05/31/2014 Sabbath Meeting Transcript

"The Misery of Strife...and What Yahweh Says About it"

EliYah's message:

I did not know what I was going to share all week-- I was just drawing a blank. And then last night it just suddenly came out. And so, I do feel like, I do have a sense, that this is what the Father wants me to talk about today.

And it is something that is certainly applicable to everybody listening, especially those of you who have families. But it is applicable in our life just overall.

What I want to talk today about is war. And I don't mean a war that any nation's military is engaged in. I don't mean a war that a nation is involved in at all. I don't even mean a war that we are engaged in against an enemy together. Although, that is somewhat related.

I want to talk today about a different war. It is a war that Yahweh never inspires or desires. And that is the warring that we see today between believers; the warring and strife we see today between husband and wife, mother and father; between siblings within a family. Sometimes even between parents and children.

Yes, war, even in the homes of those of us who believe that Yahweh is Elohim, Messiah Yahushua is our Savior, and we are repentant and we are goodwill people. But we get caught up in war between each other.

My own home is not immune to it. Very few homes are completely free from it. And yet, there are few things, very few things, that make us more miserable than to be in the middle of it-- strife, arguing, fighting, war, and the things that are not from the Spirit of the living Elohim.

And so, we are going to talk today about: The Misery of STRIFE... and What Yahweh Says About it. And, actually, Yahweh says A LOT about it, this strife.

In fact, it is so miserable, Solomon made this statement in Proverbs chapter 17-- he said:

 Proverbs 17:1 - Better [is] a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting [with] strife.

I would agree with that. It is a miserable place of existence to be in the middle of a fight and argument and striving. Strife going on within the walls of a home is more common than many of us are willing to admit.

And so, I was thinking, in light of Shavuot, Yahweh pouring out His Spirit upon His people-- you know, we have the Feast of Weeks coming up here a week from tomorrow-- and I wanted to go over this topic and just see what Scripture has said about it.

I had written a study on this years ago, and I kind of went through it and revised some things, and I have learned some more things. And so, I want to talk about this.

Now, it may surprise you how much Scripture has to say and how much it relates to Shavuot, because the presence of Yahweh's Spirit is the cure for strife in our lives between each other, because quite a few works of the flesh are centered around it as opposed to fruits of the Spirit.

Let's look at Galatians chapter 5, verse 19, a moment here.

 Galatians 5:19 - Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20 - idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

21 - envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Elohim.

Did you catch that? Those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim.

And so, let's look at some of these. We have on the list here... obviously, hatred is sometimes involved in the midst of arguing. And we have "contentions."

What is this word "contentions" in the Lexicon? We look it up, and the Greek Lexicon for "contentions" would be: 2054 "eris" {er'-is} It simply means: 1) contention, strife, wrangling. Origin: of uncertain affinity; n f. Usage: AV - strife, 4 times; debate, twice; contention, twice; and variance, once.

This is from the King James Version the way it is translated. Other works of the flesh: We have "jealousies" (that is often involved in strife), "outbursts of wrath," "selfish ambitions," "dissensions." There is one-- "dissensions."

And we have "heresies," "envy," "murders." Envy-- that is involved in strife.

When you look in James 3:14, it says:

 James 3:14 - But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

15 - This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic.

16 - For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there.

"Confusion and every evil thing." That sounds like an argument to me.

So, looking at the list here, we have quite a few things that center around strife. This word "dissensions" here comes from the word "dichostasia." Greek Lexicon for "dissensions": 1370 "dichostasia" {dee-khos-tas-ee'-ah} I can't even say it. "Dissension" and "division," let's put it that way.

Meaning: 1) dissension, division Origin: from a derivative of 1364 and 4714; TDNT - 1:514,88; n f. Usage: AV - division 2, sedition 1; 3.

And so, again, over and over, this repeating theme of strife being involved in the works of the flesh. So, we count up the different things here that are related to fighting and arguing and striving. We would have "hatred," "contentions," "jealousies"... that is three. "Outbursts of wrath" is four. "Selfish ambitions" is five-- (self-seeking).

"Dissensions," that is six. "Heresies." That is actually related, but we will just kind of pass that for now. "Envy" is seven. You might argue, or say (maybe you shouldn't argue), but "murders" is related because murder and hatred are sort of intertwined. But since he already mentioned hatred, we will pass on that one.

And it says "and the like." It means things that are like these. But we have at least seven elements here of all the works of the flesh that have to do with strife. And so, doesn't this deserve our attention? Because look at what he said: "Those that practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim." WILL NOT!

If this is your practice, if this is what you do frequently, Scripture says those who practice those things will not enter-- will not. None of your Sabbath keeping, Feast keeping, kosher eating, using Yahweh's name-- or whatever things you take confidence in-- none of those things are going to help you.

If you practice any of these works of the flesh, Scripture says you will NOT inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. That is serious. That is real serious.

So we are talking today about a salvational issue. If you are looking for a salvational issue, here is a salvational issue: Do you practice strife? When there is strife, these works of the flesh are usually involved.

Sometimes (westernized Christian background, you know) we think, "Ah, well, He will forgive us anyway." You know, we are not taught to fear Elohim as we ought to. Too often we get the mentality, "Oh, He has to forgive me. I have Messiah."

Yeah, He will forgive you if you repent. But if we are still regularly practicing works of the flesh, how can we say we repent and we have repented? It is still a normal part of our lives. It is part of our character.

If we were all in an army together and there was one guy in the army that just fought against everybody, like butting heads against everybody, he is going to get kicked out of the army. I mean, everywhere he goes he is destroying rather than building.

You cannot have an army of people fighting against each other. A house divided against itself will not stand. And so, what is the cure? The cure is Yahweh's Spirit.

 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.

Don't you just, right now, as you are thinking about this, sense a calm as you read these words? Love... joy... peace... Peace! Not fight. Not argue. Peace... longsuffering... kindness... goodness... faithfulness... gentleness... self-control.

If we are practicing these things, we will not fight. We will not engage in strife. And if we are Messiah's... it says:

 Galatians 5:24 - And those [who are] Messiah's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

It is dead.

 Galatians 5:25 - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 - Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

We are not supposed to provoke the flesh. So, if we have the Spirit, stay humble. Don't be conceited about it. If we live in the Spirit, let's walk in the Spirit.

And so, this is the antidote-- self-control. If we had self-control, we would pretty much have everything resolved in our life, wouldn't we?

Well, that is what the Spirit gives us. The Spirit gives us self-control. It gives us gentleness. It gives us faithfulness, goodness, kindness, longsuffering, peace, joy. In short-- love.

And so, we do have self-control when the flesh is crucified. And we will have the ability to rule over it and not let the flesh control the Spirit, but let the Spirit control the flesh.

Proverbs 16:32 says:

 Proverbs 16:32 - [He who is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

If you can rule over your own spirit by the self-control of Yahweh's Spirit dwelling in you, you are better than one who can take a city. So when the fruits of Yahweh's Spirit are present, we will not speak these corrupt words that engender strife.

 Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Ask yourself: "If what I am about to say, is it going to impart grace to the one hearing it? Is it going to edify? Or is it a corrupt word?"

And so, what comes out of our mouth is what is in our heart. And if Yahweh's Spirit is dwelling within our hearts, then the words that come out of our mouths will be edifying words and words that build up, not words that tear down.

And so, if you want to know what things in your heart are pleasing to Yahweh, just listen to what you say. Listen to what you say. That is where your heart is. And we have to be humble enough to acknowledge that.

Yahushua said:

 Luke 6:45 - "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.

If you are having problems with your tongue and you just can't seem to control it at certain times, it is not a mouth problem. It is a heart problem. What is in the heart is eventually going to come out-- one way or another. It may be not even verbal. It may be just an expression on our face.

But what exactly is strife? According to Webster's Dictionary, "strife" is: 1. Exertion or contention with another; competition. 2. Contest; struggle; quarrel.

The Hebraic definition: 04066 "madown" {maw-dohn'} Meaning: 1) strife, contention 1a) strife, contention 1b) object of contention. Origin: from 01777; TWOT - 426c; n m Usage: AV - strife 7, contention 3, discord 1, variant 7; 18.

Another word used, also: 07379 "riyb" {reeb} or "rib" {reeb} Meaning: 1) strife, controversy, dispute 1a) strife, quarrel 1b) dispute, controversy, case at law. Origin: from 07378; TWOT - 2159a; n m Usage: AV - cause 24, strife 16, controversy 13, contention 2, misc. 7; 62.

This is from 07378, and here is 07378: "riyb" {reeb} or "ruwb" {roob} Meaning: 1) to strive, contend 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to strive 1a1a) physically 1a1b) with words 1a2) to conduct a case or suit (legal), sue 1a3) to make complaint 1a4) to quarrel 1b) (Hiphil) to contend against.

Origin: a primitive root; TWOT - 2159; v Usage: AV - plead 27, strive 13, contend 12, chide 6, debate 2, misc. 7; 67.

These definitions basically point us to the English word "strife."

Now, we see an example of strife as far back as Abraham's day.

 Genesis 13:6 - Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.

Talking about Abraham and Lot.

 Genesis 13:7 - And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land.

8 - So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we [are] brethren.

9 - "[Is] not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If [you take] the left, then I will go to the right; or, if [you go] to the right, then I will go to the left."

You see here that Abraham basically died to self. He valued the relationship over winning the argument or having possessions. To him, the relationship between him and Lot-- "We are brethren," he said-- that was more important than whether or not he got the best of the land.

And so, they are dwelling together, this land could not support them, and Abraham walked in the Spirit. I like the reasoning he had. He wanted peace with all men. And it was Abraham who took the initiative. He desired above all things that there would be shalom. Yahushua said:

 Matthew 5:9 - Blessed [are] the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of Elohim.

And that is why, if we are a seed of Abraham, we are a seed of Elohim-- because through Abraham, Messiah was born. And Yahweh often pointed to Abraham as an example of a righteous man. Yahushua Himself did so.

And so, another example-- Abraham's son, Isaac:

 Genesis 26:19 - Also Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there.

20 - But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water [is] ours." So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him.

21 - Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that [one] also. So he called its name Sitnah.

 Genesis 26:22 - And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, "For now YAHWEH has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

And so, rather than fight and argue over who wins, and who gets this and who gets that, he went along and dug another one.

Both Abraham and Isaac practiced something very important-- keeping their eyes on the spiritual things and not allowing the flesh to rule them. And because of that, they were very blessed.

Jacob also was a man who, rather than arguing and fighting with Laban, he simply departed company. And when Laban chased him down, look at all that Jacob went through, all the unfairness he endured.

He spoke, finally, and said:

 Genesis 31:38 - "These twenty years I [have been] with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried their young, and I have not eaten the rams of your flock.

39 - "That which was torn [by beasts] I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it. You required it from my hand, [whether] stolen by day or stolen by night.

40 - "[There] I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes.

 Genesis 31:41 - "Thus I have been in your house twenty years; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times.

42 - "Unless the Elohim of my father, the Elohim of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. Elohim has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked [you] last night."

And we read on, and they made a covenant of peace. Yahweh was there to defend him. But I think it is a testimony that the children of Abraham walked in their father's footsteps. Their father was a man of shalom.

And we ought to have that kind of legacy for our families, you know, that we would be that light among the unbelievers. And that is part of what it means to be a son of Abraham.

Yahushua said:

 Matthew 5:38 - "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

39 - "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

40 - "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have [your] cloak also.

 Matthew 5:41 - "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

42 - "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

That is a picture of a man who has died to self. If self is demanding its own way, this is not the one who has crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Yahushua's goal is that we would be in shalom if at all possible.

 Hebrews 12:14 - Pursue peace with all [people], and holiness, without which no one will see YAHWEH:


 Hebrews 12:15 - looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of Elohim; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Many, many, many. That is why they cannot help themselves when it comes to fighting and arguing-- because of bitterness. There is a bitter root there.

Romans says:

 Romans 12:18 - If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

19 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay," says YAHWEH.

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."

 Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

And so, these are our admonitions, and most of us know these scriptures fairly well. To know them is one thing. To do them is quite another.

Perhaps we have issues with anger. If we have issues with anger, it would be very, very difficult for us to overcome the temptation to engage in strife, because anger involves control and anger has a way of ending an argument.

The most intimidating one, the most scary one-- especially if they are angry toward a naturally submissive person-- they have a way of controlling the situation. And that is where the deception comes in.

Because for us to control another person isn't Yahweh's desire. It is not even Yahweh's desire to control us. How much less are we to be controlling another person? Yahweh's desire is that each of us would willingly do the right thing.

But if we have issues with anger, strife is probably not far.

 Proverbs 29:22 - An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression.

Abounds in transgression! We want to abound in righteousness, not transgression.

 Proverbs 15:18 - A wrathful man stirs up strife, But [he who is] slow to anger allays contention.

Being slow to anger causes contention to cease.

 Proverbs 30:33 - For [as] the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife.

And so, for a person who is angry a lot, he is likely to have strife in his home, strife among brothers he is in contact with, and such a person needs the humility to admit his problem, have the desire to stop, and seek the healing and counsel to overcome it.

And oftentimes there is a temptation to feel justified in anger by calling it righteous anger or righteous indignation, and, maybe, quote scripture verses-- like Yahushua overturning the tables of the money changers. But Yahushua was not displaying anger out of self-interest.

If He even displayed anger, and I can't say for sure He was displaying anger at that time, yes, it could have been righteous indignation. It could have been Yahweh's Spirit flowing through Him, because Yahweh does have wrath. But His wrath is righteous. Our wrath is often self-centered and born out of the works of the flesh rather than Yahweh Himself.

Most of the time our anger is out of self-interest and what self did not get or what self wants. And it comes to where we call it "righteous anger," and it is nothing but perverseness.

Scripture says:

 Proverbs 16:28 - A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends.

And some just go around, and wherever they go, there is usually some kind of strife going on or argument going on, eventually, as they get to know the people, whoever they are.

And some enjoy that. They enjoy the competition, the fire. And they are very good at it-- the ability to make another person look bad-- so they can bathe in the thought, "I am better than this other person."

But other people are not the measuring stick. Yahushua is the measuring stick. And whether you are better than another person isn't measured by whether you win an argument. What we are measured by is how Messiah-like we are.

Scripture says:

 Proverbs 28:25 - He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, But he who trusts in YAHWEH will be prospered.

 Proverbs 13:10 - By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised [is] wisdom.

Pride is often the root here. With that comes the desire to contend and put down the other person or to control them, but in Yahweh's eyes, this is evil.

And so, what is our house like? Is our home a quiet home? Or is it a home of strife?

 Proverbs 17:1 - Better [is] a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting [with] strife.

There are houses of peace (shalom) and love, and, perhaps, very poor in their worldly possessions. But then, there are houses with plenty of possessions and there is misery and strife-- even when there is plenty of money to go around. Money does not bring happiness or peace. In fact, it usually breeds selfishness from which comes strife.

So how can we avoid it? How can we stop it? Scripture says we have to start at the beginning, the very beginning, when you sense that things are getting out of peace, getting out of shalom, and strife is starting to make its way in. You have to stop it immediately.

 Proverbs 17:14 - The beginning of strife [is like] releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

You know, men have built dams hundreds of feet high to stop the water. But once that water starts going, it is just going to keep on coming. And so, you have to get the leak while it is small. And it is very difficult to stop that once it gets rolling. So we have to stop the contention before it even gets any further.

When two people are yelling at each other, it is usually a sign that both people think the other person is not listening to them.

A good mechanism for stopping the strife (if you can do this) is "repeat and reflect." Reflect back to the person the thing that they are saying to you. Whatever it is that they are saying, convey what it is they are saying and repeat it back to them. And if they want to go on for another five minutes, just keep repeating back everything they've said.

That takes self-control. And I don't mean in a mockery sense. I mean just reflecting so that it is very clear that you do hear them. And most of the time what will happen is they will not raise their voice anymore, they will begin to calm down, and then you can talk and share what you think.

At one time, all of us were at odds with Messiah. But Yahushua the Messiah loved us when we were not showing love to Him. And the truth is, if we only love those who love us, if we are only loving to the one being loving, what good is it? We need to find ways to cease from the arguments and the striving.

 Proverbs 20:3 - [It is] honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel.

Can we hide in our secret place in Messiah if we, perhaps, are being verbally abused? And can we stop striving in the midst of it all? It does take humility. It does taking a few more lashes, perhaps-- a few more spiritual beatings from the one contending with you, and perhaps, insulting your character. But to this we were called.

 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:

This is our calling. We are called to bear these things. And while He was being spit on, while He was being mocked and ridiculed and put down and attacked, He took His confidence in what Yahweh said about Him rather than what man said about Him. And He chose not to get angry. He chose not to walk in the flesh. And THAT is our example!

That is the pattern that we have set before us.

Proverbs 16:32 says:

 Proverbs 16:32 - [He who is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

We read that earlier, but it also says:

 Proverbs 25:28 - Whoever [has] no rule over his own spirit [Is like] a city broken down, without walls.

So are we as one who takes a city or are we as just this city without walls? The enemy comes directly into the city without even having to overcome the wall-- just destroys everything he sees and goes on about his merry way.

Or do we have walls built with the full armor of the living Elohim, so that no enemy may penetrate-- self-control, temperance?

When we have Yahushua Ha Mashiach dwelling in us and we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires, when we are focused on Him dwelling on the throne of our hearts, no matter what the circumstances are, we can withstand the onslaught, and we can overcome.

Sometimes just being able to have understanding helps us to hold our peace and not despise the other person and not look down upon them or think evil of them. They are in a moment of weakness. And don't we all have moments of weakness?

So we can walk in wisdom, and say, "Well, they are struggling right now."

 Proverbs 11:12 - He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace.

He understands what is going on. He is able to look beyond the emotion of the moment and is able to hold his peace because he sees, he understands, what is going on.

And that is why Yahushua was able to say: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."

 Luke 23:34 - Then Yahushua said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Because He understood. He saw things from Yahweh's perspective rather than man's, rather than the flesh. He was able to love them rather than being bitter and angry toward them. He had understanding and was able to hold His peace.

Can we hold our peace, seek to understand the moment, rather than getting caught up in the emotion of it, and choose to extend mercy?

 Matthew 5:7 - Blessed [are] the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

Listen, I am not speaking to you from a high perch, because I know how hard it can be. But if we desire mercy from Yahweh, we need to be giving it in abundance, and then we will be blessed. And then we will attain more mercy.

Yeah, maybe the other person is doing something wrong, but no matter how much you present your case, they do not see it. That is frustrating. Perhaps anger will well up inside. They are not listening to you.

You know, at that time it is good to remember something. Maybe the possibility exists that Yahweh has been trying to show you something for a long, long time and you just don't see it. And perhaps you are trying to show this other person something and they don't see it.

Can you extend the same mercy toward them that Yahweh extends to you at that moment, and that He does every day? We are not a finished product. None of us are a finished product. If we want mercy from Yahweh, we have to extend that to others.

I know I have had Scripture staring at my face. I am looking at it, and it is not registering. There is something there. There are things in that verse that are not getting from point A to point B, and Yahweh is extending mercy. And we are getting upset because that person is not hearing what we have to say. They just don't get it.

Such is the case with man. That is the way we are. We do not always get everything right away. And, you know what? Maybe you are not even right about what you are saying. So let's be humble.

Now, what if we are seeing strife between two other people that are at odds with each other? Scripture says:

 Matthew 5:9 - Blessed [are] the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of Elohim.

If there is strife among others, if we believe we are being led by the Spirit to join, we can be a peacemaker. But make sure that you are actually being led by the Spirit to make shalom, because Scripture says:

 Proverbs 26:17 - He who passes by [and] meddles in a quarrel not his own [Is like] one who takes a dog by the ears.

So, we have to be careful or we may find ourselves on the receiving end of a blemish as well.

 Proverbs 9:7 - "He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked [man only] harms himself.

8 - Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise [man], and he will love you.

9 - Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be still wiser; Teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.

So are you dealing with wise people who will hear instruction? Or are you dealing with scoffers? But let Yahweh lead the situation. Bring peace and you will inherit a blessing, because Yahweh's children bring peace. Our message is a message of peace and love.

But there is no peace unless there is peace between Yahweh and man. If there is no peace between Yahweh and man, there will never be peace between men and men, because we are made in the similitude of Yahweh. We have to have peace with us and Yahweh before we can have peace with each other.

If there is strife in our lives, let's ask ourselves, "Are we the one that is at peace with Yahweh?" Let us allow the fruits of His Spirit then to continually manifest, not the works of the flesh, so we can be and remain at peace with Yahweh. We all need to be subject to Yahweh's will in all things.

And how about in our homes? I am not an authority on the home and teaching and family, and all this. I am still a student here. I still have two children at home. But, you know, the Proverbs are right about these things-- the fighting going on within the house. And, for some reason, it seems to point a lot toward the wife.

We read in Proverbs 19:13 (please, don't shut off the video screen, yet, but look at the Scriptures for a moment here), it says:

 Proverbs 19:13 - A foolish son [is] the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife [are] a continual dripping.

The contentions of a wife.

 Proverbs 21:9 - Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

 Proverbs 21:19 - Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.

 Proverbs 25:24 - [It is] better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Didn't we just read this? But this is in there twice-- Proverbs 21, verse 9 and Proverbs 25:24.

Now, usually, when Scripture repeats something twice, Yahweh is saying, "Look at this a moment."

 Proverbs 27:15 - A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike;

We saw that same thing earlier-- a "continual dripping" in Proverbs 19:13.

 Proverbs 27:16 - Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.

You cannot restrain a contentious woman. It is impossible. So don't even try.

The wise woman then will build her house. But the foolish will pull it down with their hands.

 Proverbs 14:1 - The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Now, I don't mean to pick on women here, but for some reason Proverbs does. I mean, this is the inspired Word of Elohim.

Now, it mentions men, also.

 Proverbs 26:21 - [As] charcoal [is] to burning coals, and wood to fire, So [is] a contentious man to kindle strife.

There are contentious men out there, but why do we find six verses in Proverbs that talk about the contentions of a wife? I mean, some will look at these verses and just kind of chuckle a little bit and move on. But was Yahweh really just trying to give us comic relief here? Was He being a comedian? Was He trying to amuse us? I don't think so.

Remember, there are seven works of the flesh that center around contention and strife. And Solomon is simply expressing the misery-- the MISERY-- of disunity.

Scripture talks about the blessing and the beauty of unity.

 Psalms 133:1 - <> Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 - [It is] like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 - [It is] like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there YAHWEH commanded the blessing -- Life forevermore.

That is a whole Psalm right there about how good and how pleasant it is when brothers are in unity. But, you know, conversely, how awful and how unpleasant it is when there are people dwelling together in disunity.

It is not like the precious anointing oil of Yahweh's Spirit. It is an ugly manifestation of the flesh that makes you want to escape somewhere. And if your home is full of strife, ladies, if you are often contending with your husband, don't be surprised if he finds his own rooftop somewhere.

I am not being funny about it. It may not be a corner of a rooftop. It may be outside or with his friends or anywhere but sitting next to you. And don't be surprised if your children want to escape as soon as they become adults. It is not fun to live around it.

And I understand. You feel unhappy inside. You do not feel loved. You believe the cause is your husband. But the foundation of joy and contentment is not rooted in your relationship with man. It is rooted in your relationship with Yahweh. It is rooted in the soil of thanksgiving and praise to Yahweh our King.

And if we really do have Him, we have everything we need. But the discontentment often causes wives to want to kind of take matters into their own hands, especially if their husbands are not being obedient to Yahweh's Word. And husbands should not be disobedient to Yahweh's Word.

Husbands should be loving, compassionate, longsuffering, understanding, gentle. But if they are not, Scripture tells you what you can do about that. It tells you exactly how to solve the problem: Trust.

 1Peter 3:1 - Wives, likewise, [be] submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

Without a word.

 1Peter 3:2 - when they observe your chaste conduct [accompanied] by fear.

So the way you can win over a disobedient husband is through silence and righteous conduct. It seems like the opposite-- you need to say something, you need to get involved, you need to correct the person. But this opens the doorway for Yahweh to do His work.

But what happens is sometimes there is a tendency to try to play Holy Spirit and take that position of Yahweh's Spirit rather than letting Yahweh be Yahweh, and through the contentions, give disrespect and engender strife.

 1Peter 3:3 - Do not let your adornment be [merely] outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on [fine] apparel --

4 - rather [let it be] the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible [beauty] of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of Elohim.

Do we want to be precious in the sight of Elohim? I hope so. Then a gentile and quiet spirit is a legitimate response to a husband's disobedience to the Word.

And there is a reason why Yahweh does not want a wife to fight and to contend. There is a reason. He desires us to be in peace.

He has created a structure of headship.

 Ephesians 5:23 - For the husband is head of the wife, as also Messiah is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

 1Corinthians 11:3 - But I want you to know that the head of every man is Messiah, the head of woman [is] man, and the head of Messiah [is] Elohim.

And if you have heard these a thousand times, please, hear it one more time.

The husband is not in authority because he is so great. He is not in authority because you are not of worth. He is not in authority because he is so much wiser or inherently better than his wife. The husband is in authority because he is the one responsible.

Responsibility without authority is a miserable existence. It is like being the leader of an army and all the soldiers are insubordinate and they don't want to listen. He is responsible for guiding the platoon to victory in war against the enemy. And he knows the General is holding him accountable for the outcome.

Yet, his decisions are contested. His soldiers are in disarray. And there is no respect for the process of war. There is no understanding that in order for victory to be attainable, everybody has to listen to the leader of the platoon and follow orders. And I don't mean we should order our family around, but there has to be leadership in a home.

I mean, you might not like the platoon leader very much. Maybe he is self-centered or unloving or flat out wrong in his decisions, but failure is guaranteed unless there is unity among soldiers. He will not win the war. A house divided against itself will not stand.

So for the platoon leader to not have his authority respected, and yet, still feeling responsible for the outcome, is a miserable existence. What army would be victorious if everyone is fighting against each other rather than fighting the enemy? We need to unite somehow in this battle.

 Ephesians 6:12 - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].

13 - Therefore take up the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Consider this: How many would win a fight with the manager at work? Wouldn't the company owner see to it that the insubordinate one was fired, because the owner is the one who hired the manager?

Well, Yahweh is the One who placed the man in his position. He didn't ask for it. He didn't say, "I want to be the man, the leader, leader, leader!" Yahweh says, "You are." Therefore, he is responsible.

I mean, even the world has understanding. Even they realize in order for there to be success, there has to be authority and order. Every successful endeavor has authority. Everything.

Every organization. Every company. Every nation. Every military. Everything and anything that involves a group of people trying to accomplish some kind of goal has authority. There are CEOs. There are managers under them, and supervisors under them. Even the world understands that. And they agree with it, and they accept it.

But when it comes to the home-- two-headed monster. Do we see why Yahweh would put one person in charge? It is necessary for peace and unity, and anything else is just misery. This does not mean that the wife's thoughts and feelings are to be disregarded. The goal is that we have people who love each other and come to a consensus in every decision.

That consensus would include Yahweh's will for us. And if both marriage partners are in tune with the Spirit of Yahweh, the peace will just come. The consensus will come. But if the husband makes a decision, Yahweh has a system in place to prevent contention and strife. And if the husband is wrong, two wrongs do not make a right.

It is okay for her to make an appeal, but if he is set in his decision, her role is then to appeal to Yahweh, the General of the Army. It is not to fight against the Yahweh-given authority that Yahweh has placed in the home.

Two wrongs never make a right. And for her to have any moral authority to even offer any correction, she has to be obedient to Yahweh herself, because who can strive with Yahweh and overcome Him? Are there any women greater than He is?

He is the One who set the husband in his position. He should not act like a king on a throne firing off orders. But if he is, the husband is more likely to be won by righteous conduct than by contentions. If she is trying to change him, she is trying to take the position of leadership over him. But that position belongs to Messiah.

So what about consequences? What if the husband makes some kind of foolish decision? Doesn't that affect the whole family? That is very true. When those who are in authority make foolish decisions, those who are under the authority suffer.

Foolish parents bring up suffering children. Adam and Eve sinned. We are their children bearing the brunt of their foolish mistake. Even the animals, who are under the authority of men, suffer to this day. In fact, the whole earth groans for redemption.

If a bad situation appears on the horizon as a result of a perceived bad decision by the husband, or if the wife would just desire that her husband would change his mind on something, she can make the humble appeal. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with expressing a different opinion.

Moshe and the holy men of old made appeals to Yahweh in a reverent way. And many times Yahweh heard them. And we, also, ask Yahweh to do things. But we reverently accept His will for our lives and want His will to be done.

So, yes, a wife can make an appeal, but not argue, not contend, not wear down, not nag-- but trust. And let it be the hidden person of the heart, the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of Elohim, be manifest.

 1Peter 3:5 - For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in Elohim also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,

6 - as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

"Adon" in Hebrew.

It involves trust. And the bottom line is: trusting Yahweh to do His thing-- to make His will known and to lead the husband.

When Abraham told Sarah, didn't he tell everybody, "You are my sister"? How demeaning! I mean, if you think about it. "You took me as your wife and you want to tell everybody I am your sister?" He says, "This will be your kindness to me." And she agreed. We don't see her fight, wearing down Abraham or anything. He just trusted Yahweh.

And you might think she had a good reason to question what he was saying. Wouldn't that be degrading for a man to tell his wife, to say to everybody, "I'm her sister"? But there she was, about ready to wed Abimelech.

And Abimelech got a dream from Yahweh, who intervened.

 Genesis 20:3 - But Elohim came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Indeed you [are] a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she [is] a man's wife."

Yahweh delivered her. And Peter here said that Sarah was a good example. So, even in those extreme circumstances, we are encouraged to follow Sarah's pattern.

Trust in Yahweh. He will bring deliverance. And He is really good at leadership-- a whole lot better than you are. Yahweh delivered Sarah, and the whole household was blessed. They walked out of Egypt with all these possessions.

But, you know, sometimes we do have to suffer. Yahushua says even though He was a Son, He learned obedience by the things He suffered.

 Hebrews 5:8 - though He was a Son, [yet] He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

And maybe it is not until we suffer for our obedience that we really know what obedience is. I am not saying sit and take abuse and physical abuse. Because a man also has to be accountable.

But if you are going to go through an unpleasant circumstance ahead or you think that you are going to lose money or you think this is going to happen or unpleasant things are going to happen-- just trust Yahweh and be at peace.

It is better to be at peace. Children can survive, you know, with one parent perhaps being a little bit out of line with the will of Yahweh. But strife between parents will rot their souls most of the time.

So Yahushua went through suffering. He submitted to His head (Yahweh). And in a home where there is submission, sometimes there are some negative circumstances.

But think about this for a moment: Whenever there is an argument between a husband and a wife going on, can a wife be submitting to her husband while arguing with him? Is it possible? You are either submitted or you are arguing. You can't have it both ways.

The purpose of the submission is so that there is no strife. That is the reason for it. You have it one way or the other.

So, whenever there is a fight between a husband and wife, it is not possible that the woman is being obedient to the heavenly Father. It is not possible that the wife is obeying Yahweh.

Now, a husband can tempt a wife to strive against him by failing to love her and care for her and consider her, but the actual cause of the strife is the wife is not submitting. Because if she was submitting, she wouldn't be arguing about anything. Do we see that? Does that make any sense? I mean, it is simple logic.

Now, that being said, a husband can be terribly wicked and fight-- even if she doesn't fight back-- and just be angry and unleash abuse and do wrong things.

Sometimes a husband can just be insensitive and uncaring and unloving, but if a wife submits anyway, Yahweh can come to her aid, because He respects a wife who will submit in those circumstances, because she is trusting in Him. And He will bring deliverance.

The husband will answer to Yahweh for everything he does. Have compassion on him for that. He is being held responsible. Have compassion.

So what about the husband? What can he do to make sure he is not a stumbling block and an offense to his family, an offense to his wife, tempting her to rise up against him?

If you have been sitting around here listening to this whole thing going, "When is he going to talk about the husband? When is he going to say what the husband is supposed to do?" please, do a little heart inspection, because you are not thinking about what I am saying. You are just thinking about what the husband has to do.

And that is our temptation, isn't it? "Oh, the wife has to do this." "Oh, the husband has to do this." I am going to give equal treatment here, don't worry.

But our subject matter today is strife and contention and arguing and fighting. And if a wife is doing her job that Yahweh has given her, there simply won't be any between husband and wife. There won't.

But a husband can do things that will make it a whole lot easier for her. And we are responsible when we are bringing temptation into the life of another person. Just as in Romans 14, we read that Paul said do not cause your brother to stumble or you are not walking in love.

The way we can cause our wives to not stumble is to love them. Now, if they stumble, it is their fault. If they sin, it is their fault. But we can create an environment that will bring about a place of peace so there is not this temptation on their part to be disrespectful and to fight and argue.

And he follows this up in Ephesians 5:

 Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

26 - that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

27 - that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Our goal is that our wives would be holy, be without blemish. And so, our purpose is to build up, not tear down.

 1Peter 3:7 - Husbands, likewise, dwell with [them] with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as [being] heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

So we are called as men to dwell with them with understanding and making sure we give honor. There is a place for showing honor to our wives that helps them to feel valued, men, as to the weaker vessel. And I don't think that means, necessarily, spiritually weaker, but more fragile-- like a very delicate vessel-- that if mishandled, can be damaged.

And so, we want to handle them with care and with gentleness and with compassion and with love and with concern for their thoughts and feelings and desires. And that takes us walking in the Spirit. And the challenge is that we would walk in Messiah's steps.

No matter where or when or why or how our wives may fail to respect or submit or reverence, or whatever, any failure of a husband to love, nourish, care, honor, understand, dwell with them with peace and understanding-- any failure on our part to do that-- is our own fault, not theirs.

No matter how disrespectful, no matter how disobedient, we should bear it as Messiah bore it. As He took the lashes of the enemy, certainly we can bear any disrespect we may get from our wives and not blame them for our responses.

Because the bottom line is, when we all stand before Yahweh on Judgment Day, we are not going to be able to say, "Well, this woman you gave me, she..." It will not work. It did not work for Adam. And the wife is not going to be able to say, "My husband, you know, he just wasn't loving. I just..." No. What does the Word say?

What does the Word say? We cannot use anyone else's behavior to excuse away our misbehavior. Yahushua loved us while we were yet sinners. And He still does. Even though we are not where we should be.

I am not. I am not where I should be. I fail my wife sometimes. But, hopefully, we can spend the rest of our life when each of us make a mistake trying to build each other back up again rather than tear each other back down.

For Yahweh commends His love toward us, that while we are yet sinners, Messiah died for us.

 Romans 5:8 - But Elohim demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us.

The fact is, we are all imperfect people. We can spend the rest of our life tearing each other down over our inadequacies or building each other up and praying for each other.

So, no matter how we are treated, we must be people of peace, like Messiah, who gave Himself completely to us while we were yet sinners. Bear the hurts. Bear the pains. Bear the stripes. Bear the lack of love. And walk in love anyway. Because that right there should be a key thing that separates us from the world.

 Luke 6:32 - "But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

33 - "And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

If we are only loving to a spouse when they love us, there is no reward in that. Even sinners do that. But if we are loving a spouse who is not being loving, then we are like Yahushua the Messiah, who died for us while we were yet sinners. And having the responsibility to do this is not a man's job alone. It is everybody's position.

 John 15:12 - "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

13 - "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

I have heard ministers say that a wife does not have to love her husband. EXCUSE ME! That is baloney! That is absolutely from the pit of hell. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Everybody is supposed to love.

So, what do we do when we are in the midst of all of this? Say you are a child and your parents are fighting and arguing. What do you do?

Go to Yahweh's Sukkah.

 Psalms 31:20 - You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.

This word "pavilion" is the Hebrew word "sukkah." So, go into Yahweh's Sukkah. Know Yahweh sees all things. Enter into communication with your heavenly Father, and pray for your parents.

Now, there is another kind of strife we have to be aware of. In Philippians 1:14, Paul was talking about certain types of men in his day. He says:

Did you get that? Some people are actually preaching out of envy and strife. I thought that was an interesting scripture. You know, some people are only teaching the truth, or sharing the truth, so they can contend or win an argument. They have the head knowledge, but not the right heart.

They can successfully persuade men that they are right about something, but they are hearers and not doers. And there are some among us (I have noticed this) who believe like we do simply because they are able to successfully win an argument. And they enjoy the debate, showing "those Christians" just how wrong they are.

But that is not why we believe. My belief is never defined by how wrong somebody else is. My belief is defined by submission to Messiah Yahushua and seeking to be a doer and a hearer of the Word.

 James 1:22 - But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

But some people think they have it made because they have the right things and they know some truths. But there is more to being a disciple of Yahushua than knowing truth. It is doing what is right, sharing in meekness and fear and love.

But even if we do, there are going to be people that are just going to be tares among us. There are going to be people that are looking to start an argument, looking to prove themselves right to put others down, and to put a little feather in their own cap.

Scripture talks about this even in the first century.

 1Corinthians 11:18 - For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.

19 - For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

You look for the ones who are approved.

But there will be tares among us. Yahushua said they will not be pulled up until the end.

 Matthew 13:27 - "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'

28 - "He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Do you want us then to go and gather them up?'

29 - "But he said, `No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.

 Matthew 13:30 - `Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

We are the wheat. Yes, we recognize the tares among us. You are not going to be able to pull them out. Otherwise, other people would go with them. And you just recognize its existence. So, that is it.

Our goal is that in everything that we are doing, in everything that we are sharing, if we are sharing a truth with someone who does not yet receive what it is that we receive-- whether it be a Sabbath day, or whatever-- let's not do this through strife and vain glory.

So when we are sharing the truths that we have, we can say, "Look, this might be something I have learned. I have learned about the Sabbath day and I am going to share this with my Christian friend over here." But do you know what? That Christian friend might have a truth that you have not learned.

So the best thing to do is just to have this lowliness of mind. Esteem the other person better than yourselves. And do you know what will happen when you do not come down over the top of somebody, instead you go underneath them to build them up? They are a whole lot more likely to hear what you have to say.

Because, then, instead of it being a competition between who is right and who is wrong, it is just a sincere inquiry as to what is right and what is wrong. But if we esteem each other better than ourselves, we are not going to engage in that "who is right/who is wrong" mentality.

The best thing we can do is not participate if somebody else is coming to us with that mentality. Make no provision for the flesh, because we, as Yahweh's people, we want to move beyond the strife, the carnality. We want to move beyond the milk. But we cannot get beyond the milk unless we get beyond the strife and the division.

In 1 Corinthians 3, verse 2, Paul said to them:

 1Corinthians 3:2 - I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able [to receive it], and even now you are still not able;

3 - for you are still carnal. For where [there are] envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like [mere] men?

If someone is coming to you with strife and a divisive spirit, they do not have any meat to share. Maybe you have meat to share, but they are not in the stage beyond milk, yet. They may know about the meat, but they do not really know the meat.

Now our goal is that we would express love in every action, word, thought, deed and expression, in everything that we do with one another-- whether it be with a brother or sister, or whether it be with a child that Yahweh has given us, or whether it be with each other as husbands and wives. Because it is by this that men will know we are His disciples.

 John 13:35 - "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

The problem is we get these corrupt thoughts. We get the corrupt thoughts, and we begin to be judgmental toward each other.

Yahushua says:

 Matthew 7:1 - "Judge not, that you be not judged.

2 - "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

3 - "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

 Matthew 7:4 - "Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank [is] in your own eye?

5 - "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

A lot of times, strife between two brethren is nothing more than a couple of people hitting each other with a two-by-four sticking out of their eyes. That is basically what it is. And it is ugly. It is ugly.

So, let us focus not on judging and condemning and acting superior, but on humility, not being wise in our own eyes. Just fear Yahweh. Depart from evil.

 Proverbs 3:7 - Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear YAHWEH and depart from evil.

8 - It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.

 Proverbs 26:12 - Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? [There is] more hope for a fool than for him.

Let us walk in humility. Pride only brings strife. Humility brings peace.

And us men, brothers, we might think that we have to put on a certain air of "I have things under control" and that somehow if we allow our weaknesses to be acknowledged, that somehow we will begin to lose respect.

But I have found the truth is that when we are acknowledging our weaknesses, that when we are humble about our failures, we actually gain respect. So the best thing to do is to treat those under our care with gentleness and humility, acknowledging our own weaknesses.

Yahushua, when He was talking to Simon after all was said and done, He said to Simon:

 John 21:15 - So when they had eaten breakfast, Yahushua said to Simon Peter, "Simon, [son] of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Master; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."

16 - He said to him again a second time, "Simon, [son] of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Master; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep."

"Feed My lambs." "Tend My sheep."

 John 21:17 - He said to him the third time, "Simon, [son] of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Master, You know all things; You know that I love You." Yahushua said to him, "Feed My sheep.

The way we feed those under our care is an expression of love to the Messiah. We are all the sheep of His pasture. Yahushua's sheep are going to hear His voice. A stranger's voice they will not hear.

And so, is our voice anointed with the Spirit of the Living Elohim, or are we speaking words of harshness, cruelty, insult? Are we building up or are we tearing down? His people are sheep. They are hungry for His Word. They need to be fed, not intimidated into submission with harsh words, idle threats, provoking to anger. That is a stranger's voice.

How does Yahushua lead His sheep?

 Isaiah 40:11 - He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry [them] in His bosom, [And] gently lead those who are with young.

David was a great man of Yahweh, right? How did Yahweh lead him?

 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.

Yahweh's gentleness.

Our gentleness can make those who are under our care great, also. I cannot say I have always been that way. I would like to say I have. But our gentleness can make those under our care great-- building up, edifying, encouraging, exhorting with humility and with grace.

We have to beware of the Pharisees' legacy.

 Matthew 23:4 - "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.

And so, if we are chosen to feed His sheep, how will we treat them? Will we gather them in our arms and gently lead them? Or will we smite them with our words, tearing apart the relationship?

 James 3:7 - For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.

8 - But no man can tame the tongue. [It is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

9 - With it we bless our Elohim and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of Elohim.

 James 3:10 - Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

 James 3:11 - Does a spring send forth fresh [water] and bitter from the same opening?

12 - Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

13 - Who [is] wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom.

Not just the wives. All of us. Good conduct. Meekness of wisdom. The wise ones. Walking in meekness.

But here comes the works of the flesh:

 James 3:14 - But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

15 - This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic.

16 - For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there.

 James 3:17 - But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

18 - Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Do we understand what he is saying here? We are the farmers sowing the seed of the Word of Yahweh in the hearts of our children and in the hearts of one another. And if we are going to sow the seed of Yahweh's Word-- and we want it to bear fruit-- it needs to be sown in peace, not a fleshly argument. Nobody wins an argument.

It might produce a temporary act of obedience, but it does not change the heart. It might intimidate someone into submission, but it does not change the heart. Through anger we may perhaps lead our family to do right things, but not from the heart. We want our family to do right things from the heart.

And so, if we sow the seed of the Word of Yahweh, it must be sown in peace, not anger, not strife. Spiritually abusing someone is not going to make the seed grow. You can scream at that seed all day long, but you cannot make it grow. Yahweh has to give the increase. Because the truth is we can only plant and water, but Yahweh has to make it grow.

 1Corinthians 3:6 - I planted, Apollos watered, but Elohim gave the increase.

And they have to have good soil.

 James 1:19 - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

20 - for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of Elohim.

There are men who are ruling their homes like tyrants. But your wrath, my brother, does not produce righteousness. Scripture says it. It doesn't.

I know because I have tried. Oh, I let a little anger rise up for this, that, or the other, and I found out the hard way that the very things that I allowed anger to rise up against my children, certain little things they would do and I would choose anger, it is those little things they still struggle with to this day.

The things which I did not manifest anger are things they overcame. But when I chose anger, Scripture said it-- wrath does not produce righteousness. It is the Word of Yahweh being sown in peace that produces righteousness.

You know, the flesh does not want to suffer. It wants everyone to be in this place right now doing the thing that it wants. Wars and fights come from the flesh. We want our way. And we might be deceived into thinking, "The way I want it is the way Yahweh wants it. And so, I am justified in my wrath."

No, you are not. You are not. Because, look, that is pride. Because you also have sin, things that you have to overcome. And yet, Yahweh is not pouring out His indignation and wrath on you. He is being patient. He is being gentle. And that is how we are called to be.

And so, my encouragement today, brothers and sisters, is that we would have discretion, that we would have understanding, that we would have patience, that we would have longsuffering, that we would have a mouth that edifies, that we could overlook a transgression rather than marking them down and keeping records of wrongs.

 Proverbs 19:11 - The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory [is] to overlook a transgression.

That we would be like Yahweh-- gracious, full of compassion, slow to anger, great in mercy, being good to all and having tender mercy over all that we are charged with.

 Psalms 145:8 - YAHWEH [is] gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

9 - YAHWEH [is] good to all, And His tender mercies [are] over all His works.

I told you I would come down hard on the men, sisters.

Are we like Messiah or not? Yahushua takes the beatings and spittings of the enemy for our sakes, and says, "Father, forgive them." Do we receive one small ounce of disrespect from a brother or a wife or a child or a family member and then lash out like we have been slain? Are we forgetting the weightier matters of the Law? I am talking to all of us.

 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.

Justice. Mercy. Faith.

Mercy! Mercy is a weightier matter of the Law. Are we attending to the finer points while neglecting mercy? Yes, we should attend to the finer points, but not at the expense of neglecting the weightier matters.

And so, Ephesians 4 says:

 Ephesians 4:1 - I, therefore, the prisoner of Yahweh, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

How do you walk worthy of it?

 Ephesians 4:2 - 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.

It is when we lack lowliness, when we lack gentleness, when we lack longsuffering-- it is when we fail to bear with one another in love that we are not walking worthy of the calling with which we are called. We are not extending to our fellow man the very thing we expect to get from Yahweh.

We have to love as Messiah loved us. That is the evidence of His indwelling of His Spirit being present. That is how the world knows we are His disciples. Not by how many college degrees you have in theology. Not how well you know doctrines. By your love.

So, if someone says, "I love Yahweh," and yet, he is mistreating his brother, does he love Yahweh? Scripture says, "No."

 1John 3:10 - In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of Elohim, nor [is] he who does not love his brother.

 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?

Are we walking in love toward our family members? Are we willing to be children of our Father in heaven? Are we willing to walk in His image? Are we willing to love each other in a way that Messiah loves us every day? That is the question.

Are we putting on mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another and forgiving? Those are the ingredients for a home of peace, a home without strife.

But if we are not willing to bear these things, Scripture says (as a reminder):

 Galatians 5:19 - Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20 - idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

21 - envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of Elohim.

Those who practice such things, I am sorry, but you will not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim. You will not. And if that does not put a fear of Elohim in us, I don't know what will.

May Yahweh have mercy on us to bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control-- crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires, and sowing to the Spirit.

Because if you sow to the Spirit, you reap life. If you sow to the flesh, you reap sorrow.

 Galatians 6:8 - For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

9 - And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

10 - Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

So, do not grow weary in doing good. In due season you will reap, if you do not lose heart.

So may Yahweh lead us all to the unity of faith that Yahushua prayed for. May Yahweh guide us all in that place, when temptation comes to rise up and seek to fight and argue and strive, to enter into His Sukkah and bear the wrongs that have been committed against us, and be like our Savior, and do unto others the very thing He has done for us.

For when we are slow to speak, swift to hear, slow to wrath, longsuffering, patient, kind, having a humble spirit that is willing to be reproved, willing to hear, willing to love, willing to make shalom...

And when we enjoy correction and seek it like we would excellent oil, when we humbly and gently correct each other, when lead to do so by the Spirit of Yahweh, that is walking in the Spirit. And we will reap life.

And when we are homes of peace, we will be congregations of peace. But you cannot have one without the other. So may Yahweh convict our hearts today to bring into our hearts the unity of the Spirit in the bond of shalom-- uniting every one of us in His love forever.

May Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh truly have mercy on us all.

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