Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Word of Our God Shall Stand For Ever...

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
.

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.
(Deuteronomy 12:32)
.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law,
or the prophets:
I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass,
one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law,
till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break
one of these least commandments,
and shall teach men so,
he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:
but whosoever shall do and teach them,
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:17-19)
.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
(Matthew 22:36-40)

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid:
yea, we establish the law.
(Romans 3:31)

6 comments:

Sicarii said...

Amen! Paul put it so succinctly in Romans 3:31. It is because of love that we are able to establish the Law, for Christ said that to love our neighbor as ourselves and to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls are the two commandments upon which all the Laws and Prophets hang.

I've said this before and I would like to share with you that it's amazing that most times the blogs I read all have one singular theme at almost the same time. I fully believe that God is speaking to us from all those who serve Him through their blogs.

The message has been love these past week or so. I'm reminded that first and foremost we are loved and we are to love.

Shalom!

Jungle Mom said...

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
On this we place all our hope!

Bar Kochba said...

I agree with your first two verse whole heartedly. But I aks, do they not contradict Christianity


"See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32)

But isn't the Christian Bible an addition to the Torah?

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." (Isaiah 40:8)

But I thought that according to Christianity (corect me if I'm wrong but I think that all Christians and not just Catholics believe this way), the Almighty changed His path to salvation. Originally, it was offered through the law of Moses and then switched to accepting JC. Can I achieve salvation or righteousness in G-d's eyes by following the las of Moses? In that case, what is the need for JC?

Deborah said...

Isaiah, JM, and BrotherMark, thank you for stopping by - I look forward to visiting each of your blogs this weekend. G-d bless each of you abundantly!

BK,

No, the B'rit Chadashah ([Re]New[ed] Covenant) is not an addition to Torah. The B'rit Chadashah provides to followers of Messiah ('Christ'ians) what the the Mishnah (Oral Torah), Talmud, and Midrash provides Jews. Yeshua taught Oral Law pertaining to concepts found hidden in the Tanakh, e.g., the resurrection of the dead, which is eluded to in the Tanakh (Torah, Ne'vim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings)), but not explicitly addressed.

In the B'rit Chadashah four letters serve as biographies about Yeshua as each taldim (disciple) heard, saw, and experienced Him. Smaller letters from the taldim, 1 & 2 Peter (Simon bar Yonah, renamed 'Cephas'), James (Yaakov), 1, 2, & 3 Yohannah (John), and Yehuda (Jude) expounded upon the teachings rendered to them by their rabbi, Yeshua. Letters from others, e.g., Paul and Timothy, also expounded on Yeshua's teachings and His purpose. All the letters in the B'rit Chadashah are in keeping with the spirit of the Law (Torah), not the technical aspects (letter) of the Law, like the Midrash is. Yeshua basically told the Pharisees and Scribes that they had built fences around the Torah that were not intended by G-d, too difficult to keep, and accused them of not abiding by the fences they themselves had put in place - he called them 'hypocrites'.

So you see, Yeshua dissented from their opinions and commentaries, and taught Torah according to the original intent; He also taught G-d's intent for mankind as from the beginning (Bereshit), before corruption (in your terms, before 'yetzer hara'). He taught that Moses had placed some things in the Torah to deal with the hardness of their hearts in the best way possible, e.g., divorce, which would have totally destroyed a woman's life had Moses not allowed for a certificate of divorce so she could remarry, but divorce was not what G-d had intended for marriage from the beginning as with Adam and Hawwa (Eve). G-d's original intent for marriage was that husband and wife be "one" - the woman is flesh of the man's flesh and bone of the man's bone.

Nothing new is presented in the B'rit Chadashah. Everything it teaches is predicated upon the Tanakh. As Yeshua said in the passages I presented in this post, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven," and "On these two (greatest) commandments (Deut. 6:5 and Leviticus 19:9-18) hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Even the Scriptures you and I debate (to name a few, Psalm 2, 22, 89, Isaiah 7, 9, 52-53, and Zechariah 12:10 (which the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), by the way, has removed the word "stabbed," or "thrust through," or removed 12:10 altogether, from copies of the Tanakh in its latest publications (humm... scary, huh?...)), are all referred to in the B'rit Chadashah by Yeshua or by His taldim. Yeshua told the the Torah and the prophets had written about Him, and He shared those references and inferences to them, they in turn shared those Scriptures that had pointed to the Messiah with the world, their Jewish brethren first and then goyim (Gentile (nations)). It's not as if some Catholic came up with those references and inferences in the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, no, those references and inferences are found in the B'rit Chadashah.

Bk, even Yeshua's taldim were disappointed that Yeshua had not yet come to establish His kingdom (Acts 1). They, too, knew the Messiah was supposed to set up G-d's kingdom, rule from Jerusalem, and bring world peace... so they asked Him upon His resurrection if He was 'now' going to restore and set up G-d's kingdom on earth, to which He replied it was not yet time, but in the meanwhile the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) would come upon them to circumcise their hearts, since G-d Himself had just cut a covenant with them using the blood of the Lamb, Yeshua... sacrificing His own son as G-d had demonstrated with Avarham and Yitzchak (Isaac) thousands of years before. Yeshua told them to go into all the world after the Ruach HaKodesh filled them to bear witness and testify of His coming to earth and that He had redeemed them from the curse of sin and death as rendered under Torah.

So you ask me, BK, "Can I achieve salvation or righteousness in G-d's eyes by following the la[w]s of Moses? In that case, what is the need for JC?" No, BK, not according to Yeshua. He came to renew the covenant that Israel had so broken and trampled, He made living by the Torah better by releasing all who believed in Him as Messiah (the redeemer and rescuer of our souls) from the curses of Torah - that is what salvation and redemption mean - and from the hand of our enemies (humans, Satan, and yetzer hara). The Torah is the standard we are held to, it shows us how truly sinful we are! Torah is holy, it is right, and it is true! But none of us can keep it, therefore, we are not able to obtain righteousness by keeping every jot and tittle as prescribed when G-d made the covenant with Israel. We need to strive to keep Torah as obeying Torah is loving G-d, but it is humanly impossible. There are many things in the Torah that are impossible to live by, hence, the sages and rabbis rendered their opinions, rendered their own "work-arounds" knowing it is impossible to truly keep Torah letter by letter. Yeshua did even better than the sages and rabbis, He offered Himself as the perfect sin offering by which G-d passes over our sins, which are evident to us by holding up our thoughts and actions against Torah. Now, whether there is a Temple or not, those who accept Yeshua and the redemption He offers, have our sins forever washed away and our conscience cleaned by the sprinkling of the blood of the Lamb.

Yeshua said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me." We cannot approach a Holy G-d without first having our sins removed. Sin cannot stand in His presence without incurring His judgment and wrath.

BK, above all, do you realize that Yeshua taught the Torah and the Tanakh spoke about Him, pointed to Him, made reference to Him? Do you realize that some Gentile bishop did not say that Yeshua was "Emmanuel," but that Scripture was presented in Matthew, by ear witness of Yeshua, who taught the meaning of Isaiah 7:14? If Isaiah 7:14 is what the B'rit Chadashah says it is, then do realize the implication of not believing in what Yeshua had to say? Do you realize that for me to deny Yeshua is dangerous since He is truly G-d draped in flesh (so He could cut covenant with us by Himself as He did with Avraham)? It is as dangerous for me to deny Him based on my understanding as it is for you to accept Yeshua based on your understanding. Yeshua is totally Jewish and can be understood by holding Him up against the Tanakh, not holding Him up against the majority of the sages and rabbis who have discounted him since the 2nd century CE.

Must run to work... late already.

Shalom, dear friend!

Deborah said...

BK,

According the Renewed Covenant (B'rit Chadashah), those who do not accept Yeshua and His work for mankind's redemption, the offering He made of Himself on the cross, will die in their sins... the wages of sin is death.

Yes, the B'rit Chadashah does say the "wages of sin is death..." Followers of Yeshua have been told, from both the Tanahk and the B'rit Chadashah, that "...ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). It is upon understanding and acceptance of who Yeshua is and why He came the first time, upon repentance and confessing that Yeshua is L-RD, that we are forgiven our past sins, but repentance and confession are on-going as the sins we commit are on-going. We are human, and as such, we will sin though we do not want to sin anymore (1 John 1:10)!

"5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)"

The Apostle Paul lamented over his unavoidable propensity to sin though he loved G-d's Law with all his heart:

"14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God's law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin (Romans 7:14-25 (NLT))."

As you know, obeying Torah is LOVING G-d! Yeshua said, "If you love me, obey my commands," which were the Shema and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We were never told to stop obeying Torah, we were told that it will be much simpler to obey Torah if we remember and apply the two greatest commandments of loving G-d and loving others (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:9-18). Under the Renewed Covenant (B'rit Chadashah), we are justified through our faith in Yeshua's redemptive work, which was performed by G-d's grace. It is impossible to keep Torah to the fullest, therefore, we are found with sin by G-d. Since we can't keep Torah, if for no other reason than not having a Temple, how do we approach G-d with sin in us? This is how:

"19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:19-26)."

Bar Kochba said...

The idea of a god descending to earth and sacrificing himself to redeem his followers is something more characterustic of paganism and certainly contrary to Judaism. G-d does not desire vicarious blood atonements to appease His anger. On the other hand, saviour demigods were common in the ancient world. Mithras, son of god and born of the virgin Devaki on Dec. 25th (there are many more similarities but I won't go any further) and died for the sins of the world. A sign in his temple in Rome read "And thou hast saved us by shedding the eternal blood." Osiris was murdered by his brother Set, and was resurrected, becoming imortal. Osiris' followers knew their fate after death depended on the morality of the life they lead before death. The ancient Book of the Dead pictures resurrected believers standing in the presence of Osiris as their judge. If they could recite a list of their good deeds in life, Osiris rewarded them with eternal life. Dionysus was born of a mortal woman and Zeus. The mysteries of Dionysus celebrated the death of the God in the myth of young Dionysus, who died—was torn apart by the Titans, boiled, and eaten. Only his heart was left; it was buried and from it Dionysus was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Belief in Dionysus brought salvation In Italy, in the fourth century BC, texts written on gold plates and buried with the dead, describe the souls of Dionysus followers in the afterlife, drinking not from one particular spring in Hades, but from another cool pool—and that will give them divinity and eternal life. Attis was born of the Virgin Nana on December 25th. He was both the Father and the Divine Son. Called "the Good Sheppard," the "Most High God," the "Only Begotten Son" and "Savior." He died and was arose to save the world. See a pattern here? Jesus is essentially a rehashing of old pagan ideas in a Jewish setting.

One can only do teshuva through sincere repentance. “That every man will turn from his evil way, then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.” (Jeremiah 36:3)

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)

“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, `I will confess my transgressions to the Lord', and You did forgive the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

“And if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

“But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has practiced he shall live...When a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life...Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you (Ezekiel 18:21- 22, 27, 30)

“By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for...” (Proverbs 16:6)

“If you return to God you will be restored; if you remove unrighteousness far from your tent...then you will delight in God...” (Job 22:23-27)

“Depart from evil, and do good, so you will abide forever.” (Psalm 37:27, cf. Ezekiel 33, Zechariah 1:3, Jeremiah 26:13)

Neither does blood sacrifice count without proper teshuva.

“What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me? says the Lord. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed cattle. And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs, or goats...Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come let us reason together says the Lord, Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they will be like wool, if you consent and obey...” (Isaiah 1:11-18)

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.” (Proverbs 15:8)

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3). “For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)

“Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken more than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22)

“With what shall I come to the Lord, and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:6-8,cf. Amos 5:22- 24, Jeremiah 7, Psalm 69:31-32)

No one can die for the sins of another. Judaism believes in personal responsibility meaning that one must do teshuva for this own sins.

"Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book." Exodus 32:32-33 (KJV)

"The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." Deuteronomy 24:16 (KJV)

"In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." Jeremiah 31:29-30 (KJV)

"Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV)

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV) Repeats Verse 4 in Ezekiel 18. (above)

My last point is that even one could die for another person, JC's sacrifice was not kosher. The Torah:

1. Requires that a sacrificial ritual be administered by a Priest (see Leviticus Chapters 1-7). According to the accounts in the New Testament (NT), Jesus was crucified by Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:33; John 19:18, 23).

2. Requires that the blood of the (sin) sacrifice had to be sprinkled by the Priest on the veil of the sanctuary and on the altar in the Temple (e.g., Leviticus 4: 5-6). New Testament evidence clearly shows this was not done.

3. Requires that the (sin) sacrifice be without any physical defect or blemish (e.g., Leviticus 4:3). According to the various accounts in the NT, Jesus was beaten, whipped, and dragged on the ground before being crucified (Matthew 26:67, 27:26, 30-31; Mark 14: 65, 15:15-20; Luke 22: 63; John 18:22, 19:1, 3). Moreover, as a Jew by birth, Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day after being born, a ritual that leaves a scar ("sign of the covenant"). According to the NT, circumcision is tantamount to mutilation (Philippians 3:2, Galatians 5:12).

4. Requires that the Passover (sin) sacrifice, a male-goat, be offered on an individual (per household) basis (Numbers 28:22), not as a communal offering. According to the NT, Jesus’ death (termed a “sin sacrifice”) expiated the sins of mankind (Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:12, 10:10, 10:18).

5. Directs that the Paschal Lamb was NOT to be offered for the removal of sins. It was a commemorative/festive offering (see also under items 4 above and 6 below). A more appropriate time for a sin offering would have been on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement; Numbers 29:11 [individual sin-offering―male goat]; Leviticus16:15 [communal sin-offering―male goat]).

6. Requires sacrificed Paschal Lamb to be roasted and eaten, and it’s blood used to place markings on the side-posts and lintel of the doors (Exodus 12: 7-8). There is no record in the NT that this was done (lest it be suggested that Christianity promotes cannibalism).

7. States that the sacrificial sin offering could only atone for UNINTENTIONAL sins, with few notable exceptions as stated in Leviticus 5:1-6, 20-26 [Leviticus6:1-7 in Christian Bibles]; [e.g., Num 15:27-31] .

8. Teaches that sacrifices can only atone for sins committed PRIOR to the offering of the sacrifice. No sacrifice could ever atone for sins committed AFTER the sacrifice was offered. Thus, no sacrifice could ever atone for people born after the sacrifice was offered.

9. Strictly FORBIDS human vicarious atonement (e.g., Exodus 32:31-33; Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 24:16; II Kings 14:6; Jeremiah 31:29 [30 in a Christian Bible]; Ezekiel 18:4,20; Psalms 49:7).

10. Strictly PROHIBITS human sacrifices (e.g., Leviticus18:21, 24-25; Deuteronomy 18:10; Jeremiah 7:31, 19: 5; Ezekiel 23:37, 39).