to bemoan (by wringing the hands).
D - Doer
What shall I do to inherit eternal life? (Luke 10:25).
This question was directed at Yahshua by a teacher of the law. Being a teacher of the law he knew what the law said:
Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself, Luke 10:27.
This is the composite of the law and the prophets:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Yahshua said unto him, Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets, Matt. 22:35-40.
We then find Yahshua answering his question in Luke 10:28, This do, and thou shalt live. See also Deut. 4:1.
As David prayed in Ps. 143:10, so should we, Teach me to do thy will (good pleasure) ... for he that doeth the will of Yahweh abideth forever, I John 2:17. The word translated “doer” in the New Testament, is the Greek poietes (poy-ay-tace') NT:4163; from NT:4160 and means a performer.
So if we want to receive the promise of everlasting life we are to do Yahweh's will. See also Eph. 6:5-8. We must perform what He has instructed us to do by His Word (Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says, James 1:22). Before a person commits a conscious act, no matter how small or great it might be, he should ask himself, "Would the performance of this act be well pleasing to Yahweh?"
E - Eschew
The word “eschew” is used in I Pet. 3:11, which is in turn quoted from Ps. 34:14,
Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
The word translated “eschew,” the Greek ekklino (ek-klee'-no), literally means to turn away from, to shun, to avoid habitually on moral grounds. This is certainly what we are to do with evil thoughts and actions. This is exactly what Col. 3:5-9 speaks of:
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things' sake the wrath of Yahweh cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.
The list there includes fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil desires, covetousness, idolatry and lying. To this list of things we are to turn away from, II Tim. 3:1-6 adds boasting, pride, blaspheming, disobeying parents, untruthfulness, unholiness, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierceness, despising those which do good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Yahweh. These things are always to be avoided. These are the characteristics of our old nature which we must subdue and put off.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil, Prov. 4:23-27.
Rom. 6:13 tells us to yield ourselves unto Yahweh and our members as instruments of righteousness unto Yahweh.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto Yahweh, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto Yahweh.
Yes, we are to avoid (eschew) evil and pursue peace.
F - Follow
I Pet. 2:21 is perhaps the most often quoted Scripture using the word “follow”:
For even hereunto were ye called; because the Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.
Translated from the Greek epakoloutheo (ep-ak-ol-oo-theh'-o) NT:1872, “follow” means to accompany. When playing the game of "follow the leader" as a youngster, one imitated the leader. Hence, to follow, not only means to accompany but also to imitate. This is what Paul tells us to do in I Cor. 11:1.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of the Messiah.
He also tells us to be followers of Yahweh:
Be ye therefore followers of Yawheh, as dear children, Eph 5:1.
We are instructed to follow after that which is good (Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of Yahweh: but he that doeth evil hath not seen Yahweh, III John 11) and we know that Yahweh's commandments are good (Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, Rom. 7:12). We are to follow after the good things, for we, each one of us, are to set an example so that others may follow after (imitate) us.
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample, Phil. 3:17.
For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you...Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us, 2 Thess. 3:7, 9.
G - Glorify
To “glorify” means to render glorious (or to give glory) through honor, praise and admiration. More than doing this by lip-service, we should be concerned as to how else we can “glorify” Yahweh. I Cor. 6:20 says,
Glorify Yahweh in your body...
Whatever task we request our body to perform, we should do it only to the glory of Yahweh.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of Yahweh, I Cor. 10:31.
Hence, one can not “glorify” Yahweh through disobedience, but only through willing obedience to His laws.
H - Honor
Webster defines the verb “honor” in two ways:
(1) To live up to and fulfill the terms of a commitment. When, through immersion, we promise to change our lives and to walk in the newness of life we are, in essence, making a vow to Yahweh to walk in the Truth. By making such a commitment we are under an obligation to honor it.
When thou vowest a vow unto Elohim, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, then that thou shouldest vow and not pay, Ecc. 5:4.5.
Making such a vow to change one's life style and then not living up to it, is showing mere lip-service unto Yahweh. If we give lip-service only, then our hearts certainly deceive us. We should not be like the Pharisees who gave lip-service only.
Yahshua, speaking of the scribes and Pharisees, said:
This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me, Matt. 15:8.
We are to give our whole being to Yahweh.
(2) Webster also defines the verb “honor” as showing respect or to consider with high regard or esteem. In this same sense of the word, we are to honor Yahweh:
Sing unto Yahweh, all the earth; shew forth from day to day His salvation. Declare His glory among the heathen; His marvellous works among all nations. For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised: He also is to be feared above all mighty ones. For all the elohims of the people are idols: but Yahweh made the heavens. Glory and honour are in His presence; strength and gladness are in His place, 1 Chron. 16:23-27.
We are to “honor” Yahshua:
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him, John 5:22-23.
We are to “honor” our parents:
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, Ex. 20:12.
We are to “honor” our rulers and all men:
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear Yahweh. Honour the King, I Pet. 2:17.
I - Increase
We should take to heart the words Paul wrote to the people of Colossae - in that they (as we also should), increase in (by) the knowledge of Yahweh.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of Yahweh unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of Elohim, Col. 1:9-10.
We must grow; we must not become stagnant.
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Master Yahshua, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please Yahweh, so ye would abound more and more, I Thess. 4:1.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of Yahweh, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in Yahweh, I Cor. 15:58.
Whatever talents we possess we must use them to help the body of the Messiah grow.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of Yahweh; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua Messiah Himself being the chief corner stone; in Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Master: in Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of Yahweh through the Spirit, Eph. 2:19-22.
And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Messiah: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Messiah: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even the Messiah: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love, Eph. 4:11-16.
If one does not use the talents given to him, these talents will be taken. Read the parable of the talents in Matt. 25:14-29. We must increase in our love to all people so that our hearts may be established unblamable when Yahshua returns.
Now Yahweh Himself and our Father, and our Master Yahshua Messiah, direct our way unto you. And Yahweh make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before Yahweh, even our Father, at the coming of our Master Yahshua Messiah with all Hiuis saints, I Thess. 3:11-13.
J - Joy
There are basically two types of joy: moral and spiritual. Moral joy is that contentment received when one does good things, and is synonymous to peace or serenity of conscience and is directed mainly inward toward oneself. Spiritual joy is directed outward, for its objects are Yahweh:
Judge me, O Elohim, and plead my cause against an unrighteous nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the Elohim of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of Elohim, unto Elohim my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O Elohim my Eloha, Ps. 43:1-4.
Our joy should also be directed towards Yahshua:
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Master. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship Yahweh in the spirit, and rejoice in Messiah Yahshua, and have no confidence in the flesh, Phil. 3:1-3
Lastly, our spiritual joy should be directed towards the promises:
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Yahshua Messiah: Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls, I Pet. 1:6-9.
Now, moral joy can easily be changed by some physical occurrence, but spiritual joy is permanent.
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you, John 16:22.
K - Keep
Of all the Hebrew words translated “keep,” there are two (along with their Greek equivalents) which literally mean to guard, to protect, to obey and to attend to. We are to “keep” our tongues from evil:
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile, Ps. 34:13.
This verse says we are also to “keep” our lips from speaking guile. Guile is the translation of the Hebrew mirmah (meer-maw') OT:4820 meaning fraud, in the sense of deceiving.
I Pet. 3:10 says the same thing:
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
In Ps. 39:1, to “keep” our mouth:
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.
The reason for this is that if we keep our mouth from speaking evil (the mouth only says what the heart feels : A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh, Luke 6:45) then we shall keep life.
He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction, Prov. 13:3.
The word “keep” is used most often in connection with Yahweh's commandments:
That they might set their hope in Yahweh, and not forget the works of Yahweh, but keep His commandments, Ps. 78:7.
My son, forget not My law; but let thine heart keep My commandments, Prov. 3:1.
Why keep His commandments?
(1) Because they are holy, just and good: Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, Rom. 7:12.
(2) Because they are life and health: My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh, Prov. 4:20-22.
(3) By “keeping” His commandments we show our love for Yahshua: He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him,”John 14:21 and If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love, John 15:10.
(4) “Keeping” them will bring happiness: Now therefore hearken unto Me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep My ways, Prov. 8:32 and Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he, Prov 29:18. Here, the words “blessed” and “happy” are translated from the Hebrew 'esher (eh'-sher) OT:835; from OT:833; happiness; only in masculine plural construction as interjection, how happy!
(5) By “keeping” His commandments we shall live: He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain My words: keep My commandments, and live, Prov. 4:4 and My son, keep My words, and lay up My commandments with thee. Keep My commandments, and live; and My law as the apple of thine eye, Prov. 7:1-2. “Keeping” Yahweh’s commandments will bring entrance into eternal life. Matt. 19:17 reads, And He said unto him, “Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One that is Yahweh: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
L - Labor
There are two types of “labor” we must experience in our lifetime: physical (manual or mental) and spiritual. Initially, man was destined to have some sort of labor (Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from Yahweh. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening, Ps. 104:20-23) and to lead an active life (And Yahweh Elohim took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it, Gen. 2:15 and And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return...Therefore Yahweh Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken, Gen. 3: 17-19, 23).
For this reason, perhaps, physical “labor” is held in high respect (Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men, Prov. 22:29) and the no-work, no-eat aspect of life should be adhered to (For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat, 2 Thess. 3:10).
But for all the “labor” we put forth, if it be done apart from Yahweh, then it is done in vain (The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? [Eccl. 1:1-3.]) Yes, what profit because others would reap our harvest (Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me, Eccl. 2:18). Hence, the most important type of “labor” is that which is done in accordance with Yahweh's commandments, statutes and judgments. We should “labor” for Yahshua (For we are labourers together with Yahweh: ye are Yahweh's husbandry, ye are Yahweh's building, I Cor. 3:9) and (Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of Yahweh, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in Yahweh, 1 Cor. 15: 58) and for spiritual blessings (Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of Yahweh, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you, Matt. 6:31-33) and not for physical blessings, for the physical blessings are only temporary while the spiritual blessings are permanent, forever:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal, Matt 6:19-20.
M - Meditate
The actual meaning of the word “meditate” is to ponder, to resolve in the mind and, by implication, to premeditate. Ps. 1:1-2 and 63:6 bring out a very strong point concerning meditation.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the unrighteous, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of Yahweh; and in His law doth he meditate day and night, Ps. 1:1-2.
When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches, Ps. 63:6.
There should not be a day that goes by when we do not meditate on Yahweh's law - His instruction to us on how we should live our lives. For neglecting to do so may be an open invitation for evil to enter our heart.
N - Necessary
The Greek word translated “necessary” is anagkaios (an-ang-kah'-yos) NT:316, meaning something needful, close. There is only one Scripture which needs quoting, but how potent is its meaning! Titus 3:14 says,
And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
Verse 8 is also strong in its instruction:
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in Yahweh might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
1 Tim. 4:8 illustrates something that is most profitable:
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but righteousness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Hence, we are to concentrate our efforts to contribute to the growth of the body of Yahshua as one of His chosen people.
O - Obey
There are many Hebrew and Greek words translated “obey” but for the most part they mean “to hear intelligently, attentively, and by implication, to conform to the command or authority.” Hence, if we “obey” Yahweh's Word, then we are acknowledging His authority and conforming to His commandments, statutes and judgments. Yahweh certainly knew what He was doing when He created all things and set up the legislation for us to follow. Complete and total obedience to Yahweh's Word makes us clean.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently, I Pet. 1:22.
Through obedience Yahweh promises to give us His Holy Spirit (And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom Yahweh hath given to them that obey Him, Acts 5:32) so that we can be better equipped to stand up to Satan. But most important is that we are promised a blessing for “obeying” His Word. Deut. 11:26-27 reads,
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of Yahweh your Elohim, which I command you this day.
That promised blessing for” obedience” is eternal life.
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing, 1 Peter 3:8-9.
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Yahshua said unto him, Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets, Matt. 22:35-40.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live, Luke 10:25-28.
Perfect obedience to Yahweh's laws must be the object of our constant endeavors.
P - Pursue
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it, Ps. 34:12-14.
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of Yahweh are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of Yahweh is against them that do evil, I Pet. 3:10-12.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another, Rom. 14:19.
“Pursue” means to run or follow after.
Then had the assemblies rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of Yahweh, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied, Acts 9:31. In this verse peace (rest) is the translation of the Greek eirene (i-ray'-nay) NT:1515; probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity. This implies unity of spirit with the result of edification of the assemblies. Eph. 4:3 and I Thess. 5:13 bring this out.
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, Eph. 4:3.
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves, 1 Thess. 5:13.
“Pursuing” spiritual peace means attempting to restore a harmonious relation with Yahweh.
Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with Yahweh through our Master Yahshua Messiah, Rom. 5:1.
Besides peace one is to pursue charity (love) (Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy, I Cor. 14:1), good things (See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men, I Thess. 5:15), righteousness and faith (Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on Yahweh out of a pure heart, II Tim. 2:22) and devoutness, patience and meekness (But thou, O man of Yahweh, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, I Tim. 6: 11). While in pursuit of all these things we are actually pursuing the prize of eternal life.
Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong, I Cor. 16:13.
The NIV gives a much clearer meaning of the word “quit”:
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong, NIV.
Quit (acquit) you like men, in context, means to act manly as a member of the body of Yahshua - to conduct yourself satisfactorily as a son of Yahweh - to let your behavior be in accordance with Yahweh's commandments, statutes and judgments. Here it does not have the usual meaning attached to being a quitter, but virtually the opposite!
R - Ready
“Ready” means to prepare oneself, be in readiness or be prepared. Paul wrote to Titus, who was on the island of Crete, to tell the people to be “ready” to do every good work:
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, Titus 3:1.
This can easily be projected to all of us, for the doing of good works should be an integral part of each of our lives. Peter is writing to brethren scattered in different places in his first epistle, and cautions them to always be prepared to defend their faith,
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify Yahweh Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, I Pet. 3:13-15.
This should be true of us also, for we should maintain (remain steadfast) our faith in the face of all arguments and criticisms. Luke 12:40 carries with it a great deal of implication:
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
To be “ready” (prepared) for Yahshua's return, we must not only prepare ourselves spiritually each day of our lives, but to take note of the events of the day. Read Matt. 25:1-13 and Mark 13:34-35.
S - Speak
Many scriptures can be found relating to speaking, from both the positive side and from the negative side. Most of these are found in James 3 and in the book of Proverbs. It must be understood that the words we do speak come always from the heart:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh, Luke 6:45.
We should further realize that we are responsible for all things we say and that we will be held accountable for them:
But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned, Matt. 12:36-37.
To put it as concisely as possible, we are to “speak” sound doctrine (But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine, Titus 2:1 and If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of Yahweh if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which Yahweh giveth: that Yahweh in all things may be glorified through Yahshua Messiah, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever, 1 Pet. 4:11) and the truth (And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Messiah: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Yahweh, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Messiah: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Messiah, Eph. 4:11-15).
By doing so, we will grow spiritually.
T - Teach
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven, Matt. 5:19.
This Scripture should indicate to each of us that, at least indirectly, we are all teachers of one kind or another. Parents are commanded to “teach” their children of Yahweh's ways:
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which Yahweh your Elohim commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it... and these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up, Deut. 6:1, 6-7.
Therefore thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim, and keep His charge, and His statutes, and His judgments, and His commandments, always...and ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up, Deut. 11:1, 19.
Since Yahshua has paid the price of redemption, we are to be His servants and as servants we are to be ready to “teach” others whenever given the chance to do so:
And the servant of Yahweh must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if Yahweh peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, II Tim. 2:24-25.
If you have difficulty “teaching” others in the normal usage of the word “teach,” then we can apply I Pet. 2:11-12 and teach others of Yahweh's ways by example - by living according to Yahweh's ways:
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul, having your conversation (behavior) honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify Yahweh in the day of visitation.
U - Unmovable
Have you ever changed your convictions about someone or something because the arguments presented seemed accurate to you? If the topic concerned is spiritual, then one must do a lot of soul-searching, studying and praying that whatever comes is scriptural; for one must be careful not to reject the truth. Also, one must be aware that Satan and his followers are always trying to deceive the chosen people of Yahweh:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, Eph. 4:14.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, I Pet. 5:8.
Therefore, we must stand firm and be unmovable at all times (Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of Yahweh, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in Yahweh, I Cor. 15:58 and And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the evangel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister, Col. 1:21-23) so that Satan will not overpower us.
V - Vigilant
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, I Pet. 5:8.
Watch ye,stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong, I Cor. 16:13.
These Scriptures indicate we are to be watchful. This is what “vigilant” means - to be alertly watchful, especially to avoid danger so as not to become entrapped by the wiles of Satan.
“Vigilant” is the translation of the Greek gregoreuo (gray-gor-yoo'-o) NT:1127; from NT:1453; to keep awake, i.e. watch (literally or figuratively).
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak, Matt. 26:41.
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak, Mark 14:38.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears, Acts 20:29-31.
We are also to be watchful (observant) of the events of this world.
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of Yahweh so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober, 1 Thess. 5:1-6.
By doing so we are preparing ourselves for the return of Yahshua. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning: and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their master when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the master when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not, Luke 12:35-40.
W - Willing
If you are able to perform a service for others, do you do it “willingly”? To be a “willing” servant of Yahweh means to do all one can to help the body of the Messiah to grow, both physically and spiritually, by using whatever talents one possesses. To be “willing” means to offer freely. These free-will offerings are above and beyond what is required. Luke 12:48 says that the more talents one possesses, the more that will be required of him:
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Wealth of one form or another, whether it is materialistic or spiritual, can be either an asset or a detriment. The important thing one must remember is not only that the talents must be used but how they are used. Solomon had wealth of both kinds. Even though Yahweh gave them to him, the amassment of his materialistic wealth actually began during the reign of his father, David:
Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone Yahweh hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for Yahweh Elohim. Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my Elohim the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance, I Chron. 29:1-2.
In verse 5, David asks his people a very important question, which is appropriate for us today also: Who, then, is willing to consecrate (to install) his service this day unto Yahweh? To this question let your answer be a resounding "I am.”
Y - Yield
The Greek words translated “yield” convey the idea of exhibiting oneself or presenting oneself.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Yahweh, that ye present (yield) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable (well pleasing) unto Yahweh, which is your reasonable (logical) service, Rom. 12:1.
This Scripture tells us what we should at least be willing to do as members of Yahshua's body.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto Yahweh, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto Yahweh, Rom. 6:13.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Rom. 6:16)
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness, Rom. 6:19.
By Rom. 6:13, 16 and 19 we are to present ourselves as instruments of righteousness.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Yahweh, Rom. 12:2.
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him, Col. 3:10.
By Rom. 12:2 and Col. 3:10, we are to renew ourselves - our minds and our heart. Even Paul, in Romans 7, admits existence of two laws within his (our) body - the law of the mind and the law of the flesh.
With the mind (the new nature we are to put on) we serve the law of Yahweh but with the law of the flesh (the old nature we are to put off) we serve the law of sin.
I thank Yahweh through Yahshua Messiah our Master. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of Yahweh; but with the flesh the law of sin, Rom. 7:25.
Since the penalty for sin is death, hence, we must make the positive choice of serving Yahweh by yielding ourselves to His laws.
Z - Zealous
Webster defines “zealous” as being filled with eagerness and ardent interest in pursuing something.
For the grace of Yahweh that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying impiety and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and devoutly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great Mighty One and our Savior, Yahshua Messiah; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Titus 2:11-14.
Compare also Acts 21:20, 22:3 and I Cor. 14:12. Therefore, we, being a peculiar people, a people purchased by the price of Yahshua's death, must certainly be enthusiastic to do good.
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing Yahweh: and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Master, and not unto men; knowing that of the Master ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Master Messiah, Col. 3:22-24.
Col. 3:22-24 includes everything we do.
Yes, Colossians, chapter 3, should be a very important scriptural passage for us to remember, for it tells us what actions must be changed if we are to put on a new nature and be a fruitful member of Yahshua's body. Ephesians, chapters 4-6, also give insight into how our lives should be led. If we were to put these chapters and this study into a nutshell it would come out something like this:
If you confess Yahshua and your sins before men,
If you believe, meditate upon, keep and obey Yahweh's Word and follow Yahshua's steps,
If you labor to do Yahweh's commandments, statutes and judgments,
If you willingly yield yourselves unto righteousness,
If you zealously pursue the necessary things,
If you speak and teach the truths of the Scriptures,
If you give honor and glory to whom it is due,
If you turn away from doing evil and lead a quiet, humble, vigilant and unmovable life,
If you prepare yourself for Yahshua's return and consider it a joy to suffer while waiting -
Then, alphabetically speaking, you're okay!
"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving,” -Oliver Wendell Holmes
-Elder Roger G. Meyer
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