One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49


How to Walk without Stumbling
An expose’ of Kepha Bet chapter 1


Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:10 
Therefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if you do these things, you shall never stumble;

We know from the Scriptural record that Kepha had firsthand knowledge about stumbling.  He did it on more than one occasion.  YHWH allowed Kepha to go through these incidents of stumbling in order that he would be able to write this section of Scripture as an encouragement to us that we might know that it is not necessary for us to stumble in our walk with Mashiach Yeshua.  We stumble when we do not have the proper focus.  We stumble when we do not mature properly.  We stumble when we have a lack of understanding.

So, Kepha gives us an outline of what it takes to walk with Yeshua and not stumble in that walk.  May YHWH open our hearts to this great truth so that we can walk in this manner without stumbling!

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:2 
Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of Elohim and of Yeshua Adonenu;

There have been a lot of things said and taught concerning grace over the ages.  But let us look at a passage from Scripture that will help us to understand what this actually is and how it relates to us.

Mishle [Proverbs] 31:26
She opens her mouth with wisdom;
And in her tongue is the Torah of loving kindness.

The Hebrew word for “grace” in both of the above passages is חֶסֶד – “chesed,” which means “devote oneself entirely.”  It is often translated as “mercy, grace or kindness.”  The word חֶסֶד is found in 68 verses in the Tanak.  It is often translated as kindness as we see in the verse above.

To walk in, to keep, and to obey Torah, is to walk in kindness.  The only way in which we can do this is through His Spirit.  חֶסֶד is the means through which the influences of His Spirit are bestowed upon us and through us to those around us.

Shaul is praying that the חֶסֶד and שָׁלוֹם (shalom) of YHWH are multiplied to us; but not just by any multiplication, rather that this increase comes in the knowledge of Elohim and in the knowledge of Yeshua.  What good is kindness and peace if it is not based in Yeshua our Mashiach?  It really does no good to anyone!

Please note now what this multiplied grace and peace is supposed to result in, in the lives of those who are willing to walk in its fullness.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:3 
as to give us all the words of His mighty Elohit, giving instructions through the Name for life and the awe of the Elohim who called us in His beauty and excellence.

The giving of instructions is quite literally, “the cutting of directions” – עַל-יְדֵי הַכָּרַת – al-y’dei hakkarat.  This seems to be an allusion to cutting a covenant.  When we accept Yeshua as our Mashiach, we enter into a covenant relationship with YHWH our Elohim.  This covenantal relationship is very much like a marriage covenant which is alluded to again and again in the Brit Chadasha. 

When He gives us instructions via His Voice and when we obey those instructions as He has directed us, then we are keeping the covenant that we are in with Him through Mashiach Yeshua.  As Yeshua taught us, those who love Him obey His Voice.

Since YHWH has granted us life through the name of Yeshua our Mashiach, then we should through that means, be able to attain knowledge of and be based in, Yeshua our Elohim.  For it is through Him that we receive our instructions.

Yochanan [John] 10:16 
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My Voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.”

Therefore, let us be careful to walk in the fullness of those instructions that He gives to us through His Voice.  Let us be careful that when He gives us instructions, that no man, regardless of how high we might esteem him, can talk us out of obeying His Voice and His instructions to us personally!

If the reader was reading carefully he noticed the word “Elohit” in the verse above (Kepha Bet 1:3).  This is not a misprint or a typo.  This word,הָאֱלֹהִת  - “ha-elohit” or “the Elohit” is what is actually seen in the Hebrew Brit of the Peshitta.  The form of the word is the feminine singular form of “El.”  What this may be a reference to, is the body of Mashiach who is His Spirit-filled bride; both the Spirit and the bride exhibit feminine characteristics.  Furthermore, the Spirit and the bride are to function as one, thus we find Elohit in the feminine singular form.  The Spirit directs and we obey.

But more specifically, it is to those who have a proper awe of Him; and this awe brings about right living in the lives of those who do have this awe, fear, and respect of YHWH.  Notice also, that this understanding fits right in line with the context of the verse, that He has given instructions for life and for His body; i.e., those who fear Him.

Throughout this portion of Scripture Kepha is building brick upon brick to show to us the importance of having each and every one of these characteristics so that we can walk without stumbling.  Please keep this progression in mind as we continue through this study.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:4 
which he has given into our hand, entrusting to us great and valuable directions of Elohim, you are joined with the nature of the Elohim who cemented them, anointed as the sign which is in the olam.

If you compare the above translation with nearly any other English translation, you will see considerable difference.  Why?  The main difference is in the last portion of the phrase, in which many have split a construct phrase; thereby, misunderstanding the words of that construct. 

The construct phrase is as follows:  הָאֱלֹהִי בְּהִמָּלֶטְכֶם – haElohi b’himmaletkem which means the Elohim of, in the cemented them. Notice that “Elohim” is in the construct from, which means that the word immediately following it is part of the phrase and understanding of what is being said.  To split a construct phrase is to do violence to the passage and end up saying something that was never intended.

In this case the intent was to show that it was Elohim who did the cementing or joining together in a relationship similar to the husband and wife relationship. 

Matithyah [Matthew] 19:6 
“So that they are no more two, but one flesh.  Who therefore Elohim has joined together, let not man divide.”

YHWH has placed us as a sign in this world (olam) to those who have not yet submitted to His Sovereignty.  He has sent us out into the world, not to be a part of this world, but to lead those willing to listen, back to Him.

Now, if a person exercises all due diligence he will increase in the following areas of his walk with Mashiach Yeshua.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:5 
So, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, you increase on your faith offering; and on the offering knowledge;

As we go through this portion, you will notice that there are some differences in what is shown here in this translation, as opposed to many of the common translations.  These differences are each taken from the Peshitta, and each will be explained in turn, showing the Hebrew word along with its understanding.

We are to be very diligent in our walk of faith.  Part of that diligence consists of always striving against the flesh and adding to or increasing our knowledge of YHWH and His ways, and thereby walking in the fullness of what He has revealed to us through His Spirit.  The primary reason that we should be doing this as revealed in this section of Scripture is that YHWH has made us partakers of His nature.  We should not abuse or misuse that gift in any way.  To seek to elevate self is a misuse and abuse of His nature.  To act in a selfish or self-serving manner is an abuse of His nature.  We are partakers of His nature through Mashiach Yeshua and the infilling presence of His Spirit.

One will also note the use of the word on rather than the word in, not only in the above verse, but also in the following verses.  The reason for this is that what is found in the Hebrew text is the word עַל – “al” (pronounced as all), which clearly means on.  The significance of this can be seen in the following passages.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 3:10 
According to the grace of Elohim which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation; and another built thereon.  But let each man take heed how he builds thereon.

Ephesians 2:20-22
20 being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Mashiach Yeshua Himself being the chief corner stone;
21 in whom each several building, fitly framed together, grows into a holy temple in YHWH;
22 in whom you also are built together for a habitation of Elohim in the Spirit.

Not only are we built together as a set-apart habitation for His Spirit, but He also builds up each one of us.  In getting this accomplished in an individual’s life we must build each characteristic that is pleasing to Him as one lays brick upon brick; thus, the usage of the word on.

In this way we are built up as we add upon yesterday’s building, character trait upon character trait.

The word for “’offering” in the above verse (Kepha Bet 1:5) is תְּרוּמִיּוּת – “t’rumiyyut” which means “offering” and is the feminine singular form.  The root word is תְרוּמָה – “t’rumah.”  So this brings forth the question of why do we need the t’rumah offering in our faith?  Furthermore, how do we bring this offering to be a part of our faith now since Mashiach Yeshua has already come?

Shemot [Exodus] 29:28
And it shall be Aharon's and his sons' by a statute forever from the people of Israel; for it is an offering; and it shall be an offering from the people of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, their offering to YHWH;

Please note that we are to give to YHWH our sacrifices and peace offerings according to His Torah commandments.  When we do this, those who He has called to minister before Him are taken care of with a portion from those offerings.  Now notice this next passage.

Romans 12:1 
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, set-apart, acceptable to Elohim, which is your spiritual service.

We are to present ourselves as an offering to YHWH, a living sacrifice.  When we do this according to His Spirit, then this works to strengthen one’s faith. 

Ya’aqov [James] 2:17 
Even so faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.

In order for us to have a living faith as YHWH has called us to live, then we need to be actively living that faith by making offerings to YHWH in our daily living. 

Furthermore, we must give of those offerings in knowledge.  If we do not have the proper knowledge in our offerings, then we could be offering them to a false god, which is totally displeasing to YHWH.

There are many today who are moved by every wind of doctrine that comes along because it sounds good to the flesh and tickles the ear.  Those things that are sensational need to be carefully examined and accepted only after great diligence is put forth to prove what is being taught.  His Spirit must be in it before we accept it.  Remember, Satan also quotes (actually misquotes) Scripture as well.  Proper knowledge of YHWH and His Mashiach Yeshua will keep our feet on the solid Rock.  Improper knowledge moves one off of the safety of that solid Rock.

Romans 10:2 
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for Elohim, but not according to knowledge.

We need knowledge, particularly knowledge of YHWH and His ways.  We are to study to show ourselves approved.  This means that we are gaining in knowledge and understanding.  This is a very important aspect of our faith in Mashiach Yeshua.  But we must always be adding Scriptural knowledge, not just any kind of knowledge; for some kinds of knowledge bring us down and further away from YHWH our Elohim rather than move us closer to YHWH.  This then moves us on to what we need to have in addition to knowledge.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:6 
and on the knowledge integrity; and on the integrity perseverance; and on the perseverance awe of Elohim;

In the Hebrew text we find the word אֵיתָנוּת – “‘eitanut” which means to be reliable and strong; thus we have used the word “integrity.”  Again, this is the feminine singular form of this word, which is true of each one of these character traits that we are to be adding one upon another.

So why do we need to add integrity on to our knowledge? 

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians] 8:1 
Now concerning things sacrificed to idols; we know that we all have knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

Most of us have seen men who have gained a little knowledge and then begin acting in a superior way towards others.  It doesn’t really matter what that knowledge is in, knowledge simply tries to elevate itself over others who do not have that same knowledge. 

However, when we add on top of knowledge the character trait of integrity, meaning to be reliable and strong, then it keeps in proper check the knowledge that we gain.  Notice that integrity is added on top of knowledge so as to hold down and keep in check that knowledge so that it cannot puff itself up.  So, instead of the knowledge being or becoming in control of us, we are in control of that knowledge through the strength of His Spirit through the characteristic of integrity.

This integrity on top of the knowledge also helps us guard against seeking after the wrong kinds of knowledge.  It helps us seek after that knowledge which leads to eternal life rather than condemnation.  A good example of what not to do is King Sh’lomo (Solomon).  He went after and gained a lot of knowledge, but much of it was the wrong kind of knowledge which actually led him away from serving YHWH.  This illustrates quite well why we need integrity, as it protects us from idolatry as indicated in Qorintyah Aleph 8:1 above.  Much of the knowledge Sh’lomo sought after was the result of having so many wives, who led his heart away from following after YHWH.  This knowledge led him directly into idolatry.  No one needs that kind of knowledge.  To help us stay away from seeking that kind of knowledge, we need integrity; we need strength and reliability. 

It is quite often during the course of one’s life that he will find himself in the midst of circumstances that seem to go against everything he believes and lives for; in short, the circumstances seem to be trying to force one to quit – to give up.  It is for this very reason that we need perseverance.

Many people live their entire lives attempting to be in control of their circumstances.  But this is not really possible to do.  When one attempts to be in control of his circumstances, then he is setting himself up as his own god, following the dictates of his own heart.

Mishle [Proverbs] 14:12 
There is a way which seems right to a man;
But the end thereof are the ways of death.

The way that one would attempt to control one’s own circumstances, this way that seems right in a man’s own mind, is idolatry.  We are the servant and YHWH is the Master.  He is the Sovereign of the universe and He will do according to His will.  When a person tries to live according to his own will, he is setting himself up against the sovereignty of YHWH.  To be at odds with YHWH is to embrace death.

We need to have the ability and character trait to be able to persevere in and through the circumstances that we find ourselves in, regardless of what those might be.  This also illustrates why we need the awe of Elohim in our lives for perseverance.

Kepha Aleph [1st Peter] 4:15-16
15 For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men's matters;
16 but if he shall bear like M’shichi, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify Elohim in this name.

The reality is that many people in this world have the trait of endurance.  However, they are simply enduring for the wrong things and for the wrong reasons; and especially for the wrong person – self.  We are called to endure not for wrongdoing, but rather we are to endure or persevere for doing as He leads us to do.  When we have to persevere under adverse circumstances because we have obeyed His Voice, then we have no cause to be ashamed.

A word of explanation is in order concerning the word “M’shichi” above.  The actual word from the Hebrew is  כִמְשִׁיחִי - “kimshichi” which means like anointed ones.  The term מְשִׁיחִי – “M’shichi” (pronounced – m’shee-kee) is a term used in the Hebrew Peshitta designating the talmidim of Mashiach Yeshua.  It was not the term “Christian” that the early talmidim used to describe themselves; it was the term “M’shichi.”  “M’shichi” comes from the Hebrew word “Mashiach” and simply denotes those that belong to Mashiach Yeshua.

The awe of Elohim in one’s life then brings the proper fear, reverence and respect for one’s Creator, thus motivating one to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him, rather than living to please oneself.

Without this proper fear of YHWH our Elohim one cannot and will not care to live completely and totally in obedience to His Voice and His commandments.  Without this fear of Elohim, one will simply live as he pleases and have no regard for the consequences of his own choices and actions.
It is this fear of Elohim that will enable us then to submit to one another in the love of Mashiach Yeshua.  But without a proper fear of Elohim, it is simply not possible to submit to one another in His love.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:7 
and on your awe of the Elohim brotherly submission; and on your brotherly submission love.

Many English translations have brotherly love or brotherly kindness as the next trait.  However, this is not what we find in the Hebrew Peshitta.  We find חִבַּת אַחִים – “chibbat ‘achim.” “Achim” of course simply means brothers or “brethren.” 

The word חִבַּת is an interesting word.  From the Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew we learn that the root חבת means “submission,” or, “to be low”; thus, the rendering of “brotherly submission.”

Ephesians 5:21
And be subject to one another in the fear of Mashiach.

We are all brothers, one with another.  One is not above another.  While there are different duties that we all have been given and assigned, we are all to help one another to accomplish those assignments.  If we see a brother stumbling, then we are to go to that brother with the word of YHWH to help straighten out the difficulty and raise up the afflicted.  It is not us, but His word, that has authority over us all.  We are to be in subjection to one another through Mashiach.

When a form of the word חבת appears in the Tanak, it is often associated with the idea of cooking, particularly cooking in a low pan.  This brings to mind the following passage.

Hoshea 7:8 
Ephrayim, mixes himself among the peoples; Ephrayim is a cake not turned.

Ephrayim is a half-baked cake.  Why is this?  The above verse tells us that he has mixed himself among the nations of the world.  When Ephrayim mixes himself among the nations of the world he is not being in submission to his brothers, let alone being in submission to YHWH, which must come first.  This phrase from the Hebrew then seems to have a two-prong meaning, to be in submission to our brothers in Mashiach.  This then brings about a fully baked cake.

The thought that seems to come from this whole passage is this.  When we are making a cake, the cake has many ingredients in it.  We mix up all the ingredients in preparation for baking.  However, if we leave out some of those ingredients, the cake will not taste good, and perhaps it may not even be palatable.  Eating it unbaked is not too pleasant, either. 

So, the admonition here, seems to include, that in order to be a fully functioning member of His body, we need each and every one of these ingredients in the proper measure and in the proper order, so that when we are fully baked, we will be pleasing in His sight.

It has been witnessed entirely too often and by too many people that those who pursue a form of righteousness of their own, do so without compassion or submission to their brothers in Mashiach.  Yonatan (Jonathan) truly understood what it meant to be in submission to his brother (fellow Israelite).  Even though he was in line to be king of Israel, he willingly and gladly gave up that position in favor of his brother in Israel, David.  This was truly showing right living based upon a true awe of Elohim with brotherly submission built upon it.

This brings us to the next character trait that we need to add on top of all the others – love.  One’s submission to the brothers in Mashiach must be based in love, one for another.  This is not a one way street, but must flow both up and down the line of authority.  To illustrate this, let us consider King David and Nathan.  When David sinned with Bat-sheva (Bathsheba) YHWH sent Nathan to him to confront him with his sin.  David as king clearly had the power of life and death over all in the kingdom.  However, because Nathan loved David enough to tell him the truth (Nathan also loved YHWH in obeying His commandment to do this), he put his life on the line to help secure David’s eternal well-being.  David’s eternal well-being was more important to Nathan than his own life.  David also showed his love by submitting to the word of YHWH that Nathan brought to him.

Likewise, we need to be careful in our walk as there will quite often be times that He raises up the lowly to confront the wise in his wrongdoing.  We need to be listening for His Voice at all times and from all places.  We need to be able to recognize His Voice regardless of who He sends it through.  And like Bala’am He may even choose to speak to us through an ass (most of us have known a few).  But Bala’am did not recognize the word through the ass properly as coming from YHWH.

When we walk in love, then and only then will we be able to be in submission to the brothers in Mashiach.  Only then will we walk the one true path of the faith laid out before us.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:8 
For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Adonenu Yeshua the Mashiach.

When we have each one of these ingredients properly laid in our lives, then we will not be idle or unfruitful in His kingdom. 

Matithyah [Matthew] 13:8 
“and others fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

The longer we walk with Him and the more pronounced these traits become the higher yield we will give for our Master.  How much yield are you satisfied with?  Or, even more to the point, how much does YHWH our Elohim expect you to produce?  Are we living up to His expectations of us in our production for His kingdom?

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:9 
For he that lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.

However, the person who is lacking in these traits is blind and cannot see far off, he cannot see eternity.  We must not forget the forgiveness and the cleansing that YHWH has so freely given to us.  If we forget, then we will return back to that from which we have been cleansed.  If this happens, then we will lose out on having the eternal life He has so freely offered to us.

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 2:22 
It has happened to them according to the true proverb,
The dog turning to his own vomit again,
And the sow that had washed to wallowing in the mire.

Ephrayim has wallowed with the pigs long enough.  It is time for us to return to our Father’s house and to obey Him with a whole heart!

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:10 
Therefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if you do these things, you shall never stumble;

Do you stumble?  If you do, then according to this verse it is from the lack of diligence.  We must show diligence in each and every area mentioned above.  It is not good enough to show diligence in one or more areas but then leave out others.  We must show diligence in increasing our walk in each and every area above. 

Ivrim (Hebrews) 12:2 
looking to Yeshua the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.

We need to look diligently to Yeshua at all times.  It is when we look elsewhere that we get ourselves into trouble.  When we do not have a proper focus in our lives, then how can we have a proper walk?  We cannot!

I know that I have been guilty of not showing diligence in one or more areas at times.  However, we are given the assurance here in this verse (Kepha Bet 1:10), that if we are continually working to add to, to increase, and to strengthen those things mentioned above, then we do not have to be concerned about stumbling.  Stumbling occurs when a person takes his eyes off of YHWH and places them upon the circumstances, whatever those might be.  Stumbling occurs when a person looks at another person instead of looking to YHWH.  Stumbling occurs when we act as a master rather than as a servant.

Matithyah [Matthew] 14:29-30
29 And He said, “Come.”  And Kepha got out of the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Yeshua.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Adoni, save me.”

Perhaps Kepha had this incident in mind when he penned these words many years later.  He knew that his sinking was a direct result of his taking his eyes off of Yeshua.  Can we be as honest with ourselves knowing and understanding that when we stumble it is a result of not having a proper focus?  If we desire to walk without stumbling then it is going to take some very keen diligence on our part.  We will need to pay attention to what we are doing at all times.  We need particularly to guard our mouths and what comes out of them.  It is the major cause of stumbling in us all!  This is verified in many places and in many ways in Scripture.

We simply need to learn how to walk in a manner in which we do not stumble.  However, in order for us to do this, then we have to get up off of our duffs and work at it and we need to work very hard at it!

Kepha Bet [2nd Peter] 1:11 
for thus shall be richly supplied to you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Adonenu and Savior Yeshua the Mashiach.

The entrance into His kingdom has been laid out before us.  Will we follow it?  Or will we attempt to go our own way?  Satan appeals to one’s flesh and attempts to convince him that the way to the kingdom can be found in any number of ways.  He attempts to convince us that one can walk however he wants to walk and in the end it will be okay.  Many times we willingly enter into this self-deception.  The truth is that there is only one way into His kingdom and that way is through His Door, Yeshua our Mashiach.  No man enters in any other way.

Yochanan [John] 10:1 
“Amein, amein, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”

And we all know that thieves and robbers do not have a part in the eternal kingdom of YHWH our Elohim.

Qorintyah Aleph [1st Corinthians] 6:9-10
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of Elohim?  Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of Elohim.

But be sure of this one thing, brethren, YHWH has provided the way for us to walk and He has supplied us with an abundance of those things needed for us to overcome and be victorious each and every day of this present life, that we may, in turn, have a share in the Olam Haba (the world to come).

ABBA YHWH, thank You for giving us this abundance. Teach us to walk in the fullness of that abundance that You have already provided; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach. 

Amein and Amein.

Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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