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“Worship the L-rd, and Him Only....” Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

When the Roman Empire began persecuting Christians in the first century, it was not because they worshiped Yeshua (Jesus), but because they refused to also worship the Emperor. But Yeshua taught his followers, “Worship the L-RD your G-d, and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10.). Satan was attempting to destroy the believers’ relationship with G-d thru the mixture of worship to Yahweh with worship to other gods. Satan continues to use this method even today among believers.

The dictionary defines ‘mixture’ as a combination of different qualities; a transformation to something different from the original. The Hebrew root of the word ‘mix’ means to restrict or hold back; to impede and undermine G-d’s purposes; to cut down or reduce; to adulterate. Satan always mixes the truth with lies and seeks to ‘spoil the crop’ (to defile), whether it is in a natural or a spiritual sense. Even Satan’s ‘kingdom’, the kingdom of the anti-Christ will be a mixture. Daniel describes it as a mixture of ‘clay and iron’, part weak and part strong (Daniel 2:41-43). But the mixture in his ‘kingdom’ will eventually destroy him, just as mixture in our lives will eventually destroy us and our relationship with G-d.

While the word ‘mixture’ is not in the Bible, there are a host of references to G-d’s extreme displeasure with mixing holy things with the profane. He told Isaiah, “I will turn My hand against you, and thoroughly purge away your dross and take away all your *alloy.” G-d was telling Isaiah that only after He removes all their mixture would they be restored to Him. * Alloy is a mixture of metals that form a metal of lower value and purity.

All of the following examples of mixture recorded in the Bible imply that it results in negative consequences. In the beginning, even before G-d gave His Law to the Israelites, when men and angels ‘mixed’ (Genesis 6), the resultant offspring were the Nephilim. This evil was so deplorable that G-d wiped out the human race except for Noah and his family who had no such mixture.

To express His displeasure with mixture, for instance, G-d gave the Israelites instructions not to mingle their crops or seed (Deuteronomy 22:9, Leviticus 19). While this and other commands may have health or commercial implications, the allusion to spiritual ‘types’ is paramount, the seed being a biblical ‘type’ of the holy seed of G-d that produced the offspring that became known as Israel. G-d even instructed that they should not mix their fabrics (wool and flax) or breed different species of animals (Leviticus 19) and not even plow with diverse animals (Deuteronomy 22:9, 10, 11) because He wanted this principle to be firmly established in their minds.

Before the Israelites reached the Promised Land, G-d warned them about the foreigners they would encounter there: “Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons…” (Ezra 9:12). In Ezra’s day, he decried the fact that some Israelite men had mixed the Holy Seed (Sarah’s offspring) with the pagans of the land (Ezra 9:2). In the New Testament, G-d also warned believers not to be yoked (mixed) with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

But above all, G-d hated the mixture of the worship of Himself with the worship of foreign gods. In 2 Kings 17:34-41, for example, it says that the Israelites followed after the practices of the Samaritans in worshiping the L-rd but also other gods. G-d provided the Israelites with specific instructions on the only acceptable ways to worship Him––i.e. through the sacrificial system and through the Feasts of the L-rd (Leviticus 23). The Feasts are prophetic rituals that remind us of His sacrifice and point to the L-rd’s return. And while the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Yeshua’s once-for-all sacrifice, G-d desires that this form of worship should continue through us:

“And now, brethren, I appeal to you by G-d’s mercies to offer up your bodies as a living sacrifice, consecrated to G-d and worthy of his acceptance; this is the worship due from you as rational creatures.” (Romans 12:1 Knox Bible)

With the fourth century ‘conversion’ of the Roman Emperor Constantine to Christianity, however, came the inclusion of paganism into the Church. Constantine forbade the celebration of G-d’s festivals and even the Sabbath, and replaced them with his own pagan festivals such as sun-god Mithra worship at the winter solstice and the springtime fertility rites of the goddess Astarté. He re-named these festivals Christmas and Easter and he instructed the people to keep a day of rest on Sunday instead of Saturday. These pagan practices have now become so embedded in the traditions of the Church that most are unaware of their true origins. This mixture quickly led to the entrance of a Trojan Horse (the Nicene Council) that set the foundation for a ‘new’ religion, disconnected from its Jewish roots, a ‘new’ religion from which the Church has never recovered. Satan successfully used Constantine to firmly establish, not only mixture in the Church, but anti-Semitism as well, both of which would eventually cause the Church to lose its ‘connection’ to the Green Olive Tree.

The L-rd called Israel a Green Olive Tree, lovely and of good fruit (Jeremiah 11:16). The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said that when a Gentile (i.e. the branch of a wild olive tree) believes in Yeshua, he/she is grafted into the Natural (Green) Olive Tree, the holy branches described in Romans 11:16. He/she then becomes part of that Tree, being privileged to partake of its root and fatness, the holy oil. The root of that Tree is Yeshua, the Word of G-d, the Root of our faith from which springs up the pure holy oil of G-d.

As a result of mixture in the worship of G-d, believers are ‘held back’ from receiving the full measure of the privileges to which the Romans 11 passage alludes. G-d warned the Church of Laodicea not to be lukewarm, which is a mixture of hot and cold, or else He would “spew them out of His mouth”. The L-rd further rebuked the ‘Revelation’ Churches for tolerating the mixture in their midst (Revelation 2:15, 20). These Churches are representative of today’s Church, which has become more and more tolerant of ‘other gods’. And even though the Bible warns us repeatedly that we are not to even mention the names of foreign gods (Exodus 23:13, Joshua 23:7, Psalm 16:4), many churches today have settled for mixture (described as being inclusive) as part of their accepted doctrine. For instance, a recent sign at denominational church reads, “Allah blesses you our dear Muslim brothers & sisters.”

For those seeking the blessings implied by the “fatness” of the Olive Tree (its holy oil), it is essential to remove any and all mixture with the ways of the world.

“And you must not fall in with the manners of this world; there must be an inward change, a remaking of your minds, so that you can satisfy yourselves what is G-d’s will, the good thing, the desirable thing, the perfect thing.” (Romans 12:2 Knox Bible)

There is a price to pay for our lack of intimacy with the L-rd. We must ask, “How many hours of my week are spent in prayer, fasting, community service, spiritual self-improvement, reading the Bible or engaging in Bible study?” If the time we spend is paltry, we should not be surprised by our lack of spiritual power.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of G-d, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

While we cannot earn the L-rd’s favor, there is a reward for our seeking after G-d and removing the dross and alloy from our lives to make room for His treasures.

“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the L-rd, who calls you by your name, Am the G-d of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:3)

The L-rd’s promises are many for those who will spend time developing intimacy with Him. Yeshua promised we would do greater works than He did (John 14:12) because He was sending His Holy Spirit, the ‘holy oil of G-d’, to fill believers that they might be used by the L-rd to enlarge His kingdom. The apostle Paul, who gave up everything the world had to offer to follow Yeshua said:

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of G-d, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

When we are ‘born again’, newly created in Yeshua, it is no longer our lives to do with as we choose. Being ‘born again’ means that our ‘old man’ has been crucified (our old ways of mixture with the world) and we are submitting ourselves to G-d for His purposes. The Knox Bible says it clearly:

No, we are his design; G-d has created us in Christ Jesus, pledged to such good actions as he has prepared beforehand, to be the employment of our lives.” (Ephesians 2:10) (emphasis author’s)

While the L-rd has a different job for each ‘employee’, believers all have the same employer. Yeshua reminds us that we “cannot serve two masters”. And, we can only collect the benefits from the one to whom we demonstrate our allegiance.

“Never pay worship to any alien god; the very name of the L-rd bespeaks jealous love, He will endure no rival. (Exodus 34:14 – Knox Bible) (emphasis author’s)

 
 
 
 
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