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A Prophet like Moses

©Menashe Dovid

13. Be wholehearted with the Lord, your God. (Deut 18)

יג. תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ

Messianics and Christians alike, insist that there are some 300 plus prophecies in the ‘Old’ Testament which find their ultimate fulfillment in Yeshua/ Jesus. A mediatorquestion posed by a Facebook missionary friend of mine challenged me with Deuteronomy Chapter 18 verses 15 and 18 which speak of a prophet to come who is like you [Moses]. The prophet is of course Yeshua/ Jesus according to my Facebook missionary friend. Now who would have expected that![1]? Quite apart from the fact that nowhere is it ever suggested in TaNaCh that any prophet, priest or messiah would be better to replace Moses or that THE sacrifice of Jesus/ Yeshua ends the sacrifices of animals[2].

At least another missionary friend admitted that he had never considered just how in general a prophet or very specifically how Yeshua/ Jesus is like Moses, Moses who is a prophet. In actual fact when we consider such a question as how a prophet is like Moses, we may well come up with a very strict criterion or even come to a realization that we really do not know what defines a prophet at all!

Immediate Context

Immediate context helps to get a grasp of a bigger picture. The bigger picture in the case of Deut 18 pivots on verses 13 and 14 which provide a ‘but’ or a contrast between verses 9-12 and verse 15 onwards.

13 You shall be whole-hearted with the LORD your God. 14 For these nations, that you are to dispossess, hearken to soothsayers, and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not suffered you to do so.

Verses 9-12 describe prohibitions for the Israelites against practicing divination, child sacrifice, sorcery, omen reading, animal charmers, ‘armpit’ witchcraft, necromancy and speaking/ prophesying with a bone in the mouth. Prohibitions for the Israelites actually served as methods of ‘guidance’ for the nations to run their affairs.

Instead and in complete contradistinction to the nations, Verse 13 tells the Israelites to wholeheartedly follow G-d and his guidance instead. The method of guidance collectively chosen by Israel was Moses the prophet and was with G-d’s approval:

“This is just what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb, on the day of the Assembly, saying, “Let me not hear the voice of the Lord my God any longer or see this wondrous fire any more, lest I die.” Whereupon the Lord said to me, “They have done well in speaking thus.” (Deut.18: 16-17)

However, as we know, Moses is not going to be around forever, eventually he will die and who will be a prophet in his place? After all the nation of Israel and its people still need a method which gives direction and guidance after Moses has gone. The method as scripture shows includes a prophet chosen by the Israelites whose choice is approved by G-d no less!

bettterAre we to assume based on Christian/ Messianic assertions that the Israelites are to wait around one and half thousand years for ‘Jesus’ the next ‘unique’, ‘one and only’, ‘ultimate’ and ‘better’ prophet than Moses? Does ‘a prophet’ really mean just one prophet after Moses? Are we to write off Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Joel, Ezekiel, Malachi, Habakkuk, Haggai, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Zechariah, Micah, and countless others as prophets? Are we to write off the lives and history of the Jewish people as insignificant or an unpleasant ‘blip’ which now has been corrected by Jesus? According to Christian/ Messianic assertions via the NT for support, the lives and history of the Jewish people as recorded in the ‘old’ testament serve to show that previously and presently the ‘sinfulness’ and ‘blindness’ of Jews by not believing in ‘THE PROPHET” Jesus, as portrayed in the ‘new’ testament! Here are a few examples in point:

I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. Mat 12:6….The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless. Heb 7:18….Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Ibid v 22….But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. Ibid 8:6….to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Ibid 12:24….Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, Phil 3:8….Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Mat 28:19

The ‘New’ Covenant is superior to the ‘Old’ Covenant because of Jesus/ Yeshua. So much superior that the NT likens the ‘old’ testament as weakuseless and dung[8]! Moreover that Jesus/ Yeshua / Paul positively encourage missionary activity to convert all nations to their superior revelation/ covenant.

Wider Context

The disciple of Moses was Joshua and surprise and the next book following chronologically after the Torah is the book of Joshua. What does it say of Joshua:

5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land which I swore unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy ways prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’….16 And they answered Joshua, saying: ‘All that thou hast commanded us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee; only the LORD thy God be with thee, as He was with Moses. 18 Whosoever he be that shall rebel against thy commandment, and shall not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death; only be strong and of good courage.’ Johua 1

“Israel served Adonai throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything Adonai had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24: 31)

The above scriptures from Joshua firmly establishes in the TaNaCh that the prophet Moses spoke about was Joshua son of Nun, not a sole ‘exclusive individual’ as part of some cryptic ‘mystery’ that even Moses himself was blind too. Also, it is clear that the Israelites obeyed Joshua and the elders that lived after him. After Joshua came other prophets. There was a threat, though, that of false prophets. Hence G-d gave very detailed warnings in Deut 13 and a warning in Deut 18:

“Any prophet who presumes to speak in My name an oracle[3] that I did not command him to utter, or who speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.” (Deut.18: 20)

Common Threads from A to Z

When it comes to prophets there can only be two types: true prophets of G-d or false prophets. When it comes to future prophets, we can recognize a number of opposing teachings between true prophets of G-d or false prophets. G-d acknowledges that any one can CLAIM to be a prophet and even perform miracles yet not be a true prophet of G-d. (Deut 13 & Deut 18.)

So, how did G-d expect the Israelites living in the time of the “prophet” to determine whether to kill the “prophet” for being a false prophet, or listen to the message of the prophet?

The answer is that G-d set in place a system where it would be the recognized leaders of the nation who would arbitrate such matters and they would be the ones to test the prophets.

The Torah describes the false prophet as one who attempts to “make you stray from the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to walk in.” (Deuteronomy 13:6 (5). Instead of listening to the false prophet we are commanded: “The Lord your God shall you follow and Him you shall fear; His commandments you shall observe and to His voice you shall hearken; Him you shall serve and to Him you shall cleave.”

The true prophet will encourage Israel to follow after God – “O House of Jacob: Come let us walk by the light of the Lord!” (Isaiah 2:5). The true prophet encourages fear of the Creator of heaven and earth – “Will you not fear Me? says the Lord; Will you not tremble before Me? For I have set sand as a boundary for the sea, as a permanent law that cannot be broken.” (Jeremiah 5:22). The true prophet encourages observance of God’s commandments that were set down by Moses – “Remember the Torah of Moses My servant which I commanded him at Horeb for all of Israel – decrees and statutes” (Malachi 3:22 [4:4]). The true prophet speaks of hearkening to the voice of God – “…Thus said the Lord, God of Israel: Cursed is the man who will not listen to the words of this covenant that I commanded your forefathers on the day I took them out from the land of Egypt, form the iron crucible saying: Listen to My voice…” (Jeremiah 11:3,4). The true prophet encourages service of God – “Serve the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyous song” (Psalm 100:2). The true prophet speaks of cleaving to God as the highest ideal – My soul cleaves after You; Your right arm has supported me” (Psalm 63:9).

The true prophet knows that God has richly provided for our every need, both spiritual and material. The true prophet recognizes the blessing that is inherent in the law that God has granted to His people and all of the prophet’s words direct us towards the God of Israel and towards the path He set us on when He redeemed us from the house of bondage in a clear and unambiguous way.

The false prophet[4] concentrates his attention on the tendency of man that fails to appreciate God’s blessings and that sees God’s law as burdensome and impossible[5]. Instead of encouraging us to recognize the love, the life and the light that is inherent in God’s law; the false prophet claims to offer us a “better path”:

“By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear” (Hebrews 8:13).

According to the author of Hebrews the entire Old Covenant has become obsolete, not just the ceremonial part! What does it say? “…he(Jesus) has made the first one obsolete…” This verse is very clear: the first or Old Covenant is obsolete or has passed away.

In Galatians 5:1, Jesus has freed all believers from something Paul calls “a yoke of slavery”. In context this verse is the culmination of Paul’s allegory on Christian freedom (Gal 4:21-31). In Paul’s allegory the yoke of slavery is the burden of the whole Old Covenant.

“Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says?” (Gal 4:21).

What “law” is Paul referring to? He continues, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman” (Gal 4:22). Where is this written? In one of the five books of Moses that contains all the law. It is found in the book of Genesis chapter 16.

In Galatians 4:24 it is as clear that Hagar represents the Old Covenant established at Mt.Sinai which covenant means slavery for its children. “These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.” In v. 28 Paul says that his fellow believers are not children of this Old Covenant yoke of slavery, but are the children of New Covenant freedom. In v. 30 Paul tells Christians to “cast out” Hagar who represents the Old Covenant of slavery. What does this accomplish? “Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman” (v. 31). Christians are free from all the laws of the Old Covenant. The “yoke of slavery” referred to in Gal 5:1 must be the same yoke of slavery that Paul has been referring to in Gal 4:21-31 and that is the whole Old Covenant. “These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.” Hagar represents the entire Old Covenant and Christians are to cast out that entire covenant in order to become children of freedom.

According to the New Testament, the purpose of the Law was to reveal God’s standard of righteousness and man’s sinfulness. This in turn teaches man that he needs a substitutionary atonement—a savior. According to the New Testament, the Law of Moses was also a monitor over one immature in faith. When one moves to a mature faith, characterized by accepting the finished work of Jesus, that person is no longer in the monitor’s charge (see Galatians 3:23-25). Therefore, the monitor has reached its goal and is dismissed. The entire Mosaic Law becomes obsolete and the Christian comes under the Law of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2). The nerve of the New Testament knows no bounds:

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Rom 3:21

The way to resist the persuasions of the false prophet is to ask: Is there anything lacking in the path that God set before us when He took us out of Egypt? Did God not provide for our every need? Did He not shower us with every blessing?

By focusing on the blessings that God granted us we will learn to appreciate the holiness of His commandments and the life that is inherent in His law. When we appreciate His love towards us our hearts will be filled with love towards Him – and a heart that is filled with the love of God will not fall for the persuasions of the false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:4 (3)).

Conclusion

Moses like all the other prophets who followed him was born of a set of human parents, mother and father. None of the prophets were ever worshiped or considered divine.

Moses like all the other prophets who followed him never acted in a way that would indicate that they and they alone were the sole mediator[6] between G-d and man. The Creator does not have a mediator, nor does the Creator need a mediator. Furthermore, humanity does not need a mediator to have a relationship with the Creator. Jews pray only to the Creator. It is not proper to pray to anyone or anything else, nor is it permissible to pray through anyone else. And it will always be forbidden. It would be forbidden even if that thing or person had the ability to grant what you ask for.

Before the great and dreadful day of Adonai will come Elijah the prophet and we are to remember the law of G-d’s servant Moses, the decrees and laws G-d gave him at Horeb for all Israel. How interesting it is that at Horeb, where the law was given, G-d tells the Israelites to remember that they saw no form (Deut 4:12, 15, 23) so as not to make an idol! How telling it is that right after Malachi penned these words a man by the name of Jesus came along who claimed not only to be a prophet, a priest, a king but was G-d in the form of flesh[7]!

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of Adonai comes.” He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Mal.4: 4, 6)


[1] Chapter 1, of Hebrews says that Jesus Christ is better than everybody and everything. Chapter 2 says that Jesus Christ is better than angels. Chapter 3 says Jesus is better than Moses. In Chapter 4, Jesus is better than Joshua. And then Jesus is better than Aaron. Then Jesus is better than the old covenant. And Jesus is better than the Old Testament sacrifices, etc., etc. The whole point is to show that Jesus is superior, supreme, and sufficient, you need nothing else. That’s the key according to NT theology.

[2] A further point to consider is if sacrifices are finished why do sacrifices continue in the messianic age? According to New Testament teaching in Hebrews 10, sacrifices are no longer needed since Jesus’ once for all self sacrifice is forever and perfects forever those who accept it [Heb 10:8-14]. Hebrews 10 adds further, that the sacrifice of animals can never take away sins. The messianic age described in Jeremiah 33:14-18 has a messianic figure (David A Branch of Righteousness), a promise fulfilled to Israel and Judah who along with Jerusalem will dwell safely and a Levitical Priesthood offering the sacrifices prescribed by the Torah: ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah: ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgement and righteousness in the earth. In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. “For thus says the LORD: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; ‘nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ ” Jer 33:14-18

[3] In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to interface wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination. The word oracle comes from the Latin verb ōrāre “to speak” and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction. In extended use, oracle may also refer to the site of the oracle, and to the oracular utterances themselves, called khrēsmoi (χρησμοί) in Greek. Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. In this sense they were different from seers (manteis, μάντεις) who interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other various methods

[4] Matthew 11:28-30 King James Version (KJV)

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

[5] Acts 15:7-11 King James Version (KJV) 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

[6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

[7] 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1

[8] Paul, in his letter to the Philippians (3:8) wrote ἀλλὰ μενοῦνγε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου, διὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα, ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω… If your Greek is a bit rusty, there’s no point in reaching for your English translation (straight from the culture that uses the euphemisms “going to the Rest Room” – I think it’s a pretty weird place to rest!, “going to the bathroom” – still looking for that bath there!…) Here’s what Saint Paul says: But indeed I also regard everything to be loss on account of the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things; and I consider them shit so that I may gain Christ…Yep – σκύβαλα (skubala) = shit. Not the nice excrement, dung, or poop. In Saint Paul’s day σκύβαλα/shit was used in polite conversation about as much as we use it now. He is being very vulgar.

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12 thoughts on “Menashe’s Blog

  1. I thought your “o”was broken because you leave it out of the spelling of our father God and our Lord Jesus.For one I lost respect of this because of your unbelief.You Have no respect .You miss spell on purpose because you are of the enemy.You have the spirit antichrist, Because you are willfully missspelling our Creators name. You should be ashamed of yourself,Learn to respect the LORD YOUR GOD !!! Peace be onto you,I pray you repent.
    A Jesus follower/Adventist.

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    • When our scribes write a Torah scroll the name of G-d is written with a new quill. On the contrary we/ I have the utmost respect for my G-d and this is why we/ I are careful to how we use the name. I would also like you to think about your use and labeling me as ant-christ. To help I would like to remind you of the various pogroms, inquisitions and blood libels all performed by the Church and even the approbation by Martin Luther in his treatise “the Jews and their damnable lies” which provided much of the inspiration for Adolf Hitler of whom whom the Adventist Church in Germany gave support to. Indeed christalnacht was done on the birth date of Martin Luther. You are in complete ignorance WRT Judaism and are in no position to tell what I as a Jew should do since my religion pre-dates yours and indeed you would not have a bible if it was not for the sacrifices made by my people.

      Zec 2:8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you–for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye–

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  2. from your link above

    “Heathen Semitic worship was cruel, often requiring human victims. In absolute contrast, the Torah forbids human sacrifice:”

    my critique..

    When the Jewish people of Messiah’s day demanded of Pontius Pilate the crucifixion of Messiah they behaved like “Heathen Semites” just as many did when they worshipped the golden calf 1,500 years earlier. At the highest point of the religious leader’s jealousy, hate and rage they were no longer operating within the parameters of Torah code but rather, they were behaving more like demon possessed, Heathen fiends. When the chief priests said “We have no king but Caesar” Satan had full control over their very beings and he rejoiced to hear these words proceed from the lips of the chief priests.

    Ha Satan inspired the Heathen Semites to counterfeit the True Sacrifice of Messiah which Satan knew would take place at some point in history and he managed to get the chief priests to do his bidding when they crucified the Son of God.

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  3. Pingback: Spiritual Israel (via Menashe’s Blog) « Menashe's Blog

  4. Shalom Menashe,

    You are correct in both your statements. Neither term is in the Scriptures – TaNaK or Messianic.
    A little about myself: I am 40 yrs old and was raised up in protestant christianity (30 yrs). I have heard these teachings all my life. But The Holy One of Israel spoke to my husband and me 4 years ago and told us to “remember the Sabbath and keep it set-apart.”

    For 4 years now, He has been breaking down the false teachings we received during our life in churches under the tutelage of teachers who do not know, or teach, the Faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    The Trinity doctrine is false! Spiritual Israel is not per se in the Scriptures. The danger with this terminology is that is sounds too much like replacement theology which is against all of Scripture.

    What do you think happened when The Holy One changed Ya’aqob’s name from Ya’aqob to Israel?
    Thank you for your post and your time.

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  5. Menashe, thank you for your post here- it gives me a lot of impetus for thought. In fact last night at work I was thinking on these issues all night.
    Your insights into Evangelical Christianity are right and well thought out. I kn ow, because that is how I was raised, and even taught in the church these issues. However, for me there were always things that bothered me as I read every word of the so called New Testament (I use that title because of familiarity- it was coined by a man in the 2nd century c.e. by the name of Marcion in order to do away with the Tanakh and anything Jewish- but much of the “N.T” he also wanted to get rid of) Things especially bothered me as I translated through roughly a third of it from Greek. Things just did not add up. For instance, you will never ever find in the Writings of the Apostles (the title I prefer) the phrase “accept Jesus as your personal Savior”, or hte idea of coming down to the front to pray with a pastor to say a “sinners prayer”- i.e. to sign on the dotted line for what I would term “fire insurance”.

    As for the Torah and the commandments, your comments followed well the standard christian theology, though there have been groups throughout history who have gotten close to the truth. Christians proclaim liberty- especially based on Galatians, but do not define liberty from what and for what. The father of Yochanan HaMitabel said the liberty was from our enemies so we would serve H”S in righteousness and holiness. Where are those defined? In the Torah- an example is Bamidbar, or Numbers 15 in the paragraph on the tzitizit.

    However, christian theology is inconsistent with the whole of the Writings of the Apostles. The quotes you present are good examples. And as well they are often based on theologically biased English translations. An example of that that you missed is in the NIV of Mark 7:19 (I think that is the verse- i am doing this off the top of my head) that states that Jesus declared all foods clean. Hogwash! THe underlying text does not say that at all. It is the digestion process that cleans the food- the issue is netilat yadayim, not kashrut as chrisitanity has made it! In fact, Paul said to Timothy that all food is to be accepted if it is sanctified by prayer (which could be anything including trife) and the Word of G-D. Well, the Word of G-D sanctifies only certain things regarding meat- so according to the Apostles, kashrut stands adn I am obligated to observe it.

    The text in Ephesians 2 you quoted does not say that YESHUA annulled the Torah. The Torah allows for the gentile to become part of the people following the same commandments- one often repeated phrase in the Torah being (one example is just prior to the paragraph on the tzitzit mentioned above) that there is one Torah for the “Ezrach” and for the “Ger”. In Isaiah 56 we read that the “nochri” who takes hold of the covenant and keeps the Shabbats is not to consider himself separated from Israel, the people of G-D. It was Pharisaical law- probably stemming from the events of the Hasmonean period that put up a wall denying access to non-Jews. That is what YESHUA abolished. Christians also use Colossians 2:14 and say YESHUA nailed the Torah to the cross. Hogwash (a term of trife intended)!!! It was the record of guilt that He nailed to the cross- so we could be free to serve G-D- how? According to the Torah if you take the Writings as a whole! In that chapter, he goes on to say that we are not to allow anyone to trouble us over Shabbat, Moedim and kashrut. He does not say not to observe those things as is taught- but not to allow ourselves to be agitated by someone over those issues. We do them in freedom- because we want to.

    The comments on Romans above fall right in line with chritianity, but fail to take the text as a whole. One thing missed is that the question is asked if we should sin or not based on being under grace and not the Torah (the phrase “under the Torah” needs to be studied- it is not as is taught). What is sin? According to1John3:4 it is transgressing, or simply disobeying Torah. So, should we disobey Torah because of our being under grace? Has vShalom! G-D forbid!! Keep reading- the serving not in letter but in Spirit issue- in ch8 he states that if we have the Spirit of Messiah we will perform the righteousness of the Torah- which means we will obey it!

    The issues in Galatians are very much misunderstood because we are so far removed from the historical context. The “works of the Torah” issue is defined by a discovery in at Qumran called Miqsat Ma’asei Torah, where some 24 commandments were highllighted which a person must perform to be considered righteous. Apparently that was a sect of Judaism in the fist century c.e. It stands in opposition to the Torah. Righteousness is by faith resulting in obedience to the Torah. The circumcision issue is also misunderstood- time and space would prevent me from getting into that on this post. But consider if you read on in Galatians, what the “liberty” looks like. THere is a list given of works of the flesh (which christianity involves itself in) which if a man does he will not inherit the Kingdom of G-D. Everything on this list is prohibited in Torah. Then there is a list describing the result of the Spirit controlling a man (similar idea to what I am reading in the Tanya)- and all of those things listed are in line with the Torah.

    This is a long response, so i am not really explaining as clear as I would like. I would like to go into Romans 14, but I will leave it for now. I do want to respond to the catholic issue. One thing to keep in mind is who does Daniel say would try to change the times and torot? That is precisely what catholicism has done. The Sunday sabbath is in honor of Mithras the Roman sungod. Christmas is a renaming of Mithras’ birthday. Easter is named after Ishtar the goddess of sex in the pagan world. THey have absolutely nothing to with YESHUA and their practice is prohibited (see 2 Corinthians 6:14 ff) They involve outright idolatry which keeps a man from inheriting the Kingdom of G-D. And the Biblically mandated Sabbaths and Moedim are prohibited, Has vShalom. THat is not the Gospel at all, nor in accord with the Writings of the Apostles! And the idea that the church replaced Israel is from hasatan. This idea ws used early on to persecute Jews and even murder them. The history you mention is unfortunately true and those things were done in the name of Jesus. But were they servants of Jesus? In Revelation 12, we read of a woman- who if you check out the details represents Israel, who is persecuted by someone- that someone being the one the human persecutors serve- knowingly or not. That someone is the nachash, the tannin, or hasatan. Am I saying Martin Luther, that great reformer was a servant of satan? Look at the fruit of his life! The popes? Lookj at what they did!

    YESHUA declared that He did not come to destroy the Torah and the Prophets. According to His words, as long as the Universe exists, the Torah and Prophets stand. Therefore, He continues, whoever does the least of these commandments- by a kal v’chomer argument- all of them adn teaches others to do so will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven- and whoever loosens- unties- annuls the least of the commandments will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. As for evangelical christianity, later on in that dissertation He states that man y will come to him in the day of judgment claiming to have done many great works- even miracles in His name, adn He will tell them to depart because He never knew them. He calls them workers of iniquity in most English translations, though the KJV says rightly “lawlwessness”. THe term means contrary to the Torah” and one would do well to search out this term in the writings of the Apostles. So, if I do contrary to the Torah, I will be thrown away. And it is not that the Torah is divided into moral, civil, and ceremonial laws- the moral being the only ones binding- it is the TOrah as a whole!

    THe purpose of the redemption through YESHUA as described in Titus 2:11-15 is to purify for Himself His own special people (reference to Exodus 19- the “segulah”) who are passionate for good works. What are good works? In the context of the day- the mitzvot- the commandments- all of them! To do otherwise would prove YESHUA to be a fraud (Deut. 13)- which is what evangelical christianity gives evidence for. I think it is high time for christians to reevaluate their position in light of the whole of Scripture. Many who have “accepted Jesus as their personal Savior” do not have the “fire insurance” they think they do.

    I doubt you were expecting a response that rivaled the original post in length, and I mean no disrespect. These issues are a passion of mine. For so long I misunderstood. But through YESHUA and His words, and those of His followers, I have a passion for learning how to do the mitzvot and am learning from an attitude of love for H”S. My purpose in doing so is not to convert Jews, Has vShalom. I know many in the Messianic movement (not all) have that agenda- and to do the commandments for that reason is manipulation and evil. And some, once they have made their influence at a Shababt morning Service may do things like go to the mall and order a ham sandwich. Those who are such will receive their “reward” for hypocrisy. According to YESHUA we do the mitzvot because we love G-D and we love our neighbor as ourselves.

    Ok, enough of my rattling. I would suggest a fresh look at YESHUA and the Writings of the Apostles without the lens of evangelical or any other form of christianity. Find out the historical context of what was said and why. It just might open your eyes Grace and Shalom Rav

    kenny cartwright

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    • @Kenny Cartwright: “The text in Ephesians 2 you quoted does not say that YESHUA annulled the Torah. The Torah allows for the gentile to become part of the people following the same commandments- one often repeated phrase in the Torah being (one example is just prior to the paragraph on the tzitzit mentioned above) that there is one Torah for the “Ezrach” and for the “Ger”. In Isaiah 56 we read that the “nochri” who takes hold of the covenant and keeps the Shabbats is not to consider himself separated from Israel, the people of G-D. It was Pharisaical law- probably stemming from the events of the Hasmonean period that put up a wall denying access to non-Jews.”

      In response to the above, I would like to point out that it is the ‘New’ covenant i.e. a person accepting the death /resurrection of Jesus which Paul in Eph 2 says is the new basis for citizenship of Israel. However, as you have pointed out with the use of Isaiah 56, a person has access to citizenship of Israel by obeying the laws of citizenship (i.e. Torah).

      I would be interested in hearing your views about this phrase “Pharisaic law” and the phrase “Rabbinic Judaism” and how you view the Oral Law. To wet your appetite here is a video I made earlier:

      with epilogue:

      Menashe

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      • Menashe- Shavua Tov. I apologize for just now getting to view the videos and respond. First of all let me say I have a high regard for the Oral Torah. The thing christians and messianics, and maybe Jews as well misunderstand is that in the days of Yeshua, the Oral Torah was not set in stone- they were still debating the issues. You say you dont like Yeshua because he was trying to be controversial- but as I read the Mishna (I admit- Neusner’s translation mostly- occasionally the Hebrew) and even the Talmud- there was a good bit of controversy- admittedly for the sake of the Kingdom of G-D. AS for the Shabbat, interestingly in the generation after Yeshua, I find in the Mechiltha and also I have read in the Talmud of a discussion between Rabbi Akiva and three of his friends about what is allowed on Shabbat and they did agree with what Yeshua said- even almost quoting Him- that the Shabbat was handed over to man, not man to the Shabbat. The issue you raise with the man Yeshua healed is an issue I have thought about. In my opinion, it was a one time thing to let the man go home- not that carrying a bed on any Shabbat for anyone was permissible, but to allow this man to go home. In the Torah, we read that certain actions supersede the Shabbat- sacrifices, circumcision- and at least once multiplying the work by 7 when circling Yericho on the 7th day. Whether it was a Shabbat I dont know, but the Rabbis said somewhere (I have read a bit but am not good w references) that they violated one Shabbat to honor many more. I think that is the issue here with this man. But, certain laws supersede the Shabbat, as I said, like the sacrifices. But in Hoshea’ we read that laws of Chesed and Da’at El-him supersede the laws of sacrifice- therefore they supersede the laws of Shabbat. It was chesed to heal this man and let him go home- which is where I believe he would have gone. For christians to take this and say that Yeshua did away with Shabbat is ignorant, and does not take the whole of Yeshua’s words into account.
        As far as the leaven of the Pharisees- here is another place christians and messianics, and even Jews err. The Pharisees were not a monolithic group. In First century Judaism there were of course, the “am haraetz”, the Sadducees, the Essenes (or Qumran community) and 7 types of Pharisees according to bTalmud Sota 22b. Of the 7, 5 were considered bad by the talmudists, 2 were considered good. There were factions even among the Pharisees. To lump them all into one group is a mistake. And of all the groups- the scathing rebukes that went on among them rival the rebukes Yeshua put forth. Yes, there were groups of Pharisees that were hypocrites (just like there are christians, messianics, Jews, moslems hindus etc, that are hypocrites). THe “leaven” of the Pharisees is the teaching in a couple of places, but in Luke 12:1 it is described as hypocrisy. Now, because of some things I have heard about in the official charters of some messianic groups, where they will keep Torah as bait on a hook to lure in Jews, I could say beware of the leaven of the messianics just as well. Are they all that way? No. But some are. And I have a dear Jewish friend who knows my faith in Yeshua who I have warned about this hypocrisy. Yeshua claimed the greatest commandment is the Shema’ and Veahavta et H’S, and love your neighbor as yourself and on these two all the rest depend- in other words, I am to keep Torah because I love G-D and my neighbor- not as a show-off. That is what some messianics (not all) do today, that is what some Pharisees (not all) were doing in the 1st century. AS I read the Mishna (especially Pirque Avot) and the Talmud and later writings such as those of the Ramchal and the Arizal adn his followers, it seems those issues were recognized by the Rabbis and dealt with.
        I have read that some modern Jewish scholars have been taking another look at Yeshua and have actually defined Him as an Orthodox Jew and even placed on Him the label of a Pharisee (gasp! =o). I would agree. Some have even pointed out where He agreed with the Oral Torah- one list I have seen lists 18 occasions.
        Again, I do have a high regard for the Rabbinic writings adn I agree that they do point the way to keep the Torah. I do not, however, place them on the same level as the Written. There are comments in the Neviim that warn me about being led astray by the “shepherds”. A couple of things I have read would almost (though it may not be the intention) border on idolatry- even one story claiming that H”S is bound by the decisions of the Rabbis. I dont think so. I do see a couple of things that overturn the Torah, adn have yet to see ample explanation. One is the Prosbul of Rabbi Hillel which overturns the laws of Shemitta and the Year of Yovel and the Kol Nidre of Rosh Hashanah(I would, by the way, welcome clarification on these two issues). AS I see it debts and “slaves” are to be released when Torah says to release them, and vows are binding. According to Yeshua, a vow of Korban can be released for the honor of one’s parents- an issue debated in Mishna Nedarim and the conclusion agrees with Yeshua.
        I am reading the Tanya right now and about to start Mesillat Hayesharim by the Ramchal (just finished Derek H”S). I am slowly going through the Mishna- but in English for speed when I can get to it. I have a way to go- and to grow, but I am headed that way. And all because of Yeshua, believe it or not, and the Writings of the Apostles. I do judge what I read, and find very little I can disagree with.
        Hope I dont have too many spelling errors and that I made sense. Maybe I gave a different perspective. I hope so. I appreciate the hard questions you raise- it makes me think- it is very good! Thank you for engaging me.
        Shavua Tov and Shalom!!

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  6. Dear ‘Rabbi’ (im not a fan of this term since it belongs to G-D and NOT man….),

    (now, back to my reply)

    Most of Christendom has NOT studied its Hebrew roots and thus you have many inaccurate statements coming from their lips/writings.

    To truly understand WHICH Pharisees Yeshua was against (im most cases), one has to go back into that time period to have a better understanding and appreciation.

    Basically put, when Yeshua lashed out against the Pharisees, it was the Pharisees of Beis Shammai.

    Yeshua condemned the Pharisees in Matthew 23 by saying:

    Matthew 23:1-6
    Then spake Yeshua to the multitude, and to his disciples,

    Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

    All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

    For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

    But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

    And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues…

    LET US FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT…

    “they (the Pharisees) make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments”

    T.B Menahot 41b says:
    “how many threads must one insert? Beth Shammai say, FOUR; but Beth Hillel say, THREE. And how far must they hang down? Beth Shammai say FOUR (fingerbreadths); but Beth Hillel say THREE (fingerbreadths)…

    As you can clearly see, Beth Shammai were the ones who love to make “broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments”

    Yeshua was referring to Beth Shammai, for Beth Hillel DID NOT enlarge, nor broaden their phylacteries / garments….

    And remember what is taught in Aboth 1:13

    “He who makes a WORLDLY use of the crown of the TORAH SHALL WASTE AWAY.”

    Yeshua, in the above passage from Mattityahu, was referring to Beth SHAMMAI!!!

    B) Another unnerving passage to ALL Jewish people is the following…

    John 8 (which MOST are very well aware of…)
    Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

    Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

    YE (the Jews) ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    Yeshua was clearly calling those Jews descendants of hasatan.

    The problem is that most do not look into (or for the rabbis. ignore – because Rabbis should know the talmud very well, for they have studied it for many years, day in and day out!!!) the Jewish books to get a clearer picture regarding what took place with Yeshua and those Jews.

    To fully understand what (and why) Yeshua is calling those Jews “descendants of hasatan”, one MUST READ THE TALMUD to understand what is happening here.

    Here is the link for the Talmud: Tractate Yebamoth\
    (please note that I only go to this site to read the Talmudic text, not people’s opinions….)

    http://www.come-and-hear.com/yebamoth/yebamoth_16.html

    Here is the excerpt…

    ‘By the life of our Master.’ they replied. ‘We heard no son’s name mentioned.’13 ‘I have,’ he said to them, ‘a younger brother who is a dare-devil 14 and his name is Jonathan and he is one of the disciples of Shammai.15

    Focus on the term dare-devil….

    On the bottom of the page in the footnotes, the term dare-devil is correctly rendered in the Original Soncino edition “THE FIRST BORN OF SATAN”

    Now let us put the pieces of the puzzle together.

    In the Talmudic text, there is a dispute concerning levirate marriage and the issue comes to a head when R.Dosa b. Harkinas calls his brother Johnathon the FIRST BORN OF SATAN for siding with Bet Shammai regarding this issue!!!

    Now let us go back to Yeshua and re-examine the text in light of the Talmudic evidence…

    YES, Yeshua DID call the Jews father THE DEVIL, BECAUSE Yeshua was disputing with Beth Shammai, NOT BET HILLEL. Yeshua was arguing with Bet Shammai when the so-called “anti-Semitic” verses are mentioned in the Renewed Covenant.

    Just as R. Dosa b. Harkinas called his own brother the first born of SATAN for ruling with Shammai, so did Yeshua call the students of Shammai descendants of their father the DEVIL!!!!!!!

    _______________

    Niko

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  7. The schools of Hillel and Shammai are famous for their disputes in Jewish law. One of these concerned whether one should tell a bride on her wedding day that she is beautiful even if this is not true. The school of Shammai held that in this situation it would be wrong to lie. The school of Hillel held that a bride is always beautiful on her wedding day. (Talmud, Ketubot 16b-17a) The school of Hillel won the dispute. Indeed, Jewish law today almost always agrees with the school of Hillel. The Talmud (Eruvin 13b) explains why:

    A heavenly voice declared: “The words of both schools are the words of the living God, but the law follows the rulings of the school of Hillel.”

    So why does the law follow the rulings of the school of Hillel? The Talmud explains that the disciples of Hillel were gentle and modest, and studied both their own opinions and the opinions of the other school, and humbly mentioned the words of the other school before their own.

    It is primarily agreed amongst Orthodox scholars that the Halacha will be according to Shammai in the Messianic age.

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  8. I recently had a little squabble with Dr. Michael Brown and I figured I’d post my interaction here. I highlight his theological inconsistencies and abuse of Rabbinic literature during the debate in my running commentary.

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