|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
[This issue is a some later than the s-mail copy. Between the
s-mail and this posting or e-mailing, we have made two 600 mile
tripes to VA from IN with Rider trucks. They were long trips,
and we will detail them in the next mailing. Anyway, we are moved,
and now are trying to play catch up on our web activities.]
As usual, the following (4-02) is more than I can place in one file, so it is split up into several files.
Character First, a personal account
Misplaced Christian Allegiance
AntiChrist Messianic Judaism
What is Messianic Judaism
55 Ways you can help Israel
Missionary David Livingstone, the secret of his success
The Undressing of America
Good as Gold: Biblical money in a modern world
and I are setting out on A New Adventure
As I have mentioned in the past, and as my family and friends (including the church) know, I have been looking forward to the day when I could go full time in writing. Carol and I were looking forward to that day, and had spoken of it many times. Moreover, Carol and I discussed this fact after my heart "attack" the Lord had some major changes in store for us if I pulled through.
Then when her cancer was diagnosed, and as we talked about the whole situation, we both knew life would not be the same whether or not she came through. I also told the church then that though I did not know what was in store for us (me), there was a major shift coming. It would be a major turning point. I mentioned this desire to go "full time" in writing in a past issue of the Examiner, but I put it on hold.
However, it now appears that the Lord has opened the door for us to do just that.
I will not go into detail, but the Lord, though a series of providential moves, is permitting us to move to Front Royal, VA. Note the new mailing address. We will still have first class mail forwarded to us from Linden.
Bettie has some property that she paid off with insurance money when her husband was killed. She has two houses, a large one where her son, David, lives, and a smaller one, built in 96, where her parents lived, so she could care for them. They are both on a partially wooded 4 acre plot of land. Bettie and I had talked about moving to the smaller house in a few more years, maybe when I reach 65. However, David, who was living in the big house, felt the Lord was leading him and his wife to purchase a house of their own, so he asked us to move back there into the big house. David's offer caught us both by surprise, for we are quite content to remain where we are.
I have found in my life, and in the lives of many others, that though circumstances at times may require one to move, normally, the Lord does not move until one is content with where the Lord has him. (Philippians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Hebrews 13:5.) Furthermore, we both dread the thought of leaving, for there is so much that must be done. 19 years worth of accumulated junk is not easy to deal with.
We discussed the situation, trying to figure out a way we could make ends meet. We particularly want to go to various conferences with my material, and build a mailing list for the Examiner, giving enough income to support ourselves. We plan to go to the Southern Heritage Conference with a book table in Monroe, Louisiana, May 24, 25. Most conferences are booked up a year in advance, which we did not do this year. So we need to start booking now for next year.
We feel this is the Lord's timing for such a move, and He seems to have provided enough for basic existence. However, we will be totally dependent upon income from The Biblical Examiner to pay its printing and mailing expenses, which approaches nearly $1,000 per mailing. In the past, the Church has made up the slack in the funds to mail, but those days are over with this mailing.
Bettie's house is about two miles South of the North entrance of Skyline Drive, and the drive can be seen from the front porch. She designed and built the house in 1984, and it is designed for a writer. Her husband was probably the top WWII and Korean war aircraft history writer in America when he was killed. (See <http://www.ethell.com>) Only by God's AMAZING sovereign grace and goodness did He put Bettie and me together. (We plan to put it all in print in our upcoming book on Second Marriages.)
We will be about an hour from Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA is further East, toward DC). In the past, Bettie has been able to minister to young people who intern at HSLDA. They have since opened Patrick Henry College, which may increase our chance of ministry among the students. Both of Bettie's daughters met their future husbands through HSLDA, as Bettie and Jeff ministered there. Bettie's husband, Jeff, was a board member of HSLDA when he was killed. So she may still have good contacts there.
Carol was an only child, so we plan to take Carol's mother, Masie Love, with us, where she will live in the house with us. She is 92, and really needs to live with someone. We plan to move in the middle of June, so the next mailing will be from there.
Things have been on an "upswing" here at Linden Baptist Church, with about 6 new families uniting with our fellowship within the last year. So we are not leaving on a "downswing," as many pastors do when things are not going well. (Things seem to be doing well here, at this time.) The Lord is bringing in younger families, so maybe He is planning to bring in a younger pastor with children, and lots of fire. That would be good.
I have 19 years of my life here, plus a wife (Carol), and my prayer is that the Lord will provide a good man for the ministry here.
The church will continue to permit people to give towards us and the Examiner through the church offering, so you can continue to support us through the Linden Baptist Church, if you like. Just be sure to designate what the gift is for. We will be more dependent on that kind of giving for us and for the Examiner than we have ever been before.
We have said in the past that we only mail as time and finances permit, but at times, the finances came from the church. Those days are over with this mailing. From now on, we will be dependant upon the gifts of those who receive this material.
Revelation 3:7 ¶ And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
I have been patiently
waiting for the Lord to open doors, and at this point, this seems
to be that open door.
The date for the next mailing is very unsettled, for we must move, settle in, make arrangements for printing and get our mailing permit straightened out before I can get another mailing ready. We will also lose the help of all the good people at Linden, who have worked to get the printed material ready to mail. I will be starting over again from scratch (except for the Examiner) at 60 years old. (I will be 61 in August.) But, Lord willing, the next mailing will begin a consistent schedule of mailing at least every couple of months.
There is a lot to do. Pray for us as we take this step of faith.
Many folks have mentioned to me that they do not have a good church. Is that just an excuse not to give, or is it really true. If really true, then please consider supporting The Biblical Examiner with the Lord's money.
If this material has been and is a blessing to you, please support the Examiner with prayer and the funds the Lord has provided for you.
Our new address
PO Box 81, Bentonville VA 22610 (540 622 2525)
Pray about supporting the Lord's ministry here. You can support us through the Linden Baptist Church (PO Box 6, Linden IN 47955) if you like. Be sure to degisnate where the gift is to go, and they will send it to us.
These mailings have
required a lot of work on the part of several people. Though we
send the file out to be printed, each piece must be folded, tabbed
and labeled. That takes the better part of a day with several
people. This mailing is dedicated to those who have given of their
time to help get his out. I sure don't' know what we will do without
the many hands to get this together after we move. There are pictures
of the group throughout this mailing.
MY MOST HEART FELT THANKS TO EACH ONE.
A personal account
By Dale Cosby
In the last edition of the BIBLICAL EXAMINER, there was an article on a program called "Character First" which I found to be interesting. To start with, let me say that the article was excellent in exposing the fundamental flaws of character without Christ. Having had the opportunity of working with this program, I would like to give a few first-hand examples to substantiate that article.
In January of 2001, I was asked to volunteer for the program Character First. My family was one of the original families in the Advanced Training Institute and I was home schooled all the way through, so I was a natural candidate for the program. (All of the volunteers that I worked with were Christian young people from about 14 to 20 years of age and most were home-schooled).
In truth, I must admit I had some doubts about the program, but it was actually worse than expected. The first day I was told that mentioning Christ was taboo, even though we were told that the purpose of the program was to get a "foot in the door" to "witness" to the kids. I could never quite figure out how we were to witness about Christ without being able to mention His name.
The basic message of the principles being taught was, in essence, "have character and you will be successful". Each week there would be a poem that would end with the line: "my character is what will make a leader out of me." Because the Bible was not used to establish the definition of character or of success, self-elevation was the standard and motivating factor for everything that was taught.
The stories were filled with examples from nature and history of how character leads to success, but it is ironic that the type of success implied by this program (the prosperity of this world) is often obtained by ruthless dishonesty and disregard to all ethics. It is quite possible for a child to sincerely try to obtain these "character qualities" only to find that a world without Christ is "survival of the fittest."
However that is really not likely because the underlying message is not "have character and be successful" but rather "obey those who have the power to promote you and you will be successful". The CF definition of responsibility is, "knowing and doing what is expected of me." The obvious question that screamed to be answered was "whose expectations should I meet?" Because this question was never directly answered, it can only be answered by "whomever it is in my best interest to meet." You can see how this idea was very effective in Nazi Germany. If "knowing and doing what Hitler expects of me" is the definition of responsibility and the way to success then to oppose him is derelict in ones duty.
One cannot help but shudder to think of the devastation that would arise from such "statist" thinking. However, just because there will be long term consequences doesn't mean that there are not short-term benefits in the classroom. CF has greatly reduced disruption in the classroom, so as you might imagine, the teachers love it. But the kids are merely pacified and not really disciplined and over the three months that I was involved, I didn't really see any general improvement in the behavior of the kids, but rather I noticed a waning interest as the weeks past. There wasn't much desire to do anything because it was right but only because of the many incentives and rewards for doing so. Ironically, a program that was intent on teaching character had to rely on bribes to accomplish discipline.
However, there were even worse consequences. The kids that went along with the program and learned the principles are, I fear now too good for God. After all, they learned to have character without Christ. Those who rejected the character principles altogether, will now be much less receptive to the gospel because they have rejected anything "good." The "good kids" will now be too good for God and the "bad kids" have rejected any authority over themselves whatsoever.
In an attempt to gain a foothold into the public schools Character First has not introduced the gospel but reinforced the humanistic philosophies already being taught. Teaching character without Christ is no threat to the humanist agenda. All they have done is to make the wicked more self-righteous, enforced children in their rebellion against God and given credibility to a failed school system, which, if left to its own devices, would collapse and be exposed for the fraud that it is.
Editor's note: Dale told me that they were not even allowed to pray if a student was present. A student had been sent to a room where the workers were meeting, and they could not pray because the student was in the same room.
(Here is only one
of many letters we receive. Because of space, I seldom reproduce
letters, though I should make room for them.)
Pastor Ovid Need jr. I thank you and most of all God for the little book I ran into named The Other Jesus - The Gospel Perverted. I've always looked for the truth of the God's good news (Gospel), and have been very careful in not believing in what man says unless it's biblical. I thank God He has always lead me to the truth. With the help of God and this little book, I have come to realize that God, when giving me conviction, had always been telling me to trust in Him, trust in what He did for us since the beginning. On this day, I not only confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, but trust in His works, in what He did for me on the cross at Calvary.
My name is Alfonso C. I'm 23 years old, and am in prison in California. I know this is the true message of God, to trust in what He did. Because He gave Himself, I am saved, not because I ask Him to come into my life and heart! On this day on, I am truly saved because I've trusted in Jesus Christ. I also was baptized today. I also was baptized today in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe I was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, even though they said Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Please write back and
God Bless you.
Alfonso Casares T-09690
B-2 129 up
PO Box 5248
Corcoran, CA 9321
"Bush: US Won't Let Israel Be Crushed
Fri Apr 26, 1:25 PM ET, By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer."
"GOP Eyes Jewish Vote with Bush Tack on Israel. President's Policy Has Community Leaders Questioning Democratic Allegiance
By Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, April 30, 2002, p. A07." <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5101-2002Apr29.html>
The reason Bush will
not "let Israel be crushed" is because of the political
pressure from the big "Jewish" money and from some who
are misguided in the Christian community. Here is an example of
the propaganda that is being disseminated by professed Christians.
I have no doubt that they are sincere, believing the traditions
they have been taught, but their sincerity does not make them
Recently, I received an e mail from the "UMJCNews." I responded to the e mail with a question, which was answered by Sam Richardson, evidently the director of Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UJMC).
Sam Richardson [UMJCNews, < email@example.com >] sent out an e-mail titled, "55 Ways You Can Help Israel" (found elsewhere in this issue.) In the 55 Ways, there was not one mention of the Christians who are suffering in Israel, Palestine nor elsewhere in the world. Nor was there any mention of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a list that could have easily been put out by the Israeli government. So I answered the e-mail with this question:
TBE, "Are you on Israel's payroll?"
SR, "What an interesting, and loaded question..."
TBE, "You did not answer it."
SR, "Well, since Israel is (unfortunately) a Socialist state, almost 50% of all Israelis work for the government in some form. As well, 95% of all Jewish men (and most Druse, some Arabs) are in the IDF reserves... if you count them, the number most likely goes up to 75%. However, I think you will find that most Americans, Brits, Europeans, Aussies and New Zealander's (Jews and Christians) who support Israel do so out of sincere conviction and deep religious belief. They give money to Israel and, if they are fortunately [sic], the only payment they will ever receive is the opportunity to visit and demonstrate their love for The Land and the people. I fall into the second category :-)
BTW - Why do you ask?"
TBE, "Primarily because you sound like someone with a mission -- that is, drum up both financial and political support for that antichrist nation, particularly considering the e mail you sent out some time ago, "Should Believers support Israel."
In addition, that political nation over there has nothing to do with the Biblical nation of Israel. When I asked the Israeli government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Who is Israel? - Who is a Jew?", I was told,
"The term Israelite is purely Biblical. An Israeli is a citizen of Israel, regardless of religion. A Jew is a person anywhere in the world born to a Jewish mother, or converted to Judaism, who is thus identified as a member of the Jewish people and religion.
"Information Division" Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org -URL address:
Judaism is a religion, and not a Biblical one at that, just like Islam is a religion. According to the official statement, the nation of Israel is strictly a political entity, and a Jew is someone who follows the Jewish religion, and neither has anything to do with the Bible nor with Abraham. "Israel is purely Biblical," yet they refuse to be called Israelites.
Lewis Way did his job well, when he developed the doctrine of the regathering of Israel, quite contrary to the orthodox Christian faith of his day. The Jewish financiers of C.I.Scofield did their job well, and Scofield has persuaded American Christians to support an antichrist nation. (See Death of the Church Victorious.)
Also, see under Israel on the topic page. No need to re-plow old ground. My book is posted at <http://www.biblicalexaminer.org/Isreal.pdf>"
SR, "Looks like we have a significant disagreement. I'm sure you'll "see the light" when Messiah returns. For now, I'll take you off of our list so that we don't offend you further. Sam"
ON, "I must admit, your e-mails do not offend, but give me good things to preach about, to show how deceived the church has been in supporting the antichrist religion. Certainly, the Lord Jesus will come again, and the believers will rise to meet Him in the air, and all things will be over. But my Lord conquers with His spirit of Grace, not needing a bloody sword."
SR, "I will pray for the wisdom of your flock to see through your hatred of the Apple of God's Eye - you might want to re-read Romans 9-11. If you respect good scholarship, you may want to check out Dr. Mark Nanos' "Mystery of Romans" and "Irony of Galatians", both available on Amazon.com.
This should be the end of our communications."
ON, Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Every scholar in the world can line up and proclaim that the political Israel is the Israel of God today, but that will not change God's word.
Like I said, I like UMJC's e-mails because they give me so much to write about.
The 55 things UNJC asked for (55 Ways You Can Help Israel, by Rabbi Steve Mesarch, in this issue) to help the nation Israel and the "doctrinal statement, "WHAT IS MESSIANIC JUDAISM" call for some serious articles. The 55 things show how Christian concern is being turned toward a piece of dirt and to a pagan religion. Moreover, I believe the "doctrinal statement" (see "statement" in this issue) borders on denying the Biblical Christian faith. I will cover many of the passages that are currently misused to support the antichrist nation, Israel. It is amazing how professed Christians love a piece of dirt and a pagan, antichrist people more than they love the blood bought church of the Lord Jesus Christ and other believers. Where is the concern for the multitudes of Christians being slaughtered in Muslim countries? But then again, I realize that UMJC sees the Christ of the Bible as the "Gentile Jesus," so it appears it has little or no allegiance to Him nor to His blood bought church.
Was not Jesus a Jew, and the apostles upon whom the church was built, Jews? How can it be said then that it is a Gentile church when it was founded by "Jews"? Did not Paul praise God that God's grace delivered him from the Jews' religion? (Gal. 1:10-15.) Yet the UMJC seeks to promote the very religion Paul and the Lord Himself fought against.
The "apple of God's eye" (Zech. 2:8, &c.) is the redeemed, that is, the Church, and it was for the Church, not a piece of land, that Christ suffered and died. God is the enemy of the enemy of His people, and His people are the ones He died to redeem.
(3.) What he will do for his church shall be an evident proof of God's tender care of it and affection to it: He that touches you touches the apple of his eye. This is a high expression of God's love to his church. By his resentment of the injuries done to her it appears how dear she is to him, how he interests himself in all her interests, and takes what is done against her, not only as done against himself, but as done against the very apple of his eye, the tenderest part, which nature has made very fine, has put a double guard upon, and taught us to be in a special manner careful of, and which the least touch is a great offence to. This encourages the people of God to pray with David (Ps 17:8), Keep me as the apple of thy eye; and engages them to do as Solomon directs (Pr 7:2), to keep his law as the apple of their eye. Some understand it thus:
"He that touches you touches the apple of his own eye; whoever do you any injury will prove, in the issue, to have done the greatest injury to themselves." (Matthew Henry.)
In Acts 9:5, the risen Christ rebuked Saul for persecuting Him, and Paul was following the "Jews' religion." It was the followers of the "Gentile Jesus" that Paul was persecuting, and Christ took it personal. The "apple of his eye",
fitly describes the feeble state of Christ's people; and how soon and easily they may be disturbed, distressed, and hurt by their enemies: and as this is a principal part of the eye, and a part of a man's self, dear and valuable to him; so are the Lord's people parts, as it were, of himself; they are members of his body, closely united to him; and whatever injury is done to them he reckons as done to himself: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Ac 9:5 and being highly esteemed by him, and having the strongest affection for them, he resents every affront given them, and will punish all that hurt them; and exceeding careful is he of them, to keep and preserve them from being hurt: "he kept him as the apple of his eye", De 32:10, which, being such an useful and tender part as it is, it is wonderfully provided for by nature against all events... (John Gill, Online Bible, CD.)
Sadly, the Church in general is looking the other way as "the apple of God's eye," Christians, world-wide are being slaughtered by the ungodly for their testimony (e.g., see http://www.frontline.org.za).
I love the "apple of God's eye" that is, the blood bought church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have given the best part of my life for it, as have multitudes of other pastors. But I have tried not to sacrifice my family for it.
End of communication.
Yes, Paul was made all things to all men, that he might by all means save some. Unto the Jews, he became as a Jew, (I cor. 9:19ff., but did he offer a "Gentile Jesus" for the Gentiles, and a "Jewish Jesus" for the Jews, as implied by the UMJC "doctrinal statement" (reproduced in this issue)? What does the book of Hebrews say about those converted from the Jew's religion attempting to retain the old "Jewish culture", as implied by UMJC?
The apple of the eye is the pupil, or aperture, through which rays pass to the retina. It is the tenderest part of the eye. It is the member which we most sedulously guard from hurt as being the dearest of our members; the one which feels most acutely the slightest injury, and the loss of which is irreparable.
Note the reflexes God has given us to protect the eye. When I have the glaucoma test with the puff of air, the technician must tell me to hold my eye open, because it blinks so fast they cannot get a good reading. The aperture is extremely tender, and must be protected, which is why your employer insists you ware safety glasses. David tells us that the apple of God's eye is His elect, those for whom He died, both Old Testament saints and New Testament saints.
Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
In Acts 9:5, the risen Christ rebuked Saul for persecuting Him, and Paul was following the "Jews' religion." It was the followers of the "Gentile Jesus" that Paul was persecuting, and Christ took it as a personal attack upon Himself.
The apple of God's eye describes the apparent feeble state of Christ's people. They do not take up arms and tanks and attack their enemies, though there are times when they must stand in self-defense, such as in Sudan where they are being attacked with helicopters and heavy artillery. Notice how easily the church is distressed and hurt by its enemies.
Notice also whom Christ loves:
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6 ¶ I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Christ gave Himself
for His people, not for a piece of dirt over in Palestine, nor
for a group of people who follow an antichrist religion, Judaism.
Did Christ die for Muslims? Did Christ die for Catholics? Did
Christ die for Baptists? Did Christ die for the elect?
Thus any teaching that says Christ loves dirt and people who deny Him more than He loves those for whom He gave His life must be a false religion.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Sad to say, many husbands expect their wives to give themselves for them, the husbands.
Christ gave Himself for the Church. He DID NOT GIVE HIMSELF FOR a piece of dirt over in the Middle East. If Christianity would get as worked up over the ungodly's attack against the church that Christ loved so much He gave His life, if Christianity would get worked up over the war against the Church as they do over the war in the Middle East, we would read,
"Bush: US Won't Let The Church Be Crushed"
The email, 55 Ways
You Can Help Israel sparked my interest in UMJC doctrine.
So I looked on their web site to see a little about this group
who desires to accomplish the impossible task of following both
the pagan Jewish religion and Christianity. (They evidently believe
that a man can indeed serve two masters, and that redemption can
be merited. See points #20 & #53.) I have reproduced their
"doctrinal statement" in this issue, and here are some
things to which I would like to draw your attention. I use the
terms as UMJC uses them, though in Christ, there is NO Jew nor
Gentile. (Rom. 10:12, Gal. 3:28, Col. 3:11.)
I want it understood that in reproducing the doctrinal statement as posted by UMJC, I do not believe that all who claim to be MESSIANIC JEWS hold to what is said on the statement. We post the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 as our confession of faith, but in so doing, we certainly do not imply that all Baptists hold to that confession. The following deals with the statement as posted by UMJC, and it is not intended to identify anyone except those responsible for what it says and for posting the statement.
There are some lengthy quotes included, but each is summed up at its end.
Observe about the statement:
It implies that there is a "Gentile Christianity," which requires the balance of a Jewish Christianity, and the Jewish Christianity is superior because it follows the rites and rituals of the Jews' religion. It seems they have a special "Jewish" Bible, one with the books of Galatians and Hebrews missing. Galatians identifies the true Israel of God, those in Christ, and Hebrews tells us that Christ replaced the "High Holy Days." (Col. 2:14.)
It implies that it is a shame to be called a Christian, or a follower of Christ. Also implied is a distinction between the "Gentile Jesus" and a "Jewish Messiah." Note here the avoidance of the name "Jesus." (The same avoidance seems to be common among some Christians, which I do not understand.")
It claims zeal for the "Torah," which should sound the alarm for anyone who has followed the issue at all:
Torah (fully Masseketh Sepher Torah, rps tksm hrwj ), or Treatise of the Law, is a Talmudic treatise containing enactments as to the manner in which, and the material on which, the law is to be written. The five chapters of which this treatise consist are full of information, especially the first and fourth; the former containing some notices concerning the Sept., [Septuagint, ed.] the latter bearing on the sacred text. (McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia, s.v., "Torah." Ages Software, CD.)
Michael Hoffman makes his relentless case with massive documentation taken directly from the canonical texts and the leading rabbis. He demonstrates how the ritual show of the Torah, with its inscrutable text, lays the foundation for rabbinical "interpretation" without which no one can "understand the holy writings." ... Judaism is a man-made religion of Talmudic tradition and Kabbalistic (Babylonian) superstition. It represents the institutionalized nullification of Biblical law and doctrine. Judaism's God is NOT the God of the Bible, but the strange gods of Talmud and Kabbalah and the racial self-worship they inculcate! (Book review of JUDAISM'S STRANGE GODS by Michael A Hoffman II. TBE, Spring, 2002. Someone told me after the Spring issue of TBE that Mr. Hoffman is "Identity," which I did not know. However, I do not believe that changes the facts revealed in his book. The review is posted on our web site.)
The "Torah" is not just the law, but it is a combination of law and traditions, among many other things. It is a sad day indeed when professed Christians hold to Torah equal with or even above the Word of God, both Old and New Testaments.
UJMC identifies the religion founded upon the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Christianity, is identified as a "foreign religion." However, from my limited knowledge of Scripture, Christianity was founded by a member of the tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ, who restricted His call for disciples to only members of the 12 tribes of Israel. The religion I follow, Christianity, is " built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20). Thus, Christianity is a "Jewish" religion, for it was founded by "Jews" who were followers of a "Jew," so in reality, the "Gentiles" follow a foreign religion.
The UJMC seeks to make a distinction between a "Gentile church culture" and a "Jewish" church "culture." However, Christianity is clearly a "Jewish" (in the Biblical sense of the word, not its modern corruption) religion which started in the "Jewish" synagogues. Are not the deacons today a result of a requirement established by some "Jews"? (Acts 6.) The distinction the UJMC seeks to make is no more than a holdover from the old Jewish hope that was laid to rest by the "Gentile Jesus," as documented in my book, Israel's Identity/Israel's Conversion. (One wonders if this may not be a reason the UJMC rejects the "Gentile Jesus" of the NT He stood against the very thing this anti - "Gentile Jesus" group is seeking to do.)
Also, note the UJMC's professed love here is not for the Church, for which the Lord Jesus Christ (the "Gentile Jesus"), died, but it is for a pagan group of people who deny Christ, and for a piece of Palestine dirt, for which the "Gentile Jesus" did not die. However, the UJMC apparently willing to see many US Soldiers die in order to keep that land in pagan, antichrist hands, the national Israel.
Observe that this "doctrinal statement" defines the promised land as a location in the Middle East, rather than the promised land being Christ. (Heb. 4.) The statement also reveals an animosity toward the "Gentile Jesus," and that animosity seems to be carried over toward the church for which the "Gentile Jesus" died. Thus, it makes no provision for the church. Rather, it takes all the points that Scripturally belong to the church and places those things to a nation and religion that rejects the "Gentile Jesus."
Is the name CHRISTIANS, a "pagan" name?
And the disciples were called Christians, etc. As this became the distinguishing name of the followers of Christ, it was worthy of record. The name was evidently given because they were the followers of Christ. But by whom, or with what views it was given, is not certainly known. Whether it was given by their enemies in derision, as the names Puritan, Quaker, Methodist, etc., have been; or whether the disciples assumed it themselves; or whether it was given by Divine intimation, has been a matter of debate. That it was given in derision is not probable. For in the name Christian there was nothing dishonourable. To be the professed friends of the Messiah, or the Christ, was not with Jews a matter of reproach, for they all professed to be the friends of the Messiah. The cause of reproach with the disciples was that they regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah; and hence, when they wished to speak of them with contempt, they would speak of them as Galilaeans, Ac 2:7 or as Nazarenes, Ac 24:6 "And a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes." It is possible that the name might have been given to them as a mere appellation, without intending to convey by it any reproach. The Gentiles would probably use this name to distinguish them; and it might have become thus the common appellation. It is evident from the New Testament, I think, that it was not designed as a term of reproach. It is but twice used besides this place: Ac 26:28, "Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian; " 1Pe 4:16, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed." No certain argument can be drawn in regard to the source of the name from the word which is used here. The word crhmatizw used here, means,
(1.) to transact any business; to be employed in accomplishing anything, etc. This is its usual signification in the Greek writers. It means,
(2.) to be divinely admonished, to be instructed by a Divine communication, etc., Mt 2:12 Lu 2:26 Ac 10:22 Heb 8:5 11:7 12:26. It also means,
(3.) to be named, or called, in any way, without a Divine communication. Ro 7:3, "She shall be called an adulteress." It cannot be denied, however, that the most usual signification in the New Testament is that of a Divine monition, or communication; and it is certainly possible that the name was given by Barnabas and Saul. I incline to the opinion, however, that it was given to them by the Gentiles who were there, simply as an appellation, without intending it as a name of reproach, and that it was readily assumed by the disciples as a name that would fitly designate them. If it had been assumed by them, or if Barnabas and Saul had conferred the name, the record would probably have been to that effect; not simply that they "were called," but that they took this name, or that it was given by the apostles. It is, however, of little consequence whence the name originated. It soon became a name of reproach; and has usually been in all ages since, by the wicked, the gay, the licentious, and the ungodly. It is, however, an honoured name; the most honourable appellation that can be conferred on a mortal. It suggests at once to a Christian the name of his great Redeemer; the idea of our intimate relation to him; and the thought that we receive him as our chosen Leader, the source of our blessings, the author of our salvation, the fountain of our joys. It is the distinguishing name of all the redeemed. It is not that we belong to this or that denomination; it is not that our names are connected with high and illustrious ancestors; it is not that they are recorded in the books of heralds; it is not that they stand high in courts, and among the gay, and the fashionable, and the rich, that true honour is conferred on men. These are not the things that give distinction and peculiarity to the followers of the Redeemer. It is that they are Christians; that this is their peculiar name, and by this they are known; that this at once suggests their character, their feelings, their doctrines, their hopes, their joys. This binds them all togethera name which rises above every other appellation; which unites in one the inhabitants of distant nations and tribes of men; which connects the extremes of society, and places them, in most important respects, on a common level; and which is a bond to unite in one family all those who love the Lord Jesus, though dwelling in different climes, speaking different languages, engaged in different pursuits in life, and occupying distant graves at death. He who lives according to the import of this name is the most blessed and eminent of mortals. The name shall be had in remembrance when the names of royalty shall be remembered no more, and when the appellations of nobility shall cease to amuse or to dazzle the world. (Barnes' Notes, Online Bible, CD.)
Christians became the distinguishing
name of the followers of the Jewish carpenter, Jesus Christ. Paul
was not afraid of being identified as a Christian, and he was
a "Hebrew of the Hebrews." He doctrine he preached to
Agrippa was clearly the Christian doctrine, and Peter tells us
not to be ashamed of being Christians. Admittedly, the name Christians
was probably meant by the ungodly as a reproach, but it is a mark
of high distinction. For it identifies us as the people of the
great Redeemer. Evidently, those who want to avoid the name of
Christ, Christian, are looking for another redeemer. (Mat.
11:2, 3.) The problem the Jews had with Christ was the fact that
He did not come as a conquering hero, so they are still looking
for Him. (Jn. 7:31, 41, 42.) It is Christ who is the author of
our salvation, and any believer should be proud to bear His name,
"Yeshua did not condemn these traditions..." Then what did He and the apostles do? (Mat. 15:2-6, Mark 7:3, 9, Acts 15:10, Gal. 1:14, Col. 2:8.)
Though there are many more clearly antiChristian points in the UMJC statement, let me close with this lengthy quote from Keil-Delitzsch's Commentary on the Old Testament (c. 1833, which no pastor's library should be without):
As the Hebrew `d[æ , like the German bis, is not always used in an exclusive sense, but is frequently abstracted from what lies behind the terminus ad quem mentioned, it by no means follows from the words, "the Lord rejected Israel...to this day," that the ten tribes returned to their own country after the time when our books were written, viz., about the middle of the sixth century B.C. And it is just as impossible to prove the opposite view, which is very widely spread, namely, that they are living as a body in banishment even at the present day. It is well known how often the long-lost ten tribes have been discovered, in the numerous Jewish communities of southern Arabia, in India, more especially in Malabar, in China, Turkistan, and Cashmir, or in Afghanistan (see Ritter's Erdkunde, x. p. 246), and even in America itself; and now Dr. Asahel Grant (Die Nestorianer oder die zehn Stämme) thinks that he has found them in the independent Nestorians and the Jews living among them; whereas others, such as Witsius (Dekaful. c. iv.ff.), J. D. Michaelis (de exsilio decem tribuum, comm. iii.), and last of all Robinson in the word quoted by Ritter, l. c. p. 245 (The Nestorians, etc., New York, 1841), have endeavoured to prove that the ten tribes became partly mixed up with the Judaeans during the Babylonian captivity, and partly attached themselves to the exile who were led back to Palestine by Zerubbabel and Ezra; that a portion again became broken up at a still later period by mixing with the rest of the Jews, who were scattered throughout all the world after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, and a further portion a long time ago by conversion to Christianity, so that every attempt to discover the remnants of the ten tribes anywhere must be altogether futile.
This view is in general the correct one, though its supporters have mixed up the sound arguments with many that are untenable. For example, the predications quoted by Ritter (p. 25), probably after Robinson (viz., Jer 50:4-5,17,19, and Ezek 37:11ff.), and also the prophetic declarations cited by Witsius (v. §§11-14: viz., Isa 14:1; Mic 2:12; Jer 3:12; 30:3-4; 33:7-8), prove very little, because for the most part they refer to Messianic times and are to be understood spiritually. So much, however, may certainly be gathered from the books of Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, that the Judaeans whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive were not all placed in the province of Babylonia, but were also dispersed in the different districts that constituted first the Assyrian, then the Chaldaean, and afterwards the Persian empire on the other side of the Euphrates, so that with the cessation of that division which had been so strictly maintained to suit the policy of the Israelitish kings, the ancient separation would also disappear, and their common mournful lot of dispersion among the heathen would of necessity bring about a closer union among all the descendants of Jacob; just as we find that the kings of Persia knew of no difference between Jews and Israelites, and in the time of Xerxes the grand vizier Haman wanted to exterminate all the Jews (not the Judaeans merely, but all the Hebrews). Moreover, the edict of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4), "who among you of all his people," and that of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:13), "whoever in my kingdom is willing of the people of Israel," gave permission to all the Israelites of the twelve tribes to return to Palestine. And who could maintain with any show of reason, that no one belonging to the ten tribes availed himself of this permission?
And though Grant argues, on the other side, that with regard to the 50,000 whom Cyrus sent away to their home it is expressly stated that they were of those "whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away into Babylon" (Ezra 2:1), with which 2 Kings 1:5 may also be compared, "then rose up the heads of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites, etc.;" these words apply to the majority of those who returned, and undoubtedly prove that the ten tribes as such did not return to Palestine, but they by no means prove that a considerable number of members of the remaining tribes may not have attached themselves to the large number of citizens of the kingdom of Judah who returned. And not only Lightfoot (Hor. hebr. in Eph 1 ad Cor. Addenda ad c. 14, Opp. ii. p. 929) and Witsius (p. 346), but the Rabbins long before them in Seder Olam rab. c. 29, p. 86, have inferred from the fact that the number of persons and families given separately in Ezra 2 only amounts to 30,360, whereas in v. 64 the total number of persons who returned is said to have been 42,360 heads, besides 7337 men-servants and maid-servants, that this excess above the families of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, who are mentioned by name, may have come from the ten tribes.
Moreover, those who returned did regard themselves as the representatives of the twelve tribes; for at the dedication of the new temple (Ezra 6:17) they offered "sin-offerings for all Israel, according to the number of the twelve tribes." And those who returned with Ezra did the same. As a thanksgiving for their safe return to their fatherland, they offered in sacrifice "twelve oxen for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven sheep, and twelve he-goats for a sin-offering, all as a burnt-offering for Jehovah" (Ezra 8:35). There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of those who returned with Zerubbabel and Ezra belonged to the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi; which may be explained very simply from the fact, that as they had been a much shorter time in exile, they had retained a much stronger longing for the home given by the Lord to their fathers than the tribes that were carried away 180 years before. But that they also followed in great numbers at a future time, after those who had returned before had risen to a state of greater ecclesiastical and civil prosperity in their own home, is an inference that must be drawn from the fact that in the time of Christ and His apostles, Galilee, and in part also Peraea, was very densely populated by Israelites; and this population cannot be traced back either to the Jews who returned to Jerusalem and Judaea under Zerubbabel and Ezra, or to the small number of Israelites who were left behind in the land when the Assyrian deportation took place.
On the other hand, even the arguments adduced by Grant in support of his view, viz., (1) that we have not the slightest historical evidence that the ten tribes every [sic] left Assyria again, (2) that on the return from the Babylonian captivity they did not come back with the rest, prove as argumenta a silentio but very little, and lose their force still more if the assumptions upon which they are based-namely, that the ten tribes who were transported to Assyria and Media had no intercourse whatever with the Jews who were led away to Babylon, but kept themselves unmixed and quite apart from the Judaeans, and that as they did not return with Zerubbabel and Ezra, they did not return to their native land at any later period-are, as we have shown above, untenable. Consequently the further arguments of Grant, (3) that according to Josephus (Ant. xi. 5, 2) the ten tribes were still in the land of their captivity in the first century, and according to Jerome (Comm. on the Prophets) in the fifth; and (4) that in the present day they are still in the country of the ancient Assyrians, since the Nestorians, both according to their own statement and according to the testimony of the Jews there, as Beni Yisrael, and that of the ten tribes, and are also proved to be Israelites by many of the customs and usages which they have preserved (Die Nestor. pp. 113ff.); prove nothing more than that there may still be descendants of the Israelites who were banished thither among the Jews and Nestorians living in northern Assyria by the Uramiah-lake, and by no means that the Jews living there are the unmixed descendants of the ten tribes.
The statements made by the Jews lose all their importance from the fact, that Jews of other lands maintain just the same concerning themselves. And the Mosaic manners and customs of the Nestorians prove nothing more than that they are of Jewish origin. In general, the Israelites and Jews who have come into heathen lands from the time of Salmanasar and Nebuchadnezzar onwards, and have settled there, have become so mixed up with the Jews who were scattered in all quarters of the globe from the time of Alexander the Great, and more especially since the destruction of the Jewish state by the Romans, that the last traces of the old division into tribes have entirely disappeared. (Keil-Delitzsch, footnote at 2 Kings 17:22, 23. AGES, DVD. See us about ordering information on these study aids.)
According to this very able Bible scholar, "every attempt to discover the remnants of the ten tribes anywhere must be altogether futile." We must also add that those not only are a waste of time, but they are contrary to the Word of God, which destroyed any distinction between "Jew and Gentile." The distinction today is between "Saved and unsaved." "To be a Jew in this sense was to be one of the covenant people of God, a member of the true Church":
We have then the protasis of a sentence of which the apodosis does not follow: `But if thou art called a Jew, and hast the law, thou shouldest act according to it;' comp. 2 Peter 2:4. Or the answering clause may be found in ver. 21, `If thou art called a Jew,' etc., `teachest thou then ( oun ) not thyself?' Winer, § 63, 1:1. Art called, ejponoma>zh| , called after, or in addition to; a sense insisted on here by Theodoret, who says, " oujk ei+pen ojnoma>zh|, ajll ' ejponoma>zh| ." Bengel, Köllner, Meyer, and others, take the same view of the meaning of the word: `Besides your proper name, you call yourself a Jew.' But as the compound word is used for the simple one in Genesis 4:17, 25, 26, and elsewhere, and as Jew was then the common name of the people, it is better rendered, thou art called. ' Ioudai~ov , a descendant of Judah, in the New Testament applied to all the Israelites, as inhabitants of Judea. It was considered a title of honor, not only on account of its etymology, hd:Why" , meaning praised, Genesis 49:8, but because it designated the people of God. Comp. vers. 28, 29, and Revelation 2:9: "I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and are not." To be a Jew in this sense was to be one of the covenant people of God, a member of the theocracy, or of the true Church. (Hodge, Romans 2:17. AGES, DVD.)
Paul did say that
he was made all things to all men, that I might by all means
save some. (1 Cor. 9:19-23.) But did he follow "the Jew's
religion" again so that he might reach the Jews? Did he offer
a one Jesus to the Gentiles and one Jesus to the Jews? Does the
New Testament restore the division between the Jews and Gentiles
as the UMJC apparently, according to the way their statement reads,
seeks to do? Are they trying to put the "veil of the temple"
back together? (Mk. 5:36.) I do not see how either assumption
can be supported from Scripture. Their statement appears to be
an attempt to rebuild the very wall of separation the apostles
worked so hard to dismantle.
I must confess, I do not understand why professed Christians want to return to the old dead corpse of the "Jews' religion," particularly when Paul praised God that God's grace delivered him from "the Jews' religion." (Gal. 1:10-15.) But maybe that is why those who want to be identified with that dead corpse say that Christ is the "Gentile Jesus," and thus reject Him.
Midst all the turmoil, I do see God's hand. The situation in the Middle East and the misplaced love of many Christians for a piece of dirt and a Christless religion will force the Christian/Muslim conflict to the forefront. In support of anti-Christian Israel, the US will stand against Islam.
is the belief that Yeshua is the redeemer spoken of in the Tenach
[O.T.]. That He is the Messiah for whom our Jewish people all
over the world, and throughout history have been waiting for.
There is much "alien" culture that surrounds Gentile
Christianity, which makes it unpalatable to most Jewish people.
Jews will nearly always reject the Gentile Jesus as being the
Messiah, but will much more readily accept the Jewish Yeshua as
being their Messiah.
Most Messianic Jews are much more "zealous for the Law (Torah)" than their Gentile Christian counterparts. In this, they are following the example of the first century Messianic Jews, who were also "zealous for Torah" (Acts 15:19-21; 21:17-27).
Most Messianic Jews refrain from calling themselves "Christians", which is Greek terminology. They prefer more Hebraic terms, such as "Messianic Jews". The first use of the term Christian was in Antioch, among the Gentile believers (Acts 11:26). Rav Shaul (Paul), as a Jew, simply preferred to say, "I am a Jew." The sect of Jewish believers in Yeshua was also called "the Way," not to be confused with the modern cult of the same name (Acts 24:14;22). The Jewish believers were also called Nazarenes, not to be confused with the modern Christian denomination of the same name.
In Messianic Judaism, the Holy Days and traditions that are consistent with the Scriptures are observed. We do not leave the Jewish identity, heritage and culture to "convert" to a new or foreign religion. We have experienced the fulfillment of the age-old longing of our people for redemption as foretold by Moshe and the prophets. Our commitment to our people also encompasses our love for the land of Israel and our concern for the welfare of Jewish people worldwide.
Messianic Jews recognize the seventh day -- Saturday -- as being the Sabbath (Gen 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; 32:12-17). The Sabbath is even mentioned more in the N.T. than all the other days of the week combined. There is no mention in the Scripture of the Sabbath being changed to any other day of the week -- a fact recognized by the Catholic Church. Although there are various levels of observance of the Shabbat (Sabbath) among Messianic Jews, the Shabbat is still the day of choice for worshiping the Most High. It is also seen as the perpetual sign spoken of in Ex. 31:13-16 -- pointing back to the original state of the creation -- and forward to the time spoken of by the author of Hebrews (4:3) when, "...we who have believed do enter into a Sabbath rest (Shabbat Shabbaton)."
Messianic Jews still observe the rite of circumcision. This is a part of the Abrahamic covenant for all the physical descendants of Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14). This practice is not forced upon Gentiles (1 Cor. 7:17-20).
Messianic Jews observe the Jewish (and Biblical) High Holy Days prescribed in Leviticus 23, which were ordained to be "celebrated as a perpetual statute throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places...forever" (Lev. 23:14; 21; 31; 41).
Messianic Jews tend to observe Biblical Kashrut (laws of clean and unclean meats -- Lev. 11; Deut. 14).
Messianic Jews tend to observe a New Covenant lifestyle -- "I will put My Law (Torah) within them and on their heart I will write it" (Jer 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-10). Torah is eternal and not abolished, per Yeshua (Mt. 5:17-19). Sin is defined as the transgression of that Law (1 John 3:4). In addition, Messianic Jews follow, and have found great value in many of the traditions of our people. Our's is a heritage rich and full, and our history is indeed, the history of G*d's people. Yeshua did not condemn these traditions, but rather commanded that they could not be exalted above the commandments of G*d (Mark 7:6-8). We are careful to follow what our L*rd commanded.
Lastly, it must be understood that we are saved by faith in the blood atonement provided by Yeshua, and not on the basis of our own righteousness or good deeds (which as a means of atonement falls far short Isa. 64:5-6; Eccl. 7:20).
It is wrong and unscriptural to force Gentile church culture upon the Jewish people as a requirement for believing in their own Messiah. While it is right and proper for other cultures to be allowed to practice their culture after coming to faith in Yeshua, much of Jewish culture comes directly from the Scriptures, and has a firm Biblical foundation lacking in other cultures. The situation was very different in the first century. Then the question was, "How can a Gentile believe in the Jewish Messiah? Shouldn't he convert to Judaism first?" Some Messianic Jews were saying to the Gentiles, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Others said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses" (Acts 15: 1,5). The Council at Jerusalem decided that the Gentiles did not have to convert to Judaism to believe in the Jewish Messiah (Acts 15:19-21; 28:19).
Properly observed, Messianic Judaism has no "middle wall of partition" (Eph.2:14) separating Jewish believers from Gentile believers. Most Messianic assemblies have a large percentage of Gentiles. These Gentiles love Israel and the Jewish people, and have adopted a Jewish expression of their faith in Messiah Yeshua.
It is in Messianic Judaism that we find a most wonderful fulfillment of Scripture -- in that all, Jew and Gentile, male and female, bond and free -- are seen worshiping the Holy One of Israel in Spirit and in Truth.
Provided by Congregation Roeh Israel (UMJC) of Denver, Colorado <http://umjc.org/aboutmj/whatismj.htm>
Continued to Part two