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   There once was a story told about someone looking for a truck driver to hire. There were two people who applied for the job. During the interview, the scenario was given of a mountain road having no guardrail and a cliff drop-off which if gone over would result in certain death.
   The question asked was, “How close to the edge of the cliff could you drive without going over?” One responded he could drive within a foot; the other said he would stay as far away from the cliff as he possibly could. The second candidate got the job. And such it is with sin.

The Peril of Proximity to Sin
   To live in sin will result in certain death, so the question posed to you is, “How close to sin are you standing?” To appreciate the gravity of this question, one must have knowledge of right and wrong, that is to know what sin is and entails Yahweh’s standard of righteousness. Anything less would result in, at best, one committing sin due to ignorance, and sin, whether done blatantly or unwittingly, will result in death. There is no sin margin for one to stand to be assured safety from sin’s death grip.
   Scripture tells us, that For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Yahweh, Romans 3:23. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that does good, and sins not. Moreover, If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, 1 John 1:8.
   Unrepentant sin will result in death – For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of Yah [is] eternal life through Yahshua Messiah our Master, Romans 6:23. Death on one hand, and the promise of eternal life on the other.
   So to grasp the gravity of sin, its depth and scope, one must have a clear understanding, an unobstructed view of what sin is. For Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law, 1 John 3:4.
   Herein we find sin’s perimeter defined. This is an echo of Yahshua’s answer to the man who asked, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16). Yahshua answered, “If you will enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17) and then proceeded to cite commandments from the ten Yahweh inscribed into stone (Exod. 31:18).
   In Ezekiel 18:20-22, we read, The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.
   Repentance is a turning away from, a forsaking of, a having remorse and regret that results in contrition. Anything less, is not true repentance. There must be a hatred for those very things which would lead to death. The fear of Yahweh must be instilled within one’s heart, for the fear of Yahweh is to depart from iniquity – The fear of Yahweh [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth do I hate … By mercy and truth is iniquity purged: and the fear of Yahweh [men] depart from evil, Proverbs 8:13, 16:6.
   The purging of one’s soul comes solely by Yahweh’s mercy, for without mercy the sin stains would remain, resulting in death. Yahshua’s atonement for man’s redemption provided a path for man’s repentance and with repentance, a change of course is essential, thus obedience to Scripture truth.

The Works of the Flesh vs. the Fruit of the Spirit
   John 17:17 says, Sanctify them by Your truth: Your Word is truth. The Apostle Paul further affirms, that it’s not by works of righteousness, but according to His mercy He saved us; by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit – given only to them that obey (Acts 5:32) – and Which He shed on us abundantly through Yahshua Messiah our Savior, that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Tit.3:5-7).
   Those who willfully disobey Yahweh’s Word and walk contrary to His commandments are children of disobedience and of darkness. To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them, Isaiah 8:20. They may profess themselves “Christian,” profess themselves “saved,” profess themselves “walking in the light” but in their very works they deny Yahshua and blaspheme Yahweh’s Name.
   The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are [these]: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, 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.
   We are told that a tree is known by the fruit it bears. Are you bearing the fruit of the tree of death or the fruit of the tree of life? And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and against such there is no law. And they that are Messiah’s have impaled the flesh with the affections and lusts, Galatians 5:22-24.
   To impale the flesh, to become a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto Yahweh, to become a new creature, requires a change of heart. Lot was instructed before leaving Sodom to flee for his life and look not back (Gen. 19:17). To get a glimpse into one’s heart, consider the music listened to, and the movies viewed. GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT!
   There is no redeeming value in rock ’n roll, country or a number of other music genres whose lyrics are clearly from Satan, glorifying the works of darkness – and viewing television, as well. It’s not a matter of how close you can get to the cliff’s edge without falling over, but take heed and flee even the appearance of sin, or as Paul says, Abstain from all appearance of evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
   And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, I know Him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him. But whoso keeps His Word, in him verily is the love of Elohim perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that says he abides in Him ought Himself also so to walk, even as He walked, 1 John 2:3-6.

- Brother Richard Anderson

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