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,
|July 14, 2010||
Volume 9 Number 14
Sanctify Us Through Your Truth
Moses warned Israel, whom he called "Jeshurun," meaning "upright one," of the dangers that would accompany their prosperity:
15 But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked: you have grown fat, you have grown thick, you are covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. -Deuteronomy 32
When Israel would prosper and grow "fat," as Moses put it, they would forsake God and diminish the importance of the "Rock of his salvation." Failing to remember the holiness of Yahweh, they would also worship "abominations," as they bowed before other gods:
16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. -Deuteronomy 32
They would not fully comprehend the magnitude of their sin, failing to understand that the sacrifices offered to these other gods would really be made to devils (demons):
17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. -Deuteronomy 32
Satan desires worship. He told Yahshua (Jesus):
9 And said unto him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. -Matthew 4
Satan’s demons are also ready to receive worship when it is offered to other gods in the form of idols. Paul explains that when sacrifices are made to idols, they are really being offered to devils (demons):
19 What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything?
20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. -1 Corinthians 10
This helps to explain why Yahweh was so offended by the sacrifices that the people of Judah were making to the idol known as the "queen of heaven." They were really preferring to sacrifice to demons rather than to Yahweh:
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. -Jeremiah 7
Yahweh’s anger was so great, that He sent the Babylonians to destroy the temple, the city of Jerusalem, and to displace the people of Judah from their homeland.
However, even as they fled the Babylonians, the people of Judah failed to recognize the severity of the religious practices that had turned Yahweh’s wrath upon them. They still insisted on offering sacrifices to the idol known as the "queen of heaven:"
17 But we will certainly do whatever thing goes forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. -Jeremiah 44
They were blinded by their love for the goddess and could not distinguish between the holiness of Yahweh and the profanity of the idol. Their priests added to their confusion, failing to teach them the difference between the holy and the profane:
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
As Aaron showed us, idol worship is often performed under the pretense of worshipping Yahweh. After he made a molten calf of gold and an altar on which to sacrifice to it, he proclaimed a feast to Yahweh!
5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to Yahweh.
6 And they rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. -Exodus 32
Even though Aaron called it a feast to Yahweh, the reality still remained. The calf they were worshipping was the image of the great Egyptian goddess, Hathor, which was worshipped in the form of a cow!(see E.A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, or Studies in Egyptian Mythology, London: Methuen & Co., 1904, p. 428.)
Failing to recognize the holiness of Yahweh, Aaron took Him for granted by using His name with that of the calf goddess. Consequently, Aaron had failed to sanctify himself unto Yahweh by separating himself from other gods. Yahweh requires the priests who come into His presence to sanctify themselves:
22 And let the priests also, which come near to Yahweh, sanctify themselves, lest Yahweh breaks forth upon them. -Exodus 19
Yahweh had promised to make His people a "kingdom of priests" and a "holy nation:"
5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. -Exodus 19
That promise was fulfilled through Yahshua the Messiah. Peter explains that the people of God have become as living stones that make up a "spiritual house," which is a "holy priesthood:"
5 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Yahshua the Messiah. -1 Peter 2
The priesthood of the people of God is one that is both holy and royal (kingly):
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. -1 Peter 2
The Greek word that means "called out" isekklhsia (ekklesia), pronounced as ek-klay-see’-ah, and is often translated as "church." It is the congregation of the holy and royal priests that are "called out" from darkness and into the light of Yahweh.
If we are part of the ekklesia, then we are called out from the darkness of the world to walk in the light of Yahweh through the Word of God, which is Yahshua. He is the life and light of men:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. -John 1
Unfortunately, many of us say we are walking in the light and are in fellowship with Yahweh through Yahshua, but we are really walking in darkness:
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: -1 John 1
While we may have confessed our past sins, unless we are walking in the light of the truth of the Word of God, we may hold onto the sins that so "easily beset" (skillfully surround) us:
1 Therefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, -Hebrews 12
Those are the subtle sins that we are unable to see until, because of the love of God, He chastens us:
6 For whom the Lord Yahweh loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. -Hebrews 12
Yahweh uses chastening, in the form of trials and even afflictions, as a tool to humble us. He thereby takes away the "fatness" of our pride, giving us a glimpse of the magnitude of His holiness. It is then that we can recognize the pervasiveness of the besetting sins that we have either willfully or ignorantly ignored. Once the light of the Word of God shines upon our sin and the Spirit of God convicts us to the point of sincere and heartfelt repentance, He will cleanse us from those sins. We can then walk in the light as He is in the light:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Yahshua the Messiah his Son cleanses us from all sin. -1 John 1
While Yahshua (Jesus) was still in the flesh, He prayed this prayer before He was crucified:
17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth. -John 17
Pray that we will be sanctified, as we are called out of darkness into light. We will then be able to discern between the holy and the profane and no longer "lightly esteem the Rock of our Salvation."
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