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Christendom and the Cross

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  • Christendom and the Cross

    Christendom and the Cross
    Copyright 2001 Good Neighbor Ministry (yahwist).

    Part one

    The centerpiece of Christian theology, in all its forms, is the doctrine that the crucified Christ bore the punishment for the sins of humankind. Inasmuch as the Christian New Testament is asserted to be the fulfillment, the replacement, even the logical conclusion to everything in the Jewish Bible, one could reasonably expect the Jewish Bible (Torah, Nevi'im, Kethuvim, the Christian Old Testament) to contain numerous passages extolling the salvific value of the Messiah's Ashed blood, or at least his sacrificial death. Should we expect anything less, if indeed the Bible is entirely about Jesus Christ, from Genesis to Revelation?

    Though not a single line from Genesis to Malachi says anything at all about the Messiah's blood, shed or otherwise, many people insist that there is at least one passage predicting his sacrificial death. Chapter 53 of the book of Isaiah (Hebrew: Yesha`yaahu) is the sole support for the centerpiece of Christian doctrine. It's hard to over-estimate the importance of a chapter from which such a heavy theology is suspended. Even so, without a clear understanding of the doctrine itself, we have little chance of determining how far Isaiah 53 actually supports it. Nearly everyone in Christendom admits that there is something profoundly significant in the crucifixion of Christ, and we can understand this significance in one of three ways: (1) Christ died because of us. (2) Christ died for us. Or, (3) He died instead of us. The first does nothing more than blame us for his death. The second simply states that his death will in some way benefit us. The third specifies exactly how it will benefit us: he actually died in our place. According to this opinion, He suffered the divine retribution which rightfully should have been ours, thus saving us from G-d's wrath. This, and this only, is the Christian doctrine of substitution. The first two alternatives do not express a substitutionary or vicarious concept.

    Isaiah 53

    Isaiah chapter 53, which is believed by Christians to be an explicit prophecy of the passion story of Christ, seems to refer to no single individual. The protagonist of the chapter is not called the Messiah but rather the Servant, and is the same character who appears intermittently throughout a large portion of the book of Isaiah, beginning in chapter 41. His name is given not as Jesus but rather Israel, since he depicts the suffering of all of YHWH's servants. These servants serve as YHWH's messengers (Isaiah 44:26) not only to the backsliders amongst their own people, but also to the nations in general. (Isaiah 49:6) Such symbolism is perfectly in keeping with the style of G-d's revelations through Isaiah. Interwoven with Isaiah's description of this Servant, are descriptions of other symbolic characters, such as the virgin daughter of Babylon (Isaiah 47:1) or the captive daughter of Zion. (Isaiah 52:2) Zion itself is even personified as a woman, a mother. -Isaiah 49:14-23; also see Isaiah 54. Similar symbolical usages appear in other prophetic and apocalyptic books as well. The messianic Son of man in Daniel chapter 7, according to the book's own commentary, is a symbol for the entire people of saints (Aramaic: qaddishin). (Dan. 7:16, 27) Thus, this son of man is no more literal than the preceding four beasts, each of which symbolized successive world empires. (Dan. 7:17, 23) In the New Testament Revelation to John, the mystic Babylon the Mother of Harlots is not any specific woman, but according to John himself represents an entire city. (Rev. 17:18) Conflating such self-evident symbolism with literal reality is of no service at all to sincere students of the Scriptures. That much being said, it should also be mentioned that Isaiah 53 is the continuation of a vision commenced in chapter 52, verse 13. Those who would like to isolate this vision out of all the rest of the Servant revelations as a specific prophecy of Jesus, must accept the burden of proof for so doing. The Bible edition I have consulted is the American Standard Version, because of its general recognition by everyone, Christian and otherwise, as a trustworthy literal translation of the Scriptures. Certain of the ASV's footnotes, which frequently contain the most literal reading, have been inserted directly into the text for comparison, as well as a few of the readings of the original text, which may not be easily accessible to many.

    * * * * * * *

  • #2
    Part two

    (52:13) Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.
    (52:14) Like as many were astonished at thee (his visage was so marred more than [Heb. prefix mee- sometimes meaning from or because of, elsewhere meaning beyond, or more than] any man, and his form more [Heb. >mee-] than the sons of men),
    (52:15) so shall he sprinkle many [Heb. >rabbiym] nations; kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand. Here is the introduction to the vision. This servant is the same as the servant mentioned in Isaiah 49:7, whose name is explicitly given as Israel, 49:3; also see Isaiah 41:8; 44:1, 2, 21, 22. The composite nature of this servant is suggested by the parallelism between man and the plural sons of men in verse 14.
    (53:1) Who hath believed our message [footnote: Or, that which we have heard]? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah [Heb. >YHWH: the personal name of the Most High, transliterated into Greek as >Iaoue] been revealed? It seems that the narrators here in chapter 53 are the formerly clueless kings of 52:15. The arm of YHWH is also mentioned in chapter 52, verse 10, as well as 40:10; 51:5, 9; 62:8; among others. The revelation of this arm to the nations is connected with the final salvation of YHWH's people, just as here it is linked to the exaltation of the servant.
    (53:2) For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
    (53:3) He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief [footnote: Heb. sickness]: and as one from [Heb. >mee-] whom men hide their face [Heb. >paniym: literally >faces; footnote: Or, he hid as it were his face from us] he was despised; and we esteemed him not.

    The nations disdain the disfigured face of YHWH's servant Israel. The kings themselves confess their former aversion to him, an aversion previously mentioned in 52:14, as well as 49:7, which describes the servant Israel as him whom man despiseth... him whom the nation abhorreth... a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise.... Also see Isaiah 50:6.
    Thus, the narration in chapter 53 is simply developing a theme begun earlier in the book.
    (53:4) Surely he hath borne [Heb. >naasaa] our griefs [footnote: Heb. sicknesses], and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of G-d, and afflicted.
    (53:5) But he was wounded for [Heb. >mee-] our transgressions, he was bruised for [Heb. >mee-] our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
    These two verses, though insisted upon as proof of the doctrine of substitution, in fact say only that the servant suffers because of others. The text doesn't say that YHWH punishes His servant instead of the wicked. In fact, it quite nearly states the opposite. Ironically, the nations think that the servant is being afflicted by G-d, unaware that they themselves are the ones who afflict him. Notice that the text does not say that anyone is forgiven by his stripes, nor that he is chastised for anyone's sins. Rather, the nations exploit and abuse him, and benefit from their exploitation.
    (53:6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid [footnote: Heb. made to light] on him the iniquity of us all.
    In fact, as the footnote brings out, YHWH has not actually placed their sins upon him, but instead caused the wickedness of the nations to fall on him. The rendering of the Koren Jerusalem Bible (8 2000 Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.) agrees with the ASV footnote: and the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon him. Unlike other terms, such as >ashaam= (SHD #817), the Hebrew word >`won, here translated as iniquity, is not equivalent to guilt in the abstract sense. A different form of this word is used as a verb in Scripture (Strong's Hebrew Dictionary #5753 & #5771), and means to commit iniquity, see 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 106:6; Jeremiah 9:5 & Daniel 9:5. Thus, `won refers primarily to wicked deeds, perversity. It is the nations mischief which falls upon the servant. It is YHWH who exposes His servant to their wickedness.
    (53:7) He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. (53:8) By [Heb. mee-] oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who [among them] considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for [Heb. mee-] the transgression of my people to whom the stroke [was due]? The imagery of lamb and sheep is not inherently sacrificial in nature, as some people assume. It is paralleled in
    Psalm 44: Thou hast made us like sheep [appointed] for food, and hast scattered us among the nations. (verse 11) Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (verse 22)
    Such animals are helpless, unable to save themselves from the machinations of men. In such a sense the martyrs, YHWH's suffering servants, are likened to them. The likeness is also applied to the Gentiles. Master YHWH has said of Babylon:
    I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he-goats. -Jeremiah 51:40.
    The Hebrew text in verse 8 can be translated in more than one way. Some versions make it sound as though the servant is stricken in retribution for the wickedness of the people. The actual text simply says that he is Acut off because of the transgression of a guilty people. The Koren Jerusalem Bible translates verse 8b as:
    He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of the people to whom the stroke was due.
    (53:9) And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
    The Hebrew word translated here as death is plural. The ancient Greek Septuagint (LXX) offers a somewhat different reading:
    And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he practised no iniquity, nor craft with his mouth. -Brenton.
    Here a form of substitution is suggested which is much different from the usual Christian concept. See Isaiah 43:3, 4; & Proverbs 21:18.
    (53:10) Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief [footnote: Heb. made him sick]: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin [footnote: Or, when his soul shall make an offering; footnote: Heb. a trespass-offering], he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.
    Let's get this very clear. Although most versions lead us to think that the servant himself is a trespass-offering, the text can also mean that the servant is in need of one! If we supply the readings from the footnotes directly into the text, the verse states: ...he hath made him sick: when his soul shall make a trespass-offering, he shall see [his] seed....
    The Koren Jerusalem Bible translates it:
    But it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease: if his soul shall consider it a recompense for guilt [Heb. >shaam], he shall see his seed....
    The LXX contains a somewhat similar rendering:
    If ye can give an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed.... -Brenton.
    And herein lies the reason for all the servant's sufferings! This is the reason why YHWH abandoned him to the wickedness of the nations. Although the servant is not guilty of grave crimes such as fraud or violence (verse 9), he is not sinless. Through trial and adversity all his shortcomings must be blotted out (see Isaiah 44:22) before the will of YHWH can prosper in his hand. In reality, he does not atone for the world, but instead for himself, by remaining faithful throughout these sufferings.
    (53:11) He shall see the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself [footnote: Or, by his knowledge] shall my righteous servant justify many [Heb. rabbiym; footnote: Or, make many righteous]; and he shall bear their iniquities. The many nations are justified, not by the servant's blood, nor by his suffering, but by his knowledge. Conversely he is able to atone for himself by enduring their iniquities. The chapter concludes with the following:
    (53:12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great [Heb. rabbiym], and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare [Heb. naasaa] the sin of many [ Heb. rabbiym], and made [footnote: Or, maketh] intercession for the transgressors. He bore their sin by having patiently endured it. This significance of the Hebrew word is demonstrated by its usage in such texts as Jeremiah 44:22; Leviticus 19:17; Joshua 24:19; & 1 Samuel 25:28. Especially relevant is the episode recorded in Ezekiel 4:4-6, where YHWH commands the prophet Ezekiel (Yechezqael) to lie upon his left side a certain number of days, and then upon his right side a certain number of days, the number of days corresponding to the number of the years of iniquity of the houses of Israel and Judah. In so doing, he bore their iniquity, though obviously he was not punished in their place. The houses of Israel and Judah themselves were punished for their iniquities! The prophet was simply undergoing hardship because of their sins, thus serving as an object lesson. In the same way, YHWH's suffering servant bears the wickedness of the nations gone astray. As G-d's true nation of priests (Exodus 19:6) the servant intercedes with YHWH for the nations of transgressors, and teaches them knowledge of His Torah. -Malachi 2:7.

    * * * * *


    • #3
      Part three

      Evidently, the Christian understanding of Isaiah 53 is not the only possible interpretation, nor even the best one. Yet, it is also clear why many churchmen can easily employ this passage in service of their doctrine, since some of the most critical passages allow for more than one interpretation (or translation!). The soundest procedure in interpreting such ambiguous texts is to understand them in a way which will be most harmonious with un-ambiguous teachings elsewhere in the Scriptures. Christians, acting from this principle, naturally translate this text to reflect favorably on their central doctrine of vicarious atonement. However, this is a mistake, since in no uncertain terms a number of other passages in the Jewish Bible disallow such a thing as substitution. These are the texts that should decide the interpretation of Isaiah 53, rather than New Testament scripture. Even the New Testament, by incessantly citing the Jewish Bible, acknowledges the Hebrew revelation as the ultimate basis for its own authority. With this in mind, it is a good idea to take a look at what the Hebrew prophets and sages have to say on the subjects of atonement and forgiveness.


      Central to the Christian concept of atonement is the theory that ...
      Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. -Hebrews 9:22.
      Supposedly, G-d's wrath against sinners could be appeased only by the annual slaughter of thousands of sacrificial beasts. Their blood, poured out upon the altar, was required to satiate the Almighty's thirst for vengeance against the follies of man. Yet, even that was not enough. In the end, G-d's second personality had to come to earth as Jesus, in order to bear upon the cross the full penalty for the sins of the world.
      According to this theory, simple repentance, trusting in G-d, and reforming one's behavior is never, ever enough to gain G-d's forgiveness.
      By contrast, the Hebrew Bible teaches that repentance itself is the only required way to atone for sin.
      By this therefore shall the iniquity of Yaa`qov be atoned; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he makes all the stones of the [idolatrous] altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the asherim and sun images shall not remain standing. (Isaiah 27:9, Koren Jerusalem Bible)
      By mercy and truth iniquity is atoned for; and by the fear of Jehovah men depart from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)
      ...if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? saith the Lord Jehovah [Heb. >Adonay YHWH]; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live? -Ezekiel 18:21-23.
      When the subject comes up, you'll often hear someone say, Is it really possible to stop sinning?
      For, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of G-d. -Romans 3:23.
      Yet, in the book of Ezekiel it is written:
      Son of man, when a land sinneth against me by committing trespass, and I stretch out my hand upon it...and cut off from it man and beast; though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver their own souls by their righteousness. (Ezekiel 14:13, 14)
      These three men, if not perfect, were at least righteous enough, given their circumstances, to gain YHWH's approval. Despite such clear Biblical evidence, Church theology denies that there is any such thing as righteous enough. It assumes that G-d engraves our every last mistake into heavenly tablets of stone. The Hebrew psalmist assumed just the opposite:
      If thou, Jehovah, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared. (Psalm 130:3, 4)

      REPENTANCE, not innocent blood, is the price of His forgiveness. Sacrificial atonement was simply one way for man to express repentance, but was never intended to replace actual at-one-ment with G-d.

      YHWH actually condemns the idea of substitution.
      Punishing the innocent instead of the guilty is a perversion of justice.
      The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 24:16)

      In the coming era of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:29-34; compare Ezekiel 18:2, 3), the following principle will at last be put into practice:
      The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (Ezekiel 18:20)
      So how then can we turn around and claim that G-d's own Son suffered instead of them? One specific episode in the Torah provides a particularly forceful glimpse of YHWH's opinion of the doctrine of substitution. When the Israelites rebelled against YHWH and served a golden calf, Moses the Prophet sought to intercede with YHWH on their behalf. Moses said to the people, You have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up to YHWH; peradventure I shall make atonement for your sin. And Moses returned unto YHWH, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if you will forgive their sin---; and if not, blot me, I pray, out of your book which you have written.
      Yet, YHWH rejected Moses proposal.
      Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. (Exodus 32:30-33).

      Many commentators assert that animal sacrifice itself is a form of vicarious atonement. However, the sacrificial system involved other kinds of offerings as well, such as flour offerings. No one would describe a flour offering as vicarious substitution. Yet, according to Leviticus 5:11-13, such a bloodless sacrifice was perfectly acceptable as a sin-offering. Sacrificing valuable possessions such as flour, crops, and livestock penalized the sinner himself. These sacrifices were simply a part of Israel's national system of worship. For those outside of, or deprived of this system, such sacrifices are not necessary at all. Numerous Biblical texts hit this point home with striking clarity. For example, see 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 50:13, 23; 51:17-19; Isaiah 43:24-26; Hosea 6:6; 14:1, 2; Micah 6:6-8; & Mark 12:32-34. According to the book of Matthew, Yeshua` quoted twice (Matt. 9:13; 12:7) from Hosea 6:6, which reads:
      For I delight in loving-kindness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of G-d more than burnt-offerings. -Darby.
      In an either/or situation, the real power behind divine forgiveness is not the shed blood of bulls, goats, or men.... but in YHWH's delight to exhibit mercy toward the truly repentant soul. Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness. He will not always chide; neither will he keep [his] anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us after our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his lovingkindness toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14)
      Beginning in the Torah (see Exodus 34:6, 7), the Scriptures consistently describe loving-kindness and mercy as ranking among YHWH's most outstanding qualities. Though there is room for repentance and mercy in His system of justice, He is in no way indulgent toward the wicked. (Nahum 1:2-7) Yeshua`'s teachings reflect this. In a parable recorded in Matthew 18:23-35, Yeshua` told of a wicked bond-servant who owed his king a great sum of money, about 60,000,000 denarii. Rather than sell him and his household to pay it off, the king has mercy and cancels the bond-servant's debt. Thereafter, his shameless hypocrisy provokes the king, who sends him to jail anyway. The moral of this story? So shall my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts. -verse 35.
      In the above parable, there is no need for the king's son to enter the scene and pay off the man's debt. The king (representing YHWH) is far from bankrupt, and does something well within his power: just cancels it! This parable expresses a non-vicarious understanding of divine forgiveness.
      The Church theory of substitution is a scheme used to justify the worship of a new god, in this case named Jesus. So-called Christian cult experts encounter and debunk such schemes all the time. It is somewhat ironic when the cultic doctrine which shapes their own creed continues to elude them. The only way to propitiate YHWH's wrath is to remove the cause of it--- unrepentant sin. Such sin must be overcome by the sinner himself: it cannot be washed away by the shed blood of bulls, goats, or men. Despite this, the Church continues idolizing G-d's Son, bathing in His blood, bowing down to the Cross, and crediting salvation to its own extraneous system of doctrine! You do not have to be duped by these counterfeit mighty ones. Repent and trust in YHWH, for He alone is the all-sufficient author of our salvation.
      Who is a G-d like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in lovingkindness. He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.... -Micah 7:18, 19.


      • #4

        Hi Sandy,

        I thank you for these posts. If you have posted these words as encouragement for me, I do thank you for them.

        There is much deception about Messiah Yahushua and his suffering and death on the Cross. His death was not substitutional. Vicarious satisfaction is a false explanation for the role of Yahushua in our salvation. This false explanation has great deceptive power. All believe this deception save for a very few. I am one of the few, and I hope that you are also.

        Now, if Yahushua was not a substitute, what was he? Better yet, if Messiah is not a substitute, what is he? Over the years I have mocked substitutionalists by quoting this scripture to them:
        Rom 5:10
        10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to ELOHIM by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV)
        Why must we be saved by his life if salvation came through his substitutional suffering and death on the Cross? If Messiah's death was substitutional, is not it reasonable to assert that his life should also be substitutional? Since YAH does everything substitutionally for us, why should we not also expect HIM to live for us? YAH through Messiah dies, and YAH through Messiah lives. How then, Mr. or Mrs. Substitutionalist, do you ever expect to have life? Oh, I know, your life is a gift, is it not? Life comes through doing. True, life can be a gift, but then the gift must be a gift of doing. Substitutionalists would have us believe that we can do nothing. What a bunch of bull!

        Substitutionalism is a creature of Satan. It is a lie! Substitutionalism relieves the sinner of responsibility. Those who believe in substitutionalism have no power to die, and they have no power to live.

        Sincerely, Spying
        The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


        • #5
          Deliberate sin {presumption}

          ...Hello Sandy, I missed you while I was away.

          ...Spying, is there a sacrifice for {deliberately conspired sin}, that can be backed up by the Tanakh?

          30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

          31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

          12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.

          13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

          13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.

          14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt {take him from mine altar}, that he may die.

          ...It seems to me, that YHWH puts a distinction between a sin of intent and a sin that is accidental and unintended. If there is no offering for intended sin, what does that make {jesus}? There is no substitution for ones sins implied by the above verses. Each man is accountable for his sin, but the man who sins unintentionally has a priest to mediate his transgression. A deliberate sin is dealt with as David did, confronting his Eloheem directly. No one mediates Davids sin for him. So {jesus} might mediate our unintended sins, but we stand accountable before YHWH, for our intentional and conspired sin. Why does YHWH care about unintended sin? Could it be that a people who are connected to their Eloheem, through his name, still bring the unclean to his altar in their attempting to be a holy people, as YHWH requires them to be? Then to, an unintentional sin does not necessarily reflect a defiled heart, as does a heart that plots evil.



          • #6
            The High Hand!

            Hi Thummim,

            It is good to see you here again! I have been wishing for you to post here again since we had our last conversation at Qumran. You won my heart when you spoke up for me and told them all you wanted to hear what I have to say. That says alot for you, Thummim, because I know that we do not agree upon a whole lot.

            You have asked me a very good question. And I desire to answer it cautiously because it is one of those areas where the written word can be misunderstood and even twisted because of the knowledge it takes to talk about this issue.

            As far as I know, there is no sacrifice for sins committed with a high hand. Sins committed with a high hand are deliberate sins. I think all of us have a knowledge of deliberate sin in our lives. It is the sin we have committed by choice. It is the old, I know it is wrong, and I am still going to do it, type thing. The biblical sacrifices are designed to only deal with our unintentional sins only. A classic modern example is the Christian gangster who is directing the murder of his enemies behind the scenes and then goes to Mass to receive his forgiveness. I know for myself that I first began to deal with this issue of deliberate sin through masturbation. In my heart, I felt masturbation to be wrong. I would make a commitment not to do it again, and then I would go to communion in the Lutheran Church in order to receive my forgiveness, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. I believed in this forgiveness for awhile, but then I began to doubt after I found myself back every week seeking forgiveness. Thus, I saw and learned and understood exactly how traditional Christianity uses the sacrifice of Messiah in a substitutional sense. His blood was meant to pay the penalty for my habitual deliberate sin of masturbation is what I had been led to believe by them. This sounds good, but it does not work. Substitutionalism has no power to help the sinner overcome his or her sin if that should be the sinner's desire, and as you have noticed, it is not allowed under the Law. Thus, those scriptures which you quoted are very good scriptures, and traditional Christians are forced by words of Messiah Yahushua himself to come up with some kind of explanation for them.

            Messiah said concerning the Law:
            Matt 5:17-18
            17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
            18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (KJV)
            Now, most traditional Christians have this idea that the Law was done away with the suffering and death of Yahushua. I can absolutely prove that belief to be false so Numbers 15:28-31 must be taken into account as we attempt to explain what the suffering and death of Messiah Yahushua really means.

            When I say "we" here, Thummim, I am not yet referring to you. I hope that it will one day refer to you, but I know for now that you do not accept Yahushua as being the Messiah because of conflicts like the above between the traditional belief in Jesus and the Law. We will with your consent work on that right here and now.

            I am thankful to YAH that you are back.

            Sincerely, Spying
            The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


            • #7
              Sin and Sacrifice!

              Hi Everyone,

              Here are some other words of Messiah which must be considered if you as a believer believe that Messiah died in your stead to pay the penalty of your sin before ELOHIM:
              Matt 5:23-24
              23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
              24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (KJV)

              Matt 12:7
              7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. (KJV)

              Matt 9:13
              13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.(KJV)

              Luke 23:34
              34 Then said Yahushua, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do..... (KJV)
              Sincerely, Spying
              The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


              • #8

                ...Spying, a good teacher can heal a lot of guilt. The tanach does not teach that sex is evil. It teaches that it can be. There is nothing inside the tanach that says masturbation is a sin. The only account of this natural act, is in the 38th chapter of Genesis. The sin here is not that Onan masturbated, but that he didn't give his brother his seed, to continue Er's line of heirs. I've found that it is the righteous, who suffer the pangs of guilt. The unrighteous do not have to labor with this disease. You can decide not to eat or drink. You can decide not to breath. You can decide not to masturbate also. The chance of success in any of these endeavers is going to meet failure. Guilt becomes multiplied. What is natural is also the domain of GD. The potter has something to do with the pot! If I teach that an act that will be repeated, is sin, though it isn't, {it comes from within the creation were choices are kept to a minimum}, then what I really teach, is guilt to the righteous, {those who care}. Intentional sin, must first be sin. If a rebellious heart gives birth to sin, through intent, then what offering can we give, to atone for our sin? The lack of guilt that attends such a heart, tells on it's owner. How much guilt does Osama Ben Laden feel? A heart that is not in rebellion, seeks instruction. David worked out his {intentional} sin, not at the altar, but through confronting his GD in a very personal way. There was no offering he could make, after he took Uriah's wife for himself, having Uriah killed by sending him to into the hottest part of the battle. There was no sacrifice that Moses and Aaron could make to appease YHWH, allowing them to cross the Jordon into the promised land, after they made themselves the deliverer's of GD's people, and not of sanctifing YHWH as the deliverer of his people. We learn that the sins we commit unintentionally are important to YHWH. While these sins are not born in the heart, they still are an affront to YHWH. {he doesn't want his name defiled} Isaiah 53 is about making a people acceptable to there GD, and not healing sins of intent. In the end of this chapter of Isaiah, the authors people have the vindication of their Eloheem, and leave Babylon. We seem to agree, that there is no offering for intentional sin. This is a major change from the excepted view of christianity. Dealing with our intentional sins ourselves, forces us to evaluate ourselves and make the changes we need to make. While YHWH may forgive our transgressions, it's not by sacrifices that he does. YHWH doesn't need a sacrifice to remove transgression from us.



                • #9
                  Hey, if you guys want to keep up this conversation, which I am sure you will, please do. I have been waiting for this...


                  Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:


                  • #10
                    The Sperm And The Egg!

                    Hi Thummim,

                    Paul said,
                    Rom 14:23
                    23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (KJV)
                    My adolescent masturbation was not accomplished in faith. I believed masturbation to be a sin; therefore, for me it was sin, and I am glad that I was of that opinion because it forced me to seriously look at my Lutheran beliefs. Without it, I would not have been able to understand a whole host of things. Now, that I am older, I have looked upon masturbation somewhat more along the lines that you have just presented. However, I do have some reservations about it. One does become unclean through an emission of semen. It defiles the flesh. Anything that can defile the flesh is a shadow of that which can defile the spirit. So, there is more to it than you have presented.

                    Messiah said:
                    Mark 3:28-29
                    28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
                    29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: (KJV)
                    In saying that all "sins" shall be forgiven, Messiah does not distinguish between unintentional and intentional sin. Messiah lumps all sins together.

                    Messiah also said:
                    Mark 7:20-23
                    20 .......That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
                    21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
                    22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
                    23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (KJV)
                    Now, masturbation proceeds from the heart. Do the thoughts which prompt us to masturbate, are they good thoughts? When we masturbate, our seed, our strength, comes forth from us as the issue of our heart. So, in a certain sense, masturbation may be one of the most defiling of sins. Now, what do you think of that?

                    All sins of defilement shall also be forgiven the sons of men. Death is the ultimate defiler of the flesh. Death rots the flesh. Even our death shall be forgiven. It is the spirit that quickens. How does one defile the spirit within us? This we have all learned to do. To some of us, the holy spirit or seed of YAH is now being given in order to make holy our spirits. This is the Word of YAH. What happens if we should learn how to defile the holy spirit?

                    Now, YAH has given to each of us of HIS spirit through our parents. This seed or spirit was deposited in the ground. It is hidden or covered in our flesh. YAH has also given us of HIS seed or strength through the Law. Was this seed ever spilled upon the ground? (I am not arguing here, Thummim. I am just thinking out loud.) This seed was deposited by YAH in an Ark (very similar to a coffin) in a most holy and secret place. This Ark is sprinkled by the High Priest once a year with blood. The life is in the blood. So, life does enter into the holiest, and this life is deposited all over the resting place of YAH. There are a number of secret sexual things going on here, Thummim.

                    Something of great power is added to the Law of YAH in the Holy of Holies. I believe that the spiritual fulfillment of the Law is that which is added. Mercy is seated. It has the power to quicken. It is like unto our physical seed with combines with the egg in the womb. What comes forth from the Holiest is a new YAH.

                    All thanks be to MESSIAH YAHUSHUA whose life does indeed quicken!

                    Sincerely, Spying
                    The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


                    • #11

                      Hi Thummim,

                      It is very obvious to anyone who takes the time to read the Law of Moses that the Law of Sacrifice is in place to deal with sin. How does Sacrifice bring forgiveness for our unintentional sins? While the individual cannot bring sacrifices for deliberate sins, these sins perhaps are dealt with in the communal offerings?

                      How in your mind does sacrifice work forgiveness?

                      Sincerely, Spying
                      The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


                      • #12
                        It's the potters pot!

                        ...Spying, there is no forgiveness that comes from sacrifice. When YHWH is offended, he alone can forgive the offence. It doesn't require any kind of offering for YHWH to forgive. If it did, the burdon would be upon YHWH, as he would then be disallowed the discression to forgive whom he wants to forgive, without the offering.

                        Rom.14:23, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

                        …These words of Paul’s make no sense. Almost nothing is of faith. A whole world moves continually, without the help of our faith. Whither our faith is increased or decreased, the world just keeps turning. Unless you are the ultimate arbiter, your conviction of sin remains your own personal lash to go about beating upon yourself. These strikes are not by the will of GD. You are only jumping up and down at Elijahs pile of wet wood, flaying yourself, to entice your own personal god into lighting the pile. You are looking for your own Gd to verify your own understanding of his ways. You're going to be disappointed when you find out that your enemy has become the strike of your own hand. You need to open yourself to the instruction of a good teacher. It will be more comfortable to you, in the end. If YHWH distinguishes between intentional sin and unintentional sin, shouldn’t any messiah of YHWH’s, also distinguish the differences? {Intentional } sin lives in a different kind of heart, than {unintentional sin}. What is it, to blaspheme against the {holy ghost?}. I don’t think that this verse of the new testament, makes much sense. I hope it is not just a sharpened arrow that you are trying to wound me with. Is it even relevant to the conversation?

                        …Semen does not come out of the heart of man. Those things that come out of the heart of man likely have already defiled him. The rest of the things that come out of a man {or woman}, are things that GD put there. These things can only defile if they are already defiled. Does masturbation come from the heart? I thought it came from the brain. When YHWH made flesh, he called it good. Do you disagree with him? The number one commandment of YHWH, seems to be, {be fruitful and multiply}. This mitzvot seems something like YHWH saying to his creation, HAVE SEX! Masturbation is a prelude to sex. It is not separate from sex. It is a part of sex. Sex begins in the brain at YHWH’s appointed time. One needn’t be taught masturbation, it is an act that becomes self evident. Where the laws of sex are kept in the brain, you find the laws of masturbation also. The part of the brain that gives instruction for the one aspect, gives instruction to all of these functions. The potter has something to do with his pot. YHWH is the third party to sex, if he’s not really the first party to the affair. He is the pots architect. The rest of your post is too vague for me to answer.

                        (Spying says, I am just thinking out loud)

                        (I say -->) Think more quietly and write down your thoughts when you've come to some kind of conclusion.

                        Baruch hashem, ….Michael


                        • #13

                          Hello all, I really have little knowledge, so getting in here is almost silly.

                          I just wanted to comment on a single piece...


                          Rom.14:23, for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

                          You said that this makes no sense. In the light you used, that is true.

                          I think it could be safe to say Paul is talking about people, not the earth or those things.

                          1.) If I was eating Pork, and didn't honestly know it was pork, would I be held accountable? I am acctualy asking this, I don' t know another view on this. I would say no.

                          2.) If I thought I might, but didn't bother to check, would that be a sin? I would say yes, because I didn't have faith what it was. I was unsure of what I was doing, and didn't respect YHWH enough to find out what I was really eating.

                          The First Faith is present, the second it is not.

                          Spying I apologize if I screwed that up royaly, that's what I have gotten from it...

                          Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:


                          • #14
                            Forgiveness Through Sacrifice?

                            Hi Thummim,

                            David said,
                            Ps 40:6
                            6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (KJV)
                            You are not of the opinion, are you, that the sacrifices commanded by YAH are optional based upon the above statement of David or any other similar statement which may be found? To be sure, YAHWEH does not desire sin offerings, and YAHWEH definitely does not require you to sin, but once having sinned, you are required to bring your sacrifice according to the Law:
                            Lev 4:27-31
                            27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of (the) YAHWEH concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;
                            28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.
                            29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.
                            30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar.
                            31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. (KJV)

                            Num 15:27-28
                            27 And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering.
                            28 And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. (KJV)
                            So, let's suppose that YAHWEH did not really require us to do righteousness. Let's say that sacrifice is indeed optional (which in no uncertain terms, it is not). What in your mind is the mechanics behind the forgiveness that is worked through all these optional sacrifices? How does it work?

                            Sincerely, Spying
                            The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!


                            • #15
                              Ignorance Is No Excuse!

                              Hi Scarlet,

                              You would be surprised how much you know. I have been watching you a little, and, yes, you do have things to learn, but you have a zeal and eagerness that does impress me. At your age, I would have struggled for weeks struggling to put my thoughts on paper, and by the time I would have got my post together, the opportunity would have been far gone. You do have courage to enter into this conversation, and you are right in your feelings about the topic. This is where the action is at.

                              Did you see above that ignorance is not an excuse under the Law? YAH still holds the ignorant accountable. Under the Law we are responsible for our own actions, and under the Law we are also responsible for any lack of action like checking to see which type of meat is being served to us.

                              Sincerely, Spying
                              The Currahee Band Of Brothers Are Beginning To Arise In The HOLY PLACE! Listen to them!!!