Faith First Love and Salt by Reuven ben Gershom
I pray that this study will have an impact upon your life, for it may reveal something to you that you may never have thought about regarding your life of faith and that is “SALT!”
You may wonder, what does salt have to do with anything, to be honest you will be amazed how important “salt” is in the Word, and I do mean both the Tanach and the Brit Chadashah, being Hebrew for the Old and the New Covenant’s!
“He that hath ears to hear let him hear.”
“To the angel of the congregation of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden Lampstands: ‘I know your works, your labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars and you have persevered and have patience, and have laboured for My Name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your Lampstand from its place, unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the congregations. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of Elohim.’” Revelation 2:1-7.
“So likewise, whosoever of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple. SALT is good: but if the SALT has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear let him hear.’” Lukas - Luke 14:33-35.
“He that hath ears to hear let him hear.” Friends, our Saviour Yahushua said those very same words at the end of each message that He had for the various fellowships addressed in the Book of Revelation, including after He spoke of the leaving your FIRST LOVE and returning to your FIRST WORKS in Revelation. 2:7 … “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the congregations;”
“He that hath ears to hear let him hear.” This statement means that there is a secret message within, and we are to ponder and spiritually DISCERN the message being shared as to be able to comprehend the Spiritual depths of the shared words. Therefore let us put on our spiritual mind in prayer in order to UNDERSTAND and to HEAR within us what the blessed SPIRIT is saying to all of us!
BUT, What is so Special about Salt?
Yahushua spoke of this SALT in other Scriptures too … So what is this SALT that is being spoken about? We all know that SALT is a type of seasoning, but how could this possibly apply to our FIRST LOVE AND FIRST WORKS? For some reason this SALT seems to be an ingredient of Faith which would have you CHOOSE to trade up EVERYTHING for HIM to be HIS.
“SALT is good: but if the SALT have lost his saltiness, with what will you season it? Have SALT in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Markus – Mark 9:50.
There is that seasoning point of view again, thus how do we season ourselves? Let’s look at this Scripture in context to find out what Yahushua was talking about …
“And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into the Valley of Hinnom (grave). And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of Elohim with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the Valley of Hinnom (the grave), where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” Markus - Mark 9:45-50.
This SALT seems to be an ingredient in our Faith which helps us to overcome being lured away by the call of the flesh. Let’s look at another Scripture where Yahushua spoke of this SALT.
“You are the SALT of the earth: but if the SALT has lost his flavour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, and should be thrown out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.” Mattityahu - Matthew 5:13.
Sounds very much like the same words do you not think? But the CONTEXT is somewhat different in this Scripture. Now let us look at what context YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, used the word SALT in the Tanach, the Old Covenant!
“Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the Covenant of your Elohim out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.” Vayikra - Leviticus 2:13.
“Whatever is set aside from the sanctified (holy) offerings the Israelites present to YHVH I give to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share. “It is an everlasting covenant of salt before YHVH for both you and your offspring.” Bamidbar - Numbers 18:19.
Obviously salt has a very special meaning, but what is it? There are several points we could think about, such as Elohim saying to Avraham;
“I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the SAND which is on the seashore.” Bereshis – Genesis 22:17.
Let us consider a certain point; As we consider the grains of “sand on the seashore,” what Elohim said was a representation of the future growth of Avraham’s descendants. Thus as we consider the importance of the grains of the sand, think about this: How much more important is the most costly commodity at that time, for it was without doubt one of the most expensive possessions, SALT! Today that is hard to believe for it is so readily available, but in those days it was more precious for men would carry it in a special hidden pouch on their belts that was especially made, which was more than secure in order to and protect it like they would their own families!
Thus consider this; IF SALT was so precious, you will understand, why YaHVaH Elohim, required SALT with the offering, for it proved Israel’s faith in giving their most precious possession! Thus SALT has a far greater meaning than you ever could have imagined, for today it is a mere flavouring measure.
However, in the days of the blessed Scriptures it was something more than special and every time the word was used in the days of Israel, it was understood as something of an extreme great value, or something very special or blessed!
Our blessed Saviour Yahushua shared these Words;
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in eternity: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. You are the SALT of the earth: but if the SALT has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Mattityahu - Matthew 5:10-13.
This Scripture is saying that SALT seems to be an ingredient that will help in times when you endure persecution, trials and tribulation. It continues to say that without this SALT, it is hopeless.
Shaul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul said this regarding SALT;
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward strangers (outside the faith), making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be full of DIVINE INFLUENCE and seasoned with SALT so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:5-6.
Now, let’s us look at all of this combined together: The ingredient of SALT must be a part our Faith that has us grow to a level higher than anything in our simple and humble lives before we were redeemed by Yahushua’s precious life saving Blood! Having been redeemed, we MUST keep the Salt fresh by upholding the Words that Yahushua has given us whilst He was with us on the earth, and that includes ALL of the Ten Commandments, which clearly includes the Seventh Day Sabbath, being the Fourth Commandment and beloved, regardless what theologians have forced upon the churches, Yahushua and His Apostles also upheld the “Feasts of YHVH” and these were continued by the faithful in Messiah throughout the ages!
Now, just doing this does that keep our Salt dry and fresh? NO! For FAITH and LOVE must always come first, for LOVE IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT and that is all based on what? FAITH!
Thus because we believe in true FAITH and we LOVE YaHVaH Elohim and Yahushua our beloved Saviour, we uphold His Law as Yahushua taught us in Mattityahu – Matthew 5:17-20.
Therefore beloved, good and dry SALT will keep our being and our flesh in check, it will help us to endure persecution, trials and tribulation and now we hear that this SALT allows us to know and even how to answer those who may come against us. What or WHO allows us to know what to say to every man, even during persecution, trials and tribulation? We all know that only the Ruach HaKodesh – Sanctified (Holy) Spirit can and will do this, through those who are filled with SALT and that “FIRST LOVE!”
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities; do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Ruach HaKodesh (Sanctified Spirit) will teach you at that time what you should say.” Lukas - Luke 12:11-12.
Therefore beloved, now we have learned that it is through the SALT in our lives we have a fiery passion and that will bring forth the SPIRIT!
I have made a statement above that said “We all know that only the Ruach HaKodesh - Sanctified Spirit can and will do this, through those who are filled with SALT and that “FIRST LOVE!” Thus let us now look back at our FIRST LOVE and FIRST WORKS.
We need to return to the very day we accepted Yahushua THE Messiah as our Saviour, who gave His life and shed His blood for the remission of sin. YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, then raised Him from the dead and after He had been a witness to many, Yahushua ascended and returned to His Father’s side! Thus thinking of that FIRST moment we believed that it was actually Yahushua who was the real Messiah, what did you do from there on? Did we obtain the Ruach HaKodesh – Sanctified Spirit, by way of ritual or some sort of routine of a Religious LAW? Or beloved did we obtain it through FAITH?
“This only would I learn of you, received ye the SPIRIT by the works of the law, or by the hearing of FAITH?” Galatians 3:2.
The truth is beloved that we received the Ruach HaKodesh by what is a childlike FAITH! Therefore, it was because of our FIRST LOVE that had us do our FIRST WORKS.
I believe that we must endeavour to strive to maintain this childlike SPIRIT filled FAITH and not ever allow it to become routine or a ritual RELIGIOUS lifestyle we tend to follow, for your SALT WILL LOSE ITS FLAVOUR!
Sadly I have met many who have come to me at meetings and said; “Brother, I do not seem to have that same joy that I used to have. The Lord does not seem as close as He used to be. Yet I have remained faithful and gone to fellowship and prayed, yet it just does not feel the same! Can you give me any guidance?
Having prayed and spoken the person concerned on various matters, for I had very good idea where the problems were most likely to be, as the answer was quite simple. Why did Yahushua feel so removed from this person, it was because for this person had in someway moved away from their Saviour and had gone in another direction both mind wise and in other things. That included spending more time doing certain secular things that were in conflict with our beloved faith, even though it may not have seemed to be so bad. Thankfully Our Father is forgiving in the Name of Yahushua and the person concerned is fully active again and filled with good SALT and FIRST LOVE for Yahushua!
For those who are given the gift of Love for others should always maintain their FIRST LOVE for Yahushua first and foremost, lest they too find it GONE, for sadly if you look at the world of “christianity” the divorce rate is simply so high it is unbelievable, on top of that, pastors in their churches even allow them to remarry, some even more than once, which is totally against Messiah Yahushua’s law, except under one particular circumstance! It always amazes me how the church states that Yahushua abolishes ALL the LAW, however, we see here that Yahushua not only retained it, but even enlarged it, for in the Tanach - the Old Covenant, divorce was permitted, but Yahushua said NO, not anymore!
“I (Yahushua) say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Mattityahu - Matthew 19:9.
Our beloved Saviour clearly commanded all of us to uphold all the 10 Commandments, it is part of our Faith and Love to keep our SALT dry and full of flavour!
Therefore beloved, we MUST ALL RETURN and REFRESH our FIRST LOVE with Messiah Yahushua each and every day, WHY? If you allowed your FIRST WORKS to fail, we would have to work to restore that great and wonderful SPIRITUAL LOVE and FAITH so that we return to that blessed FIRST LOVE! Without that FIRST LOVE we are like an empty vessel, and in the Tanach – Old Covenant days, an empty pouch of SALT, thus very poor and despised by all round about!
Always show that inner child and SALT combined with Love and a childlike Spiritual Faith as to make your works in Messiah Yahushua more effective and your words will touch all those you will share the Word of YaHVaH Elohim and Yahushua THE Messiah with! May many be touched by His Word and come to know Messiah Yahushua through FAITH and be filled with His SALT and the Ruach HaKodesh, and come to know what that wonderful FIRST LOVE in Messiah Yahushua really is!
Faith First Love and Salt
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Love your neighbour as yourself.
If there is a disagreement please have it respectfully.
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