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For more than 15 centuries, most Bible believers have been taught that it is not necessary to obey any law of Moses except the few moral laws specifically mentioned in the New Testament.
It will shock many to learn that it can be proved from New Testament Scriptures alone that a baptized believer in Messiah is obligated to adhere to the whole law of Moses, except for a few laws specifically changed by the Messiah. The law was given to Israel by Yahweh through Moses.
Therefore, in the Bible, "law" refers to Yahweh's law even when it is called the "law of Moses."
His People and His Name
Acts 15 tells about a council of apostles and elders at Jerusalem convened to decide whether circumcision of Gentile believers was necessary.
The decision that it was not necessary to circumcise Gentiles was finally agreed to after James reminded the council that Yahweh had said He would take a people for His Name from among the Gentiles.
Realize, however, that not all Gentiles are called, and fewer yet will remain faithful. "Many are called, but few are chosen," Matthew 20:16. (Scriptures quoted in this study are from the New International Version.)
Today, many reject Yahweh's Name and few are called by it. Is there an implication for Christians in the correlation of this fact and Yahshua's statement?
Isaiah 52:6 and 43:7 say Yahweh's people will know His Name and be called by it. Can those who reject His Name after it has been revealed to them be among Yahweh's elect?
Gentiles as well as Jews are called to the Messiah's wedding feast. The parable in Matthew 22:2-14 informs us that anyone who answers the call and comes to the feast will be cast out if not wearing the proper wedding garments. The proper wedding garment is the righteousness of the saints, Revelation 19:8!
Those who call themselves by Yahweh's Name should guard against becoming self-righteous or complacent about their salvation. They should understand that the words: "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" applies to them as well as to those who call themselves born again, 1 Corinthians 10:12.
The righteousness of the saints amounts to more than just calling on Yahweh's Name and keeping His Sabbaths and Feasts.
The called-out are instructed to acquire wisdom and understanding, Proverbs 4:5 and 7. Could the senses be trained to discern good from evil without understanding? Could Timothy rightly handle the Word of Truth without understanding? (Hebrews 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:15)
If we do not grow in wisdom and understanding we will remain babes in the Word, tossed about by everchanging doctrines.
Wisdom is defined as knowledge of what is good or right, coupled with good judgment. Judgment depends upon understanding the knowledge possessed.
Hence, understanding of Scriptures determines a person's religious beliefs and practices. Knowledge of Yahweh and His Messiah is obtained by study of the Bible.
But a person needs help in acquiring understanding, Acts 8:30-31. The help should come from men to whom Yahweh has given the gift of understanding.
Separate Truth from Error
Since Yahshua sent out disciples to preach and teach righteousness, thousands of profound thinkers have wrestled with understanding Scriptures.
Many thousands of preachers and teachers have proclaimed the concepts of the most popular and highly regarded of these theologians, philosophers and Bible students. Sadly, few of these thinkers have had minds spiritually opened to truly understand Scriptures, Luke 24:45.
Regardless of their sincerity, their concepts and their teachings are a hodgepodge of truth and error. That is the reason for the command to test the spirits and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Most people realize they need help in understanding the Bible, but since they will not endure sound doctrine, they turn to men whose teachings are pleasing to them. They think they are separating truth from error when all they are really doing is separating false doctrines of one teacher from the false doctrines of another. That is one of the reasons for the many divisions in worship today.
A bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit! False prophets (teachers) plant seeds (thoughts) in people's minds. The trees (organizations) that grow from the seeds bear the fruit (beliefs, attitudes, practices and actions).
Inspect the Fruits
Only by comparing the fruits produced with Scriptures can those responding to Yahweh's truths be distinguished from people responding to deceptions and falsehoods.
Since the Reformation three groups have considered themselves as called out. They are:
• Protestants who separated from the Catholic Church;
• Puritans who separated from the Anglican Church;
• Sacred Name believers who are separating truth from error.
The fruits produced by each of these groups can be determined by a study of historical accounts, but the quality of the fruits can be determined only by comparison with fruits produced by called-out groups in Scriptures.
There are four accounts of called-out people whose fruits can be verified in Scriptures. They are:
• Abraham, called out of Ur of the Chaldees;
• Israel, called out of Egypt;
• Jews, called out of Babylon;
• Gentiles, called out of paganism.
Since a detailed comparison of the fruits of all groups mentioned would be too much for one study, this meditation will be limited to the implications for Gentiles of Abraham's call.
Justification Through Obedience
Yahweh called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees to separate him from the pagan religions of Babylon and to make him the father of a nation through whom all people of the earth could be blessed, Genesis 12:1-3.
Gentiles are also called out of Babylon, Revelation 18:4, and through Yahshua the Messiah become partakers in the blessing, Galatians 3:14.
The implication of Abraham's faith and obedience for Gentiles is spelled out in Genesis 26:5 and Hebrews 11:8-17.
It was Abraham's faith and obedience that gained Yahweh's approval. Gentiles should understand that faith brings approval; belief leads to righteousness.
Righteousness is obedience and it is obedience that gains the justification that guarantees salvation.
Gentiles should read James 2:21-24 and ask themselves, “Would Abraham's faith have been approved if it had not been perfected by obedience?” Understanding that after baptism, justification is faith perfected by works (obedience) and NOT by faith alone that corrects many misunderstandings that sanction belief in lawless doctrines that condone continuance in sin.
Not Faith 'Alone'
Believers in the "faith alone" doctrine point to Romans 3:28 for support and either ignore or reject James 2:24. These verses read:
"For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law," Romans 3:28.
"You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone," James 2:24.
The harmonious relation between these two seemingly contradictory statements is significant for the called-out Gentile to understand what Yahweh requires of His people.
The rallying cry for Luther's reformation was "Fide Sola"—"Faith Alone." The footnote in the NIV to Romans 3:28 states that the word "alone" is not in the Greek, but was inserted by Martin Luther.
If the "alone" were in the Greek and Paul and James were both referring to justification given at baptism, they would be contradicting each other.
A great deal of misunderstanding of Scriptures arises from the belief that justification is by faith alone, and thinking that, is what Paul means by the phrase "apart from observing the law." The phrase does not mean "alone," and neither does it mean the New Covenant is lawless.
A misconception of the meaning of the word "faith" in the New Testament is evident in the NIV's footnote to James 2:14-26. The footnote speaks of a saving faith and a faith that is merely an intellectual acceptance of a truth without trust.
In the New Testament the word "faith" is translated from the Greek word pistis, which means trust and nothing else. Intellectual acceptance is "belief." James is not referring to belief without works. He is referring to trust without works! He expressed this thought in James 2:20 as "faith without deeds is useless."
Faith does not mean belief anywhere in the New Testament, and to think that it does is misunderstanding.
It is evident that the editors of the NIV believe in justification by faith alone, but the footnote reveals a more serious misunderstanding.
They do not understand that Paul and James were not writing about the same thing! Paul wrote about the declaration of innocence obtained at baptism. James wrote about the forgiving of sins that are confessed and repented of between the time of baptism and the time of death, l John 1:69.
Faith and obedience to a new way of life after baptism is the most important implication Gentiles are to learn from Abraham's call to come out of Ur of the Chaldees.
Circumcision of Obedience
Another implication called-out Gentiles should understand is the subject of circumcision. It isn't surprising that we must turn to Paul's writings to study this subject.
"It is not as though Yahweh's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, `It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' In other words, it is not the natural children who are Yahweh's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring," Romans 9:6-8.
"Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only those who are of the law but also those who are of the faith of Abraham," Romans 4:16.
Abraham's natural descendants are named after his grandson, Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. Romans 2:13 reads:
"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in Yahweh's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous."
It was just pointed out that Abraham and his descendants are declared righteous if they believe and have faith. Now we are told it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
It would seem that Paul is contradicting himself, but if what he is writing about is understood, then clearly he is not.
In this verse he is referring to the forgiveness of sins that precedes salvation at the RESURRECTION and not about the declaration of innocence granted at BAPTISM as in Romans 3:28.
The truth of this can be understood from the fact that in Romans 2:12 Paul wrote, "All who sin under the law will be judged by the law." In verse 16 he said this judgment will take place after Yahshua's return at the end of the age. Paul is referring to the declaration of innocence at the time of salvation in Romans 2:13.
"Aha," some will say, "You are twisting Scriptures to make it appear that Paul is contradicting what He said in Romans 6:14." In this verse he wrote, "You are not under the law, but under grace."
If we twist Scripture by pointing out that there is a declaration of innocence for past sins given at baptism, and another declaration of innocence for unwitting sins committed after baptism (Heb. 10:26), then everything in this study is a twisting of Scriptures.
A bit of word study will verify that the word "under" in Romans 6:14 is an accurate translation of the Greek, but the word "under" in the NIV of Romans 2:12 is an insertion of a word not in the Greek.
The KJV translators inserted "in" instead of "under," which fits into the sense of the verse better than "under." The NIV editor's insertion of "under" in Romans 2:12 indicates they believe, as most Christians do, that being under grace means it is not necessary to be concerned about obeying the law.
In Romans 2:29 Paul tells us circumcision of the heart is made by the Spirit and in Ephesians 2:11 he tells us there is a circumcision made by hands.
"Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law you have become as though you had not been circumcised," Romans 2:25. Circumcision of the flesh is the Old Covenant sign of the seal of righteousness that Abraham received after he was declared righteous, Romans 4:11.
From this we can understand that circumcision of the heart is the New Covenant sign of the seal of righteousness, which is received at baptism in Yahshua's Name. Hebrews 8:10 informs us that Yahweh's law is written on the hearts of Gentiles who have become Abraham's offspring by adoption.
Romans 2:25 and following verses must imply that if the calledout Gentile breaks the law written on his heart, his heart will become as if it had never been circumcised. There are many other Scriptures that indicate the truth of this understanding.
Romans 4:13-16 reveals that Abraham and his offspring did not receive the promise that they would be heirs of the world through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
Difficulties of Paul's Words
Peter wasn't exaggerating when he wrote that there are some things Paul wrote that are hard to understand. Comparing Romans 4:14 and 16 is an example of the truth of Peter's statement.
"For if those who live by the law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless." (Verse 14)
"Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only those who are of the law but also those who are of the faith of Abraham..." Verse 16 tells us.
What does Paul mean by "faith has no value" if those who live by the law are heirs, then in almost the next verse implies that some of Abraham's offspring are of the law?
Another example of the difficulty shows up when comparing what he wrote here with, "You are not under the law, but under grace," Romans 6:14. We just saw that Hebrews 8:10 tells us the law is written on the hearts of Abraham's offspring. How does that tie in with Romans 4:14 and 16 and 6:14?
It is certain we will hardly understand anything in Paul's epistles if we believe that the law has been abrogated in the New Covenant or if we forget that without faith it is impossible to please Yahweh.
Who did Yahshua have in mind when He told His listeners: "...Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: `These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but the rules of men.' You have let go the commands of Yahweh and are holding onto the traditions of men," Mark 7:6-8
Yahshua called the Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites for making a show of a faithless obedience to the law. Most of the Jews of Yahshua's day probably didn't make a show of their religious practices, but they lived a faithless obedience to the law and the traditions of men.
Though less showy, they were probably as hypocritical as the Scribes and Pharisees and their worship just as vain.
The "who" in "who live by the law" in Romans 6:14 must refer to the faithless, hypocritical Jews Isaiah prophesied about. Since they were faithless, Paul can ask what value would faith have if they are heirs to the promise made to Abraham?
Turning now to Romans 4:16, the apostles, elders, and all Jewish disciples who answered the call to come out of apostate Judaism must be the "who" of "who are of the law." The Gentiles who answered the call to come out of paganism must be the "who" of "who are of the faith of Abraham."
Now, insert the true meaning of the word "grace," i.e., the influence of Yahweh's Holy Spirit in the heart, into Romans 4:16 and understand the difference this makes, rather than thinking "unmerited forgiveness of sin."
It boils down to the fact that promise comes by trust so that it may be by the influence of Yahweh's Holy Spirit to all of Abraham's offspring, whether they have come out of Judaism or all become spiritual Israelites.
Starting A Difficult Walk
Preachers discredit teachings that detract from what they believe is the simplicity of salvation. They teach that all that is necessary for salvation to is believe and be baptized.
It is true that one must believe and be baptized, but belief in lawless doctrines and baptism into a vain worship will not bring a righteous man's reward, which is the crown of life (Matt. 10:41; Rev. 2:10). Nor will being baptized in a name other than the only Name given to men whereby we can be saved bring forgiveness of sin, Acts 4:12.
Those who have been baptized in Yahshua's Name have merely entered upon the narrow way to eternal life. Paul warns Yahshua's followers not to continue in sin just because they are now under grace (influence of Yahweh's Holy Spirit), Romans 6:1-2.
Many Scriptures plainly warn believers that they will experience trials and tribulations and must resist temptations to sin. The Savior Himself said, "And you shall be hated of all [men] for My name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Mark 13:13)
A called-out Gentile must understand that sin is transgression of the law even in the New Covenant, l John 3:4. Deceitful misconceptions nourished by belief in false doctrines prevent understanding which laws were cancelled and which are written on the heart to be obeyed.
To accept Yahshua as Savior is easy, but we are admonished that living the narrow way prescribed by Scripture can be rough: "That you might walk worthy of Yahshua unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of Yahweh; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light." (Col. 1:10-12)
Paul gave this same warning to the brethren in Thessalonica: "You [are] witnesses, and Elohim [also], how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: as you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [does] his children, that you would walk worthy of Elohim, who has called you unto his kingdom and glory," 1 Thess. 2:10-12. And again:
"Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our Elohim would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of [His] goodness, and the work of faith with power," 2 Thess. 1:11.
It is not Yahweh Who makes His way tough. It is the world that hates people who live in a way that is pleasing to Yahweh and worthy of salvation. Through His Spirit He strengthens us and makes it possible for us to overcome Satan, the world, and our own carnal nature.
When Yahweh spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He referred to literal Egypt and appointed Moses to lead His people out of bondage to the Egyptians. Egypt typifies the world. In the Bible, Egyptians symbolize worldly people who hold Yahweh's people in spiritual bondage.
Ancient Egyptians were a very religious people whose religion was a conglomerate of beliefs about life, death, and nature incorporated into worship of many local and cosmic deities.
One pharaoh attempted to impose a monotheistic worship of a sun-god upon the Egyptians, but polytheism and magic remained dominant among the masses and monotheism died with the pharaoh.
By the time of Moses, Israel had become thoroughly corrupted by Egyptian idolatry.
Paul warns the believer that what happened to Israel during their wandering in the wilderness was written down as examples of sin to be avoided (1 Cor. 10:6-11).
If understanding is limited to the obvious of the sins listed: don't be an idolator, immoral, and don't test Yahweh, then the hidden wisdom and implications in the Exodus story—which begins with Yahweh speaking with Moses from the burning bush—will be overlooked and ignored.
My People Know My Name
The most significant implication for the called-out is the revelation of the Name of the Mighty One of Israel.
All pagan deities had proper names whether Egyptian, Babylonian or Canaanite. Israel was so paganized by their long bondage that they would believe that the most powerful of the Egyptian deities was the Mighty One of their fathers.
This was probably the reason Moses asked, "What shall I tell them when they ask me, `What is His Name?'"
Yahweh's answer was "ehYeh asher ehYeh," meaning "I am who I am" in the Old Testament. He continued, "Say to the Israelites, `YHWH' has sent Me to you," Exodus 3:14-15.
The Hebrew Tetragram YHWH is mistranslated "the Lord" nearly 7,000 times in most English versions of the Old Testament. Most scholars now agree that the most accurate pronunciation of YHWH is YAHWEH.
The mistranslation "Lord" is the reason many called-out have forgotten Yahweh's Name, just as the Israelites had during their bondage in Egypt.
Another significant implication is that even though Israel had forgotten the Mighty One of their fathers, He had not forgotten them and still called them "My people."
Plagues = Yahweh's Wrath on Sin
Yahweh gave Moses a two-part mission. The first was to reveal Yahweh's Name to Israel before the Exodus. The second was to persuade Pharaoh to allow Israel to leave Egypt. The release from bondage was not granted until after the plagues had demonstrated Yahweh's power. Many scholarly attempts have been made to explain the plagues as the result of natural phenomena. These attempts always ignore two important facts.
First, Moses was given supernatural powers before being sent to Egypt, Exodus 4:1-9. Second, the precise timing of the plagues with Moses' confrontations with Pharaoh had to be supernaturally designed.
Bible students recognize that the plagues upon Egypt typify Yahweh's wrath upon sinners at the end of the age. Today, noted scientists and sociologists are busy explaining the similarities of present events with natural events of the past. Isn't such activity a denial of Yahweh's power and the prophetic implications of Yahweh's Word?
The fact that the Egyptians were a very religious people implies that the sinners at the end of the age will also be a very pious people who, by their idolatries and transgressions, will be denying Yahweh's Name and His power.
The implication is that just as the Egyptians refused to believe the plagues were from Yahweh, so will pious sinners at the end of the age refuse to believe the plagues that come upon them are evidence of Yahweh's wrath.
Is it mere coincidence that Yahweh's Name is being revealed again to His people as it was revealed to Israel just before their release from bondage of Egypt and its sin? Add the present natural catastrophes and does it not imply that release of His called-out from the bondage of the world is imminent, as the plagues preceded Israel's release?
Singular Covenant Message
No expressions exist in the Bible as "Covenant of Grace" and "Covenant of Law." The called-out fail to discern that grace and law are two inseparable elements of Yahweh's covenant. They go together.
Read Galatians 3:6-14 and ponder the relationship between the singleness of the covenant and promise to Abraham and what appears to be a plurality of covenants and promises in Romans and Hebrews.
Why is the covenant with Abraham's descendants called the first covenant in Hebrews 8:7 when it is really only a reaffirmation of Yahweh's covenant with Abraham?
Why is the covenant mediated by Yahshua the Messiah called the new covenant and said to be founded on better promises, verses 6 and 8, when we are told that those who belong to Messiah, whether Jew or Gentile, are Abraham's seed and heirs to the promise (singular), Galatians 3:29?
There is really only one covenant principle that promises salvation and eternal life! It is given first in the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham. That covenant was changed by the addition of the ceremonial law and conditions of fulfillment of blessings for obedience when Moses mediated the reaffirmation with Abraham's descendants.
The added law was changed and better promises were given when Yahshua the Messiah's mediation opened the covenant to Gentile as well as Jew.
The better promises are that Yahweh will put His law in the minds and hearts of people who answer Yahshua's call and that He will give them His Holy Spirit to strengthen them in obedience and guide them into all truth.
Galatians 3:19 tells us the law was added to the covenant because of transgressions. Paul tells us the Jews were under the law because they were controlled by their sinful natures and bore the fruit of death (the wages of sin), Romans 6:23 and 7:5.
Grace AND Law Operative
Those who answer Yahshua's call and obey the law in their minds and on their hearts are not under the law (law's penalty) because they are under the control of Yahweh's indwelling Holy Spirit. They live by the Spirit and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. They are not under the law but under grace, Romans 6:14-15, Galatians 5:16-25.
It was because of His grace that Yahweh made a covenant of promise with Abraham, Galatians 3:18. Genesis 26:5 indicates the covenant with Abraham was not without law. Inheritance of the promise is not contingent upon faithless obedience to law, but dependent upon faithful obedience and Yahweh's grace, Galatians 3:29.
Scriptures make it very plain that it was Abraham's faith and obedience that pleased Yahweh and moved Him to extend His grace to Abraham's descendants.
The word grace in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew chen (khane, Strong's No. 2580), which means kindness or favor. In the New Testament the unmerited forgiveness of sin at baptism is a chen, a kindness or favor. The Greek word translated grace in the New Testament, however, is charis (khar'ece, Strong's No. 5485), which means "the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life."
Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon says charis contains the idea of a kindness bestowed upon one who does not deserve it, but the word charis is used in the New Testament to denote the influence of Yahweh's Spirit upon souls to strengthen them in faith and obedience to the Messiah.
Intense Admiration is Idolatry
It is evident from Exodus 32:1-6 that the golden calf Aaron made and the people sacrificed before was a symbol of a mighty one. In spite of Paul's warning not to be idolaters, the called-out fail to understand the implication of this evil to be shunned.
Idolaters are defined as people who blindly and intensely admire another, not always in worship. By this definition even veneration of celebrities is idolatry.
In their ignorance, most of the called-out are as idolatrous as the Israelites after being led out of Egypt. The truth of this statement will no doubt be protested by some, saying that they don't make idols and sacrifice or worship before them as Israel did.
Their declaration of innocence rests upon obedience on an elementary level of understanding and a failure to discern the implications of the similarity between their reaction to the prolonged absence of Yahshua the Messiah and Israel's reaction to the prolonged absence of Moses.
Study Bibles aren't much help in understanding the implications. The margin note in the Companion Bible for Exodus 34:4 says this about the golden calf: "The chief Egyptian god, with which they were familiar in Egypt." The NIV Study Bible says, "The calf was probably similar to representations of the Egyptian bull-god Apis."
Obviously, the molten calf was a pagan image, but the footnotes do not explain why the Israelites exchanged their glory for an image of a bull that eats grass, Psalm 106:20.
An Idol Image of Yahweh
Surely Israelites would not believe an Egyptian deity was responsible for their release from bondage to Egypt. They had seen the demonstration of Yahweh's power. They had seen the parting of the sea and must have understood that no Egyptian deity would deliver them from Pharaoh's army.
The name of the Mighty One of their fathers had been revealed to them before leaving Egypt. They had received and promised to obey the law at Sinai where the blood of the covenant had been sprinkled upon them, Exodus 24. For these reasons it is unreasonable to assume that Israelites would believe that an image of a bull calf represented a pagan Egyptian deity named Apis. The Egyptians represented Apis by an image of a bull.
None of this explains why Aaron told the people this is the Elohim who brought you out of Egypt and declare that the next day would be a feast to Yahweh, Exodus 32:4-5. The reason must be the equating of pagan imagery and religious practices with Yahweh!
This is exactly what the calledout have been doing for centuries. In Egyptian religion a bull symbolized an almighty, life-giving father deity. Osiris was the name of such an Egyptian deity.
The most popular imaginationstimulating triad of deities in the Egyptian pantheon was Isis, Osiris, and Horus. In this triad, Osiris was the all-powerful, life-giving father deity. Isis, his sister and wife, was the mother of the sun-god Horus.
As scattered localities were gradually united by conquest or amalgamation, their local deities were either supplanted or fused with the deities of other territories.
Thus, Osiris became associated with the bull-god Apis. The name of this deity was Osiris-Apis, and he became so popular and so widely worshiped by the name Osiris that the Apis addition was dropped from the name.
Isis was worshiped as the goddess queen of heaven and represented by an image of a mother with a child in her arms.
Sound familiar? The son, though represented as a child in his mother's arms, was worshiped as an adult deity possessing supernatural powers. In Babylon the child's name was Tammuz and his symbol was the sun. In Egypt the child's name was Horus and he was worshiped as the sun.
This brief sketch of the Egyptian triad may be superfluous except for the information about Osiris, whom Egyptians represented by a bull because they believed him to be an all-powerful, life-giving heavenly father.
Pagan Title Dominates
The information about the mother and son can lead to insights into other errors of worship perpetuated by the called-out, along with representing Yahweh by a pagan image.
Aaron must have become worried that the image of a bull he had made would be regarded as a symbol of Osiris. By announcing a feast to Yahweh the next day, he probably intended to remind the people that it was not an Egyptian deity that had brought them out of Egypt.
Even though the Israelites regarded the molten calf to be a symbol of the Mighty One of their fathers, making an image of anything as a representation of Yahweh is a violation of the Second Commandment, Exodus 20:4-6. Singing and dancing after sacrificing and eating before the image was a violation of the command: "You must not do as they do in Egypt," as well as, "Do not turn to idols and make Elohim of cast metal for yourselves," Leviticus 18:3 and 19:4.
The called-out don't claim that they worship images, but they do worship in pagan ways on pagan days and believe that a pagan title refers to Yahweh.
The implication of the account of the golden calf is that Yahweh is not pleased with paganistic worship and when Yahshua the Messiah comes down from heaven they will learn, as Israel did when Moses came down from the mountain, how displeased the Heavenly Father is by ignoring His commandment:
"You must not worship Yahweh your Elohim in their way, because in worshiping their elohim, they do all kinds of detestable things that Yahweh hates," Deuteronomy 12:31.
L-rd Title Soon to Pass
The fact that Yahweh is displeased with the title "L-rd" is hidden by the mistranslation of the Hebrew Tetragram YHWH in Hosea 2:16-17. The NIV of these verses reads, "In that day declares the L-rd, you will call Me `my husband'; you will no longer call Me `my master.' I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked."
The KJV reads, "And it shall be at that day, saith the L-rd, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shall call Me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of the Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name."
A margin note in the Companion Bible states that Ishi means "my husband" and Baali means "my master." L-rd is a title that means the master. What is hidden by the mistranslation of the Hebrew Tetragram YHWH is the fact that English versions are in effect saying, "The Master says you will no longer call me my Master."
If "YHWH" were correctly translated and the title "the L-rd" interchanged with its meaning "master," verse 16 would clearly say what must have been meant by the original Hebrew: "Yahweh says you will no longer call Me the L-rd."
"Baal" is the name of the Babylonian deity. That is why verse 17 equates "my master" with the names of the Baals. In these latter days not many of the called-out realize that they are the people Yahweh is referring to in Hosea's prophecy.
The called-out should understand the significance of the statement: "It took only forty hours to get Israel out of Egypt; but it took forty years to get Egypt out of Israel" (Explore the Book by J. Sidlow Baxter, vol. 1, p. 179).
The fact that Yahweh allowed the generation called out of Egypt to die in the wilderness indicates that that generation never really did get spiritually free of Egypt.
Ezekiel 20:10-26, Amos 5:25, and Joshua 5:4-8 inform us that the people rebelled against Yahweh and continued in idolatry. They ignored His Sabbaths, broke His laws, and did not even give their male children the covenant sign of circumcision.
Yahweh didn't abandon Israel after the rebellion. He continued to provide manna, water, and clothing and to speak to the people through Moses. But He did not allow them to enter into the land flowing with milk and honey. Fulfillment of that promise was conditional to obedience, Deuteronomy 4:1.
Parallels With Today's Called Out
The manna and water that Yahweh provided Israel in the wilderness are a type of Yahshua, John 4:10- 14, 6:32-35, and Corinthians 10:4. Israel's experience in the wilderness proves that though Yahweh provides the necessities of life, even His own people must work to gather and prepare what is provided for consumption.
Israel was so concerned about their physical well-being in a strange land that they spurned and ignored Yahweh's provisions for life in the Promised Land. Consequently, the people never prepared themselves to enter the Promised Land by becoming obedient to Yahweh and casting off their idolatry.
New Testament worshipers have allowed "no-law" and "faith-only" doctrines, coupled with the belief that "grace" means "unmerited forgiveness of sin" to spiritually blind them. They don't seem to be aware of the implications of Yahweh's rejection of the generation of Israelites led out of Egypt.
Through His Son, Yahshua the Messiah, and His Holy Spirit in the heart, Yahweh has provided everything needed for New Covenant, called-out people to work out their salvation, Philippians 2:12-13. Note the association of work and obedience in these verses.
Compare this with Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11. Verse 11 in the NIV reads, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come."
This warning applies to everything written in the Old Testament Scriptures about Israel's experience in the wilderness; not just the few examples explicitly mentioned by Paul.
Israel probably continued in idolatry and disobedience because they lacked faith and didn't really believe. Yet, the New Covenant called-out who believe and have faith only may not be denied entry into Yahshua's millennial Kingdom on earth if they are willing to learn obedience.
The millennial Kingdom will become a paradise when Yahweh comes down from heaven to dwell with His people. Nothing unclean or impure will be allowed to enter paradise, Revelation 21:3, 27.
The bride must make herself ready.
-Elder Ralph Henrie (deceased)
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