Monday, December 14, 2015

Bridges to Ba'al: How Satan Uses the Canaanite Influenced Christmas and Easter to Ensnare the Children of the Houeshold




The beautiful tree, bedecked with silver and gold, warm glowing lights, beside a roaring hearth, a host of shiny presents--what's not to like?  Christmas is beloved especially by children because of all of the beautiful traditions, the celebration of family, the feeling of security with the hearth with the promise of food nearby ("visions of sugar plums") and especially the presents!

And since, as Christians believe, the day of Christmas has been devoted to the G-d of Israel (i.e. Yeshua) then Christmas is all the more special, right?

No.  Here's why:

A BRIEF NOTE ABOUT CANAANITE FIRE [g]ODS:

Allow me to briefly connect several dots showing the evolution of the Canaanite religion, it's overt beginnings with child sacrifice to the fire gods Ba'al and Asherah, to the fire gods Jupiter and Vesta, to the modern vestigial remains as observed in certain customs of Christmas and Easter.

Thanks to modern discoveries of Ugarit texts, Ugarit being one of the ancient city-states of Canaan, we now know a little bit about some of the major players in the Canaan pantheon:

Asherah, was the fertility goddess, the "Queen of Heaven" (now immortalized with fertility symbols on Easter), married to El, a senile god who was eventually replaced with Ba'al.  The people believed that Asherah was best appeased with sexual rites, often symbolized with a pole (the "May pole" being a modern vestige of this phenonmenon) and that Ba'al was best appeased with a fire and a "green" tree.

Here we see the association between Ba'al, his fire servant Molech, and the appeasement by fire:
"They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek, though I never commanded--nor did it enter my mind--that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin,"  Jeremiah 32:35
And here we see the association of the green Ba'al trees with Asherah poles:
"That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father's bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it," Judges 6:25
Evidently it was common to pay homage to Ba'al by decorating the green tree with silver and gold and to pour him offerings of grain and wine:
"She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold-- which they used for Baal....And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals," Hosea 2:8,13
"This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them.  For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter," Jeremiah 10:4
They also considered Ba'al to be not only a fire god but also a storm god, responsible for lightning.  Here we see an ancient stele showing Ba'al holding a lightning bolt (much like his successors Zeus in Greece and Jupiter in Rome):


As the one deemed responsible for weather phenomenon, the Canaanites also believed Ba'al was behind seasons of heavy rainfall and seasons of drought.  This fact sheds some light on the story of Elijah versus the prophets of Ba'al.



The story goes that Elijah explained to Ahab that, because Ahab had built a temple to Ba'al and married a woman who was associated with the priesthood of Asherah, the true G-d of Israel was going to show them who was real G-d of the weather.  Elijah prophesied that there would be a drought.

The drought went on for three long years.  Eventually Elijah proposed a challenge.  450 prophets of Ba'al and 450 prophets of Asherah would converge at Mount Carmel, several altars would be prepared and the gods or G-d who answered would be deemed the true G-d.

Unfortunately for the prophets of Ba'al and Asherah, their gods never answered.  But the G-d of Israel responded with vigor and everyone saw the truth with their own eyes and the Canaanites eventually lost interest in their gods.

However, these gods eventually got rebranded in Greece and Rome and a new fire cult was begun.  The god being serviced was Zeus/Jupiter.  The god in charge of the fire offerings was Vesta, god of the hearth.  Back in those days, the house was a microcosm of the public cult.  The head of the household was the pontifex maximus and the sons were the flamines (pontiffs).  Fun fact:  pontifice/pontiff means "bridge-builder".  The hearth was the altar.  They would offer grain and wine to Vesta who presumably, in turn, brought these offerings to Jupiter.  The Romans also offered food and wine to the Lares, the deceased ancestors of the particular household.

TO BE CONTINUED...

95 comments:

  1. "And since the day of Christmas has been devoted to the G-d of Israel (i.e. Yeshua)"

    Peter, don't you realize that you've just literally associated the G-d of Israel with an idol (a dead man-god, a demigod propped up to be worshiped by the hundreds of millions among the nations)? You decry idolatrous origins of Christmas, but you yourself might as well have included "Ba'al" in the brackets. Yuk.

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    1. Gene,

      It's not what I believe, it's what Christians believe. I'll attempt to make it more clear.

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    2. Gene,

      Oh, I misunderstood you. You're saying that Yeshua is the idol.

      We have a disagreement about what constitutes idolatry.

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    3. "We have a disagreement about what constitutes idolatry."

      I am sure that the Ba'al worshipers (wherever they are right now) would disagree with your designation of them as "idolaters". They may even call you a hypocrite.

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    4. Gene,

      The Ba'al worshipers believed that Adonai was NOT G-d.

      I believe that Adonai IS G-d.

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    5. "The Ba'al worshipers believed that Adonai was NOT G-d. I believe that Adonai IS G-d."

      Peter, the story you yourself cited in this post, about Elijah and the prophets of Ba'al, don't you remember what Elijah told the Ba'al worshiping Jews in 1 Kings 18:21?

      "Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the L-rd is G-d, follow him; but if Baal is G-d, follow him." But the people said nothing."

      Just like you, those idolatrous Israelites also thought that they could worship BOTH the G-d of Israel (Adonai) AND Ba'al, the false "god", at the same time. You just can't do that, Peter!

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    6. Gene,

      If someone worships an idol then they are not worshiping HaShem as the only G-d. The people that Elijah addressed were worshiping idols and therefore they were not worshiping HaShem as the only (echad) G-d.

      I worship the G-d of Israel only (echad). I happen to believe that Yeshua is a manifestation of the One-G-d of Israel.



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    7. "If someone worships an idol then they are not worshiping HaShem as the only G-d. The people that Elijah addressed were worshiping idols and therefore they were not worshiping HaShem as the only (echad) G-d. "

      They were worshiping both G-d and a non-god, just like you do. You are arguing semantics here. No about the Israelites believed that Ba'al was a true god, just like the G-d of Israel was a true G-d for them. I am sure they could also supply a list of excuses and try to reason their way into keeping their idolatrous beliefs and practices to reconcile the irreconcilable.

      You claim to worship the G-d of Israel, but you also worship what could very well be a distant relative of mine, a Jewish man who lived two thousand years ago, whom Christianity deified. That's idolatry.

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    8. "No about the Israelites" = No doubt the Israelites...

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    9. Gene,

      RE: "They were worshiping both G-d and non-god"

      No, they weren't. It doesn't work that way. You can't say they worshiped HaShem (respected Him as their master) while at the same time they were worshiping other gods (thereby rejecting HaShem as their master). Worship is about showing respect to the one who is in authority over you not just in word but also in deed--obeying what that person tells you to do. The Israelites who worshiped Baal were IN NO WAY simultaneously worshiping HaShem.

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    10. Peter, who cares if their worship was simultaneous or they waited an hour or two?! In fact, one could argue that your worship is worse than theirs, since you want to unite G-d and idol together into one whole and even calling the true G-d by idols name! At least they had the courtesy to make a distinction!

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  2. Hi Peter, where were the follower of Yeshua who followed the feast of the L-rd the last 2000 years. now it looks all nice with your 1% of your followers that celebrate the feast of the lord, but back in the eighteen hundreds, 99.99 % celebrated those pagan feast and even less celebrated the real feast of the L-rd.

    Do you know the story of the Pope laughing at naked Jews who were running a marathon after a big meal (just because it was fun to watch) on Christ-mass day? With whom would you have stand Peter if it would be the case today? Of course you say with the Jews, but the truth, each time you share your gospel with anybody, you are standing and working for the foundation you hate, Rome. Romans wanted on religion, because that's how they would have unity in their kingdom. Or course, they would like you to keep on paying your tribute (tithe) to the Roman empire, but you are still working for the proliferation of the Roman Empire, the last kingdom of Daniel.

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  4. Gene wrote:
    "You claim to worship the G-d of Israel, but you also worship what could very well be a distant relative of mine, a Jewish man who lived two thousand years ago, whom Christianity deified. That's idolatry."

    As David left office the people bowed low to the L-RD and to him -- 1Chr29:20. The second commandment prohibits bowing or serving carved images -- Ex20:4-5. Did the people commit idolatry?

    Can you substantiate your charge that Peter bows to carved images? Most importantly, do the apostolic writings endorse this behavior?

    (Were you going to share any sources from which you've learned about Yeshua and his disciples?)

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  5. Not all Jews agree Yeshua advanced idolatry... Excerpt from:

    http://cjcuc.com/site/2015/12/03/orthodox-rabbinic-statement-on-christianity/

    "Rabbi Jacob Emden wrote that “Jesus brought a double goodness to the world. On the one hand he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically… and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah. On the other hand he removed idols from the nations..."
    ...
    Seder Olam Rabbah 35-37; Sefer ha-Shimush 15-17
    ...
    Signed by:

    Initial signatories (in alphabetical order):

    Rabbi Jehoshua Ahrens (Germany)
    Rabbi Marc Angel (United States)
    Rabbi Isak Asiel (Chief Rabbi of Serbia)
    Rabbi David Bigman (Israel)
    Rabbi David Bollag (Switzerland)
    Rabbi David Brodman (Israel)
    Rabbi Natan Lopez Cardozo (Israel)
    Rav Yehudah Gilad (Israel)
    Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein (Israel)
    Rabbi Irving Greenberg (United States)
    Rabbi Marc Raphael Guedj (Switzerland)
    Rabbi Eugene Korn (Israel)
    Rabbi Daniel Landes (Israel)
    Rabbi Steven Langnas (Germany)
    Rabbi Benjamin Lau (Israel)
    Rabbi Simon Livson (Chief Rabbi of Finland)
    Rabbi Asher Lopatin (United States)
    Rabbi Shlomo Riskin (Israel)
    Rabbi David Rosen (Israel)
    Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg (Israel)
    Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger (Israel)
    Rabbi Shmuel Sirat (France)
    Rabbi Daniel Sperber (Israel)
    Rabbi Jeremiah Wohlberg (United States)
    Rabbi Alan Yuter (Israel)

    Subsequent signatories:

    Rabbi Herzl Hefter (Israel)
    Rabbi David Jaffe (USA)
    Rabbi David Kalb (USA)
    Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick (USA)
    Rabbi Yehoshua Looks (Israel)
    Rabbi Ariel Mayse (USA)
    Rabbi David Rose (UK)
    Rabbi Zvi Solomons (UK)
    Rabbi Yair Silverman (Israel)
    Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein (USA)
    Rabbi Lawrence Zierler (USA)

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    1. Hi

      The Rabbis here are being extremely generous: the document also says that because the church has stopped trying to convert Jews to Jesus and a rejection of Jews being superseded by Christians , then they feel they can dialogue. They haven't presumably heard of messianic Judaism or evangelical Christianity.

      Your point is well made , though, because a Christian friend asked me why no UK rabbis had at that point not signed it. I suggested because they wouldn't want to give missionaries a useful tool to manipulate Jewish people into thinking Jesus worship is okay for Jews. And I'm thinking I'm right there from reading your post. So thanks.

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  6. "Rabbi Jacob Emden"

    Please... Emden also wrote that Jesus and Paul only wanted to teach Gentiles seven laws of Noah and nothing else. In other words, he gives Christianity credit, but removes from it everything that makes it a Christianity. Living in Christian Europe where all Jewish works at the time were censored by Church censors, few rabbis dared to directly criticize Christianity, much less Jesus. He also lived during the era of Enlightenment, where universalist ideas were all the rage.

    "Signed by..."

    OK, a bunch of interfaith liberal rabbis singing kumbaya with Christians (and Muslims), all while hoping that if Jews say nice things about Christianity, Christians will reciprocate and start respecting Judaism enough to leave Jews alone to practice it without being harassed by Christian proselytizers.

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  7. I do believe that, of late, Gene has become Peter's most dedicated reader. When a counter-missionary, even a small-time one on the Internet under a pseudonym, devotes such a significant chunk of his waking hours - and thus, his life - to your blog, it should say something.
    And of course, any rabbi who disagrees with Gene, no matter how much more learned, how much more educated, how much more credentialed, is a fool. According to someone who got his smicha...where?

    But at any rate, Peter, you're doing something right here. :)

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    1. Peter started this very blog at my encouragement long ago, when he was a frequent commenter on my blog. But I started commenting here only recently after Peter emailed me with a question. I do spend my blogging hours doing something productive - teaching people about idolatry that I myself was once trapped in. The responses I got over the last few years tells me that my efforts already made a real difference in many people's lives. Idolatry is bandage.

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    2. *bondage. And if you are involved in actively spreading it, heaven knows there need to be people who warn others about this sin. About rabbis - messianics excel at misusing rabbinical works to propel ideas those very same rabbis detested and would condemn you for abusing their words.

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    3. Don't expect truth from the children of those who killed Yeshua, spilled innocent blood in Jerusalem, killed the prophets that were sent to them.

      They will remain blind until...Then they will mourn when they see the one they pierced.

      That they continually blaspheme Yeshua, that they refuse to hear G-d, no suprise!

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    4. Merciless Jew hater and heathen, my ancestors most likely already lived in Europe when Jesus and his merry band were making their rounds, as did the bulk of the Jewish Diaspora during the first century. So, they neither heard of Jesus nor seen him, much less "killed" him. As NT itself shows, it was your fellow Gentiles who murdered him for rebelling against Rome (the fate of all messianic claimants), as they crucified many thousands of other Jews during the same time. And Jews, unlike what the Christians and Muslims falsely claim, were not in the habit of killing prophets (unless you count the 400 prophets of Ba'al). There were a few instances were murdererous apostate kings were after G-d's prophets, but the slander that Jews as a people were prophet murderers is the lie of two false replacement religions, including the False Testament you read.

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    5. "Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

      For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?

      Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.

      2or I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands."

      I am pretty sure your ancestors were present when Mosses said this? You can not fool us into believing your righteousness. But, you are welcome to keep trying.

      "many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

      "...But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

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    6. Hi merciful

      You are one of the reasons I couldn't become Christian or messianic.

      But given your untrue and horrible "Jews killed Jesus" comments which the church historically used for excuses for vicious persecution, pogroms, Talmud burning and general slaughter of Jews, you should change your moniker to Torquemada....

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    7. "You are one of the reasons I couldn't become Christian or messianic."

      She did something good without knowing it. Avoiding you to commit idolatry :)

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    8. Hi remi

      Oh don't worry about me. I'm a Jew for Judaism. I'm also Sephardic or if you prefer Mizrahi, so that's my culture, tradition, Halacha & Hashkafa.

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    9. Hannah, no, you do not recieve Yeshua because it has not been given to you to understand.

      "“Stiffnecked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You continually oppose the Ruach HaKodesh! You do the same things your fathers did! Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who told in advance about the coming of the Tzaddik, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers! — you who receive the Torah as having been delivered by angels — but do not keep it!”

      Visious persecution was forbidden by Yeshua, those who use the fact that Israel persecuted, conspired against, and pushed the Romans to kill the Messiah against the Jews was wrong, but they were not Yeshua's followers no matter their lies about following the Messiah.

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    10. "now you have become his betrayers and murderers!"

      I have a Jewish Friend, when she was 8 years old or so, a boy was throwing rocks at her saying the same insults you are saying. She did not even know who the heck was Jesus. You are disgusting and you probably disgust even most followers of Jesus in this blog! Get a life and go joing the KKK, they have the same kind of thinking that you have.

      Jesus was Jewish by the way and called you dog!

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    11. Remi, what's the matter, you upset because I do not buy your bologne?

      I quoted what a Jew named Stephen is reported to have said before he was stoned to death for saying the Jews killed Yeshua.

      I do not think the boy throwing rocks was following Yeshua's teachings. That someone uses truth to beat up the enemies of God is wrong. Yeshua taught we are to love our enemies.

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    12. *facepalm*

      I reject Jesus because he has nothing to do with authentic Judaism. I am not spiritually blinded , an argument from a so called rabbi called Paul whose authority is zero in the Jewish world.

      What's most illuminating is that you're actually using the same arguments and language that the Christian church directed against the Jewish people starting from Paul onward. But then you belong to a church and are a Christian by religion , for I know of no Jew who would accept Jews killed Jesus and sees fit to condemn every other Jew in perpetuity. Your last paragraph only holds any merit if one believes in the new testament. I don't.



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    13. Hannah, "I reject Jesus because he has nothing to do with authentic Judaism." Oh, so now you decide to stop lying, I thought it was "people like me" that caused you to reject Jesus. I knew you were lying, but thanks for comming clean.

      I know you don't believe the new testament. That is why you are here right?

      You think there is "blood in the water" that you can disreguard everything Christians believe, get them to only argue from the scriptures you claim to believe and don't, insult the son of God, for what?

      Here is some scripture from the new testement you do not believe: "My sheep hear my voice, another they will not follow"

      We who believe in Yeshua will never follow you. But, keep trying, call us names, insult our Messiah, pretend your righteousness. That's what you anti-missionaries do, right?

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    14. But, keep trying, call us names, insult our Messiah, pretend your righteousness. That's what you anti-missionaries do, right?

      No, that's what you do!

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    15. I know you are, but what am I?

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    16. Hi merciful

      In my first post I said "one of the " so I wasn't lying or having to come clean on anything.

      I just gave you another reason for not agreeing with your worldview. Any Jew who is observant of Judaism will tell you the same.

      I a Jew who believes Judaism is the best practice for Jews.I am here because I happen to be here. If I'm not welcome here and if you prefer an echo chamber,I'm happy to not post.

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    17. Hi Hannah, she is not the blog owner and usually people are nice and talking in a respectful manner... Let just follow Solomon advice :

      Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
      Lest you also be like him.
      Answer a fool according to his folly,
      Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

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    18. Yeshua is the truth.

      "though he was in the form of God,
      he did not regard equality with God
      something to be possessed by force.
      On the contrary, he emptied himself,
      in that he took the form of a slave
      by becoming like human beings are.
      And when he appeared as a human being,
      he humbled himself still more
      by becoming obedient even to death —
      death on a stake as a criminal!
      Therefore God raised him to the highest place
      and gave him the name above every name;
      that in honor of the name given Yeshua,
      every knee will bow —
      in heaven, on earth and under the earth —
      and every tongue will acknowledge
      that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai —
      to the glory of God the Father."

      This is a site that proclaims that Yeshua is adonai.

      Judaism does not proclaim this truth. It does not make allowance for Yeshua to be God. So, forgive me if I don't think people like me ever stood in your way of believing. It's just one of those ploys I have heard over the years to insult Christians.

      I know that no one could stand between me and believing the truth about Yeshua. If God was drawing you to Yeshua, no one would stand in your way, except those who practice Judaism.

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    19. Remi, your anti-missionary tactics are not working very well, are they? Why is that?

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  8. How does Torah define idolatry?

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    1. Jason, a good Torah description of what is idolatry can be found in Deuteronomy 4:15-19. It warns that G-d has no form, so one is not make any shape of G-d for worship or of any creature, and also to not worship any creature or creation directly (including the "host of heaven", which includes the sun, moon, stars, planets and supernatural beings other than G-d).

      Also, "You shall have no other gods before me." in Exodus 20:3. Christianity says that a dead Jewish man by name of Jesus is not really the "other god" but part of the G-d of Israel, but if Israelites believed the idol Ba'al was the actual son of G-d born of a human virgin (and a second person within G-d, per Christian trinitarian doctrine), would that be any less of an idolatry?

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    2. Elohim is plural.

      Echad is 'united one' ie, united-plurality.

      'Let US make man in OUR image'

      Cue all the 'Angel of YHVH' passages wherein the VISIBLE Angel speaks as FIRST PERSON (I am YHVH)G-D, eats, accepts sacrifice, makes covenantal promises, etc... And, over and over the the Torah attests that the viewer says, 'I have SEEN G-D and lived!!'

      The mystery is much more complex than the one-sided view you espouse.

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    3. "Elohim is plural."

      "The Lord said to Moses, "See, I have made thee a god אֶלהִים, (elohim) to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." (Exodus 7:1)

      Was Moses "plural" too? Christians display their ignorance of Hebrew when they make such a claim. Many Hebrew words have plural intensive syntax and are singular in meaning. For example, chayim means life, mayim means water and many other such examples. Genesis also uses a verb in a singular not plural, created (or bara), which blows away the "plurality" claim (something that English-only speakers simply fail to grasp).

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    4. Single or plural?

      He created male and female in His image.

      Abraham & Sarah… Isaac… Jacob… Israel

      Is there a pattern… that of a family?

      Who is “I” in Proverbs 8? 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

      The “I” is referred to as a “she” who is called a “tree of life”. Is this “she” the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden?

      Proverbs 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

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    5. I was the wisdom... but I am not sure I understand your comment. Can your clarify?

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    6. King Solomon describes Wisdom as a person.

      The man who trusts in the Lord is called a “tree” that will always bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

      Wisdom… the Tree of Life… trusting in the Lord… all give a man “Life” that bears fruit—Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Proverbs 3:16

      Wisdom also appears to be His Spirit—I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Proverbs 1:23

      What cried out from the ground in Genesis? Abel’s blood—the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. Genesis 4:10

      The life of man is in the blood—But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Genesis 9:4
      For the life of the flesh is in the blood… Leviticus 17:11

      Keeping “life in the blood” in mind, I remember Wisdom’s words:

      Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. Proverbs 4:8-10 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. Proverbs 8:20

      From all this… I’m not ashamed to… believe the Spirit of the Lord was in Jesus Christ’s blood that He shed at the cross as the Father’s only begotten Son. Jesus released His Life… the Holy Spirit… the Spirit of the Lord… for man to receive… that he have eternal Life (take of the Tree of Life)... become a co-heir with Abraham of the “city” that Abraham died waiting to receive. So much so, I fear the words—Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Matthew 12:31

      The Lord created male and female in His ["Our"… as Pete said and scripture says] image to… “be fruitful and multiply”. The Lord also instructed the animals to “be fruitful and multiply”(Genesis 1”21-22). Adam and Eve did… Abraham and Sarah did… Isaac did… Jacob did… and Abraham was given the promise [in other words, a promise of “be fruitful and multiply]:

      4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. Genesis 17:4-6

      And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 28:14

      Is “be fruitful and multiply” part of His [Our] image?

      This is a long way of saying… it’s not strange that Pete and I and others would believe it is “Our”. And, I think “be fruitful and multiply” is the foundation of our families and for the Family of the God of Israel. Which none was possible if not for Jesus Christ.

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    7. "King Solomon describes Wisdom as a person. "

      Every heard of poetry and allegory, Anonymous?

      "Which none was possible if not for Jesus Christ."

      But the G-d of Israel says to those who lavish glory and heap praise unto their false gods (e.g. the man-god Jesus):

      "I am the L-rd; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols." (Isaiah 42:8)

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    8. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
      Isaiah 43:10


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  9. Chayim and mayim (and many other such examples) have qualities that can easily be understood as united plurality. Just pour the glass into two glasses and they are both still the same in substance and quality. Or, body and soul? Two types of life in one corpus.

    The preponderance of the evidence is much more than dismissing it with your quip about my first line. The Torah is FULL of hints and threads that lead to a more faceted understanding of the Mystery.

    And, who said I was an English only speaker? You assume.

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    1. Put one unchangeable, infinite, perfect G-d and divide Him in three? Do you have 3 third gods? No, because G-d in unchangeable. Your explanation makes no sense. An unchangeable G-d would not change to be born of a virgin birth to become a changeable man that grows older and dies. It is plainly not in the Jewish Bible.

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    2. Here's a littler something to challenge you.... http://www.amazon.com/Return-Kosher-Pig-Itzhak-Shapira/dp/1936716453/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450213399&sr=8-1&keywords=return+of+the+kosher+pig

      GREAT book!

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    3. That's probably one of the most ridiculous books that fake messianic "rabbis" put out in years. Perfect for ignoramuses (no offense intended) who never read rabbinical sources for themselves but eat up "proofs" that rabbis actually believed in Jesus somehow, someway, unbeknownst to themselves. Truly takes twisting of words of rabbis to the new, even more fake, level. Messianics will love it.

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    4. Yes and unfortunately, most christians will say that this is the opinion of Jews and the other side of the story. And they will say that it is proof enough for their worship of Yeshua. Not only they do take Jewish text out of context, but pretend to be Jewish scholars and use Hebrew words just to look more wise than what they really are. :(

      Why can't they just quote the proofs of the Bible to show their belief instead? Because, there is no proofs at all...

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  10. Hi Peter, thank you for your suggestion. I already have too many messianic books explaining why it's OK to worship a complex unified god, and receive new books and articles weekly. I honestly think that they all say the same things. (excuses to worship Jesus)

    One of them being "the mystery of the unity of god" which explain in detail each little plural in the whole bible.

    But the truth is, G-d is one and alone to be worshipped. You may find a "us" here and a "we" there, but none of those passages point to Jesus. You take something that seems like it says that there is more than one god, and you say "Look, look, Jesus is there." But that makes no sense, you only are looking with your christian lenses when the text talks about something else (the creation, Abraham's kindness to strangers, etc.) Look first the intent of the writter, that what you should worry about, more than proving that your belief in Jesus is Biblical.

    Let me point out one bible verses that speak about Jesus:

    They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods,
    To gods they did not know,
    To new gods, new arrivals
    That your fathers did not fear.

    Deuteronomy 32

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  11. Gene wrote:
    "Jason, a good Torah description of what is idolatry can be found in Deuteronomy 4:15-19."

    So, here's Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:16, 23, 25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬:

    “lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female...

    Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you...

    When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the LORD your God to provoke Him to anger,”

    Can we agree that the text you've selected to define idolatry identifies it as making carved images?
    ‭‭

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  12. Fwiw, I get that the prohibition against bowing to inanimate objects extends beyond "idolatry" (i.e. idols):

    Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:19
    “And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them..."

    But textually the prohibition is against bowing to an inanimate object that can be seen, correct?

    Continuing with that same passage:
    Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:28‬ ‭NKJV
    "And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell."

    And, of course:
    Exodus‬ ‭20:4-5‬ ‭NKJV‬
    "You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them...."

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    Replies
    1. Jason, we know that Egyptians worshipped cattle (cows and sheep) and that the Pharaoh himself was seen as a god and was likewise worshiped. Also, the prohibition elsewhere in Torah is not to have ANY other god before G-d. It doesn't need to spell out all possible future false gods.

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  13. While you may not concede this, according to your own Torah excerpt (Deut. 4), Merriam-Webster, and even Wikipedia: "Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god."

    Else, the Israelites would be guilty of idolatry as they prostrated themselves before G-d and David in 1Chr29:20.

    While worship in Greek and Hebrew means to prostrate or pay homage, the prohibition of bowing to idols is scoped and does not include authority.

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    1. "Else, the Israelites would be guilty of idolatry as they prostrated themselves before G-d and David in 1Chr29:20."

      Jason, prostration alone means nothing - it was common etiquette to do that before royalty. Even Joseph's own brothers did that:

      "Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground." (Genesis 42:6)

      Quite clear, right?

      Moving on to Jesus - he is indeed a false god and for the majority of world's Christians often quite literately an idol made by hands as well(e.g. the Catholics.) I would also consider the worship of Jesus by Protestant to still still be a worship a man-made idol, since the real Jesus was remade into another entity altogether - into a demigod - by being deified by people. So, this makes him also a man-made false god and idol.

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    2. "Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a physical object as a representation of a god."

      And that's exactly what the NT say about Jesus (who was and still is - dead or alive, considering his "resurrection" - a "physical object").

      "Christ is the visible representation of the invisible God, the Firstborn and Lord of all creation." (Colossians 1:15)

      Kinda sounds like your Merriam-Webster reference about idolatry, doesn't it?

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    3. "I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness, and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking somebody: have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion?"

      This is a quote from an evolutionist, but the point is this... How do you know if you, Jason are worshipping the true G-d? Because in the end, you don't want to be like those Buddha's worshippers that bow down to a man, or those catholic that bow to Mary. I think Deuteronomy 4 is clear that you should not bow to any "host" (created thing)... Now it's your decision to see if it's OK to worship Jesus. I made the search, Gene as well and we both came to the conclusion that it was idolatry to worship Jesus. We were both in the Messianic movement and I was doing the D'var at my congregation, trying to convince people that we are sinners in need of Jesus. But I was wrong, and I found the truth, you don't want to be like those who pass their entire life devoting themselves to a false god. Just think, the decision is your to critically examine your beliefs. Don't accept what you have been told, challenge it. (not by reading messianic stuff though) Don't be like the JW that say you cannot open a non-JW book. If you have not looked on both side of the coin, how can you say you know the truth?

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  14. Gene wrote:
    "Jason, prostration alone means nothing - it was common etiquette to do that before royalty."

    וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ = way·yiš·ta·ḥă·wū = prostrate, pay homage

    “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ””
    ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    ...and...

    “Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the LORD your God.” So all the assembly blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ the LORD and the king.”
    ‭‭I Chronicles‬ ‭29:20‬ ‭NKJV

    So you agree that it's ok to pay homage to a human but not to a spiritless image?

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    Replies
    1. "So you agree that it's ok to pay homage to a human but not to a spiritless image?"

      It's really simple, Jason. If one bows to a false god (e.g. Jesus) as to a deity, that's idolatry. If one bows to a human being as to a human being, that's etiquette (as is still done in many places around the world). Why one bows and to whom is what important, not the mere act of "bowing". Kissing an idol and kissing one's spouse is not the same act. Makes sense?

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  15. Do you agree that per Torah and therefore for the purposes of discussion, the term idolatry means paying homage to a spiritless image?

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    Replies
    1. Jason, would worshiping a pharaoh or Cesar (i.e. objects with 'spirits', per your distinction) as gods qualify as idolatry according to Torah or do you think Torah never considered such things as idolatry when it, for example, warned not to have ANY other gods before G-d?

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    2. Let's compare:

      For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

      Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

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  16. Hi Jason, I think it's the intent of the prostration that matter. If you bow in front of a status to clean it, it would be OK. If you see the Queen and bow to here, it's fine, unless you believe that the object/person should be venerate as a god, worshipped, pray to or has some sort or luck or ritualistic practice related to it... Basically, it's the heart's intent that matter. And in the case of Jesus, even if the object is not in front of you, the intent is still to worship it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi remi,
      What do you mean by "worship Jesus"? What do the apostlolic writings say his followers should do?

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    2. As per the New testament: "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,..."

      It is required that you should bow down to Jesus, and if it is inspired, I will bow to him when I die.

      Nevertheless, what does the Tanakh say?

      You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than Me.

      If Jesus is, as you claim, G-d the father, then it is Ok to worship him. Neverthess, Deuteronomy 4 say he does not have a body and the children of Israel did not see any form. They have been warned no to worship any form or anything that they have not seen at mount Horeb. If someone enticed you to worship a different god that their father has not known, that person should have been put to death. As per those warning, the Children of Israel refused to bow to Jesus. They refuse to bow to Jesus because G-d told them not to do so. Now you are telling me that those Jews that want to keep the commandments of G-d will be burning in hell because they listened to G-d and kept his commandments. If it is the case, I agree with Paul that the law is a curse! Because, it is the law itself that condemn your worship of Jesus. Thus, if you are right, then G-d lied to you saying not to worship any form or other gods.

      As per your own dogmas, Jesus is not the same than the father, thus it breaks the first commandment even if you say that the father/Jesus/HS are/is one. If you want to worship an ambiguous god that say one thing and means another, Jesus is the guy for you...

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    3. remi wrote:

      "If Jesus is, as you claim, G-d the father...

      As per your own dogmas, Jesus is not the same than the father...

      Now you are telling me that those Jews that want to keep the commandments of G-d will be burning in hell..."

      I guess if you're going to tell me what I claim, my dogmas, and what I'm going to tell you, then there's not much I can say that you don't already know :)

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    4. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father, but by me".

      If Jews don't believe in Jesus. they are already condemned already, because do not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

      You may tell me that Jews won't burn in hell, but what does your NT say? What do you believe?

      "I guess if you're going to tell me what I claim"

      Please tell me what you believe about Jesus. Is is a triune god? is he the memrah? Is he an angel? Is he divine? I think, as per the new testament, the trinity makes not much sense. I do believe the the New testament writers thought Jesus was somewhat divine, but a different being than the Father. Only John, the Jewish mystic, view Jesus more than just divine, but again it's not really clear what he was thinking...

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    5. Raised Catholic, I've learned to question and don't have completely formed answers. I'm trying to study ancient writings for what they actually say. For example, regarding Phil 2:10 and every knee bowing:

      κάμψῃ (kampsē), meaning bow, is in the aorist tense (one-time event), active voice, and subjunctive mood (expresses possibility, "might").

      This is not a directive by Paul but a comment about a future event indicating that every knee will bow before the king. Some translations render it "will bow".

      Do the apostolic writings say that Yeshua's followers should worship him in the present?

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    6. Hi Jason, I understand your point of view, I think. Paul, or any NT writers never mentioned "you should worship Jesus".

      What we can know though:

      Jesus was worshipped when he was alive by his followers and healed people on specific occasions.

      Jesus will be worshipped by everybody (Philippians 2:10)

      Revelation 4:10 say that the 24 elders will worship Jesus.

      I can't disagree with you on the fact that you should not worship Jesus. That's definitely a good thing. I am not sure how things adds up though. Keep on looking thought...

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    7. Jason, it is good you are studying the writings. I would be interested in what you might find in the first chapter of Hebrews. Peace

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    8. remi wrote:
      "Jesus will be worshipped by everybody (Philippians 2:10)

      Revelation 4:10 say that the 24 elders will worship Jesus"

      ---

      Phil 2:10 - knees will bow to him; the meaning of worship today seems to be broader than that

      Rev 4:10 - read Rev 5:6-7 to see who the elders are worshipping (i.e. Who is on the throne)

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    9. Hi Merciful,
      Is there a specific verse on which to focus? (Thanks.)

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    10. Hebrews‬ ‭1:6, 8‬ ‭NKJV:

      “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
      ...
      But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”
      ‬‬
      ---

      Observations:
      -G-d has a firstborn
      -the firstborn will return
      -angels will bow to him (v4 he has become so much greater than they)
      -he will rule an everlasting kingdom with his Father's title

      Biblically G-d apparently has other sons too, although only one is impartial:

      ---

      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭82:1-2, 6-7‬ ‭NKJV:

      “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
      ...
      I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.””

      ‭‭John‬ ‭10:34-36‬ ‭NKJV:

      “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?”

      ---

      G-d and Abraham each have more than one son, but one is the only begotten:

      “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,”
      ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
      ‬‬
      ---

      Lastly:
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭2:7-8, 12‬ ‭NKJV:

      “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
      ...
      Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”

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    11. Note that in John 10:36 above, Yeshua says that G-d ἡγίασεν (hēgiasen) him before sending him into the world.

      Set him apart from whom? The "children of the Most High" in the previous verse?

      ἡγίασεν = set apart as holy in the aorist tense (one-time event), active voice, and indicative mood (assert, present as certainty)

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  17. Hi Peter

    What's interesting is a devout Christian I know, who is familiar with messianic Judaism, on my blog maintains messianic Jews do and should celebrate Christmas...

    I just said I was going for a kosher curry on Christmas day and he couldn't see why I wouldn't celebrate Christmas day, as a Sephardi Jew for Judaism.

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    Replies
    1. Hannah,

      It's very sad. It makes me sad to hear about Christians trying to turn Jews into Gentiles. This is the Good News? Jewishness is obsolete?

      Yeshua, not the Jesus portrayed by Christians, was the real Jewish Messiah, He loved Jews, He spent His whole life telling stories to help people understand the Torah, healing children, opening the eyes of the blind, eating with tax collectors and treating the despised sinners with love--like a father treats his children.

      Yeshua met with these people who were engaging in prohibited relationships, He loved them anyway, talked with them, sat down to eat with them.

      And, above all, He was devoted to the Temple, devoted to living a Jewish life. And, in the end, He was willing to take the punishment for us all. He doesn't want to condemn anyone. He wants all of His children to return.



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  18. Gene wrote:
    "Jason, would worshiping a pharaoh or Cesar (i.e. objects with 'spirits', per your distinction) as gods qualify as idolatry according to Torah or do you think Torah never considered such things as idolatry when it, for example, warned not to have ANY other gods before G-d?"

    Since you asked, here's how I read the first three commandments:

    The first establishes the existence of G-d. To deny Him or elevate another being above Him is apostasy.

    The second illuminates His essence, with which we connect through our ears/mind/spirit. To engage the eyes/heart/flesh after a spiritless image is idolatry.

    The third sanctifies His identity. To speak against or misuse His representation is blasphemy.

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    Replies
    1. Jason, I don't know where you are going with all this 1 - 2 - 3 stuff. I pointed out to you what idolatry is from the Torah perspective. If you wish to dance around the issue so that you don't have to face your sin head on, it's your call.

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  19. We are going to talk passed each other if we can't agree on definitions. Idolatry has a limited meaning in English. In Torah the 2nd commandment, not both 1st and 2nd, addresses this practice. While the apostolic writings don't condone idolatry, you accuse those who accept these writings of worshipping an idol.

    This led to a discussion about what worship means, textually. In short there is nothing biblically wrong with bowing to a being who is your authority. It is always sin to bow to an idol/spiritless image (#2). It is always sin to elevate any other being above G-d in your mind (#1).

    Apostasy, idolatry, and blasphemy have specific English meanings which correspond to biblical concepts. Conflating or extending meanings only adds confusion to a written dialogue.

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  20. Is there something in the apostolic writings that violates Torah?

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  21. 1 John 2:2 is one of them.

    This sacrifice is nowhere in the Torah.

    You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.

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    Replies
    1. Isaiah 53 flies in the face of this statement...

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    2. The prophet wrote the book. But it's not the prophet who is speaking for sure. We can see that because of the word "our" report.

      To whom has the arm of the L-rd been revealed?

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    3. The prophet spoke for the people. I am not interested in a discussion of Isaiah 53, because I know exactly what your next move is going to be...

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    4. Hi Dan, I will not argue about that prophecy if you don't want to. But please note that a great part of Isaiah 52/53 has not come to pass yet. It's hard to prove that Isaiah 53 is 100% sure speaking of Jesus, when other clear-cut passages forbid Isabel to worship other gods. You also know that "he was bruised for our iniquities" can be translated as "he was bruised because of our iniquities". And at least, there are many other parts of Isaiah 53 that could make doubts in someone's mind because it does not look like it's speaking about Jesus.

      Usually as a good thumbs up, we need more than one bible verse to make a point. Often times, wrong doctrines emerge when a bible verse is robed out of context...

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    5. I went to thousands of Jews with Isaiah 53 asking them who do they think the chapter speaks of? Uniformally, the only answer Igot was: it is not Jesus. I answered that I did not metioned Jesus, they did...I could have talked about my cat in that chapter, but they, all thousands of them talked about Jesus.
      So, please save your preachong for the Jews...

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    6. Read Isaiah 48:16...

      “Come near to Me, hear this:
      I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
      From the time that it was, I was there.
      And now the Lord God and His Spirit
      Have sent Me.”

      You see, the trinity aren't you?

      Or maybe Zechariah 13:6. Tell me it does not speak of Jesus.

      It's obvious that is someone stops you and say "read isaiah 53", it is to prove that Jesus is the messiah. But the truth, in Isaiah 53:1, the kings of the nations speak.

      The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations (Isaiah 52:10)

      Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1)

      To whom has the arm of the L-rd ben revealed? It has been reveal in the sight of all the nations...

      Why would you imagine The Jews speaking? Because Rav Sha'ul said so? But what did Isaiah say?

      But at lease, you can acknowledge that there is a second interpretation. If there is a second possibility, then the only bible verse that say a human makes atonement for someone else's sin does not look that convincing any more.

      Or maybe it is the "Jews" who try so hard to disprove Jesus that they invented another interpretation. And while we are there, they changed "they pierced my hand and my feet" and change the Hebrew for "Kaari" just to disprove Jesus!

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  22. Would this interpretation also disqualify Hanukkah or Purim?

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    Replies
    1. No, because Judaism doesn't consider either one as a Torah commandment or an addition to Torah but as national holidays that Jews voluntarily agreed to celebrate. If one were to not celebrate either one, there are no Torah punishments prescribed. But Christianity specifically attempted to tie JC to Torah and prophets, claiming that he fulfilled both. So, no comparison.

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  23. The question is not whether someone should be punished for not observing but, per Deut 4:2, for observing an added holy day (holiday).

    If Deut 4:2 can be stretched to apply to Yeshua's death, why shouldn't it apply to Hanukkah?

    Did Elijah also violate Deut. 4:2 with the sacrifices on Mount Carmel?

    For G-d to command Yeshua to go to the cross would obviously not be listed with corporate commandments much like the specific command to sacrifice Isaac was given only to Abraham. Not so sure about Hanukkah :)

    If Yeshua fulfilled Torah and prophecy, how is that violating Torah?

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