Seeking the Greater Rewards

10/06/12 Video Broadcast

Seeking the Greater Rewards

Seeking the Greater Rewards

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This is a direct transcript of a teaching that was presented via video. Due to the fact that we often speak differently than we write, the written text may not flow and/or sound strange in some places. There may also be grammatical errors and unintended mistakes. It is encouraged that you to watch the video to complement this written transcript.

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Rewards are what I want to talk about today. I like to talk about the heavenly rewards. It is one thing to desire and appreciate Yahweh’s rewards that He promises us in the age to come, but it is another to seek the greater rewards.

And seeking the greater rewards– there are some who will be rewarded more than others in the age to come. And from what I read, there will also be some who will be punished more than others– some receiving lesser stripes, some greater. So, different levels of rewards are available to us as believers.

So, in light of our gathering here for the Festival of Tabernacles, let’s take a look here. There is a way that we can earn rewards while we are here. In Deuteronomy chapter 16, verse 13 through 17, it says:

Deuteronomy 16:13 -You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.

So, when you are finished harvesting.

Deuteronomy 16:14 -And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who [are] within your gates.

I like that. Everyone, rich or poor: “Come, join the festival.”

Deuteronomy 16:15 -Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to YAHWEH your Elohim in the place which YAHWEH chooses, because YAHWEH your Elohim will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.

Because we are blessed– man, are we ever blessed in our produce. Take a waltz into Wal-Mart and look. Every bit of produce you can almost imagine is there. So, we are significantly blessed.

Deuteronomy 16:16 -Three times a year all your males shall appear before YAHWEH your Elohim in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before YAHWEH empty-handed.

17 – Every man [shall give] as he is able, according to the blessing of YAHWEH your Elohim which He has given you.

So, we give according to the blessing that Yahweh has provided.

We see that Yahweh wants the males to appear at the place He chooses. How do we apply this? We covered this a little bit on the first day of the festival.

Yahushua said to the woman who was in Samaria at the well:

John 4:21 -Yahushua said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.

22 – You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

John 4:23 -But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

24 – Elohim [is] Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

So, part of worshipping in truth, we appear before Yahweh having called upon His true name, not some man-made substitute. We worship Him on the true Sabbath and on the real holidays (that is part of it, not all of it) and in Spirit.

Now, what Yahushua is trying to put an emphasis on here is that the issue is really not so much the place. Although, we want to go where Yahweh chooses. The emphasis is on how we worship. And He knew that Jerusalem would be destroyed in about forty years from there, and so– “neither in Jerusalem nor on this mountain.”

Now, Yahushua also said, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” So, where is the place He chooses to dwell? Where two or three are gathered, He has chosen. And so, we can apply this. But how do we apply this “none shall appear before Yahweh empty handed”?

We do have the feast-going fund, as I mentioned on the first day. Yahweh wanted everyone– He says: you, your son and your daughter (Deuteronomy 16:14), male servant, female servant, Levite, stranger, fatherless, widow– everybody to come and join the Feast.

But do you know something about this? This attitude that He wanted us to bring to the festival wasn’t just an attitude that we are to have during the festival. It is an attitude we are supposed to have all the time.

We see an example here in Deuteronomy 24, verse 19. He says:

Deuteronomy 24:19 -When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that YAHWEH your Elohim may bless you in all the work of your hands.

20 – When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

So, He is saying, “Don’t be so stingy. If you forget something, let a poor person have that.” He says:

Deuteronomy 24:21 -When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean [it] afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

Don’t be so greedy about your stuff, basically. An attitude of giving.

I just think, wouldn’t that be an awesome place to live if you were in that era?

And that is exactly what Ruth was gleaning. And we see, also, Yahushua went to the grain fields on the Sabbath day. Perhaps that was the corners of the field.

How many realize, though, that the needs of the people are greater than monetary? You can throw a pile of cash at somebody. That will get them by for a while, but there are greater needs than monetary needs.

And actually, there may be some people among us who are doing great financially, but they are very needy people.

Yahushua spoke about a city full of rich people who thought they had everything they needed, but they were poor. He says, “You are poor. You are miserable. You are wretched.” Who knows whom I am talking about? Laodicea, right?

You know, when I think of Laodicea, I can’t help but see the United States of America. I can’t help but to see that.

And so, here we are. We are in the wilderness. We all are pretty much living similarly. Some of us have nicer campers than others, but most of us are in tents, and I think maybe this is a good time for Yahweh once again to bring us into the wilderness of the peoples.

Ezekiel 20:35 -And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face.

36 – Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you, says the Master YAHWEH.

I shared three days ago how sometimes when we get away from our home environments and into this wilderness, it takes something like that to really see what is going on. You step back, and you look back at home, and you compare it to this, and you are like, “Hmm.”

I shared how sometimes we are too wrapped up in what is going on with different forms of media– whether it be news, TV, music, whatever. It is hard to be spiritually minded when you are constantly being bombarded with messages that are contrary to the Word of Yahweh.

So, I want to share something today that may challenge you, even as it challenges me, and I hope we all come to the Feast with an attitude of, “Boy, I just want to know what the Father’s will is for me.” We all come with that attitude, right?

Even if it is something hard, I don’t want to hear, “Don’t get me out of my comfort zone.” Praise Yahweh. “I don’t want to change anything that is contrary to Yahweh’s will.” How about that?

Maybe some of us feel, “Oh, well, I want to know more about the Hebrew Roots.” And that is all good. That’s important. This is Hebrew Roots, too. It is all Hebrew Roots.

Loving your neighbor is Hebrew Roots. Giving to those who are in need is Hebrew Roots. Showing love and honoring our Father in heaven is Hebrew Roots because we read this in the Hebrew text.

And as I examine Yahweh’s desire for the festival, it is more than just learning the neat ways Messiah is seen in the Old Testament. (We are going to cover a lot of that this evening.) It is more than just applying the finer points of Torah.

Part of the reason is, we get away from our comfy lifestyles and into this wilderness, and let Yahweh plead His case with us– “What do you have to teach us, Father Yahweh?” So, I hope you don’t mind. I am going to share some hard things with you today.

I shared some Scripture about taking care of the poor, and we live in a pretty wealthy society. And the other society that was like ours was in Laodicea.

And He said to them:

Revelation 3:15 -I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

16 – So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

Imagine that. You take a drink, kind of lukewarm, and you spew it all out. That is how Messiah feels about people who are lukewarm spiritually. Separate them from His body. He does not want that. He does not want that at all.

And then He tells us why they are lukewarm:

Revelation 3:17 -Because you say, `I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked —

They don’t even realize it. The reason why people are rich in Laodicea is because they lived in that wealthy town. They had some of the best wool that was available. That made a lot of people rich. It was a black-colored wool. They didn’t want to give up their riches.

You know, the real issue in Laodicea was self-centeredness. That was the real issue.

Messiah’s life, when you look at it, you are going to think of two words: giving and serving. The Son of Man has no place to lay His head. Even foxes have holes. A homeless man.

I went down to New Orleans a few years ago. I said, “Just because you guys are poor doesn’t mean you are worthless. Just because you are lowly in society, doesn’t mean you can’t be used in a powerful way by the Father because there was a group of homeless men in the Bible who turned the world upside down.”

So, no matter how poor we are, we can be rich toward Elohim. We can give of what we have. It might not be monetarily.

Yahushua was very others-centered. He was very Yahweh-centered. It would be hard pressed to find one time in His life where He wasn’t doing something to serve somebody else or serve our Father in heaven. And so, when the body of Messiah is present, what will we see? I hope it is the same.

We are not interconnected like we used to be. We might text chat with someone two thousand miles away, but barely know our next door neighbor, let alone what his needs are. We are so far removed from eachother that we don’t even know what eachother’s needs are. And some of us don’t really care.

We are focused, floating along through life, hanging out in our little walled cities we call homes, where all our needs are met, where we think we have need of nothing.

So, our faith, maybe not for all of us, but maybe some here, isn’t all that much different than Laodicea. Not because we don’t read the Scriptures, but because we don’t pay attention to the needs around us.

We live in a pay-for-service oriented society, don’t we? We pay for our food rather than grow it. We pay for our housing rather than build it. We pay for anything from the plumber to the telephone company to the internet service we have piped in our home.

If we don’t pay anything, we don’t get served. And that is a perfectly acceptable arrangement for most people. I am afraid this is carried over into the mentality some have about the faith, particularly in their church services where they pay for a man to explain the Bible to them.

Sometimes there is a mentality of the ministry up front and the bench warming lay people in the back, and the ones up front are the ministers who are getting paid to serve the people. That is a Catholic mentality. It is not in the Bible.

In the body of the Messiah, we are all called to ministry. Everybody is a minister in the body of Messiah. And Yahushua wants us to be great in the Kingdom of heaven so that He can reward us.

Do you believe Yahushua wants you to just scrape by and enter by the skin of your teeth? Or does He want you to become great? What do you want to be? That is an important question.

Some people, I hear them say, “Oh, I’ll be happy if I am just there, you know? I will be satisfied if I just get there somehow. Sneak in the back door. I don’t know. As long as I’m there. Hey! If I am a doorkeeper in the house, I will be satisfied.”

I have heard that a thousand times. Boy, there won’t be anyone in the house. Everybody will be standing at the door– “Here, come on in!” There won’t be anybody to go in there. All will be lining up to be the doorkeeper. I think that is, maybe, too lukewarm of an attitude. How about you? A little too lukewarm.

If you aim for the sky, you might hit an eagle. If you aim for the eagle, you might hit the ground. I don’t know. The point is, what are we aiming for? We are aiming to receive the greater rewards, I hope.

Hebrews 11:24 -By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,

25 – choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of Elohim than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

26 – esteeming the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

Moshe was looking for the reward. He didn’t care about Pharaoh and all the riches and all that gobbledygook. He was looking to the reward.

What does that word mean– reward? What is Yahweh going to give you? A blue ribbon? A trophy?

Greek Lexicon: The word translated “reward” in that verse is #3405 misthapodosia {mis-thap-od-os-ee’ah}. Meaning: 1) payment of wages due, recompence.

You mean Yahweh is going to give us… “Okay, here is your payment”? Didn’t He say something about a denarius? It is hard to imagine that. I mean, we are working for Yahweh, and He is going to give us some kind of payment when we are done? Yes!! That is what the word “reward” means.

Another example:

Hebrews 11:6 -But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to Elohim must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

So, first we have to know and believe He is. We have that part right, but we also need to know that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

What does that reward mean in that verse? We have a different word here. Actually, it is the same word. I’m sorry. One who pays wages.

Yahushua said in Matthew 16:27:

Matthew 16:27 -For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Yahushua spent a lot of time talking about rewards, didn’t He? Read Matthew 5 and 6… “Surely he will not lose his reward.” Different things He would say about rewards.

And this word for reward is: #591 apodidomi {ap-od-eed’-o-mee}.

Meaning: 1) to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell 2) to pay off, discharge what is due 2a) a debt, wages, tribute, taxes, produce due 2b) things promised under oath 2c) conjugal duty 2d) to render account 3) to give back, restore 4) to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense.

It is a general word. And you see down here the biggest, most frequent use of the word in the King James Version when they translated it was “pay,” and then there was “give” and then “render.”

Usage: AV – pay 9, give 9, render 9, reward 7, sell 3, yield 2, misc. 9.

So, Yahushua wants to pay us for our efforts. A major problem is that sometimes the body of Messiah doesn’t value His payments. Sometimes the body of Messiah doesn’t value the rewards. Like Laodicea, maybe we are a little too satisfied with the “this world” riches, thinking we don’t really need it. Yahweh help us!

And we don’t give enough thought to laying up for ourselves a spiritual treasure in the age to come because we don’t value it quite as much as we do in what we see in the here and now. We have to be very careful about that mindset.

There was a man that Yahweh hated. He specifically said He hated him because of not really valuing the reward of Yahweh, the blessing of Yahweh. And that man’s name was Esau.

Genesis 25:31 -But Jacob said, Sell me your birthright as of this day.

32 – And Esau said, Look, I [am] about to die; so what [is] this birthright to me?

He was only looking in the “here and now,” wasn’t he? He was only looking at this world’s riches. “What good is it going to do if I am dead?” He did not value the reward and blessing of Yahweh, the inheritance of Yahweh’s promises.

Genesis 25:33 -Then Jacob said, Swear to me as of this day. So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.

34 – And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised [his] birthright.

Some of us might look at that and say, ” Did he really hate his birthright?”

“He who is not with Me is against Me.”

He hated the birthright.

The people of Laodicea didn’t value the heavenly wages because they were caught up in this “I’m-rich-and-don’t-need-it” mindset. That is the spirit of Esau.

And Yahweh said about Esau– Romans 9:13:

Romans 9:13 -As it is written, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.

If you don’t value the riches and heavenly glory… you know, I am not trying to condemn anybody. I am bringing attention to some really serious Scriptures on this topic that we need to notice. And maybe it takes us being away from home a little bit for us to really contemplate these words.

And so, when Yahweh brings us into this wilderness here, can we see, just based on the fellowship we have here alone, isn’t this better than being home? I will take it any day because there is something here that riches will never give us– love, fellowship, joy, comradery, peace, strength, edification. You can’t buy that.

Now, He pleads His case with us in the final generation. How many of us think we might be the final generation before the Messiah returns? Quite possible.

Well, here He says in Luke 12, and He is actually speaking to the final generation here if you look at the context:

Luke 12:32 -Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

“Don’t be afraid. I want to give it to you.”

Luke 12:33 -Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.

34 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We have read that before, haven’t we? Who is He talking to?

Luke 12:35 -Let your waist be girded and [your] lamps burning;

36 – and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.

I guess I didn’t get the next verse up there, but it says: “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.”

So, when Yahweh comes to us in the Scriptures, and He says, “Let none of you appear before Yahweh empty handed,” we need to realize, whatever we give up in the physical, we are receiving in the spiritual.

And I am not trying to tell you… this is not a “pay me tithes” message. I am not after that. What I am after is that what He says here: “Sell what you have and give alms.”

I think that when the mark of the Beast comes… when… when it comes, that it will be really hard for some, who are so used to keeping things the way they are.

And they will be tempted to just keep things the way they are– “I don’t want to have to engage in suffering by not being able to buy and sell. I want to continue the riches that I have been getting. I want to continue the lifestyle I have been living, you see.”

And it will be very difficult if we don’t already have this mindset that at any moment of any day, I don’t care how nice your house is, if we don’t have the attitude of at any moment of any day Yahweh says, “Walk down that road and don’t look back,” we won’t be like Lot’s wife.

We walk down that road, and if He says, “Live in a cardboard box,” we will do it.

So, Yahweh wants to know: What do we treasure? Do we value His wages? Would we give up, sell what we have and give alms to receive His wages? I say that would be a dandy exchange compared to what that money could possibly buy.

Again, I am not necessarily talking about the monetary. I am talking about a change in perspective that when Yahweh says don’t come empty handed, we are talking about giving of ourselves. It is just that the earthly treasures have a way of taking our eyes off the heavenly riches. That is what it really boils down to.

We live in a wealthy nation, and just as the Laodiceans lived in a wealthy city, in our society, what we consider to be poor people is often considered rich in other societies. Our poor is considered rich in third world countries.

And so, here we are. Every year Yahweh takes us out of our comfort zone. He wants us to dwell in these tabernacles and in these booths. I am convinced, one reason– He wants to get our eyes off the earthly things, wouldn’t you say? Get our eyes off the earthly things. Look toward the heavenly things.

And we need this break. We need it so we can focus our minds on what is really important. And if we understood what Yahweh had in store for us when we do the work of His Kingdom, we would leap for joy when someone back home reproaches us for His name sake.

Luke 6:22 -Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile [you], and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.

23 – Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward [is] great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.

Leap for joy! He is going to pay you back, and it is going to be far greater.

Luke 6:24 -But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation.

Whoa! We can’t really relate sometimes to the blessing of Yahweh.

I give a story sometimes. Imagine a man in Africa somewhere. Every day he ate nothing but mush. You try to describe to him what apple pie tastes like. Could you really explain it? Could you even describe it? Could you even tell him, “Well, it is just really good. You will leap for joy!” Right? It is just really good.

Yahushua could not describe it for us because our frame of reference point. We don’t realize, we get some money in our hand, and we are like rejoicing in the mush compared to what He has for us.

And so, what we have to do is accept this by faith that His reward is far, far, far, far better than anything this world could possibly provide for us, and if we have the trust in Him to believe that, like Jacob, who wrestled and wrestled and wrestled and would not let Him go until he got the blessing. And then he got his hip out of joint.

It kind of reminds me of Vicki. She wanted the blessing here so, so bad. Yahweh touched her hip. I told Neil about that, by the way.

So, if we are seeking the greater rewards, what do we really need to do? What do we need to do in order to receive them? It is a five-letter word: Serve. Serve one another, and do it freely. Freely we have received; freely give.

You won’t see any teaching by Tom Martincic – Why? I feel like I am being prideful if you had to pay for something I said. I feel like I am being arrogant first of all. What makes me think that I’m so great? I don’t know. Besides that, what about the poor?

The poor don’t get to hear the Word? “Oh, you sit in the back somewhere. Rich man, come up front. You get to have my teachings any old day.”

Freely you have received; freely give. And I have found that as I have given, Yahweh has provided. The open hand is never empty. Yahweh does the refill.

But we will receive wages to the service done to Yahweh and others. If we get remuneration in this age, boy, I wouldn’t want to take five dollars from somebody if I was going to get some riches from heaven instead. How about you?

So, the one who serves the most will become the greatest. We are in a race, who can outdo eachother in serving.

Matthew 23:11 -But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Now, who is the greatest of all? Of all servants, who is the greatest of all? (A brother shouted, “Yahushua!”) Among men I would agree. But there is one greater. That is our heavenly Father, Almighty Yahweh.

You know, we pray to Him every day: “Oh, Yahweh, You are awesome. You are wonderful. I praise You. I thank You. Now, will You do this for me, please? Now, will You go do that for me, please? And this over here. There is this problem over here. And then I have this thing going on.”

And what does He do? He serves. Did I mention He created you, too? He put the breath in your mouth. He created this world we live in, too– anything from the wood on the podium to the atoms that make up your body. There is none greater, in terms of serving, than our heavenly Father.

In fact, that is the definition, I would say a pretty good definition, of love.

But Yahushua was the greatest among men, and therefore, He received the greatest reward– “All power and authority is given to You in heaven and earth because I know You are a servant. And You won’t sit up there and sit back and just take in all the praise and do nothing. You will be about My business. You will serve.”

What does He say about us? What does He say?

Yahushua looked to the rewards. That is what gave Him the strength.

Hebrews 12:2 -looking unto Yahushua, the author and finisher of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.

For the joy set before Him, He looked to the reward. For the joy set before Him, He endured the beatings and stripings and the spittings of the enemy, being nailed to a wooden stake. For the joy that was set before Him.

I wonder, is the joy of Yahweh our strength, too? Is it our strength? I hope so. It ought to be our strength.

Yahushua promises us great and joyous things.

Revelation 3:21 -To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Whew! I say that is pretty good. Not because I can sit up there and say, “Oh boy, look at me.” Because I get to serve alongside the King. HalleluYah for that! It is going to be a big throne.

Will we set aside our earthly cares and seek for the joy set before us, the reward, and be like Messiah?

In a continuation… (here is the verse I was looking for earlier):

Luke 12:37 -Blessed [are] those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down [to eat], and will come and serve them.

Isn’t that like our Savior? After all He has done for us, we meet Him in the heavenly places to go and feast with Him. And what is He doing? He is serving us. I just cry, “I am unworthy.” It prompts me to want to serve Him more– more and more and more, because serving is loving. That is what it is.

What does a watchman do? Are you watching? What does a watchman do? He watches for the enemy. The enemy is Satan, and he wants to take ground away from Yahweh, right? The enemy is Satan. He wants to take away the ground from Yahweh, and we are the ground. We were created from the dust of the earth. We are the ground.

And the enemy wants us in his territory doing acts of service for him. Actually, the only thing we have to do in order to be a part of Satan’s military is to sit back and serve ourselves because that is what he is all about.

The only thing we have to do to be lukewarm is just do nothing, be useless for the army of Yahweh. The only thing you have to be doing is refuse to be a watchman who watches where the enemy has taken foothold in someone’s life, and sit, and not care about it, and do nothing about it– “Yep, there is the enemy. Be warned and be filled.”

“I am going to go back to my computer. I am going to go back to my TV. I am going to go back to my job. I will pray for you.”

Yahushua said:

Matthew 25:41 -Then He will also say to those on the left hand, `Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 – `for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;

43 – `I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

Matthew 25:44 -Then they also will answer Him, saying, `Master, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

45 – Then He will answer them, saying, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do [it] to one of the least of these, you did not do [it] to Me.’

What if Yahushua came in this room right now and He was thirsty and He was sick? Of course, He wouldn’t be. That is what He is trying to get us to see. When one part of the body of Messiah is wounded and aching, do we care about Messiah who is wounded and is aching?

And He says:

Matthew 25:46 -And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

All we have to do is not watch. That’s all. Just not pay any attention to the stranger, the sick, the one in prison, the one who is hungry and the one who is thirsty. That’s all. Just don’t pay attention. Just sit in your little comfy homes where all your needs are met and be lukewarm and be Laodicea.

I know it is a hard message. It hits me right between the eyes. I am right there with you.

All you have to do is don’t pay attention when the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. All the enemy has to do is divert our attention a little bit, and the fact that we are in the middle of a war, and make you think you are on the sidelines being a spectator, cheering for one side or the other.

Just because you are on the cheering team, doesn’t make you one of the players. Just because you cheer for what is right, doesn’t make you right. When you are in Laodicean Land, it is very easy just to be a cheerleader.

All we have to do in order to be considered one of the goats is to ignore what is going on. No wonder the enemy has us all so disconnected from eachother we barely know our neighbors. No wonder.

Look at what Yahushua said here:

Luke 12:35 -Let your waist be girded and [your] lamps burning;

36 – and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.

37 – Blessed [are] those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down [to eat], and will come and serve them.

Once again, are we waiting for our Master? And are we doing this? He is going to come and serve us. If we don’t serve our neighbor, we don’t love our neighbor because service is the evidence of love.

But if we all have the attitude of serving from a loving heart, we will all ultimately end up getting served in the end because we are surrounded by other people who are wanting to serve us.

Who you serve shows who you love. If you spend most of your time serving yourself and your own interests, you are just loving yourself. If you spend most of your time serving others, then it is others that you love.

Service is the evidence of love. Love your neighbor as yourself. Yahweh brings us into this wilderness pleading with us that we would change our lifestyle a little bit, change out habits, change our perspective.

Knowledge is not the end all. Knowing Torah is not the end all. Practicing Torah by loving your neighbor, by serving your neighbor, is where you become doers of the Word and not hearers only.

Sometimes we hear that message and we are like, “Boy, that’s right!” and we go home, “Boy, great message! Sure glad I heard that one!” And we think that is all we had to do. “Good thing I heard that one today!”

Or we might think, “Well, the reason why I didn’t do that before was because I didn’t hear that message before.” And we think that by hearing it, automatically it just happens. Somehow, somewhere in our heads, I don’t know… I am with you on that. I am preaching to myself, by the way.

So, if we can change our perspective and walk away from Laodicea in our hearts and start serving each of us individually… I don’t care how poor you are.

I don’t care how rich you are, but each of us seeking the greater rewards, valuing the promises and riches and wages and the rewards that come from Yahweh, like sons of Yisrael, like sons of Jacob, who would not let the angel go until he received the blessing because he valued it, rather than being like Esau who didn’t value it.

If we could seek the greater rewards by serving eachother, we most assuredly could be the most powerful force there is in the world today for good. I believe that with all my heart. I say, “Let’s start.” What do you think? How about right here? How about right now in this place?

Be on the lookout for what needs your brother and sister in the faith might have who is camped next to you or who is not camped next to you. Pay attention and stand ready to serve, rather than sitting there in your tent and complaining about what is going on. Do something about it. I am not saying anybody is doing that. I don’t know. I am just saying.

Even someone outside the camp, stand as watchman, looking for the needs of others, looking for where the enemy has taken a foothold in someone’s life– looking, looking and paying attention, having an awareness of where the enemy has taken ground and being very, very upset by that. Be very, very unhappy about that, and move yourself to action.

Now, we don’t all have the same callings. Not everybody is going to do what I am doing. Not everyone is going to do what somebody else is doing. But we all have gifts, and what greater place to put those gifts into action than here? Some of us don’t even know what our gifts are. Some of us don’t even realize what they are.

Every week my brother, Richard, here has put together a conference call for the men, and we get together. We interview a new person every week for the sole purpose of finding out what their gifts are, and what their callings are, and encouraging them and uplifting them, ever since last Feast of Tabernacles when I gave a study on gifts and callings.

And we are building a data base of those who are willing to serve and putting it all together in one place, so that when anyone has a need about anything they can call an 800 number and find out. “Is there someone that can help with marriage counseling?” “Is there someone that can minister to someone I think is considering abortion?”

“There is someone I know who is in prison and in need of a visit.” “There is someone I know who is poor, and they are living hand to mouth, and they are getting ready to get kicked out onto the street.” “There is someone I know who is confused about Scripture and what to believe.”

We want to build a list. And I am not talking about starting an organization. Yahweh forbid! I am talking about letting the organism, that is the body of Messiah, know what eachother can do for eachother.

And even those on the outside, so that we won’t be standing there with Messiah saying, “I was sick and you didn’t do anything about it. You just ignored Me. I had this need and you didn’t do anything.”

So, if you are feeling led to be a part of that, you can contact me or brother Richard here. But don’t let that be an excuse if you are not on the list, yet. “Oh, I’ll wait ’til I’m on the list, then I will start serving.” No. It starts right here, right now, in our hearts, with our attitude.

I want to say right now, there is no way on earth I could have hosted the festival here in Leasburg without the love and service and dedication of twelve men, and more than that, who have stepped up here and have said, “I am here to serve. What do you want me to do?”

I want to say I am impressed. I am impressed. Even those who were not on the planning committee, the minute they got here and got set up– “What can I do?” I love it. That will make this place special. That will make our festival special.

When Vicki was out here hurting, the folks that came in the ambulance said, “I have never seen a group so protective.” That is what we need to be.

So, I am not coming down on people. I am saying, “Let’s follow Messiah, who loved and served and gave and gave and gave and gave.” You know, I think He would go off into the mountains sometimes and just reload, walk back down the mountain, “Okay, I’m ready. Here is all the Spirit that I have,” or something.

I don’t know what it was, but He would minister for awhile, and then He would go right back up the mountain or go somewhere, a quiet place, and recommune with His Father and recharge. And then right back out He would go. So, I am not saying 24/7 all you do is just… you are an automaton, okay?

Shabbat is for that, and so are the festivals. And I am not saying you can’t spend anytime trying to recharge, and you know… recreation. I am not saying that is all evil and all that. It can get way out of balance.

One thing I am trying to do is ask myself, “Whom are you serving right now? EliYah, Tom, whom are you serving right now?” Just various parts throughout the day. And I catch myself sitting, just serving myself by, “Oh, what’s this?” I click this here or do something, and I get conviction.

And I will tell you another thing, too. To get service from somebody takes a certain level of humility. Us men like to say, “Oh, I have it handled. Don’t worry about me. I have it handled.” If someone were to help me, I would feel like I don’t have my act together or that I can’t do this by myself. But the reality is, we can’t do it by ourself.

So, when someone offers to help us and someone offers to serve us, I tell you what, that’s me– “I have it handled. Don’t worry about it. I will cover this.” And it has taken twelve men, and Neil Bornhoft, to say, “Tom, you have to get some people willing to help you. And you have to trust them when they do it.”

And more than ever, this year I have. And more than ever, this year has been a blessing. This Feast has been a blessing. I don’t know if it was pride or just a feeling of responsibility that everything has to be done a certain way, but I am learning to trust my brothers, who stand and say, “How can I be a part of this?”

I tell you what, if you don’t let your neighbor serve you, then you are taking away his wages. You are taking away his heavenly gift. Let him do it, and then you serve him, too.

So, when you start serving somebody and they start serving you, and there is somebody else that sees what you are doing and they start serving, it starts getting contagious. It really starts growing.

Scripture says: “Don’t owe anyone anything except to love one another.”

Romans 13:8 -Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

When they serve you, okay, you feel an obligation? Serve them right back. If they don’t need anything, then serve somebody else right back.

It is okay to owe someone an act of love. It is by this we fulfill the Torah. We seek to be Torah observant men and women. There you go right there. That is it.

Keeping the Torah includes Sabbath observance, Feast observance, eating clean, but that was not all Messiah was about. Keeping Torah is also acts of love, acts of service, not coming empty handed just to be served, but coming with hands ready to serve.

And developing that habit here, brothers, sisters, might just become a habit when we get home that we don’t want to break. So, when you walk by your brother or sister here in the camp, remember, you owe them. You owe them.

As you know, when we have that attitude, the others here who are not part of this gathering are going to notice something interesting.

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

Who would not want to be a part of that? Who would not want to be a part of something where everyone loves, pays attention and serves? Who would not want to be a part of something where everyone who participates gets blessed? Who would not want to be a part of a family like that? It might soften even the hardest heart.

So, let’s manifest the fullness of Messiah, not just the kosher-eating, Sabbath-keeping, Feast-keeping Messiah, but the loving, serving Messiah that we all know if He was not that way, He would not be our Savior.

And so, if the fullness of His Spirit is dwelling in us and that is what’s our focus, if we set aside the riches and cares of this life to have a life filled with acts of love and service, we will be among those who are seeking the greater rewards. And it is okay to seek that reward, that payment, back from Yahweh. It’s okay.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m serving you and everything, but you know, I actually have a better thought in mind. I am seeking the greater rewards.” It is not self-centered to seek His rewards. He wants us to. It is self-centered to focus on this life and what it has to offer. That is self-centeredness.

So, we want to be conquerors. And the more focused we are on serving others, I tell you, something miraculous will happen to you. All those sins you struggle with suddenly become easier to overcome.

Yahushua said:

Matthew 5:19 -Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches [them], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

You see, there is a connection between focusing on serving eachother and serving those who are around us– there is a connection between that– and becoming great in the Kingdom of heaven.

You see, the more others-centered we are, the less self-centered we are. And the less self-centered we are, the easier it is to overcome sin and temptation when it comes our way, and the easier it will be for us to keep those commandments and teach men so. And so, the less struggles we will have with temptations.

So, brothers, we are nearing this time when Messiah will come and His reward is with Him.

Revelation 11:18 -The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.

Paul said:

See, we are the ground.

So, as you are seeking this reward, pay attention, because:

So, I say, we should seek the reward, and when we are seeking the reward, be sure there is not this world’s junk mixed in with it.

Think for a moment now, if you would. Imagine. There is a little tiny speck I am looking at. You probably have a speck near your chair somewhere. That little speck compared to the whole room is pretty small, right? How about compared to the whole camp? How about compared to the whole state of Missouri? How about compared to the entire United States?

It’s a pretty small speck. How about compared to the size of the earth? How about compared to the size of the sun? One million earths can fit inside the sun, approximately. How about that speck compared to the universe? That speck is how much time we have in this life compared to how much time we have in the age to come.

Now, where are you going to heap your treasures up? All of a sudden, Scripture says, “Yahweh, teach me to measure my days, that I might know how frail I am.” We want to seek after the greater rewards. That is where it is really at.

Forget about the speck. Everyone is looking at the speck and trying to focus on the speck. Yahweh is saying, “It is just a speck. What are you doing? I have awesome things.” That is just a little smidgen of time, and what we do on that speck determines what happens outside of that speck.

Daniel 12:2 -And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

3 – Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.

He is telling us one of the rewards right there. Seek wisdom. Seek to turn many to righteousness.

Revelation 22:12 -And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward [is] with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

His reward is with Him. He talked a lot about rewards, didn’t He?

Matthew 16:27 -For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

He spoke a lot about that. Rewards for those who pray in secret. Rewards for those who fast in secret. Rewards for those who receive a prophet in a prophet’s name. Rewards for those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. Rewards for those who even give a cup of cold water to a little one in the name of a disciple.

Matthew 10:42 -And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold [water] in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.

Are there any thirsty little ones here? Little children? I have a cup of cold water I didn’t drink from. I promise. Is anyone thirsty? I am talking to little children here. Would anyone like to come up and get a drink of cold water? Little children? First one up here gets the cup of cold water.

HalleluYah! All right! You were the first one up here. In the name of the disciple. That wasn’t too hard, was it? You are welcome. I will give you some more. You just sit tight.

These are precious souls. There are many more left here who need cups of cold water. I tell you what. I will let you guys give them a cup of cold water. I wouldn’t want to take away the reward. I got a reward for that, right? That is what Yahushua said. He said I won’t even lose it.

And so, I say, let’s set aside our Laodicean cares, and ask ourselves every minute of every day, “Whom am I serving?” Mothers, you who serve the little ones, Yahweh bless you.

Let’s seek to become great in the Kingdom of heaven. Let’s walk away from the Laodicean attitude in our society it is trying to inject us with. Let’s value the eternal riches and lay up for ourselves treasures that time will not erase.

Let’s be like Yahushua the Messiah and be a people who serve, for it is then we will receive the greater rewards, the things that are excellent, the things that will not fade away.

And the Feast of Tabernacles– what an awesome time to contemplate this very thing! It is a change of environment. Whether that leads to a change of heart, it is completely up to you.

May Yahweh change our hearts as He pleads with us in this wilderness, and may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh truly have mercy on us all.