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   The heart is the one organ that is paramount for life, as its function is to pump blood throughout the body. But in Scripture, metaphorically speak-ing, the heart is viewed as the seat of intellect, emotions, and will. As in the physical, so it is in the spiritual; that is to say, parallels may be seen between the two. Consider the heart in its metaphorical sense (intellect, etc.) and its role in the physical aspect of life, without which one would die.
   Turning now to Scripture, the Source of Instruction for Yahweh’s people, the Sure Foundation, if properly followed, and the Fountain of Living Waters, therefrom comes this message from the words of Jeremiah 17:9-10:
   The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? I, Yahweh, search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to His ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

On Lusts and Pride
   It is the unguided heart, left to the diverse lusts and pride (1 John 2:16) therein, which leads to the perversion mentioned in Romans 1:24-25:
   Wherefore Elohim also gave them up to uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of Elohim into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
   In speaking of Edom, Obadiah 1:3-4 says:
   The pride of your heart has deceived you, you that dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation [is] on high; that says in his heart, “Who shall bring me down to the ground?” Though you exalt [yourself] as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, says Yahweh.
   Furthermore, Proverbs 6:16-19 reads:
   These six [things] Yahweh hates: yea, seven [are] hateful to his soul: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that plots evil plans, feet hurrying to run to mischief, A false witness [who] breathes lies, and he who causes strife among brothers.
   Daniel 5:20 states that Yahweh removed King Nebuchadnezzar from his throne when his heart fell to pride. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him.

A Heart’s Preparation - Salvation
   In 2 Chronicles 12:14, it is recorded of King Rehoboam, And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek Yahweh.
   But Ezra, on the other hand, took another course:
   For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of Yahweh, and to do [it], and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments, Ezra 7:10.
   Compliance to Scripture requires change. The people had taken strange wives while in Babylon and now they were being told to put them away:
   And Ezra the priest stood up, and said to them, “You have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession to Yahweh Elohim of your fathers, and do His pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.” Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, “As you have said, so must we do,” Ezra 10:10-12.
   Unlike Rehoboam who refused to prepare his heart, Ezra sought instruction from Scripture with the intent to follow its command.
   When speaking to Solomon, David said, And you, Solomon my son, know you the Elohim of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek Him, He will be found of you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever, 1 Chronicles 28:9.
   The importance of separating one’s self from sin, in whatever form or however small, is seen with the words of Revelation 18:4, wherein we read:
   And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.”
   Ezekiel 18:30-32 bears witness of the same, saying, “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says Yahweh Elohim. “Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies,” says Yahweh Elohim: wherefore turn [yourselves] and live.
   It is Yahweh Who set the standard for man to follow. It is His Word which defines sin. It is by His Word, one will either stand or fall. The adversary (Satan), when tempting Yahshua in the wilderness, offered Yahshua all the kingdoms of the world if He would but bow down and worship him (Matt. 4:8-9). But Yahshua responded, Go Satan! For it is written, You shall worship Yahweh your Elohim, and you shall serve Him only, Matthew 4:10.

   By setting goals in advance, knowing the de-sired destination, it’s easier to say, “No,” to temptation that would lead you off course. Stay focused and determined. Should you choose to serve Yahweh, serve Him with your whole heart, soul, and might (Deut. 6:5). Read Yahweh’s Word to receive instruction in His righteousness, so you may be holy (set apart) as He is Holy—walking in His righteousness, and not your own (1 Pet. 1:16). For they being ignorant of Yahweh’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of Elohim, Romans 10:3.
   The sure foundation to build upon is Yahshua. He is the Word of Yahweh become flesh, providing a living example for man to follow. He is the Lamb without blemish. To follow His steps requires a preparation of one’s heart by seeking Yahweh’s will. One must be determined to walk within Scriptural parameters, and not stray therefrom. Anything less will result in failure and shortcoming.
   The battle at hand is a spiritual battle, the flesh against the spirit (Gal. 5:17). In succumbing to fleshly desires, Paul wrote in Galatians 5:19-21:
   Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Yahweh.
   And Paul further affirms that the carnal mind is not subject to the law of Yahweh, and that neither indeed can it be, concluding, moreover, So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Elohim (Rom. 8:8)… For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim are the sons of Elohim, Romans 8:13-14.
   Yahshua said that a tree is known by the fruit that it bears (Matt. 7:17-20); and Paul states in Galatians 5:22-24, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Messiah’s have impaled the flesh with the affections and lusts.
   Finally, if you have not yet prepared your heart to totally follow Yahweh, do so without delay, for the day of Yahweh’s judgment is fast approaching and His wrath will extend to all walking in willful disobedience.

-Brother Richard Anderson

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