09/26/2015 Sabbath Broadcast Transcript


"A Message Hidden in Thorns"


EliYah's message:

Some say we are here to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and that is true, but the main reason we are here is because of HIM. He is why we are here-- our Savior Yahushua. We want to glorify Him this week. We want to share the blessing that there is. And if you are going to keep a holiday, why not keep the one in the Bible?

And so, there is a real blessing in it. We come together. A lot of folks have church camps and, you know, revivals... tent revivals! What a coincidence. Well, we are having a big tent revival here in Steelville at Garrison's Campground.

And the Feast of Tabernacles is a great blessing. We come out and camp together and try to soak in everything we can to show the praises of Him who bought us. HalleluYah!

So there are amazing messages in the festivals-- just absolutely, mind blowing, amazing messages-- and just in how Yahushua is glorified in these things.

We see Passover. He died at the exact hour Passover lambs were being killed in Jerusalem. He was waiting for that ninth hour, that time of the evening sacrifice, that time of the Passover sacrifice.

The reason why He was hanging on the tree for six hours is He was waiting for that moment when He could say, "All right. It is time for the Passover offering. It is finished." And so, there is so much He came to do to display who He is and what He is all about.

And there are underlying messages in some of the simplest things in Scripture. It is absolutely amazing. And we are going to go over one of those things today.

And this is an amazing message, in my estimation, not because it is my message, but because it is HIS message and what He has done with some of the simple things that you would look in Scripture and you wouldn't normally think, "Oh, that is significant."

But almost everything our Father has said in His Word has... I mean everything He says is significant... but there are certain things that have hidden messages. And we are going to go over one of those hidden messages today and it is a message that can really bless us when we understand what Yahweh is doing, what He has done.

And so, our message today is a hidden message, something that some folks may not have noticed before, but today's message is: "A Message Hidden in the Thorns." We all know Yahushua wore a crown of thorns. Even that has a message that is hidden within it. And we are going to talk about that message today and about thorns in Scripture.

The very first time that we see thorns is actually in the book of Genesis. And we are going to start here with the very beginning. It says in Genesis chapter 2 and verse 7:

 Genesis 2:7 - And YAHWEH Elohim formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Yahweh is the name of our heavenly Father. Elohim is the Hebrew word commonly translated "God." I think there is special significance in the Hebraic name of Yahweh and the Hebrew word Elohim, which has a deeper meaning, a more powerful meaning, than just the word "God" in our language.

It has to do with might and strength and power. He is the One from whom we receive might and strength and power and righteousness. And so, I like to use this term and just retain the Hebrew meanings here. So when you see "Elohim," think of a mighty, powerful One who is there that you can trust in, you can rely upon, you can look to.

And, you know, we say "God," but there is a broader meaning in the Hebrew word, so we are going to use that.

 Genesis 2:8 - YAHWEH Elohim planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

Now in order for us to survive, to live, we must partake of the nutrients found in the soil. It is from the ground we are created, and we are born with a choice. Now the ground yielded for Adam the choice of life or death. As we know, Adam chose to disobey and chose to eat from the forbidden tree. Both Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden tree.

 Genesis 2:15 - Then YAHWEH Elohim took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

16 - And YAHWEH Elohim commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

17 - "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

And so, the ground was what yielded food, obviously, for Adam and Eve. But that ground yielded a tree that gave them a choice.

Now love is not real love unless there is a choice involved in it. I have all these pieces of equipment around here-- video, audio, all kinds of stuff. We never thank them for what they are doing because they don't have a choice. They are created to do it. They are machinery. They just have to do it.

But we are different. We are living, breathing. We have choices. And we have the choice. In fact, if it wasn't for that, we couldn't really love. Because a machine can't love you, right? And people wonder, "Why is there so much evil in the world?" It is because we have to have a choice in order for love to really be love.

There is no love unless there is a choice involved. If I made my daughter hug me, it wouldn't feel like she really loved me because she loved me. But if she came up on her own, and says, "Daddy, I love you," and gave me a big hug, then it would be true love, right? Okay. So that is how Yahweh wanted love, too. That is what love truly is.

So that is the kind of love we are called to walk in, a love that is born out of free choice.

So He gave Adam a free choice. Adam chose to not love.

 Genesis 3:17 - Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, `You shall not eat of it': "Cursed [is] the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat [of] it All the days of your life.

18 - Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.

19 - In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you [are], And to dust you shall return."

So for the very first time Yahweh says, "Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you." So it may be quite possible that thorns were not even a part of the original creation but was something that Yahweh added onto plants, and whatnot, these thorns.

We know that the nature of beasts was changed to where they would devour one another. And so, perhaps, this was one of the things that the plants were going to do in self-defense to preserve their lineage, I guess, to bear these thorns.

And so, Yahweh drove Adam and Eve out of the garden, and He put these cheruvim, or cherubim, to guard the way to the tree of life, so they would not partake of the tree of life.

So there is a little picture here. You know, we desire that good fruit would come out of the ground. Instead we get these thorns and thistles and different things coming up. And so, Yahweh put Adam in the garden, and then said, "Okay, bear good fruit."

And since Adam did not bear good fruit in his actions, he, therefore, is going to experience what it is like to have a garden not bearing good fruit and get a little lesson from that. So, instead, it bore thorns and thistles.

 Genesis 3:22 - Then YAHWEH Elohim said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" --

23 - therefore YAHWEH Elohim sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.

24 - So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Now we know Yahweh dwells between the cherubim, right? And since this time, man has sought his way back home. He wanted to get back to the garden. But sin has separated man from Elohim, right?

And it is a fiery sword, the Word-- the living, fiery Word of Elohim-- that causes us to not be able to enter, unless we, through Yahushua the Messiah, are made righteous.

Fast forward now to Abraham's day. Yahweh, ever desirous to save man from his sinful conditions, started with a family. And He started with Abraham. Now, through Abraham, He promised a Seed, because Abraham was faithful and obedient and was willing to give Yahweh all that he had including his own son.

 Genesis 22:2 - Then He said, "Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."

3 - So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which Elohim had told him.

I like that. He rose early in the morning. I mean, some of us would be like, "Ughhh, I have to get up today and offer my son on the altar. Oh, man."

You know, he gets up right away. "Here we go!" He saddles his donkey, took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for a burnt offering and arose and went to the place which Elohim had told him.

 Genesis 22:9 - Then they came to the place of which Elohim had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.

10 - And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 - But the Angel of YAHWEH called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."

 Genesis 22:12 - And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear Elohim, since you have not withheld your son, your only [son], from Me."

13 - Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind [him was] a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

Now the ram's horn was caught up in the thorns. That would one day signal our freedom, as I am going to share later.

Now Abraham was faithful with all of his household. Because he was faithful in obedience, Yahweh made an important promise to Abraham. It says:

 Genesis 22:14 - And Abraham called the name of the place, The-YAHWEH-Will-Provide; as it is said [to] this day, "In the Mount of YAHWEH it shall be provided."

That was "Yahweh Yireh." Yahweh will provide.

 Genesis 22:15 - Then the Angel of YAHWEH called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,

16 - and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says YAHWEH, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only [son] --

 Genesis 22:17 - "blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which [is] on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

18 - "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

That seed is actually, according to Galatians chapter 3, Paul said, "This is not 'seeds' plural. This is 'seed' singular."

"In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." This is the Messiah. No wonder he called it "Yahweh-Will-Provide."

Now Abraham's children would eventually find themselves to be in the land of Egypt crying out for deliverance from bondage. The next appearance of thorns we see in Scripture is Exodus chapter 3.

 Exodus 3:1 - Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of Elohim.

2 - And the Angel of YAHWEH appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush [was] not consumed.

3 - Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn."

See, the bush that was actually burning at that time was a thorn bush. Now, normally, thorn bushes... anyone who has ever built a fire, or whatever, thorn buses usually go up in flames pretty quick, right? Thorn bushes are normally consumed by fire, but in this case, it was not.

So it made it all the more curious why this bush is was not being consumed. And so, the analogy here is actually fitting. Because Yahweh came to Moshe. He was announcing deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage, from sin.

And so how was it that a man in his sinful, thorn-like condition, who had borne terrible fruit, was able to dwell with Yahweh, a consuming fire, and not be consumed? That is the picture here, that here we have a burning bush, yet it is not consumed. It is dwelling with Yahweh, a consuming fire, and not being consumed.

And this was actually a picture of what Yahweh was going to do with the children of Israel in their sinful, thorny condition. He was going to dwell with them-- a fire by night and a cloud by day. And yet, they would not be consumed. They would be able to enter the promised land.

Now those who refused to bear righteous fruit, who would not repent and receive the way of salvation into the promised land, they were consumed. But others will be forgiven for their sins and they wouldn't be consumed. What is the difference? They were willing to repent. They were willing to walk according to His ways. That is the story we see.

Now the next time we see thorns in Scripture is when we are talking about the camp where Yahweh gave His Law. The actual mountain where Yahweh gave His Law was a mountain called Sinai, right? Pronounced "see-nah'-ee" in the Hebrew. And "Ciynay" in the Hebrew actually means "thorny." That is the meaning of the word-- "thorny"!

Hebrew for "Sinai": 05514 Ciynay {see-nah'-ee} Meaning: Sinai = "thorny" 1) the mountain where Moses received the Law from "Jehovah"; located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea; exact site unknown. Origin: of uncertain derivation; TWOT - 1488; n pr loc Usage: AV - Sinai 35; 35.

And so, He would appear to the children of Israel as a consuming fire, and from this place called "Thorny," He would deliver to them a fiery Law.

 Exodus 24:17 - The sight of the glory of YAHWEH [was] like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.

 Deuteronomy 33:2 - And he said: "YAHWEH came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came with ten thousands of saints; From His right hand [Came] a fiery law for them.

Now they were afraid. They were afraid to be consumed in the process and asked that they would be given this Law through a mediator, fearing that they would die.

 Exodus 20:18 - Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw [it], they trembled and stood afar off.

19 - Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die."

So there was Yahweh, a consuming fire on the mountain-- a mountain called "Thorny."

Now in this wilderness Yahweh commanded that they would make a tabernacle. And the tabernacle would be made from acacia wood, and the tabernacle would be overlaid with gold.

Do you know what an acacia tree actually looks like? An acacia tree is actually a thorn tree. Not too easy to get the wood off that tree, is it? That is a nasty looking tree. It reminds me of the thorny locust we have around here. They call them honey locust or thorny locust.

But our Elohim, our Mighty One, who is a consuming fire, instructed that the ark of the covenant be made from this wood, yet adorned with gold. Of course, they removed the thorns off the wood, I would hope, right?

But there He commanded that the cherubim would be placed on the ark. Now the cherubim with its fiery sword kept Adam from the garden. And Yahweh, with His fiery sword, the Law, which is a sword-- "sharper than a two-edged sword"-- still dwells behind the covering cherubim.

Yet we would see that there was hope, that Yahweh would take this thorny wood and crown it and overlay it with glory. Yahweh would find a way through the seed of Abraham to bring back man into fellowship with Him again and even make man-- formerly a bad fruit, a bad bearing tree that was full of thorns-- a special dwelling place for His Spirit.

And he would be able to dwell with Yahweh, the consuming fire, with the fiery Law, with everything, and yet be crowned with glory and not be consumed.

Now the last place Israel actually encamped prior to entering the promised land, just before they entered the promised land, was a place called Abel Shittim.

 Joshua 3:1 - Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over.

Now the Hebrew would actually translate this as "Field of Thorns" (Acacia Grove). And then, they came to Abel Shittim, a place of thorns, a "Field of Thorns."

So Moshe (Moses), the lawgiver, he was not allowed to take them across the Jordan into the promised land, because he also sinned. It would take a man named Joshua to lead them across the Jordan and into the promised land.

The lesson here: Did you know that the Savior, the Messiah (commonly called "Jesus"), His Hebrew name is the same name that we see, "Joshua." And so, Moses could not take them across the Jordan. It took a man named Yahushua to take them across the Jordan.

Joshua's name in Hebrew is pronounced Yahushua, the exact same name as our Savior in Hebrew. So it is Yahushua who will take us across. The Law can't take us there. We need His righteousness to take us there. The Law just shows us how bad we have been. It doesn't save us. It doesn't cause us to be righteous. It demonstrates how unrighteous we are.

But because Yahushua now lives in us, because He died for us, we are able to look at the Law and see something that doesn't condemn us. It simply instructs us in what right and wrong is. And that is what its role is. That is what its purpose is.

Now Yahweh warned the children of Israel. He said, "Listen, you have to destroy these nations around you."

 Numbers 33:55 - `But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain [shall be] irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.

In Joshua 23, we find out what happens. He says:

 Joshua 23:12 - "Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations -- these that remain among you -- and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you,

13 - "know for certain that YAHWEH your Elohim will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which YAHWEH your Elohim has given you.

See, the day of Yahweh is a day of burning. And the people, the thorns, will be fuel for the fire, those who are bearing thorns. And the thorns are all so ready to burn, aren't they? How quickly they burn.

These people that were around them, the unrighteous nations, they were going to be thorns to the children of Israel. That is what they are bearing. That is the fruit they are bearing, the thorns.

And, therefore, He warned them, "These sinful, thorny nations were full of snares and traps and pits and all these things. They can destroy you because of the influence that they can have on your life."

2 Samuel 23, verse 6, says:

 2Samuel 23:6 - But [the sons] of rebellion [shall] all [be] as thorns thrust away, Because they cannot be taken with hands.

7 - But the man [who] touches them Must be armed with iron and the shaft of a spear, And they shall be utterly burned with fire in [their] place."

Thorns... fire. And in order to handle them, you need a sword or a spear or something sharp in order to grasp them and cut them away. With that, the Word of Elohim, right? Yahweh's Word is what we need.

 Proverbs 22:5 - Thorns [and] snares [are] in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them.

Thorns and snares are in the way. This is a consistent pattern in the Scriptures where we see thorns are demonstrated to be likened unto sinful things or sinful men. And we need to be far from them.

Now in Isaiah chapter 9, verse 18, it says:

 Isaiah 9:18 - For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up [like] rising smoke.

19 - Through the wrath of YAHWEH of hosts The land is burned up, And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother.

Because they are thorny. And then we see, interesting Scripture, in Ecclesiastes 7, verse 5:

 Ecclesiastes 7:5 - [It is] better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.

6 - For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So [is] the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

Their laughter will become sorrow. Their joy will become burning. Wow! And their laughter is just like the crackling of thorns. All their fun and... They say America is going to hell and they are laughing all the way? All the entertainments and things leading people to unrighteousness? They need a Savior. We need a Savior.

So let's turn away from the life of thorns so we might seek to dwell with Yahweh, the consuming fire, and yet not be consumed. Because the day of Yahweh is a day of burning.

 Isaiah 33:10 - "Now I will rise," says YAHWEH; "Now I will be exalted, Now I will lift Myself up.

11 - You shall conceive chaff, You shall bring forth stubble; Your breath, [as] fire, shall devour you.

12 - And the people shall be [like] the burnings of lime; [Like] thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire.

 Isaiah 33:13 - Hear, you [who are] afar off, what I have done; And you [who are] near, acknowledge My might."

14 - The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"

15 - He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:

 Isaiah 33:16 - He will dwell on high; His place of defense [will be] the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water [will be] sure.

17 - Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off.

HalleluYah! We look through a glass dimly, but we can see this land afar off, and Yahushua our King is going to bring us there. But if we refuse to shut our eyes and ears, be careful, little eyes, what you see. Be careful, little ears, what you hear. They can have an influence on you.

The thorns that are around us can have an influence on our life, because we dwell among a thorny nation. We dwell among a people who do not fear our Creator and we have to be aware of the influence they can have on us-- just as He warned Israel about the people bearing bad fruit in the land.

He said: "Be careful. Don't make your marriages with them. Don't join with them."

 Isaiah 55:7 - Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to YAHWEH, And He will have mercy on him; And to our Elohim, For He will abundantly pardon.

8 - "For My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, Nor [are] your ways My ways," says YAHWEH.

9 - "For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

It is the meditation of His Word, not the words of the people around us who are not fearing our Creator. It is His Word we need to be meditating on and thinking about.

 Isaiah 55:10 - "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,

11 - So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper [in the thing] for which I sent it.

12 - "For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.

This is the fruit of His Word. When we are letting His Word take root in our heart, there will not be thorns coming out of His Word, that seed that is sown in our heart. It will be good things.

 Isaiah 55:13 - Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to YAHWEH for a name, For an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off."

Trees that bear fruit. But Israel did not do so.

 Isaiah 5:1 - Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.

2 - He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He expected [it] to bring forth [good] grapes, But it brought forth wild grapes.

3 - "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.

 Isaiah 5:4 - What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected [it] to bring forth [good] grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?

5 - And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; [And] break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

6 - I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it."

 Isaiah 5:7 - For the vineyard of YAHWEH of hosts [is] the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry [for help].

This is an example of when Yahushua gave us the parable. He sowed the seed, but thorns came up around it and choked out the Word. That is the picture we see in Isaiah chapter 5 verse 1.

And so, He sent them into exile.

 Isaiah 32:13 - On the land of my people will come up thorns [and] briers, Yes, on all the happy homes [in] the joyous city;

14 - Because the palaces will be forsaken, The bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks --

Now today we live, in a sense, we kind of live in exile. Very few around us... I mean, we live in the Bible Belt. It is a whole lot more common for people to believe in the Scriptures in this land, but you go to the cities, especially the East Coast and the West Coast. Many are on the broad gate. Our Savior taught us:

 Matthew 7:13 - "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

14 - "Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 - "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

 Matthew 7:16 - "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

17 - "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

18 - "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit.

 Matthew 7:19 - "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Like the thorns, right?

 Matthew 7:20 - "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

What are the fruits?

 Matthew 7:21 - "Not everyone who says to Me, `Master, Master,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 - "Many will say to Me in that day, `Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

Declaring their own works.

 Matthew 7:23 - "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

There is no word in your heart to direct you to what? "Do the will of My Father in heaven." There is no repentance. But there is another way. We can choose no repentance, or we can choose no Savior, and brag on our own works. And that won't cut it either.

We need to have two things. We need repentance... because the goodness of Yahweh, our Creator, leads us to repentance. That means we have to turn away from sin. We can't just trample on His blood and then treat it like a common thing. We have to turn away from what we understand is wrong and turn toward what we understand is right.

We may have different understandings along the way. I mean there are different levels. We are all different levels of growth. But we have to turn away from unrighteousness, and we have to rely upon our Savior Yahushua for our righteousness. Otherwise, Yahweh looks down at us and He sees a pile of thorns. We don't want that. We want to bear good fruit.

 Isaiah 9:18 - For wickedness burns as the fire; It shall devour the briers and thorns, And kindle in the thickets of the forest; They shall mount up [like] rising smoke.

19 - Through the wrath of YAHWEH of hosts The land is burned up, And the people shall be as fuel for the fire; No man shall spare his brother.

Wow! So let's heed the Word of Yahweh, the fiery Law of Yahweh. We have to let the seed of His Word prevail in our hearts rather than the words of men bearing the seed of thorns.

We all know this parable. We are going to read it.

 Matthew 13:2 - And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 - Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow.

4 - "And as he sowed, some [seed] fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

 Matthew 13:5 - "Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.

6 - "But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

7 - "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

 Matthew 13:8 - "But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

9 - "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

10 - And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"

 Matthew 13:11 - He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12 - "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

13 - "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

 Matthew 13:14 - "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: `Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;

15 - For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with [their] eyes and hear with [their] ears, Lest they should understand with [their] hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.'

16 - "But blessed [are] your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

 Matthew 13:17 - "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous [men] desired to see what you see, and did not see [it], and to hear what you hear, and did not hear [it].

18 - "Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

19 - "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand [it], then the wicked [one] comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

 Matthew 13:20 - "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21 - "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

22 - "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

Here comes worldliness, because we live in a place of thorns. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful.

 Matthew 13:23 - "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands [it], who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

Now Yahushua just said some seed falls among thorns. The thorns are already there. The thorns were already there when the seed went into the ground. They fell among thorns.

I find this to be true when I garden. I mean, you don't have to even plant weeds. They just show up. There they are.

So we have to be continually diligent about getting rid of the undesirable influences in our life or they will overgrow and they will shade the healthy plant from the light of Yahweh's Word and from the water of His Spirit and they will take up all the nutrients in the soil.

Have you ever found yourself in a briar patch? It is one of the most frustrating things because if one false move, you are going to feel pain, right? I mean, imagine yourself as a plant trying to grow and bear fruit through pierces of thorns, which essentially come from the weeds.

And so, the only way to rid yourself of the thorns and the weeds is to cut them out. That takes laboring for spiritual things. And it is the Word with the sword that is capable of cutting the thorns away from you.

And the more you wield the sword to cut away the undesirable influences in your life, the things around you that would cause you to otherwise stumble, the more likely you are going to not be a seed that falls among thorns.

And the thorns, they are not just out there among the people of the world. They are right here in our heart sometimes, right? It says that they fell among thorns. So there is this thorniness in our heart. We have to have Messiah come in and take residence there. He is the Living Word, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.

And He is the One that can rid us of these thorny influences, but we have to be willing to yield to Him. Are we?

Sometimes, because we just don't do anything about it, you know, these thorns just keep on growing and growing and growing. We get kind of lazy about it. Scripture talks about that, too.

 Proverbs 15:19 - The way of the lazy [man is] like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright [is] a highway.

 Proverbs 24:30 - I went by the field of the lazy [man], And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;

31 - And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.

All we have to do in order for thorns to grow up around us is to be lazy about it and do nothing and not focus on the Word of Elohim. And we will find ourselves that we start liking those berries and beautiful roses a little too much and we are content to live with them. But they choke the Word.

So what are the things that can keep us from bearing fruit? In Mark 4:18, in that version of this parable, He said:

 Mark 4:18 - "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; [they are] the ones who hear the word,

19 - "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Luke 8:14 says:

 Luke 8:14 - "Now the ones [that] fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

So what are the things that keep us from bearing fruit? Cares of this world. Deceitfulness of riches. Desires for other things. Pleasures of life.

These thorns will suck up the nutrients and become like parasites, sucking the nutrients out of the soil, and grow over the top of your otherwise healthy plant, shading you from the needed sunlight and taking away the Spirit, the water, the grace we receive through the Messiah.

Because we need two things in order to grow. We need the Word, which instructs us and teaches us-- which we know Messiah is the Word, right? And we need water, the Spirit, that cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and also instructs us in the way we should go.

These are the two ministries that keep us going. The Word and Messiah. The Torah and Messiah. And so, watch out for the foreign plant that grows up. Maybe just one, at first, innocently. Maybe it'll even seem kind of pretty and nice looking. But it will start poking you soon.

It's going to grow up. If you try to remove it with your own hands, it will just cut you and cause you to bleed. You need something sharp to cut it out-- the sword of the Word of Elohim to cut it down.

Have you ever noticed that the Word, it says it "cut people to the heart"? Have you ever noticed where it says that?

 Acts 7:54 - When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with [their] teeth.

The Word is only going to cut your heart if there is something in your heart that is thorny. If you are letting something reside in your heart that is thorny and it hurts when you hear the Word, it is because you have allowed that to become a part of you, that sin to become a part of you.

Don't be angry if the Word of Elohim cuts you to the heart. Don't be like the Sanhedrin. They were cut and gnashed with their teeth. Instead, let's be like those in Acts 2...

 Acts 2:37 - Now when they heard [this], they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men [and] brethren, what shall we do?"

38 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yahushua Messiah for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

That is the Hebrew name. That is the name we use when we baptize.

Repent = turn away from sin.

 Acts 2:39 - "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as YAHWEH our Elohim will call."

So these thorns, you know, when they cut you, don't get mad. Just say, "Okay, I repent, and I receive cleansing through my Savior Yahushua for my wrong that I've done." That's what I'll do.

But if we are already spiritual, we are not carnal, the Word? It won't cut so bad. See? It will become something we rejoice over. We look at the Word, and the more spiritually minded we are, the more like the Word we are going to be.

The more we plant the Word in our heart, the more we read the Scriptures, the more we focus on His Word and let it be our guiding light, our way of life, when we hear the Word, we don't feel cuts. We say, "Wow! I love it. It is beautiful."

But the more we allow ourselves to have thorns growing there, the harder for us it is to see light to begin with (it is just crowding around us) and to value the things that our Father in heaven values.

And also, have you ever noticed, if your eyes are used to darkness and someone suddenly turns on the light, what happens? "Ow! A little too bright there, buddy." Well, guess what? If our eyes are used to darkness because of the overgrowth of thorns, the initial light of Yahweh's Word may seem blinding. It takes adjustment.

So let's avoid the thorns. Let's cut them down. Because a thorny life ultimately leads to a devouring fire.

 Jeremiah 4:3 - For thus says YAHWEH to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: "Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns.

4 - Circumcise yourselves to YAHWEH, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench [it], Because of the evil of your doings."

Don't sow among thorns. Now if we have been delivered from the thorns of the world, we will not be condemned. We will not be consumed on the final day. We will dwell with the everlasting fire. We will be delivered because when Yahweh looks at us He doesn't see thorns. He sees the righteousness of our beautiful, awesome Savior Yahushua dwelling in us.

Romans chapter 7, verse 14, tells us:

 Romans 7:14 - For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

The law is of the spirit.

 Romans 7:15 - For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

16 - If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that [it is] good.

17 - But now, [it is] no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

 Romans 7:18 - For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but [how] to perform what is good I do not find.

19 - For the good that I will [to do], I do not do; but the evil I will not [to do], that I practice.

Now we have Yahushua, our Savior, the Messiah. He is the promised seed of Abraham. Remember, Abraham was asked to offer his son Isaac on an altar, and Abraham demonstrated he was willing to give up his son Isaac to Yahweh, but Yahweh stopped him and a ram was provided instead, one that was caught by his horns in a thicket of thorns and briars.

And Abraham called the place Yahweh Yireh for Yahweh had provided an offering. It was afterward that Abraham was promised that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

After this happened, after Abraham says, "Okay, I'll give up one of my sons," then Yahweh says, "Okay. It won't be Isaac. It will be a seed. It won't be Isaac." So Abraham really did give up one of his sons. And as the prophet predicted, the Messiah would come and Yahweh would lay upon Him the iniquity of us all.

 Isaiah 53:1 - Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of YAHWEH been revealed?

He is the Arm at the right hand of Elohim.

 Isaiah 53:2 - For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, [There is] no beauty that we should desire Him.

3 - He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, [our] faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

 Isaiah 53:4 - Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by Elohim, and afflicted.

Isaiah is talking of himself and Judah.

 Isaiah 53:5 - But He [was] wounded for our transgressions, [He was] bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And YAHWEH has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

All of us have sinned and have come short of His glory, right? Messiah went as a sheep to the slaughter, and Yahweh laid on Him the iniquity of us all. How fitting then that during the sacrifice of all mankind that He would be crowned with thorns?

 Matthew 27:27 - Then the soldiers of the governor took Yahushua into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.

28 - And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.

29 - When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put [it] on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

They didn't know that they were completing an awesome, amazing picture, because Yahushua who bore the curse of the Law at Sinai. The Law brought us the curse. We deserve to be cursed, right? Sinai was a thorny mountain, and yet the Law was given there. He became the curse for us.

He was crowned with the thorns, a crown we earned. But Yahweh placed on Him the iniquity of us all.

Yahweh appeared as a burning bush in the midst of thorns. Messiah appeared for us with thorns. He is the ram Yahweh provided to Abraham.

His head... imagine that. If a ram is caught in a thicket of thorns, wouldn't there be blood on his head? The picture of our Savior, when they placed the crown of thorns on his head. Then they beat Him with a stick in the head. So who knows, if they beat Him, maybe the thorns, too, and it made it bleed even worse.

And so, this picture of thorns from the very beginning of Scripture to here, in the time when they crowned Him with thorns. But, you know, brothers, it is our sins that caused the need for Messiah to bear the iniquity of us all, to bear the thorns of us all.

Our sin was placed on Him so that we can dwell with consuming fire, even though we are a thorny bush, and not be consumed, so that we could be a dwelling place for His Spirit-- as the ark of the covenant was made from acacia wood, a thorny wood-- and be crowned and overlaid with glory.

Yahushua said in John 14:23:

 John 14:23 - Yahushua answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

1 Corinthians 3:16 says:

 1Corinthians 3:16 - Do you not know that you are the temple of Elohim and [that] the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you?

We are the ark.

 Ephesians 2:19 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of Elohim,

20 - having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahushua Messiah Himself being the chief [cornerstone],

21 - in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in Yahweh,

 Ephesians 2:22 - in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of Elohim in the Spirit.

How could the Scriptures not be inspired? How could it even be? There is a deep, consistent message across all the Scriptures in just about thorns. Just thorns!

You are talking about, the Bible was written by men living on three continents over a period of 1500 years, and yet speak one consistent message about the most... you wouldn't even think there would be anything in thorns. But here we are.

Now we live in a land of doubters. We live in a land of doubters.

 Ezekiel 2:6 - "And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns [are] with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they [are] a rebellious house.

Yahweh is allowing us to dwell among thorns so that we will be tested and we will stay humble. Paul also was given a thorn of the flesh.

 2Corinthians 12:7 - And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

Here a demon is called a thorn because of the wickedness the wicked fruit is bearing. So let's hold fast to the faith, brothers and sisters, lest we bear thorns and briars.

 Hebrews 6:4 - For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,

5 - and have tasted the good word of Elohim and the powers of the age to come,

6 - if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of Elohim, and put [Him] to an open shame.

 Hebrews 6:7 - For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from Elohim;

8 - but if it bears thorns and briars, [it is] rejected and near to being cursed, whose end [is] to be burned.

We need repentance and we need faith in Messiah Yahushua. But listen, if you have received Messiah Yahushua, do not lose heart. There is one thing we all know thorns can do. Thorns can shed blood, right? And like real thorns, the thorn-bearing people of this world will seek to wound you with their words.

They are walking thorns. They are going around hurting and being hurt. And so, these we must resist. Though they shed our blood, we still bear the good fruit of Messiah. And we love them, just as Messiah Yahushua shed blood from the thorns He wore, and yet chose to say, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

The people of this world are going to hurt us and one day they may take our lives, and we may pay the ultimate price. But listen, we are called to this. If we just love those who love us, we are no different than they are. But if we love those who aren't loving us, than we are like our Savior.

So, yes, they will hurt. Get used to it. That is what you signed up for. Get used to it.

 John 12:25 - "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

 Revelation 12:11 - "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Repentance and faith in Messiah. The Word and Messiah. We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb. We can overcome. And He and His righteousness in us, His power in us.

If we are willing to say it is no longer I who live, it is Messiah who 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-- if we are willing to allow Him complete and total leadership of our lives-- there isn't anything we can't overcome.

We are not under the power of the condemnation of the Law. We are not under the power of sin. We have been set free from sin. And Romans 8 says we have no condemnation. We are delivered from that state of "that which I will to do, I don't do" because of He who dwells in us.

But the self has to die and we need Messiah to live in us, and by His righteousness to cleanse us from our faults. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb.

So, brothers and sisters, next time you get poked with a thorn, you may never look at it the same way again, right? Yahweh fills our whole earth with all kinds of object lessons, all kinds of things. Yahushua often taught parables using these object lessons.

And so, thorn seeds may look innocent, but in the end they grow and they get you. Pay attention to what seeds are being sown and the soil of your heart. If we allow the sin to grow, it will ultimately just hurt us in the end. Let's pray.

Heavenly Father Yahweh, Almighty Awesome Creator, qadosh, qadosh, qadosh, holy, holy, holy is Your name. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Savior, Yahushua, who has come and filled us and cleansed us, instructed us, empowered us, redeemed us from all the thorns in our own hearts and the thorns that are all around us.

Father Yahweh, show us the thorn plants that You see growing in our hearts. Reveal it to us that we might look at it and cut it down by the power of the blood of Messiah and the word of our testimony. Cut it down.

And let's fully, completely, wholly give ourselves to You and let Yahushua dwell in us in all His glory to the praise of Your name. Father, forgive us for any thorns that are in our hearts. We want Your Kingdom to be established in our lives and in the way we conduct ourselves and in the way we think.

And we want deliverance, Father Yahweh, from the enemy and from those who are being used by him. Thank You for Your provision, for Your Word tonight. Redeem us from the thorns of sin. Enable us to cleave to Messiah. In Yahushua's name. Amein.

So I don't know about you, but I will never look at a thorn bush the same way again. May Yahweh redeem us from the thorns that so easily entangle and ensnare us.

May Yahweh cause us to cleave to our Savior Yahushua who bore our otherwise fire ready thorns and caused it to be that it is no longer we who live, but Messiah dwelling in us, so that we can dwell between the cherubim, crowned with glory, and so that we can dwell with the fiery presence of Yahweh and not be consumed.

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

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