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I want to share today something that many of us who have come into the understanding that we need to observe Yahweh's Law and keep the Sabbath and use His name and the Feast Days, and all these things, you know, I never want to get out of balance to where that is my whole life.
You know, if I feel like if I keep the Feast Days and the Sabbath and call on His name, that is it. I have arrived! I am here! I have arrived and I am alive, right?
I never want to get complacent or overly confident simply because I have a certain truth that, from my perspective, is not very commonly known or talked about in mainline Christian understandings. I never want to get to the point to where, okay, if I do those things, I feel like I am there. I have done all that I needed to do.
Well, there is a whole lot more in the Scriptures to challenge us and to teach us than just those things. And although I do not feel it is quite the same, I know Yahushua's words here in this particular Scripture are words of caution for us. Yahushua said:
Matthew 23:23 - "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier [matters] of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
24 - "Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
The reason why I feel these are words of caution for us is because, you know, we do spend time trying to understand, "Okay, this unclean food ingredient here, we need to make sure is not in our food," which is important. That is straining out the gnats. We want to make sure there are no unclean food ingredients in the food that we eat.
But while we are straining out the gnats, make sure you are not swallowing a camel. Now, a camel is an unclean beast. It was good for taking people long distances without having to give them much water, but they were not to be eaten. So, Yahushua here is not faulting them for straining out the gnats. That is paying tithe of mint and anise and cummin.
He said to them, "These you ought to have done, but without leaving the others undone." The "others" here is neglecting mercy, faith, justice. These are indeed matters of the Law. They are pertaining to the Law. In fact, they are the weightier matters of the Law.
To strain a gnat out is fine. You do that. You ought to do that. But don't swallow a camel while you are at it. What good does it do to strain the gnats out when you are swallowing camels?
So, that was His point. That is what He was trying to convey. Here they are paying attention to the finer details-- probably in most cases, many cases, so that others would look at them and say, "Wow! They even pay tithes of their little herbs growing in their house. They are very, very careful to obey the Law."
But they were not careful to obey the Law. In fact, they were neglecting the weightier matters of the Law-- justice, mercy and faith.
And so, I want to not be like them. I want to attend to the finer points, but I do not want to swallow camels in the process. I don't want to neglect these weightier matters in the process. And sometimes I think that it is easy for us, who may pay attention to the finer points, to fall into the same trappings that they fell into.
And in the desire to find out the finer points, a whole lot of energy is expended to try to understand them, which is fine, but in this process, you know... look at what happened to the Pharisees. In their daily search of the Scriptures, their continual search in the Scriptures for the truth, they rejected the Messiah.
They rejected the One who was of the truth, who was the truth and is the truth-- the way, the truth and the life. They rejected John the Baptist as being a prophet that came from Yahweh. And they refused to repent. They did not think they needed to repent of anything.
And Yahushua, He told them. He said:
John 5:39 - "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
40 - "But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Now, the reason why they were not willing to come to Him was because of their own pride and their lack of love for Elohim. He said:
John 5:41 - "I do not receive honor from men.
People honored Him, but He did not receive it.
John 5:42 - "But I know you, that you do not have the love of Elohim in you.
Their love for Yahweh was lacking. Oh, they liked the Scriptures, but they did not love Him, the Author of the Scriptures. Their "god" was the Bible, rather than the Elohim of the Bible.
Actually, their "god" was their own selves because they were focused on receiving honor from men. He says, "I do not receive honor from men. But you do not have the love of Elohim in you." And He says:
John 5:43 - "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
He came in the name of Yahweh.
When you do not receive the Messiah, you will find another super hero. The world is mesmerized with super heroes now-a-days. But another comes in his own name. That was probably Bar Kokhba in the early second century.
If we do not accept the true Messiah, there will be another one to take its place. But what could we learn from their mistake? We cannot stray from the love of Elohim. We cannot stray from it.
We cannot get so caught up in debates and who is right and who is wrong, and all that mess, because in that debate over "what does this mean?" or "what does that mean?" is "who is right?" Is it Shammai or is it Hillel? That is what they wanted to know back then.
Was it Shammai or was it Hillel? Well, maybe it is neither... or maybe it is one. It does not matter who is right. It only matters what is right.
John 5:44 - "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that [comes] from the only Elohim?
45 - "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is [one] who accuses you -- Moses, in whom you trust.
46 - "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
John 5:47 - "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
He asked them, "How can they believe?" It was not possible. They focused on receiving honor from each other.
And Yahushua told them:
Luke 11:42 - "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of Elohim. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Same words. A little different. So, their love of Yahweh was lacking. And their debates that they had-- much of which is recorded there in the Talmud, you know-- the debates and the arguments over what is right (or in their case, who is right) caused them to stray from Elohim that they are trying to do the will of.
And so, seeking the truth of Yahweh's Word is a good thing. It is good, but never at the expense of the weightier matters of the Law-- justice, mercy and faith.
You know, I think the smartest person in the world could search the Scriptures daily for truth and miss it-- miss eternal life completely-- while a simple-minded person, who can just barely read, can gain profound truths by what little they are able to understand and read or just by simple revelation.
1Corinthians 1:26 - For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called].
27 - But Elohim has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and Elohim has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
28 - and the base things of the world and the things which are despised Elohim has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
1Corinthians 1:29 - that no flesh should glory in His presence.
Wow! "That no flesh should glory." He is that concerned. He would take things which are not-- the base things of the world, the foolish things of the world-- and those He would call into the faith just so He could put the wise to shame. He hates, hates, hates pride.
And so, in response to the knowledge that we are given, be on guard: 1 Corinthians 8:1b - ... Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
Love edifies. We should be thankful and grateful, and never should we berate another person who may be blind or ignorant for only Yahweh knows how blind or ignorant we might have been if we were in their shoes.
Because it is written:
Matthew 23:12 - "And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Brothers, He chose me, a fool-- He chose all of us, fools-- and brought us into eternal life. Let's not take His calling and exalt ourselves with it. Let's take our calling and exalt Him with it. Do not use His calling as a means for glorying in your own works.
Suppose there was a man among us-- a man that we could finally regard to being a true prophet-- one that could share the Word of Yahweh with awesome revelation, with power. And suppose this man we all knew was able to do awesome miracles in the name of Yahweh.
And suppose the man that we knew literally had very few possessions at all. He gave almost everything he had to the poor. And finally, he was persecuted to the point of death and he was burned alive by those who hated him. Do you suppose that such a man would receive salvation and the gift of eternal life in the age to come?
Would we expect to see him in the resurrection of the just inheriting eternal life? Not necessarily.
1Corinthians 13:1 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
That is the prophet in him.
1Corinthians 13:2 - And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
There is the miracles.
1Corinthians 13:3 - And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
If the man does not have love, even the good works he does, if they are only for self-gratification, if it is only for "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!" it is nothing.
What is love?
1Corinthians 13:4 - Love suffers long [and] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5 - does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6 - does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
1Corinthians 13:7 - bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 - Love never fails. But whether [there are] prophecies, they will fail; whether [there are] tongues, they will cease; whether [there is] knowledge, it will vanish away.
Are we getting the picture? Yahweh wants the fruit in our life to be love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, peace, faith, meekness, temperance, self-control. Those are the things of His Spirit-- Yahweh's Spirit-- because bearing His fruit is very important. Very, very important.
And so, our study topic today: "Bearing the Fruits of His Spirit." That is what I want to talk about today.
We see the fruit of love. It is a beautiful thing to behold. It is a beautiful thing to witness. It is a beautiful thing to exude or to show forth. And that is the first fruit of the Spirit that is mentioned there in the book of Galatians chapter 5 and verse 22. It says:
Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 - gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
And out of this fruit of love comes the greatest commandment, which is to love Yahweh with all your heart, soul and strength.
We are called to bear these fruits, and this fruit will only come out of us from Yahweh, from Him. He is the Author. He is the One, the Source, from which these fruits will manifest in our lives. And it is going to take patience. As it says, here:
Luke 8:15 - "But the ones [that] fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep [it] and bear fruit with patience.
That means you have to be patient and the good fruit will come-- "The seed that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
And out of the heart these kinds of fruits will manifest themselves if we are willing to allow them to manifest ourselves. And our words from which we speak, we have to beware that they are not idle. We have to beware that they bear good fruit. And that can only come from abiding in the vine.
John 15:1 - "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 - "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every [branch] that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 - "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
John 15:4 - "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
These fruits do not come from somewhere "out there," some external source besides Yahweh. It can only come from Yahweh, from a love for Yahweh. And so, Yahushua said:
Mark 12:30 - `And you shall love YAHWEH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This [is] the first commandment.
It is the most important commandment in the Scriptures. The fruits of the Spirit of loving Yahweh will actually come from Yahweh Himself.
Luke 6:43 - "For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
44 - "For every tree is known by its own fruit. For [men] do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.
45 - "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
So, the fruits of the Spirit will be manifest in our speech-- the words that we speak. What kind of words come from the treasuries of our hearts?
1Peter 4:11 - If anyone speaks, [let him speak] as the oracles of Elohim. If anyone ministers, [let him do it] as with the ability which Elohim supplies, that in all things Elohim may be glorified through Yahushua Messiah, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
If you are going to talk, speak as the oracles of Elohim. Do you see that? Too often our words are judged in such a manner that men glorify men over the words that are spoken, over the eloquence through which words come out of a man's heart. But we want to speak as the oracles of Elohim, that HE might be glorified.
And so, we have to beware of any idle word.
Matthew 12:36 - "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Being idle is not like being fruitful. Being idle is being barren-- barren words.
2Peter 1:8 - For if these things are yours and abound, [you] will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Master Yahushua Messiah.
He is talking about bearing patience and perseverance, and so on, contextually.
And so, during the normal course of a day, we have to beware of any barren words, and our love for Yahweh will be manifested in the words that we speak because out of the heart the mouth will speak.
Now, many would say, "Well, I love Yahweh." And many believe, "I love Messiah," calling Him, "Master! Master!" Yahushua's response to that would be this:
John 14:15 - "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Our actions, our words, must bear the fruit of love through our commandment observance. He says if we love Him, if we keep His commandments, "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (the Holy Spirit).
John 14:16 - "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever --
17 - "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
So, as we keep the commandments, the Messiah sends more truth, more of the Spirit of the living Elohim, to take residence within us.
1John 4:20 - If someone says, "I love Elohim," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love Elohim whom he has not seen?
So, we cannot even love Yahweh if we lack love for our brothers and sisters.
1John 4:21 - And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves Elohim [must] love his brother also.
It is impossible to love Yahweh while hating our brother. It is also impossible to love Yahweh unless we do love our brother.
And so, we have this fruit that we are called to allow Yahweh to bear through us. We have this fruit He is calling us to bear that would be a sweet offering unto Him.
As this fruit comes up out of the ground, we have to recognize the source of strength through which the fruit will actually bear. And that is Messiah.
You know, there are certain principles in His Word which once you begin to adopt them as a way of life really are not that hard to keep.
You know, keeping the Sabbath Day is pretty easy. It is nice to be able to rest. Calling upon His name, no big deal. Changing our diet and eating only clean things-- there are lots of good things to eat that are clean. Keeping Festivals-- I mean, they are a blast to observe those. I love doing those.
But my question is: Can we bear the fruits of His Spirit without leaving these other things undone? Not to suggest the other things are necessarily less weighty or of a finer point. But my question for all of us is: How do we relate with one another? How do we relate with our friend down the road?
How do we relate to our neighbors down the street? How do we relate to our spouses or to our children? Do we relate in a manner in which would glorify Him? Do others know that we are His disciples because of our love that we are exhibiting toward one another?
You know, that is just as much the narrow way that few find as anything else. And so, when we serve and love Yahweh our King with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our strength, that means we are going to be mindful of the needs of our brothers and sisters.
We are going to walk out the difficult things of loving others that are not being loving, following in the footsteps of Messiah, considering one another better than ourselves, putting off malice, putting off pride.
You know what? We are going to need each other. We do need each other. We are in war together. And so, we need to endeavor to seek this:
Ephesians 4:1 - I, therefore, the prisoner of Yahweh, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
2 - with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
3 - endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We see His Word. We see its importance to us. We see here that in order to keep the unity of the Spirit, you are going to have something toward your fellow man called longsuffering, bearing with each other in love, in gentleness and lowliness. These are fruits of His Spirit. And so, are we lacking in this in any area of our life?
Usually our greatest area where we lack these things is in our home life. And so, we need to bear the fruits of Yahweh to our family members. Let's have a tender heart toward the Word. Let it convict us and take us to higher and higher places.
The next fruit on the list here-- Joy.
Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy..."
Our total love for Yahweh in our lives will allow us to have the joy we need. And actually, in the Kingdom of Yahweh to come, joy is going to be the theme. It says:
Isaiah 35:10 - And the ransomed of YAHWEH shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Everlasting joy! That is what it is like to be in the presence of Yahweh. And so, when the Spirit of Yahweh is dwelling in us, His joy, the joy of our salvation-- springing up out of a love and an appreciation for what Yahweh has done in our lives and what He is doing in the lives of others-- should manifest themselves.
And actually, it is not really possible to yield this fruit of the Spirit out of our hearts if our hearts are lacking in thanksgiving. In fact, thanksgiving is the soil in which the fruit of joy is actually going to be able to grow.
And you may wonder, "Be thankful for what?" Well, you know, there is enough blessing here in our life. Just the fact He saved us from our darkness should be enough blessing to fill us with a lifetime of joy and rejoicing before Him.
Just the fact that we are alive, the fact that He has shown us salvation, the fact that He has shown us so much ought to be enough to get us through. The problem is we forget. And Yahweh knows that is man's habit to forget.
I mean, how many of us had the fruit of joy when we first began our walk with Yahweh? I mean, a time of excitement and passion and joy. That is how Israel was when they crossed the Red Sea, the Sea of Reeds, and they saw the enemy defeated and how Yahweh had delivered them.
And then they came to the trials on the other side of the Red Sea and they lost it. How about us? Are we losing heart? Are we losing the joy of Yahweh?
Psalms 27:13 - [I would have lost heart], unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of YAHWEH In the land of the living.
14 - Wait on YAHWEH; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on YAHWEH!
Yahweh likes us to wait. He wants us to be patient. And that is what Yahushua did. So, we look to Him.
Hebrews 12:2 - looking unto Yahushua, the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.
The cross-- the stake or the tree.
And likewise, in our difficult times and challenging circumstances, it will be the joy that is set before us that will get us through.
Nehemiah 8:9 - And Nehemiah, who [was] the governor, Ezra the priest [and] scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day [is] holy to YAHWEH your Elohim; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.
They heard the words of the Law, and they were crying over it. They realized they had not been keeping it.
Nehemiah 8:10 - Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for [this] day [is] holy to our YAHWEH. Do not sorrow, for the joy of YAHWEH is your strength."
How many of us pray for strength? The joy of Yahweh was Messiah's strength. The joy set before Him was His strength while He was hanging there being tortured.
Likewise, I say to you, the joy of Yahweh will be your strength and my strength. In our times of weakness, in our times of difficulty, in our times of discouragement, in our times of despair, it is the joy of Yahweh that will be our strength. How can we find it?
If we are losing heart, we are probably losing thankfulness. We don't deserve anything. We think we deserve stuff. We don't deserve anything except the lake of fire prepared for those who have turned their heart away from Him. We don't deserve anything but that.
If all Yahweh did was save us from what we deserved, wouldn't that be enough? A loss of thankfulness only leads to more disobedience and becomes a snowball that grows and grows and grows. The less thankful we are, the less joyful we will be, the more miserable we will be.
Yahweh said to Israel, "In the future, if you turn away from Me, the reason why you are going to turn away from Me is because you forget the goodness of Yahweh, because you have lost your joy for what I have given you. You have lost it." He told them in Deuteronomy 28:45:
Deuteronomy 28:45 - "Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of YAHWEH your Elohim, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.
They lost their strength.
Deuteronomy 28:46 - "And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
47 - "Because you did not serve YAHWEH your Elohim with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything,
You forgot. You forgot what He did for you. And you, therefore, lost thankfulness, and therefore, lost joy, and therefore, lost obedience.
Deuteronomy 28:48 - "therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom YAHWEH will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.
Why? If you are not thankful for what you have, He will not give it to you anymore. He will let you hunger and thirst and be in nakedness, and everything, and put the yoke of iron on that you want. If you do not want His yoke, He will give you the enemy's yoke. If you are not thankful for what you have, you will lose what you do have.
He who has, more will be given. He who does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.
So, if we lose touch with Yahweh and His Word, we will lose thankfulness for what He has done for us. We will lose our joy and then we will lose our contentment. And we will yearn instead for the temporal things, temporal foods of the world-- a temporal provision to take their place, worldly things.
But if we hold onto Yahweh, we will manifest the fruit of joy to the extent, like Paul said:
1Timothy 6:7 - For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.
8 - And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
Just be content. Food and clothing-- I have enough. I am thankful for it. HalleluYah! I have my food and clothing. I am okay. And, generally speaking, the world will marvel at your contentment and wonder how it is even possible.
But we can lead others to that same place of contentment because they will learn through our example contentment does not come through the possessions that we have.
Contentment comes from thankfulness for what Yahweh is continuing to do for us, not necessarily for our possessions as much as it is for what He has done for us in sending Yahushua to die for us that we might have life and for all the wonders He continues to do in the spiritual realm that we see.
And so, through our contentment, others are going to see something that, if they are not in Messiah, they can never attain, though they seek after it, though they pursue it-- and that is peace, the third fruit.
Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace..."
Peace is the Hebrew word "shalom." Shalom means much more than just peace. It means a completeness, a wholeness, that comes from Yahweh. And we who believe in Yahushua have all felt that inner shalom that only Yahweh can give us.
Even in times of stress, the shalom that awaits us when we cry out to Him in prayer, with thankfulness, cannot be described. It is beyond anyone's ability to understand. You cannot explain it, the shalom that He gives us. And so, it says:
Okay, I will let Him know.
All right, you let Yahweh know what you needed. You are thankful for what you already have. You have asked Him for something else. Now, you have made your request known. Now peace-- the peace of Elohim.
If you receive that peace that comes by faith, it will guard your heart against the wiles of the enemy, the discontented words that he will throw at you, the discouragement that people will try to throw at you, and we will be at peace.
This we will receive by faith and knowledge that Yahweh is the Most High. He is in full control of our lives. We have no reason to be afraid. We are where He wants us to be, where He has allowed us to be at this moment in our life. And HalleluYah! This is where I am at. All right, I have to accept it.
I don't deserve anything better than this. It is only by His grace I will get anything better than this. And we can be content with what He has provided, though we make a request for deliverance, we make a request for whatever circumstance we happen to be in. Now it is in Yahweh's hands.
But to those who do not have Him, they have no peace.
Isaiah 48:22 - "[There is] no peace," says YAHWEH, "for the wicked."
So, we should know that even as our hearts receive this peace from Yahweh, there will be some times we are in turmoil, we are in trouble. From the outside looking in, we look like we are in a mess. And we will be inherently at odds with those who do not have His peace. I mean, Yahushua did say:
Matthew 10:34 - "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
In other words, there will not be peace between us and Yahweh's enemies. Sometimes the enemy works through those of our own household.
Matthew 10:35 - "For I have come to `set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';
36 - "and `a man's enemies [will be] those of his [own] household.'
He said it would happen. It is sad when it happens. Yahushua predicted it would. But within our hearts, we still have peace in the midst of all-out war. We have within us a peace that passes all understanding.
And we still exhibit, even in these challenging moments where there is war, or even within our own household-- shalom, patience, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness.
And when they see you have that, they are going to try to steal it from you and try to prompt you to speak evil like they are, to do the negative things that they are doing, so that they can justify themselves, and say, "See, there he is. He is doing the same thing I am doing. He is no different than I am." It makes them feel better about themselves.
But listen, Yahushua took the beatings and the spittings and the mockery and the reviling and the whips of the enemy for our sakes, and said, "Father, forgive them." He maintained His shalom. Maybe one day that will be our end.
But if you want to manifest Messiah... I mean, He went through all that for us, and then we get a little bit of disrespect from somebody else and we lash out like... I mean, that is not right. That is not manifesting Messiah to them.
If we want them to come to repentance and we have not been a good example-- well, what do you expect? Let it be that Yahushua lives in you in such a way that if they do still reject you, it is not really you they are rejecting-- it is Yahushua living in you they are rejecting.
Only then would you feel confident that you have been nothing but a living example of Him and not a stumbling block.
And so, while on the outside there may appear to be all this turmoil, we can still maintain, as Messiah did, an inner peace from Yahweh that will manifest itself as a fruit of the Spirit. And generally speaking, those around us will be amazed.
Let's look at the next fruit-- longsuffering.
Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering..."
The longsuffering is a characteristic of Yahweh. In Hebrew, the word "longsuffering" literally means "long nose." I am not talking about, you know, nose growing long. I am talking about, the word in the Hebrew for "anger" is the same word for "nostril" (the nose).
Whenever people get angry, their nose flares out, right? A very picturesque language, the Hebrew language. And "long," or "slow to anger," is essentially the meaning of the word.
But you notice something. We call upon the name of Yahweh, and we who call upon the name of Yahweh, we ought to be the most longsuffering people on the planet because... did you know that Yahweh has this character trait, longsuffering is actually a manifestation of His name?
Did you realize that, that when you are being longsuffering, you are actually proclaiming His name, His character, who He is?
Moshe asked to see Yahweh, and it says:
Exodus 34:5 - Now YAHWEH descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of YAHWEH.
6 - And YAHWEH passed before him and proclaimed, "YAHWEH, YAHWEH Elohim, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
So, His name is intricately connected with longsuffering. Now, if His name is on our foreheads, if we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, beware lest we harbor unforgiveness or bitterness in our hearts. It is Yahweh's longsuffering Spirit that will manifest itself toward those who are continually doing wrong to us.
And so, the next time you consider perhaps not being longsuffering with a brother, a spouse, a child-- especially a child-- consider how longsuffering and merciful Yahweh has been with you. It becomes a whole lot easier to manifest that kind of longsuffering toward others when we see also Yahweh's longsuffering toward us throughout our life with Him.
It gets a whole lot easier. The bottom line is we have to stay humble. Humble ourselves and be willing to walk in the calling of the Messiah. What is the calling of the Messiah? Yahushua says:
Matthew 5:46 - "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 - "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more [than others]? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
What do you do more than anybody else? No different than they are, unless you love those who are not being loving toward you.
Matthew 5:48 - "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
We are perfecting love by loving those who are not being loving. We are being longsuffering with them and expressing love in spite of their desire and their way, which is not to express love.
We are called to be willing to suffer. Now, I don't have the Scripture up on the screen, but it says:
1Peter 2:21 - For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 - "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
23 - who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed [Himself] to Him who judges righteously;
You know, the thought of suffering is not really a thought that is very pleasing to our flesh, but scriptures keep telling us we have to be willing to suffer.
It is not just dying for your belief. It is an everyday way of life. But it is the fear of suffering that often causes us to walk in the works of the flesh rather than the fruits of the Spirit, and thereby, tear down the body of Messiah, or our homes, rather than building it up.
For instance, if somebody says a hurtful word to you, the fleshy tendency would be to get angry or to get bitter. But if we already have a willingness to suffer, as Yahushua was willing to suffer, it would not bother us so much because we would already have the mindset this is our calling. This is how we are supposed to live.
So, in the same way Yahushua suffered that He might show His love for us, and that resulted in our choice to love Him in return, we are called to have a willingness to suffer at the hands of others-- whether it be an enemy or even believers who hurt us. And by that, they will see a suffering Messiah.
The world needs to see a suffering Messiah. And the way they are going to see a suffering Messiah, who loves anyway, is in our manifestation of Him. We are the body of Messiah on the earth, and we are called to exhibit His life on the earth today through our actions.
And if those who are outside the body of Messiah see us walking in fleshy anger because we are refusing to lay down our lives and suffer like Messiah did, they are going to see us as no better than they are. When the body of Messiah is not acting like Messiah, it damages our ability to go therefore and make disciples of all nations.
So, we need to do more than just teach about what Yahushua was like when He was on the earth in terms of Torah observance. We need to be living like He did in every aspect, not just keeping Torah as He did in those other areas-- but also, being willing to suffer as He did.
It is just that anger, you know, seems the most justified when someone is hurting us, but actually that is when it is the least justified. Yahushua was hurt many times, yet He did not rise up in self-centered anger. We are all called to take suffering in the same way Yahushua did.
When we put on Yahushua the Messiah, we are going to put on His attributes. He did not lash out in anger in response to evil. He chose to love those who did not love Him. I think-- I speak for myself and for all of us-- a lot of our family issues are rooted in an unwillingness to love those who are not being loving.
The wife will not manifest love through respecting the husband because the husband is not loving her. The husband is not manifesting love through the valuing and cherishing of his wife because she is not respecting him. But we are called to love those who are not being loving.
When our children are failing in their love through disrespect and disobedience, or our wives or our husbands are failing in love, we are called to love anyway. That is what longsuffering does, and that is a fruit of Yahweh's Spirit. And that is what He is doing for you right now. He is longsuffering.
The next fruit on our list here is goodness.
Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness..."
It is kind of related. I should say kindness. I guess kindness and goodness are sort of intermixed. But being kind is a part of being good. So, I kind of combined them together.
Romans 12:20 - Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So, by doing a kind act, by doing a good act, by being loving, we can overcome evil and evil people. But again, this only comes from Yahweh, because the goodness that we manifest ultimately comes from Elohim. Even Yahushua said:
Matthew 19:17 - So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is], Elohim. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
Even Yahushua had to recognize the source of all His goodness-- Yahweh the father. Because Yahweh IS good.
Psalms 34:8 - Oh, taste and see that YAHWEH [is] good; Blessed [is] the man [who] trusts in Him!
He is sending rain on the just and the unjust. He is so very good to us. Now, we cannot use that as an excuse-- because He is good, because He is merciful, because He is patient, because He is longsuffering-- we cannot use that as an excuse to not walk in goodness ourselves.
Romans 2:4 - Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of Elohim leads you to repentance?
It leads you to one place, and that is repentance.
Instead, we imitate His example. This is a faithful saying, that we must maintain good works. Those who believe in Elohim should be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8).
So, walking in goodness is something everyone can relate to actually. Believers, unbelievers. You do good. You do kind acts. You speak in a kind and loving manner. Everyone can relate to that. Everyone wants that from each other. Will we manifest that? That is our choice.
Will we allow Yahweh to flow through us? or do we put a stop and say, "No, the goodness is going to stop with what I get from You, Yahweh. I am not going to extend it out to that person"? Well, as long as that person's heart is still beating, Yahweh is still having mercy on him. So, I think you need to let that mercy just flow right on through you.
If it is not coming from you, if it is coming from Him, that is okay, because in our flesh, no good thing dwells anyway. We just need to allow it to flow through us. That is all.
Now, let us look at another fruit here-- faithfulness or faith.
Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..."
Now, you could speak a whole message on that topic.
Not having faith is, essentially, atheism. And so, we are called to be full of faith or faithful. If we are full of faith, we will not fail to trust. When we lack faith, we will lack trust, and we will essentially be showing Yahweh we do not believe that He is. But Scripture says:
Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to Elohim must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
And so, we just have to trust Him and be faithful toward Him with all of our heart, and lean not on our own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in YAHWEH with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
Because our own understanding could be flawed.
Proverbs 3:6 - In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
He will direct your paths. That is a promise. Just trust Him. Acknowledge Him with all your heart. But if we refuse to walk in faith, Yahweh said this:
Deuteronomy 32:20 - And He said: `I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end [will be], For they [are] a perverse generation, Children in whom [is] no faith.
If you do not take a step of faith, He might not ever show you who He is. And the atheists who demand a sign and do not acknowledge any form of faith, many times never find it. He is hiding His face from them.
Richard Dawkins once said if he came to find out in the end days, on Judgment Day, there really was an Elohim, he said he planned to ask Him, "Sir, why do You hide Yourself?" There is your answer (Deuteronomy 32:20), that creation itself demands that we would look at it and say, "Uh-uh, this could not have happened by accident."
It is only through obstinacy-- the desire to not be under His rulership, to be our own ruler, our own deity, our own entity-- that one could not have even just a drop of faith, because to each man Yahweh has given a measure of faith.
So, we must walk in faith.
Luke 18:7 - "And shall Elohim not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?
8 - "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
He wonders: Is He going to find faith? Kind of an open question. Ones that (we, hopefully) are in the generation of when Messiah comes. Will we be among those who are faithful? It is a weightier matter of the Law, remember? Justice, mercy and faith. Believe it or not, the practicing of faith is practicing of the Law.
They are connected to each other. Don't let people tell you different. They are connected to each other.
Just as an example: keeping the Sabbath day. If we have faith that Yahweh will take care of us if we lose our job because we want to keep His Word and keep the Sabbath day, then that is walking out faith, right?
If we are going to be ridiculed by our friends and neighbors and our family because we use a Hebrew name and do what they call "Jewish stuff" and endure the negativity that comes with walking out this walk of keeping the Torah, then we will encounter this.
And we will be walking by faith if we are willing to do what He says regardless of what the consequences may be in this life. But if we want faith, as we shared in previous studies:
Romans 10:17 - So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of Elohim.
Faith can only come through hearing. And hearing can only come when we hear the Word of Yahweh.
If we are willing to hear, faith will come. And so, spend time in the Word. If you don't want to hear from Him, if you don't want to hear from Yahweh-- Scripture says:
Proverbs 28:9 - One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer [is] an abomination.
If you do not want to hear Yahweh, He does not want to hear you, either.
Communication, relationship, is a two-way street. So, when it comes to hearing Yahweh, when it comes to Yahweh hearing your prayers, on a scale of 1-10, where do you want it to be? Do you want it to be on a ten? Well, the more we devote ourselves to hearing and heeding the words of Yahweh, the more He will be willing to hear and heed us when we pray.
Do you want to see a picture of a blessed man?
Psalms 1:1 - Blessed [is] the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 - But his delight [is] in the law of YAHWEH, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 - He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Do you want to be prosperous? Do you want to be blessed? Meditate in His Word. We will be a leaf that does not wither when the drought comes because we are planted by the rivers of water.
So, let us fill ourselves with His Spirit.
What did Yahushua say?
John 6:63 - "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and [they] are life.
As His Word enters your heart, His Spirit enters your heart, and you will begin to manifest the fruits of His Spirit taking residence in a good heart that is willing to receive it.
And this is also the key to having faith, to being able to walk in love and longsuffering and patience and joy and goodness and faithfulness. And it all starts with the Word.
The next fruit on the list-- Galatians 5:23 - "gentleness..."
When the Spirit of Yahweh has filled us, we will also be filled with gentleness because this is how Yahweh is toward us.
And David's psalm (Psalm 18), which came from 2 Samuel, says:
Psalms 18:35 - You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.
What is it that made David such a great man? Yahweh's gentleness.
Do you know what? Our gentleness toward each other-- toward our children, toward our spouses, toward those whom we are charged to be leaders over-- our gentleness can make them great, too. Scripture says in Galatians 6:1:
Galatians 6:1 - Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who [are] spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
A Spirit of gentleness. The Ruach Ha Kodesh. The Holy Spirit.
Galatians 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Messiah.
3 - For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
See, our lack of gentleness often comes to light through pride and arrogance, for someone thinking himself to be something. And we lose patience because we think ourselves superior to the sinner we are speaking to at that moment.
But, you know, Yahweh has a way of showing us what a hypocrite we are because we find ourselves going through the same temptation that they faced later on.
Yahweh in heaven is watching how we treat those who are sinning. And if we come to them in pride and arrogance-- look out! Guess who is next? And you may not do as well as they did.
So, when you correct someone, whether it is your own child or your brother and sister, or whoever it is, do so in gentleness.
All men. Believers, unbelievers.
Do you know what? Most of us were unbelievers at one point in our life. Maybe some of you young people don't have that. Maybe some of us older folks don't. But most of us were probably unbelievers. And if it weren't for the grace of Yahweh, the children who are believers-- the fact you have parents who are-- you might be an unbeliever yourself.
So, if we come across to an unbeliever as arrogant, boastful, unapproachable, it does harm in three ways. First of all, it provokes their flesh. If we are acting in pride, well, I'll tell you what, they can probably outpride you. I mean, they are just going to be provoked to do the same thing.
Secondly, if you are lacking gentleness, they are going to view the way in which you conduct your life as something unattainable-- a place where, you know, if they were going to ever actually turn their life over to Yahweh that they would expect to get beat down rather than treated gently because they are not up to our standards.
And some people will not come to this faith because they do not feel like they could ever reach our standards. They could never measure up. It is an identity that they could never grab a hold of because of the condemnation and the harshness with which certain believers may have treated them in the past.
And so, it does damage to the Kingdom and to the soul of another person. And thirdly, the minute they see all of us fail in some area and we have not been gentle with them, they are going to point the finger and excuse their own behavior and call you a bunch of hypocrites. And one of the things we always hear from unbelievers: "Hypocrites!" Right?
So, these three problems are going to arise whenever we fail to communicate the Word of Yahweh in wisdom, in meekness, in gentleness. And this applies to those who are unbelievers or believers. It lays a stumbling block before others no matter who it is-- a spouse, a child.
If we are too harsh, they may view our walk as just too hard for them-- a place of eternal guilt and condemnation, a place where they can never measure up and be accepted. And this can tempt them to seek another identity, to be around other people-- unbelievers who have a lower standard. And so, they do not feel so guilty being around them.
And so, we must not get puffed up with our knowledge. Rather than getting prideful, we should be getting thankful. Rather than causing it to lift ourselves up, it should cause us to see the amount of longsuffering, patience and gentleness Yahweh has been toward us in our lack of knowledge and our lack of strength.
And so, rather than seeing the ignorance of others as an opportunity for exalting ourselves, we should see it as an opportunity to pray for the other person, and if we feel led, share what He has opened our eyes with, in a humble and gentle way, because that is what Yahushua does for us every day of our life. Yahushua said:
Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 - "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 - "For My yoke [is] easy and My burden is light."
He says, "I am gentile." Is He flowing through you? Is His gentleness leading others to great things? Is His gentleness leading those in our care to greatness?
Finally, the last fruit of the Spirit-- self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control..."
If we have the ability to control ourselves, we could actually overcome all temptation, right? It would not be a problem.
This word translated "self-control" is actually rooted in a Greek word meaning "to be strong, to have strength, to have might." And it does take a lot of strength and might to control ourselves.
But you know, an affective strength does not come from ourselves. It is a fruit of the Spirit, right? That is what it says here. It is a fruit of the Spirit that is living within us, and so, it is a result of our decision to receive Yahushua the Messiah. It is a result of His power, His Spirit flowing through us.
And that is why it says next: "Against such there is no law."
Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 - gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 - And those [who are] Messiah's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 5:25 - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
That is how you receive these attributes.
You know, every temptation that overtakes us is either through deception or through a lack of faith. The enemy can deceive us into thinking we are not doing wrong or he can bring a temptation into our minds that will tempt us to do something we know is wrong.
Well, if we are being tempted to do what we know is wrong, we have a choice-- whether we want to walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit. That is our choice.
We can believe that we really have been crucified with Messiah, no longer we who live, but Messiah living in us to the extent that the life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of Elohim, who loved us and gave Himself for us, or we can walk in the flesh. That is our choice whether we choose to believe His Word or not.
Galatians 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of Elohim, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Has this really happened to you? Has this happened to you, yet?
Romans 6:10 - For [the death] that He died, He died to sin once for all; but [the life] that He lives, He lives to Elohim.
You are dead to sin.
Romans 6:11 - Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim in Messiah Yahushua our Master.
12 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
Because you are dead to it. You are dead to sin. In Yahushua's name, we are dead to it.
Romans 6:13 - And do not present your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to Elohim as being alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness to Elohim.
It is when we present our members, the parts of our body, as instruments of righteousness that we are presenting the fruits that Yahweh has wanted to bear through us.
Now, these are not the only fruits-- love, joy, peace, kindness, longsuffering... Those are not the only fruits. Bearing the fruits of the Spirit doesn't just include those attributes in Galatians 5:22.
Ezekiel 36:27 says:
Ezekiel 36:27 - "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do [them].
So, that is the evidence right there-- our observance of His commandments, our keeping of His Word. That is basically what Galatians 5:22 and 23 are telling us, summing it up. If we walk in love, then we will walk in His commandments.
And so, it is predicted the Spirit would empower us to keep those commandments. And so, keeping the commandments is what the fruit of Yahweh's Spirit looks like from the outside from Yahweh's perspective.
And so-- that is glorious! It is His work. It is His planting. Remember, we shared earlier:
1Corinthians 3:6 - I planted, Apollos watered, but Elohim gave the increase.
Yahweh has to give the increase.
1Corinthians 3:7 - So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but Elohim who gives the increase.
And so, whatever goodness comes out of you, praises to Yahweh! He gave the increase. If we were able to bear the fruit apart from the increase of Yahweh, we would be able to boast of ourselves that we are good apart from Him. But if we bear fruit, it is the evidence of His work in our lives.
When we bear the fruits of His Spirit, those who are on the outside are going to wonder, "What has happened to that person? Why is that person no longer the angry person of the past? Why is that person no longer the unhappy person I used to know? Where are they getting this joy?
"Why is that person no longer the unsettled person of the past? Where does he get that peace? Where does he get that unending fountain of kindness and gentleness and goodness? Where is it coming from?"
The only answer will be Yahweh, who gave the increase. I chose to lay down my life to allow Yahweh to bear fruit in me, and He is doing it. And HE gets the glory.
And in the final day, though He places the crown of life upon your head, we will, as the twenty-four elders fall down before the One who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, we will cast our crowns before the throne, saying:
Revelation 4:11 - "You are worthy, O Master, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."
Blessed be the name of Yahweh. May Yahweh's Spirit be manifest in each of our lives that we might manifest Yahushua the Messiah to this lost and dying world and that we might cast our crowns before Him and declare: You, O Yahweh, are worthy. It is all to the praise of Your glory.
And as we do that in our hearts, may Yahweh bless you, may Yahweh fill you with His Spirit, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.
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