Print Email this page

   We’ve all heard of slippery slopes. In fact, we may have been on one or more in our youth. Both physically and figuratively, the analogy can be applied to the idea of going backwards rather than forward or upward.
   With youth, there are lessons that are learned the hard way, but parents try to spare them such troubles by guiding and directing them in the way they should go. Yahweh does this for us from His Word and the many instructions we receive from It.
   My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep My commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of Elohim and man. Trust in Yahweh with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Yahweh and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones, Proverbs 3:1–8. (New American Standard Bible used throughout, unless otherwise noted.)
   There are conditions for receiving the blessings. Making our path straight is a process for receiving these blessings. For example, Obedience to the Ten Commandments promises blessings – those that tithe will be blessed rather than cursed (Mal. 3:8–10).
   And who doesn’t want good health? “Years of life?” “Healing to one’s body?” Sounds good to me. That’s what moving forward and upward provides.
   Yes, we eventually wear out and we end up in the ground as dust, but beyond this is eternal life for those who overcome. That is the ultimate blessing and reward.

Cause and Affect
   Backsliding can lead to apathy and not really caring. Neglect of Yahweh’s Word in one’s life is a sure way to end up in the wrong place and in not very good shape. The Apostle Paul, in fact, said it can make one sick physically. For example, speaking of the Passover Memorial, he says,
   Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Master. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep, 1 Corinthians 11:27–30.
   Not a good place to be. Weak, sick, dead (contextually, the meaning of “sleep).
   We have Yahshua’s own words saying, in Luke 9:62, No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of Elohim. As Corinthian brethren were encouraged to examine themselves and repent, Paul made sure he himself didn’t backslide (1 Cor. 9:27).

Move Forward and Grow
   In speaking to those at Philippi, he said, Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of [it] yet (i.e., eternal life and perfection); but one thing I do: forgetting what [lies] behind and reaching forward to what [lies] ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Elohim in Messiah Yahshua, Philippians 3:13–14.
   Paul said he pressed forward. That means it took effort on his part, just as it will take effort on our part. Effort in learning, in practicing what we learn, and helping others to do the same.
   Those who look back have character flaws on which they need to work in overcoming. Our character and nature should reflect that of the Messiah’s Who did not sin at all.
   We are given help with the Spirit of Yahweh. Having the mind of Messiah, we can make the right decisions and maintain our focus, going in the right direction.
Yahshua, in speaking to us of the end times, says to remember Lot’s wife.
   It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses [his life] will preserve it, Luke 17:28–33.
   The Beast System will be appealing, with all of its lustful attributes. But, we must see it for what it is and reject it. In doing so, we will shine forth as the stars of heaven and be forevermore with the Master.

Reject Sin
   Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify Elohim in your body, 1 Corinthians 6:18–20.
   Glorify Elohim, not just in our bodies, but in our minds and hearts as well. That was the problem with the assembly at Corinth. They were permitting members to continue in sin, and with such sin that isn’t even heard of among the gentiles.
   Backsliding has the effect of producing a bad character, bad fruit, a bad life, and a bad outcome. Bad things generally occur with backsliding.

Example of Saul
   King Saul disobeyed a direct command from Yahweh. He was told to completely destroy every-thing of Amalek. Because of such disobedience, the people of the land were withstanding Israel in their wilderness sojournings. Thankfully, with some lessons learned, Yahweh provided victory (Exod. 17:8–13).
   So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. Then the word of Yahweh came to Samuel, saying, “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to Yahweh all night, 1 Samuel 15:7–11.
   Samuel, who had anointed Saul as Israel’s king, was told by Yahweh that He was grieved with having made Saul king (1 Samuel 15:11). This occasion is but the second record of Yahweh expressing His regret with His experience with man – the first, in the flood narrative of Genesis 6:5-7.
   Yahweh was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Yahweh said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them, Genesis 6:6–7.
   For one hundred and twenty years while he prepared the ark, Noah, who had found favor in Yahweh’s sight (Gen. 6:8), had been a preacher of right-eousness (2 Pet. 2:5). And now, Samuel grieved also with Yahweh over Saul’s and the people’s sins, appealed to Yahweh’s mercy (1 Sam. 15:10–20).

Example of David
   King David was not perfect, yet he became a man after Yahweh’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22).
   He said, I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil, Psalm 101:3–4.
   He became resolute and determined not to fall back into sin. He said in Psalm 51, that his sin was ever before him. He didn’t forget, but he made sure he didn’t backslide again.
   Both he and King Saul, were two of the very few anciently, to have experienced Yahweh’s Spirit within themselves, and while Saul did not repent from his backsliding, King David did.
   If we find ourselves backsliding, we are to be like King David, repent and overcome, rather than being overcome by sin(s).
   On the other hand, it appears King Saul became indignant and pride had overtaken him. Whatever the reason, his example stands as to what not to do when convicted of sin. He continued in sin to his death and it wasn’t too long after he continued in unrepentant sin that the Spirit left him and an evil spirit came to take its place.

Example of Solomon
   Another example of backsliding producing a bad outcome is found with King Solomon. We read in 1 Kings 11:9–11, Now Yahweh was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other mighty ones; but he did not observe what Yahweh had commanded. So Yahweh said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.”
   Solomon backslid when his heart was influenced by multiplying to himself many wives from among the pagan peoples. It was foretold in Deuteronomy 17:15–17, that Israel would demand a king over them like all the nations about them (1 Sam. 8:5). But its kings were warned, Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself, Deuteronomy 17:17.
   With the warning, was a foretelling of the outcome of the king’s disobedience (i.e., the king’s heart would be turned away from Yahweh). That is exactly what happened (see 1 Kings 11:1–11).

Example of Israel
   Israel, too, turned away. Moses had to intercede for the people more than once. Yahweh speaking to Moses, said.
   They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, “This is your elohim, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” And Yahweh said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation,” Exodus 32:8–10.
   Israel backslid and tested Yahweh ten times. Yahweh allowed those of the age of accountability (twenty years and older) to die in the wilderness. But He brought their descendants into the promised land. Only Joshua and Caleb, who though having attained the age of accountability, were permitted entry because they were of a different spirit. They obeyed and trusted in Yahweh. Please read our mini-study called, The Age of Accountability.
   Judah, but one tribe of twelve of Israel, is often referred to as the “chosen people” today. But their transgressions were even worse than those which had settled in the northern parts of Israel.
   And Yahweh said to me (Jeremiah), “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares Yahweh; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares Yahweh; ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against Yahweh your Elohim and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares Yahweh,” Jeremiah 3:11–13.

Example of Some Believers
   Israel and Judah have backslidden for thousands of years. It’s human nature to do so. But as believers, we must master our nature and submit to Yahweh through His Son with the help of Yahweh’s Spirit. So, let’s not think we are invulnerable and invincible and actually find ourselves backsliding without realizing it.
   Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and [that] the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent, Revelation 3:17–19.
   Be zealous and repent? Do the brethren need to be told this? We already read how Paul had to deal with the brethren in Corinth. They weren’t the only assembly needing to repent. Others then, and others today, also need to. Individually and collectively, we need to do better — even, sometimes, when we think we’re doing well.
   I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them [to be] false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My Name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have [this] against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent, Revelation 2:2–5.
   We can think we are doing alright, when in reality we are not doing well at all. Yahshua with His Word and Spirit convicts each of us where we are in our spiritual walk.
   We are a work in progress – at times becoming side tracked – but maturing over time into the image of the Messiah.
   Once we see our errors and heed the warnings from Scripture, we need to correct them lest we backslide.
   I will hear what Elohim Yahweh will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His righteous ones; but let them not turn back to folly, Psalm 85:8.
   These are comforting words of peace for those that turn to Yahweh, but death for those that turn away from Him.
   Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall, 1 Corinthians 10:12.
   Sometimes, we don’t know what we should know. And other times, we know what we should, but have a hard time executing it properly. Sometimes we fall, not from our own actions, but by the actions of others. Either way, we will overcome if we continue in righteousness: keeping the commandments of Yahweh and maintaining our focus on the Messiah as the Author and Finisher of our faith.
   Yahweh gives us hope through His Word.
   For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, but those cursed by Him will be cut off. The steps of a man are established by Yahweh, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because Yahweh is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread, Psalm 37:22–25.
   Staying faithful can be challenging – for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity (Prov. 24:16).
   We are told the end from the beginning. We know we have the victory if we remain faithful and don’t fall away. We are overcomers in Messiah. The wicked are not so and will, therefore, be destroyed. Therefore, Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked; for there will be no future for the evil man; the lamp of the wicked will be put out, Proverbs 24:19–20.

Do NOT Quench the Spirit
   Losing the Spirit of Yahweh in one’s life is a main reason we are warned not to quench the Spirit of Yahweh (1 Thess. 5:19). If we lose the Spirit, then things can get really ugly as other evil spirits can move in (Luke 11:24-26).
   That is the danger of backsliding, as one may never recover themselves.
   You who have forsaken Me, declares Yahweh, you keep going backward. So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting! Jeremiah 15:6.
   The prophet is speaking to Judah, before that people went into captivity. But these words can speak to anyone of us who chooses to return to sin. Continuing to backslide ultimately leads one to forsaking Yahweh and His Son Yahshua Messiah, as well. However, so long as one cares about his spiritual estate, then there is still hope.
   This is why we have an obligation to help, if we see someone getting off track or going back to old ways. We can help others to care, by caring for them.
   Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; [each one] looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Messiah. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have [reason for] boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load, Galatians 6:1–5.
   The law or instruction of the Messiah was to first love and obey Yahweh, but then secondly to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yahshua gave His life for us – our lives purchased with His blood – so that we can give our lives for each other. We are not our own. We are obligated to serve one another.
   My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins, James 5:19–20.
   We assume the position of a savior when we help turn one from his/her sin. Ultimately, we are allowing the Savior to work in us to accomplish Yahweh’s will.

Yahweh’s Will
   What is Yahweh’s will? Yahweh tells us plainly what He wants. Briefly comprehended, REPENT. He also says what He will do to those who do not repent.
   “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares Master Yahweh, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of Yahweh is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of Yahweh is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares Master Yahweh. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves 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 anyone who dies,” declares Master Yahweh. “Therefore, repent and live,” Ezekiel 18:20–32.

Two in One
   The word of Yahweh came again to me (Ezekiel) saying, “And you, son of man, take for yourself one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’ say to them, ‘Thus says Master Yahweh, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ The sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. And say to them, ‘Thus says Master Yahweh, “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and One King will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms. And they will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their Elohim,” Ezekiel 37:15–23.
   The hope for Israel and all mankind is that Satan and his fallen angels will be put away and that there will be peace and the knowledge of the truth around the world. Yahweh will accomplish this through Yahshua the Messiah Who is likened unto the Hand of Yahweh in Scripture. All of Israel will be put into Yahweh’s Hand, into Yahshua’s charge and keeping because He will be King of kings and Sovereign of sovereigns when He returns. And the physical people coming into the Kingdom at that time will be led to Living Waters and by accepting Yahweh’s covenant/agreement will become a part of His Spiritual Family – their change into becoming spiritual beings, reserved to the end of the Messiah’s millennial reign.
   Nevertheless we who now have this knowledge and the opportunity to become firstfruits in the first resurrection, are urged to forget what lies behind and reach forth and press toward the mark (Phil. 3:13–14). We are to overcome rather than becoming overcome on the slippery slope of backsliding. (Read our free mini-study called, Just One Resurrection? and The Hope of Israel.)

Make Your Calling Sure
   While Yahweh does provide, we also have to do our part. We have every reason to be diligent and to put forth the effort, knowing the prize that lays ahead.       As Paul told those at Corinth,
   Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but [only] one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then [do it] to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified, 1 Corinthians 9:24–27.
   Disqualification from what? From the prize of eternal life. It is something we are to seek after.
   Suffer hardship with [me], as a good soldier of Messiah Yahshua. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules, 2 Timothy 2:3–5.
   Being obedient children abiding by the rules, we have everything to gain by doing Yahweh’s will. We also have everything to lose by not doing it. If we backslide, we risk losing it all, hence the principal reason not to backslide.
   He promises not to give us more than we can handle (1 Cor. 10:13), so we can be faithful and stand at His return (Luke 21:36).
   For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of Elohim, you may receive what was promised. FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul, Hebrews 10:36–39.
   Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him [be] the glory in the Assembly and in Messiah Yahshua to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20–21.
   How about you? Are you willing to make your calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10)? We pray that you are! Because, if you are, He promises to strengthen you. And strengthened, you will overcome to the end.

-Elder David Brett

© 2021 Yahweh's Assembly in Yahshua
2963 County Road 233, Kingdom City, Missouri 65262
View us online at:
Call Toll Free: (877) 642-4101
Main Line : (573) 642-4100