(380) – THE OATH

What is an oath? We have the explanation in the letter to the Hebrews: “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’ Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:13-18).

The two immutable things are: the word that comes out of the mouth of God, and the oath made by God. It is clear that a spoken word of God can be changed, but a word or promise made with an oath cannot be changed, even if those who are going to receive the promise are unworthy of it. This is the immutability of God’s counsel, as we read in the text of Hebrews, quoted above.

An oath, in Jehovah’s assessment, is something so serious, and so jeopardizes the ones who make the oath, that he warns men, saying: “You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am JEHOVAH” (Lev. 19:12).

It is not even necessary to make an oath. It is enough to vow: “When you vow a vow to God, don’t defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow. It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. Don’t allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don’t protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?” (Eccl. 5:4-6).

An oath is such a serious and dangerous thing, that Jesus gives a command that is contrary to the command of Jehovah, who said: “You shall fear JEHOVAH your God; and you shall serve him, and shall swear by his name” (Deut. 6:13). Jehovah announces the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, where the inhabitants will be blessed in the God of truth, and the one who swears on earth will swear in the name of the God of truth, because the past sufferings will have been forgotten and hidden to the eyes of Jehovah (Is. 65:16-17).

Let us look at the commandment of Jesus, as opposed to the commandment of Jehovah: “Again you have heard that it was said to them of old time, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows,’ but I tell you, ‘don’t swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black. But let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No” be “No.” Whatever is more than these is of the evil one’” (Matt. 5:33-37). Jesus is saying that the judgment has an evil origin. WELL! Jehovah handed Job to Satan to suffer the loss of flocks, lands, houses, and also of his ten children who died (Job 1:13-21). And who gave Jehovah the idea of doing such monstrosity towards the righteous Job? Satan did. He tempted Jehovah, saying: “Haven’t you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face. Jehovah said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power’” (Job 1:10-12). What Jehovah did was evil in origin, for it came from Satan. And once again the evil coming from Satan, that is to say, the venom of the serpent, entered deep into the heart of Jehovah, who finally delivered the body of Job to be made lean and emaciated (Job 2:1-7). Every evil proceeds from the evil one, including the vows.

Moses went up the mount Sinai to receive the law from the hands of Jehovah, and remained there 40 days. The people at the foot of the mountain thought that Moses had disappeared and asked Aaron to make them a god. Aaron asked them to bring bracelets and earrings of gold, and made a calf of gold. The people worshipped the calf, saying: This is your god, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Jehovah, full of anger, said to Moses: These people are obstinate. Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation” (Ex. 32:1-10). Moses, with prudence of a good origin, says: “Jehovah, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?’ Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your seed’” (Ex. 32:11-14). And Jehovah repented from the unpremeditated evil that he was going to do, for it was of an evil origin.

Under the command of Jehovah, Moses wrote the following about the judgment he had made to multiply the seed of Abraham to be as numerous as the stars of heaven (Gen. 15:1-6), in the chapter of the curses of the Law: “If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, JEHOVAH YOUR GOD; then Jehovah will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and severe sicknesses, and of long continuance. He will bring on you again all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, Jehovah will bring them on you, until you are destroyed. You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the sky for multitude; because you didn’t listen to the voice of Jehovah your God” (Deut. 28:58-62).

Now, as we read in the letter to the Hebrews, in the beginning of this study, the judgment was based on the immutability of the counsel of God, and not on the uncertainty of the human behavior. When he changed the promise made to Abraham with an oath, the evil origin of the oath of Jehovah is set up. It is impossible to believe in a god that lies even in matters of vows.

Jehovah was angry with his people because even when he guided them in all their ways, going before them in a column of fire by night and a cloud during the day, they murmured about the lack of water and food. Then Jehovah got angry with them. The text says: “Jehovah heard the voice of your words, and was angry, and swore, saying, ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see the good land, which I swore to give to your fathers’” (Deut. 1:34-35). This second vow, of evil origin, which cancelled the first one of good origin, proves things about Jehovah:

  1. It proves that Jehovah does not know the future.
  2. The second vow cancels the first one, and so Jehovah desecrates his very own name (Lev. 19:12).
  3. Every vow is evil, for the first, made to Abraham, cancelled as it was, passed from good to evil; and the second one was of evil nature, already. To Jehovah, these things are natural. To violate the vow is not a problem. He is the Almighty. The prophet Malachi says: “‘Now, you priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name,’ says Jehovah of Armies, ‘then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your seed, and will spread dung on your faces, even the dung of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it’” (Mal. 2:1-3).

David says to Jehovah in prayer: “Now it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you; for you, Jehovah, have blessed, and it is blessed forever” (1 Chr. 17:27). This is not true, for the house of David was extinguished in Jesus Christ, who did not get married and did not continue the lineage of David. Jesus Christ is the first of the new generation, and for this reason he was called the last Adam, a proof that the old things have come to an end (Luke 16:16; 4:17-21; Rom. 10:4). In Christ the Law and the Prophets came to an end, and the Old Testament and the old covenant, also; only history remained. The first creation reached the end in Christ, and a new one, which is of the Father, began.

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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