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They Have Their Reward

   From whom do you ... seek ... reward? That is, from whom do you seek approval or reinforcement for doing what is ‘right’ or ‘good’? We could ask the question this way, “From whom do you seek love, encouragement, companionship, help and knowledge?” for, aren’t all of these ‘things’ rewards for our soul? If you were to ask this question to a stranger without making reference to Scripture, you would undoubtedly get a variety of responses. From whom do you seek reward, love, encouragement, companionship, help and knowledge? We might hear, “From my wife, my husband, my mother, father, brother, sister; from my boss, my neighbor, my pastor, priest, professor or from my sponsor.” If the question were posed with the condition, “From a Biblical perspective, from whom do you seek reward, encouragement and reinforcement for doing what is ‘right’ or ‘good’?” I would venture to speculate that the answers would be the same, but with the addition of a term referencing the Creator.
   Having said this, from whom does Scripture teach that we should seek all of these things; and, in what context? Remember, “A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.” In other words, if we do not understand the context in which a Scriptural text is written, we are bound to misinterpret the meaning the author originally wrote. “Context,” as I am defining it, refers to, “Who wrote it, in what language, to whom is it being written, for what purpose and what do the words mean in the time it was written?” “Pretext” refers to concepts, or ideas that are foundations for a “Proof text” which is a verse used to teach false doctrines. And, when we speak of the author of Scripture, to whom are we ultimately referring? To the Spirit of Yahweh and Yahshua.
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward, Matthew 6:1-2.

Charitable Deeds
   We need to examine these two verses in context, so that we do not create a pretext for misunderstanding leading to false doctrine.
   Lest we think that these two verses are simply about donating food to the poor at certain designated holidays at specific times of the year, understand this: The phrase “charitable deeds,” plural, in verse 1, is from the root, di-ké, meaning ‘justice’; or, in the broader sense, correct judgment or discernment. The same phrase “charitable deed,” singular, in verse 2, has a different root, hence a different meaning. It is from the root, eleos, meaning ‘compassion for the poor,’ or simply and more broadly, ‘mercy.’ Yahshua is speaking here of justice and mercy, not in a singular context as translated here; but, in all contexts. In everything we do, do it correctly and with compassion for others.
   ‘Sunagogé,’ here, means “an assemblage of persons” and does not necessarily refer to the liturgical practices of the synagogue itself. The phrase, “in the streets,” serves to clarify its meaning. In “Hebrew block logic,” the context for this verse is the whole world. We who have dedicated our lives to obey Yahweh know that we are under His watchful eye in every location, not just in the Assembly, on Sabbath.
   We believe that Hebrew was the original language, which Yahweh will eventually restore.
   In Zephaniah 3:8-9 (see top of next page), there is a remarkable example of the powerful wisdom within Scripture; that is within the Hebrew text. Verse 8 contains all of the letters of the Hebrew alephbet, including their final forms (that is, the five letters that are written when they are the last letter of a word).
“Therefore wait for Me," says Yahweh, "Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations to My assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them My indignation, all My fierce anger; all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy. For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of Yahweh, to serve Him with one accord, Zephaniah 3:8-9.

One Language
   Yes, He will restore that which was true in the beginning:
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech, Genesis 11:1.
   Yahweh sent His Son, Yahshua, to restore all things, including His Word (the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings), His people Israel, His language, the Tree of Life, His Kingdom and His Bride. How much do we miss in Scripture by not examining it from a Hebrew point of view!
   “Hebrew block logic” is a phrase that is used to describe the supernatural power of the words in the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, as opposed to the common power of words in all other languages and in all other writings. May Yahweh rebuke those who destroyed the Hebraic writings of the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament.
   In the phrase, “They have their reward,” ‘reward’ here means “payment for services rendered.” Yahshua is drawing attention to the conditional gifts of sustenance to the poor, and calling such donors ‘hypocrites’ — actors, who assume a role that is not who they really are. That is, these hypocrites expect a reward in return for giving these gifts. Their gifts to the poor are not like the gifts of mercy that Yahweh shows to us. After all, He GAVE His Son as a propitiation for our sins. Yahshua stood in our place to take the stripes and execution for judgment which is placed on our heads. There is no presumptuous precondition with Yahweh.
For Yahweh so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For Yahweh did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved, John 3:16-17.
   There was no requirement that we had to meet in order for Him to grant this gift. However, we have to ask, “Is there a condition for KEEPING this gift?”


Oh, To Be Redeemed
   It is taught in the largest religion in the world that Yahshua freely gave His life for our salvation, and that there is nothing we can do to repay Him. This is true; however, John 3:16 is a text that has become a pretext for a proof text leading to a false doctrine. In addition to these truths, the largest religion in the world teaches that there is nothing we have to do to be redeemed for the Kingdom. Is that true?
   No! Doesn’t Matthew 6:1 say,
   Do not do your charitable deeds for the purpose of being seen by men; or else you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
   Hmm. OR ELSE? Sounds conditional to me. In fact, it sounds a bit like a warning; but only if you are seeking to please the Father through obedience to His word! Yahweh can not contradict Himself, or else He could not be the same forever, meaning past, present and future! We will receive no reward unless we do what is right (justice) and act compassionately to the poor (mercy), without ‘drawing attention to ourselves’ (hypocrisy). And, what reward do you think is in question here? Eternal life! Yahweh is not just testing us for His sheer enjoyment, like Greek,
   Roman or other pagan deities do, never knowing what these whimsical, imaginary gods will do next! No! Yahshua is actively teaching us the will of His and our Heavenly Father’s eternal will.

Secrecy Is The Key
   But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly, Matthew 6:3-4.
   Interesting! Not only are we not to act righteously with mercy to be seen by others — but, we should not do it in such a way that even WE see it! How do we do THAT? Yahshua is saying that our acts of righteousness and mercy are to be automatic. Having made the decision to do rightly with mercy toward others, we are to practice such decisions until we don’t have to contemplate the right and merciful thing to do. We are to act as He would. How else could He KNOW us ... and where we are from; that is, from which SEED is our fruit? Is our fruit from the seed of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Or, is our fruit from the seed of the Tree of Life?
And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able [Many of you will seek redemption]. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master! Open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of Yahweh, and yourselves thrust out,” Luke 13:23-28.

What Is The Torah?
   But, isn’t the Torah, Prophets and Writings just a bunch of stories? Apparently NOT. They are, in fact, vital for our redemption. Where does Yahshua get all of His wisdom?
Then Yahweh sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: "There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him." So David's anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As Yahweh lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity." Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:1-7).
   Scripture goes on to explain how David had sinned by committing adultery with Bethsheba, who became pregnant as a result. After deceiving Uriah in order to get him to have sexual union with his wife — and thereby avoid responsibility for adultery and the pregnancy — and having failed, he had the man killed in battle. There are at least three violations of the Ten Comandments here, and Yahweh punished David in a number of ways, but spared his life.
   He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh, and He will pay back what he has given, Proverbs 19:17.
Do not be deceived, Yahweh is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life, Galatians 6:7-8.

Seeking Reward
   From whom will you seek reward, love, encouragement, companionship, help and knowledge? I pray that we may more completely go to Yahweh, in the name of Yahshua, to seek these rewards that come only from Yahweh: our salvation by accepting the atoning sacrifice of our Master, Yahshua, and our redemption that comes only through obedience to the will of Yahweh. May we do right and act with mercy without thinking.
   The question was asked, “From whom do you seek reward?” Now, being social creatures, that is, having been created with the healthy need to establish relationships with other “like kind,” we naturally seek reward from others. It is the foundation for the physical being, and for many of this world, it is the only source of reward. It is, in fact, a commandment.
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets, Matthew 7:12.
   We learned that the two phrases, “charitable deeds” and “charitable deed,” though seemingly conveying the same concept, are two different Greek words; one means “justice,” in other words, “doing what is right,” and the other means “mercy” — actively demonstrating your caring for others, without seeking honor among mankind.
   These two concepts paint a picture of the Messiah, Who, in the most humiliating way, gifted to those who love obedience, the most glorious reward — eternal life in the family of Yahweh.
   For Yahweh so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, John 3:16.
And what does it mean to “believe”? Four verses later, this is made clear:
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in Yahweh, John 3:20-21.

What Rewards?
   The phrase “they have their reward,” is also found in verses 5 and 16 of Matthew 6, which we will get to presently. The fact that this phrase is repeated three times bears witness to the theme delineated earlier in Yahshua’s teachings in His Sermon on the Mount. Of all of the rewards listed, I find Matthew 5:7 the most profound:
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy, Matthew 5:7.
   This is as unpretentious, equivalent and seamless a reward – as only Yahweh could create. No man could manufacture a more perfect justification for his own judgment, for it literally puts control of his future in his own hands. It is an exact measure of judgment due him in the end. It means: we have no excuse for the reward given to us, either eternal life or the second death — the metaphorical death of being consumed in the fires of Gehenna.
   This message is written throughout Scripture. Here are a few examples:
Do not be deceived, Yahweh is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life, Galatians 6:7-8.
   The idea of sowing implies casting seed taken from the fruit you produce, either the seed of the Tree of Life, or the seed of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The difference between these two seeds, and these two Trees, will be the subject of a future study.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace, James 3:17-18.
Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same, Job 4:8.
   Notice how the Spirit of Yahweh uses simple, basic truths of physical survival to convey His Truths for Eternal survival. He has embedded His Plan of Salvation in a language of simplicity, a language of action, function and purpose; not a language of philosophical contemplation and formality. It seems that the entire message that Yahweh is giving to us in Scripture is this: “Do what is good and right. Therein is your salvation.”

Search For Instruction
   And, where do we find such good and right instruction? In the Law, the Word of Yahweh; and, essentially, the Ten Commandments, written by the finger of Yahweh. The words inscribed upon these tablets succinctly tell us of the things to DO and the things NOT to do. You know, like, honor the name of Yahweh and His Sabbath. Don’t murder or adulterate that which Yahweh has created.
   Hmmm. They teach us of the Good things and of the Evil things. Does this ring a bell for you? The Knowledge of Good and Evil? Seeds? Fruit? From a Tree? Could the Law of Yahweh, as delineated in the tablets of the Ten Commandments, be a picture of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, planted next to the Tree of Life in the midst of Paradise? If you remember, these two tablets set next to the once-dead almond branch of Aaron that budded into ... life. Could this represent the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden of Eden — and inside the Ark of the Covenant? ... upon the Mercy Seat on which sits the Shekinah glory? ... next to the bowl of mannah from Heaven, the Living Bread, like Yahshua, all of which are in the Most Holy Place ... in the Midst of Paradise? Could all these things be connected? Let’s go back to Matthew chapter 6, where we are examing momentary versus eternal reward.
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites [like actors, who portray a certain character in front of an audience, but live a completely different life]. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward [the reward of self-aggrandizement, of fame]. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in the secret place; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly, Matthew 6:5-6.
   This is an amazing verse! In literal Greek, it describes a hidden, or covered, chamber, closed or forbidden to those outside. It is a place of prayer, where our Heavenly Father lives! Now, where in Scripture do we read of such a place? Why, in the House of Yahweh, in the Holy of Holies, in the midst of the Temple, into which only the High Priest may enter once a year! Now, Yahshua says that we, the body, the assembly of believers, are the living stones of the Spiritual Temple, that we ourselves are a type of temple, and that when the Spirit of Yahweh resides within our hearts, we do not sin. What is located in the Holiest Place? The Law of Yahweh! How amazing is this? Can you see the continuity of Scripture, from beginning to end? Can you also see the cyclic or repetitive nature of Scripture? In the beginning, in B’Reshiyt, the Plan of Salvation is laid out for us, and it is repeated over and over ... you know, till we “get” it? The problem is always disobedience. And the solution? ... is always obedience.

The Model Prayer Tells Us
   Matthew 6:7-9a tells us,
   And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray.
   And Matt. 6:9b begins the model prayer,
   Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
   The opening verse of this quintessential prayer that Yahshua teaches us praises the purity, singularity and power of the Holy name and character of our Heavenly Father, the Almighty Yahweh. We read in Joel 2:32, in Acts 2:21 and in Romans 10:13, the exact same quote:
   And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of Yahweh shall be saved.
   This is, of course, not only a reference to using the name of Yahweh, but the word, “calls,” has a profound meaning and conveys the true Spirit of these verses. In Hebrew, it is the word, yikrah, which happens to be the name of the Book of Leviticus, W’Yikrah, which begins “And Yahweh called to Moses ....” This is the picture of our calling, that is, being called out by the Spirit of Yahweh. The phrase, “those who call upon the name of Yahweh,” is a phrase that speaks only to those who have the Law of Yahweh written on their hearts and in their minds, as spoken in Jeremiah 31:33:
   But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put My Law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.
   Matt. 6:10 reads,
   Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
   This verse points to the New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven AND to the willing obedience its inhabitance will accomplish, as written in Revelation 21:2-3:
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Yahweh, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of Yahweh is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. Yahweh [ho Theos] Himself will be with them and be their Elohim.
   Under what conditions will Yahweh be our Elohim? Under the conditions described in Jeremiah 31:33, and in Hebrews 8:10 and further clarified in Hebrews 10:16. I believe that every book of the Bible sends this message of obedience, loud and clear.
   Matt. 6:11 says:
   Give us this day our daily bread.
   This verse references a promise made by Yahweh and found in Psalms 33:18-19:
   Behold, the eye of Yahweh is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
   Matt. 6:12 reads this way:
   And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
   Father, we ask that you forgive us of our transgressions of Your Law, in the same manner that we forgive others who harm us in the same ten ways: those who reject us for others, who manipulate us for their gain, who call us profane and vulgar names, who isolate themselves from us, who consider us to be worthless, who act to destroy us, who steal from us, who betray us, who lie to us, and who hatefully envy us. This is made absolutely clear in verses 14 and 15 of Matthew 6:
   For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do NOT forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
   So, who, exactly, is in control of the judgment we will receive from our Heavenly Father and His Messiah? Salvation has nothing to do with us. It was a free gift by way of the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father through the sacrificial punishment and death of His Messiah, Yahshua. Redemption, on the other hand, is NOT free, but is conditional upon our willingness, at least, to receive sacrificial punishment unto death in the most drastic sense. But, in the world, this translates to a demonstrable willingness on our part to be shamed by others for our calling upon the name of, and our obedience to the Law of, Yahweh.
   Does Yahshua not say in Scripture:
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:23)?
   Matt. 6:13a reads:
   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
   I can’t imagine Yahweh LEADING us into temptation; however, Scripture does say that He will ALLOW us to walk according to our own ways.
Therefore Yahweh also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of Yahweh for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amein, Romans 1:24-25.
But My people would not heed My voice, and Israel would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels. Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries. The haters of YAHWEH would pretend submission to Him, but their fate would endure forever. He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you, Psalms 81:11-16.
   Yahweh also TESTS us to see if we really mean what we say, when we commit ourselves to His ways. This is evident in the books of Job and Exodus. Lastly, from the model prayer, is Matt. 6:13b:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, Matt. 6:13b.
   This verse is a bit controversial. The image above shows how it looks in the Interlinear:
   You’ll notice that all the words in the phrase,
“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen,” have “9999” where Strong’s Concordance usually lists the numbers for the Greek words in the verse. Using “9999” is its way of saying that these words were not in the earlier texts.
   The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary states that Matthew 6:13 “is found in a majority of manuscripts, though not the oldest; it is found in all the Syriac versions, even the Peshita.” That is, this verse comes from the Aramaic versions of Scripture, which many scholars hold as being more accurate than the Greek or Latin.
   Without being able, in the moment, to research the meanings in the original texts, we have only to accept the meaning in English, which is quite clear. It is Yahweh Who will rule over the nations of this world. He, only, has the power and authority to do so.
For if we sin [If we transgress the Law of Yahweh], willfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain [but a clear] fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of Yahweh underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him Who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says Yahweh. And again, "Yahweh will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim, Hebrews 10:26-31.

What We Have Seen
   I saw a plaque on the wall of the office of a wise man. It read, “No one can tell me that worrying doesn’t work. I have proof! Ninety-nine percent of the things I worry about – never happen!”
   Scripture has already told us that if we seek the rewards of love, encouragement, companionship, help and knowledge from mankind, then our salvation and redemption are here and now. If, however, we seek the rewards of love, encouragement, companionship, help and knowledge from Yahweh, through Yahshua, then our salvation has already been won for us by the atoning sacrifice of our Master, Yahshua — and our redemption, which only comes only through obedience to the will of Yahweh, now, shall be in the future ... and for eternity. With the gift of the Spirit of Yahweh, we are able to do right and act with mercy toward all others.
   Also, Scripture has shown us that the two phrases, “charitable deeds” and “charitable deed,” though seemingly conveying the same concept, are two different Greek words; one means “justice” (in other words, “doing what is right”); and the other means “mercy” — that is, actively demonstrating your caring for others, without seeking honor among mankind. With this in mind, we examined the meaning of Matthew 5:7 — “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” This verse describes an unpretentious, impartial and seamless reward — one that only Yahweh could create. No man could manufacture a more perfect justification for his own judgment, for it literally puts control of his future in his own hands. This verse’s counter-part is also an unpretentious, impartial and seamless reward, “Cursed are those who condemn others, for they shall receive condemnation.” Our rewards are exact measures of judgment and mercy due us in the end. That is, we have no excuse for the reward given to us — on the one hand, eternal life; and, on the other hand, the second death — being consumed in the fires of Gehenna.

Trusting Yahweh
   Lastly, we will examine Matthew 6:16-34, where we hope to learn more about trusting Yahweh in Yahshua, and trusting those who have been called out of the rewards of Babylon, Egypt and those rewards this world has to offer.
   Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting [no doubt, seeking the love and companionship of men]. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father Who is in the secret place; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly, Matthew 6:16-18.
   A fast is recorded in Daniel 10:5-6 in regard to his vision of, “a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Upatz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.” Interestingly, the word, beryl, in Hebrew is KaTarshish, perhaps referring to the 6-sided crystals of differing colors that are shipped out of the city of Tarshish.
   In Daniel 10:3, we read of events prior to this vision.
   I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
   What, therefore, was Daniel’s reward for seeking love, encouragement, companionship, help and knowledge from Yahweh, in this case by fasting?
Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your Elohim, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words, Daniel 10:10- 12.
   Daniel’s reward for his humility before Yahweh and setting his heart to understand the ways of Yahweh was a lengthy set of prophecies about Yahshua and the end time scenarios that were revealed and expanded upon in the Book of the Revelation of Yahshua the Messiah, given to John the Revelator.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Matthew 6:19-21.

Where Is Your Treasure?
   Yes, where is your treasure? Where is your delight? Where is your excitement? What do you guard and protect? Where do you spend MOST of your time? Whose words dictate your actions and choices? These are difficult questions. I mean, have you ever been asked, “How often do you fast?” “How often do you sit still and pray?” Wow. Talk about guilt trips! Ever feel pressured? We are, after all, commanded to work six days per week. How many people essentially work seven days per week? I mean, do mothers and fathers not work on the Sabbath? Do Elders not work on the Sabbath, writing, leading worship, attending to the needs of the flock? How many really get a full 8 hours sleep every night? How many take showers every day, prepare food, eat food, take a break to relax? How much time is left for Yahweh in the name of Yahshua? How many take time to pray for mercy? ‘Cause we will certainly need it. Praise Yahweh and His Son, Yahshua, for Their longsuffering and grace and mercy. And, for Their love for us.
   The lamp [lit. source of light] of the body [which comes from the Greek word sozo, which means saved, delivered and protected] is the eye [implying clarity or insight]. If therefore your eye is good [which is the translation of two Greek words, meaning clear and complete], your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad [lit. if your morality is hurtful, chaotic, degenerate or wicked], your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23).
   What is Yahshua trying to tell us here? I believe He is saying that He is the source of clarity for those who are saved, who have been delivered from the bondage of sin and who are now being protected by Yahshua. If we receive the clarity that Yahshua gives to us, then the body of Messiah, the ecclesia, the called-out ones, will be filled with truth. However, if we engage in harming others, creating chaos or disobeying the Law of Yahweh, we will be consumed. Does “outer darkness and gnashing of teeth” ring a bell?

Whom Do You Serve?
   No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve Yahweh and mammon [lit. personal wealth], Matthew 6:24.
   People often quote this line, “You can’t serve Yahweh and money,” which makes abundant sense, in view of the fact that the love of money sometimes drives people to harm others in favor of increasing their wealth. Anyone attempting to obey Yahweh’s Law and then breaks the Law, will do one of two things. He will either repent and not do that behavior again, or he will rationalize his behavior with a thought like, “Well, it’s really not a salvational issue,” or, “I’m not really disobeying the commandment.” Eventually, this individual may feel the need to leave the assembly in order to avoid the guilt and shame over behavior that cannot be denied in the light of the truth. Human beings do not like to experience what is called cognitive dissonance, which means “holding conflicting ideas simultaneously,” often leading to a feeling of ambivalence or confusion.
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? (Matthew 6:25-27).

Don’t Be A Worrywort
   Here’s where that refrain I mentioned earlier comes in, “No one can tell me that worrying doesn’t work. I have proof! Ninety-nine percent of the things I worry about – never happen!” Now, worrying is not the same as planning for the future. Worrying involves a constant focus on obtaining something, usually material, out of the fear of not having something that is important in one’s culture. In other words, for example, we don’t want to stand out in a city environment and be VIEWED of as a country bumpkin or, on the other hand, in a rural community, we don’t want to APPEAR as a city slicker. These are rough examples, but they illustrate that we don’t want to be SEEN by others as bad, wrong or just weird. As Paul said to believers:
So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a Feast or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility, Colossians 2:16-18a.
   Paul, too, is asking us not to worry about criticism from others, when our choices are to abide in the Messiah, following the Word of Yahweh. We can only be cheated out of our REWARD by worrying, by thinking about the loss of our position, our station, our importance in the community of men. If we worry about our standing among men, then, as Yahshua stated, we have our reward, here and now, but not necessarily in the Kingdom of Yahweh.
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if Yahweh so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30).
   When Yahshua speaks of us as “O you of little faith,” I don’t see a harsh taskmaster with a whip in His hand. I see a loving Father Who uses truth and honesty to discipline His children, whom He loves; and, Who is not afraid to forewarn them of the consequences of their behavior. So, when will we be clothed as lillies of the field?
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife [His betrothed?] has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints, Revelation 19:7-8.
   How does the Bride make herself ready for the Bridegroom? Through righteous acts.
Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of Yahweh and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble, Matthew 6:31-34.
   What better advice could we receive from the One Whom we follow, that we may be joined in Righteous Union with our Bridegroom? He will provide. He will protect. He will heal our wounds. He will save us from this world and redeem us for His Glory. He will restore His chosen to His Father in the Kingdom of Yahweh, and we will say:
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but Elohim is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, Psalms 73:25-26.

-Elder John Fisher

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