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Sermon: Creator, Master, Savior, Friend
Shalom saints! I pray that Yahweh has been keeping each one of you. I pray also that you have been walking in His love and grace.
Today, I wanted to talk about knowing Yahweh. There are generally four stages to knowing Yahweh.
Everyone on earth is in one of these stages. Stage one is more general than stage four. So, the further up you go in stages, the closer you get to know Yahweh.
The goal of this sermon is to help you identify the stage you’re at.
Honestly, see where you are. We have a tendency to think we are in a better position than we actually are.
Ask at least three other saints, especially the mature ones, and let them tell you at what stage they think you are.
That might be more accurate than your own judgment.
So, let’s start.
So the stages are
Creator/God/Elohim, then Savior, then Master, then Friend.
Stage 1: God/Elohim
The first stage to knowing Yahweh is as God, as Elohim. This is how everyone and everything knows Yahweh first.
The reason for this is because Yahweh is Creator and everything else is created. This is the one thing that separates Yahweh from everything else in the universe, both visible and invisible, both physical and spiritual.
Yahweh is Creator, and everything else is created.
So, in this stage we see that:
- Yahweh being your Elohim, your God, is non-negotiable.
You don’t choose this. That’s just the way it is. Yahweh is your God whether you believe in Him or not.
Yahweh is your God whether you believe it or not. Yahweh is your God whether you agree with it or not.
Yahweh is your God whether you like it or not. You don’t choose this.
There is nothing you can do to change this.
- V: “"Behold, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”
Jeremiah 32:27 ESV
- V: “"Let Yahweh, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation”
Numbers 27:16 ESV
Yahweh is Elohim of all people. He is God of believers and unbelievers.
He is God of the righteous and the unrighteous. He is God of the saints and the sinners.
- Yahweh is Elohim of the whole earth.
V: “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”
Isaiah 54:5 ESV
Yahweh is Elohim of all the animals, all the plants, and everything in the universe.
- Knowing Yahweh at this stage only is through a non-personal relationship.
If you only know Yahweh as God, it means you don’t have a personal relationship with Yahweh.
Most of the world know Yahweh this way. They only know Him as God.
He wakes them up in the morning. He causes their hearts to continue beating, He provides food and shelter for them, He let’s them have children, succeed in their jobs, and so on.
Whether they acknowledge it or not, Yahweh is the one doing all these things.
V: “For Yahweh is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.”
Psalms 95:3-4 ESV
V: “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:17 ESV
Now, because the whole earth is under the curse of sin because of man, Yahweh’s wrath stands over those who are living in sin.
So, when you die, and you only know Yahweh as God, you will be judged for your sin and cast into hell.
V: “For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Hebrews 10:30-31 ESV
If you only Yahweh as Elohim, you have no personal relationship with Him. How can you? He is God, high and lifted up, you’re at the bottom, lowly and earthly.
He is holy and majestic, you are sinful and earthly.
Your sin has separated you from Yahweh. He is glorious, you have no glory.
He is eternal, you are mortal. He is not like you and you are not like Him.
You are not fellows, you are not equals. So, how can you have fellowship?
So, to get to know Yahweh more, you need to go through the next stages.
Now, the stage of knowing Him just as Elohim, just as God, is non-negotiable, and you have no choice.
The next three stages, however, are completely negotiable.
You have a choice and it’s all up to you.
So, to get to know Yahweh more, you need to go through the next stages. The next stage is Savior.
Stage 2: Savior
At this stage, you can get to know Yahweh personally. You can have a personal relationship with Yahweh.
People who are at this stage have realized that they are sinners, that Yahweh will judge them at the last day and if found condemned, He will cast them into eternal damnation.
Though Yahweh is Elohim, high and lifted up, though He is holy and majestic, though He is glorious and eternal, and you are none of those things, you can now have a relationship with Him through Yahshua.
Yahshua was and is all that Yahweh the Father is, but also is a man, having all your attributes, but without sin, therefore able to bridge the gap between sinless God and sinful man through a sinless sacrifice for sinful man.
V: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
V: “Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from Elohim, who through Messiah reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;”
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 ESV
The majority of people in the world are not at this stage. Only a minority of people know Yahweh as Savior.
This is the most important stage for a human being because this takes you from Hell and into Heaven.
You become adopted as a child of Yahweh and you receive eternal life and all the eternal glories that come with it.
You have a new family and a new life. You are introduced to Yahweh’s ways and Yahweh’s life.
You are introduced to the rules of the family also known as the Law of Yahweh.
The Law of Yahweh is how those who are born again are supposed to live. It shows the character of Yahweh.
It shows what He likes and what He hates and it shows how His people should become holy like He is.
When you get to this stage, you also get to know the Truth about life and the universe.
You understand how life began, who the devil is, what angels are, and what happens in the end.
This is a good stage to be at, but it is not the best stage to be at.
There are many people who have believed in Yahweh, have had faith, and have been saved, but they stopped here.
They never went further in knowing who Yahweh is.
Yahshua is the savior of the whole world. Blessed are those who are born again and saved from eternal damnation because of their faith.
But, we would be deceiving ourselves if we only remained at this stage.
It is dangerous to remain at this stage and not follow through with what the Scripture says.
Many Christians stop here and they forget about the rest of the stages or the rest of what the Scriptures say.
They said they believed in Yahshua, they believed He died, was buried, and He rose again, and that faith saves them. But, that’s it.
They don’t realize that Yahweh requires not only faith at that initial point of salvation, but also a perpetual application of faith through out your life.
Faith in Yahweh is not only believing and being saved that very first time, but also continuing to believe each and every day after that.
People who are at this stage for a long time give elders a lot of headaches.
Elders are charged with watching over the souls of the congregation.
People who are this stage are those that show faith, they say they believe in Yahshua, they come to Sabbath services, they come to Bible study, and they’ve been doing this for a while but they show little to no fruit of the Spirit.
Then you wonder, is this person really saved, or do they not understand the Scriptures, or are they just playing church? You wonder.
This is not a good stage to be at for a long time without moving on to the next stage.
In fact, immediately one gets saved, he or she needs to move on to the next stage.
People who are at this stage are on the edge. They come to church services, but their lives hardly look like that of Yahshua.
It is people who remain at this stage who are most likely to hear, “Depart from me you worker of lawlessness.”
Yahshua said those people He will say that to will respond and say, “But did we not do miracles in your Name, did we not cast out demons in your Name, and do mighty works in your Name?”
(Matt. 7:21 - 23)
They believed in Yahshua, had the Holy Spirit, but then were workers of lawlessness.
One of the reasons this passage of Scripture is so hard to take is because the people Yahshua is saying this to appear to be believers.
People who remain at this stage are also known as lukewarm.
Lukewarm is a mixture of cold and hot. Cold means living in sin. Hot means being on fire for Yahweh.
In the book of Revelation, Yahshua mentions a church that is lukewarm.
He hates the fact that the church is lukewarm. He would rather the church was cold or hot.
(Rev. 3:14 - 22)
People who are lukewarm have come to the point of salvation, but they haven’t yet come to the point of lordship.
Yahshua hates this lukewarmness. Elders also hate this lukewarmness.
The reason why Yahshua and elders hate the lukewarmness is because these people always keep you guessing.
You’re always wondering, “Is this person saved, if so why is there little to no fruit.”
Does she just lack the Holy Spirit? He comes to services, sings songs but there’s been little growth for years.
You wonder and wonder and you pray that their salvation is real.
These people are always struggling with sin. Sometimes they are in and out of the church. Always being on the edge of being disfellowshipped.
I just wish they were cold or hot. If they were cold, that is living in sin, then you could tell them clearly that they ought to stop living like that, repent, and show them the right way.
If they were hot, then you would encourage them to continue living the right way for Yahshua.
But, because they are lukewarm, you’re always praying that their salvation is real and that eventually they will grow in Messiah.
This lukewarmness, this being on the edge is terrible.
Yahshua hates it and He said believers who remain at this stage shall be spewed out of His mouth.
Spewed out of His mouth means being kicked out of the Church.
That means, “Depart from me you worker of lawlessness.”
You need to get off the edge and commit to Yahshua completely.
Judas, who betrayed Yahshua was on the edge. He was chosen by Yahshua. He became a disciple.
He followed Yahshua. He went preaching and cast out demons with the rest of the seventy.
But, he was stealing money on the side. He loved money.
In the end, he fell away and betrayed Yahshua.
You shouldn’t be like Judas.
You can’t have Yahshua as Savior but not as Lord. He needs to be your Lord.
The next stage after this is Master/Lord.
Stage 3: Master/Lord
After salvation, you need to now be obedient to Yahshua. Your faith needs to be backed up by works.
Those who continue to apply faith through continual obedience to Yahweh’s Word now move on to knowing Yahshua as Master/Lord.
It is at this stage that you get assurance of salvation.
It is at this stage that you become a disciple of Yahshua.
It is at this stage that Yahweh can use you in His kingdom.
V: Luke 6:46 “"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?”
Luke 6:46 ESV
V: “And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Luke 9:23 ESV
It is at least at this stage that Yahweh desires all His followers to be.
At the very least, you must be at this stage.
You must learn to deny yourself and follow Yahshua. This is the beginning of discipleship, the beginning of obedience, and the beginning of getting to know Yahweh.
The reason why many of you don’t know Yahweh is because you don’t do what He says. You also don’t deny yourself.
You do what you want. You go based on how you feel instead based on what the Scriptures say.
Basing your decisions on what the Scriptures say instead of basing them on how you feel is denying yourself.
It doesn’t matter whether you like something, it doesn’t matter how something makes you feel, it doesn’t matter whether something makes you happy, if it’s against the Scriptures, you don’t do it.
If you’re not willing to do this, then you cannot be Yahshua’s disciple.
Stop calling Him Lord if you’re not willing to do this.
Believers who have gotten to know Yahweh at this stage can now be used by Yahweh.
He can use them because they are obedient to Him. He can have them be in charge of ministries, He can send them places, He can give them tasks to do.
It is at this stage where you also get assurance of salvation.
You can say like Paul, “I know there’s a crown waiting for me because I have finished the work that was set for me to do.”
Paul knows He is going to Heaven when he dies because he did the work that was set before him.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
He did what Yahweh told him to do.
That’s how you know you’re saved. You know you’re saved because you do what Yahweh tells you to.
But if you’re a worker of lawlessness, how can you be assured of your salvation? There are no workers of lawlessness in the Kingdom.
You need to make Yahshua your Lord by obeying Him at every point. If you don’t obey Him, He’s not your Lord no matter what you say.
Yahshua emphasized this when He said that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of the Father.
“"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 7:21 ESV
If you’re faithful in obeying Yahweh, you move on to the next stage, the best stage of all.
Stage 4: Friend
The friend stage is the stage of intimacy.
To get to this stage, you should have known Yahshua for maybe a few years and you should have gone through some things with Him.
V: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:15 ESV
For the twelve disciples to be called this, they had been with Yahshua for about three years.
They had seen Him turn water into wine, they had seen Him talk about John the Baptist, they had seen Him mourn John the Baptist, they had walked around Judea preaching and teaching, they had been rescued from the storm on the sea, they had seen Him walk on water, they had seen Him raise Lazarus from the dead, had seen Him raise other people from the dead, cast out demons, argue with the Pharisees, and answer the toughest of questions.
They had gone through some things together.
Because they had spent time together, they had developed an intimacy.
Have you noticed that the Gospel of John is the most intimate of all the Gospels?
It has the sweetest and most loving Scriptures.
That’s because most of John recounts the last year of Yahshua on earth, perhaps even just the last days of Yahshua on earth.
At this time, the disciples had developed an intimacy.
Those who are at this stage have been obeying Yahweh for some time and this has developed into an intimate relationship.
Yahweh would love all His children to get to this stage.
Moses obeyed Yahweh and Yahweh spoke to him as a man speaks to His friend.
This wouldn’t have happened if Moses hadn’t been obedient to Yahweh from the time of the burning bush.
V: “Thus Yahweh used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”
Exodus 33:11 ESV
V: “And Yahweh came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, "Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I Yahweh make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of Yahweh. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" And the anger of Yahweh was kindled against them, and He departed.”
Numbers 12:5-9 ESV
Just like it is easier to ask your friend to do something for you than to ask your boss at work, so it is with Yahweh.
Yahweh answers prayers of friends, I would say, quicker and fuller than those of the other levels.
It’s still based on obedience.
V: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.”
John 15:8-10 ESV
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
John 15:13-14 ESV
Intimacy is based on love. If you love Yahweh, you will obey His commandments.
Those who love Yahweh a lot, seek to obey His commandments and please Him in every way.
Those who love Him a little, only obey Him in a few ways. They obey Him here, they obey there, but not in everything.
Those who don’t love Him at all, don’t obey Him at all.
You can’t claim to love Yahweh a lot, but only obey Him a little. That would make you a hypocrite.
How much you obey Yahweh reveals to everyone who sees you how much you love Him because love and obedience go hand in hand.
Also, how much you love Yahweh reveals how you look at your sin and the cross.
If you think your sin isn’t a big deal, thus making the cross of Messiah not a big deal, you won’t love Yahweh who forgave your sin very much. He didn’t do very much for you.
But, if you look at your sin as absolutely horrible, and the cross of Messiah as absolutely essential, and the forgiveness of Yahweh as everything, you will love Yahweh with everything because one who is forgiven much loves much.
How much you love Yahweh reveals how you look at your sin and how much you value the cross of Messiah.
So, the believers who are at this stage have been walking in obedience to Yahweh for some time.
It could be a year or two or more. Because of their faithfulness, Yahweh trusts them with greater duties in the church.
Because they have been faithful in a little, then they can be faithful in much.
The twelve disciples, whom Yahshua called apostles, had to get to this point before they could ever be trusted with being the first people in His church.
The twelve apostles, minus Judas, were the first people in Yahshua’s church.
Yahweh would never have trusted them with such a task, if they hadn’t gone from knowing Yahweh only as Elohim, then believing in His Son, Yahshua, as the Savior, then obeying Yahshua at every turn.
They weren’t perfect, they made mistakes, but they remained to the end even though they fled in fear when He was crucified. But they remained His disciples.
This is the stage you should aim for.
The vast majority of righteous people you read about in the Scriptures, the ones Yahweh chose to put in His Word, were at this stage.
When you think of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Deborah, Hannah, David, Josiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Mary, Elizabeth, Paul, and many others, remember these were saints who got to this Friend stage with Yahweh.
All these people were given tasks to do in Yahweh’s eternal purpose because they were faithful.
Elizabeth: You have to be faithful to be trusted with raising John the Baptist.
Mary: You have to be faithful to be trusted with giving birth to Yahshua and raising Him.
Yahweh is no respecter of persons. If you draw nigh unto Him, He will draw nigh unto you.
But, it’s all up to you.
The only stage that is non-negotiable is the Creator/God/Elohim stage.
Every other stage is negotiable. It all depends on you.
Where you are today is based on all the decisions you’ve made up to this point.
Where you’ll be tomorrow is based on the decisions you’ll make today.
How well do you want to know Yahweh?
It’s all up to you.
May Yahweh bless you all.