Rabbinical authority and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

 

 

Addendum

I wrote the article below a while ago. I am republishing it because of its relevance to the increasing domination of Zionism in the world whose main military and financial supporters are the United States Government, the U.S. Zionist lobby and U.S.Christian Zionists. There has been much criticism of  Zionism in the alternate media (not in the mainstream media; the owners of the MSM are Zionists) . Zionism is much more far-reaching than support for the State of Israel; Zionism aims to dominate the whole world. The scope of these aims is not very different from Bolshevikism, which was mainly a Jewish atheist movement and responsible for the cleansing of 40 – 60 million Eastern Orthodox Christians from the earth. And that’s what will happen to billions of other people, including swathes of Israelis who oppose the  policies of the present Israeli government. These Israelis, like the rest of the world, are laughingly dispensable in the pursuit of what the rabbis call “Tikkun Olam” (repairing the world). In this article I delve into the literary and religious backdrop of the recourse to deliver up all opposition to the Moloch of Tikkun Olam, the “Greater Israel” project.

 

Introduction

In Roman Catholicism, the Pope is God’s authority on earth. For the “Orthodox” Jew (Haredi, Chabad), the rabbi is God on earth. When the Jew cleaves to his rabbi, he cleaves to God. He cannot cleave directly to God because as Rashi says, quoting the scripture, God is a consuming fire (Deut 4:24). Anyone who doubts his rabbi, even when he makes shocking exceptions to the rabbinic rule, is one who doubts the divine presence. (See We hear through an iPhone darkly: rabbinical authority and the Aural Torah).

A course on rabbinical Judaism teaches that interpretation is ”bound to a text with wide room for interpreting its meaning?” In the room are seventy rabbis, each doing his own thing, or rather one rabbi with seventy faces. “There are seventy faces to the Torah: turn it around and around, for everything is in it” (Midrash Bamidbar [Numbers] Rabba 13:15); everything in the sense that it contains the building blocks of everything in and under heaven, which Jacob Neusner calls the “grammar” of rabbinical theology (See Jacob Neusner and Rabbinical Theology).

There is the “Written Torah” (scripture) and the “Oral Torah” (rabbinic writings such as the Mishnah, the Midrash and the Zohar). There are two views of the relationship between the Written and the Oral Torah.

1. The Oral Torah roots it legitimacy in the Written Torah and transforms the meaning of the Written Torah. The deeper levels of meaning are not found in the Written Torah, but in the Oral Torah, which for some Jewish movements is not found deep in the Written Torah but outside and beyond it. The “Oral Torah” was written down in its seminal form in the second century after the Christian era. “The Oral Torah, explanations of the Written Torah, was originally passed down verbally from generation to generation. After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, it was decided the Oral Torah should be written down so it would not be forgotten. In the 2nd century C.E., Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and a group of Sages compiled the Mishnah. The Mishnah is a written outline of the Oral Torah. (What Is the Torah? by Ariela Pelaia).

Rabbinic Judaism, says Neusner, is the Judaic religious system of the social order set forth in the Hebrew Scriptures called ‘the Written Torah ,’ as mediated by the Mishnah, Talmuds , Midrash-compilations, and related compilations, called “the Oral Torah .” As to the historical and temporal setting, that one whole Torah, written and oral, took shape in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia in the first six centuries of the common Era; it is with that canon and formative period that we deal in this book” (“Handbook of Rabbinical Theology: Language, system, structure,” p. 1).

2. The Written Torah is part of the original Oral Torah. All writing starts out as speaking. So, the Written Torah (the Scriptures) was once oral, and therefore forms only one part of the original revelation to Moses, which has been passed down, maintain the rabbis through tradition. In rabbinical theology, interpretation has authority over revelation, which diminishes the authority of the Written Torah, because, as the rabbis argue, without rabbinic tradition, the Wriiten Torah is a closed book.

Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal, in his Deuteronomy 33:4 – Oral Law , argues that the Written Law is a product of the Oral Law:

Those who dispute the validity of the Oral Law assume that the Five Books are the basis and the foundation for the Law. They understand that the written text comes first. When these critics approach Israel’s claim for an authoritative Oral Law, they see this as a claim for a supplementary code, one that is authorized to define and to interpret the written word. These critics contend that if there is a valid code of Law that supplements the text, we would expect that it should have been mentioned in the text.”

Rabbi Blumenthal then provides examples from the Written Torah to uncover its skeletal nature, and then does not only argue that it requires an authority outside the text, the Oral Torah, to pack flesh onto the dry bones, but that the Written Torah is merely one product, a central one, of the Oral Torah. Ibn Ezra, one of the most celebrated Jewish writers of the Middle Ages sums up Rabbi Blumenthals view (italics added): ...the Law of Moses is founded upon the Oral Law which is the joy of our heart. The implication is that there is no joy in the dry bones of the Written Torah. (See The Written and Oral Torah: Which is Primary? ). And Jacob Neusner and the Grammar of Rabbinical Theology (Part 3): Torah, Philosophy and Theology).

 

History for the rabbi is his story

Jacob Neusner, a spokesman of rabbinical theology, speaks of “the documentary record” (the rabbinical canon) that points to “God’s presence in history.” In normal historiography, the “documentary record” aims to establish what really happened in history. In rabbinical Judaism, in contrast, “history” has little to with real events. For example, Rabbi Hillel‘s stories were “made up”; they are “documents of culture, glyphs of faith.” (Jacob Neusner, “A counterpart to the problem of the historical Jesus,” in “Judaism in the Beginning of Christianity, pp. 77-88).

l wonder, however, says Neusner, whether in the context of faith whether concerning Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad, such a thing as critical history in the nineteenth-century sense indeed can emerge. I ask myself whether, to begin with, the sources came into being with any such purpose in mind. And I question whether when we ask about history in the sense at hand, we address the right questions to sources of such a character. And, anyhow, what critical historical facts can ever testify to the truth or falsity of salvation, holiness, joy, and love? ((A counterpart to the problem of the historical Jesus,” p.88. (Jacob Neusner, Judaism in the beginning of Christianity. See Jewish scholars and the play dough of interpretation”).

And:

What counts is not what happened then – did Sodom really perish in fire and brimstone, or was it an earthquake? – but what scripture teachers us to make of what is happening now…what God wants of me. And to people who ask Scripture to explain what is happening now, to lessons and examples of the sages of Judaism have much to say.” (Jacob Neusner, “Christian faith and the Bible of Judaism: The Judaic encounter with scripture, William B. Eerdmans, Michigan,1987, p. xii)

Neusners rabbinical Judaism seems very similar to Reconstructionist Judaism, where the Torah is regarded as the folklore that binds the Jewish community together. Here is an excerpt from Rabbi Lester Bronstein’s “crash course” in Reconstructionist Judaism:

In this system, God does not choose the Jews to be performers of the commandments. Rather, the Jews choose to be called by God by means of a vast network of sacred acts (mitzvot) ranging from balancing work and rest (Shabbat), to establishing courts and laws, to sexual fidelity, filial respect, medical ethics and the rhythms of the seasons. (Hence, asher kervanu laavodato, who has called us to your service.) Paradoxically, it is the mitzvot that keep us Jewish, but which simultaneously attune us to the greater universe of which we are a tiny part. (See The Spirit of Reconstructionist Judaism and Jacob Neusner and the grammar of Rabbinical theology (4): God wants the Jew to create his own history and live in the now.

 

The medium or (what) message?

The rabbis don’t consider their scriptures (Tanach) as a living meaningful discourse, but merely as a deposit of potential meanings analogous to a dictionary and a grammar textbook; these only come alive when they are slotted into a (meaningful) message, and the rabbis are the ones who decide what is meaningful. Their meanings are contained in the Oral Torah (Talmuds, Mishnah, Zohar, etc).

In “Letters of Hebrew fire – the depth and death of meaning , I mentioned Rabbi Glazersons book Philistine and Palestinian (1995), in which he says:

The deeper significance of the (Hebrew) letters… is a subject as wide as all Creation. Every single letter points to a separate path by which the effluence of the divine creative force reaches the various sefirot (”spheres”) through which the Creator, Blessed be he, created His world.” In a word, we are talking about the Gematria, which is a system that assigns numerical value to a word or phrase, in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values are closely related to one another.

For the Jew, Hebrew didn’t start with Adam but in heaven; indeed, it didn’t start at all because if God always was, so was His language, which is equated with his creative power, namely his davar, his word. The Muslim says the same things about Arabic.

The Zohar

The Hebrew word zohar  means light, splendor, the Book of Splendor/Light. Together with the Book of Creation (Sepher Yetsirah), it forms the main canon of the Kabbalah.

Say a Jew wants to study the Zohar (the main textbook of Kabbalah). No problem; as someone said , The Jew is the only one who can understand these things because his soul is different to that of other humans.

The Chochomim (Jewish sages) say that a translation of the Zohar has no redeeming benefit. Now, the majority of Jews outside the state of Israel know little or no Hebrew, and, therefore, wouldnt be able to distinguish between the tiniest tot and jittle, or whatever, in the Zohar. So, thered be no point in trying to read the Zohar in the original language? Wrong, because “… our great Rabbis through all generations taught that the complete redemption depends precisely on the study of the Zohar HaKadosh (Holy Zohar). But it is here that the Yetzer HaRa (Evil Inclination) found a great help in confusing people by telling them: If you do not understand what you are reading in the Zohar HaKadosh, you have no right to occupy yourselves with it.’” (Zohar in English )

This is a great mistake, continues “Zohar in English,” that causes the redemption to be delayed, for all the Kabbalists have written that reading the Sefer HaZohar (The book of Zohar) and the Tikkunim with no understanding whatsoever, only saying it without knowing what one says, effects a great Tikkun in the higher worlds, purifies and illuminates the soul of man and brings the redemption closer” (Underlining added).

(“Tikkun is derived from the Hebrew verb “letaken” meaning to fix or repair. This verb is used all the time in everyday life and has no special meaning. The well-known spiritual meaning of this verb is inferred from two phrases: “Tikkun Olam ” literally meaning “repairing the world” and “Tikkun Midot” meaning “repairing the character”. Both phrases are many times shortened and only the word Tikkun is used, the spiritual meaning being understood from the context”).

Just because a Jew is Hebrew illiterate does not mean that he is unable to read the Zohar. So, reading the words without understanding, which is not difficult to do in a phonetic language like Hebrew, brings the day of redemption closer, if not as close as reading with understanding. Mouthing, therefore, is a valid and holy form of reading, if what is mouthed is Torah Hebrew.  Keep in mind. though, that the majority Jewish “Orthodox” view is that Zohar was originally written in Aramaic (a dialect of Chaldean) interspersed with Hebrew. The Aramaic of the Zohar is not the same dialect as that spoken by Jesus. (A minority “Orthodox” view is that the Zohar is a medieval compilation of Moses de Lion  but  based on ancient sources).

 

Examples of rabbinical interpretation

Example 1 – God made the mess; we are  to clean it up

Ask a Jew whether God is making a mess of the world, and he will answer – yes and no. He doesn’t make a mess because he is good, and he does make a mess after he finds out that the sages do say that God makes a mess:

“Here, writes Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, is the “standard narrative” of Judaism up to advent of the Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria. Until the Ari, the standard narrative scripted the human being into a passive role in his own redemption: G d had made a magnificent world; human beings had messed it up. You now had a choice of doing mitzvahs, cleaving to G d and being good, or continuing to contribute to the mess. Better to be good, because the day will come that G d will take retribution from those who were bad and dispense reward to those who are good…The Ari stood all that on its head, providing humanity a proactive role: G d made the mess, he said; we are cleaning it up. (Italics added) (Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, “Eighteen Joyous Teachings of the Baal Shem Tov,” p. 18). (See When the Jew cleans up the Holy One of Israel’s Mess, Messiah will he come?).

Example 2 – When very good means good and evil

I believe the scriptures usually contain only one meaning, the surface meaning. “Surface” is not synonymous with superficial. If they were synonymous, then every time I were to read “And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good (Genesis 1:31), I could justifiably exclaim, “how superficial! And ask, “surely there’s more to “very good” than “very good,” surely there’s something deeper than “very good” – “very very good,” for example.

If, though, one wished to penetrate the deepest secret of all, one would discover – according to the Midrash – something so deep that it would defy the laws of contradiction. I would find that when God says “very good,” he means “very good” only for the hoi poloi. But if you’re Jewish and have also devoted decades to Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah, then, and only then, will you understand that when God says “very good,” he really means “very bad”; indeed, worse than “very bad”; He means the evil inclination itself, the yetser hara. Let the Midrash speak for itself:

And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)―Midrash: Rabbi Nahman said in Rabbi Samuel’s name: “Behold, it was good” refers to the Good Desire; “And behold, it was very good” refers to the Evil Desire. (It only says “very good” after man was created with both the good and bad inclinations, in all other cases it only says “and God saw that it was good”) Can then the Evil Desire be very good? That would be extraordinary! But without the Evil Desire, however, no man would build a house, take a wife and beget children; and thus said Solomon: “Again, I considered all labour and all excelling in work, that it is a man’s rivalry with his neighbour.” (Kohelet [Ecclesiastes] IV, 4) (Genesis Rabbah 9:7, translation from Soncino Publications). 

Example 3 -The laughter and slaughter of Isaac

Laughter in the Bible appears for the first time in Genesis 17, and it was Abraham who had that first laugh:

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 Abraham fell face down and laughed …”

Why was Abraham’s son, his “only son” yechidkha (that is, the son of the promise), called Isaac Yitzchak “he laughed.” Let’s read Glazerson’s explanation of (what he calls) the “real” (basic) meaning of Isaac’s name (laughter) and see what he does with this laughter.

We read in Genesis 17:17:

Abraham fell face down and laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

In his chapter, “Isaac and the Philistines” (pp. 99-100), Glazerson contrasts what he calls Isaac’s pure holy Torah laughter with the Philistines’ mocking laughter at Torah:

We can, says Glazerson, see some of his titanic strength in his name יִצְחָק Isaac.” Coming from the root צחק to laugh,” this name signals his lofty perception of the physical world: this name signals his lofty perception of the physical world: a passing shadow only worth laughing at. Someone whose world-view was so very much the opposite of the Philistines’ had nothing to fear from them. This is why Isaac acquiesced so easily in the test of the Akeidah [binding of Isaac], his Binding as a sacrifice. For Abraham it was a severe trial to slay his son, but for Isaac it was not at all hard to give up a world that was worth nothing in his eyes.” Here is the relevant verse: Genesis 22:10 -Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter lishkhot his son – my square brackets. According to Glazerson, when Abraham was about to slaughter his son on the altar, Isaac burst forth into holy laughter, for his life (on earth), says Glazerson, was worth nothing in his eyes. Glazerson’s interpretation would be far more convincing if we could use the English translation of the Hebrew; for then “laughter” and “slaughter” would have everything in common except the sibilant.

Rashi also said that Abraham in his old age didn’t laugh at God’s promise that he would have a son (Isaac “he laughed”); instead, Rashi slaughters the p’shat (simple, linguistic meaning) of the text by saying that Abraham “rejoiced.”

 

Final comments

Orthodox Judaism views the surface text as superficial, as nothing but bed-time stories; as Rabbi Akiva Tatz said in one of his lectures, “any six-year-old can understand” the Written Torah. For the rabbis, one has to excavate below the surface to the pardes (the deeper levels) of Torah to find anything of lasting good. Scripture, for the rabbis, is like a walnut where the literal meaning is the shell that hides the secret truth deep within its flesh. Rabbinic interpretation may read with or against the plain meaning. Although, views differ on how bound one should be to the text, the consensus is that there is wide room for speculation on meaning. The deeper you go, though, the more – ironically – lost you become. The rabbis, of course, would say the opposite: the deeper you go, the less lost you become – because you find more of God above – of whom you are a piece. Very important for understanding Judaism is that the Jewish canon (Tanach and rabbinical literature) is only intelligible to the rabbis. What Jacob Neusner says about the Mishnah applies to the Hebrew scriptures (Tanach, Written Torah) as well:

“The extraordinary lack of a context of communication – specification of speaker, hearer — of our document [the Mishnah] furthermore suggests that for Mishnah, language is a self-contained formal system used more or less incidentally for communication. It is not essentially a system for communication, but for description of a reality, the reality of which is created and contained by, and exhausted within the act of description. (Italics added). The saying of the words, whether heard meaningfully by another or not, is the creation of the world. Speech is action. It is creation… And just as Chomsky says, “Grammar is autonomous and independent of meaning,” so in Mishnah. the formalization of thought into recurrent patterns is beneath the surface and independent of discrete meanings. Yet Mishnah imposes its own discipline, therefore its own deeper level of unitary meaning upon everything and anything which actually is said.” (Italics added).

No, Mishnah does not impose its own discipline; the rabbis impose it – upon anything and everything. They leave the Roman Catholic posture in the shade.

Why I am a Christian: The briefest and most correct testimony

Henry, a Christian – How did you come to Christ?
ODJ – Don’t you know?
Henry – What do you mean?
ODJ – “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (Jesus in John 3).

Is Iran the leader of world terrorism? Ask an Israeli Prime Minister

For many Christian Z1onists (and to those Jewish Zionists who remain in the dark), Iran is the leader in world terror1sm. Not so, according to Menachem Begin, 1sraeli prime minister of yesteryear. Here is a quote from an interview between Russell Warren Howe and and Menachem Begin:
“In January 1974, while covering “what the history books call ”Kissinger’s first Sinai Disengagement Shuttle,”� Howe conducted a television interview with former terror1st, then-opposition leader and future Prime Minister Menachem Begin. As he recalled in his “Seeing the Light”� column:

 
“The red light had come on, under the lens. Without preamble, I turned my shoulder to the camera, stared straight into Beg1n’s eyes, and asked: ”How does it feel, in the light of all that’s going on, to be the father of terror1sm in the Middle East?”
 
“In the M1ddle East?” he bellowed, in his thick, cartoon accent. ”In all the world!”
 

Zionism, Tommy Robinson, Trump and controlled opposition

Tommy Robinson is a Zionist and against mass Islamic immigration into his country. But it is Zionism (Jewish and Christian) – the irony of it all – that is the main cause of the mayhem in Europe and other parts of the world. Is Tommy Robinson, (un)wittingly,   Zionist controlled opposition. Perhaps Donald Trump is a US version written large of Tommy.

When the “very” in “very good” (Genesis 1), means “evil.”

Jason Lisle (“Creation in evangelism”), point out, which should be a truism: when God says in after his creation that it was “good,” – the surface meaning of the word, he means what it says. “Surface” is not synonymous with superficial. If they were synonymous, then every time I were to read “And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good (Genesis 1:31), I could justifiably exclaim, “how superficial! And ask, “surely there’s more to “very good” than “very good,” surely there’s something deeper than “very good” – “very very good,” for example.

If, though, one wished to penetrate the deepest secret of all, one would discover – according to the rabbinical Midrash – something so deep that it would defy the laws of contradiction. I would find that when God says “very good,” he means “very good” only for the hoi poloi. But if you’re Jewish and have also devoted decades to Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah, then, and only then, will you understand that when God says “very good,” he really means “very bad”; indeed, worse than “very bad”; He means the evil inclination itself, the yetser harah. Let the Midrash speak for itself:

“And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)—Midrash: Rabbi Nahman said in Rabbi Samuel’s name: “Behold, it was good” refers to the Good Desire; “And behold, it was very good” refers to the Evil Desire. (It only says “very good” after man was created with both the good and bad inclinations, in all other cases it only says “and God saw that it was good”) Can then the Evil Desire be very good? That would be extraordinary! But without the Evil Desire, however, no man would build a house, take a wife and beget children; and thus said Solomon: “Again, I considered all labour and all excelling in work, that it is a man’s rivalry with his neighbour.” (Kohelet [Eclesiastes] IV, 4) (Genesis Rabbah 9:7, translation from Soncino Publications)

Trump: a better world?

Here is a letter (with permission) written by someone close to a person who believes that Donald Trump’s administration is going to change the world for the very much better. One of this person’s examples is that a drastic overhaul of the world money system is on the cards where a distribution of wealth will lead to the end of world poverty – and peace.

The letter

You are right, what is happening in the world today is a very great evil, of Biblical proportions in fact, and one can not enter into the devil’s realm and strongholds unless one is properly protected. Otherwise those demons that pass as men could say to you, as the demons in the book of Acts said:

Acts 19
13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

So, how do you protect yourself? Paul says we need the full armor of God:

Ephesians 6

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

You have to trust in Jesus as the savior of your soul and the forgiver of your sins. And of course, all the other pieces of armor as well, like the breastplate of righteousness, but only the true righteousness that is bestowed on you by Jesus, not our own little puny righteousness that is full of holes.

And finally, I am afraid the Bible does not predict this man-made Utopia that you envision, where if poverty were only eradicated everyone would be nice to each other. Mankind is fallen, Utopias have been tried before, look at communism for instance. What could be a better system? Everyone pools their resources and shares them out, a doctor earns no more than a laborer, etc, etc. But they were all doomed to crash and burn, because of that fatal flaw in the human creature, sin. The only result that came from all these idealistic schemes was that the evil bastards rose to the top like scum and the poor were as oppressed as ever. The only time there will be that kind of happy, perfect world again is when Jesus returns and establishes his kingdom again. Meanwhile, look what Jesus himself predicts the world will look like before he comes:

Matthew 24

3 “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Who is “them?”

Father forgive them for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:24a).

In good translations of the Bible, a note is attached to the above words of Jesus suggesting that the saying is a textual variant because it does not appear in the early manuscripts of Luke. Alan Kirschner presents a strong argument to support this suggestion.

In the light of the rest of Jesus’s words and the New Testament as a whole, I suggest that these are either not the words of Jesus or that Jesus is referring not to all those involved in his crucifixion but only to a select few’ or more accurately an “elect” few (a scriptural concept/term – 41 verses in the Bible ).

I was in conversation with a pastor friend on Wednesday about the crucifixion, specifically about Colossians 2:13-14. Verse 13: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins…” When did Jesus forgive us all our sins? When we were made alive (and believed)? Most Christians will say when we first believed. This may come as a shock but nope; it was forgiven before you were born. That may be news to you; it is news to me- very good news. We continue with our passage, Colossians 2:14: “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” So, all our sins (past, present and future) have been taken away and nailed to the cross before we were born, and after those who crucified Christ were born.

For my pastor friend and most Christians (namely, who believe they came to Jesus on their own gas – in their natural state), Jesus nailed every human being’s sin to the cross; it’s one’s choice to decide whether one wants to accept this redemption. This means that Jesus shed his blood for every human being without exception, that is, was punished in their place and forgiven; and it’s up to “whosoever” to decide to follow Jesus. Where is the most famous “who(so)ever” in many English translations of the Bible (for example, the King James Version)? John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

My pastor friend says that “whosoever” means “whosoever decides to believe…” There is nothing in the text about choosing/deciding. The problem lies not in what the text means, but what most readers mean by “whosoever,” because 1. that is how it is used in English, and 2. the verse must “surely mean whoever decides,” because that is the preconception readers bring to the next – after all, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman, they say, and won’t force Himself upon you. (Have you ever heard in your church during prayer time from the preacher’s lips, “Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal your sins to you.” This is nonsensical. He blows where he wills – John 3:8).

We return to John 3:16: the literal Greek of John 3:16 says: “ For God did so love the world, that His Son — the only begotten — He gave, that every one who is believing (or, “the believing ones”) in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.” There’s nothing in the text about deciding anything, silly.

En passant, If most men and women who fall in love, do not force themselves on one another (happy that force) no one would get married, or, if you prefer, partnered.

Crazy flight path from Sao Paolo to Johannesburg solved. Thank you dear UN

In a recent post I registered surprise at the flight path of a Sao Paolo – Johannesburg flight.  Guess what, I found a great answer to the conundrum on the United Nations flag – their map of the world.

Here’s the flag (“false?”:  why doubt the UN, the only organisation we have left to bring world peace?).

The black line indicates route from Sao Paolo (left) to Johannesburg (right).

united-nations-un-flag-3-foot-by-5-foot-polyester-new__515fo6qVyRL

sao paolo to johannesburg

As the UN tells us, that globe map must be false. If you can’t trust the UN, life is not worth living. N’est-ce pas?

Matt Slick. Non-damnable heresies: No big deal?

With regard to the gifts of the Spirit such as tongues, prophecy, and miracles, you should take very seriously your position on whether you are a cessationist or a continuist of these gifts, says Jason Mullet (minute 33 ff), a cessationist. He continues: “If I am wrong as a cessationist, then I would be saying that true gifts from the Spirit of God have ceased. I would be saying to those who genuinely have the gift of prophesying, of miracles and the gift of tongues, that this was not from God. I would be at best quenching the Spirit, at worst, blaspheming the Spirit.”

Now to Matt Slick (his real name). I love almost all of his apologetics. Slick says that after deep study of the scriptures, he is a continuationist. As we see above, Jason Mullet gives good reasons to assert that  to be wrong about continuationism-cessationism is a serious matter: at worst blasphemy. Yet for Matt Slick, it’s “no big deal,” for him it isn’t  a primary part of the Gospel.

 I don ‘t think Slick would consider wrong beliefs about the gifts a heresy. He distinguishes between damnable and non-damnable heresy. His example of the former is the rejection of the incarnation ( the Word made flesh); his example of the latter is the rejection of hell. 

Consider the five points of Calvinism. Slick like moi, is “Reformed” (“calvinist”): a five -point-Calvinist. Here are the five points in logical order:

  1. Total Depravity (comprising radical corruption, total inability and original sin).
  2. Unconditional Election: God chooses those to be saved based on his wisdom and will, not on how good we are or our will. So, salvation“depends not on human will or exertion,but on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:16).
  3. Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement): Christ shed his blood (paid the price) only for those the Father gave Him: “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day” (John 6:39).
  4. Irresistible Grace: a dead person when raised to life, cannot resist the pull  and say I wanna stay dead.” I once saved a wanna-be suicide from death (in Tel Aviv, drug overdose). Later, he tried again; he did it.) When it comes to Christ raising you, you are no longer the same person, you’re a new creation, filled with joy. Irresistible joy (not same as “happy”).
  5. Perseverance of the Saints (Once Saved Always Saved).

The sovereignty of God shimmers through all the five points – as well as through the whole Bible: God ordains everything: Isaiah 46 – 8 “Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. 9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’.

Slick says that “it’s no big deal” to disbelieve in the above five points because, he says, it’s not an essential of the “Gospel.” He bases his view, firstly, on what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

Secondly, the second person of the trinity (“indeed”) took on flesh: “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24).

And thirdly, justifcation (salvation) by faith alone (without works). “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (Romans 3:28).Good works are the fruit of faith. This is what James means when he says “As you can see, a man is justified by his deeds and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). There is no contradiction between Paul and James, by implication no contradition between God and Himself, who inspired ( or better “expired” breathed out) the scriptures; every word of it. Slick’s favourite example of why he thinks the five points are “no big deal” is that when he married his wife, he never asked her whether she was “reformed.” He says he only found out (if I remember his words well) ten years later.

How do I see these two topics of the cessation-continuation of the gifts and Reformed theology (God’s sovereignty so well described in the five points): I agree with Matt that your belief in the gifts of tongues, prophecy and miracles is not essential (Mullett gives good reason to mull over this one again) but I disagree that the five points are non-essential. Now, if the five points are essential to the Gospel, to reject them or any of them would, it seems, be heresy. A damnable heresy? I’m not sure.

I love Matt Slick. No big deal?


 

The  untrackable, untraceable riches of Christ and Deconstruction

Christ

“Here is the happiness of those who seek and find their blessing in Christ, who have Him and everything that is in Him. Ours are the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ. Those riches are unsearchable, but how sweet it is to search them! They are untraceable, but how lovely it is to trace them! They are untrackable, but how delightful it is to track them through the pages of Scripture and experience. They are without footprint, but what a glorious journey of unending exploration! And all of them are stored up in Christ Jesus our Lord. He is the storehouse, and His are the treasures stored within. When you have Him, you have all good things in and with Him. If you have any of them, it is only because you have Him first.”

Life in Christ” by Jeremiah Walker.

Deconstruction

In deconstruction, language – the sediment of the desire to mean, to communicate – has no locatable centre nor retrievable origin; its existence is a network of differences between signifiers, each tracing and tracking the other. In deconstruction there is no necessary connection between the desire to signify (to mean) and the signifiers that evoke that desire. Desire for such a connection results in nostalgia; the return (nostos) of suffering (algos):

Babel: Can Derrida’s Tour (Surprisingly) Translate Us Anywhere? by Raphael Gamaroff

https://grammargraph.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/babel-can-derridas-tour-surprisingly-translate-us-anywhere/

The Pope and Monsanto Santo santo: the “healthguy” misses the clincher.

What a great clincher was missed in the argument of this video. The Pope won’t allow non-gluten communion wafers but wafers made of GMO flour is OK. The “Healthguy” finds the Pope’s decision bizarre. There is, however, a good religious reason why the Pope loves GMO. For starters he has canonized Monsanto –  Mysaint. Now, there’s the amusing irony.  Santo, Santo, Santo – Holy, Holy, Holy, the earth is full of your glory, GMO in the highest.

Spurgeon: Hezekiah’s Pride

This is a wonderful analysis.

Scripture Thoughts

I always appreciate Spurgeon’s sermons, as they always provide good material for devotion and meditation.  Yet Spurgeon, as with all of us, had his high marks, better sermons—though this is somewhat subjective; we all have our favorite sermons.  Spurgeon’s textual preaching often shows itself in heavily allegorical sermons, in which Spurgeon makes great points, all biblically correct—yet what does it have to do with this particular passage of scripture?  Thus, Spurgeon’s best sermons, for me at least, are the ones that most relate to the actual text, a more expository style of considering the content of the text itself.  In previous posts I have noted a few of these, such as one about King David and his wife Michal’s scorn. I recently read another good, on-topic sermon, from the 1866 volume:  sermon #704, about the last recorded incident in Hezekiah’s life—his visit with the Babylonian ambassadors.

In this…

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“Hey kids: Christmas is all about you.” You wish!

If you went to church on Christmas day, it is very possible the small children were invited to come forward and sit in front  of the nativity scene. (Every time I see those little figurines  – sheep, a cow, a donkey, the manger, Mary, Joseph  etc., I’m reminded of Jethro pursuing Moses in search of his “stolen” idol).

After which the pastor/priest says something to this effect:

“Children, Christmas is all about you.”

Yes, if Santa is you saviour .

At your wits end? Let God: The message of the pregnancy of Mary

​Did you know God can change any desperate situation, any insoluble problem, into success? Here is a good example from scripture:

Matthew 1:18-21

Christ Born of Mary

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

LIsten to  God (Father and Son)  intervene in an impossible situation:

Father – Joseph is at his wits end. Being a  compassionate man, he doesn’t want to  get Mary stoned. 

Son  – Sticky one.

Father – I know what we can do: why don’t you become a baby in Mary’s womb, and carry out that idea we’ve been toying over forever. 

Son – Kinda like kill two birds with one stone; the big ‘un, getting Joseph out of his pickle, the other, me becoming man, suffering, being crucified, rising again, and the rest of it.

End of dialogue

The gist of the sermon (yes, that is what it was -dialogue added):

“When all seems lost, are you prepared to let God?”

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Gingrich: How To newter Muslims

As is well known by those those who follow the US election race, Donald Trump said that all Muslims wanting to enter the country should be forbidden to do so “until we find out what the hell is going on.” In a recent interview, Newt Gingrich goes further by saying that American Muslims “who believe in Sharia should be deported because Sharia is incompatible with Western civilisation.” See Newt Gringrich interview here).

in Islamic countries, the legal buttress of Islam is Sharia, Islamic law, which is based on the Qu’ran and other Islamic texts. It controls all areas of life. It is a penal code where violators are punished by the state. In Islam, Muslims are slaves of Allah. The tern Islam, contrary to Muslim apologists and ignorant non-Muslims, is not derived from the Arabic for “peace,” but from the Arabic for “surrender, devotion and submission”. Those who fall away from Islam, according to Sharia, must be arrested and admonished to repent – with, if necessary, a helping hand from the whip, and/or imprisonment. If the recalcitrant still refuses to submit, put him to death.

We also find this evil in Christian history – the Roman Catholic Inquisition. The difference, however, between Sharia and the Inquisition is that Sharia is based on the Islamic scriptures whereas the Inquisition was a mutilation of the New Testament.

Speaking of mutilations, another Sharia law is the cutting off clitorises.
(See http://www.answering-islam.org/Sharia/fem_circumcision.html).

There are many more Sharia laws that if known or published by the Western Islamophilic media would make the collective prepuce of the populace quiver.

To return to Newt’s proposal, namely, ask Muslim Americans, and by implication, prospective refugees, immigrants, whether they follow Sharia, and if yes, boot them out of the country or refuse entry, respectively. This proposal won’t work. The reason is because of another Sharia tactic – “taqiyya” veiled deception. The Qur’an (16:106 and 3:28) encourages Muslims to lie to protect themselves or the Muslim community.

Many Muslims in the West – as with many professing Christians – are either ignorant of or don’t give a toss for the core elements of their religion. So, if these professing Muslims say that Islam is a religion of peace, they could very well mean it. Islam, alas, is not defined by these ignorant peace-loving Muslims but by Allah and Mohammad, and the Islamic commentators, who teach that all Muslims should endeavour to subjugate non-Muslims; and if the latter refuse, they’re dead meat. See David Wood on Taqiyya – https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=324&v=6F4wBeshTsw#

“Holy Serpent of the Jews ~ Texe Marrs”

Much of what Texe Marrs says in this video is correct. One statement needs correction: He says that the EIN (AYN) in EIN (AYN) SOF means “eye.” Texe you are confusing EIN (AYN) with AYIN (eye). AYN means “no” – AYN SOF “No End” (the “Endless One” – God).

It’s true, of course, that God is also the “All-seeing Eye.”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: forged in the crucible of truth

I enjoy Bill Still’s videos. In one of his recent ones he argues that “The Protocols of the Elder’s of Zion” is fiction. He is probably right. But Orwell’s “1984” is also fiction. And what do we experience today? “1984” morphing into fact. And thus, argues David Duke it also is with “The Protocols of the elders of Zion.”

Bill Still maintains that if you take the Jewish bankers out of the equation, nothing will change. David Duke argues, with evidence, otherwise.

Why are “1984” and the “Protocols” so gripping? Duke says because they convey devastating truths. Both books, at our peril, should not be banished to the shelf.

Yours

A shelf-hating Jews

Save me from the time of trial: Wrap me in a warm blanky

The Anglican version of “Lead me not into temptation” is “Save me from the time of trial.” Since when does God save us FROM the time of trial. The Bible is bursting with verses that say that trials are the name of the game. For example, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation (troubles, trials, sorrows), but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“Save us IN the time of trial” would be better. “Trial,” however, is not the correct translation; “temptation” is the correct translation. You might say that the latter cannot be the correct translation, because it says in James 1:13, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.”

What is going on? I’m a bit stumped. Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on “Lead us not into temptation” – I listened to it twice – did not help. John Calvin sheds more light:

“And lead us not into temptation Matthew 6:13 – Some people have split this petition into two. This is wrong: for the nature of the subject makes it manifest, that it is one and the same petition. The connection of the words also shows it: for the word but, which is placed between, connects the two clauses together, as Augustine judiciously explains. The sentence ought to be resolved thus, That we may not be led into temptation, deliver us from evil The meaning is: “We are conscious Of our own weakness, and desire to enjoy the protection of God, that we may remain impregnable against all the assaults of Satan.” We showed from the former petition, that no man can be reckoned a Christian, who does not acknowledge himself to be a sinner; and in the same manner, we conclude from this petition, that we have no strength for living a holy life, except so far as we obtain it from God. Whoever implores the assistance of God to overcome temptations, acknowledges that, unless God deliver him, he will be constantly falling that he may not reel at every blow.

The word temptation is often used generally for any kind of trial. In this sense God is said to have tempted Abraham, (Genesis 22:1) when he tried his faith. We are tempted both by adversity and by prosperity: because each of them is an occasion of bringing to light feelings which were formerly concealed. But here it denotes inward temptation, which may be fitly called the scourge of the devil, for exciting our lust. It would be foolish to ask, that God would keep us free from every thing which makes trial of our faith. All wicked emotions, which excite us to sin, are included under the name of temptation Though it is not impossible that we may feel such pricks in our minds, (for, during the whole course of our life, we have a constant warfare with the flesh) yet we ask that the Lord would not cause us to be thrown down, or suffer us to be overwhelmed, by temptations.

In order to express this truth more clearly, that we are liable to constant stumbling and ruinous falls, if God does not uphold us with his hand, Christ used this form of expression, (μὴ εἰσενέγκὟς,) Lead us not into temptation: or, as some render it, Bring us not into temptation It is certainly true, that “every man is tempted,” as the Apostle James says, (1:14 ) “by his own lust:” yet, as God not only gives us up to the will of Satan, to kindle the flame of lust, but employs him as the agent of his wrath, when he chooses to drive men headlong to destruction, he may be also said, in a way peculiar to himself, to lead them into temptation In the same sense, “an evil spirit from the Lord” is said to have “seized or troubled Saul,” (1 Samuel 16:14 🙂 and there are many passages of Scripture to the same purpose. And yet we will not therefore say, that God is the author of evil: because, by giving men over to a reprobate mind,” (Romans 1:28) he does not exercise a confused tyranny, but executes his just, though secret judgments, though the reason of them may be unknown to us.” (End of Calvin).

References

Charles Spurgeon “Lead us not into temptation” 1. Audio
2. Text PDF .

John Calvin – Text

An Islamic distortion of the Lord’s prayer

In my city’s main newspaper, The Islamic Awareness Centre in South Africa continues to distort their own beliefs and the Bible. Their topic title is one line from the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses,” which runs into the body of the advert to complete the sentence: “begged Jesus (pbuh) of His Lord…”

There is no passage in the Qur’an which speaks explicitly of Jesus’ sinlessness. The Qur’an does say in Surah 19:19 that the Angel said to Mary: He said, “I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure.” Jesus is called “a boy most pure”. It is not bodily purity that is meant here but purity of a sinless life. The Qur’an says that Muhammad prayed for the forgiveness of his sins (Surah 40:55 ; 47:19 ; 48:2 ). Concerning Jesus in the Quran, there is no praying for forgiveness. The Quran calls Jesus the “word of God.” Muslims say the word of God is the (uncreated) Quran. This means that the Quran, Jesus and Allah are eternal; a Muslim trinity? Eternal beings/persons don’t sin.

In the Bible we find clear testimonies of the sinlessness of Jesus. Jesus himself said:

Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? (John 8:46). In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we read (what do Muslims read?). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” There are many other relevant biblical passages.

The excerpt “Forgive us our sins” is, of course, from the Bible, from “the Lord’s prayer.”

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts (trespasses, sins) as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Why is this called the Lord’s prayer? Because it is the Lord’s (Jesus’s) prayer to God? No, silly. It’s called the Lord’s prayer because it is the prayer that the Lord (Jesus) told his followers to pray. The prayer is contained in the verses Matthew 6:9b – 13. And here are the words of Jesus’s directive immediately prior to the (Lord’s) prayer:

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this: (the prayer follows).

Muslims, let context, not pretext, be your guide.

The blood of our Shepherd

From “Blood Work” by Carter, Anthony – On this good Friday, I think of those who have abandoned Christ for Noahidism (The Seven Laws of Noah; see http://www.noahide.net).

“All things seem to go against you, and it seems that your punishment awaits you every morning. There is “depression” in the land, and in vain do you walk the streets of the city to find employment that you may provide for your family. Whatever savings you were able to lay up for such times are soon consumed. You lose your home. You are forced to live on “relief,” or on charity. What is your only comfort? That soon the evil days may be over and prosperity will return to the land? No, but that you belong to Christ! Sickness attacks your frame and day after day, week after week, month after month, you travel a way of suffering. What is your only comfort? That there are physicians and means to alleviate your suffering; or that you may look forward to recovery? No, but your consolation is that you belong to Christ! Death enters your home and takes away a dear child, tearing it from your very heart. And again, your only, mark you well, emphatically your only comfort is that you are not your own, but belong to your faithful Saviour Jesus Christ!…Your relationship to Christ is always sufficient.” Start reading this book for free: http://amzn.to/1Rklh2X

For fear of the Jews (Jewish leaders?): off the hook?

I examined four verses of 24 English translations of John’s Gospel: the New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), International Standard Version (ISV) and Net Bible. In these four translations the Greek Ἰουδαῖος Ioudaios “Jews” is translated Jewish leaders. I use the four verses of the NIV as an example:

John 1:19
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.

John 7:1
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him.

John 7:13
But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear (phobia, Greek phobon φόβον) of the Jewish leaders.

John 20:19
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

To repeat: the original Greek in all these verses is “Jews,” (Ἰουδαῖος Ioudaios) not “Jewish leaders.

These translations add “leaders” for at least three reasons:

  1. Political correctness – We don’t want to offend anybody, in this instance, the Jews. We don’t want to be accused of hate speech, so let’s botch what the original text really says.
  2. The people (the led) should not be blamed for what their leaders do. After all, many Christians argue, the Jews remain the apple of God’s eye, so if you want to be blessed. you’d better bless the Jew; and so, it doesn’t matter to God if they despise Jesus Christ. Don’t you know they want to destroy Christianity, indeed, destroy or subjugate the Goyim (Gentiles), which the Jews (Jewish leaders?) are doing in the US of A. God, as some of the recent popes have said, doesn’t care if Jews skip or skirt Christ; your brief as Christians or Gentiles is to hang, ten at a time, onto the skirt of a single Jew, as he chaperones you towards the truth and the light.
  3. For fear of the Jews. Question: How do we infer from the original text that the people (the led) in the context of, for example, “for fear of the Jews,” were not fearsome? “Jews” in all these verses could mean 1. only the Jewish leaders or 2. many Jews, or 3. most Jews. (We discount “all” Jews). As we can never know which option this side of eternity, we have no right to change the original.

There is one verse in the New Testament where it is indeed clear that only the Jewish leaders are implied:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” “Jerusalem” refers to the Jewish leaders, and “your children” to those they lead.

In sum, in the New Testament, when the Greek original says “Jews,” should we read “the Jewish leaders” (usually a negative connotation in the NT) instead of “Jews?” Not unless you want to whitewash Jewish non-leaders for one or more of the three reasons mentioned above.


Ashkenazi Jews are not Khazar converts to Judaism

There are many who would say the people running the world – Ashkenazis – are not of my Jewish race but are descendents of the Khazars of Eastern Europe, who converted to Judaism centuries ago.

Julio C writes:
“I don’t think that the jews that run the media, the banks, the government, the corporations, and the world are real biblical jews. It just doesn’t add up. Biblical jews love the laws of God. However, the jews who run the world only promote abominations: rampant sexual perversions, homosexual marriage, pornography, and all sorts of immortality [sic] condemned in the Mosaic Law. If real biblical jews ran the world, then the values of the word of God would be promoted everywhere, not immortality. These jews who run the world call themselves jews yet they are really the ‘synagogue of satan’.”

No, Julio, the Ashkenazis (like moi) are  indeed Jews; and like ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or under another name, Israel Secret Intelligence Service – are out to destroy Christianity. Christian Zionists, dear people, how you’ve been deceived! – “for fear of the Jews?”

John 20:19

“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews,….”

You say, God blesses those who bless (the Modern “State of) Israel. That’s rich. Look at the cesspool of depravity that is the click running the US of A: Israel and the American Jewish lobby (AIPAC – American Israel Public Affairs Committee), who are the pawns of the (Jewish) bankers.

I can’t be an anti-Semite (a bizarre term – the Arab race are Semites too), ’cause I’m Jewish. “Well, you’re a self-hating Jew, then!”  Like the Apostles, like Christ?

 

God’s justice: Why did my priest friend wince?

Christians agree that God’s glory is revealed in his justice. God’s justice comprises blessing the one who obeys Him and cursing the one who disobeys Him, both of which have eternal consequences: heaven for the former,  hell for the latter. Why then did my friend wince when I said,  “Everything God does is for his glory. So when   he sends people to hell, he is glorified.”

Where in our modern seeker-driven churches will you hear that? That is one reason why many of them are thriving.

God is not wringing his hands at the thought of so many souls going to hell, which so many Christians believe. They avoid or refuse to accept:

Romans 9
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

You can’t have the God of the Bible’s justice, without his wrath, and without it being prepared in advance, that is from eternity – part of his decree,  which by its nature is before creation, before time.

Atheists avoid the problem of God’ s justice altogether, by rejecting the very notion:

“In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

(Dawkins, Richard. “God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, November, 1995, p. 85)