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Bible Commentary Adam Clarke

O Thoughtless Ones!
Who hath BEWITCHED You

(Read PDF Version)

The word, 'Bewitched,' used in Galatians 3:1 is the Greek word, 'baskaino' "which indicates amongst other things a harmful magic exercised independently of the subjective will and with no particular technique. The dangerous feature is that people have willingly yielded to these magicians and their influence without realizing to what powers of falsehood they were surrendering. The characteristic point of the baskaino is that it exerts its influence without extraordinary means." Does this description sound familiar? The bewitching of the children of Adam and Eve began unendingly to this very day. Genesis chapter three records the first encounter, which states, "Now, the serpent, was more crafty than any living thing of the field which Yahweh Elohim had made... And the serpent said unto the woman,— ‘Dying, ye do not die, For Elohim doth know, that, in the day ye eat thereof, then shall your eyes be opened,—and ye shall become like Elohim, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:1, 4-5). Each and everyone one of us must ask ourselves, "Where are we bewitched, when it comes to the teachings in the Word of Yahweh?" This study will deal with the bewitching of Yahweh's people; to include Adam and Eve, Aaron and the Israelites, the Christian Church led by Paul and then one of the church Fathers, Justin Martyr (100-165 AD), finalizing with our present period of time. The bewitching transformation of the followers of Yahweh can occur in a very, very short period of time, as will be seen. One constant theme of bewitchment is the creation of another god.

When it comes to the Word of Yahweh, all of us are bewitched, some considerably more than others. The master bewitcher (deceiver), the adversary, I believe, has a hand, one way or another, in our bewitchment. The mass of agreeing scriptures of the Hebrew & Greek text are our true compass, which repels any form of bewitchment. The covetings of our flesh and people, including family members, pastors, doctors of divinity, Bible translators, etc., are the tools used to bewitch us. People can be classified into four major groups, according to the parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mark 4). People can be apathetic, deceivers (false brethren), cowardly, self seeking, rebellious, ignorant or deceived (pure in heart). The first seed are those that are apathetic or deceptive (false brethren), such as was Pilate (apathetic) and the High Priest (deceiver) during Christ's ministry. The second and third seed are those who choose to be cowardly, self seeking and or rebellious, such as was King Saul and Nicodemus. The fourth seed can be those who are ignorant or are deceived, but pure in heart, such as was Aaron, King Josiah, Apollos and the Apostle Paul.

According to Ephesians 6:11-12, we are to “Put on the complete armour of Yahweh, with a view to your having power to stand against the strategies of the adversary; Because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but, against the principalities, against the authorities, against the world–holders, of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies.” Bewitchment can take a very short time. Moses was away from the children of Israel for only 40 days, which resulted in the prophet Aaron, his brother, being bewitched by, of all people, the descendants of Abraham and Sarah! "...Moses said unto Aaron, What had this people done to thee,—that thou shouldst have brought upon them a great sin? And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord kindle,—thou thyself, knowest the people, that, ready for mischief, they are. So they said to me—Make for us gods, who shall go before us,—for, as for this, Moses—the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we know not what hath befallen him. And I said to them—Whosoever hath gold, let them break it off, So they gave it to me,—and I cast it into the fire, and there came out—this calf (Ex. 32:22-24)." Were these Religious people? Yes! How could this happen after these people witnessed the ten plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea? Why do we think were not one of these bewitched people? Because our doctrine was voted on and the majority ratified it, which occurred with all of the early Church Councils? Is doctrine correct if the Divines say so? Three thousand men, possibly bewitchers, were slain, by the authority of Moses, after the creation of the molten calf (Ex. 32). Majority consensus can be a bewitching method, whereby the masses rebel against the words of Yahweh. Does the Word of Yahweh command, " brethren,—be zealous to prophesy, and do not forbid, to be speaking with tongues (1 Cor. 14:39)? Do the Majority of Christians comply with this command? It cannot be because people are ignorant of this scripture but rather they have chosen to rebel, as a group, against Yahweh's command. Exodus chapter thirty-two is one out of a hundred accounts where the followers of Yahweh created an additional god; a god that can be seen; by doing so, the first and second commandment are broken, to the delight of the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4).

Moses stated to the followers of Yahweh, "For, I, know thy perverseness, and thy stiff neck,—lo! while I am yet alive with you today, ye are, quarrelling, with Yahweh, and how much more after my death? For I know that, after my death, ye will, break faith, and turn aside out of the way which I have commanded you,—and calamity will befall you, in the afterpart of the days, because ye will do the thing that is wicked in the eyes of Yahweh, to provoke him with the work of your own hands" (Deu. 31:27, 29). Moses and Yahoshua (Joshua) were strong leaders who kept Yahweh's people in check but they are the exception rather than the rule. Thousands of years later, Paul addressed the same problem when he instructed Timothy, "For there will be a season—when, the healthful teaching, they will not endure, but, according to their own covetings, will, unto themselves, heap up teachers, because they have an itching ear, And, from the truth, indeed, their ear, will they turn away, while, unto stories, they will turn themselves aside" (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Remarkably, it only took one and a half months (40 days) for the people to have Aaron make them a god (calf). This next narrative took a generation (70 to 100 years). "And the people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua,—and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Yahweh which he had wrought for Israel...All that generation also, were gathered unto their fathers,—and there arose another generation, after them, who had not known Yahweh, nor even the work which he had wrought for Israel. So the sons of Israel did the thing that was wicked in the sight of Yahweh,—and served the Baals" (Jud. 2:7-11). These individuals had the Law of Moses in their possession but chose to rebel against Yahweh. Their creation of the Baals is a manifestation of the same bewitchment that is a general theme throughout the scriptures and our present time period.

King Solomon, who was visited by Yahweh twice, who possessed the written Word of Yahweh, who lived in unparallel prosperity, who reigned for forty years, who was a prophet, writing part of the Word of Yahweh, made gods for his foreign wives (1 Kings 11). We could say to Solomon, "O thoughtless Solomon, Who hath Bewitched You,—before whose very eyes, Yahweh, was openly set forth as Elohim?" Who must have bewitched him? His foreign wives! Yahweh commanded Israel against such men and women by saying, "Take heed to thyself, Lest thou solemnise a covenant with the inhabitant of the land, whereupon, thou, art about to enter,—Lest he become a snare in thy midst...And thou wilt take of his daughters, for thy sons,—And his daughters will go unchastely after their gods, And will cause, thy sons, to go unchastely after their gods. Molten gods, shalt thou not make to thee" (Ex. 34:12-17). The adversary worked through Solomon's foreign wives to bewitch Solomon as he also similarity did with Adam through Eve.  Solomon's bewitchment with foreign gods affected the children of Israel for over 300 years. Some of his altars were still present in the days of King Josiah (2 Kgs. 23:13).

Does Following Godly Men Ordained by Yahweh
Stop us from being Bewitched?
Who would had been a better man to follow than King Solomon; the son of David, builder of Yahweh's Temple, visited twice by Yahweh, anointed by Yahweh, part of the Christ line. Following him led the children of Israel into idolatry for hundreds of years. The prophet Aaron, would also have been a man to follow; Moses' brother, fellow worker in the ministry, anointed by Yahweh. If Moses had not come back, Aaron's followers would have been worshipping a molten calf. The apostle Peter, chosen by the Lord Yahoshua to be the chief apostle, raiser of the death also made doctrinal mistakes. The apostle Paul stated in Galatians 2:11-14, "But, when Cephas came unto Antioch, to the face, even, him, I resisted, because he stood condemned; For, before that certain came from James, with them of the nations, used he to eat; whereas, when they came, he used to withdraw, and keep himself separate, fearing them of the circumcision;  And the rest of the Jews used hypocrisy with him, so that, even Barnabas, was carried away by their hypocrisy. But, when I saw that they were not walking with straightforwardness as regardeth the truth of the glad-message, I said unto Cephas, before all: If, thou, although, a Jew, like them of the nations, and not like the Jews, dost live, how dost thou compel, them of the nations, to live like Jews?" Followers of Peter were also bewitched, including Barnabas, because of Peter's failure to fully follow the ways of Yahweh. We have been warned to not follow men; "For, as soon as one beginneth to say—I, indeed, am of Paul [Luther]! and another—I, of Apollos [Calvin]! are ye not, men; men of the flesh—as unto babes in Christ" (1 Cor. 2:1,4)? Ye, are Christ’s,—and, Christ, is, Yahweh’s. Be ye not the followers of men but rather the followers of the Word of Yahweh, as unveiled in the clear Hebrew and Greek text.

The scroll was still wet with Yahweh’s ink when the Galatians became bewitched by false brethren (Gal. 3:1). Paul had not died when this departure from the truth occurred but rather he was alive and well, beholding his work in the Lord departing from the doctrine he had given them, which was from Yahweh. In 1 Corinthians 15:12, some of the Corinthian believers were saying, "...resurrection of the dead, there is none?" Paul then states that the opposite had occurred, "Men who, concerning the truth, have erred, affirming, a resurrection, already, to have taken place, and are overthrowing the faith, of some" (2 Ti. 2:18). Did this departure from the truth result from a new generation not knowing Yahweh? No, rather it occurred in Paul's own lifetime. Why would we think that today would be any different than the past? Yahweh is saying today to the Roman Catholic and Protestant Church, "O Thoughtless Ones, Who hath Bewitched You,—before whose very eyes, the full Word of Yahweh, was openly set forth?"

Justin Martyr (100 - 165 AD), a Greek Philosopher, who became a Church Father. Merely one hundred years after the death of our Lord, Justin was writing and debating new doctrines; doctrines unheard of in the Word of Yahweh. Does his behavior remind us of the bewitchment of Aaron, Solomon, Peter, the Galatian and Corinthian Churches? Justin Martyr's writings are a good example on how new doctrines are created and passed on to generations. Excerpts from his book, "Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho (the Jew)," will illustrate the bewitching process of our adversary because the scriptures, although important, are secondary to his thought process, which is primary. Scriptures become reconciled to what one desires to believe or to what others want to believe, which is what occurred to Aaron, Solomon, Peter etc. etc. Below are excerpts from Justin's above mentioned book; excerpts that unveil two Gods; the begotten God and the unbegotten God. The Geneva Bible and the audio Bible, 'The Word of Promise,' mimic many of these same thoughts. For example, The Word of Promise has the voice of Jesus speaking to Abraham in Genesis 18 and Jesus is portrayed as the prince of the host of Yahweh, in Joshua 5:14.  Multiply gods are a common theme with Justin, as it is today. (Other new doctrines from his book are located in Appendix A for your observation.)

Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho (the Jew)

"These and other such sayings are recorded by the lawgiver and by the prophets; and I suppose that I have stated sufficiently, that wherever God says, 'God went up from Abraham,' or, 'The Lord spake to Moses,' and 'The Lord came down to behold the tower which the sons of men had built,' or when 'God shut Noah into the ark,' you must not imagine that the unbegotten God Himself came down or went up from any place. For the ineffable Father and Lord of all neither has come to any place, nor walks, nor sleeps, nor rises up, but remains in His own place, wherever that is, quick to behold and quick to hear, having neither eyes nor ears, but being of indescribable might; and He sees all things, and knows all things, and none of us escapes His observation; and He is not moved or confined to a spot in the whole world, for He existed before the world was made. How, then, could He talk with any one, or be seen by any one, or appear on the smallest portion of the earth, when the people at Sinai were not able to look even on the glory of Him who was sent from Him; and Moses himself could not enter into the tabernacle which he had erected, when it was filled with the glory of God; and the priest could not endure to stand before the temple when Solomon conveyed the ark into the house in Jerusalem which he had built for it? Therefore neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any other man, saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all, and also of Christ, but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God, and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleased Him to be born man by the Virgin; who also was fire when He conversed with Moses from the bush. Since, unless we thus comprehend the Scriptures, it must follow that the Father and Lord of all had not been in heaven when what Moses wrote took place: 'And the Lord rained upon Sodom fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven;' and again, when it is thus said by David: 'Lift up your gates, ye rulers; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall enter;' and again, when He says: 'The Lord says to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.'”

(The majority of the so-called Church Fathers did not read Hebrew, including Justin.  It appears that Justin was reading the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), which eliminated the Hebrew word, 'Yahweh.' He states, 'The Lord said to my Lord,' as defining two Lords, which actually reads in the Hebrew, "The declaration of Yahweh to my Lord!"  Psalm twenty-four answers the question of, 'Who is the King of Glory,' by saying, "Yahweh of hosts, He, is the king of glory," whereby the Greek Old Testament would have read, 'the Lord of Host is the King of Glory' (Ps. 24:10). Genesis 18:33 reads, "And Yahweh went his way, when he had made an end, of speaking unto Abraham...," but the Greek New Testament reads, 'the Lord.' 'The prophets and apostles who recorded the Word of Yahweh were all Hebrews, writing and reading the Old Testament in Hebrew, while the Church Fathers, which came after them, were Greeks or Romans, none being Hebrew. The same problems exist today with the English translations of the Bible, which is why it is absolutely necessary to read from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible.)

"And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said." Then I repeated once more all that I had previously quoted from Exodus, about the vision in the bush, and the naming of Joshua (Jesus), and continued: "And do not suppose, sirs, that I am speaking superfluously when I repeat these words frequently: but it is because I know that some wish to anticipate these remarks, and to say that the power sent from the Father of all which appeared to Moses, or to Abraham, or to Jacob, is called an Angel because He came to men (for by Him the commands of the Father have been proclaimed to men); is called Glory, because He appears in a vision sometimes that cannot be borne; is called a Man, and a human being, because He appears strayed in such forms as the Father pleases; and they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens; as when it sinks, the light sinks along with it; so the Father, when He chooses, say they, causes His power to spring forth, and when He chooses, He makes it return to Himself. In this way, they teach, He made the angels. But it is proved that there are angels who always exist, and are never reduced to that form out of which they sprang. And that this power which the prophetic word calls God, as has been also amply demonstrated, and Angel, is not numbered [as different] in name only like the light of the sun but is indeed something numerically distinct, I have discussed briefly in what has gone before; when I asserted that this power was begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided; as all other things partitioned and divided are not the same after as before they were divided: and, for the sake of example, I took the case of fires kindled from a fire, which we see to be distinct from it, and yet that from which many can be kindled is by no means made less, but remains the same.”

History of Bewitchment
All the followers of Yahweh proclaim that they are doing Yahweh’s will, even the crucifiers of Christ, but, as the records indicate, this is the exception, rather than the rule. In many cases, rather than doing Yahweh’s will they are doing just the opposite. The masses generally depart from Yahweh, in one form or another. Exodus 32:5 illustrated this departure by stating, “And, when Aaron saw it [calf], he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation, and said, A festival to Yahweh, tomorrow…and the people sat down, to eat and to drink, and then rose up––to make sport”! “Nehemiah wrote, “We have dealt, very corruptly, against thee [Yahweh],––and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes nor the regulations, which thou didst command Moses thy servant” (Neh. 1:7). Yahoshua stated, “Did not, Moses, give you the law? And yet, not one of you, doeth the law!––Why, seek ye, to slay, me…And they reviled him, and said––Thou, art, the disciple, of that man [Christ]; but, we [Pharisees], are, Moses‘, disciples…Seed of Abraham, are we” (Jn. 7:19: 9:28; 8:33). Paul, at the end of his ministry, proclaimed to Timothy, “Thou knowest this––that all they who are in Asia have turned away from me…” (2 Tim. 1:15). By reading these historical events, should we not believe that our fathers also have fallen into the same pattern of bewitchment? We can determine if this is the case by comparing their behavior and doctrines to the scriptures, as recorded in the Hebrew and Greek text and not according to the New Living English Bible translations that are created yearly. The life of King Josiah illustrates my point.

King Josiah’s father was Amon and his grandfather was Manasseh, both of which did wickedness in the eyes of Yahweh. Josiah was following in their footsteps because that is what a child does, until the Law of Yahweh was discovered in the renovation of the Temple. After hearing what was written, Josiah rent his clothes because Yahweh’s words were condemning his way of life; a life that emulated his fathers. Martin Luther could relate because he also practiced idolatry, which was identified when the scriptures were opened up to him. We also are required to seek the scriptures (Hebrew & Greek text) to see if your lives are well-pleasing to Yahweh.

Protestants can see very clearly that Roman Catholics are bewitched because they pray to Mary. Protestants and Roman Catholics will say Jehovah Witnesses are bewitched because they deny the Triune God. Roman Catholics will say Protestants are bewitched because they do not pray to Mary, nor believe that Mary is the God-bearer (Theotokos). Making a molten calf (Aaron), building a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab (Solomon), praying to Mary (Catholics), making a Triune God (Protestants & Catholics), are sins. All of these people are religious; all of these practices are forbidden in the scriptures even though they have been practiced for hundreds and even thousands of years by the so-called, ‘Faithful.’ All of these people are bewitched concerning these doctrines. Deuteronomy six is absolutely clear when it commands, "Hear, O Israel: Yahweh, is our Elohim,—Yahweh is One...Ye shall not go after other gods,—of the gods of the peoples who are surrounding you; for, a jealous El, is Yahweh thy Elohim, in thy midst,—lest the anger of Yahweh thy Elohim kindle upon thee, and so he destroy thee from off the face of the ground." The prophet Aaron, the prophet Solomon and the majority of Christian pastors today are fully aware of this commandment, but never-the-less, for whatever reason, they rebel against it because of the bewitching elements that influence their behavior, such as peer pressure, the threat of excommunication, losing Church members financial support, being called a Cult, etc. etc.. We must reexamine every thought and doctrine we have ever been taught to determine if they exist in the Word of Yahweh. If not, then we have been bewitched, as were King Josiah and the Apostle Paul. Our actions must then be to do as Moses did, to “burn it in the fire, and ground it till it becomes powder,––and strew it on the face of the waters” (Ex. 32:20). We must then returned unto Yahweh, and say,––Oh now! I have sinned a great sin, and I have made for myself––gods. Now, therefore, forgive me of my sin, which he will (1 Jn. 1:9).

(When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew words
Yahoshua (yeh-ho-shoo’- ah) for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and ruah for pneuma (spirit).)

(For footnotes and Appendix A, see PDF version.)



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