"Stranger still, the ancient religion of the Jews survives, when all the religions of every ancient race of the pre-Christian world have disappeared. Again it is strange that the living religions of the world all build on the religious ideas derived from the Jews" - The Ancient World, Professor T.R. Glover

"According to the materialistic and positivist criterion, this people ought to have perished long ago. It's survival is a mysterious and wonderful phenomenon demonstrating that the life of this people is governed by a special predetermination..."
- The Meaning of History, Professor Nicholas Berdkilaev of the Moscow Academy of Spiritual Culture

"It was Judaism that brought the concept of a God-given universal moral law into the world...the Jew carries the burden of God in history and for this he has never been forgiven" - Distinguished Catholic Scholar Edward H. Flannery

Fact: Judaism is the only religion in the world that lost its holy land and has regained it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Is God a Man?

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent." - Numbers 23:19
"And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. " - I Samuel 15:29

Christian Missionaries use the advent of the three angel-messengers (malachim in Hebrew) that appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18 as a "proof text" that God can and does appear as a "man" thereby pointing to Jesus the man as a god-man / demigod. Missionaries are very quick to point out that these "men" eat and drank like normal men which is nothing more than an attempt to portray these angels as a Jesus-type who eat and drank as well.

With this Genesis 18 mindset the standard missionary argument goes something like this:
1. Christian don't worship God as a man, but the one unseen God who came in the form of man (Word made flesh - St. John 1:14).
2. God / Jesus appeared to Abraham in the form of man just like He did with the man Jesus.
3. Jesus never lied (as God don't) thereby nullifying to "Jewish attempt" of applying Numbers 23:19 and I Samuel 15:29 against Christianity.

While it is true that the one man-angel that stayed with and communicated with Abraham using God's words, was in effect God appearing and talking with Abraham in the form of a man, that is not Judaism's objection with the Christian proof text of Genesis 18. Judaism realizes that whether it's a man-angel, whirlwind, burning bush, or donkey, God can use any form He wants to express a message. However, His message source is NEVER His true identifying form. God is simply not limited to earthly forms - "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have built" - I Kings 8:27

There are a three of things that should be addressed in understanding the events of Genesis 18.
1. All three messengers first came to Abraham - all three had a primary message to Abraham alone. Genesis 18: 5, 8 states "they said" meaning the conversation to Abraham was from all three - not just a certain one of them spoke to Abraham.
2. All three messengers - not just one - "eat" with Abraham (verse 8). I have to make a point of this because of the Christian emphasis on this part of the text that tries to make the angels more human like thereby tying to tie these angel(s) in with human Jesus.
3. There angels came with two messages. One angel was to announce that Sarah would have a child by Abraham, and two angels were sent for the destruction of Sodom and the rescue of Lot and his family.

The trinitarians who try tying their doctrine into the text using the three messenger angels as depicting the God of Israel does themselves a great disfavor. They show the heart of the trinitarian movement which is the worship of three god "persons" thereby the worship of three gods. Being that the angels that appeared to Abraham were indeed separate from each other, only adds to the realization that the Trinity is indeed a worship of three separate gods in personhood when they attempt connecting Genesis 18 with a the Trinity doctrine.

When Judaism uses Numbers 23:19 and I Samuel 15:29 as a proof text against Christianity, it's not talking about a message coming from God that came in a form of man's image. Not only angels but the very prophets who carried the word of God have the appearance of a man. However, can any Christian or otherwise state that any of the three "men" that appeared to Abraham were human beings or in a true sense merely "men"? I would think not. Therefore, when the Bible tells us that God is not a man, its specific message is that the essence of God is not that of "humankind". It's message is that from humankind lies can be produced, but from God who remains outside of humankind lies cannot be produced. This is also why idols that were made with human hands were so offensive to God - men would worship a human creation as a god as if it was indeed God! (See Isaiah 44:8-18)

With this in mind can we say Jesus who was born of human woman was of humankind? If Jesus was indeed a "created" person (i.e. the entire human aspect of Jesus) then he can, for all tense and purposes, become a human idol. Thus, we have "the crucifix" with the human Jesus on it hanging all over the Catholicism world and human pictures of Jesus hanging all over protestant Christianity world. The essence of Christianity is that in order for one to be saved, one "must" go through and enter the "human door" of Jesus. That is, the first baseline foundation of the Christian belief system is centered on the belief that God came to earth as a human-man. Every further belief of the one unseen God of Israel in Christianity evolves around this baseline concept.

As a human Jesus states: " I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." - St. John 10:9
Paul states that the Law of Moses is dead thorough the human body of Jesus: "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ" - Romans 7:4
The Holy Christian Communion's main focus evolves around the human body of Jesus: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ" - I Corinthians 10:16

I don't mean to say that every Christian is nothing more than a idol worshiper (although the majority of world Christianity indeed are). There are some (I call them the Christian Zionist-remnant) who worship the true of Israel though through gentile blindness or ignorance - yes it is the gentile Christians who are the blind ones when it comes to Hebrew Bible truths. [see Isaiah 25:7] I am saying however, that according to Hebrew Bible the purest form in worshiping and communicating with the God of Israel - Jehovah - is not through human sacrifices, vicarious atonement, polytheism that is called monotheistic, wise-men astrology, or anything that has its foundation or doorway-entrance into humanhood!

Jesus spoke many times of himself as "son of man"1 meaning being apart of humanhood - the "revelation" of "the Son of God" was to come after his humanhood after the "son of man" ministry was completed. However, it was the "son of man" concept that the Hebrews scriptures warns us about - even going to the extent of saying that no salvation can come out of a "son of man" venue: "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. {help: or, salvation} " -Psalms 146:3
Again, the Hebrew scriptures are not stating that a human can't be anointed to speak God's words - even the words of salvation (as with the Hebrew prophet Isaiah whose name means salvation) but it is against connecting God with humanhood as we see in New Testament text doing in John 1:1 connecting with John 1:14.

The usual Christian response to Numbers 23:19 and I Samuel 15:29 is that, "Jesus never lied - so it couldn't been talking about him". Even though the main subject of the text is concerning "humanhood" - "lying" being the sub-subject, there is New Testament issues to be taken up with the Christians over textual falsehoods coming from the words of Jesus.
" Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." - Matthew 16:28
This Matthew 16:28 text is inline with an earlier one: "But when they persecute you in this city, flee into another; for truly I say to you, In no way shall you have finished the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes" - Matthew 10:23
Jesus proclaimed that there were people standing there hearing him speak that would not die a physical death until after they had seen him "coming" in his kingdom. So the question I ask Christians is, when did this "coming" occur during the first century that allowed some of the people that heard Jesus speak of his coming indeed seen that "coming" he was talking about? Unless you are perterist, you will find this very hard to answer. If you are perterist, you'll have a hard time explaining "this coming" itself.

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." - Matthew 24:34
Jesus had just finished listing the horrible events that were to befall the earth including the words "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." It's from this scripture that the "great tribulation" doctrine in Christianity is based. However in truth seeking, can we say that the first century (the generation of Jesus' time) saw such a great tribulation that there has not been anything like it seen with such magnitude on the earth since the generation of Jesus' time? Notice, everything mentioned in Matthew 24 Jesus declared it to be fulfilled during the generation in which he was earthly living!

It must be noted that the writers of the Gospels (who wrote the gospels after Paul's letters) had already seen the destruction of the temple that had stood for hundreds of years, and from that point of view it would seem like destruction like no other. As far as the temple destruction it had been a time of tribulation like no other. Also Paul was of the impression that world redemption was just around the corner during his time: "The night is far spent, the day is at hand" - Romans 13:12
And even the writer of the book of Revelations has Jesus stating: " I come quickly" - Revelations 3:11 / 22:7,12,20

It is clear the New Testament writers didn't expect Christianity the last more than 2000 years.
So when Christians state that Jesus never lied (or given false statements) in regards to Numbers 23:19 and I Samuel 15:29 a call for a response regarding these New Testament texts should be requested of them. This is all in addition to the fact that if Jesus is not the true messiah (Mashiach ben David) that is to come at the "End of Days" for the redemption of Israel, then the whole Christian concept is based upon a false foundation. Thus, the scriptures Jeremiah 16:19 and Zachariah 8:23 would included all gentiles involved with Christianity as well as those of Islam.

1. Just from the book of Matthew alone the phrase "son of man" is stated by Jesus several times in reference to himself:
Matthew 8:20 / 9:6 / 10:23 / 11:19 / 12:8, 32, 40, / 13:37, 41, / 16:13, 16:27-28 / 17:9, 12, 22 / 18:11 / 19:28 / 20:18,28 / 24:30, 37, 39, 44 / 25:13, 31, / 26:2, 24, 45, 64,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Predestination and Eternal Security

Disclaimer: Though my religion of faith is Judaism this blog reflects my own spiritual journey and study and may not reflect "traditional Judaism" in all statements throughout this blog.

As with Albert Einstein's "theory of relativity" predestination and eternal security are relative depending which side a the spectrum (time - Genesis 1:1 or eternity - Isaiah 57:15) one views from. While eternal security and predestination are compatible with each other in the eternal realm they are not compatible with time. With time comes "the choice" that is between good and evil. That choice then brings forth the eternal element of each person.

Where people get into trouble is by placing eternal security / the eternal acknowledgment of every person and eternal predestination inside of - and thereby effected by time - when it has nothing to do with time. Where time ends eternity begins. It is only in the eternal state of being (i.e. God) that no soul never has been or ever can be lost. There is no need of redemption in that state of God's mind. The salvation and redemption of God that we see in the Bible only brings us into that spiritual habitation. Therefore, there is in a sense two expressions of eternal security. The first being of the eternal mind of God that is beyond all elements of past, present, and future. The second being one that is indeed effected by time and choice.

The Hebrew scriptures are very clear on what man should be spiritually aware of concerning his eternal security in time:
"If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live." Ezekiel 18:21-22
"When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." - Ezekiel 18:24

When I hear Fundamental Independent Baptist preachers actually make the statement that as long as one has accepted the Christian messiah he / she can actually live everyday of their lives for the devil and still be "saved" I can't help but think of the above biblical standard for salvation and how the God of Israel states "For I am the LORD, I change not" - Malachi. 3:6.

These same Baptist preachers will no doubt be one of the first ones to claim that the Jews who prescribe to the above biblical principle of eternal security have been "spiritually blinded"! But from my spiritual perception their doctrine has blinded them of the original standard truth insomuch that their souls are in danger of dying in their "devil-teaching" sin, where the above biblical standard that they have rejected will be applied to their very souls! In a sense, by placing God's eternal security where nothing is lost into the element of time, they are in effect making their sin an eternal part of God as well - now that's deep spiritual blindness!

Judaism's eternal security is in the Torah itself for it is a marriage contract between God and His Bride Israel - Isaiah 62:4-5. A man who is true in his heart towards his communion with God has eternal security just as a man who is true in his heart when making wedding vows to his bride has "marriage security" - a new term I just coined. God wants a whole and perfect heart: "Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day." - I Kings 8:61
"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." - Psalms 119:2

For those who don't think that a prefect heart and perfect will are possible (which shows spiritual blindness towards the Jewish scriptures) I give you the following scriptures to ponder:
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." - Ecclesiastes 12:13
" I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." Psalms 101:2
"I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law." -Psalms 119:55
"And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father." - I Kings 15:11
"And he (Jehoshaphat) walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD" - I kings 22:43

It is when one has that biblical "perfect will" of the heart and "complete desire" in his mind towards God that one has obtained perfect "security" in salvation with God. One's security is only as strong as one's love and will towards God. Any other doctrine is not biblical and is simply a false (eternal) security concept. Just as a relationship is based upon the lest heart compassion between two people (i.e. a love / like relationship becomes nothing more than a "like relationship" - not a mutual "love" relationship) it is the heart of man that will determine the relationship he and God will have.

Notice the eternal security principle in the following scripture: "Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts" - Zechariah 1:3 The principle here being, if one then turns away from God, then he also turns away from the eternal security he had with God. Only whole-heart repentance will return unto him eternal security, that being eternal security "in time". Every man will sin (Hebrew "chat" meaning "to miss the target") as I Kings 8:46 informs us, but the righteous will repeat - adjust, repair, and overcome - their sin (maintaining a perfect heart 'goal' towards God) while the ungodly will embrace their sins (because their love for sin is greater than their love for God) and be overcome by sin.

There is a predestination with the Jewish scriptures, however it has become an almost dirty word due to Calvinism's historical five-point (hyper) 'TULIP'1 abuse. The Calvinism doctrine mixes time and eternity in proclaiming that everything including the souls of man (and even babies that die as babies) are predetermined to salvation and damnation even though the Jewish scriptures state otherwise: "Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." - Ezekiel 18: 31-32 (see also Deuteronomy 30:19)

Some Calvinist doctrines have it in their minds that warning of God's wrath to come upon the wicked soul is a waste of time since all souls are already predetermined and nothing can be changed anyway. This doctrine goes right against all that the Hebrew prophets taught and how they expressed their message:
"When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." - Ezekiel 3:18

The nation of Israel is indeed predestination with an eternal predestination. Without fail God has promised literally to Himself (II Samuel 7:24) that Israel will be His chosen people forever. However, that eternal promise doesn't give every Jew of Israel a free pass to salvation. Only those who keep the commandments with a perfect heart can they be apart of Israel-redeemed.

It is God's word of promise for an eternal purpose is what is predestined. An individual's choice must become one with that eternal purpose in order to obtain that eternal life. But with eternal life come eternal perseverance. As with nature it is the sperm that perseveres unto the egg that obtains life, while all the others die - See Proverbs 18:10

I do believe all people has a certain spiritual genetic makeup as Jeremiah was called to be a spiritual prophet, even unto the nations before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5). However, every soul that comes into life has a duty to overcome sin by embracing God with a pure heart - see Genesis 4:7. The eternal element that causes some to love God with a deeper love more than others - as with the story of Cain and Abel - cannot be related in time. I do believe it relates back to the serpent (spiritual) seed mentioned in Genesis 3:15. However, God's eternal election can only be truly seen in the realm of eternal life where there is no beginning and no end, and where nothing is ever lost.

1. TULIP: an abbreviation standing for:
Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin - but can some how muster up enough of spiritual gumption to accept Jesus as his personal savior)
Unconditional Election (no inward calling or conviction needed)
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace (one can't resist God saving him)
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)