Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Like Father, Like Son: What it Really Means to be Made in the Likeness (Demut) of the Righteous (Tzedek) G-d

"The Lord is righteous [tzadiq Adonai] in all His ways and kind in all His works," (Psalm 145:17)
"Then God said, "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us..." (Genesis 1:26, New Living Translation)
"When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth," (Gen. 5:3)

When Christians use the term "righteous" they assume it means some sort of generic good divorced from any sort of absolute standard (such as Torah).  They read righteousness as "moral" (which can be defined in any way you want except the Law of Moses).

But is that what righteousness really means in the Scripture?

Here's what the Scripture teaches about righteousness:

"{18:5} But if a man be just (tzadik), and do that which is lawful and right, {18:6} [And] hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman (niddah), {18:7} And hath not oppressed any, [but] hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; {18:8} He [that] hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, [that] hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, {18:9} Hath walked in my statutes (chukkotai), and hath kept my judgments (mishpatai), to deal truly; he [is] just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD," (Ezekiel 18:5-9)
Well, that's a different sort of righteousness than what we were taught in Sunday school...

Scripture's type of righteousness is about ALL of the Biblical Law--defining righteousness by EVERYTHING G-d says is good to do, all of those commandments for which Israel will be called "wise and understanding."

QUESTION:

Did G-d create some of humanity for whom the law is unrighteousness?  Or is it righteous for all of humanity to follow?

As the verses above indicate, G-d is Himself righteousness, meaning that righteousness (as defined in Torah) defines who He is!  Everything in the Torah, the mitzvot, tells us about who He is!  It holds His essence, His likeness.

This word "likeness" is interesting and is related to the word for "blood."  What is G-d's likeness?  What is in His "blood"?

Righteousness.

And it is written that just as Adam's son was made in Adam's likeness, having his blood, Adam was made in G-d's likeness, having His "blood", the very essence of Torah.

So in Scripture we see that Torah is meant for all of humanity:
"And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind (Torat ha-Adam), O Lord GOD!" (2 Sam 7:19)
"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind," Ecclesiastes 12:13
And it is for all of humanity because we were created in the likeness of a righteousness G-d.  We were always meant to become like our Father and to walk in His Ways.

Anyone who says differently is committing a desecration of the Name.  Don't listen to such people! But rather fear the One who made you and walk in His Ways!

36 comments:

  1. I would say the Torah is ultimately envisioned for all of humanity, clearly seen in the prophets, the nations will one day be under the jurisdiction of the Torah, despite covenant relationship, however in God's mercy, that won't be required in its fullness until the Messianic Era. I think it is clear from verses like Isaiah 56, which says it emphatically, that those gentiles who take hold of God's covenant, keeping the Torah, God will greatly bless. Clearly, He wants this to happen, there is no rebuke of, "you are a gentile, this is not for you", its the opposite, unlike we see some teaching in this movement.

    The Law of Moses, is contained within a covenant. This is problematic when applying to the world. You can't simply make this apply to anything and anywhere. Some in this movement, want to say gentiles are responsible to "some" parts of the Law of Moses, without validating how this is possible to begin with, and it is usually attributed to a lack of education of what the Torah actually says and how covenants actually work. FFOZ/BE fits this example perfectly, they assign partial gentile responsibility to the covenant, and at the same time, say that gentiles are not in the covenant, and then proceed to destroy the covenant by turning it into some type of wheel of fortune for gentile observance.

    But according to the Torah, there are only a select amount of ways, one could be responsible to the Law of Moses, contained within the covenant, only made with Israel:

    1) Jurisdiction (that being, within the national boundaries of the nation of Israel, whether that being in the wilderness or in the Land, simply within the people group.)
    ---- This would involve covenant members (whether Jew or Gentile) and also people who might be visiting or traveling through the nation, must keep the Laws of the nation.

    2) Covenant relationship (that being, a Jew who is naturally born into covenant and gentiles who have come into covenant.) This does not require being in a jurisdiction zone, a covenant member, still must obey God's laws while not in the jurisdiction of the nation. (ex, A covenant member could not travel to France and be allowed to eat pork or disregard Shabbat, simply because they are not within the jurisdiction of Israel, instead their relationship to the the covenant is their responsibility).

    3) Messianic Era (this being a time when the jurisdiction of the Law of Moses will encompass the world, and thus the nations will be responsible to keep it, even if they are not in covenant with God, their responsibility will be based on jurisdiction, not covenant relationship. We know God will spare many nations in His mercy, many who will not even believe in Him and maybe even resistant to serving Him and will reap punishments for doing so.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is nice you are upholding the law, we should keep it, but you are confused about righteousness and want to “frustrate the grace of G-d”. It sounds like you do not recognize:

    "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith"

    "for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law."

    Or: "But Israel, which FOLLOWED after THE LAW of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness."

    So, we should keep the Law of God, however; it is clear righteousness does not come by the law. Our righteousness is imputed to us by faith. We should all re-read the parable of the two men who went up to the temple to pray. The one who claimed his righteousness by the law (sounds like what you are advocating) was not justified. The one who admitted he was unrighteous (a torah breaker, not a torah keeper) walked away justified.

    "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness came by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings Anonymous,

      Yeshua came for 2 reasons (at least):

      (1) To make Believers righteous through Him: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God," 2 Cor. 5:21;

      (2) To provide a model of Torah observance whereby we can demonstrate our love for Him: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life....If you love me keep my commands," (John 14)

      Nothing I wrote should be construed as conflicting with either of these 2 points.

      Do you agree that we are made in the image of a righteous G-d?



      Delete
  3. Peter, it is not the "2 reasons" Yeshua came that I disagree with, you are pretending everything you wrote is summed up in these two statements, but that is not true.

    It is your idea that unless all believers keep the law of Moses they can not be righteous.

    Israel was taken out of Egypt, washed in the sea, fed manna from heaven, lived in the presence of God a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. They recieved the law and agreed to the covenant, built the tabernacle, kept the sabbath and holy days, offered sacrifices, but that generation died in the wilderness (save for Caleb and Joshua) and "God swore in his wrath they would not enter into his rest".

    A gentile who never kept the "law of Moses", who never saw the thunderings at Mt. Sinai, never saw a tabernacle or the "ark" heard the gospel through the "foolishness of preaching" and believed in Yeshua, he entered into "his rest".

    Do you know what this means?

    "I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name."

    Don't stumble over the stumbling block of the Jews and the foolishness of the Greeks. Preach Christ Crucified.

    "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me."

    Do you think Jesus should have said, and you kept the sabbath day holy, you sacrificed correctly, you (fill in any "ordinance" here from the law of moses)?

    Or do you think Jesus meant by feeding his little ones, etc. we have fulfilled the law?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      RE: "It is your idea that unless all believers keep the law of Moses they can not be righteous."

      Where did I ever say that? Can you quote the offending statement? Honestly, I've never said anything close to that.

      No, I simply preach that we are saved by grace (i.e. by His kindness, not by our our merit). And, naturally, the proper response to His forgiveness is to try to be fully obedient to His Instructions henceforth. He is creating a new heart in each Believer and when He is finished we will all keep His Instructions perfectly.

      Anyway, I think we're on the same team! : ) Don't shoot!



      Delete
  4. Peter, why didn't you just say so?

    I think it is awesome that you preach "fully obedient to His instructions".

    So, how well did you manage being fully obedient on Shavuot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      Re: "So, how well did you manage being fully obedient on Shavuot?"

      Where have I claimed to be perfect? I've only stated that I am a fallen human just like everyone else ("All have sinned...").

      Delete
    2. You are preaching "keep the commandments" but it seems you have a plank in your eye while trying to help "others".

      Perhaps you should start keeping the law, (get the plank out of your eye) and then you will see clearly to get the speck out of your brothers eye.

      So, my point is not to beat you up, but to help you understand you do not really understand the law, you want every believer to keep it, but you don't keep it.

      Anyway, it is not always clear what you are trying to get at.


      Delete
    3. Anonymous,

      I've never judged anyone for failing to keep the law. Yet you claim that I've done exactly that. Kindly support your assertions with proof (i.e. cite to where I've judged someone for failure to keep Torah) or admit that you made these false allegations with no evidence and ask for forgiveness.



      Delete
    4. Peter, "Where have I claimed to be perfect?"

      You did not, and I did not say you did. I said you are telling people they should keep the Torah, but you did not keep Shavuot.

      "I've never judged anyone for failing to keep the law",,, but you point to gay marriage. What, to approve it? You mentioned good or evil, were you saying it is good or saying it is evil? You were saying "those guys who marry guys" are not keeping the law, they "failed to keep the law, what they are doing is wrong and the Torah says so".

      Now that you bring it up, it does sound like you were judging, but I never said you were judging. Only God knows your heart, I do not claim to.



      Delete
    5. Anonymous,

      RE: "I never said you were judging"

      You are a liar. You said I was judging others when you said I was trying to get a "speck" out of other people's eyes, a clear reference to judging someone for a perceived offense!

      I celebrated Shavuot the weekend of the 23rd just like any other Messianic Gentile (as my wife will attest). But I'm not on trial here, Satan. And no matter how many of my failings you are able to find, I will keep preaching the Torah! So get behind me!

      Your lies are your own condemnation. I am done talking to this Satan.




      Delete
    6. "Peter, you are wrong! The “speck” is not a “clear reference to judging someone for a perceived offense” and you would see that if you read it before attacking me. That would make the lesson “judge yourself and then you are able to judge others” and that is not what Yeshua was teaching and would contradict his prior command to “judge not”.

      So, you do not judge homosexual’s for marriage, I misunderstood you and ask for you to forgive me.

      Delete
    7. Now, as far as Shavuot I think you misunderstand me. You said:

      “Scripture's type of righteousness is about ALL of the Biblical Law--defining righteousness by EVERYTHING G-d says is good to do, all of those commandments”

      For Shavuot you kept this law?

      “‘From the day after the day of rest — that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving — you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to ADONAI. You must bring bread from your homes for waving — two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven — as firstfruits for ADONAI. Along with the bread, present seven lambs without defect one year old, one young bull and two rams; these will be a burnt offering for ADONAI, with their grain and drink offerings, an offering made by fire as a fragrant aroma for ADONAI. Offer one male goat as a sin offering and two male lambs one year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. The cohen will wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before ADONAI, with the two lambs; these will be holy for ADONAI for the cohen. On the same day, you are to call a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work; this is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live.
      “‘When you harvest the ripe crops produced in your land, don’t harvest all the way to the corners of your field, and don’t gather the ears of grain left by the harvesters; leave them for the poor and the foreigner; I am ADONAI your God.’”

      I do not think you kept "ALL the biblical law" (forgive me again if you did) and I am not accusing you to the Father.

      Forgive me if I point out again that "all the biblical law" does not have to be kept for the "fulfillment of rightouesness" as your post appears to claim, at least it appears so to me, again....maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you are saying. If so, forgive me and show some godliness, be like our Father as you claim we should all be.

      "Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful,
      not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
      and it keeps no record of wrongs.

      Delete
    8. Listen up, Satan:

      In Matthew 7, Yeshua equates "judging others" with "saying to your brother 'let me take the speck out of your eye.'" Everyone who is familiar with this passage knows that the person who tries to remove the speck is the one whom Yeshua is criticizing in the passage for wrongly judging others. You said I was trying to remove the speck from other people's eyes. Thus, anyone reading this will interpret your statement as an accusation against me that I am wrongfully judging others.

      Those slick moves might work elsewhere but no one here is going to be fooled by you. Take your oily accusations elsewhere, Satan.

      And I don't judge the homosexuals!!! Never have! I rebuke those who would call it "good". You are falsely accusing me, Satan.

      If you are my brother then you will apologize for these false allegations. But I haven't seen any apologies, just more and more attacks--which is the heart of the accuser!

      Delete
  5. Peter said "When Christians use the term "righteous" they assume it means some sort of generic good divorced from any sort of absolute standard (such as Torah)."

    That is not what Christians believe the term "righteous" means. They believe it means they do not have to build a temple and offer the sacrifices because they are already fulfilled in Christ, we have already recieve our atonement and do not need a levitical priest to offer for us. They also believe that we should be moral just as Yeshua stated, and that we should flee sin.

    We believe that just as the Jews do not have to gather a double portion of manna on Friday because that was a law for another time past, we do not keep laws that are for another time past. We do not believe we should break Gods law as he writes it into our heart. We believe his law is written in our heart and the evidence is when we "feed the hungry" "visit the sick" "bring the homeless into our own home", etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      Yeshua never said "be moral". Rather, He said, "teach them to observe everything I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20) and one of those commands was "keep the commandments" (Matt. 19:17). He never taught anything against Torah but always taught others to keep the commandments (Matt. 5:17-19).

      Christians have fallen prey to moral relativism. Their idea of "moral" is constantly degenerating because they don't use the gold standard found in Torah.

      The reality of course is that there are no cutting lines in Torah with the instructions "Cut here" so that we can cut out just the "moral" laws of Scripture. This is because ALL of the laws in Scripture are moral. There are no laws that are amoral or immoral. All are good and therefore all are moral.

      Now, I know, you don't like to answer any of my questions but I'd really like to hear your answer to this question:

      How do you define sin?

      Delete
    2. I think he actually DID say "be moral" when he taught about the difference between the letter of the law "thou shall not commit adultery" and the spirit of the law "if you look with lust, you have commited adultery. No?

      Meaning of Moral: "concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character."

      I do not need to define sin for you, you already know the answer is breaking the law of Moses for Israel. But which gentile was commanded not to marry a non-Israelite? Which was commanded not to reap the corners of their fields, etc. ?

      I will reconsider if you can define sin for a gentile as not sacrificing a lamb on passover. Were the Eqyptions commanded to sacrifice a lamb? Were they comanded to make their bread without leven?

      Were the Egyptions first born killed for not keeping the law of Moses? No, but still they had a commandment "let my people go".

      This is what you don't seem to address in your posts. It is as though you are blind to the torah and what it means, who it is for, what it is to accomplish.

      It would be imoral to sacrifice a goat and make atonement for Israel. Why, that was already done once for all. That makes the law moral.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous (Do you have a name or nickname so I don't have to call you "Anonymous"? Providing a name is helpful for social purposes),

      You haven't defined morality at all. You beg the question by saying "right and wrong". But who determines what is right and wrong? Begging the question.

      The reality is that man cannot know what is right and wrong apart from the revelation of Torah, wouldn't you agree?

      Folks in Ireland say that it is right and good for men to marry men and women to marry women. Is it right and good because they say so?

      Whose opinion determines what is right and good and where may we find it? Answer: The Torah of Moses.

      So Yeshua never said "be moral" but rather He said "keep the commandments." There is only one standard for right and good conduct and it is found only in the Torah of Moses.

      Wouldn't you agree?

      Delete
    4. "That is not what Christians believe the term "righteous" means. They believe it means they do not have to build a temple and offer the sacrifices because they are already fulfilled in Christ, we have already recieve our atonement and do not need a levitical priest to offer for us. They also believe that we should be moral just as Yeshua stated, and that we should flee sin.

      We believe that just as the Jews do not have to gather a double portion of manna on Friday because that was a law for another time past, we do not keep laws that are for another time past. We do not believe we should break Gods law as he writes it into our heart. We believe his law is written in our heart and the evidence is when we "feed the hungry" "visit the sick" "bring the homeless into our own home", etc."

      This is a bunch of malarky...You and the Christians are conveiently giving yourself a license to steal....

      Delete
    5. "There are no laws that are amoral or immoral."

      The law is not immoral, what you say is true. But keeping the law incorrectly make the action immoral. Example: offering "strange fire"

      The law concerning atonement:

      "This is a permanent regulation for you, to make atonement for the people of Isra’el because of all their sins once a year.”

      Hebrews says:
      "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

      For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

      And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

      So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

      My belief is that to offer the sacrifice of Lev. after it was fulfilled in Christ would not be moral. It would deny the truth that he "taketh away the sins of the world".

      So, the law that requires a yearly sacrifice for atonement has been fulfilled by Yeshua once for all. Just as we do not gather manna anymore, we no longer need a sacrifice for atonement. Thats the Torah.

      Delete
  6. Peter said "Everything in the Torah, the mitzvot, tells us about who He is! It holds His essence, His likeness."

    So, Yeshua should have said "if you see the Torah, you see the Father"? No

    The Church holds His essence and likeness; we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and created in his image. Yeshua is the head, we are the body. The law is written on our hearts and inward parts. We are seated in heavenly places. Man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. The letter of the law kills, the spirit of the law gives life. Yeshua said “do unto others as you would have done unto you, this sums up the law and the prophets”.

    You asked "The reality is that man cannot know what is right and wrong apart from the revelation of Torah, wouldn't you agree?"
    No, I would say they know from eating of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". Here is what God said: "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil"


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a Satan. You came here to lie and accuse. I already caught you in a lie. This conversation is done.

      Delete
  7. "You are a Satan. You came here to lie and accuse. I already caught you in a lie. This conversation is done."

    what???

    That's your mature way of handling opposition to your point of view?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      RE: "I never said you were judging"

      You are a liar. You said I was judging others when you said I was trying to get a "speck" out of other people's eyes, a clear reference to judging someone for a perceived offense!

      I celebrated Shavuot the weekend of the 23rd just like any other Messianic Gentile (as my wife will attest). But I'm not on trial here, Satan. And no matter how many of my failings you are able to find, I will keep preaching the Torah! So get behind me!

      Your lies are your own condemnation. I am done talking to this Satan.

      Delete
    2. Everyone,

      Most folks come here to discuss. Occasionally, folks come here to be a bully, to attack, to make false allegations without evidence. I don't censor but I will call out such despicable behavior when I see it and I REFUSE to reward such people by continuing to have a conversation with them. And thank you to the majority of visitors who practice civility and courtesy.

      Shalom,

      Peter

      Delete
    3. I know you don't judge people, but I want you to know, I feel judged by you. For the record, I do not believe I came here to "bully, to attack, to make false allegations without evidence".

      I'm not sure I have done these things, but I can see you feel attacked. I'm sorry. You said "I've only stated that I am a fallen human just like everyone else" and I've only agreed with you. Why rant about it?

      Anyway, I've made all my points. I'm done. Peace brother!

      Delete
    4. Peter, as I have heard it stated correctly before, "Don't feed the trolls."

      Delete
    5. Zion,

      Sound advice. I'll try to remember that next time. : )

      Delete
  8. OK, you all accuse I'm a liar, a thief, a satan, a troll. Now, I will not leave for sure. You try to drive me away. I was done and thought to leave, but I think I will stay around. I think I make a home of sorts here! :)


    I feel blessed!

    "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doh! We were so close to freedom!

      Hahaha.

      Delete
  9. I can't wait for the next post!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shalom akhi,
    I think the question regarding Shavout is geared toward someone who has no understanding of the Torah. I'm sure Anonymous had known Peter couldn't keep Shavout in the way the Torah requires. There's no temple. Peter, I think that question was ask to see how you'd respond.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Peter do you have a spam policy? :P

    ReplyDelete
  12. Gifted, You are right and I was going to make the point that we are "righteous" even without a physical temple or performing every law. That is the righteousness we learned in Sunday school. But, I failed. Shalom

    You can tell people that Torah is the righteous standard, but you also have to tell them the truth, no one obtained righteousness by keeping it, and Yeshua IS the way, the truth and the life. In him there is no condemnation.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Folks, it appears that Peter thinks his "celebration of Shavuot" and "keeping the Torah of Shavuot" are the same thing. How can this be if there is no temple?

    So either he believes he does not have to keep the laws of sacrifice (for whatever reason including no temple) to be righteous, or he believes he has to keep them, failed to and is not righteous. Am I confused?

    What does the Torah teach? Isn't this post all about teaching the Torah?

    ReplyDelete