In the last two installments we spent much time describing sin, what it entails, what it looks like and what are its consequences. We looked at the first instance sin occurred, then we looked at the first time the word sin was mentioned in the Scriptures. This week we will let the Scriptures give us the actual definition for sin. Beginning with the plain scriptural definition from the mouth of Yehovah, we will proceed through the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings, (Tanakh, or commonly called the Old Testament) as well as the Apostolic Writings regarding the implications of this definition of sin. We will ask some pointed questions of the whole testament of the Scriptures regarding sin, and we will allow them to teach us what is true, Elohim’s truth as revealed in His word.
Before we begin, it is important to remember the purpose of this teaching and why it is so important that we understand what sin is. The reason is love. Love is the purpose of our lives. It is why we were put here on this planet: to love Elohim and love our fellow man. We saw in the first two generations of human history that sin in our lives reveals a heart problem, a disturbance in love. Sin leads to damaged relationships: with ourselves, with Elohim, and with others. Ultimately, sin results in separation and isolation, contrary to the loving relationships we were built to foster. So, if we want to know what it is to love, to remove problems from our hearts, to repair relationships, and to commune in unity, we must be able to identify sin (the antithesis of love). The purpose of this teaching is not to condemn, but to propel towards repentance which is the will of our Heavenly Father (2Pet 3:9) and requirement for forgiveness of sin (Luke 24:47). But how do we know what to repent of? How do we know what to turn to? Yehovah has already given us His standard and informed us of what does and does not constitute sin. We therefore turn to Elohim’s Word, relying on it for how we answer these questions. And as we are conformed more to His Word, we will in turn be conformed into the image of Yeshua, the Word of Elohim made flesh.
Let’s begin with the biblical definition of sin.
“And when you sin by mistake, and do not do all these commands which יהוה has spoken to Mosheh, all that יהוה has commanded you by the hand of Mosheh, from the day יהוה gave command and onward throughout your generation,” Num 15:22-23 ISR
The definition of sin as spoken by Yehovah Himself is: disobedience to any of the commands Yehovah gave through Mosheh (Moses) to teach Israel. In other words, sin is breaking “the Torah”, the section of Scripture detailing Elohim’s instructions to His covenant people chronicled from the book of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. What does Rabbi Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) say regarding this definition?
“What, then, shall we say? Is the Torah sin? Let it not be! However, I did not know sin except through the Torah. For also the covetousness I knew not if the Torah had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’” Rom 7:7 ISR
Do we have witnesses from the Prophets, the Writings, and the other Apostles to support this definition?
“But they became disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your Torah behind their backs. And they slew Your prophets who had warned them, to bring them back to Yourself. And they worked great blasphemies. Therefore You gave them into the hand of their enemies, who distressed them. And in the time of their distress, when they cried to You, You heard from the heavens. And according to Your great compassion You gave them saviours who saved them from the hand of their enemies. But after they had rest, they turned back to do evil before You. Then You left them in the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. But when they turned back and cried out to You, You heard from the heavens, and delivered them according to Your compassion, many times, and warned them, to bring them back to Your Torah. But they acted proudly, and did not obey Your commands, and sinned against Your right-rulings, ‘which if a man does, he shall live by them.’ And they gave the rebellious shoulder and hardened their necks, and would not obey.” Neh 9:26-29 ISR
“Put the ram’s horn to your mouth, like an eagle against the House of יהוה, because they have transgressed My covenant, and they have rebelled against My Torah. They cry out to Me, ‘My Elohim – we, Israel, know You!’ Israel has rejected what is good, an enemy pursues him.” Hos 8:1-3
“Who gave Ya‛aqov for plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not יהוה, He against whom we sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, and they did not obey His Torah! So He has poured on him His burning displeasure and the strength of battle, and it set him on fire all around, yet he did not understand. And it burned against him, yet he did not take it to heart!” Isa 42:24-25 ISR
“And I prayed to יהוה my Elohim, and made confession, and said, “O יהוה, great and awesome El, guarding the covenant and the kindness to those who love Him, and to those who guard His commands. We have sinned and did crookedness, and did wrong and rebelled, to turn aside from Your commands and from Your right-rulings… To יהוה our Elohim are the compassions and forgivenesses, for we have rebelled against Him. And we have not obeyed the voice of יהוה our Elohim, to walk in His Torot, which He set before us through His servants the prophets. And all Israel have transgressed Your Torah, and turned aside, so as not to obey Your voice. So the curse and the oath written in the Torah of Mosheh the servant of Elohim have been poured out on us, for we have sinned against Him.” Daniel 9:4-5, 9-11 ISR
“If you truly accomplish the sovereign law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well, but if you show partiality, you commit sin, being found guilty by the Torah as transgressors.” Jam 2:8-9 ISR
“Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” 1Jn 3:4 ISR
It turns out Webster’s dictionary, Wikipedia, and Google were all correct in their definitions of sin. It is defined as breaking Elohim’s covenant law, the Torah; disobedience to His commandment spoken through Mosheh. Paul agrees with this definition admitting that the Torah is the only way we can know what sin is. Otherwise, all is relative. The way of Yehovah is truth. The way of Yehovah is life. The Torah directs us how He desires His holy people to live and represent Him: according to the true and life-giving wisdom of His Word. Is there any surprise that Yeshua, the Word made flesh, refers to Himself as the way, the truth, and the life? The Torah directs us how to walk out our faith which is why turning away from the Torah’s instructions is referred to as “straying”. Nehemiah states that Elohim desires to bring His disobedient people back to the Torah. This is why He sends His servants the prophets, but over and over the people refuses. Breaking Yehovah’s Torah is described in such ways as: haughty, disobedient, transgression of covenant, rejection of what is good, refusal to walk in His ways, rebellion against Him, and lawlessness. It is not surprising that Ya’aqov (James), the half-brother of Messiah Yeshua, concludes that sin is lawlessness. In fact, the Greek word translated lawlessness is anomia. This is a compound Greek word from the prefix a meaning “without” and nomos meaning “law, Torah”. Ya’aqov was a Jew. Hebrew was his native tongue and the Tanakh was his Scripture. To such a man grounded in the Hebraic understanding of the of the Word of Elohim, anomia surely meant “without Torah” or “Torah-lessness”. Sin is Torah-lessness.
If Torah defines what is sin, it must also necessarily define what is not sin.
“And it shall be, when all these words come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you shall bring them back to your heart among all the gentiles where יהוה your Elohim drives you, and shall turn back to יהוה your Elohim and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your being, you and your children… For the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart – to do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil,”
Deu 30:1-2, 14-15 ISR
At the end of 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Mosheh summarily delivered all of Elohim’s Word to His people in the book of Deuteronomy. And after doing so, he concluded that he had set this Torah before them which delineated two choices: life or death, good or evil. Of course, he exhorted them to choose life, what Elohim called good, what he called truth, what he called His way. We are to stay on the path in which He has prescribed. The Torah is the instruction manual describing the good way in which we are to live this life, and in doing so, defines the way of death and evil which we are to avoid. Torah specifies lines of demarcation between the straight, narrow path and the ditches on either side. Crossing these lines is called sin. Living between the lines is called good. These are divine, not human, truths. Since we are not Elohim, but rather His grateful children, it is not ours to create the boundary lines from our own wisdom which suit us, but rather to submit to what Yehovah in His infinite wisdom has already established.
So if one is willing to humbly look, the biblical definition of sin is very apparent. There really should be no confusion. The reason that confusion surrounding sin exists today is likely due to the “ear-tickling” teaching of men rather than the pure and simple teaching of the Bible. This is why we must always return to the Scriptures to test the teachings we hear. So let’s proceed to ask some questions regarding the importance of understand the definition of sin and let’s let the Scriptures answer. Why is it so important that we understand that disobedience to Elohim’s commandments in the Torah is defined as sin? As I said before, the purpose of this teaching is that we learn better how to love. Does the Torah teach us to love others?
“Do not hate your brother in your heart. Reprove your neighbour, for certain, and bear no sin because of him. Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am יהוה.” Lev 19:17-18 ISR
“If your enemy is hungry give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty give him water to drink, for you are heaping coals of fire on his head, and יהוה rewards you.” Prov 25:21-22 ISR
“And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many shall become cold.” Matt. 24:12 ISR
“For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery,” ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other command, is summed up in this word, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.‘ Love does no evil to a neighbour. Therefore, love is completion of the Torah.” Rom. 13:9-10 ISR
“Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his rooms without right-ruling, who uses his neighbour’s service without wages and does not give him his wages.” Jer 22:13 ISR
“In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone not doing righteousness is not of Elohim, neither the one not loving his brother.” 1Jn 3:10 ISR
“By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His commands.” 1Jn 5:2 ISR
Living in loving relationships can be seen in every instruction Elohim gives his people regarding our interactions. As Paul astutely observed, love is the intent behind all of Elohim’s instruction. Therefore, keeping the Torah with this intent, is the completion or the fulfillment of its purpose, not the replacement of it. In fact, look how often love and law share an intimate relationship in the Scriptures. Does this also apply to how we love Elohim?
“For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy,” 1Jn 5:3
“And this is the love, that we walk according to His commands. This is the command, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” 2Jn 6 ISR
“He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.” Jn 14:21 ISR
“He asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ ‘The most important one,’ answered Yeshua, ‘is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, Yehovah our Elohim, Yehovah is one. Love Yehovah your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. [On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets. (Matt 22:40)]” Mark 12:28-31 ISR
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 ISR
“Only, diligently guard to do the command and the Torah which Mosheh the servant of יהוה commanded you: to love יהוה your Elohim, and to walk in all His ways, and to guard His commands, and to cling to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being.” Josh 22:5 ISR
“And before him there was no sovereign like him, who turned back to יהוה with all his heart, and with all his being, and with all his might, according to all the Torah of Mosheh; and after him none rose up like him.” 2Ki 23:25 ISR
The greatest commandment is love. And the second greatest commandment is love. Love is the reason for all the commandments. Love is a matter of the heart. It nurtures relationships and draws together, the reasons we were created in the first place. Elohim gives us His commandments so that we will know how He wants us to love Him and love each other. They are not simply rules to follow or a checklist to complete, and treating them as such creates legalistic white-washed tombs rather than changed hearts. They are divine instruction given for our good and the good of this world. The Torah is the love language in which our Creator wishes that we speak and live and act. It is the way we are to see and interact with the world. His Torah is given with the understanding that we will keep it for the purpose of love. That is why obeying the Torah shows love for Him. That is why love and law and commandment and obedience are closely connected so often in the Bible. Following His commands out of love demonstrates our recognition of His kingship, His sovereignty, His worthiness, and demonstrates our trust in His wisdom. What then does disobedience to His Torah mean?
“And you shall know that יהוה your Elohim, He is Elohim, the trustworthy El guarding covenant and kindness for a thousand generations with those who love Him, and those who guard His commands, but repaying those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He does not delay to do so with him who hates Him, He repays him to his face. And you shall guard the command, and the laws, and the right-rulings which I command you today, to do them.” Deu 7:9-11 ISR
“But to the wrong Elohim said, ‘What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, while you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?'” Psa 50:16-17 ISR
“Therefore, as a tongue of fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, their root is as rottenness, and their blossom goes up like dust – because they have rejected the Torah of יהוה of hosts, and despised the Word of the Set-apart One of Israel.” Isa 5:24 ISR
“And let us be concerned for one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging, and so much more as you see the Day coming near. For if we sin purposely after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a slaughter offering for sins, but some fearsome anticipation of judgment, and a fierce fire which is about to consume the opponents. Anyone who has disregarded the Torah of Mosheh dies without compassion on the witness of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think shall he deserve who has trampled the Son of Elohim underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was set apart as common, and insulted the Spirit of favour? For we know Him who has said, “Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay, says יהוה.” And again, “יהוה shall judge His people.” It is fearsome to fall into the hands of the living Elohim.” Heb 10:24-31 ISR
Love is paired with keeping Elohim’s Commandments whereas hate is paired with breaking them, casting them aside. And yet some will say that keeping His commandments are an insult to the blood shed by His Son. How can this be? Breaking the commandments of Elohim, rebelling against His Word, and disobedience are the reasons mankind is in the fallen state he is! They are the reasons for the great debt and separation between Elohim and man. They are the reasons He sacrificed the life of His precious only Son in order to bridge that gap. How then could rebellion and disobedience to His commandments be what He wants for His holy people? How could we who praise our Heavenly Father for the greatest gift of all then show Him our gratitude by doing the very things which cost Yeshua’s life in the first place?! The author of Hebrews warns us with harsh words regarding this issue. Once one becomes aware of the truth and yet continues to sin, willfully breaking Yehovah’s commandments, this one has insulted the spirit of grace and, unless there is repentance, should expect the fearful judgments of Elohim at the last day. As Paul said, “Shall we go on singing that grace may abound? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom 6:1-2).
Knowing that breaking the commandments of Elohim is a matter of the heart, there is certainly a difference between intentional and unintentional sin.
“And when you sin by mistake, and do not do all these commands which יהוה has spoken to Mosheh,” Num 15:22 ISR
The word translated as “mistake” is vishgagah comes from the root shagah which means, “to stray, stagger, do wrong inadvertently, sin without knowing it, mislead”.1
“He who causes the straight to go astray (mashgeh) in an evil way, falls into his own pit; but the perfect inherit the good.” Prov 28:10 ISR
But intentional sin is another matter.
“But the being who does whatever defiantly, whether he is native or a stranger, he reviles יהוה, and that being shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of יהוה, and has broken His command, that being shall certainly be cut off, his crookedness is upon him.’” Num 15:30-31 ISR
Defiantly: Intentional sin is defiant. The Hebrew word-phrase is b’yad ramah. It means “with hand exalting”. It is what the children of Israel did against Pharaoh as they left Egypt.
“And יהוה hardened the heart of Pharaoh sovereign of Mitsrayim, and he pursued the children of Israel, but the children of Israel went out defiantly (b’yad ramah).” Ex 14:8 ISR
Lifted up: The word ramah means ““to be high above, to be exalted, to rise, go up, exempt oneself, haughty”.2 Consider the following Scriptures regarding ramah:
“For You save the humble people, But Your eyes are on the haughty (ramah) to bring them low.” 2Sam 22:28 ISR
“How you have fallen from the heavens, O day star, son of the morning! You have been cut down to the ground, you who laid low the gentiles! For you have said in your heart, ‘Let me go up to the heavens, let me raise (ramah) my throne above the stars of El, and let me sit in the mount of meeting on the sides of the north; let me go up above the heights of the clouds, let me be like the Most High.’” Isa 14:12-14 ISR
“For thus declares the high (ramah) and exalted One who dwells forever, whose Name is set-apart, ‘I dwell in the high (ramah) and set-apart place, with him who has a bruised and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of bruised ones.’” Isa 57:15 ISR
“For יהוה of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty (ramah), against all that is lifted up, so that it is brought low;” Isa 2:12 ISR
Yehovah is the only one who is rightly exalted and lifted up. All others who attempt to do so follow in the path of the enemy and will be brought low.
Revile: In Hebrew, the word translated “revile” is m’gadef and can also mean “blaspheme”.3 In this text the word is in a piel verb stem which signifies an intensifying of the action. The sentence is structured in such a way as to emphasize to the reader that it is Yehovah we revile when we disobey.
Despise: The Hebrew word is bazah which also means “to think contemptuously”.4 In Arabic and Akkadian, other Semitic languages, this word means to subjugate and treat badly, respectively. When we choose our own way over the way of Yehovah, it is the wisdom of His Word which we subjugate beneath our own.
Broken: The Hebrew word is hefar which means “to break, destroy, suspend, foil, make useless”.5 In this case, the verb is in a hifil stem which signifies a causative action. In the same way that Elohim told Kayin (Cain) to “cause to do good”, so breaking His commands intentionally is causing oneself to sin.
Cut off: The word phrase in Hebrew is hikaret tikaret which literally means, “cutting off he shall be cut off”. Such a structure indicates a sure present, as well as continuing future, action.
Crookedness is upon: Literally, the Hebrew word phrase says “iniquity is in him”. The person who chooses intentional sin remains in this defiled state, bearing the burden of the wrong instead of accepting forgiveness through repentance.
Consider carefully these keywords which characterize intentional sin and consider which being these words describe. Do they not describe the enemy? And since they describe the enemy it goes without saying that they also describe his kingdom.
“Let no one deceive you in any way, because the falling away is to come first, and the man of lawlessness is to be revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called Elohim or that is worshipped, so that he sits as Elohim in the Dwelling Place of Elohim, showing himself that he is Elohim.” 2Thes 2:3-4 ISR
“And you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once lived in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, as also the rest.” Eph 2:1-3 ISR
“Because they have forsaken Me, and bow themselves to Ashtoreth the mighty one of the Tsiḏonians, to Kemosh the mighty one of the Mo’aḇites, and to Milkom the mighty one of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways – to do what is right in My eyes, and My laws and My right-rulings, as did his father Daviḏ.” 1Ki 11:33 ISR
“And you shall know that I am יהוה, for you have not walked in My laws nor executed My right-rulings, but have done according to the rulings of the gentiles which are all around you.” Eze 11:12 ISR
“For the saving Gift of Elohim has appeared to all men, instructing us to renounce wickedness and worldly lusts, and to live sensibly, righteously, and reverently in the present age, looking for the blessed expectation and esteemed appearance of the great Elohim and our Saviour יהושע Messiah, who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works. Speak these matters, urge, and reprove with all authority. Let no one despise you.” Titus 2:11-14 ISR
The enemy’s kingdom is founded on lawlessness and his messenger, the antichrist, is referred to in this very way. If the words that characterize him, also characterize our lives, who is truly our master? When we walk according to Yehovah’s Torah, we worship our Creator. Who do we worship when we walk according to the way of the world, outside of the Torah? Elohim gave the life of His Son that we would not follow the enemy’s ways any longer, that we would not be subject to him. The Son of Elohim didn’t redeem us from the Law; He redeemed us from lawlessness! And He did it to cleanse and create for Himself a holy people who reflect Him and His purposes, not their own or that of the enemy. So whose footsteps are we to follow, the Law-giver or the lawless one? Should we follow the rules of the world or the rules of Elohim? Should we be with Torah or without Torah? Should we obey or disobey? Should we succumb to our lusts or should we sacrifice ourselves? Should we please Yehovah or please ourselves? Are we children of redemption or children of wrath?
What does Yeshua our Redeemer think of Torah?
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.” Matt 5:17-19 ISR
“And His mother and brothers came to Him, and were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, saying, ‘Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.’ And He answering, said to them, ‘My mother and My brothers are those who are hearing the Word of Elohim and doing it.'” –Luke 8:19-21 ISR
“And calling near the crowd with His taught ones, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for the sake of Me and the Good News, he shall save it.” Mark 8:34-35 ISR
“But according to your hardness and your unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim, who “shall render to each one according to his works”: everlasting life to those who by persistence in good work seek for esteem, and respect, and incorruptibility; but wrath and displeasure to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; affliction and distress on every human being working what is evil, of the Yehuḏite first, and also of the Greek; but esteem, respect, and peace to everyone working what is good, to the Yehuḏite first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with Elohim. For as many as sinned without Torah shall also perish without Torah, and as many as sinned in the Torah shall be judged by the Torah. For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the Torah shall be declared right.” Rom 2:5-13 ISR
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matt 23:27-28 ISR
“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. 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?’ And then I shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!’ Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does them, shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, 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. 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 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.” Matt. 7:21-27 ISR
“The Son of Aḏam shall send out His messengers, and they shall gather out of His reign all the stumbling-blocks, and those doing lawlessness, and shall throw them into the furnace of fire – there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the reign of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matt 13:41-43 ISR
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Eph 5:6 ISR
How many break the commands of Torah and teach others to do the same? How many call themselves the family of Elohim yet do not keep His Word? How many call themselves followers but do not really sacrifice their will to follow him, hearing but not doing. How many harbor lawlessness in their hearts and allow lawlessness to reign in their lives? There will come a day when these things are judged and it is Messiah Yeshua, the Righteous Judge, who will judge them. Due to stubborn disobedience and refusal to walk in His ways, many even of those who had done great things in the name of the kingdom will be cast away by the very gracious Savior they thought they knew. May we not be among those whom He calls lawless.
These are very troubling and sobering thoughts. In fact, it is easy to view a teaching on sin and its consequences as quite negative. But the purpose is not to be negative. The purpose is to exhort in love. Let us remember that the Words of Elohim come straight from His heart. Yehovah is love. It is not His desire that a single one should perish. But Yehovah is also holy. And it is also His desire that every single one repent in order to receive the forgiveness He offers through His Son. The Bible is true, all of it from Genesis to Revelation. He will surely separate the righteous from the wicked at the end of the age. Few are those who will find the way of life and enter through the narrow gate, but many are those who will enter through the gate of destruction where they will be forever separated from their Creator. This is the reality according to the Scriptures including the testimony of Messiah Yeshua Himself. But in His mercy, He has given us His Torah and many warnings ahead of time. So, may His warnings be taken to heart as an invitation and encouragement to change course, to repent, and to return to Yehovah and His commandments.
Because, He asks each of us a question:
“Why do you call Me ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 ISR
And, depending on our lives, will give each of us a response:
“I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawlessness!” Matt 7:23 ISR
“Well done, good and trustworthy servant. You were trustworthy over a little, I shall set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” Matt 25:21 ISR
In closing, let us hear the heart of Elohim, exhorting and encouraging His children to walk in His Torah:
“But the kindness of יהוה is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who guard His covenant, and to those who remember His orders to do them.יהוה has established His throne in the heavens, and His reign shall rule over all. Bless יהוה, you His messengers, mighty in power, who do His Word, listening to the voice of His Word. Bless יהוה, all you His hosts, you His servants, who do His pleasure. Bless יהוה, all His works, in all places of His rule. Bless יהוה, O my being!” Psa 103:17-22 ISR
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, when you obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commands of יהוה your Elohim, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other mighty ones which you have not known.” Deu 11:26-28 ISR
“And you shall be very strong to guard and to do all that is written in the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, so as not to turn aside from it right or left.” Josh 23:6 ISR
“Let us hear the conclusion of the entire matter: Fear Elohim and guard His commands, for this applies to all mankind!” Ecc 12:13 ISR
“Remember the Torah of Mosheh, My servant, which I commanded him in Ḥoreb for all Israel– laws and right-rulings.” Mal 4:4 ISR
“And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 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, for he looks at himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. 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.” Jam 1:22-25 ISR
“My brothers, what use is it for anyone to say he has belief but does not have works? This belief is unable to save him.” Jam 2:14 ISR
“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” Jam 2:26 ISR
“For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the Torah shall be declared right.” Rom 2:13 ISR
“They profess to know Elohim, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unfit for any good work.” Titus 1:16 ISR
“He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.” Prov 28:9 ISR
“My little children, I write this to you, so that you do not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Intercessor with the Father, יהושע Messiah, a righteous One. And He Himself is an atoning offering for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all the world. And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. The one who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.” 1Jn 2:1-6
As the guys at 119 Ministries like to say, “We do not keep the Torah FOR salvation, we ARE supposed to keep the Torah as a RESULT of our salvation.”
So here’s the take-home message. The Bible defines sin as the breaking of the Torah, Elohim’s commandments given through Mosheh. Because obedience is a heart issue, keeping His commandments demonstrates love to Him while disobedience shows Him hate and insult. Such lawless behavior characterizes ha-satan, the enemy and his worldly kingdom. He intentionally sinned against Yehovah in defiance, pride, and reviling, and has been “cut off” from Elohim forever. The Bible describes the same as happening to those who continue to sin intentionally after coming to understand the truth. These Yeshua will condemn as lawless alongside the lawless one at the end of the age and they will be separated from Him forever. It is not His desire that any enter this fate but rather that all mankind repent of lawless deeds, receive His forgiveness, and conform themselves to the Torah of the Elohim of Israel. After all, Yeshua the Messiah is the Torah made flesh and it is the duty of all who follow Him to walk as He walked.
1 “שׁגה”, HALOT, Accordance 11.2.4.
2 “רִום”, HALOT, Accordance 11.2.4.
3 ״גדף״, HALOT, Accordance 11.2.4.
4 ״בזה״, HALOT, Accordance 11.2.4.
5 ״פרר״, HALOT, Accordance 11.2.4.