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â€œMarhaba. Ismi Yakub." Hello, my name is Jacob, happy to meet you,
I"ve been meeting a lot of Muslims in Britain and America and other countries and I've been talking to them about their faith. And most of them are quite enthusiastic about sharing with me the beliefs of Islam, the teachings of Mohammed in the Quran, and why they feel I should believe it. Often they will point to things like the moral disintegration of Western society, with which I agree, and they will point out many other things. They will claim we have the same God, and it"s even been pointed out that the Quran speaks more about Jesus than it does Mohammed.
Well, actually I"ve read the Quran; I have a Quran in my hand. And it has spoken more about Jesus than of it does Mohammed, only the things it says about Jesus disagree with what the Gospel say about Jesus. The Gospels, of course, say that He was God, that He died. The Quran says He was not God and did not die.
I"m speaking to you not as an enemy. I'm speaking to you as, I hope, a friend and somebody who wants to know the truth. I've listened to what Muslims have said about Islam, why they feel it"s right, why they feel Christians, Jews, and others should believe it, why it is the true religion.
Now of course there are multiple kinds of Muslims. There are Sunni, there are Shi"a, there are Baha"i, there are Aleywa, there are Achmahdi, there"s the Nation of Islam, and Sufi, and they will disagree on many fundamental points among themselves. However, the same would be true of Christianity. You"d have Catholics, Protestants â€“ different kinds, Methodists, Pentacostals â€“ and these would often disagree themselves. But what is broadly called â€œChristian" will essentially agree on the central points that Jesus was God who became a man to take our sin, that He died on the cross and rose from the dead to give eternal life, and He"s coming again. All people who say they are â€œChristian" will agree, in essence, on that. ALL people who call themselves â€œMuslims" will agree on the five pillars of Islam. They will all agree on the inspiration of the Quran, that Mohammed was the prophet, that in their view there no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet, and in the five pillars of Islam. They will all agree on the basic things. Others will add other things about Ali and so forth, but they all agree on the basic things. The Wahabbists will not accept anything that goes beyond 950 A.D., but they"ll still agree on the five pillars, the five pillars of Islam.
We know that there are people who are culturally Muslim. They"re Muslim because of culture, upbringing, social background, but may not be Muslims by way of personal faith; it"s their culture. In the West we see much of this nominal Islam and its growing. The same is true in Christianity. Most people who say they are Christians are Christians by culture and not by personal faith. I would encourage my Muslim friends to realize what is true of Islam is also true of Christianity â€“ not everyone who says he's a Muslim is really a Muslim by way of personal faith, some of them are only Muslims by way of culture. In Christianity that same thing is true, and in secular society even more so; they are Christians by way of culture.
I don't speak for those who are Christians by way of culture, I speak for those who are what we call â€œborn-again" Christians, those who are Christians by way of conviction â€“ general faith â€“ much as a Wahabbist, a Wahab would speak by way of conviction, that he believes in Islam.
And so I"ve read the Quran and I"ve read the Hadith, I"ve talked to a number of Muslims, and I"ve been from one end of the Muslim world to the other. Over the years I"ve been to Morocco, I"ve been to Egypt, I"ve been to Jordan, I"ve been to Turkey, I"ve been to the Persian Gulf, I've been to Brunei and Malaysia and the Far East. I"ve seen Islam in Africa, I've seen Islam in the Middle East, I've seen Islam in the Far East, I've seen Islam in Britain and in America. I"ve seen it in its Western form, its African form, its Middle Eastern form, and in its Asian form. I"ve been to a lot of Muslim countries; I"ve been to a lot of them. I'm not completely ignorant about the religion or faith of Islam. I don't speak Arabic very well, but I do speak some Arabic, and I"ve lived in the Middle East for a number of years. And so in listening to what Muslims have told me â€“ some of them have been people that have been business associates of mine, people that I"ve done business with in the tourism industry in Egypt and Turkey, people that I"ve had good friendships with, working relationships with, people who themselves disdain fundamentalism. people who are against terror because it"s destroyed their businesses and forced them to put people out of work. The tourism industry was vital to the economies of countries like Egypt and Turkey, and because of Islamic fundamentalism when tourists stopped coming out of fear, foreign-exchange disappears, tax revenues disappear, jobs disappear,
I know that not all Muslims are terrorists. I know not all Muslims agree with the fundamentalist agenda. We could make the argument that Islam has been hijacked by fundamentalists who have that agenda and that people will say the moderate Muslims need to take it back. You could make that argument, but I'm not dealing with that argument, I"m simply dealing with my own questions about your religion. So have al-katab and al-quran, the Bible, and the Quran.
How can you blaspheme an â€œit"? How can He only be an angel when the angels are called to worship Him and we"re told both in Psalm 45 and in Hebrews 1 He is God and there"s only one God. Please tell me how. How can I be expected to follow people who in the name of Jehovah predict things that have not happened when Jehovah commanded me and you to get away from them, and when your own organization says we shouldn"t follow people that do that? These questions are sincere and they are fair.
If what you believe is right, if your organization is really Jehovah"s organization, if it"s really the truth, I want to know it and I want to be part of it. But it"s false, do you want to be part of it? If what you say is right, I want to be part of it. If it"s false, do you want to be part of it anyway?
I know that if anyone left your organization that they"d be losing their family, their marriage, even their children, but Jesus said, â€œHe who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me". (Mt. 10:37) Believe me, Muslims, Orthodox Jews, many people who"ve come to believe in Jesus have had to deal with that.
Moriel P.O. BoxÂ 201 Maidenhead SL69FB
I"m only asking one thing: Please answer mine. I've given you five sincere, honest questions. I'll be happy to talk to you, so will the person who directed you here. We"ll be happy to talk to you, just answer the questions.
Thank you, dear friends. We hope to hear from you.
But that leads me to my final question. I am told by my Jehovah's Witness friends that the resurrection of Jesus was not literally physical. They said when He appeared and took a physical form it is because He had other bodies after the resurrection which He appeared in because people couldn"t recognize Him at first like Thomas didn't recognize Him, or didn't believe it was Him. The resurrection was not literal.
Well first of all, if it was only spiritual and the spirit of the pnuma â€“ the psuchei, call it what you will â€“ is only â€œbreath", how could Jesus have risen? His breath rose? Now I'm confused. How could â€œbreath" appear as a person? The tomb was empty. We"re told in John the tomb was empty. (Jn. 20:1-10) there was no corpse found in it. In Â John 2:21Â Jesus said his body would rise. The Greek word â€œsoma" â€“ His bodywould rise.
Let"s look at John 21:12. I"d like to read it to you.
Jesus said to them, â€œCome and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, â€œWho are You?" knowing that it was the Lord.
â€œCome eat breakfast". When Jesus raised a little girl from the dead He said, â€œTalitah Â t"kumi", and His first instruction was, â€œGive her something to eat". (Mk. 5:40-43) When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the next thing we see them doing is eating in John 12. Whenever somebody raises from the dead in the Gospels you always seem them eating. â€œCome eat breakfast". On the road to Emmaus He goes to the house and they recognize Him in the breaking of bread. (Lk. 24:30-31) Why is He eating? Any time in the Bible when someone rose from the dead they ate to prove it was a literal, physical resurrection. It was only a ghost? No, it could not have been. Let me explain why.
Let's look to the story of Jesus calming the raging sea. It says they thought He was a ghost. (Mt. 14:26; Mk. 6:49) He said no it"s not a ghost; a ghost does not have flesh and bones. He appeared physically. So if He was only some kind of a ghost, a phantom, how could He have appeared physically when He said ghosts don"t do that? I'm told He had multiple bodies and this only happened because when Thomas didn't recognize Him or on the road to Emmaus when they didn't recognize Him. But we are rather told in Luke 24:16 they were keptfrom recognizing Him. The reason they didn't recognize him was not because He had other bodies, because they were kept from recognizing Him; in other places they knew it was Him such as in John 21:12, it says they knew He was Him.
At His resurrection of John 20:17, Jesus says, â€œStop clinging tor Me". You can"t cling to a ghost. The tomb was empty. Why would bribes have been paid to say His disciple stole the body if it was only a spiritual resurrection? It just doesn't make any sense. It makes no sense whatsoever. First I am told that psuchei, that pnuma is only â€œbreath" and that I"m told His â€œbreath" rose? His body had to rise â€“ â€œStop clinging to Me". The tomb was empty, He ate physically, He said directly that His body would raise up from the dead in John chapter 2:21. If Jesus said His body, His physical body â€“ He used the word â€œsoma", He didn't use the word â€œpsuchei", the text does not use the word â€œpnuma" â€“ but â€œsoma", â€œbody". He says His body would raise from the dead. If the tomb was empty, He said â€œStop clinging to Me", if He repeatedly did things like eat and so forth, how can you say it was not a literal, physical resurrection, it was only spiritual? How? How could it be anything other than an actual literal, physical resurrection? How?
How Can a Man's Spirit Merely Be "Breath"?
But I have another question. I"m told by the Jehovah's Witnesses that there is no immaterial component of man as such. The Greek word â€œpneuma" and the Greek word â€œpsuchei" are virtually synonymous, they simply mean â€œbreath". Now I know what those words mean. â€œPsuchei" Â means â€œconsciousness" â€“ from which we get the word â€œpsychology", and â€œpneuma" does come from the word for â€œbreath" or â€œbreathes". But when you die you are asleep. The dead know nothing, there is no spiritual component of man as such; no spirit. There is none. That"s what I am told by my friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses, by my acquaintances who I've met over the years who were Jehovah's Witnesses, who"ve come to my door. That's what they"ve told me.
I have a question: In Genesis 1:26 we"re made in God's image and He breathed into them and put a spirit into them. When Jesus died on the cross He said, â€œFather, into Your hands I commend my spirit".(Lk. 23:46) In the book of Acts when Stephen was martyred he said, â€œLord I commend my spirit". (Acts 7:59) Why would Jesus say, â€œI commend My spirit to You" if it"s only breath? If it is not some kind of eternal consciousness that goes beyond biological life, why commend it? How can you commend your breath? â€œGod take my breath; I"m going to die." That does not exactly make too much sense. How can it only be breath? It must be consciousness. â€œFather, into Your hands I commend My spirit." If there is not a spiritual component of men and women made in God's image and likeness that go beyond this that is conscious, why did Jesus commend it? Why did Stephen commend it?
My third question concerns prophecy. I"d like to read something from the book of Deuteronomy 18:20â€¦
"But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die." You may say in your heart, "How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?" When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
(Actually, â€œyou shall not pay attention to him".) People who claim to speak for Jehovah and predict things in His name that don"t happen are false prophets.
I have a number of issues, back issues, going back to the 1950"s from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, New York not 5 miles from where I was born, their headquarters Bethel. Published right there, I"ve passed that building many times with the big clock on it on the other side of the Manhattan Bridge. And I read in these back issues of Awake magazine and Watchtowers and it said all kinds of things: â€œThe politicians who said World War I would bring in worldwide peace â€“ it would be the war to end all wars â€“ were false prophets, they shall die." Now of course those politicians didn't claim to be speaking for Jehovah directly, but The Watchtower says that they are still false prophets because they predicted things that didn't happen. If politicians who predict things that didn't happen are false prophets even though they didn't represent themselves as speaking for Jehovah, Â how much more is somebody who claims to be speaking for Him a false prophet.
I agree with them. They are absolutely right. People who predict things in the name of Jehovah that don"t happen are false prophets. Jehovah commands and demands that we get away from and don't come anywhere near them and if we don't get away from such people we are in rebellion against Jehovah. That is what The Watchtower Society teaches, that is what the book of Deuteronomy 18 commands, and they are right.
This is my question: I have a copy right in my hand at the moment of something called The Millennial Dawn published by the Watchtowerpublishing company originally in 1889 but re-published since. It"s Volume 2, The Time Is At Hand. It goes back to Charles Taze Russell. It says the following â€“ I"m reading from page 101 in the chapter called Times of the Gentiles.
â€œBe not surprised then when in subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the kingdom of God has already begun. And that is pointed out in the prophecy as due to begin, the exercise of power in A.D. 1878, and that the battle of the great day of God Almighty, Revelation 16:14, which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of the present rulership, is already commenced."
On the previous page 100â€¦
â€œSo in this day of Jehovah, the day of trouble, our Lord takes His great power hitherto dormant and reigns, and this is that will cause trouble throughout the world and will not so recognize it for the time being. But by the end of 1914 they will recognize it. The present government of the world is going to be overthrown completely, and the kingdom established, the battle of the great day of the Lord. It will end in 1914, the battle of Armageddon."
Today Jehovah's Witnesses will tell you, â€œOh, well Christ turned His attention to the world in 1914". But in 1889 they said He turned His attention to the world in 1878. I have it in your own literature. What you are now saying happened in 1914, your founder Mr. Russell said happened in 1878 â€“ that"s when God turned His attention. And he prophesied, speaking in the name of Jehovah, claiming to be Jehovah"s spokesman, claiming that organization â€“ your organization â€“ is Jehovah"s organization, and said directly that the battle of Armageddon would end by the end of 1914 and the kingdom of this world would be overthrown and the millennium would have come.
Well, World War I was ugly and brutal, but it was not the battle of Armageddon. It didn't even take place in the Middle East and World War II was much worse. And some of that did take place in the Middle East. My question is if Jehovah forbids us to follow people who predict things in His name that don"t happen, if The Watchtower forbids us based on the command of Jehovah to follow people who predict things in His name that don't happen, if Awake magazine forbids us to follow people who predict things in the name of Jehovah that don"t happen, why are you doing it? It"s a fair question. If Jehovah says don"t do it, if your own organization says don't do it, if you"ve printed multiple issues of Watchtower and Awake magazine that I have that say don"t do it, why are you doing it?
I can prove Charles Taze Russell, Judge Rutherford, Nathan Knorr, one of your leaders after another did the very thing others are condemned for, that they have made you trust and believe in things that have not happened, they themselves saying you shouldn't pay attention to people who do such things. Well, they"d have to include themselves. â€œAn unjust balance as an abomination to the Lord" it says in Proverbs. (Pr. 11:1) Please explain to me why you"re not in rebellion against Jehovah by doing something you admit Jehovah says don"t do?
I"ve had some Jehovah's Witnesses try to tell me, â€œWell, we have more light now". Neither Deuteronomy 18 nor Awake magazine nor The Watchtower made allowances for mistakes. The other false prophets and other religions could say the same thing! â€œWe made a mistake, we have more light now." But if they had the light of Jehovah to begin with they wouldn't have made a mistake.
Please tell me why you want me to rebel against Jehovah by joining your organization and follow people that your organization says should not be followed. That's a fair question. Please answer it, then we"ll talk further about other things.
If you want this copy of what they published â€“ of what you published, I"ll happily send it to you. I"ll show you things that your organization predicted for 1968, for 1974, 1975, for 1937.
There"s a house near the beach in San Diego, CA, a big, beautiful salubrious mansion called â€œBeth Sarim" in Hebrew â€“ â€œhouse of the princes". It was built by Judge Rutherford for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to live in when they would be resurrected. The Jehovah's Witnesses said, â€œWe have to have a house for them to live in",Â so they built them one in San Diego under Judge Rutherford. Beautiful house. For many, many years the Jehovah's Witness organization still owned it. It was built in the 1920"s ahead of the 1930"s when He was supposed to come by a specified date. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob should have been living in it. But of course, when Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not show up, Judge Rutherford moved into it himself and lived in it the rest of his life.
Something is wrong here, dear friends. That"s the â€œBeth Sarim"? I thought that was built for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They said they were going to be resurrected, they were going to live in it. When they didn't, Rutherford moved in himself? How can you justify this? Why are you following people who do something your own religion teaches against, your own organization denounces? Please explain it to me. I think it's a fair question.
I really want to know the truth. If your organization is the truth, I want to know it, I want to join it, I want to be committed to it. If it"s really the one with the truth, I want to be committed to it. But explain to me why I should join an organization founded and led by people who predict things that don't happen when Jehovah says to get away from them and when your own organization says don"t follow them. Please answer that question. Why should I join it and follow such people? And while you"re at it, why have you joined it and why are youfollowing them when Jehovah said don"t do it, when they themselves said don"t follow people who do what we do? I"ll prove it to you in your own literature. All you"ve got to do is write me.
But I have a second question. When I talk to my Jehovah's Witness acquaintances who come to my door and who I"ve met over the years, that question is about the Holy Spirit. My Jehovah's Witness friends tell me that the Holy Spirit is only a force or a power â€“ it"s God's guiding force or power. Now in some way by analogy I can understand some of what they say.
The Bible attributes some things to the Holy Spirit which in biblical times can only have to do with personality. He sees, He feels, He hears. We can have a parabolic microphone that in some sense â€“ it's inanimate, it"s not a person â€“ but it can hear. We can have sensory detectors. Although they"re creatures and have no personality, they can in some sense feel, picking up pulsations. And a camera, although it has no personality and it is not a person can in some sense see. And, I am told by my Jehovah's Witness friends, that must be something like that; I expect that's what they think. My question is this: Can you blaspheme a camera? Can you grieve a sensory detector? How can a machine, how can an inanimate force or power, how can something that is not a person with no personality, how can a non-person be blasphemed or grieved?
A sensory detector can detect pulsations, motion. You have ones that can detect heat using infrared technology, even subtle changes in heat. You have ones that can detect motion, you have ones that can detect changes in light patterns, changes in light refraction, you have machines that can do all those things. There are forces that can do things and pick things up. When you're driving on the motorway they send out a microwave beam. Go through the speed trap, there"s a change in frequency. Yeah, it can pick things up; it"s a force that has the power to detect and communicate something. Now, a speeding motorist might curse at the speed trap, he might curse at a speed camera, he might denounce it, but the camera is not going to get offended. How can someone who can get offended, that can be grieved, that can be cursed against and blasphemed not be a person? And how can a person who can be blasphemed be anyone other than God?
The Greek word is â€œblasphemeo"; there"s other words for â€œcurse", but â€œblasphemeo"? Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the one sin somebody can"t be forgiven of Jesus said. (Mt. 12:31) They"re telling me that it's okay to commit murder and be forgiven, you can commit adultery and be forgiven, you can commit unspeakable things and be forgiven, but if you blaspheme a force or power that is not even a force or a person, which can't be blasphemed anyway because it"s not a person, you can"t be forgiven. How can you blaspheme and grieve a non-person to the point you can"t even be forgiven for it? Can you please answer me that? You can only blaspheme God. If the Holy Spirit is not a person and He"s not God, how can you blaspheme Him?
I think it is a reasonable and a fair question. I'm only looking for a reasonable and a fair answer. Please tell me the answer. I"m not trying to attack you or mock you or belittle you, I'm trying to find the truth. Please explain to me how you can blaspheme somebody who"s other than God, how you can grieve someone who"s not a person or something that"s not a person. That is my second question.
And so I look at the Scriptures in the original languages. That is one of my questions. Having read The New World Translation and the diaglot, I had problems with what the original Greek manuscript said and the way certain things were translated. But let me begin with my first question.
I"m reading from the epistle to the Hebrews in chapter 1. Beginning in verse 5â€¦
For to which of the angels did He ever say, â€œYou are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again, â€œI will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me"? And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, â€œAnd let all the angels of God worship Him." And of the angels He says, â€œWho makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire." But of the Son He says, â€œYour throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions." And, â€œYou, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; They will perish, but You remain; And they all will become old like a garment, And like a mantle You will roll them up; Like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end." But to which of the angels has He ever said, â€œSit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies A footstool for Your feet"? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
I agree with the Jehovah's Witnesses that there are angels. But the Jehovah's Witnesses told me something that I researched: They said that Jesus was an angel. They identified Him with the angel Michael the Archangel. The idea that Jesus was an angel was something that began with someone called Arius of Alexandria in the early centuries of Christendom. And the Jehovah's Witnesses had this view that He was an angel, not God. They will say He is â€œa god".
Now there's a problem. â€œEn arche kai ho logos". â€œIn the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God". (Jn 1:1) My Jehovah's Witness friends told me that in The New World Translation it says â€œa god"; the Word was â€œa god". But there is no indefinite article in the Greek language.
In the book of Isaiah Jehovah says, â€œI am God and there is no God other than Me". (Is. 45:5) If there"s no God other than Jehovah, and there is no indefinite article â€“ â€œa god" â€“ in the Greek language (and in that text it"s not there), how can Jesus only be â€œa god" if there"s only one God? That is the question. I"ve never been able to find somebody who could answer.
When I simply ask the question they say the word â€œtrinity" is not in the Bible. But you know, my Jehovah's Witness friends would use words like â€œtheocratic rule" and â€œmillennial kingdom". Now I believe in a millennial kingdom, but the word â€œmillennial kingdom" and â€œmillennium" are not in the Bible. The doctrine of the millennium is in the Bible but the word isn"t. I don't understand why it is acceptable to use words not in the Bible for some things but not for others. Do I reject the millennial reign of Christ or a millennial rule because there's no word â€œmillennium"? No, I don't. The question is not, â€œIs the word "millennium" in there?", the question is, â€œIs the doctrine, the teaching in there?" Well, it is. I agree with the Jehovah's Witnesses, there is a millennium.
Now I have an advantage a lot of people don"t have. The name of God they call â€œJehovah", and they insist that is His personal name. But speaking Hebrew I was kind of startled how few Jehovah's Witnesses knew what it meant. In Hebrew it does not say â€œJehovah", it says â€œYehowah". Some people pronounce it â€œYahweh". â€œJehovah" is another word based on â€œYehowah", but they didn't know where it came from. So I told them where it came from.
There was a hymn written by someone who was not a Jehovah"s Witness, Guide Me Now, O Great Jehovah. But the term came from Diaspora Jews in Europe. Jews considered the name of Yahweh ineffable â€“ inutterable, for fear of taking it in vain. So they either referred to God as â€œthe Name" â€“ â€œHashem" or they referred to God as â€œthe Lord". When an Orthodox Jew reads the Old Testament, when it says â€œYahweh" he says â€œLord" â€“ â€œAdonai". So what they did was they took the accents and syllables of â€œAdonai" â€“ â€œLord", and combined it with the word â€œYehowah". â€œYehowah Adonai Yehowah" â€“ â€œJehovah". That"s how they got it.
I met many Jehovah's Witnesses who would insist on believing these things â€“ some of them true things â€“ but they didn't know where they came from or what they meant. Well, I have no problem saying â€œJehovah", but His name is â€œYahweh". â€œJehovah" is a made-up word combining â€œYahweh" with â€œAdonai". However, to say that Jesus was only â€œa god" when there"s only one God, this brings a question. I was told He was an angel. My question is this: In verse 8 of Hebrews 1 it saysâ€¦
â€¦ â€œYour throne, O God, is foreverâ€¦
â€¦and it quotes from Psalm 45:6-7â€¦
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the word here for â€œGod" is â€œGod" â€“ â€œElohim". But the Lord has â€œanointed" somebody. That word â€œanointed" is where we get the word â€œMessiah" â€“ â€œMashiach" in Hebrew, translated to Greek, â€œChristo" â€“ â€œChrist". And so the epistle of the Hebrews tells us that Psalm 45 is talking about the Anointed One, the Messiah â€“ Christ. And I agree with it. It"s a good translation into Greek from Hebrew. And I just read you a good translation from Greek into English. This is my question: if Christ it's called God and there is only one God, and if Hebrews 1 makes it clear He was not just an angel but if Hebrews 1 by comparison says, â€œTo which one of the angels did God ever say "Your throne, O God, is forever"", how can you say Jesus is simply an angel?
Hebrews 1 says, â€œLet the angels of God worship Jesus" in verse 6. Why would they worship Him if he was not God? The Greek word is â€œproskynesatosan", from the word â€œproskuto" â€“ â€œworship". It"s not â€œobeisance", it is translated from the Hebrew â€œhishtachvaya" and there"s an accusative particle: They worship Him. Please answer me that question. How can He be an angel when Hebrews 1 says He's not and the angels worship Him? How can He only be â€œa god" when there's only one God? â€œI"m the Lord, your God, you"ll have no gods before Me". (Dt. 5:6-7)
Questions are always asked of me. I don't mind when people answer my questions with a question as long as they eventually give me the answer. But so far I haven't gotten one from a Jehovah's Witness and maybe you'll be the one who is able to give me the answer, Some of the questions they ask me is this: â€œWell, how could Jesus say His Father is greater than Him if He's God?" Now I"m happy to answer that question as long as you can answer mine.
In Philippians 2:8-11 we read about something that theologians would call â€œkinosis". In Philippians 2 we read how it can happen.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvationâ€¦
â€¦not â€œwork for"â€¦
â€¦ work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
God becomes a man in the person of Jesus and therefore as a man He is less than His Father.
For instance, there"s an electrical company called â€œRobert Jones and Son". The father is a master electrician, his son began as his apprentice. They were both called â€œRobert Jones" â€“ Robert Jones, Sr. and Robert Jones, Jr. They were both human beings. They were both males. They were both one in nature, but the senior was greater in position than the junior. They were co-equal in nature, they were both humans, they were both electricians, they were both men, but one was greater than the other in position. Based on Jesus becoming a man, being equal with God, but not saying it"s something we couldn't grasp, I have no problem saying His Father was greater than Him.
That is my answer to your question, the question that Jehovah's Witnesses always ask me. But please tell me your answer to my question: How can He be an angel if the angels worshipped Him? How can He be â€œa god" if there"s only one God and when the text â€œYour throne, O God, is forever" says He"s not an angel? Well, when I continue to ask for an answer, I"m usually told, â€œWell then who was Jesus praying to if He was God?" I"ll answer that question providing you and can answer my question.
In Hebrew the confession of faith is what Jesus said when they asked Him the greatest commandment. He said, â€œHear, O Israel, the Lord our God is oneness". (Mk. 12:29) â€œSh"ma Yisra"el Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad". (Dt. 6:4) There is no Hebrew word for â€œwater", only â€œwaters" â€“ â€œmayim"; there is no Hebrew word for â€œsky", only â€œskies" â€“ â€œshamayim"; there is no Hebrew word for â€œGod", only â€œGods" â€“ â€œElohim", it is plural. You have an abbreviated form called â€œEl", but it is simply a conjunctive or something used in in place of â€œElohim" where it"s used in connection with other words. â€œElohim" is plural. â€œSh"ma Yisra"el Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad". â€œHear, O Israel, the Lord our GODS is oneness". That's what it says. Does this say there is more than one God? No, He is â€œoneness" but the word is â€œechad", it"s a plural oneness. It is the same oneness when Adam and Eve become one flesh. (Gen. 2:24), you shall become â€œechad"; the two become one. And a third person is procreated, there is one in three, there is three in one. We are made in His image and likeness. Yes, there is one God but there is more than one person.
You're confused? When Stephen was martyred he saw Jesus at the right of the Father. (I don't pretend to be able to understand this any more than the Bible reveals it, but I understand it well enough to know it is true because that's what it says.) His Father is God and He is God. They are two different people yet one God. What makes me with my finite mind think I can understand God's own nature this side of eternity? The Scripture says one day we will know as we are fully known (1 Cor. 13:12), but right now I know well enough to know I have enough in the Bible to tell me that it is true. Who was He praying to? He was praying to His Father. His Father was God, yes, and how could He be God? Because He was. How could Robert Jones, Sr. and Robert Jones Jr. both be Robert Jones? One is greater in nature, greater in position? No, greater in position but not in nature. They"re co-equal in nature, different in position.
When I"m looking at a pregnant lady, an expectant mother, am I Iooking at one person or two people? They are metabolically integrated. I"m looking at both one person and two people. When a marriage is being consummated God says they become one flesh. In God's eyes am I looking at one person or two people? Well, biblically I"m looking at two people but I"m also looking at one person. The Bible says your wife's body is your own and so forth, (1 Cor. 7:4) and the husband"s body is the wife"s. We"re made in His image and likeness â€“ it teaches something about Him; we"ll understand it when we see Him face to face, right now we see through a glass dimly (1 Cor. 13:12) but we know it is true.
That is my answer to your question, now I would like to hear your answer to my question. If the angel's worship Him and if it says, â€œTo which of the angels did He say, "Let the others worship Him", if it says, â€œYour throne, O God is forever" and there"s only one God, if there"s no indefinite article in the Greek â€“ the word was â€œa god" is not in any Greek manuscript and would make no sense in the Greek language â€“ can you please explain to me how Jesus is not God and only an angel?
The Trinity, things like this, I'll be happy to talk to you about further â€“ I'll be happy to answer your questions, but please answer mine. That"s my first question for my Jehovah's Witness friends. Please answer this question and we"ll talk further.
Hello. This is for my friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses. I"ve met a number of them in America and in Britain and in other countries, and they"ve come to my door several times. And we spent time together, sometimes hours.
In my youth I had a friend named Buster Rothman. He was a Jewish man with a fascination with the Bible, an incredibly interesting person. And Buster had a radio program in the heyday of radio before there was television; he was a remarkable man. But he was the first person who introduced me to Jehovah's Witness. He used to go to their meetings although he never became one. He brought me along to their meetings and so I went and I listened. I listened with an open mind because I was seeking religious truth. I was seeking meaning, so I went with my friend Buster in New Jersey but this rightly in New York City. And today not far from there there"s a movie theater taken over in Jersey City, New Jersey by the Jehovah's Witnesses and they have tours of the theater. I used to go to the movies in that theater at Journal Square as a kid. This is, of course, right across the river from New York City â€“ Manhattan.
I had a lot of exposure to Jehovah's Witnesses in those days, and Â I began reading the Watchtower, and I read Awake magazine, and I went back and read their earlier publications like Millennial Dawn and studies in Scripture by Pastor Russell. In fact I"ve even been to Pastor Russell"s grave in Pittsburgh, not that that means anything, but that's where the Jehovah's Witnesses began as the Dawn Bible Society back in the late 1800"s. I was really interested in this organization because they claimed to be the one organization in the world that is only based on the Bible, and therefore they are Jehovah"s organization, the only one based only on the Bible, the others were all corrupt. That's what the Jehovah's Witnesses believed, that's what they told me that they believed, and so I began to go with my friend Buster Rothman and I began to listen. And we would talk about it and I'd read Watchtowers, I"d read Awake magazine, I"d spend time talking to them, and over the years I had various other encounters.
Moriel P.O. Box 201 Maidenhead SL69FB
Write me, email me, Â please answer these questions. I think it's fair to say that I"m somebody who does believe the Bible is the Word of God, I"m somebody who does believe Jehovah is God, and I"m somebody who wants to know the truth. And the person who directed you here is the same; we only want to know the truth.
Now I"ve studied your claims, I've read your literature, and I've read the Scriptures. I have something of an advantage: Although my background was science, I did learn how to read Greek and Hebrew. In fact, my family is Israeli â€“ I can speak Hebrew.
But I have a final question. I"m going to read from the Hebrew prophet Zechariah 12â€¦
The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, â€œBehold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
The issue is Jerusalem, the final status of Jerusalem. Not the West Bank, not the Gaza strip, not the Golan Heights, Jerusalem is the issue. â€œAll the nations" will come against it.
When the Chinese massacred between 7-8,000 students witnessed by over 1 billion people on television in Tiananmen Square, how many UN resolutions were passed condemning China? None.
When the Moslems massacred 2.3 million black Christians in Sudan â€“ Islamic militias, how many UN resolutions, how many Security Council resolutions, how many calls for boycotts on Sudan? None.
How many UN resolutions passed against Israel? How many Security Council resolutions passing? 50% of all resolutions in the General Assembly and more than 50% in the Security Council. Go ahead, kill a couple of million blacks. Who cares? They"re poor, they"re black and they have no oil. Who went to the Gaza Strip to get people to stop shooting Katyusha rockets and killing your children? The world wants to condemn you.
It makes no sense, but how will this end? Zechariah tells us in this chapter in verse 9â€¦
â€œAnd in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have piercedâ€¦
â€¦and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only sonâ€¦
Who said so? Jacob Prasch? No. Try Rabbi Moshe Elshick. Read what the sages said about this and who it was. They"ll look upon Him pierced and mourn as one mourns for an only son. The one we rejected, the one whose name we spit at, the one we curse is the one who"s come to save us? Yes, He is coming to save you. That is my question.
If He is the one who fulfilled these prophecies, if He had to come and die already, if He was the atonement for your sin, if He"s the one coming to save Israel, and if He"s the one who has already come to save you, do you want to be saved? How can anybody call this rejecting Judaism? That is my question. How can rejecting a Jewish Messiah who taught a Jewish thing in a Jewish way to Jewish people and made non-Jews believe in a Jewish God and read a Jewish book and believe a Jewish book, how can anybody call that â€œnon-Jewish". â€œanti-Jewish". or departing from Judaism? It may be a departure from what people did to Judaism, it may be a departure from the Judaism responsible for the assassination of Rabin, it may be a departure from the Judaism that proclaimed bar Kochba from being the Messiah, but it is not a departure from the Judaism of your fathers. of the patriarchs, or of Moses and the Prophets.
My Jewish friend, return from sin. You made teshuva, you asked the God of your fathers to forgive your sin that Yeshua paid for in His death. In His resurrection He rose to give you eternal life.
Yes, He did raise. Who said so? Jacob Prasch? No, try reading The Resurrection of Jesus by Rabbi Pinchas Lapide, Orthodox professor of Hebrew University. Try reading Rabbi David Flusser, Orthodox professor, Hebrew University. From a Jewish perspective the resurrection of Jesus is irrefutable. The idea that a Messiah would come and die and then raise again, that"s what the Chabad say about Schneerson, only Schneerson didn't raise from the dead, the rabbis say he raised from the dead.
Jesus came and He would die at Pesach and after dying at Pesach He rose from the dead. His rabbis didn't like Him but said He did miracles as no other rabbi. His disciples did miracles in His name including raising others from the dead. Coming to die at Pesach, raising from the dead doing miracles, His disciples doing miracles, and then ascending to heaven from the Mount of Olives. From where do I quote? The Gospels? No, I quote from the avida zerah. That was not written by Jews who believed in Jesus, that was written by rabbis who were against Jews believing in Jesus. When your fathers will admit these things it"s one thing, when your opponents say it"s true it"s something else. Is He the Messiah? Yes, He is. It"s your decision.
Moriel P.O. Box 201 Maidenhead SL69FB
Please contact us. Please e-mail us. Please talk to us. We want you to meet other Jewish people that have found the truth. The truth is the Tanak was right, the Prophets were right, the Messiah has come. The Messiah has died for sin, He has risen from the dead and conquered death, and He"s
coming again. Git zay g"zunt.
But I have another question, also from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah (â€œYasha"yah Hanawbe"), Isaiah 52 and 53. He said, â€œKullanu kasso tainuâ€¦" (Is. 53:6)
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;
In the Middle Ages, a rabbi from France called Rashi said that this was about the Jewish people suffering for the Gentile nations, of vicarious atonement. It wasn"t about the Messiah, it was a about the Jews themselves.
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced throughâ€¦
â€¦as in crucifiedâ€¦
â€¦for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
The rabbis say this is about the suffering Jewish people since Rashi. What is it that the Targum Johannan and the ancient rabbis beforeRashi say it was about? The Messiah. Why did Rabbi Avraham Farisel say this looks like Jesus? Before Rashi they didn't say that. This was included by Eliezer Ha Kalir in the synagogue liturgy for Yom Kippur. This one whom God would smite would become an atonement for sin â€“ a â€œkorban", a human sacrifice.
Yet to this the rabbis object. Judaism says the â€œakada" is against human sacrifice; it was an abomination. Why would God have somebody sacrifice a human when He said it was evil? In the akada God told Abraham, â€œDon"t sacrifice your son", and Christians would, of course, say it was because He was going to sacrifice His. The rabbis say human sacrifice is anti-Jewish. I agree that human sacrifice to other gods is demonic; however, the same Rashi who said this is about the Jewish people said it is a human sacrifice! He said it is a human sacrifice! He said it"s the Jews suffering vicariously for the Gentile nations. We can"t have it both ways.
Either Judaism does allow humans to suffer vicariously for the sins of others or it doesn't. Rashi and those who believe Jesus to be the Messiah agree it does. How can you say God does not allow you a human sacrifice for sin on behalf of someone else when the Jewish interpretation itself says it is?
The question is, who was suffering? Was it Israel or was it the Messiah? Well, Isaiah repeatedly castigated Israel for its sin; this servant of the Lord was innocent. He had done no wrong, Isaiah says. He"d done no wrong at all.
He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, for whom the stroke was dueâ€¦"
The Gentiles were not God's people at that time. He was cut off for the sake of Israel"s sin. He came to the Gentiles afterwards. How could it be Israel when Israel had sin? In a broad sense it resembles Israel, but this was a sinless servant. The question is not who was right, the Christians or Rashi, the question is who was right, Rashi or the earlier rabbis who said it was the Messiah. It is the Messiah. It"s not a question of who's right, the Christians or Rashi, it"s a question of which rabbi do you believe? That is my question.
How could it be the Jewish people primarily if they had sin? How could it be the Jewish people suffering for the sins of the Gentiles whenthey had sin? This was a sinless servant. And how can you say that God would not let one die for the sin of another when Judaism itself says the direct contrary?
But I have another question: if â€œYasha"yah Hanawbe" â€“ Isaiah the prophet in chapter 11 saidâ€¦
The nations will resort to the root of Jesseâ€¦
â€¦the â€œsores Yisay"..
The rabbis have always said the â€œSores Yisay" is the Messiah. Jews and Christians, their scholars have always agreed: â€œthe nations", â€œthe Gentiles". â€œthe peoples" will come to the â€œRoot of Jesse".
I look at an anti-Semitic world. I look at a world where becoming a Christian in Saudi Arabia somebody is beheaded or hung. A world where in Sudan nearly 2-1/2 million Christians have already been killed and more facing the prospect of death. Yet Gentiles of so-called Christian nations remain almost silent, no one calling for a boycott on Saudi Arabia oil or an academic boycott on the many nations that persecute Christians: Â Islamic countries. But when the one nation in the Middle East that protects the rights of Arab Christians, Israel, the one nation that protects the rights of Arab Christians defends themselves from this same militant Islam that murders Christians, everybody wants to condemn Israel. It's not logical, it"s not rational. Israel is treating most Christians (apart from Jewish ones), apart from Jewish believers in Jesus, they treat most Christians better than Christians treated them, except in the United States and, to a degree, in Britain. Most nations have never given Jews the kind of freedom that Israel gives to Christians. It"s not rational that they hate Israel; it's not rational-behaving people who receive three quarters of the Nobel prizes for the advancement of science, chemistry, physics, and especially biomedical sciences that have saved countless lives. Why would you hate these people? It"s not rational.
All over the world there"s anti-Semitism. Even people saying they"re Christian, there"s anti-Semitism. Although all four Gospels make it clear that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate â€“ the Roman government has legal responsibility for His death â€“ and although Jesus said, â€œI lay My life down, nobody takes it from Me", (Jn. 10:18) and although Christians believe that God said He was going to put the Messiah to death as an atonement for sin, although Jesus never blamed anybody for His death, and although the apostles said it was the Roman government together with the Sanhedrin but it was not the Jewish people, although blaming the death of the Jesus on the Jews is directly contrary to history and to the teaching of the New Testament, they"re still saying the Jews killed Jesus. It"s not rational. No, this anti-Semitism is not rational, but there"s something even more irrational.
â€œWe hate you, Jew! You"re a kike! You"re a yid! You"re a sheenie! Get out of here! We hate you! You"re no good! We don"t want you in our land and to go to your own land you have no right there either! You have no right to exist! But we"re going to worship your God." We hate you but we love your Messiah; we"re going to follow your Messiah; Why will Eskimos worship a Jewish God? Why will Pygmies worship a Jewish God? Why will Scandinavians worship a Jewish God? It makes no sense. If you hate these people, why do you worship their God? Because â€œthe nations will resort to the root of Jesse".
My question, might dear Jewish friend, is you and I both hate anti-Semitism but you and I are at a loss to explain it or at least intellectually. We can come up with some explanations but the entire history of it coming back to the same thing again and again? It"s not logical. But if you hate somebody, why would you follow one of them? Why would you believe their books and worship their God? There"s only One, One, and One alone who could make people worship the God of a nation and race they otherwise hate.
Now I"m not saying true Christians â€“ born-again Christians, real evangelicals â€“ I"m not saying that they hate the Jewish people. If you look at the countries with a high evangelical population you'll find even in the Holocaust it was countries like Holland and so forth, in Denmark, that protected the Jews. It was mainly the Catholic and nominal Protestant countries that persecuted them.
The American Jewish Congress, the American College of Rabbis, knows very well the backbone of Jewish support for Israel in America is not the Jewish community, there's only 6 million in North America at most. It is the evangelical Christians who are pro-Zionist. Most of them. Not all Christians are anti-Semitic. You see, the same as there are people who will hate you because you are a Jew, claiming to be Christian, there are other Christians who will love you because you are a Jew. They will say, â€œHow can we worship a Jewish God and believe in a Jewish Messiah and read a Jewish book and stake our eternal destiny, our faith on it and hate these people who gave it to us?" They"re not all irrational, but you shouldn"t be irrational either.
Many people calling themselves Christians are behaving irrationally. They"re worshiping a Jewish God and believing in a Jewish Messiah while hating Jews. It"s irrational. But don"t you be an irrational Jew. It"s a rational question that deserves a rational answer. If He is not the Messiah who would make the Gentiles worship your God, who is? Why else do they worship your God if He is not the one who God said would make them do it?
But there"s another question I"d like to ask you. That question is, â€œIf Jesus was the Messiah, why didn't He bring in worldwide peace?" Why was there a Holocaust? Why were there Inquisitions and pogroms? Why is there starvation in Africa? Why is the environment being destroyed? Why has the world become systematically worse with everybody in it and so commonly the Jews getting the worst of the worst? How could He be the Messiah? Why didn't He bring in worldwide peace? Where is the Messianic redemption? It"s ridiculous to believe He"s the Messiah, the world wouldn"t be the way it is. Things have only gotten worse for us. How can you believe in Him? That"s the question.
Let"s turn â€“ not to any Christian source, not to any Gentile source, not to any human source â€“ let"s turn to the word of God, the Hebrew prophet Daniel 9, â€œDaniye"l Hanawbe". In Daniel 9 we read verses 26 and 27â€¦
Hamashiach hitzarek lavo v"l"moot lifneh hahorban shel ha beit ha migdash ha shenit.
The Messiah would have to come and be cut off â€“ be killed, before the destruction of the Second Temple. "But that"s your Christian interpretation". No, I"m not looking at Christian interpretations; that"s what the text says, and try reading Sanhedrin 96 to 98b. Why do the rabbis say there"s a curse on reading Daniel 9? For the time of the Messiah"s coming is foretold in it. And as we read, the Sanhedrin wept, â€œOy! Oy! The Messiah has come? No, the temple is destroyed and He"s not come! Woe unto us!" God cannot break His word. The ancient sages understood this was about the Messiah. He had to come and die. â€œWars and desolations are determined to the end". (Dan. 9:26)
In Judaism the rabbis go to the greatest lengths to try to reconcile two irreconcilable pictures of the Messiah, â€œHaMashiach ben Yosef" and â€œHaMashiach ben David", â€œthe Messiah the Son of Joseph" and â€œthe Messiah the Son of David". The â€œConquering King" and the â€œSuffering Servant" we call â€œben Ephraim". Some rabbis said one will resurrect the other. It"s two Messiahs. Is it two Messiah"s or one Messiah with two comings? Daniel was right; it was one Messiah with two comings. He was shown the future. This is what Moses spoke of, this is how it will happen: He will come, He will be cut off, He will be killed. â€œWars and desolations are determined until the end", then He will come again.
In His first coming He comes as the Suffering Servant in the character of Jozef from the B"reshit, the book of Genesis, as you think of Joseph in the book of Genesis.
His own Jewish brothers rejected him, but the goys accepted him.
He went from a place of condemnation to a place of exaltation in a single day as did Rabbi Yeshua.
Yosef was betrayed by his brother Yehuda for 20 pieces of silver as Jesus was betrayed by Yehuda â€“ Judas for 30 pieces of silver.
Joseph"s brothers did not recognize him at the first coming, they thought he was a goy, an Egyptian. And so Jesus" brothers recognize Him at the second coming. They think He"s a goy, He"s for the Christians. Hollywood gave Him blond hair and blue eyes, but He did not have blond hair and blue eyes.
Think of Moses the first time he tried to save his people â€“ they rejected him; it was the second time they accepted him as with Joseph. The first time they rejected him, the second time they accepted him. Why should the Messiah be any different? The Hebrew scriptures do not say He will bring in worldwide peace, it says He will come and bring an opponent; it says He will come and be cut off; it says wars and desolations will be determined until the end â€“ then He will come and bring in worldwide peace. In His first coming He came to pay the price for the sin that prevents the peace from coming. In His return he will bring the peace. Shalom alkot Yisra"el.
I don't understand the argument. How can you say He's not the Messiah because He didn't bring in worldwide peace but was killed when that's exactly what Daniel said the Messiah was supposed to do? Why don"t the rabbis tell you this? I'm afraid you"ll have to ask them, I"m not a rabbi, but I know what their ancient rabbis said, â€œDon't read Daniel 9, there"s a curse if you do". What are they afraid of? Can you really believe that God would have put something in His Word that He didn't want you to understand? Why would He put it there?
There was a rabbi who hated Christians because he had known nothing but persecution in Eastern Europe. His family had been terribly persecuted. His name was Rabbi Leopold Cohen. Only once in his life did he ever see a New Testament and he picked it up and threw it against the wall in violent anger because of the pogroms his people had experienced in the shtetls of Eastern Europe. In desperation to flee the anti-Semitism he arrived in New York City and there he began to study and study and study. He always studied Torah and he always studied Talmud. He studied Mishnah, he read the Midrashim. Be he decided instead of studying rabbinic commentary on the Prophets he would study the Prophets. And when he came to Daniel 9 he had questions he could not answer. So he went to the Talmudic literature, he went to the tractates like Sanhedrin, and he discovered what I discovered: The Messiah had to come and die before the Second Temple would be destroyed before 70 A.D.
That's my question. If Rabbi Yeshua â€“ Jesus only did what the Messiah was prophesied as going to have to do, how can you reject on the basis of having fulfilled the prophecy? You can reject somebody on the basis of having not fulfilled the prophecy, but how can you logically, rationally as a Jew before God reject Him on the basis of fulfilling what He was supposed to?
The first question I would like to ask you is this: There are two reasons most Jewish people I know â€“ neighbors, friends, family â€“ two reasons most I know reject any idea of Jesus being the Jewish Messiah. Those reasons are always â€œanti-Semitism" and â€œWhy, if He was the Messiah, did He not bring in worldwide peace?" Therefore He could not be the Messiah. Let's begin with the most sensitive of issues, anti-Semitism.
I had an uncle who was in a German camp. He was a prisoner of war. The Nazis were going to kill Him. He was rescued by the Russians at the last moment as my wife's father was rescued by the Russians at the last moment as he was against the wall about to be shot. The Germans were trying to kill as many Jews as they could before they evacuated, before the retreat in the face of the oncoming invasion. My wife is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Most of her family were murdered. And, of course, they were murdered in the name of Jesus Christ. The remaining orthodox church, the Roman Catholic Church and most of the Lutheran church in Germany collaborated with the Nazis. Hitler quoted Luther at length. It was not just Catholics, it was Protestants. How can I believe that the person in whose name one Inquisition after another, one pogrom after another, and ultimately the Holocaust should be even considered as a possible candidate to be the Jewish Messiah, when in His name nothing but genocidal extermination and persecution has come to Israel and the Jews? That"s the question I asked myself, but this is the question I would like to ask you.
If you were to read the Tanak, â€œYirmayah Ha"nabiy" â€“ Jeremiah the Prophet was arrested and thrown into a cistern. (Jer. 38:6) He pointed people to the Law, the Torah. He warned them of impending doom and judgment and God's anger with them because of idolatry and immorality. And like most of the other prophets he was persecuted. But he was not persecuted in the name of Ba"al; he was not persecuted in the name of Molech. Most of the Hebrew prophets who were persecuted or murdered by their own people were murdered in the name of Yahweh and Moses. They were accused of speaking against the Torah and Moses when they said that God's judgment was going to come upon Jerusalem.
I recall several years ago when an Orthodox Jew wearing a yarmulke drew a pistol in north Tel Aviv and fired bullets directly into the back of the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. He did this in the name of Judaism; he did this in the name of the Torah; he did this in the name of Yahweh; he did this in the name of Moses â€“ â€œMoshe Rabbeinu". An Orthodox Jew assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, gunned him down, murdered his own prime minister in the name of Moses and Judaism. Can I reject Moses and Judaism because somebody assassinated Yitzhak Rabin in his name? Can I reject Moses and Judaism because the prophets were persecuted and killed in their name?
Simon bar Kokhba came and was extolled as a hero. He was proclaimed to be the Messiah by Rabbi Akiva in the name of Moses and the Prophets. The Israeli general and archeologist, the first chief of staff of the Israeli military Ya"alon said something different. He described bar Kokhba as something of a brute tyrant who once kicked a 90-year-old rabbi in the head and killed him; a warlord, someone who"d been power-hungry. Some saw him that way, but Rabbi Akiva said he was the Messiah. And in the name of Moses and Judaism, Rabbi Akiva promised the Jewish people he was the Messiah and would bring them deliverance. At the battle of Betar, the worst holocaust in proportionate terms that has ever happened to Israel took place, (something in proportionate terms as bad as the Holocaust of the 1930"s and 40"s) only it happened in their own land. Because Rabbi Akiva proclaimed bar Kokhba to be the Messiah in the name of Moses and Judaism, can I reject Moses and Judaism? No, Rabbi Akiva did not bring peace to Israel and establish worldwide peace through his Messiah bar Kochba. Bar Kochba did not establish worldwide peace and bring peace to Israel even though in the name of Moses and Judaism they said he would.
If you"ve studied Judaism you know about Shabbetai. Most rabbis in major areas of Europe and North Africa, most in major areas and many others in a variety of areas, said he was the Messiah, but he was not a Messiah. In the end he led the people into what can best be described as something debaucherous and grossly disappointing. Yet it was in the name of Moses and the Prophets that the rabbis proclaimed Shabbetai Zevi to be the Messiah. Can I reject Moses and Judaism because the rabbis misled the Jewish people into following Shabbetai Zevi in the name of Moses and Judaism?
Two generations later the rabbis did it again and they said Jacob Frank was the Messiah on a wide scale. But Jacob Frank was not the Messiah, yet in the name of Moses and Judaism the rabbis said he was. And some very bad things happened to the Jewish people. There"ve been many people who the rabbis have said is the Messiah right up to the present age, and they always proclaimed them to be the Messiah in the name of Moses and Judaism. Murder and atrocity was committed in the name of Moses and Judaism. Genocidal persecution of the Jews resulted as a direct result of Rabbi Akiva"s action perpetrated in the name of Moses and Judaism.
On what basis can I reject Moses and Judaism because of what was done in the name of Moses? I cannot reject Moses and Judaism because of what was done in the name of Moses. I have to accept or reject Moses on the basis of what Moses said and did, not on the basis of what others said and did in his name. The issue is not what was done in the name of Moses, the issue is Moses. So then my question to you is, â€œOn what basis can I reject Yeshua â€“ Rabbi Yeshua bar Jozef m"Netseret, whom the Gentiles call 'Jesus of Nazareth' â€“ on what basis can I dismiss Him and reject Him?" On the basis of what was done in His name to the Jewish people and to others? The issue is not what was done and said in His name by others, the issue is what did He say and do? The issue is not what Jesus is said to have said, the issue is not what others did generations and centuries after His public ministry in Israel, the issue is not what others said and did in His name. The issue is not that, the issue is He Himself.
I considered Moses apart from what was done in his name. Now you don't think of it, but goys â€“ Gentiles will say much the same thing about you that you think about them. They have these myths of conspiracy theories and Jewish bankers and Jewish merchants and Jews trying to take over the medical profession and the academic institutions, making Jews the scapegoats for most of man"s faults and problems when in fact we all know there are both good Jews and bad Jews the same as there"s good Gentiles and bad Gentiles. But it"s easy just to say, â€œOh, the Jews!", and it"s just as easy to say, â€œOh, the Christians!" No real Jew would commit murder in the name of Judaism; no real Jew would persecute their own prophets in the name of Judaism; no real Christian would commit murder in the name of Christianity. no real Christians would murder God's own chosen people, the Jews, in the name of a Jewish faith. Christianity is a Jewish faith.
How can you reject Jesus on the basis of what was done in His name unless you reject Moses on the same grounds? I don't reject Moses for those reasons, it wouldn't be fair to Moses and it wouldn't be fair to myself. The issue is was Moses right? I hope you won"t reject Jesus on those grounds. It wouldn't be fair to Him and it wouldn't be fair to you. The issue is, â€œWas Yeshua right?" Not the Gentile â€œJesus", not the Catholic or Protestant â€œJesus", but the Jewish Jesus: Was He right?
By the 2nd Century the Jewish historian Max Dimont tells us that 25% of the Jews in Jerusalem believed he was the Messiah. The only reason Gentiles believe in Him is because Jews believed it first. The only reason there"s a New Testament is that Jews wrote it. Both those calling themselves Jews and those calling themselves Christians are the products of revisionism, a rewritten distortion of history. There is nothing Gentile about Jesus or His message except that He loves Gentiles and wanted to save them and wanted them to believe in the Jewish God and the Jewish way of salvation. That is all. â€œla"or goyim" â€“ â€œa light to the Gentiles". (Is. 42:6).
That's my first question, my dear Jewish friend, how can you reject Jesus because of what was done in His name when the same things were done in the name of Moses and Judaism?
But I have one final question for my Roman Catholic friends. And I assure you I have many friends, I am not speaking antagonistically or with hostility to any Catholic people. I'm only asking you these questions which I"d like you to answer, I invite you to answer. Engage with me, there"s one more I"d like to ask you.
I am told that the doctrine of the mass says Jesus must die and again and again and again sacramentally. The same sacrifice that took place on Calvary happens in the mass: He dies sacramentally. He has to die again, again, and again. Remembering that the Lord"s Supper â€“ communion, the Eucharist as Catholics would define it â€“ comes from the Jewish Passover which is a memorial, you remember something already happened, the Roman Church rather says, â€œNo, it continues to happen sacramentally."
I'm reading from the epistle to the Hebrews 7:27, Christâ€¦
who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Why is there daily mass when it says we don't need a daily Mass? The Old Testament sacrifices that took place daily with the priests in the temple were symbols of what the Messiah would do. Given the fact that He came and did it, we don't need it anymore according to the epistle to the Hebrews.
The epistle to the Hebrews 9:12â€¦
and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, Heâ€¦
â€¦that is, Christâ€¦
â€¦entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
If it"s â€œeternal" it means it"s forever and ever without end, without beginning as such â€“ it"s eternal. He did it once and for all for all eternity. Why is there a mass?
Chapter 10 of Hebrews, verse 12â€¦
â€¦that is, Christâ€¦
â€¦ having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,
One sacrifice for sins for all time. Verse 14â€¦
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
If something is perfection, by definition it cannot be improved upon. How can you improve upon perfection?
Given the fact that Rome claims Peter was the first pope, can it be explained why, in his epistle in 1 Peter 3:18, St. Peter says Christ diedonce to bear the sins? Once â€“ perfection â€“ for all eternity! We don"t need a priest to do it again and again like in the Old Testament, the Priest has come. It"s a good question.
A famous priest who was a Catholic theologian, the author of eight books, on a video admitted he didn't have the answer. Understand something: What astounded me coming from a Catholic background on my mother"s side was that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for teaching as precepts of God the inventions of men. (Mt. 15:9; Mk. 7:7)
The last thing Jesus said in the Apocalypse is don"t add to the Bible. (Rev. 22:18-19) In his First epistle to the Corinthians 4:6 St. Paul said, â€œLearn not to exceed what is written". Moses says don"t add to it, (Dt. 4:2) Jesus said if you do you"ll be condemned to hell. Find me indulgences, purgatory, or the mass in the New Testament. Penance? Whose sins you shall forgive? That was talking about leading people to Christ. Show me one place in the book of Acts where the early Christians went to confession to a priest. Or a better question, show me a priest.
There is no such thing as a priest in the New Testament because we are all called priests by Peter. (1 Pe. 2:5; 2:9) St. Peter said we are all priests with Christ as the High Priest. There is no â€œpriest", the word is â€œpresbyter" where you get the word â€œPresbyterian". It meant the elders of a congregation. There was no priesthood other than the priesthood of all Christians. Jesus said call no man your father as a religious title. In Matthew 23, St. Matthew quotes Jesus As saying, â€œCall no man your father". (Mt. 23:9) Jesus forbade us to call the pope a â€œholy father" or to call the priest â€œour father". He forbade it as a religious title. â€œCall no man your father". There"s no priest, He said don"t even call somebody that, One is your Father who is in heaven.
With sincerity I've asked these questions. Who do I believe, Mary or the Vatican? Who do I believe, St. Paul or the Vatican? Who do I believe, St. Peter or the Vatican? Who do I believe, St. Matthew or the Vatican? Who do I believe, Jesus Christ or the Vatican? I had to make a decision, so do you. Whom will you believe?
When I accepted Jesus I came to realize two things. I came to realize that the Christianity I was brought up in by my mother was not the one of the New Testament. I also came to realize that the real Jesus was a Jewish Jesus, He was the Jewish Messiah. Having been educated in Catholic school but sent to the Jewish community center, I was astounded at the blindness of the Jew and the blindness of the Catholic. I once was blind, but by the grace of Jesus, now I see.
You repent of your sin, you put your faith in Him and accept that He died for you, ask Him to come into into your life, and follow Him on the basis of His Word, He will do for you what He's done for many Roman Catholics â€“ He will save you. What Mary was promised you can have.
Moriel P.O. Box 201 Maidenhead SL69FB
God bless you and thank you for listening.