The Letters of Faith
Letter 5: Gifts, Humility & Elohim’s Power
“Humble yourselves in the presence of the Master,
and He will exalt you”
(James 4:10 ENB).
I pray that this letter finds you well, and that your search for the truth continues to bear fruitful knowledge and understanding. It comes as no surprise to me that you believe Elohim is trying to teach you discipline in an area of your life. Although His discipline at times may seem harsh, you must know that He has a purpose in all that He does. Submit to His will, because it is obvious that He wants your attention. It appears too, that the timing and topics of our previous letters could not have been better, because they seem to have helped you know the difference between spiritual warfare and Elohim’s discipline. Many get confused!
I was also amused by your response to our discussion about the Person of Elohim. I too was stunned when I finally learned the truth about Him. After all those years thinking of Him as some sort of ogre (a product of my youthful schooling and upbringing, to be sure), I was almost giddy in the realization that the Elohim Who is there – truly is Love, Light and Truth. And, I am overjoyed to hear that you now view Him through different eyes. We cannot forget that He remains wrathful, but the amazing thing about that aspect of Him is that His faithful children will never experience His wrath (Romans 5:8-9).
I was equally surprised by your observations and questions surrounding the changes that you know have taken place in my life over the years, and I was amused by your comments regarding the abilities that you now see working in me. There have been changes, to be sure! I cannot take credit for any of this though, because the changes you see in me are a result of my being born-again in Yehoshua, and with that – the Spiritual Gifts that His Holy Spirit imparts to those who do find the Messiah. These are two subjects I truly enjoy discussing, so if you don’t mind, let’s dwell on these things for awhile today.
First, you need to know that The Holy Spirit imparts gifts (or Spiritual Abilities) to those who accept Yehoshua as Master, Messiah and King, and you must also be aware of the fact that Elohim knows our hearts and minds. Elohim is not interested in ego’s that only yearn for the gifts and power of His Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17-23). He wants every aspect of our being, as servants / co-workers, and patiently awaits our surrendering of self unto Him.
Regarding the gifts themselves, you will be surprised to know that many professing “christians” get upset when The Holy Spirit or the gifts are discussed. I have even had people walk out from lectures when the topic has turned to the gifts. I believe this is so, because humanity has been so deeply deceived about the truth and fullness of Scripture, that they simply deny any assertion or teaching which confirms that Elohim is alive today! In discussing the fullness of Elohim’s Word, however, I stand in opposition to many in the world today, and in teaching that absolutes do exist, and in teaching that The Holy Spirit does abide within all born-again believers, and that He does bestow spiritual abilities upon Elohim’s children – today – I am teaching something that is almost foreign in our world. Lacking the desire to learn the truth for themselves, these poor souls would rather live in total darkness, instead of walking in the Light of Elohim’s Holy Word. And again I say – here and now – that Scripture is absolutely true and contains the truth in all matters – inasmuch as Elohim chose to reveal those matters to us. The deception about the manner and content of His Word, however, especially in the areas of Who He is and how we are to abide in Him (moment by moment) is so complete, and the deceit about the fullness and purpose of the gifts endowed unto us by The Holy Spirit is so absolute, that many people simply cannot hear the truth. These souls need our prayers! You must know though, that many deny even the existence of an Elohim who is alive today; deny the existence of a Personal, loving Elohim who is there; so these other denials should not come as a surprise to us. Truth be told though, The Holy Spirit does endow every born-again believer with spiritual gifts for the glory of Elohim (1 Peter 4: 10-11). Whether we acknowledge their presence or not, however, is quite another matter.
Through Elohim’s Word, and the moving of The Holy Spirit within me, and through the practical experiences He has provided throughout my life, I have learned that the correct application of our spiritual gifts brings unspeakable joy to our heart, honor to The Holy Spirit and great glory to our Father in Heaven. And all this comes through Yehoshua, our Master, Messiah and King. And all of this speaks in part to my motivation for working with you in your search for Elohim, and reveals the truth regarding the abilities you now see working in me today. I joyfully and humbly confess that any and every ability I possess today, are my gifts from Elohim.
If you knew me in my youth, especially during my early teen years, you would recognize significant changes. And if you knew me in my late twenties, and compare that person to the one writing you today, you would again recognize even more significant changes. The amazing thing about all of this though, is that the product you see today is a result of one soul simply trying to please The One Who suffered tremendous pain, shame and death on his behalf. From the moment I accepted those things as facts, and asked Him into my heart and life, there have been changes…
I enlisted in the Army at 16 (they wouldn’t physically take me until I was 17, but the papers were signed when I was 16); and I did so, because I knew that I needed discipline and some sort of regimentation in my life. In almost the same way, my Father has taught me that, “Before honor comes humility” (Proverbs 15:33 ENB). And, as Elohim has trained and disciplined me, I have changed, because I want to honor Him. My motivation is purely for Elohim, for your salvation, and for the fulfillment of our life purpose. And my greatest desire is for you to discover these truths for yourself.
Throughout the religious enclaves, it is being taught that many of the gifts are not being given today. Contrary to this common liberal teaching, however, the Word of Elohim, speaking of the gifts, tells us that: None are Withheld (Ephesians 4:12-13). And in the fullness of Elohim’s giving and our receiving, Elohim’s children can powerfully display the love of our Messiah to the world. While this may sound “Charismatic” or “Pentecostal”, it is not, because also contrary to common practice; the gifts are given unto the Ekklesia for the building up of the body, for the glory of our Father in heaven, through Yehoshua ha Mashiach. The gifts are not merely something to be flaunted for our edification, manipulation, entertainment or financial gain, and the gifts can never be utilized to test Elohim. Abuse, misuse, or the simple lack of use of the gifts permeates the ranks of most institutions, but as seekers and disciples, we are obligated to discover the entire truth of Elohim’s Gifts; not only the truth of their existence, but also the truth of their purpose, application and use…
There are three types of gifts that The Holy Spirit gives to Elohim’s children, and a good classification for these three types are: Support, Service and Sign. There is no limit to the number of gifts that The Holy Spirit might endow upon a child of Elohim, so we might receive any mixture of abilities or talents, and the mixture always supports a primary gift. The intensity of any particular gift, however, given to any member of the body, differs from member to member (Romans 12:6), and no two children are alike! The Holy Spirit knows the minds and hearts of every child though, and in that knowledge He prepares and endows the EKKLESIA for the work of service…
Support gifts are given to those of the Ekklesia, who are called to assist others in the completion of their work of service, or who are called into general service to society. If these Letters assist you in your search for Elohim, for instance, and if they help you hear His call in your life thru these writings, then the gift utilized to produce these messages would fall into the support gift category. I have been called a Prophet, Evangelist and Teacher, but teaching is perhaps my primary gift. I have also been enabled with a couple of service and sign gifts as well. While every child of Elohim has at least one service gift, because we are all called to serve in one way or another, not all of His servants possess support gifts. Too many chefs do spoil the pot.
The Support gifts are: Apostle, Evangelist, Pastor, Prophet and Teacher.
Where certain support gifts, and all the sign gifts, attract notice, the service gifts are those which keep the body functioning properly. During my time in Vietnam, I was stationed at the 5th Special Forces headquarters in Nha Trang for a year, and then went out to an A-team (A242, Dak-Pek, RVN) for the rest of my tour. The A-team assignment was dynamic, to say the least, but without the backup we received from the B-team, C-team and H.Q., we could not have functioned as a fighting unit. For an A-team to survive, each member of the service teams had to perform to the best of their ability. And so it is with the service gifts (1 Corinthians 12:14-25) because without them, the body can not survive.
The Service gifts are: Administration, Authority/Leadership,
Discernment (Distinguishing of spirits), Exhortation, Faith,
Giving, Helps/Service, Knowledge, Mercy and Wisdom.
The third group, the sign gifts, are those that literally authenticate the Gospel of Yehoshua ha Mashiach, both to the world and to the body (1 Corinthians 14:22).
The Sign gifts are: Effecting of Miracles, Gifts of Healing, Prophecy,
Languages of the nations (Tongues) and Interpretation
of Languages of the nations (Tongues).
Unfortunately, because the sign gifts can be faked, especially in our high-tech world, they are a source of tremendous conflict. The use of “Tongues”, for instance, and the “Interpretation of ‘angelic’ languages” are a snap to pretend, and with planning, phony healings can easily be staged. What you must understand though, is that the fullness of the gifts can only be displayed where the love of Elohim is present…
Beware the false teachers, false healers and false prophets!
I witnessed an occasion in a Pentecostal “revival” some thirty years ago, where a man spoke in Latin before an assembly, and somebody else rose with an interpretation – not getting one word correct. Instead of rebuking the “interpreter” when the man confronted them with what he really said, the leaders of the revival had the Latin speaking man escorted from the building. What a sham! What a shame! In his own way, this gentleman may have been searching for authentication to what he heard (testing the spirits), possibly even trying to verify the existence of Elohim for himself. Instead of confessing their sin and silencing any further use of “tongues”, though, the false practitioners of a false faith who were present that day, turned him out in their pretense, and continued in their delusion. I left!
On another occasion, I watched a televangelist ply his trade, as he spoke on, “The purity of the body that was pure before Elohim”. In essence, what he said was, because his heart and motives were pure before his god, his body was pure as well. By his standards, he was a “perfect physical, mental and spiritual specimen”. Furthermore, he said if anybody else had this same purity of heart, their bodies would also be as perfect. He then challenged his congregation to confess their sins, repent, and claim the perfection he knew was theirs.
As he spoke, my eyes were fixed on a young lady who was sitting in the very front row, on the right side of the screen. She was directly in line with the camera. Silently clutching her Bible, I saw as tears streamed down her face. Clearly, every word uttered by that man ripped at her heart. I knew she wanted to run from the building, but the crowd pushing in behind her, and the cables stretched out in front of her, prevented her from moving her wheelchair from the auditorium. As this false pastor / teacher spoke, I wondered how many other souls were watching, and were being deterred from discovering the fullness and truth about the Elohim Who really is there! I wondered how many were seeing the same display of lies, deceit and hatred, and in that process were being turned away from Elohim.
Amazingly though, the deception did not end there. This “pastor” then went on to “lay hands” on the brethren for healing, quite noticeably bypassing the young woman sitting directly to his right. I literally cried in the pretense of what I saw that day, because I was witnessing Satan’s work in the institutions first hand. Elohim’s children will not pretend to possess spiritual gifts, because those who faithfully use their gifts will have been taught obedience and humility first. Elohim wants His children to speak His Word boldly in love, truth and humility, and when we do as He wishes, His power will always accompany our message. I will never forget what I saw that day; the televangelist who brought such pain and deceit, or that young woman. I pray for her frequently! (And this guy is still working today, in 2018!).
Typical of all false teachers, that televangelist was interested in promoting his self and his program, but Elohim’s faithful children will expose the false use of gifts, and they will “come out” from those institutions that refuse to repent of their phony events. Therefore, the pastors, prophets and teachers who permit and encourage the staged displays of any gift must be silenced in the Ekklesia, because disciples of Yehoshua, appointed as leaders, will only be interested in glorifying Yehoshua. Where the false practitioners lead many seekers into thinking that Elohim is a deception, Elohim’s children will show who the real deceiver is. The movement of The Holy Spirit will never be orchestrated by any human, which is why we must always test the spirits, rebuking everything that is false.
Is it any wonder how Satan has deceived the world into thinking that Yehoshua (and His Ekklesia) is a sham? Is it any wonder why professing “christians” are skeptical or afraid to deal with The Holy Spirit and His gifts? The false healers, teachers, prophets, preachers, pastors, and speakers and interpreters of “tongues”, must, in humility and love, be exposed and silenced. Otherwise, The Spirit cries out, “COME OUT OF HER!”
The gifts are beautiful, my friend, but Satan has destroyed their beauty in the eyes of many, and has eliminated the power of their use through our hands. Because we are timid in our faith-walk, Elohim appears puny to the world (2 Timothy 1:7), but Elohim is not puny. In our faith and understanding of Him and His Word, we must seek the fullness of the gifts that He gives us, and utilize them to glorify our Master, Messiah and King.
Furthermore, many false teachers want us to believe that most of the sign gifts, and some of the support gifts, are no longer being given, as if they can pick, choose and dictate to Elohim. These false practitioners are attempting to ascend above the very throne of Elohim, but Elohim says we will have the gifts, “Until that which is perfect comes” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10 ENB). Elohim says we will have the gifts, “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, unto mature sons and daughters, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah” (Ephesians 4:13 ENB). Considering that the Perfect had already been crucified, died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven, when Paul penned those words, and considering that the EKKLESIA has yet to be truly and fully unified in this world, Elohim was speaking of the second coming of Yehoshua as when, “that which is Perfect comes”. Therefore, every gift will be with us until His return, and anyone teaching differently is a false expositor, detracting from Elohim’s Word.
Only faithlessness would teach that the gifts are dead,
and anything not of faith is sin!
Search through Scripture, my friend, and discover the reality of Power and Proclamation. As you study this matter, you will see how the gospel message was always accompanied by the power of Elohim, and how the power of Elohim was always displayed when the true and full testimony of His gospel message was presented (1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 4:19-20; 2 Corinthians 9:10-12; Philippians 1:19-20; etc.).
You see, Elohim still calls us to His work of service, my friend, and He still works in and through His children, just as He has from the beginning. We must believe this truth though, because without that faith we will not see an outpouring of The Spirit of grace, and revival will not arrive for this generation.
Search Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4, where the gifts are established, outlined, and explained, and realize that while we can easily find mention of the gifts, the “church” has lost sight of why we really have the gifts to begin with. Simply stated, the gifts are given to glorify our Father in heaven through His Son, Yehoshua ha Mashiach! Somehow, however, Satan has permeated the halls of Babylon so thoroughly, that the false church now teaches that the gifts are given for the edification of the user; given to verify the faith of the one displaying the gift. Nothing could be further from the truth! Those institutions that expect Elohim to perform at their whim in their gatherings must reassess their motives, because The Spirit empowers us when our hearts are right before Him (Acts 8:18-21); when our intent is to glorify Yehoshua to the world (Acts 14:3), and when our faithful actions work to the deliverance of souls. Members of those sects who leave their gatherings feeling fulfilled, because they laid hands on each other, or because they “spoke in tongues”, must ask if Elohim is really being glorified before the world. The excitement and fervor of many Pentecostal and Charismatic gatherings attract vast numbers of onlookers and money, but Elohim is not interested in these things. Elohim IS INTERESTED IN THE INDIVIDUAL. If we proclaim the Blood of the Lamb in love to the individual, the power of Elohim will be present. That is a spiritual law!
Everything we have is a gift from Elohim (John 3:27; 1 Corinthians 4:7) but the wisdom of stewardship we utilize in regard to spiritual matters must exceed that which we exercise over our material things (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). Wise Stewardship of an ability, therefore, includes the proper use and exercise of that ability (1 Timothy 4:14). The gifts of Elohim are given to each one in the Body (Romans 11:29), for a purpose (1 Corinthians 7:7) and we are to utilize our gifts in service to each other (1 Peter 4:10-11), for the glory of our Master, Messiah and King. We do not use or lose our gifts, in so much as they will be taken away, but we can use or lose them inasmuch as the gifts are like a muscle. If we exercise a muscle properly, it grows healthy and strong, but abuse or lack of use will damage it or cause it to atrophy. We must never allow our gifts to atrophy.
Additionally, the command issued in Proverbs 3:27, “Not to withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it” (ENB), applies with certainty to the use of everything we have received from Elohim, including the spiritual gifts. And this also speaks toward my motivation in reaching out to you, because those within the body who are fearful of their gifts, are in affect denying the power of Elohim; they are withholding good from those to whom it is due. Like the servant who buried his talent in the parable provided by the Master (Matthew 25:14-30), those who deny their gifts today, have buried their treasure. Prayerfully, your zeal for discovery will not permit you to bury what you are so faithfully seeking to find. And, prayerfully, I will never hide what The Spirit has imparted unto me. There is no fear in love!
While we are at it, let me also clarify the differences between the gifts of grace (1 Corinthians 1:4-7), the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:15-17), the gift of The Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15-17), the fruit of The Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the gifts of The Holy Spirit, which we are discussing.
The gift of grace is an outpouring from our heavenly Father that allows the recipient to believe in the life, sacrificial death and resurrection of our Messiah, Yehoshua ha Mashiach. Without grace we cannot believe that Yehoshua is the Son of Elohim; without grace we could not accept His good news.
Once sanctification and justification are received through Yehoshua though, the gift of “The Comforter”, The Holy Spirit, is imparted to every sanctified child, and that child begins to bear fruit (we grow as His children).
Though our lives gradually change, and we bear the fruit outlined in Galatians, the gifts of The Holy Spirit are different. The moment we receive The Holy Spirit, He bestows gifts, “as He wills,” upon each child of Elohim.
Saving souls is not the same as bearing fruit, however, so while the gift of The Spirit assists in bearing fruit, the fruit has no direct link to the gifts that The Holy Spirit freely gives.
And although we may recognize a gift or gifts in a disciple’s life today, our complexion as Disciples who walk in the Way, may change as we mature. Therefore, we will most likely identify other gifts as time passes. It would be a sin against The Holy Spirit, however, to deny the possibility of any gift being given to any one of Elohim’s children – at any time. And as we discuss the gifts, please remember that no two children of Elohim are alike; no two children of Elohim are to be compared one against the other, for “Star differs from star in glory”.
I am the second of two boys born to my parents. My brother is two years older than me. As unique individuals, nobody in their right mind should ever have attempted to compare us, but compare us they did. Physically, he was tall, while I was a runt. Athletically, he was faster and more agile, and though I may have been pound for pound stronger, his height and weight provided him an advantage in those early years. Mentally, he was a better student, although I might have been more creative. We were nothing alike! If people liked him, and expected me to be like him, they would be disappointed. My heart and mind were devoted to things inconceivable to my brother. Similarly, many of his interests were obscure to me. We had the same parents, but we were as diverse as two individuals could be. So it is with Elohim’s children!
Blessed with a specific set of gifts, and enriched by a unique life experience, each child moves within the EKKLESIA in a special way. In His wisdom, Elohim permits and plans each experience of our life, in order to combine them with the gifts He is now giving us. The pain, anguish, grief, sin, hardness of heart, delinquency, drinking, drugs, sex, violence, ups and downs, peaks and valleys are all useful to Elohim, provided we have the courage to surrender those experiences unto Him. We are a product of our experiences, but now we are born-again unto the living Elohim, and as believing children, we are now being gifted by Him for ministry. The fullness of who we are in the EKKLESIA is a combination of our life experiences surrendered unto Him, working in unison with His gifts to us. That uniqueness is invaluable in the hands of a loving Creator.
Those who have been physically violated, for example, either as a child or as an adult, have much more compassion with those who are being violated today, than anyone whose knowledge is book learned. I do not say this as an attempt to eliminate the pain, only Elohim can do that, but the truth of the statement is a reality. Effective ministry is very often directly related to our experiences, and is enhanced by the fact that in Elohim, we can overcome whatever He has brought us through. Overcoming a wrong is not memorable, but in the hands of Elohim, a spirit of peace, love, compassion and (even) joy can replace painful memories.
I know people who think their life is too awful, calloused or painful for Elohim to forgive or change. But Elohim is greater than the greatest evil. He not only forgives, He has promised that He would never bring to recollection the sins of our lives once judgment has passed (Isaiyeh 65:17; Jeremiyeh 31:34; Hebrews 8:12, 10:17). We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of Elohim, but we who know Yehoshua as Master and Messiah, and all who will come unto Him, are a new creation. That which we were is dead, covered by the Blood of the Lamb. And yet our mind (and memories) continue. That which we did we now rebuke, but we know what we know, and our knowledge, added to His gifts, is to be used for His glory.
I had a friend, who has since gone home to the Master, who used to play the guitar professionally. In his youth, my friend played in some pretty nasty rock groups, and his testimony included the fact that he lived the life of a ‘rocker’ to the fullest. When he accepted Yehoshua as His Master and Messiah though, he quit the groups, put the guitar into a closet and didn’t touch it for over ten years.
I met this man and his wife when they began attending a new Sunday school class I was teaching. (It was a very small group at that time, and it was originally intended for newly married couples). After we had met for a few weeks, I expressed a desire to have a period of praise and worship at the beginning of our class, and innocently enough, I asked if anyone knew how to play an instrument that could possibly be used to lead our singing. To his absolute horror, my new-found friend’s wife blurted out that he knew how to play the guitar. I asked him if he would care to play for us, and his immediate response was an emphatic, “NO”!
A few more weeks passed, with very little being said about music, when this man suddenly brought “Martin” (the maker of the guitar) to class. After our initial time of prayer, I turned to my friend and asked if he had anything to share. Slowly, he opened the case, brought out the guitar and began telling the class about his past life. With tears streaming down his face, he confessed a sinful past, sought forgiveness from Elohim, and strummed his guitar for the first time in over a decade.
After a few moments, and without any written music in front of him, he began to play Amazing Grace. He followed this initial piece with about a dozen more songs of worship – all from memory – before his hands finally tired and he was forced to put “Martin” away. The music was incredible, as was our time of worship and praise!
For weeks our class had been discussing the realities of walking with Elohim, and as part of that walk we explored the faithful use of our talents, abilities and gifts. The Holy Spirit, through Scripture, convinced this brother that although Satan had once lured him into using his talent for evil, Elohim’s forgiveness was all-inclusive, and what was once used wrongly could now, in Elohim’s grace, be used to glorify our Father in Heaven. And glorify Him he did. For the remainder of his life, my friend and “Martin” played with inspiration, and we were all blessed by the use of this talent.
And such is life in YEHOSHUA my friend!
Nothing we have done in the past is beyond Elohim’s ability to forgive. And nothing you have experienced is beyond Elohim’s ability to use. Trust Him, dear friend, and you will be amazed by not only what He will do with you, but also by what He will accomplish thru you!
Furthermore, the events of our lives are meant to instruct us in other ways as well. The sins of our life are meant to teach forgiveness and humility, and without this knowledge we remain lost under the veil of judgmentalism and pride. While forgiveness is among the first things we claim when we accept Yehoshua as Master and Messiah, offering forgiveness to those who have offended us, frequently comes much later in our walk with Him. Time helps us find the love of Elohim with which we can forgive though, and sin teaches humility. It takes time to apply some of these hard lessons of life!
It also takes time for us to develop a faith-walk that trusts Elohim explicitly, and that can humbly portray Him to the world. Elohim has told us that positions of leadership should not be given to, “A young convert, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6 ENB). Satan’s condemnation was incurred because of his pride, and because of the jealousy that resulted from that pride. Our personal ‘witness’ and ‘testimony’ to the lost souls of our society, initially occurs as they witness Yehoshua living within us; it comes as they see our love of and for each other. The world is caught in a horrible place today, but lives will be snatched from that horrible place as His children display the love of Elohim!
Nonetheless, the full development and use of our gifts takes time, because we must be convinced of Elohim and convicted by Elohim, before we can watch Elohim work through us. And, we must abide in faith in order to see Elohim work thru us. Remember though, that as in all of life, some mature faster than others. The gifts are tremendously powerful, however, but without humility – of which we must now speak – we become deceived into thinking that we actually have something to do with generating Elohim’s power (That is, aside from being faithful), which is another of Satan’s sly deceptions.
A marvelous example of how Elohim fights for us can be found in 2 Chronicles 20, where Yehoshaphat, king of Yehudah, came under attack by the neighboring nations. Although Yehoshaphat allowed some idolatry to remain in the land during his reign, he truly desired to follow YEHOWAH. Upon learning that his enemies were approaching, the king assembled the people and humbly prayed for deliverance. In 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 Elohim answered his prayer, and what Elohim told Yehoshaphat to do, is exactly what He is telling us to do today. Elohim said, “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but Elohim’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. You shall not fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand and see the salvation of YEHOWAH with you, O Yehudah and Jerusalem. Fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow, go out against them, for YEHOWAH is with you” (ENB).
Yehoshaphat’s response is to be ours as well. He said, “’Hear me, O Yehudah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, believe in YEHOWAH your Elohim; so shall you be established, believe His prophets; so shall you prosper.’ And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto YEHOWAH, and that they should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, ‘Praise YEHOWAH, for His mercy endures forever.’ And when they began to sing and to praise, YEHOWAH set ambushes against the children of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, which had come against Yehudah; and they were smitten” (2 Chronicles 20:20-22). Isn’t that wonderful?
We must all learn the lesson of Yehoshaphat. Confronted with overwhelming odds in battle, Yehoshaphat prayed and humbled himself before Elohim. Confronted with battle, our command is to be humble and pray as well. Within our prayer we are to exercise the authority that Elohim has blessed us with, but in the face of the enemy, we are to sing unto Elohim, praising Him. And through our praise, He will send out His army to fight the battle for us. Elohim is our victory! Our duty is to remain humbly faithful in the use and application of all He has given us, so that He can fight for us.
The process of seeking reverence before our King is truly worthwhile, my friend, but it is not an easy lifestyle. Issues that concern Yehoshua’s disciples are not of this world, which is why we cause society discomfort whenever we confront them over those divisive matters. Elohim’s discipline and humility in our lives are essential to our victory in the end time period, however, because the lifestyle dictated by those days will not be easy. In our humble obedience though, Elohim will provide our needs just as He provided for Israel once before (Exodus ALL), and as we stand still, we will see the salvation of Elohim once again.
As Disciples come out from Babylon (the false religions) and as we labor in His end time harvest, we must humbly submit to the will of Elohim. While it is a simple matter to say, “I will surrender all,” it is quite another thing, to actually do it. Even though The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, and even though His motives are pure, I assure you that every instinct natural to humanity will run against Elohim’s will. Our methods and ways are not His. Our thoughts and desires are not His. Our angers and hatreds are motivated by fear and jealousy, but Elohim is motivated by love, truth and righteousness. There is no fear in love, and Love is our teacher. In our humility, Elohim will guide, discipline and nurture us, so that we may magnify Him. We may not want to use our gifts in certain situations, fearful of societal repercussions; fearful of the results, but we must believe that Elohim will direct us in every situation, and in that belief we can humbly surrender unto Him.
The Holy Spirit is One with the Father and Son, and He desires oneness in the Body of our Messiah as well. In these last days, the EKKLESIA will spring forth to glorify and magnify Yehoshua, but we must recognize that we are incapable of fighting this battle alone. As each member faithfully performs our predetermined work, the body of Yehoshua, united in repentance, will display the power and authority already given us. Subsequently, as we discover and use our spiritual gifts once again, the battle around us will increase. As a seeker, you must know these things, so that you may be armed and prepared, should you ultimately determine that Yehoshua is precisely Who He says He is. And, should you decide for Him, and discover your personal gifts, be amazed by the Elohim who loves you and entrusts His children with such power and authority. In grasping the full array of authority given to the EKKLESIA, therefore, we can understand why Satan has built his rampart to the very door of worship. But also understand that he can never break down the doors of the truly faithful.
As you realize the call of Elohim in your life, be prepared for whatever task He requests of you. Some will be difficult, some will be easy, but in your humble submission to Him, all will be accomplished.
Throughout these letters, I am attempting to weave a teaching that points each disciple directly toward repentance, submissive obedience and humility, because without these, we will remain useless. Listen to other servants, as they were inspired to speak on this matter:
“With what shall I come before YEHOWAH, and bow myself before Elohim on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Is YEHOWAH pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgressions; the fruit of my body for the sins of my soul? He has told you, O mankind, what is good; and what YEHOWAH requires of you: to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim!” (Micyeh 6:6-8 ENB)?
“Thus says YEHOWAH, ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool; where then is a house that you could build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? For My hand has made all those things, and all those things have been,’ says YEHOWAH. ‘But to these I will look, even to those who are humble and of a contrite spirit, and who tremble at my word'” (Isaiyeh 66:1-2 ENB).
“Do you think that the Scripture speaks in vain, ‘He jealously desires the spirit which He has made to dwell in us’? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘Surely He mocks the mockers, but He gives grace to the humble. ‘Submit therefore to Elohim. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to Elohim, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be afflicted and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Master, and He will exalt you” (James 4:5-10 ENB).
Humility is the correct estimate of our self, and involves a deep realization of our unworthiness to receive Elohim’s grace. Humility is a lowliness of mind and an evaluating of ourselves as small, inasmuch as we are so before Him. But while the world would have us believe humility is a sense of inferiority, Elohim wants us to possess a proper estimate ourselves.
Talents and abilities frequently cause jealousy and strife, but in my understanding of humility, we would not be good stewards if we did not use the gifts given us by Elohim. If He gifts us to accomplish a task, are we humble or faithless in not performing that task? It is impossible for any brethren gifted with “effecting of miracles”, or “gifts of healings,” to follow the leading of The Holy Spirit, without drawing attention to themselves in the process. It is how that brother or sister handles that attention – before Elohim – that matters. Pride is evident whenever the fingers point to self, but obedience unto Elohim in the use of a gift always glorifies Elohim. We do not flaunt our abilities, because we are not motivated by pride. Faith is not to be held in an attitude of personal favoritism (James 2:1), but like Paul, we should boast of our weaknesses, so that the power of our Messiah may dwell within us (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is the reality of our call!
Paul speaks at length about the humility of Yehoshua, and we need to dwell on this teaching for a moment as well. He said, “Do nothing from strife or vanity, but with all humility, esteem one another as more important than yourselves, looking not to your own selves, but also to the things of others. And let this mind be in you, which also was in Messiah Yehoshua, who, being in the form of Elohim, did not suppose equality with Elohim was a thing to be plundered, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave; being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient unto death, even death on the cross. Therefore also, Elohim has highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:3-9 ENB).
This passage reveals a great deal for us, because Yehoshua did not regard equality with His Father to be a thing He could not temporarily sacrifice without loss. He could forgo anything for the Father’s glory, knowing that it was not really lost (See John 17:4-5). Yehoshua had faith! Elohim tells us to be humble, and to seek humility (Luke 18:14; Zephaniyeh 2:3). He says we are not adequate in ourselves; our adequacy is from Him (2 Corinthians 3:1-6). He also says that He will raise up those who bow down (Psalms 145:14), that before honor comes humility (Proverbs 15:33) and “Through humility and the fear of YEHOWAH come riches, and honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4 ENB). The Holy Spirit said, “And let this mind be in you, which also was in Messiah Yehoshua” (Philippians 2:5 ENB), and in so saying explained the reality of this life -vs- our eternal reward. If in dying to Messiah, we actually find true life, then we too must realize that equality with Elohim is not to be plundered. We can forgo anything for Him here, because it really is not lost. Not eternally! Our kingdom is not of this world. Our wealth is entrusted unto Him for our eternal use and pleasure. And, what we deem pleasurable here, pales in comparison to the realities that await us with Him in heaven.
As we consider humility further, we find that the key to Moses’ relationship with Elohim was his humility and sincerity (Numbers 12:3). Even though Moses talked with Elohim, he never flaunted his relationship with Elohim over the nation of Israel. He hid under a veil instead! Elohim said, “Blessed are the meek” (Matthew 5:5 ENB), and “Whoever exalts themselves shall be abased; and those who humble themselves shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11 ENB), and “For it is not those who commend themselves that are approved, but those whom the Master commends” (2 Corinthians 10:18 ENB). Moses understood the fullness of humility, and looked toward the reward.
The prophets also, empowered with tremendous gifts, humbly bowed before the Elohim of Creation. Jeremiyeh’s prophecy is a proclamation of destruction because of arrogance. The prophets looked to the reward.
Yehoshua did not regard equality with Elohim a thing to be grasped, because He was Elohim. His submission and humility were already a part of His essence. Yehoshua had a correct estimate of Himself. He did not exaggerate or put on false pretenses. He is exactly Who He said He is.
And, in the fullness of these things, neither do we need to exaggerate or put on false pretenses, BECAUSE WE WHO HAVE ACCEPTED YEHOSHUA HA MASHIACH AS OUR MASTER AND MESSIAH – ARE CHILDREN OF ELOHIM!
As a child, I wanted to be a grown-up. I never grasped at being human, because I was as much a human as everyone else. Not surprisingly, my child looks like me in just the same way as I look like my parents. Please see Psalm 82 again, beloved, because the wording in that Psalm is unmistakable. Again, therefore, I will reiterate:
WE WHO HAVE YEHOSHUA AS OUR MASTER AND
MESSIAH ARE CHILDREN OF ELOHIM!
We must accept this, and act accordingly. We too must look to the reward with Messiah-like humility.
As Satan accuses us before Elohim, he also tries to puff us up personally, that we might think more highly of ourselves. Satan’s pride caused his downfall, and according to James 4:6-10, he must flee from us as we resist him in our submission unto Elohim. Seeing as humility involves, “casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 ENB), we can understand how humility can promote sound judgment (Romans 12:1-3), and allow Elohim to work and dwell within us (2 Corinthians 12:9). Satan must flee from true humility though, because humility is the correct estimate of our self. It involves a deep realization of our unworthiness to receive Elohim’s grace. It is a lowliness of mind and an evaluating of our self as small, inasmuch as we are so before Elohim. Satan could not handle this, and he fell (Isaiyeh 14:12-17 & Ezekiel 28:11-19).
The glory and majesty to be ours in heaven surpasses even that which caused Satan to fall. Elohim is preparing us to inherit His kingdom, but we must become like our Messiah in the process. Yehoshua was humble in His walk, because it was part of His essence to be humble. It must become a part of our essence, as His children, as well. The working of Elohim in our life, and the gifts of The Holy Spirit, will become increasingly evident as we humbly submit to Elohim, because He cannot work through an arrogant heart. We must follow the leading of The Holy Spirit though, as did Yehoshua, and through our humble submission, Elohim will be magnified.
He Who is love, light and truth, desires that His children become as He is. To accomplish this task, He waits for us to dedicate and surrender our lives unto Him. He waits for us to accept Him as Messiah and Master. He provides for our deliverance, and waits for us to either accept or reject His plan, moment-by-moment. Once we accept Him, however, and once we give ourselves unto Him, He begins the arduous task of training and disciplining each of us. In love, light and truth He guides us toward reverence. He gives us spiritual gifts, and invites us to work in His field. He permits that we not only join Him in the harvest, but that we become instrumental in His harvest. How can we not be humble? How can we not accept this wonderfully free offer of eternal life, which Elohim has set at our feet?
The plan and deliverance of Elohim streaks across the pages of Scripture as clearly as the sunrise of a summer morning, and I was compelled to tell you these things. Be humble as you seek the truth, my friend, and when you find Him fully in your life; be humble as you ultimately try to grasp His selection of you. And, be expectant in the use of His gifts, because you will be gifted “in Him” should you choose to walk this path. Additionally, when/if you do find Him, be bold in proclaiming His glory, because power is always displayed in the proclamation of His Word.
I remain faithfully yours in Yehoshua our Messiah,
[Four letters, #13, #14, #15 and #16, deal in great detail with each Gift of The Holy Spirit. Within those letters you will find specific examples of the application, use, and/or abuse of each gift. Additionally, Letter #13 contains a questionnaire which, when answered, may assist (you) the disciple in identifying the spiritual gifts which you may possess. The intent of this letter, #5, is to introduce the seeker to the fact that upon the acceptance of Yehoshua ha Mashiach as our personal Master, Messiah and King, we receive, first – the gift of Elohim’s Holy Spirit (the Comforter) Who indwells us. Then, second, He imparts spiritual gifts to the children of YAH, which are to be used in “ministry” unto the Ekklesia, and the world, for the glory of our Master, Messiah and King… And in all these things, letter #5 is also intended to impart the truth of our walking humbly with Elohim].
Letter 5 Topical Concordance:
Gifts (In General):
Old Covenant: Psalms 37, 51:10-13; Proverbs 3:27.
New Covenant: Matthew 7:6, 10:4-8, 15:36, 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-16; John 3:27, 4:35-38, 7:4, 9:4-5, 11:54, 14:12; Acts 3:1-16, 6:2-4, 8:18-21, 9:20, 11:17, 14:3, 20:35; Romans 1:9-11, 5:15-17, 11:29, 12(all); 1 Corinthians 1:4-7, 2:1-13, 3:7, 4:1-2, 4:7, 4:19-20, 4:27, 7:7, 12(all), 13:8-10, 14:1,22,39; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 9:10-12; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:8-10, 4(all); Philippians 1:19-20, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6-9; Philemon 1:6; Hebrews 2:4, 5:1-4; James 1:17, 5:13-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Revelation 2:5-7.
Old Covenant: Numbers 12:3; Psalms 37:11, 113(all), 138(all), 145:14-16; Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 16:19, 22:4, 25:6-7; Isaiyeh 66:1-3; Jeremiyeh (all) see 45:5; Daniel 4:37, 9:3; Micyeh 6:6-9; Zephaniyeh 2:1-3.
New Covenant: Matthew 5:5, 18:2-4, 19:25-28, 20:26, 23:2-12; Luke 14:8-11, 18:14; John 13:5-15, 17:4-5; Acts 14:9-19, 18:24-26; Romans 12:1-3, 10, 16; 2 Corinthians 3:1-6, 4:44-11, 7:6, 10:12-13,18, 12:9, 13:9; Ephesians 4:1-2; Philippians 2:3-10; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 5:10; Hebrews 5:1-2; James 2:1, 4:6-10; 1 Peter 3:8-12, 5:5-7.
Old Covenant: Leviticus 19:36-37, 20:22; Deuteronomy (all); 1 Samuel 15:22-23; 2 Kings 17:37; Ezra 7:23; Psalms 106(all); Ecclesiastes 12:13; Jeremiyeh 38:20; Daniel 7:27.
New Covenant: Luke 11:28; Romans 6:17; Ephesians 6:6-8; Philippians 2:5-18; 1 Timothy 6:14-18; 2 Timothy 1:7; James 1:22, 2:10; 1 Peter 1:14.
Wrath of Elohim:
Old Covenant: Psalms 2:12, 18:37-42, 94:20-23, 95:11; Isaiyeh 48:9-11, 66:15-16; Jeremiyeh 4:23-26; Ezekiel 7(all); Hosea 9:7, Yehel (all); Micyeh 6:9-16; Habakkuk (all); Zephaniyeh (all); Haggai 2:6-9, 2:21-22.
New Covenant: Romans 1:18-19, 5:8-9, 9:22-24; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:5-6, 3:25; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, 2:10-11; Hebrews 3:11, 10:31; Revelation 6:12-17, 11:18, 14:9-20, 15:1, 16(all).
Copyright © 1991-2019
All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Lawrence T. Vosen
All Scripture quotations are taken from The Exalted Name Bible™
Copyright © 2010-2019
Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD. Used with permission.