Test Everything

Test Everything

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The staff at 119 ministries would like regular folks to understand their authoritative position with respect to their multi-faceted agenda. A part of the agenda of 119 would have folks consider that those translators of the New Testament got it all wrong with respect to Heb 8:13. It would appear that a recent poster of 119 has been modified to make a point that Heb 8:13 clearly teaches that the “Old Covenant” or first [covenant] has been done away with completely and replaced by the “New Covenant”. Consequently the law in its entirety has been done away with and the believers of Jesus/ Yeshua are not obligated to the observance of any part of the law. It is argued by 119 ministries that translator bias has clouded the minds of so many for so long. Obviously 119 ministries know better. To quote them in their own words:

The astute scholar of this particular verse will note that “covenant” is not even mentioned here in the Greek but is simply translator bias. One should also note that verse one sets the context in which it states that the main point is about the priesthood and tabernacle, not the law of God…why? Because the Temple was about to be destroyed in a couple years and the priesthood could no longer operate. But not to worry, we have Y’shua as High Priest in the ancient order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 8 says all of that in context leading into verse 13.

Well let us give those 119 ministries a fair chance and entertain the idea that all of those bible translators, the New Testament itself including the ‘inspired’ KJV version, got it all wrong[1]? Those bible translators, theologians etc., now should be in abeyance to the superior more enlightened position of 119 ministries so that Heb 8:13 now says:priesthood

 We may now ask the following just to “test everything’ of course:

  1. What do the Jewish Scriptures say about an eternal pre-existent Melchizedek priesthood?
  2. What do the Jewish Scriptures say about a change of priesthood?

In response to the first point, the problem of the eternal pre-existent Melchizedek priesthood is purely a New Testament invention. After all it claims that Melchizedek was without Father or Mother, Melchizedek here seems much more of a candidate for divinity than even Jesus/ Yeshua. It is simply impossible to derive from the Jewish scriptures what the book of Hebrews presents as ‘fact’, however!

Melchizedek (Gen 14:18-20 and Psalm 110) an eternal pre-existent priesthood?

Jewish commentators see a strong correspondence to both David and primarily to Abraham in Psalm 110 in the light of Gen 14:18-20:

18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest (כהן) of God the Most High. 19 And he blessed him, and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be God the Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.’ And he gave him a tenth of all.

The context of Gen 14 is Abraham’s involvement (v14) in the war between the five kings and the four kings and Abraham’s rescue of his nephew Lot. This event is alluded to in Psalm 110:

1 A Psalm of David. The LORD saith unto my lord: ‘Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ 2 The rod of Thy strength the LORD will send out of Zion: ‘Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.’ 3 Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy warfare; in adornments of holiness, from the womb of the dawn, thine is the dew of thy youth.  4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent: ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek.’ 5 The Lord at thy right hand doth crush kings in the day of His wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations; He filleth it with dead bodies, He crusheth the head over a wide land. 7 He will drink of the brook in the way; therefore will he lift up the head.

Additionally, this psalm also alludes to future days. If we set aside the false embellishments of the New Testament in the book of Hebrews, we may perceive that David sons are referred to as Cohanim כהנים(priests) in:

18 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief (כהנים literaly cohanim/ priests) ministers. (2 Sam 8:18)

cf

17 and Beniah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief (הראשנים HaRishanim, lit the the heads) about the king. (1 Chron 18:17)

Additionally the children of Israel are referred to as a nation of Priests:

6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests (כהנים literally cohanim/ priests), and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’ (Exodus 19)

In the 7th chapter of the book of Daniel, we learn of a prophetic vision granted to Daniel. Hewho tells us of four great beasts rising out of the sea, one after another. After describing each of the four beasts Daniel sees “one like the son of man coming with the clouds of heaven” (Daniel 7:13). Most Christians do not entertain the slightest doubt that this verse is talking of their Messiah Jesus/ Yeshua!

Dan 7:13 is one of the few passages in scripture that comes along with a commentary. Scripture itself explains this passage that the “son of man” of Daniel 7:13 is not the Messiah – it is the people of Israel! And why should it not be the people of Israel, after all are they not G-d’s son also?

22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn. Ex 4

The scripture informs us that after Daniel had seen the vision he approaches an angel and asks for a clarification of all that he had seen (7:16). The angel replies that the four beasts represented four kingdoms, and the final dominion will be given to the “holy ones of the most high” (7:18) – a reference to the nation of Israel. The angel elaborates further by telling us that the dominion under all of the heavens is given to “the nation of holy ones of the most high” (7:27) – again a clear reference to the nation of Israel. According to the angel, each of the beasts represents a different kingdom, while the son of man in Daniel’s vision represents the nation/ people of Israel. The Christian’s assertion that this passage refers to the Messiah is plainly refuted by scripture itself.

Moreover, Isaiah 53:11 says “my righteous servant shall make many righteous and carry their iniquities.” This language comes from the operation of Israel’s sanctuary. It was the duty of Israel’s priests to carry[2] the iniquity of others. Leviticus 10:16-17.

“Concerning the goat of the sin-offering Moshe diligently inquired. There it was ― ablaze. He was angry with Elazar and with Itamar the surviving sons of Aaron. He said, ‘Why did you not eat the sin-offering in a sacred place, for it is most holy? And it was given you in order to carry the iniquity of the congregation, to make expiation on them before the L-rd.’”

Numbers 18:1 is also explicit in this connection.

“The L-rd said to Aaron, ‘You, your sons, and your father’s house with you shall carry the iniquity of the sanctuary; you and your sons with you shall carry the iniquity of your priesthood.’”

Carrying the iniquity of others is also a prophetic gesture. Ezekiel 4:4-6.

“And you shall lie on your left side and place the iniquity of the house of Israel on it, the number of which you lie on it you will carry their iniquity. I have given you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of days, three hundred and ninety days. And you shall carry the iniquity of the house of Israel. And you shall finish these, then you shall lie on your right side, and you shall carry the iniquity of the house of Judah, forty days, a day for a year, one day per year I have imposed on you.”

During the exile, the children of Israel complain that their punishment is too severe, because they’re carrying the iniquity of previous generations.

“Our fathers sinned and they are no more, and we are carrying their iniquities.” [Lamentations 5:7]

In order to end the exile, the L-rd calls his righteous servant Israel to continue on with the original mission task of carrying the iniquity of others. This is what priests do, and Israel is a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6).

What about the Messiah and Isaiah 53?

Teshuvah of the Kings of nations, as with case of Isaiah 52/ 53 for example, is elicited by virtue of the Kings witnessing the death(s) and/ or suffering(s) in the first instance as shown above of the servant nation Israel. Therefore, in God’s plan, Israel’s sufferings have been to the benefit of the other nations at least in part to an acknowledgment by the nations that Israel has been the true servant of God all along! That Israel is viewed as a single person is well supported in the Jewish Scriptures. Furthermore, it is not lost on rabbinical sources that certain individuals throughout Jewish history have been representative of certain verses[3] in Isaiah 52 and 53.

repThe major foundational component of atonement that is missing from Christianity is how Teshuvah (repentance) is initiated at least by the death and/ or suffering of someone else or even a nation. Suffering of someone else or a nation to initiate Teshuvah is never vicarious or substitutionary, however[4]! Rather the death/ suffering of a righteous person or a nation has delayed and spread the collective punishment of a nation or individual people over a longer period of time. The purpose of spreading punishment over a longer period of time is with the primary hope that repentance of the nation or individual secures forgiveness!

Animal sacrifice has always been permitted and post Sinai only under extremely limited and controlled circumstances as to time, place (see Lev 17:2-5) and intention, as detailed by the Torah. Certain sacrifices are brought purely for the purpose of communing with God and becoming closer to Him. Others are brought for the purpose of expressing thanks, love, or gratitude to God. Others are used to cleanse a person of ritual impurity (which does not necessarily have anything to do with sin). And yes, some sacrifices are brought for purposes of atonement. The messianic era does have sacrifices if Jer 33:15-18 is considered.

So what about substitutionary human sacrifice?

1 Thus says the LORD: The heaven is My Throne, and the earth is My Footstool, where is the house that you may build unto Me? And where is the place that may be My resting-place? 2 For all These things has My hand made, and so all These things Came to be, says the LORD, But on this man will I look, even on Him That is poor and of a Contrite Spirit, and Trembleth at My word. 3 He That Kills an ox is as if he slew a man, he That Sacrifices a lamb, as if he broke a dog’s neck, he That Offers a meal-Offering, as if he Offered swine’s blood, he That makes a memorial-Offering of frankincense, as if he blessed an idol; according as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;

Isaiah 66 is talking primarily about sacrifices without repentance and chapter 66 resonates with the opening chapter 1 of Isaiah:

You shall no longer bring vain meal-offerings, it is smoke of abomination to Me; New Moons and Sabbaths, calling convocations, I cannot [bear] iniquity with assembly. (Isaiah 1:13)

Without proper and sincere repentance it is as if one has killed a man, offered swine’s blood and blesses an idol (see verse 3) all of which have always have been and always will be unacceptable at any time or place!

A change of priesthood?

wallEzekiel 37 has many empirically provable features; the resurrection from the dead of the whole family of Israel (v11), the return of the whole family of Israel to the land of Israel (v14, 21, 25), the specific details of the two estranged family members/ nations of the whole family of Israel (House of Israel and the House of Judah) being re-gathered and joined together (v15-28) by Hashem and Hashem being the G-d of rejoined Israel (v24, 27), Israel being led by a Servant King/ Shepherd (v24), living in peace (v26), the people observing Hashem’s ordinances and decrees (v24) and Hashem’s forever present Sanctuary among Israel as a knowable and visible sign for the Nations to see that Hashem sanctifies his people Israel (v28).

An honest question to the above empirically provable features is how they were fulfilled to any degree in Jesus and his followers claim that he is the Messiah? In what appears to be a deliberate attempt to avoid the obvious problematic claims by the New Testament of over 300+ Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, along with the faulty genealogy[5] of Jesus.

Looking in more detail, take for example Hashem’s forever present Sanctuary among Israel (Ezek 37:28) as a knowable and visible sign for the nations (see also Isaiah 2:3)[6]. In the Messianic age according to Revelation, however, John does not see a temple building[7]. The New Testament does not have a Temple building in a future messianic age unlike Ezekiel 37:28 and Isaiah 2:3!

Jesus himself contradicts the teachings of Isaiah 2 and Ezekiel 37 when a Samaritan woman quizzes Jesus as to where the correct place of worship is:

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. (John 4:20, 21)

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[8]. Jesus himself claims to be greater than the temple[9]. Hebrews 10 adds further, that the sacrifice of animals can never take away sins[10].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 judgment 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

If both Jeremiah and Ezekiel are to be believed, the activities of Israel and its messiah centers on a fully re-gathered people in Jerusalem which has a temple, where sacrifices are offered by a Levitical priesthood!

Covenant or Priesthood?

The question with respect to ‘covenant’ or ‘priesthood’ being made obsolete, as far as‘messianic Judaism’ in the form of 119 ministries is concerned, the matter is settled! The priesthood as well as the temple and its services are made obsolete. In contradistinction, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel clearly indicate the opposite.

As far as the entire Old covenant (which includes the Torah and its laws) being made obsolete there are the teachings of Paul (see footnote 1) et al, close to 2000 years of Christian theology and New Testament translations telling of the old covenant law being made obsolete. The Old covenant being made obsolete is clearly evidenced by the introduction of the Sabbath replacing Sunday and Easter for Passover for example by the church. Even so, the word ‘covenant’ after all is prior to the disputed phrase in Heb 8:13 (see Heb 8:8-10) which is closer than verse 1 outlining the demise of the priesthood etc. Yet paradoxically there are also the words of Jesus/ Yeshua claiming that the law is not done away with (see Mat 5:7).

Jews in theory do not have the burden of proof for Jesus/ Yeshua or to iron out the contradictions of the New Testament. Unfortunately as history has shown, in practice, with various blood libels, pogroms, inquisitions and a recent holocaust, there is still a general consensus that Jews have to disprove Jesus/ Yeshua and inter alia, to iron out the contradictions of the New Testament also. Moreover, if we were to take on board the very historical facts of those various blood libels, pogroms, inquisitions and a recent holocaust we may be forced to consider that the Jews are a fulfillment of Isaiah 52/ 53 far more than Jesus/ Yeshua ever could? We Jews I guess will just have to keep going until ‘the nations’ ‘get it’ in the end!

19 O LORD, my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge, in the day of affliction, unto Thee shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say: ‘Our fathers have inherited nought but lies, vanity and things wherein there is no profit.’ 20 Shall a man make unto himself gods, and they are no gods? 21 Therefore, behold, I will cause them to know, this once will I cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the LORD. Jeremiah 16

Notes


[1] 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 (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?” (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” (v.22). Where is this written? In one of the five books of Moses that contains all the law. This story is not from some ceremonial section of the law of the Old Covenant. It is found in the book of Genesis chapter 16. In Galatians 4:24 it is as clear as crystal 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 not just the ceremonial ones. The “yoke of slavery” referred to in 5:1 must be the same yoke of slavery that Paul has been referring to in 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.” Were only the ceremonial commandments from Mount Sinai? No, the Ten Commandments and all the other commandments were from Mount Sinai. 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. In other words the evangelical paradigm!

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).

[2] The goat [of the Day of Atonement] that was sent [into the wilderness] (Lev 16:20) served as an atonement for all serious transgressions more than any other sin-offering of the congregation. As it thus seemed to carry off all sins, it was not accepted as an ordinary sacrifice to be slaughtered, burnt, or even brought near the Sanctuary; it was removed as far as possible, and sent forth into a waste, uncultivated, uninhabited land. There is no doubt that sins cannot be carried like a burden, and taken off the shoulder of one being to be laid on that of another being. But these ceremonies are of a symbolic character, and serve to impress men with a certain idea, and to induce them to repent; as if to say, we have freed ourselves of our previous deeds, have cast them behind our backs, and removed them from us as far as possible. CHAPTER XLVI, THE GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED, BY MOSES MAIMONIDES.]

[3] 52:13-14 is applied to the Angel Metatron in Zohar Volume I 182a. 53:5 is applied to Elijah the prophet in Zohar Volume II 115b. 53:5 is applied to Moshiach ben Yosef in Zohar Volume III 276b. 52:13 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III page 153b. 52:13, 53:2,5 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III 280a. 53:1 is applied to Moshe in Tekunei HaZohar page 43a. 53:5 is applied to Moshe in Tekunei HaZohar page 54b and 112a. 53:5, 7 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III 125b. 53:5, 6, 7 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume III 282b. 53:7 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume I 187a. 53:10 is applied to Moshe in Zohar Volume II 29b. 52:12 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Chadash page 15a. 52:13 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Volume I 181a. 53:5 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Volume III 218a, 231a, 247b. 53:10 is applied to the Righteous of Israel in Zohar Volume I 140a; Volume II 244b; Volume III 57b.

[4] Deuteronomy 24:16 says “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

[6] Many peoples shall go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Ya`akov; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Tziyon the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Yerushalayim. (Isaiah 2:3)

[7] But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Rev 21:22)

[8] Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Heb 10:8-14

[9] “But I say unto you, that in this place is one greater than the temple.”—Matthew 12:6.

[10] Ibid cf 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Lev 17

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One thought on “Test Everything

  1. On Pharaoh’s sons dying, if Israel is not allowed to go free? This is also alluded in the Book of Job, where G-d allows Satan to kill Job’s sons. The question is asked; why?
    Job was an advisor of the same Pharaoh in the Torah/Exodus. Balaam and Balak also were advisors. According to our sages, the question came up in conference with them; “What are we to do with Israel’s children? They grow so many—” It was suggested that Israel’s baby sons be killed, thus keeping the number down. Balaam and Balak were for it, Job was not, but refrained from opposing it. If he had, maybe the children would have been saved?
    So as the damage of Job’s cowardice, although basically a “just” man is reflected in he losing his sons. Later, he repented and was rewarded with more children.

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