(all scripture references are from the et Cepher translation, 3rd edition, unless otherwise noted)
*Note - You will see in my own writing that I use the restored Names for the Father and the Son as follows: YHWH for the Father, so that the reader can pronounce it ’Yahuah’ , ‘Yahwah’, or “Yahuweh’ depending upon their understanding; and Yahushua for the Son. The translation I mostly use - et Cepher - uses YAHUAH for the Father and YAHUSHA for the Son.
Before we begin this series on Becoming Learned and Stable, let me clearly state that I too, am BECOMING learned and stable. Becoming is a process. I have not already attained this (Philipians 3:12) but I, like our friend Sha’ul (Paul) press on, keep going, continue learning to TAKE HOLD of (be established, have a foundation and a “staff” to lean on) that for which Yahushua Messiah TOOK HOLD of (established) me!
As I study at the feet of Yahushua, as I learn from the Ruach ha’Qodesh, as I’m led by the Father, I share with others. And I in turn listen to what you/they are learning so that we can mutually edify one another.
I love learning and I love sharing what I learn. Why? I guess it’s the way YHWH wired me - His motivation in me, the drive that causes me to keep learning and keep sharing.
That being said, I hope to always be growing in my knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1) and increasing in what He has already established in my heart and mind.
This is not an excuse for any error, but a recognition that I am not the authority on any matter nor am I encouraging you to listen only to me. I, like any other, am one voice of a faithful servant of the Most High. I’m dedicated to Him and His Ways, and I am convinced that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
This is an encouragement for you to study (for yourself) to show YOURSELF approved (2 Timothy 2:15), an unashamed workman, rightly dividing the Word of Truth - all of it.
In my wellness class that I teach (The Weight of Glory), I have been known to say to those who are coming out of unwellness and moving toward wellness, “I didn’t do it to you. I can’t do it for you. But I’ll walk through it with you.”
The same statements holds true for this blog and for my walk with YHWH. For those of us who are coming out of Babylon and making our way toward the Promised Land , our eternal inheritance on this Covenant journey I say, “I can’t do it for you, but I will walk through it with you.”
See we are both coming from the same place - slavery in the bondage of Mitsrayim (Egypt), Babylon, this world system and slavery to sin. And we’re both headed to the same place - the Promised Land, our eternal inheritance, the renewed heavens and renewed earth, living forever with Our Creator in unhindered fellowship!
So as we continue our journey together on this road to Becoming Learned and Stable, so that we can rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15), let us be diligent like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and search the Scriptures daily for ourselves through the power of the Ruach ha’Qodesh. And let us share what we are learning with each other. Sound good?! Yes?! Alright! Then here we go!
A Short Review
Let’s first recap where we’re coming from and then foreshadow where we’re going.
In my first blog series, Defending Paul, we took a deep dive into the life of the Apostle Shaul (Paul). We questioned why his writings are often used by Christian believers to support the doctrine that the Law, or Torah, was done away with, and if these claims were accurate or not.
We discovered, through pouring over the chapters in the book of Acts chronicling Paul’s ministry, that Paul was accused in his day of breaking Torah and teaching others to do the same. We also discovered that Paul himself disproved those false charges, proving he was indeed a Torah keeper and that he taught others how to follow Torah according to Yahushua’s Way of teaching and living. (That’s the ultimate KEY that we will get back to later in this blog!) He had the support of all of the elders - the disciples who walked with Yahushua during His life and ministry on earth. And Kepha (Peter) even made a point in one of his letters to commend Paul, though he also added a note of caution.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a renewed heavens and a renewed earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the long-suffering of YAHUAH is salvation; even as our beloved brother Pa’al also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; as also in all his cepheriym, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable pervert, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the Torahless, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our ADONAI and Savior YAHUSHA HA’MACHIACH and of YAHUAH the Father. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:13-18
It is to this disciple, Kepha (Peter) that we ultimately looked for the nod of approval toward Paul. We wisely heed his advice on how to prepare our hearts to understand Paul’s teaching and writings, as well as the rest of the Scriptures.
Peter said that it was the “unlearned and unstable” who would pervert Paul’s teachings as they did the other Scriptures, even to their own destruction. I don’t know about you, but if being unlearned and unstable would cause me to pervert Paul’s letters and the other Scriptures to my own destruction, then I I DO NOT want to be unlearned and unstable! I would like to be both LEARNED and STABLE!
So that’s our jumping off point! And where we’re headed is the firm foundation of being Learned and Stable.
The Heart of the Matter
Before we dig any deeper, let’s remember what conclusions were drawn from my Defending Paul series.
We concluded that Paul did NOT contradict Messiah or the Scriptures (the Torah, the “Old Testament”). If he did, he would have been a heretic. So when some of Paul’s teaching (or doctrine) seem to contradict Yahushua or Torah it must actually be our interpretation of what Paul taught that contradicts Paul’s actual belief and doctrine.
We addressed, very briefly but with no lightness, the importance of having of a good translation of Scripture. The original texts were written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and quite possibly even before that in ancient Paleo Hebrew. They were then translated into Greek and Latin, and from there translated into the myriad of different languages and translations which we have today. So having a version that most accurately translates the Hebrew and Aramaic, in both word and meaning, is of the utmost importance.
Yet even with the best translation in our own native tongue (I will assume most of the readers here are English speaking), it is still a translation, and thus requires us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15). It is key to always keep that fact in the forefront of our mind - we are not reading the Scriptures in the language in which they were originally written! And herein lays the importance of being learned and stable.
First of all, if you’re thinking that being “learned” must mean that you become fluent in Aramaic, Greek or Hebrew, don’t be discouraged! While this would be an amazing goal to attain, and I personally am working toward at least a basic understanding of these languages as well as the ancient Paleo (pictorial) Hebrew, it is not what the word “learned” implies. Paul himself teaches that YHWH has not chosen people or things that the world considers wise, or noble, or mighty (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). Yahushua wasn’t looking for the scholar when choosing His own disciples.
So then what does it mean to be “learned and stable”? AH! I thought we’d never get here!:)
Well, we’re almost there! Let’s first clarify what it means to be “unlearned and unstable” as it’s always helpful to know what something isn’t when discovering what that something is.
Let’s look at the text of 2 Peter 3:16 first in the Greek which is the easiest to search out using bible study tools such as Strongs Concordance, and apps like Bible Hub and eSword. We will then go just a little deeper by looking at the Aramaic New Testament which predates the Greek. We are going to look specifically at the two words “unlearned” and “unstable”. What do these words mean?
In Peter’s warning found in this scripture, the words translated as “unlearned” and “unstable” are Strongs #261 “amathes” and Strongs #793 “asterikos”, respectively. “Amathes” means to be ignorant or untaught. “Asterikos” means to be unsteady or unreliable, literally without a staff to lean on.
When I searched for other scriptures where the English word “unlearned” was used, I found that there is a different word in the Greek that has also been translated as “unlearned” and yet it carries a somewhat different meaning than the word Peter chose to use in his writing.
If we look at Acts 4:13 we find the words “unlearned” and “ordinary” being used to describe how the priests, Sadducees and the rulers of the temple perceived Peter and John. Theirs was a derogatory view of these men. The words used in the Greek were Strongs #62 “agrammatos” and Strongs #2399 “idiotes”, respectively.
“Agrammatos” means unschooled, illiterate, or uneducated, particularly in respect to the Torah. In other words, they were implying that these men hadn’t been to the equivalent of what we might today call seminary or bible college.
“Idiotes” means more than what it appears. It’s not referring to someone who is stupid or foolish, like our modern term “idiot” infers. It more aptly denotes someone who is an amateur or non-professional, like the term “laymen” used in today’s modern churches. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is less skilled or able, but that they haven’t made a profession of their skill - more about status than ability.
We will come back to this scripture shortly to see what these men did notice about Peter and John as it gives great insight into what it does mean to be “learned”. It’s a pretty important piece of the puzzle so stick a bookmark in Acts 4:13!
So these “professional” lawyers - that’s really what they were, experts in the Law - were looking down on these disciples because they weren’t schooled traditionally and hadn’t made studying Torah their professional life work. While being diligent in study of all Scripture is highly commended, learning the letter of the law for the sake of knowledge that puffs up (1 Cor 8:1) without the love or heart behind the letter, just leaves you in the end with a deflated bubble head!
Peter did not use these words in his warning about those that twisted Paul’s teachings. He was not insinuating that they should be more like the Pharisees. No, the word “amathes”, while it does imply a lack of knowledge about Torah, is more aptly referring to a lack of insight, true understanding, the kind of knowledge that goes beyond the letter and grasps the full meaning and motive behind the words. “Amathes” also implies that someone lacks the input, or discipleship, of a teacher who also had insight that comes from the heart. Someone could have deep knowledge about the Torah and still be “amathes”/unlearned if they didn’t grasp its meaning and lacked a mature mentor.
Likewise, the word Peter chose to communicate instability, “asterikos”, implies a lack of application, or practical knowledge. It literally means ‘without a staff to lean on’. Someone who goes hiking without a staff, or tries to shepherd sheep without a staff would be considered impractical at best, and possibly even reckless or foolish. This person would be unprepared for their task. Someone who has book knowledge doesn’t necessarily have experience applying what they’ve read about. I think that’s why Peter chose this word over the choice word the Pharisees used to insult him and John.
Peter wasn’t saying that unless you become professional Torah scholars you will twist Paul’s teaching. He was saying that if you haven’t been taught the Torah by someone who knows the heart as well as the letter, and if you haven’t practiced applying it under the tutelage of this qualified mentor, you will be like one blown here and there by every wave of doctrine (Eph 4:14).
The only way you find true stability is by learning the Torah, the Scriptures, by the Ruach (Spirit) of Yahushua and applying it in daily life by the Ruach ha’Qodesh. (I can’t wait to tell you about the 2nd part of that verse in Acts!)
OK! I can’t wait any longer! The disciples of Yahushua may not have been professional Pharisees, but they certainly had learned directly from the best Mentor of all, and had practiced what they’d been taught under His watchful eye and leadership. Let’s look at Acts 4:13 in the Aramaic New Testament version.
And when they had heard the discourse of Shimeon (Peter) and of Yohannan (John), that they spoke it openly, they perceived that they did not know the scrolls (Torah and Prophets) and that they were uneducated, and they were amazed at them and recognized them that they had lived with Yeshua. Acts 4:13
Do you see it? These experts are noticing that Peter and John are not like them. They are not “professional” Torah scholars, and yet they were amazed at what they heard these men teaching and made note that Peter and John had “lived with Yeshua”!
That was the difference in these men - they had learned directly from the living Torah Himself, and had practiced what they were being taught, walking daily with Him and following His example. That’s what it means to be someone’s disciple!
We too, are called to be disciples of Yahushua and to WALK OUT (practice, apply, learn by process) the salvation that He’s given to us. Yahushua called His disciples by saying, “Follow me!”
Now, here’s a quick point to bring out. Paul WAS a professional Torah scholar! He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, schooled under the high priest, Gamaliel. (Philippians 3:4-12, Acts 22:3) But Paul, in all his “learning” was so twisted, that he was actually persecuting and murdering the true disciples of Yahushua! That’s where the kind of “learning” and “stability” that the Pharisees taught can get you!
An Example from Yahushua’s Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Sower (found in Luke chapter 8 and Matthew 13) is a great picture of different types of people who may or may not consider themselves disciples. In this familiar allegory, seed is scattered on 4 different types of soil. But 3 of those soil types didn’t produce any lasting fruit. They are the unlearned and unstable.
The first soil type is the hard ground. These people have no understanding of Torah/Scripture and so the seed cannot even penetrate the soil of their heart. They are unlearned, and ha’satan (the accuser) snatches the seed away from them as if they’d never heard it.
The 2nd soil type is the shallow ground. This group of people have some amount of understanding but no depth, no moisture in their soil. Their insight is either lacking or only goes as deep as head knowledge. They are both unlearned, with no depth, and unstable, no root or heart behind what knowledge they do have.
The 3rd soil type has some good ground, some depth of understanding of the Torah. These people have more knowledge, which is good, but they have allowed weeds (tares), the seed of the enemy and his ways to take over some of their ground, thus choking out the fruit that begins to grow in their lives. Riches, pleasure, status, and the worries and cares of this life have taken precedence over the valuable seed that has been implanted in their soil. This group is unstable because they have spent more time practicing the ways of the world, than following the Way of Yahushua who is not of this world.
The 4th soil type is the good soil that produces a yield 30, 60, and even 100 times in return. This group is the picture of people who are both learned and stable. They HEAR the Word (receive the seed) and DO it (produce fruit.) Shema! It’s the Hebrew word meaning “hear and do”. That is the only kind of learning that produces a crop.
The beginning of the admonition to know Torah and diligently teach Torah to our children found in Deuteronomy 6:3-9 is even commonly called “The Shema” because it begins with the words “Shema Yisrael” - “Hear, and do”. It is a call to YHWH’s people to listen and to do what He has called them to do, specifically in reference to the 10 Commandments and the Right-Rulings, the Instructions (Torah) of Elohim. (See Exodus 19:1 - 24:11)
In Hebrew, there is no word for simply knowing something in your head. Greek has several words for that kind of knowledge as we’ve seen by the word “agrammatos”. The Pharisees had become so Greek in their mindset that they had created a whole profession of hearing but not doing, knowing in their mind but not understanding in their heart. So much so that they missed their own Messiah! The blind leading the blind. (Matthew 15:14)
Getting to the Bottom of It!
So let’s now dig deeper (pun intended) into this good soil to discover more of what it means to be both “learned” and “stable” as this is our goal, isn’t it?
I looked in Scripture to find more instances of the use of the word “learned” in the English translations. Again, I found a few examples of what “learned” is not.
In Luke 10:21 Yahushua is praying to the Father and says, “You have hidden these things from the CLEVER and LEARNED ones.” So is Yahushua saying that the Father has hidden truth from people with “good soil?” Can’t be. Because good soil people produce good fruit - lots of it!
The word translated as “clever” in this verse is Strongs #4680, “sophos” and it means skilled, wise, or cultivated. And the word translated as “learned” here is Strongs #4908, “sunetos”. “Sunetos” means someone who is intelligent, prudent, wise, or discerning.
While the implication of both of these words could be positive, the context of Yahushua’s prayer is that people with these qualities have not had eyes to see, ears to hear, or hearts to understand. So the kind of skill and wisdom, training, intellect or scruples that these people possess is not quite what it takes to make good soil. Theirs if more akin to the 2nd and 3rd soil group who have some knowledge but lack depth and are more concerned with the ways of the world than the Way of YHWH. They are the ones Peter would refer to as “unlearned and unstable.”
Another example of what “learned” is not can be found in Luke 7:30. In this account we read that the Pharisees and those “learned in Torah” had rejected the council of Elohim for themselves. So these people were not the kind of wise we are striving toward either as we certainly don’t want to reject the council of YHWH!
The Greek word behind “learned” in this verse is Strongs #3544, “nomikos”, and it means lawyer, an expert in the law. We saw from the above scriptures that these who were experts in the Law and had not personally walked with Yahushua were unable to even recognize Him as their Messiah, much less follow His teaching and produce the kind of fruit that comes from righteous living (Matthew 7:15-20).
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been disappointed by what I’ve seen from the law profession in our day. While there are many excellent and skilled lawyers, well versed in the laws of the land, there are few it seems who use morality and the Truth of YHWH’s Word as their plumb line. It’s as if something is “legal” then it’s good. We all know how many loopholes can be found in good laws to let “not so good people” off the hook of their bad behavior. And we’re probably just as aware of the very non-biblical laws that have been passed in our world, that would never pass in the courts of heaven.
My point is not to attack lawyers. There are, thankfully, some very moral and righteous lawyers in our world today! My point id that just being an expert in the law does not make you good, even if the law is good. (Romans 7, especially verse 12)
If we read a little further in Luke 7:30 we see that these “learned” ones in Torah had not been immersed by Yohannan (John) in his immersion. What was John’s immersion? Luke 3:3 tells us that his immersion was of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It seems these “lawyers” were more concerned about knowing the law than recognizing and repenting of their own sins.
Could it be this message found 5 times in the Scriptures rings true?
YHWH resists the proud but gives grace (favor) to the humble.
1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34, Psalm 138:6, Matthew 23:12
The disciples of Yahushua were humble men and women in the sense that they were not all highly esteemed in the eyes of their world and the “respected” people of their day. They came from many different walks of life, backgrounds, and social status. But what they had in common was that they left whatever was their life and followed Yahushua!
Could it be that is the foundational key to becoming learned and stable? Paul himself expressed that he had to leave behind his type of “learning” and take hold of (become stable in) the Ways of Yahushua.
Forgetting those things which are behind… Philippians 3:13
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of MASHIACH YAHUSHA my ADONAI: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win MAHSIACH…Philippians 3:8
So how do WE become learned and stable? Let me make a few suggestions.
First of all remember it’s a process. It’s not something you receive once and go your merry way. It’s first a baptism of repentance - a turning away from sin (missing the mark) and toward the Torah (the mark). Those are actual definitions of the words “sin” and “Torah”. Isn’t that insightful?!
If “sin” (Hebrew word “chata”, Greek word “hamartia”) literally means to miss the mark, and the Hebrew word “Torah” (often translated as “law” in our English versions) comes from the root word “yarah” which is an archery term that literally means to hit the mark or target, can we see more clearly that the outcome of repentance is to align ourselves in a way that would cause us to hit the real mark or Torah?
Remember, part of Peter’s warning, found in 2 Peter 3:17 tells us to beware lest we be led away with the error of the “lawless” or more accurately, the “Torahless.”
That understanding begs another important question be answered: What is Torah? Some use the word “Torah” to mean the 10 Commandments, or the written law. It can also refer to the first 5 books of the Scriptures (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). So which exact laws or instructions or commands are we supposed to follow? And which if any have been “done away with?”
Hang on! It sounds a little like we’re trying to be one of those “experts in the Law” knowing the letter without fully understanding the meaning and the heart behind the Torah! That is what Yahushua came to do - to be the living Torah, to show us how to walk it out, and to leave us an example to follow. In other words, you cannot keep Torah, any of it, without Yahushua! And you cannot fully follow Yahushua without knowing the Torah, as He is the Living Word (Torah).* That’s why Paul, while an expert in the Law/Torah, was an enemy of Yahushua until he met Him face to face on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).
At that point Paul realized he was on the wrong road headed the wrong direction. He was missing the mark! Remember that is the definition of sin. And Paul says of himself that according to Torah he was blameless, sinless! (Philippians 3:6). So he thought he “knew” the Torah and was keeping it up until that point. But the truth was that he truly didn’t know or keep it until after He met Yahushua, was filled with the Ruach, re-learned the Way according to Yahushua, and began to walk on the right road in the right direction.
Paul demonstrated this process of becoming learned and stable. After his blinding experience on the road to Damascus, he first met with a disciple of Yahushua named Chananyahu (Acts 9:10-26) who led by a vision from the Ruach healed Paul of his blindness and baptized him in the baptism of repentance, into becoming a disciple of Yahushua himself.
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was immersed. And when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then was Sha’ul certain days with the Talmidiym which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached MASHIACH in the synagogues, that he is the Son of ELOHIYM. Acts 9:18-20
Paul had to relearn the Torah according to Messiah’s Way - directly from the Ruach of Yahushua! In his letter to the Galatians (1:17-19) we see that Paul went to the desert to sequester himself. He didn’t even go to the disciples in Jerusalem for 3 years. He went back through the Torah (all of Scripture) with his new revelation of Yahushua the Messiah and allowed the Ruach to teach him all things (John 14:26)
Yahushua himself led the 2 men on the road to Emmaus in the same way. (Luke 24:12-27) After His resurrection, on the same day, He met up with 2 men who were leaving Jerusalem very discouraged after the death of the One they thought was the Messiah and confused because of some reports that the tomb was empty and He was alive.
And beginning with Mosheh and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:27
Yahushua took these men back through all the Scriptures (remember all they had then was what we commonly today call the “Old Testament”) and gave them the revelation of what it REALLY meant! He didn’t change Scripture, take anything away or add anything to it. He just connected the dots and explained the Torah in light of Who He is and what He had done in His death and resurrection, acting as High Priest to make atonement for the sins of the world!
See, if we haven’t read the “Old Testament” and don’t have a solid, STABLE foundation in Torah, we cannot truly understand Yahushua. And without Yahushua even the most LEARNED in Torah will lack the understanding of what it truly means! The two go together, like….like Spirit and Truth! (John 4:23-24)
Could it be that the true worshippers that Yahushua spoke of, those that would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, are those who are both LEARNED and STABLE in Torah and in their intimacy with Him? Don’t we see this truth unfold in Revelation when we read that the Remnant are those who keep the Commandments of YHWH and have the testimony of Yahushua? (Rev.12:17)
It’s time! We’ve laid a good foundation and we’ve asked the right questions. So what does it mean to be “learned” and “stable”?
When I looked up all the positive references to the word “learn” or “learned” I found they all come from the same Greek word “manthano” (Strongs #3129). “Manthano” means to learn from a person who is the object of knowledge, to ascertain, be a disciple, learning key facts, gaining knowledge from experience, implying reflection. It means to come to realize, to hear, be informed, to learn by USE and PRACTICE, to be in the habit of or accustomed to.
You can do a word search and find all the scriptures that use the Greek word “manthano”. Just a few are Hebrews 5:8 referring to how Yahushua himself learned righteousness, Matthew 9:13 where Yahushua tells his listeners to “go and learn” what scripture means, and Matthew 11:29 when Yahushua admonishes those who are weary and heavy ladened to “learn of Me.”
Knowing the word for “unstable” in Greek is “asterikos” (with the prefix “a” meaning without) I knew that “sterikos” would be the opposite of being unstable. Sure enough, Strong’s #4741 is the Greek word “sterizo”. “Sterizo” means to make fast, secure, establish, fix firmly, direct oneself toward, support that fixes or plants down, to strengthen, to make stand, confirm or be determined. This word clearly depicts someone who is NOT blown here and there by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). They firmly understand the meaning and intent of what they learn because they have an anchor that is sure, Yahushua Himself!
Are you ready for something really cool?! Let’s take a quick look at the Name of our Messiah, Yahushua in Paleo Hebrew.
Reading from right to left we see the letters Yod, Hey, Waw, Shin, Ain. In Paleo, each letter is a picture and has a meaning all of its own. So words are full of meaning as they are made up of letters with deep individual meaning as well as the combined or synergetic meaning of the letters together. The center letter is always the key, or root.
Right in the middle of the Name of the Messiah is the letter “Waw” and it is the picture of the tent peg depicting this very word we’ve seen translated as “stable”! Yahushua is our tent peg! The One who holds us secure, gives us firm footing, strengthens us, makes us stand like the disciples did before those who persecuted them and threw them in prison for following Yahushua’s Way of Torah.
This is SO good that we just have to look at the other letters in the Name of Yahushua!
Moving outward from the center we see the “Hey” which literally says, “Behold!” and admonishes us to pay attention, to see and to worship. The “Shin” represents teeth biting in, cutting to take hold, or even cutting like cutting a Covenant. The “Yod” is a picture of an arm and hand and represents strength and work, and the “Yod” together with the “Hey” is the shortened Name of the Father Himself, YAH. (Yahushua said, I have come IN MY FATHER’S NAME! John 5:43). The “Ayin” is a picture of an eye and depicts spiritual insight, the meaning behind what we see.
So the Name of Our Savior literally pictures that YHWH is strong to do the work that causes us to see and worship Him, being firmly planted, rooted and secure in the Covenant, and having spiritual eyes to understand and see who He really is - to KNOW Him intimately! Isn’t that AMAZING??!!
Becoming learned and stable is a really GOOD thing!
There are so many other words, examples, Scriptures, and accounts that we could go on and on, making this concept even more firm and certain. And a major goal of this blog is to encourage each and every one of us to DO THE WORK (work out our own salvation Philippians 2:12-13) to become rooted and firm in the Torah (the Scriptures) and in our intimacy with Yahushua Our Messiah.
It’s up to each one of us to seek Him diligently for those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13) and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 6:11). That’s what “FAITH” really means - to hear and do.
Read James chapter 2. Faith is evidenced by works. Works don’t “save” us anymore than a simple mental ascent to a true thing saves us. We must both HEAR and DO the Word of YHWH (the Torah) to be His true disciples.
I have so much more I long to share! And we will get to it in subsequent blogs, YHWH willing!
Let me conclude by telling you what I have done recently on my journey of becoming learned and stable. Just like those I council in nutrition and wellness often ask me what I eat, how I live, and what supplements I take, let me give you a little glimpse into what has helped me to grow in my walk with YHWH and in the understanding of His Word.
First of all, I have placed my trust (my belief, my faith) in the FACT that Yahushua is the Promised Messiah. I have been “born again” (John 3) by receiving the very life of Yahushua, His Spirit, into my temple (my body) which has caused my soul (my mind, will, and emotions) to live! I have His very breath (Ruach) inside of me! This Ruach (Spirit of Truth), the very Spirit that was in Yahushua is now my tutor and teacher (John 14:26). It is with the guidance of the Ruach ha’Qodesh (the Holy Spirit) that I read and study His Word, cover to cover.
Now let me tell you, I’ve read the Bible/the Word many times in it’s entirety. I started this practice when I was a teenager. I’ve always had His Ruach dwelling in me and teaching me as I read. And yet, each time I read I learn more. I’ve learned from others who are also disciples of Yahushua (remember what we’ve learned about what it means to be a true disciple.) And when I HEAR what others say, I take that back to the Word and study it out with the guidance of the Ruach to ascertain, for myself, if what I’ve heard is in line with the Word and bears witness with the Ruach (test the spirits 1 John 4:1-6).
Earlier this year I took a pause on reading any of Paul’s writings in my time of study. I did this as I felt directed by the Ruach and by Peter’s admonishing that unless we are LEARNED and STABLE we will twist Paul’s teachings and even the rest of Scripture. So I literally took a paper clip and clipped together all of Paul’s letters in my Bible, knowing I would return to them only when the Ruach said I was ready.
I then began to study back through all of Scripture much like I imagine Paul did after his Damascus road conversion. He already KNEW the Scripture, even had much of it memorized. But He needed to re-learn it from the perspective of Yahushua through the guidance of the Ruach ha’Qodesh. I simultaneously read and am reading all of the Torah and Prophets (the “Old Testament”) along with the 4 “gospel” accounts, the book of Revelation, and the letters from the other disciples in the Brit Chadashah (the “New Testament”). In other words, I focused on becoming LEARNED and STABLE in ALL of Scripture before I attempted to re-look at Paul’s letters in depth.
Just recently I’ve felt the release of the Ruach to pull off my paper clip and begin digging in to the “meat” of what Paul taught. I can tell you that my eyes (Ayin) are seeing things (Hey) that I’ve never fully understood with such clarity before!
The book of Hebrews, for example, completely came alive to me with so much more wisdom and insight after finishing the book of Leviticus! I actually don’t know that anyone could possibly fully and truly understand the book of Hebrews without having read the book of Leviticus!
The books of Genesis and Exodus bring such bright light to the book of Romans that it’s as if I was reading it in a dark room before! And remember, I am not new to the Scriptures! I’ve been reading them since I was a teenager and I’m almost (I repeat, almost) 50:)! I’m not tooting my own shofar by any means, I’m simply marveling at how rich and deep is the knowledge and wisdom contained in the Word of YHWH! And how wonderfully He opens it up to us line by line, precept on precept, here a little there a little (Isaiah 28:10) when we DILIGENTLY study to show ourselves approved! (2 Tim 2:15)
Can you tell that I’m just a wee bit excited!?! :)
I LOVE His Word! (Read Psalm 119 in one sitting and you’ll catch the bug from David, too!)
This is not the end of my joyous rant, dear friend! This is just a springboard to leaps of faith and deeper dives into the well of living water! It will actually BECOME a spring of living water welling up inside of us and overflowing to others!
But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14
Isn’t it amazing that as we BECOME more and more learned and stable, the Word of YHWH BECOMES a living spring of water inside of us?! WOW. I just can only say WOW.
I encourage you, BECOME learned and stable! BEGIN. Start your day on your knees, thanking the Father for restoring your soul within you and asking the Ruach to guide you as you study His Word. And then don’t go far until you’ve dug deep into the fertile soil of His Word. For me, I can hardly miss a morning with my Abba Father! My days and my heart are just not the same unless I ground myself, anchoring my tent peg deeply into His Torah/Word before I think or do anything else. This has made all the difference in my relationship with My Creator and has opened my eyes to know Him and His Word in a way that is bringing His Truth to life, changing the Way I live, and move, and have my soul, my being! (Acts 17:28)
Those of you who have dug deep in the becoming process are all shouting out “HalleluYAH, Amein!” right now, I can hear you! :)
Let’s wrap it up for now, and turn to Paul to let his words sum up the process of becoming learned and stable:
And what you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, practice these, and the Elohim of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:9
If that doesn’t sum it all up, then I’ve got no staff to lean on!
How do I begin?!
Here’s my practice and my recommendation for studying the Word to become “learned” and “stable”:
*be FOUNDED in TORAH & PROPHETS (as Yahushua was and as Paul and the other disciples were taught). Remember Yahushua Himself began with Mosheh (the Torah) and all the prophets. We too can begin with Mosheh! Read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
*KNOW what Yahushua Himself did & said (read the 4 “gospels” and the book of Revelation)
*CONSULT with the EYEWITNESSES FIRST - those that knew Him and walked with Him (James, 1 & 2 Peter, Jude, 1, 2, & 3 John)
*THEN read Paul’s letters in an accurate translation (I recommend The Scriptures, et Cepher and HalleluYAH Scriptures) Resources
*Remember that our walk with Yahushua is not an either/or walk when it comes to the Truth that He teaches. In other words, we don’t choose between “law” and “grace”. The two are interwoven and rely upon each other. (See Part 3 of the Defending Paul series for a complete discussion of this subject) Defending Paul Part 3 - The conclusion of the matter
And most importantly, PUT IT INTO PRACTICE! There is little value in knowing a true thing is true. It’s knowing (hearing) and doing that create the soil that can receive the Word and produce good fruit in abundance!
Many of you, like me, have had questions pop up in your heart and mind like, “What about this verse?”, referring to certain verses in Paul’s letters in particular. I want you to know that I plan to hit on some of the “difficult” verses in Paul’s writings that have often been used to justify lawlessness or to explain the doctrine that many well-meaning Christians have been taught point to the “law” being done away with.
This blog and the Defending Paul series laid the foundation that will allow us to put these verses under the microscope of the rest of Scripture and discern (become learned in) what Paul was really saying. We must have a good knowledge of the Torah to understand Paul. Really there is no other short-cut.
I encourage you to dig deep into Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. If these books have seemed like drudgery in the past, ask the Ruach to give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand. And when you begin to connect the dots with what we then see in the writings of Paul and the other disciples, you may find you have a hunger and thirst for these “old” books like never before! So until next blog, did deep! The good soil is deep soil and it will produce a bountiful harvest!