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Don't Slip and Don't Slide

     The Torah is the first Jewish division of the Old Testament and contains the first five books of the Bible. It is said to contain the laws or set of instructions one is to live by. The main thrust of this article indirectly deals with the advantages of following these rules and the consequences if we don’t follow the commands that the Scriptures give.
     The picture shown above shows the result of an accident. It appears the road was snow-covered and perhaps a little icy. More importantly, there is an encircled road side sign which reads “slippery surface in adverse conditions.”
     Apparently, the driver did not heed the warning given by the sign – and the vehicle slipped and slid and hit a tree. The result depicted by this scene is analogous to the story of mankind. Mankind is given warnings to lead him in the right direction. If he doesn’t heed those warnings, he will have a predictable outcome.

Slip and Slide

Remember the phrase: “slip and slide.” In the physical world, one might slip on some ice or on a banana peel. Or one might slide in a toboggan down a snowy hillside or slide down a playground slide in the summer.
     So much for the physical examples of the phrase “slip and slide.” What about any Scriptural meaning and usage?
In the KJV of Scripture, one Hebrew word that is used predominately and is translated both “slip” and “slide” is the word ma`ad, dum, Strong’s # 4571, a primitive root; to waver. A second word used is the word mowt, a primitive root; to waver. One Greek word so used is pararrhueo, pararrue/w, Strong’s #3901: from NT:3844 and the alternate of NT:4482; to flow by, i.e. (figuratively) carelessly pass (miss).

Sidebar – Tangent
     At this time let us go out on a tangent (or have a sidebar) which will be joined to the ideas of slipping and sliding at a later time.
     There are 3 Greek words which are translated stedfast (steadfast) in the New Testament. They are Strong’s #s 949, 1476 and 4731.      Collectively, by implication, and literally and figuratively, they mean to be solid, stable, and immovable.
     We are told in 1 Peter 5:8 what Satan is trying to do:
     Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
     Satan’s main mode of attack is through deception. Satan’s first such attack was to deceive Eve. Scriptures even tell us that Satan tries to deceive the very elect.

Remain Steadfast
     Paul gives a warning in 2 Cor. 1:7-12 to the people of Corinth to be steadfast in their faith:
And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in Yahweh Who raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in Whom we trust that He will yet deliver us; ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and righteous sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of Yahweh, we have had our conversation (behavior) in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
     Paul said the same to the people of Galatia in Gal. 5:1:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Messiah hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
     In our dealings with man, Paul gives us some direction in Acts 24:14 -16:
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward Yahweh, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward Yahweh, and toward men.
     Paul is telling us here that we should be free of any activity which would cause us to stumble or fail.

Take Heed
     But, the people of this world will receive anguish because they like to do what they think is right in their own eyes and not in the eyes of Yahweh.
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My Son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto baalim, and burned incense to graven images. I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return. And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels. And My people are bent to backsliding from Me: though they called them to the Most High, none at all would exalt Him, Hos. 11:1-7.

Anyone Can Fall
Because we are human, we tend to stumble, as we are told in Prov. 24:16:
     For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
With some, it is known they take glory when mischief befalls another, but in Prov. 24:17 we are told not to:
     Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.
If someone we know falls, we should not find glory in his falling. Why? Yahweh answers that question in Prov. 24: 18:
     Lest Yahweh see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.
Some commentators will add “unto thee” at the end of this verse to show what really might happen.

     What would it look like when one slides down a playground slide the wrong way – or back-slides? It is easy to see how one could get hurt very easily by sliding down a playground slide the wrong way. There is no way to be sure of the outcome what might happen to one who backslides.
And My people are bent to backsliding from Me: though they called them to the Most High, none at all would exalt Him, Hos. 11:7.
     To find out what is meant by spiritual backsliding, let us look at what characteristics Yahweh’s Word assigns to those who do exhibit the characteristics of one who backslides.

Left Thy First Love
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love, Rev. 2:4.
     Now, what is meant by “left thy first love”? One most certainly can equate its meaning to the answer Yahshua gave to a Sadducee lawyer who asked Him:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (Matt. 22:36).
Yahshua’s answer can be found in verses 37 and 38:
     Yahshua said unto him, Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

     Yes, these verses tell us that our first love, when we are able to discern the truth, is to be Yahweh. And how do we show our love to Yahweh? We show that we do love Yahweh, and Yahshua, if we keep His commandments.
If ye love Me, keep My commandments, John 14:15.
     And, by keeping His commandments, we are told that we shall remain and continue to abide is His love:
As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love, John 15:9-10.
     It can certainly be said that our first love is exhibited by the zeal one has concerning the truth shown by keeping the commandments. And, to leave our first love would be shown through our disobedience to His law.

     As was mentioned before, man-kind, in general, wants to do what they feel is right. And that is one characteristic which identifies a backslider.
The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways, Prov. 14:14a.
Believing one’s ways are superior to Yahweh’s ways indicates pride – an inordinate boasting of superiority. This feeling of superiority can cause one to be unprepared for the “day” which will eventually hit us.
     And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man, Luke 21:34-36.

Another sign of actions pointing to a backslider is that of being unwilling to express one’s beliefs.
This is told us in Mark 8:38:
     Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
Rev. 21:8 says what will happen to those whom Yahshua is ashamed of:
     But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Over-Association With Worldliness
As a youngster, peer pressure is very strong. Sometimes it even causes one to say things which are not true and do things counter to what one believes is true. This can also happen as one grows in age. One has to learn to separate oneself from being influenced by wrong feelings and ideas. 1 Cor. 15:33 expresses this thought:
     Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Denying Yahweh And His Truth
The last characteristic of one who backslides is found in Matt. 10:32-33:
     Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.

The Full List
     We have listed some 6 characteristics of one who is backsiding:
          1. Left first love – in so doing heads the wrong way,
          2. Pride – being boastful,
          3. Laziness or being unprepared – unwilling to prepare onself for what is coming,
          4. Cowardice – unwilling to express the truth,
          5. Over association with worldliness – unwilling to detach oneself of worldliness when necessary, and
          6. Denying Yahweh and His truth – not willing to confess the truth when the opportunity is at hand.

Combating Actions Of A Backslider
     How does one combat the actions of being a backslider?
     First, change the title to: Combating actions of being a backslider.
     Next – properly focus one’s love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us, 1 John 4:18-19.
     Thus, item 1 on the list becomes: Left first love Direct love to Yahshua.
     Next – guard against pride.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for Yahweh resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of Yahweh, that He may exalt you in due time, 1 Peter 5:5-6.
     Thus, item 2 on the list becomes: Pride Enjoin humility.
     Next – ward against laziness.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world, 1 Peter 5:8-9.
     Thus, item 3 on the list becomes: Laziness or being unprepared Seek diligence.
     Next – glorify Yahweh.
Yet if any man suffer as a follower of the Messiah, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify Yahweh on this behalf, 1 Peter 4:16.
     Thus, item 4 on the list becomes: Cowardice Glorify Yahweh.
     Next – abstain from seeking worldly treasures.
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify Yahweh on the day He visits us, 1 Peter 2:11-12 NIV.
     Thus, item 5 on the list becomes: Over association with worldliness Abstain from seeking worldly treasures.
     Lastly, give a defense.
But sanctify Yahweh Elohim in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, 1 Peter 3:15
     Thus, item 6 on the list becomes: Denying Yahweh and His truth Give a defense.

Be A Warrior
     Here is the list we should use to combat the wiles of satan:

     Combating actions of becoming a backslider:
               1. Direct love to Yahshua,
               2. Enjoin humility,
               3. Seek diligence,
               4. Glorify Yahweh,
               5. Abstain from seeking worldly treasures, and
               6. Give a defense.

Backslider’s Punishment
     What might Yahweh do to those who backslide?
And another also said, Master, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Yahshua said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of Yahweh, Luke 9:61-62.

Helping A Backslider
     What can one do if someone has gone astray?
 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins, James 5:19-20.

One’s Feelings Towards Backsliding
     What should be our general feeling about backsliding?
I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto Thee, O Yahweh, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt Thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me, Ps. 101:1-3.

Correct Warning Sign
     So, the original road sign said: Caution - Slippery surface under adverse conditions. For us, to obtain everlasting life, we must NOT SLIP, we must NOT SLIDE, and we must NOT BACKSLIDE, but remain true and steadfast in all we say and do.

                                                                                                         -Elder Roger G. Meyer

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