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Archive for the ‘Monotheism of Judaism’ Category

I have been working on a video series since last year and this weekend finished a response regarding Exodus 6:3 and the Documentary Hypothesis. ¬†This is as exhaustive of a response that I could muster at this time and it is only with regard to Exodus 6:3! ūüôā

I hope you enjoy this conservative response to the liberally infected Biblical worldview.

ūüôā

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“I don’t want to be responsible for¬†my friends going to hell!”¬†¬†How many times¬†have we¬†heard the “Save your loved ones from hell” scenario? Don’t misunderstand me, I believe in hell, but does God place hell guilt on his children?¬† I recall a promise which states, “He shall wipe away every tear,” but nothing about¬†hell on our consciences? (Rev. 21:4)

The problem is simple; legalism has made its way into the¬†spreading of the Gospel.¬† We should not be evangelising just to satiate our need for a clear conscience.¬† It shouldn’t be about our hell guilt or only to lead one in the “sinner’s prayer”.¬†

Salvation includes avoidance from hell, but when the message is only about being saved from hell, that is a problem.   This view reduces salvation to a mere heavenly ticket and transforms the Gospel into a theorem.  It is more than the mathematics of the four spiritual laws, it is union with God.  

One may have deduced by now that the problem is not with  salvation but with certain ideas which have attached themselves to the Gospel.  Views such as:

  • It is our duty to “save” everyone within our circle of influence or their “blood” will be on our hands (A mis-interpretation of Ezekiel 3:18)¬†(This is Legalistic works).
  • Evangelism of the “Gospel message” is the Great Commission of the Church (The true Great Commission¬†is to¬†Make disciples) (Matt. 28:9).
  • God does not save anyone after they die (Reading into Heb. 9:27; Man is appointed to die once and after that the judgement; i.e. therefore no one can be saved after they die)?

Why are these views bad?¬† Because any idea that diminishes the Lord’s mercy must be scrutinized.¬† When what seems like¬†a vast majority of Christendom is caught up in a frenzy of “saving” mankind from hell by getting them to apply the correct belief, then the Lord’s mercy is diminished.¬† It is no longer about what we cannot understand but a “law” that anyone who prays the “sinner’s prayer” is saved.¬† The real truth is that salvation remains a mystery that we cannot understand.¬† It belongs to the Lord.

“Salvation belongs to the Lord.” Psalm 3:8

Why?  Because the Lord Is our salvation!

“The Lord is my light and my salvation…” Psalm 27:1

Simply put, the Lord’s salvation has always been and always will be available by his grace to mankind.¬† Why? Because the Lord has always been and always will be, therefore because He Is Salvation, this salvation has always been and always will be!¬† His salvation did not suddenly come into existence when the Messiah appeared on the scene.¬†

Salvation¬†is acceptance of the one true Lord and the heart of monotheism.¬† It simply means to accept the Lord as who he is, God, and to give him what is due him, worship.¬†¬†Christianity’s acceptance of¬†Jesus as Lord,¬†is simply proclaiming that there is but one Lord and Savior.¬† That is it,¬†this message¬†has never changed from Adam and Eve to Moses to Joseph and was Jesus’ primary message:¬† One Lord.

Recall the rabbi who asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”¬† Jesus answered, “What is written in the Torah and how do you understand it? The rabbi stated, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,¬†with all your strength, and with all your mind.¬† And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”¬† Jesus replied, “You have answered correctly, do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28)

It really is that simple; love God and love others.  The implication is that you love the one Lord. 

“Hear¬†O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one (Lord).”¬† (Deut. 6:4,5)

Loving God may be expressed through actions, but let us not forget the words of our Saviour, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?”¬† and he will state, “Away from me I never knew you.” (Matt. 7:22,23)¬† The actions of some will not matter because they didn’t “know” the Lord.¬† They were not in union with the Lord.¬†¬†It will not ¬†matter how many people they may “save”.

On the opposite side of the spectrum let us also remember the parable of the¬†two sons. The first¬†son¬†was asked of his father to work the fields and stated, “I will not,” but later feeling regret went out and did what his father asked. (Matt. 21:28-32)¬† It is clear that the words of some will not matter, but in the end¬†it is their actions which will manifest their union with the Father.¬† St. Francis of Assisi is credited with stating, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.‚ÄĚ

I¬†equate this parable to¬†people in our lives we¬†may¬†judge are not “saved”, but¬† later change their¬†hearts,¬†or possibly in the afterlife, they turn and worship the one true Lord?

Can someone be saved in the afterlife?¬† “It is appointed for man to die once and after that the judgement.”¬† (Heb. 9:27).¬† Somehow this is interpreted to mean that you can only be saved before death.¬† I’m going to have to side with my Catholic brothers and sisters on this¬†point.¬† We should be praying for the souls in “purgatory”, not that I believe in purgatory.¬†¬†There is no¬†definitive answer about the afterlife, but only the ¬†interpretation of scriptures which do not clearly state, “A + B = C.”¬† Heb. 9:27 has been used to create a “law” that salvation is limited to¬†this life,¬†but the passage clearly states we are judged after death.¬†¬†A paraphrase could read, “We all die, and we’re all judged. In that same way Jesus died as a judgement for many people, but when he returns he will not bring judgement but salvation!”¬†¬† The passage uses clear poetic form:

A.  All men die.

           B.  All are judged.

                 A.  Christ died for all men.

           B.  Christ was judged(sacrificed) for all.

A.  Therefore he brings salvation (life).

It is clear that the point of the passage is in reference to the return of the Messiah and not a guide to the timeline in which a person must be saved.¬† The text sets up the pattern and mirrors it in Messiah.¬† Just as man dies and is judged, so Messiah died (as a judgement for all) so that he brings life when¬†he returns.¬† Where in the passage do we read that the salvation clock is ticking?¬† The Lord wishes all to come to salvation (I Tim. 2:4), so why would He be so unfair in his dealings?¬† This is a simple concept.¬† It is so simple that it is hard to accept that God is this merciful.¬† Recall the parable of the son who told his father, “I will not tend to the fields!” (Matt. 21:28-32), but later changed his mind and did as his father asked.¬† The Lord is more concerned with actions than words.¬† Could it be that some people know God more than they realize?¬† Could it be that an atheist could come to the end of his life and suddenly recognize who he knew as unknown in the Messiah?

The exclusivist view of the “Gospel” message is¬†a problem as well as the inclusionist¬†view.¬† One view sets a limit on the amount of time to believe and the other has¬†no limits, but both views are caught¬†up in a¬†similar idea of what the Gospel message is.¬† What is this view?¬† It is the view¬†sets the beginning of the message at the resurrection of our Lord, but the true message of salvation is not bound by time and is the same yesterday, today, and forever.¬† Yes, the Gospel includes the message of our Lord and His resurrection, but it is more.¬† It is¬†a revealing of more of¬†the Lord.¬† Did it change salvation?¬† No.¬† The Lord is revealing Himself to mankind little by little and ultimately the glory of the Lord will be throughout the whole earth (Ps. 72:19; Habakkuk. 2:14)!¬† The revealing of the Messiah was just another step in this journey toward ultimate union with God.

How does this view change the Gospel?¬† It doesn’t!¬† One just need to realize that salvation has always been equated with being with God or in heaven.¬† In fact heaven is just another way of stating that¬†someone is with God.¬† With the appearance of the Messiah, the Lord’s salvation¬†became manifested¬†more fully and will¬†come to its final manifestation when¬†Messiah comes again to usher in the World to Come.

Recall John’s statement, “Behold the Lamb of God who was slain from the foundation of the world.”¬†(John 1:29). ¬†This is the mystery of the Lord’s salvation which has always been and always will be, so why do we restrict the birth of the Gospel message to 33 AD?¬† Why is the Gospel a “Christian” doctrine?¬† These are questions meant to evoke the reader to understand their Christianity’s Jewish roots and not to pick and choose which Jewish ideas are “Christian” enough to believe.

If the Great Commission is only about getting people “saved” and “hooked” into a “church” then it makes sense that everyone is so guilt ridden for not “saving” enough people.¬† We are clearly lacking in our duties as Christians.¬† No, the Great Commission is about making disciples of all nations and not about “saving” people.¬† Leave the salvation to the Lord and focus on making disciples.

What are disciples?¬† They are students of the Torah and for Christian’s they are students of the Torah as taught by the Messiah, so leave behind your “Christian” ideas about the “Law” being legalistic and see the Lord’s grace throughout his “Laws”.¬†¬†Torah is what we should be training our disciples in, and I’m not referring¬†to the watered down teaching and milk being taught everywhere.¬†¬†We should be reflecting the Jewish people’s love of Torah and imitating their zealousness for Torah study.¬† Why?¬† Because this is the Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the Father, the¬†Son and the Holy Spirit.¬† This is a double meaning it also refers to the “immersing” in the Word or discipleship¬†of the Messiah’s Torah as well as a reference to ceremonial cleansing by water.

This “Problem” with the “Gospel” is only a problem of perspective.¬† If one only looks at the “Christian Gospel” and not at the “Jewish Gospel”.¬† Ultimatly many souls are being drawn to the Lord no matter how they come to know Him, but when you’ve had your fill of milk, it’s time for meat.

It’s time for the “Church” to shift.¬† What do I mean by shift?¬† I mean revival sparked by truth.¬† The truth of the true Gospel message.¬† Not the nice clean-cut¬†message which leads to an altar call.¬† I’m all for altar calls, but not all the messages.¬† Thank God He works through all our flaws!

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If Messiah is not the LORD then we worship a lessor god.  A lessor god he is not, rather, a representation of the Father.  He sits on The Throne of Majesty and as such, “Let all the angels (gods) worship him,” (Psa. 97:7; Heb. 1:6).

Psalm 97:7 clearly is speaking of the LORD receiving worship, so how was this scripture connected with the Messiah?  The key is the resurrection.  It is the resurrection of the Messiah which enthrones Him on the LORD’s throne and reveals Him as King of kings, not from an earthly perspective but from a heavenly one.  As in the past,  the kings of Israel were called the sons of God, so the future Messianic king would be called a son of God, but more so than previous messiahs.  The Messiah who ushers in the world to come is a supernal figure who is both man and divine.  The final Messiah is, in other words, a son of Adam and a Son of God.  He is more than an angel (god), He has received glory and honor above the angels (Psalm 8:6; Heb.2:8, 9):

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet, ESV

It is before the throne that all ‘gods’ (angels) are commanded to worship Him (Psalm 97:7). This perception of the ‘gods’ as angels is a key to understanding the Sonship of the final Messiah, for to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son…” (Heb.1:5).  Indeed the angels are the sons of God, but to which of them did God ever call “Son”.   The son of the King is the Prince.  He is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

There are indeed gods many and lords many (I Cor. 8:5), but are they gods? Psalm 82:6,7 sheds more light on these ‘gods’:

I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” ESV

Verse 7 is the key. They are not gods because they shall die like men. It is more likely that these sons of the Most High are angels or divine beings. Whatever we call them, they are not gods in the sense that we understand the English word ‘gods’. They are created by the LORD and it is He who said, “Ye are gods…,” furthermore; we should note the Hebrew doublet in verse 7 which equates, ‘gods’ with ‘sons of the Most High’. This is indeed significant because angels are referred to as the sons of God, and speculation is made regarding Gen. 6:2 that angels took the daughters of men as wives.

The LORD created this world and mankind so that His Divinity could be experienced by all.  Currently we should all be striving to heal this world (Tekkun Olam) and look forward to the world to come.  All of creation will eventually be renewed, and this why it groans (Rom. 8:22).

It is not surprising that Messiah is described as, “greater than Abraham, higher than Moses, and loftier than the supernal angels.”  (Yalkut Shimoni after Isaiah 52:13).

Heb. 1:6

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him

Psalm 97:7

All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

To distinguish between the final Messiah and all other messiahs is  important. There is only one King Messiah and He was the Spirit who hovered over the waters in Genesis. In Jewish Midrashic teaching of at least the fourth century CE, we see this idea crystallized in Genesis Rabbah 2:4:

R. Shim’on ben Laqish explained: “and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the water (Gen. 1:2) – this is the spirit of King Messiah, as it is written, And the spirit of the Lord will rest upon him (Isa. 11:2). By what merit will it [the spirit of the Messiah] come?…By the merit of repentance.”

It is clear from other Jewish teachings that the Messiah pre-existed and that is an important point to realize because there is only one Messiah. There have been many messiahs through the ages but the Fathers did not pre-exist as the Spirit who hovered over the waters. No, the Fathers and the prophets were a projection of the Spirit and power of the only Messiah who is divine. This is why all of mankind is but a shadow of the reality to come, the world to come, when the final Messiah appears. This is one reason why Jesus stated, “Before Abraham was, I am,” (Jn 8:58) because Jesus is presenting Himself as the true Messiah from behind the veil of eternity. Abraham was a savior, but Jesus is the very Spirit of Messiah whom Abraham mirrored.

Jesus is in union with the Father, and it is more than a union of purpose and goals. He proceeds from the Father but is more than a creation. He is ‘God from God’ and ‘Light from Light’. The nature of the Messiah is revealed fully in Jesus. It is the Spirit of the LORD which rest’s upon the Messiah. It is the Spirit who hovered over the waters who is the Spirit of King Messiah. It is this King Messiah who projects His Spirit and power throughout the ages in the Fathers and the Prophets and in the world to come will fully manifest Himself to the world.

The Messiah Spirit is the most powerful emanation of the LORD. He is the Son of the Most High but more than a son such as Adam. His Sonship is based not on the LORD’s creative nature. It is based on the LORD’s Messiah nature. The very nature of the LORD is that of Messiah. It is this part of the LORD’s nature which communicates with His creation in many and various ways (Heb. 1:1).  It is certainly true that no man has seen the face of God and yet the LORD communicated with the Fathers face to face. It was through a conduit and many scholars speculate, myself included, that this emanation of the LORD was the Spirit of Messiah.

The Spirit of the Messiah is the Spirit of the LORD. This is the Spirit by which all of the prophets foretold when Messiah would appear and the sufferings which He would endure (1 Pet. 1:10,11).

Sanhedrin 99a:

“All the prophets prophesied not but of the days of the Messiah.”

We see the LORD descending and ascending through creation as such:

As Spirit, As Angelic (Angel of the Lord), As Son of Man, As Son of God, and back to Spirit (Spirit of Christ).

It is how God is in all and experiences all. He created angels then manifested as the Angel of the Lord.  He created mankind then manifested as a son of man.  Death could not hold Him and by resurrection He is manifested as the only Son of God.  He ascends once again to be united with Glory but sends the comforter, the Spirit of Messiah.  He once again sits on the Throne of Majesty.

He is more than the King of Israel; He has had all creation put in subjection to Him.  His Name is, “The LORD, our righteousness.”  (Jer. 23:6).

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Brilliant Article by Damien F. Mackey
The “Toledoths” of Genesis:

http://www.specialtyinterests.net/Toledoth.html

“As one discovers from reading Wiseman, tremendous instruction can be gained from studying the pattern of the Divine names used according to the context of each successive Toledoth history. ”

http://www.specialtyinterests.net/Toledoth.html

GOD OF THE UDDER: ANOTHER LOOK AT EL SHADDAI

http://www.keithmassey.com/files/elshaddaymassey.pdf

The “breasted god”

Stone suggests that Shaddai is derived from the similar word, shad, which the Bible translates, “breast.”

“Victor P. Hamilton connects the word shad to the blessing of fertility and progeny in this verse (Gen. 49:25).[39] Stone connects the name, Shaddai with shad, and suggests that “Shaddai signifies one who nourishes, supplies and satisfies.”

http://www.xenos.org/ministries/crossroads/onlinejournal/issue2/nmsofgod.htm

The title “El” is a common name for god:

“By the way, the connection of Jacob with El is sometimes asserted on the basis of Jacob√≠s other name, √¨Israel,√ģ where √¨El√ģ is the last part of the name. Again, √¨El√ģ is a title for god that is often used in other personal names in Israel (such as √¨Samuel√ģ) and in neighboring nations. So in the Ammonite collection of personal names more than 150 contain the name √¨El√ģ, but most would affirm that the chief god of Ammon was Milkom, and that √¨El√ģ was a title of Milkom. One must be very careful about drawing lots of conclusions from a word that can be a title for any god in the West Semitic world.”

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7110

Canaanite religion was unlike the faith of the Israelites:

“As the myths of ancient Ugarit indicate, the religion of the Canaanite peoples was a crude and debased form of ritual polytheism. It was associated with sensuous fertility-cult worship of a particularly lewd and orgiastic kind, which proved to be more influential than any other nature religion in the ANE.”

“The word El is a generic name for “god” in Northwest Semitic (Hebrew and Ugaritic) and as such it is also used in the Old Testament for heathen deities or idols”

http://www.theology.edu/canaan.htm

My video on the “Sons” of God

The Divine Council

“Yahweh (The Lord) produced the elohim and everything else without a consort. Yahweh’s (The Lord’s) “fatherhood” of the elohim can only be spoken of in formal terms. Lastly, the members of the council, contrary to ancient near eastern religions, cannot be viewed as genuine rivals to the Most High. Yahweh (The Lord) need not battle the divine beings to maintain His position as leader of the council and hence the cosmos. There are no mighty deeds ascribed to any other than Yahweh (The Lord). The elohim are obviously inferior. Yahweh (The Lord) is unchallenged and, in fact, unchallengeable.”

http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/DT32BibSac.pdf

Regarding the literary similarities between the texts:

“It is improper exegesis to force pagan beliefs into the biblical text simply because of linguistic similarities. Further, as Leupold accurately concluded: “One need not be alarmed by such discoveries if one bears in mind that two slightly different types of Canaanite (or Hebrew) language are involved. Least of all is the dependence of the Hebrew production in such a case established” (1959, p. 17). The Bible has the right to define its own words and concepts; pagan myths are not the controlling factor of biblical interpretation.”

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2017

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