Chapter 38, Part 2 Are you expecting a “free reward” from Elohim (Yehovah) or might you perchance be expecting eternal “wages” for a job well done? This is an incredibly important concept because, after all, we’re talking about your eternal “reward”!
Names are written in heaven (as was explained in part 1) and this was intended to result in a person’s resurrection to eternal life, so we must then ask what this has to do with wages. If the gift is free, then why do some people receive it while others are burned? Is it simply the difference that some respond to an “altar call” and then say some magic words?
There are many Bible verses demonstrating that your good works or actions are absolutely required for salvation. Here is perhaps the most important of them:
James 2:14-26 What is the use, Friends, if a man says, “I have faith”, but he doesn’t have any works? Can his faith resurrect him to Life? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace! Stay warm, and eat well.” If you don’t provide for their bodily needs, what good is that? 17 So faith all by itself, unaccompanied by works, is dead.
18 But someone might argue, “You have faith and I have works.” Show to me your faith without any works, and I’ll show you my faith by my works! 19 So you believe that there is one Aloha [God]. Good for you, but the demons also believe that, and tremble.
20 Don’t you realize, you spiritually destitute person, that faith without works is dead! 21 Wasn’t Abraham our ancestor proven righteous by works in offering his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith enabled his works, and as a result of works, his faith was perfected. 23 The Scripture was fulfilled that said, “Abraham believed in Yehovah, and this is why he was considered to be righteous.” He was even called Yehovah’s Friend. 24 So you see that people are deemed to be righteous by works, and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way Rahab the harlot was justified by works when she welcomed the spies and sent ‘their enemies’ off in a different direction. 26 A body without the spirit is dead, just as faith without works is dead. —The Gabriel Version
The “proof text” that those who teach that righteous works are not required for salvation ) is Ephesians 2:9, yet even this “proof text”, in context, mentions that we were “created ... for good works”! Verse 10 doesn’t get the same respect.
Ephesians 2:8-10 ... It is by His compassion that we’re Rescued thru faith, and this isn’t your own doing, it’s the gift of Yehovah, 9 not due to works, to prevent anyone from bragging. 10 We are His creation, created in Yeshua Messiah to do the good works that Yehovah previously prepared for our ‘way of life’.
Yeshua was the only person whose own righteousness made Him deserving of eternal life. When He “appeared”, it was not because of, that is “not by works of righteousness, that we did ourselves”, on the contrary, He appeared to pay the penalty for our sins with His own flesh, so that we could progress to the next step, and in order to be one of the kadishea (saints) we must gladly acknowledge His ze’bak (sacrifice)—yet it is absolutely required that we continue to be “zealous for good works”! Yehovah knows that we cannot be perfect in this life, but we have the real potential to become that way!
Matthew 5:48 So become perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
By Yehovah’s “compassion” “the gift of Yehovah” is ours, but only if we do the “good works” that we were “created” to do! So while we are not yet perfect or deserving of eternal life, because of our own righteousness, we must nevertheless earn the right to keep our crown! You don’t earn your salvation, but you must earn the right to keep it! You must keep your name written in the book of life, as explained in part 1.
John 6:37-40 Everyone who My Father has given Me will come to Me, and no one who comes to Me will ever be forced out, 38 because I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me. 39 And the will of the One who sent Me is that I won’t lose any of those He has given Me, but should raise them up during the Last Day. 40 Because My Father wants everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him to have eternal Life, and I’ll raise them up on the Last Day.”
Revelation 2:10 Don’t fear the things you are to suffer! Look, the Accuser will throw some of you into prison to test you, and you’ll undergo tribulation for ten days. But be faithful until death, and I’ll give you the crown of Life.
Revelation 3:11-12 I AM COMING QUICKLY! Hold tightly onto what you have, so that no one takes your crown. 12 I’ll make anyone who is victorious a pillar in the Temple of Yehovah, and they’ll never be separated from the assembly, and I’ll write Yehovah’s name on them, and the name of New Jerusalem that descends from the heavens from my Yehovah, and My own new name.
Luke 13:23-25 Someone asked Him whether only a few would Live eternally. 24 Yeshua replied, “Strive to enter by the narrow gate. I assure you that many will try to enter, but won’t be able to. 25 Once the Master of the house gets up and closes the door, you’ll stand outside knocking on the door and you’ll be saying, ‘Master, Master, open the door for us’, and He’ll reply, ‘I don’t know who you are or where you are from.’
Philippians 2:12-13 So Friends, as you have always listened to and obeyed Yehovah, not only when I was near you, but now that I am far from you—continue in the necessary work to make sure of your own eternal Lives, with fear and trembling, 13 because Yehovah Himself is creating within you both the desire and the ability to bring about the good things you want to do.
Notice a pattern? Both you and Yehovah must continue working to bring about your salvation!
As we are about to see in the rest of this chapter, Yehovah wants to repay us for our “good works”. Allow the Apostle Paul to explain it to you, as he did to Titus.
Titus 2:11-3:8 The Life giving kindness of Yehovah has appeared to all humanity, 12 and it teaches us to renounce wickedness and the cravings of this world and to live sensibly in this world and in righteousness, and in great awe of Yehovah, 13 anticipating our blessed hope and the return from heaven [Gr. epiphaneia] of the splendor of the great Aloha AND our Life Giver , Yeshua Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us so that He could liberate us from our lawless condition and cleanse a new people for Himself who are zealous for doing good works. 15 You must teach, emphasize, and imprint these things on their minds, systematically and authoritatively. Don’t allow anyone to disregard you.
3:1 Remind people that they must be submissive and obedient to rulers and government officials, and be ready to do EVERY GOOD WORK. 2 Don’t blaspheme anyone or be argumentative, but be gentle and show courtesy to everyone in every circumstance.
3 We also used to be reckless and disobedient and deceived, enslaved to various cravings, and living with lusts and envy. We were hateful ourselves, and hated each other 4 until the kindness and compassion of Yehovah our Life Giver appeared [Gr. epiphaino]— 5 not as a result of the righteous things we’ve done, but due to His mercy. He gave us Life by a regenerative washing and the renewing of the kadosh spirit, 6 that He poured out on us so abundantly thru Yeshua Messiah our Life Giver, 7 so that we can be declared righteous by His kindness and become heirs, anticipating eternal Life 8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I would strongly advise you to accept these things, so that those who have believed in Yehovah will commit themselves to GOOD WORKS. These things are good and beneficial for everyone.
(As a side note about Strong’s 3824—“regeneration”: “The word [is] often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death.” And “renewing”, Strong’s 342 means: “a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better”. So in essence our spirit returns to the “pristine” state that it was in when Yehovah issued it to us! Then we need to keep our spirit renewed—by our good works, until our “spirit returns to Yehovah”.)
Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to Elohim who gave it.
There are also numerous articles available explaining the necessity of faith AND good works to please Yehovah, even tho it is still a tiny minority view. Yet rather than enter into that arena, the rest of this chapter will be limited to understanding what is being presented in English Bibles as a single word—“reward”.
The reason that we need to define “reward” is because far too many people feel that it can imply something free and that it only implies good things. Punishment as a reward is generally thought to be a contradiction in terms. The following definition of the word “reward”, is consistent with my modern Webster’s dictionary, except that the newer dictionaries are not literally loaded with Biblical references, and even more emphasis is placed on “compensation”. Biblical usages of the word “reward” never imply that you get something free or for very little effort!
Today the word “reward” would be better used only in the context of getting paid to catch a criminal on the loose, or for compensation for finding a lost item (i.e. if you are not your brother’s keeper).
Biblical Greek always means payment when you read about a reward. While three separate words are used to convey the thought, they all involve being compensated for good works!
Here is the most common Greek word usually translated as “reward”, according to the Online Bible Greek Lexicon. Notice that the KJV uses the easily misunderstood word “reward” 24 of 29 times—essentially whenever possible, but that the Greek definition is entirely about being compensated for works or actions—good or bad! By using the word “reward” the concept of being compensated by Yehovah for righteous actions seldom comes to mind—the obvious intent.Online Bible Greek Lexicon
Here is the second Greek word translated as “reward” that many people assume means a free trip to heaven (as in the next scripture below). While it always means compensation the KJV always uses a phrase with “reward” in it:
Strong’s 591 is a third word translated as “reward”. It is most often translated correctly because these references usually refer to typical business transactions. Yet in instances where Yehovah pays or repays men the translators preferred the more vague word “reward”.
Now let’s look at these three words in action. There are so many references to Yehovah compensating us that no matter which other Bible verses are thrown into the mix—these compensation verses must be accounted for:
Matthew 5:46 Because if you only love those who love you, what compensation do you deserve? Don’t even tax extractors do that?
Matthew 6:1-6 Be careful not to practice your righteous works in public of others, just so that they can see you, or you’ll have no compensation from your Heavenly Father.
2 Don’t announce your presence with a trumpet like the pretenders do in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised. Most surely, they’ve already gotten their compensation. 3 When you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your donation is done in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will compensate you openly. 5 When you pray, don’t be like the pretenders who love standing up in the synagogues and on street corners, praying just so they’ll be seen by other people. That’s most certainly their compensation. 6 But when you pray, enter a private room and close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Your Father who sees the unseen will compensate you openly.
Matthew 6:16 When you fast, don’t appear to be sad like the pretenders do. They try to look sad to make it obvious that they’re fasting. That’s most certainly their compensation.
Matthew 6:18 ... so that it won’t be obvious to others that you are fasting, except for your Father, who tho He is hidden from you, still sees what is done in secret and will compensate you.
Matthew 10:41-42 Whoever welcomes a prophet, because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s compensation, and anyone who is the companion of a righteous person, because they are a righteous person, will receive a righteous person’s compensation . 42 And whoever gives one of these inexperienced ones so much as a cup of cold water to drink, because they are a disciple, I tell you, they certainly won’t lose their compensation.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies and do good for them. Lend to them, and don’t destroy anyone’s hopes, then your compensation will be huge and you’ll be the sons of the Highest, because He is kind to the wicked and to the unthankful.
Acts 1:18 He acquired a field with the reward for his injustice, where he fell face down to the ground and burst in the middle, and all his intestines gushed out.
1 Corinthians 3:14 The builder whose work survives will receive his compensation.
2 Peter 2:13 These people will be compensated for their injustice, because their idea of fun is carousing during the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, reveling in laziness and devoted to pleasure.
Revelation 11:18 The nations were angry, but Your anger has come, and it’s time for the dead to be judged, and for You to compensate Your servants the prophets, and the kadishea and those who fear Your name, both small and great, and to destroy those who have destroyed the earth.
Nothing is really entirely free, because someone else paid for it. The “gift of Elohim” was paid for in full by Yeshua the Messiah. And just like the sign: “Kittens free to a good home” there are conditions to free.
Romans 6:23 The compensation for sin is death, but the gift of Yehovah is eternal Life, thru our Master Yeshua Messiah.
It is entirely possible that “the gift of Elohim” is not as simple as it appears to be:
As with the other parables, they are far closer to reality than they are generally given credit for!
Matthew 25:19-21 After a long time their master returned and reviewed their accounts. 20 The one who had received five minin came and brought five more. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five minin. Look, I’ve earned five more by doing business.’ 21 His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful servant! Since you’ve been faithful with a little, I’ll put you in charge of much more. Enter into the joy of your master!’
Unlike communism, in the Kingdom of Elohim the compensation package is based on individual merit, rather than everyone being compensated equally. There won’t be any seniority involved among the kadishea tho, because all of us will be resurrected at the end of this age:
John 5:28-29 Don’t be amazed at this, because the time is coming when everyone in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out—those who have done good things to the Resurrection resulting in Life, and those who have committed evil to the Resurrection resulting in Condemnation.
The “gift of Elohim” actually extends considerably further than perhaps any “Church” is willing to admit—it extends way outside of their doors—and perhaps not even inside of them.
Chapter 39 is Seven Things That Father (Yehovah) Loves