Blood animal sacrifices are not mandatory for atonement. Review the plethora of passages revealing a repentant heart will do just fine. Understand the various forms of payment (ie animals, flour, jewelry, incense, etc.) when a temple in Jerusalem exists, is based on affordability, offense, or circumstance to teach the accidental violator a lesson so as to not repeat their violation. Our court system today is based on this concept. Moreover, human sacrifice has always been forbidden (see Leviticus 18:21, 20:3; Deuteronomy 12:29-32; 18:10; 2 Kings 3:27, 16:3, 17:17; 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Psalm 106:35-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21 as some examples) AND no human can die for another’s sins (see Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Psalm 49:7). In other words, Jesus didn’t die for your sins. All you need is repentance.
When the author of Hebrews uses Psalm 40 to make the reader think a human sacrifice (Jesus) was required for atonement, he changed out what the Psalm actually says. In other words, the author lied. Intentionally deceived and still deceives unsuspecting readers. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust but verify.” Look this stuff up for yourself.
Here’s another one of the New Testament’s “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.” Compare Romans 11:26-27 to Isaiah 59:20-21.
As a former Christian, all of the errors and misquotes I have found were while using my Christian Bible (old and new testaments). I did not go to some random special resource to discover this fraud. Look up these verses to see it for yourself in your own Bible.
What’s the big deal with this misquote? The prophet Isaiah reveals in the future as was at that time and still today, the message is repent and return to Torah, which teaches us how to hit the mark, how not to sin, how to love God and others and is God’s way of salvation; whereas, the false prophet Paul teaches repent and put your trust in a man-deity named Jesus, who takes away their sins for salvation. Essentially, Paul teaches people to worship yet another golden calf or golden lamb you could say named Jesus.
While still identifying as a Christian and after my quest to thoroughly study the prophets of the Hebrew Bible as well as the Messianic prophecies, I found myself questioning the legitimacy of the New Testament. I penned an article with my questions and findings, which you can read here. During that period of my research, I found it alarming to discover the gospels were written not just several decades after Jesus allegedly lived and died, but last of all the New Testament books. Like many Christians, I suppose I assumed the books of the New Testament were written in chronological order. Upon discovering the Gospels were written last, I found it doubtful the disciples of Jesus would be alive numerous decades later, or could accurately recall events a plethora of years earlier, and suspicious none of them scribed their names to any of the gospels, not to mention the gospels are written in Greek, not Hebrew/Aramaic, the would-be language of Jesus’ alleged disciples. Nor did I understand why such critical documents if they indeed are the word of God would be written in Greek when all of the Hebrew Bible is written in Hebrew and the prophets state in Zephaniah 3:9 the pure language (of Hebrew) will one day be restored (to the entire world) so all people will know and be able to call on the name of God (inferring the Jews already know the name of the LORD and how to call upon Him and it is in Hebrew, not Greek). Since then, in addition to realizing Jesus does not fit the criteria of a messiah according to the Hebrew Bible, I stumbled upon an interview of a prosecuting attorney, who authored a book called Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christ. Consequently, I purchased and read the detailed book, which prompted me to research Roman history from that period. Indeed, this author, as well as others such as Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah provide compelling and overwhelming evidence that the Gospels, in particular, but also the Book of Acts may have been inspired by the Flavian Dynasty and penned, at least in part, by Josephus, the captive and apostate Jewish historian for the Flavians.
In the approximate 300 pages of the thought-provoking book, Creating Christ, the authors compiled over 30 years of their compelling research presenting the strong possibility and uncanny parallels of events that transpired between Emperor Vespasian, born as Titus Flavius Vespasianus, and his son, Emperor Titus, collectively known as the “Flavian Dynasty”, and the eerily similar accounts of God the Father and God the Son duo found in the Gospels. The Father-Son duo of Vespasian and Titus acted in unity to win the affection of the eclectic people of the Roman Empire while promoting syncretism of numerous cultures and faiths throughout the Empire as well as the concept of “peace on earth”, all the while quelling and conquering anyone who rebelled like the Torah-observant, militant Jews of Judea-specifically, in Jerusalem. Titus, in particular, was deified, meaning made himself into an official god-in-the-flesh, and even presented himself as the Jewish Messiah. According to the historical research presented throughout the book, the goal of Rome was to convince the non-compliant Jews to compromise their faith and identity and submit to the hybrid of many known beliefs throughout the Roman Empire, which eventually became known as Christianity. Additionally, the authors prove how several turn-coat Jews denied their faith and heritage and not only aided the Flavians and the Roman army in seizing control of Jerusalem as well as the temple in 70 A.D., but then the traitorous Jews, having been armed with Torah scrolls, likely drafted propaganda quoting Jewish Scriptures to help convince zealous Jews they ought to worship, submit, and serve the Roman Emperor and join his imperial cult. One such traitorous Jew was Josephus, who perhaps to save his own neck upon being captured prophesized Vespasian would be Emperor. In time, Josephus became adopted by the Flavians and was richly rewarded as he recorded the events of the Flavian Dynasty. Fascinatingly enough, both the authors of Creating Christ and Caesar’s Messiah report several common themes found in the Gospels and Josephus’ documentation of the Flavians such as Josephus documented Vespasian and Titus performed miracles such as spitting in their hands and healing the blind (John 9:6) or feeding a plethora of people, or how Titus was 33 when he made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and it was 40 years later he destroyed the Jewish Temple, or how Vespasian was short and his father was a tax collector (like Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-3), all similar parallels to what the Gospels report pertaining to Jesus and his interactions. Similarly, there are some parallels of Josephus’ life woven into the Gospels such as three of his friends were crucified, but one was revived similar to how Jesus was allegedly crucified alongside two others but was “resurrected” aka revived. Additionally, Romans, including their Emperors, were known to be quite debaucherous while the Jesus of the Gospels is persuading the Torah-observant Jews to overlook adultery when a woman was caught (see John 8), not to mention Jesus encouraged his followers to be sure to pay their taxes imposed by Emperor Vespasian (because they were Jewish)-(see Matthew 22). Other modern scholars authored books, such as Caesar’s Messiah and Operation Messiah, and also detailed various parallels or typology between various stories of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts and the Flavians or other Emperors throughout Roman history. Moreover, it is known by scholars that the earliest writings of the Gospels were penned during or shortly after this Flavian era, several decades after Jesus allegedly lived and died. In other words, scholars are conveying the Gospels and even parts of the Book of Acts, are likely to be fables inspired by various acts of Emperors as well as weaving in both Jewish and Greek culture into the New Testament to synchronize and unify the various faiths throughout the Empire into a one-world-religious-Roman-order.
Additionally, it is a known fact the New Testament has interpolations, meaning added phrases and additions, to support man-made church doctrine (such as the trinity). Similarly, the one and only brief historical reference regarding a “Jesus” in that era was written by the turn-coat Josephus and even that is disputed as an interpolation (added later). The name Jesus was a popular name and is even found in the Talmud describing different people of different eras. Nevertheless, let’s say, an actual “Jesus” may have existed in the 1st Century A.D. Perhaps he was a type of peace-loving Reform Jew and Rabbi, who gained some Jewish followers. What if Rome, having liked what they heard about Jesus, opted to expand on and fabricate the Jewish Jesus to their benefit in order to quell militant Jews and gain their allegiance? Such a concept is not far fetched when one studies the great lengths Emperors of Rome or the Roman Catholic Church would do to elevate themselves and their ideologies – just study how Caligula, an Emperor prior to to the Flavian Era, made some of his own soldiers appear to be British captives while parading his alleged prisoners through the streets of Rome to make the people think Caligula conquered Brittania when he hadn’t. Or how several centuries later, post-Flavian era, the Roman Catholic Church re-purposed the pagan festival of Saturnalia and called it Christmas in order to convert more pagans. It doesn’t take much research to discover, Rome has a long documented history of marketing propaganda to achieve their purposes of unity, power, and control.
Furthermore, Valliant and Fahy, authors of Creating Christ, extract details often overlooked by Christians or former Christians, including myself, within the Gospels and the Book of Acts highlighting how Jews are constantly painted as evil whereas Rome is portrayed as fair, reasonable, and honorable mediators, who ought to be trusted and obeyed. The authors also extract the Apostle Paul’s writings of notable imperial people listed throughout the New Testament to suggest the Apostle Paul was aiding Rome in relaying their propaganda. For example, in Philippians 2:25-30, Paul sings the praises of Epaphroditus and implored the people of Philippi to embrace him. Epaphroditus was the Roman Secretary or Administrator, who helped Nero, an earlier Emperor, commit suicide, as well as served the Flavians. In other words, Epaphroditus was an elite in the Roman court and evidently, buddies with Paul. Josephus also wrote about Epaphroditus and their great comradery as former religious Jews who both served the Roman Empire, specifically the Flavians. Paul seems to also be one of the persuaded, former religious Jews who purported the Roman Empire’s goal of synchronism as he emulated Torah’s criteria of a false prophet in Deuteronomy 13 and instead convinced (and still convinces) his readers to abandon Torah (Book of Galatians) and submit to Rome (Romans 13). Notice Paul writes in the closing of his letter to the Philippians (of the Roman Empire) in Philippians 4:22, “All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.” inferring he is well acquainted with those close to Caesar, if not Caesar himself. Hence, dropping names like Epaphroditus. Perhaps this is why Paul insisted Caesar hear his case in Acts 25:10-12. (Note: Caesar is a title meaning Emperor derived from the days of Julius Caesar)
In summary, while I wouldn’t necessarily agree with everything conveyed in the book, the authors of Creating Christ provide an overwhelming amount of evidence, even much not discussed in this article, to create a reasonable doubt to the authenticity of a historical Jesus as described in the Gospels while supporting the likelihood that the Gospels may have been inspired by acts of Vespasian, Titus, and other Roman Emperors, as well as the urgent need to quell Torah-observant, religious, militant Jews in addition to hybridizing various religious beliefs of Greeks and Jews into a one-world-order of the Roman Empire.
Regardless of how the New Testament came about and progressed into the most popular religion of our day, it was evident to me prior to reading these books, the New Testament is not inspired by God, but was allowed by God as a test (Deuteronomy 13). As for me, I will stick to the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, and serve only the God of Israel, not the god or opinion of Rome or any other.
Since we each must give an account for ourselves and ideally should be able to explain one’s faith, I have wrestled with some difficult questions over the years all of which cumulated in this eye-opening year of 2020 vision. This, like all my thought-provoking articles, are not an attack against an individual person, but rather it is exposing what I now see is a false ideology called Christianity, specifically what G!d labels as idolatry, and moreover, an invitation to dig into the Holy Scriptures for oneself while pondering, praying, and pursuing such critical concepts.
Naturally, when people can’t explain or can’t overcome such objections, they become angry at the person exposing error or at the very least challenging their belief, not realizing the person, such as myself, typically are motivated by love to do so. After all, iron sharpens iron. Nevertheless, I understand the mentality, the passion, and emotion of the Christian, as I, too, was appalled and even angry upon learning such truths below – first, at the person or people sharing, and then, more appropriately my anger became directed at Christianity or idolatry in general for propagating such blatant and now obvious to me fallacies. Though I readily admit, I know not all of G!d’s truth, for none of us can, today, I am in complete peace (Psalm 119:165), more in love with G!d and others than ever and daily learning to surrender to G!d, His will, and His Spirit of Holiness. It has been a long process of truth-seeking that eventually led me to the LORD when I thought I would be leading others to Him! You could say it’s been a journey of flip-flopped faith, though certainly not my intention when I picked the name “Flip Flop Fellowship” for my ministry. G!d clearly has a sense of all-knowing humor. It is my prayer these questions, as well as my various articles and testimony, spurn you, dear student of the Bible, to continue to seek Abba Father and His will for you with all your being and by continually comparing and examining your will and theology to His as defined in His Holy Scriptures. But I both confess and warn, it is not easy to lay our idols down.
As always, much love, shalom, and blessings! ~Carrie, 10.5.2020
1)What criteria did G!d give the Israelites regarding how to discern a false prophet, false teacher, or false messiah?
FACT: In Deuteronomy 13, God specifically instructed the Israelites to beware of and test a person based off two criteria: 1) Does the person implore the Israelites to worship any other person, thing, or other gods as “G!d” for G!d alone is to be worshiped – not His son, not anybody, or anything but G!d. 2) Does the person teach that G!d’s instructions being G!d’s law or Torah is done away with, old, irrelevant? For Israel is only to obey G!d and His instructions, not man’s, not Paul’s, not Jesus’ commands, but G!d’s alone.
2) What are the Jews, Israel, or Twelve Tribes of Israel chosen for? “Chosen” to do what exactly and why?
FACT: Israel, being the Twelve Tribes, specifically the Jews, are chosen to make G!d, His name, and His Torah known. They are chosen to be the light of the world, to set the captives free, so that all the world may also experience salvation. They are chosen as G!d’s “Servant” (Isaiah 44:1, 21, 45:4, 48:20, 49:3, 52:13) or commissioned to instruct the world in Torah, which the Scriptures define as light itself (Psalm 119:105,130; Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 62:1-2), the way of salvation or righteousness, and moreover, living a lifestyle of loving G!d and loving others. According to the prophets, eventually, in the World-To-Come/Messianic Era, they are elevated and honored while some of them are specifically commissioned to help teach Torah to the world as the world “learns righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9-10). See Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 6, 7:6-8, 26:17-19; 2 Samuel 7:23-24; Psalm 105; Isaiah 2:1-5; 26:1-12; 32:16-20; 33:20-24; 35:1-10; 42:6-7; 48:17-19; 49:6; 51:4-7; 52:1-2; 62:1-12; 66:5-24; Jeremiah 29-31; Zechariah 8, 12; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 1:15-21; Micah 4:1-5; Joel 3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Daniel 12:3; Hosea 14. Nearly every prophetic book foretells this glorious event and outcome for the children of Israel, wherever they are scattered in the past, present, and future world!
3) If both Jew and Gentile can be forgiven by simply repenting and striving to keep G!d’s commands, which are His instructions for life found in Torah, why did Jesus have to die for people’s sins?
FACT: G!d has always eagerly forgave people who authentically repented. His grace has always been available well before Jesus arrived. See Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 1 Kings 8; 2 Samuel 12 (Did King David have to make a sacrifice for forgiveness of his sin?); Isaiah 1:16-17; 42:6; 43:25; 44:22; 45:22,25 ; 49:10; 55:6-7; Psalms 24:3-6; 25:6,10; 30:5; 32:1,5; 34:22; 36:5,10; 37:18,29,34,37-40; 51:1-4, 7-9 (really all of Psalm 51); 68:19; 72:12-14; Psalm 103; 119:118,132,155-156; 146:17-20; 147:11; Micah 7:18-20; Book of Jonah (notice even the Gentiles had to repent- repent from what? Did they have to have a blood sacrifice for forgiveness?). To study more passages, read this article: Always Have Been Saved By Grace
4) Since forgiveness has been and still is granted without any blood sacrifice and by simply repenting, why did Jesus need to spill his blood as a sacrifice?
FACT: G!d forgave people with or without blood sacrifices and /or if they only offered other items instead of blood sacrifices such as flour, money, or jewelry when a temple was in place. See passages above in #3 as well as Leviticus 5:11-13 (flour), Exodus 30:15-16 (money), Numbers 31:48-52 (jewelry). The sin sacrifices were a tangible act in order to teach them to not forget G!d’s instructions/His law like requiring your kid to sacrifice their electronics when they disobey for sin has consequences – best to learn to obey Abba Father/G!d for our own good (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13). To learn more, read this article: Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins (but his own)
5) Why would the unknown authors* of the gospels claim Jesus is G!d’s one and only son (John 3:16) when Scripture reveals the twelve tribes of Israel/the Jewish people (and their descendants) are God’s sons and daughters; therefore, G!d has many sons?
*scholars don’t know for certain who exactly penned each gospel
FACT: When G!d speaks to the Israelites/Israel/Judah or when the prophets refer to G!d, G!d or the prophet often identifies Himself/G!d as Father inferring He has many sons and daughters – see Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:7; Jeremiah 3:19, as a few examples. Similarly, G!d says in Isaiah 56 that non-Jews/Gentiles/foreigners who choose to enjoin themselves with G!d and His holy covenant (meaning Torah) by willingly obeying it (Judaism refers to this as “Jews-By-Choice”) are considered “better than sons or daughters” indicating the naturally chosen are sons and daughters while the “Jews-By-Choice”, or adopted if you will, are even more honored and also brought to Mt Zion upon being literally saved, regathered, or resurrected. Also, see Psalm 82:6 and even Jesus referred to his audience of Jews also as sons in John 10 when quoting Psalm 82:6. And yet the mysterious author of John* made it seem like Jesus is the one and only begotten son of G!d a few chapters earlier in John 3. In other words, Jesus was one of G!d’s many children.
6) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, since Jesus was a Jew, to die for the sins of the world as the New Testament claims when G!d already informed Israel no person can die for another person’s sins?
FACT: According to Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30 (which is also what Eze 18:1-2 says), and Psalm 49:7 no person can die for another persons’ sins even in the New Covenant chapter of Jeremiah 31.
7) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, much less G!d’s other kids, to believe G!d would offer His child as a sacrifice when G!d specifically told His kids, being the Israelites, never to offer their children as sacrifices?
FACT: G!d often instructed the Israelites to not mimic other religions such as offering their children as sacrifices to a god(s), or as a form of worship, and labeled such behavior an abomination. See Leviticus 18:21, 20:3; Deuteronomy 12:29-32; 18:10; 2 Kings 3:27, 16:3, 17:17; 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Psalm 106:35-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21 as some examples.
8) Why are we still teaching each other about who the One True Living G!d is if we are currently in the New Covenant?
FACT: According to the only chapter in the Holy Scriptures that refers by name a “New Covenant”, found in Jeremiah 31, no one will need to inform one another who G!d is for all will know Him (see verse 34). Incidentally, most Christians seem to not notice what the ambiguous author of Hebrews pens in chapter 8:13, which says referring to the “old” and “new” covenants, “Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” inferring the “old” covenant isn’t obsolete or done away with yet because the New Covenant hasn’t manifested just yet -obviously, since there is no world peace and everyone obeying Torah (but more on that later). Equally fascinating, is the New Covenant isn’t activated until there is a New Jerusalem, New Heavens, and New Earth – hence, all the references to “Behold, I will do (future tense) a NEW thing..” Isaiah 43:19. More accurately, RENEWED covenant, RENEWED earth, RENEWED Jerusalem, etc. How interesting G!d is referring to do a “new thing” upon literally saving Israel from their oppressors and restoring them all to the land of Canaan/Israel as discussed in #2.
8) Why in the New Covenant / World-To-Come / Messianic Era (the future, whatever you want to call it) are there still sacrifices if Jesus was the final sacrifice? Moreover, how can Christians honestly believe another man, namely Paul, when he says God’s laws are a curse and not to be obeyed when clearly it is not just commanded by G!d, but the future of the world?
FACT: Ezekiel chapters 36-48 describe both the literal resurrection of all of Israel, regathering, and restoration of Israel, both dead and alive, to the land of their inheritance in Israel, a magnificent event nearly all the prophets describe but hasn’t manifested nowhere near its entirety just yet. In this future era, there is a unique temple established along with sacrifices led by the ruler/prince including not just the praise sacrifices, but sin sacrifices as well (see specifically Ezekiel 43-44). Additionally, Zechariah 14:16+ informs us in the future, after God literally physically saves Israel from their enemies, all the remaining survivors of the nations must participate in bringing sacrifices to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, or what is known in Hebrew as “Sukkot”, in order for it to rain, or put another way in order for them and their economy to survive. Sukkot is in the Fall (September/October on the Gregorian calendar) and is the initiation of the rainy season. In fact, as I pen this, it is Sukkot, a festival of rejoicing, for one day, it will indeed be a whole new world full of joy and peace! To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, read Leviticus 23. Also, in Isaiah 65-66 G!d describes the future and how He wants to be worshiped, as well as how He is specifically angered at those who consume pork, which He instructed not to eat in Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14, and describes worship as participating in the Sabbaths and festivals of the LORD in the New Heavens and New Earth (aka New Covenant). Furthermore, Zechariah 8 tells us Gentiles will be clinging to Jews to learn more about G!d one fine day.
9) Why would the “New Testament” and Christianity be all about propagating one must “believe” Jesus is Messiah in order to be spared from hell and go to heaven when there is absolutely no prophecy in the Hebrew Bible stating one must believe in a future Messiah in order to experience salvation much less the heaven vs hell concept?
FACT: Search the prophets out for yourself, you will not find any prophetic word regarding anyone must believe in a Messiah to be saved. But what you do read in Amos 3:7 is G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first. Also, you will find a very different definition of salvation unfolds. Plainly said, salvation is a literal, physical experience, not solely spiritual mental ascent, while both salvation and righteousness are repeatedly linked with obeying G!d’s commands, His laws, His Torah, His Voice. Whereas many passages infer or directly state those who disregard G!d’s laws are considered wicked (Psalm 50; Psalm 119), without knowledge, and will perish (Hosea 4:6). You will not find in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, the law, and the prophets where salvation is merely a mental belief in a Messiah, but rather reward is based on your conduct, the exact opposite of what the New Testament, namely Paul, teaches.
10) In the early 1990’s, did you believe David Koresh when he claimed to be Messiah? His followers claimed he performed miracles and was prophetic. He and presumably his followers were writing manuscripts to spread his good news, his message. Would you put your trust in him? How about if he and or his roommates, who all tragically and unnecessarily perished, claimed he WAS actually G!d? Would you pick up your cross and follow him? On what criteria do you judge a person and their message? Is not the Hebrew Bible, the law and prophets, the foundation for which all are to be judged? Hence, the very label “the law”. What makes you put your trust in Jesus, or more accurately, Paul since Christianity is mostly based on Paul’s message and spiritual experience of seeing Jesus in the sky allegedly? Did Jesus, Paul, or other Apostles entice you to worship someone or something other than G!d, or worse, did Jesus or his followers indicate Jesus WAS/IS G!d; therefore, replacing G!d or elevating oneself to be as G!d or as part of G!d? Did Jesus, Paul, the other Apostles, or any of their followers, then and now, instruct you to disobey G!d by not keeping His law? Do you or your church have an Easter ham for dinner, as an example of breaking God’s law? Do you rest, reflect, and spend time with G!d and family on the 7th day or are you out grocery shopping, mowing the grass, or doing laundry? Does your church celebrate Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, but not the feasts of the LORD, His holy holidays? Why do some, if not all, denominations of Christianity claim everybody should keep the 10 commandments, but not the one about Sabbath or worshiping other gods?
FACT: Every Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant or even Messianic Jew/Gentile, knows that according to the writings of the New Testament, Jesus, but especially Paul as well as the other Apostles and the unknown authors of the gospels, elevated Jesus to be G!d (John 1), for Jesus to be worshiped and obeyed (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2; Colossians 2), as well as instructed their audience, their disciples to disregard G!d’s laws (Galatians 3)or at the very least, the church instructs congregants to disobey most of G!d’s laws, the eternal law (Psalm 19, 119:142,152,160: Isaiah 2) of then, now, and the future. Hence, eternal. So with all that said, back to Deuteronomy 13, what were the two criteria G!d specifically said to watch out for? See #1.
“Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15.
Within Christian circles, a common interpretation of Daniel 7:13 is this one “coming with the clouds” must be Jesus at the time of his second coming; however, upon reading the text in context as well as with nearly every other prophecy made by the prophets, we learn much about this particular cloudy day as well as who emerges.
I submit to you today that this sentiment of one coming with the clouds may not be Jesus victoriously floating in the cloudy air coming down to earth to rule and reign as some imagine, but more like a person emerging from the ashes or smoke upon the smoldering day of the LORD as the prophets frequently describe.
We know in the final moments of this earth and this heaven, there will come a time when Israel is surrounded and attacked, but God literally and physically saves them from annihilation (see Zechariah 12, as one example). We also see in numerous prophecies written by more than two or three witnesses, being the prophets of Tanakh/the Hebrew Bible, words like earthquakes, fire, burning, melting, dissolve, stubble, blazing, steam, and clouds are all used to describe the great and terrible day of the LORD. Furthermore, we see in Isaiah 45:22 Israel’s sins are forgiven like a cloud covering their transgressions from the sight of the LORD.
How does the LORD prefer for His people and the earth to be cleansed throughout the Hebrew Bible? By water and fire – think about the great flood in Noah’s day or washing the hands before various rituals of the Jewish people or being ritually made clean in a mikvah before the feasts of the LORD and other lifetime events (where baptism came from), as well as the burnt offerings using fire and smoke, a sweet-smelling aroma to the LORD. Now consider the LORD previously used water to cleanse or create a new earth, but this time, He will use primarily fire since He already promised not to flood the entire globe at once; hence, the symbol of the rainbow for that covenant. Many Christians understand this concept as even Peter wrote about it in 2 Peter 3:7-13.
Therefore, it should not be too difficult to comprehend this terminology used in Daniel 7:13 as one “coming with the clouds” is referencing one emerging from the smoke or ashes. Review the previous verses in Daniel 7, specifically verses 9 as it references a “fiery flame”, a “burning fire”, or in verse 10, “a fiery stream..” or verse 11 referencing a “burning flame” all leading up to this one coming with the clouds.
Also, notice in these plethora of passages, they all reference an unbelievable amount of destruction using the fire and earthquake or possibly nuclear related terminology described previously (see Isaiah 24:3-6, 13, 18-23, 44:22-25; Haggai 2:6-7; Zechariah 14; Joel 2:2; Ezekiel 30:3, 34:12, 38:18-23, Malachi 4:1-3; Zephaniah 1:14-18, 3:8; Amos 5:18-20; Jeremiah 30:23-24). Nearly every prophet describes the same or similar event.
Is it not possible this earth-shattering epic event full of fire would not create much smoke-filled clouds? Having lived near the gas and oil refineries in the Galveston Bay area of Texas, it was not unusual for explosions to erupt causing smoke-filled plumes of clouds in the sky. Now, consider how at this same time throughout Scripture, the prophets also speak to a resurrection of the dead, specifically all of Israel, all twelve tribes, and the miraculous reunion of both houses of Israel (see Jeremiah 29-31; Ezekiel 34-37) as God forms a New Jerusalem centered in the New Earth and New Heavens (see the article I wrote, “Are We Raptured to Heaven?” ).
While understanding all of Israel is resurrected as promised by the LORD regathering them to the land of Israel no matter where in the world they were scattered and died, then the LORD washes them/us clean and dispenses His Spirit of Holiness onto them (see Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:27), ponder the plausibility of literally David also being resurrected to rule and reign as the prophets reference numerous times in Ezekiel 34:23-24; 37:24; Jeremiah 30:9; Isaiah 9:7; Hosea 3:5. Notice in Daniel 7:14 and 18, just after describing one who comes within the clouds, that it speaks to one who will rule the reunited kingdom matching what the previous references state as well fulfilling God’s Davidic Covenant or covenant made with King David. Equally interesting is that Ezekiel 34:12 references a cloudy destructive day and then a few verses later also refers to David being made King in Ezekiel 34:23-24.
Due to all of the overwhelming discussion in the Hebrew Bible of said events, it is my conclusion and belief that Daniel 7 is referencing one, specifically King David, emerging from the smoke-filled plumes of clouds due to the fiery day of the LORD, to rule and reign along with the rest of “the saints of the Most High” being Israel (Daniel 7:18), while God’s presence encompasses the newly formed New Jerusalem, New Earth, New Heavens, and activates the promised New Covenant (Ezekiel 36:27, 37:26-28; Jeremiah 29-31; Isaiah 2, 11, 51,59:16-62:12; Micah 4; Zechariah 14).
Just as Daniel foretells, a cloudy day of the LORD indeed appears to be in the forecast.
Christianity teaches that the New Covenant began with Jesus’ death and resurrection. However, according to the Hebrew Bible, the events that describe the initiation of the New Covenant are vastly different than Christian dogma wants you to believe.
Because G!d does nothing without revealing it to his prophets first (Amos 3:7) and He is BIG on reiterating concepts with at least two or three prophetic witnesses, it’s important we study what G!d specifies through these prophets to better understand important concepts such as the New Covenant and other related events.
In both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, there is a limited dialogue regarding the New Covenant. Nevertheless, the one and only time the terminology is used, the LORD provides a few critical clues through His prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29-31. Specifically, the term is used in Jeremiah 31:31.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – ” Jeremiah 31:31 NKJV (New King James Version)
In Jeremiah 31:31, the reader is introduced to the term “New Covenant” and that this New Covenant is made between G!d and two groups of people, the Northern Kingdom or ten tribes of Israel, being the House of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom, primarily consisting of the remaining two tribes, the House of Judah. The slang term “Jew” comes from the tribe of Judah, which later evolved to be “House of Judah”. To understand how the kingdom of Israel split into two groups, read 1 King 12. Essentially, there was a family feud, but not the Steve Harvey type.
The famous Jeremiah 29:11 quote, which can be found in nearly every Christian Bookstore and Hobby Lobby across the United States, G!d says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future…” (NIV). Technically, this promise is given to Israel, not Christians shopping at Hobby Lobby. When we read Jeremiah chapters 29 through 31, at the time of these prophecies, both houses were in captivity. The House of Israel had been taken captive by the Assyrian Empire much earlier and the House of Judah was taken captive by the Babylonian Empire. Although the prophecy in chapter 29 primarily applied to the Jews held in Babylonian captivity, the prophecy of Jeremiah 30, applies for a much later time. In Jeremiah 30:7 it references a time of trouble for Jacob, meaning the nation of Israel, perhaps it could imply a greater captivity, if you will. Daniel 12:1-2 also uses the same terminology of “a time of trouble” and is referring to the Battle of Gog and Magog. Such an epic battle will be led by Gog, the ultimate villain, as he and numerous other nations surround and attack the nation of Israel. More details of this battle can be found in Ezekiel 38 and Zechariah 14 among other prophetic passages. Nevertheless, through the prophet Jeremiah, G!d is giving His people hope that even though life will be frightening for them in the future, G!d will literally and physically save them from their enemies similar to how He did when they were in Babylon and years earlier, in Egypt.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, G!d expands in great detail exactly what He means when He says “a future and hope” or “a hope and a future” (depending on which version you are reading) in Jeremiah 30. Notice in Jeremiah 30:3, Adonai, the LORD says, “For behold the days are coming…that I bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah…I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers and they shall possess it..” So here we see G!d plans on rescuing and restoring all of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, uniting both the divided kingdoms and bringing them all back to the land of Israel to safely dwell.
Interestingly, the House of Judah largely consisted of the tribe of Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites, but the House of Israel, the ten northern tribes that were taken prisoners by the Assyrian captivity and assimilated into the nations, have never been tracked, much less regathered. As a side note, texts from both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles reveal some of those Northern tribes merged with the House of Judah and therefore, it can be argued that the Jewish population today represents all or at least some of the twelve tribes, but for the most part, it would appear the vast majority of the ten tribes assimilated with the nations and are considered unidentified or lost. With that said, here in this text of Jeremiah 30, G!d declares He will be regaining custody of all His kids in a glorious and miraculous family reunion in the New Covenant. In other words, the lost will be found!
RESURRECTION | RESTORATION
Jeremiah 30, verse 9, reads, ”They shall serve the LORD their God and David, the king whom I will raise up for them.” Now, if you aren’t familiar with the plethora of other passages in the prophets discussing this same prophecy you might glaze over the “raise up” phrase but this is referring to the resurrection and restoration of the House of Israel and the House of Judah described in Ezekiel 37. I believe this verse indicates the LORD is literally going to resurrect King David, as well as all of the deceased Israelites (twelve tribes), and David will rule and reign once more. Other Jews state this verse means, G!d will provide someone from David’s lineage, specifically through the line of David’s son, Solomon, to rule. Christians typically assume this David figure refers to Jesus’ alleged past resurrection and yet, obviously, this reference to resurrecting, rescuing, and restoring Israel cannot be about Jesus’ alleged resurrection because #1 all twelve tribes were not rescued from the Roman Empire, in fact, the Jews weren’t rescued at all, though they were oppressed, AND #2 nobody was raised up to be a literal, visible-to-all king of Israel after Jesus’ alleged death and resurrection. Just the opposite manifested. The House of Judah was scattered throughout all the nations in the years after Jesus’ alleged resurrection, not rescued to dwell in safety, much less restored.
It wasn’t until 1948, that a minority of Jews have been and still are being restored to the land of Israel in present modern times, but still not both houses. There still are many Jews scattered throughout the globe as well as the deceased House of Israel and their unknown descendants.
WORSHIP | SACRIFICES RESUME
As we continue to read the surrounding verses and context of the new covenant prophecy, notice we left off at Jeremiah 30:9, an important verse to grasp as it proclaims the House of Israel and the House of Judah, previously defined, will all be serving G!d collectively, not Allah or Jesus, mind you, but “their God”. Furthermore, that same verse adds they also will be serving David as their king. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart” and one of the greatest kings of Israel to ever have lived, who also authored most of the Psalms. You could say, David, the king/prince, was the ultimate worship leader as he will do once more in the New Covenant. In the prophetic Book of Ezekiel, the prophet Ezekiel also speaks about the reunion of both the House of Israel and the House of Judah in addition to describing David, a ruler or prince that leads the people in worship, including in making various offerings, even sin offerings (Ezekiel 34:23-24, 36:22-24, 37:24-28, 45:16-46:18). Ponder this as you study these passages: If Jesus was the final sacrifice, why does the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 45-46 and the prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 14:16-21, very clearly detail sacrifices will resume as a critical means of worship in the future for both Jew and Gentile?
Go to Ezekiel 34:23-31. Notice G!d reiterates here through a different prophetic witness being Ezekiel what He said in Jeremiah 30:9 that He will make David be like a shepherd to His sheep (of Israel), the LORD will be their G!d (not Jesus), and David will be a prince or governing ruler. Verse 25 describes the New Covenant as a “covenant of peace” made with them. Incidentally, Ezekiel 37, verses 25-26 express the same statement. Notice in Ezekiel 34, the prophet goes on to describe a time of peace and prosperity, where animals will no longer attack people or each other (Hosea 2:20 & Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:25 also speak to this), the earth will be a lovely garden producing delectable crops, Jews will no longer be persecuted by Gentiles anymore, and all will know who the LORD is (Ezekiel 34:25-31). Return with me to Jeremiah, specifically Jeremiah 31:33-34. Please carefully notate that the LORD makes it very plain and understandable in this New Covenant that “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, his brother, saying ‘Know the LORD’, for they ALL shall know Me..” There will be no more wars because there will be no religious or political debates for all will know G!d and His ways in the New Covenant time frame. Other prophetic witnesses such as in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 both speak to similar sentiments of all will know and be taught G!d’s instructions and there will be no more war.
A NEW WAY OF LIFE
Did these descriptive events manifest upon Jesus’ alleged resurrection? Of course, not. In fact, Jesus proclaimed the opposite, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NKJV). The Crusades and other heinous persecution of innocent Jews by the hands of Christians confirm the fruit of the Gospels. Jesus and the faith that developed in his name indeed failed to bring a covenant of peace to the globe. Rather, the prophets of the Hebrew Bible describe obvious physical changes as G!d more or less will provide a NEW way of life, or perhaps you could say, a type of NEW heaven and NEW earth; hence, the NEW, or more accurately termed, RENEWED covenant, a covenant of peace on earth. By describing the earth and this covenant as “new”, it is simply a figure of speech inferring a refreshed version of the existing earth and existing eternal covenant G!d has with Israel. Each covenant G!d has made with humans builds upon the previous. As a simple example, women are still experiencing pain in childbirth, which was part of the very first covenant G!d established. Several more have been established since then, but no covenant nullified the previous, it only builds upon it.
NO ONE CAN DIE FOR ANOTHER’S SINS
Lastly, in all these Scriptures foretelling a future era, have we read anything stating Israelites or anyone for that matter must believe in a Messiah in order to receive eternal life, be resurrected, be forgiven of sins, and miraculously make it to Israel? Do you notice the resurrection of the dead, as well as the rescue and reunion of both the House of Israel and the House of Judah, have been in the forecast even without any belief in Jesus? Moreover, if G!d can reveal all these other details to His prophets, why didn’t he reveal the most important detail that a person must believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, to be resurrected, or rescued? Christians are led to believe Jesus died for their sins and therefore, believe they are in the New Covenant, and yet, in addition to the fact that none of the events of the New Covenant have manifested yet, Jeremiah 31:30, quite literally the verse next to the “new covenant” verse, reiterates commands G!d already stated, which is “every one shall die for his own sin”. Just like G!d says numerous places elsewhere – nobody can die for your sins – each person is held accountable to G!d for themselves. Study Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, Psalm 49:7, Jeremiah 31:30; Ezekiel 18 & 33. Therefore, it is a direct violation of G!d’s word for another person, like Jesus, to die for the world’s sins.
WAIT & SEE
With all this overwhelming evidence, it is clear the new covenant has not manifested yet. While we can’t be certain WHEN exactly these prophecies will manifest, we do know WHO is involved, WHERE to be watching, and WHAT to look for as there will be glaringly obvious signs indicating the New Covenant has been activated. For now, we wait and put our trust in G!d alone.
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Many Christians are told Isaiah chapter 53 is all about Jesus. If one were to only read that chapter in all of the Book of Isaiah while also ignoring what the other prophets of the Hebrew Bible prophesied about, then it would be easy to assume Isaiah is describing the death of Jesus on the cross. However, one cannot grasp all the author is conveying by only reading one chapter and jumping to conclusions. Whether Christian or Jewish, we must learn to stop making Scripture fit our preconceived notions and rather, let Scripture interpret Scripture within context and how the author refers to terms throughout. Additionally, how can the reader determine who the character is when that particular chapter only uses pronouns such as “him”? What is the series or book’s overall theme? First, let’s explore the theme of the Book of Isaiah before identifying the character of Isaiah 53. As I read Isaiah 53, I recognized a familiar theme manifest. In several other chapters penned by Isaiah as well as others throughout the Hebrew Bible, G!d’s chosen people, particularly the righteous remnant, are often overlooked or considered the ‘underdog’, persecuted, and afflicted. Certainly, throughout the pages of the Bible and over the course of history, many of G!d’s chosen people at times are stiff-necked and rebellious; however, there are some, a remnant, who chose to live righteously by adhering to Torah, or G!d’s ways, to the best of their ability and were eventually rewarded. We see Noah mocked while being obedient and yet spared of the great flood of judgment by the arm of the LORD. We see Joseph rejected and afflicted by his own family only to be elevated to the highest position by the arm of the LORD. We see David, a lowly, humble shepherd boy, overlooked as G!d’s anointed by man, but cultivated into a mighty warrior King by the arm of the LORD. We see Esther, an orphaned, girl chosen simply for her beauty but chosen by the arm of the LORD to save the Jewish people elevating them and all involved. We see people like Job and Daniel tested and refined; yet, rewarded by the arm of the LORD.
Similarly, in the final verses of Isaiah 52 leading up to the often misunderstood Isaiah 53, we see “the servant” will be raised up and revered by Gentiles after having been rejected and refined due to the sins of the rebellious fulfilling prophecy often spoken of throughout the Torah and Prophets (compare Deuteronomy 26:19, 28:1,10 as well as Isaiah 60-61, 62:2-4). Consider and compare Isaiah 52:13-15 with other chapters in the Book of Isaiah as well as other prophetic books all express similar sentiments referring to the nation of Israel as those who were once hated and despised, being the Jews and all of the twelve tribes, will be exalted / resurrected, reunited, and restored to rule and reign or extolled and be very high (see Ezekiel 34-48, Jeremiah 29-31, Isaiah 2, 11, 60-62, Micah 4, Zechariah 8, Zechariah 14).
“What other passages refer to Israel as ‘him’?”
In regards to Isaiah 52 and 53, I asked myself, “What other passages refer to Israel as ‘him’?” Surprisingly, numerous Scriptures refer to Israel in the masculine (Isaiah 45:11,46:8,56:8; Jeremiah 31:9-11,18,20-22; Hosea 7:8-10, 8:14, 10:6, 11:1,5, 12:1-4, 13:12-13). It would appear collective people such as Israel/Jacob/Ephraim/Judah uses pronouns such as him/his and them/their. Whereas when Scripture references specific cities such as Zion, Jerusalem, Holy City, Samaria, Babylon, etc, it uses the feminine pronouns (Isaiah 10:11,47:1,5, 51:17-18, 52:1-2, 62:1-2).
“Has Israel been defined as ‘My Servant’ such as in Isaiah 52:13?”
I then asked myself, “Has Israel been defined as ‘My Servant’ such as in Isaiah 52:13?” Again, surprisingly, yes. Isaiah 44:1-2,21-22, 45:4, 48:20, 49:3.
When reading any other book, would you insert a different subject just because they have similarities and then deem that one chapter is all about a different person not identified within the book? For example, while reading a book about the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust, no one would pick out one chapter and say, “Oh, this must be about Anne Frank, because she was a Jew that suffered in the Holocaust.” when there is no mention specifically of Anne Frank.
More specifically, let’s examine each verse of Isaiah 53 to see other themes of these same sentiments further proving this text is about Israel, not specifically and exclusively Jesus.
Isaiah 53 | Verse-By-Verse
Isaiah 53:1 arm of the LORD = strength; see Isaiah 51:9, 59:16; 63:5 and Psalm 44:4 all of which speaks to this pattern is all of G!d’s doing, His strength and His will, the arm of the LORD.
53:2 no form or comeliness is likened to Zephaniah 3:12 referring to the remnant as meek and humble
53:3 the servant is despised and rejected; despised and we did not esteem him is similar to Psalm 44:13-15, but especially Isaiah 49’s reference to Israel being rejected by men, yet later esteemed or raised up just as the later part of Isaiah 52 and 53 speak to. Notice the entire passage of Isaiah 49 is about Israel, the servant (vs 3), who is afflicted by men (vs 13-14), and just as Isaiah 52:13-15 speaks to the “servant” being miraculously extolled higher than kings which shocks the kings that this little nation is now honored, Isaiah 49:23-26, Isaiah 51 speak to the same prophecy as does all of Isaiah 60, but specifically Isaiah 60:14-15, as well as Isaiah 62:2-4.
53:4 wounded, stricken, smitten and afflicted by G!d compare to the remnant of Israel being afflicted in Zephaniah 3:19, Psalm 44:24-25, Isaiah 51:7,12 (notice Isaiah 51:9 referring to the arm of the LORD just as Isaiah 53:1 and the close proximity of these parallel verses); also, see Isaiah 60:14-15.
53:5 all of Israel will suffer for the sins of Israel (i.e. even the righteous remnant such as Daniel and Jeremiah were carried off into the Babylonian captivity). Also, compare the servant being bruised for iniquities then healed to Israel being bruised for their iniquities in Isaiah 30:9-15, then bind up the bruise and healed in Isaiah 30:26
53:6 is about the entire community being held accountable for sins. Should one person sin, they all suffer; hence, why there are incidents in the Hebrew Bible of drastically removing the offender from the camp (i.e. Joshua 7-9). G!d is big on community, unity, and being in one accord; hence, why He stresses we are responsible for one another (think Cain and Abel; love your neighbor; priests sacrificing for the entire community should there be unintentional sin members committed) or how G!d’s entire justice system is designed to hold one another accountable. Remember, the prophet Isaiah was the prophet sent to the Northern Kingdom of Israel/10 tribes/House of Israel. So when the majority of the House of Israel sins, hence “we (House of Israel) like sheep have gone astray”, everyone suffers including the few righteous ones just like Jeremiah and Daniel suffered in the Southern Kingdom/House of Judah when the Babylonians took the Jews to Babylon and held them captive. Some of Judah had sinned and consequently, G!d sent the Babylonians to discipline them for 70 years due to their violation of G!d’s land laws. Nevertheless, the righteous remnant paid heavily too (Jeremiah, Daniel, and others). We see that same concept in the second part of the verse, “and the LORD has laid on him (righteous remnant of House of Israel) the sins of us all (the majority of people of Israel/House of Israel)” and is likened to Zephaniah 3:13 as well as Ezekiel 34 and Psalm 44:11
53:7 the servant/he didn’t open his mouth is also referenced of the righteous remnant of Israel learning to not open their mouth in rest and quietness Isaiah 30:15 and Zephaniah 3:13 and Psalm 46:10/11 (depending on if you are using the Hebrew or Christian Bibles); sheep for slaughter, the sheep being representative of Israel, is also found in Jeremiah 11:19 and 12:3 as well as Psalm 44:22.
53:8 the righteous servant/remnant being cut off from land of living is also referenced in Jeremiah 11:19 whereas Israel being cut off from the land/living in general is mentioned in 1 Kings 9:6-7 and Ezekiel 37:11
53:9 no deceit in his mouth is also referenced in Zephaniah 3:13 of no deceit being in the mouth of the righteous remnant (even the author of the Book of Revelation seemed to understand this reference is about Israel see Revelation 14:5 and how it is referencing the 144,000 righteous remnant of Israel found in Revelation 7)
53:10 again references bruising the servant as did 53:5 and 30:26; note: Jesus/Yeshua had no physical seed or offspring to carry on his legacy, but Israel’s descendants continue to be fruitful and multiply. The prophet Isaiah also prophecized a tenth of the holy seed will remain in chapter 10:13.
53:11 -12 by his knowledge – knowledge or wisdom in the Hebrew Bible always refers to Torah/G!d’s laws see Hosea 4:6 as an example or Proverbs 3. Obeying Torah is defined as being righteous and received by G!d (see Psalm 95:6-11; 103, 119 and Isaiah 1:16-20, as just a few examples, but really it is everywhere in the Tanakh.) Also, notice Isaiah 26 speaks all about salvation and the importance of learning righteousness in Isaiah 26:8-12 or Isaiah 48:17-19. Israel, specifically the Jewish people, are called to be the light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6-8 and 49:3,6) and how are they/we to be the light? By living Torah, obeying G!d’s voice, which is Torah (Deuteronomy 28:1; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; 4:2). So that the world might come to know how to be saved and therefore not perish (Hosea 4:6). The righteous remnant repeatedly intercedes on behalf of the people, despite their transgressions (see Moses and Aaron and all the prophets as examples), but moreover, lead in love simply by example of a Torah-observant lifestyle (to the best of their ability). Isaiah 53 speaks to the affliction of Israel; Isaiah 54 speaks to the salvation of the Jews/Israel; Isaiah 55 is an invitation for all to follow their example; Isaiah 56 explains the Gentiles/foreigners who also keep G!d’s covenant (Torah) are also saved/gathered to Mt Zion.
Next, after pondering such concepts, I thoroughly researched Scriptures to find where it indicates a person will need to die for my sins and that one is eternally damned in their sins. To my surprise, I found “salvation” is always referencing a literal, physical saving, no one can die for another’s sins for we each are held accountable (Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, Jeremiah 31:29-30, Ezekiel 18:19-24, 33:12-20), and that all one must do is repent and obey G!d’s commands and He will gladly forgive (see Psalm 103 and Isaiah 1:16-20 or the story of Jonah and how even the Gentiles had been forgiven simply for repenting or the repeated message of the Prophets).
Christianity teaches if you don’t believe in Jesus you are damned to hell, eternally lost, part of the Anti-Christ Spirit, etc. while the Hebrew Scriptures teach if you believe in Jesus you are an idolater and will be held accountable for your sins as we all are.
Choose this day whom you will serve and choose wisely. Shalom and blessings!
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Christianity teaches that Jesus, the perfect sinless lamb-of-G!d had to die for people’s sins so they can be forgiven and make it to heaven. Christianity also touts that it is only through a blood sacrifice a person can receive atonement for any sin, whether intentional, unintentional, past or future sin. It is propagated to congregants that all of us, whether Jew or Gentile, are eternally doomed unless we believe Jesus is the Messiah who died and overcame sin and death through the resurrection. Guilt, condemnation, and fear are the key ingredients while dangling promises of heaven and eternal life to motivate people to believe. These beliefs come from various places throughout the New Testament, which just by cleverly labeling it the “New” Testament sends the message anything before it is old news, invalid, and irrelevant. Out with the old, in with G!d’s new and improved way of doing things. And yet, Malachi 3:6 and 1 Samuel 15:29 clearly state G!d does not change. We do. With that said, let us explore what the “Old” Testament, or Hebrew Bible, has to say about sin, sacrifices, forgiveness, believing in the Messiah to be saved, etc.
While it is true that all of man sins eventually as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 3:23 and it is true sin has consequences as he further explains in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”, it is not necessarily death or blood of an animal or blood of a human in Jesus’ case that can make it right or to put in Biblical terms, make atonement. It can be confusing, however, when a Christian cherry-picks verses, as they (formerly we) seem to specialize in doing in order to propagate a doctrine. Christian missionaries and ministers often point to Leviticus 17:11 which in part states, “For it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” That is their AH-HA GOTCHA moment. And yet, when studying sacrifices and other passages found in the Hebrew Bible, we see G!d provides a variety of methods to teach His people a tangible lesson about sin and forgiveness; moreover, He provides grace and mercy well before Jesus and still today regardless of Jesus.
First, understand, there are many different types of sacrifices, most of which are a form of praise and worship and have nothing to do with sin such as the burnt offering, meal offering, the daily morning and evening offerings, various offerings during the feasts of the LORD, etc. In fact, the sin and trespass offerings, also known as the purification and guilt offerings, are only for unintentional sin, meaning you, your household, the congregation, or the nation accidentally violated G!d’s law without realizing He had a law against such a thing.
Second, please study and know there is no sacrifice for intentional sin only unintentional sin. Understanding this concept is critical. I encourage you to get a Strong’s Concordance or Google the terms unintentional and intentional in the Bible. You will not find any sacrifice for intentional sin for if you knowingly and purposely sinned, you went through G!d’s judicial process and would have been eventually stoned or cut off (same thing) should the account of two or three witnesses manifest. The sin or purification offering is for if a sin was unintentionally committed against the LORD whereas the trespass or guilt offering was if a person unintentionally sinned against another person and by default the LORD as well. You will notice Leviticus chapters 4-6 states that those who unintentionally sinned against their brother, neighbor, or another person had to make restitution to the person they accidentally sinned against. Hence, love G!d, love others concept taught in both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. While reading about the trespass also known as the guilt offering, notice in Leviticus 5:6-13, the Torah teaches if a person cannot afford to bring a lamb, goat, turtledoves, or a pigeon, they can instead simply bring flour for forgiveness. Flour for forgiveness?! And yet, there is no blood in flour so based on Christian theology, how could that person be forgiven? Nevertheless, Scripture reveals that a person shall be forgiven indeed (see vs. 13). The overall message, G!d is teaching His people is, yes, sin has consequences, and He uses the concept of sacrifices whether it be ideally a costly sacrifice of an animal or even flour to reveal even unintentional sin is not to be taken lightly (pun intended) and yet certainly forgivable upon repentance. Now learn your lesson and don’t let it happen again.
The Book of Hebrews, along with other New Testament books, replaced words from various Scriptures found in the Hebrew Bible to lead the reader to believe the doctrine being peddled. Consequently, Christians are led to believe G!d required a human sacrifice to put an end to animal sacrifices. Compare Hebrews 10:5-8 to the Psalm he is allegedly quoting in Psalm 40:6-8. We can see in this example the anonymous author of Hebrews twisted and misquoted the Psalm to fit their agenda of making it seem like a human sacrifice was required, which is just a copy of the pagan religions before ancient Israel existed and carried on for thousands of years (and still today in some cultures).
Rather, the sin sacrifice of animals is simply a tangible physical means G!d uses to reveal the concept of consequences and accountability for ourselves and one another. G!d recognizes humans need physical, tangible memorials to help us remember Him and His instructions for living – see Numbers 15:37-41 as another tangible physical reminder. G!d commanded the Israelite men to wear tzits-tzits, strings from the hem of their garment to remind them to obey G!d’s commands.
Similar to the lesson of the sin sacrifices, as a parent, at times you take away your kids’ electronics or TV time when they sin. Upon doing so, it’s not because you need their electronics, rather you are insisting they sacrifice something with the hopes of teaching them what they did is not permissible in your eyes and they ought not to do it again. You, like our Heavenly Parent, hopefully, are fair and just upon deciding what they must sacrifice on an age-appropriate and offense-appropriate level or affordability level. Flour.
Third, understand sacrifices cannot be made in your backyard or just anywhere you please, but rather can only be made in the place the LORD chooses being in the Temple in Jerusalem (see Exodus 20:24; Leviticus 17:3-6; Deuteronomy 12:13-14, 16:5-6), which at this point in time does not exist. This is the only reason sacrifices are not currently happening. Nevertheless, notice what King Solomon proclaims in a prophetic prayer as he dedicates the first temple. In 1 Kings 8:22-53, but especially highlight verses 44-50 for it is there we see Solomon describes a variety of scenarios for both Jew and Gentile to receive forgiveness including when Jews are dispersed in various lands, taken captive, etc. with no capability of accessing the Temple, all they must do is repent and G!d will forgive them! Lamentations 3:22-26 as does Psalm 50-51, Psalm 103, Isaiah 1:16-20, and numerous other passages throughout the Hebrew Bible clearly state all one must do is pray to G!d and repent for their sin and He will gladly forgive them! I implore you to search this out for yourself. Explore terms like sin, forgiveness, salvation, etc. in the Hebrew Bible – an enlightening picture will unfold.
Fourth, did you know that Torah, G!d’s teachings, will be taught to the entire world from Jerusalem? Several passages such as Isaiah 2; Micah 4; and Ezekiel 44 reveal Torah will be taught. Moreover, the nations must also comply with Torah, G!d’s voice, His law one day INCLUDING worshipping G!d on the Jewish Sabbath according to Isaiah 66:22-24 AND bring sacrifices, according to Zechariah 14:16-21.
Fifth, please study the future prophecies found in Ezekiel 36-48, which include the resurrection, regathering, and restoration of all twelve tribes of Israel to the land of Israel. Within those incredible chapters notice the prophet Ezekiel shares that not only will G!d’s Torah be willingly obeyed by the House of Judah and the House of Israel, but that sacrifices will once again resume. What’s fascinating is these sacrifices are being led by the prince, presumably what some refer to as the Messiah, or an anointed ruler (see Ezekiel 44-46). Notice in Ezekiel 45:15-25, that the “prince” makes sin or purification offerings as well as all the other offerings on behalf of himself and the people, but only for unintentional sins as discussed previously. If Jesus is the one and only Messiah or “prince”, the perfect sinless lamb of G!d who made a sacrifice once and for all as the anonymous author of Hebrews proclaims, why does the Hebrew Bible prove otherwise?
Also, you will find there is no sinless Messiah described in the Hebrew Bible for it clearly states there is no one without sin according to 1 Kings 8:46 and Ecclesiastes 7:20.
Lastly, in Jeremiah 31, the chapter that predicts the new covenant, notice verse 30 says, “But everyone shall die for his own iniquity.” That’s strange don’t you think? Why doesn’t it say that Jesus will be the final sacrifice as he will die for everyone’s iniquity and the world will live happily or heavenly ever after? Why doesn’t it say this here in Jeremiah 31 particularly when it is discussing the New Covenant? The entire chapter of Jeremiah 31 is prophesying the future full regathering and restoration of Israel one fine day in the New Covenant and yet is still speaking of people dying for their own sin – being responsible for their own sin not trusting in Jesus to do it for them.
The law and prophets clearly speak to this several times as if giving plenty of advance warning of a false religion that will teach such concepts – most likely because this concept of human sacrifices has been a pagan practice since before ancient Israel even existed! Please review Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6; Psalm 49:7; Ezekiel 18 and 33, all of which speak to the concept of a human cannot die for another human’s sins. Everyone is accountable to G!d for themselves. So why do we think Jesus, a human, can die for our sins?
Also, now knowing the law and prophets speak nothing towards such concepts of a Messiah dying for our sins, nor do we need to believe in a Messiah to be saved, and we now understand human sacrifice for the atonement of sin is forbidden, plus forgiveness is granted simply by repenting when a temple is not in place, and when it is in place, flour can be used as a substitute for blood, and if G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first as Amos 3:7 states, why would we suddenly think G!d changed not only His pure language (see Zephaniah 3:9) from Hebrew to Greek, did away with His instructions found in Torah, and yet didn’t reveal it to His prophets of such dramatic changes or that a person must believe in His one and only son, the Messiah, in order to be forgiven and saved?
Ironically, I discovered this and so much more when I attempted to write an article proving Jesus is the Messiah using only the Old Testament. Needless to say, upon doing so, over many astonishing and grievous months, G!d “flip-flopped” my faith as His word clearly declares Jesus did not die for my sins, your sins, or anyone’s sins but his own!
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Having been exposed and apart of many Christian circles throughout my lifetime, one primary tenet of the Christian faith is that the New Testament is the inerrant word of God. Just review any church’s website under their “What We Believe” or “Statement of Faith” tab and you will inevitably find words like “inerrant” or “infallible” word of God being the 66 books of the combined “Old” and “New” Testaments. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “inerrant” is defined as being “free from error”. Likewise, the Oxford dictionary defines it as “incapable of being wrong”.
Furthermore, Christianity often sites the famous verses found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as evidence Scripture, being presumed to be both the “Old” and “New” Testament, is inerrant. After all, if these writings thought to be inspired by God are not absolute truth, then one’s faith is fallacy.
One interesting oversight, however, when making such conclusions from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, is that most Christians overlook the previous verse 15, which clearly reminds the recipient, Timothy, as well as modern day readers, that Timothy had the Holy Scriptures since childhood, referring to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Law and Prophets, or Tanakh, or what has since been labeled the “Old” Testament by Christianity. These letters penned by Paul (see 2 Timothy 1:1) and others were not regarded as “the Holy Scriptures”, but are merely commentary or one’s opinion about the Holy Scriptures, being the Tanakh. For those unaware, let me briefly define the “Tanakh” as it is more or less an acronym of TNK pronounced in Hebrew as “Tanakh”. The T is for Torah, the first five books of the Bible, the N is for Nevi’im, the prophetic manuscripts (i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.), and the K is for Kethuvim, which are the Psalms, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Lamentations, Ezra, etc. Sometimes Tanakh is spelled Tenach, Tanach, Tenakh, or Tenak, but it all is referring to the Hebrew Bible.
Furthermore, throughout the “New” Testament, which I put in quotes to highlight how terms such as “New” and “Old” propagate the many errors of Replacement Theology, indeed has known errors and thus, cannot be the “inerrant word of God” as many have been led to believe. Below are some examples of the “inerrancy” (pun intended) found in the “New” and implied-improved Testament.
1. The author of the Book of Matthew, which has not been proven, but only speculated to be written by a Matthew, documents the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17. The author states Jesus comes from the lineage of Joseph, Mary’s husband, in verse 16. As a side note, how can this be if Jesus was miraculously conceived and has no genetic father? Furthermore, compare the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew’s version to Luke’s story in Luke 3:23-38. In verse 23, the author claims as does Matthew, that Jesus was from Joseph, a perplexing mysterious scandal for an alleged virgin birth, but moreover, the genealogy detailed here is far different from the one outlined in Matthew. So which is Jesus’ lineage and why do these unknown or unproven authors list not only varying genealogy, but claim Joseph is Jesus’ birthfather when Luke 1:34 and Matthew 1:18 contradict their own findings? Or if listing Jesus’ adoptive father, how can the non-birth father be counted as Jesus’ claim to the Davidic line as qualifying as a Messianic candidate? If Jesus is the perfect Son of God as Christians are taught, then shouldn’t his lineage be without error as well? Is it possible the authors were aware the ancient Jewish sages believed a Messiah would have to be a direct descendant of David, which is documented through the males (see Numbers 1, as an example), so concocted a lineage to make Jesus appear to be a viable candidate? And yet, the authors of Matthew and Luke did not get their stories straight before publishing. When attempting to research this discrepancy, the common response of Christians is, “I don’t know” or perhaps “one is defining Mary’s lineage and the other Joseph’s”. If one is of Mary, then it still is an error as the text specifically states the lineage is of Joseph in both Matthew and Luke.
2. In Luke 24:44-47, as one example, Jesus insisted the Hebrew Bible was all about him – even telling his listeners that “it is written” (in the law or prophets) that the Holy Scriptures predict the messiah will suffer and rise again in three days. Unfortunately, this is a lie. Nevertheless, assuming he did say this about himself, NOWHERE in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say a messiah will suffer, much less die and rise again on the third day AND nowhere does it say one must believe in the messiah in order to be saved from their sins or forgiven of their sins, and the Hebrew Scriptures also do NOT say that his name or a messiah’s name will be preached to all nations beginning in Jerusalem (or anywhere else for that matter). I encourage you, dear student of the Bible, to go research this. You will not find any of it – because it doesn’t exist. Again, a hugely critical error of the New Testament. Before you go on thinking Isaiah 53 talks about the suffering messiah, you will need to pay attention to more details and read it within context like you would any other chapter of any other book. Click this link to thoroughly study Isaiah 53.
“He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.‘ ” Luke 24:44-47 (NKJV)
3. Have you ever studied out and compared the many different versions of Jesus’ alleged resurrection? Sure, I know naïve Christians have been told the different accounts are just different perspectives of the unknown authors of the gospels, but in reality, when closely examining the alleged eye-witness accounts, you will find there are several details that contradict one another. That topic alone has made an intriguing article I encourage you to dive into this for yourself. All of which, begs the question, if the so-called witnesses of the resurrection cannot get their stories straight, can these accounts be trusted? How would any judge or jury discern what is truth if the witnesses relay the same overall outcome, but their varying stories contradict the details of the said event? When the timeline, order of discovery, characters involved, and or reasons for being at the event all differ, it certainly casts reasonable doubt. And if indeed Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior, the perfect Son of God, wouldn’t God make sure the accounts of Jesus were perfectly documented rather than be in error? Did you know in addition to historians and experts not actually knowing who the authors of the Gospels were, they do know the Gospels were written decades after Jesus’ lived and died, and even after the Book of Revelation? So the Gospels could easily have been written to support the ideologies of Paul and or any other “Apostle”. Did you know the first book of the “New” Testament was Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church he established based on an unusual spiritual experience? I will stop for now, but do your research. I suspect upon doing so, you will be alarmed and angry at what you will discover as was I.
4. Speaking of errors in the Gospels, were you aware that in Matthew 27:9, the author quotes Jeremiah the prophet as writing about the thirty pieces of silver, when in fact, that statement can be found not in Jeremiah, but Zechariah 11:12-13? Never mind the fact that Zechariah’s words are taken out of context in Matthew’s writing. Regardless, clearly the “New” Testament, more specifically, the Gospels, are not without error.
5. Scholars have proven the New Testament has many “interpolations”, meaning many phrases or verses were added in to support man-made church doctrine, but were not in the original manuscripts. For a brief sample, click here, but I encourage you to research this out more thoroughly.
6. In Acts 7:16, the author believed to be Paul’s Gentile pal, Luke, but not proven, wrote that the patriarchs of Israel were buried in “Shechem” when in actuality they (i.e. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their wives, etc) were buried in Mamre, also known as Hebron, more specifically the cave of the field of Machpelah, according to Genesis 23:17-20 and 50:13. Shechem is yet another error in the alleged inerrant New Testament.
7. Also in the Book of Acts, when describing the Apostle Paul’s conversion experience or when he allegedly saw the resurrected Jesus in the sky, it is reported in Acts 9:7 that the men who journeyed with Paul heard a voice, but saw nothing. In Acts 22:9, however, Paul testifies of just the opposite: the men with him saw a light, but heard no voice, documenting yet again the Book of Acts cannot be the inerrant word of God.
8. As another example of errors within the New Testament, please review and compare the Book of Hebrews to other Scriptures found in the Tanakh. Compare Hebrews 8:9 to Jeremiah 31:32. Notice the unknown author of Hebrews, misquotes Jeremiah 31:32 by writing, “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord..” (NKJV). Jeremiah 31:32 actually says, “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.” (NKJV) As you can see, the author of Hebrews manipulated the text to make it seem like God has cast His people, the Jewish people, Israel, aside and now there are a new and improved people implying the church, which all is apart of the erroneous Replacement Theology doctrine. Clearly, this is not the inerrant word of God, but heresy and altering the Hebrew Bible to propel an agenda. Unfortunately, the author uses the same blatant manipulation of Scriptures a couple of chapters later in Hebrews 10:5. The author is attempting to convince the reader that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice and sacrifices are no longer needed which contradicts Ezekiel 43-44 describing sacrifices in the World-To-Come/Messianic Era/New Jerusalem where the Torah goes out to the entire globe (see Isaiah 2:1-4; Isaiah 11; Micah 4; Zechariah 14:16+). Notice in Zechariah 14:16+ the nations must offer sacrifices in the Messianic Era if they want it to rain on their land (i.e. have crops and food), all of which is after the “Day of the LORD”. Please carefully review Hebrews 10:5, where the author misquotes Psalm 40:6-8 intentionally and dramatically changing the verbiage to make it seem like Jesus is the final sacrifice predicted in the Psalms. Compare Psalms 40:6-8 to Hebrews 10:5:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8 (NKJV)
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me- To do Your will, O God.” Hebrews 10:5-7 (NKJV)
Here we can see several errors. Not only did the author intentionally replace God’s word, which it is a sin to add or subtract from Scripture (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32/13:1; Jeremiah 26:2), by subtracting the text “My ears you have opened” and replaced it with “But a body You have prepared for Me..” in attempts to deceive the unsuspecting reader into thinking Jesus’ body was the final sacrifice, but in addition to this blatant alteration of God’s Scripture, the author of Hebrews, presumably Paul, removed “You did not require” and replaced it with “you had no pleasure” to further his agenda. As discussed in my article “Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins”, sin and trespass offerings can only transpire in the temple within Jerusalem, which no longer exists, nor existed at the time the psalm was penned; moreover, those offerings are designed to be a tangible lesson to learn God’s instructions of loving Him and others as they were exclusively for unintentional/accidental sins, not rebellion or intentional sin. When a temple is not present or should the offender not be in Jerusalem, sin and trespass offerings are not required for the remission of sins despite what Christian doctrines purport. We see in 1 Kings 8, King Solomon prays and declares that even when no temple is present or when people are not in the land of Israel, God will forgive those who repent and return to His Torah. In other words, all God has ever wanted was for people to hear His voice, being His instructions on how to love God and others throughout the Torah; hence, the psalmist praise of “my ears you have opened”. God eagerly forgives those who repent and return to His instructions. As Scripture reveals and repeats in numerous places, all God wants is those with circumcised hearts, willing to listen, trust, and obey (see 1 Kings 8, Psalm 50, 51, 103, 119, Proverbs 3, Isaiah 1:16-17, and many more!). As if all of these intentional and deceptive misquotes weren’t bad enough, the author of Hebrews also left off a key element validating God’s Torah by removing the phrase, “And Your law is within my heart.”
Furthermore, we see in a future era, sin and trespass offerings, as well as other sacrifices, and all of Torah, will resume in God’s presence once the final temple is erected (see Ezekiel 40:38-43; 43:4-46:24; Zechariah 14:16+; Isaiah 56:6-8; Isaiah 2:3).
These errors are clearly intentional as the author of Hebrews is leading the reader to believe 1) A sin blood sacrifices were required (for atonement), 2) God doesn’t want ongoing sacrifices, but just one final sacrifice being Jesus now and 3) by leaving off Torah is within my heart it leads the reader to believe God’s laws are done away with or no longer relevant, a myth the Church has propagated for centuries in attempts to distance themselves from anything remotely Jewish. The author of Hebrews goes on to repeat his grave sin by rewriting it for emphasis in verses 8-9 AND claiming God’s Torah, part of what Christians label “OLD” Testament is removed. Out with the old and in with the new Hebrews 10:9 claims; hence, the birth of Replacement Theology. However, Deuteronomy 13 warns us that anyone that comes along and says God’s law, His Torah, His instructions, His voice is done away with or steers others to not obey Torah is a false prophet and in dangerous error. This person or doctrine was sent as a test to see if you believe in God or man-made doctrines like Replacement Theology and the Book of Hebrews. Fascinating that the author could not even pen his name to this manuscript just as the alleged authors of the Gospels did not pen their names either.
All of this compelling evidence is not to say some spiritual concepts or truths cannot be gleaned from Jesus or the “New” Testament, just as they can be from any person or writings, but clearly, the writings are not without error and therefore, not the “inerrant word of God”. Rather, they ought to be compared to the Tanakh, the Holy Scriptures designed for instructions of righteousness making a person complete (2 Timothy 3:15-17). That much I can agree with Paul.