24th of the 11th month 2014/2015
Shabbat Shalom all,
Have you ever heard people use the excuse of, ‘But I did not know’? Or have you ever found yourself excusing away the ignorance of others due to the fact that they do not have the proper knowledge and have been misinformed? We are expressly told in:
Ma’asei/Acts 17:30 “Truly, then, having overlooked these times of ignorance, Elohim now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day on which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed, having given proof of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Sha’ul was addressing the very religious men of Athens when he stood in the midst of the Areopagus and began to tell them who יהוה is. They had altars to every mighty one imaginable and even had one with the inscription “TO THE UNKNOWN MIGHTY ONE”, and in trying to appease the whole world they wanted to cover all their bases of many proclaimed worship practices. Sha’ul addresses these men very boldly and makes a very clear and profound statement which clearly declares that ignorance of יהוה can no longer be accepted as an excuse!
The Greek word translated as ‘ignorance’ is ἄγνοια agnoia – Strong’s G52 which means, ‘ignorance, uninformed, lack of knowledge’. This word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek text of the Tanak – O.T.) in terms of the sins of ignorance or by mistake, and in Hebrew the word used ‘by mistake’ is שְׁגָגָה shegagah – Strong’s H7684 and means, ‘sin of error, inadvertent sin’ and comes from the root word שָׁגַג shagag – Strong’s H7683 meaning, ‘to go astray, to err, commit sin ignorantly’.
The sin offering was for the being who sinned ‘by mistake’ and what is being made clear here in Sha’ul’s words is that by Messiah having been offered up once for all, and that there no longer remains an offering for sin – there is now no more excuse to not repent and walk in the Truth – thus the clear command to repent; as the warning is that if one does not repent and turn to the Master, then there awaits only a severe judgement and punishment for the disobedient and rebellious!
While many today may claim an ignorance of knowledge we must take note that since the physical manifestation of the esteem of Elohim that was made visible to all through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah, this ignorance of the knowledge of Him can no longer be accepted as a valid reason for any person on the earth!
2000 years later many are still ignorant of who יהוה is and lack a proper knowledge of Elohim, due to the false pen of the scribes and the commands of men that have been taught as teachings! In a message tonight called, “LACK OF KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO DEATH – Ignorance is no excuse!”, I want us to take careful heed to what Sha’ul is saying here and recognise the clear and present danger of death that many are facing because of a lack of knowledge!
The Greek word for ‘repent’ is μετανοέω metanoeō – Strong’s G3340 which means, ‘to change one’s mind or purpose, to repent, relent’ and involves a complete change in one’s attitude and thought. The Hebrew word used for ‘repent’ is שׁוּב shuḇ – Strong’s H7725 which means, ‘to turn back, return, repent, restore’. When true repentance and a turning back to יהוה occurs, then obedience is a natural response to a changed attitude and mind, with the willingness to hear, guard and do what is instructed from the Torah of Elohim.
A pure and true sign of true repentance is seen in the hearing and doing of His Torah! Those who say they repent yet forsake their need to hear and do His Torah have not truly turned back to יהוה!
The Torah is the ‘how’ of living for and loving יהוה, as well as loving others as ourselves. True repentance is turning back to Elohim our Master and listening to His voice, giving our all unto Him!
Repentance calls for a complete paradigm shift of thinking, and this is exactly what Sha’ul was calling for back then, and is still the call being resounded today. To come out of the man-made religious systems of worship, a complete mind-shift has to take place, a complete change of purpose has to take place – one cannot do as they used to or as they were accustomed to doing through an erroneous upbringing. This kind of change is often too hard for most to make, as they cannot let go of the vain teachings and reasonings that seemingly gave them an identity, and this is why there is a huge resistance by so many who refuse to come out of the Church and walk in the Torah – they are unwilling to change the way they think! Many will desperately hold fast to a vain westernised Greek mind-set as they refuse to change their thought patterns and purpose by being rigid and firm in their allegiance to the traditions of man that have been taught as truth, yet clearly contradicts the Truth of the Word of Elohim as they quickly forsake the commands of Elohim.
Sha’ul was not intimidated by the idolatry that he saw, but was rather urgent in his approach of proclaiming a clear message of deliverance from that which leads to death; and there was a mixed reaction – most mocked him, while others wanted to hear this message again – possibly not for the purpose of repenting but to simply have more knowledge regarding the True Way! It is no different today – most will mock you when confronting their idolatry and calling for repentance to the Truth, while others just want to take up your time listening to what you have to say, just so they can increase their knowledge, thinking it will make them better off for just knowing the Truth without actually submitting to it and walking in it. A proper knowledge of Elohim can only be understood when applied in action as opposed to a gathering of information alone!
What I want to make very clear tonight is that without knowledge people die!!! No exceptions – without proper knowledge of Elohim you will die! So what does that mean? Let us take a look at a few key words in Scripture and their application in order for us to gain a better understanding of this sobering reality, so that we do not end up using excuses for others by saying, ‘but they did not know’!
The verse that I want us to look more closely at and use as a base for this teaching is from The Book of Hoshěa/Hosea:
Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the Torah of your Elohim, I also forget your children.”
Hoshěa prophesied around the 8th century B.C.E. well after the division of the split of Yisra’ĕl into the two Kingdoms/Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, as the word of יהוה came to him during the days of Uzziyah, Yotham, Aḥaz, and Ḥizqiyah, sovereigns of Yehuḏah, and in the days of Yaroḇʽam (number 2) son of Yo’ash, sovereign of Yisra’ĕl. So he basically prophesised from the time of Yaroḇ’am II, the 13th king of the House of Yisra’ĕl, and Uzziyah, the 9th king of the House of Yehuḏah, until Ḥizqiyahu, the 12th king of Yehuḏah, during which the House of Yisra’ĕl was taken into exile in the 9th year of the reign of Hoshěa the king of Yisra’ĕl, which was in the 6th year of the reign of Ḥizqiyahu, king of Yehuḏah! For over 80 years he prophesied!!! In his book he often refers to the House of Yisra’ĕl as Ephrayim, as the first king of Yisra’ĕl, Yaroḇ’am, was from the tribe of Ephrayim and had caused Yisra’ĕl to stray in their worship of יהוה, by setting up his own priesthood and rejecting the Lěwites and built two golden calves!
The book of Hoshěa/Hosea is a very clear example of the intense love that יהוה has for His wandering people that He urgently calls back to obedience by sending His prophets to call them back to His Torah! He makes it very clear, especially through Hoshěa, that a lack of true repentance will bring about their total destruction, while their correct response to obedient submission, in returning to Him and walking in His Torah and commands, would bring about the sure and promised deliverance. As we consider the powerful words of יהוה given through this prophet we can certainly see that the message is very clear – Come back to יהוה and know Him, or die for lack of knowledge!!! As we go through some of the Hebrew words here the message becomes more obvious and abundantly clear – one that many are refusing to hear today, risking the sentence of death for a lack of knowledge!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘perished’ is נִדְמוּ – ‘niḏmu’, which literally renders, ‘be destroyed’ or, ‘they are destroyed’, and comes from the root word דָּמָה damah – Strong’s H1820 which means, ‘to cease, cause to cease, destroy, cut off, perish’. As a verb this literally means, ‘to come to an end’, and is always a violent end that is indicated, and it is used 17 times in Scripture. A couple of examples we can see are from:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 15:1 “The message concerning Mo’aḇ. Because in the night Ar of Mo’aḇ was laid waste, was silenced! Because in the night Qir of Mo’aḇ was laid waste, was silenced!”
It is translated twice here as ‘silenced’ concerning the message of Mo’aḇ, who were silenced by being laid waste, which is also used twice. The Hebrew word translated as ‘laid waste’ is the root verb שָׁדַד shaḏaḏ – Strong’s H7703 which means, ‘to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, completely destroy’, from which we get the word שַׁדַּי Shaddai – Strong’s H7706 meaning, ‘the Almighty’, which collectively used with אֵל Ěl – Strong’s H410 is a compound title used for יהוה Elohim – Ěl Shaddai = Ěl Almighty – The Mighty One who is Almighty – The One who can completely destroy, and who deals violently with those who do not know Him, while being The All-Powerful One who protects His own that are known by Him!
דָּמָה damah – Strong’s H1820 is used in a message of יהוה that came to Yirmeyahu concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh smote Azzah:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 47:5 “Baldness shall come upon Azzah, Ashqelon shall be cut off with the remnant of their valley. Till when would you cut yourself?”
As I mentioned, דָּמָה damah – Strong’s H1820 is always used in indicating a violent destruction, and while we are given clear messages concerning the enemies of Yisra’ĕl, we are also given a clear warning that is given to the disobedient House of Yisra’ĕl, as seen in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 10:15 “Thus it shall be done to you, O Bĕyth Ěl, because of the evil of your wickedness. At dawn the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl is completely cut off!”
The term ‘completely cut off’ is נִדְמֹה נִדְמָה – ‘niḏmah niḏmah’ where the root דָּמָה damah – Strong’s H1820 is used twice in a row for emphasis, in regards to the wicked king being violently destroyed! This would be done because of the evil of their great wickedness!
Yeshayahu uses this verb when recognising his own sinful state in the face of יהוה of Hosts, as we see in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:5 “And I said, “Woe to me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips – for my eyes have seen the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts.”
The Hebrew phrase for ‘I am undone’ is נִדְמֵיתִי – ‘niḏmeythi’, from the root of דָּמָה damah – Strong’s H1820.
In the face of the Commander of the Heavenly Host Yeshayahu stands undone and at an end, and immediately confesses that he has unclean lips and lives among unclean people, and at this confession of guilt in the face of Truth, His lips are cleansed to go and proclaim the Truth, and proclaim the true knowledge of Elohim!
Many people refuse to look intently into the mirror of the Word for fear of what they might see, or they look and walk away forgetting what they look like, lack true knowledge and continue in their ignorance that leads to death!
Lack of Knowledge is what will cause people to cease and be destroyed – no exceptions and no ignorant excuses accepted – what is very clear – lack of knowledge leads to death!
The Hebrew word translated as ‘lack’ is בְּלִי beliy – Strong’s H1097 which means, ‘failure, wearing out, without, lack of, corruption’, which comes from the root verb בָּלָה balah – Strong’s H1086 which means, ‘to fail, become old, wear out, decay, consume’. What is worth taking note of in this regard is that the Hebrew word בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al – Strong’s H1100 which means, ‘worthlessness, wicked, naughty, evil, unprofitable’, comes from בְּלִי beliy – Strong’s H1097 and יַעַל ya’al – Strong’s H3276 which means, ‘to confer or gain profit or benefit, avail, furnish, that which is profitable and good’.
The term בְּלִיַּעַל beliya’al can be better understood as, ‘failure to profit, failure to do what is best’, and ultimately marks one who ‘fails to follow יהוה’, by refusing to submit to walking wholeheartedly in His Torah and commands!
The Hebrew word for ‘knowledge’ is דַּעַת da’ath – Strong’s H1847 which means, ‘knowledge, concern, premeditation, skill’, and comes from the root verb יָדַע yaḏa – Strong’s H3045 meaning, ‘to know’.
As we meditate on the Torah, day and night, we are further equipped to guard the Word of Truth and the knowledge of the Set-Apart One! People who disregard the need to guard the knowledge by casting aside the Torah of Elohim can never be prosperous in the walk of set-apartness and will perish due to the lack of knowledge being carefully guarded in their mouths, for the Torah is to be in our hearts and mouths – to do it!
‘To know’ Elohim is to guard His commands, commands that we are to be meditating on day and night. Those who are not doing so will perish and cease to be, as they will be violently cut off!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 6:9 describes for us those who are ‘seeing’ but do not ‘know’! It is one thing to look and see but to truly ‘know’ Elohim is to Guard and DO His commands!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5 “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:24 “And the one guarding His commands stays in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He stays in us, by the Spirit which He gave us.”
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:2-3 “By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands. 3 For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan could not be any clearer than this – to know Elohim is to guard His commands – which means ‘DO’ them as we should!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of יהוה is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Set-apart One is understanding.”
What we must recognise here is that knowledge of Elohim comes in the guarding and doing of His commands, and our understanding of Him can only come in the doing of His Word. If you do not understand Him them you do not know Him because you do not do what He says, and if this is the case you will die for lack of knowledge and be unable to have an excuse for ignorance! The clear knowledge of Elohim has been revealed through Messiah who came to fully proclaim the Torah and the Prophets and lead us as we walk as He walked! He has appointed some to equip the body so that the body can be perfected until we all come to a unity of belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim! The problem is that most do not want to listen to those the Master has appointed, but will rather listen to ear tickling liars who puff their hearers up with arrogant pride of a false knowledge, which is no knowledge of Elohim at all as they teach a lawlessness and a rejection of the Torah! Messiah gave Himself for us, to redeem us from lawlessness and to cleanse us for Himself as a possession that is ardent for good works! (Titos/Titus 2:14). In other words He gave Himself for us so that we can know Him and find the knowledge of Him that we had lacked through ignorance and sin, and now as He commands everyone everywhere to repent, there is no more ignorance that can be claimed! If you lack knowledge you will die!
If any who claim to know Him do not guard His Torah and continue in the lawlessness that He came to redeem us from then they will die and He will clearly declare that He did not know them:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:22-23 “Many shall say to Me in that day, ‘Master, Master, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty works in Your Name?’ 23 “And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’”
Iyoḇ/Job 36:12 “But if they do not obey, they perish by the sword, and die without knowledge.”
Shelomoh tells us in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 19:2 “Also, desire without knowledge is not good; and he who hurries with his feet sins.”
The Hebrew word translated as ‘desire’ here is נֶפֶשׁ ‘nephesh’ H5315 which is ‘a soul, a living being, the inner being of a man’, and also can be understood as the inner desire of a man. What is very clear here is that we were not designed to be without knowledge, knowledge of Elohim that is, for without knowledge our נֶפֶשׁ ‘nephesh’ – that is our being – dies – for without true knowledge of Elohim one’s feet walk in wrong paths and miss the mark of the True narrow path that leads to life!
To those who refuse to hear, guard and do the Torah of Elohim, and are perishing, the Good News is veiled! For if they turn to the Master the veil is taken away! If they knew that Messiah is the fullness of the esteem of Elohim in bodily form, that is that He is יהוה the Saviour and Redeemer of Yisra’ĕl and that יהוה and יהושע are ONE, then they would be quick to guard His Word and seek to know Him and get a knowledge of Him!!!
Many who claim to be serving Elohim, are serving in falsehood under the misguided teachings of men that have been handed down through vain traditions that are taught as truth. The sons of Ěli who ‘served’ as priests in the House of יהוה in Shiloh and were not true worshippers of Elohim but were called men of Beliya’al!
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:12 “And the sons of Ěli were sons of Beliya’al – they did not know יהוה.”
‘Serving, yet not knowing’ – like so many today! They served their own fleshly desires by corrupting the Truth for selfish gain, and rejected the true knowledge of Elohim, and for that they perished violently on the battlefield!
There is no excuse for lack of knowledge or a lack of obedience, for that is simply an outright rejection of the Truth, for which there is no salvation!
The lack of knowledge being so evident today is due to a clear and outright rejection of knowledge! In the days of Hoshěa it was no different to today, as the message is clear – you lack knowledge for you reject knowledge! Ignorance is not an excuse, for the knowledge of Elohim is freely available to all, yet by the rejection of this knowledge people lack knowledge and will be destroyed!
The Hebrew word for ‘rejected’ is מָאַס mâ’as – Strong’s H3988 means, ‘reject, completely abhor, despise, refuse, cast away’.
There is a severe warning given to Yisra’ĕl for despising the discipline of Elohim and the rejecting of His laws, in:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:12-14 “Therefore thus said the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely on them, 13 therefore this crookedness is to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, swiftly.” 14 And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel, which is broken in pieces, without sparing, so that there is not found among its fragments a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water from the cistern.”
Today so many are quick to reject the knowledge of Elohim and cast away His Torah behind them, as they clearly despise the Word of Elohim through their lawless approach to worship. Rejecting His Torah is a death sentence and a rejection from Elohim to those who claim to be His royal priesthood while casting His Words behind them!
The Words of יהוה as given through Hoshěa are very clear – His people have forgotten the Torah!
The Hebrew root word used for ‘forgotten’ is שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – Strong’s H7911 and means, ‘forget, cease to care, ignore’.
We are clearly reminded in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:11-14 “Be on guard, lest you forget יהוה your Elohim by not guarding His commands, and His right-rulings, and His laws which I command you today, 12 lest you eat and shall be satisfied, and build lovely houses and shall dwell in them, 13 and your herds and your flocks increase, and your silver and your gold are increased, and all that you have is increased, 14 that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget יהוה your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage”
The sad reality is that so often when things seem to be going well with people, they forget to not forget – which we are constantly to be on guard against!
We see in Hoshěa a clear use of this word שָׁכַח shaḵaḥ – meaning, ‘to forget’, being used as an antonym for יָדַע yaḏa – meaning, ‘to know’, in:
Hoshěa/Hosea 13:4-6 “But I am יהוה your Elohim since the land of Mitsrayim, and an Elohim besides Me you shall not know, for there is no Saviour besides Me. 5 “I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. 6 “When they were fed they were satisfied. They were satisfied and their heart was exalted, therefore they forgot Me.”
To ‘forget’ יהוה is to not know Him! To forget יהוה is to reject walking in His Torah – and for this people will die!
Yirmeyahu mentions repeatedly the clear words of Elohim that declare that His people do not know Him, as they do not guard His Sabbaths and Appointed Times, and we see in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:22 “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are stupid children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”
The reality is made plain here in Hoshěa/Hosea 6 – those who reject the knowledge of Elohim by not hearing, guarding and doing His Word will be rejected Him, and those who forget His Torah will be forgotten by Him and perish!
The reason I have repeated the emphasise on knowing יהוה and be sure to not lack knowledge, is to let us be aware the very real and present danger of not being known by Him, if we reject and forget His Torah and commands!
I also want to emphasise that there is absolutely no excuse for ignorance and nobody should claim that they did not know as a reason for acceptance – for His knowledge has been revealed and we are to seek Him while He may be found!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 2:1-5 “My son, if you accept my words, and treasure up my commands with you, 2 so that you make your ear attend to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; 3 for if you cry for discernment, lift up your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, 5 then you would understand the fear of יהוה, and find the knowledge of Elohim.”
There is no excuse for not being able to find the knowledge of Elohim! We who have had our lips touched by His great mercy and loving-commitment, as we called upon His Name and confessed our guilt and sentence of death before Him, as Yeshayahu did, may we be as bold and courageous as Yeshayahu was, and as bold and brave as Hoshěa and all the prophets of Elohim were – and go and proclaim the Good News with urgency so that those who have been rejecting the knowledge and Torah of Elohim for far too long will hear the clear death sentence that awaits those who do so, with the hope that they will hear, repent and turn back to Elohim who has commanded a repentance to everyone everywhere!
I hope that by this brief look at the clear words being spoken here in Hoshěa/Hosea 4:6 that the sobering reality of the sure fact that is made clear is understood and that we must be on guard against having any excuses for lack of knowledge and be careful to not defend others who lack knowledge, but rather proclaim to them this Truth!
“LACK OF KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO DEATH – Ignorance is no excuse!”
We know that Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 tells us exactly what righteousness is, as it makes it very clear in telling us that it is righteousness for us to guard to do all יהוה has commanded us, and so we also see in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 11:19 “Thus righteousness leads to life, and one pursuing evil, to his own death.”
Mishlĕ/proverbs 19:6 “He who guards the command guards his life, he who despises His ways dies.”
An unchanging and central message that we find all throughout Scripture is this: Obedience to His Torah and commands leads to life – disobedience leads to death!
“LACK OF KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO DEATH – Ignorance is no excuse!”
What excuses have you made, if any, in trying to reason away compromise and sin through a lack of knowledge?
If you have, then it is time to start earnestly seeking יהוה while He may be found, for if you do not, He will come like a thief in the night and it will be too late!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek יהוה while He is to be found, call on Him while He is near. 7 Let the wrong forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to יהוה, who has compassion on him, and to our Elohim, for He pardons much.”
“LACK OF KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO DEATH – Ignorance is no excuse!”
Let us be true seekers and worshippers of Elohim and never lack the true knowledge that leads to live as we hear, guard and do all He has commanded us to!
יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom