Restoration(弥赛亚教北京基础课程)

Yousef Hai

来自: Yousef Hai(يوسف Messianic) 2012-03-15 20:32:17

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  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-03-15 20:33:47

    Chapter 2

    The Church Fathers and Rising Anti-Semitism in the Church

    I. These are the church leaders who lived through the Second Jewish Revolt
    a. Godly men, doing the best they could
    b. didn’t understand Torah well
    II. Ignatius, to churches of Asia (where John had lived and served 3 decades before):
    Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness…But let ever one of you keep the Sabbath in a spiritual manner…not in relaxation, not in eating things prepared the day before, not in finding delight in dancing and clapping which have no sense in them.
    a. So John’s and Paul’s churches were still keeping Sabbath
    III. The Epistle of Barnabas—a known fake letter; it is an anti-Semitic justification for replacement theology
    a. Jews are described as wretched men fooled by an evil angel (the God the the O.T.) and abandoned by God
    b. the Laws of Torah are allegorized
    c. Judaism is condemned
    IV. In this era, we have the first records of Christians proselytizing Jews
    a. in the dialogue between the Jew Trypho and the church father Justin Martyr, Justin Martyr explains to Trypho that God gave the Torah as punishment for their extreme wickedness and because of God’s special hatred for the Jews
    b. but even Justin Martyr admitted that in his day (153 CE) there were still both Jewish and non-Jewish believers who practiced the laws of Torah. These “weak-minded” brothers, he conceded, were still saved, despite their foolish insistence on observing the laws of Moses.
    V. The heretic Marcion came at this time
    a. his teaching: Jesus defeated and unseated the evil god of the Jews. The O.T. needs to be expelled. His Bible only included parts of Luke and 10 of Paul’s letters, which he edited to take out “Jewish corruptions”
    b. such a teaching caught on quickly and became very popular among this generation of believers!!!
    VI. Passover replaced by Easter
    a. Christians had begun remembering once a year the resurrection of Yeshua on the Sunday after Passover
    b. the Roman church ordered believers to quit doing Passover and only do Easter
    i. great controversy—the churches of Asia (Paul’s and John’s churches) wanted to keep Passover as they always had, but the authority of Rome won
    c. Christians began fasting every Sabbath and rejoicing every Sunday, Resurrection day, a weekly Easter

    Constantine, Nicea, Later Council Rulings, Chrysostom

    The rulings of early Christian councils make it clear that some believers were still keeping Torah, even into the 4th century.

    2. Nicea: By Constantine’s time, most Christian observance of Torah was gone. Constantine made the divorce from Judaism final at the Council of Nicea (325 CE). His official policy was: “Let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish rabble.”
    a. Again, the need to demand this means some still had things in common with the Jews
    b. Later rulings followed the example of Nicea.
    3. Council of Antioch (341 CE): prohibited Christians from celebrating Passover with the Jews
    4. Council of Laodicea (363 CE): forbade Christians from observing the biblical Sabbath
    5. Late 4th century, John Chrysostom gave 8 sermons against Christians keeping Torah:
    “What is this disease? The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Tabernacles, the fasts [i.e., the Day of Atonement]. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the church right now…But now that the Jewish festivals are close by and at the very door, if I should fail to cure those who are sick with the Judaizing disease…[they] may partake in the Jews’ transgressions.”
    a. He denounces Christians who participate in festivals, the Sabbath, and the dietary laws and rebukes them for attending the synagogue.

    Foreseen by the Master and others

    I. Matt 24:10-12—trouble will come, “because lawlessness is increased…”
    II. Acts 20:19-30—“savage wolves will come in”
    III. 2 Thess. 2:3, 7—an apostasy of Torahlessness

    The Middle Ages

    I. Violence Against Jews: As time went on and the Dark Ages began, the Christian church turned violent toward the Jews. Synagogues and holy books were burned, whole communities killed. Jewish men and women were tortured, all in the name of Christ.
    II. Church Also Tightens Grip on Believers: common people were forbidden to own the Scriptures—a person caught with the Bible could be killed

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-03-15 20:35:02

    Chapter 3: What is the Torah?


    The Torah is:
    1. The Law of Moses, Genesis to Deuteronomy
    a. Paul used the Greek word nomos to translate Torah, but the Hebrew word torah means more than nomos
    b. Torah means “to hit the mark.” It comes from the Hebrew yarah, which means “to cast, throw, shoot.” Torah is God’s aim for us.
    c. The opposite is chata, translated as “sin,” and means “to miss the mark.” Sin is missing the mark of Torah. It is God’s standard of righteousness.
    d. I John 3:4—“sin is lawlessness [torahlessness]
    e. We all miss the mark.
    f. Messiah is the point at which the Torah aims; the careful aim of Torah is the perfect Messiah. (Rom. 10:4—“the end [goal] of the law”)
    i. Greek telos implies arrival at a goal (Gal. 3:24)
    g. Yarah also simply means “instruction;” so the Torah is God’s instruction manual for life
    i. We do not function at our fullest potential without the instructions (as with an electronic gadget that we can’t fully use for lack of instructions)
    2. All of the Bible, and more
    a. “Torah” includes all of God’s instruction to mankind, so all of the Bible is “torah,” and more
    3. A covenant document
    a. Covenant: a contract specifying terms and conditions for both parties
    b. The Torah contains many covenants
    i. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sinai, Aaron, Phinehas, David, etc.
    c. One covenant—between God and Israel at Sinai— does have a long list of terms and conditions, spelled out from Exodus to Deuteronomy
    d. What does Paul call the “Old Covenant” and the “New Covenant?”
    i. the newness or oldness of the covenant depends on someone’s accepting or rejecting Messiah
    1. Old Covenant: The attempt to keep the Torah according to the covenant at Sinai without realization of Messiah, resulting in condemnation (2 Cor. 3:14)
    2. New Covenant: The writing of the Torah on our hearts through the realization of Messiah according to the covenant in Jeremiah 31, resulting in salvation (Heb. 8:10; Jer. 31:33)
    4. Wedding Vows
    a. Exodus 6:7—“I will take you for My people…”
    b. The giving of the law at Mount Siinai is described in Jewish literature as a betrothal and a wedding; In Jewish tradtion, one’s wedding vows are written out in a formal legal document called a ketubah; the rabbis compare the Torah to a ketubah, stating the terms and conditions of the marriage
    c. 10 commandments are the summary, treasured like the ketubah, the tablets were kept inside the Ark


    Legalism vs. Obedience

    The Torah was not given as a means to attain salvation. The idea that one can merit salvation through works is legalism. The Torah was never intended to be a means of earning salvation.
    1. Israel was saved from Egypt before she was given the Torah, already saved
    a. Israel was saved by grace, through no merit of her own
    b. Anciently, the first of the 10 commandments has been understood to be: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Ex. 20:2).
    i. Redemption must precede commandments; salvation and relationship with God precede the Torah
    2. Obedience is not legalism
    a. Legalism says: “I must obey God in order to be saved.”
    b. Grace says: “I must obey because I am saved.”

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-03-15 20:35:38

    Chapter 4: Summing Up the Torah

    Story: The Man Who Stood on One Foot
    There once was a Gentile who had lost faith in idols and decided to follow the God of the Jews. But the man was impatient to learn the whole Law. “I want to know the God of Israel now,” he said. He decided to go to the greatest sages of the time to learn a short version of the Law. The two greatest Torah teachers at that time were Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Shamai. Hillel was known for being strict, Shammai for being gentler.
    The Gentile found Rabbi Shammai, who happened to be holding a builder’s cubit. “Rabbi Shammai, teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot,” the Gentile said. What he meant was, “Teach me the whole Torah quickly.”
    Rabbi Shammai took the builder’s cubit and whacked the tottering Gentile, driving him away.
    The Gentile found Rabbi Hillel. “Rabbi Hillel, teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot,” he said. Rabbi Hillel immediately said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole of Torah. The rest is the commentary on it. Now go and study the rest.”
    The Gentile went away and began to study.
    Rabbi Shammai and Rabbi Hillel, Two Sides of Torah
    1. Shammai’s Builder’s Cubit: Torah is God’s universal standard of righteousness
    a. Before the standardized builder’s cubit was invented, a “cubit” was the distance from a man’s elbow to the tip of his finger
    i. each standard was different—like subjective morality
    ii. God has given each of us a conscience, a sense of right and wrong
    1. But it is subjective; similar, but different from person to person
    b. The Torah is the one standard for right and wrong, clean and unclean, holy and profane
    i. We measure ourselves against it
    1. it “beats us up” because we see our failure through it
    2. in a way, it drives us away, through shame, through condemnation
    2. Hillel: The Torah Gives Us a Way to Express Love
    a. The greatest teachers agree that love is the essence of Torah
    i. Yeshua: Matt. 7:12; but remember Matt. 5:19
    ii. Rabbi Akiva (one generation after Yeshua) said the commandment to loveone’s neighbor as oneself is ‘”the greatest principle in the Torah.”
    iii. Rabbi Paul: Rom. 13:8-10, Gal. 5:14
    b. Love is 1) a feeling of unity with another, 2) a decision to be united with another, 3) and actions in the world of giving oneself to another
    i. Torah shows us that we are all made in God’s image, showing us our unity, but also showing us how we became separated from each other
    ii. Torah teaches us that we must decide to live united with others again
    iii. Torah gives us commandments through which we can be united to others through self-sacrifice
    c. Lancaster’s equation analogy: “God’s Torah is the equation. The performance of HIs commandments is the solution. Love is the governing principle by which the solution must be checked for accuracy…The opposite of love is not hatred; it is selfishness—love of self…The commandmetns teach us to love others as ourselves. Submitting to the commandments displays God’s love because those commandments are contrary to our lazy, selfish nature. When we truly keep the commandments, we are loving. And when we truly love God and others, we will keep the commandments…The love that brought the incarnation, the crucifixion and the resurrection is the same love that gave the Torah.”
    3. Using Yeshua’s and Paul’s words to justify breaking the letter of the Law is selfishness, not love; it is confusion
    a. “I don’t need the letter of the law because I am under the law of love.”
    b. 1 John 2:4-5
    c. We must protect the idea that love is the center of the Torah
    i. “The Torah is summed up in love; not by rendering all other requirements inconsequential, but in that love is fundamental to all of the Torah’s other requirements and ultimately leads to the observance of all the others.”
    d. The human heart cannot provide its own standard for love—this is a delusion: “Don’t impose your standard on me; just love other people.”
    4. The Woman Caught in Adultery
    a. If Yeshua says, “Stone her,” He gets in trouble with Rome because Rome had taken away the power of corporal punishment from the Sanhedrin
    i. John 18:31—needed Pilate to execute Yeshua
    b. If Yeshua says, “Let her go,” they can accuse Him of teaching against the Law of Moses and sanctioning adultery
    c. Yeshua, like the Sanhedrin, disqualified the witnesses
    i. when it functioned, the Sanhedrin did not like to give the death penalty, so it would disqualify almost every witness and almost never sentenced anyone to death
    ii. Yeshua did the same by showing that they were not qualified to bring a testimony against her, so there could be no trial
    1. He freed her, but within the bounds of Torah, without breaking Torah
    2. He used Torah commandments to save the woman; the Torah says there must be two witnesses to accuse
    3. Yeshua, Himself, is not above the Torah of God, for it is His own law; He is the Word made flesh
    a. If He could have dismissed the Torah so easily, there would have been no need for Him to suffer and die
    b. His death worked within Torah, by taking on the full measure of the Torah’s punishment
    d. A person’s life is precious and is not to be used as a tool to trick a rabbi; the whole situation reduced the woman’s precious life to the means of making trouble for a Teacher who was becoming popular but who was very critical of the religious authorities of the time

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-03-15 20:37:01

    Chapter 5
    Torah and the New Testament
    Today, some of our Bibles are printed without the Old Testament, beginning in Matthew. Even when they do contain the Tanakh, these books are not always read. They are regarded as a very long introduction to Matthew. Christians teach the O.T. stories to children and sometimes study the O.T., but not often, and not with the intensity that comes from knowing that the knowledge there is foundational to our walk with God.
    Yeshua and Paul and all the “New Testament” writers regarded the Hebrew Scriptures—particularly the five books of Moses—as the bedrock foundation on which they built their teaching. The Hebrew Scriptures shaped the lives of Yeshua and Paul, but, in general, we have little interest in them. How odd it is for us to imagine that the Hebrew Scriptures are not relevant for us today. They were certainly relevant to Yeshua and Paul. Not only did they use them for teaching, they lived their lives by them.
    We should not read the Torah through the lens of the Greek Scriptures; rather, we should read the Greek Scriptures through the lens of Torah. Many believers find the Bible difficult to understand because they start at the end and try to understand the beginning later. They should start at the beginning.
    1. Yeshua and the Torah
    a. Yeshua taught from the Torah, which was His Bible
    i. Luke 4-- Yeshua as the guest of honor at the synagogue with the honor of being the 7th reader who also gets to read from the prophets. Yeshua “sits down” to teach; His source for the teaching is the only Bible He knew, the Torah
    ii. John 5:39—He said that the Hebrew Scriptures testify about Him
    iii. He quoted them in order to correct and rebuke people.
    iv. He interpreted them in order to give His disciples guidance
    v. He quoted versed from Deuteronomy to defeat the devil
    vi. His first recorded words after His baptism are quotations from the Torah (Matt. 4:4)
    vii. His last words from the cross were a quotation from the Psalms (Matt. 27:46)
    viii. He spent the day of His resurrection discussing the Scriptures with His disciples, showing them the things written about Him in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms (Luke 24:44-45)
    b. Heb. 4:15—Yeshua never broke a commandment of Torah
    c. Yeshua’s purpose was to establish the Torah among the Jews
    d. Isaiah 42:1-4, 21; Matt. 12:18-21—Isaiah tells us that Messiah was sent to bring the Torah even to the uttermost parts of the earth.
    2. Paul and the Torah
    a. 2 Tim. 3:16-17—Paul had no N.T., so he is talking about the Hebrew Scriptures being used for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness
    b. Acts 25:8, 28:17—Near the end of Paul’s life, he says he is fully obedient to the Torah of Moses.
    c. Paul’s purpose was to extend forth God’s Torah to embrace the non-Jews
    3. The term “Old Testament”—“Hebrew Scriptures” is a better term because, while the Old Testament is old, it contains the living and eternal words of God; they are not old in the sense of obsolete.
    a. Acts 7:38—They contain “living oracles”
    b. Hebrews 10:7—They reveal the person of Messiah
    c. 2 Cor. 3:12-18—The contain the glory of the New Covenant
    d. They are the standard of righteousness for which we are to train
    e. 2 Tim. 3:16-17—They equip us to perform the good deeds we are called to do
    f. They are the Bible Jesus read
    g. Paul’s purpose was to extend forth God’s Torah to embrace the non-Jews
    4. Parts of the Bible
    a. About priorities
    i. Building a house—we don’t start with the second floor and the roof; this is common sense
    ii. Our usual priority of Scripture is wrong:
    1. Paul’s letters
    2. The Gospels
    3. Revelation
    4. Psalms and Writings
    5. Prophets
    6. Torah
    iii. The correct priority of Scripture is sequential
    1. Galatians 3:15-17—Paul tells us a later covenant cannot contradict an earlier covenant
    2. Scripture cannot contradict earlier scripture, otherwise:
    a. it isn’t Holy Scripture
    b. or God changed His mind
    b. Why Torah is foundational
    i. It is the initial revelation of God
    1. It is His initial introduction of Himself to Israel and the world (what He’s like, how He made the world, why He chose His people, how He redeemed them, what He expects from them)
    ii. It is a record of God’s covenants with His people, containing the stipulations of those covenants
    iii. Any later revelations and covenants have to be checked against the Torah for authentication (Deut. 13)
    c. The Prophets
    i. The prophets’ consistent message is that Israel needs to turn back to the Torah (example: Ezekiel 14:6; 18:30)
    ii. They also look forward to a time when the Kingdom of Heaven is on earth and God’s Torah would be universally obeyed (example: Isaiah 2:3; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
    d. The Writings
    i. Books like Proverbs keep telling us to return to Torah (example: Proverbs 28:4, 9; 29:18)
    ii. The Psalms praise God’s Torah and urge us to keep His laws (example: Psalm 119)
    iii. Ezra tells how the nation was restored to Torah
    e. The Apostolic Scriptures
    i. Yeshua called His people back to Torah and offered His life as a payment for sins against the Torah; He validated His teachings using Torah; He encouraged His disciples to keep even the smallest commandments (examples: Matt. 5:17; Mark 7:9)
    ii. Throughout the letters of the N.T., writers rarely quote Yeshua; rather they quote the Hebrew Scriptures as their source for authority
    f. Revelation
    i. quotes the Torah over and over again, speaking of the triumphant overcomers as those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua” (Rev.12:17, 14:12)
    ii. Revelation, emphasizing both commandments and Yeshua is like the roof covering the whole house

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:06:09

    Chapter 6

    The Giving of the Torah

    Main Ideas: When God broke His silence and spoke to humanity at Sinai, He poured out what was in His heart. Through the laws that He spoke, He gave us tangible means based in our everyday lives to understand His character. By taking on the laws of Torah, finite human beings can take the mundane matters of life and elevate them to tools for understanding the Infinite One. If we ignore sections of His law, we are depriving ourselves of the ability to know those parts of God’s character. Though the New Covenant enables the Torah to be written on our hearts, that work is a process that is not yet complete. We as yet have need of studying Torah and the life of Yeshua, who perfectly lived out Torah. One day, our consciences will perfectly reflect Torah, when the Torah is completely written on our hearts.
    Introduction: Before God’s revelation at Sinai, we human beings had very little understanding of God. We saw the sun and imagined a sun god, the moon and imagined a moon god. The early patriarchs and matriarchs had some specific knowledge about God, but their knowledge of Him only became accessible to the world when God revealed Himself at Sinai and caused Moses to write the Torah. The Mt. Sinai revelation was given to a whole nation, not just one individual. Most of the world’s other religions rely on special knowledge given to or acquired by a single person. God revealed Himself in order to give us His laws.

    1. What man did in the absence of God’s revelation at Sinai
    a. Natural Law
    i. Every society has laws
    ii. Natural law tells us there’s such a thing as right and wrong.
    1. Even the best natural law is flawed—the most moral human societies are filled with injustice
    iii. Mankind develops laws because we are made in God’s image.
    1. Romans 2:14-15—the tendency toward natural law reflects God’s law
    b. Creating gods in Man’s Image
    i. Humans imagined gods that resembled people, gods motivated by selfishness, greed, lust, envy
    ii. Such man-made gods, being like us, had no position to give humanity moral laws
    2. Revelation Through Law—Rules for living but also ways to understand His character
    a. Revealing Himself through laws is unexpected—we might expect God to give us a very neat system of belief
    b. The laws are more than just ways to make society run well; they are pieces of Himself
    i. Each mitzvah is a small revelation of God, a reflection of the Lawgiver
    ii. Matt. 12:34—when God decided to speak to mankind as He did at Sinai, He was revealing His heart to us
    1. example: Ex. 23:5: The law commanding us to assist our enemy when he is in difficulty is “a piece of true godliness”
    a. man would not have thought of it—such a commandment is far beyond the demands of natural law and human mercy
    b. such a law teaches us about God’s mercy and compassion; it is a piece of God
    c. without laws like this one, little people would have no tangible means of understanding the qualities of our huge God
    3. Abolishing God
    a. If we understand God through Torah, then declaring parts of the Torah “finished” means that we have no way to understand parts of God
    i. Even the smallest commandment of Torah is filled with godliness
    ii. Ignoring Torah is our way to change God into an image we want
    1. example: Laws of ritual purity are hard for modern people to accept; they seem almost like superstition. So we change them. We change God’s revelation of Himself. This is very dangerous religion.
    2. “When we try to change the Torah or do away with a commandment, it is actually God we are trying to change or do away with.”
    4. Written on Our Hearts
    a. The need for Torah to be written on our hearts through Yeshua
    i. Even if a society lives a Torah lifestyle, we still fall short
    ii. So, we need Messiah, through whom Torah is written deeply within us
    1. In Him, the perfect revelation of godliness is fully realized, perfect Torah
    2. We could see Yeshua and know Him intimately, though He represents the unknowable God
    3. He is the Torah lived out
    4. One of His jobs is to reconcile mankind to God’s Torah; this work will be finished when natural law is the same as Torah, when the conscience of every man is the same as Torah (Jer. 31)
    b. The degree to which it’s written on our hearts now
    i. If we are in the New Covenant, is God’s Torah really fully written on our hearts?
    1. No, Jeremiah’s prophecy has not yet been fully realized.
    a. Redemption is a process.
    b. We still very much need Yeshua and the written Torah to compare ourselves to.
    2. If we think it is fully on our hearts, then we can say:
    a. The Torah is fully written on my heart.
    b. In my heart, I don’t feel like keeping the Sabbath.
    c. Therefore, this law is done away with, because it’s not written on my heart.
    c. Progressing within the New Covenant
    i. Though it’s not fully on our hearts yet, Paul encourages us to rely more and more upon God’s Spirit as It writes the Torah on our hearts (Ezekiel 36:27-28)
    1. The Holy Spirit is becoming a new natural law within us
    a. As long as we are in obedience to the Spirit, we are not breaking Torah (Gal. 5:22-23)
    2. Little Sinais—revealing God to the world
    a. Like little Mt. Sinais, we are receiving God’s Torah into our hearts; we are expected to be showing the world more and more of God as we live out His laws
    b. We look to Messiah as we try to reveal God to the world
    i. Only Messiah has accomplished this perfectly
    1. Through the work of His redemption and the transforming power of His indwelling Spirit, we are being conformed to His image
    2. The degree to which we are naturally living Torah, reflexively living Torah, is the degree that we are living like Messiah. (If we don’t have to think about it because we just do it, then that law is written on our hearts. When we don’ t have to think about any laws because we naturally do them, then they are all written on our hearts. When they are all written on our hearts, we resemble Messiah.

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:06:38

    Chapter 7

    The Inner Torah

    Summary:
    Christians accept the following theological points but don’t see the logical problem created by believing them:
    A. The “Word” is Yeshua and the “Word” is also the Bible, God’s message to humanity. Yeshua is also God’s message to humanity and is called the “Word.” So, Word = Yeshua = Bible.
    B. Yeshua lives inside Christians as our new identity
    The problem for Christians is that, in the minds of the New Testament writers, the written Word of God is especially the Torah of Moses. So, for the New Testament writers, Word = Bible = Torah. The logical conclusion of these various ideas is that, if we reject part of the Law of Moses, we reject part of our new inner identity, Yeshua in us.
    If: The Word = Yeshua = Bible = Torah
    And: Yeshua is our new inward identity.
    Then: If we reject part of Torah, we reject part of our new inward identity; it is still our identity, but if we don’t embrace it, we won’t express this part outwardly. Our restoration and testimony to the world are incomplete.

    1. We might not think a picture of our true inward identity would be beautiful; we wouldn’t want to look at it.
    a. secret inner things in our hearts, little sins, secret thoughts, lusts
    2. James: Torah = Word = Our inner identity
    a. Contrary to this picture of an “ugly” inner identity, James equates our true inner self with the “Word” and with the Torah, and he says it’s beautiful
    i. Jas 1:22-25—“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
    1. James says the Word shows us our true identity
    2. James equates looking into the Word with looking into the Law
    3. When we look into the Law, we see that our true inward identity is not terrible; it is “perfect” and “liberating”
    4. If we see our beautiful inner soul but then turn and live differently, we are forgetting our true inner identity.
    5. As we read Torah we are reminded to be true to this new identity.
    6. When we turn away from Torah, we risk forgetting the image we saw; we forget who we are.
    3. John: Word = Yeshua = Torah
    a. Another Bible author, John, clearly connects the “Word” with Yeshua, and he even makes less obvious connections between “Word” and “Torah.” John’s ideas can be very crudely summarized as:
    i. God spoke His Word
    ii. that Word has two faces, Yeshua and the Torah
    1. “Word” connected to Yeshua: Yeshua is “the Word made flesh” (John 1:14)
    2. “Word” connected to Torah:
    a. The mindset of the Jewish people, both then and now, is that the Word of God is first and foremost the Torah. To John, a Torah-observant Jew, the Torah is the most critical part of God’s written Word.
    i. The Torah is the will and wisdom of God, His self-revelation to the world, the extension of Himself
    ii. The Torah is the quintessential Word of God, that which He spoke audibly to mankind (70 nations) at Sinai
    1. He spoke the 10 commandments, a summary of the Law.
    b. John references the Torah twice in the first chapter of his gospel. In this chapter, John speaks of the Word preexisting creation and later coming to earth.
    i. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word…” “In the beginning,” “barasheet,” is the first word of the Torah. John is casting (setting up) his gospel as a retelling of the Torah, Torah from another perspective. He’s saying, “I’m going to write another version of Torah,” then he immediately starts talking about the Word and Yeshua. He’s saying the original Torah is also all about the Word and Yeshua.
    ii. John 1:17 “For the Law [Torah] was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Yeshua Messiah.” This should be read as a parallel statement, meaning the Torah and Yeshua are two sides of one coin. It could be read like this: “The Word was originally given through Moses; the Word was fully realized through Yeshua.”
    4. The two faces of the Word—Yeshua and the Torah—do not conflict with each other
    a. John 1:17—The Torah is the first step toward grace and truth; Yeshua is the full realization of grace and truth.
    b. Yeshua’s sinless life is lived in perfect accordance with the Torah
    c. The Living Torah, Yeshua, our new identity, leads us to keep the written Torah; Yeshua is writing the written Torah on our hearts (the Renewed Covenant, Jeremiah 31:33)
    i. The Living Torah and the written Torah work together to reveal the Word of God through us
    d. If we believe that the inner Messiah wants us to reject parts of the written Torah that Messiah keeps, then the inner Christ cannot work fully through the outer man
    5. Christian focus: Our new inner identity = Yeshua in us (New Creation Theology)
    a. When we become believers, we become completely new people.
    i. legally—we are adopted into Israel (Romans 11)
    ii. mystically—the same Spirit in Yeshua dwells in us, so we can say that the Spirit of Yeshua dwells in us (Col. 1:27, Eph. 3:17, 2 Cor. 13:5)
    1. important implication: “There is a Torah-observant, Jewish guy dwelling within you!”
    2. To the extent that we surrender our lives to this new inner identity, we succeed in living out our lives in Messiah.
    3. When we show love and do good works, we are not showing our own love, but the love of Yeshua in us, and the good works are credited to Yeshua, not us.
    4. When we keep the Torah, we allow Messiah to live through us.
    6. If Torah = Word = Yeshua = Our new inward identity
    a. then rejecting parts of the Torah amounts to rejecting part of Yeshua and our new inward identity

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:07:07

    Chapter 8

    The Sabbath of Torah

    1. It is clear in the New Testament that the followers of Yeshua were Torah people
    a. Yeshua, Himself, was a Torah teacher
    i. He told His disciples to keep and teach the Torah, and He encouraged them to demonstrate their love for Him by being faithful to the commandments (Mat 5:17; Mat 19:16-17; John 14:21; John 15:10)
    ii. His disciples were once described as many myriads, “all zealous for the Law [Torah].” Acts 21:20
    2. Torah is for Christians
    a. The proof is that Christians keep Torah by living the Christian life. The things that define the Christian life are Torah-based. For the most part, the Christian life is one of Torah lived out.
    i. examples: honor one’s parents, faithfulness in marriage, basic honesty, loving one’s neighbor as oneself, care for the orphan and widow, looking after the poor, helping those in need, prohibitions on violence, injustice, theft, homicide, sexual deviancy, and occult practices
    ii. also found in Torah: faith, grace, repentance, confession, prayer, baptism
    b. What about commandments in Torah that Christians don’t do? It is not possible to observe many commandments today.
    i. animal sacrifices of the Temple worship system
    1. actually, we are not allowed to sacrifice outside the Temple
    a. by not sacrificing, we are keeping Torah
    ii. strict measures of Torah justice, like stoning
    1. also not applicable outside of Israel and a Sanhedrin
    iii. these laws are not irrelevant or done away with, but at the present time cannot be practiced
    c. Christians keep the weightiest matters of Torah
    i. Christianity has spread faith in God around the world. Christians everywhere work to see justice done, the oppressed relieved, the hungry fed. Christians are famous for offering care and assistance to the stranger, orphan and widow. Christians are known for having a high level of integrity and moral character
    1. Of course there are always some bad eggs
    d. Christians are “Torah-observant” without even knowing it.
    3. But Some Things Were Lost in History
    a. 1st and 2nd Jewish Revolts against Rome
    i. Flavian Emperors, and under Trajan and Hadrian—Judaism was persecuted
    1. heavy taxes, anti-Torah laws
    b. Believers also pushed out by Jews
    c. Yeshua predicted the loss of Torah:
    i. Matt. 24:9-12
    1. love for God will grow cold
    a. Deut. 6:4-5
    b. 1 John 5:3—love of God is that we keep His commandments
    d. Some believers held onto Torah
    i. early writings show they existed well into the 3rd and 4th centuries and beyond
    4. Lost Treasures: Sabbath
    a. Introduction to the Sabbath:
    i. A picture of the Sabbath: “Every Friday night I watch my six-year-old daughter light the Sabbath candles to welcome the Lord’s day of rest. The house is full of good smells; hot soup, a pie in the oven, fresh bread. As dusk settles on the neighborhood the boys are reading through the weekly Torah portion, preparing to contribute something at the Sabbath table. Guests arrive at the door. My wife finishes the final preparations in the kitchen. She will not need to cook again for more than twenty-four hours. At the table, prayers are said, blessings are dispensed, songs are sung and words of Torah are exchanged. The day of rest, the Lord’s day, has begun.”
    ii. God commands His people to stop working on the seventh day.
    1. Sabbath is one of the most frequently repeated commandments in the Bible.
    iii. The Sabbath is about Messiah.
    1. Yeshua told us that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. (Luke 6:5)
    2. Paul says the Sabbath is a shadow of things to come and the substance of it is Messiah. (Col. 2:16-17)
    iv. The Sabbath is the first thing in the vastness of creation God set apart as holy.
    1. It stands as the first of all things we are to do in obedience to God—to understand that the Sabbath is holy and comply with the holiness of that day, implied by God’s very act of declaring that day special for us.
    v. Those who know the Sabbath love it; it is the day of our joy.
    1. Followers of the Master encounter Him in fresh, new, and delightful ways on the Sabbath.
    2. It is “a gift, not a despotic ruler demanding our submission. It is gentle and beckoning, subtle and sublime, wrapped in garments of light, inviting us to meet with the Lord. We delight in the Sabbath because we encounter Yeshua within it.”
    b. The Sabbath is about Peace
    i. We set aside the troubles of the world
    1. Messiah: “Peace I leave with you…” (John 14:27). On the Sabbath, we quiet ourselves enough to feel the presence of His peace.
    ii. The Sabbath is a shadow of things to come (Col 2:16-17)
    1. Messiah’s coming will begin a 1,000-year era of peace—the Kingdom on earth. This can be compared to the Sabbath.
    a. 6 weekdays are like 6,000 years of redemptive history, the 7th millennium being likened to the Sabbath
    i. With the Lord one day is like a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:8)
    b. The rabbis of old believed that the Sabbath was a foreshadowing of the age of peace Messiah will bring (for example: b. Sanhedrin 97a
    2. The prophets tell us all mankind will keep the Sabbath (Is. 66:23)
    c. The Sabbath is about remembering Creation
    i. God ceased from work on the 7th day not because He was tired, but because the work was done.
    ii. The work He ceased from was the work of creating.
    1. We also cease from the work of creating
    a. shaping, creating, forming, making, ordering, structuring, organizing, mixing, molding things to produce results; imposing our will onto substance, creating order from disorder, production, making money
    iii. We stop working as a remembrance of creation and a remembrance of our
    re-creation, our salvation (second birth)
    d. The Sabbath is about Salvation
    i. To Yeshua, the Sabbath was His Father’s day, the perfect day for men and women to receive a touch from God
    1. He ignored conventional religious wisdom and insisted on healing on the Sabbath day
    2. For the sick patient, healing means “rest.”
    3. God’s pattern is to heal during times of rest: after a long day of work, our bodies heal and regenerate when we sleep; in winter the farmer and the land rest, and a new spiritual filling happens.
    ii. Hebrews compares our salvation to the Sabbath: “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest [the Sabbath] has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:9-10)
    e. The Sabbath is about Grace
    i. Like grace, Sabbath is a gift.
    ii. For six days we strive to impose our wills onto creation, but on the 7th, we acknowledge that we are not the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. He is the One who provides for us, not ourselves through our own efforts.
    1. This reminder in the physical world has a spiritual parallel: He not only provides our physical needs, He is also the Provider of our righteousness; on our own, our righteousness is like filthy rags, so we have no ability to earn salvation. His righteousness is the source of our salvation. This is grace. When rest comes, we realize the work is over; He has done it. There is nothing we can add to it; just rest.
    f. Sabbath is about Freedom
    i. Sabbath forces us to realize that we serve God, not Pharaoh
    1. Our busy schedules drive us like Pharaoh, but we are not ultimately controlled by all those things; we are ultimately God’s servants; by stopping those things that drive us for 6 days, God puts a limit on them so they don’t take over our lives.
    g. Sabbath is about Messiah
    i. Deut. 5:15—We are to keep the Sabbath as a remembrance of the Exodus
    1. Each Sabbath is a little Passover; leaving Egypt is like the Sabbath
    2. The Lamb, Messiah, is the center of Passover
    a. “He is our blessing and holiness, our deep peace and our sure salvation. He is our new creation, our source of grace and our great freedom. he is our Sabbath rest; thus we rest on the Sabbath in Him.”
    h. The Sabbath-Breaker—Was Yeshua a Sabbath-Breaker?
    i. Some Pharisees said He broke the Sabbath (John 9:16)
    1. They were trying to prove He was a sinner and not Messiah
    2. Why are Christians today so eager to agree with these enemies of Messiah?
    ii. None of their reasons for accusing Him were clear violations of Sabbath
    1. Plucking grain, healing, having a man carry his mat, making mud to put it on a blind man’s eyes—according to the Bible, none of these acts are violations of Sabbath
    a. 200 years after Yeshua, rabbis were still debating these questions
    i. Sabbath and Sunday—Did Jesus Move the Sabbath to Sunday?
    i. “Nowhere in the Bible does it say, or even imply, that Yeshua or His followers met and worshipped on Sunday.”
    ii. Sabbath is one of the most often repeated commandments in the Bible
    1. Such a change would need to be expressed clearly and supported by a strong argument to explain why such an important commandment was changed.
    a. There is no such clarity or argument
    iii. Neither Yeshua nor His Apostles regarded Sunday as the Sabbath
    1. The move to Sunday happened after the Apostles
    iv. Acts 20:7—refers to a Sabbath-end (Saturday) meal
    1. The biblical day begins at night
    2. This tradition of gathering together to bid farewell to the Sabbath and welcome the new week with words of Torah is still practiced in Judaism
    a. That’s why Paul spoke all night in Troas, not all day
    v. the “Lord’s Day” is not necessarily Sunday
    1. It is just a modern assumption that “Lord’s Day” means Sunday
    2. Sunday is not mentioned in Rev. 1:10
    3. It’s not wrong to assemble and worship on Sunday, but we should not think it was Yeshua’s idea
    j. Yeshua’s Attitude Toward the Sabbath
    i. Sabbath is very important to Yeshua
    1. So many stories in the Gospels are happen on the Sabbath
    2. Many of His most important miracles happened on the Sabbath
    3. His custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16)
    a. Sabbath is the day of assembly (Lev. 23:3)
    b. “synagogue” is the Greek word for “assembly”
    4. We see Him celebrating Sabbath with meals among the Pharisees (Luke 15:1)
    5. We see Him spending Sabbath among the disciples.
    6. Yeshua told His disciples to pray that their escape from Jerusalem would not happen on the Sabbath so that they wouldn’t have to break the Sabbath to save their lives. (Matt. 24:20)
    7. Yeshua said, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Luke 6:5)
    a. Would the Lord of the Sabbath not keep the Sabbath?
    8. Yeshua said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing…” (John 5:19)
    a. This is the standard.
    b. Yeshua kept the Sabbath because His Father kept the Sabbath (God rested on the 7th day of creation)
    ii. “To Yeshua, the Sabbath was the day of rest, the day of redemption and healing and the day of His Father. The only work He did on the Sabbath was the work of redemption, the work of God His Father. It was a day for healing human bodies and souls.” (John 5:17)
    iii. Yeshua was concerned with restoring balance to Sabbath observance
    1. Restoring the spirit God intended for the Sabbath
    a. He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
    b. He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
    i. This famous passage is followed by an example of His attitude toward the Sabbath that is less strict than the Jewish tradition.
    2. His conflicts with the Pharisees over this shows it was important to Him
    3. The many stories in the gospels about what Yeshua did on the Sabbath and arguments about the Sabbath show that Sabbath questions were very important to early believers for whom the Gospels were written
    a. They wanted to know what Yeshua taught about the Sabbath; this is why these stories are in the Bible
    i. We misinterpret these teachings about Sabbath to say He was a Sabbath-breaker
    k. Yeshua’s Disciples Honor the Shabbat
    i. Yeshua’s disciples would not violate the Sabbath even to take care of His body; instead, they rested “according to the commandment.” (Luke 23:54-56)
    1. Yeshua clearly had not taught them to disregard the Sabbath but to revere it.
    2. They waited an extra day before paying honor to their Master’s body.
    l. Sabbath Meant for Everybody
    i. The Sabbath is meant for all Israel, for the Jew, the stranger, the foreigner and all flesh alike (Ex. 20:8-10, Isaiah 56:3-6; 66:23)
    ii. Isaiah says that in the end times, non-Jews who keep the Sabbath will be given a place in God’s holy Temple (Isaiah 56:6-7)
    iii. Paul’s Gentile converts met in the synagogues on the Sabbath day (Acts 15:21)
    m. If Yeshua really was a Sabbath-Breaker…
    i. then our faith is in vain because He would have been a sinner.
    ii. But…1 Peter 2:22

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:07:44

    Chapter 9

    The Festivals of Torah

    Introduction: The things of Torah tell us about our family, our heritage, what we inherit through adoption into the people of God. We need only take hold of it and claim it for ourselves. The Sabbath is a large component of our lost heritage. But there are other mo’edim (appointed times) on the biblical calendar that have been lost as well.

    1. God’s Calendar
    a. lunar
    i. tiny sliver of a new moon is always the first day of the month
    ii. the full moon is the middle of the month
    iii. disappearance of the moon indicates the end of the month
    b. appointed times defined in Leviticus 23
    i. these are God’s appointments with His people, specially set times to have meetings with us, for God to do business with us
    1. for God to do His work of redemption in us
    2. for God to teach us about the work of Yeshua
    2. Passover and the Lamb
    a. Passover is the first mo’ed mentioned after the Sabbath in Lev. 23
    b. The first Passover occurred in Egypt, where the people were told to keep this festival as a remembrance of their salvation from bondage and slavery
    i. But it was more than just a remembrance; it was a rehearsal of the Lamb to come, the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Yeshua, to bring the whole world out of spiritual slavery
    ii. Yeshua was crucified on Passover, and His blood was applied as a mark of salvation on all who would believe in Him
    1. We see that Yeshua kept Passover, and all the appointed times, as we read about Yeshua’s Passover feast (the Last Supper)
    2. Paul told the Corinthians to keep Messiah in mind as they celebrated the feast (I Cor. 5:7-8)
    a. Paul reminds us that we need to cast sin out of our lives like leaven at Passover
    i. We renew our lives in Yeshua at this time, casting out the old sin
    3. We keep Passover/Unleavened Bread in remembrance of Yeshua
    a. Yeshua commanded us to do so (Luke 22:19); the commandment is more than “Communion.” It is to do a Passover meal and remember Yeshua in it.
    c. It is important for the followers of Yeshua.
    3. First Fruits: the Barley Sheaf and the Resurrection
    a. Mentioned next in Lev. 23
    b. Occurs during the week of Passover (Unleavened Bread)
    c. We are to bring a sheaf of the first ripened grain to the Temple as a first fruits offering to the Lord. It is brought on “the day after the Sabbath.”
    d. Yeshua’s crucifixion/resurrection and First Fruits:
    i. As Yeshua was being bound and tried before the Sanhedrin, apostles of the Sanhedrin were sent to a barley field near Jerusalem to bind up sheaves for this festival, leaving them attached to the ground. On the day leading up to Yeshua’s Resurrection, the barley was cut and taken to Jerusalem to be offered to the Lord.
    1. Torah forbids anyone to eat grain and produce from the new year’s crops until this sheaf of barley was harvested and offered at the Temple
    a. Barley is first to ripen in Israel, so the offering is always barley
    b. Reminds Israel that the land and its produce belong to God
    i. God must first receive His due acknowledgement before Israel could enjoy the produce of the land
    ii. 1 Cor. 15:20—“Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”
    e. It is important for the followers of Yeshua.
    4. Shavuot (Pentecost) and the Fire on the Mountain
    a. 50 days after the first fruits grain was offered at the Temple
    b. The early believers gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate this day (Acts 2)
    c. Paul hurried across the Mediterranean to celebrate Shavuot in Jerusalem (Acts 20:16)
    d. The Sages considered Pentecost to be the anniversary of the day God spoke Torah at Mount Sinai. In Judaism, it is called the festival of the “Giving of the Torah.” At Sinai:
    i. God stepped down from the heavens
    ii. There was wind, lightening, thunder, smoke, a very loud ram’s horn trumpet blowing, and fire. The whole nation audibly heard God speak.
    1. According to Jewish legend, God’s voice was heard in all the languages of mankind and it took the shape of fiery sparks that encircled the camp of Israel and came to rest on each individual Jew.
    a. Whether this is true or not, it’s important to understand that Peter and the followers of Yeshua were aware of the Pentecost legends
    i. The miracles of Acts 2 carried deep significance for them because they were echoes of Sinai: tongues of fire, speaking the languages of the world, the sound of the rushing wind
    1. God connects the giving of His Torah with the giving of His Spirit—we are not to see the one without the other; God’s Spirit and His Law are related.
    e. It is important for the followers of Yeshua.
    5. The Feast of Trumpets
    a. We are told to celebrate this day by blowing a ram’s horn trumpet
    b. Traditionally regarded as the New Year (Rosh HaShanah)
    c. This day prepares us for the holy Day of Atonement which comes 10 days later
    i. A day of reconciliation between friends and family
    ii. A day to review the previous year’s sins and shortcomings, apologize to and forgive one another
    d. Believers in Yeshua are reminded at this time of:
    i. the trumpets that precede the second coming of Messiah
    ii. the gather together of His elect from “the four winds”
    iii. the coming judgment
    iv. the trumpets of Revelation and the beginning of the end
    e. It is important for the followers of Yeshua.
    6. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
    a. “It is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” (Lev. 16:30)
    b. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year.
    c. The holiest man in the world (the high priest), from the holiest people in the world, in the holiest city of the world, at the holiest place in that city, would enter the Holy of Holies, behind the veil, to apply the atoning blood of the sin offerings.
    d. Hebrews says that this day teaches us about the work of Messiah on our behalf.
    i. He is our High Priest in the heavenly Temple
    ii. He carried His own blood into the Holy of Holies of the heavenly Temple
    e. Jewish tradition refers to Yom Kippur as Judgment Day because of its connections to sin, atonement, and forgiveness
    i. It is a fast day spent in prayer, confession, study, and reflection
    1. Torah-keeping communities spend the day together and break the fast together
    f. For disciples of Yeshua, we rehearse Yeshua’s work on our behalf.
    i. We focus on the cleansing, atoning work of Yeshua, how He brings us into right standing with God
    1. Prayers of confession are important. This day is set aside for deliberate, intentional, and conscientious confession of sin, a 24-hour period of devotional introspection during which we carefully examine our behavior, confess our shortcomings, and throw ourselves on the mercy and grace of our great King.
    g. It is an important day for the followers of Yeshua.
    7. Sukkot: The Festival of Booths (Feast of Tabernacles)
    a. Eight-day harvest celebration
    b. Israel is commanded to annually build tents to dwell in as a reminder of the post-exodus years when they lived in huts and booths, following God in the wilderness
    c. Many beautiful traditions:
    i. Inviting guests into one’s booth for festive meals each night, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David
    1. anticipates the Messianic Age when the dead will be raised to life again and we will sit at the table with these great ones in the Kingdom of Heaven, when “a tabernacle of glory will be spread over Jerusalem (Isaiah 4:5-6)
    d. All nations will ascend to Jerusalem bearing tribute to the King Messiah and celebrating Sukkot (Zech. 14:16)
    e. Some say Messiah was born during the Feast of Booths
    i. “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” (Greek for “tabernacled” is related to the Greek for “booth”) (John 1:14)
    1. He tabernacled among us then
    2. Now tabernacles within us
    3. Will again tabernacle among us
    f. This is an important day for the followers of Yeshua.
    8. Shadows of Messiah
    a. It is easy to see Yeshua in these days; this is what Paul meant when he said:
    Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of Sabbaths, which are a shadow of the coming things, and the body [is] of the Messiah (Col. 2:16-17, YLT)
    i. Translator biases:
    1. Some insert “mere” into the verse to diminish the importance of the biblical festivals: “a mere shadow of the coming things” (NASB))
    2. The NIV changes the tense of the verb: “These are a shadow of the things that were to come…” implying that the festivals were designed to only teach us about what Yeshua did 2,000 years ago, not understanding that they teach about His future work, future world events, and future acts of God in the hearts of humanity
    ii. Paul is saying that the biblical Sabbaths, festivals, and dietary laws are good because they are shadows of coming things and the “body” of Messiah
    1. Messiah is the body that casts the shadow (the biblical calendar)
    a. the Light of God is made accessible to people as it is filtered through Messiah, so that we have tangible ways of experiencing and knowing God
    iii. Paul says, “Don’t let people judge you for doing appointments with God that teach you about Messiah and God.”
    b. When we understand that the appointed times are about Yeshua, we want to do them as a matter of discipleship.
    c. But God’s calendar does more than teach about Yeshua, it changes our lives.
    i. It is a cycle of sanctification, an annual pattern of growth for healthy discipleship.
    d. “As the disciples of the Messiah rediscover the biblical festivals, we rediscover our own heritage. We reclaim our biblical identity.”


    Appointed Time Christological Meaning
    Sabbath (Shabbat) (Lev. 23:2-3) Sabbath rest of creation, the final redemption and 1000-year reign of Messiah
    Passover (Pesach) and Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:4-8) The Last Supper, Messiah our Passover Lamb, His death and burial
    First Fruits of the Barley (Omer) (Lev. 23:9-14) Messiah’s resurrection.
    Pentecost (Shavuot) (Lev. 23:15-21) The outpouring of Messiah’s Spirit just as the Torah was given at Sinai.
    Long dry summer months without appointments Messiah’s absence.
    Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah, Rosh HaShanah) (Lev. 23:23-25) The trumpet blast of the return of Messiah. The trumpets of the last days.
    Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Lev. 23:26-32) The atoning work of Messiah’s blood. The day of final judgment.
    The Feast of Booths (Sukkot) (Lev. 23:33-44) Sabbath rest of creation, the final redemption and 1,000-year reign of Messiah who will tabernacle among us.

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:08:35

    Chapter 10

    The Life of Torah

    The Torah fills life with daily, weekly, monthly, and annual reminders of God and of who we are in Him. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat to the days we celebrate—He gave us every law to remind us that we are God’s holy and righteous people. The Torah lifestyle never gives a person an opportunity to forget who they are. It is a regular rhythm of godliness.

    We lost this rhythm when the believing Jews and Gentiles split from each other shortly after the time of the Apostles. The Gentiles soon lost the Jewish context for the Bible. Not only that, but in the Roman empire, believing Gentiles were persecuted for “looking like Jews.” Gentiles began interpreting the Bible in an anti-Semitic way. But the horrors of the Holocaust have shocked us to our senses. We are going back to our Bibles and digging into church history to find out how this could have happened. And we’re rediscovering the Torah and the Torah lifestyle.

    The Rhythm: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annual Reminders

    1. Daily reminders
    a. Tzitzit (Numbers 15:38-40)
    i. This commandment works in two ways:
    1. The person wearing them is reminded that he represents God in the world; the tassels symbolize God’s commandments, and the man who wears them declares that he accepts God’s commandments
    2. People who see the tassels are reminded of God
    ii. Yeshua wore tzitzit and they became a part of His healing ministry (Matt. 9:20; Mark 6:56)
    b. Mezuzah
    i. The Torah tells us to write God’s commandments on the doorframes of our houses (Deut. 6:9), traditionally done by putting a mezuzah on the doorframe(s)
    1. Reminds us that the home is a godly home and under the jurisdiction of God’s Word, and that we are to follow the Word both inside and outside of it
    c. Tefillin
    i. Torah says to bind God’s Word to our hands and foreheads (Deut. 6:8), traditionally done by strapping boxes with scriptures to the forehead and arm during morning prayer
    1. Yeshua almost certainly did this’
    2. A powerful reminder of how our minds and bodies are to be controlled by God’s Word
    d. Dietary Laws
    i. These laws are meant to
    1. make God’s people holy, setting them apart
    2. keep God’s people healthy
    3. be daily reminders of our holiness and “the difference between permissible and the forbidden, light and dark, right and wrong.” They teach us to analyze not only what goes into our mouths, but also what goes into our ears and eyes
    ii. The first prohibition God gave to mankind was a dietary law
    1. The biblical dietary laws bring us back to the Garden of Eden, reminding us that we are not the authority; God is the authority
    iii. Noah knew which animals were clean and unclean, so this separation existed before the Jewish people and before the giving of the Torah
    iv. In Acts 15, three dietary laws are among the five laws emphasized for non-Jewish believers
    v. Yeshua and the Apostles kept the dietary laws
    vi. The Food Laws:
    1. General Laws
    a. no eating blood
    b. no eating meat with the blood in it
    c. no eating the fat around certain organs
    2. Specific Laws
    a. animals must have a split hoof and chew the cud (including cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, ibex, gazelle, deer, wild ox, giraffe)
    b. fish must have both fins and scales (unclean sea animals include shrimp, lobsters, clams, oysters, whales, sharks, eels)
    c. predatory and carrion-eating birds are unclean (including the ostrich). (Clean birds: the pigeon/dove family, chicken, turkey, quail, partridge, peacock, pheasant, sparrow, duck, and goose.)
    d. of insects, only a certain class of locust are clean
    2. Weekly reminders
    a. Shabbat
    i. Reminder of the 7 days of creation
    ii. Reminder of the covenant with God
    iii. “As the week commences, we mark off the days until Sabbath, eagerly anticipating a day off from work, a day with the family, a day with friends, a day with the Lord.”
    3. Monthly reminders
    a. The lunar calendar
    i. The lunar calendar is biblical
    ii. Every month we are to take note of the appearance of the new moon.
    iii. The moon marks out the seasons and days.
    iv. As we watch it wax and wane, it teaches important truths about God’s rhythms and cycles
    1. In Judaism, the new moon is said to be “born again”
    a. monthly reminder of spiritual rebirth
    b. The woman’s body
    i. God has synchronized the woman’s body to the moon; she is continually practicing a cycle of rebirth and recreation, passing from death to life again; in the Torah lifestyle, each woman becomes a monthly reminder of our spiritual renewal in Yeshua
    1. God prohibits sexual relations for 7 days after menstruation begins, when a woman is ritually unclean. She passes from ritual uncleanness to ritual purity through water immersion.
    4. Annual Reminders
    a. The Festivals
    5. Other Reminders
    a. Baptism (Mikvah)
    i. Christians did not invent baptism; it is an ancient Jewish practice and Orthodox Jews still do it today.
    1. The meaning and methods of baptism have divided Christians
    ii. When we understand what baptism meant to the Jews before Yeshua, we can be brought back together because this understanding is older than the theologies that divide us; it is every believer’s common origin
    iii. From the days of Moses, all of Israel regularly practiced ritual baptism frequently
    iv. everyone would immerse before entering the Temple
    v. priests immersed every day
    vi. women immersed after completing their cycle, before she could rejoin her husband or enter the Temple
    vii. anyone who had become contaminated (e.g. lepers) had to be immersed before they could be declared ritually pure again
    viii. converts to Judaism were immersed
    ix. Jews practice baptism today any time they are moving from one major life stage to another, showing that the old person is gone and a new person has been born. Modern Jews may be immersed when they become a rabbi, when they are married, when they get their first job, etc.

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:09:00

    Chapter 11

    Above the Law

    It is foolish to say that because we understand the intention of a law or what it teaches, we don’t have to keep that law. It is foolish to say that because we understand a law at a deeper level, we are above the law. God’s Law is eternal and its authority is greater than the authority of even the king. We call the principle that the law is the highest authority the Rule of Law. Without the Rule of Law, governments would be able to rule however they want. According to the Sages, King Solomon gives us an example of the terrible results of putting yourself above the law.

    1. The example of King Solomon
    a. Kings of Israel are commanded to write a copy of the Torah, “so that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen.” (Deut. 17:20)
    i. This reminds the king that he, like all the other Israelites, is subject to the Torah
    b. The Midrash Rabbah says that Solomon knew the commandment: “[The King] shall not multiply wives for himself or else his heart will turn away…,” but he said to himself, “The reason why God has said, ‘He shall not multiply wives for himself’ was only lest the king’s heart should turn away…God is with me, and I will withstand this temptation.’”
    i. Solomon’s logic:
    1. God gave a command to protect us.
    2. I understand what He is protecting us from; I understand the principle of the law, what it teaches.
    3. God has given me special strength.
    4. Therefore, I can avoid the negative outcome.
    5. So I can break the commandment.
    6. I can “edit” the law because I have insight into the reason for the law.
    7. I am above the Law.
    ii. The outcome of this logic:
    1. “…what is written of Solomon? ‘For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods” (1 Kings 11:4). Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said, ‘It would have been better for Solomon to clean sewers than to have this verse written of him.’” (Exodus Rabbah 6:1)
    2. Believers have used the same logic to edit the Torah and exempt themselves from the Rule of Law.
    a. We have said, “I understand the spiritual principle of the Torah laws, what they were designed to teach and to protect us from. Moreover, God has strengthened me through His Holy Spirit. Therefore:
    i. I don’t need to keep the laws to learn what God teaches through them. I already know everything they teach. I have learned by studying them.
    ii. Since I know the negative outcomes God is protecting us against, I can avoid them because I am strong in the Holy Spirit.
    b. Examples:
    i. The laws of clean and unclean animals arose because of the absence of refrigeration in the wilderness. Clearly, we are liberated from keeping this commandment in an age of refrigeration and preservatives.
    ii. God gave the Sabbath so that man would rest from his heavy work. Since I understand the reason for it, it’s clear that resting one time a week is okay, but it doesn’t have to be the seventh day. Furthermore, since the intention is that I rest, if I’m not tired, I don’t have to rest, so I’m free from this obligation.
    iii. Example of spiritualizing the commandments: I understand that the Sabbath teaches us about the Sabbath rest in Messiah. Therefore I am free from keeping the Sabbath because I understand this concept well, especially because I have the New Testament to teach me more clearly about resting in Messiah.
    iv. Examples from our civil laws:
    1. I understand that the speeding laws are designed to keep me and others safe. Unfortunately, the speeding laws are a bit overprotective. Since I can be very careful to drive safely, I can go faster than the speeding laws allow.
    2. I understand that the prohibition on owning big dogs in Beijing is intended to keep the city clean and protect the people from dangerous animals. I will clean up after my dog carefully and train my dog to be friendly; therefore, I can own a big dog.
    3. The Torah cannot be edited; it will not change.
    a. Later in the midrash about Solomon, God says that it is wrong for Solomon to edit the Torah and that “the smallest tittle will not be erased” from the words of the Torah. Yeshua quotes this midrash about Solomon in Matt. 5:17-18
    “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
    1. Yeshua was reminding us of King Solomon’s folly.
    b. “As soon as we begin to discard commandments, we have begun editing God.” (Holy Cow, pg. 86)
    4. Deitrich Bonhoeffer:
    “The law Jesus refers to is the law of the Old Covenant, not a new law, but the same law that He quoted to the rich young man and the lawyer when they wanted to know the revealed will of God. It becomes a new law only because it is Christ who binds his followers to it. For Christians, therefore, the law is not a ‘better law’ than that of the Pharisees, but one and the same; every letter of it, every jot and tittle, must remain in force and be observed until the end of the world. Jesus has in fact nothing to add to the commandments of God, except this, that He keeps them. He fulfills the law, and He tells us so himself, therefore it must be true. He fulfills the law down to the last iota.” (from The Cost of Discipleship)
    i. “[Bonhoeffer] did not substitute rationalization for obedience. And because of that, Bonhoeffer met martyrdom in the death camps of Nazi Germany while most of his seminary colleagues were goose-stepping around with swastikas on their uniforms. Bonhoeffer believed in the Rule of Law, and to him, a theology that did not confess the Rule of Law was a theology of ‘cheap grace.’” (pg. 121)
    5. Yeshua, the Author of the Torah, did not put Himself above the Torah. He lived a totally sinless life in accordance with Torah Law. If He hadn’t, He would not have been the perfect sinless atonement we needed.

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:09:15

    Chapter 12

    The Difficult Laws of Torah

    The Torah contains many laws that are foreign to us, such as the laws of the sacrificial system, the purity codes, laws pertaining to corporal punishment and food laws. In our Christian history, one way we have dealt with seemingly anachronistic laws has been to divide God’s Law into categories: civil, ceremonial, and moral. We have taught that because Yeshua “fulfilled” the Torah, only the moral laws still apply today. In truth, the laws of Torah cannot be divided into categories—this idea does not exist in Torah. Rather than using these arbitrary divisions to explain away the “foreign” laws, we should learn about them fully so that we can better understand them and even enter into the world of the Torah by practicing it so that we take on a new mind, the mind of Yeshua. When viewing these laws with a renewed mind, we find that they cease to seem so foreign to us. On the contrary, we begin to see their great beauty and eminent applicability to our lives.

    The following are just brief thoughts (not exhaustive arguments) about several “difficult” areas of Torah. This chapter responds to a specific arguments found in an email floating around often addressed to Dr. Laura or President Bush. In an attempt to refute the Torah, the anonymous writer of the email presents a series of Torah laws that seem anachronistic to us today.

    1. The Sacrificial System
    a. The sacrifices described in Leviticus are only permitted within the Temple and must be facilitated by a Levitically pure priesthood. Without a Temple, the sacrifices cannot be practiced.
    i. They have not been done away with.
    ii. “Yeshua’s sacrifice fulfilled the symbolic components of the sacrificial system. But fulfilling and obsolescing are two different things.”
    iii. Acts: The believers remained engaged in the Jerusalem Temple system long after Messiah was crucified; they did not regard the Temple worship as obsolete (Acts 2:46; 3:1; 5:42; 21:26; 25:8)
    iv. The sacrifices will be instituted again. (find verses)
    b. The sacrifices are a means of drawing near to God (Hebrew: “offering” = “korban” = “to draw near”), a means of “table fellowship” with God, and are a vivid picture for us of both Yeshua’s sacrifice and our own need to lay down our lives for others. The sacrificial system is one of God’s most important pictures for teaching us important truths central to our faith.
    2. Ritual Purity Laws
    a. Like the laws of sacrifice, the purity laws have a relevant context only when there is a functional Temple.
    i. They have not been done away with.
    b. These laws are designed to protect the sanctity of the Temple area and the priesthood.
    c. As we practice these laws in the future, we will more deeply internalize truths relating to holiness, cleanliness, and how we relate to God, how we intimately fellowship with Him.
    3. Torah Views on Slavery
    a. The emailer mentions Exodus 21:7: “"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.”
    i. This law does not suggest that it is a good thing to sell one’s daughter into slavery. Rather, it acknowledges an unpleasant possibility for debtors in the ancient Near East who were sometimes forced to sell their children to pay their debts, a truly barbarous economic system. The passage goes on to set up protections for a woman in such a case, ensuring her right of redemption and forbidding her resale to another. Thus she cannot be used as a sexual slave, passed from owner to owner. She must be treated with dignity and accorded her rights.
    1. Torah actually defends the cause of the slave
    2. From Torah laws like this one, man has learned to treat women with respect and dignity.
    b. We must be careful to not transfer our modern understanding of American slavery to the institution of slavery in other times and places.
    4. Corporal Punishment
    a. Concerning the mandated sentence of stoning for breaking the Sabbath:
    “The death penalty assigned to Sabbath-breakers and to other grievous sins of Torah was not a vigilante-style execution…Those sentences were determined through a court of law employing the adversarial system of justice [the court tries to discredit the witnesses and evidence in a stringent attempt to not take away life unjustly]. If such a court (namely, the Sanhedrin) existed today and had civil jurisdiction…and if the accused Sabbath-breaker was not a heathen but was demonstrably obligated by Torah to keep the Sabbath, then he would be well advised to get a good lawyer.”
    i. In a time and place where Torah is not understood or practiced, intention to belligerently break the Sabbath is not a possibility.
    ii. Such a strong punishment for breaking the Sabbath seems barbaric to us only because we hold the Sabbath in much lower esteem than God does. “The Sabbath is the most often-repeated positive commandment in Scripture. It may not seem like a big deal to us, but apparently it is to God.”
    5. Unclean Animals
    a. The God who designed our bodies and the food we use to power them knows how we best function, both spiritually and physically. It is arrogant to assume that we know better than He does.
    i. God has designed certain animals to clean up the earth and has forbidden us from eating them.
    1. Such animals have short digestive systems that do not fully remove the toxins they ingest; thus, their bodies have more toxins in them. It is not healthy to eat such animals.
    b. New Testament passages often cited as proof that God has changed His mind about the food laws usually are talking about eating with unwashed hands (Jewish tradition), meat sacrificed to idols, and God’s means of communicating the idea that God has included the Gentiles in His salvation plan (vision to Peter). The New Testament does not revoke the food laws.
    c. Concerning the argument that the word “abomination” is applied to both the eating of shellfish and homosexuality (atheists, homosexuals, and others will say, “You use the Bible to prove that homosexuality is an abomination, yet you eat shellfish, also called an abomination in the Torah; you’re a hypocrite.”): “If what was called an abomination in one case is now called breakfast, why shouldn’t an abomination in another case now be called healthy human sexuality?”
    i. The critics are correct on this one when they call believers hypocritical. The answer, however, is not that homosexuality is okay, but that, in fact, in God’s eyes, both homosexuality and the eating of shellfish are abominable.

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-06-25 21:09:56

    Chapter 13

    The Oral Torah

    Traditional Judaism believes the oral Torah (mostly explanations of and expansions on the written Torah’s laws) began with Moses and has equal authority to the written Torah. As followers of Yeshua, we disagree; we believe that the written Torah is more authoritative than the oral Torah. We don’t, however, reject all Jewish tradition in the oral Torah or elsewhere, for we need practical ways to live out many of the commandments found in the written Torah. Yeshua did not reject all of the traditions, and neither should we. Rather, we should check the tradition to see if it causes us to disobey either the spirit or the letter of the written Torah. We should also guard against traditions becoming a heavy weight and refrain from elevating tradition to the status of Torah.

    1. The Need for Oral Torah
    a. This need is self-evident, as the Torah lacks specific means for carrying out many commandments
    i. ex: How are we to write the Word of God on the doorframes of our houses and on our gates?
    ii. ex: How are we to build booths and live in them for Sukkot, as we are instructed?
    iii. ex: How are we to refrain from working on the Sabbath?
    2. The Authority of Oral Torah
    a. Seen as equal to written Torah
    i. “It should be understood that every commandment that the Holy One, blessed be He, gave to Moses our Teacher, peace unto him, was given to him together with its explanation. God would tell him the commandment, and afterwards He would give its explanation, its substance, and all the wisdom contained within the Torah’s verses.” (Maimonides’ Mishnah Torah quoting Sifra Leviticus 25:1)
    b. Biblical basis for the introduction of legislation
    i. Deut. 17:8-13- judges and teachers of Israel given authority to make legal rulings and instructional interpretations based upon the laws of the Torah
    3. Elements of Oral Torah
    a. For many centuries, it was memorized and passed down orally.
    b. Mishnah (“repetition”)
    i. 2nd century, Rabbi Meir began writing down the oral tradition; Rabbi Yehudah the Prince completed what Meir began.
    ii. It was quickly accepted as the new standard definition of Torah Judaism.
    c. Gemara (“completion”)
    i. In various schools in Israel and Babylon, the Sages began to debate the points of Mishnah, retelling what had been orally passed down to them.
    ii. Their old parables, amusing stories, pieces of old laws, rabbinic proverbs, customs, folklore, and superstition were discussed and eventually written down as commentary on the Mishnah, called the Gemara
    d. Talmud (“study”)
    i. Israel’s Gemara + Mishnah = Talmud Yerushalami
    ii. Babylon’s Gemara + Mishnah = Talmud Bavli
    4. Questioning the Oral Torah’s Authority
    a. “Tradition” is necessary—Any way that we choose to “walk out” the commandments will become our “tradition.”
    b. It is very unlikely that the majority of the oral Torah’s legislation is derived directly from Moses and, therefore, carries the same weight as written Torah.
    i. These attempts to understand the written Torah are referred to in the Gospels as “Traditions of the Elders,” not traditions of Moses.
    c. Yeshua lived by many of these traditions, but sometimes rejected tradition.
    i. The Master rejected traditions that contradicted God’s written commandments.
    1. ex: Hand-washing, described in Mark 7—The Sages noticed that 1) unclean humans can contaminate other things and that 2) clean food can be made unclean in certain cases. They reasoned that humans can make food unclean by touching it, so they began the tradition of hand-washing before eating all foods, a tradition that is not contained in the written Torah. When the Pharisees asked Yeshua why His disciples don’t “walk according to the tradition of the elders,” He replied that they neglected the commandment of God to keep traditions of men.
    a. Broken Torah commandment: Distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten (Lev. 11:47)
    i. On the basis of tradition, they were declaring unclean that which is clean, “neglecting” the commandment.
    5. The Value of the Oral Torah
    a. Yeshua, the Torah-Made-Flesh, deliberately retained the majority of such traditions, though He challenged some.
    i. Matt. 23:2-3—“The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe.”
    1. In the first century, the oral Torah was not fixed and was still being debated by the rabbis, so “all that they tell you” indicates an attitude rather than a quantity.
    ii. ex: Before eating, He always blessed God
    1. The Torah says to pray after we eat (Deut. 8:20); praying before eating is tradition.
    iii. ex: Wine at the Passover meal
    1. The Torah does not require wine at the Passover meal; it is a tradition.
    2. Yeshua invests the tradition with deep meaning, applying it to Himself
    iv. Yeshua’s challengers attack Him for only a relatively small number of perceived infractions when compared to the vast body of oral traditions functioning in Israel at the time, supporting the idea that Yeshua accepted many traditions.
    b. The oral Torah is a valuable piece of the Torah heritage and should not be dismissed, but it is clearly not equal to the written Torah. We cannot throw it all out because the Master did not do so. Rather, He lightened the yoke.
    6. Yeshua Battles for Leniency, an Easy Yoke
    a. Yeshua declared that compassion and human dignity take precedence over legal stringencies; He showed us a more just and accurate application of Torah.
    i. ex: making mud to heal the blind man on the Sabbath, healing the crippled man on the Sabbath, not requiring hand-washing before eating, husking grain in one’s hands on the Sabbath
    b. Yeshua said: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matt. 11:28-30)
    i. In Jewish literature, “yoke” is a common metaphor for Torah
    ii. Yeshua uses the same metaphor to accuse the Pharisees of burdening the people (Matt. 23:4)
    7. The “Easy” Yoke
    a. Before taking on a tradition, test it according to two criteria:
    i. Does it break a commandment of God?
    1. The written Torah always trumps the oral Torah
    a. ex: oral Torah forbids playing musical instruments on the Sabbath, so the shofar is not blown on Rosh Hashanah if Rosh Hashanah falls on a Sabbath
    i. tradition trumps the written Torah
    b. ex: Lighting candles is helpful for many people as they sanctify the Sabbath, but when we light candles after sunset, we break the commandment to not light a fire on the Sabbath.
    i. tradition trumps the written Torah
    ii. Does it go beyond what is written?
    1. If one cannot find a biblical basis for a particular tradition, it is irrelevant to the legitimate application of a biblical life
    a. ex: Lighting Sabbath candles is relevant because it helps us to sanctify the day.
    b. ex: Separating meat and milk is not relevant because the scriptural foundation for this does not exist.
    iii. It’s okay to adopt tradition if it does not cause us to disobey Torah, but we must not raise the tradition to such a high level that we become condemning of others who choose to do things differently.
    8. The Believer’s Context for Tradition
    a. Remember that the goal of all Torah is Messiah, not Jewish expression.
    i. “As long as we keep our eyes firmly upon the Living Torah, we will be able to find an appropriate balance of the written Torah and the oral tradition. We need look no further than Yeshua.”
    ii. “As disciples of the Master, we are imitators of Yeshua. He is our oral tradition. His ways form our halachah. It is enough for the student to be like his Teacher.”

  • Soilc

    Soilc 2012-07-13 01:13:44

    听说你们正在翻译这本书,是吗?

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-07-13 12:12:58

    据说弥教资料的翻译工作主要是在弥赛亚上海组。北京组由于我的MJ美国伙伴已离开北京,我已经找不到可以见面的第二个人了。不过我可以见到一些具有锡安主义倾向的基督徒。我的英语水平和精力都不够,只能预备翻译一些简要的内容,如安息日和每日弥教固定崇拜仪式用语;以后可能用得上。《Restoratian》这本书我已学习完,如果准确翻译会花较长时间,只能搁置。

  • Soilc

    Soilc 2012-07-14 03:31:25

    上海有弥赛亚组?有网站吗?

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-07-14 17:27:37

    http://hi.baidu.com/shabbatshalom/home

    应该需要先在百度空间注册才能看到。

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-07-14 17:32:48

    Chapter 14

    Paul and Torah

    Some believers acknowledge that James (the brother of Yeshua) and the twelve apostles were Jews who continued to practice Judaism after Yeshua’s resurrection. Some of these believers will say, however, that because these early leaders failed to understand Yeshua concerning the Torah, God raised up Paul to bring the movement “out from under the law.” This view implies that after 3 years of teaching with the Master, Himself, the apostles still did not understand grace and misunderstood what God was doing.

    “In order to read Paul in context, we must remember that Paul was a Torah-observant Jew throughout his life. He was writing to believers who were already congregating in the synagogue and participating in the Torah life. He was locked in an argument over the inclusion of Gentile believers in the faith. His opponents insisted that Gentiles could not be saved unless they first became Jewish. If we fail to remember these points, we will inevitably misunderstand his letters.”


    1. The Paul of Acts
    a. At Paul’s introduction, he is a Greek-speaking Jew, a Pharisee student of Gamaliel
    i. Yeshua did not change Saul’s name to Paul; among the Jews of the Diaspora, it was common to have both Hebrew and Greek names.
    b. Paul never abandoned the Torah, though his enemies claimed otherwise.
    i. Acts 21 shows Paul’s continued loyalty to Torah.
    1. 3 charges were lodged against Paul (ironically, modern believers have believed that Paul is guilty of these 3):
    a. He was teaching Jews to turn away from Torah
    b. He was teaching Jews not to circumcise their children.
    c. He was teaching Jews not to live according to the customs.
    2. “His opponents and adversaries were misconstruing his inclusion of and leniency toward the new Gentile believers as an anti-Torah posture. James and the Jerusalem elders had already endorsed that leniency…”
    3. The Christian leaders tried hard to convince the authorities that these charges were not true. They told Paul what to do to show his faithfulness to Torah.
    a. Paul did not argue with the leaders; he agreed to the plan
    ii. Paul’s Own Testimony in Acts
    1. 22:3- I am a Jew zealous for God as you are.
    2. 23:1- (to the Sanhedrin) I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience toward God to this day. (To the Sanhedrin, this means “I have walked according to Torah.”
    3. 23:6- (to the Sanhedrin) “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees.” (notice the present tense)
    4. 24:14- “believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets.”
    5. 25:8- I have committed no offense against the Torah or the temple.
    6. 26:4-5- All Jews know how I’ve lived [until my imprisonment] as a Pharisee, the strictest sect of our religion.”
    7. 26:22- I stand today stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said.
    8. 28:17- “Brethren…I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers.” (he claims to have been faithful even to the oral Torah)
    2. Paul’s Own Words about Torah In Other Letters
    a. Rom 2:13 “…the doers of the Law will be justified.”
    b. Rom 2:26-27 The Gentile who keeps the Torah will judge those have the letter of the Law but do not keep it.
    c. Rom 3:31 We do not nullify the Torah through faith, but rather we establish it.
    d. Rom 7:12 The Torah is holy, righteous and good.
    e. Rom 7:14 The Torah is spiritual.
    f. Rom 7:22 I joyfully agree with the Torah of God in the inner man.
    g. Rom 10:4 Messiah is the end [goal] of the Torah.
    h. 1 Cor 7:19 What matters is keeping the commandments of God.
    i. Gal 3:24 The Torah has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah.
    j. Eph 2:8-10 We are created for good works [of Torah], which God prepared beforehand
    k. 1 Tim 1:8 We know that the Torah is good, if one uses it lawfully.
    l. 1 Tim 6:14 “Keep the commandment [Torah] without stain or reproach.”
    m. 2 Tim 3:16-17 “All Scripture is insipired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work [of Torah].”
    3. Paul’s Context
    a. The context for Paul’s letters is vitally important:
    i. Believers were part of the larger Jewish community.
    ii. The seventh-day Sabbath was still the day of worship.
    iii. Believers still met in the synagogues (Acts 15:21)
    b. Paul didn’t need to tell them to learn Torah and how to do Torah; they were already learning and doing.
    4. Paul and Circumcision
    a. The context of the debate:
    i. Paul was debating with early leaders about the role and position of non-Jews in the Kingdom of Heaven
    b. His opponents’ position:
    i. “they must be circumcised (convert to Judaism) and keep the whole of Torah” (Acts 15:5).
    c. Paul’s position:
    i. Paul regarded these requirements as an insult to the grace manifested in Messiah (faith is not enough be included in the covenant with Israel).
    ii. Messiah is of no value to someone who becomes circumcised to become Jewish to enter the special relationship with God (Gal. 5:2) because such a person has chosen to try to live in relationship with God by his or her own efforts.
    iii. Paul did not hesitate, however, to circumcise Timothy, a young man with Jewish heritage.
    5. Paul and Jewish Tradition
    a. Paul argued strongly that non-Jewish believers not be subjected to the heavy yoke of Jewish tradition (rabbinic interpretation)
    i. conflicts occurred over: conversion, circumcision, food contaminated by idols and even Sabbaths and festivals (see Acts 15, Rom. 14, Colossians 2, Gal. 2-4)
    b. Paul deemphasized the details of how to walk out the Torah, following Yeshua’s example of emphasizing matters of character, morality, and right living.
    6. Paul Makes Disciples of Yeshua
    a. Paul was a disciple of Yeshua and taught others to walk as Yeshua walked
    i. I Cor. 11:1-2: “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Messiah…”
    b. Clearly Yeshua kept the commandments and taught His disciples to keep them (Matt. 5:17-20). If we are His disciples, we must do what He did and teach what He taught. Therefore, we keep and teach the commandments. (1 John 2:5-6)
    7. Paul’s Warning about the End-times and Torah
    a. Paul warns the Thessalonians regarding the rise of the Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:3-10)
    i. Paul calls him the “Man of Torahlessness.”
    1. Yeshua said, “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness [Torahlessness] is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” (Matt. 24:11-12)
    ii. The main criteria Paul gives for recognizing the Antichrist is that he will oppose Torah
    1. opposing or accepting Torah is the measure we are given for judging whether a prophet is a false prophet or a true prophet

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-07-14 17:34:31

    Chapter 15

    RESTORAHTION

    Christianity has consistently presented Yeshua as a prophet teaching against the Torah. By the Bible’s own criteria, this makes Yeshua a false prophet. “Our presentation is self-defeating and discredits Messiah and His message. We bring shame on the Gospel. If the Word of God is true, it must be consistent. If Messiah is true, He must be consistent with the Torah of Moses.”

    The Gospel must be restored to its original context. As the Jews are being restored to the Land, the Gospel is being restored to Yeshua’s followers. It is happening now.

    1. Was Yeshua a False Prophet? False Prophets Reject Torah
    a. “In our presentation of the Gospel to the Jewish people, we have consistently invited them to throw off the Torah and follow the Messiah. According to the Bible’s own criteria, we thereby disqualify Him as prophet and Messiah.”
    i. "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Deu 13:1-5)
    1. Though the example is idolatry, all the commandments are in view.
    2. The Gospel must be restored, as the Jews are being restored
    a. Like the Jews in exile, the Gospel has been far removed from its Jewish context. Like the Jews, the Gospel has been mixed with foreign ideas.
    b. “God is restoring His people in our day. He has begun by returning the Jewish people to their ancient homeland. At the same time, He is returning His Torah to the disciples of Yeshua.”
    c. “God, who never changes, is pouring out the same message He has always delivered through His holy prophets; ‘Return to My Torah. Obey My commandments.’ This is the restoration Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 30 when He said, ‘And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today.’” (30:8)
    d. The Lord has declared, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
    i. The ancient paths are the paths of Torah.
    ii. The good way is the way of the Master, the way of discipleship.
    1. He said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:29-30)
    3. It is Happening
    a. Around the world, believers are rediscovering Torah.
    i. not as a matter of legalism or heavy bondage; it is a matter of love
    1. “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21)
    ii. God is preparing a remnant who will stand against the Antichrist:
    1. They will be those “who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yeshua.” (Revelation 12:17)
    iii. “Now it will come about that in the last days…many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law [Torah] will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2-3)



    Completion(本书完)

  • Soilc

    Soilc 2012-07-15 04:29:46

    请介绍其他有代表性的书籍。我懂外语,没有问题。

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-07-16 17:49:24

    Torah Bytes:

    http://www.douban.com/group/topic/17874271/?_r=2268381148848221305



    Shabbat Shalom(安息日平安)的聲音

    http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/265805/jewish/Ydid-Nefesh.htm

    很多的猶太安息日和節日等音樂。猶教和彌教(甚至包括廣義基教)可以共享。


    我的主要资料都贴在"MJ中国人"帖里了。我不是专家学者,看的英文资料很有限。Torah Bytes 因为较简短比较适合我。

  • 基仔

    基仔 2012-09-29 09:20:08

    转自:http://www.chineseapologetics.net/cults/MJ/S_MJ_01.htmhttp://jesus.bbs.net/bbs/12/2897.html


    弥赛亚教——退返西乃山

    张逸萍





    得知近几年在香港台湾,有一个代号为Rock Jean(詹志强?)的人,在很多基督教论坛上大力宣传他的神学思想,开始的时候,吸引了相当多的人;渐渐有些和他讨论的人,认出他是一个弥赛亚教的信徒(Messianic Gentiles)。于是我留意了一下他的文章,再研究了一下,发现北京也有一位自称弥赛亚回人Yosefhai,公开介绍他的信仰,他比较坦白,一开始就自认是一个弥赛亚信徒。[1] 然后,我发现,其实北京、上海、新加坡等地都已经有弥赛亚小组。看情形,最近几年有西方的弥赛亚犹太教徒到达中国人地区传扬他们的信仰,吸引了一些人。虽然目前人数尚少,但防患未然,故此我准备了几篇文章:

    「弥赛亚教——退返西乃山 」

    「评弥赛亚教要人Rock Jean(詹志强?)的信仰和释经」 http://www.chineseapologetics.net/cults/MJ/S_MJ_R_01.htm

    「评弥赛亚教要人Rock Jean的释经问题(续)」 http://www.chineseapologetics.net/cults/MJ/S_MJ_R_02.htm

    「弥赛亚犹太教——帕子揭去了吗?」 http://www.chineseapologetics.net/cults/MJ/S_MJ_02.htm

    这几篇文章主要是根据:(1)Rock的部落格里的文章 ,[2] (2)弥赛亚回人所推荐的,弥教信仰基础《Restoration》一书,[3] (3)一个曾和Rock在OURSWEB上辩论的人,代号为「我信圣经、我是基督徒」,把研究所得的资料放在一个部落格里。[4] 此外,我也自行找了一些参考资料。

    希望这几篇文章,可以为福音派信徒辨惑。



    (一)不懂得新约的意义

    弥赛亚教的文献,无论是《Restoration》一书、是Rock 的文章、是其他,给我的第一个印像就是:他们不明白什么是新约!

    Rock 曾经解释什么是「新」「旧」约。他说:「对犹太基督徒而言,约没有 新旧之分",而是 过去被指导要学习"的约与现在被更新被成全完整"的约。 ……所以在摩西妥拉这些教导中,就是开始带领以 色列人去了解并学习,直到他明白天父的心意,所以整个过程是连贯的,起初是摩西妥拉,最后成全的是耶稣登山宝训,登山宝训都在解释妥拉与先知背后的核心与神的心意,神要他的子民型出这样的生命,……所以犹太基督徒说自己是被成全的弥赛亚信徒……」[5]

    弥赛亚回人Yosefhai介绍了一本叫《Restoration》的书,此书应该是弥赛亚教的入门课程。此书对「新约」「旧约」的定义亦有相似的问题:「旧约:不认识弥赛亚,尝试按照西乃之约遵守妥拉,结果被定罪。新约:按耶利米书三十一章,藉著认识弥赛亚,妥拉写在心上,结果是救恩。」[6]

    换言之,弥赛亚信徒并不正面否认基督十架救赎之恩,但也不强调它。他们强调的是信徒要「守律法」,人的本份是在守律法;弥赛亚来了,也是为了帮助人更能遵守律法。这是弥赛亚教错误的中心!



    (1)什么是旧约——行为之约

    圣经记录了神和人所立的几个盟约,例如亚当的约、挪亚之约等,都是「行为之约」。例如与亚当立行为之约时,神承诺∶他若听从命令(创一28-30),就赐福给他;不听从就要受审判(创二15-17)。

    今天我们讲的「旧约」(Old Covenant),一般是指神在西乃山,藉著摩西和以色列人所立的盟约(出十九-二十四)。这个盟约包括代表性的十诫,还有各种条例和节期等等。神说:「如今你们若实在听从我的话、遵守我的约,就要在万民中作属我的子民,因为全地都是我的。」(出十九5)在以色列人进入迦南地之前,摩西向他们重申:「爱耶和华─你的 神,遵行他的道,谨守他的诫命、律例、典章,使你可以存活,人数增多,耶和华─你 神就必在你所要进去得为业的地上赐福与你。倘若你心里偏离,不肯听从,却被勾引去敬拜事奉别神,我今日明明告诉你们,你们必要灭亡;在你过约旦河、进去得为业的地上,你的日子必不长久。」(申三十16-18)

    总而言之,「耶和华的律法……法度……训词……命令……道理……典章……守著这些便有大赏。」(诗十九7-11)

    旧约中的以色列人做得到了吗?当然没有!所以神设有赎罪祭和赎愆祭(利四-五),「他要按手在燔祭牲的头上,燔祭便蒙悦纳,为他赎罪。」(利一4)



    (2)什么是新约——恩典之约

    新约(New Covenant)是一个「恩典的盟约」,是基督所成就的。当 设立擘饼圣礼时, 说:「这杯是用我血所立的新约,是为你们流出来的。」(路二十二20,参:林前十一25)耶稣为什么要流血?答案:「使罪得赦。」(太二十六28)

    正旧约时,以色列人有各种样赎罪的祭礼,「但这些祭物是叫人每年想起罪来;因为公牛和山羊的血,断不能除罪。……我们凭这旨意,靠耶稣基督,只一次献上他的身体,就得以成圣。」(来十3-10)

    旧约以牛羊献祭赎罪,新约是耶稣钉死十架,亲自流血为我们赎罪,「神设立耶稣作挽回祭,是凭著耶稣的血,藉著人的信,要显明神的义。」(罗三25)于是「现在我们既靠著他的血称义,就更要藉著他免去神的忿怒。」(罗五9)我们得救赎「乃是凭著基督的宝血」(彼前一19)。

    我们「死在过犯罪恶之中,……放纵肉体的私欲,随著肉体和心中所喜好的去行, ……按肉体是外邦人,是称为没受割礼的;……在以色列国民以外,在所应许的诸约上是局外人,……从前远离 神的人,如今却在基督耶稣里,靠著他的血,已经得亲近了。」(弗二1-13)救恩临到外邦,感谢神!



    (3)新约信徒再犯罪怎么办?

    诚然,一个人信主,就是因为知罪,于是悔改,才需要耶稣宝血洁净。但人的罪性不会在信耶的一瞬间就消失不见了。即使保罗就曾经为罪挣扎,他说:「我所愿意的,我并不做;我所恨恶的,我倒去做。……我真是苦啊!谁能救我脱离这取死的身体呢?」(罗七15,24)为罪自责是一个有生命的基督徒的正常表现。

    事实上,没有基督徒是完美的。圣经说:「人若知道行善,却不去行,这就是他的罪了。」(雅四17)「你们要完全,像你们的天父完全一样。」(太五48)。谁能做得到?没有!但感谢神,我们信主之后所犯的罪,一样可以依靠主的宝血来解决:「我们若说自己无罪,便是自欺,真理不在我们心里了。我们若认自己的罪, 神是信实的,是公义的,必要赦免我们的罪,洗净我们一切的不义。」(约壹一8-9)

    感谢神,我们在基督里是安全的,「那些在基督耶稣里的就不定罪了」(罗八1)!请继续参考下面「(三)不明白什么是救恩」一段。



    (4)新约把旧约废掉了吗?

    《Restoration》的作者说:耶稣「没有创造一个新的宗教,也没有废掉摩西律法。反之,他是为了要复兴从前亚伯拉罕、以撒、雅各的信仰。」[7]

    错!耶稣不是为了「复兴从前的信仰」, 应验了众先知所预言的弥赛亚:「成就了经上指著他所记的一切话」(徒十三29)耶稣复活之后,「从摩西和众先知起,凡经上所指著自己的话,都给他们讲解明白了。」(路二十四27)

    当Rock解释希伯来书似乎讲到「新约废掉旧约」,他说:「不是在讲前约、旧约被废,而是在说祭司的问题,……旧约……必须常常献祭,……但主耶稣一次献上……并且成为麦基洗得等次的永恒大祭司一直在至圣所里永远为众人代求……」[8]

    这样的理解,是对了一半,因为表面上确是如此。但Rock仍是忽略了血(祭物的、耶稣的)除罪的问题。新约和旧约之不同,不在于献祭赎罪的办法不同,而是:「因为公牛和山羊的血,断不能除罪」!它只是叫我们「想起罪来」,毕竟,「律法既是将来美事的影儿,不是本物的真像」(来十1)。

    「律法本是叫人知罪」(罗三20),它叫我们明白——我们需要救恩!「这因信得救的理还未来以先,我们被看守在律法之下,直圈到那将来的真道显明出来。这样,律法是我们训蒙的师傅,引我们到基督那里,使我们因信称义。但这因信得救的理既然来到,我们从此就不在师傅的手下了。」(加三23-25)

    旧约有律法,叫人知道什么是罪,于是人才能明白自己需要救恩,不是新约废掉旧约。举个例,小学的学生要学习加减乘除,要背乘数表;但当到了中学,他学习几何代数,甚至微积分,他的教师就不会要求他背乘数表,但却没有废除乘数表里的道理。

    同样道理,耶稣作了「更美之约的中保」(来八6),只有主耶稣的血所立的约是「永约」(来十三20),西乃之约,是没有那么美的约,不是永存的约,不需要再回去了。



    (4)一个释经问题

    弥赛亚教文献很喜欢引用下面一段经文,说这就是新约:[9]

    「耶和华说∶「那些日子以后,我与以色列家所立的约乃是这样∶我要将我的律法放在他们里面,写在他们心上。……因为他们从最小的到至大的都必认识我。……』」(耶三十一33-34)

    诚然,这是旧约对新约最明显的预言,但这情形还未应验,而且这不是新约的定义。首先,这是神和「以色列家」立的,就是整个以色列家,不是个别的以色列人,也不是外邦人。我们还未看见以色列全家信主,故还未实现。其次,这事发生在「那些日子以后」。什么是「那些日子」呢?若参考「当那些日子,……人必称耶路撒冷为耶和华的宝座;万国必到耶路撒冷,在耶和华立名的地方聚集。他们必不再随从自己顽梗的恶心行事。……」(耶三16-18)我们可以非常清楚,这是预言将来弥赛亚作王的千禧年,因为我们未看见这样的光景。

    弥赛亚教文献,常有很多释经问题,难以一一详述,请见「评弥赛亚教要人Rock Jean(詹志强?)的信仰和释经、评弥赛亚教要人Rock Jean的释经问题(续)」一些例子。



    (二)不认识真正的耶稣

    如果你留意Rock的文章,你肯定看见他很多时候,据称耶稣为「主约书亚」(Yeshua)[10]。前者是希腊文,后者是希伯来文,正如基督是希腊文,弥赛亚是希伯来文一样。但请大家不要以为Rock不过在眩耀他的希伯来文知识而已。其实,这是弥赛亚犹太教的习惯,原因在于信仰。

    「我信圣经、我是基督徒」已经做了一点研究:「UCJM」表示:「约书亚(Yeshua)是弥赛亚的希伯来文的名字,他的门徒都这样称他的。使用希伯来文的名字,清楚地指出『希腊罗马“耶稣”』(Greco-Roman "Jesus")是不遵守托拉(Torah,摩西五经)的,又教导他的追随者这样做;『犹太教的约书亚』(Jewish Yeshua),完全遵守托拉,并吩咐他的追随者也遵守托拉。这样好区别二者。」[11]

    顺便先讨论「基督徒」名字的由来。圣经记载,「门徒称为「基督徒」是从安提阿起首。」(徒十一26)当保罗受审时,「亚基帕对保罗说∶「你想少微一劝,便叫我作基督徒啊……」(徒二十六28)彼得亦曾使用这字眼:「若为作基督徒受苦……」(彼前四16)可见,「基督徒」一名字是从极早期就开始的,而且使用这名字的人和被贴上这样标签的人都是犹太人!



    (1)有不承认耶稣是道成肉身神的儿子

    「我信圣经、我是基督徒」继续报导:「UCMJ」在他们的信仰宣言中,关于耶稣,他们这样说:「我相信耶稣是被主(Adoni)的荣光(Shekinah) 所充满(可见的神之像),他对主完全顺服。他正确地解释摩西五经。他呼召以色列回归主和五经。他是一个正义的先知。……受死……复活……再来……」[12]换言之,他们不承认耶稣基督是上帝道成肉身。

    《Yeshua》的作者说:耶稣的时候,犹太教里有很多不同教派,耶稣不过是其中一个教派的、典型的、但能行神迹的、原创拉比。[13]

    《Restoration》作者也说:「福音书中的约书亚……和我们传统中描绘的耶稣没有太多相似之处。他是一个先知(和更多),他所行的神迹奇事,可以把他证明出来。……」[14] 耶稣是一个先知和更多!



    (2)至少是一个遵守律法、教导人遵守的犹太人

    弥赛亚文献作者们也认为,耶稣一个遵守律法的人,保罗亦然。

    《Restoration》作者表示:「耶稣实际上是一个教导摩西律法的犹太人。他的希伯来名字是约书亚,他遵守摩西律法,教导摩西律法,按照它而生活。」[15]「是一个生活虔诚的犹太人,完全按照神的诫命而生活。」[16] 又说:「约书亚和他的跟随者,都是遵守妥拉的人,他们守安息日、守节期、遵守饮食规条。……保罗没有放弃妥拉,他是一个严格遵守妥拉的犹太人,一直到他死的那天。」[17]

    《Yeshua》的作者说:「耶稣的目的是为了在犹太人中建立妥拉。保罗的目的是要将五经扩大至外邦人中。对耶稣和保罗都以妥拉为恩典。」[18]



    (a)犹太人

    耶稣是不是犹太人?是的。根据圣经记载的家谱(太一,路三),他绝对是。但是,请不要忘记, 也是神!耶稣「问门徒说∶『人说我─人子是谁?』他们说∶『有人说是施洗的约翰;有人说是以利亚;又有人说是耶利米或是先知里的一位。』耶稣说∶『你们说我是谁?』西门·彼得回答说∶『你是基督,是永生 神的儿子。』耶稣对他说∶『西门·巴·约拿,你是有福的!因为这不是属血肉的指示你的,乃是我在天上的父指示的。』」(太十六13-17)

    请问:弥赛亚教对耶稣的认识准确吗?

    保罗是犹太人,也是对的。但请看他怎样说:

    「我第八天受割礼;我是以色列族、便雅悯支派的人,是希伯来人所生的希伯来人。就律法说,我是法利赛人;就热心说,我是逼迫教会的;就律法上的义说,我是无可指摘的。」但是,他继续说:「只是我先前以为与我有益的,我现在因基督都当作有损的。不但如此,我也将万事当作有损的,因我以认识我主基督耶稣为至宝。」(腓三3-8)

    保罗不再为自己是犹太人的身份夸口,现在他把这些都当作有损,因为他认识了那位真正的基督!



    (b)自己遵守摩西五经律法,又教导人遵守

    万幸!Rock承认耶稣是道成肉身的神。[19](虽然他对三位一身体有奇怪的见解)。但他最强调的,仍然是:耶稣是为了要教导和帮助我们遵守律法。例如他说:「甚至神自己道成肉身来到世上,成了以前先知们所预言的那位主约书亚弥赛亚,以弥赛亚的身分亲自来教导百姓明白并且去行神的道,然而无论是施洗 约翰,还是主约书亚,除了教导百姓外,也成了当世代的见证人。」 [20] 在Rock 的博文里,类似的话,到处可见。

    《King of the Jews》的作者说,耶稣和 的门徒,在实际的实践上,都是法利赛人。例如耶稣也曾守修殿节(约十22)。保罗也是法利赛人。[21]

    首先,耶稣和保罗都是活在第一世纪巴勒斯坦,犹太人的社会中,而且会堂是犹太人安息日聚集的地方,所以,耶稣、保罗和其他使徒都如此。这正是保罗讲的:「向犹太人,我就作犹太人,为要得犹太人;……向甚么样的人,我就作甚么样的人。无论如何,总要救些人。」(林前九20-22)正如从前到中国的西方宣教士,为了更能被中国所接受,所以他们穿长衫、留辫子。今天宣教士到回教国家,也避免吃猪肉。同样道理。

    其次,保罗反对守律法的经文甚多。「在饮食上,或节期、月朔、安息日……这些原是后事的影儿;那形体却是基督。」(西二16-17)因此,保罗「教训一切在外邦的犹太人离弃摩西,对他们说,不要给孩子行割礼,也不要遵行条规。」(徒二十一21)说到底,「凡有血气的,没有一个因行律法能在 神面前称义,因为律法本是叫人知罪。」(罗三20)。所以保罗说:「……为要得著基督;并且得以在他里面,不是有自己因律法而得的义,乃是有信基督的义,就是因信 神而来的义」(腓三8-9)。

    虽然耶稣从没有说:「不要遵守律法」, 说自己「不是要废掉,乃是要成全。」(太五17)请留意:「成全」不等于「照章行事」!所以我们都听过主耶稣因为安息日和法利赛人争论的记载。



    所以我们可以结论说,弥赛亚教「另传一个耶稣,不是我们所传过的」(林后十一4)。



    (三)不明白什么是救恩

    如果弥赛亚教不懂得新约的意义、不认识真正的耶稣,于是,他们自然也不会明白什么是救恩。

    随便翻开一些弥赛亚教文献,不难有一种感觉,虽然不正面否认救恩,但他们不多谈救恩,他们强调的是守律法,从守律法,到守律法,弥赛亚来了,也是为了帮助人守律法:遵守摩西从西乃山上带下来的、记载在五经(Torah,妥拉)上的律法!

    《Restoration》说,约书亚[耶稣]所传的是一个悔改的福音,他呼吁他的子民回归妥拉,又献上自己的生命,作为违反妥拉的赎价。[22] 他甚至说,耶稣「呼召以色列人依照妥拉的最高标准而行。他的信息是悔改……」[23] 这就是一个好例子。

    《King of Jews》一书进一步表示:「福音书的主旨不在于说恩,它宣告耶稣为以色列的王,因此呼吁悔改,这是更重要的信息。」[24] 这个耶稣将为王的国,就是圣经所讲的天国,「天国就是服从神而得生命。……不是一个地方,而是一个情形。那些服从王[神的话]的,就是在王权统治之下,这是所谓天国。……耶稣来,成为这个应许中的王。」[25] [Rock认为没有天堂,只有天国,其见解亦其实一样。[26]请见「评弥赛亚教要人Rock Jean(詹志强?)的信仰和释经 」文的讨论]换言之,耶稣来了,目标就是要所有人都按照神的话而行。

    圣经怎样论及救恩呢?

    (1)耶稣道成肉身,降生世界上,目的是什么?耶稣亲自说:「 神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,不致灭亡,反得永生。」(约三16)又说:「我来了,是要叫羊得生命,并且得的更丰盛。」(约十10)就是说:叫人因为信 ,于是得著生命,就是永远的生命,不致灭亡。

    (2)主耶稣钉死十架,流血为我们赎罪:「以自己的身体废掉冤仇,就是那记在律法上的规条,……便藉这十字架使两下归为一体,与 神和好了。」(弗二15-16)「他儿子耶稣的血也洗净我们一切的罪。」(约壹一7)「藉著他在十字架上所流的血成就了和平,……你们从前与 神隔绝,因著恶行,心里与他为敌。但如今他藉著基督的肉身受死,叫你们与自己和好。……」(西一20-22)

    (3)虽然凭著人的想法,进入天堂的人必须完全没有罪;若有罪,即使信了耶稣,也会下地狱,这样才公平。这样的想法,正是以弗所书所讲的:「你们得救是本乎恩,也因著信;这并不是出于自己,乃是 神所赐的;也不是出于行为,免得有人自夸。」(弗二8-9)如果我们能得救是藉著耶稣的功劳,然后再必须加上自己的功劳,我们就可以「自夸」了。这是非常迎合人性的讲法,但这却不是圣经所讲的。神就是不喜欢这样!

    (4)但是,信耶稣之后,是否就可任意犯罪呢?以弗所书继续说:「我们原是他的工作,在基督耶稣里造成的,为要叫我们行善,就是 神所预备叫我们行的。」(弗二10)「我们在恩典之下,不在律法之下,就可以犯罪吗?断乎不可!」(罗六15)

    (5)但人总难得完全不犯罪,怎么办?圣经有救法:「我们若认自己的罪, 神是信实的,是公义的,必要赦免我们的罪,洗净我们一切的不义。」(约壹一9)

    (6)基督徒的成长是一个过程。这方面的经文甚多:「这不是说我已经得著了,已经完全了;我乃是竭力追求,……向著标竿直跑,要得 神在基督耶稣里从上面召我来得的奖赏。」(腓三12-14)「要在我们主─救主耶稣基督的恩典和知识上有长进。」(彼后三18)「就要爱慕那纯净的灵奶,……叫你们因此渐长,以致得救。」(彼前二2)

    (7)假若罪没有认清楚,或者还有很多性格和行为上的缺点,就一命呜呼了,是否就「不得救呢」?圣经讲得很清楚:「但将来各人要照自己的工夫得自己的赏赐。……人的工程若被烧了,他就要受亏损,自己却要得救;虽然得救,乃像从火里经过的一样。」(林前三8,13)「我们众人必要在基督台前显露出来,叫各人按著本身所行的,或善或恶受报。」(林后五10)得胜的基督徒有奖赏;失败的信徒虽然得救,却要受亏损,没有奖赏。

    (8)所以,重生得救的基督徒可有得救的确据。圣经说:「凡接待[接受]他[耶稣]的,就是信他名的人,他就赐他们权柄作 神的儿女。」(约一12)接受耶稣做救主,马上重生,看见了吗?「你们信奉 神儿子之名的人……知道自己有永生。」(约壹五13)没有必继续活在恐惧中。



    所以我们再次结论说,弥赛亚教「另传一个耶稣,不是我们所传过的;……或者另得一个福音,不是你们所得过的」(林后十一4)。「那并不是福音,不过有些人搅扰你们,要把基督的福音更改了。」(加一7)。



    (四)遵守五经律法的问题

    高举五经于整本圣经之上

    Rock有一个系列的大作,叫做「妥拉的智慧:圣经的智慧」[27],想很多人都留意到。什么是妥拉?就是Torah, 摩西五经也。从Rock文章系列的名字,我们可以知道他把摩西五经的地位高举,使之等同整本圣经。

    《Restoration》作者说:整本圣经就是摩西五经(Torah),因为Torah的意思不是律法,而是教导,所以整本圣经,包括全部旧约、福音书、保罗书信等等,就是妥拉。[28] 这看似只是把五经广意化,但却显出他们对五经过份高举。圣经说:「圣经都是 神所默示的,于教训、督责、使人归正、教导人学义都是有益的。」(提后三16)既然都是神所默示的,我们不应该厚此薄彼。但《Restoration》作者又表示:耶稣和使徒时代并没有新约,所以,当他们说《圣经》,例如提后三章16-17节,他们是指妥拉。[29]

    当时不但新约还未写成,而且旧约正典也未成立,保罗也必然指先知书和其他当时的犹太人所认为是神的话的书卷,不仅仅是五经。况且,早期教会「都恒心遵守使徒的教训。」(徒二42)他们聚会的时候,亦宣读使徒的话:「你们念了这书信,便交给老底嘉的教会,叫他们也念。你们也要念从老底嘉来的书信。」(西四16)「要把这信念给众弟兄听。」(帖前五27)这些教训后来就成为新约正典。所以说:教会是建造在「使徒和先知的根基上。」(弗二20,三5),新约旧约应该同样重要。

    显然的结论是:整本圣经(66卷),都是神的话。以为妥拉可以代替整本圣经的人,是无知于新约旧约正典的成立过程。请参考拙作《为真道争辩》上册。[30]



    基督徒应该遵守摩西五经中的律法吗?让我们分开五部分来思想。



    (1)献祭仪式

    《Restoration》作者认为,献祭仪式只能在圣殿中举行,现在没有圣殿,不可能举行,但不是说,这些法律已经废弃了。[31]

    Rock也从没有表示需要照字义的去献祭。当他讨论燔祭时,他说:「人要接近神,并且蒙神悦纳,必须要完美,从里到外都没有瑕疵,内心和所行的都是洁净的,还要不断用自己生命遵守神的训诲〈血洒在祭坛周围〉,并且要把自己的思想〈头〉、内心……全都献给神。」[32]当他讨论赎罪赎时,他说:「赎罪赎愆祭的某些教导上,也说明要行善捐输帮助人,所以在日常生活中要时常儆醒并自省自己的心思意 念、话语、行为,时常与神同行,与神保持平安和好的关系,并且也与人保持平安和好的关系,若有犯罪就好好面对负责,」[33]

    但是,弥赛亚教徒们不明白:(a)这些仪式,不是因为今天没有圣殿,所以不能进行,如《Restoration》作者所言。以后圣殿若重建,我们应该继续献祭吗?错!因为希伯来书继续说:「因为他一次献祭,便叫那得以成圣的人永远完全。……这些罪过既已赦免,就不用再为罪献祭了。」(来十14-18)(b)这些祭礼不是寓意式地教导我们要对应罪,生活要圣洁,如Rock所言。而且是预表基督!施洗约翰指著耶稣说:「看哪, 神的羔羊,除去世人罪孽的!」(约一29)「律法既是将来美事的影儿,不是本物的真像,总不能藉著每年常献一样的祭物叫那近前来的人得以完全。…… 但基督献了一次永远的赎罪祭,就在 神的右边坐下了。」(来十1-12)(c)当Rock说:「人要接近神,并且蒙神悦纳,必须要完美,从里到外都没有瑕疵」,我恐怕这是他信仰的偏差:他认为人必须一直到死那天,都保持完美,才能得救。请见「评弥赛亚教要人Rock Jean(詹志强?)的信仰和释经 」文的讨论。



    (2)节期和安息日

    《Restoration》作者说,利未记二十三章所讲的节期,是神和我们相会的日历,「神的行事历不会改变。」每当我们守逾越节,我们是在记念约书亚[耶稣]。弥赛亚告诉我们要持守逾越节,为了念他。当约书亚说:「如此行」,他是指逾越节。[34] 他也主张守安息日。[35]

    Rock教导关于安息日说:「主要教导百姓安息日其中一个用意是人在六日工作后,要安排一天好好让自己的身体和精神休息,……使孩子在工作和休息之间平衡,身体和精神都健康」[36] 虽然这句话没有什么不对之处,但他仍是未了解安息日的真意——在基督里,罪得赦免的安息。

    希伯来书的作者多次解释,我们必须以信心进入这神所预备的安息(来四),安息日是救恩的预表:「我们已经相信的人得以进入那安息,」(来四3)所以耶稣说:「凡劳苦担重担的人可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。」(太十一28)

    《Restoration》作者在上边的话,还有一个错误。当耶稣说:「你们也应当如此行,为的是记念我。」(路二十二19) 是在设立擘饼的圣礼,不是在鼓励人守逾越节。再者,逾越节的羔羊就是预表基督(林前五7)。作者是断章取义!

    总而言之,「 所以,不拘在饮食上,或节期、月朔、安息日都不可让人论断你们。这些原是后事的影儿;那形体却是基督。」(西二16-17)



    (3)饮食规条

    《Restoration》作者也主张守饮食规条。他的理由是:利未记十一章讲到那些不洁净之物,神屡次称之为「可憎」;当神讲及同性恋, 也谴责之为「可憎恶」(利十八22),可见不遵守饮食规条,有如同性恋一样大罪。[37]

    同性恋是道德问题,容下再谈。

    至于饮食,新约的原则是:「所以,不拘在饮食上,……这些原是后事的影儿;那形体却是基督。」(西二16-19)「……那饮食和诸般洗濯的规矩,都不过是属肉体的条例,命定到振兴的时候为止。但现在基督已经来到,作了将来美事的大祭司,……」(来九10-11)。真正明白救恩的基督徒,不需要遵守旧约饮食规条;仍然坚持「后事影儿」的人,是未得著「真体」。

    现在很多人也同意,旧约饮食规条对身体健康有帮助,尤其是几千年前,在还没有今天的卫生条件的社会里,是非常有智慧的。正如今天很多人也同意割礼对健康有帮助,所以给他们的男孩行割礼,但这不是为信仰原因,而是为了健康原因。



    (4)民事法规

    《Restoration》作者说,有一些民事的规则,如「石头打死」是当地法律所不允许。「基督徒所不遵守的律法,都是那些不适合现代世界的……无法实践。」[38] 至于不守安息日要被石头打死一事,「是由一个法庭决定的」,但今天没有这样的法庭。[39] 总而言之,该作者说:这些旧约条例,无法实践的,是因为当地的律法不容,不是因为它们废掉了。

    圣经说:「在上有权柄的,人人当顺服他,因为没有权柄不是出于 神的。……作官的原不是叫行善的惧怕,乃是叫作恶的惧怕。……因为他不是空空地佩剑;他是 神的用人,是伸冤的,刑罚那作恶的。」(罗十三1-4)所以,当地政府若不允许用石头打死人,我们应该遵守,同意。但若政府不容许你信耶稣呢?不容许人读圣经呢?我们都知道,教会史上,直到今天,有很多人为信仰牺牲,为拥有一本圣经入狱,殉道……

    我希奇于《Restoration》作者这样轻容放弃他认为是极重要的事情!

    Rock也曾经讲论一些民事议题。他曾经说:「所以在此强调要尊重法令,要按照公平公义去处理判决……从这可以看见爱仇敌的教导……」[40],「学习把事情好好查清楚,用公平公义的态度方式去处理事情……要尊重现在或是未来的伴侣,要有正确的性观念、对象、行为,并且不做异教崇拜……对自己的同胞要互相帮助善待,体恤对方的困难,当自己的同保有困难,甚至是穷困而借贷,借钱给对方之后,不可对待他像债主一样,好像亏欠人或是急迫的对他讨债!……」[41]等等。换言之,Rock只取其中的道德教导,不是照字面意义去遵守。

    的确,最重要的是:圣经的道德原则。



    (5)新约的道德原则,比Torah更高

    《Restoration》第四章,全章都讲到,妥拉的总纲就是爱人,「你们愿意人怎样待你们,你们也要怎样待人,因为这就是律法和先知的道理」(太七12)。Rock:「八福对我们弥赛亚信徒而言其实像是在打开妥拉卷轴,……所以我们常说这八福就是妥拉核心教 导,」[42]

    没有基督徒,大概也没有任何人会反对:「你要尽心、尽性、尽意爱主─你的 神。这是诫命中的第一,且是最大的。其次也相仿,就是要爱人如己。这两条诫命是律法和先知一切道理的总纲。」(太二十二37-40)「爱人的就完全了律法。」(罗十三8)

    但是,我们何来爱?「爱是从 神来的。凡有爱心的,都是由 神而生,并且认识 神。……因为 神就是爱。」(约壹四7-8)为什么神就是爱?「神差他独生子到世间来,……为我们的罪作了挽回祭,这就是爱了。」(9-10节)若要有力量爱神爱人,唯一办法就是接受神的爱。

    可见新约已经包含了旧约的道德教导,而且基督十架救恩能给人行善的力量。

    不但如此,新约的道德其实比旧约更高超。

    耶稣说:「你们听见有吩咐古人的话,说∶『不可杀人』;……只是我告诉你们,凡向弟兄动怒的,难免受审断; ……你们听见有话说∶『不可奸淫。』只是我告诉你们,凡看见妇女就动淫念的,这人心里已经与她犯奸淫了。……你们听见有话说∶『以眼还眼,以牙还牙。』只是我告诉你们,不要与恶人作对。有人打你的右脸,连左脸也转过来由他打;有人想要告你,要拿你的里衣,连外衣也由他拿去;有人强逼你走一里路,你就同他走二里;…… 所以,你们要完全,像你们的天父完全一样。」」(太五21-4)

    还有,「贪婪就与拜偶像一样」(西三5);「凡恨他弟兄的 ,就是杀人的。」(约壹三15);「人若知道行善,却不去行,这就是他的罪了」(雅四17)。旧约哪有这样高的标准?

    高举妥拉,遵守妥拉,反活不出神的心意!



    (6)小结论

    让我再引用保罗的话:「我以认识我主基督耶稣为至宝。我为他已经丢弃万事,看作粪土,为要得著基督;并且得以在他里面,不是有自己因律法而得的义,乃是有信基督的义,就是因信 神而来的义。」(腓三8-9)





    (五)是否因为基督徒排挤犹太人,所以信仰都扭歪了?

    弥赛亚教文献异口同声地说:教会中的外邦人排犹,于是教会充斥了希腊文化,以至圣经都解释错误,信仰也被扭歪了。

    根据《Restoration》一书,「外邦基督徒多少误解和滥用福音书,因为无知于它们的犹太渊源。」自从以色列人被逐出家园,福音也被流放;现在以色列人复国了,也是福音被恢复的时候了。当犹太人被罗马政府迫害时,外邦信徒为了经济、政治、文化原因,和犹太教疏远。到第二世纪,排犹情绪高胀。于是教会领袖们决定:教会已经代替了犹太人,成为真以色列。早期教父创造了一个「代替神学」(Replacement theology)。后来,基督徒开始守星期日,代替安息日,其他摩西律法亦逐渐被放弃。君士坦丁时,基督徒举行了一些会议,于是和犹太教更加划分清楚。中世纪,基督徒甚至对犹太人暴力,烧犹太人会堂和圣书,以严刑加于犹太人身上。希特拉以基督徒的写作和基督教历史为理由,支持他灭绝犹太民族之举。于是基督教学者们才开始重新检讨代替神学。[43]

    总而言之:信徒和犹太人之间分歧越来越大,外邦信徒开始以「反犹」的眼光去读圣经。不多久,他们就忘记约书亚[耶稣]和使徒们都是犹太人,而且都以犹太教的方式敬拜。[44]

    Rock也多次表示,基督徒迫害犹太人,例如他曾说:「有段时间十字架就如同兽的印记一样,如果不接受十字架,是 无法在当时的社会存活,这点犹太人经历最深刻,在漫长历史中十字架对犹太人而言是恐怖的记号,……」Rock表示,十字架就是启示录讲的「666」。[45] 暂时不提Rock的圣经解释,现在让我们来研究——是否因为基督徒迫害犹太人,所以信仰都丢失了?

    顺便一谈,Rock以十字架为耻辱,基督徒却以十字架为荣耀:「十字架的道理,在那灭亡的人为愚拙;在我们得救的人,却为 神的大能。」(林前一18)可见Rock和福音派基督徒不是同道人。



    (1)反犹太主义(anti-Semitism,排犹)是一个普世现象,并非基督徒所独有。

    弥赛亚教文献都表示,基督教一向都反犹或排犹,但他们忘记了这是一个普世的现象,而非基督徒所独有。

    举一个例:一套四册的《The History of Anti-Semitism》[46],是由俄籍犹太人Leon Poliakov 写的。讲到(1)自从耶稣时代到十八世纪,基督教教会怎样排犹;(2)在西班牙,伊斯兰教和基督教的互动,引至犹太人最后受迫害;(3)十八、十九世纪启蒙时代欧洲各国,民主运动、科学革命等,导至知识份子对基督教和犹太人攻击;(4)欧洲怎样对犹太人萌生误解,最终纳粹分子蹂躏犹太人。

    回教徒和犹太人向来也是「你死我活」。《可兰经》讲及犹太人的地方,都是非常负面的。今天也有一些著作描述他们之间的冲突。[47] 再看看今天中东回教国家和以色列国的冲突,就无人能说:只有基督徒是排犹的了。

    即使一个犹太教网站亦明白,犹太人被仇视的原因是他们:(a)有钱有势力(b)自称神的选民(c)易于把问题推到他们身上(d)被视为谋杀耶稣的凶手(e)与众不同(f)种族歧视。[48]

    虽然这是应验了圣经的预言:「我必使他们交出来,在天下万国中抛来抛去,遭遇灾祸,在我赶逐他们到的各处,成为凌辱、笑谈、讥刺、咒诅。」(耶二十四9)但不表示任何人,基督徒与否,应该这样做。没有好见证的基督徒很多,但基督徒不需要负起全部责任。但问题是:弥赛亚教文献只标邦他们愿意标邦的!



    (2)是犹太人首先驱逐基督徒,把基督徒挤出去。

    弥赛亚教文献都抱怨外邦基督徒多起来,把犹太人挤出去了。但是,《Our Father Abraham》,一本比较中肯的书籍(虽然仍比较亲弥赛亚教)表示,基督徒本来没有离开犹太教会堂,一直到犹太人第二次反叛(主后132-35),「要将两个团体分开的,压力来自犹太人一方。」[49]请不要只听一面之词。

    自从使徒时代,早期教会的迫害是来自外邦人,也来自犹太人,可见于:「在基督耶稣里 神的各教会……受了本地人的苦害,像他们受了犹太人的苦害一样。这犹太人杀了主耶稣和先知,又把我们赶出去。」(帖前二14-15)

    保罗和巴拿巴曾对那些敌对他们的犹太人说∶「 神的道先讲给你们原是应当的;只因你们弃绝这道,断定自己不配得永生,我们就转向外邦人去。」(徒十三46)「然而直到今日,每逢诵读摩西书的时候,帕子还在他们心上。」(林后三15)是的,「以色列人有几分是硬心的,等到外邦人的数目添满了,于是以色列全家都要得救。」(罗十一25-26)正是这样,犹太人拒绝耶稣,救恩才临到外邦。



    (3)代替神学(Replacement Theology)

    《Our Father Abraham》作者继续说,到第二世纪中期,二者终于分开了。教会认为自己就是新的『以色列』(代替以色列)。[50] 代替神学就是说:在神的计划里,教会代替了以色列。

    我们从教会历史得知,的确有这样的事情。但请考虑:代替神学的最早影响,来自是马西安(Marcion)[51],但这人早被定为异端,他的言论,不可能有很多人接受。后来有几位教父似乎附和他,但是弥赛亚教文献,讲来讲去都是几个。历史上有这么多的教父,为什么不能多引用几个呢?可见,实在有代替神学,但不能说是主流思想。

    事实上,这样的心态在保罗的时候已经开始了,他也曾谴责过:「若他们被丢弃,天下就得与 神和好,……若有几根枝子被折下来,你这野橄榄得接在其中,…… 你就不可向旧枝子夸口;若是夸口,当知道不是你托著根,乃是根托著你。……你因为信,所以立得住;你不可自高,反要惧怕。 神既不爱惜原来的枝子,也必不爱惜你。」(罗十一15-21)

    弥赛亚教文献都说:代替神学的思想一直到大屠杀才有转机,基督教神学家才开始正视这个错误。[52]真的吗?中世纪以后,天主教有很多错误神学思想,暂时不谈。但是,基督教(更正教)呢?

    加尔文(John Calvin)的《基督教要义》(Institutes of the Christian Religion)可说是基督教(更正教)的神学基础。请看《基督教要义》怎样讲:「福音最初是给犹太人的,虽然他们被弃为不配……这个国家不能完全失去从天上来的祝福……他们的特权不会被拿走……福音首先传给他们……直到他们拒绝了……传给外邦人……但是我们仍然不能鄙视他们。我们必须因为神对他们的应许,相信神仍在他们当中。」[53]加尔文是十六世纪的人,可见在大屠杀以前,基督教就不赞成代替神学。

    还有另一本书,可说代表了基要派的各种观点,叫做《The Fundamentals》,在1910-1915年之间发表的,也是大屠杀和以色列复国之前。此书有一篇文章,讲到圣经预言怎样应验,它说:「以色列人虽然没有一块地,仍算是一个国家……虽然她受的苦比任何其他国家都多,她仍被保守,被记明,是神立约之民,神的选召是没有后悔的。」[54] 可见,「代替神学」不存在于正统的基督徒神学思想中。

    圣经说:「你们从前按肉体是外邦人,……在以色列国民以外,在所应许的诸约上是局外人,……如今却在基督耶稣里,靠著他的血,……为要将两下藉著自己造成一个新人,如此便成就了和睦。」(弗二11-15)「并不分犹太人、希腊人,自主的、为奴的,或男或女,因为你们在基督耶稣里都成为一了。」(加三28)这是今天基督徒所以相信的——不是谁代替谁,而是「两下成为一了」。



    (4)整个教会都是排犹的?

    我们不能否认,历代教会中有排犹太的事情,正如历代教会中间有各种罪恶和不义,但是否整个教会?

    第四世纪以后,欧洲政教合一,犹太人被迫皈依基督教,当时人的手段,用今天的眼光去看,是有点「暴力」,但这是「政教合一」所带来的毛病。

    弥赛亚教文献都谴责基督徒一直以来迫害犹太人。其中最显眼的例子当然是十字军东征(Crusade)和纳粹(Nazi)大屠杀(Holocaust)。

    《Our Father Abraham》作者表示,十字军的目标本是为了从回教徒手中夺回耶路撒冷,可是同时,很多拒绝受浸的『异教徒』犹太人也因此被杀。[55]是的,十字军是教会史上一件丑事、一笔烂帐,虽然迫害犹太人不是十字军的目标,但这样连累犹太人是大错特错,而且「天主教教会领袖们亦谴责」[56]。

    《Our Father Abraham》作者又说,希特拉的纳粹党继承了教会几个世纪以来的排犹太态度,而展开对犹太人的大屠杀。「教会没有做什么来防止或抗议这样的屠杀。」[57] 希特拉以基督教文献为自己护航,不等于这是基督教所支持的。再者,直到今天,我们都看见很多教会和个别基督徒,当看见不公义事情,没有勇气为正义挺身而出,这是基督徒的亏欠。但仍有例外:

    有一本书名字叫做《Christian Heroes of the Holocaust》,记载了很多个别基督徒和天主教徒在大屠杀时候援救犹太人的事。作者说:「虽然教会团体保持沉默,无形中帮助了撒但,但是很多个别人士——基督徒、天主教徒、东正教徒——冒一切的险,把犹太人从纳粹分子的死刑场中营救出来。这些正义的外邦人中,有很多是天主教神父、修女和修士。」基督徒中也有,例如潘霍华(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)。[58]

    即使以教会名义抗议纳粹的似乎没有,但另一本非基督教的书,叫《Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust》讲到当时有一些有正义感的人营救犹太人。作者在其中提到荷兰基督教改革宗教会曾在纳粹占领期间声言:纳粹要毁灭犹太人,实在是攻击选择以色列人的神,想要歼灭上帝。[59]

    教会和基督徒都有亏欠,但是弥赛亚教文献是过份喧染了。



    (4)不能因此证明弥赛亚教的信仰才正确,圣经解释才可靠。

    「基督教的原教义不是这样的」、「圣经被基督徒窜改了」、「所以神要派先知来复兴教会,恢复本来的信仰」,真是耳熟能详,老掉牙的藉口!摩门教是这样讲,回教也是这样讲。现在,弥赛亚教也是这样讲。

    但是,因为教会曾经犯错,甚至有排犹的事件,是不是证明了:今天基督教的教义都是错的?我们是否又能因此相信犹太教才是可信的?甚至今天犹太教中的一派——弥赛亚教——的信仰最纯正?他们的圣经解释最可靠?这样的逻辑,是「盲目飞跃」了两大步!

    基督教在历史上也曾遭到很多迫害,为什么没有人以此证明基督教可信?又或基督教中的某一旁支——例如耶和华见证人——可信?耶和华见证人的传教士登门造访,常被人拒绝和痛斥,这样是否证明耶和华见证人可信?

    当然,弥教信徒主要是说:当外邦人把犹太人赶走,他们受了希腊文化影响,所以信仰扭歪了。他们最喜欢使用的一个例子是:教会丢弃了安息日,改在星期日聚会。根据他们,基督徒本来守安息日,因为他们被罗马异教徒崇拜太阳神所影响。到第二世纪,基督徒开始守主日(星期日),代替安息日,于是基督徒和犹太教更形分裂。[60]

    但是,圣经清楚告诉我们,安息日乃为以色列人而设(出三十一16-17),不是为新约信徒而设的。耶稣亦曾经改变安息日, 屡次因为在安息日治病,和法利赛人争论。当门徒在安息日「掐起麦穗来吃」而被法利赛人责备时,耶稣表示,「人子是安息日的主」(太十二1-8)。此外,早期教会亦早已在「七日的第一日……聚会擘饼」(徒二十7)和为其他圣徒捐钱(林前十六1-2)。可见,早期教会在安息日上犹太人会堂,但自己却在星期日聚会。弥赛亚教徒未有把历史搞清楚!



    (5)小结论

    以外邦人赶走犹太人为理由,证明弥赛亚教的信仰可靠,是不行不通的。



    结论

    弥赛亚教能否被归类为异端?

    我根据彼得后二章1节,在「异端的定义」中指出:若一个神学系统在救恩观上有错、在圣经外另有权威,应该被算为异端。既然弥赛亚教:不认识真正的耶稣、不明白什么是救恩,而且他们高举妥拉(摩西五经)于整本圣经之上。你应为她是异端吗?

    保罗说:「假如有人来另传一个耶稣,不是我们所传过的;或者你们另受一个灵,不是你们所受过的;或者另得一个福音,不是你们所得过的;……那等人是假使徒,行事诡诈,装作基督使徒的模样。」(林后十一4,13)「那并不是福音,不过有些人搅扰你们,要把基督的福音更改了。但无论是我们,是天上来的使者,若传福音给你们,与我们所传给你们的不同,他就应当被咒诅。我们已经说了,现在又说,若有人传福音给你们,与你们所领受的不同,他就应当被咒诅。」(加一7-9)

    我希望Rock Jean、弥赛亚回人Yosefhai、和其他已经接受了弥赛亚教的中国人, 都悔改归正,相信圣经中的耶稣,接受 的福音,得到永生。

    最后,我们要劝告各位在基督教论坛上辩论的人,千万当心,不要被「不要被那诸般怪异的教训勾引了去」(来十三9)。绝对不要以为对方看似有道理,也许加上能够写几个希伯来文字,于是就放下防卫,跟著去了。反之,「在至圣的真道上造就自己」(犹20)。教会亦应该「成全圣徒……建立基督的身体……长大成人……不再作小孩子,中了人的诡计,和欺骗的法术,被异教之风摇动,飘来飘去,就随从各样的异端……」(弗四12-15)。





  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-09-29 11:11:53

    对于张逸萍“博士”及其跟随者在本小组设立的inquisition(异端裁判所),我没有义务回应,我并不在她的权柄控制範圍之内。我和她也没有任何外交关系。她的权柄是否得到基督教的普遍承认还是个问题。


    引用自http://seminary-students.blogspot.tw/2011/03/blog-post_31.html

    去看看她所畢業的神學院,印第安納州的三一神學院,找到網站進去一看,Trinity is currently working towards accreditation with a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recognized agency for all of its programs,原來這家學校至今尚未取得美國政府正式承認的頒發學位授權。張女士這麽否定“屬世”的知識 ,卻使用一個不被承認的屬世學位,自稱爲Dr. Lois Chan,不可思議。



    回应 删除 举报

  • Soilc

    Soilc 2012-10-21 10:14:59

    对于张逸萍“博士”及其跟随者在本小组设立的inquisition(异端裁判所),我没有义务回应,我并 对于张逸萍“博士”及其跟随者在本小组设立的inquisition(异端裁判所),我没有义务回应,我并不在她的权柄控制範圍之内。我和她也没有任何外交关系。她的权柄是否得到基督教的普遍承认还是个问题。 引用自http://seminary-students.blogspot.tw/2011/03/blog-post_31.html: 去看看她所畢業的神學院,印第安納州的三一神學院,找到網站進去一看,Trinity is currently working towards accreditation with a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) recognized agency for all of its programs,原來這家學校至今尚未取得美國政府正式承認的頒發學位授權。張女士這麽否定“屬世”的知識 ,卻使用一個不被承認的屬世學位,自稱爲Dr. Lois Chan,不可思議。 回应 删除 举报 ... Yousef Hai

    弥赛亚教是否得到基督教的普遍认同呢?

    顺便一提,当参与辩论的人开始人身攻击时,就已经表示自己理亏。

    这里是好例子。

  • Yousef Hai

    Yousef Hai (يوسف Messianic) 2012-10-21 11:42:42

    张逸萍“博士”在香港等地备受争议是事实,她自称为"Dr. Lois Chan"而不具有美国政府正式承认学位也是事实。她只对自己不能动摇的的"权威"有兴趣,已假定好自己都是对的,具有很强的攻击性,和她辩论没有意义。她并不具备一个博士应具备的学术素质,对中东文化懂得很少却要以审判者的口气说话。我并不认为她有资格代表基督教来说话,先去把这个问题弄清楚。

  • ruth

    ruth 2012-10-22 00:20:04

    基本上是白打开这个标题,字太小,英文不懂,对张逸萍不知道也不感兴趣,加上凌辰了,眼睛睁不开,基本上是啥也看不懂。

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