Thursday, 28 November 2013

Response to Doctor Tauheed: Who truly bears man's sins?

Although this particular individual I am no longer harsh with, the same going for Shadid Lewis, Jonah94 and Muslim4life, and instead want to be civil to them rather than treat them harshly as I did in the past, I still need to respond their objections but with meekness and gentleness.

DoctorTauheed is a muslim apologist, who can be found in the Answering Christianity room.

Here is an assertion he made in an article with respect to two Christians he dialogued with:

"Bismillah.
Sinless Jesus
Christians say Jesus was the only sinless human being…ever. There was no sinless man before him and none after. They say because of this *sinlesseness* he was able to bear the sins/iniquities of others.
All Christian doctrine is based on this. If there was someone else who bore the sins of another this would place the Christian doctrine in the garbage.
This would mean that there was another sinless person because they bore the sins of one or more persons.
I asked two Christians in a chat room if I could prove from the Bible that someone else bore the sins of another; proving that Jesus was not the only sinless one, if they would become Muslim. After much huffing and hawing they agreed on the principle that since their doctrine was soundly based on Jesus being the only sinless person and the only one who could bear sins, that it was impossible that there was another who could hold *bearer of sins* position.  In essence to use an analogy, they were agreeing their religion was red, and anything else would make it blue, or, to use an animal analogy, they were saying that their religion was cow, and anything else would make it bull.
So they finally agreed to the offer, knowing that to not agree would mean that they doubted a fundamental part of their religion.
So Doctor Tauheed, believing the words of the *God fearing* only Christ sin bearing Christians ; happy that two people insha Allah were on the verge of entering the Tawheed of Islam proceeded to present them with the incontrovertible proof that someone else was a bearer of another’s sins hence being sinless himself.
Ezekiel  4: 4/5/6 :
NIV (1984) ez 4:4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.
NLT (2007)ez 4:5 I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days–one day for each year of their sin.
And as if this wasn’t enough he lay down on his right side and bore the sins of Judah .
Ezekiel 4:6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year.
There was an awkward silence for quite a while then one Christian made a rude comment and left the room, the other said nothing and silently exited the room . Haven’t heard from him since.
They are not interested in the truth. Pride and arrogance at its best.
Insha Allah may the Christians who see this come to the truth and may any *ex Muslim* turned Christian see this and hurry back to the truth and its propagation before it’s too late.
Allah guides and blesses who He wills. May Allah accept this work Ameen.
Doctor Tauheed"

Let's begin with the facts, Ezekiel was not functioning as an atonement in the context of Ezekiel 4. Let's read the whole chapter:

"4 “Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.

4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself.[a] You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.

6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. 8 I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.

9 “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10 Weigh out twenty shekels[b] of food to eat each day and eat it at set times. 11 Also measure out a sixth of a hin[c] of water and drink it at set times. 12 Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.” 13 The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.”

14 Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.”

15 “Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”

16 He then said to me: “Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, 17 for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of[d] their sin."

Ezekiel did this as a symbolic demonstration of how the nation was corrupt and fallen and showing how long they had sinned for, by lying on his side. He also was to cook his food over dung to show this fact that the nation had defiled themselves by idolatry. He was not paying for the sins of the people of Israel. That is is a misuse of the context and sadly I wish those two Christians would actually take the time to read this. DoctorTauheed's point vanishes when you read the context.

Only Yeshua himself can actually atone for our sins, no other can.

Hopefully this addresses his point.

Answering Judaism.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Deuteronomy 6:4: Trinity VS Shema?

One text that is commonly quoted by Unitarians ad infinitum and ad nauseum is the creed of Judaism in the TANAKH, quoted by Jesus within the New Testament. Let's look at the texts:

Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one."
Mark 12:29 ""The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."

In Deuteronomy 6:4, the word used within the context of the passage is "echad", which depending on it's context can either refer to plural oneness or singular oneness. For example Adam and Eve become echad in Genesis 2:24 or one and the Tabernacle parts become echad in Exodus 26:6.

Now the Unitarian will assert that echad in the context of Deuteronomy 6:4, which they believe that disproves the Trinity. Their dilemma they create is if they can show that Deuteronomy 6:4 is singular and not plural, the Trinitarian position collapses.

Well the question is, Although I am willing to grant that echad is singular in the context of Deuteronomy 6:4 and I am inclined to think it is, what does it actually mean?

The answer is simple, It simply means that there is only ONE God, that's all it means. It is not a proof text for the Trinity, nor a proof text against it.

As I stated before in my response to Tovia Singer. The Trinity teaches that in the very being or essence of God, there exist Three Distinct persons, Not three beings in one being or three persons in one person. There are not three seperate Gods, but one Eternal God which the TANAKH and the NT make very clear.

In light of what Deuteronomy 6:4 ACTUALLY teaches, not what Unitarians want it to teach and even what Trinitarians assert, We can see the Trinity is neither proven by the Shema nor refuted, because both Trinitarians and Unitarians ARE BOTH MONOTHEISTS. The Shema is a creed of Monotheism, not of Unitarianism.

Anthony Buzzard and other Unitarians can quote this text AD INFINITUM AND AD NAUSEUM, it doesn't prove their point. Monotheism, doesn't prove Unitarianism, because Trinitarians like myself ARE MONOTHEISTS. Any claim we are not monotheists is based either on ignorance of the Trinity or a deliberate distortion of it.

Hope this article has been of help to you.

Answering Judaism.

Hosea 11:1 and Isaiah 7:14: Taken out of Context?

Within this article I wish to deal with two texts which are often raised against Christians by Rabbinic Jews, and occasionally Muslims and other groups to try and say that Christians are guilty of misusing the context of those passages. They are Isaiah 7:14 and Hosea 11:1. Let's look at them.

Isaiah 7:14
"7 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with[a] Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub,[b] to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘It will not take place,
    it will not happen,
8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
    and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
Within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
    you will not stand at all.’”
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[c] a sign: The virgin[d] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[e] will call him Immanuel.[f] 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”

18 In that day the Lord will whistle for flies from the Nile delta in Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. 19 They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices in the rocks, on all the thornbushes and at all the water holes. 20 In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria—to shave your head and private parts, and to cut off your beard also. 21 In that day, a person will keep alive a young cow and two goats. 22 And because of the abundance of the milk they give, there will be curds to eat. All who remain in the land will eat curds and honey. 23 In that day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels,[g] there will be only briers and thorns. 24 Hunters will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered with briers and thorns. 25 As for all the hills once cultivated by the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of the briers and thorns; they will become places where cattle are turned loose and where sheep run.".

In the context, The child born would be a sign to King Ahaz that the Assyrians and the people of Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom, will not prevail over them, because God would be with them. The child was to indicate that God was on the side of the people of Judah and is set against the Assyrians and the Northern Kingdom and bringing destruction on them if they do not repent. The child himself gave Ahaz hope that Judah would survive and will not be trampled.

Matthew applies Isaiah 7:14 to Jesus as a double prophecy, because his birth would be a sign to the people that the Messiah had come and will deliver Israel from their enemies and that they will not be prevailed against. It was also a sign that God was with them and NOT with their enemies. When Jesus returns, he will come back and deal with those who do wrong against his people be they Jew or Gentile, Just as the Assyrians were dealt with in the TANAKH itself.

So just as the child born was light and hope to the people and Ahaz, so Jesus was light and hope to his people.

Hosea 11:1

Now we turn to the other passage in Hosea 11, Let's read.
"11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
    the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
    and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed them.
5 “Will they not return to Egypt
    and will not Assyria rule over them
    because they refuse to repent?
6 A sword will flash in their cities;
    it will devour their false prophets
    and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
    Even though they call me God Most High,
    I will by no means exalt them."

In this passage, God speaks of the time he first called Israel out of the land for servitude to him and to be his son. Despite this, the people of Israel rebelled and turned to Baal, Asherah and whatever detestable deity they had decided to worship. Some even tried including Ha Shem in this pantheon, which of course he would not accept and rightly so he didn't.

The point is they were called to be his servant and proclaim his name among the Gentiles and bring the world to himself through them. In the same way, Jesus was called out of Egypt by his Father in heaven, to do his mission of redemption of bringing the Jews and the Gentiles into reconciliation by the vicarious death on the cross. This was the mission of Christ in the will of the Triune God from eternity. After being sent to Earth, Jesus was called for service by his Father to carry a mission and a function and to serve him.

Just as Israel was called to serve God, the Son himself was called for a mission.

That is what is being put across in these passages by Matthew in his Gospel.

Check my words with scripture and study the Word, Hope this article has been a blessing.

Answering Judaism.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Judge Not, Touch Not: What does it mean to touch God's anointed?

I want to address a few passages in their context to see what they actually say and what they do not say.
The first one is judge not, lest you be judged, which ironically condemns those who misuse this text.
Let's look:
"7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

A careful reading of the context suggests that we are to judge but not in a hypocritical manner. When you are about to condemn someone for lying for example, Make sure that you are not doing the same thing, then you can point out what the person is doing is wrong. Clean up your mess, then you can tell someone else to do the same.

With respect to the other verse, the phrase Touch not God's anointed is often abused quite regularly as well and the historical context is neglected. Let's read the passage in it's context. This is in 1 Samuel 24
"5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7 With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you."

In context, David was not allowed to attack Saul because he was still in possession of the throne at the time and it was not David's right to remove Saul from power. Saul was still the anointed King of Israel and it wasn't time for David to take the throne at this point. In fact David even killed a man who brought news of Sauls demise. However, This text doesn't say even implicitly that you cannot expose a false prophet. People may have successful ministries and perform supposed signs and wonders, But that doesn't exonerate them from being judged according to scripture. We are to make rightous judgements, as found in Titus 2:15, 3:5 and many other passages. They MUST be called out as false prophets IF they are teaching abhorant doctrinal error, are known to have made false prophecies and have been involved in a false prophetic ministry and must be silenced for teaching and doing things they ought not to. Touch not God's anointed was a ONE TIME event within the context of the Bible, it is NOT a universal principle to all nations.

Also, Let us read Psalm 105:15 in context to see what it says, because it is often misused by many to silence people from correcting prophets. Let's look:

"12 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”
16 He called down famine on the land
    and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
    his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
    till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
    the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
    ruler over all he possessed,
22 to instruct his princes as he pleased
    and teach his elders wisdom."

In context, YHWH or HaShem is rebuking the Gentile Kings for trying to bring desolation and destruction on the people of Israel as they travel to the promised land. The people are referred to as God's anointed ones. The Hebrew in question used is naga (http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/5060.html). Here are the meanings:

1) to touch, reach, strike
    1a) (Qal)
        1a1) to touch
        1a2) to strike
        1a3) to reach, extend to
        1a4) to be stricken
             1a4a) stricken (participle)
    1b) (Niphal) to be stricken, be defeated
    1c) (Piel) to strike
    1d) (Pual) to be stricken (by disease)
    1e) (Hiphil) to cause to touch, reach, approach, arrive
        1e1) to cause to touch, apply
        1e2) to reach, extend, attain, arrive, come
        1e3) to approach (of time)
        1e4) to befall (of fate)

In particular, it means to harm in the context of Psalm 105. It is an exhortation NOT to hurt the Israelites. There is nothing the text at all to say that you cannot speak out against false prophets and expose them. Let's take a look at some examples.

"John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

"Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you."

"Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned."

"Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil."

There is nothing wrong with judging a prophet who claims to be true as correct or incorrect based on scripture. In fact it is commanded. If ANYONE claims to be a prophet, they need to be checked out with the words of scripture. If anyone makes a false prophecy, even if it is a favourite teacher of yours, they are to be avoided and should not have their prophetic credentials defended, considering they have disqualified themselves from continuing in that ministry. False prophecy is not unforgivable, but it is nevertheless a very grave and serious matter that needs to be repented of. To say "Don't Touch God's anointed" inevitability leads us not to judge them.

While I don't deny there are true prophets out there, I do believe we need to be careful not to be lead astray, we are to test everything, hold onto what is good and let the bad go or avoid evil as 1 Thessalonians 5:21 states.

I hope and pray that you study these texts carefully and to not distort them out of context. Check my words with scripture and the truth shall set you free. If you find what I am saying in the scriptures, then I am glad I have helped.

God Bless and Take Care.

Answering Judaism.

Concerns about Toronto and Pensacola.

Most people are aware of the Toronto experience as well as the Brownsville/Pensacola revivials that have taken place years back. Most claim that these are authentic moves of God with many coming to "repentance" while others have criticised the movement for unbiblical manifestations. Let me tell you this, I repudiate Toronto and Brownsville. After listening to others about Toronto itself and of course looking for myself, I fail to see how it's an authentic move of God. What is interesting is in a conversation with Keith Thompson I had. We were speaking of Montanis in passing. He quoted from Eusebius to show that what Montanis did. And judging by the quotation, Montanis certainly was off his rocker to put it mildly. Here are some of what Eusebius said:

"They had many suspect views and practices including some of their members writing and distributing their own epistles where their alleged prophetic oracles were recorded (Eusebius, Church History, 5.18.5)." 
"According to the 2nd century bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, Apollinarius Claudius, their leader Montanus “became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning”" (Apollinarius of Hierapolis, quoted in Eusebius, Church History, 5.16.7). 
"It is also reported in early church writings that Montanus’ followers were demon possessed by a false spirit and mention is made of two women who talked wildly and unreasonably reviling the church and were even reproved in an exorcism fashion (Eusebius, Church History, 5.16.8-9)."

We can see that from these quotations how much of a mad-man Montanis really was. His practices were not from an apostolic tradition at all, in fact it was even CONTRARY to this. What makes these quotes interesting is this is the similiar kind of nonsense that you find in counterfeit revivals, such as howling like a wolf, uncontrollable laughter, being "drunk in the spirit" as some people call. How can this be fruit of the Holy Spirit at all?

I have seen video footage of the Toronto Blessing for myself as well as some footage of Rodney Howard Browne and I am just amazed on how anyone can accept this phenomena as being of God. I was even shocked by the quotations of Michael Brown on PFO.org's article dealing with the objections that Brown brought up. One of his quotes was:
"[Critics] will watch a video of a powerful meeting attended by thousands of people and go ballistic because one person at the altar suddenly falls to the floor, totally ignoring the fact that Jesus is being preached in clarity.".

If this is in context, Why is he defending this kind of behaviour? Its one thing to fall down in awe of God, but its another thing to collapse on the floor like what is seen at a Todd Bentley or Benny Hinn 'crusade'.

I am not attacking Brown personally, I harbour no hatred of the man. I can appreciate what he has said regarding bringing Jews to Jesus, but regarding his defence of Pensacola, how can he defend the falling down phenomenon? Moreover as others claim, how does one know that an altar call is even genuine? Someone may be converted through an altar call but I would not see an altar call as evidence of a changed life. I remember when I was confirmed by a bishop years back, but there was no repentance at that time. God did show me mercy much later in 2010, but years before, it was merely emotional feelings when I was confirmed.

There wasn't anything fancy at that confirmation but the same feeling you get at altar calls was there. Anyway, Having revivals like this doesn't prove anything, ANYONE can claim a "descision" to follow Christ yet that is not a sign of their regeneration, their FRUITS are a demonstration of this. I have watched a Benny Hinn crusade in London where he didn't call people to repentance, he called them to "receive the anointing". No fruits of repentance what so ever.

Although I have been looking at some objections Yisroel Blumenthal raised to Brown, I have expressed concerns about Brown in the past before with respect to certain ministries, such as those of Mike Bickle, Lou Engle and Cindy Jacobs, all renowned false prophets. Again, Just because a certain revival teaches repentance, we are not to automatically assume they are from the Lord, because repentance is not the only criteria of truth. It's Brown's attitude to these ministries that makes me hesitant support his ministry, if not compels me not to support him at all. As fivepointbaptist AKA. Chris Gatreau, one of the authors of Reformed Apologetics Ministries had stated when Michael Brown and Jerry Johnson discussed Charles Finney's false teachings, Gatreau noted that even Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons tell others to repent but that doesn't make them true. The context of Gatreau's words can be found in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cFkpCZe2i0

Although this strange phenomena may or may not have been seen in Brown's videos of the revival, I would need to look at it again, the fact is you did have strange phenomena at Brownsville and Toronto in other contexts.

People acting in laughing, drunken hysterics is not even a fruit of the Holy Spirit at all.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control, that's what it is, not acting in a crazy manner. Kundalini Yoga has similiar fruits where people are acting in this insane manner, it's just ridiculous to suggest that these are holy fruits.
James White has noted that Muslims like to take this sort of video as a tool to tell people "If this is the Holy Spirit, then keep away". Jacob Prasch, a moderate Pentacostal as called this "Charismania" and he is correct on this phenomena, it is certainly not biblical charismata.

It is just astounding how many Christians are being mislead by this and it does pain my heart that this even happens. Charismania is increasing at an alarming rate and sadly is taking root in many churches, even false groups like Vineyard Movements are bringing new age practices into the Church under the guise of Christianity. I am even disgusted with the infiltration of the Kansas City Prophets into the church, putting their listeners into fear, making them think they are attacking the anointed of God if they do speak out against their reprobate falsehoods. In other words the "Don't Touch God's Anointed" ploy allows these Kansas City Prophets to be unassailable and continue to perpetuate their falsehoods.

I hope this warning from me is taken to heart by you guys, but I can't make that choice for you at all. Thanks for reading.

Answering Judaism.

Addendum: PFO's article can be found here: http://www.pfo.org/ragriver.htm

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

AMEN: Talk is Cheap Indeed.

I came across an response to a Christians' letter by Tsvi Jacobson, one of the writers of yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com, and I read his response to the letter itself. The article can be found here: http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/talk-is-cheap/

Tsvi Jacobson to the best of my knowledge is a former Messianic Jew and he provides a response in that link to the letter itself. The letter you can read in that link, but Jacobson's reply I will post here and comment on it.

This is what he said:

"My reply to this paper is that having spent many years in Christianity,  I rarely if ever saw the poor maimed and blind
invited to anyones home  except the soup kitchens where the alcoholics and drug addicts had to listen to a sermon
before being served something to eat.   Yet in most Orthodox synagogues you will hear the announcement every
Sabbath. ” If you do not have a place for Sabbath dinner let me know as we have many families that would be glad
to have you.”   The truth of the matter is that in many respects JEWS ALREADY DO  many things that Jesus himself taught, but
Christians just believe on him  
Tsvi Jacobson"

Now, It is a rare occurrence that the blind and maimed are invited to anyone's home, although I admit it would be nice if Christians as a whole would be willing to extend this compassion to any person, considering Jesus himself did which Jacobson rightly points out.

Now it is unfortunate that Mr Jacobson encountered Christians who did not have this attitude to those individuals he mentioned. Had he encountered Christians who did what they should of been doing, there is no doubt within my mind the picture would be different and I wouldn't even be writing this paper to begin with.

I think Christians such as myself can benefit greatly from this form of hospitality being applied in our lives, namely us extending this hospitality to many people. But to say "Christians just believe on him" isn't an accurate picture of genuine Christianity.

Yes there is an emphasis on belief, but this is not to the denigration of deeds, considering Ephesians 2:8-10 and of course James 2:17.

"Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

"14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder."

Though one is justified by faith in Christ, this doesn't mean the faith is superficial and has no works. Salvation is by grace, but if one is truly in Christ the works shall be there. Now in case one wants to dispute James 2:24, I recommend this video by Keith Thompson where a Roman Catholic raises this issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kyd-mU_76A

There are works in a Christian's life, but this doesn't justify them before God, it's believing first, THEN Christians do the works that have been prepared for us, not to get saved, but as a demonstration of faith to the world.

Hope this article has been a blessing. May the Triune God YHWH give us the grace to carry out the great commission, Amen.

Answering Judaism.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Triad of Texts: The nature of Jesus.

There are three texts that speak of three things that Jesus Christ is.

Psalm 45:7-8 Supremacy of Jesus
"1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme
    as I recite my verses for the king;
    my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.
2 You are the most excellent of men
    and your lips have been anointed with grace,
    since God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
    clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously
    in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
    let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.
5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies;
    let the nations fall beneath your feet.
6 Your throne, O God,[c] will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy."

Though not a text that speaks of Christ's divinity necessarily, this certainly points out the highest honor that has been bestowed on the Son, the second person of the Trinity, the Messianic Kingdom which has been handed to him.

Psalm 102:25-27 Deity of Jesus
"24 So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
    your years go on through all generations.
25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence;
    their descendants will be established before you.”"
The servant in this passage praises YHWH and requests that his life is spared. In the NT, the statement that Christ laid the foundation, is applied to him by the Father, demonstrating that not only is Christ supreme over all, it demonstrates that he is YHWH God just as the Father is. In fact Malachi 3 reinforces the point that God doesn't change and he is forever the same. The Psalmist says this of YHWH, thus according the the Author of Hebrews, Jesus is YHWH, not merely in a agentival sense, but in the true sense.

Psalm 110:1-4 Messiahship of Jesus.
"1 The Lord says to my lord:[a]
“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”
2 The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
    “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
3 Your troops will be willing
    on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
    your young men will come to you
    like dew from the morning’s womb.[b]
4 The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.”
Though speaking of David in the historical context, In it's Messianic application, The Father is speaking to the Son and establishing a place for the Son to sit at his right hand to reign over all as the anointed one or Messiah.

These texts together speak about Jesus' supremacy, His unity with the Father in purpose and deity and his task as the Messiah to save man from sin.

Feel free to check my words out with the scriptures.

Answering Judaism.

Quick Examination of Hebrews 9:22, 10:4 and Leviticus 5:11-13

Although I have previously done a video on my bobo577 account on youtube on Leviticus 5:11-13, I somewhat deem my initial response to be unsatisfactory, so I thought I might do it here instead.

Firstly, let us deal with the two texts in Hebrews 10:4 and Hebrews 9:22
"10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

"9:18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”[e] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

Both these texts are pitted against each other to try and say that there is a contradiction. However this isn't the case.

In my response to Yisroel Blumenthal, I have mentioned that in Hebrews 10:4, The point the writer is making is the animals were insufficient in taking away sins completely and all they could do is cover a person until the Messiah came to take away their sins, that's all it is saying. The author is saying that Christ's death is a far superior atonement than the animal sacrifices because it actually takes away our sins. The New Testament states that the sacrificial system was replaced by something better or rather fulfilled in Christ.

Now it has been claimed by many such as Rabbi Michael Skobac of Jews for Judaism and Paul Bilal Williams, A Muslim apologist, that Leviticus 5:11-13 refutes Hebrews 9:22, let's take a look:

Leviticus 5:11-13
"11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah[b] of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial[c] portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.’”"

This text is merely a concession for those who were poor, hence this was only something to carry out in extreme circumstances, it doesn't override the general or overall principle that blood was required. Jamieson-Fausset Brown has made the following point regarding this issue:

"22. almost—to be joined with "all things," namely almost all things under the old dispensation. The exceptions to all things being purified by blood are, Ex 19:10; Le 15:5, &c.; 16:26, 28; 22:6; Nu 31:22-24.

without—Greek, "apart from."

shedding of blood—shed in the slaughter of the victim, and poured out at the altar subsequently. The pouring out of the blood on the altar is the main part of the sacrifice (Le 17:11), and it could not have place apart from the previous shedding of the blood in the slaying. Paul has, perhaps, in mind here, Lu 22:20, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

is—Greek, "takes place": comes to pass.

remission—of sins: a favorite expression of Luke, Paul's companion. Properly used of remitting a debt (Mt 6:12; 18:27, 32); our sins are debts. On the truth here, compare Le 5:11-13, an exception because of poverty, confirming the general rule."

Now I am familiar with the answer given by Michael Brown when this text has been raised to him by the Rabbinic Camps, but the text doesn't give even implicit support to what Brown has stated regarding the text, leading me to reject his assertion to find a more biblical conclusion.

Check my words with the scriptures and I hope this article has been a blessing.

Answering Judaism.

Seed of Isaiah 53:10

I know I have made the argument that zera or seed can be used metaphorically in  previous article, although I have recently stumbled upon after some contemplation of a possible theory in scripture. Namely regarding the use of the word zera.

We'll put aside the debate as to whether zera is physical or figurative for this time. In the mean time, let's assume that zera is speaking of physical descendants, but the question is, does the seed in Isaiah 53:10 belong to the Messiah? or is it a different people it belongs to.

Firstly, Nakdimon, goes out of his way to show that Zera can be used metaphorically, but that's not what I am speaking of in the article: this is what he says:

"Charge #8: Seed/ זָרַע (Zera) (30:15)
Rabbi Singer then goes on a rampage about the fact that Yeshua didn’t have any seed when the prophet explicitly says this, that is, according to the rabbi. The rabbi says that the servant has to have children. Rabbi Singer argues that the word “בֶן” (ben) is the proper word to refer to non-physical children, not “זָרַע” (zera). He actually goes so far to say that
 
“the word ‘zera’… can only mean physical children, NEVER spiritual children. By definition the word ‘zera’ means ‘seed’. It’s talking about that which leaves the loins of a man. It’s not talking about those people that follow his teachings. ‘Zera’ only means PHYSICAL children. NEVER does it mean someone’s gonna have spiritual children, that’s IMPOSSIBLE! And therefore it’s clear here that this is talking about physical children. ‘Prove it to me!’ Boy, am I gonna prove it to you!”
 
Then the rabbi gives us some verses that prove his point and then drills his point home with an account in Genesis 15, a dialogue between God and Abram where God appears to Abram and Abram mistakes Eliezer for his son (בֶן/ben) and says that God didn’t give him any seed  (זָרַע/zera). Sounds like a pretty convincing story, doesn’t it? However… yet again rabbi Tovia Singer is not telling the whole story and plays with the mind of his audience. Look at the quotes above again: 
 
zera only means physical seed…
never spiritual seed…
that’s impossible …
boy am I gonna prove it to you
 
If what rabbi Singer says is actually true, then we won’t be able to find a single instance where zera is used metaphorically (referring to non-physical seed) in the Tenach since he told his audience that was impossible, right? Okay! Now what the rabbi failed to tell his audience and conveniently left out is the following. A few chapters after Isaiah 53 we see the word seed used again. This is what Isaiah 57:4 says:
   
עַל-מִי תִּתְעַנָּגוּ עַל-מִי תַּרְחִיבוּ פֶה תַּאֲרִיכוּ לָשׁוֹן | הֲלוֹא-אַתֶּם יִלְדֵי-פֶשַׁע זֶרַע שָׁקֶר
Against whom do ye sport yourselves? Against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,
 
Now unless rabbi Tovia Singer is going to argue that the people of Israel are direct descendants and physical offspring of falsehood, this pretty much looks like a metaphorical use of the word “zera”, something that rabbi Tovia Singer, who has great knowledge of Hebrew, said that was IMPOSSIBLE! Why does Isaiah then seem to think otherwise? Didn’t he know enough Hebrew to know what rabbi Singer knows? No, it’s simply because Isaiah doesn’t have to disprove or discredit anyone, but rabbi Singer clearly does! Again, is this just a slip of the tongue or deliberately left out? Now we will proceed to the next example, which comes from Psalm 22:31:
   
 
A seed shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord unto the next generation.
 
Unless you believe that God married some hot goddess and will have physical children, this pretty much looks like a metaphorical usage of the word “zera”. At least it looks like the word zera is used to describe to other peoples’ offspring and not of the subject itself, God. “But…”, you object, “…this doesn’t speak of Gods children at all. This just says that “a seed” (zera) will serve Him and not that “his seed” (zero) will serve Him!” To which my answer is; don’t you do the exact same thing regarding the servant in Isaiah 53? What does it say?
   
 
He will see seed
 
 
Exactly! It says “yir’eh zera” and not “yir’eh zero”, so why does rabbi Singer claim that the servant must have children or that he is promised children? The text doesn’t say that at all! Now I am aware of instances that the prophet doesn’t use the possessive form but it is still implied. But who says that he is implying it here? Nowhere in the text of Isaiah 53 is there ever a promise to the servant that he will have children. Maybe people with a double agenda may think so, but looking at the Hebrew text, which is the source of rabbi Singer’s arguments, there is no basis for that argument. Except theological bias, of course. Here are more references to metaphorical uses of zera in Isaiah:
 
"4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly..." (Isaiah 1)

"20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, thou hast slain thy people; the seed of evil-doers shall not be named for ever."(Isaiah 14)

"3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the harlot." (Isaiah 57)
Unless one is going to argue that all the parents of the ones being addressed here are truly considered harlots and evildoers, you are going to have to concede that it's implied here to refer to people who follow the evil works and the ways of adultery like the generations before them, regardless if they are their physical children or not. For all we know most of the parents of those being addressed here have been righteous while they wandered off. This clearly refers to the works of their predecessors rather than their originsSo this charge remains without teeth, is made up from thin air and rabbi Singer is caught lying yet again!"

The one point I want to drive home is not that Zera is metaphorical, I'll grant for arguments sake it's physical, because Nakdimon has made the excellent point that the seed that is seen is not the Messiah's seed.

I postulate that the seed of Isaiah 53:10 is not the Messiah's seed, but it is the seed of Israel whom the Messiah died for. This is the theory that I am putting forward.

Also, Read Psalm 22:
""Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!""

We know contextually this is not the seed of God in a physical sense, so who is it referring to? The seed of the Gentiles who come to faith and love the God of Israel as a result of the Messiah. Remember, in my previous articles I have often mentioned that Psalm 22 is Messianic in nature.

In Isaiah 53, we have Jesus the Messiah seeing seed, but not his own seed, but the seed of Israel.

As for seed being spiritual, I direct you to this article right here http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/response-to-uri-yosef-on-isaiah-53-3.html

Hope that this article helps.

Answering Judaism.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Observance of Torah demanded of Gentiles?

I would like to make one thing clear in this article, I am not knocking nor attacking my Messianic Jewish Brothers and Sisters in this article, I am simply addressing an issue that is prevalent within these circles and I have noticed this while scouring the internet or even on Facebook

This is simply addressing the issue of whether Christians are to observe certain ordinances of the Torah and there are many, whether it be some in the Messianic Movement, or even the movements that simply force observance of these things on other Christians, one example of demanding this kind of observance being 7th Day Adventists.

Now one thing we can agree before I begin is that we know for certain that there are moral obligations placed on us by the NT, specifically 9 of the 10 commandments and of course prohibitions against bestiality, homosexuality, incest, witchcraft, idolatry, adultery, covetousness, greed, slander etc minus the death penalty.

But how much of the Torah is actually binding on Christians today?

Firstly, Let's deal with the text regarding Jesus' words in Matthew 5:17-20 which are misused.

"17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus is not disregarding the OT as a whole as irrelevant, he is making the point that it is pointing to him and he is not coming to remove the Law or the Prophets, as some would presume. He goes on to say that ALL must be accomplished, namely his mission of redemption, both his first coming and second and what he will do in those comings, like dealing with sin on the cross, thus paying the debt to God that we owe. He came to fulfill what was written and some of those ordinances have been fulfilled in him.

One person on Paltalk who wasn't a Messianic but nevertheless condemned me (when I was bobo577 which is another paltalk nic I have), to hell for not observing Sabbath, and kept pointing to Colossians 2:16 to try and say that the Sabbath needs to be kept, Let's take a look at it.

"16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ."

The interpretation of the text given by the person in question was to say that these are referring to the special Sabbaths rather than the 7th day Sabbath. However, Paul is unambiguous in what he is saying, He is referring to ALL Sabbaths, that one is not to be judged for not keeping these.

I am not to act as judge when someone chooses to observe the Sabbath or not, that is not my business. It is only my business to intervene when one person or the other forces their conviction onto someone else. Paul is clear that the New Moon and the Sabbath were shadows pointing to Christ. He is referring to ALL Sabbaths period.

Another person, a 7th Day Adventist, kept misusing a text in Matthew 24, saying that Sabbath observance was binding on future generations of Christians. He even went as far as saying Adam and Eve observed it, which is absolutely ridiculous and is not even hinted at. I know many point to God blessing that day, but that is not a indicator that Sabbath was required of all at that time. Now let's look at Matthew 24 shall we?

"15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time."

Verse 20 in particular is abused by the 7th Day Adventist I spoke to. There is a reason why Jesus says NOT to flee on the Sabbath. His whole point is missed by the 7th Day Adventist, Jesus was NOT talking about obligatory Sabbath observance, he is simply telling his disciples not to flee on the Sabbath or Winter because of the chaos that may ensue at that time. Not to mention the gates of Jerusalem would of been shut in the winter and Sabbath thus you would NOT be able to leave. If the disaster took place in those two periods, the disciples would of been caught in the destruction because they would not be able to evacuate Jerusalem, that's Jesus' whole point, Sabbath observance is not what he is addressing.

Further more, Colossians 2:16 makes it clear that Jesus is our Sabbath rest, Our Sabbath is in HIM, Hebrews 4 also says this:
"4 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b]
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”[d]
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience."

Not only is Christ the one who gives us rest, Entering into heaven is also our rest according to the chapter, which shows once we are in heaven, there is no need to strive anymore because salvation is complete. Just to be clear I am not teaching works salvation, far from it. Anyway carrying on.

I also notice that many Messianics insist on telling Christians, INCLUDING GENTILES, that they need to abstain from pork or shellfish or anything else the Torah tells us about food. Firstly in Mark 7:17-19, Jesus himself said:
"17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)"

Mark in verse 19 tells us what Jesus meant in verses 17-18, Also, take into consideration Peter's vision on top of the roof in the book of Acts:
"15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.


The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."

Both sides like to focus on one meaning of the vision or the other. The vision in actuality is a double vision. It has the meaning of not only foods being made clean under the New Covenant, but also the fact that Gentiles are not lesser than Jews, and are able to participate in being part of God's family. Not only are foods clean as stated before, but Gentiles now have equal access through the merits of the Messiah.

Acts 15 also gives us the picture on these issues:
"22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:

Greetings.

24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

Farewell.

30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34] [d] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord."

The Acts 15 council dealt with the issue of what Gentiles were to observe, and tells us what was required of them.

Colossians 2:16 I already covered but i'll briefly say again, We are not to act as judges towards a person's diet, or their choosing to observe Sunday as special, Sabbath as special and the Jewish Feasts. Also, Romans 14 says the following:
"14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living."

Again, I am not going to condemn Messianic Jews or other Christians to hell if they wish to keep certain dietary laws if they want to, they are free in the matter, But you are not allowed to force Gentiles to observe these things, nor am I or others to condemn people who choose to abstain from certain foods.

Also, there is a level of inconsistency when Torah Observance is forced on Gentiles. It wasn't just Sabbath and food laws given on Mount Sinai, there were other commands.

Here are some examples.

Observe Leviticus 15
"15 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any man has an unusual bodily discharge, such a discharge is unclean. 3 Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. This is how his discharge will bring about uncleanness:

4 “‘Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, and anything he sits on will be unclean. 5 Anyone who touches his bed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 6 Whoever sits on anything that the man with a discharge sat on must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

7 “‘Whoever touches the man who has a discharge must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

8 “‘If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

9 “‘Everything the man sits on when riding will be unclean, 10 and whoever touches any of the things that were under him will be unclean till evening; whoever picks up those things must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

11 “‘Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

12 “‘A clay pot that the man touches must be broken, and any wooden article is to be rinsed with water.

13 “‘When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean. 14 On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeons and come before the Lord to the entrance to the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. 15 The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering[a] and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the Lord for the man because of his discharge.

16 “‘When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 17 Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. 18 When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

19 “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

20 “‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 22 Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening.

24 “‘If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.

25 “‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

28 “‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge.

31 “‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place,[b] which is among them.’”

32 These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, 33 for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who has sexual relations with a woman who is ceremonially unclean."

To those Messianics who say to Gentiles they need to keep the Torah and abstain from certain foods or keep Sabbath, Do you keep these laws listed here too? Now these aren't carried over into the NT, but if you are going to insist Sabbath and Food Laws still apply to us, Why not these too? I am not going to ask if you keep these nor do I expect a response from you saying you keep these considering these are personal matters, but ask yourself if you should be forcing Torah observance on Gentiles in light of what has been written here.

Or What about these laws Leviticus 12?

"12 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

6 “‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.[a] 7 He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.

“‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. 8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”"

Now again I am not asking for a response for this is a private matter, but I sincerely doubt these are even carried out even by Messianic Communities, though I could be wrong. But, this goes back to my earlier point, Should you be forcing Torah observance on Gentiles?

Now don't get me wrong, I am not bashing the Torah, there are very good principles found in there which are carried over into the NT, and they are very helpful, such as making amends, how to live among others and other things, Including the fact that God is God and we are not.

I want you guys to think about these issues that have been raised in this article and study and check out what I am saying with the scriptures, then you can tell me and others what the Bible says.

Hope this article has been a blessing.

Answering Judaism.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Rabbinic Anachronism in the NT

One trait that I have noticed among some members of the Rabbinic community is reading the New Testament through their Talmudic lenses or Rabbinic lenses. Notice I am saying SOME read it that way but not all.

There is SOME rabbinic thinking in the New Testament such as binding and loosing, as D.A Carson notes:

"“Formally ho is neuter, and ‘things’ might be expected. Moreover, the rabbis spoke of ‘binding’ and ‘loosing’ in terms of laying down Halakah (rules of conduct): Shammai is strict and ‘binds’ many things on people, while Hillel allows greater laxity and ‘looses’ them. It might be argued, then, that in Acts 15:10 Peter looses what certain Judaizers want to bind. Yet despite this, it is better to take binding and loosing in Matthew 16:19 to refer to persons, not rules. The neuterhosa (‘whatever’) occurs in 18:18 where the context demands that persons are meant. Indeed Greek often uses the neuter of people for classes or categories rather than for individuals. The context of v. 19 supports this; for the keys in the preceding context clause speak of permission for entering the kingdom or being excluded from it, not rules of conduct under heaven’s rule”" (12.) D.A. Carson, Matthew, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 8, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984], p. 372).

We do have an example of a rabbinic concept that is found within the context of the NT. My thanks to Keith Thompson for using this in his article on Peter being the rock which can be found here: http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2013/02/my-thesis-on-matthew-16-was-peter-pope.html

However, there are cases where the Jew, through their rabbinic lense, assumes that the Judaism of Jesus' day was similar to the Rabbis of later centuries.

Messianic Prophecies

One person who I spoke with mentioned Acts 8:32, Unfortunately there was a little mockery behind it considering he laughed at the idea of the apostle revealing who Isaiah 53 was talking about to the eunuch who inquired about it.

This is strange because countermissionaries, rather than your average Jewish person (average is not intended as an insult) often assert that the apostles NEVER read Isaiah 53 as Messianic because the apostles themselves did not expect Jesus to suffer and die, this anathema to their thinking at that point. This is often used as a means to try and say that Isaiah 53 being Messianic is made up by Christians, in point of fact that you do have Rabbinic Writings, including the paraphrases known as the Targums, which actually do identify it as a prophecy of the Messiah, though the interpretation is not the same as the Christian interpretation. I briefly allude to this and quote the Rabbinic sources in this article response to Shadid Lewis which can be found here: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/response-to-shadid-lewis-on-isaiah-53.html

Yes I am aware of Origen speaking about Jews saying it's about a group in Contra Celsum, but how this would prove the Messianic interpretation false I don't know, although this does discredit the idea and refute the notion that Rashi was the first Rabbi to say it is about Israel, which is a common misconception held by a majority of people. To point of fact that the eunuch who came Philip to give an example from the NT, was actually asking people about the suffering servant and DID NOT know who it was, and I need to remind the audience that the eunuch was convert to Judaism.

Nakdimon makes an interesting observation regarding Origen (https://sites.google.com/site/nakdimonspage/isaiah-53-part-2), he says:

"Origen: Now this is the only pre-Rashi source that I have been confronted with in my years of debating anti-missionaries that gives us a literal reading of Israel being the servant in Isaiah 53. Note that it’s not even a rabbinic source! That’s how rare this view was. But let’s see what Origen is saying exactly in chapter 55 of his book:

 
Now I remember that, on one occasion, at a disputation held with certain Jews, who were reckoned wise men, I quoted these prophecies; to which my Jewish opponent replied, that these predictions bore reference to the whole people, regarded as one individual, and as being in a state of dispersion and suffering, in order that many proselytes might be gained, on account of the dispersion of the Jews among numerous heathen nations. And in this way he explained the words, "Thy form shall be of no reputation among men;" and then, "They to whom no message was sent respecting him shall see;" and the expression, "A man under suffering." Many arguments were employed on that occasion during the discussion to prove that these predictions regarding one particular person were not rightly applied by them to the whole nation. And I asked to what character the expression would be appropriate, "This man bears our sins, and suffers pain on our behalf;" and this, "But He was wounded for our sins, and bruised for our iniquities;" and to whom the expression properly belonged, "By His stripes were we healed." For it is manifest that it is they who had been sinners, and had been healed by the Saviour's sufferings (whether belonging to the Jewish nation or converts from the Gentiles), who use such language in the writings of the prophet who foresaw these events, and who, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, appiled these words to a person. But we seemed to press them hardest with the expression, "Because of the iniquities of My people was He led away unto death." For if the people, according to them, are the subject of the prophecy, how is the man said to be led away to death because of the iniquities of the people of God, unless he be a different person from that people of God? And who is this person save Jesus Christ, by whose stripes they who believe on Him are healed, when "He had spoiled the principalities and powers (that were over us), and had made a show of them openly on His cross?" At another time we may explain the several parts of the prophecy, leaving none of them unexamined. But these matters have been treated at greater length, necessarily as I think, on account of the language of the Jew, as quoted in the work of Celsus.
 
 
Notice Origen says that it was on this one occasion that he was presented with this weird interpretation. He starts with “I remember”, which is not something that you say when you hear something all the time. This tells us that he had to dig it up from deep in his memory. Origen speaks of “on one occasion” debating with “certain Jews”. What is also evident is that he speaks of these Jews claiming this is about “the whole people”, and not about “a righteous remnant”. We also see that this wasn’t regarded as intercession, but “in order that many proselytes might be gained”. This is a whole other interpretation than that of modern day Judaism. Take note also that according to Celsus, who was anti-Christian this was reckoned as “the language of the Jew”, and thus Israel is speaking here and this was not seen as being the language of the gentile kings. There is nothing in this chapter that would indicate that this was “the” Jewish view of that time."

There is an assumption on the part of some of the Rabbinic Jews that they were in uniform agreement that Isaiah 53 is not Messianic, forgive me if I have misrepresented the position of the Rabbinic communities. Does one honestly think that the Jews would of had ONE uniform view of the Messiah in Jesus day? The only uniform view would of been was his ushering in of universal peace, ingathering of the Jewish people and the fact he had to come from the Davidic line.

Now I believe in the inspiration of the New Testament, But for arguments sake, we'll put that aside for now in this article and focus on it being a historical document. It records some of the opinions of the people of that time and how certain passages were deemed Messianic, such as Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9 and Daniel 7:13-13.

The Talmud centuries later postulates a possible interpretation of Zechariah 9:9 and Daniel 7:13-14:
"R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. it is written, in its time [will the Messiah come], whilst it is also written, I [the Lord] will hasten it!33  — if they are worthy, I will hasten it: if not, [he will come] at the due time. R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven34  whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee … ] lowly, and riding upon an ass!35  — if they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven;36  if not, lowly and riding upon an ass. King Shapur [I] said to Samuel, 'Ye maintain that the Messiah will come upon an ass: I will rather send him a white horse of mine.'37  He replied, 'Have you a hundred-hued steed?'" (Sanhedrin 98b http://www.come-and-hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_98.html)

Now of course I am not saying the Talmud is my authority on this matter, I am just simply making a point that Zechariah 9:9 and Daniel 7:13-14 being Messianic not only according to Christians, but even some of the Rabbis did too, with obvious differences, considering the Talmudic tradition above speaks of one coming happening or the other depending on how the Jews respond to God. If rightous, the Messiah comes on the clouds of heaven, or if they are wicked, he'll come riding on a donkey, Whereas Christians say the Messiah first came on a donkey and in his second coming will come on the clouds of heaven, which Jesus alludes to numerous times.

Anyway, The point here is that the NT records what some of the Jews in those days had believed, though some of their conclusions where wrong, such as the Messiah coming from Galilee. Jesus was raised in Galilee but born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth.

Supposed Oral Tradition

A common assertion made by many, including Contra Brown author Yisroel Blumenthal, and the late Dr Immanuel Schochet, is that Jesus told the apostles to listen to the Rabbinic traditions given by the Pharisees, Often misusing Matthew 23 to justify the idea of an oral Torah in the time of Moses:
"23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others."

I have already stated the following in my first article response to "Supplement to Contra Brown" regarding this issue:
"Jesus is anathematizing the Pharisees for their wickedness and hypocrisy. He tells the disciples to obey them but not emulate them. In other words it's to do with the Torah, not the rulings of the Pharisees, although the tradition consistent with the scripture wouldn't of been harmful. He is not saying that we are to accept the Oral Torah because there isn't one, this is Rabbinic Jewish anachronicism being read into the New Testament. The NT may be Jewish, but not necessarily Talmudic."

Simply put, an exhortation from Jesus to pay attention to the Pharisees and submit to them, would not prove a binding oral law was present in that time.

Conclusion
It is possible for many to be subject to reading both the TANAKH and the NT with coloured glasses, That is something that one can end up doing if we are not careful, Hope this article has been of help.

Answering Judaism.

Note: This article if the Lord Wills may be expanded upon.