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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.
How many of us recognize that the central point or the real issue in today’s culture is whether or not we regard the Holy Scriptures– Genesis to Revelation– as being the guiding force of our life?
I mean, all of the cultural issues that we have going on today– the battle between whether or not certain marriages are forbidden or acceptable, whether or not we ought to allow people to murder their own babies inside their mama’s womb, whether or not we should do a lot of things, you know… what kinds of things are on television?
The world view that we are all working from is this central focus of everything. I mean, it is the reason why we have so much filth. It is the reason why we have so many people trying to stand up against the filth.
And the central question of everything is whether or not we regard the words that are written in the pages of Scripture to be our guiding point or not.
Now, how many of us believe that on the Day of Judgment it is Yahweh’s words that will be the standard by which men will be condemned or men will be justified, Yahweh’s words and His words alone?
Actually, it is not true. It’s not true that Yahweh’s words and His words alone are going to be the determining factor whether a person is justified or condemned. According to Scripture, there are some other words that will be used to determine whether or not we are justified or condemned.
Do I have your attention?
And no, I am not talking about some other religious text. I am not talking about some secret and lost book of the Bible. The words that Yahweh will use to determine whether or not you are justified or condemned are your own. Your own words.
Yahushua said in Matthew 12:36:
Matthew 12:36 – But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 – For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
And so, I gave away the next study title: The POWER and DANGER of WORDS. You know, I don’t know about you, but these verses, these things right here Yahushua was saying, sends a few shock waves across my soul.
I mean, I start thinking back, start wondering about, you know– especially me and my position here of sharing His Word– what words I might have spoken that would either justify or condemn me. That is Matthew 12:36.
What words could I have spoken that may have been carelessly spoken? What words could I have spoken that would not condemn me, but would justify me? And that is a question we all have to ask ourselves. And that is why there is power in our words, and that is why there is potentially dangerous things exiting out mouths.
In the book of Revelation it speaks of a group of people who had a praiseworthy tongue. You know, this Revelation 14:1. There had been these various denominations and groups and organizations who thought, “Well, maybe we are one of the 144,000, huh?”
I am not going to focus on identifying who they are because what I find are most people who do that ultimately end up missing out on what the Father is trying to convey here. Let’s read it. It says:
Revelation 14:1 – Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred [and] forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
Some other texts say: “His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.” What does that mean? I mean, who are the 144,000? There are many interpretations and ideas on who these people are, but I can tell you, we can go according to what Scripture says and find that they had certain attributes that we need to emulate as followers of Messiah.
I mean, they are the elect. They are the select chosen of the Lamb. What are their characteristics? How are they? What are they like? What are their attributes? The first thing it says is they have the name of the Father (and in some texts, the name of the Son, also) written on their foreheads.
I think we can be pretty sure that John did not see the name “Jesus” there. I don’t think he saw “the Lord” there on their foreheads. I don’t think he saw “Adonai” or “HaShem,” or some other name, on their foreheads (“Iesous”).
What he saw was the name of the heavenly Father, Yod-Heh-Waw-Heh, (Yod-Heh-Waw-Shin-Ayin, Yahushua), written on their foreheads. And that attribute, I think, demonstrates first of all that a name is important to Yahweh. A name matters.
Now, it could be understood it is written on their minds, or however you want to look at it, spiritually, but the bottom line is, His name is there. It is something they have in their minds. It is something they are focused on as they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
You know, if you want to be among this elect, even if you think we can’t be, but for some reason you interpret it a certain way– however you interpret it– these are worthy attributes to have. So, continue reading here.
Revelation 14:2 – And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
3 – They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred [and] forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
They had an offering– a song to the Father. And it says here, in verse 4:
Revelation 14:4 – These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from [among] men, [being] firstfruits to Elohim and to the Lamb.
It says they are virgins. Other translations have maidens. Does that mean that they could not have gotten married? I mean, does being married defile you? No, it says the marriage bed is undefiled. And so, what is he talking of here?
Now, in Revelation we know that there is a harlot woman mentioned there representing the religious systems of the world. The true Bride of Messiah is not defiled with her. The 144,000 are pure and are not tainted with the world and the false religions thereof.
And so, if we want these attributes, the roots of our worship must be founded in the Scripture and not in other kinds of religions. For instance, we see and can be sure the 144,000 would not have observed festivals rooted in idolatry. They were undefiled.
Christmas and Easter would have been an abomination to them. In fact, the word “Easter” itself comes from the Greek word “Astarte.” It is the name of a pagan goddess. And so, the 144,000 had rooted out and gotten rid of and eliminated all religions that are false out of their worship toward the Father.
And they were purged of all these idolatrous works of darkness. And we know they are following the Lamb wherever He goes. Where does He go? Scripture says:
1John 2:3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
4 – He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of Elohim is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
1John 2:6 – He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
And so, the 144,000 followed the Lamb wherever He went. And if we say we abide in the Messiah, if we say we walk as He walked, how did He walk? We know He kept the commandments in the Torah– every single one of them. He kept Yahweh’s Law to utter perfection.
Those who follow Him– because He is the same yesterday, today and forever– are going to do the things that He did. Those who follow Him will know HIs voice. And so, those who follow Him will spend their time listening to the Shepherd’s voice.
And so, they are so accustomed to hearing the voice of the Shepherd that when another voice comes in they recognize it as the voice of a stranger.
But those who spend all their time listening to the voices of strangers– the words of men, the thoughts and the claims and the ideas– those who spend their time in that, the voice of the Shepherd just kind of gets intermingled with all of them.
The voice of the Shepherd is in the Torah, is in the books of Genesis all the way to Revelation. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelled among us. He is the Living Word of Elohim, and He is the One to whom we need to heed. It is His voice, the voice of the Shepherd, that we need to be paying attention to.
And so, in their mouth, because they follow the Lamb wherever He goes, in their mouth was found no deceit.
Revelation 14:5 – And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of Elohim.
They knew the voice of the Shepherd, and that is the only voice they care to heed. And the example of the Shepherd was the only example they sought to follow. And therefore, in their mouth was the only truth because Yahweh’s Word is truth.
1Peter 4:11 – If anyone speaks, [let him speak] as the oracles of Elohim. If anyone ministers, [let him do it] as with the ability which Elohim supplies, that in all things Elohim may be glorified through Yahushua Messiah, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
And so, when they spoke, they spoke just like the oracles spoke. A lot of times people end up ignoring the oracles of Yahweh and creating their own words, which may or may not be according to the oracles of Yahweh. But if we speak as the oracles of Yahweh, with the ability with which Yahweh supplies, He is the one who is glorified.
Now, I want you to notice that this word here, “oracles,” is also found in three other places here. First of all, Romans 3.
Romans 3:1 – What advantage then has the Jew, or what [is] the profit of circumcision?
2 – Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of Elohim.
That is the Law, the Old Testament, the Holy Scriptures of old. And so, our words should be according to these oracles.
Acts 7:38 – This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and [with] our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us,
39 – whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,
And so, “oracles” is talking about the words of the Law, the words that represent the voice of the Shepherd because He is the Word that became flesh. He is the Word from Genesis to Revelation. And we are called to be ministers of these oracles so that the Word of Yahweh might be glorified.
And so, we have to speak according to and focus on the voice of the Shepherd within us so that Yahweh will be glorified as we let His voice flow out of us– as His voice flowed into us. And the more Yahweh’s Word flows into us, the more Yahweh’s Word will overflow out of us into others.
And the more the Word flows out of us, the more truth we will be speaking, and there will be no deceit in our mouth. Do we get that?
Matthew 12:36… let’s look at this again.
Matthew 12:36 – But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 – For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
What words might we speak that would actually justify us? He is not being out of balance here. He is saying your words could justify you just as well as they could condemn you. What is He talking about? What words could we speak that would justify us?
In Romans 10, verse 5, it says:
Romans 10:5 – For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, The man who does those things shall live by them.
They are the words of life.
Romans 10:6 – But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down [from above])
7 – or, `Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).
Interesting– “The righteousness of faith speaks this way.” The context of what Paul is quoting here, the whole context of what he is quoting, is from Deuteronomy chapter 30 and verse 11. Now, look at this. It says:
Deuteronomy 30:11 – For this commandment which I command you today [is] not [too] mysterious for you, nor [is] it far off.
The commandments of the Torah.
Deuteronomy 30:12 – It [is] not in heaven, that you should say, `Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
What? What is He talking about? He is talking about the words of Yahweh, the commandments. These are not far away.
Deuteronomy 30:13 – Nor [is] it beyond the sea, that you should say, `Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
14 – But the word [is] very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
In your heart. In your mouth. If any man speaks, speaking as the oracles of Yahweh, because it is so nearby, it comes out of our mouth because it is in our heart. And so, we go back to what he is saying here. And he quotes this. He says:
Romans 10:6 – But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Messiah down [from above])
He is comparing the Word to Messiah. He is interpreting it that way.
Romans 10:7 – or, `Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).
That is, to bring the Word, or Messiah, up from the dead.
Romans 10:8 – But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach:
The word of faith which he was teaching was Torah. It was Yahweh’s Law.
If you confess with your mouth the Master Yahushua (which happens to include Torah, right?) and believe in your heart that Elohim has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 – that if you confess with your mouth the Master Yahushua and believe in your heart that Elohim has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 – For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
There are the words that will justify you on Judgment Day. There they are. Messiah is the Living Word. And if we have a righteousness by faith, we will not think we need to ascend somewhere, go somewhere else, to bring it. It is right here. It is in us. It is within us.
Messiah is within us. His Word is within us. And when we partake of those words and bring them into our minds– the words of the Torah, the words of Messiah. All of Scripture, Genesis through Revelation, is Torah. It is all His teaching. It is all His instruction.
The word “teaching,” “instruction,” is the word commonly translated “law.” It is the word “Torah.” It is all His teaching. You cannot cancel out part and say it is not His teaching, because Yahushua is there– the word of faith, which we preach. And if you confess with your mouth the Master Yahushua, you will be saved, it says.
With the heart one believes. With the heart one confesses. This time, unto salvation.
And so, we believe that Master Yahushua is the Messiah. Why do we believe that? Because of the Word. We believe He died and was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father. Why do we believe that? Because we believe the words. Not only of the New Testament, but also the Torah and the Prophets, which predicted that.
And the commandments of Yahweh lead us to Messiah. By this we realize the commandments of Yahweh. We realize we are not measuring up and that leads us to the feet of Messiah– to cleanse us, to purify us, to cause us to walk in such a way that pleases Him, to cause us to come to Him seeking forgiveness.
And this is not something that we cannot do. It says the Word is near you that you might do it. It is possible to do it. And Yahweh calls upon us to confess HIS words. Yahushua the Messiah– His words are words of truth, words of life.
Whether we want His words to be effective in us will determine our place on the Day of Judgment: justification or condemnation. Those who want Yahweh’s words to be effective in their lives will inherit eternal life. Those that do not, will not.
And Yahweh wants us to speak the words HE inspired, and that is one reason why the real name is on the foreheads of those in Revelation 14.
As the Scripture says in Acts 4:12:
Acts 4:12 – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Now, if we do not realize His name is not “Jesus,” I am not here to condemn you. But let me ask you: Was the name “Jesus,” that vocalization “Jesus,” was it inspired by man or by the heavenly Father? Some people would say, “Well, that is His name in English.” Well, who decided that? Man or Yahweh? Who decided that?
What I read here is there is one name under heaven, one person through whom we have access to the throne. And some might say, “Oh, Tom, you are just getting caught up in words and names. You guys, you have it all messed up over there. You focus on those things.”
Well, wait a minute. If you are saying that, you do not have a biblical understanding of the power of words. Words are extremely important. Words seemed to be very important to the first century people.
Paul was being tried before Gallio. He was ready to open his mouth in defense of the things he was being accused of. What was the thing they were upset with? They were upset over Paul over what? It says:
Acts 18:14 – And when Paul was about to open [his] mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you.
15 – But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look [to it] yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such [matters].
16 – And he drove them from the judgment seat.
See, words and names– and the Law– were an issue in the first century. The Torah was an issue in the first century. And we have a similar thing going on today. What do people say? “Oh, you guys are just concerned about words and names and the Law.”
It must have been a point of contention where the disciples were using names and words and things of the Torah that they did not agree with. Now, it is a little different today, but the same thing is going on right now.
Now, the only reason anyone would think the name does not matter is because they think words do not matter. And that is why Yahweh’s Word is not valued today. Some think they are free to change His words. I mean, most Bibles do that.
They take one of the most important words, the seventh most commonly used word in the whole Hebrew Bible– Yahweh– and they take it out! And they put man’s word in there. And so, what we need to do is, we need to value words like Yahweh values words.
I mean, one of the first things you do when you meet somebody is ask what their name is, right? And yet, the Author of the words found in your Bible, they take His name out of His own book. I mean, the words of men have replaced the words of Yahweh, and they think, “Oh, no big deal.”
“Adonai” instead of Yahweh. “The LORD” instead of Yahweh. “GOD” instead of Yahweh. And they will have to answer for that because we are not supposed to add to and we are not supposed to take away from His Word.
But what we want to do is we want to do like the 144,000, like 1 Peter 4:11– speak as the oracles of Yahweh– not adding to, not taking away. And so, the words that we speak, they are going to include the name of our heavenly Father and the true name of the Messiah.
The words that we speak, seven thousand times in the Scriptures the name of Yahweh is there– the seventh most commonly used word in Scripture. And our words are supposed to be as the oracles of Yahweh.
Does that give you any hints as to how important His name is? And we should have His name on our foreheads and in our minds. We should not participate in changes to His Word. So, when I have an English Bible that has “Jesus” there, I just read “Yahushua.” When I have an English Bible that has “the LORD” there in all capitals, I just say “Yahweh.”
I do not go along with it. No deceit, only truth– no falsehood, no vanities, no vainness. Only truth.
Yahushua commended Nathanael.
John 1:46 – And Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see.
47 – Yahushua saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!
Must have been one of the one hundred and forty-four thousand. Yahushua recognized Nathanael as one of the blessed ones. How about us?
When you think about the power of Yahweh’s words, when Yahushua was on the earth… did you know the word “spirit” in Hebrew is “ruach”? It means “breath.” And with our breath we form words. Now, think about that.
Now, Yahushua said this:
John 6:63 – It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and [they] are life.
They are spirit and they are life. When Yahushua spoke, His words were spirit. The words He spoke were spirit. And so, the question must be, what kind of spirit are we bringing when we speak words?
Are they according to the Spirit of Yahweh so that they might bring life? Or our words according to the spirit of Yahweh’s enemy, the unclean spirit, the corrupt spirit that does not give life?
Do you ever notice that when you hang around certain people they will have certain sayings? You know, like… there was a particular man I used to hang around with a lot and spend time with, and he liked to say “man” a lot– “Hey, man.” “Yeah, man.”
You know, before long I was doing the same thing. It is just the nature of the way things are because the things you hear affect the things that you say.
Different dialects, you know. I am originally from Ohio. If I start hanging around people that have that Southern accent? It won’t be long before I am talking the same way even though I am from the North. Maybe not to their level, but it will start impacting.
So, what I am saying is, the things that we hear can affect the things that we say. And sometimes you hang around people who, you know, everything is a joke. Nothing is ever serious. They make light of everything. And people of the world make light of fornication and every unclean and dirty thing.
And Scripture says to us regarding these things:
Ephesians 5:3 – But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 – neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Now, here is the one I want to zero in on here– coarse jesting. What is “coarse jesting”? “Jesting” is the word “joking” (telling jokes). Things which are “coarse”– things that are “hurtful,” “harmful.” Harmful jokes– either harmful to our Elohim, because they are offensive to Him, or harmful to our fellow man. And Scripture says:
Proverbs 26:18 – Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 – [Is] the man [who] deceives his neighbor, And says, I was only joking!
Imagine that. The “ha, ha, ha” person. Laughs a lot. Makes jokes. And really, it is not a joke if there is a little bit of truth to it. Sort of an insult passed off as a joke. He is a madman wildly throwing out wounds, things that can kill and destroy. Words do have power.
Psalm 64:2– David saying:
Psalms 64:2 – Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
3 – Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend [their bows to shoot] their arrows — bitter words,
Bitter words are arrows. And so, if our words we speak have a bitter tone to them, they are arrows to destroy and to wound. And we see here that words have the power to kill and to destroy.
Now, especially on the Sabbath day, we are admonished to be aware of our words.
Isaiah 58:13 – If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, [From] doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy [day] of YAHWEH honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking [your own] words,
And this word here is “dabar, dabar, dabar, dabar”– words, words, words, words, words, words, words. “Idle words” the translation has. Dabar dabarim. Words, words. Basically, your own words. We can always speak Yahweh’s words. Nothing wrong with that.
Isaiah 58:14 – Then you shall delight yourself in YAHWEH; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of YAHWEH has spoken.
Not just keeping Shabbat, but the avoidance of doing your own thing, your own pleasures, your own words even. Then you will delight in Yahweh. Then you will understand what Shabbat is for.
So much of our time is focused on the words of men, but what Yahweh is telling us here is to focus on His words on that day. It is a day for listening– listening and sharing the words of Yahweh. And the words of Yahweh are pure words.
Psalms 12:6 – The words of YAHWEH [are] pure words, [Like] silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
7 – You shall keep them, O YAHWEH, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
And it is for this reason we have the Bible in our hands today. And so, just as Yahweh’s words are pure words, like silver, the tongue of the righteous is choice silver.
Proverbs 10:20 – The tongue of the righteous [is] choice silver; The heart of the wicked [is worth] little.
Notice the connection here– heart and tongue. There is a connection.
Proverbs 10:21 – The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.
There are no other words more powerful than His. (Those are my own words. I did not mean to put that in the text… I am thinking, “Is that in this Proverb?”) But it is true; there are no other words more powerful than Yahweh’s words. That is why the words that come out of our mouths are called to be something that feeds others.
It says the lips of the righteous feed many. Spiritual food. And so, that is why our words have to be like the oracles of Yahweh rather than like the oracles and the words of the world, because Yahweh’s words have power.
He simply spoke, “Let there be light,” in Genesis, right? And– there was light!
Well, the same Elohim who commanded that light would shine out of darkness in Genesis 1, He wants to shine His light in the darkness within us.
2Corinthians 4:6 – For it is the Elohim who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of Elohim in the face of Yahushua Messiah.
And so, He who said, “Let there be light,” when we receive the Messiah, He is saying within us let there be light shining in the heart of this person. The question is whether we want that light to expose every wrong deed in our hearts, whether we want that word to be effective in us.
You know, every molecule and atom in the universe obeyed the will of Yahweh and assembled in orderly fashion to become the creation that we now see. But us, He granted free will. And we have the choice as to whether we want to be what He has called us to be.
He has given us a certain degree of freedom to manage the molecules and the atoms that make up our bodies and the world that we live in. The question is whether or not we will walk in His image, which is an image of love.
See, as Elohim had, and today has, power with the words that He spoke, we also have power with our words. We are in His image, and our words also have the power to impart life or death.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
And so, we have that choice of whether we are going to impart life or impart death through the words that we speak. We want our words to be that choice silver that feed.
And so, with our tongue Yahweh has given man the ability to create or to destroy. What comes out of our mouths can impact whether another person walks in righteousness or unrighteousness. And so, how ought we to speak the words of the living Elohim?
In response to wrath, we are called, it says, to speak a soft word.
Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Scripture says: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger.” Speak to them kindly.
Proverbs 15:2 – The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
The tongue of the wise uses this knowledge that we have from Yahweh, these words from Yahweh, rightly.
Proverbs 15:3 – The eyes of YAHWEH [are] in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
He knows how you spoke the word that you spoke.
Proverbs 15:4 – A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The wholesome tongue will be a tree of life that will compel people to turn away from unrighteousness. But if we are walking in perverseness with our tongue, it will break the spirit rather than build it.
See, Yahweh’s words give us knowledge, and we are called to use that knowledge rightly, to impart life into another human soul. Even the words of Yahweh that He gives us, if we use those words improperly, can be destructive.
Remember, Satan quoted Scripture to Yahushua when He was being tempted after forty days in the wilderness, and he was using Yahweh’s words to destroy. Well, we need to use Yahweh’s words in such a manner that would impart life rather than causing them to stumble.
James 3:2 – For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he [is] a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
If you can control that 60 or 70 gram member in your body called the tongue, you can control the rest of your body. You can bridle the rest of it, too.
James 3:3 – Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
4 – Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
5 – Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire.
James 3:6 – And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
James 3:7 – For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
8 – But no man can tame the tongue. [It is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Of deadly poison.
James 3:9 – With it we bless our Elohim and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of Elohim.
10 – Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 – Does a spring send forth fresh [water] and bitter from the same opening?
James 3:12 – Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Can’t stop there. Keep reading.
James 3:13 – Who [is] wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct [that] his works [are done] in the meekness of wisdom.
14 – But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
Hearts is where it comes from.
James 3:15 – This wisdom does not descend from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, demonic.
James 3:16 – For where envy and self-seeking [exist], confusion and every evil thing [are] there.
17 – But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 – Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
And so, it is not enough just to have the words of the living Elohim flowing out of your mouth. His words must be spoken in a spiritual way: peaceable, gentle, without hypocrisy, sown in peace– not the flesh, not debates, not arguing.
In other words, Yahweh’s words need to be spoken in a spiritual way according to the fruits of His Spirit, as we shared last week, that the Word of Elohim would be spoken in a way in which Elohim Himself would command to be spoken, flowing out of love, flowing out of His Spirit rather than out of the self-seeking carnality of the flesh–the carnal man.
See, because the enemy spoke Yahweh’s words in a sinful way, and we do not want to follow that example. And so, what can we do to ensure that our words, which are supposed to be as the oracles of Elohim, reflect Yahweh’s words? How can we be certain, how can we be sure, our word reflect Yahweh’s words and in the manner in which He would speak them?
To do this, we need to follow the other admonishment from James.
James 1:19 – So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
20 – for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of Elohim.
The temptation when we see a disobedient son, daughter, spouse, person, is to get angry. But we are called to be slow to speak, slow to wrath.
You know, our efforts, for instance, to impart wisdom to our children, if they are spoken with a carnal anger, not realizing we ourselves also have sin in our life we need to unroot and get rid of, and we speak to them as though we are holier than thou and more precious than they are and more important in terms of our relationship with the Father.
And more valued than they are and we speak out of the carnality, our anger, from pride and from frustration– it says right here, “For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of Elohim,” because the fruit of righteousness must be spoken in peace by those who make peace. Our words must be spoken with gentleness, as in Galatians 6:1.
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who [are] spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Considering yourself lest you also find yourself tempted. That is because our own harsh and judgmental words can come up as a memorial before Elohim and He will allow us to be tempted in like manner, and we may not do as well as they have done. And so, even Yahweh’s words that flow out of us in correction must be spoken in a spiritual way.
If we try to exalt ourselves over another person who is overtaken in a sin and we speak down to them as though we are superior, we are not walking in humility. And maybe we have a sin, also, that we ourselves struggle with. And even if we don’t, I mean, we have had our share of struggles in the past, right?
And so, if hammering words of condemnation come out of our mouth because of some sin that THEY, out of weakness, have found themselves caught up in, if we choose to condemn a person and dismiss them outright as eternally lost and going to hell because of some sin they are struggling with or caught up in, what about ourselves?
Matthew 7:1 – Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 – For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
3 – And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
By your words you will be justified. By your words you will be condemned. With the measure you have used, it will be measured to you.
What area, what place, do you draw a line and condemn a person? Be sure it is where Yahweh draws that line because we all probably have at least a speck in our eye, don’t we?
Matthew 7:4 – Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank [is] in your own eye?
5 – Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
If you are doing the same thing he is doing, you are going to have a hard time bringing him around. So, yes, sometimes that means do not say anything. I know that is sometimes hard, but there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent, right? Ecclesiastes 3:7– a time for everything.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 – A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
If we choose to speak, though, make sure that we are imparting edification, speaking in such a way that will impart grace.
Ephesians 4:19 – who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
No corrupt word. Not even one. Not a single corrupt word. Do not corrupt the words of the living Elohim and speak them in a way that fails to impart grace to them when Yahweh desires to impart grace to them. It needs to be for edification, for building up, not for tearing down.
And so, we do not corrupt Yahweh’s words by communicating them with an inflection of carnality. Our inflection in the tone of voice is a part of communication, isn’t it? I mean, some say body language and inflection in tone.
You can say, “What?” You can say, “WHAT?” You can say, “Whaaat?” You can say, “Wha’?” And it is all the same word, but it is different inflection in tone.
So, we want to make sure that we are including a loving, patient, gentle and kind inflection in tone that properly communicates gentleness, the fruits of Yahweh’s Spirit, as we speak His words which are inspired by His Spirit.
Yes, His words can be spoken boldly. Yes, His words can be spoken in a manner that cries out, but not out of pride, not out of fleshly anger. Maybe out of grief and sadness and mourning, but not out of carnal things.
We need to understand Yahweh and how He deals with man. We need to understand how He relates to us, how He responds to us– and understand His character– and try, to the best of our understanding, to reflect His righteous character when we speak His words, because we are called to walk in His image and communicate His ways.
I can’t say I have always done that. Yahweh, help me. But I can say that when we use Yahweh’s wisdom and speak them in a way that communicates His character, His Spirit and His ways, and the message we speak is heard and heeded, it is just a beautiful thing.
Proverbs 25:11 – A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold In settings of silver.
12 – [Like] an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold [Is] a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
It is a beautiful thing. So, let’s endeavor to be the wise rebuker, to speak fitting words. But, you know, unless we take steps to keep our tongue in check, unless we are willing to do something about that unruly tongue of ours, we are only going to damage others and wound them rather than help them.
I know when I first became a believer, I walked around with this 80 pound sword, just knocking everybody over, slicing and dicing. And the very people I wanted to reach were the very ones that just as soon stay away from me. I did not realize I needed to put the bridle on my tongue. Instead, I just let it all go.
But we have this passage here in James:
James 1:26 – If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion [is] useless.
Wow! Wow! You can believe and think all the right things. Unless you bridle that tongue there, Captain, that faith you have is of no use to anybody. I didn’t write the mail here. I just look at it and go, “Wow!” It is required of us that our tongue has a bridle on it.
Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t we read earlier that no one can tame the tongue? It is an unruly evil? You can’t tame it. What do you do now? You have been knocking people over with an 85 pound sword, cursing them and telling them they are going to hell, calling them all this. What gives?
I mean, how do you tame it? It says you are supposed to bridle it, but then it says you can’t even tame it. The same James wrote both, in the same book. What do you do?
Well, whenever you want to tame a wild animal, the first thing you do is find a way to get a bridle on it, right? If you want to tame a wild horse, you have to find a way to get a bridle on the thing.
It is only when you get the bridle on the horse that you can have any power or control over it so that you can tame it, while the unbridled tongue will just run free. And when it does, we will be uttering utter foolishness. I mean, we will say things we shouldn’t.
And sometimes that foolishness will get us into trouble on the earth. Not even necessarily in trouble with Yahweh, although it will, but sometimes unnecessary trouble with man.
Yahushua knew when to be silent and to say nothing. It says:
Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
He did not say a word.
So, here is Herod. Saw Yahushua, was very glad to see Him.
Luke 23:8 – Now when Herod saw Yahushua, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long [time] to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.
9 – Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.
He knew when to just say nothing.
And in one place, Pilate was saying, “Well, don’t you realize, I have the power to crucify you?” Finally, Yahushua said something. He said, “You have no power over me unless it was given to you from above.”
See, Yahushua knew when not to speak and when to speak. “A time not to speak.” Sometimes we wonder, “What should I say? What do I say in response to this situation?” Sometimes the right answer is to say nothing, nothing at all, especially when accusers are before you because they will take anything that you say and use it against you.
And that is why Yahushua was keeping His mouth quiet. That is probably why the Miranda rights here in the United States say, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.”
Scripture says in Proverbs 13:3:
Proverbs 13:3 – He who guards his mouth preserves his life, [But] he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
It is true. So, everything I am reading here from the Scriptures is that we are not called to be a wordy and talkative people. We are not supposed to be a jibber jabbering bunch, right? There is a serious danger in that.
I know some of us are more talkative than others, but the more words that come out of our mouth, the higher the chances are we are going to be saying something we should not be saying. We need to put a bridle on it, right?
What do they say? There is an American proverb, it says– “Better to be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” A closed mouth gathers no foot, right? Well, Scripture says:
Proverbs 29:20 – Do you see a man hasty in his words? [There is] more hope for a fool than for him.
Wow! Now, the word translated “hasty” here has to do with someone who is in a hurry, right? In Hebrew it reflects that as well. They are so hurried to utter their own words, it is unlikely they are going to take the time to listen to somebody else’s.
Now, a companion verse to this right here is Proverbs 26:12. Look at this. They are almost the same.
Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? [There is] more hope for a fool than for him.
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? Do you see a man hasty in his words? From two different places in Proverbs and they both say the same thing– “There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Whoa!
You know, what I have found in my years of ministry, the hardest people to minister to are the ones who like to dominate conversations. I mean, they spend so much time talking and so little time listening, they miss out on so much.
And when you try to talk to them, you barely get a few sentences strung together before you get cut off in mid-sentence where they go on for another 5 or 10 or 15 minutes. Then you feel like you have to kind of bud in to kind of be heard. It is unlikely you are going to be heard anyway. Then you compete for who is going to talk.
Hasty with words. Always in a hurry to talk. Always filling this need inside to be the center of attention. It is like the man invited to a wedding feast. Remember, Yahushua gave the parable? Automatically sits in the highest place. There he is. Plop. Highest place– there he is, assuming too much for himself.
In a group setting, where everyone is free to speak and to talk, the one who is dominating every conversation is basically putting themselves in the highest place as if they are the most important person in the room. It is what they have to say that matters. What other people say, not so much.
They sit in the highest place, so they are not invited to sit there.
You know, even George Washington was once invited to a significant event. I think it was the signing of the Declaration of Independence? I heard the story where he was just sitting there quietly, listening to everybody talk. And someone comes up to him, and says, “George, why aren’t you talking?” And he says, “I guess when I speak, I want to be heard.”
If you want your words to be heard, maybe we need to sit in the lowest place sometimes and let others desire that you would speak to them. And then when you do speak, the oracles of the living Elohim, the words that you speak, will contain the most power.
We don’t have to think that we always have to be the one talking. In fact, the wiser we are, the quieter we kind of learn to become.
Proverbs 17:27 – He who has knowledge spares his words, [And] a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
Isn’t that interesting? Do we have a calm spirit?
Proverbs 17:28 – Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; [When] he shuts his lips, [he is considered] perceptive.
It is kind of what I said earlier– the American proverb? He could be a fool, literally, and yet, people think he is perceptive and perhaps wise. Why? Because he is not opening his mouth, yet.
But a man of understanding is of a calm spirit, and he who has knowledge will spare his words. He knows when and how to use his words. But if we just let it all run free, unbridled and uncontained, the Scriptures say:
Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips [is] wise.
If you speak a lot, sin is not lacking. I did not write the mail here. Yahweh did.
Ecclesiastes 5:3 – For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice [is known] by [his] many words.
Now, I am not saying that just because a person talks more than the average person they are always a fool or worse off than a fool. It is just more likely that they are. And it is more likely that foolishness will come out. That is why. And it is more likely sin is not lacking.
That is why we have to speak. I mean, we are called to talk. We are called to speak and communicate. That is part of what relationships are. But if we say nothing about anything to anyone, we can never impart wisdom to others.
Proverbs 10:21 – The lips of the righteous feed many, But fools die for lack of wisdom.
So, I am not saying that we should be mousy and silent and hardly ever talking. I am saying, I think Yahweh is saying here, that since we must talk, let’s take a step and put a bridle on that tongue of ours and make sure it is under control. Take the first step in the taming process. Let’s put the bridle on.
And only by the power of the living Elohim, by the power of Yahweh’s Spirit, by Yahushua Ha Mashiach dwelling in us, the words that we speak will begin to reflect the love and the character of our Elohim.
So, in order to keep this tongue here in check, where do we start? Where do we begin? I mean, this little 60 or 70 gram piece of muscle in our mouth, why is it so hard to put a bridle on this thing and to tame it? What is the problem here? For the answer, I will point you to the context of the very first verse I quoted in the study today.
Yahushua said to the Pharisees, scribes, and so on:
Matthew 12:34 – Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 – But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Matthew 12:37 – For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
The context here is: This is why you can’t tame the tongue, because if the heart has the evil in it– garbage in, garbage out. If garbage is in the heart, garbage will come out the mouth. It is just going to happen.
And so, if we have evil in our heart, evil is eventually going to come out. You cannot stop it. It is like a freight train. It is going to manifest itself. And so, Yahushua asked them, “How can you, being evil, speak good things? How can you do it? Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
So, we see the key here, the real place we need to be focusing in on here, is the heart.
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it [spring] the issues of life.
24 – Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.
See how they are connected?
Proverbs 4:25 – Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.
Look, the eyes affect what goes in the heart.
Proverbs 4:26 – Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.
27 – Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
So, take the sensory things that happen to be in the world around you and make sure that your eyes, your focus, your attention, the things in which you put your time into, the things in which you are driven by, motivated by, looking to, impressed by, are the things of Elohim– and do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
And then the things that enter the heart and that you entertain will, of course, be good, and therefore, the mouth will be also.
Now, if a wrong thought does come in our mind, and this is the problem when we are so talkative all the time– whatever comes in the mind, goes out the mouth. There is no filter. There is no stop. It just goes in the mind and out the mouth if we are the wordy, talkative type of person.
Now, there does have to be a filter. I mean, a lot of us on the Internet, we might hear about this Internet filter. It filters out all the smut and garbage and stuff that is on there. But we need to have this filter, you know, that whatever ugly thoughts enter our mind gets filtered. And then they won’t come out of our mouth.
But the way you ultimately are going to control that is to reject thoughts that are not of Yahweh. (Reject THAT thought in Yahushua’s name!) There needs to be some kind of mechanism to where we care what we say and despise the things that seek to exalt themselves and are contrary to the ways of our Father, because we love Him.
2Corinthians 10:4 – For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in Elohim for pulling down strongholds,
5 – casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah,
So, if this thought comes in your mind, you have to ask, “What kind of thought is this anyway? Is it exalting itself against the knowledge of Elohim? Is it something I need to cast down? Is it an argument against the Father?” Take it into captivity and bring it to obedience.
And if our thoughts are not in accordance with obedience, then the battle is Yahweh’s and we can pray that He will cast it away and destroy the enemy seeking to harm us. And with the prayer of faith He will as we reject those thoughts in Yahushua’s name.
Those thoughts are not of Yahweh. They are of Yahweh’s enemy. He does not want that enemy in our hearts. He wants you to call upon Him in the day of trouble. And then He will deliver you. And then you can glorify Him in that.
So, our heart needs to be cleansed and purified so that the speech that comes out will be because thoughts inspire words. And we are called to be Israelites indeed.
And so, we need to be careful of the things we hear, the things that we see, so that we reject the things that we hear that are not from Yahweh, we reject the things that we may see that are not from Yahweh, so that they will not come into our heart, they will not take root, and therefore, will not come out of our mouth as corrupt words.
The way we prevent corrupt words is to recognize corrupt thoughts. The way we recognize corrupt thoughts is to study the words of Yahweh and see whether or not they are HIS words. We cannot always avoid the corrupt thoughts. The enemy can try to plant corrupt thoughts in our minds.
All you have to do is walk down the street and you will probably hear corrupt thoughts. I mean, you go to a restaurant, the guy sitting next to you saying corrupt words. We must harden our hearts against those things. Express compassion toward them because if you are like me, you were probably just like them at one time.
But be aware of what enters there, the things that are corrupt– the television, radios, those things we read on websites, music, magazines, newspapers, friends, relatives, co-workers, the words of men. Keep our guard up because he who keeps his tongue keeps his life. We must first keep our hearts and not let our guard down for a moment.
Do not entertain the thoughts of the world.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 – For Elohim will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
If there is something there that is not right, you can pray like David prayed. He was struggling with lust. He committed adultery against his wife, against another man. He took another man’s wife. He struggled with lust and what did he pray?
Psalms 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
He recognized his heart was not clean. He recognized he needed a cleanse from Yahweh and that Yahweh was the only one who could cleanse it. A clean heart is a promise that Yahweh gives us in the New Covenant.
Ezekiel 36:25 – Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
It is a promise.
Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 – I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do [them].
Do we receive this promise? In Yahushua’s name, let’s receive that promise and believe it is no longer we who live, it is Messiah who lives in us. And that is what is going to grant us the heart change we need. We just need to let Yahweh write His words there so that we will walk them out and keep them.
And as we do that, His words will become our words. As He said in Deuteronomy 6, verse 6:
Deuteronomy 6:6 – And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
7 – You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8 – You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deuteronomy 6:9 – You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
It is a picture of someone who put the word of Yahweh in his heart. That is what happens– goodness in, goodness out.
May our thoughts in the secret place be pure. Yahweh alone knows what your thoughts are like, what my thoughts are like. And when the thoughts in the secret place are pure, our destiny will be eternal life.
I have heard it said, “Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
So may it be that our destiny is eternal life through Yahushua our Master, but it all starts with our thought life. Let’s guard our hearts as a watchman guards a city.
Let’s destroy every enemy that seeks to enter the city, calling for reinforcements, calling for the heavenlies to battle with you against anything that exalts itself against the Kingdom of Elohim, that every thought would be brought into the captivity necessary to be obedient to Messiah, so that the words we speak would justify us and not condemn us.
And to accomplish that, we need to delight in Yahweh’s Law. Psalm 19 says:
2 – Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 – [There is] no speech nor language [Where] their voice is not heard.
Psalms 19:4 – Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
All the atheists and humanists out there, all they have to do is look up and they will get Torah. They declare His glory. It is not possible for all of us to have been an accident, a mistake, a random assembly of atoms and molecules.
And so, where does the wisdom come from? They are going to look. And we have the answer… In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun:
Psalms 19:5 – Which [is] like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, [And] rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
6 – Its rising [is] from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 – The law of YAHWEH [is] perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of YAHWEH [is] sure, making wise the simple;
Psalms 19:8 – The statutes of YAHWEH [are] right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of YAHWEH [is] pure, enlightening the eyes;
Psalms 19:9 – The fear of YAHWEH [is] clean, enduring forever; The judgments of YAHWEH [are] true [and] righteous altogether.
10 – More to be desired [are they] than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 – Moreover by them Your servant is warned, [And] in keeping them [there is] great reward.
Psalms 19:12 – Who can understand [his] errors? Cleanse me from secret [faults].
13 – Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous [sins]; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O YAHWEH, my strength and my Redeemer.
(“The words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart” are connected.)
Father Yahweh, in the name of Your Son, Yahushua, we acknowledge, Father, that our words have not always been according to Your words, nor according to the way in which You would call us to speak Your words. And Father, we ask that You would cleanse our heart, grant us that clean heart that is promised us in Your Word.
And fill our heart with Your good Word that what comes out of our mouth would only be Your good Word. And forgive us where we have failed and perhaps hurt others, not represented You rightly. Father, we want to be walking in the image of Yahushua Ha Mashiach, whom we know is Your express image and brightness of Your glory.
Let us be that brightness, that city on the hill that cannot be hidden, that You might be glorified. Father, let it be the words of our mouths, the meditation of our hearts, Father, the things that we think about. Father, let them be acceptable in Your eyes because You are our strength. And You, O Yahweh, You are our Redeemer.
Through and by Your Son, Yahushua Ha Mashiach, we pray. Amein.