242 – YES, YES, NO, NO!
Jesus said, “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yeas’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil” (Matt. 5:34-37).Christians cannot take oaths and afterwards retreat, for when they take an oath, they are securing that it is ‘yes’; but when they do not fulfill what they have promised, they say ‘no’ to what they should say ‘yes.’ Every oath should say ‘yes, yes’; a ‘yes’ when the promised was made, and another ‘yes’ when it was fulfilled. Jehovah is the one who acts with ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ He took an oath saying that he was going to take the people into Canaan, and afterwards, in indignation, he swore that they would not enter into the land that he had promised to give them. The text says, “Then Jehovah heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers” (Deut. 1:34-35).
Let us see if Jesus acts in the same way. He has declared, “And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). If Jesus does not judge, he also does not condemn. Jehovah judged and condemned Moses. The very Moses declared this: “Jehovah was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there’ (Deut. 1:37). “Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And Jehovah showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan” (Deut. 34:1). “And Jehovah said to him, ‘This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 1I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.’ And so Moses the servant of Jehovah died there” (Deut. 34:4-5).
If Jesus were Jehovah, when all the Christians arrived to his presence at the last day, they would hear the following: “Moses did not go into the land because of a little lapse. You who said, ‘I sin and I am saved,’ do not come into my kingdom.” Thank God, Jesus does not condemn anyone (John 3:17; 8:11).
Jesus does not accuse anyone either: “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope” (John 5:45). Jesus does not accuse anyone because he is the Advocate, and tan advocate only defends. John said from Jesus, “My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). In Jesus Christ it does not exist ‘no,’ neither ‘NO, NO.’ With him is always ‘yes,’ and ‘YES, YES.’ And Jesus does not change, as Jehovah, who said ‘yes’ to David, and changed it to ‘no.’ David declares this himself. First comes the ‘yes’ (Ps. 89:3, 20). Then comes the ‘no.’ “But you have rejected and spurned. You have been angry with your anointed. You have renounced the covenant of your servant. You have defiled his crown in the dust. You have broken down all his hedges. You have brought his strongholds to ruin. All who pass by the way rob him. He has become a reproach to his neighbors. You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries. You have made all of his enemies rejoice. Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword, and haven’t supported him in battle. You have ended his splendor, and thrown his throne down to the ground” (Ps. 89:38-44).
God the Father, as Jesus, is always ‘yes,’ and never ‘no,’ according to the words of the apostle Paul, who said, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). The love of the Father is ‘yes’ to all men, good or bad, righteous or unrighteous, sinners or saints. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Now John will speak, the apostle of love: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Salvation of the Father is for all. “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Peter confirms the words of Paul, saying, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
The salvation of Jehovah was for Israel only, and not for Egypt. “For I am Jehovah your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom” (Is. 43:3). “Israel has been saved by Jehovah with an everlasting salvation; you will not be put to shame or humiliated” (Is. 45:17). When Peter refused to go to the house of the Centurion Cornelius, of Roman nationality, he gave the idea that all other men were not part of the plans of Jehovah (Acts 10:1-20). Jehovah was ‘yes’ to Israel, but ‘no’ to Egypt. He was then ‘yes’ to Israel, and ‘no’ to the Canaanites, habitants of Canaan (Lev. 20:23-24). The book of the judges of Israel is the book of the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’. When Israel sinned, Jehovah delivered them as slaves, saying ‘yes’ to the Canaanites. Just examine the following texts: Judges 2:13-16; 3:7-11; 3:12-22; 4:1-7; 6:1-12; 10:6-10. And Jephtah saved them (Judges 13:1). And Samson saved them. The book of judges is a show of ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ He is sometimes on the side of the king of Syria, sometimes on the side of Israel, another time with the Moabites, and after that he returns to Israel. Some other time he on the side of Jabim, king of Canaan, and later, on the side of Israel, other on the Midianites’ side, another on Israel’s side by the hand of Gideon. Yet another time Jehovah was on the side of the Amonites (cursed of Jehovah), and later he returns to Israel’s side by the hand of Jephtah. Finally he goes on to the side of the Philistines, delivering Israel in their hands for forty years; then he returns to Israel by the hand of Samson. Jehovah would use the barbarous peoples, evil, cruel and perverted to try and change the behavior of his people, through the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’. The Father used only his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who gave his life to save us.
Jehovah, though, did not stop using his dark method. He went to the side of the king of Assyria to devastate Israel, one of the most terrible kings of History, who used to behead the defeated men, or to wall them, or to skin them alive. The kings and princes were dragged with a chain attached to their inferior lips by a ring. With this method he destroyed the kingdom of Israel. One hundred and twenty years later he declared that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was his servant and pleasing in his eyes. He then handed all his kingdoms into their cruel hands, so cruel as the hands of the Assyrians, and declared: the nation or kingdom that rebelled, he, Jehovah, would destroy that nation or kingdom by the sword, by famine, and by the plague. These two final and grotesque stories are in Isaiah 7:17; 8:7-8.
The Emmanuel of the prophecy of Jehovah was the second generation taken away to die in captivity. The story of Nebuchadnezzar, the servant of Jehovah, who pleased his eyes, is in Jer. 27:1-8. It is alarming. To say that this god of hatred is the same God of love and Father of Jesus Christ is to blaspheme against the Father (1 John 4:7-10).
But we believe that the Father only saves, and never condemns (1 Tim. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:9). We believe in his Son Jesus Christ, who in love gave his life for us cursed of Jehovah, the usurper; and we believe in the Holy Spirit, who from the Father and the Son, pours the love of heaven into our hearts, so that, like them, we can forgive and, if possible, give our lives for the wicked (1 John 3:16). Glory be to the Father, who is only ‘yes!’ (1 Cor. 1:18-20).
By PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA