and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|December 1, 2007||
Volume 6 Number 23
Enlighten My Darkness
Yahweh (also called "the LORD") told Jeremiah that there was a conspiracy in Judah and Jerusalem:
9 And Yahweh said to me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. -Jeremiah 11
They had accepted the traditional religious practices of their forefathers instead of the Word of God. Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah accepted those traditions, breaking their covenant with Yahweh as they bowed themselves to the images of other gods:
10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. -Jeremiah 11
Their prophets conspired against the people, using false prophecies to take their souls, their money, and their husbands:
25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. -Ezekiel 22
Their priests joined in the conspiracy, confusing the people by teaching them that profane things were actually holy:
26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shown difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. -Ezekiel 22
The spiritual leaders of the people of God, became the chief offenders against Yahweh. While claiming to adhere to the Word of God as written in the law of Moses, oral tradition became their standard. Teaching that there was no difference between their words and those of Yahweh, they built their own religion. Yahshua (also called "Jesus") revealed this practice among the scribes and the Pharisees:
1 Then spoke Yahshua to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
3 All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not. -Matthew 23
When the scribes and the Pharisees quoted the Scriptures, they were speaking the Word of God. However, when they added their own commandments, based on tradition, their worship was in vain. Yahshua quoted Isaiah, saying:
8 This people draw near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. -Matthew 15
From where did these "commandments of men" come? They were the traditional teachings of the forefathers which were passed on by the scribes and Pharisees, as though they were commandments from God.
It is tempting to think that the ancient religious leaders were all holy men of God. However, Yahweh revealed to Ezekiel that, at the time of the Babylonian captivity of Judah, they were secretly worshipping false gods in the form of images and idols. First, Yahweh showed Ezekiel a secret passage located at the court of the temple:
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold a door. -Ezekiel 8
Then, He showed him a room with a wall full of idols:
9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. -Ezekiel 8
The seventy elders of the house of Israel were offering incense to the idols. Notable among them was Jaazaniah, the son of Shaphan, the great scribe who read the newly found lost book of the law to King Josiah (see 2 Kings 22:8-11):
11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. -Ezekiel 8
12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, have you seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, Yahweh sees us not; Yahweh has forsaken the earth. -Ezekiel 8
Amidst a shroud of secrecy, the elders of Judah, who were the leaders in the temple of Yahweh, offered up incense to profane images, pretending them to be holy.
This practice was continued among the people of Judah, even after the temple was destroyed. The remnant that fled into Egypt rejected the Word of God and kept the traditions of the elders as they continued to burn incense to the feminine idol called the "queen of heaven:"
25Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: you will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows. –Jeremiah 44
The people of Judah living in Egypt rejected Yahweh in favor of the "queen of heaven," Therefore, Yahweh said that He would remove His name from them in that land:
26Therefore hear you the word of Yahweh, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says Yahweh, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord Yahweh lives. –Jeremiah 44
This prophecy was fulfilled in approximately 275 B. C. in the Septuagint. When Ptolemy II, the Greek king of Egypt, ordered the men of Judah to translate the Hebrew books into Greek, the name of God,hwhy [YHWH], was hidden in the title, Kuriov [Lord]. The king’s friend and advisor, Aristeus, rationalized that both the Greeks and the Hebrews actually worshipped the same god:
...for both these people and we also worship the same God, the framer of all things. We call him, and that truly, by the name ofZhna, [Zena, or life, or Jupiter,] because he breathes life into all men.
The title "Lord," can mean Yahweh, Zeus, Jupiter, Baal, or any other god. Yahweh says that the deceitful prophets of Judah have caused His people to forget His name:
27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. –Jeremiah 23
The tradition of obscuring the name of Yahweh with those of other gods in the form of a title continues until this day.
Elijah, whose name means God is Yah, called upon the people of Israel to make a clear choice between Yahweh and Baal:
21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? ifYahweh is God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. -1 Kings 18
How long should we continue to obscure the name of God, a tradition that was conceived in darkness and made manifest in Egypt? Yahweh says:
15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Yahweh, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us? and who knows us? -Isaiah 29
Are we nearing the day that Isaiah wrote about, when he said God’s people will again call upon His name?
4 And in that day shall you say, Praise Yahweh, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. –Isaiah 12
Is the time approaching that Micah wrote about?
5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of Yahweh our God forever and ever. –Micah 4
Yahshua (Yah the Savior, called "Jesus") said:
18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are done in God. -John 3
By faith in His word, we know that Yahweh will enlighten the darkness of His people:
28 For you will light my candle: Yahweh my God will enlighten my darkness. -Psalms 18
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