"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,

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