11th of the 8th month 2017/2018
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For there shall be a time when they shall not bear sound teaching, but according to their own desires, they shall heap up for themselves teachers tickling the ear, 4 and they shall indeed turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths.”
The time that Sha’ul warned Timotiyos about is certainly upon us, as we recognise how so many just love to get their ears tickled by falsehood and lies, in order to feel good about themselves. As I began to ponder on these words, I could not help but consider the danger of having one’s ear tickled. If ears are not to be tickled then what? Well, the answer is fairly simple! Have them pierced!!! What? Now I am not talking about body piercings here but rather the concept of having one’s ears pierced rather than tickled, especially as we consider what is written in the Torah, where we see the following:
Shemoth/Exodus 21:5-6 “And if the servant truly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, let me not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him before Elohim, and shall bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl. And he shall serve him forever.”
We this this instruction being repeated in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 15:16-17 “And it shall be, when he says to you, ‘I do not go away from you,’ because he loves you and your house, because it is good for him with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Do the same to your female servant.”
In a brief message called, “TICKLED OR PIERCED? TIME TO ASSESS ONE’S EAR!” I would like to explore the clear contrast of ears that are being tickled versus ears that have been pierced, metaphorically speaking of course!
In order to do that I want to take a closer look at some of the Greek and Hebrew words that are used in the above passages, along with other relevant verses and words, so that a proper assessment can be done by all, when looking intently into the mirror of the Word and make sure that, as followers of Messiah, we have chosen to have our ear pierced with His Word in order to be His faithful servant forever!
As we look at Sha’ul’s words, we take note that he equates the ears that are being tickled to those who shall not bear sound teaching! In other words, they do not want to hear the Truth and will rather hear a twisted version of the Truth that fuels their justification for compromised standards. The Greek word that is translated as ‘bear’ comes from the root word ἀνέχομαι anechomai – Strong’s G430 which means, ‘hold oneself up against, to hold oneself upright, put up with, bear with, endure, suffer’, and the Greek word that is translated as ‘not’ is οὐ – ‘ou’ – Strong’s G3756 which is an adverb that simply means ‘no’ or ‘not’. People who want their ears tickled lack endurance as they cannot hold oneself up to the standard of set-apartness that the Word of Elohim calls us to pursue!
The time that Sha’ul was speaking of is certainly upon us as we take note of how true his words to Timotiyos are, especially as we are able to easily recognise how sound teaching is scoffed at and most are turning their ears to that which feeds their own fleshly desires and causes them to vainly justify their lawlessness and compromised lifestyles as something that they deem acceptable according to their own standards, while the clear standards of Elohim are set aside or excused away as being something irrelevant and inconvenient!
In the Greek text the word that is translated as ‘sound’ is ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 which is a verb that means, ‘to be sound, to be safe and sound, to be whole, to be healthy’, and is also used in the Greek as a metaphor for believers whose opinions are free from any mixture of error. In other words, it is used as a metaphor to describe how pure, clean, healthy and sound the witness and speech of true believers are! True believers listen to sound teachings and speak sound words as they do not lie or twist truths to satisfy the desires of the flesh and, in a sense, do not speak with a ‘fork-tongue’!
One’s speech can often give away what they have been listening to! How is your speech? What are you allowing your ears to hear?
This Greek word for ‘sound’ – ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 – comes from the primitive root word ὑγιής hugiēs – Strong’s G5199 which means, ‘sound, whole, healthy, restored, normal’.
The word ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198 can be understood as describing something that is healthy and physically well. It is from this word that we are able to recognise the English word ‘hygiene’ which was derived in the 1670s from the French word hygiène, but ultimately comes from these Greek words that we are discussing.
According to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the English word ‘hygiene’ is defined as follows:
1) A science of the establishment and maintenance of health
2) Conditions or practices (as of cleanliness) conducive to health
I think that the meaning of this word is very clear as it represents that which is good for your health and includes the necessary practices required to stay healthy!
With this understanding we are able to get better insight into the words of Sha’ul as we consider how sick most are today and are in need of good health! While this may be literally true, what I am talking about is how sick most are when it comes to their knowledge and application of the Truth!
Sha’ul warned Timotiyos to withdraw from those do not agree with the “sound” (ὑγιαίνω hugiainō – Strong’s G5198) words of our Master:
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 6:3-5 “If anyone teaches differently and does not agree to the sound words, those of our Master יהושע Messiah, and to the teaching which is according to reverence, 4 he is puffed up, understanding none at all, but is sick about questionings and verbal battles from which come envy, strife, slander, wicked suspicions, 5 worthless disputes of men of corrupt minds and deprived of the truth, who think that reverence is a means of gain – withdraw from such.”
We are to ‘hold fast’ to the ‘sound words’:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 1:13 “Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in belief and love which are in Messiah יהושע.”
Those who do not want to hold fast to the sound teaching of our Master, by refusing to hear, and submit to, the Torah of Elohim, will prefer to have their lawless and lustful desires met by gathering around themselves false teachers that will tickle their ears!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘desires’ in Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 4:3 comes from the root word ἐπιθυμία epithumia – Strong’s G1939 meaning, ‘lust, desire, lust after, desiring what is forbidden, deep desire and longing for, coveting’; and this comes from the word ἐπιθυμέω epithumeō – Strong’s G1937 which means, ‘desire, covet, lust, seek that which is forbidden’ and is translated as ‘lusts’ in
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. And these are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you desire to do.”
How many of you have found yourself looking at or seeking things that you know you should not! This can cause sin, and bring a breach in the wall which can affect the entire assembly!!! What happens when you are seeking that which you should not and do not get it? You grumble and complain! And when people grumble and complain about someone telling them that they need to properly hear, submit to and obey the Torah they will grumble and complain about it and then, in order to satisfy their lawless mindset, they will heap up for themselves teachers that tickle their ears, in order to make themselves feel better about their ‘assumed self-righteous lifestyles’!
What is so interesting to take note of is that those who love to have their ears tickled, do so by so many various teachings that reinforce their lawless state or rather fuel their assumption that proper hearing, guarding and doing of the Torah is no long necessary!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘tickling’ is κνήθω knēthō – Strong’s G2833 which means, ‘to scratch, itch’ and is used only in Sha’ul’s letter to Timotiyos, being used as a metaphor for having the desire, or itch, to hear something that is soothing and pleasant to the ears! Those who refuse to submit to the Torah of Elohim will seek out teachers that will soothe their itching ears with deception and lies. Sha’ul warned Timotiyos that a time would come when this would happen, yet we also see this pattern being displayed by a rebellious people in the days of Yeshayahu when he was told to write the following down:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 30:8-11 “And go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it on a scroll, that it is for a latter day, a witness forever: 9 that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who refuse to hear the Torah of יהוה, 10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us what is smooth, prophesy deceits. 11 “Turn aside from the way, swerve from the path, cause the Set-apart One of Yisra’ěl to cease from before us.”
People who refuse to hear the Torah of יהוה seek out those who will speak to them what is smooth and prophesy deceits and not what is right! The Hebrew word that is translated hear as ‘smooth’ comes from the root word חֶלְקָה ḥelqah – Strong’s H2513 which means, ‘smooth part, smoothness, flattery, pleasant words’, and comes from the root verb חָלַק ḥalaq – Strong’s H2505 which means, ‘to be smooth, or being deceitful, and also means to flatter or seduce’. This word also carries the understanding of, ‘giving misleading opinions or thought about what is true, often encouraging wrong behaviour’. This root verb חָלַק ḥalaq – Strong’s H2505 is used to describe the smooth and flattering words of the strange woman in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7:5 “To guard you against the strange woman, against the foreigner who flatters with her words.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 7 emphasises that the way to guard against the smooth and flattering words of deceit, of the whore, is to guard the commands!
How sad it is today to see how so many have been seduced in following ‘misleading opinions’ and are being ‘encouraged to be disobedient’ by the ‘smooth talkers’ – beware of the smooth talkers! And even more importantly – do not be a smooth talker – be a truth talker!
The wisdom of Elohim will protect us from the ear tickling words of the adulterous whore that is leading so many astray.
And we are clearly told in Yeḥezqěl that the flattering (חָלַק ḥalaq) divination will be done away with, as the Word of יהוה will the Word that is heard and adhered to:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 12:24-25 “For no longer is there to be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Yisra’ĕl. 25 “For I am יהוה, I speak. And the word which I speak is done. It is no longer deferred. For in your days, O rebellious house, when I speak the word I shall do it,” declares the Master יהוה.’”
Sadly, we find that most people love deceit and love to be tickled with lies.
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets have prophesied falsely, and the priests rule by their own hand, and My people have loved it so. And what are you going to do at the end of it?”
Sha’ul warns us against those who cause people to stumble through flattery and smooth ear tickling words:
Romiyim/Romans 16:17-18 “Now I call upon you, brothers, watch out for those who cause divisions and stumbling, contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such ones do not serve our Master יהושע Messiah, but their own stomach, and by smooth words and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.”
The Greek word used here for ‘smooth’ is χρηστολογία chrēstologia – Strong’s G5542 which means, ‘smooth speech, fair speaking’, and the Greek word used for ‘flattering speech’ is εὐλογία eulogia – Strong’s G2129 which means, ‘praise, blessing, flattering speech’. Many of today’s Christian teachers speak words that could be described as being ‘fair and flattering’, and will certainly sound very soothing to the ears of their listeners and captivate the innocent through deception, as their fair and smooth words are more often than not contradictory and do not line up with the clear Torah of Elohim, and people are perishing for lack of knowledge, as the flattering words that are spoken to them are not equipping them at all, but are rather soothing their appetites in accepting a lawless religion that walks under the banner of a falsified grace! If one does not guard the Torah and walk in it, proper discernment with be lost and deception is inevitable! The false worship system will lead many astray with “Christology” and “eulogies” that sound very flattering, while they are far removed from the truth, praising people with smooth words while their actions of obedience are clearly non-existent!
With many smooth words the whore forces and impels her hearers to be seduced by her flattery and invitation to join her on her bed of whoring! Most Christian teachers, pastors and ministers today are nothing more than motivational speakers who flatter their hearers with smooth and seductive words and easily catch the simple ones who lack heart and do not understand nor have knowledge of the Set-Apart One!
Ok, I think that we can get the clear picture of what Sha’ul warns us about, when highlighting the dangers of ear tickling messages that are being sought after by those who refuse to submit to the proper hearing of the Truth! When I say, ‘proper hearing’, I mean a hearing and doing of the Word of Elohim, for to only hear and then not do reveals a lack of true belief/faith! We are to be doers of the word and not only hearers!
Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:21-25 “Therefore put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your lives. 22 And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror, 24 for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 25 But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets, but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”
Romiyim/Romans 2:13 “ For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the Torah shall be declared right.”
Let us carefully consider the words of our Master:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 7:21-27 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Master, Master,’ shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens. 22 “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!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, 25 and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, 27 and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and great was its fall.”
Those who work lawlessness are those who seek out teachers that will tickle their ears into believing that they do not need to hear, guard and do the Torah of Elohim; and as a result, will be rejected by our Master, despite their claim of knowing Him!
Let us therefore consider what it means to have our ears pierced with the Truth as opposed to having them tickled with deceit and lies. To do that we need to learn from the Torah, what it means to have our ear pierced and so, let me repeat the verse I quoted at the beginning from:
Shemoth/Exodus 21:5-6 “And if the servant truly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, let me not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him before Elohim, and shall bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl. And he shall serve him forever.”
From these verses we see that if a servant truly says ‘I love my master, my wife and my children, let me not go free’… then he shall serve him forever! This is a profound statement being made here. One we make, as servants of Messiah, of our Master! When we too have made the good confession, and declare our love for our Elohim and Saviour then we serve Him forever – yet there was something that was to happen – let us see how that applies to us today!
Firstly, we must note the clear order being shown here:
I Love my master, wife, children… what we must notice from these words here is that the servant puts his master comes first and it is the same with us today:
Luqas/Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and his own life too, he is unable to be My taught one.”
Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
Love for our Master comes first!!! This does not diminish in any way our love for our spouse or children, but rather it reflects the true nature of our love; that without such fervent love for our master we are truly unable to show complete love in service to our family – however, love for Him must always be our primary focus that will cause us to flow with a genuine love for others! In a declaration of our love for our Master, יהושע Messiah, we must take note of what it says; for it says here, ‘if a servant truly says’.
This is vital for us to understand, as there are many today who say that they love Elohim, yet their love is not being expressed in complete obedience to His instructions and it is not made vocally with a loud voice of faith! This love of a servant that truly says, speaks of a true and complete commitment to Him.
Those who claim to ‘stay’ in His house yet do not love Him, by obeying Him, are thieves and not servants! This is a call for voluntary service – we have been bought at a price and it is for freedom that He has set us free, yet we must choose to be His bondservant!
Romiyim/Romans 10:9-13 “That if you confess with your mouth the Master יהושע and believe in your heart that Elohim has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, and so is saved. 11 Because the Scripture says, “Whoever puts his trust in Him shall not be put to shame.”12 Because there is no distinction between Yehuḏite and Greek, for the same Master of all is rich to all those calling upon Him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be saved.”
“When a servant truly says”, speaks of one making a clear and definite choice with the intent for an everlasting commitment and for others to hear it too! This teaches us that we are not to be ‘undercover agents’, so to speak, but rather we are to be bold ambassadors that are faithfully proclaiming our Master’s coming reign, both in word and deed!
If this be the case (that the servant truly says I love my master), then we see the instruction that is made clear, telling us to ‘Bring him to the door or doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl’! Now, let me make it clear that we do not pierce people’s ears today, yet we can glean the significance of these actions and correct response to the instructions given for a committed choice to serve. Let us look at these instructions and see how we too can ‘come to the door and have our ears pierced in order to be our Master’s bondservants forever:
Bring him to the door – יהושע tells us in Yoḥanan/John 10:7 that He is the door of the sheep. We who declare our love for our Master, who has bought us at a price, come to Him and declare our desire to belong to Him forever. Coming to The Door (that is Messiah) is a bold acknowledgment of who our Master is and that we recognise that there is no other way for us to enter into service unto Him and be grafted into His Body, by His Blood, for He has been pierced for our transgressions. Let us take a brief look at the words of our Master from Yoḥanan/John 10 and see the use of His words in the parable of the Door:
Yoḥanan/John 10:1-9 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber. 2 “But he who enters through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 “The doorkeeper opens for him, and the sheep hear his voice. And he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 “And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes before them. And the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 “And they shall by no means follow a stranger, but shall flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 יהושע used this figure of speech, but they did not know what He had been saying to them. 7 יהושע therefore said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
Obeying the Master, who is the Door, entails a proper hearing of His voice which entails a proper guarding and doing of His Torah and anyone who simply seeks to have their ears tickled by messages of lawlessness are not true servants but are simply thieves that are trying to enter into the reign of our Master by some other means!
Doorpost – Gates and doorposts are symbolic of the place where we are reminded of the right-rulings of Elohim, for it was at the gates of the city that the judges would sit and rightly rule the people, and it is on the door posts of our homes that we are to write the commands, in order to remind us in our going out and coming in that we are to guard the commands of Elohim, having the full assurance that we shall go in and go out in peace, finding pasture for our beings!
The Hebrew word used for ‘doorpost’ is מְזוּזָה mezuzah – Strong’s H4201 which means, ‘doorpost, gate post’. This word is used 19 times in the Scriptures and is used for the gateposts of the city of Azzah (Gaza), which Shimshon carried away together with the gate, which is a symbolic picture of the authority of the enemy being carried away and being destroyed! This word is used for the gateposts of the Tabernacle court, as well as the gateposts of the Temple that Shelomoh built, as well as those that are described by Yeḥezqěl in referring to the Millennial Temple. In Shemoth/Exodus 12:7,22-23 we see how the Yisra’ĕlites applied the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their homes. This word is also used to describe a servant who declared his love for his master after being released in the 7th year. If the servant desired to stay then he would be brought to the doorpost and his master would pierce his ear and the servant would belong to his master forever!
We are also instructed to write the commands on our doorposts, as seen in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:9 “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 11:20 “and shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”
While we can certainly see that the term מְזוּזָה mezuzah – Strong’s H4201 means ‘doorpost’, what we find today is that some people market and sell what they call a ‘mezuzah’, and what they are selling is a small handmade item that has a piece of paper rolled up inside with the commands written on them, and this can be attached to the doorposts of one’s home. While the idea may sound inviting, what we take note of here is that מְזוּזָה mezuzah simply means ‘doorpost’ and everyone has doorposts, and they do not need to buy a marketed product, but rather they just need to obey the Word and write the commands on their doorposts. This can be done in many creative ways while not neglecting the command, as we have taken the 10 Words of Elohim in Hebrew and written them with a wood burning tool on the doorposts of our front door, which certainly causes a great number of discussions that can be an opening for many to come to know the commands of our Elohim, while at the same time always being a reminder to our whole family that we are to always guard His commands, and that He protects of going out and coming in!
Pierce the ear – A piercing of the ear speaks of the ability to have one’s ears open to hear and allow His word to be heard as it is, even as it pierces! Too many today who claim to be servants of Messiah only want their ears ‘tickled’ and not ‘pierced’ with the Truth. The piercing of the ear with an awl at the doorpost would be symbolic of the servant who declared his love for his master now belonging to the house and wilfully be submitted to the authority of the house.
So many today are unwilling to submit to authority like this! If they do not like what they ‘hear’ they all too quickly rush off to find another assembly where they will hear what they like, yet never show true commitment and submission!
The piercing of the ear would show a permanent decision that could not be reversed.
The Hebrew word used here for ‘ear’ is the word אֹזֶן ozen – Strong’s H241 which means, ‘an ear, hear, attentive, closely, recite, reveal’ and comes from the root verb אָזַן azan – Strong’s H238 which means, ‘to give, ear, listen, pay attention, perceived by ear’, and while this also carries the meaning to listen and listen attentively, it literally means to ‘cup the ear’ – in other words give your complete attention and be obedient to take it all in.
Our relationship to יהוה begins with the command to “hear“, so the ear is the appropriate place to bear this reminder of whom we have chosen to belong to. To commit to the house means to commit to the rulings of the house, which are written on the doorposts— and to say, “I hear what you are saying and will guard to do all I hear!”
Tehillah/Psalm 40:6 “Slaughtering and meal offering You did not desire; You have opened my ears; burnt offering and sin offering You did not ask for.”
He has opened our ears, so that we can hear and obey!
The piercing of the ear to the doorpost, where the Torah is written, shows us the commitment to the commands of the House and יהושע who is the door, was pierced for our transgressions and it is to Him we listen and make our choice to commit to living in obedience to – for He is the Word made flesh, bringing us the True life that is in the Torah! The Torah is not a worthless word for us, for it is our life!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 32:45-47 “And when Mosheh ended speaking all these words to all Yisra’ěl, 46 he said to them, “Set your heart on all the words with which I warn you today, so that you command your children to guard to do all the Words of this Torah. 47 “For it is not a worthless Word for you, because it is your life, and by this Word you prolong your days on the soil which you pass over the Yardĕn to possess.”
He who has ears – that is – ears that are ‘pierced’ and that have committed, by choice, to follow Messiah – let Him hear His right-rulings and live by them! We must beware of ear ticklers who have the appearance of being a messenger of the true a door, yet the door that they are presenting has no commands upon them – and those seeking to simply have their ears tickled, rather than pierced, will gladly listen to a lawless doorpost! A servant who declares his love for his Master would have his ears pierced at the door and therefore turn his ear to his master, so to speak, while one who did not love his master would turn his ear away!
To turn one’s ear away from hearing the Torah is to turn one’s ear away from the hearing of the clear and vital instructions of Elohim. Those who do this seek out false teachers who will tickle their ears with things they want to hear, in order to continue in their lawless desires of the flesh and in the process, they reject the clear Truth of the Torah of Elohim that is to be heard and obeyed!
Refusing to hear the Torah of Elohim and guarding to do what His Torah instructs will result in one’s prayers not being heard, as we also take note of the clear rebuke given to s stubborn people who refused to listen to the Torah:
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 7:11-13 “But they refused to listen, and they shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears from hearing. 12 “And they made their hearts like flint against hearing the Torah, and the words, which יהוה of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from יהוה of hosts. 13 “And it came to be: as He called and they did not hear, so let them call, but I shall not hear,” said יהוה of hosts.”
Those who turn away from the hearing of the Torah, which implies a hearing and a guarding to do what is heard from the Torah, are being vain in their attempted prayers, for their prayers are an abomination to יהוה!
Those who hear, guard and do the commands of Elohim are heard by Elohim:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we guard His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 15:29 “יהוה is far from the wrong ones, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
If we are not hearing Him, then He will not hear us! He hears the prayers of the righteous! The righteous are those who walk in and guard righteousness, and we are clearly told what righteousness is for us, in:
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
In order for us to properly assess one’s ear we need to take careful consideration of how we are supposed to be properly listening to the Word of Elohim and be faithful doers of His Word, as opposed to having one’s ears tickled with deceit and be found to be rejected as being lawless!
There is a clear difference between having ears that have been pierced with the Truth versus those that have and continually seek to be tickled with deceit that has been disguised as truth!
Having ears that are pierced requires a dedicated commitment to serve, and doing so we recognise that as trustworthy servants of Messiah, we are to be listening to, and guarding to obey, all that our Master has commanded us to do
Having one’s ears pierced is made in an active response to His great love that He has poured out for us.
Ears that are simply being tickled have no care for the much-needed obedience and therefore have no true allegiance to a called for obedience of the true sons and daughters of Elohim, yet they want to have the soothing sound of belonging to the House, without the required responsibility of being a bondservant forever!
Tickled ears are with those who are ‘hearers only’, while pierced ears are with those who are hearers and doers of the Word! Many love to hear the ‘sweet sound of the truth’ yet fail to do what it says, and we take note of the words that were spoken to Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel, in:
Yeḥezq’ěl/Ezekiel 33:30-33 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses. And they speak to each other, each saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from יהוה.’ 31 “And they come to you as people do, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them. For with their mouth they show much love – their hearts pursue their greedy gain. 32 “And see, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a beautiful voice and playing well on an instrument. And they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 “And when it comes – see, it shall come – then they shall know that a prophet has been in their midst.”
Can you see from these words how the same thing is happening again today? Many love to hear the Truth being spoken, and they will even compliment true servants that our Master has appointed to teach and equip, yet they will not do what they are being taught and instructed to do! All because they just want to have their ears tickled and are only interested in satisfying their own desires, which highlights another clear attribute of those who seek to have their ears tickled. And that is that they are simply being selfish and lack the ability to serve, showing that their refusal to have their ears pierced simply reveals how there are being driven by pride, arrogance and selfish desires, which are not the qualities or attributes of one who has had his ears pierced and are bondservants of Messiah forever!
To pierce or bore a servants’ ear was a very significant ceremony that was purely intended to be done as a mark of permanent servitude and was calculated to impress the servant with the duty of always hearing all of his master’s orders and obeying them punctually, without fail! It marked a position that was to be held forever!
It is from these pictures of obedience that we are able to learn how we too are to turn to the Master יהושע Messiah and have our ears pierced with His Truth, marking us as faithful and trustworthy servants that will hear, guard and do His Word forever!
What we must also take heed of is that even though we may have had our ears pierced (metaphorically speaking of course), we must never assume that we can take for granted our new position in Him as a license to be lawless and sin!
Pierced ears must stay committed to obedience! As we consider the clear difference between ears that are tickled versus those that have been pierced, we also take note of the dangers of having ears that have once been pierced becoming ears that resort to being tickled, being lured away by fleshly desires and the maddening adulteries of a whore that speaks only lies!
I have already quoted a verse from Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 7:11-13 which highlights how Yisra’ěl had ‘stopped their ears from hearing’, which shows that they once did hear yet had stopped and had gone from being one’s with pierced ears to ones who sought to have them tickled with falsehood in order to satisfy their own selfish desires! In doing so, “they made their hearts like flint against hearing the Torah, and the words, which יהוה of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets.”
Hardened hearts want their ears tickled and not pierced!
How are you ears?
TICKLED OR PIERCED? TIME TO ASSESS ONE’S EAR!
A phrase that we see our Master asking is, ‘he who has ears to hear, let him hear’.
How are your ears? Are they earnestly ready to hear and be committed to the hearing, guarding and doing of the commands of Elohim or do you find that you prefer to seek out the hearing of that which agrees with a compromised lifestyle that you are unwilling to change?
Have you found that, even though you have had your ears pierced with the truth, you have drifted away, become dull of hearing and therefore began to seek out ear tickling messages that do you no good?
It is time for members of True Remnant Bride of Messiah to assess their ears and urgently hear the ear-piercing call to come out and be separate, lest they be found to be rejected as being lawless and not known by the Master!
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 6:11-12 “And we desire that each one of you show the same eagerness, to the entire confirmation of expectation until the end, 12 in order that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through belief and patience inherit the promises.”
After issuing a clear warning against falling away from the Truth, the writer of this letter encourages the readers to be steadfast in showing a true eagerness for the Truth and be on guard against the dangers of becoming sluggish.
The Greek word that is translated as ‘sluggish’ is νωθρός nōthros – Strong’s G3576 which means, ‘sluggishness, slow. Lazy, slothful, dull’ and this word is only used twice in the Renewed Writings (N.T.), both of which are found in the letter to the Iḇ’rim/Hebrews. The other verse in this letter where we see this word being used in in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 5:11 “concerning whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.”
The writer was telling was telling his audience that they had become dull of hearing, and the Greek word νωθρός nōthros – Strong’s G3576 is translated here as ‘dull’.
They had become lazy in their hearing of the Truth and as a result they could not receive the meat/solid food of the Word, as they needed milk all over again, showing that they were inexperienced and immature! The danger of this is that they could never go on to perfection; and sadly, we take note that many who have tasted the Good News yet grow sluggish in their hearing and become lazy often fall away. In chapter 6 the danger of this dullness is made clear as we see that it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, having tasted the Good Word and been partakers of the set-apart spirit, to be renewed to repentance! We must not become sluggish in hearing! Hear what the Spirit is saying to the assembly! When you grow lazy in hearing the Word you become malnourished and lose your senses and become deaf, unable to hear the Truth any longer! Let us not become deaf but rather go on to perfection by showing the same eagerness as we did when our Master called us out of darkness into His marvellous light!
This Greek adjective νωθρός nōthros – Strong’s G3576 is a derivative of the root word νόθος nothos – Strong’s G3541 which means, ‘a bastard, illegitimate children’ and is used in:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:8 “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
The Greek word for ‘sluggish’ – νωθρός nōthros – Strong’s G3576 – is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak – O.T.) in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man who is skilled in his work? He does stand before sovereigns, He does not stand before obscure ones.”
The one who is skilled and always ready to serve is one who will stand before sovereigns and not before obscure ones!
What Shelomoh is telling us here is that the one whose work is of a high standard is the one who will get promoted. This parable ought to encourage us to strive for a high standard of workmanship, especially as we recognise that whatever we do, we work unto the Master and should therefore never be slack or idle in duty. In fact, this word that is used here for ‘skilled’ gives us a completely opposite picture to the one who is idle and slack, and emphasises one who prioritises his responsibilities and does his utmost to give his best all the time! This must be the true quality of a set-apart one of the Master in all they do!
As we consider this saying may we all be urgent in our pursuit of apartness for then we shall stand before our Mighty Elohim and King!
Romiyim/Romans 12:9-11 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Shrink from what is wicked, cling to what is good. 10 In brotherly love, tenderly loving towards one another, in appreciation, giving preference to each other; 11 not idle in duty, ardent in spirit, serving the Master”
Tickled ears are the ears of the sluggish, lazy and idle that becomes more wrong and more filthy, while pierced ears are the ears of the ardent obedient servants who guard to do His Word and pursue apartness continually, becoming more righteous and more set-apart!
As you look intently into the mirror of the Word what do you see, or rather, what do you hear? Can you hear or have you become dull of hearing? He who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies!
TICKLED OR PIERCED? TIME TO ASSESS ONE’S EAR!
Our Master came so that the blind may receive sight and the deaf may hear! There is no now excuse not to hear and have ears pierced with the clear choice to serve Him forever!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 5:1 “And Mosheh called all Yisra’ěl, and said to them, “Hear, O Yisra’ěl, the laws and right-rulings which I speak in your hearing today. And you shall learn them, and guard to do them.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘Hear’ comes from the root word שָׁמַע ‘shama’ – Strong’s H8085, which carries the meaning not just simply to hear, but rather to ‘listen with attention, comprehend and discern, give heed to what is being spoken’.
Are you listening with attention? Are you giving heed to what is being spoken in the Word of Elohim? Or have you restored to listening to the twisted lies of false teachers that have set aside the need to hear and obey the Torah?
Understanding our need to be a people who are listening attentively and giving heed to His Word in a time when most are not let us recognise that this is certainly the time to now be a hearing and discerning and obeying people!
Now if people are not even listening to the letter, how are they ever going to hear what the Spirit says!!! So many people today claim to ‘hear the Spirit’ yet what they are hearing does not necessarily line up with the Word of Elohim, nor can that which they hear be tested and validated as true, according to the Word.
Many today are claiming to receive knowledge simply ‘by revelation of the spirit’ alone, while that which they are ‘hearing’ does not always agree with the Word of Elohim and this we are seeing more and more, and what we take note of here in this call to hear, being given to a Bride that is betrothed to Elohim, is that if we diligently hear His voice… then we will be His called-out Bride!
In a time where there are many ‘voices’ of falsehood luring people away with ear tickling tactics of presenting an assumed hope that is based on lawless standards, we need to be on guard against being sluggish and becoming dull of the proper hearing of the Torah! Every Sabbath go where Mosheh is read! This speaks of an active and obedient participation in the body of Messiah, being equipped to properly serve our Master and one another, in love!
As you consider these words, assess your hearing today and determine what ears you have before our Master and King!
TICKLED OR PIERCED? TIME TO ASSESS ONE’S EAR!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!