Monday, June 10, 2013

Does Yeshua Mediate for Those That Do Not Know Him?

We know that Mark Kinzer (a leader of leaders at the UMJC) teaches in the "unrecognized mediation" of Yeshua via the Abrahamic covenant--the idea that Jews are saved even without knowing Yeshua.  We also know that no one has come out in the UMJC to repudiate this false teaching.

But let's examine this claim that Yeshua mediates for those who do not recognize Him.  First, let's hear Paul in Romans 10:


(1) Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 
(9)That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 
(10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
(14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 
(15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Now let's hear Kinzer's own words:

"I do believe that the Abrahamic covenant offers Jewish people access to God in and through Yeshua. That does not mean that all Jews, by virtue of being Jews, have a right relationship with God. It does mean that God's favor still rests upon Israel, and He makes a way for humble and faithful members of His people to enter His presence through the unrecognized mediation of Israel's Messiah," [from:   http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah/7_1/letters]
Let's break this down.  Kinzer teaches that you don't need to believe that G-d raised Yeshua from the dead in order to be saved--you don't even need to be aware of Yeshua at all!  According to Kinzer, a Jew can be completely incognizant of Yeshua and still receive Yeshua's mediation!  That's a complete reversal of Paul's words in Romans 10!

Why does this evil organization suffer a man like Kinzer to be president emeritus of anything, much less the leadership wing of the organization?  Why allow his input on their rabbinic council?

Why isn't anyone protesting this evil?!



90 comments:

  1. The IAMCS / MJAA has rightly come out against this:

    http://storage.cloversites.com/iamcs/documents/UnrecognizedMediation.pdf

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    1. Glad to hear it! Thanks for the link!

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    2. I like how this document articulates the danger of the false teaching of Unrecognized Mediation:

      " One possible consequence of this teaching is a lack of urgency in communicating the Good News to [Jews]."

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  2. See Hegg's take on articles by Juster, Dauermann, Leman, and Kinzer here:

    http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/ShiftingSand.pdf

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    1. (BTW, what was the source for the quote by Kinzer above?)

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    2. Thanks Rob! I'm reading it now.

      Here's the source for Kinzer's quote:

      http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah/7_1/letters

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    3. Just finished the article. I found it interesting that the founding president of the UMJC, Dan Juster said the following:

      "I put forth the case for the importance of both Jew and Gentile explicitly embracing Yeshua for assurance concerning their eternal destiny after [t]his life, yet holding to the possibility of God's wider mercy (which may in fact include others in his grace who have not made an explicit confession of faith," (from Dan Juster's "The Narrow Wider Hope", pg. 40 of the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Kesher)

      Good grief! He says you don't have to make an explicit confession of faith!

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  3. An important motive for this Unrecognized Mediation Doctrine is, I think, to not exclude those who are in a state of invincible error from the possibility of salvation. This concords with Catholic doctrine as expressed by Thomas Aquinas, that individuals are not always personally guilty for having an incorrect informed conscience. One could think here for example of persons brought up in isolated pagan cultures. Aquinas doesn’t exclude that some persons who never had a real oppurtunity of hearing the Gospel, or who lived in paganism long before the arrival of Messiah, were yet in a state of sanctifying grace, if they repented of their sins according to their best knowledge.

    One could also think of persons brought up in Judaism before Messiah came and were faithful in their generations. Who can tell beforehand whether they would have accepted Yeshua if he had come in their time? We simply don’t know. And are people raised in Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox Judaism not in a very similar situation. They believe with their whole heart that Yeshua was an imposter and are completely convinced in their conscience that their religion is correct.

    If one rejects all possibility of grace outside the context of a conscious faith in Yeshua, then the overwhelming majority of the Jews who lived since Yeshua’s appearance are eternally damned. In that case the fact of being born a Jew is one of the surest indications that one never will be saved. For the percentage of Jewish acceptance of Yeshua is negligible.

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    1. Messianic613,

      Paul didn't preach like someone who "simply didn't know" whether it was possible to be saved apart from Yeshua. He labored under the impression that they were on their way to hell--and he even stated that he wished he could take that eternal punishment for them!

      (see Romans 9:3..."For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.")







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    2. Paul's zeal should be viewed in light of the fact that the Kingdom Offer was still effective until the end of the Acts. After Acts 28:28 we find no longer a special mission concentrated on the Jews. The Kingdom Offer, which opened with John the Baptist, was withdrawn. From Acts 28:28 on there is a universal mission to all mankind to accept the Gospel, without special attention to the Jews. This special mission will return in the Last Days right before the coming of the Kingdom.

      It goes without saying that the generation which was witness to the supernatural events of the Gospels and the Acts had a very great responsibility to accept the Gospel of Yeshua. They couldn't plead any ignorance. This may be different, however, for those who lived centuries after these events in a Jewish ghetto and had long since adopted from their forefathers a lifestyle of shunning and expurging all reference to what they regarded as a pseudo-Messiah.

      Naturally, my perspective doesn't exclude personal responsibility for all who knew or know better. Nor does it in any sense diminish the necessity to bring the Gospel message to all.

      Paul didn't wish to take care of the eternal punishment of his unbelieving fellow-Jews — which would be completely nonsensical and incredible — but he expressed his willingness to be under a temperol curse of separation from Messiah for their sake.

      Do you really believe that 99% of all Torah-obedient Jews in post-Yeshua history are eternally lost, and that the oeverwhelming majority of faithful Orthodox Jews who entered the Nazi Gas-chambers woke up in hell-fire afterwards?

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    3. Messianic 613,

      Re: "Paul didn't wish to take care of the eternal punishment of his unbelieving fellow-Jews--which would be completely nonsensical and incredible--but he expressed his willingness to be under a temporal curse of separation from Messiah for their sake."

      You're reading "temporal curse" into the text. He makes no qualification whatsoever. He says he would be "cut off" for their sake. The Hebrew for "cut off" is "karet", which refers to spiritual death (i.e. damnation).

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    4. I believe one of the most relevant passages regarding Paul's view of "Unrecognized Mediation" would be:
      Romans 2:11-16 HCSB There is no favoritism with God. 12 All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous. 14 So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences testify in support of this, and their competing thoughts either accuse or excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

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  4. // Naturally, my perspective doesn't exclude personal responsibility for all who knew or know better. Nor does it in any sense diminish the necessity to bring the Gospel message to all. //

    How is this? If Torah Observant, non-Yeshua-believing Jews (post-Yeshua) are inheritors of the kingdom of God, then there is hope for humanity outside of Yeshua. How does that not severely diminish the gospel message?

    What atonement for sins do people have outside of faith/trust in Yeshua's atoning sacrifice for sin? A hope that works of Torah and prayer can make atonement? Is that what the Torah says?

    The NT doesn't seem to leave any doubt in this area for believers. Take Luke 10:16 as one of many examples:

    “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

    Not a lot of wiggle room there....

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    1. On this topic, a verse that should be kept in mind is John 9:41 "Yeshua answered them, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But since you still say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains."

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    2. "What atonement for sins do people have outside of faith/trust in Yeshua's atoning sacrifice for sin? A hope that works of Torah and prayer can make atonement? Is that what the Torah says?"

      For those who hold to the concept of unrecognized mediation, (at least the catholic/C.S. Lewis version) the idea is that Yeshua is still the source of atonement/salvation. However, in certain situations where it would be impossible for a person to believe on his own accord, G-d has the right, if he chooses, to include them in Messiah's atoning work without their full knowledge/undertanding.

      So in other words, for people who hold this point of view, its not that you can be saved some other way. It is still Yeshua's sacrificial atonement that saves. But that atonement is applied based on something less than full understanding/acceptance.
      This is not extended to everyone, and is not seen so much as an act of mercy, but justice, since it is considered unjust to send someone to hell who had no chance of believing/having a full understanding.

      One issue is determining what the criteria are for such individuals to be extended this unrecognized atonement. Some have already been suggested in posts above.

      Scripturally speaking it is a hard sell for sure. But there are a few places a person could make a case I guess. The real point of clarification that I want to make is that it is not considered a different means of salvation.

      the Noahide-guy

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  5. Another great article by Tim Hegg -- a must read based upon the latest "straw-man"attempts FFOZ...

    http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Sola_Scriptura.pdf

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    1. I'm sorry that Tim hasn't "moved on" from his apparent "vendetta" against FFOZ. I had hoped that once the pain of the separation of his relationship with them had passed, he would reorganize and focus on teaching from his own perspective and not feel he had to center much of what he and his organization produces upon FFOZ.

      I read Jacob's article and Tim is taking one small paragraph out of context. The paragraph was clearly intended to be somewhat "tongue-in-cheek" to describe what someone without a background in theology might make of the doctrine of sola scriptura. It wasn't a formal definition of Jacob's views on that doctrine and yet Tim treats it as if it was, which is somewhat outside the bounds of "fair play."

      In this writing, Tim reminds me of John MacArthur, who is also a proponent of Biblical Sufficiency but who is also rather rigid in other areas of this thinking.

      I'm sorry this corner of the One Law movement has degraded into a "blame game" club. I had a lot of respect for Tim in the past and still do. Every time I've met him, he's treated me well (it wasn't that often, so I doubt he remembers me). I've spent an Erev Shabbat in his home and had Shabbat services in his congregation. I think he has many fine qualities but he and those who follow him need to set aside whatever feelings of hurt they attribute to larger Messianic Judaism (and particularly FFOZ) and actually pursue what the Messiah has taught.

      I realize that my personal comments and opinions won't be welcome and that just by speaking up, I'll make myself the next target on this blog post, but occasionally, I find it necessary to strike a bit of a balance to the scales.

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    2. It was a great article, thanks for the link.

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    3. To James, in all theological circles leaders are asked to address certain doctrines that seem confusing to them. Just as you do at times of other theological scholars, often stating why you think they are wrong or why you disagree. Thus, it is inevitable that leaders from a One Law perspective will seek to protect their group or flock from deception or misleading from other teachers, all groups do this.

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  6. @Zion: And if Tim writes similar articles addressing other religious organizations and their doctrines, I'll accept your explanation as correct and that Tim isn't operating out of a bias.

    I'm not attacking Tim and as I said before, I had regard for him. It's because of my regard for him that I'm just a little disappointed.

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    1. Why the need, the Messianic Movement is what is at the forefront which he is a leader in, he addresses all types of leaders from different organizations... not just FFOZ, and he has every right to address FFOZ as he was part of the organization at one point.

      James, your disappointment comes out of disagreement, at least from my perspective.

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    2. Zion, I fully expected to have my motives judged because I commented here. If you believe that One Law and its supporters can do no wrong and make no mistakes, that's your choice. I've said what I came here to say.

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  7. Zion, FFOZ probably paid him to come here and complain. they are known for using mercenaries to do their dirty work, just ask Mr. Leman....

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    1. I'm sorry you feel that way, Dan. No, my opinions are my own. I don't work for anyone as far as the religious blogosphere is concerned (I do have a day job but it has nothing to do with all of this). I can see now that coming here was a mistake. It only fueled the bad feelings and bad perceptions I see represented here.

      The tragedy is that you are all good people and yet you all seem to feel like you need to attack those you disagree with.

      Is this the only way you believe you should serve God? Is my being your target serving the Messiah, Dan?

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    2. You are not my target James...far from it...If you had been my target i would have come to your blog...But since you are the one who came here, so, either you learn to take the heat or get out of the kitchen...

      Playing the victim, time and again, does not do it anymore for us...Tell it to your friends at FFOZ also....

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  8. @James–hired gun and defender of FFOZ...

    You like Jacob's source material too? Christian Smith? Here is a good link:

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/08/02/christian-smith-makes-the-bible-impossible/

    James says:
    "The paragraph was clearly intended to be somewhat "tongue-in-cheek" to describe what someone without a background in theology might make of the doctrine of sola scriptura."

    ROFL...not

    Thinking about Proverbs 26:18,19 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, “Was I not joking?”

    I think Boaz and FFOZ deserve the "heat" they are getting-they are out of touch and don't even know it..Although they are in touch with the men of stature at the UMJC...with all those PHDs... You don't think they deserve it because you have taken sides with them...

    @James-this article was a FFOZ promotion article. Jacob states the aim of why he wrote it in the article itself...

    The article Jacob wrote is fair game-it was intended to promote FFOZ not serve people...Jacob states his aim:

    “I aim to show here that when a proponent of sola scriptura studies the Bible, he is relying on something other than the inspired Word of God, whether he realizes it or not. Furthermore, I seek to show that those who malign the ministry of First Fruits of Zion for investigating and examining traditional Jewish literature in order to illuminate the text of the Scripture are ignorant of their own reliance on tradition and of the usefulness of extra-biblical literature.” He writes later in the same article, “First Fruits of Zion has been vehemently attacked for this very reason–we rely on rabbinic traditions and other extra-biblical literature to illuminate and explain the text of the Scripture.”

    Jacob assumes we is a bunch of ignur'nt dummies...who don't no nothing about the Bible...

    So in the end FFOZ is exhausted and Gentiles believers in Yeshua are one step closer to the only "logical option left".... re-join the Catholic Church.
    At least that is what Christian Smiths solution for us all is...Look and see what other books he wrote the same year he wrote the one Jacob relies to heavily upon for his ideas...very illuminating...

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    1. ...typo should have said... FFOZ is exalted and Gentiles believers...

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  9. @James:
    "I'm sorry that Tim hasn't "moved on" from his apparent "vendetta" against FFOZ."

    You are verging on libel. Using quotes doesn't change anything. Seriously consider repenting publicly as your remarks were made publicly.

    You insinuate that Tim has a vendetta based upon what evidence? Your misunderstanding of his writings? Check closely and see how fairly he deals with people. Ask Boaz for a character reference and see what Boaz says about Tim.

    Or is Boaz the source of your charge? Who have you been listening to? Have you ever spoken to Tim?

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  10. ...I wonder if tomorrow's morning meditation will be another tale of the evil's of this blog? Or will some people continue to treat us the way they think Tim Hegg treats them?

    ...We shall soon see.

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  11. To me this discussion is another instance of how easily things are taken out of context. What I said about the possibility of being saved without consciously and expressly knowing and affirming the Gospel of Messiah is only applicable to what I called the state of invincible ignorance.

    Some have concluded that what I said opens the way for salvation without Yeshua. There is not the slightest indication for this. From y perspective, everyone who is saved, is saved on account of the merits of Yeshua. There is no wiggle room here. My point is not at all that there is a possibiliy of eternal redemption without Messiah. What I said is only about the possibility that the objective redemption may perhaps not always and necessarily include its conscious subjective acceptance, and that thus — again only in cases of invincable ignorance — some may be saved without having an explicit faith in Messiah. Implicit faith, however, is always necessary.

    All faithful living before the appearance of Yeshua, were saved by implicit faith, i.e. by believing in HaShem and his promises. This possibility may be applicable to G-d fearing Jews in (ultra-)orthodox communities, since they still expect Messiah to come.

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  12. I wrote to James: "Have you ever spoken to Tim?"

    Sorry I didn't read your post more carefully, please forgive my rash question. It appears you have eaten at his table, shared his hospitality, and even visited with those he is in community with...you might cut him some slack and open your mind to the idea that he is a good man who is trying to protect others...maybe he isn't the enemy others say he is...just saying...

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  13. "Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips." Proverbs 27:2

    Now, I work with Tim so maybe you think this disqualifies me. None the less, here goes:

    Just taking a 3 month snapshot of Tim's life.
    He serves as one of 4 elders in a Torah Community with the burden of leadership that goes along with it (those who have served know what I mean).
    He is daily involved in the lives of his family(his sons and daughters as well as his grandchildren).
    He daily takes the time to answer email and even phone calls.
    He, in the spring term of 2013, was teaching 7 classes
    at the same time.
    1) Hebrew Exegesis with Corbin University in Tacoma, WA
    2) Hebrew Exegesis online with TRI
    3) Critical Issues in Torah Communities online with TRI
    4) Beginning Hebrew online with TRI
    5) Theology Proper online with TRI
    6) The Biblical Doctrine of Salvation
    7) Studies in the Gospel of Matthew offered free of charge through TorahResource.

    Each of these 7 classes had anywhere from 4 to 20 students. Most of them had homework that had to be graded and required additional time one on one with students via telephone and email.

    And if that was not enough, he was also the primary teacher at the congregation he serves as an elder and teaches the weekly Parashah each Shabbat in the morning and conducts a full study in the afternoon. Each requiring weekly time of study, reflection, prayer and preparation.

    He does also write reviews of other ministries material from time to time. Where he shares his heart about things he sees as real threats to other faith.

    I find it very hard to listen to this conversation and remain silent. To characterize his service to the Messiah as centering on this last item only demonstrates that people have no idea what they are talking about.

    Blessings in the Messiah Yeshua,
    Gary Springer
    TR Institute

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  14. "Ask Boaz for a character reference and see what Boaz says about Tim."

    I would say Tim is a gracious man, dedicated to his views, serious about biblical truth, and lives a life of consistency with his belief. Obviously, Tim does not agree with *some* FFOZ's positions, which certainly is fine and healthy.

    I have not interacted with or spoken to Tim in years, but at the time that we did speak frequently I always enjoyed our dialog and relationship.

    I prefer to live a life of shalom--which is why I do not engage much in this forum. I feel from time to time, when things are brought to my attention the need to clarify issues--this would be one of them. You can certainly debate FFOZ theology all you desire, but when it comes to issues of personal relationship I feel the need to be clear. While Tim at times takes issues with our stuff, I think of Tim as a brother in Messiah.

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    1. Perhaps I may add to this that the doctrinal conflict between One Law Theology (TorahResource - Tim Hegg) and Divine Invitation or Bilateral Ecclesiology (FFOZ - Boaz Michael) is interpreted by me as a conflict between different hypotheses on how the NT should be interpreted from a systematic and unifying viewpoint. I want to emphasize that we should acknowledge that each of these hypotheses have their advantages and disadvantages. Each has its strong and its weak points, and each one creates its particular and nagging difficulties.

      That's why in the present situation it may be a good thing to concentrate ourselves on further study and exploration of the presuppositions and consequences of our diverse hypotheses, in the light of Scripture, and while maintaining the particular lifestyle of obedience we are convinced of — either Noachide, or partial or full Torah observance.

      We should not make it easy for ourselves by declaring the other party heretical or off track. Nor is it theoretically necessary to do so, as long as we realize that in this domain we are dealing with hypotheses. We can be convinced of our own hypothesis as the best one, but at the moment none of us can deliver definite proof for one of the possible positions.

      I for me am convinced that a full observant lifestyle is an extreme blessing, but at the same time I can imagine that this may be different for people in other situations.

      Without claiming authority, I can say that have thought a long time about the questions involved here. And I think that I have found a solution for one of the fundamental problems, namely the problem how Jewish identity can be preserved under One Law Theology. I would like to submit an article of some years ago on my website for your consideration, at: http://messianic613.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/the-two-parts-of-israel-reflexions-on-the-continuing-relevance-of-rabbinic-judaism-for-the-messianic-community/

      I don't pretend that my solution solves all problems, it is the best hypothesis I can think of. But one of its advantages is perhaps that it doesn't pretend that the particular status of the Assembly of Messiah can be maintained without acknowledging the ongoing relevance of Orthodox Judaism.

      My discovery of the ongoing dependence of the Assembly of Messiah — even in its One Law form — on classical Judaism, confirms me in the position that there can be a One Law movement which doesn't lead to a new Replacement Theology.

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    2. Messianic 613,

      (1) we're commanded to protect our brothers from false teachers--anyone promoting false doctrine. Why? Because it's not a hypothetical issue but rather community-protection issue. Example: Messianics who feel excluded go to non-Messianic synagogue to feel included and end up rejecting Yeshua. So it's not "hypothetical" but rather there are real consequences to false doctrines such as those promoted by FFOZ/UMJC.

      (2) I'll never compromise for an abusive, belligerent, arrogant, and false set of teachers such as those found at FFOZ/UMJC.

      I'm willing to talk to them I guess. But we don't really have much to say that hasn't been said already. Everyone knows where he stands and where he's unwilling to compromise.

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    3. I don't know what a discussion about "One Law", "Divine Invitation" or "Bilateral Ecclesiology" has to do with non-Messianic Synagogues. Maybe I have missed something, but I simply don't understand what you are reffering to.

      Let us be clear-headed. A Gentile person who, because he is not welcome in a UMJC congregation, goes to an Orthodox Synagogue and ends up rejecting Yeshua is responsible for his own despicable behaviour. If he cannot agree with UMJC theology and yet wants to be included, he should go a One Law type of congregation.

      Don't you see how un-theological your argument is? Independent of the question who is theologically right or wrong here, a person obviously should not try to join a type congregation that doesn't welcome him. The fact that a Gentile cannot join a UMJC congregation doesn't prove in itself that the UMJC is wrong.

      The problem of apostasy is not limited to UMJC congregations. There are enough people who formerly have joined a One Law type of congregation, were fully accepted there, and yet after a while wanted to go for "the real thing" and converted to Orthodox Judaism. Does this sad fact prove that "One Law" is wrong?

      You call the FFOZ and UMJC teachers abusive, belligerent and arrogant, but are perhaps unaware of the belligerent impression of your own remarks.

      A position is never stronger than the rational arguments which can be given in favour of that position. And as long as there are big unsolved questions, or arguments that go in different directions, the presumed position is no more than hypothetical. There's nothing strange about that.

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  15. So what are you suggesting? For us to lay down and play dead?

    Don't see you admonishing the other side when they do the same....

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    1. My vision is that each side should be honest about the shortcomings of their argumentation. We should not vilify each other or presume that the other side acts in bad faith. Is that so difficult? Our case is never stronger than our arguments are.

      I don't plead at all to lay down and play dead. I myself am convinced that One Law still presents the best case. But this convinction shouldn't make me blind for its problems. It doesn't help to ignore them.

      It shouldn't come as a surprise that all sides in this discussion hit on fundamental problems. The Jew-Gentile relation is one of the deepest riddles of the NT.

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    2. The High Priest Caiaphas prophesied that Yeshua died for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation, but also the scattered children of God; to bring them together and make them one. John 11:51 & 52

      Yeshua specifically said he was not sent, except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, which is also where he directed his disciples to go. Matthew 15:24 & 10:6 He said that his sheep would include those not of his fold - i.e. foreigners, who are not natural Jews, but who follow him and become Israelites.

      "Also the [foreigners and the] sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants - everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My Covenant". (Isaiah 56 - Verse 6 quoted here)

      Compare Numbers 15:15 & 16. Vs. 16 "One law and one custom shall be for you and for the foreigner who sojourns with you."

      Thus, the prophecy of uniting the stick of Israel [natural Israelites] AND HIS COMPANIONS [naturalised Israelites], with the stick of Judah [natural Jews] in Ezekiel 37:19 to make them one.

      God's plan all along has been to create a holy nation of priests - Exodus 19: 5& 6. Compare Revelation 5:9 & 10 where the Son of God achieved exactly this goal of forming a holy kingdom of priests, BY HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE. (Sorry, I am not trying to shout, but to emphasise the important words.)

      This hasn't happened yet... and it wasn't meant to. Only one generation will have the opportunity to follow Yeshua through the Tribulation, to prove themselves worthy of him, by taking up their own crosses.

      As Enoch Chapter 1:1 in effect said, it was a generation remote to his, where the righteous would go through the Tribulation [for refusing to worship the Antichrist, or his image or to receive his mark] and the wicked would be removed.

      As the Son himself said, the gospel [sic] that would be preached throughout the world, and that would signify the end of the age, was that his followers would be hated and killed because of his name. Matthew 24:9 & 14.

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  16. What about the shortcomings of their identity?

    Would you accept any teaching from a Gentile who obtains an illegal conversion and proceeds to deceive people that He is Jewish?

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    1. Integrity is a major issue, especially for those in a leadership position, this not something anyone in their right mind, should be willing to ignore.

      I have noticed those in this movement who fake being Jewish in order to give some form of authenticity to their teachings or messages... The reason they do this, is because of people who elevate Jewish identity even over the body of Messiah, it is more important that Jews remain distinct even to the point of separating from the rest of the body in order to maintain this distinction. They went from their Jewish identity meaning nothing, to their Jewish identity meaning more than anything. Some how, they will need to come to a more balanced scriptural view on their identity, and for those who are simply fake Jews, they will need to be honest first with themselves, and then to all those they were trying to deceive.

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    2. Dan,

      Very interesting..."illegal conversion". Hadn't thought of it that way before.

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    3. The difficulty is that the question of what constitutes Jewishness and what constitutes legal conversion are part of the discussion. This should not be a surprising thing for a person in the One Law camp. For according to One Law Theology everyone born from Christian parents should be considered Jewish, since according to this theology the home-born in Israel are Jewish and the newcomers are Gentiles.

      So if a person is offspring from parents who are members of Messiah's Body, which according to One Law Theology is simply a part of the Nation of Israel, then this person is necessarily Jewish. This implies that the greater part of Christians who alive today are in fact Jews. Their only defect is that they are not aware of this, because their parents didn't bring them up as Jews.

      This is a necessary consequence of One Law Theology and anyone who refuses to admit this consequence is not thoroughly One Law.

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    4. // [A]ccording to One Law Theology everyone born from Christian parents should be considered Jewish, since according to this theology the home-born in Israel are Jewish and the newcomers are Gentiles. //

      I'm not sure where you see this in One-Torah theology Messianic613. Many people in the One-Torah camp have no problem with the idea that when a non-Jew accepts Yeshua as Messiah, this doesn't make him/her a Jew. Though it *does* make them a part of Israel. Not a citizen of National Israel as it exists today, but part of the Israel of God that Messiah will come back for. See J.K. McKee's very helpful book: "Are Non-Jewish Believers Really A Part of Israel" for further details on this distinction.

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    5. (That being said, I agree with your sentiments re: not vilifying eachother Messianic613. We should be in the business of building one another up, not tearing one another down.)

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  17. This is not what OL is teaching. You created yourself a bubble and if you repeat it long enough you believe it. Sheesh...

    OL does not teach ethnicity separation...

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  18. Sorry...

    OL does teach ethnic separation...

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    1. As Dan said, One Law does not teach gentiles become Jews, sorry, I am no Jew, I was even circumcised the 8th day, still 110% Gentile, I personally would not want that taken away from me either, it would devalue who I was created to be... The Torah gives no reality to becoming a Jew, this is reading beyond the text, even becoming an Israelite does not mean one became a Jew, you simply will not be able to prove that by scripture, of course you can believe whatever you like, and if that is the case, that you do believe a gentile can become a Jew, as Dan would say, then maybe you can believe that I have some beach front property in Arizona I can sell you?

      Israel represents not just an ethnic group, but also a nation, sojourners could be citizens of the nation of Israel, but that did not mean they became Jews.

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    2. If only those who are literally descended from the Patriarch Jacob are Jews, problems arise. According to Hegg’s interpretation, if I’m not mistaken, Jewishness is transmitted through the paternal bloodline. This would imply that in our time only those persons can be sure of their Jewishness who can trace their paternal bloodline back to the Patriarch Jacob. If they discover that one of their forefathers in the first line — for instance a direct forefather living in the XIVth century — was a proselyte, then their presumed Jewishness is non-existent after all.

      On the other hand, this would also imply that if a person who assumes himself to be a Gentile, is Jewish after all, if he discovers that one of his direct ancestors in the paternal line, centuries back, was a Jew.

      These ideas lead to a complete re-definition and re-organization of the Jewish nation. They are futile, because they are destructive for the Jewish nation as it really exists and understands itself.

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    3. I am not suggesting what it looks like today for the Jewish nation as a whole, the division of Tribes is completely lost in history, yet will be restored in the Messianic Kingdom, there are many things lost, and many things that will need to be recovered. But this does not change the facts of what scripture teaches, you are simply going based on what history has been and allowed, but it will be very different in the Kingdom.

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  19. The Torah gives a procedure for inclusion in Israel in Ex. 12:43-51. My point of discussion here is not whether these included adult Gentiles become Jews, but is about the status of their children. If, for the sake of the argument, those who join Israel as adults do not become Jews but are still Gentile strangers and sojourners with Israel, even after their formal inclusion, then it is still true that their posterity is Jewish, since they are home-born.

    It is clearly stated in this text that after circumcision the male strangers "shall be as one that is born in the land". But the next generations can no longer be considered only 'as' if born in the land. They are actually born in the land and thus home-born Israelites. Now, home-born Israelite is the One Law definition of a Jew, if I remember well from Hegg's "Fellow Heirs".

    If those born within Israel from parents who are included or ingrafted strangers are not home-born Israelites, then there is no reason why the sons of the ingrafted should be circumcised on the eight day. These sons must be temporal members of the Covenant and have Israelite status

    But even is Jewishness constitutes only a blood-line and not a people or nation, as Dan propopes, the posterity of ingrafted members are still Israelites in a temporal (or this world) sense, and thus they are Israelites.

    And since in a One Law concept the Jewishness by blood-line is completely irrelevant — since all are to obey the Torah — there is only a nominal difference between being Jewish and being included in Israel. So what's all the fuzz about and who does care whether a person calls himself a Jew? All are functionally Jewish, or Israelites, or Covenant members, or whatever name you are to give them.

    If a nominal distinction is to be made between Jews and Israelites here, I'm prepared to concede, simply because this distinction is completely empty and void. Within the Messianic Community conceived on a One Law theological basis it has no function at all. And if from the First Century the Assembly of Messiah had adopted One Law Theology, nobody would know who's Jewish and who's Gentile, simply because the blood-line would be long since be diluted through intermarriage and not be recorded becasue no-one would be interested in it. Since all belonging to the Assembly can call themselves Israelites, the only ones who would be called Jews in that situation would be newcomers from non-Messianic Jewish background, in particular orthdodox background. Which is the same as saying that only in a non-Messianic context Jewishness has distinct content and meaning.

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    1. The sojourner is not a 100% equivalent to a native born, sorry. Just as all Twelve tribes held distinctions from each other. Judah is the tribe representing authority, the kings, Levites, represent the Lord's House, neither tribe can take the place of the other tribe, they all have their designated place. Now in todays world, none of this exist, everyone who is considered a Jew is just a mishmash group of people with no distinctions, all the tribal and inheritance distinctions have been lost, but thankfully God will restore them one day and the Torah will again function in its totality. So there is distinctions between Gentiles who are citizens of Israel and and all the tribes who are also citizens of Israel. Being One Law does not mean exactly a 100% copy to copy. All though we may all be citizens of the same nation ruled by the Messiah, that being Israel, we will still maintain our own individual ethnicity just as anyone does who becomes a citizen of any nation in this world. Let's use an example, a gentile just because he might be an Israelite, cannot simply be a Levite priest or take that role, just like a member from the tribe of Judah cannot fulfill a Levite role either. So to say the distinction is lost, is nonsense.

      The single biggest distinction between a Jew and a Gentile, is that a Gentile cannot own land in the Land of Israel... that does not mean a gentile cannot live in the Land, very similar to the Levites whose portion was the Lord, they did not get their own portion. However in the days of Solomon there was a large amount of Gentiles who were portioned a piece of land to own in Israel and in the Messianic Kingdom according to Ezekiel there will be again a portion for gentiles allotted to own, but again, there is no given place to say that gentiles can own land other than God allows.

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    2. Also make note, that since gentiles will be allotted land, that means these citizens of Israel did not become Jews, because they are gentiles... the distinction of the sojourner is maintained through scripture, you have to intentionally distort the scriptures to state otherwise.

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    3. But is a descendant of a Gentile forefather of generations ago still a Gentile and can he not own a piece of land? To me this sounds ridiculous. It would be a recipe for creating a class of paupers and proleterians in the Land of Israel.

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    4. But is a descendant of a Gentile forefather of generations ago still a Gentile and can he not own a piece of land? To me this sounds ridiculous. It would be a recipe for creating a class of paupers and proleterians in the Land of Israel.

      We are never told this in scripture, what we do see is that sojourners were allowed to own land during a period of Solomon's reign, and also in the Messianic Kingdom. But if these people were sojourners then they were not Jews and they were not native born, their distinction remained, or we would not know this.

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  20. We could go on and on and on and on on this particular topic. And much ink has already been spilled on it (from the "One Torah" perspective, Fellow Heirs is just one example).

    Just to take a quick look at the first thing you said Messianic613:

    // The Torah gives a procedure for inclusion in Israel in Ex. 12:43-51. //

    If you mean by this that you believe God's original intent was for circumcision to be an "entry requirement" into Israel (i.e. God's chosen people), I will have to disagree. We see in the Torah itself that when God calls the "Children of Israel" he calls not only the native born, but the sojourner as well, that they may do "all the words of His Torah," -- and their children as well (Deut. 31:9-12).

    A party of the Pharisees in Jesus' day, no doubt, took your particular understanding of Ex. 12:43-51 and used that as an "entry requirement" (so to speak) into God's chosen people. But this understanding of Ex. 12:43-51 doesn't square with Deut. 31:9-12, nor does it square with Romans 11 or Ephesians 2. Apparently, Paul believed that entry into the "chosen remnant of Israel" (Rom. 11) was based on something *other* than circumcision.

    // And since in a One Law concept the Jewishness by blood-line is completely irrelevant — since all are to obey the Torah — there is only a nominal difference between being Jewish and being included in Israel. //

    I don't believe the "One Torah" perspective makes "Jewishness by blood-line" irrelevant. That seems more like a heavy rock being thrown at a straw man, than anything else. I could list a number of "distinctives" and "advantages" that a person born of Jewish parents has over a non-Jewish born-again Christian. But I don't see how a non-Jew, obeying all of God's commandments that they are able, erases these distinctives.

    And actually, this particular argument I think backfires pretty quickly, because the One Torah perspective actually does maintain a distinction between Jews and non-Jews (after all, there are still Jews and NON-Jews!). Whereas the Jewish proselyte ceremony effectively erases a non-Jew's non-Jewishness, turning him/her into a full-blooded Jew. (I don't mean this derogatorily)

    So before we go down the path of arguing "who's erasing who's disnctives" I think it's important to compare the One-Torah perspective with traditional Judaism.

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    1. You haven't made clear at all what concrete function Jewishness has in a messianic congregation conceived according to a One Law context. You haven't mentioned only one functional distinctive.

      The Written Torah doesn't know about Jewishness at all. It doesn't know the distinction between Jew and non-Jew, which is of a much later date. The Written Torah only uses the term Israelite, never the term Jew. So according to the Written Torah there are only Israelites and non-Israelites. Now One Law Theology teaches that all Gentile followers of Messiah are included in Israel and thus are Israelites. So what relevant difference is there between Israelites and Israelites?

      That circumcision in the context of Ex. 12:48 is an entrance ritual leading to full inclusion is very clear. This verse is very explicit that only after being circumcised the stranger is "as one that is born in the land".

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    2. So what relevant difference is there between Israelites and Israelites?

      The scriptures already clarify this, when it gives the distinctions of the tribes, and concerning the sojourner.

      This verse is very explicit that only after being circumcised the stranger is "as one that is born in the land".

      The fact that a sojourner who was circumcised could not own land, is proof in itself that the sojourner did not become a native born, but was only likened to a native born.

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    3. You persist in trying to evade and neglect my point, which is not primarily about the status of foreigners, but about the status of their offspring. The offspring of a foreigner who attached himself to Israel was literally born in the land. So these people were home-born Israelites. It is completey unrealistic and historically false to suppose that the offspring of a foreigner who followed the procedure of Ex. 12:43-51 remained foreigners throughout their generations.

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    4. As to the tribes, each tribe lived in a province of the land, and the foreigners that were adopted according to the procedure of Ex. 12:43-51 undoubtedly belonged to the tribe where they got domicile. After a few generations, when they were fully integrated — through intermarriage — in the Jewish nation, they also became equals as to land owning.

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    5. You persist in trying to evade and neglect my point, which is not primarily about the status of foreigners, but about the status of their offspring. The offspring of a foreigner who attached himself to Israel was literally born in the land. So these people were home-born Israelites. It is completey unrealistic and historically false to suppose that the offspring of a foreigner who followed the procedure of Ex. 12:43-51 remained foreigners throughout their generations.

      The question you ask and your concerns are moot, because Judaism today considers a convert no longer a sojourner, but a Jew, yet you yourself acknowledge that a sojourner did not become a Jew, you only argue that a sojourner's descendancy, assuming they even have children, will naturally be as the native, because they will be born in the land. This was never my question or point and it misses the point, which I consider even still a debatable topic.

      In order to say that ritual conversion on a biblical basis is true, one would have to prove that a sojourner became a Jew, and that is not in Exodus 12. Instead the convert remained a sojourner. Thus ritual conversion is not accurate and a gentile does not become a Jew. You just like many others ignore this point, hoping to divert the point to another discussion concerning the sojourners descendants, first you need to address the sojourner, then we can talk about possible descendants.

      Any questions?

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    6. Any questions? Yes! First, to remove a misunderstanding, I didn't acknowledge that a sojourner in Ancient Israel didn't become an Israelite, I merely dropped the point of his status for the generational argument's sake, which to my view contains the real difficulty in maintaining a distinction between the born Israelites and sojourners.

      But let us hypothetically assume that your perspective is correct and that the sojourner of Ex. ch. XII doesn't become an Israelite — as I said the term 'Jew' isn't part of the Written Torah and of much later date — but remained a sojourner.

      Now, since he was not an Israelite, but a Gentile sojourner living in the land and, as you say, incompetent to own land and not being reckoned as belonging to any of the tribes of Israel, he clearly constituted a class of second class citizens. Unless he had special merits, or capabilities as a craftsman, he was probably condemned to slavery. My first question is therefore: Was it the intention of the Torah to create a category of generally poor second class citizens? Time and again One-Lawers say that Gentile sojourners with Israel had equal standing, which I thought is the very core of One Law Theology. Now, however, you are saying that practically this wasn't so and that a sojourner never did acquire equal social and economic standing with native Israelites, perhaps not even in the future generations, but was condemned to remain in a second class position. My question is here: what is the reason for this division of Israel in two distinct classes: native born and sojourning strangers. If this is theologically and historically true, then the question arises: Was it permitted for members of these two distinct classes to intermarry? If so, what status would their offspring have? Would they be counted among the native born or among the strangers?

      My second question is about the status of the sojourners' offspring throughout the future generations. If they never became Israelites, but remained a kind of thirteenth pseudo-tribe, unable to share in the riches of the land and in the tribal structure of the nation, would they not become a source of social and economic tensions and create a danger for unity of the nation?

      And how would such an arrangement of things be workable in a diaspora situation, when the owning of land would be nullified for all and the tribal structure couldn't be upheld?

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    7. Yes! First, to remove a misunderstanding, I didn't acknowledge that a sojourner in Ancient Israel didn't become an Israelite, I merely dropped the point of his status for the generational argument's sake, which to my view contains the real difficulty in maintaining a distinction between the born Israelites and sojourners.

      Wait a second, lets clear another thing up, I never said a sojourner was not a citizen of Israel, only that the sojourner did not become a native born. In the case of Modern Judaism, the bible never validates a gentile becoming a Jew, trying to point to Exodus 12 will only show ritual conversion as anachronistic and invalid.

      But let us hypothetically assume that your perspective is correct and that the sojourner of Ex. ch. XII doesn't become an Israelite — as I said the term 'Jew' isn't part of the Written Torah and of much later date — but remained a sojourner.

      Correct, but no need for hypothetical, it never says the sojourner becomes a native born, the sojourner is only likened to a native born.

      Now, since he was not an Israelite, but a Gentile sojourner living in the land

      Wait a second, there is a confusion here, the sojourner is a citizen of Israel, however he is not a native born, which is impossible.

      he clearly constituted a class of second class citizens.

      To a certain extant yes, because a sojourner could not own land, that is a clear difference, the sojourner is likened similar to a Levite, whose portion was the Lord's, unlike the rest of the tribes of Israel. Not all the tribes had the exact same laws or even the same status among Israel. For example, only the Levites had the right to the Priesthood and Judah the right to Rulership, etc, it is not one big lump of Jews as you have today, all indistinguishable from the next, all having the same rules, even the tribes of Israel according to you are all sectarian in their own way, all having their own separate calling, making them different from the rest of the tribes, and so also the sojourner who was a citizen of Israel with some differences, besides the land issue, the other differences are minor in comparison.

      Part 1

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    8. Part 2

      Time and again One-Lawers say that Gentile sojourners with Israel had equal standing, which I thought is the very core of One Law Theology. Now, however, you are saying that practically this wasn't so and that a sojourner never did acquire equal social and economic standing with native Israelites, perhaps not even in the future generations, but was condemned to remain in a second class position.

      The sojourner who becomes a citizen of Israel never becomes a native born, so he cannot have complete equal standing, as is made clear in the scripture... now, is it possible that his descendants did, sure, I see that as inevitable, but we are only left guessing how many descendants it took to reach that status.

      However One Law position is not solely based on the sojourner, because it cannot, the sojourner is no longer even recognized today in any Jewish communities or even in Israel, the sojourner is just an excellent example of a gentile keeping the Torah, because the sojourner was no Jew and was no native born. It just helps explain the reality of one who is not a native born being responsible to the Torah. As many say that gentiles were never responsible for the Torah and are still not, well a gentile who joined the covenant was, as evidenced by a sojourner, which shows the claim as an error, because people read anachronistically back into scripture.

      The bigger points concerning One-Law comes in with Yeshua, who opens a bigger door that was not available to the sojourner. This being that through Yeshua, gentiles have even greater access, than ever before, as Paul says, those who are in Messiah are now considered son's of Abraham. In Ephesians we read that the gentile's status now is greater than the sojourner and the alien previously... Romans, Gentiles being grafted into a tree they are naturally not part of... Yeshua telling the disciples to make disciples of the gentiles, teaching/commanding them the same as what they were taught. These points take it to another level that will not be realized until the Kingdom of God is established on this earth, and the Sons of the Kingdom rule and reign with Him.

      To completely base One Law on only the sojourner within the Torah, would be to ignore the relevance of Yeshua. These things are not in contradiction, however a difference in access is now available to the same source as before, but now in a much greater way.

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    9. Zion said:
      "Wait a second, lets clear another thing up, I never said a sojourner was not a citizen of Israel, only that the sojourner did not become a native born. In the case of Modern Judaism, the bible never validates a gentile becoming a Jew, trying to point to Exodus 12 will only show ritual conversion as anachronistic and invalid."

      My Response:
      To me it sounds far more anachronistic to apply an ancient custom of integration in the Holy Land to modern circumstances of messianic synagogal communities in a diaspora situation, where attachment to the land is of no practical importance and where oftentimes there's not a single Jewish member, at least not according to any traditional criterion of Jewishness. Now when you say that a sojourner didn’t become a native born, whoever said that he did? This is not a position held by anyone. The very presupposition and foundation of the rabbinic proselyte procedure is that a person can be an Israelite on another basis than purely by bloodline. A person can also be an Israelite by choice. And it is obvious there are differences between a proselyte and a native born Israelite.

      Since you use the term ‘Jew’ for a bloodline Israelite, may I perhaps ask which persons in your system are Jews? On what criteria do you attribute Jewishness to a person?

      I don't see thus far how any easily applicable and practical halachic rule regarding sojourners follows from your position. To me it sounds as if you are complicating things that are rather simple. What is so mysterious or unintelligible about a change of nationality, which is what we talking about here?

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  21. To me it sounds far more anachronistic to apply an ancient custom of integration in the Holy Land to modern circumstances of messianic synagogal communities in a diaspora situation, where attachment to the land is of no practical importance and where oftentimes there's not a single Jewish member, at least not according to any traditional criterion of Jewishness.

    What in the world is "ancient custom of integration in the Holy Land"?

    There is no validity to whatever custom you are referring too.

    Now when you say that a sojourner didn’t become a native born, whoever said that he did? This is not a position held by anyone. The very presupposition and foundation of the rabbinic proselyte procedure is that a person can be an Israelite on another basis than purely by bloodline. A person can also be an Israelite by choice. And it is obvious there are differences between a proselyte and a native born Israelite.

    Saying that a gentile can become a Jew, is equivalent to saying a sojourner can become a native born, it is impossible and does not have any validity where scripture is concerned.

    Since you use the term ‘Jew’ for a bloodline Israelite, may I perhaps ask which persons in your system are Jews? On what criteria do you attribute Jewishness to a person?

    It doesn't matter who I consider to be Jews, only what scripture suggest, and those are the natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    I don't see thus far how any easily applicable and practical halachic rule regarding sojourners follows from your position.

    I am not sure why this would matter? I am simply discussing scripture.

    To me it sounds as if you are complicating things that are rather simple.

    Technically what you are saying, is that the plain reading of the text is complicated rather than simple. I don't see how it can get any more simple than this.

    What is so mysterious or unintelligible about a change of nationality, which is what we talking about here?

    There is no issue of someone changing their nationality, the real issue is when one changes their ethnicity. The idea of being part of Israel as a nation, a citizen, is clear, becoming or turning into a native born or a Jew is absurd.

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  22. You seem to be caught up with the idea of change of ethnicity or bloodline, which is not at all what the traditional Jewish conversion ceremony or its biblical antecedents are about. Don't you see that this idea was only brought up by Tim Hegg and is as ridiculous as it is self-contradictory? Nobody's bloodline can ever be changed and no Rabbi claims to do so. The ceremony of Ex. ch. XII is a ceremony of becoming an Israelite by choice, out of free will, which was intended for Gentiles who wanted to be become members of the Chosen Nation. After the ceremony such Gentiles were Israelites, and their children — at least the third or fourth generation — were home-born Israelites. It is as simple as that.

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    1. The ceremony of Ex. ch. XII is a ceremony of becoming an Israelite by choice, out of free will, which was intended for Gentiles who wanted to be become members of the Chosen Nation.

      The plain text gives no reality to what you are saying, it simply allows a gentile to eat the Passover and for Abraham it was a sign of the Abrahamic Covenant.

      You read too much into scripture, or you are at least writing your own theology into scripture.

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    2. Scripture is always enriched in a way by its later interpretations, and this is a fundamental aspect of traditional Jewish interpretation of Scripture and of any genuine sense of historical development. What, for example, would remain of the celebration of the Sabbath, if we only observed what explicitly is found about it in the literal text of the Chumash? Such a wooden approach can never be fruitful in the life of a community.

      My interpretation is the normal interpretation found in Jewish exegesis, and even Tim Hegg pays tribute in his exposition of the same passage, when he says, in Fellow Heirs (p. 52): "The language of this verse [he refers to Ex. 12:48] is important. Only after the ger and males belonging to him (most likely meaning the males in his house) are marked as covenant members, is he able to draw near (yikrav) "to do it" (la'asoto), which must mean "present his pesach lamb as the prescribed sacrifice" (karav being sacrificial language. Thus the ger described here is one who has joined himself to the congregation of Israel on a generational level, for he has not only accepted the commandments of the Torah (witnessed by his own circumcision) but he has been faithful to circumcise his own children".

      Here Hegg clearly acknowledges that the male stranger is marked as covenant members by receiving circumcision. Circumcision thus functions as the "rite de passage". Only Hegg spoils his own exposition by his crazy interpretation of the rabbinic conversion ritual as a change of bloodline or ethnicity. This is a big mistake which leads to endless confusion.

      I don't want to deny by this that there is an entrance into the Covenant through faith in Messiah Yeshua. But this entrance is on another level. It is on a spiritual level and it joins the Gentile believer to the faithful remnant of Israel by including both in the Assembly of Messiah. The entrance ceremony of Ex. ch. XII is not about faith at all. It is purely on a legal level, and the Gentile is made part of Israel by a change of nationality. Obviously, it doesn't exclude faith, and faith could be a motive, but it is not required. What required is compliance with the Law of the Land. That's what this ceremony is all about.

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    3. I don't want to deny by this that there is an entrance into the Covenant through faith in Messiah Yeshua. But this entrance is on another level. It is on a spiritual level and it joins the Gentile believer to the faithful remnant of Israel by including both in the Assembly of Messiah. The entrance ceremony of Ex. ch. XII is not about faith at all. It is purely on a legal level, and the Gentile is made part of Israel by a change of nationality. Obviously, it doesn't exclude faith, and faith could be a motive, but it is not required. What required is compliance with the Law of the Land. That's what this ceremony is all about.

      Again, your view holds to an assumption we simply do not read, that does not make it wrong, but it makes it hard to validate in any relevant way.

      At the same time you are also contradicting yourself, if covenant inclusion is found in faith to the Messiah or as Abraham who was in covenant with God through Faith, as it has always been, then circumcision cannot by any means be a method of covenant entrance, or we invalidate Abraham's covenant basis of faith and what Yeshua has to offer, and then, this would mean the Pharisees were correct in Acts 15. Thus circumcision is definitely a legal requirement as are majority of all the commandments in upholding or maintaining covenant participation, however it is not a covenant entrance. Legal in the perspective that it is required in order to eat the Passover. But a sojourner could be a citizen of Israel without being circumcised, he simply could not eat the Passover, one could be in covenant without being circumcised, there is not only proof of this from native borns, but also from sojourners.

      Thus the traditional method of conversion which was covenant entrance, is invalid.

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    4. Thus the traditional method of conversion which was covenant entrance, is invalid.

      The traditional Jewish view of covenant entrance by ritual conversion thus circumcision, is invalid, that was my point.

      This is why Paul in Romans 4, fights for proper conversion understanding, seen in Abraham.

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    5. Zion Said:
      The traditional Jewish view of covenant entrance by ritual conversion thus circumcision, is invalid, that was my point.
      This is why Paul in Romans 4, fights for proper conversion understanding, seen in Abraham.

      My Comment:
      Romans ch. IV is about justification by faith, which deals with the eternal or supernatural aspects of the Covenant. That is not what the proselyte procedure, or its primitive form in Ex. ch. XII, are about.

      Zion Said:
      Again, your view holds to an assumption we simply do not read, that does not make it wrong, but it makes it hard to validate in any relevant way.

      At the same time you are also contradicting yourself, if covenant inclusion is found in faith to the Messiah or as Abraham who was in covenant with God through Faith, as it has always been, then circumcision cannot by any means be a method of covenant entrance, or we invalidate Abraham's covenant basis of faith and what Yeshua has to offer, and then, this would mean the Pharisees were correct in Acts 15.

      My Comment:
      I don't see that I hold any assumption foreign to the gist of the text here. To me in Ex. ch. XII we have a primitive form of the traditional conversion ceremony. While it is true that the procedure mentioned in this text is bound to circumstances, such as attachment to the Land, which had to be modified for the later situation of Diaspora Judaism, what is so peculiar about that? In a similar way we don't have the phenomenon of marriage contracts in the Written Torah, yet today we all acknowledge this requirement, which has simply to do with the later development of juridical penetration of Torah legislation.

      And as to the supposed contradiction, your pointing it out is itself an example of poor logic. if Covenant inclusion is through Messiah, then Covenant inclusion by means of the procedure of Ex. ch. XII and the later explicit proselyte process are excluded? Not at all. The reason is that neither the procedure of Ex. ch. XII, nor the later proselyte procedure give entrance to the eternal or supernatural aspects of the Covenant. They are only about the temporal aspects. Nobody gains eternal life by becoming a proselyte or, in general terms, by joining the Nation of Israel.

      This is a source of much confusion in the messianic world. There is a constant talk about "Covenant Inclusion" or "Covenant Membership", without specifying in what sense this is understood. One should always carefully distinguish between the eternal and the temporal aspects of the Covenant. No Jew is included in the eternal and supernatural aspects of the Covenant, which are about being born again from above, simply by his Jewishness, i.e. by his natural birth. And no Gentile can gain eternal life by including himself in the Nation of Israel per Ex. ch. XII or any other legal procedure.

      So I'm not contradicting myself at all. In the NT Scriptures the proselyte status is recognized without any mentioning of a problem. Both born Jews and proselytes joined the Assembly of Messiah, as appears in Acts 13:43. Nobody denied that the proselytes were Covenant members in the temporal sense, i.e. according to the "this life" -aspects (cf. Acts 2:10).

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  23. There is a constant talk about "Covenant Inclusion" or "Covenant Membership", without specifying in what sense this is understood. One should always carefully distinguish between the eternal and the temporal aspects of the Covenant.

    Let me see if I understand your position correctly, there are two different aspects to the covenant, one aspect involving the temporal parts and another aspect involving the eternal parts.

    Jews by natural descendancy are part of the temporal covenant no matter what, but if they want to be part of the eternal covenant they must maintain trust in God/Yeshua. Gentiles are neither part of the temporal or eternal, but through faith in God/Yeshua, can become part of the eternal, but not the temporal, the only way a gentile can take part in the temporal part of the covenant, they must become a proselyte.

    If I understood you correctly, this is what your conclusion would have to be: Gentiles who are not proselytes have no responsibility to the temporal aspects of the covenant, only an eternal responsibility to maintain faith in the Messiah.

    Can you imagine not having any responsibility to temporal responsibility to God, just believe in Jesus and live your life however you want, oh wait that actually sounds vaguely familiar... :P

    Your separation of eternal aspect of temporal causes a dichotomy that simply does not exist in scripture. I am not saying there is no temporal aspect versus eternal, as I hold to a similar view, but your conclusion results in no temporal covenant responsibility for a gentile who is not a proselyte, that in itself is ridiculous, which basically results in two different covenants.

    The covenant is compiled of both eternal and temporal aspects, one easily identifiable area is blessings and curses, however they are not easily separated as you stated, they are intertwined. Thus one cannot easily be part of the eternal aspect while ignoring the temporal.

    So I think you argument still misses the point.

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    1. Zion Said:
      If I understood you correctly, this is what your conclusion would have to be: Gentiles who are not proselytes have no responsibility to the temporal aspects of the covenant, only an eternal responsibility to maintain faith in the Messiah.

      My Response:
      No, you didn't understand me correctly. The two sides of the covenant are not simply symmetrical or of equal importance. Here's where the discussion becomes really interesting.

      It is certainly true that the procedures of Ex. ch. XII and the later proselyte conversion give no eternal life and thus no entrance to the eternal aspects of the Covenant. The eternal aspects can only be entered through true, saving faith.

      It is in itself not impossible, however, that the reverse is not true. It could thus be that by entering the eternal aspects of the Covenant one also enters the temporal aspects. The logic behind this possibility is one in which the key-word is participation. Full Covenant membership implies both aspects and thus includes temporal as well as eternal blessings. A person who only shares in the temporal aspects of the Covenant is only a Covenant member in a very limited sense. A distinction can thus be made between full Covenant membership (having both the eternal and the temporal blessings), and limited Covenant membership (participating only in the temporal blessings).

      Temporal Covenant membership is a very limited participation in the Covenant, because it is based on inclusion in the Sinai Covenant — by birth, or by a legal procedure — without realizing the deepest intention of the Sinai Covenant, which is to protect and pass on through the generations the Covenant made with Abraham on the basis of faith. The Sinai Covenant is not able, on itself, to effectuate this faith, although it points to it and protects it.

      The important question now is whether through saving faith in Messiah Yeshua a person acquires the fullness of the Covenant (both the temporal and the eternal aspects), or only justification by faith, i.e. eternal aspect.

      There is a problem in both possibilities. In your last reply you yourself pointed out some of the difficulties involved in the "only eternal" option. The problems for the other option — full Covenant membership just by faith in Messiah — are the following:

      1) Faith as such cannot function as a legal inclusion marker in a similar manner as love cannot make of two persons a married couple. Some kind of ritual marker is needed to make the legal aspects of the Covenant go into effect.

      2) The problem of Gentile circumcision, both of adults and children, remains unsolvable. It is very difficult to reconcile the fundamental importance of circumcision in the Torah with the texts dealing with it in the NT. As soon as circumcision is required, the logical outcome will be that the critical moment for Gentile newcomers — in the eyes of a local congregation — will be the moment of circumcision. Their intentions will not be taken as serious as long as they are not circumcised. This is simply a matter of social dynamics.

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    2. According to this social dynamics, Gentile circumcision in a One Law context will gradually acquire the status of a ritual marker for inclusion in the temporal obligations of the Covenant. And thus it will again develop into a quasi-conversion ceremony without being called so.

      Delete
    3. 1) Faith as such cannot function as a legal inclusion marker in a similar manner as love cannot make of two persons a married couple. Some kind of ritual marker is needed to make the legal aspects of the Covenant go into effect.

      Two problems here, take marriage for example as you stated, the scriptures never state how this happens, now this could mean that it is left up to different cultures or governments or societies, such as we have a law in America that if two people of the opposite sex live with each other for a given period of time, they can claim marriage based on Common-law Marriage. In the case of Faith, we see something similar, the scriptures do not acknowledge a formal legal entrance, I know you want to claim it is circumcision, however it does not say that. Instead a sojourner could even live in the Land of Israel being uncircumcised, and required by legal rule to live within the Laws of the Land, well if they can live within the land without being circumcised, then clearly their legal acknowledgement was not based on circumcision.

      Now, all religions of the world have their communally recognized entrances or memberships. Churches for example have you take a doctrinal class lasting anywhere between 3 months to a year to become a member of the Church, but this does not allow you into any covenant aspect, it only allows for communal participation on a level much higher than a visitor. I see that as the place of circumcision, it is not an entrance into covenant, however, if one does not circumcise, they cannot eat the Passover, and in Ezekiel we read that they cannot enter the Temple.

      So technically we could argue that circumcision is a requirement for certain aspects of the covenant to be fulfilled, but we can't say it is the legal requirement for community and legal participation, or the whole Apostolic situation of Jews and Gentiles together could never happen, besides a few gentiles who were proselytes going through a rigorous ritual. It would isolate the Body of Messiah. I just don't see that as plausible.

      2) The problem of Gentile circumcision, both of adults and children, remains unsolvable. It is very difficult to reconcile the fundamental importance of circumcision in the Torah with the texts dealing with it in the NT. As soon as circumcision is required, the logical outcome will be that the critical moment for Gentile newcomers — in the eyes of a local congregation — will be the moment of circumcision. Their intentions will not be taken as serious as long as they are not circumcised. This is simply a matter of social dynamics.

      But this is solved, as long as, circumcision is not seen as the community requirement for membership or legal reasons. I think that is the issue, if circumcision is considered a commandment like any other commandment, and not 'as community or legal entrance' then the issue is solved.

      Even if one is circumcised today in a Messianic context, Judaism will not accept it, and the Land of Israel will not recognize any part of it. Second, there is no Temple, thus there is no eating of the Passover sacrifice, so in that context it is moot. What is left, is that circumcision then is only in regard to Abraham, as a sign of the covenant, and not a covenant in and of itself.

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  24. Zion and Messianic 613,

    You two are going for the record! : D

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  25. I love this dialogue too...For once in my life, I am not going to intervene...LOL!

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  26. Zion Said:
    “Two problems here, take marriage for example as you stated, the scriptures never state how this happens, now this could mean that it is left up to different cultures or governments or societies, such as we have a law in America that if two people of the opposite sex live with each other for a given period of time, they can claim marriage based on Common-law Marriage.”

    My Response:
    If the formalities of the marriage contract are left to different cultures, does this not in the first place apply to the culture of the Jewish nation? So that marriage is legally performed in Judaism “according to the law of Moses and of Israel” as it is recited in the matrimonial ceremony? And should Gentiles who join Israel in the Assembly of Messiah not respect this and do things accordingly? Or are the laws of America perhaps better than the laws of the Chosen People?

    Even in the case of the American Common-Law Marriage, if a couple claims to be married according to this law, the legal authorities will attach a calendrical date to it, which determines for legal purposes the starting-point of the marriage.

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    1. If the formalities of the marriage contract are left to different cultures, does this not in the first place apply to the culture of the Jewish nation?

      Of course, however we are talking more definitive's, I will clarify more below on the response concerning circumcision.

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  27. Zion Said:
    “In the case of Faith, we see something similar, the scriptures do not acknowledge a formal legal entrance, I know you want to claim it is circumcision, however it does not say that. Instead a sojourner could even live in the Land of Israel being uncircumcised, and required by legal rule to live within the Laws of the Land, well if they can live within the land without being circumcised, then clearly their legal acknowledgement was not based on circumcision.”

    My Response:
    No formal legal entrance, you say. That’s something new to me. So there’s no way of determining for any person of Gentile descent whether he is bound to the legal stipulations of the Covenant? Is that what you’re saying? That hardly sounds as a One Law theological position. It sounds more like Divine Invitation.

    As to your example of Church membership: the fact that a Protestant denomination doesn’t consider becoming a Church member as entering a Covenant is hardly surprising, for in most cases these Churches don’t consider their own Church as the one and only true religion. They are not serious about themselves at all. But if you go to communities who consider themselves to be the true Church of Christ, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, or the Roman Catholic Church, the situation is far different. According to these Churches you become a member through the Sacrament of Baptism and this Sacrament is in their interpretation indeed the entrance door of the Covenant.

    If there can be no moment determined at all when the laws of the Torah explicitly begin to apply to the sojourner who joins Israel, then everything is confusion. Add to this that you were unable a definition of what constitutes a born Israelite, and chaos is complete. It all ends with nobody knowing who’s a Covenant member. If that is the result of your position, no formal refution of it is needed. It destroys itself.

    Now as to Circumcision, I’m not going to repeat my arguments at this point, but I want to ask you some simple questions. Is it not true that the covenant of circumcision applies to all members of Abraham’s household, and that an uncircumcised male will be cut off? (Gen. 17:13-14). And are Gentile believers according to the One Law viewpoint not members of Abraham’s household, and thus members of the Covenant, by their faith? So according to Gen. 17:13-14 they are in danger of being cut off, being in the state of uncircumcised Covenant members.

    The answer to this problem cannot be that Gentile believers are to be considered “as though they were circumcised”, as Hegg says in Fellow Heirs p. 82. The “circumcision without hands” (Col. 2:11) — or in other terminology the circumcision of the heart cannot supply for bodily circumcision. Paul never uses the terminology of spirtual circumcision as supplying for an actual fulfilment of the Torah commandment of bodily circumcision.

    Finally: Why do you hold that circumcision is not a Covenant? Does the Torah not explicitly say that circumcision is a covenant in itself? It is not only called a "token of the Covenant" (Gen. 17:11), it is also called a Covenant itself (in 17:10): "This is my Covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised". And 17:13 says: "[...] my Covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting Covenant". Circumcision is both a Covenant and a covenantal sign because it is a part standing for the whole.

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  28. No formal legal entrance, you say. That’s something new to me. So there’s no way of determining for any person of Gentile descent whether he is bound to the legal stipulations of the Covenant? Is that what you’re saying?

    We have no formal legal entrance described in scripture, or we would not be having this conversation. Instead this leaves it up to Israel to decide, however, if it is too strenuous, then it can be opposed to the plan of God. Consider what we see in Acts 15, they would have never succeeded in developing a Messianic community if gentiles had to be circumcised, they would have had only a few converts as was the case during that time, this clearly was not a good method of converting the world.

    If there can be no moment determined at all when the laws of the Torah explicitly begin to apply to the sojourner who joins Israel, then everything is confusion.

    My point is not that there is no moment of determined covenant legality, this was clearly seen in baptism of the gentile followers after the repentance and acceptance of the Messiah, an outward symbol of conversion, both spiritually and communally bringing together the body of Messiah as a community.

    Now as to Circumcision, I’m not going to repeat my arguments at this point, but I want to ask you some simple questions. Is it not true that the covenant of circumcision applies to all members of Abraham’s household, and that an uncircumcised male will be cut off? (Gen. 17:13-14). And are Gentile believers according to the One Law viewpoint not members of Abraham’s household, and thus members of the Covenant, by their faith? So according to Gen. 17:13-14 they are in danger of being cut off, being in the state of uncircumcised Covenant members.

    Yes to both, however, it is not that simple, clearly the Apostles considered Gentiles both in Covenant and part of the community without circumcision, I am not saying it is not needed, as you know already, I was circumcised the 8th day and I circumcised my son the 8th day, and I will teach him to do the same. The scriptures do not give a specific cut off point for not being circumcised, we do seem to have the suggestion that upon living in the land(entering the land), one must be circumcised and if that is correct, then all the gentiles outside of the land, concerning circumcision, will not be required until or upon entering the land, which technically would not be required until the Messianic Kingdom.

    The answer to this problem cannot be that Gentile believers are to be considered “as though they were circumcised”, as Hegg says in Fellow Heirs p. 82. The “circumcision without hands” (Col. 2:11) — or in other terminology the circumcision of the heart cannot supply for bodily circumcision. Paul never uses the terminology of spirtual circumcision as supplying for an actual fulfilment of the Torah commandment of bodily circumcision.

    Agreed, we cannot spiritualize away a commandment. I don't actually think that was Hegg's point, I think it was that Yeshua considered these gentiles circumcised in heart as clearly now part of the covenant.

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  29. Why do you hold that circumcision is not a Covenant? Does the Torah not explicitly say that circumcision is a covenant in itself? It is not only called a "token of the Covenant" (Gen. 17:11), it is also called a Covenant itself (in 17:10): "This is my Covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised". And 17:13 says: "[...] my Covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting Covenant". Circumcision is both a Covenant and a covenantal sign because it is a part standing for the whole.

    I agree with Hegg concerning this, that circumcision as a covenant should be considered a metonym. If we follow the wording correctly, how can one be cut off from the covenant for not being circumcised, if circumcision is the covenant, that does not make any sense whatsoever, so clearly circumcision has to be a sign and not a covenant in and of itself, and when scripture uses it saying both which is contradicting unless it is a metonym.

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  30. There is a major conflict to our discussion, no matter our conclusions. The reality of any form of communal/national legal acceptance, will not be realized in any way today by Israel. Which makes it communally based only among different congregations. Modern Judaism does not recognize the Messiah, and is not party to the Body of Messiah, they do not acknowledge the Apostolic scriptures and do not consider gentiles who are now in the Messiah, to have any relation to them or to the nation of Israel, and obviously not having any relationship to the covenant, and definitely not sons of Abraham... Without this recognition or connection, these issues and problems will continue to exist. The only hint we have of this changing, is right at the start of the Messianic Kingdom.

    So our discussion, to a certain extant is partially worthless. Gentiles who have put their trust in the Messiah, will only be regarded as sons of the Kingdom, in the World to Come, not in this world or time period and since gentiles-believers are considered Sons of the Kingdom, what other method of legality do believing-gentiles need, clearly they do not need circumcision as a form of legality if they are already considered to be the sons, thus they will need circumcision only in the case to fulfill covenant participation in certain aspects of the covenant.

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  31. I can agree with some things you said here, but to me the problem remains that uncircumcised Gentiles still walk in blatant sin against HaShem, despite the fact that even as circumcised they will not be recognized as part of Israel by the Jewish Nation. As to the metonym of Gen. 17:13, it need not be that circumcision is "The" covenant; in the text it is simply called a covenant, and nothing prohibits there being a covenant (as a part) within the greater context of The Covenant (as a whole). That seems to be exactly the reason why circumcision is such an important sign-commandment. A part of something always refers and thus signfies the whole of which it is a part, and thus makes an excellent sign.

    When you say that this discussion is partially worthless, you remind me of a possibility that I have thought about again and again, which is that discussions like this one must have been held numerous times in the later part of the first and at the beginning of the second century CE, and that this fact was actually one of the reasons why the Christian Church took the big decision to skip the whole Torah thing. I mean they couldn't — as we nowadays still can't — solve the problem of how to interpret the NT as a whole under the viewpoint of Torah, and again and again they hit on nagging difficulties. Thus after a time of continuing irritation about this they simply cut the Gordian Knot and decided to throw the Torah out of the Church's constitution. It was a decision that on the one hand was a catstrophe, because it led to the establishment of a new, non-Jewish religion called Christianity; on the other hand, however, it was a sagacious decision, since it helped to preserve the unity of the Church for a very long time. The fragmentation of today's messianic world is only an affirmation of this state of affairs.

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  32. Zion Said:
    "We have no formal legal entrance described in scripture, or we would not be having this conversation. Instead this leaves it up to Israel to decide, however, if it is too strenuous, then it can be opposed to the plan of God. Consider what we see in Acts 15, they would have never succeeded in developing a Messianic community if gentiles had to be circumcised, they would have had only a few converts as was the case during that time, this clearly was not a good method of converting the world."

    My Response:
    I find this statement troubling and in a sense alarming. First, because it seems to say that it is perhaps better that new believers or potential new believers perhaps shouldn’t know too much beforehand. Do you mean to say here they shouldn’t be told that one of the consequences of accepting Messiah is accepting the Torah too as their guide of life, which implies — in the case of males — the acceptance of the commandment of circumcision?

    Second, because I don’t understand how circumcision can be an obstacle, since the Gospel is matter of eternal life or eternal death, and and an inseparable part of it is that we must be prepared to suffer for the sake of Messiah and choose death above denying him. If we are not prepared to die for him we cannot be saved at all. Ultimately, salvation is only for those who continue in the faith by being faithful (e.g. Col. 1:23 “[…] if ye continue in the faith […]” and many other places) and perservere until the end of this earthly life. So, if martyrdom is expected of us, if necessary, and we should be prepared to receive the circumcision of the putting off of our whole body (cf. Col 2:11), then what is the problem of receiving the circumcision ritual of the putting off of the foreskin?

    How can we honestly accept new believers and baptize them if we don’t tell them the consequences of their choice? What you propose seems to lead to a misleading approach on the mission field. However, if we tell them right away that they are expected to learn and obey Torah, and, if male, to be circumcised, are we not running into a conflict with Acts ch. XV? Temporalization is no real solution here. They ought to know what is expected of them later on, for otherwise the administration of Baptism may be not valid at all. Suppose, for instance, a baptized new believer who some time after his baptism discovers that he is expected to obey the Torah without being clearly taught so beforehand. If he refuses, is he not justified by claiming that by his Baptism he didn’t sign for Torah observance?

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  33. RE: Does Yeshua Mediate for Those That Do Not Know Him?
    --------------------------------------------------

    Doesn't the Messiah answer this question for us in the following scriptures...(My rhetorical question)

    Act 9:1 And SAUL, yet breathing out threatening's and slaughter AGAINST the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

    Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

    Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

    Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, SAUL, SAUL why PERSECUTEST thou me?

    Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus WHOM THOU PERSECUTEST it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    __________________________________________________

    Note: I hope this post publishes just once. My net connection dropped the 1st time I hit the publish icon.




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  34. Shalom Peter,

    I have taken the time to read your accurate analysis of the heretical Kinzer teaching and through all 88 comments. There is one salient point that seems to be missing though.

    I think Mr. Kinzer has one thing right. He has dubbed this purported phenomenon "unrecognized mediation", be cause it is in fact "unrecognized" by Messiah Y'shua himself.

    I don't need to remind anyone here of how the Master said He would respond to those that deny Him: He will deny them before the Father. So here comes the elephant in the room. Israel is fully aware of Y'shua. They are not ignorant of Him. He is not "unrecognized". He is denied.

    We do not need the midrashic gymnastics of Sha'ul to make this point. It is not about the incept date of covenant inclusion or the mechanism by which inclusion occurs. I simply retreat from the wisdom of man in these matters and into the loving arms of Messiah.


    Acknowledge Him and He will acknowledge you. Deny Him and He will deny you. Love Him and as proof, you will bear the fruit of obedience. Claim "unrecognized mediation" for the Jewish community and you profess that Messiah Y'shua is a liar. Care to guess the next step in this process?

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  35. Amein!


    And well said!

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