Highly Offensive ​by Reb Gutman Locks

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Highly Offensive

​by Reb Gutman Locks

Regarding my article “Stolen Property”, a reader complained:

“Why are you always insulting those who don’t share your beliefs? If you’re not gonna respect christians beliefs, then at least respect them as human beings. And calling them Thieves is highly offensive.”

 

Gutman’s response:

No one ever gave the x-ians permission to take our holy Torah and attach it to their books of idolatry. But that is not our strongest complaint.

As I write this article a large x-ian group is having a convention in Jerusalem, the theme of which is how to convert Jews to their idolatry! Not only did they steal our Torah, they also want to steal our people! There are centers in Israel that teach, to bless Israel you should accept their idol! G-d forbid!

The same week that Muslims in the Mideast murdered 82 x-ian children the U.N. announced that Israel was the only country in the Mideast where x-ians were not being persecuted. That week the presbyterian church in America voted to ban and boycott Israel!

For the past 2,000 years more Jews have been murdered in the name of that idol than any other name. Jews were exiled from x-ian countries and forced to abandon their property only because they were Jews, and the x-ians could not tolerate Jews living in their countries!

The nazi soldiers (Y”S) were referring to that idol when they wrote, “god is with us” on their belt buckles.

And you say that calling x-ians thieves is offensive? Sorry, but your complaint does not even dent your history.

 Mystical Paths 

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Paul’s (MIS) use of Isaiah 59:20

Paul’s (MIS) use of Isaiah 59:20

Paul CHANGES the words of Isaiah which in effect changes the role of the Jewish redeemer sent by G-d to Israel.

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Religious truths can be for the good for the evil.

Religion Verses Torah:
Religious truths can be for the good for the evil.

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By the RANBaCH 

There is truth in every religious book written; regardless of what faith it comes from, we can learn from them all.

These truths can be for the good in man, or for the evil in man.

If you want to learn the truth of true evil in man you must read the Quaran. It is the book of the ultimate of evil that one man, or group of men, can impose upon the world.

If you want to learn the truth of perversion of the word of HaShem, you need look no further than the xtian gospels. It is the book of how to twist and pervert truth to make a man an idol as sure as Zeus of the Greeks.

If you want to look at the truth of man centered selfness, look to the writings of the Buddhists. It is a book that disconnects man from his Creator and make gods of men.

However, if you want to learn real truth, the book that explains the good and the bad in man and enjoins hims to seek the good and thereby choose life; you need look no further than the Torah. Written and Oral Torah are the truth of the world that cannot be surpassed by any book of truth ever conceived by men, because it is not of man. HaShem’s truth cannot be improved on for it is perfect in all its ways. It pushes us away as it draws us close. It admonishes us as it consoles us. It shows us dark as it shows us light.

Those who have no compassion for an animal are incapable of having compassion for other humans. Those who show compassion for animals will always be compassionate toward other humans. Remember, Adam gave the animals their names; by doing this, he not only gave them all their attributes, he took responsibility for their well being.

Seek the Truth Always!

Source: http://allfaith.com/ranbach/religions.html

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Who are those of the ‘Synagogue of Satan’?

Who are those of the ‘Synagogue of Satan’? Rabbi Tovia Singer explores the sources and consequences

How does the Book of Revelation promote hatred of Jews?

Answer: In the Book of Revelation there are seven letters to seven churches supposedly written by the heavenly Jesus. They appear in Revelation 2:1 through 3:22. In each letter the angel (messenger) of the specific church is addressed and, in turn, the church members are told that Jesus knows who they are and the level of their spirituality. We are concerned here with letters two (2:8-11) and six (3:7-13).

In Revelation 2:9, Jesus is said to have written, “I know your works, tribulations and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” In Revelation 3:9, Jesus is said to have written, “Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” Jews who do not accept Christianity are characterized as worshipers of Satan, hence, the expression “synagogue of Satan.”

According to Paul’s definition of a “true” Jew, “he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29). That is, the Christian notion of a “true” Jew refers to Jews and Gentiles who follow Paul’s concept of submission to belief in Jesus, not adherence to the Torah. Jews by birth or choice who do not believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior are classified as Jews of the “flesh” not “true” spiritual Jews. The author of Revelation declares that Jews of the “flesh” who do not become “true” Jews (that is, Christians) worship Satan and are destined to someday be subdued and come to bow down at the feet of Jesus’ beloved church.

Is it any wonder that the expression “synagogue of Satan” in combination with John 8:44, where “the Jews” are characterized as descended from Satan, helped produce a portrait for faithful Christians of the “evil” Jew whose deeds on behalf of Satan took on ominous proportions? Is it any wonder that the church and its faithful followers sought to hasten the day when Jesus would fulfill his promise to “make them [the synagogue of Satan] come and bow down at your feet” (verse 9) by persecution of the Jews?

Book of Revelation 3:9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Source: How does the Book of Revelation promote hatred of Jews?

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I urge my brothers and sisters to be easygoing with Christians, especially with regard to Isaiah 53

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Rabbi Tovia Singer posted:

I urge my brothers and sisters to be easygoing with Christians, especially with regard to Isaiah 53, the most debated chapter in the Bible. Let’s reflect to our gentile friends and neighbors the patience that God shows us each and every day of our lives.
In fact, Christians are asking important questions here. Moreover, unlike other passages, Isaiah 53 is enshrined in the New Testament, so Christians might be reluctant to rethink their interpretation of this chapter. There is a lot at stake here for them.

As it turns out, if you are not thoroughly familiar the chapters that precede it, this text can appear quite puzzling. Let it be said once and for all: These passages were never meant to be confusing or mysterious. The prophet presupposed, however, that the reader of Isaiah 53 is already familiar with the chapters that introduce it.

Never lose sight of this point: If a verse can be understood in more than one way, what is the correct rendering? One that is in agreement with the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. If a person ignores vital portions of the immediate context of a passage, and builds his belief around a favorite rendering of a particular text, then what he believes really reflects, not the Word of God, but rather his own ideas, and perhaps those of another imperfect human.

Students of the Bible who explore the last 27 chapters of the Book of Isaiah grasp the identity of the “Suffering Servant.” These stirring chapters triumphantly reveal God’s sovereign plan for His “servant Israel” (Isaiah 41:8-9; 43:10-11; 44:1; 44:21; 45:4; 48:20; 49:3). Israel’s neighbors will be dumbfounded by the startling events that unfold during the messianic age. These events will not go unnoticed. Together, they will comprehend that their age-old assessment of the Jew was wrong.

Isaiah 53 is the last of four powerful and inspiring Servant Songs. The identity of the servant is clearly established as the nation of Israel throughout the first three Servant Songs, which begin in chapter 41.

As it turns out, we are introduced to different speakers in these famed passages: God and the gentile kings of nations (the astonished gentiles). Each is expressing, from a very different perspective, why the servant of God, the humiliated and battered Jews, suffered so much during their long bitter exile. Understandably, gentiles and God do not have the identical outlook of this striking phenomenon. To be clear, God/Isaiah is speaking in Isaiah 52:13-15. The astonished kings of nations are alone speaking in Isaiah 53:1-8. God resumes speaking in Isaiah 53:9-12. If you grasp the breakdown of these passages, this timeless, crystalline chapter comes into view in full color.

Let’s break down these oracles.
Kings of nations are speaking in 53:1-8. They are together in numbed astonishment, for what they will witness in the messianic age will contradict everything they had ever heard or considered in the past. “Who would have believed our report?” the astounded and contrite world leaders wonder aloud in their dazed bewilderment (53:1). The humbled kings of nations (52:15) will finally grasp and confess that Jewish suffering occurred as a direct result of “our own iniquity,” (53:5) i.e., depraved, reckless Jew-hatred, rather than, as they previously thought, the stubborn blindness of the Jews. They are utterly stunned that the Jewish people, whom all their nations have uniformly despised and molested, are finally vindicated to enjoy the promised salvation of God.

This palpable shock that Israel’s neighbors will express in the End of Days is a common theme in the Hebrew Scriptures. It goes without saying that there is not a single instance in Tanach in which prophets foretell that the Jewish People will be surprised or astonished that the gentiles were right in their understanding of God’s salvation plan for mankind during the messianic age. Accordingly, we find nowhere in Tanach that the Jews will seek out the gentiles for spiritual guidance. On the contrary, the Bible reveals that in the End of Days, ten gentiles of different languages will grasp the shirt of a Jew and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you!” (Zechariah 8:23). The Hebrew word “emachem” in this passage means “you,” in the plural. If, as the Church claims, the Jews were wrong in their assessment of Jesus, why will the gentiles seek out the knowledge of the Jews in the Messianic Age?

Throughout Israel’s long and bitter exile, the nations mistakenly attributed the miserable predicament of the Jew to his stubborn rejection of the world’s religions. In the End of Days, however, all that will change: the gentiles will finally discover what was until then unimaginable: the unwavering Jew was, in fact, all this time faithful to the true God. On the other hand, “We despised and held him of no account” (53:3). In contrast, Christians who ignore the context of the fourth Servant Song, erroneously conclude that Isaiah 53 refers to Jesus.

In essence, we are told in Isaiah 53 that the gentile nations will apprehend two major points in the messianic age:
1) The gentile kings of nations will finally comprehend and confess that Jewish suffering occurred as a direct result of “our own iniquity”: mindless Jew-hatred, rather than, as they previously thought, the errors of the Jews. They are downright amazed that the Jewish people, whom they despised and plundered, are finally raised up to experience the secured salvation of God.

2) Throughout the latter chapters of the Book of Isaiah, the Jewish people are repeatedly identified as afflicted, despised, and forsaken. The prophet assured Israel, however, that at the End of Days they will be redeemed and vindicated in the sight of all the nations.

But how will the gentile make sense out of the past Jewish suffering of long duration? They, not God, will conclude the Jews endured the suffering that they (the gentiles) rightfully deserved. Second, the striking and unparalleled suffering of the Jew gripped and warmed the gentile’s heart. Events such as the Holocaust did not go unnoticed by many gentiles worldwide. Even heart-wrenching, epoch films such as Schindler’s List and Fiddler on the Roof, and the gruesome, ghastly images of young Jewish terror victims brought the gentiles to repent.

There are, no doubt, many gentiles who are repenting now as they grasp the full weight and measure of these words. Our arms are open to you, righteous gentiles. Welcome home. We are holding you close. We will not let you go. Each day, many gentiles are made whole because their mind and soul became permeated with the unimaginable suffering of the Jew. Jewish suffering sparked their repentance: “By his wounds we were healed” (53:5).

This chapter has not yet concluded, for God now steps forward to make clear how the Servant will kindle the exoneration and vindication of the gentiles. After all, the Jewish people are called to be a “Light to the Gentiles.” The King of kings is now speaking: The world is set to be vindicated by the “servant’s knowledge” (53:10).

Does the Church teach that Jesus vindicated the world with his “knowledge”? According to Christian theology, it was not Jesus’ knowledge that vindicated the world. It was his blood. This epic verse is completely inconsistent with a fundamental doctrine of the Church.

Isaiah, however, is not speaking of a crucified messiah in his 53rd chapter. The prophet is referring to the faithful remnant of Israel, who, by their knowledge bear witness to the world that there is no Savior other than the God of Israel (Isaiah 43:10-11). This mandate to vindicate the world as a light to the nations (49:6) is not a task for a common people. The devout remnant of Israel will be righteous (Isaiah 60:21; Zephaniah 3:12-20 ).

In the End of Days, non-Jews will cherish and crave Israel’s knowledge. They will turn to the children of Israel in order to learn of Hashem and His Torah. Filled with remorse, they will confess to the Jewish people “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things. Can a man make gods for himself, which are not gods?” (Jeremiah 16:19-20).

Over the years, I have been struck by the warm and sincere heart of many Christians. I did not grow up in the Church; they did. Parishioners need our patience and love; the kind of compassion and forbearance that God shows us each day.

http://53isaiah.com/  [1]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR8CYQ8Btvs [2]
~~~
To which the magnificent Patricia Deneen responded with unparalleled insight, empathy, and sensitivity:
Thank you, Rabbi Tovia, for urging gentleness with Christians when discussing Isaiah 53 with them. This is so important. I have been grieved by posts on Facebook and elsewhere which ridicule Christians for being stupid and blind. Insulting Christians will not result in convincing them of Torah Truth. They are ignorant, yes, but through no fault of their own. Those who have never been Christians cannot imagine the trauma created by just hearing the truth about this chapter in Isaiah for the first time. The shock of realizing that we had been deceived and that our whole belief system was built on false information sent many of us into mourning over the loss of assurance that we were right and the Jews were wrong. I personally mourned for months, as proof text after proof text was dismantled by your incisive teaching. I loved the Jesus of the Christian Scriptures. For some of us, losing him was like losing our best friend. For 58 years I had clung to him, believing that he was God. That belief crumbled in the face of two realities: evidence and love. You, Rabbi Tovia, and other rabbis who responded in love to our questions, have set an example of how to effectively deal with those who are still in darkness. G-d bless you for understanding us and for encouraging others to do the same..
~~~
Taken from this thread: May Davies: The illustrious Rabbi Tovia Singer posted:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/222228664634924/permalink/353362154854907/

— with Ronnie James.

WHY DID ISAIAH 53 EMERGE AS THE MOST DEBATED CHAPTER IN THE JEWISH SCRIPTURES?

Christians are so convinced that Jesus is the messiah, they are utterly astounded that the Jews, of all people, consider this claim preposterous. Christians are bewildered by this rejection because it appears so obvious to them that every aspect of Jesus’ life—from his miraculous conception to his crucifixion and resurrection—was clearly predicted in the Jewish Scriptures. They wonder why the Jews then fail to embrace Jesus as their messiah. Can’t they grasp that the prophecies in their own Bible predict that the messiah would suffer and die and then rise from the grave?  How can a people who produced so many Nobel Prize winners be so dense? Are they just plain stubborn?   Why then did the Jews reject the claim that the messiah would suffer and die for the sins of the world? [2]

The answer is quite simple: Jewish messianic expectations are firmly rooted in hundreds of prophecies recorded throughout the Hebrew Bible. And Jews who are anticipating a messiah are not looking for anyone remotely like Jesus. They are awaiting the messiah who will destroy the enemies of God, usher in worldwide peace, the universal knowledge of God, the ingathering of the exiles, the resurrection of the dead, and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Who then was Jesus?  While it is impossible to answer this question with any certainty because no contemporaneous historian mentioned Jesus, it is possible that he was one of hundreds—perhaps thousands—of obscure, itinerant preachers during the first century who came from the backwoods of the Galilee, wound up on the wrong side of the law, and was summarily executed by the empire. He then would have been one of hundreds of thousands of Jews who were crucified by the Romans during the turbulent first century.  For Jews, calling Jesus the messiah and God, Creator of the universe, is foolish and blasphemous.

But doesn’t Isaiah 53, which Christians frequently cite, predict that the messiah would be tortured and killed for the sins of mankind?  The answer to this question is simple as well: the messiah is never mentioned in Isaiah 53. Look it up for yourself!  As you will see armed with only a Bible and Rabbi Tovia Singer’s two-part audio program and written teachings on this chapter, originally this passage had nothing to do with a future messiah. This chapter was ripped out of context and key words were mistranslated.  Prior to the advent of Christianity, there was not a single prediction by anyone that the messiah would be executed for the sins of mankind. [1]

Tovia Singer explores Isaiah 53: Why is the Servant called to become a Guilt Offering?

[2]

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Evangelist Lee Stoneking shares his testimony of being raised from the dead by Jesus Christ to the United Nations General Assembly

Evangelist Lee Stoneking shares his testimony of being raised from the dead by Jesus Christ to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. April 22, 2015.

Lee Stoneking, the father of the ‘Holy Magic Hair Doctrine*’ back from the dead. B”H! May he continue to seek Gd’s truth in scripture, searching the roots of his faith, what an impact he could have on all of Christendom, especially the Apostolic United Pentecostal UPC world by focusing his praise to the Creator and not to a man. Quoting Isaiah chapter 9:6-7 was one of our favorite proof texts as an Apostolic Christian. I was firmly convinced Isaiah 9:6 could not be speaking of no one in history other than Jesus until I took off my Jesus Glasses and looking up all the so called proof texts from their source, the Hebrew bible.

The last thing a Christian could imagine doing was to deny Jesus for surly the apostles said this would happen in, “the end of days there would be a falling away from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons;”  No doubt Rev. Stoneking has a great love for Gd’s word and a hunger for truth. I have heard him say he would spend hours going back and forth over a verse from the New Testament in the Greek to come to a clearer understanding, if only he would take as much time on the Old Testament (Tanach) proof texts as the Greek understand of a New Testament passage, what a force of light he could be. Jesus as the ‘Prince of Peace’ could be a good starting point for any Christian wanting a deeper understanding of the Word of Gd.

When I became a Christian I was told to read Gd’s word daily, but was I told to start in the beginning of my bible? No. Like so many of my friends before we were told to start reading in the Book of John, (sound familiar) it is here my preconceived notions how Jesus fulfilled all the bible prophecies began, Jesus was the Jewish messiah (he even states that he IS messiah to the woman at the well) what more proof does one need…until I began looking up all those proof texts for myself, reading them in CONTEXT and asking; does this line up with what the Almighty says? Bear in mind nowhere does the New Testament claim to be “the Word of Gd”, the Tanach (the OLD Testament however does) Plus, you will not find one verse, one sentence, one time where the Lord Almighty, the Creator of us all is speaking in the New Testament. Reading Isaiah 9:6 in context with the chapters before and after shows clearly this was a prophecy of Gd, but it wasn’t about Jesus, it was fulfilled shortly after by a King whose name in fact meant “Mighty god”.  Hezekiah king of Judah, name means Hizkiyyahu – the mighty god.

Ask yourself, How could veneration of Jesus be considered idolatry? [3]

~~~Noach

leestoneking

 Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’? 

First of all, this is a mistranslation. The words in the original Hebrew are, ‘sar shalom.’ The word ‘sar’ does not mean ‘prince,’ it means ‘ruler.’ Now, one might say that a ‘prince’ is a ‘ruler.’ However, the reason why the Christians choose the word ‘prince’ instead of the word ‘ruler’ in Christian translations is that the word ‘prince’ makes one think that the original verse is speaking of a ‘son of the king,’ which in the Christian mind alludes to Jesus whom they believe to have been the son of Gd, the King. However, the word is ‘ruler,’ and not ‘prince.’ ‘Prince’ in Hebrew is ‘nasee’ and not ‘sar.’ The Christian translators intentionally chose the English word ‘prince’ to lead the reader into thinking about Jesus.

In the Christian’s New Testament, we also find a quotation which certainly does not show Jesus to have been a ‘ruler’ or even a ‘prince of peace.’

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. [Matthew 10:34-36]

How could anyone who said such a thing be considered a prince or ruler of peace? How could anyone who said such a thing have been the Messiah? We know that the true Messiah will bring an everlasting peace and, along with Elijah the Prophet, will bring families closer to each other and not further apart (see Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:1-4, and Malachi 4:5). [4]

As a Rabbi recently said, For the Record; “There is one more false teaching that these men have propagated in the name of the Torah of my God. They have encouraged people to direct their hearts in worship of and in devotion to a man who walked God’s earth and breathed God’s air like the rest of us.

If there is any teaching that is contrary to the Torah with which we were entrusted it is this one.

My nation was called upon by God to serve as His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10). God taught us that there is none beside Him that is worthy of our worship and devotion (Deuteronomy4:35). Our core duty as a witness nation before God is to remain loyal to the truth that all created beings are equally subservient to the One Creator of all. Every facet of our existence, including our ability to love and to worship belongs to God and to God alone. It is my duty as a Jew to testify to you that your heart belongs to the One Almighty God who loved your heart into existence in the first place.”

Christain Tries To Convert Rabbi Tovia Singer On Air: A good example on understanding Isaiah 9:6

LSking‘Don’t, though, seek out miraculous life-changing events as your guide to God’s sacred truth. Look to the Bible alone for this eternal instruction. Once you have committed your life to truth in the God of Israel, joyously take part in the spiritual food it provides. Never permit spiritual expressions to become your barometer for truth. Your foundation must be the Jewish Scriptures alone.’ ~Rabbi Tovia Singer

‘But Look at How Believing in Jesus Changed My Life!’

Question:

Dear Rabbi Singer,

I am certain that the question will surface somewhere in this general commentary I am making. I hope you will bear with me until the question does arise.

For one who has been a Christian all his life, I find your commentaries very compelling and thought provoking, but, at times, dismaying, while there have always been questions in my mind inherent to matters of truth concerning the Gospels, and the remainder of the New Testament. The question is, as Pilate said it, What is truth? Everyone has a different version, and all claim their particular version to be the final word. Regarding your commentaries, I do not find anything that I would consider to be misleading or mean-spirited in your answers to your reader’s questions when you criticize Christianity, but it is obvious to me that you base practically your entire criticism on legalism. Jesus Christ had much to say about the legalism of the scribes and Pharisees in the context of how it applied to their religious worship. The one thing you seem to miss is that much of the teachings of Jesus related to the depth of the love of the individual towards God. I can understand how you can use legalism to apparently refute many of the claims of Christianity, so I believe my question is: How do you refute the almost unbelievable change in the character and personality of people after they are converted to Christ?

I have seen this again and again, so I believe my observations are, at least, reasonable. I have seen this change continue throughout lifetimes. What you seem to observe as a zeal to convert others is actually a zeal to help others, and of course to witness to that person for Christ. I am not aware of any pressure to convert. The basic premise is to show other people the change in your life and how it came about. As much as I am swayed by your legal criticism, I cannot deny the knowledge of Christ in my being, even when I sin. Surely, the God of all mankind would preempt a false religion, proclaimed in His name, which would lead millions from the true path and towards damnation. If this is not the case, then the existence of man on this world appears quite pointless.

Thanks for your time.

Answer:

I am certain that many readers will not fully grasp the importance of your main point because your letter touches on an intangible condition rooted in the heart of the believer. It would not be an overstatement to say that your thoughtful letter contains one of the most important questions that could be asked of me.

Ever since I began working to help Jews return to the Jewish faith, I have received numerous letters, and listened to many stories from people just like yourself. Their accounts are filled with personal anecdotes illustrating how their lives miraculously changed as a result of their newfound religion. Many of the accounts describe how their drug addiction and alcoholism inexplicably ceased.

Recently, I received a letter from a middle-aged Jewish woman who maintained that as a result of her conversion to Mormonism, her festering infection in her swollen leg was miraculously cured. Following a recent lecture, a young man vividly recalled how his plaguing depression had lifted soon after he embraced the Catholic Church.

For him, the euphoria that had now replaced his nagging bouts of depression bore testimony to the validity of the teachings of Roman Catholicism.

While I was speaking in Southern California a number of years ago, I met four young men who were members of Hare Krishna. It wasn’t a planned encounter; we just happened to strike up a conversation as we were crossing the same busy street in Los Angeles. To my utter shock, three of these lost souls were Jewish. As I listened attentively to the testimonials of these oddly dressed fellows, each of them enthusiastically described how their newfound religion had transformed their lives.

As they joyfully spoke of their joining this eastern sect, I could sense the elation and inner peace they experienced. They were certain that what they believed was true; it was apparent that they were more spiritual now than they had ever been in their former lives.

When considered individually, each of these moving accounts appear quite impressive. Once these remarkable testimonials are examined as part of a larger pattern, however, they present us with a serious theological problem.

Although each of these personal anecdotes appears to the novice as evidence of the validity of their newly acquired faith, the fact remains that these variant religions cannot all be valid. When it comes to spiritual experiences and miraculous occurrences, things get very messy.

The realm of faith would be very tidy if only one religion produced life-altering transformations and miraculous occurrences. To the dismay of the fervid believer, however, this may be the most disorganized arena of organized religion.

In fact, the life-changing experience that you describe in your letter is a phenomenon found among adherents of all religions. Followers of every religion claim an “almost unbelievable change in the character and personality,” regardless of the truth of the doctrines they preach. In essence, there is no relationship between spiritual transformation that occurs in the heart of the believer and the spiritual truth which he espouses.

Bear in mind, our planet is brimming with world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, each of which boast many hundreds of millions of adherents. The multitudes of these devout believers, in their competing diverse faiths, all remarkably speak of the very same “character and personality” transformation that you describe within the context of your newfound religion – Christianity.

  • Yet, when their personal testimonials are scrutinized and considered, as they recount how their religious faith has transformed their lives, it seems as if they all somehow belong to the same religion their testimonials all pulsate with the experience of an encounter with the divine.

    According to your doctrinal barometer, however, billions of these devoted faithful are lost souls merely following a “false religion.” Realize, therefore, that their startling religious experiences cannot possibly speak of the validity of their beliefs.

    For example, Hinduism and Islam have radically different teachings on the nature of God, yet, how is it that Hindus, Christians, Mormons, Muslims and those that embrace New Age movements, all experience this profound religious conversion, which you describe?

    This question becomes particularly puzzling when we consider your implied assertion that spiritual transformation among the faithful will point us in the direction of spiritual truth.

  • Faith Healing claims have been made by many religions, and the sick have visited their shrines in hopes of recovery.

    I have visited Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, healing shrines of the Christian Virgin Mary. I have also visited Epidaurus in Greece and Pergamum in Turkey, healing shrines of the pagan god Asklepios. The miraculous healings recorded in both places were remarkably the same. There are, for example, many crutches hanging in the grotto of Lourdes, mute witness to those who arrived lame and left whole. There are, however, no prosthetic limbs among them, no witnesses to paraplegics whose lost limbs were restored.

    — John Dominic Crossan

    John Dominic Crossan; Richard G. W atts (1999). Who is Jesus?: answers to your questions about the historical Jesus. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 64.

All of these religions cannot possibly be transmitting truth; nevertheless, each of them can ignite profound spiritual changes within the character and personality of their devoted masses.

This is the profound question that comes to mind: Why would God allow all religions, regardless of the theological untruths they espouse, to spark a spiritual passion within the heart of the believer? The Bible contains a record of many individuals and nations who possessed fervent devotion to their idolatry. Nonetheless, their spiritual adultery is condemned as an utter abomination, regardless of the spirituality and transformation they experienced.

Why would the Almighty permit religions whose fundamental teachings have no basis in truth to produce life-transforming experiences and miraculous occurrences in the lives of their devout followers?

The answer is found in the beginning of Deuteronomy, where the Torah addresses this dilemma with a more startling scenario than the anecdote you presented.

In Deuteronomy 13:1-2, the Bible raises the question of how to respond to a “prophet” who offers to show a miracle to support his message. How are we to respond if, in fact, the promised miracle comes to pass just as he predicted? Should we then follow this “prophet” even if he encourages us to worship other gods which our fathers did not know? “You must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer,” the Almighty emphatically declares. “I did not send him,” says the Lord.

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them. You must not listen to that prophet or dreamer of dreams.’”

(Deuteronomy 13:1-2)

In the following verses, the Torah reveals why God allows prophets who teach unsavory doctrines to produce miraculous transformations:

The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.

(Deuteronomy 13:3-4)

In other words, your experience was a test from God. This is your choice in a world where freewill hangs in perfect balance. Will you worship the God of Israel alone, or turn to gods whom the nation of Israel has not known? If we lived in a world where only one religion could produce spirituality and miraculous life-altering experiences, the balance of freewill could not exist.

In the 18th chapter of I Kings, Elijah proposes a direct test of the powers of Baal and the Almighty. The people of Israel, 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of Asherah are summoned to Mount Carmel. Two altars are built, one for Baal and one for God. Wood is laid on both altars. Two oxen are slaughtered and cut into pieces; the pieces are laid on the wood. Elijah then invites the priests of Baal to pray for fire to light the sacrifice.

The Bible vividly recounts how they enthusiastically entreated Baal and prayed fervidly for a miracle from morning to noon without success. It seemed as though there was no doubt in the minds of these pagan worshipers that Baal would hear their supplications, intervene on their behalf, and consume their bullock with a heavenly fire. They even climbed on top of the altar and began to prance beside their sacrifice. Elijah ridicules their efforts.

When no heaven-sent flame appeared, a peculiar and gruesome spectacle followed. They responded by frantically cutting themselves with swords and lancets, adding their own blood to the sacrifice (such mutilation of the body was strictly forbidden in the Mosaic law).

These prophets of Baal were clearly enraptured and devoted to their gods. Regardless of their unyielding zeal for their idols, they were commanded to turn away from these abominations.

In fact, the prophet Jeremiah warns us that the spirituality gained from following false prophets and corrupt teachers may become so encompassing and overwhelming that one may begin to have dreams regarding these prophets. Jeremiah concludes,

…for thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed; for they prophesy falsely to you in My name. I have not sent them, says the Lord.”

(Jeremiah 29:8-9)

Jeremiah’s message is clear: If messages of false prophets so completely permeate you psyche, to the point that you are having dreams of these presumptuous messengers, you alone are responsible for these improper apparitions. God did not send them.

Furthermore, at the very end of your question, you suggest “the God of all mankind would preempt a false religion in His name, which would lead millions from the true path, and towards damnation.” This claim is unfounded.

If your assertion were accurate, why do masses of spiritually blind believers make such deplorable choices about their religious affiliations? Why didn’t God preempt false religions and foil their success? Why is Islam the fastest growing religion in the world when your Christianity is supposedly the only life-transforming truth? In essence, how could so many be so wrong about something so crucial as religion when, according to your reckoning, the Almighty would never “lead millions” away from His true path?

A careful reading of the Bible reveals that God never led mankind away from a pure and true path. The prophets of Israel were given the power to preach repentance to those who do not want to hear the message, and to warn of God’s wrath for disobedience.

The decision to indulge in sin is an individual decision alone, and it will forever remain man’s domain. Your Creator never removed freewill from your grasp, as the Torah declares,

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. If, though, your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.

(Deuteronomy 30:15-19)

God permits man to become enraptured with false religions for the same reason He permits a married man to be attracted to women other than his wife. Freewill is within your grasp.

Virtue is only possible when sin is alluring. If alien religions were unappealing, there would be no merit for rejecting their blandishments. If this tender balance of freewill were ever injured or compromised, virtue would be impossible.

God has given all humans the gift of moral agency. Only the proper exercise of unfettered choice leads to the ultimate goal of returning to God’s presence. Having the choice to do right or wrong is vital, because God wants a society of a certain type —those who are devoted to His eternal laws. The belief in freewill is axiomatic in Jewish thought, and is closely linked with the concept of reward and punishment, based on the Torah itself:

“I [God][/God] have set before you life and death, blessing and curse: therefore choose life.”

(Deuteronomy 30:19)

Don’t, though, seek out miraculous life-changing events as your guide to God’s sacred truth. Look to the Bible alone for this eternal instruction. Once you have committed your life to truth in the God of Israel, joyously take part in the spiritual food it provides. Never permit spiritual expressions to become your barometer for truth. Your foundation must be the Jewish Scriptures alone. [2]

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Very sincerely yours,

Rabbi Tovia Singer

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Blinded by the lights – Baited by miracles

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It’s almost inevitable that the christian will use miracles to back up his belief in Jesus. The pages of the new testament are filled with many miracles, be it healings, or exorcisms, transfigurations or food multiplication. In fact, miracles are supposed to be amongst the most significant things about their belief in Jesus, the resurrection being the most significant. Jesus is said to have told people to believe him because of his “works” i.e., his miracles. Even their man, Paul, said that if it wasn’t for the resurrection, he and his followers would be the most miserable of men.

Now this article isn’t a rebuttal to miracles. There’s nothing wrong with a miracle. But it questions the purpose of miracles.

I mean, think about it. If someone stands up and says “one of the reasons to believe in Jesus is because of the miracles that he did” or “the resurrection proves that Jesus was messiah or the son of God or God Himself” or “the virgin birth ensured his sinlessness” then a person is well within their rights to question if the miracle really has anything to do with what is claimed.

For example, let’s take the resurrection. Let’s pretend that Jesus really came alive after he was dead. Let’s pretend that certified doctors of the day checked his vitals and gave certification that this man was as dead as a dodo, and then after a few days, lo and behold, the dude is up and about walking around. Whether he claims God did it or he did it himself because he is supposedly God, the question has to be whether this resurrection validates anything.

First question: does the resurrection prove that he is messiah? Well, if we go through the Jewish Bible and look for passages that are clearly about the future promised anointed Davidic king, is one of his clear criterias that he should have a personal resurrection? The answer has to be no. There is not one passages that contextually is only referring to the future promised Davidic king which states that he must rise from the dead.

[ASIDE: I know people use songs like Psalm 16 to claim he did, but there is not one verse in that song which overtly says that it is specifically referring to the messiah. It’s just a song of and about the writer.]

So seeing that there is no verse that states that we will know that someone is the “messiah” if they should rise from the dead, then it is fair to conclude that the resurrection would prove nothing about his or his followers’ messiah claim.

Another question: does the resurrection prove that he was the son of God (whatever that’s supposed to mean)? Again we must ask whether the Jewish Bible states that we will know that someone is the son of God by the fact that that individual would rise from the grave. Once again, the answer is no. It is best to use God’s standards as shown in his Law and through his prophets to test someone’s claim, and the Jewish Bible tradition is what we have so … Once again, the resurrection doesn’t prove that a person is God’s son.

OK, one more question: would the resurrection prove that he is God Himself? Straight off the bat, the answer has to be no! Why? Because if we again use the standard of the Jewish Bible, God says that he lives forever and doesn’t change. So he can’t die in order to raise himself from the dead. But we can still ask the question: is it stated in the Jewish Bible that the way we can know a man is God is if he has a personal resurrection? Again, the answer is no.

So what exactly does the resurrection prove if we use God’s word in the Jewish Bible as a standard? Absolutely nothing, except that the guy can do great tricks. It doesn’t make him good or righteous, just a great magician. In fact, what is most notable is that the Jewish Bible doesn’t make miracle-making a criteria for accepting someone as messiah!

In fact the Jewish Bible invalidates using miracles alone as a sign that someone from God. The Torah states that even false prophets and magicians do miracles and signs. So miracles in and of themselves prove nothing.

Now I can sense what some may say. “But David, Jesus was already teaching and preaching with such authority so this miracle just adds to that.” Actually, whether Jesus was teaching and preaching correctly depends an awful lot on a previous knowledge of the Jewish Bible, which many christians throughout all of the history of the christian church lacked before they accepted the claims of Jesus. They even make much of the fact that Jesus recruited simple and unlearned fishermen who many times didn’t even understand Jesus’ claims a significant amount of times (which should make you question other things about their claims after he died).

It is in this ignorance that Jesus’ miracles are flaunted and advertised. The flashing lights of miracles which are meant to catch a person’s attention seem to detract from the actual substance of what is said to the point where people mainly see the miracles as if they mean something in and of themselves.

This is the main difference between the new testament and the Jewish Bible. Although the Jewish Bible has some miracles, the standard is obedience and knowledge of God’s law first. And that is what I love about Torah. For all the wondrous miracles, it’s not about the miracles. It’s about the content, the standard. Where the immature get caught up in the flashing lights of miracles, the Torah demands a standard and tells us to grow up and think about things, beyond those bright lights, and whether there is true substance.

Christians get caught up in resurrections and healings and transfigurations and forsake the standard. “Oh look, that dude did a big trick, said words that make sense to me, he must be God or the messiah.” That’s the thinking of idolatrous pagans who forsake thought and the standards of Torah, God’s law, for self-gratification.

OK, let’s me bring this all together. The resurrection of Jesus, whether it happened or not, proved nothing about Jesus’ messiah claim or his followers’ claim that he was divine. Miracles on a whole have nothing to do with whether someone’s messiah or not. Ignorance of Torah teachings and the criteria of what is a messiah and the use of miracles have been used to fool people into accepting Jesus, and once one devotes oneself to him it is hard to break out. Basically people are blinded by the lights and then hooked onto devotion. As a friend of mine, Terry Hayes said:

They are called fishers of men – you ever fished with a spoon a type of spinner bait? It is shinny and it spins in the water reflecting the light to attract the fish by its shinny reflection and when the fish bites, it has a hook on the end to snag the fish into the fisherman’s snare – its all trickery.

Then you have a popper, it makes a popping sound in the water. The sound attracts the fish and snares it. Then you have the baits that look like real fish but is artificial – you see the fisher of men throws their nets, and baits fish with artificial lures to snare and trick the fish into the fisherman’s well. This is totally what xtians do they cast their nets, make noises and uses flashy trickery or out right imitate the real so they can lure the unlearned and unsuspected into their boat. They are truly fisherman. [1]

Sources:

[1] https://leavingjesus.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/blinded-by-the-lights-baited-by-miracles/

[2] https://outreachjudaism.org/believing-in-jesus-changed-my-life/

[3] How could veneration of Jesus be considered idolatry? 

[4]  ISAIAH 9:6-7  http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/prooftext6is96.html

*Holy Hair (Holy Magic Hair Doctrine)  https://youtu.be/Gn3y96lDrFw

Deuteronomy 24:16 where it explicitly says that no one can die for the sins of another: The whole chapter of Ezekiel 18 expands on and clarifies this principle.

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For the Record

noachbenavraham:

To my fellow member of the human race

Peace

“It has come to my attention that certain members of my people have been promulgating a doctrine that distorts the essence of the teaching that we were entrusted with.”

Originally posted on 1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources:

For the Record

To my fellow member of the human race

Peace

It has come to my attention that certain members of my people have been promulgating a doctrine that distorts the essence of the teaching that we were entrusted with.

You have heard how the Creator of all took us out of Egypt with signs and wonders and how He taught us His Torah through national revelation and through His prophet. The open miracles that God preformed for us spread our reputation as the possessors of God’s Law. These men of whom I speak, exploited our reputation as possessors of God’s truth, and they spread a teaching that has no basis in the Torah that God has bequeathed to us.

These teachers taught you that all of mankind is damned before God to eternal punishment. They taught that if a person commits one sin it is as if he…

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The Mystery of the Jews

givingoftorah

Throughout history the Jews have remained small in number, and as the Holy Scriptures declare, “And only a small number will remain among the nations where God shall lead you.” (Deuteronomy 4:27).

Nearly 2500 years ago there were around 10 million Jews in the world. And as at today there are nearly 14 million Jews scattered throughout the nations. In comparison, nearly 2000 years ago there were nearly 30 million Chinese, and as at today this number has grown up to 14 billion, and yet they have always been at the forefront of Science, Technology, Creativity and Military power.

And throughout these 2500 years of exile from their Homeland, something astonishing happened…, the Jews never let their dream of returning to their God given ancient Homeland disappear…., they never lost hope, they never stopped believing, that one day God will once again gather them to their ancient Homeland – Israel.

Throughout history the Jews are the ONLY people who have survived, retained their identity and returned not only once, but twice from exile to their God given ancient homeland. For God Almighty said, “I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land.” (Ezekiel 34:13).

In Ezekiel 34:13, God Almighty speaking through the prophet Ezekiel said that He would gather the people of Israel who are scattered throughout the world and bring them back to their own land. After many centuries of dispersion, hundreds of thousands of Jews returned to their ancient homeland beginning in the late 1800s. But, millions more returned after Israel declared independence in 1948. In other words, millions of exiles returned to their ancient homeland which was now truly their own land in the sense that it was now a sovereign Jewish State.

God Almighty speaking through the Jewish prophet Zechariah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel said, “At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home.” (Zephaniah 3:20). “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your fathers.” (Ezekiel 20:42). “I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you back the land of Israel again. But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture, and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan” (Jeremiah 50:19).

The Mystery of the Jews (movie)  Video by David Greenberg

  

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Old Christian saints and modern messianics agree: Jews suffered terribly for rejecting Jesus

noachbenavraham:

“When the true Messiah comes it will not be a day of mourning for Jews – it will be a day of great rejoicing for Jews.”

Originally posted on Daily Minyan:

JewsKilledJesusSign“One Law” messianic was arguing to me that Jews have suffered so much because they made a terrible, huge mistake – they rejected Jesus as their messiah and god:

[When] Messiah returns, Jews will weep as one weeps for an only son (Zech 12). As hard as it may be you to believe, Gene, Jews and Judaism have also committed errors, perhaps the greatest being the rejection of the real messiah and subsequent embracing of a false messiah. Both have had disastrous consequences.

This messianic’s argument is not new at all. In fact, it’s very familiar to the Jewish people, who have heard it all before. It is, of course, found in the New Testament. But it has also been inherited from the so called Christian “saints”, who likewise argued that Jews have suffered so much because they rejected, indeed conspired to murder G-d in the form of Jesus, “G-d’s…

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East Village Church Has ‘Hands Up’

East Village church has ‘hands up’ in solidarity with Ferguson protesters

Congregants at Middle Collegiate Church raised their hands up during Sunday’s worship service, calling for justice after Michael Brown’s shooting. The position is actually an ancient gesture of prayer and supplication.

hands-up

We are calling for people of faith to peaceably protest until the officer in question is suspended ~ Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

Darren Wilson Is Cleared of Rights Violations in Ferguson Shooting – MARCH 4, 2015

Offering the most definitive account yet of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager that stirred racially charged protests across the country, the Justice Department has cleared a Ferguson, Mo., police officer of civil rights violations in the death last August of Michael Brown.

In an 86-page report released Wednesday that detailed and evaluated the testimony of more than 40 witnesses, the Justice Department largely corroborated or found little credible evidence to contradict the account of the officer, Darren Wilson, who is white.

“An East Village church has its hands up in solidarity with Michael Brown, the unarmed teen who was shot to death by a Ferguson, Mo., cop.

Members of Middle Collegiate Church assembled at the church’s altar Sunday morning, lifting their hands in the same gesture of surrender that witnesses say Brown assumed before he was hit by six bullets March 9.

“We surrender but we do not give up,” prayed Rev. Adriene Thorne during the church’s demonstration of “faithful disobedience.”

hands-up-dont-shoot-is-a-lie-thumb

Thorne also prayed for the safety of the young black men who are members of congregation.

“We pray … that we will not read in the paper one more week of one more brown child being shot,” Thorne said.

Centuries before the gesture became a symbol of racial tensions in Ferguson, the orans position was actually an ancient gesture of prayer. It is still used in the liturgies of some Catholic or Orthodox churches. Charismatic churches also use the gesture as a sign of supplication towards God.

Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis says she believes faith communities have an important role to play in racial reconciliation.

“At the core of almost every major religion is the sense of peace-making,” Lewis told The News. “It is an important part of our faith practice.”

Lewis hopes that demonstrations like this will lead to more investigation and clarity about what exactly caused Brown’s shooting.

“We are calling for people of faith to peaceably protest until the officer in question is suspended, a thorough investigation is conducted, and Michael Brown’s death is explained,” Lewis said.

In the past, Middle Collegiate Church has posed in hoodies to protest Trayvon Martin’s shooting. They have also turned guns into garden tools to speak out against gun violence.”

‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ is a False Narrative

‘HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT’ IS A LIE

‘Jesus Died For Our Sins’ is a False Narrative

Source: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

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