repent! by C.J. Koster
Satan (the Adversary, the Devil, the Wicked One, the Evil One) is the one who snatches away, who devours, who takes away the Word of Elohim which Yahushua sows in our hearts. We read about all this in the Parable of the Sower in Mt. 13, Mk. 4 and Luke 8. Note well: Mark and Luke call it "the Word of Elohim" while Mattithyahu calls it "the Word of the Kingdom (or Reign)." All commentaries agree that Mattithyahu primarily wrote his evangel for the Yehudim and he obviously did not wish to offend the Yehudim by using the Father's Name, because of their post-exilic, yet un-Scriptural fear of using the Father's Name or even the appellative: Elohim. Therefore he used a euphemism instead and spoke of "the Word of the Reign."
Satan has been doing this right from the beginning, as we read in Bereshith / Gen. Ch. 3, where he came in the form of a serpent to snatch away or to take away the Word of Elohim which He, Elohim, commanded Adam and Chawwah, "but do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die." Satan deceived them and they ate of that tree, and they died - spiritually (Eph. 2:1-2), straight away, and of course, death came into this world because of this. (Rom. 5:17-19). Moreover, the second death awaits unrepentant Adamites, unrepentant mankind. (Rev. 20:14).
In the Garden of Eden Satan came in the form of a serpent, but in the vast majority of instances he does the evil work of snatching away the Word of Elohim by operating through "messengers of light", "servants of righteousness." (2 Cor. 11:13-15). He has been using his agents, the evil thorns of the Parable of the Sower. These agents of his are but men, Adamites, and especially lawless prophets and lawless preachers who lead people astray - even sincere believers - into the Satanic deception that "the law has been done away with." Read about all this in 2 Thess. 2:3-12, 2 Kepha 2:1-22, and especially the alarming words of Yahushua in Mt. 7:15-23 where He shockingly reveals to us that the false prophets are those who "work lawlessness" and in Mt. 13:36-43 where He, in no uncertain words, informs us that lawless believers, who are in the Reign of Elohim, will be cast into the furnace of fire!
These passages, however, you have to read in literal translations of the Scriptures or in Interlinear Greek - English translations. Why? Because once again Satan has succeeded in "snatching away" the Word of Elohim through incorrect or free translations, or through what they nowadays call "dynamic equivalents" which is none else but a more sophisticated term for a "free translation" --- to snatch away the Word of Elohim, to promote untruths, lies and substitution-counterfeits!
The most successful "snatching away" the Word of Elohim is undoubtedly the fact that the name of the Father, Yahuweh, has been snatched away out of almost all of the translations of the Scriptures, and out of hearts and minds and thoughts and mouths of preachers and believers. This Name, YHWH, Yahuweh - whichever way you prefer to write it or say it - has been substituted by hundreds of common titles and names derived from Gentile deities! Give the devil his due - he has performed a masterpiece of deception!
He has similarly "snatched away" the Name of the Messiah of Israel, Yahushua, and substituted it with a Greek name, lesous Christos, of which both of these words/names can be traced back to Gentile sun-worship!
Avoidance of the reverential use of the Father's Name and the Son's Name is totally un-Scriptural. In fact, it is frank transgression of what Elohim commanded in Devarim / Deut. 4:2, Devarim 12:32, Prov. 30:6 and Rev. 22:18-19.
Yet another "snatching away" of the Word of Elohim is evidenced by the relative absence, and at times there even appears to be a complete absence of the word "repent" and its noun: "repentance" in the preaching from the pulpits, especially lately.
This is in strange contrast to what we read of in the Messianic Scriptures, namely this: The very first word Yochanan the Immerser preached, was "Repent" (Mt. 3:2). The very first word Yahushua began His ministry with, was "Repent" (Mt. 4:17). When He sent out His twelve, they went and preached that men "should repent." (Mk. 6:12).
A Spirit-filled Kepha similarly began his ministry in Acts 2:38 by starting with the word "Repent", and he continued to do so in Acts 3:19 and Acts 8:22. Shaul similarly did so and preached repentance. (Acts 17:30, Acts 20:21, Acts 26:20).
The sad reality is that even believers have to be repeatedly reproved and commanded to "repent." In His messages to the seven assemblies in Rev. 2 and Rev. 3 it was necessary for Yahushua to command six of the seven assemblies to "repent"! Sin had already taken over in the assemblies and they were told to repent!
Why has Satan seen to it that this word "repent" was taken away or snatched away or devoured? Simply because Satan is determined to keep people in bondage to sin and therefore he snatches away the Word of Elohim - especially those words which are vitally important for our salvation.
Let us look at this word "repent." In studying this word we might become slightly confused because three different Greek words have been rendered by the English "repent", and two different Hebrew words. The commonest of the Greek words used is metanoia, which is explained (in accordance with ancient pagan Greek thought) as a change of one's mind. The commonest Hebrew word is shuwb which simply means to turn, or to turn back. Although there seems to be a difference in their meanings, the fact remains that wherever we read metanoia in the Greek text, we find that Dr Delitzsch's Hebrew New Testament, as well as the Shem Tob Hebrew text of Matthew render metanoia as shuwb in Hebrew. (Hebrew, of course, being the original). All theological books therefore agree that metanoia is the Greek synonym/translation of the Hebrew shuwb.
Let us look at the word "repent" in the Bible dictionaries. The New Bible Dictionary defines it as follows, "Repentance is turning from sin unto [Elohim]." The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary similarly says, "a resolute turning away from sin" and further on, "a renunciation of sin."
Let us not point fingers at specific individuals - so-and-so and so-and-so. Let each one of us rather examine himself/herself to see whether Satan has succeeded to snatch away this vitally important requirement of repentance - to repent of all sin - in our spiritual walk with Messiah. Let us not fall into the deceptive trap of compromise. Whoever wishes to overcome, whoever wishes to be set apart (qodesh), simply has to turn from sin and turn unto Elohim. That is what repentance means and that is what Yahushua requires. If not - "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezek 18:4 KJV). Such a one dies spiritually (Eph. 2:1-2) and unless he repents before the time comes, he physically dies the second death. (Rev. 20).