Sunday, January 11, 2009


"Emunah" is a Hebrew term in which the concept got lost within the Hellenized church - "emunah" was stripped of its meaning by the Greek pursuit to mentally transcend the term "belief", a.k.a, "faith." A person in the Hellenized church says, "I have faith... I believe in God." Yet the fruit thereof is nearly non-existent or non-existent altogether - their "faith" is nothing more than a mental transcendence of the idea, not a living out of the idea. The concept of faith in Hebrew, which is "emunah," is FAR more than a mental exercise. Emunah is a working, living, and active trust in God - emunah demonstrates one's trust and belief in God by everything one DOES, not says or thinks. To act contrary to God's Word is to lack "emunah." Emunah is "FAITHFULNESS," it is outright TRUST in God and the exercise and portrayal of God's attributes in one's own life - emunah in a Believer's life is the ACT of portraying God's faithfulness and lovingkindness.

As I read and prepared for yesterday's Torah study, Parshah Vayechi, the Ruach HaKodesh ministered this truth to me. After the Ruach HaKodesh ministered the true meaning of faith, of emunah, He asked me to read Hebrews 11... interjecting my new understanding of emunah wherever I read the word "faith." Oh, my... a new and tremendous understanding was revealed. "Without 'emunah' it is impossible to please God." Now, I understood that Abraham did more than just "believe" - Abraham did more than mentally acknowledge God. Oh, yes, Abraham acted on, worked out, adhered to, and relied upon God's Word and promises. Yeah... now read Hebrews 11 and interject "emunah" wherever you see the word "faith."

Woo hoo... wowsa!

What I've always understood as, "Without 'the mental acknowledgement of God' it is impossible to please God..." came to life and now read as, "Without 'faithfulness, trust, adherence, and reliance upon God and the exercise and portrayal of God's own attributes in our life' it is impossible to please God..." (Hebrews 11:6a).

What I've always read and understood as, "If we 'lack the ability to mentally believe God,' He remains faithful 'to those of us who struggle to believe or who are doubleminded'; He cannot deny Himself" came to life and now read as, "If we 'are not faithful, do not trust, do not adhere, do not rely upon God and do not exercise and portray His attributes,' He remains faithful - 'He faithfully demonstrates His attributes'; He cannot deny 'demonstrating His own attributes'."

Actually, the passage directly proceeding 2 Timothy 2:13 says, "If we deny Him, He also will deny us." (That statement should provoke a healthy and fearful respect of God, no matter how men's theology have carved out various doctrines.) Therefore, 2 Timothy 2:13 should have never been construed as "If we act as if we don't believe in Him, He will continue to believe for us or be faithful to us." No, rather, "If [people] act as if [they] don't believe in Him and [they] do not demonstrate His attributes, He will continue to be faithful in the demonstration of His attributes (righteousness, justice, and lovingkindness); He cannot deny the demonstration of His own attributes."

The trustworthy saying Shaul is quoting basically explains that if we crucify our own flesh (beliefs, desires, egos) on Yeshua's cross, we will also live with Yeshua. It goes on to explain that if we endure, if we run the race and finish the race well, we will also reign with Yeshua. Both concepts (crucifying our flesh and enduring until the end) require acting out, portraying, and exercising our trust, adherence, and reliance upon God, His Son, and His Word - His commandments, precepts, and promises - during our earthly lifetime!

11 This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.

12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.

(The faithful, trustworthy saying above demonstrates the meaning of EMUNAH, and the immediate passage below speaks of the lack of emunah...)

If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.

(Shaul goes on to tell Timothy that the faithful (or trustworthy) saying sums it up when it states, "if people lack emunah (faithfulness), God cannot lack emunah (faithfulness) since He cannot deny His own attributes/characteristics.")

13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
- Shaul, 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Now, since we understand that Greek thought (Hellenization) in practice and in essence stripped the Hebrew of its meaning, even within the first century congregation of Believers, we see that Yaakov (James), the brother of Yeshua, sought to revive the meaning true of 'faith'... the Hebrew meaning and understanding of "emunah": 14 "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." - (Yaakov) James 2:14-17

It is surely God's grace (unmerited favor) that has provided salvation for all, not the works of our flesh, but is is (1) TESHUVAH (a daily turning from sin - seeking to recognize and acknowledge sinful behavoir and the thoughts in which it began - and returning to God (Luke 9:23)), and (2) EMUNAH that demonstrate a true circumcision of heart.

Yeshua described teshuvah when He said if we want to follow Him, we must deny ourself, and take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Emunah demonstrates that we have entered into the new covenant (the Brit Chadasha - Jeremiah 31:31-34) with YHVH and are heirs according the terms of the new covenant (Hebrews 9:11-28, 10:1-20, John 3:1-16, Galatians 4:4-7, Romans 3:19-31).

Emunah is being, is acting, as sons and daughters of God, who desire to emulate their Father, thus truly BEING heirs to Yeshua's inheritance. Hence, Yochanan (John) the Baptist told the Pharisees, "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance..." (Matthew 3:8). In one sentence, Yochanan the Baptist summed up teshuvah and emunah.

Over the past few months, in my own practice of teshuva, I have been asking YHVH to compel me, to strengthen me, in portraying Him, His attributes, to others in my everyday world - to those whom I work with and my family and friends - rather than acting sinfully, thereby, dishonoring Him. My greatest desire is to turn to the LORD with all of my heart and that He guide me in paths of righteousness for His Name's sake. Little did I know, I was already exercising emunah before I came to any knowledge of the Hebraic word and concept.

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