The night was dark and gloomy. A lonely tree stood waterlogged in the shadows, it offered little shelter to the solitary young traveller. Thundering clouds clashed and banged overhead like cymbals being hit with a thousand drumsticks. “Help me! Don’t let me die like a dog on this road, help me!” This is how Eric Hill depicts Martin Luther’s epiphany in his 2003 film, which he titled ─ Luther.
Luther’s epiphany occurred on 2 July 1505 when he was returning to his studies at the University of Erfurt. The treacherous storm struck near the Saxony village in Stotternheim and a lightning bolt threw him to the ground. With no help in sight, the young Luther called out to Saint Anne, the patron saint of miners. Bainton, a leading authority on Reformation history says, Luther cried out, “St. Anne help me, I’ll become a Monk.” With that simple oath a fate was sealed, a life transformed, and a destiny averted.
Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany on 10 November 1483. Soon after his birth, his parents Hans and Margaretha Luder, abandoned farming in Eisenach and entered a career in copper mining in Der Harz Mountains. Even though, the history of copper mining dates to ancient times, never in its history had the metal been in such great demand as in medieval Germany. Copper was needed for the newly discovered Gutenberg Printing Press. Sleek copper plates replaced outdated wooden printing blocks because copper produced a much more refined print.
In their small copper smelting business, the Luder family experienced some upward mobility. Albeit, Hans did not want his intelligent son to enter the business. Instead, Hans wanted Luther to become a lawyer. Initially, Luther fulfilled his father’s desires by completing a Master of Law in 1505 at the University of Erfurt. However, unbeknown to his father, Luther concealed his deep, dark secret: his vow to become a monk. In a spontaneous move Luther joined the Augustinian Order of Monks. One of the strictest orders around but reserved for the highest intellectuals and academics.
By 1507 Luther was fully committed to the new direction his life was taking. Leaving his family behind, he began teaching Theology at the University of Wittenberg. It was there, where he later received his Doctor of Theology. Hans and Margaretha remained shattered on the sidelines with no prospects of support in old age. In a letter they disinherited their son and withdrew their affections towards him. Nicols, Luther’s biographer and Christian historian, quotes Luther as saying, “When I became a Monk, my father almost went out of his mind, He was all upset and refused to give me permission.”
Luther’s decision shocked not only his parents but also his peers. They saw him as throwing away his talents for a worthless cause. Because by then, the word bandied around to describe Luther was ‘genius’. Faculty member and notable scholar, Philip Melanchthon, whom Luther called a ‘scrawny shrimp’ in turn called Luther, ‘genius’. Reformation expert, Merle D’Aubigne, states that Pope Leo X when urged by his master of palace, Sylvester Prierias to renounce Luther as heretical, turned around and said … “This Friar Martin Luther, is a great genius; all that is said of him is mere monkish jealousy.”
But all was not well with Dr. Luther. Within the confines of the monastery he battled his demons. He had severe doubts about the role God played in human existence. He questioned why a loving God would allow so much suffering in life and in death. Often struggling with paralysing depression, the stoic monk put aside his own feelings and fought tirelessly to fulfil his duties to the Holy Roman Church. The Holy Roman Church was the only church, there were no other churches. God was everywhere in medieval Europe, but so were demons, goblins, elves, gargoyles and the black death. With uncertainty of life came vulnerability, and the people became open to exploitation. It was unfortunate that exploitation came from the very source the people went to for comfort.
Luther wanted to offer his parishioners comfort. So, when he discovered they were being sold Indulgences by Johann Tezel, it made him angry. Tezel was Germany’s salesman extraordinaire! He was a Dominican monk who was held in highest regard by the church. There was no sin Tezel couldn’t pardon with an Indulgence slip. His authorized Papal Bull even annulled sex with one’s own mother. Pomp, ceremony, processions, crosses and his very own jingle accompanied Tezel wherever he went. “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” That’s all it took for the money to come pouring in.
What were Indulgences and why was Luther so perturbed by them? Indulgences were relics considered ‘holy’ by the church and were purchased at great cost. The Indulgence slip issued for the purchase pardoned the buyer from current and future sins and a reprieve from purgatory. Not only for themselves but also for others. Lucas Cranach famous artist of the Reformation boasted 5,005 such particles: The Virgin Mary’s hair, swaddling from Christ’s crib, leftover bread from The Last Supper, St. Jerome’s tooth, John the Baptists severed head and a myriad of holy bones to name a few.
In 1516 Luther began openly preaching against Indulgences, but nobody was listening. Eventually, Luther was driven to take drastic action and force the church into a scholarly debate about Indulgences.
On All Saints Day, 31 October 1517 Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the All Saints Church (Castle Church) in Wittenberg. The Ninety-five Theses was a series of dot-point disagreements Luther had with the church. Like an artery that runs through the body, the central theme of his Theses was his disdain for Indulgences. Luther wanted a scholarly debate, instead he got much more than he bargained for. Author, Frederick Nohl writes Luther’s students churned out hundreds of copies of his Theses and spread them near and far: making Luther a household name in Germany overnight.
Indulgences proved lucrative for the Church and Luther was biting the hand that fed him. Indulgences also built and restored many sites including St. Peter’s Cathedral. Luther’s own parishioners were sold Indulgences to build St. Peter’s. Luther commented. “Why doesn’t the Pope build the Basilica of St. Peter out of his money? He is richer than Croesus.” In 1521 the disagreement reached a climax and Luther was excommunicated for heresy and by all accounts should’ve been burnt at the stake. His friend and German leader Frederick the Wise intervened. Kidnapped him and hid him in Warburg Castle, in Eisenach, Germany, where he wrote in exile. It would be some seventeen years after Luther’s death in 1546 that Indulgences were condemned by the church. They then established the concept of ‘Good Works’ for salvation rather than buying one’s way into heaven. A victory for Luther no doubt, and a milestone in Reformation.
At the start of this paper we were introduced to a fearful young man who cried, “Help me” in a thunderstorm. The young man’s name was Martin Luther. In time his name became synonymous with his Ninety-five Theses and a challenge to the highest authorities of Church and State. During his lifetime his name would reverberate through the innermost chambers of the Papacy. And in his death, it would be forever etched in the history of Christianity and Reformation. Those around recognised his genius, at the very start. But Luther was flawed like the rest of us and battled moments of deep depression. He told us so much about himself in his writings. Some 500 years later we are still learning about Luther. Luther’s legacy is that he showed us that through perseverance and faith we can be more pleasing to God than through corrupt practices.
Bainton, R. (1977). Here I stand A Life of Martin Luther. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers.
Duggan, L. (2019). Indulgence | Roman Catholicism. Retrieved 24 October 2019, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/indulgence
History of copper – through the ages from the Copper Age to modern times. (2019). Retrieved 10 November 2019, from https://copperalliance.org.uk/about-copper/copper-history/copper-through-the-ages/
Luther, M. (2008). The bondage of the will. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers.
Luther, M., Jacobs, C., & Grimm, H. (1957). Luther’s ninety-five theses. USA: Fortress Press.
Man, J. (2009). The Gutenberg Revolution. London: Bantam Books
Martin Luther. (2019). Retrieved 19 November 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther
Merle d’Aubigné, J., & White, H. (1987). History of the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.
Nichols, S. (2002). Martin Luther A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought. Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Publishing.
Nohl, F. (1963). Martin Luther Hero of Faith. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
Pettegree, A. (2015). Brand Luther. New York: Penguin Press.
Till, E. (2003). Luther [Video]. Eric Hill. https://youtu.be/_rJwCqhTyY8 “Help me! Don’t let me die like a dog on this road! Don’t let me die.”
Author: Cheryl Mason © December 2019
Breaking the Sabbath was a capital crime, Exodus Ch.35:2-3 punishable by death.
I recommend you watch my video (link below) — Did Jesus break the Sabbath? For more information on the subject.
The Jewish Sabbath involves many Laws from the Talmud and not just the TaNaKh (Old Testament). See video, for the Laws of carrying for example; the Sabbath nowadays for instance even has it’s own song, L’choh Dohi (Sabbath song) is about the Sabbath as Queen.
Here’s the interesting thing, the Sabbath was not original to the Hebrews. Every ancient culture except the Phoenicians kept the Sabbath. Either based around the Lunar cycle or based around the seven day cycle. But only the Hebrews (now Jews) claim a special revelation on Mount Sinai regarding the Sabbath.
Sabbath in other ancient cultures:
“With the other elements of Babylonian culture the institution of the Sabbath had made its way to the West. But at Sinai it was given a new and special application. Not only was it to be observed each seventh day of the week, irrespective of the beginning of the month, it became also a sign and mark of the covenant between Israel and its national God. In the book of Exodus, it is true, the reason given for keeping it is that Yahveh had rested on the seventh day from His work of creation—a reason which will hardly be accepted by the geologist—but in Deuteronomy (v. 15) it is more fittingly brought into direct connection with the deliverance from Egypt : ‘ Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm : therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.”
Sayce, A. (2004). The Early History of the Hebrews. 1st ed. [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger Publishing, p.139.
The Babylonians celebrated the Shabattum as noted in the Amarna Letters which pre-dated the Mosaic Law given at Sinai. But then the scripture indicates that the Sabbath was given as an example to us in Genesis because God rested on the Sabbath. If we can figure out when Genesis was penned that would solve all the problems, but we can’t. From all accounts Genesis was penned in the seventh-century B.C. Therefore we are to conclude that these traditions were passed down orally in many cultures and written much later.
I will never understand why people squirm at anything Babylonian, after all according to the scriptures Nimrod, Noah’s great-grandson built Babylon. And because Noah lived for 950 years he was very much alive and kicking when Nimrod was born. From my estimation Noah and Nimrod shared this planet for approximately 200 years.
My point is this — that if they had any contact whatsoever Nimrod would’ve learnt some Biblical traditions. I often wonder if Nimrod is painted as a evil ruler/dictator simply because he is a descendant of Ham/Canaan/Cush. And that ancient literature conjures up some strife between Nimrod and Abraham. Although, nobody is certain who exactly Nimrod is historically. The Babylonians also kept excellent records and there is no mention of a Nimrod in the King’s List.
The identity of Nimrod varies from culture to culture, some say he was Ninurta, others Sargon the Great, still others Tukulti-Ninurta I or the Egyptian monarch Amenophis III. (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, p.897). Personally I believe he was The Great Sargon (Nimrud) who acknowledged his god Marduk as discovered in the fragments of broken prisms in Assur.
Well, that’s my spat on demonising individuals like Nimrod because of folk-law.
The Early Church Fathers on the Sabbath:
What does the term Early Church Fathers mean?
The term Apostolic (Early) Fathers refers to the first and second century disciples of Jesus Christ who were the direct followers of the original Disciples. Some of them like Barnabus and Clement are even mentioned in the New Testament as a traveling companion and successors of Paul and Peter (Acts 14:14 & Phil 4:3).
They were first called Apostolic (Early) Fathers in 1672 by French Scholar J.B. Cotelier (patre’s eevi apostolici), Fathers of The Apostolic Period. Their writings were both from the Old Testament and the New Testament and some of their writings date back to 50AD. Their writings contained everyday practical matters rather than theological doctrines. How to worship, how to assemble, concerns for Judaizers, persecution, the return of Jesus and false religions.
Even though these early Fathers established our New Testament Canon, they themselves found they were excluded from the Canon in 367 AD by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.
Reading the Apostolic Fathers: An Introduction Clayton N.Jefford with Kenneth J. Harder and Louis D. Amezaga, JR.
Justin Martyr on Sabbath.
“150AD JUSTIN: Moreover, all those righteous men already mentioned [after mentioning Adam. Abel, Enoch, Lot, Noah, Melchizedek, and Abraham], though they kept no Sabbaths, were pleasing to God; and after them Abraham with all his descendants until Moses… And you [fleshly Jews] were commanded to keep Sabbaths, that you might retain the memorial of God. For His word makes this announcement, saying, “That you may know that I am God who redeemed you.” (Dialogue With Trypho the Jew, 150-165 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, page 204)”
“150AD JUSTIN: There is no other thing for which you blame us, my friends, is there than this? That we do not live according to the Law, nor, are we circumcised in the flesh as your forefathers, nor do we observe the Sabbath as you do. (Dialogue with Trypho 10:1. In verse 3 the Jew Trypho acknowledges that Christians ‘do not keep the Sabbath.’)”
“150AD JUSTIN: We are always together with one another. And for all the things with which we are supplied we bless the Maker of all through his Son Jesus Christ and through his Holy Spirit. And on the day called Sunday there is a gathering together in the same place of all who live in a city or a rural district. (There follows an account of a Christian worship service, which is quoted in VII.2.) We all make our assembly in common on the day of the Sun, since it is the first day, on which God changed the darkness and matter and made the world, and Jesus Christ our Savior arose from the dead on the same day. For they crucified him on the day before Saturn’s day, and on the day after (which is the day of the Sun the appeared to his apostles and taught his disciples these things. (Apology, 1, 67:1-3, 7; First Apology, 145 AD, Ante-Nicene Fathers , Vol. 1, pg. 186)”
“Tertullian, that ” on the day of the Lord’s resurrection Christians should defer their businesses lest they give any place to the devil.” “One hundred and twenty-one years later, Constantine,”” the shrewd statesman, to please his numerous Christian subjects, gave legal sanction and protection to their Sacred Day, in terms that would give no offense to his pagan subjects, by his famous edict for Sunday rest.”
Ignatius the Bishop of Antioch who was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John, lived around 37-110 A.D. He wrote in his Epistle.
“Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables which are unprofitable. For if we continue to live according to Jewish Law, we acknowledge we have NOT received Grace. For even the most Holy prophets lived according to Jesus Christ. For this cause we are persecuted also, being inspired by this Grace, fully to convince the unbelievers there is One God, who hath manifested himself by Jesus Christ his Son. Who is his eternal world, not coming forth from silence, who in all things was well pleasing to him who sent him.
If therefore they come to the newness of hope, no longer observing Sabbaths, keeping the Lord’s Day in whom also our life is sprung up by Him and through His death.” (A Translation of The Epistles of Clement Of Rome, Polycarp And Ignatius, And of The First Apology Of Justin Martyr,p.68)
“Ignatius, ” Epistle to the Magnesians,” ch. g, and Council of Laodicea, can, 2g, 49 and loi, A.D. 361. See Bingham’s *’ Christian Antiquities,” vol. ii., b. 20, ch. 3.”—-4. A. Hodge, D.D., in “The Day Changed:’ The Schaff-Her-zog Cj’clopaedia says : ” The Jewish Christians ceased to observe the Sabbath [that is, Saturday], after the destruction of Jerusalem. The Ebionites and Nazarenes kept up the habit even longer.” 150—p. 382.”
“Irenceus wrote to an Alexandrian to the effect that ‘ It is right, with respect to the feast of the resurrection, that we should 2 celebrate it upon the first day of the week.’ “—A’ote by the Svriac Editor of the ” Lost Writings” 50M Frag. 259.”
Melito, Bishop of Sardis. a.d. 170. “On the Lord’s-day.” Title oj one of his bocks, 5 260—Bakdesanes, a.d. 180. (Died 223.) “On one day, the first of 2 the week, we assemble ourselves together.” 2I > 1—Clement of Alexandria, a.d. 192. (Date, A. A. Hodge.) (Clement died, according to Zahn’s latest investigations, about A.D. 215.)”
“During the last days of Christ’s earthly ministry, and in the subsequent ministry of the apostles, and among their immediate successors, the first day of the week was treated as the * * chief of days,’*
“In the seven weeks between the resurrection and the ascension, Jesus appeared to Christian gatherings on seven separated days, the first two of them surely—probably all of them—being ” the first day of the week.” ‘” During that period He gave many unrecorded ” commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen” (Acts i : 2). What those commandments were we can best infer from the subsequent acts and writings of these inspired men, who taught the churches which they organized, by precept and example, to meet together on the first day of the week to celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, to engage in social worship, to hear preaching, and to make their weekly collections for benevolence. (Acts 20 : 6-11 ; I Cor. 16 : I.)”
The Sabbath for man: a study of the origin, obligation, history, advantages and present state of Sabbath obsevance.
Discovered in the nineteenth century, The Didache is the earliest Christian document, it pre-dates most of the New Testament, and yet most Christians have not even heard of it. Strange huh?
The Didache is a series of simple documents, that don’t address biblical theology but rather the everyday life of Christians. The main teaching was The Two Way Tradition; others included how to pray, when to fast, the early Church fasted Mondays and Thursdays. When to assemble and their readings which they called the Memoirs of the Apostles.
The Didache says the early Church met on Sunday, that Sunday was the Day of the Lord, they broke bread, shared a meal, sang songs, and read the Memoirs of the Apostles.
“What the ” Fathers” say of the Sabbath is of value chiefly as affording incidental and so reliable testimony to several facts —namely : i. The Old Testament custom of setting apart one ” stated day” in each week for a sacrament, a collection, and social worship, was not abolished by the Apostles, but was uninterruptedly continued by their immediate successors. 2. The first day of the week was thus kept as a Christian festival. 3. The day of the w ^ eek most highly esteemed in the days of the Post-apostolic Fathers was not the seventh, but “the first day of the week,” called also “the eighth day” and ” Sunday.” 4. The additional observance of the seventh day was for a while tolerated in converts from Judaism. 5. ” The first day of the week” was commonly called ” The Lord’s-day,” as in Rev. i : 10.” The Sabbath for man: a study of the origin, obligation, history, advantages and present state of Sabbath obsevance.
The Reformer Martin Luther, even though not an Early Church Father and many of his contemporaries held the same views as the early Church about Sunday and not Saturday as being the Lord’s Day.
Martin Luther on The Sabbath:
He said: “Keep the Sabbath holy for its use both to body and soul ; but if anywhere the day is made holy for the mere day’s sake, if anywhere Anyone one sets up its observance upon a Jewish foundation, then I order you to work on it, to ride on it, to dance on it, to feast on it, to do anything that shall remove this encroachment on the Christian spirit and liberty.” Martin Luther.
“In another place he says:” No day is better or more excellent than another. Some one day, at least, must be selected in each week for attention to these matters [worship and instruction], and, seeing that those who preceded us choose the Lord’s-day for them, this harmless and admitted custom must not be readily changed.” Martin Luther.
Finally…”The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” said, Jesus the Christ, Mark 2 : 27.
It’s a case of keeping things in perspective. It’s easy to make an idol of the Sabbath and worship the day rather than worship the God who gave a day of rest for mankind. Not just for man, but the animals also. Beasts of burden pay a heavy price with their bodies and also need a day of rest. The Earth needs a rest, we all need a rest!
So God in His mercy allotted a day, one day a week to rest. And, there’s no problem with that, the problem is exalting the day to be better than or more Holier than any other day. That’s the problem. As a New Testament Christian, every day is Holy, every day is a day of worship. “Pray without ceasing.” Is what we are instructed to do.
However, how the Jews chose to celebrate the Sabbath is their business, but for the Judaizers and those misinformed people who hold Saturday a day in which to worship, I just want to tell you you are in error and are being deceived because it is quite clear from all the references above that the early Church kept Sunday as unto the Lord.
For those who say the Apostles kept the Sabbath because they went to the Synagogue, is a lie. I think it pretty obvious from my references that, that was not the case. “The apostles often went to the synagogue on Saturday to evangelize the Jews,’ but we have no record that any Christian assembly, after the resurrection, met on that day for preaching, or for the Lord’s Supper, or for public worship. Converted Jews raised some controversies as to whether Christians ought not to keep the seventh day as well as the first, but there is no record of any controversy in the early church in regard to keeping the first day.” The Sabbath for man: a study of the origin, obligation, history, advantages and present state of Sabbath obsevance.
Cheryl Mason July 2019.
Bible.ca. (2019). Early Christians always met on the First day (Sunday) and never kept the sabbath!. [online] Available at: http://www.bible.ca/H-sunday.htm [Accessed 12 Jul. 2019].
Chabad.org. (2016). Judaism, Torah and Jewish Info – Chabad Lubavitch. [online] Available at: http://chabad.org [Accessed 14 Oct. 2016].
Chevallier, R. and Whittingham A.M., W. (1834). A Translation of The Epistles of Clement Of Rome, Polycarp And Ignatius, And of The First Apology Of Justin Martyr. New York: The New York Protestant Episcopal Press.
Crafts, W. (n.d.). The Sabbath for man: a study of the origin, obligation, history, advantages and present state of Sabbath obsevance.
Getty images iStock. (2016). [image].
Holy Bible. (1985). Nashville: T. Nelson.
Jefford, C. (2012). Reading the Apostolic Fathers. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Neusner, J. (2005). The Babylonian Talmud. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers.
O’Loughlin, T. (2010). The Didache. London: SPCK.
Patzia, A. (2011). Making of the New Testament. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press.
Pritchard, J. (1969). Ancient Near Eastern texts relating to the Old Testament. Edited by James B. Pritchard. Third edition with supplement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp.286,287.
Sayce, A. (2004). The Early History of the Hebrews. [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger Publishing.
Schauss, H. and Schauss, H. (1996). The Jewish festivals. New York: Schocken Books.
Youngblood, R., Bruce, F. and Harrison, R. (1995). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. Nashville: T. Nelson.
If there is one hotly debated topic in Evangelical circles it would have to be “All Israel will be saved.’ But where does the idea originate from? After all, sin is sin, there is no such thing as corporate redemption under the Old Covenant or the New. Ezekiel Ch.18:20 “The soul who sins shall die”, but then we have the passage in Romans Ch.11:26, which implies salvation for ‘all’ Israel. I decided I would explore the teachings of some of Judaism’s greatest scholars and find out why they believed ‘All Israel will be saved’, furthermore what those same teachers believed about the lack of redemption for the non-Jewish souls.
“And so, all Israel will be saved”, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; Or this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:26-29.
In the New Testament the cross-reference to Paul’s quote is given as Isaiah Ch. 59:20;21. Isaiah is speaking about a Redeemer, there is only one Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It’s self-explanatory then, that if you are a Christian, you would realize that only those who accept the Redemption offered by Jesus Christ are saved. And, yet Christians continue to attest to salvation for ‘All Israel’. This is what Isaiah Ch.59:20;21 says…
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” Says the LORD.
“As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.”
“All Israel will be saved” is a term that is not found in the passage that Paul is referring to in Romans 11:26. Furthermore, Paul says nothing about descendants, descendants etc., forevermore. The Septuagint as usual says even less in this passage.
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob.” Where is it written in Isaiah Ch.59:20;21 that All Israel will be saved? When the condition for redemption is for those who TURN. Paul is quoting a reference that clearly states that only those who ‘TURN’, a word used for repentance will be redeemed when the Redeemer comes to Zion, an event that had already happened when Paul wrote Romans.
For the purpose of this study Israel will mean Jews. Simply because the Evangelicals who quote this passage of scripture mean Jews and only Jews. Any other way of dealing with the topic or referring to natural or spiritual Israel will muddy the waters and cause unnecessary confusion.
When discussing ‘All Israel will be saved’ it’s hard not to delve into the Resurrection of the Dead. A topic that comes with its own vagueness, both from a Hebraic perspective and a Christian one. The Resurrection of the Dead is a reunion of an already dead (decomposed) body to the Soul, into an immortal state.
I discovered the term “All Israel will be saved”, steeped in Judaic literature but with very little basis. Outside of Second Maccabees Ch.7:9, there is only one other reference to Israel (Jews?) being resurrected. Daniel Ch.2:2 mentions a similar ‘rising-up’ from the dust as it were. Once Maccabees and Daniel are weighed there is very little else to get excited about, until one reads Talmudic literature. The authors of Talmud are not shy in proclaiming, the Jews and only the Jews are the ones to inherit eternal life. And, then there are the Noachides (the Righteous gentiles), but that’s a whole other story. I will proceed to the Noachides later, as it is important to understand the criteria for non-Jews to enter eternal bliss.
Non-Jews before you breathe a sigh of relief there is a caveat! And, it is an elimination of whisperers. WHAT? Are you a whisperer?
I discovered that the end game for both Jews and Christians is not that dissimilar. The Pharisees (modern-day Judaism) and Christians believe in the immortal soul. They both also believe in the Resurrection of the Dead (with minor variants) and a futuristic earthly existence. Which brings us to a minor issue, NOT! The Land; the Land; the Land. For any future existence, Jews must have ‘THE LAND’, Jews must return to Eden; Eden to the land.
As they say in the movies, “Without further ado”, let’s begin…
Romans 11:26 ”All Israel will be saved”, what does it mean?
Someone once said to me, to understand a verse in the Bible, you need to read the twenty verses before and the twenty verses after. In order to understand Romans 11:26, let’s go back 20 verses.
It’s apparent when we do this that Paul is speaking of a remnant (Romans 11:5). The meaning of the word remnant is the leftover, the residue, whatever is left behind at the end. He goes on to say … “By the election of grace and not of works”, that is not by the ‘works of the Law, we cannot be saved by the works of the Law. We can only be saved by Grace, but even under Grace there are ‘works’, and we will be judged by our ‘works’ (Revelation 20:12).
Romans 11:13-14 To you, moreover, speaking to the Gentiles and himself to some extent to shake some of them out through jealousy.
Romans 11: 17-23 Is a metaphor about the Gentiles being grafted into the wild olive tree and they (Israel) being cut off because of unbelief. Gentiles also have the potential to be cut off and Israel has the potential to be grafted back in. They are more so, because Gentiles are not part of the original olive tree.
Romans 11:25 The Mystery … Paul also speaks in Romans about Israel being blinded in part, he experienced this perfectly because when he got converted, it was like scales fell from his eyes, and he was able to receive the truth of the Gospel of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Romans 11:26 And, all Israel will be saved! A verse that causes so much confusion, it’s a mystery, but when the time of the Gentiles is completed a remnant of Israel will be saved. The Greek word, sode’-zo, means to save, heal and rescue.
Whatever remnant will be left at the end, will accept Jesus as their Messiah and they will be saved. There is a remnant according to grace (Romans 11:5) Paul used the 7000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal as an example.
The idea that all Israel, corporate redemption will be/must be saved is not from the Bible, but it’s an idea that is based in Judaism and Kabbalah, which is a form of Judaism. Because Adam (the Jewish man has the breath of YHWH in him, technically he cannot die or be cut-off from his creator, in theory it makes sense, but from a Christian perspective it does not. It is this teaching that has infiltrated the Christian church and its views on modern day Israel.
Of course, it should always be our desire that Jews be saved, just like it should be that the whole world should be saved. It’s Gods desire that no man perish, like it was for the Apostle Paul, but even he stated it as a desire, saying…” My heart’s DESIRE is that Israel (they) MIGHT be saved (Romans 10:1). There is a big difference between stating “All Israel WILL be saved” and desiring that Israel “MIGHT be saved”. It’s impossible that Paul meant both, instead the former has been grossly misunderstood and the latter is correct because it is confirmed by other scriptures.
All Israel will be saved – The Talmudic perspective:
As I mentioned earlier the Pharisaic and Christian views on the immortal soul are not that dissimilar. This is because of Paul’s influence on the New Testament and his own Pharisaic upbringing. He himself stated he was a Pharisee of Pharisees (Philippians 3:5) who ‘sat at the feet’ of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Two things we can glean from his comments: the first; that the relationship between Paul and Gamaliel was very strong, to sit at someone’s feet meant to draw on every word that proceeded from their mouth. The second; that Paul was on his way to becoming Sanhedrin.
Paul with his understanding of the immortal soul would have understood Jesus’s resurrection totally. Jesus in His resurrected body was fully body and soul. The disciples were able to touch Him, doubting Thomas was only satisfied when he put his fingers into the wounds of Jesus (John 20:27). What would have been the outcome if for instance Paul was a Sadducee? Would we share the same consensus with the Jews? I don’t think so, because the Sadducees did not believe in the Resurrection of the Dead.
According to Neusner, the Sadducees deferred on the Resurrection of the Dead; Angels; the Immortality of the Soul and Divine Providence. They also only accepted the Written Torah (Neusner, 2005). From Josephus we learn that the Sadducees believed the soul perished with the body (Antiquities 18:1.4). Geza Vermes also points out that all the rewards and punishment for the Sadducees were received in this life (Vermes, 2010). We also have the reference from the New Testament itself about the Sadducees disbelief in such an event (Matthew 22:23).
The principles of Pharisee-ism are the total opposite, they are the Immortality of the Soul; belief in Angels; Divine Providence; Freedom of Will; Resurrection of the Dead and a Written and Oral Torah.
It’s clear at this point that the Sadducees did not accept the Resurrection of the Dead as a doctrine. But what of the Pharisees, where did they get their teaching from? And, you might be wondering why I am harping on about the Resurrection of the Dead, it’s because eternal life in Judaism is intrinsically connected with Resurrection. Even if for some reason a Pharisee had to spend a brief period in Gehenna, like a sort of a purgatory, his destination is Eden.
I promise you; you will not be blown away by what I discovered about what the Pharisees believe in the Resurrection of the Dead. Let’s begin with Vermes, in his book The Real Jesus, Vermes says that it was not widely known among the Jews and that the concept gained prominence only in the Second Century B.C. by the Jews in diaspora who were influenced by Greek culture.
For Neusner it’s back to the Garden of Eden. In his view because Israel holds the belief of ‘One’ God (Deuteronomy 6:4) that qualifies Israel to attain to Resurrection. Why? Because they know their God and are monotheistic. “The Gentiles are not…they reject God in favour of idols”, says Neusner. The monotheistic Jewish soul is on a journey back to the Garden of Eden, which is Israel, as in the Land. Then there is the aspect of suffering. Israel is the Suffering Servant who has endured incredible hardship in this world none explains this concept clearer than Rabbi Stuart Federow in his book Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast.
Neusner would agree I’m sure, in his eyes the Righteous Jew is always suffering and therefore warrants eternal redemption, no questions asked. The whole premise of Jewish resurrection hinges on one passage of Hebrew scripture. “Also, your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, That I may be glorified (Isaiah 60:21). That’s it!
“To be Israel means to rise from the grave and that applies to all Israelites. The entire holy people will enter the world to come, that is, Israel will enjoy the resurrection of the dead and eternal life. Israel then is anticipated to be the people of eternity.” (Neusner, 2005). The Jewish Eden, which is the land, is not just a place for the resurrected soul but rather a condition. From reading about this condition, it reminded me very much of a Buddhist Nirvana.
Which brings me to the Zohar, and no doubt some of the wackiest origins of where this concept originated from. The Zohar itself informs us that it has its origins in Babylon and that its philosophies were developed in Babylon during the Exile. In the Zend Avesta the Jews discovered similar stories about creation, Adam and Eve, the temptation and the Resurrection of the Dead. The jury is still out on whether some of these stories were adopted by Zoroastrianism or the other way around. There is no denying though that Zoroastrianism has heavily influenced Talmudic Judaism. The Resurrection for Jews in the Zohar is like other Jewish texts. It’s about the land and returning to the land, a reincarnation of souls brought back to the land when the graves were opened (Zohar).
“Therefore, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves and bring you into the land of Israel.
“Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves (Ezekiel 37:12;13).
Lastly, it’s only fair to check in on Maimonides and see what he has to say about the Resurrection of the Dead. Well, it appears very little, the man of science and medicine didn’t much care for the doctrine. And even when he was given an opportunity to make his views clear in Maamar Tehiyyet ham-Metim, he failed to do so. (The Introduction to the Code of Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, 1980).
All Israel will be saved – The Jewish perspective for non-Jews.
It’s all doom and gloom for the non-Jewish souls unfortunately, they will perish, and the wicked will not stand in judgement as the Psalmist says…” Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Remember the word ‘Righteous’ from before (Isaiah 60:21) and that the Righteous are the Jews.
The disqualifications for Redemption for non-Jewish souls include:
Those who read heretical books, “The books of the Evangelists … they do not save from the fire. But they are allowed to burn where they are, they and the reference to the divine name that are in them.” (Neusner, 2004; Neusner, 2005). Some of the suggestions from the Rabbi’s included, cut out the name and burn the rest.
“(1) He who says, the Resurrection of the dead is a teaching which does not derive from Torah, (2) and that the Torah does not come from Heaven; and (3) Epicureans [hedonist]” (Neusner, 2005). Well, Epicureans means Greek thinkers. The Zohar calls them ‘antediluvians’, from my understanding it would mean ‘creatures’ as in the ‘others’ who were created as non-Jews. Then there is a general exclusion of ‘Gentiles’, “Idolaters, do not even figure in judgment at all. They do not rise from the grave.” (Neusner, 2005).
Lastly, I will address The Whisperers. The Who? You might very well ask. For that we need to read the Jewish Creed, based on Isaiah 60:21.
He who denies The Resurrection
He who denies the origin of The Torah (that it was from Heaven)
The Unbelievers (those who do not believe in the concept of the ‘One’ God)
From Rabbi Akiba:
He who reads Heretical Books (Christian texts)
He who Whispers over a Wound (a clear reference to Christians who pray over wounds and diseases in the name of Jesus). There are at least three instances in Talmudic literature that mentions Rabbi’s suggesting death would be better than being prayed over in the name of Jesus. Two choking instances and a snake bite.
From Rabbi Saul:
He who utters the letters of the Tetragrammaton (YHVH).
In concluding then, ‘All Israel will be saved’ is a predominantly Jewish term, that is only found in Romans 11:26, it is found nowhere else in the Bible. I checked every verse in the entire Bible that had the word Israel in it, no mean feat I can tell you. However, the idea of a Jewish remnant being ‘saved’ is throughout the scriptures.
From Isaiah 60:21 the Jews have managed to create a scenario whereby every Jew the ‘Righteous’ warrants a Resurrection. The non-Jews under Noachide, if they deny the deity of Jesus, or the reading of the New Testament might attain Resurrection with the Jews. I think I’ll pass on that one, thank you very much.
Christians who encourage that salvation can be attained in any other way are in error and will be judged for being part of a deception. If Noachides think that by having one foot in Judaism and one foot in Christianity and that somehow that will win them brownie points with God, they are wrong. The only way you can be a true Noachide is by denying Jesus Christ, who is the true Resurrection and the Life. Without Jesus Christ of Nazareth there is no Resurrection.
Brenton, L. (2010). The Septuagint version of the Old Testament and Apocrypha. [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger Pub, p.195.
Creed, M. (2019). Maimonides on the Jewish Creed: Abelson, J. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. [online] Internet Archive. Available at: http://archive.org/details/jstor-1451103/page/n28 [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].
De Manhar, N. and Drais, J. (1995). Zohar Bereshith to Lekh Lekha. San Diego: Wizards Bookshelf.
Federow, S. (2012). Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast. Bloomington, Ind.: iUniverse Inc.
Jesus Christ in the Talmud, a. (2019). Jesus Christ in the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, and the liturgy of the synagogue: Dalman, Gustaf, 1855-1941 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. [online] Internet Archive. Available at: http://archive.org/details/cu31924074488150/ [Accessed 4 Jun. 2019].
Josephus, F. and Whiston, W. (2008). The works of Josephus. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
Nelson, T. (2005). The Nkjv Daily Bible. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.
Neusner, J. (2004). The emergence of Judaism. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, pp.74,217.
Neusner, J. (2005). Questions and answers. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, pp.13, 45,152,153,154,164.
Neusner, J. (2011). The Babylonian Talmud. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, pp.Sanhedrin 10:1 A-G.
Twersky, I. (2010). Introduction to the Code of Maimonides. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp.43,502.
Vermès, G. and Vermès, G. (2010). The real Jesus. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, pp.107-109.
Cheryl Mason 4 June 2019.
These are some of the more commonly held beliefs about the origins of the Star of David. I found it interesting to find out where all these beliefs originated from.
The Moloch Connection:
Many claim the flags origins are with the Star of Moloch. The young martyr Steven in the book of Acts (Acts 7:43) mentioned that the Jews of his day worshiped the Star of Remphan.
Most scholars draw a connection between the Remphan and Chiun (Amos 5:26) like Nelson’s Bible Dictionary for example. Remphan/Chiun originated in Babylon, was the god of Saturn and possessed a Star. Bruce, F. and Lockyer, H. (1995). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. Nashville: T. Nelson, pp.507-513.
Steven before he was executed, made the connection between the Star of the Jews and Moloch worship. But is it the same Star? We can’t be certain, but it appears that way.
“Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.” NKJV. Steven was reproducing the entire history of the ancient Israelites up until then.
For a more definitive answer about Remphan and Chiun, I went to the Septuagint (LXX).
Oddly enough it was Steven’s numbering of the Jews who entered Egypt that first made me go searching in the Septuagint over a decade ago. My Septuagint studies have led me to believe that the early Church were reading the LXX and not the Masoretic text. In this instance also, I found Steven to be correct in his reference to Remphan. Amos Ch.5:26 in the LXX as quoted by Steven…” Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Raephan, the images of which ye made for yourselves.” Brenton, L. (2007). The Septuagint version of the Old Testament and Apocrypha. [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger Pub, p.1089.
Why the KJV versions translate this as Chuin in Amos and Remphan in Acts I will never know.
The prophet Ezekiel was also highly critical of Moloch worship in Jerusalem prior to the Babylonian Captivity. The punishment for Moloch worship was outlined in Leviticus Ch.18:21. The penalty for Moloch worship was being cut-off from the land and cut-off from among their people. Leviticus Ch.21:28-29.
Leviticus 18:21 ‘And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
Leviticus Ch.21:28-29 “Lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people.” NKJV.
It is for this reason the anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews, who protest in their thousands regularly don’t support the modern-day Zionist State of Israel. They believe the people were scattered because of the abominations committed in the land. And, are now destined to live in exile as Lights to the Nations of the world until Messiah returns. When Messiah returns, He will restore the people to the land. That is their belief.
The Rothschild’s Connection:
Others have drawn a connection between the Rothschild family emblem and the Israeli national flag. In his book Andrew Carrington mentions a date when the Rothschild’s took on a red star as a family emblem. “On February 23rd, 1744 Mayer Amschel Bauer, an Ashkenazi Jew, is born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Moses Amschel Bauer, a money lender and the proprietor of a counting house. Moses Amschel Bauer places a red sign above the entrance door to his counting house. This sign is a red hexagram (that geometrically and numerically translates into the number 666), which under Rothschild instruction will end up on the Israeli flag some two centuries later.”
Hitchcock, A. (2012). The Synagogue of Satan. 2nd ed. United States of America, p.247.
The Rothschild’s adopted the Red Hexagon, Rot (Red in German) Schild (shield or sign in German). As the Rothschild s were instrumental in the development of the modern-day State of Israel, it is their shield that was adopted on the Israeli flag. Except the Red was replaced by the Blue. That’s what a link from the Jewish Virtual Library which had information to a Rothschild Archive stated, but since then the information has been removed.
The Zionist Connection:
The Blue Star could’ve very well been adopted from Rothschild’s Red Star, as Theodor Herzl stated in his book, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) that the Zionists did not at that time possess a flag, it was only later, towards the end of Herzl’s untimely death that The Rothschild’s became involved in the development of the formation of the State of Israel. Herzl had this to say…
“THE FLAG We have no flag, and we need one. If we desire to lead many men, we must raise a symbol above their heads. I would suggest a white flag, with seven golden stars. The white field symbolizes our pure new life; the stars are the seven golden hours of our working day. For we shall march into the Promised Land carrying the badge of honor.”
Theodore Herzl, The Jewish State — Der Judenstaat.
Still very much in the period of modern-day Zionism, another contributor was mentioned in an article I read, this article related more to the design of the flag rather than the actual Magen David or Star of David.
“Actually, the flag design that David Wolffsohn came up with was one that had already been in circulation, although he most likely was not aware of it.
In 1882 Jews from Russia founded a town south of Jaffa named Rishon LeZion (“First to Zion”). It was funded in part by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. In the summer of 1885, the community started making plans to celebrate its third anniversary. One of the settlers, Israel Belkind, decided to make a flag for the occasion. Working with another settler, the two of them came up with the idea of a design that would look like a prayer shawl, with the Star of David in the center, between two blue stripes. The flag was adopted as the symbol of the town, and later, the word, Zion, was added in the center of the Star of David.” http://christinprophecy.org/…/the-story-behind-israels-flag/
“Dov Gutterman, “Rishon LeZiyyon Flag,” http://www.crwflags.com/FOTW/FLAGS/il%7Dz1885.html, pp. 1-2. Accessed on March 5, 2008.”
The Kabbalah Connection:
The most comprehensive material I was able to discover recently comes from none other than the founder of Modern-Day Kabbalah, Gershom Scholem. Scholem, was the Professor of Jewish Mysticism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Firstly, he says that “The hexagram is not a Jewish symbol much less the symbol of Judaism.”
Scholem‘s focus appears to be mainly on the pentagram and hexagram, which have a long history in magic. In Jewish circles the hexagram was mentioned by Joshua ben Asaiah (600 B.C). It was also discovered next to a Swastika in a Synagogue in Capernaum. Many Middle Age Churches also adopted and used this emblem in their architecture.
“The Hexagram was made popular by the Kabbalist, Isaac Luria. Max Grunwald wrote in 1973 about how the Kabbalist’s viewed the hexagram resembling the ten spheres of the Sefirot. The lower and upper spheres come together to create Jewish magic.”
“The first mention of the Hexagram in Kabbalah was in (1280-90) Joseph Gikatilla in Gates of Righteousness.”
“The Star of David is also a symbol of Israel’s coming Jewish military Messiah, Ben David.”
Scholem, G. (1995). The messianic idea in Judaism and other essays on Jewish spirituality. New York: Schocken Books, pp. 257-281.
The Military Messiah Connection:
Only significant people were born under a Star! The Magi, who were able to read the stars knew of the importance of those born under this sign and their ability to change the world.
It was a long-held belief that Messiah will be born under a Star. No surprises then when Matthew in his Gospel expounds on the Magi following The Star to the place of Jesus’s birth (Matthew 2:9-10). Matthew would have written this especially for his Jewish audience who were expecting Messiah to be born under a Star.
“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” NKJV.
Since Messiah Jesus was rejected as the Messiah by the Chief Priests and Elders, The Jews continued in their search for Messiah. Later, the emblem of The Star of David was used by Rabbi Akiba to promote Bar Kochba during the Roman revolt in 135 A.D. According to Rabbi Akiba, Bar Kochba was the promised military Messiah.
A “Star” Shines
“It was Rabbi Akiva who ascribed to Shimon bar Kochba the famous messianic verse: “A star will shoot forth from Jacob” (Numbers 24:17). That is how he got the name “Kochba,” which means “star.” Rabbi Akiva crowned him the Messiah. Rabbi Akiva was so widely respected among the people that if he saw in Shimon messianic qualities then the people immediately elevated him to the level of the Messiah. The helps us understand very well why the Christians would take no part in the war; it would have made one messiah too many.”
A “Star” Fades and Burns Out
“Then they began calling him, “Bar Koziba,” meaning the son of a lie; a false messiah. Their hopes were dashed.”
Killed in Battle: “Beitar fell to the Romans on Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, in 135 CE, adding it to calamitous national tragedies of the Jewish people. Bar Kochba was eventually killed in battle. According to Dio Cassius and Jewish sources, at least a half a million Jews were killed. It was a tremendous blood bath.”
“Even so, the Jewish people after Hadrian were crushed almost beyond recognition. Bar Kochba’s defeat marked the end of any sort of Jewish autonomy in the Jewish homeland until the twentieth century.” https://www.jewishhistory.org/bar-kochba/
Well, that was the end of Bar Kochba.
But how did the Christians during Bar Kochba’s reign react to him having the Title as ‘The Star”?
In a text by Rev. Dr Gustaf Dalman, we have an indication of how the Christians responded to Bar Koshba’s claims. Quoting Justin Martyr (Apol.i.31) the author says that the Christians were severely punished for not accepting Bar Koshba’s Star. When Rabbi Akiba referred to the prophesy in Numbers as being fulfilled in Bar Kochba (Taanith IV.8, p.68d) the Christians simply replied…
“Thou art in error, Jesus of Nazareth and no other is the true Son of a Star.” Faced with this rejection Rabbi Akiba simply altered The Jerusalem Talmud from Ben Stara of the Christian into Ben Stada the Son of a Star into the Son of a harlot. Dalman, G. (1893). Jesus Christ in the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar and the liturgy of the Synagogue. London: Cambridge, pp.14-15.
The quest for Messiah’s Star continues to this day, with websites claiming that a Star is expected to appear in 2020. Breaking Israel News | Latest News. Biblical Perspective. (2018). New Star to Appear in Night Sky, Heralding Balaam’s Prophecy of Messiah. [online] Available at: https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/…/new-star-appear-night…/ [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].
It’s my understanding then, that the Star of David is a very old symbol which predates David and Solomon. I discovered that Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Freemasonry, Churches and witchcraft all used this symbol. Scholem was right, the Star of David is not a Jewish symbol, but has been adopted as a Jewish symbol because of its connection to the spheres of the Sefirot…
Personally, I believe it relates more to the importance of those born under its sign than anything else. For example, in the book of Jasher, it mentions even Abraham was born under a Star.
Matthew the Gospel writer made an attempt to prove to the Jews of his day that Jesus the Messiah was in fact born under a Star and thus fulfilling prophesy. The New Testament Christians believed this was the case, and this significant person who was supposed to be born under a Star was Jesus Christ. As Justin Martyr pointed out that when the Christians rejected Bar Kochba, they paid a heavy price.
Whether or not Military Messiah will appear under a Star, I cannot say for sure, but I’m certain he will use the Star of David as his emblem, because of the supernatural powers the symbol possesses.
Scripture quotations marked “NKJV” are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Cheryl Mason posted on 17 May. 2019.
Christians who maintain that the Mosaic Law is still valid today will invariably quote Matthew Ch.5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” They use this passage of scripture to end all discussion about the Law. Jesus said it; therefore, it’s right and that’s the end of the matter. And, yet, it clearly is not the end of the matter, and if it were it would have to be one of the most contradictory chapters in the entire Bible.
In my view, Jesus abrogates the Mosaic Law in Matthew chapter five and six on at least seven counts.
After a miracle working session in chapter four of Matthew, Jesus retired to the mountain with His disciples. He taught them about the Kingdom of Heaven, Matthew Ch. 5:3-16 is the ultimate gauge that determines who is Blessed and who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I hear so much debate about Blessing and Cursing, and in almost every case, Matthew chapter five is never quoted. And, yet under the New Covenant this is the only criteria that determines Blessing.
Who is Blessed under the New Covenant according to Matthew Ch.5:3-16?
The fulfillment of the Law of God in the hearts and minds of His followers is in the above list. Those who possess those qualities or are suffering for the Kingdom’s sake are those who belong to the Kingdom and therefore are The Blessed.
Now, let’s proceed to Matthew Ch.5:18; “For verily I say unto you till Heaven and Earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law until all be fulfilled.”
The Greek words used here are katalyo for destroy and ginomai for fulfilled. Katalyo means to discard or abrogate and ginomai means to bring to pass or finish. So, which Law is Jesus talking about? Because He no sooner says this when He begins to take down the Mosaic Law, note He doesn’t even call it Moses’s Law, instead choosing to say, “It’s been said of old.” If for instance Jesus meant to keep every ‘jot and tittle’ from the Law, then why would He abrogate it on more than seven counts?
In fact, what Jesus was restoring was the Law of God to its purest form, like it was in the beginning. It’s been a long-held belief of mine that Hammurabi’s Babylonian cruel Laws became incorporated into the Mosaic Code. Jesus restored Mercy, whereas under the Old Covenant Mercy was in short supply. Mercy does not integrate well into “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” revenge law. Which is word for word a Babylonian Law written on stone some 1500 years before Moses. “Love your neighbours” is God’s Law in its purest form, that is whoever is beside you at any given time. “Love your neighbours but hate the Amorites and Moabites” is not God’s Law, that is according to Jesus. Somewhere along the line the message got mixed up, Jesus came to abrogate laws and set the record straight.
Christians, rather than argue about Matthew Ch.5:16-17 let’s just focus on getting Matthew Ch.5:3-16 right.
The “Laws of Old” that Jesus abrogated are:
Here are some examples of abrogated laws from the chapter that is supposed to substantiate that the Mosaic Law was not done away with:
The Law of Divorce:
The Mosaic Law:
“It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement” Deuteronomy 24:1
“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.”
The Abrogated Law:
“But I (Jesus Christ) say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32.
The Law of Swearing and making Oaths:
The Mosaic Law:
“And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded.
If a man vows a vow unto the LORD or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:1-2.
The Abrogated Law:
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Matthew Ch 5: 33-37.
The Laws of Revenge:
The Mosaic Law:
“Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.
And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.
If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.” Exodus 21:24-28
The Abrogated Law:
“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”Matthew Ch. 5:39-42.
I have heard people say that the eye for an eye law does not mean an actual eye for an eye but rather monetary compensation, I think Jesus knew that also, because He mentioned those who would sue you and how you should respond to them.
The Laws of Love and Hate:
The Mosaic Law:
Law of Killing and destroying your enemies:
“Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.” Psalm 18:40
If you think you can hate your enemies and encourage or support others to hate and kill people, you are so wrong.
We cannot or should not endorse the killing of anyone, even our enemies. “Thou shalt NOT kill, period! There is no such thing as pre-meditated murder or accidental murder or revenge killing or self-defence killing in God’s eyes or a differentiation between killing those of your own community or outsiders.
The Old Testament is riddled with scriptures about hating your enemies to the point of destroying them. In the Old Testament, even God ‘hates’, for example, God hates Esau, Really? See my article on, Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated. Another example is destroying the seven perceived enemies of ancient Israel, “Kill the woman and children, ham-string the horses and kill everything that has breath.” And Christians have the audacity to cry foul over the Quran! To my surprise I have met Christians, even Pastors who use such references to justify the killing of Palestinians, even if those Palestinians are Christians. I have to ask myself…” Do these so-called Christians read the New Testament?”
Killing is killing. We cannot take a life; we are not permitted to do so.
The Abrogated Law:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
Then there is Mercy…
SHOW NO MERCY or LOVE MERCY, which one is it?
We must go to none other than the New Testament to determine which one is correct. If we stay in the Old Testament, we will never know whether we are supposed to Show Mercy or not Show Mercy.
If you read widely in Ancient Near East literature, it’s hard to miss certain similarities in Laws. Many where simply International Laws and were the same across all ancient civilizations. They were also in existence prior to Moses, which does not necessarily mean they were not God’s Laws, it just means Moses incorporated them into Biblical Laws.
“The ten commandments were followed by a series of other laws, many of which were probably re-enactments of laws or regulations already in force. The law of retaliation, for instance (Exod. xxi. 23-25), is as old as human society; so also is the law that murder should be punished by death (xxi. 12). The law which punished the master for the murder of a slave if he died on the spot, but allowed him to go scot-free if the slave lingered for a day or two (xxi. 20, 21), had its parallel in ancient Babylonia, and the death-penalty exacted from the ox which had gored a man (xxi. 28-32) is a survival from the days when dumb animals and even inanimate objects were regarded as responsible for the injuries they had caused. The regulations in regard to ‘ a field or vineyard,’ or ‘ the standing corn ‘ of a field (xxii. 5, 6), belonged to the land of Goshen or to Canaan, not to the life in the wilderness, and the dedication of the firstborn to God (xxii. 29, 30) was one of the most ancient articles of Semitic faith. (Page 140-141).
Sayce, A. (2004). The Early History of the Hebrews. 1st ed. [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger Publishing.
Jesus came to this earth to restore the Law of God in its purest form.
Therefore, we have no excuses before God. His timing was impeccable as always, arriving at the crucial point when Talmudic (Traditions of the Fathers) had well and truly embedded itself into ancient Israelite culture. That coupled with skewed Mosaic Laws meant that if Jesus did not intervene, the world could’ve quite easily reached a point of no return.
The followers of Jesus knew this, He taught them the differences between the various Laws. Which ones to keep and which ones to discard. Matthew 23:23, Jesus encouraged His followers to keep the weightier aspects of the Law, which were Judgement, Mercy and Faith, the Apostles did likewise. There are other examples of Laws outside of The Laws, if you know what I mean…”It says in YOUR Law or written in THEIR Law” John 8:17; 10:34 and 15:25. Paul mentioned he was well versed in ‘The Law of the Fathers’, a totally different Law. Acts 22:3; 23:29 and 24:6.
The term ‘The Law’ does not necessarily mean the Mosaic Law or any other specific Law. It could mean any set of Laws. As we can see from the scriptures above, there were other Laws in existence when Jesus spoke those words. And, the New Testament clearly draws a distinction between the Laws of God and the Laws of Old which had become part of the Mosaic Law and is still prevalent today in Talmudic Judaism.
It wasn’t just Jesus and His disciples who did all the challenging. They were often challenged themselves by the Scribes and Pharisees for not keeping Talmudic Laws. Mark Ch.7:5-9 is one such example:
Jesus was asked why His disciples did not follow the Traditions of the Fathers. Jesus replied that the Scribes and Pharisees had laid aside the Commandments of God and were teaching the commandments of men as Doctrine.
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Tradition had overtaken the Commandments of God. That’s why we cannot assume that ‘one jot or one tittle’ refers to Mosaic Law, rather as Christians we should only focus on those Laws that were confirmed to us through Jesus Christ and discard the rest.
Scriptures used are from the KJV which is in the public domain.
Cheryl Mason posted 25 May 2019.
Judaism’s own literature states that there are Two Covenants, for example in the Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Creation) it states:
“The Two Covenants, by the Word or Spirit, and by the Flesh, made by Jehovah with Abraham, Genesis xvii. The Covenant of Circumcision was to be an outward and visible sign of the Divine promise made to Abraham and his offspring.” Although, Judaism subscribes both of these Covenants to Abraham, it is clear from Jeremiah that the second Covenant was futuristic and manifested long after Abraham was dead.
If the Abrahamic Covenant is the outward Covenant of circumcision. What is the Covenant of the Word the Spiritual Covenant this very important Jewish text is talking about?
A few points to note from the Sepher Yetzirah according to the authors:
1. Both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud mention the Sepher Yetzirah.
2. Abraham was the original author of the Sepher Yetzirah.
3. “This book may be considered to be an Allegorical Parallel between the Idealism of Numbers and Letters and the various parts of the Universe, and it sheds much light on many mystic forms and ceremonies yet extant, notably upon Freemasonry, the Tarot, and the later Kabbalah, and is a great aid to the comprehension of the Astro-Theosophic schemes of the Rosicrucians. To obtain the full value of this Treatise, it should be studied hand in hand with Hermetic attributions, the “Isiac Tablet,” and with a complete set of the designs, symbols and allocation of the Trump cards of the Tarot pack, for which see my translation of The Sanctum Regnum of the Tarot, by Eliphas Levi.”
4. The Sepher Yetzirah is one of the most famous Cabalistic texts dating back to 200 C.E.
Westcott, W. (1893). Sepher Yetzirah. London: Theosophical Pub. Society.
Now let’s look at what the Bible says about The Two Covenants:
If Jeremiah is correct then in order to have a New Covenant there must be an Old Covenant. Note, it does not say a ‘Renewed Covenant’ or any such thing, it says Old and New, that’s it.
The New Covenant which Jeremiah prophesied about was futuristic…He also says, the Old Covenant which was made at Sinai was BROKEN, “Which they Broke.” The New Covenant is a spiritual Covenant and involves circumcision of the Heart and not the Penis.
The people who have God’s Law written in their hearts and in their minds belong to this New Covenant.
The other question which needs answering is…Is this New Covenant only for Jews or for all peoples of the earth?
“I will be their God and they shall be My People.” Only those people who have entered into this New Covenant and allowed God to write His Laws on their hearts and in their minds are His People.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
“not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My COVENANT WHICH THEY BROKE, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (also see 2 Corinthians 3:3). NKJV
“Many NATIONS shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
“Many Nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people.”
Zachariah Ch.2:10;11 NKJV
This cannot be interpreted as Noachide for all Nations. The Sanhedrin for example who seek to introduce Noachide Laws DO NOT accept that the Lord of Hosts sent Jesus of Nazareth. Instead they would interpret Zachariah Ch.2:10;11 as being the Jewish people sent to the world. Because in Jewish literature the Suffering Servant is the Jewish people and not Jesus Christ.
The Apostle John emphasises twenty-four times in his Gospel that the Father was the SENDER and that Jesus was the SENT-ONE.
Unless the People who are part of this New Covenant believe that “Jesus was SENT.” Then they are not part of the New Covenant. Zachariah is very clear where the line is drawn in the sand. The line is drawn at Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the dividing line between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Can it be any clearer that THE SINAI COVENANT was BROKEN?
In his book The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, Alfred.J. Chompff (pages 334 and 335) writes about the Two Covenants; that “Hagar and Sarah are metaphoric to us in that each represented a different Covenant. One earthly and the other Heavenly. Hagar was the earthly, The Mount Sinai Covenant that was temporal and Sarah represented the heavenly, eternal Covenant that God made with all Nations through Jesus Christ. One is in bondage the other one is free. “For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds
to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—
but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Only a small portion of the world’s population belong to Hagar and her earthly Jerusalem Covenant. Sarah is the mother of all those who belong to the Heavenly Jerusalem Covenant.
The children of Abraham are those who have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, they are the true SEED of Abraham and heirs according to the promise, just like Isaac.”
Alfred.J.Chompff is quoting Paul in explaining the Two Covenants to us, the ones living in the New Covenant were prophesied by Jeremiah. Of course Paul would’ve understood the Two Covenants PERFECTLY, because Paul was on his way to becoming Sanhedrin when he had the Damascus Road experience.
The Apostle Paul in Hebrews Ch.8: 6-10 quoting from Jeremiah’s New Covenant Prophesy.
A New Covenant.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—
“not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” NKJV
Even though the book of Zachariah is full of hope and promise for the return and rebuilding of the Second Temple. It is also a book full of Messianic expectations for the entire world, united as “My People”, under the New Covenant.
Galatians 4: 21-26
“Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a free-woman.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the free-woman through promise,
which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—
for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—
but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.” NKJV
God is no respecter of persons under this New Covenant:
Galatians 3: 28;29.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” NKJV
“Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” NKJV
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD.
“Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
“Many Nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people.” NKJV
The Babylonian Exile which was punishment for sin and disobedience brought about an end to the Sinai Covenant. From then on the Prophets prophesied about the return, restoration and a rebuilding of the Second Temple. The majority of these prophesies were embedded with Messianic expectations. Once in the land and the Temple rebuilt, the Messiah would come and that He did. Most of Zachariah’s prophesies were fulfilled 2000 years ago, others are very futuristic and will occur during the millennial reign of Christ.
As for the Broken Covenant, we saw that there were Two Covenants, and now I will show you that in Lamentations Rabbah XXIV.11.3 it says that when the Temple was destroyed that Abraham was weeping and lamenting before God. The Angels joined in his lamentations and the Angels said to Abraham. “You have broken the Covenant.” Lamentations Rabbah then recites a whole list of Patriarchs and even their wives who lamented before God because of the Broken Covenant. Outside of the Old Testament there is confirmation then that Judaism does teach that the Babylonian Exile was a braking of the Covenant with the Israelites. Yet, most Jews today will not admit to this.
Lamentations Rabbah cited in:
Neusner, J. (2004). The Emergence of Judaism. 1st ed. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press,pp.13-17.
Neusner, J. (2005). Questions and answers. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson,p.91-92.
The final point I would like to make is that the ‘Covenant’ according to Judaism is intrinsically linked to both the written and oral laws. Because according to Judaism these were both given to Moses at the same time. This is a very documented fact in Talmud and Zohar. But I will save it for another article. The story goes like this…God was on Sinai (Exodus 19:18-20) He delivered the Laws (written and oral) to Moses and the children of Israel responded with…”And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” (Exodus 19:8).
Scripture quotations marked “NKJV” are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Cheryl Mason (May, 2019)
Many Christians are bewitched by Judaism without knowing what the religion teaches, what it’s origins are and that modern Judaism is in fact based on Oral Rabbinic Traditions and not based on the TaNaKh (Old Testament).
For the most part, the religion of the TaNaKh (Old Testament) is no more, it’s been replaced over time with the Traditions of the Fathers. The Traditions of the Fathers was relatively small during the time of Jesus. But since Jesus it has grown into a monumental work of Talmud, Zohar and other Judaic literature. It’s important to note that Jesus, Paul and John preached against the Traditions of the Fathers.
Judaism consists of an Oral Law (Traditions) and a Written Law (Mosaic).
What does these two Laws mean?
From a Judaic perspective this means that Moses was given two sets of Laws, he wrote down one and passed the other by word-of-mouth. The only problem with excepting this version of events means that Moses disobeyed God. Because God clearly told Moses to write down everything, Exodus 17:14; Exodus 34:27. To accept the Judaic version we have to believe that Moses withheld information that God commanded him to write down.
From a Christian perspective, there is only one set of Laws that God gave to Moses which were written down and transmitted to us in the form of the Pentateuch (the first five Books of the Bible). This is often referred to as the Torah in Judaic circles, but the word Torah has a much deeper meaning.
Christians have become duped into accepting the basest meaning of the term Torah. In fact the word Torah encompasses the entire spectrum of Judaic literature. If you are going to use the term Torah then read all of the Judaic literature and see for yourself how much of it comprises of TaNaKh (Old Testament) and how much of it agrees with the teaching of Jesus for instance.
I am quoting from the Pirke Avot which is a commentary of Jewish ethics as laid out by the Traditions of the Fathers. It states that the group who conceived the idea of Oral Law were the Pharisees. The Pharisees were in opposition to the Sadducee who were Zadok (Priests) during the time of Solomon. It was the Sadducees who were overseers of Temple proceeding. In opposition to the Temple (and I assume the Sanhedrin, which were the ruling courts) the Pharisees set up an institution of ruling ‘elite’ known as Rabbi’s. Kravitz, L. and Olitzky, K. (1993). Pirke Avot. New York, N.Y.: UAHC Press,p.12.
One of Jesus’s warning comes to mind and that was not to call any man Rabbi. Why then do these Christians call Jewish leaders Rabbi’s? They are in direct rebellion to the teaching of Jesus.
The Rabbi’s took it upon themselves to expand on the Oral Traditions, which is part and parcel of what I mentioned earlier. The entire spectrum of Jewish literature including Talmud and Zohar, together they comprise Torah and are part of modern day Judaism. In 70 A.D. the Temple was destroyed by Titus and without the Temple the Sadducees faded off into oblivion. Or, maybe not, they were in fact present at Council of Jamnia, in Yavneh at the Canonization of the Hebrew text in 90 A.D. Eventually, they did fade off into oblivion. But fear not! They have resurrected and now consist of the Sanhedrin who will oversee Temple proceeding in the upcoming Temple. Are they real Sadducees? Probably not, more like Pharisees who are now taking over the priestly line of Zadok.
In the end the Pharisees survived together with their texts which they call collectively —Torah.
Cheryl Mason April 2019.
“Torah: literally, instruction. At first, the first five Books of Moses; then Scriptures as a whole; then the whole corpus of revelation, both written and oral, taught by Pharisaic Judaism. Standing by itself, Torah means “study”, the act of learning and discussion of the Tradition.” Jacob Neusner.
Neusner, J. (2004). The Emergence of Judaism. 1st ed. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, p.218.
The Red Heifer from Jewish literature:
The Rambam (Maimonides) in the Mishnah Torah states that there have already been nine red heifers and then he goes on to say…
“The 10th red heifer will be performed by the King Moshiach.”
But what does it mean when they say the 10th Heifer will be performed by Moshiach?
“Nine red heifers were performed (through burning etc.) from the time the Jews were given this mitzvah, until the destruction of the Second Holy Temple. The first heifer was performed by Moses. The second one was performed by Ezra (who was a kohain). And there were another seven red heifers performed from Ezra until the destruction of the Second Holy Temple. The 10th red heifer will be performed by the King Moshiach —may he speedily be revealed, Amen, so may be the will of Hashem.”
The Highlights of Moshiach — Rabbi Abraham Stone.
The precedent for The Red Heifer burning is given to us in Numbers and expounded in the Mishnah Torah in Parah (Cow).
In the book of Numbers Ch.19, this animal is needed to purify people. The animal had to be without spot and without blemish and had never been yoked.
The Red Heifer from the Bible:
Numbers Ch.19:1-6 and verse 17: KJV.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:
And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face:
And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times:
And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:
And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.”
“And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel.”
Did Christian Zionists make this Red Heifer happen?
According to Timothy Weber author of On The Road to Armageddon, Zionist Christians did play a part in producing a genetically modified Red Heifer for The Temple Institute.
“Since so much was riding on the sacrifice of a perfect red heifer, it was not surprising that some American dispensationalist cattle breeders stepped forward to help produce the needed livestock. Clyde Lott was a Pentecostal cattleman from Canton, Mississippi, who was well schooled in the science of producing champions. In the late 1980s, Lott learned from prophecy teachers that before the temple could be rebuilt in Jerusalem, a perfect red heifer was needed for sacrifice. Given his expertise in cattle production, Lott decided he could help. Through a long process he finally made contact with Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute, who was very interested in what Lott had to say. In 1990, Lott traveled to Jerusalem to meet with Richman and the institute’s founder, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel. Lott spelled out some of the financial realities of raising red heifers, and the three began searching for the right location in Israel to start a cattle business.
The original plan was to transport two hundred pregnant cows to Israel via ocean liners at two thousand dollars per head. By using the methods of genetic science, they were confident that the new herd would eventually produce the perfect red heifer. While the search for land continued in Israel, Lott started his selective breeding program back home in Mississippi. In 1994, Rabbi Richman visited Lott’s operation in Canton, and Lott showed him four recently born calves. To his utter amazement, Richman found among the four a red heifer that seemed to meet all the qualifications of Numbers 19, except that it had been born in the wrong place-in Mississippi, not in Israel. But Richman was convinced that Lott was capable of producing a proper sacrificial calf.”
On The Road to Armageddon, How Evangelicals became Israel’s Best Friend — Timothy. P. Weber.
Why would Christian Zionists create a GMO animal for sacrifice?
The crux of the Christian message is that Jesus the Messiah brought an end to the Sacrificial system. That the blood of Bulls and Goats could no longer take away sins; that once and for all God proclaimed that He took no pleasure in burnt offering and sacrifices. Hebrews 10:4-6.
Therefore establishing the New Covenant by His own blood and His own body.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Hebrews 10:16.
No other Chapter in the New Testament demonstrates the failure of the Sacrificial system under the Old Covenant like Hebrews chapter ten does. It concludes with this warning, which applies to all those who experienced the freedom from the Laws of sin and death and were perfected and sanctified by His death on the cross.
Hebrews says…”He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.” However, a much sorer punishment waits those who have made a mockery of the Son of God and brought upon Him open shame and proclaimed His death on the cross an ‘unholy’ thing by returning to the blood of bulls and goats. Hebrews 10: 28-29.
Haaretz.com. (2018). The Temple Mount red heifer saga: Engineering the apocalypse?. [online] Available at: https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-the-red-heifer-wrong-all-along-1.5376396 [Accessed 5 Dec. 2018].
KJV- amplified Holy Bible. (1954). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.
Neusner, J. (1988). Mishnah. London: Yale University Press, pp.1013-1035.
News, B. (2018). Rare All-Red Heifer Born: Next Step Toward Building the Third Temple?. [online] Charisma News. Available at: https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/standing-with-israel/73007-rare-all-red-heifer-born-next-step-toward-building-the-third-temple [Accessed 5 Dec. 2018].
Red Heifer Candidate Born in Israel. https://youtu.be/mOMH2qY6RCY. (2018). You Tube: The Temple Institute.
Stone, R. (1992). The Highlights of Moshiach. 2nd ed. New York: S.I.E, p.Location 614.
Weber, T. (2005). On the road to Armageddon, How Evangelicals became Israel’s Best Friend. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, pp.Location 3676-3735.
Cheryl Mason (2018)
Added 18 August 2020
The Red Heifer is being inspected:
Historically speaking Hammurabi the Babylonian Law maker preceded Moses by several hundred years and had pretty much the same laws. Unless, there’s been some serious mistakes with the dating of his Stele, or the dating of Moses, Hammurabi was before Moses.
Hammurabi’ Babylonian Law Code dates back to 1754 BC.
Moses’s Law Code dates back to 1393-1273 BC approx.
HAMMURABI’S KINGDOM (link below: copied from history.com)
“Hammurabi was the sixth king in the Babylonian dynasty, which ruled in central Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) from c.1894 to 1595 B.C. His family was descended from the Amorites, a semi-nomadic tribe in western Syria, and his name reflects a mix of cultures: Hammu, which means “family” in Amorite, combined with rapi, meaning “great” in Akkadian, the everyday language of Babylon. In the 30th year of his reign Hammurabi began to expand his kingdom up and down the Euphrates, overthrowing Larsa, Eshunna, Assyria and Mari until all of Mesopotamia under his sway.
Did You Know?
Hammurabi’s Code includes many harsh punishments, sometimes demanding the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, breasts, eye or ear. But the code is also one of the earliest examples of the idea of the accused being considered innocent until proven guilty.”
If “an eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth” (I call them Revenge Laws) existed on giant stele in the ancient Babylonian kingdom several hundred years before Moses then how can we say Moses received those laws from God?
If we compare Hammurabi’s Laws to modern day Wahhabism Laws for instance; ISIS and the like, they are almost identical. But technically, Judaism should be following these Laws as well, that is if they adhere to the Mosaic Law Code.
New Testament believers on the other hand do not and should not follow these ‘Revenge Laws’ Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “You have heard it said?” Did God not say it, Jesus?
“But I (Jesus) say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also… You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt: 5:38;39;43;44).
I’ve always struggled with the fact that on that on one hand the Old Testament has the 10 Commandments, “Love thy neighbour as thyself”, while at the same time we are told to take revenge. “An eye for an eye” etc. The Jewish people explain this away as being monetary compensations and not literally an eye for an eye. But that’s not what it meant in Hammurabi’s Babylon. Personally, I believe it was literal in ancient Israel as well.
Here are my thoughts on how I think Hammurabi’s Laws ended up in the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures):
1. These Laws are from God, and were instinctively known by man from ancient times or they were passed Down through Noah’s descendants.
2. Satan got in first; as he was fully aware of the Laws of God and he most likely helped construct them. Similarly, Satan is now preemptive in bringing about counterfeit one world government, millennium reign etc. He is Babylon in every sense of the word.
3. That some of the Mosaic Laws written in the Bible were actually International Laws (Hammurabi’s and others) and Moses incorporated them into his own Laws, which God gave him on Mount Sinai. Israel, like the rest of the Ancient near East had to obey International Laws as well as their own Laws.
4. That Moses had nothing to do with “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth Laws” (Revenge Laws) because they are not from God. And, that they have been included in the Bible because it was what the Israelites chose to abide by, since many of them were influenced by Babylon.
5. That the Revenge Laws were written not for the Israelites but for the Gentiles. Similar to Wahhabism, the punishments are for those who refuse to obey their Laws (a form of Sharia).
In all honesty, these ‘Revenge Laws’ contradict the Commandments of God and Jesus refuted them when He came to this earth. He said, “You say, an eye for an eye” etc. But “I say”. The Laws of abrogation come into affect here: Jesus superseded these draconian, cruel Laws of the past, irrelevant if they were from Hammurabi or from Moses they are finished. No more!
Jesus referred his followers back to the 10 Commandments which I believe are from God, given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Cheryl Mason (March 2017).
January 2017: I’m very much on a Martin Luther theme this year for two reasons: The 500th Anniversary of The Reformation and to get a better understanding of his concept of Babylon. Babylon i…
Source: Books read in 2017