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,
|September 14, 2011||
Volume 10 Number 18
The Spirit of Elijah
Thankfully, Yahweh warns us before He brings judgment upon us. He reveals "his secret," that which is not widely known or believed, to those that have ears to hear:
6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and Yahweh has not done it?
7 Surely the Lord Yahweh will do nothing, but he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets. -Amos 3
Those prophets are also called "watchmen." They have a responsibility to warn the wicked to repent of their sins:
19 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turns not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. -Ezekiel 3
They also have a responsibility to warn the righteous:
21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous sins not, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also you have delivered your soul. -Ezekiel 3
Yahweh shows us through the example of ancient Israel how He reveals His glory to those that listen to Him and obey His Word. King Solomon had just completed building the house dedicated to the name of Yahweh when Yahweh filled it with His glory:
10 And it came to pass, when the priests had come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of Yahweh,
11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of Yahweh had filled the house of Yahweh. -1 Kings 8
In response, Solomon stood up before Israel and spread out his hands, offering a great prayer unto Yahweh:
22 And Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:
23 And he said, Yahweh God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with your servants that walk before you with all their heart: -1 Kings 8
Yahweh responded with a wonderful promise:
5 Then I will establish the throne of your kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David your father, saying, There shall not fail you a man upon the throne of Israel. -1 Kings 9
However, Yahweh continued, that promise was conditional upon the willingness of Solomon to obey Him:
6 But if you shall at all turn from following me, you or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:
7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: -1 Kings 9
When Solomon was at the height of his wealth and fame, the prideful king did exactly what he had been warned not to do. He served and worshipped other gods besides Yahweh.
4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as was the heart of David his father. -1 Kings 11
True to His Word, Yahweh judged Israel. He destroyed the united kingdom of Israel and took ten of the twelve tribes away from Solomon’s family and gave them to Jeroboam, who was the son of one of Solomon’s servants. While that new kingdom retained the name "Israel," it was in open rebellion against the "house of David," which was represented by the family of Solomon:
19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. -1 Kings 12
It is hard to imagine that the sins of Israel could have gotten any worse than those they committed under the leadership of King Solomon. He led them in rejecting Yahweh’s commandments by worshipping other gods and goddesses, in addition to Yahweh.
They did, however, get worse. Under the leadership of King Jeroboam, Israel completely rejected Yahweh, adopting an entirely new religion. The king set up false priests (see 1 Kings 12:31) that led Israel in worshipping golden calves, as they celebrated newly invented holy days:
32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast to the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense. -1 Kings 12
Israel became wholly dedicated to false worship, which became known as the "sins of Jeroboam." It is difficult to imagine that the evil of Israel could get any worse.
Again, their evil got even worse. Adding to the sins of Jeroboam, King Ahab married Jezebel, the Zidonian princess, and led Israel into even greater sins against Yahweh:
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of Yahweh above all that were before him.
31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. -1 Kings 16
Added to the worship of Baal, the act that angered Yahweh more than anything that all of the other kings of Israel had done before was that of making a "grove:"
33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke Yahweh God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. -1 Kings 16
The word, "grove," is translated from the Hebrew wordhrva (asherah). An asherah can either be an image of the goddess or an upright pole consecrated to the goddess (see Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, David N. Freedman, ed., Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000, p. 113). The word "asherah" is from the Hebrew root word rva (ashar), which means "blessed." Therefore, the asherah would likely be worshipped as the "blessed" goddess.
Her worship, along with that of Baal, marked the lowest point for any king of Israel in the eyes of Yahweh. This was the kingdom of Israel’s darkest hour. It was also when Yahweh sent to them Elijah the prophet!
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As Yahweh God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. -1 Kings 17
The name of Elijah declares the name of the only true God. "Eli" means God and "Jah" is a modern English variation of the short form of the name Yahweh, which is "Yah." Therefore, the name of Elijah declares that God is Yahweh!
Israel had been confused. They had been blinded to the truth by their leadership. Instead of trusting in Yahweh, they were worshipping Baal, whose name means "lord," and they were also worshipping the asherah goddess. Who do you believe to be God, Elijah asked them, Yahweh or Baal?
21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if Yahweh is God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. -1 Kings 18
After Elijah (Eli Yah) showed them the miracles of Yahweh, the people repented, proclaiming that Yahweh is God!
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, Yahweh, he is the God; Yahweh, he is the God. -1 Kings 18
Another prophet, Elisha, followed Elijah. He asked for (and received) a "double portion" of the spirit of Elijah:
9 And it came to pass, when they had gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. -2 Kings 2
The name of Elisha declares that God is salvation! His name is a contraction of the name "Elishua," where "Eli" means God and "shua" means salvation. Therefore, the names of Elijah and Elisha together declare that Yah is God and that God is salvation. Their names declare the name Yahshua (which is translated as Jesus), meaning Yah the Savior!
The Old Testament ends with a promise and a warning:
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. -Malachi 4
John the Baptist came to call the people of Judaea to repentance, preparing them for the coming of Yahshua:
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. -Matthew 3
He fulfilled the prophecy:
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. -Luke 1
Yahshua said of John, "this is Elijah:"
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come. -Matthew 11
The "Spirit of Elijah" is the Spirit of Yahweh, which spoke through Elijah and John to declare that Yahweh is God and to call for repentance. In a time of spiritual darkness, the watchmen cry out the words of Yahweh as the "Spirit of Elijah" prepares our hearts for the return of Yahshua.
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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