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God Punishes the Guilty and Gives Instructions to the Innocent

  The Hebrew Scriptures reveal that the Creator of the Heavens and Earth created human life as the pinnacle of creation . He fashioned the first humans in His own image. The Torah teaches that human life has purpose and dignity because God is a moral being who alone created the entire universe . God expects that just as He is holy, so too humans will be holy. God’s moral nature is a guarantee that He will sustain and protect the world . In order to do so, God gave a moral law and judges humans by its strict standards, meting out reward and punishment accordingly . [i]   This is clearly seen in the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, and Noah. The story of Noah adds a new lesson to what the previous stories taught – it was the judgment of the entire human population . “ The Day of the Vengeance of God ” in Isaiah and “ The Great Day of Judgment ” in Malachi are related to “ The Story of the Great Flood .”   In my last email , that is why I said that Jesus used the “ The
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God Told Me to Build an Ark!

  My last email introduced many readers to the complexity of the Judaisms that existed in Judea and Galilee at the time of Jesus – Zadokite Judaism, Samaritans, Enochic Judaism, Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, Hasidim, Prophetic Messianic Movements, Zealots and the Sicarii. Each group viewed its vision for the future of Israel as “ God’s vision .” Their visions were the product of their interpretations of the sacred texts of the Jewish people , which included the books Christians call “ The Old Testament .”   The two groups below represent the extreme views held by the above groups.   ● The Essenes told people to separate themselves from the Temple and other Jews.   ● The Sicarii told people to attack the Romans and force them into a war .   Based on the words of Jesus, former members from both of those groups were among his followers, along with former members of other “ Judaisms ” too. His group also had its own vision, which was based on his interpretations of the same sacred texts

The Complexity of the Judaisms Within the Jesus Movement

  A major shock for me, during the first decade of research on my Christian Biblical Heritage, was discovering that my religion had not been passed down “ intact and unbroken ” from Jesus to me. But the facts led me to understand that my religion began as a Jewish sect and was then transformed into local Gentile religions spread throughout the Roman Empire. Later they were consolidated by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great and became the Roman Catholic Church, which was divided by the Great Schism of 1054. Then Luther created Protestantism which splintered into multiple new religions. Each religion began as “beliefs in the minds of individuals,” attracted followers, created institutions, and later became denominations.   At times I wanted to walk away from it all, but I also discovered that Christian Biblical Heritages played major roles in ending feudalism , founding universities , the spread of the double entry accounting system – plus the rise of science, capitalism, American dem

Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor on The Passion of the Christ

  I came across a speech today that Rabbi Jeffrey made seventeen years ago (2004) when he was asked to commit on the movie “ The Passion of the Christ .” It is an amazing speech that could only be delivered in true “Rabbi Leynor” style. _______________________________________   Good evening!   Thank you for the invitation to be here this evening.  I choose to begin my statements tonight with a disclaimer.  I do not speak for the Jewish Community in any official capacity.  What you will hear are some of my own opinions and observations about Mr. Gibson's movie and some reactions in both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities.   I do not feel the need to point out the number of historical inaccuracies in the film, except for one, which I will address shortly.  Since I could understand the Aramaic, I had a slight advantage over the average moviegoer, especially concerning what was actually being said as opposed to what appeared on the screen.   At no point did I personally, as a Jew, w

Yeshua, the Anointed One, Son of God and King

  We still have one more word to explore before we will know what the words “ Jesus Christ Son of God ” meant to Jesus, his Jewish followers and other members of the Jewish culture. That word is “ Jesus .” The history of the name “ Jesus ” begins in an account in the Torah (first five books in the Bible). Yahweh commanded Moses to choose one man from each of the twelve tribes to spy out the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:8, 16).   Of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun . . .   These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea , the son of Nun, Yehoshua ( Joshua ) .   The root word of Hoshea means " salvation ," but at that time salvation did not mean “ saved from Hell .” It meant “ being delivered from some danger or threat .” When Moses changed Hoshea to Yehoshua the meaning of the name changed to " Yahweh-is-Salvation ."   In the 5th Century BCE, the name Yehoshua was shortened to Yeshua ( Ezra

The Meaning of “Son of God” to Jesus

  I began this series by asking what “ Jesus Christ Son of God ” meant to Jesus and his Jewish followers. By the end of my previous email, we discovered that “ Jesus Christ ” meant “ Jesus the Anointed One . ” Conveying the meaning of those words requires a paragraph:   Jesus – The One Anointed (called by God to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, set at liberty those who are oppressed, and proclaim the year of favor of Yahweh) – Son of God .   Now let’s find out what “ Son of God ” meant to Jesus and his followers. Of all the things said about Jesus, the words “ Son of God ” create the most confusion and generate the most serious conflicts. Obviously, the words “ son ” and “ god ” are two words in every language that are so common people just assume they know what they mean.   ● A “ son ” is “ a male offspring of something .”   ● In gentile cultures there were “ many gods .”   ● Male gods had se