by John Greene
Today, at least a billion and a half people are told to reckon themselves as ‘dead to sin, but alive to God.’ They are also told that sin doesn’t have rule over them, ‘for you are not under the Law,’ but under grace. (Romans 6:11, 14) Yet, our Father’s grace is the time that each of us has to get right with Him, to walk in His track of righteousness. Ignored are what the context of scripture says; that Christians must not obey sin by allowing it to rule their bodies, that disciples must not decide to operate as instruments of unrighteousness, nor support unrighteousness. (Romans 6:12-13) Whatever you obey, whatever you quietly submit to, is what you serve. Sin leads to death, but obedience to righteousness. Disciples decide not to obey sin, but are established from sin through the righteousness of Elohim. (Romans 6:6-10, 14-18) As long as you are a servant of Elohim, you are set apart to Him, to everlasting life. (Romans 6:22-23)
“For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, through the Torah, were working in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been released from the Torah, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in newness of Spirit and not in oldness of letter.” – Romans 7:5-6, HRB
Paul uses marriage as an illustration When the marriage mate dies, the other is free to belong to another per the Law. The sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus] made us free from the law of death, as being raised up with the Messiah, and like Him, to bear fruit to Elohim. A disciple is no longer married to the old man of flesh, unless a disciple falls away or returns to his or her old ways, separating from Elohim and becoming one with the world with Satan and his agents. The curse of Adam still remains in the age of man-rule, in that even Spirit-filled disciples still endure a battle within their minds and hearts.
“A man that endures trial I am! Who will deliver me from the body of death? I thank Elohim through Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah our Master. So then, the understanding that I, myself indeed serve is the Law of Elohim, but the flesh is the law of sin.” – Romans 7:24-25, direct translation
The Torah or Law of Moses is a measuring stick to sin, but helpless to mediate the sin of the imperfect man or women. This provisional measure of animal sacrifice was a testimony that slaughtering animals and obedience to YHWH as a ‘divinely-held’ nation or group of people was not an effective testimony to the world, nor did it work in practice. Without the sacrifice of Messiah, sin was still death, so YHWH brought His Son to the earth through the mother of Yahshua [Jesus]. Through Yahshua [Jesus] and the Set Apart Spirit [Dedicated, ‘Holy’ Spirit], the disciple is set apart to righteousness, even as the old man is flesh and sold to sin. (Romans 7:10-24; “The Magi of this Age“; “Leadership & the Universal Authority of Messiah“)
“Therefore now, there is no condemnation for those in Messiah Yahshua, who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1, direct translation
There are more than a few people that have a problem with verse 1 of Romans, but it’s not really about what you might think. It has been argued that the last part of the verse, ‘who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit,’ is a later addition to the text of scripture. Let us assume that this is the case and read the first four verses of the chapter. Does the meaning change because of this quibble about Romans 8:1? Not at all. If you were to summarize these verses in context, the summary might be “there is no condemnation for those in Messiah Yahshua (verse 1)… …(verse 4) walking, not after the flesh, but to the contrary, after the Spirit.” The context of scripture that surrounds these verses is the same. What an objection about Romans 8:1 does seek, is that by dropping the end of verse 1, you can simply cite the preferred version of the verse and eagerly misapply scripture by quoting the single verse and dropping the context. “Therefore now, there is no condemnation for those in Messiah Yahshua.” The implication, by misapplying scripture, is that you can have the benefits of grace and salvation through the simple acknowledgment of Yahshua [Jesus], some kind of ritual ceremony or hierarchy of leadership. (“Incentives of Deception“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“; “Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“)
If calling yourself a disciple was all it took to be ‘in Messiah Yahshua’ [in Jesus], the world would be full of disciples. Many will not be saved, for the truth is something else entirely. (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 17:26-30; Acts 20:30; Romans 10:13; James 2:19-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 3:1-2; 2 Peter 2:20-22; Hebrews 6:4-6) Building the personal authority of man’s leadership through another gospel is often the very thing desired by many religious leaders. Cherry-picking this verse, and many others, is not honest because it ignores the context and truth that lives in the Bible. This is nothing less than deception, a death-dealing counterfeit, a substitute or antichrist teaching.
“Enter in through the narrow gate. Because wide is the gate and spacious the road, put to death through destruction, and many, by their reason, agree to enter. For narrow is the gate and troublesome is the road, the one that leads to life, and few agree to obtain it.“ – Matthew 7:13-14, direct translation
In the same way, the Law of Moses demonstrated that a national or cultural law was entirely ineffective, just as a moral or ethical code is today. A nation of people that called themselves ‘His people’ would not obey YHWH, nor did this cause them to love Him. (Does this sound familiar?) This brings home the point that salvation is personal, and always bears fruit, as an offering of thanks to Elohim. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 5:22-23; “Strengthening Your Motivation“)
“Take heed that you separate yourselves from false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside are ravening wolves. You will know to mark them by their fruit. Does anyone gather grapes from a thorn, or a fig from a brier? In this way, all beneficial trees bear honest fruit, but a worthless tree bears harmful fruit. A beneficial tree cannot bear harmful fruit, neither a worthless tree bear honest fruit. All trees that do not bear honest fruit are cut down and cast into fire. In this manner, by their fruit you will know them.” – Matthew 7:15-20, direct translation
The history of man continues the lesson of ancient Israel, as it was designed to do by the Father. It provides that salvation through Yahshua [Jesus] is individual and personal. The Set Apart Spirit sets His disciples apart, through the provision of Yahshua [Jesus], effectively delivering His disciples from the permanent effects of sin and death. The sacrifice of our Savior made a way around sin so that righteousness could be complete in those that chose to walk after and in the Set Apart Spirit.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yahshua delivers me from the law of sin and death, for the reason that the law was unable in that it was weak through the flesh. Elohim dispatched His Son in the form of sinful flesh, and (peri) making the Way around sin, judged against sin in the flesh in order that the righteousness of the law be completed in us walking, not after the flesh, but to the contrary, after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:2-4, direct translation
Those that walk after the flesh don’t walk in Elohim’s righteousness. Disciples need to show the fruit of obedience to Elohim through living in the Set Apart Spirit [Holy Spirit]. Walking in the flesh is in opposition to YHWH because the flesh is not in agreement with Him. Walking in the flesh is in agreement with sin. Disciples of the Messiah belong in His Spirit, in the Set Apart Spirit. Those that do not evidence the Set Apart Spirit are not His disciples. In Romans 5:12, the apostle lays out man’s struggle with sin in daily living. Yet, each day that a disciple lives in righteousness through the fruit of obedience is a day lived in righteousness, set apart to the righteousness of Elohim, a disciple that lives through love and the Set Apart Spirit, set free from sin. Seek His truth and ask for the Set Apart Spirit in your life. Then, continue in the Spirit.
“Ask, and power to you. Seek and find. Knock and it will open to you. For all that ask take, and seek find, and knock, open up. But what man of you is grudging, that if his son asks for bread will hand him a stone, or if asking for a fish hands him a snake? If you then being evil know the power of gifts to your child, how much greater your Father in heaven will grant benefits that ask Him? Certainly the whole as much as you are inclined to believe that men should agree with you, agree you even in this manner with them, because this is the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 7:7-12, direct translation
“For being after the flesh exercises the mind of the flesh, but one after the Spirit, the Spirit. For to be fleshly minded is death, but Spirit-minded, life and peace. On account that the fleshly mind is in opposition towards Elohim because it is not subordinate to the law of Elohim, neither indeed is it able. Now, to be in the flesh, it is not possible to be in agreement with Elohim. Now, you belong not in the flesh, but to the contrary, in the Spirit, if perhaps the Spirit of Elohim lives in you.” – Romans 8:5-9, direct translation
When the fruit and actions of the Set Apart Spirit reside in His disciples, sin is dead in them. Mystery doesn’t exist here and scripture is clear. To be set apart to Him in the Set Apart Spirit is YHWH’s provision for those that will listen and obey. Understanding this may well be a secret that only a disciple of the Messiah can truly understand with a heightened understanding of scripture. Some of us have come to recognize that scripture originally had many more references to be being set apart (even the real Name of the Set Apart or ‘Holy’ Spirit), instead of having the reality of being set apart to Elohim cleverly redacted by translators with another agenda. (1 Corinthians 2:14-15) The Father has a long-established track of righteousness that He has determined. That track is not determined by man. Selecting this righteousness through the love of Elohim’s provision shows your appreciation and your decision as a genuine disciple of Yahshua [Jesus]. (Luke 16:13-14; Hebrews 10:26-28; James 2:8-20, 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17; Revelation 21:8)
“Now when Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead to sin. But the Spirit is life through righteousness. Now when the Spirit that raised Yahshua [Jesus] from the dead remains in you,the Spirit that raised Messiah from the dead likewise gives life to your mortal body by His Spirit that lives in you. Truly and certainly brothers, we are not indebted to the flesh, to life through the flesh. For when you live after the flesh suffer death. But when the Spirit puts to death the works of the body, you live. For all that are carried by the Spirit of Elohim, they agree as sons of Elohim.” – Romans 8:10-14, direct translation
Disciples possess the Set Apart Spirit through love, not through fear. This is intimate agape and phileo love, devoted wholly to Father YHWH, your Elohim, as heirs of His Kingdom in agreement with Him. They know what sin is and agree with Elohim. Disciples of the Messiah suffer the same kinds of threats and persecution as Yahshua [Jesus], exalted in Him as they persevere. What a disciple will receive in return for seasons of suffering or temporary uncertainty of circumstances exceeds what a disciple can know because of the imperfection we all hold. (“Vanquishing Sin & Oppression“)
“For you do not possess the spirit of bondage again through fear, but possess the Spirit as Sons, in which we call out ‘Abba Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies to our spirit, that we are children of Elohim. And when children, then heirs; heirs of Elohim and co-heirs of Messiah. If so, we suffer the same kind of persecution in order to be exalted together. For I conclude that the suffering of the present season is not deserving by the side of the esteem that is to be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:15-18, direct translation
Through the Set Apart Spirit, disciples are no longer in bondage to fear and its cronies. Instead, disciples are in an intimate relationship through Him as His children and heirs through Yahshua [Jesus]. Disciples are exalted through trouble and persecution in the same way the Yahshua [Jesus] was. (James 1:12; Ephesians 5:8, 11, 6:11-12) Through the fruits of love and thankful obedience, we obey Elohim and continue steadfastly in the Set Apart Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14, 15:50; Romans 8:9, 12) We also look forward expectantly to the new freedom as His children, as eternal heirs, priests in His Kingdom. (Revelation 1:5-6, 5:9-10; 1 Peter 2:4-9; Hebrews 1:1-14; Titus 2:11-12; “Discernment 101: Learning to be Discerning“; “Consenting to Fables of Men“)
“For the intense anticipation of the creation waits for the revealing of the sons of Elohim. For the creation is subordinate to vanity, not voluntarily, but through subjection of expectation, because the creation itself will be delivered from the bondage to destruction into the esteemed freedom of the children of Elohim. For He knew that all of creation experiences a common calamity and pangs of suffering together until the present time, and not alone, but each of us also, possessing the beginning of sacrifice, the firstfruits of the Spirit. Even all of us groan in ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the deliverance of our body.” – Romans 8:19-23, direct translation
“Because I know as though this [truth in Messiah declared] becomes the purpose of my salvation through your prayer, even the supply of the Spirit of Yahshua Messiah concerning my intense anticipation and expectation, that in nothing ashamed, but in every confidence, as always, even at present Messiah be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.” – Philippians 1:19-20
Paul speaks of the perpetual state of vanity of the flesh, as disciples wait for the revealing of Elohim’s Kingdom through Messiah’s Return. Despite the groaning of the flesh, disciples possess ‘the beginning of sacrifice, the firstfruits of the Spirit.’ The beginning of sacrifice is love, through the intimate knowing of Elohim. (“The Beginning of Sacrifice”) The beginning of sacrifice, the firstfruits of the Spirit is Yahshua [Jesus], His special love shed abroad in their hearts. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Romans 5:5) His resurrection is akin to a wave offering, given to His Father as the ‘firstfruit’ of the harvest on earth. (Matthew 27:52-53; James 1:17) A wave offering was a portion of a sacrifice presented to YHWH, then released by YHWH for the use of those involved in the sacrifice. (Romans 12:1-2)
Once Yahshua ascended, the Set Apart Spirit could come as promised to fill the hearts of disciples. Through Yahshua, His disciples are brought from death into life, a spiritual resurrection as His dedicated, set apart people. The firstfruits grow and mature as a new person in Messiah, continually being cleansed of the old leaven of the world. Trust in the hearts of disciples is birthed through action, the beginning of harvest. This harvest of the heart rises up as a fragrant offering, expressed as a wave offering to the High Priest Yahshua [Jesus] as part of the harvest of His purpose for His disciples. Through daily offerings, through personal expression and through the harvest of ministry, disciples affirm the link between their Father, the ‘land’ of their hearts and the devotion of Messiah’s people to His Kingdom. (James 1:5-8; Deuteronomy 26:2-11; Exodus 23:19, 34:26; Leviticus 23:9-12; Revelation 7:14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hosea 14:2; “Prayer & Your Trust“; “Disciple of Messiah: Learning to Live in Trust“)
“Through Him then, offer up continually the sacrifice of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of lips, giving thanks in His Name. But do not forget in well doing and sharing, for this kind of offering is pleasing to Elohim.” – Hebrews 13:15-16, direct translation
As disciples, we are justified by trusting in the sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus] as we live through the Set Apart Spirit. Through the Set Apart Spirit, expectation becomes reality within, even before disciples see Messiah’s Return. Disciples see salvation and endure through the reality of promise and sacrifice.
“For we are saved by expectation through trust. Now expectation that sees is not expectation through trust. For what a man sees, why even expect? Now when we expect what is not seen, through endurance, expect it fully.” – Romans 8:24-25, direct translation
Paul defines the essence of expectation, which is salvation through personal expectation, resulting in justification. (Romans 3:28, 4:1-5, 25, 5:1-21; Titus 3:7; Galatians 2:16-17, 3:24; Philippians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 6:11; James 2:20-23) This expectation through belief is the root of trust, not only in the sacrifice of Messiah, but in the provision of the Set Apart Spirit. However, Paul also indicates that the brotherhood of Messiah sees the reality of His sacrifice, His Kingdom in the hearts of His people, to be completed by His Coming Kingdom on earth and the heavens. Elohim’s Kingdom is real, the evidence is real, so why expect it? We know it to be so. As we wait, disciples must endure to see His Kingdom expressed fully in the heavens and on earth. The importance of the Set Apart Spirit as a personal Counselor cannot be overestimated, as we go on to read:
“But in the same way, the Spirit also helps our frailty, for we have not known what to pray to Elohim for, according to what is necessary. To the contrary, the Spirit Himself makes intercession for our sake, with groaning that cannot be uttered, now searching the heart, having known what is in the mind of the spirit, concerning making intercession for the dedicated in the manner of Elohim. And having known that all fellow workers, for the benefit of those that love Elohim, being the appointed, are sacrificial offerings before Elohim [as His show bread] to His more excellent purpose.” – Romans 8:26-28, direct translation
The Set Apart Spirit comes to intimately know each disciple and is present to assist, to sustain through difficulty and time of need. He is always present to lend a hand, as if alongside us, a partner, says the Word of scripture. He helps each abiding disciple in the same depth that Yahshua [Jesus] carries the infirmities of each. (Matthew 8:17; Luke 10:40) He comes to the rescue, even to help a disciple to know what to pray for as it is necessary. Disciples are laid before His presence, as a key element of His purpose. Disciples are not by accident, but by His purpose as part of His plan of salvation to find the willing. Disciples are an offering to YHWH, always in His presence, just as the Showbread or Bread of Presence in the Holy Place, but as living bread made of the finest wheat, in the presence of YHWH in the Tabernacle. We are to be in continuous fellowship with Him as His tabernacles. In the presence of YHWH is Yahshua [Jesus], Who acts as High Priest, as well as the table with the gold crown that holds unleavened the Bread of Presence. (Hebrews 9:2-12; Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 24:5-9) His genuine and dedicated disciples are justified as righteous in line with His plan, unspotted from the leaven of the world, and exalted as such:
“Because of what He already knew beforehand and predetermined, conformed to the likeness of His Son, Himself came to be firstborn in many brothers. Now what He predetermined, these were also called, and whom He called. These He also justified as righteous, and whom He made righteous, these also magnified. What then say to these? If Elohim is for the sake of us, what can be against us?” – Romans 8:29-31, direct translation
Not everyone that proclaimed His Name were genuine disciples, made of the finest spiritual wheat. Indications are that the majority simply put on appearances as they are able. Consider the parable of the wheat and tares. (Matthew 13:24-30; see also 7:22-23; 1 Corinthians 3:13, 6:20, 10:31) The ingredients of the Bread of Presence are put through a sieve until greatly refined and perfectly baked through the tests of life. The special ingredient that enables and encourages disciples, allowing them to be set apart to Elohim, is the Set Apart Spirit.
YHWH offered His Own Son as a sacrificial wave offering for His people, His elect for salvation into His Kingdom. Yahshua [Jesus] became the Intercessor that Sits at His Right Hand of Power and Authority, which YHWH will use in formal Judgment of all those that have walked the earth. This Judgment and revealing of His Kingdom will mean exaltation for His disciples that love and honor Him through personal obedience and devotion. His sacrifice is proof that He will give His disciples what they need.
“And besides, He did not spare His Own Son, but to the contrary, delivered Him up for us all. How will He not, in union with Him, also favor us all? Who will call into question Elohim’s elect? Elohim is righteous. Who judges? Messiah was slain, and how much better that He is raised up, Who is even at the right hand of Elohim, Who also makes intercession for our sake. Who will separate us from the love of Messiah? Tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or scarcity of food, or nakedness, or danger, or war? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are killed all day, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.’ No, in all these we are conquerors through our love.” – Romans 8:32-37, direct translation
Paul then offers a prayer, a commitment that what He has said and will say is of the truth and through the Set Apart Spirit, as he continues to speak to the Jewish members of the gathering in Rome.
“I speak the truth in Messiah, I do not deceive, my conscience testifies together with the Set Apart Dedicated Spirit, that I wrestle great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I pray that I be banished from Messiah for the sake of my brothers, my kin in the flesh, who are descendants of Israel, which the adoption and the esteem and the Covenant and the Torah and the service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from Whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, Who is over all. Elohim be blessed forever. So it is.” – Romans 9:1-5, direct translation
Paul serves his brothers with great devotion, putting them above himself. He had great concern for their spiritual character, their purity and standing before Elohim. He wanted them to be as they should, refined and set apart to their Heavenly Father. He wants them to believe His concerns. He was greatly concerned for the lost members of his kin in the flesh, the Jews, and wanted them to know it. This concern and caring is what disciples are called to do for one another, as well as for those that will listen. Disciples do this with humility and devotion, spreading the truth, looking to restore that truth in declaring His righteousness to the world. As Paul was concerned about Israel, so should we be concerned about the lost of the world, even the secular Jews that run the nation of Israel of today. All the world of man needs this whole truth, not another gospel, a substitute gospel or the fables of men. This compels disciples to declare the truth as it burns in their hearts and to live life as the Messiah did. Disciples have much to do and much to pray for, but Elohim bears the burden, for our load is light. The Set Apart Spirit is the Counselor that is set apart and sets disciple apart, to make operating in the Spirit possible. (Matthew 11:28-30; John 8:12, 14:6, 26, 16:13; Ephesians 4:30; Galatians 6:2; 1 John 5:3; Acts 15:10; “How YHWH Marks His People“; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“)