Etikettarkiv | jews

Spiritual gifts are in use today, but watch out for false spirits

Misunderstanding of the spiritual gifts

The evangelist Torben Søndergaard explains that the spiritual gifts are still valid today and very much in use by born again Christians. Unfortunately, he must also warn against false spirits among us in our churches, like those involved in new age and eastern religions with yoga practices such as kundalini.

The fact that someone gets healed does not necessarily mean that the person who heals him (i.e. someone with the gift of healing) can automatically be assumed to be right with God and someone who always lives a holy life. God is the perfect one who is the great Healer, and he gives authority to all Christians to receive the gift of healing (as well as other gifts). All Christians are not necessarily perfect even though they have the opportunity to be so. A person with the gift of healing can therefore not automatically be assumed to live a more righteous life than others, and might choose to go different paths in life – like into a much closer relationship with God or become consumed with the powerful gifts and subsequent fame (if we are perhaps talking about a TV evangelist) that he/she becomes worldly. You never know, but we should test all spirits and also judge people by their fruit.

Christians sometimes fall into one of two ditches:

  • Those who believe that NO spiritual gifts are still valid today (unless God would decide to zap a unknowing person on the street and make him/her possess one or more gifts) due to the possibility that fake instances of the gifts can be detected and due to their misunderstanding of the Bible text. Since they are basically cessationists (believing the spiritual gifts have ceased), they therefore assume that people claiming to speak in tongues (or with other types of spiritual gifts) are either lying (a sin), or are demonic (a sin) and are therefore not real Christians. For these people speaking in tongues is a sign that the speaker is NOT a Christian. (Compare with Mark. 16:17 where tongues are said to follow those who believe.)
  • Those who believe that a person with one or more of the gifts – particularly with the gift of healing – must be particularly loved by God and have a particularly advanced Bible knowledge. An authoritative Christian closer to God than others and who should be obeyed over others due to having such fantastic gifts.

We should have a more balanced view. Evidence of fake money is no evidence that all money is fake. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that the gifts of the holy Spirit were old news and should be forgotten even shortly after the New Testament was written. There are unfortunately Christians who totally misunderstand the spiritual gifts and believe such manifestations were only a sign for the unbelieving Jews (see here why this is not Scriptural).

It is not always the case that a healed person will automatically become close to God and interested in living a righteous life. In one occasion, Jesus healed ten lepers and only one of them returned to give glory to God (Luke 17:18). However, there is a great chance that people will indeed seek the true Healer after having been wonderfully healed themselves. It is wise to seek the one responsible for the miracles and find out what he requires from us (a holy life with love to Him and to others).

Maybe you have watched youtube videos showing people who have been healed, and who are so surprised over what just happened to them that they burst out in a curse word – probably because this is the language they normally use. If the evangelist team (or the person with the gift of healing) takes the chance to share the gospel with the healed person and welcome him/her into a Christian gathering there is a great chance that he/she will choose the right way. Those who produce such films might not include the entire communication because it is time-consuming, so do not be too quick to assume that the issue of repentance is not being taught.

Some healers might not be interested in sharing the gospel or explain the urgent call for repentance and if that is the case there is a problem. People do not get saved by getting healed (although it might sometimes be the first step that makes a person interested in finding out more about God), but by repenting for past sins and walking with the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not possible to assume that the healing must be fake because the Healer has shown to not always live a righteous life. Again, God is the Healer and according to the Bible faith often has a lot to do with the success of getting healed. Nevertheless, a person with the gift of healing is naturally expected to live a holy life, just like those he/she heals. If you do not see an eagerness for repentance, but just a lot of empty manifestations which might even be disorderly done, there is a good chance that there are false spirits involved.

Be careful about those preachers who claim that the gifts of the holy Spirit have ceased (which is just what the devil wants you to believe), and be careful about those preachers who focus on the gifts, fame, money and worldly living.

Mark. 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues

1 Cor. 14:1 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for NO MAN understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

How to NOT increase views on your youtube channel – use a filthy language and demonize the Jews and Israel

 swear word.jpgSeems like some people don’t even want their youtube channels to become more popular!

There are two common mistakes which youtube film makers often make and that will cause some viewers to:

  • not watch the film to the end
  • make the decision to not spread the film on social media (as they otherwise would) even though they really like the film
  • possibly also give the film a thumbs down.

That is because the film makers ….

  1. use a lot of swear words in their films – and particularly the F-word. Some use this word constantly throughout the film.
  2. attack the Jews as a group, and/or they make unfair generalizations about Israel (the only democracy in the Middle East) as though the political leaders and the Israeli inhabitants are the cause of various evil things going on in this world.

Swear words – particularly the F-word

Do some film makers really want to sound like immature third-graders, or why do they constantly use the F-word and other filthy expressions? Quite often I watch youtube films that have an urgent message (since they might convey an alarming conspiracy theory), and one would think that the film maker would therefore do everything in his power to increase the popularity of his film to improve the chances that it will be spread to others. But no! The film maker might still decide to use the F-word here and there which will prevent loads of people from spreading it further. The film maker might respond that he has loads of subscribers and likes, but what is wrong with getting even MORE subscribers and MORE likes? If I knew that preventing certain words would increase the chances for my important film to spread, I would definitely avoid those words. I can only conclude that the film makers feel that their films are not important enough or worth the trouble of avoiding curse words.

The Jews and Israel (the only democracy in the middle east)

The problem is two-fold:

a) Israel is unfairly attacked as a country (sometimes simply for existing) and Israeli politics are also unfairly criticized (maybe they do not like the way Israel protects its citizens from flying rockets and constant terrorist attacks from their Arabic neighbors).

b) The Jews are attacked as a group, and sinister Jewish individuals (who might not even be Jewish more than in the name) are used as representatives of all Jews and of Israel. That goes even if it would be a Jew like Rothschild, who does not regard himself as either a practicing Jew or a lover of Israel but is rather an anti-Jew. Why must a selection of mean-spirited Jews be regarded as the typical Jews of this world and represent the entire community of Jews?

We should of course be allowed to criticize Jews and Israel just like everyone/everything else, but the problem is rather that Jews and Israel are often criticized with another measurement, and unfair generalizations are often made. Jews are often criticized as a group as though they usually work as a unit and have common coffee breaks where they think up various ways to rule the world. There are of course corrupt politicians in Israel as well and Jews who are evil, but why must the whole country and the people as such be judged as a group? Other countries and people are not judged in this way.

Yes, it is very likely that the Israeli intelligence service has been guilty of some dark actions in its history, but the same thing can be said about the intelligence services in the US, Great Britain, France, Italy, Sweden, etc. So why is Israel specifically treated as though it stood out among other countries and constantly demonized? The American CIA has done a lot of bad deeds in its days (and the FBI, and corrupt politicians), but I would not dream of judging all America on the basis of their intelligence service, nor Americans as a group. On top of this, it might only be two percentage of the highest level of CIA who are bad guys with no regard for either America or other countries, and it would simply be wrong to judge America and Americans for something they are innocent of. Not even if we would hypothetically discover that the CIA has started numerous wars in this world and is behind 90% of all false flag operations.

Sometimes I watch youtube films that are excellent because of great support for a certain theory. However, then the film maker might proceed to ruin the film by making attacks on the Jews and/or Israel where he/she neglect to provide support other than saying perhaps ”And Israel is behind it because that’s the pattern”, or they might give examples of bad stuff Jews or Israel have done. But are examples really enough? Is it for example possible to prove that Americans are dumber than Canadians by providing examples of dumb Americans? I pray to God you say no.

Israel – a tiny spot in the Middle Eastisrael.jpg

The film makers might make a preposterous claim, such as ”Israel is slaughtering Arabs”, but provides no support for this unfair generalization. If they lived in Israel themselves, how would they handle things if they were under constant attacks from their neighbors and risked to die in a rocket attack or a bomb blast in a market? How would they react if they had to deal with Arabic organizations which have on their agenda to erase Israel from the map and the Jews out of existence? How would they react if their neighbors praised terrorists who have killed Jews, and named streets after them? Would they not like a protecting fence, and would they not like a strong Israeli defense? It would be suicide for Israel to lay down their weapons.

Israel has shown in history that they are willing to give up land for peace (Sinai, Gaza, etc). They initially got their tiny land mass (NOT taken from any ”Palestinians”) through a UN resolution, and they were not silly enough to say no thanks. They had no country, unlike the Arabs, and Jews had already lived in danger in several countries for many years. Israel immediately offered to share their little spot with the Arabs (despite that the Arabs had huge territories already, including the new Transjordan), but the Arabs started a war as a response. Those Arabs who were wise enough to remain in Israel (they were not forced to leave) became full members of Israel and can share in all the benefits the country provides. There is of course lots more to say, but my point is simply that I have seen SO many great youtube films totally ruined by unfair attacks on Jews/Israel, and the films themselves might have nothing to do with the Middle East anyway. I have seen films about topics such as megaliths (stones) where the lecturer for some reason takes the chance to attack the Jews as a group.

Links:

https://askdrbrown.org/library/some-major-problems-statement-palestinian-president-abbas

http://history-of-israel.org/history/time_line.php

http://www.shamrak.com/Masada2000-HistoryofPalestine.htm

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/do-you-think-you-know-who-the-palestinians-are/

Exodus 3:14 God’s name I AM – Septuagint ego eimi – in different languages

i amThe Septuagint is a Greek version of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew (and small parts in Aramaic). The Septuagint had already existed before Jesus Christ was born, and it was the translation that Jesus himself used when he walked as a man on earth. Therefore it’s very interesting to see how the holy Spirit has rendered the translation of God’s word in the Septuagint. See for instance biblehub.com.

Exodus 3:14:  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for BLASPHEMY; and because that thou, being a man, MAKEST THYSELF GOD.

The main claim by those who deny the Deity of Jesus (such as muslims and Jehova’s witnesses), is that since the Greek translation is ”ho on”, then John 8:58 doesn’t prove that Jesus is God because of the slightly different wording of that verse compared with Ex. 3:14 (in Hebrew). The Hebrew word ehyeh derives from the verb root hayah meaning ”to be”, and the Septuagint translates ehyeh asher ehyeh of Exodus 3:14 into Greek as ”ego eimi ho on” (compare with John 8:58). This earliest of all translations thus associates Exodus 3:14 with the concept of absolute existence. The Septuagint translation can of course not be an exact rendering of the Hebrew.

Translating ehyeh as ”I am” presents a interpretational difficulty since the word is not followed by WHAT he is, but the same difficulty applies when translating it as ”I will be”. Will be what? The crucial difference between the two options is that whereas the words ”I am” standing alone can be understood as God’s self-designation, the ”I will be” cannot. When it comes to the Jewish Bible translations produced during the last 2300 years, there has been no consensus as to how the Exodus 3:14 should be translated, but fortunately we do have the Septuagint – translated by holy men of God. Moreover, it was not only God who spoke in the bush but the angel of the Lord, and the angel of the Lord is likely JESUS CHRIST – or else we are stuck with numerous Bible contradictions. (Note, that the angel of the Lord is not a created angel.)

Just because the two expressions are different, it doesn’t mean that they are different in meaning, and both expressions are basically synonymous in meaning since they point to the timeless existence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why couldn’t for instance ”the eternal God, the alpha and the omega” and ”the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end”, be about the same person even though the words are slightly different? Had Jesus wished to say that he merely existed for a long time before Abraham—he could have said so by using the imperfect tense emen instead of the present tense eimi, and thus be saying ”Before Abraham came into existence, I was”, but he didn’t say that.

If you find different renderings of John 8:58, it’s due to translators’ attempts to best express the Greek construction into the other language. We should be careful to not claim that a translation is ”wrong” if there are different ways to convey the original meaning. Should the interpreter translate an expression by using a word for word translation (with the risk to confuse the reader), or should he instead try to convey the true meaning? If you’re unsure of the translation, then go to the original languages (Hebrew or Greek), to see the original expressions used, and also make a comparison with the Septuagint. However, no one should be required to study a foreign language in order to understand the Bible – which contains God’s simple words for his people. Exodus 3:14 is hardly the only Biblical reference to Jesus as God.

The Septuagint (the OT in Greek) equals ”ego eimi”  with God the Creator

Deut. 32:39 See now that I, EVEN I, AM HE (ego eimi LXX), and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.

Isaiah 41:Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he (ego eimi LXX).—10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.—13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I AM HE (ego eimi LXX)(ego eimi ego eimi – I AM I AM LXX) that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 46:And even to your old age I am he (ego eimi LXX); and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

Isaiah 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.—15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am he (ego eimi ego eimi – I AM I AM LXX) that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

Isaiah 52:Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he (ego eimi LXX) hat doth speak: behold, it is I.

According to these passages Yahweh can say that he is the I AM because:i am 2

  • He gives life
  • He sustains and delivers
  • No one can deliver out of his hands
  • He is from ancient of days
  • He forgives and blots out sins
  • He alone declares the future and brings it to pass
  • He comforts his people

Compare his claims with the claims of the Jesus

  • He gives eternal life
  • He raises the dead
  • He sustains and delivers
  • He is able to prevent anyone from delivering out of his hands
  • He preserves believers from perishing
  • He came down from heaven, i.e is from ancient of days
  • He predicts the future and has it come to pass
  • He forgives and blots out sins
  • He gives comfort to his people

John. 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.1And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.20 But he saith unto them, It is I (ego eimi); be not afraid.21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

Matt. 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Ps. 107:24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Matt. 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (not known KJV)

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he (ego eimi), ye shall die in your sins.25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.—28 So Jesus said, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he (ego eimi).20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

The 10 times ”ego eimi” is used without a predicate in John

  1. John 4:26 Jesus said to her ”I who speak to you am He [ego eimi].”
  2. John 6:20 But He said to them, ”It is I [ego eimi]; do not be afraid.”
  3. John 8:24 ”I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am [ego eimi], you shall die in your sins.”
  4. John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, ”When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [ego eimi]”
  5. John 8:58 Jesus said to them, ”Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. [ego eimi]”
  6. John 9:9 He kept saying, ”I am [ego eimi] the one.”
  7. John 13:19 ”From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am” [ego eimi].
  8. John 18:5 They answered Him, ”Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, ”I am [ego eimi].” And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them.
  9. John 18:6 When therefore He said to them, ”I am,” [ego eimi] they drew back, and fell to the ground.
  10. John 18:8 Jesus answered, ”I told you that I am [ego eimi]; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way,”

Lightfoot (see Biblehub) suggests that the occurrences of the absolute ”ego eimi” in John 8 and 13.19 should be translated ”I am”, since the two words in the Greek are the same as those of the LXX in certain OT passages, like Deut. 32.39 and Is. 46.4 where God is the speaker, and thus confirms his Godhead.

Do read this article about the pre-existence of Jesus before the creation of the world.

In Exodus it is the Angel who is identified as Yahweh and the great I AM

Deut. 33:13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,—16 And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 

Malachi 3:1 states that the temple belongs to the Angel of the covenant, i.e. ”the Lord who you are seeking will come to his temple.” This again proves that the Angel is Yahweh. Malachi also calls this Angel ”the Lord” which in Hebrew is Ha Adon, and this is never used for anyone other than Yahweh. The fact that Malachi had no problem applying this title to the Angel demonstrates that Malachi believed that this Angel was God. There are even some Jewish sources that link Malachi 3:1 to Exodus 23:20-23:

”BEHOLD, I SEND AN ANGEL. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses: ‘He who guarded the patriarchs will also guard the children’; for so you find in the case of Abraham that when he blessed his son Isaac, he said: The L-rd, the G-d of heaven … He will send His angel before thee (Gen. xxiv, 7). And what did Jacob say to his children? ‘The angel who hath redeemed me from all evil, etc. (ibid. xlviii, 16). He hath redeemed me from the hand of Esau, from Laban, and he it was who fed and sustained me during the years of famine’ (referring all this to an angel – one sent by G-d for that particular purpose). G-d said to Moses: ‘Now also, He who guarded the fathers will protect the children,’ as it says, BEHOLD, I SEND AN ANGEL. Wherever the angel appeared, the Shechinah appeared, as it says, And the angel of the L-rd appeared unto him in a flame of fire. (Ex. iii, 2), and immediately after, it says, G-d called unto him (ibid., 4). Moreover, salvation cometh to Israel wherever they cry unto Him (whenever Israel cries unto G-d and the angel appears, he is a herald of salvation); at the thorn-bush – Behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me (ibid. 9); in the case of Gideon – And the angel of the L-rd came … and the angel of the L-rd appeared … and the L-rd … said: Go in this thy might, and save Israel (Judg. vi, 11-14). In the millennium, likewise, when he (the angel; he will be the herald announcing the coming of the L-rd and of true salvation) will reveal himself, salvation will come to Israel, as it says,Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall clear the way before Me (Mal. iii, i).” (Rabbi Dr. S.M. Lehrman, Midrash Rabbah: Volume III: Exodus [London: The Soncino Press, 1983], pp. 412-13)

Jewish Tradition viewed Malachi 3:1 as a prophecy of the Messiah:

The Lord is the King Messiah; He is also the Angel of the Covenant. Rabbi David Kimchi

The Lord is both the Divine Majesty, and the Angel of the Covenant, for the sentence is doubled. Aben Ezra

The Lord may be explained of the King Messiah. Mashmiah Jeshua, fol.76

For those who cannot look upon the Son Himself, behold Him in His reflected light, even thus do they regard THE IMAGE OF GOD, WHO IS HIS ANGEL, THE WORD [Logos], as God Himself. (De Plant Noe) Philo Judaeus   

I AM in different languages – Ex. 3:14

Is it likely that all Hebrew and Theology scholars across the globe, all made a huge translation error?

2 Mos. 3:14 Gud sade till Mose: ”Jag är den Jag Är.” Och han sade vidare: ”Så skall du säga till Israels barn: Jag Är har sänt mig till er.” (SFB)

14 Gud sade till Mose: »Jag är den jag är.» Och han sade vidare: »Så skall du säga till Israels barn: ‘Jag är’ har sänt mig till eder. (1917)

 14 Og Gud sa til Moses: Jeg er den jeg er ; og han sa: Så skal du si til Israels barn: ”Jeg er” har sendt mig til eder. (Det norsk bibelselskap 1930)

14 Þá sagði Guð við Móse: ”Ég er sá, sem ég er.” Og hann sagði: ”Svo skalt þú segja Ísraelsmönnum: ,Ég er` sendi mig til yðar.” Icelandic Bible

14 Alors Dieu dit à Moïse:—Je suis celui qui est. Puis il ajouta: Voici ce que tu diras aux Israélites: Je suis m’a envoyé vers vous. (La Bible du Semeur)

14 Dieu dit à Moïse: Je suis celui qui suis. Et il ajouta: C’est ainsi que tu répondras aux enfants d’Israël: Celui qui s’appelle «Je suis» m’a envoyé vers vous. Nouvelle Edition de Genève – NEG1979

14 Y respondió Dios a Moisés: YO SOY EL QUE SOY. Y dijo: Así dirás a los hijos de Israel: YO SOY me envió a vosotros.  Reina-Valera 1960

14 Dios dijo a Moisés:— Soy el que soy.Y añadió:— Esto responderás a los israelitas: “Yo soy” me envía a ustedes. La Palabra (Hispanoamérica)

14 Gud svarede Moses: ”Jeg er den, jeg er!Og han sagde: ”Således skal du sige til Israeliterne: JEG ER har sendt mig til eder!”  (Dette er Biblen på dansk)

14 Dio disse a Mosè: «Io sono colui che sono!». Poi disse: «Dirai agli Israeliti: Io-Sono mi ha mandato a voi». (Conferenza Episcopale Italiana)

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (ESV)

14 And God answered Moses, I AM THAT I AM. Also he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Geneva Bible)

14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. (KJV)

14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘[c]I AM has sent me to you.’” (NASB)

14 And Elohim said unto Moshe, Eh-heh-yeh ashair Ehheh- yeh (I AM WHO I AM); and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the Bnei Yisroel, EHHEH-YEH (I AM) hath sent me unto you. (Orthodox Jewish Bible)

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (NIV)

14 Gott sprach zu Mose: “Ich bin, der ich bin!“ Und er sprach: So sollst du zu den Kindern Israel sagen:“Ich bin“, der hat mich zu euch gesandt. (Schlachter 1951) 

14 ”Zijn naam is: Ik ben Die Ik ben”, was het antwoord. ”Zeg maar tegen hen: ‘Ik Ben’ heeft mij gestuurd! (Het Boek, NL)

14 Respondeu Deus a Moisés: EU SOU O QUE SOU. Disse mais: Assim dirás aos olhos de Israel: EU SOU me enviou a vós. (João Ferreira de Almeida Atualizada)

14 God said to Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I am/will be what I am/will be],” and added, “Here is what to say to the people of Isra’el: ‘Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.’ (Complete Jewish Bible)

Church fathers believed that Jesus is the I AM and Godone god

THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN MARTYR

CHAPTER LXII – Its Imitation By Demons

And the devils, indeed, having heard this washing published by the prophet, instigated those who enter their temples, and are about to approach them with libations and burnt-offerings, also to sprinkle themselves; and they cause them also to wash themselves entirely, as they depart [from the sacrifice], before they enter into the shrines in which their images are set. And the command, too, given by the priests to those who enter and worship in the temples, that they take off their shoes, the devils, learning what happened to the above-mentioned prophet Moses, have given in imitation of these things. For at that juncture, when Moses was ordered to go down into Egypt and lead out the people of the Israelites who were there, and while he was tending the flocks of his maternal uncle(1) in the land of Arabia, our Christ conversed with him under the appearance of fire from a bush, and said, ”Put off thy shoes, and draw near and hear.” And he, when he had put off his shoes and drawn near, heard that he was to go down into Egypt and lead out the people of the Israelites there; and he received mighty power from Christ, who spoke to him in the appearance of fire, and went down and led out the people, having done great and marvelous things; which, if you desire to know, you will learn them accurately from his writings.’

CHAPTER LXIII – How God Appeared To Moses

And all the Jews even now teach that the nameless God spake to Moses; whence the Spirit of prophecy, accusing them by Isaiah the prophet mentioned above, said ‘The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but israel doth not know Me, and My people do not understand.'(2) And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them; and Himself said, ‘No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Son revealeth Him.'(3) Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said. And He is called Angel and Apostle; for He declares whatever we ought to know, and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed; as our Lord Himself says, ‘He that heareth Me, heareth Him that sent Me.'(4) From the writings of Moses also this will be manifest; for thus it is written in them, And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers; go down into Egypt, and bring forth My people.'(5) And if you wish to learn what follows, you can do so from the same writings; for it is impossible to relate the whole here. But so much is written for the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God and His Apostle, being of old the Word, and appearing sometimes in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels; but now, by the will of God, having become man for the human race, He endured all the sufferings which the devils instigated the senseless Jews to inflict upon Him; who, though they have it expressly affirmed in the writings of Moses, ‘And the angel of God spake to Moses in a flame of fire in a bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,’ yet maintain that He who said this was the Father and Creator of the universe. Whence also the Spirit of prophecy rebukes them, and says, ‘Israel doth not know Me, my people have not understood Me.'(6) And again, Jesus, as we have already shown, while He was with them, said, ‘No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and those to whom the Son will reveal Him.'(7) The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spake to Moses, though He who spake to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign,(8) having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin, according to the counsel of the Father, for the salvation of those who believe on Him, He endured both to be set at nought and to suffer, that by dying and rising again He might conquer death. And that which was said out of the bush to Moses, ‘I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the God of your fathers,'(9) this signified that they, even though dead, are let in existence, and are men belonging to Christ Himself. For they were the first of all men to busy themselves in the search after God; Abraham being the father of Isaac, and Isaac of Jacob, as Moses wrote.

DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO

CHAPTER XXXIV – Nor Does Psalm LXXII Apply to Solomon, Whose Faults Christians Shudder at.

Further, to persuade you that you have not understood anything of the Scriptures, I will remind you of another psalm, dictated to David by the Holy Spirit, which you say refers to Solomon, who was also your king. But it refers also to our Christ. But you deceive yourselves by the ambiguous forms of speech. For where it is said, `The law of the Lord is perfect, ‘you do not understand it of the law which was to be after Moses, but of the law which was given by Moses, although God declared that He would establish a new law and a new covenant. And where it has been said, `O God, give Thy judgment to the king, ‘since Solomon was king, you say that the Psalm refers to him, although the words of the Psalm expressly proclaim that reference is made to the everlasting King, i.e., to Christ. For Christ is King, and Priest, AND GOD, AND LORD, AND ANGEL, and man, and captain, and stone, and a Son born, and first made subject to suffering, then returning to heaven, and again coming with glory, and He is preached as having the everlasting kingdom: so I prove from all the Scriptures.  

The IMPUTED righteousness of CHRIST – is not Biblical

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was IMPUTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS: and he was called the Friend of God. James. 2:23 

hypocriteThe word ”imputed” comes from the Greek word ”logizomai” (Strong’s 3049) which could be translated as ”reckon, count, charge with; reason, decide, conclude; think or suppose”. Notice that it doesn’t mean ”transfer”, but rather ”reckoned” or ”counted as”.

The word is found 41 times in the New Testament, and 4 of those times the word is translated as ”impute” in the KJV.  Rom 4:6-11 and  22-24 have the same Greek word (logizomai) as in James 2:23, and it doesn’t mean ”transfer” there either. These verses use the same word even if they are translated differently:

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was counted unto him for righteousness. Rom. 4:3

Even as Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was accounted to him for righteousness. Gal. 3:6

And therefore it [faith] was imputed to him for righteousness. Rom. 4:22

CountedRom 2:26, Rom 4:3, Rom 4:5, Rom 9:8, Reckoned = Luk 22:37, Rom 4:4, Rom 4:9-10 and Rom 6:11, Rom 8:18, Accounted = Rom 8:36, Gal 3:6

We are asked to be righteous just like Jesus is righteous  

This doesn’t mean that the only means to get saved is to have lived a life free of sins just like Jesus did, but neither is the promise”If you only believe in Jesus, he will confirm you as righteous even if you’re not”. First we must be cleansed in the blood of Jesus – upon repentance – and then the idea is to be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh, which no one else will do for us. We are not able to go piggybacking on Jesus.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS.8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

God’s wrath is still upon us if we sin, and if we are under God’s wrath we are not saved.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (NASB)

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Jesus righteousness cannot be transferred/injected into us and we are not righteous unless we LIVE righteously

Our righteousness does not depend on being injected another person’s righteousness, but our righteousness depends on how we live our lives.  

Jesus lived a perfect life (always being obedient to God the Father) and died on the cross for us, and in THAT WAY he is our righteousness. Had Jesus not lived an obedient life for us, he could not have been our righteousness, because the atonement wouldn’t have been perfect. He is NOT our righteousness because he has transferred his righteousness into us (and neither did he literally take our sins on himself as in some kind of an exchange) to make us righteous in position despite that we still live in sin. It’s important to understand that Jesus did NOT obey our moral obligations for us and instead of us!  The Bible talks about imputed righteousness but NEVER the imputed righteousness ”of Christ.  We can read about the righteousness of GOD throughout the Bible (and that Jesus is righteous), but the idea that God looks upon us and sees the righteousness of Christ in us (or the blood of Jesus) instead of our sin, will result in a license to sin. When God looked at the churches in Revelation, he DID notice their sins and asked them to repent.

We are not justified by the works of the law but by God’s grace, so to say that we need perfect obedience to the Torah to be credited to our account in order to be justified is justification by works instead of justification by grace/mercy. God cannot declare the guilty to be innocent – like in a forensic justification – as that would be a lie, but God can PARDON the guilty and he does so if the guilty person repents from his sins.

Abraham is given as an example when it comes to being righteous/justified through faith, because he was counted as righteous BEFORE the law of Moses started to apply. Not all who have Abraham as a forefather are the children of Abraham and saved, but only those who are spiritually circumcised (in their hearts) and BELIEVE the way he did – and he showed his faith with some amazing deeds (work). Those who WALK as he did and obey God as he did (which is something we DO) are circumcised in heart and the true children of Abraham. We do not deserve salvation by anything we do (or believe) but faith without deeds is dead.  We can read ”blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”, which shows that all people apparently don’t have sin – namely those whom the Lord do not impute sin. Who are they? They are the ones who have confessed their sins, repented and who walk with Jesus. So when we read ”God imputeth righteousness without works”, it means the works of the law (the Torah and the 613 laws in it), and naturally God wouldn’t impute righteousness to Abraham if he only sat under a tree and ”believed” without showing his faith by OBEDIENCE. Not obedience to the law of Moses (which didn’t exist at the time) but obedience to GOD.

When it comes to Rom. 4:6, it doesn’t say that a person is especially appreciated and blessed if he doesn’t have any works to show up at all and that he only has ”faith alone”. If that were true, it would mean that the less works we have, the more blessed we are and the better it is. No, Paul’s point is to get the jews to understand that they are not saved due to being born Jews and/or for obeying the Torah (613 laws), but a person is blessed/saved if he repents from his sins, believes in Jesus and through this procedure becomes cleansed from his sins. Those are blessed whose trespasses are FORGIVEN, because then God will not impute sin to them. Does this wonderful promise only apply to the Jews? No, Paul wants them to understand that also the uncircumcised (the gentiles) have his promise which is by faith and not by law. Notice how many times we can read about ”circumcision”, so this is what is in focus (the ceremonial law) because the Jews were so concerned about it.

Rom. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.—20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

James doesn’t contradict what Paul is saying. James says that Abraham was justified BY WORKS, and not faith alone. Are we perhaps teaching salvation by works if we choose to quote James?

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 

Paul is not disappointed with the Galatians for their suggestion that it’s still necessary to obey the ten commandments faith alone 3

In the letter to the Galatians, the reason for Paul’s objection to Galatians’s attitude is NOT because they wanted to return to silly old laws such as the ten commandments – just like ”Do not kill, steal, lie or commit adultery”. Why would he be disappointed or upset about that? Those commandments have been in use ever since the days of Adam, and they never cease to apply. No, Paul was disappointed with their teaching that circumcision – which is a ceremonial law in the Torah – was still necessary for salvation. The ceremonial laws are not necessary for salvation, but the law of love certainly is (and the ten commandments provide details of how the law of love works). Paul makes a different between the works of the law (Torah), and the obedience of the holy Spirit.  The Torah was our  schoolmaster to keep us in order  until the arrival of Jesus – after Jesus death the holy Spirit took over as our guide – and we’re supposed to have the law of love in our hearts. We will never be ”free” from the requirement to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and as long we are slaves to sin (obey sin) we are definitely not free.

Acts. 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Gal. 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.— 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.—22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Paul makes it clear that sinning = spiritual death (also for christians).

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The significance of having our faith ”imputed” as righteousness, is that God forgives us our transgressions and treats us as though we have never sinned. This means that our sins disappears (without taking a detour in the body of Jesus) and God doesn’t have to LIE to declare us not guilty.  We are 100% cleansed when we are forgiven and free from our sins, but it doesn’t say ”once cleansed always cleansed”. If we become dirty once again, we’re back at square one.

2 Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.filthy pig

2 Pet. 2: 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Can we all be called GODS, as per John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6?

Jesus4Is it not written in your law, I said, YE ARE GODS? (John 10:34)

Yahve (Strong’s 3068) is used 6220 times in the Bible, and it’s the name of our only Creator God. No one else but our only true God is called by this name. (Yahve was one of three who ate with Abraham outside his tent – see my article about the angel of the Lord.)

Elohim (Strong’s 430) is another name for God and is used 2598 times in the Bible. This word has a little broader meaning even if our only true God is the most common meaning. – divine (1), divine being (1), exceedingly (1), God (2326), god (45), God’s (14), goddess (2), godly (1), gods (204), great (2), judges (3), mighty (2), rulers (1), shrine* (1).

El (Strong’s 410)  is used 248 times in the Bible and also means God in singular or plural. (A suitable name for a trinity.)

Adon (Strong’s 113) is used 325 times in the Bible and means Lord or Master, which of course God is

Theos (Strong’s 2316) is used 1327 times in the Bible (NT) and means God and/or Creator of all

People who refuse to accept the Biblical message that Jesus Christ is God

Whenever the above titles for GOD are used, the majority of the time they concern either 1) our only Creator God, or 2) false gods who are not real Gods at all according to the Bible. It’s not difficult to understand whether the text is referring to our real God or false gods, and we also get a great help by knowing Jahve is only used for our real God. However, it seems like the only times when some people are in doubt about which type of god the text is talking about, it’s only in those verses where Jesus Christ is called God, as in Hebr. 1:8. That’s because they often have an agenda to never accept the deity of Jesus, even if the verses clearly say so. It’s actually not surprising that some people take it as their mission to promote the idea that Jesus is not the WORD who was with God and who was GOD and lived among us (thus Jesus is God) because the spirit of Antichrist is active among us:

John 8:24 I said, therefore, to you, that ye shall die in your sins, for if ye may not believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.’ Young’s Literal (I AM = ego eimi)

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and anantichrist.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD.The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.—14 And THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Excuses – ”Anyone can be called God, so it’s not a big deal that Jesus too was called God in Hebr. 1:8”?

We can read that Moses was to be AS GOD  for Pharao, and it’s not to be understood as though Moses is one God among many other gods. That would only make God the Creator to be a liar for suggesting that he is the only God if the truth is that polytheism is a reality. JAHVE (God) is only applied to our only Creator God in the Bible, but here Elohim is used.

Ex. 7:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god (Elohim) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. (KJV)

Ex. 7:1 And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you LIKE God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (ESV)

Ex. 7:7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you AS God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (NASB)

God said something similar about Aaron, and his status in relation to Moses:

Ex. 4:15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and THOU SHALT BE TO HIM INSTEAD OF GOD. (KJV)

Ex. 4:16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and YOU SHALL BE AS GOD TO HIM. (ESV)

Ex. 4:16 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and YOU WILL BE AS GOD TO HIM. (NASB)

So the above cannot be used as support for that people other than God can be called gods. There is, however, one particular verse that some people desperately put all their hope and energy on, in order to escape the clear meaning that Jesus is God – and that is John. 10:34

John 10:34 and Psalm 82:6 – ye are Godsjesus 4

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for BLASPHEMY; and because that THOU, BEING A MAN, MAKEST THYSELF GOD.34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?*) 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand (* See Ps. 82:6)

The above is a reference to the below psalm, and psalms often contain POETRY that MIRRORS the truth and uses SYMBOLIC PHRASES with a deeper meaning. Let’s keep this in mind so we don’t interpret such text in the wrong way and end up starting a false doctrine.

Ps. 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

To start with, the reason these jews provide for wanting to stone Jesus is due to blasphemy, ”because you being a MAN, make yourself GOD”. The jews were experts on the Scriptures, and they understood that human beings should not call themselves GOD. The first commandment is, after all:

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

If people other than GOD can literally be called ”gods” (like mighty judges) by others, then we end up having other gods before GOD, and we also end up making God to be a liar for falsely saying that we should have no other gods when he himself endorses multiple gods. But doesn’t Jesus confirm the availability of other gods in his statement in John. 10:34? He confirms this PSALM and the correct meaning of both the psalm and the term ”gods” in its proper context – the way they are supposed to be understood. If certain individuals (like judges and leaders) can also commonly be addressed as gods, then there would be a huge risk that the above commandment would be watered down, and this wouldn’t be according to God’s plans. The jews did not relax the slightest bit when Jesus confirmed that he was the son of God and that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, because calling oneself the son of God and suggesting that the Father and the son are inside each other, is still calling oneself GOD! God certainly doesn’t have any children together with a woman, so if you’re a son to God you have your origin in God himself which means you’re God. So the jews still wanted to kill Jesus, and they knew exactly which psalm that Jesus was quoting from.

The jews were familiar with all the psalms, including Ps. 82:6 which Jesus was referring to when he said ”Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods”. If godly judges can be called ”gods” because they represent God, how much more should not Jesus Christ be able to call himself this (despite not being a judge) since he is sent by God the Father who was with him from eternity past in the trinity? This seems to be the way the jews understood him too, because we can read n v. 39 that THEREFORE (for this reason) they tried to take him once again. They felt Jesus confirmed his deity by referring to that passage where he gave his arguments for why he had the right to be called God.

The word for God in Ps. 82:6 is not ”Jahve” but ”Elohim”, and while this usually refers to either the Creator God or ”false gods who are no real gods”, it can also be translated as ”mighty ones” which could apply to judges who are ordained by God to do his work, and God himself is a mighty one – even the mightiest one. ”I have said, Ye are gods”, i.e. ”in my law I have called you gods”. They are given such name and status since they judge on God’s behalf and act as his representatives, but they are not ”gods” in the strictest sense. They are possessing a derived divinity, and in a sense ”children of the most high”. In the law, they were so by God’s appointment because he constituted them judges and  although they were gods by office, they were also mortal men and would die. It’s not likely that any of those judges were at any time literally called ”god” in real life, due to the commandment to have no other Gods but GOD.

Examples of judges appointed by God to do his work:

Deut. 1:13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.

2 Cron. 19:And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment.

Ps. 58:1 Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.—Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.—10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Rom. 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Paul explains why there on one hand exists only ONE God, and on the other hand we learn about multiple gods, and even multiple lords. ”There is none other God but ONE”, says Paul, and ”TO US there is but ONE GOD”. (Do read my blog article about the claim ”the only true God” in this blog article.) Surely we can trust him? So if God the Father dares to call his son ”GOD” in Hebr. 1:8, he isn’t contradicting what Paul is saying here, and neither does he contradict himself from his own previous claims where he says there is ONE GOD only. Other lords are only lords in the sense of being ”masters” (and they are certainly not ”Lord of Lords” which the Father AND the son call themselves), and other gods are either false gods (so no gods at all), or gods in the symbolic sense due to their office and they are likely never literally addressed as gods by others (in order to not disobey God’s commandment about serving only one God).

1 Cor. 8:As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idolswe know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that THERE IS NONE OTHER GOD BUT ONE.For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)6 But TO US THERE IS BUT ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

5 Mosebok 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.— 39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

John is told to NOT worship the angel but to worship GOD. John didn’t ask ”which one of all gods should I worship?”

Rev. 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: WORSHIP GOD: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Rev. 22:And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD.

If it’s alright for other individuals apart from God to be called God, then why was the prince of Tyrus (or Satan, which is the angelic comparison) sinning for also calling himself God? As a prince (or as a messenger of God, as Satan was) he would be a person in lead of others, and he was also supposed to act as a judge for them, so maybe calling oneself ”god” in the Psalm 82:6- sense was rather fitting? Yet, God is not at all pleased with prince of Tyrus calling himself a god, and he criticizes him heavily and calls him proud. Why did God motivate his criticism towards him with ”yet thou art A MAN and not God”? That sounds like God finds it preposterous for a mere human being to call himself God. So did the jews who wanted to kill Jesus!

Ezekiel 28:Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God

The house of David will be ”LIKE” God, so LIKE the angel of the Lord (who is Jesus Christ incarnate) going before them – just like the angel of the Lord (Jesus) went before the Israelites in the desert.

Zechariah 12:8 On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them.

Jesus is trying to get the jews to understand that if the symbolic term god can be applied to certain individuals with a certain mission from God and with a proper office, and this is NOT considered blasphemy, then neither should they accuse Jesus of blaspheming, because he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Who can make such a claim unless you’re the son of God? Being the son of God equals having the source in God, meaning you originated in God which means you’re GOD!

Do read another blog article about Hebrews 1:8 where Jesus is called GOD by his Father.

Abraham showed his faith by obedience and was therefore righteous

(An excerpt from Jesse Morell’s upcoming book, ”The Vicarious Atonement of Christ.”

abrahamThere was a problem in Israel of thinking that righteousness consisted in external works of the law, which notion Paul needed to confront. There were Israelites who thought that they were righteous before God as long as they obeyed the Torah, even while sinning in their hearts. Jesus said our righteousness needed to exceed that of the Pharisees who obeyed the outward requirements of the Torah but were sinful inwardly. In context Jesus expounded upon the sins of the heart and not mere outward action, in regards to our righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees.

Paul argued for a circumcision of the heart by faith in order to be righteous. Paul argued that Abraham was righteous and justified before the Torah was given through Moses, so that the external works of the law that the Torah demanded cannot possibly be what true righteousness consisted of. It could not be the means through which we are made righteous or justified in character. Paul argued that by faith in God Abraham was righteous and consequently justified, and so that is how Gentile believers are made righteous and are justified too.

In his heart Abraham trusted God so that in his life Abraham obeyed God. Faith of the heart was the seed to real obedience of life, so God imputed (reckoned or considered) Abraham’s faith as righteousness, as that was what it really was. A heart of faith is a righteous heart. Faith, which results in obedience, is what real righteousness is. Righteousness is not merely being circumcised or keeping the dietary requirements of the Torah. It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man, not what goes into it. It is not by obeying the external requirements of the Torah and having outward works, even with selfish motives to be praised by men, which makes a man righteous before God.Real righteousness is not a work of the law at all, but is faith in God.

However, there is a problem in the church today just like there was in Israel. That is a problem of thinking that righteousness consists in works of the law or obedience to the Torah. Like the Pharisees who thought that they were righteous on a technicality, by observing the outward requirements of the Torah while still sinning in their hearts, the Theologians of today are teaching that you can be righteous before God on the same technicality as well. They teach that Christ obeyed the Torah or the law for us on our behalf as our substitute, so that His works of the law are imputed to us. In light of Christ’s works of the Torah being imputed to our account, they say, we are made righteous in the eyes of God and are consequently justified even though we are still sinful in heart and character. This is identical to the problem Paul had to confront when he argued that we are not righteous or justified by the works of the law but by a faith in Christ that purifies the heart. Paul was confronting this Pharisaical notion of being technically righteous before God by outward obedience to the Torah while still sinning inwardly in your heart.

The Pharisees and reformed theologians are both wrong in assuming that righteousness does not consist in works of the law, either performed by the individual or performed by a substitute on their behalf and imputed to them. There is no righteousness by works while still sinning in heart. It is a faith in Christ, a trusting of the heart that results in obedience of life, that is real righteousness in the eyes of God. When a man is sinning in his heart, he is not trusting God in his heart. But when a man is trusting God in his heart, he will not be sinning in his heart or life, and so God will impute or consider his faith as righteousness. It is by faith that our heart is purified so it is by faith that we are made righteousness.

Criticising a stone-thrower often means throwing stones ourselves

Thanks to Britt Williams for the below

cast the first stone2

Quoting Jesus’ words in John 8:7, ”He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…”, in a futile attempt to correct others for exposing sin, error, and reproving men for disobeying the Bible, is a gross misapplication of Scripture for two glaring reasons:

1. It is brazen hypocrisy. If we define correcting men with the Word of God as ”casting stones” then we dare not invoke John 8:7 to correct the ”stone-thrower” else we be guilty of ”throwing stones” ourselves. It is akin to erroneously interpreting and applying Matt 7:1’s, ”judge not” without making a judgment, which of course, is impossible. If a man believes others cannot judge or correct with God’s Word, he must refrain himself, which is demonstrably impossible. We all judge and we all correct according to what we deem the Word of God teaches, the question is, ”are our judgments in accordance with God’s Word or not?”

2. Correcting someone with the Word of God, even telling someone they are lost and in danger of hell-fire, is not remotely comparable to literally executing someone by stoning. Jesus’ was not teaching that confronting and reproving others for sin was wrong, in fact, HE CORRECTED THE WOMAN AND TOLD HER TO STOP SINNING. The religious hypocrites Jesus confronted in John 8 wanted to kill the adulteress, not save her. Confronting sin and correcting others with God’s Word, according to the Scriptures, is essential to love (Lev 19:17; Rev 3:19) and is an effort to save, not destroy. Hence, exposing sin and error is not hateful, but loving. Those who suggest otherwise are, at best, spiritually blind, carnal, and Biblically illiterate. Generally, such people have an agenda, namely, they sympathize with and defend sin and error because they are in sin and error

Hitler was no big fan of gun control in nazi Germany

guns3

It’s naive to believe that a few, or a lot of  weapons in some private homes could prevent dictators such as Hitler and Stalin from doing harm, with entire armies (with tanks) at their hands. Instead of living under the paranoia that the government might turn nazi, and/or that politicians might come after you and your family, it’s way more likely that liberal gun laws will enable criminals to form gangs and use mafia methods. This is particularly a big risk in certain countries where people from different ethnic groups and cultures live side by side with a hard time to get along. Add poverty and drug problems to the picture and you  might have total anarchy in certain areas where criminals terrorize people who might not even dare to go out when it’s getting dark in the evenings.  Is that an environment we would like to live in and should strive for? Is that really FREEDOM? I don’t want to live in chains, so I’m FOR gun control in my country.

There will be an Antichrist in the future, and our private guns won’t prevent him from ruling the world. Until he shows up on the scene, we could try to eliminate criminals from getting hold of guns and in that way protect our loved ones. With liberal gun laws criminals can easily get hold of guns, which means they can point them at YOU and your family.

Below is excerpt from this article in Huffington Post/Walker Bragman:

”But Hitler and Stalin took away the guns and look what happened!”

This argument is historically inaccurate. University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explained in his 2004 paperWeimar Germany had tougher gun laws than Nazi Germany. Hitler expanded private gun ownership. It is true that Gypsies and Jews were not permitted to own guns, but there is no basis for the belief that these two groups would have stopped the Holocaust had they been armed. If anything, it would have ”hastened their demise” according to Robert Spitzer, Chair of SUNY-Cortland’s political science department. Hitler was extremely popular among the German people and throughout the world. To suggest that the only thing keeping Hitler in power was control of guns exonerates the many who supported him. The same is true of the Bolsheviks in Soviet Russia: the idea that an armed populace would have stopped Stalin is a fantasy. Like Hitler, Stalin was extremely popular.

Below text can be found in full in this article from Mother Jones

Of course, attempts to equate gun control with fascism are bogus. But the ”Hitler took the guns” argument has long had a prominent and fairly effective role in America’s gun control debate despite its obvious reductionism.

In 1989, a new pro-gun group called Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership began arguing that the 1968 federal gun control bill once favored by the NRA’s old guard ”was lifted, almost in its entirety, from Nazi legislation.” (That false claim is still being repeated.)

In 1994, JPFO founder Aaron Zelman implored the NRA’s board to seize on the alleged Nazi connection:

Some of you may even have figured out that unless the NRA changes its strategy, the law abiding firearm owner in America will go the way of the Jews in Nazi occupied Europe: extermination…The choice is yours; you can turn your back on a failed strategy—one of compromise with evil-doers—and attack the concept of ”gun control” by exposing the Nazi roots of ”gun-control” in America. Or, you can persist in a failed strategy, and accept your own extinction.

Whether or not the NRA was influenced by his advice, that same year its CEO, Wayne LaPierre, published Guns, Crime, and Freedom, in which he claimed, ”In Germany, firearm registration helped lead to the holocaust,” leaving citizens ”defenseless against tyranny and the wanton slaughter of a whole segment of its population.” The following year, President George H.W. Bush famously resigned from the NRA after LaPierre attacked federal law enforcement officials as ”jack-booted government thugs” who wore ”Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms.” More recently, Stephen Halbrook, a lawyer who has represented the NRAargued (PDF) that ”if the Nazi experience teaches anything, it teaches that totalitarian governments will attempt to disarm their subjects so as to extinguish any ability to resist crimes against humanity.”

So did Hitler and the Nazis really take away Germans’ guns, making the Holocaust unavoidable? This argument is superficially true at best, as University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explained in a 2004 paper (PDF) on Nazi Germany’s impact on the American culture wars. As World War I drew to a close, the new Weimar Republic government banned nearly all private gun ownership to comply with the Treaty of Versailles and mandated that all guns and ammunition ”be surrendered immediately.” The law was loosened in 1928, and gun permits were granted to citizens ”of undoubted reliability” (in the law’s words) but not ”persons who are itinerant like Gypsies.” In 1938, under Nazi rule, gun laws became significantly more relaxed. Rifle and shotgun possession were deregulated, and gun access for hunters, Nazi Party members, and government officials was expanded. The legal age to own a gun was lowered. Jews, however, were prohibited from owning firearms and other dangerous weapons.

”But guns didn’t play a particularly important part in any event,” says Robert Spitzer, who chairs SUNY-Cortland’s political science department and has extensively researchedgun control politics. Gun ownership in Germany after World War I, even among Nazi Party members, was never widespread enough for a serious civilian resistance to the Nazis to have been anything more than a Tarantino revenge fantasy. If Jews had been better armed, Spitzer says, it would only have hastened their demise. Gun policy ”wasn’t the defining moment that marked the beginning of the end for Jewish people in Germany. It was because they were persecuted, were deprived of all of their rights, and they were a minority group.

Gun enthusiasts often mention that the Soviet Union restricted access to guns in 1929 after Joseph Stalin rose to power. But to suggest that a better armed Russian populace would have overthrown the Bolsheviks is also too simplistic, says Spitzer. ”To answer the question of the relationship between guns and the revolutions in those nations is to study the comparative politics and comparative history of those nations,” he explains. ”It takes some analysis to break this down and explain it, and that’s often not amenable to a sound bite or a headline.”

(Ironically, pro-gun white nationalists have tried to stand the ”Hitler took the guns” idea on its head by arguing that he was in fact a staunch supporter of the right to bear arms—for Aryans.

Even if President Obama suddenly unleashes his inner totalitarian, there’s no chance he could successfully round up all of America’s 300 million-plus firearms. Such an idea is practically and politically impossible. A tough assault weapons ban like one Democrats are currently proposing would affect just a fraction of the total privately owned firearms in the country. Yet by invoking the historical threat of disarmament, Spitzer says, ”the gun lobby has worked to throw a scare into gun owners in order to rally them to the side of the NRA.”

Below is from this article in Somaliland Sun
guns13

University of Chicago law professor Bernard Harcourt explored this myth in depth in a 2004 article published in the Fordham Law Review. As it turns out, the Weimar Republic, the German government that immediately preceded Hitler’s, actually had tougher gun laws than the Nazi regime. After its defeat in World War I, and agreeing to the harsh surrender terms laid out in the Treaty of Versailles, the German legislature in 1919 passed a law that effectively banned all private firearm possession, leading the government to confiscate guns already in circulation. In 1928, the Reichstag relaxed the regulation a bit, but put in place a strict registration regime that required citizens to acquire separate permits to own guns, sell them or carry them.

The 1938 law signed by Hitler that LaPierre mentions in his book basically does the opposite of what he says it did. ”The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition,” Harcourt wrote. Meanwhile, many more categories of people, including Nazi party members, were exempted from gun ownership regulations altogether, while the legal age of purchase was lowered from 20 to 18, and permit lengths were extended from one year to three years.

The law did prohibit Jews and other persecuted classes from owning guns, but this should not be an indictment of gun control in general. Does the fact that Nazis forced Jews into horrendous ghettos indict urban planning? Should we eliminate all police officers because the Nazis used police officers to oppress and kill the Jews? What about public works — Hitler loved public works projects? Of course not. These are merely implements that can be used for good or ill, much as gun advocates like to argue about guns themselves. If guns don’t kill people, then neither does gun control cause genocide (genocidal regimes cause genocide).

Besides, Omer Bartov, a historian at Brown University who studies the Third Reich, notes that the Jews probably wouldn’t have had much success fighting back. ”Just imagine the Jews of Germany exercising the right to bear arms and fighting the SA, SS and the Wehrmacht. The [Russian] Red Army lost 7 million men fighting the Wehrmacht, despite its tanks and planes and artillery. The Jews with pistols and shotguns would have done better?” he told Salon.

Proponents of the theory sometimes point to the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as evidence that, as Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano put it, ”those able to hold onto their arms and their basic right to self-defense were much more successful in resisting the Nazi genocide.” But as the Tablet’s Michael Moynihan points out, Napolitano’s history (curiously based on a citation of work by French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson) is a bit off. In reality, only about 20 Germans were killed, while some 13,000 Jews were massacred. The remaining 50,000 who survived were promptly sent off to concentration camps.

Robert Spitzer, a political scientist who studies gun politics and chairs the political science department at SUNY Cortland, told Mother Jones’ Gavin Aronsen that the prohibition on Jewish gun ownership was merely a symptom, not the problem itself. ”[It] wasn’t the defining moment that marked the beginning of the end for Jewish people in Germany. It was because they were persecuted, were deprived of all of their rights, and they were a minority group,” he explained.

Meanwhile, much of the Hitler myth is based on an infamous quote falsely attributed to the Fuhrer, which extols the virtue of gun control:

This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

The quote has been widely reproduced in blog posts and opinion columns about gun control, but it’s ”probably a fraud and was likely never uttered,” according to Harcourt. ”This quotation, often seen without any date or citation at all, suffers from several credibility problems, the most significant of which is that the date often given [1935] has no correlation with any legislative effort by the Nazis for gun registration, nor would there have been any need for the Nazis to pass such a law, since gun registration laws passed by the Weimar government were already in effect,” researchers at the useful website GunCite note.

”As for Stalin,” Bartov continued, ”the very idea of either gun control or the freedom to bear arms would have been absurd to him. His regime used violence on a vast scale, provided arms to thugs of all descriptions, and stripped not guns but any human image from those it declared to be its enemies. And then, when it needed them, as in WWII, it took millions of men out of the Gulags, trained and armed them and sent them to fight Hitler, only to send back the few survivors into the camps if they uttered any criticism of the regime.”

Bartov added that this misreading of history is not only intellectually dishonest, but also dangerous. ”I happen to have been a combat soldier and officer in the Israeli Defense Forces and I know what these assault rifles can do,” he said in an email.

He continued: ”Their assertion that they need these guns to protect themselves from the government — as supposedly the Jews would have done against the Hitler regime — means not only that they are innocent of any knowledge and understanding of the past, but also that they are consciously or not imbued with the type of fascist or Bolshevik thinking that they can turn against a democratically elected government, indeed turn their guns on it, just because they don’t like its policies, its ideology, or the color, race and origin of its leaders.”

The Sacred Name Movement and its concern about the names YAHSHUA and YAHWEH

sacred nameThe big presupposition in the Sacred Name Movement is that the original documents underlying the New Testament were written in Aramaic (not Greek) and used the Sacred Names. These documents are supposed to have been destroyed by unnamed conspirators and substituted with Greek manuscripts using pagan names such as Jesus and God. If this is correct, then all of the early church fathers must also have been victims of this unfortunate conspiracy which have fooled most of the christian world (except for the believers of the SNM) because they all used the ”forbidden pagan” names such as Jesus and Lord. The fact is that people have called out to the name of Jesus Christ for almost 2000 years now and they have been wonderfully saved when the Lord answered their prayers which they have raised up to him with earnest and repentant hearts. Our relationship with the Lord depends upon the intent of our heart and not phonetics.

A short note about KJV. KJV translates the Hebrew name Yahweh with ”LORD” (capitals). ”Adonai” is translated with ”Lord” (capital L), and ”Elohim” is translated”God”. Example in Deut. 4:35 the phrase is ”The LORD he is God”, i e ”Jehovah, he is Elohim”. In the cases where Adonai is used together with Jehovah, the last word becomes ”GOD”. So the double name ”Lord GOD”  is translated from ”Adonai Jehovah”. There is a difference between Lord and lord in KJV. Early in history the israelites started to say ”Adonai” instead of  Yahweh.

Thanks to John McGlone for the following

The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) is a movement in Christianity that seeks to conform Christianity to its Hebrew Roots in practice, belief and worship. The best known distinction of the SNM is its belief in the use of a singular proper name for the God of Israel (YHVH/Yahweh) based upon the Tetragrammaton and the use of the Hebrew name they believe is the true Hebrew name of Jesus (Yahshua). They believe the Messiah’s name is YHWH pronounced, Yahwah.  Mainstream Christians and Hebrew scholars agree that Jesus’ real name was actually Yeshua. SNM believers also generally keep many of the Old Testament laws and ceremonies such as the Torah festivals and keeping kosher food laws. However, not every Sacred Name’ Group adheres to Old Testament festivals, dietary laws and other commands. The term ”sacred name” is not exclusive to this movement but is a general theological term in Christianity – a translation of the Latin nomen sacrum.

Some definitions to help clarify the issue.

Vowel points – It is widely recognized by Bible scholars that vowel points were not used in the ancient Hebrew. That leaves the consonants of YHWH alone which then makes the personal Name of God unspeakable in any tongue. This was the tradition of the Hebrews who revered God’s Name so much they chose not to speak it, thinking they may be using it in a blasphemous way. Where did vowel points come from then? The Jews themselves applied vowel points to make words like Adonai, etc. Translators through the centuries have applied a myriad of principles to numerous and complicated to describe here to apply different vowel points which have led to different renderings of Names of God in the Bible.

The ‘name’ – Gr. word onomo translated into English means ‘name’: the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc. persons reckoned up by name the cause or reason named.

Sacred name believers hold that verses like Matt 28:19, require you to hold to a singular, sacred name, ie YHWH, Jehovah, Yehoshua to be a true believer. For example:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the [YHWH] Father and of the [YHWH] Son and of the [YHWH] Holy Spirit,

Bracketed [YHWH] are obvious insertions and are for illustration only. If you were previously baptized the way Jesus instructed in this verse then according to their view you must be baptized again with the sacred name to be truly saved.
Another verse they like to use a lot Acts 4:12. Unfortunately, they ignore vs 13 which gives the context of this verse.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

So by their teachings they will insert, YHWH, Jehovah, etc -ONLY concept into the text, thus nullifying what God has communicated. The conclusion of the matter rests with the proper definition of the word, onomo. We can easily see that it also means, ‘authority’ and in that context it would make sense for Jesus to instruct us to be baptized in the authority of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We would not need a personal pronoun here considering the other definitions of the word, ‘name’. Likewise, it would also make sense that there is no other authority by which we could be saved other than God himself.

Faith or Doubt?

YHWH only believers are not putting faith in God’s Word, but calling it corrupted causing doubt and distrust.  Scripture can be shown to be reliable over and again when compared to earlier manuscript copies. Also, much of the corruption the emperor Constantine brought in led to the establishment of the Roman Catholic church and authorities to rule over the people vice serving the people as our Master has commanded. They tell us that the New Testament is corrupt wherever it speaks of Jesus, Lord, or God. They contend the name YHWH should be there instead. They will not agree that the Living God of the Bible could deliver His Word intact to today that we may understand what we should believe. Some concepts we must trust by faith and prove with evidence:

a. God has delivered His Word intact and understandable in almost every language in the world. b. The Holy Spirit teaches us all things. c. The corruption and hypocrisy in the visible church led many people away from the truth of the Bible. d. The Name of the Messiah is delivered into many hundreds of languages and God is able to communicate who that Person was and is. Lastly, we should not trust the teachings of men that cause us to doubt or negate God’s Word. We should rightly divide the Word of God that we may be led by the Holy Spirit into all truth.

2 Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God

The Pharisee’s who accused Jesus would have never used the personal pronoun of YHWH while he was being plotted against or interrogated prior to his crucifixion.

Matt 26:3-5 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.

Matt 26:62-63 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

The three major languages of Jesus’ time was Aramaic, Latin, and Greek and not ancient Hebrew. Probably most people read the Septuagint as scripture vs. ancient Hebrew. This would make Jesus’ scriptural references accurate vs. the slight differences we see in the ancient Hebrew.

What’s in a Name?

According to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god).” – (www.wwyd.org). I went to the link they recommended and I tracked this down to an obvious skeptic of Christianity who wrote a book called, “Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend” by J.C.J. Metford. It is no surprise to me that those who do such unscholarly work would quote a secular biased book as a source document for their views. Incredibly, the original quotation does not even line up with the final source reference which claims that Iesous means, ‘worship Zeus’.

The ”correct name” idea is refuted by the fact that three languages were being used in Israel at the time of Christ. A form of Hebrew (Aramaic), Greek and Latin were all being used. It was not usual for someone to translate something into all these languages including names. For instance, the inscription on the cross of Christ read in all three languages. Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek.

John 19:20 Here is the proper definition:

Ἰησοῦς Iesous G2424 Jesus = ”Jehovah is salvation”

1) Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, God incarnate

2) Jesus Barabbas was the captive robber whom the Jews begged Pilate to release instead of Christ

3) Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor (Ac. 7:45, Heb. 4:8)

4) Jesus, son of Eliezer, one of the ancestors of Christ (Lu. 3:29)

5) Jesus, surnamed Justus, a Jewish Christian, an associate with Paul in the preaching of the gospel (Col. 4:11)

Χριστός pronounced Kristos G5547 Christ = ”anointed”1) the Messiah, the Son of God 2) anointed

Dr. Brown is a PhD in Semitic languages which includes Hebrew and Aramaic, a Jew by birth, and a follower of the Messiah. He is a worldwide recognized authority on this subject. The following is a partial excerpt from Dr. Brown’s response to the aforesaid Britannica article.

”The response to this statement (which has as much support as the latest Elvis sightings) is quite simple: We know where the name I­­esous came from: the Jewish Septuagint! In other words, this was not some later, pagan corruption of the Savior’s name; rather, it was the natural Greek way of rendering the Hebrew/Aramaic name Yeshua at least two centuries before His birth, and it is the form of the name found in more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. This is saying something! The name I­­esous is also found in Greek writings outside the New Testament and dating to that same general time frame. Although it is claimed that the Encyclopedia Britannica says that “the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god)” it actually says no such thing. This is a complete fabrication, intentional or not. In short, as one Jewish believer once stated, “Jesus is as much related to Zeus as Moses is to mice.” Unfortunately, some popular teachers continue to espouse the Jesus-Zeus connection, and many believers follow the pseudo- scholarship in these fringe, “new revelation” teachings. Not only are these teachings and practices filled with error, but they do not profit in the least. So, to every English-speaking believer I say: Do not be ashamed to use the name JESUS! That is the proper way to say his name in English—just as Michael is the correct English way to say the Hebrew name mi-kha-el and Moses is the correct English way to say the Hebrew name mo-sheh. Pray in Jesus’ name, worship in Jesus’ name, and witness in Jesus’ name. And for those who want to relate to our Messiah’s Jewishness, then refer to him by His original name Yeshua—not Yahshua and not Yahushua—remembering that the power of the name is not in its pronunciation but in the person to whom it refers, our Lord and Redeemer and King.”

There must be some understanding of transliteration and translation as the Bible has been translated into thousands of languages but must on occasion where there are words that do not exist from one language to the other a transliteration must be made of that word. In that case, letter by letter the corresponding word is formed into the new language making a new word in that language that did not exist before. One example I will use is the Yehovah – Jehovah problem which sacred name believers use to point out the ‘errors’ of the Bible. In Latin Yehovah is translated as Jehovah but they will use that and say, ‘Look there was no ‘J’s in the Hebrew language so Jehovah and Jesus could not be true.’ The problem with that is of course there are J’s authorized for use in Latin and English.

Conflicts in the argumentssacred name2

From the YHWH point of view the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah 7:14 and Matt 1:22-24 must be corrupted. We can see that this brings conflicts between the scriptures which must be explained away by this system of unbelief. The book of Isaiah was written approx 700 B.C. This is an awesome fulfillment of God’s Word from the OT to the NT providing evidence of our faith to believers and skeptics alike.

Is 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. [meaning God with us]

Matt 1:22-24 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”, which is translated, “God with us.”

These prophecies fulfilled reveal the errors of sacred name theology.

Is 9:6For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

In this passage we see a multitude of names listed and the passage actually calls it, ‘His name’. Notice that His name WILL BE…that is future tense, which they refuse to acknowledge. The defenders of this doctrine will say those are just titles, but why doesn’t the Bible say, ‘And His titles will be called…’ They will often use this passage as the bulwark for their belief, inserting YHWH into this verse.

Is 42:8 I [am] the LORD, that [is] My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.

LXX Is 42:8 ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεός τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ ὄνομα τὴν δόξαν μου ἑτέρῳ οὐ δώσω οὐδὲ τὰς ἀρετάς μου τοῖς γλυπτοῖς

In this passage, we see in the Hebrew transliterated Yehovah which we see has great similarity to YHWH. Sacred name proponents will insert YHWH into this text. But you can see by the Greek Septuagint written 250 B.C. the word is κύριος, which means Lord. How could the Septuagint have a name in the text 250 BC when the ”corruption” did not happen until 325 AD according to the SNM view? That is an incredible 575 years of difference.

Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

In this passage God is calling Himself in the Hebrew: H1961 hayah hayah הָיָה. This is a personal pronoun defined as, always existing being. This word also matches the definition of Jehovah or Yehovah as always existent One. So there is no problem with either the words or the definitions. Logically, we can see that though they are different languages or translations they have the same meaning, thus the same name. How can any finite creature of God name the one who is eternal? Essentially, most of these ‘names’ given in the Bible are descriptions of God. When He is named it is by His hand within the Bible not ours.

Rev 19:12-13 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Here we see that God has an unknown Name and another name called the Word of God. Which in the G3004 λόγος and is defined as Logos : denoting the essential Word of God – Jesus Christ. We see this personal pronoun for Jesus again in John 1:1. Just these two verses should be enough to convince anyone that YHWH only is inconsistent with the Bible. The answer they will always give when faced with such evidence from the Bible is these verses were corrupted by Constantine. We have already proven is a false presumption. This of course refers to this system of doubt of God’s Word instead of faith or trust in the same.

Rev 19:16 And He has on [His] robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Here the word King is Baseloose G935 βασιλεύς and means prince, leader of the people, commander, lord of the land. The word LORD G2962 (all caps) is Koorios κύριος and means:

1) he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord a) the possessor and disposer of a thing 1) the owner; one who has control of the person, the master. 2) in the state: the sovereign, prince, chief, the Roman emperor b) is a title of honour expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants greet their master c) this title is given to: God, the Messiah.

The obvious deduction here must be that God has used many names throughout the history and languages of mankind. After all, God created language and He confused languages at the tower of Babel. He also gives us the intelligence to translate/transliterate between languages that we may have the understanding in communication. The teaching of a particular ancient Hebrew ‘sacred’ name as the only way to pronounce and believe upon His name is false as we have shown and contradicts the Bible in many places. This causes a stumbling block for both believers and unbelievers alike.

Lastly, I would say that it is not a problem if a believer desires to use the Name of YHWH. It becomes problematic and unbiblical when someone says that this is the only authorized name for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

SABBATH DAY on Saturday or Sunday doesn’t matter

The Sabbath Day was part of the Israeli Covenant, but we are now living under the New Testament, and it’s faith and baptism that are the major signs for a follower of Jesus.

I think the best explanation for the need of a day of rest is found in Exodus 22. God created the heavens and the earth in six days for a reason, and that’s because he wanted to make it as a foundation for us – as a life pattern when it comes to work and rest. We should take the original creation week as an example to follow in our every day lives. If we didn’t have this work-6-days-and-rest-1-day-pattern, there is a risk we would work and struggle all days alike, especially if we would notice that ”everyone else does it so why should I be any different? I don’t want to come across as lazy”.

Exodus 22:Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Sabbath was to be a sign between God and the children of Israel in the old testament, and it was very serious to break the law of the Sabbath. The death penalty applied! This might sound harsh for us today, but we must remember that the Israelites were supposed to mirror God’s light also unto the gentiles so if God would look between his fingers when it came to breaking his law all other people would get the message that it’s not a big deal whether to obey the God of Israel or not.

Exodus 12:Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. 14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.17 IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FOR EVER: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

The Jewish custom was, and still is today, to observe the Sabbath day on Saturday. There are also many references in the book of Acts about the early Christian church meeting together on a Saturday to pray and study the Scriptures, like in Acts 13:13-14, 16:13 and 17:2. Every mention of the Sabbath in the book of Acts are always in connection with Jewish worship on that day. Paul constantly went to the temple to preach (sometimes he was accepted and sometimes he was thrown out) and it was his strategy to try to reach the Jews in their own community where they were to be found. Peter said:

Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

It’s possible that the first christians continued meeting on Saturdays (the Sabbath) the first few years since this is what they did as jews, but some believe the early church began meeting on Sundays soon after Christ rose from the dead in honor of the Lord’s resurrection – which took place on a Sunday (or the first day of the week). Many other divine events also happened on a Sunday. After Jesus’ resurrection whenever he met with his disciples and where the day is identified, it is never on the Sabbath but always the first day of the week!Others see the change to meet up on Sundays as a gradual progression over the course of history. Christian groups that adhere to a Sunday worship feel that the Lord’s command was not specifically for the seventh day but rather one day out of the seven week days (which would also make it the 7th day after six days of work). By focusing on worship on Sunday (what many refer to as ”the Lord’s Day”) instead of Saturday, could symbolically represent the acceptance of Christ as Messiah and his broadening blessing and redemption from the Jews to the entire world. That’s not really a sinful reason to highlight Sunday instead of Saturday.

In Russian the word for Sunday is Воскресенье (Voskreseniye) which means”Resurrection”. In other Slavic languages the word means ”no work”, for example Polish: Niedziela, Belorussian: Нядзеля, Croatian: Nedjelja, Serbian and Slovenian: Nedelja, Czech: Neděle,Bulgarian: Неделя. The Modern Greek word for Sunday, Κυριακή, derives from Κύριος (Lord) also, due to its liturgical significance as the day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e.The Lord’s Day. (Wikipedia)

Acts 2:46 tells us that from the start, the church in Jerusalem met every day in the temple (that’s also where the jews were) and gathered to break bread together in private homes:

Acts. 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Paul instructs the churches to meet together on the first day of the week (Sunday) to give offerings. Traditionally Sunday has always been considered as the first day of the week. If they met up to make such collections, why not take the chance to worship during the same occasion since they were all gathered together? If Saturday was considered THE day of worship, wouldn’t it make more sense for Paul to make a collection during this day since the christians were already gathered?:

1 Cor. 16: 1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

When Paul met with believers in Troas to worship, preach to them and break bread with them, they gathered on the first day of the week:

Acts 20:And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together

Jesus explains that the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the sabbath. This could mean that the disciples shouldn’t view the Sabbath day as an obstacle for them but rather arrange their lives in such a way so that they could honor it without having to feel it makes things difficult for them and is a burden in their lives. Today we should approach the day of rest wisely and avoid falling into any ditch. The Apostle John refers to the Lord’s Day (”kuriake hemera”) in Rev. 1:10. ”Kuriake”, meaning ”Lord’s,” later became the Greek word for Sunday.  Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath, and that day fell on the seventh day. The majority of Christians observe Sunday as the Lord’s day:

Mark 2:23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

We are not bound by a certain day

Jesus is the fulfilling of the Old Sabbath and our rest is in Him. We now commit to that rest as we continue in the faith.

Romans 14 shows that there is personal freedom regarding the observance of holy days. Some might suggest that this passage is only about FOOD, but I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Paul starts off warning about ”doubtful disputations” and that seems to be the core of his argument. He provides the subject of food as his first example of where disputations might occur, and his point is that we should not judge each concerning minor issues such as meat or fasting but let God be the judge. Paul says in Rom. 14:3 that those who eat meat are not better or worse than those who do not eat meat (so judging is out-of-place), but in 1 Cor 8 he has a slightly different point because there he explains that our conduct can affect other people’s spiritual safety. So we should still think about our behavior so we won’t cause others to fall:

1 Cor. 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

In Rom. 5 Paul proceeds with his second example when it comes to ”doubtful disputations” and brings up the way we regard ”days”:

Rom. 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

His point is still that we should not judge each other concerning minor issues:

Rom. 14:For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Also in Col. 2 Christians are instructed not to judge each other regarding the Sabbath days. This might suggest the early christians had already been judged for their different observances of Sabbath and festivals.

Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

This covers:

• days (weekly Sabbaths, corresponding to ”Sabbath days”)
• months (new moons, corresponding to ”a new moon”)
• seasons (the 7 feasts, corresponding to ”festivals”)
• and years (the sabbatical year and the 50th year of Jubilee)

In Galatians 4, Paul is concerned about Christians who are turning back like slaves to legalistic observances of special days:

Gal. 4:But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

We should be ”fully convinced” that whichever day we choose is the right day for us to set aside as a day of worship, and we should not judge or allow anyone to judge us regarding our choice.

How important is Sabbath TODAY?

A person who is born today (2012) will notice when he grows up that SUNDAY is the day when christians normally meet for worship. That’s the case in Scandinavia, the rest of Europe and throughout the whole world – with a few exceptions. So the vast majority of christians. Can we really require that this person must study church history (to find out that we are supposed to celebrate Sabbath on a Saturday) in order to get essential knowledge about Jesus Christ?! This person might not even like to read books, and particularly not about church history and about how jews and christians celebrated the Sabbath 2,000 years ago. One would think that Jesus would have offered us some light in the matter if it was so important to get the days straight, but the main memory we have about Jesus in relation to the Sabbath day is that he broke it. We DO know that it’s important to assemble together with other christians and to live holy! Is it EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that we try to make the christian world start worshiping on Saturdays instead of Sundays, and why? Who is the one getting annoyed when we listen to the exact same sermon on a Sunday instead of Saturday? Paul helped us in his letters by providing us instructions for how to behave in church, but he didn’t mention that there is a particular day that we must meet on.

There are many countries and cities where christians are scarce and that means that there are not that many churches to choose between for worship and fellowship. We can only select among the best churches available. If you insist on that Saturday is THE day to celebrate a Sabbath, then you can of course try to contact the pastor in a church and ask him if he would consider persuading the elders to have church services on Saturdays instead of Sundays. I doubt you will succeed though! And if you have not succeeded, and if there are no other churches available, will you stay home alone? And how Biblical is THAT (to stay away from meetings with other christians)?

When we try to find the best church available in our area, is the question of the Sabbath really that important? Isn’t it more important to investigate what the pastors teach in the church (whenever they do teach), and if the pastors highlight repentance, salvation in Jesus Christ, the blood on the cross, the importance to make other disciples, the spiritual gifts, righteousness, etc? It’s also important to avoid churches which don’t have the Bible as their solid foundation but base their teachings on a person. Of course pastors are bound to color Bible texts with their own understanding (this is what preaching entails), but if they use other scriptures or texts apart from the Bible then we must be on our guard. I’m of course not saying it’s wrong to bring up wise words (or entire sermons) from other christians who have gone before them as long as they are Biblical, but I’m only warning about false prophets who bring in heresy into church and possibly also division.

Society looks completely different today than it did 2,000 years ago. Today it’s common for a family to have both parents working full-time and at a good stretch from home, and that means they might very well be away from home about 11 hours/day (including lunch hour and time for commuting). On top of this they might have to pick up their kids from the daycare center before hurrying home to fix dinner (using groceries that perhaps someone else in the family had time to buy after his/her work or school). For most people they have no option to get an alternative life style since the job that are offered are full-time or no time, and they do need to get a salary to get food on the table and to pay taxes. Needless to say, that when Saturday finally arrives they are very tired and prefer to sleep in late, clean the house, wash clothes, visit parents/relatives and spend some time with the kids. Some also take the chance to go shopping on Saturday, believing Sunday is the day of rest and a day which should not be used for shopping. This mean that they are better prepared in all sorts of way for a worship together with other christians on Sunday, and they might even feel like bringing friends home after the church service because the house is in order after a week’s mess. Had the day of special worship been on a Saturday it could tempt weak christians to stay home from church altogether. Again, Sabbath is made for man and not the other way around. If a village that is blessed to have a church (meaning they have a group of christians in this village), and the church has an arrangement that works very well among them and which isn’t against the Bible in any way, then why not keep it that way?

Can we blame Constantine for that we worship on Sundays?

Constantine is oft blamed for various things, such as the idea that we believe in the trinity due to him, but the change of day was not instituted by him or the pope centuries after the apostles nor was it made to replace the Sabbath day. Some Sabbatarians particularly have the council of Laodicea in mind, held in 364 A.D.  There is much historical evidence to show Sunday worship was a universal practice of all the churches outside the land of Israel by the beginning of the 2nd century. What did take place at that Council was an anti-semitic move to make it illegal for christians to worship on Saturday. There were thousands of christians already worshiping on Sundays. 

”Anti-Judaism played its part in second-century Christian polemic against Jewish Sabbath observance, but it does not follow that it motivated the introduction of Christian Sunday worship. For we have already argued that Sunday worship dates back to the first century, while few second-century writers compare and contrast the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday. Derogatory discussions of the Jewish Sabbath do not usually refer to the Christian Sunday. If Sunday were a recent substitute for the Jewish Sabbath, we should expect far more discussion of the superiority of Sunday to the Sabbath.” R. J. Bauckham, From Sabbath to Lord’s Day, p. 271, edited by D.A. Carson.

The old church fathers also promoted worship on a Sunday

Philip Schaff (a noted historian) writes in the Schaff- Herzog Encyclopedia of religious knowledge 1891 Ed., vol.4 Article on Sunday.

”Sunday… was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship.. . Sunday was emphatically the weekly feast of the resurrection of Christ, as the Jewish Sabbath was the feast of creation. It was called the Lords day, and upon it the primitive church assembled to break bread. No regulations for its observance are laid down in the new testament nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined. Yet Christian feeling led to the universal adoption of the day, in imitation of the apostolic precedence. In the second century its observance was universal.

In other words these meetings were not to replace the Sabbath but held as a whole new day. There is a view that the Sabbath commemorated a finished creation with rest and the first day commemorates a finished redemption and a new work. The Sabbath is then a day of rest and quiet and the first day is a day of worship and praise. Sabbath means rest, not Saturday.The New Testament Church saw Sunday not as the substitute and replacement for the Jewish Sabbath.  Sunday was not seen as a modification or as a new Sabbath, but as a day that stood on its own merits having its own meaning.

The epistle of Ignatius, AD 107

”Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish Law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace….If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and By His death.”

Barnabas, 120 AD

”Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day, also, on which Jesus rose again from the dead”

The writings of Justin Martyr, AD 145-150 Justin’s ‘Apology’ was written at Rome about the year 140, only 44 years after the apostle John received the vision of The Revelation at Patmos. The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge says this about Justin’s works:

”In these works Justin professes to present the system of doctrine held by all Christians and seeks to be orthodox on all points. The only difference he knows of as existing between Christians concerned the millennium. Thus Justin is an incontrovertible witness for the unity of the faith in the Church of his day, and the fact that the Gentile type of Christianity prevailed.” Quoted by Canright in The Compete Testimony of the Early Fathers, Fleming H. Revell, 1916, pp. 24-25.

NOTE: At this early date, AD 140, the only major difference among Christians was concerning the millennium. At that time they had no disagreement in keeping Sunday, and as you will see, Justin says that was the day on which all Christians worshipped.

In chapter 67 of his first Apology, entitled, ”Weekly Worship of the Christians” writing to the pagan emperor, Justin states:

”…we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought…But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought the change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead.”The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, pp. 185-186 (emphasis added).

Didache, AD 80-90

”And on the day of our lords resurrection, which is the Lord’s day meet more diligently.”

Irenaeus, AD 155-202

”The Mystery of the Lord’s Resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord’s Day, and on this alone should we observe the breaking off of the Paschal Feast.”

APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS: Church life in the 2nd Century:

”On the day of the resurrection of the Lord–that is, the Lord’s Day–assemble yourself together without fail, giving thanks to God and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ.”

Dionysius, AD 170 Dionysius was Bishop of Corinth, the Church which Paul raised up and to which he gave the command about Sunday collections, in I Corinthians 16:1-2:

We passed this holy Lord’s Day, in which we read your letter, from the constant reading of which we shall be able to draw admonition.Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Bk. 4, Chapt. 23 

Clement of Alexandria, AD 194

”He, in fulfillment of the precept, keeps the Lord’s day when he abandons an evil disposition, and assumes that of the Gnostic, glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself” Book 7, Chapter 12

Ignatius, the third bishop of Antioch, AD 108:

”If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him…Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for ”he that does not work, let him not eat.”…let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]” ”Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pp. 62-63

Tertullian of Africa, AD 200: In his Apology, Chapter 16:

”We solemnize the day after Saturday in contradistinction to those who call this day their Sabbath, and devote it to ease and eating, deviating from the old Jewish customs, which they are now very ignorant of.”

Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the god of the Christian, because it is a well- known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity” The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, p. 123).

NOTE: The early church explained why they prayed toward the east. It was because, ”as the lightning which lighteneth from the east and is seen even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be:” that by this we might know and understand that He will appear from the east suddenly” Ancient Syriac Documents, The Ante- Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, p. 668.

Pliny’s letter, AD 107 Pliny was governor of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, from AD 106-108. He wrote in AD 107 to Trajan, the emperor, concerning the Christians:

”They were wont to meet together, on a stated day before it was light, and sing among themselves alternately a hymn to Christ as God….When these things were performed, it was their custom to separate and then to come together again to a meal which they ate in common without any disorder.”

All these quotes prove the Church held Sunday as a significant day long before any edict in the 300’s.

Does the Bible really teach that we should worship on Saturdays?

The day of the week to assemble should be the church’s choice, and many churches today have Saturday services as well as Sunday. The NT has no legislation for which day we are to assemble and history shows the early church chose Sunday because of its significance and not because they hated the Sabbath.

We can find 9 of the commandments from Ex.20:3-4 repeated in the New Testament but the 4thone is not. Maybe there is a reason for this. The Bible offers no command that we must assemble on the Sabbath (Saturday) for worship and there was absolutely no warning against Sunday worship.

At the Jerusalem council in Acts 15, dealing with how the Gentiles are to practice their Christianity, it does not mention the Sabbath. Paul states ”for I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he isa debtor to the whole law. (Gal.5:3) This can be substituted with any part of the Mosaic law; diet, clothing or the Sabbath.  James and Hebrews were written to the dispersed Israel, but they never refer to continue keeping the Sabbath day because even Jewish believers were not obligated. Peter exhorts the leadership of the Church not to place the Gentiles under the Law:

Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they

What some have done is use fear and devious manipulation to prove one is under the wrath of God by simply worshipping on a day apart from the Covenant given to Moses!

Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Note that the Holy Spirit told them NOT to lay upon the Gentiles any greater burden than those essentials. It seems like the Holy Spirit didn’t think Sabbath keeping was essential thing any more. If we are to believe that we need to keep the Sabbath  on Saturdays – just like they did in the OT – then the question is why we should pick and choose among the rules related to this special day, and why we should not also keep these instructions in mind:

-It was to be kept from sunset to sunset (Lev. 23:32)
-No burden was to be carried (Jer. 17:21)
-No fire kindled (Ex. 35:3)
-No Cooking done (Ex. 16:23)
-The penalty for doing any of these things during the Sabbath was DEATH (Numbers 15).

In the New Testament we are provided with lists of SINS that separate us from God and prevent us from entering his kingdom. These lists are often repeated. Nowhere is breaking the Sabbath listed as a sin that causes spiritual death.

If the Sabbath keeping is so important for a disciple of Christ, why didn’t Jesus or his apostles command Sabbath keeping?

We are often asked to find one verse in the Bible that shows the day of worship has been changed from Saturday to Sunday, but this is a moot point because it doesn’t matter what day you worship on.