Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Theocracy at rise in modern Israel

Theocracy is on the rise in Israel. On Tuesday 28th of June 2011 PM Benyamin Netanyahu has publicly taken side in this deeply significant rift in the society emphasizing the equality of all in front of the laws of modern Stateo of Israel.

Chief Rabbi Dov Lior represents ideas of genuine theocracy where divine Will is way above the rule of the earthly commissaires.

This reliance on the Torah is not only theoretical faith but has led to very concrete consequences also in the streets of Jerusalem these days. One of Israel's finest, soldier and statesman Yizhaq Rabin, rests in his tomb and there are other dead people who have stood on the way of the Reconquest of the Promised Land by the people of God.

So it is very important and shows remarkable courage, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upholds the earhtly laws of the society against the divine Will as understood by Rabbi Dov Lior.

That very secular newspaper Haaretz reports on Wednesday June 29, 2011 Sivan 27, 5771:
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the arrest of Rabbi Dov Lior on Tuesday, saying that “Israel is a law-abiding state”. He added that “the law includes everyone and I call on all Israel’s citizens to uphold it.”
Lior was arrested, questioned, and released on Monday after refusing to appear for an inquiry for his endorsement of the controversial book, “Torat Hamelech”, which justifies killing non-Jews.
The tension between the rule of divine Law and the rule of secular law is deep and significant to the entire Jewish people, those living in Israel and those abroad in Diaspora.  And to some extent it is important also to those gojim marked as fair game for killing by some of the rabbis of Israel.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Four Divine Covenants

There is only one true God - the God of Israel. All other so called gods are something else.
People have not initiated covenants with Him. As a Sovereign He himself has made covenants with the people and other living things He has created as He pleases.

Bible describes the four divine Covenants giving some or all of these elements
  • Between which parties the Covenant is made
  • Content of the Covenant
  • Promise 
  • Token of the Covenant.

1. Covenant of Noah
And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

Between which parties the Covenant is made?
And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

What is the Promise of the Covenant?
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

What is the Token of the Covenant?
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9:8-17

Sovereign God has made Covenant
  • with Noah and his seed and all life upon earth, humans and animals
  • Promise: God of Israel will never again drown all life on Earth
  • Token of this covenant is the rainbow in the clouds that reminds God of His promise

2. Covenant with Abraham
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

Between which parties the Covenant is made?
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, (Abraham)

What is the Promise of the Covenant?
and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 

Between which parties the Covenant is made?
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant,

What is the Promise of the covenant?
to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

What is the Token of the Covenant?
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. ... And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

A. God has made a Covenant
  • with the person of Abraham
  • Promising he will become the father of many nations
B. God has made a Covenant
  • with Abraham and his seed
  • Promising that they will inherit Canaan Land
  • the Token of this Covenant with Abraham and his seed is circumcision of male offspring

3. Covenant at Sinai (Mosaic Covenant)
And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying,

Between which parties the Covenant is made?
Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

What is the content of the Covenant?
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,

What is the Promise of the Covenant?
then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

God has made a Covenant in Sinai
  • with the house of Jacob, the children of Israel
  • Content: they obey His voice and commandments
  • Promise: they will be unto Him chosen people and holy nation
There is no token in this text.

4. Blood Covenant in Christ

 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
1 Cor 11:23 - 26

  • The Covenant is made between Christ and His disciples
  • The Covenant is the cup of the Blood of Christ
There is no Token in this text nor is there any direct Promise.

The New Covenant (Latin testamentum) is quite a subject - which one of the other Covenants in the Bible is made Old by the New?

I wish to point out in this context a striking fact - these words come to us from beyond the grave, from a dead man.

They are in one of the oldest books of the New Testament, the authentic Pauline letter to the newly established congregation of Christian in the city of Corinth (probably mid 50'ies AD) and Saint Paul states absolutely clearly that these words about the New Covenant were given to him directly by the Lord. (This was probably during the fourteen years when Paul had his private lessons from Christ in the Arabian Desert).

The New Covenant is quite strikingly different. Although Blood Covenant is well established in the Biblical rituals at the Temple of Jerusalem a Jew would never even imagine a covenant with God that would include the drinking of human blood.

Thus this Covenant is not invented by men but similarly to the other Covenants it is made by the Sovereign God of Israel.

The same God who happened to command the token of circumcision for the Covenant of Abraham - a religious practice so essential to Judaism that is now under attack by "enlightened people" in California and elsewhere in the world.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

King of the Jews and the Jewish people

The relationship between the King of the Jews and the Jewish people is very complex and generally quite often misunderstood both by those who do believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah and by those who reject that claim.

The student of rabbi Gamaliel the Elder, Saint Paul, has written significantly about this relationship in one of his major texts surviving to us in the canonical New Testament, the Letter to Romans. This is not the subject of my little study now for we know that the Jewish man from the party of the Pharisees, Saul from the city of Tarsos, was chosen by the King to tell about Him to gentiles, gojim. These were early on freed from the kashrut requirements and other Mosaic laws and are not expected to be circumcised. Christianity according to Paul is another religion, another covenant. (Apostolic decision on the matter was taken in Jerusalem perhaps in the late 40'ies after the birth of Christ Acts 15:1-35)

That the King was rejected by His people is the foundation of everything and source of salvation to the Jews and Greeks and men and women and slaves and free (Gal 3:23). This also is not the subject of the blog.

King of the Jews speaks to His people  
In Luke 21:20-24 His Majesty speaks in most severe way to the people who have rejected Him but the sad text has a magnificent ending

Destruction of the city of the Great King, Jerusalem, by the Romans
“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 

Hatred of the Jews (anti-Semitism) and Diaspora
There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.

Crucial role of the Jews in world history
Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Times of the Gentiles
Now there is no end of gentile people who think this and that about the role of the Jews and their national movements and religion and everything. The gojim have learned to know something about the people of God through the long years of Diaspora but mostly the Jews have kept to themselves even when not being forced to a ghetto.

There are many who do not think that the Jewish people have anymore any role in any divine plans for this planet. There are many who do think that they do have and among them some rather powerful Christian groups in the United States.

What people think is one thing.

What the King of the Jews says about His people is another thing.

He has brought them back to the Promised Land and there are preparations for the rebuilding of the House of God where it once stood and where there is now the Wailing Wall for Tisha beAv.

What are these times of the gentiles Luke, writing to a pious Sadducee, most excellent Theophilus who may be related to rabbi Gamaliel the Elder. 

Jerusalem trampled by the gentiles until their times are fulfilled.
ἄχρι πληρωθῶσι καιροὶ ἐθνῶν

kairoi ethnon - the Greek work kairos has many meanings but we might understand it here as an epoch.

The King sees world history in sequences of events centered in Jerusalem.

There is that hiatus, when His people are away, and then the city of Jerusalem will no more be trampled by the gentiles, but is back in the hand of His people.

Mysterious message
Those were told to the people and are of interest also to the gentiles.

King of the Jews has a mysterious message to His people whom they can understand but which is difficult for us gentiles to grasp in its depth.

The overall meaning is, however, clear and shows that the future of the people of Israel is in the hand of their God and it is not a future they are particularly waiting for right now and a future that is hard for the gentiles to believe.

The King of the Jews has spoken:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Matthew 23:37-39

But then they will see Him again.