Atonement and ‘Common Ground’

A lot of recent convo’s into atonement and it’s meaning have revealed a few things to me that I haven’t thought about in some time and I made some conclusions on my part (and again, that is open to change because this is a process of learning). However, it raises the best questions around – which I will get into.

Firstly, the atonement is a thing that has little bearing on the way faith is played out right now. We still struggle with sin, we are still going to die, and the Torah/Prophets is still waiting complete fulfillment. So what does the atonement really mean in current context? Resurrection, sin, and death are all things to be dealt with at a ‘later date’ – and we use them figuratively to foreshadow that day. I know I struggle with a variety of sins so what does it all mean? I will die because this is the human reality.

Secondly, this leads me to a ‘common ground’ thing – concerning our fellow compatriots in Judaism. Are we not all just following the Torah and Prophets – us being Gentiles (and not quite as closely as they do) and they being Jewish? Isn’t this our role right now – to follow the teachings of God and develop our faith that way? To be perfectly honest, the Torah and Prophets is not completely fulfilled (according to my view of it) – so isn’t the Judaic way quite alright a way to follow? Just cause we are Gentiles should not cancel out the greatness of the faith that inspired us – Judaism.  

Lastly, the real problem has ‘come alive’ of what really seperates us. Brad makes this point ‘Of course, key to this aspect of orthodox doctrine is that Jesus’ death, while sufficient and freely given for all, is only effectual for those who know Him.’ It doesn’t matter though – because we are all still just following the teachings of God at this point – and Jesus (and all the letter writers) – only elaborate on original Judaic texts. One can ascertian the Jewish faith actually follows the teachings of God…this is my opinion.

Jesus’ death was sufficient for what? Forgiveness of sins? Isn’t this all subject as to whether we follow the teachings of God (to be forgiving or what not) and thus should recieve that mercy? How can we be sure someone knows God is the better question?

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Atonement and ‘Common Ground’

  1. One can ascertian the Jewish faith actually follows the teachings of God…this is my opinion.

    Isn’t it amazing that this is even a topic of discussion? The assumption that the very people to whom Torah was given somehow lost understanding of both Torah and God along the way?

    I agree with you to a certain extent that there is a commonality with us: the point of living is to follow the commandments of God in our separate contexts. However, I would like to point out that unless Jews are talking with Christians, you just don’t even hear us talking about sin, death, atonement, or any afterlife. For all I read Christians claims that ‘Judaism has always this or that’ I don’t see those claims from Jews. These topics just aren’t at the core of what it means to be a Jew and live a Jewish life. I have never once heard Rabbi preach a sermon on sin or heaven or spiritual death or any other such thing. I would never say I live my life struggling with sin, nor do I know any other Jews who talk that way, it’s just not anything we think about. These are Christian concerns which, as OSS has pointed out over and over, are being read back into Tanakh, and there’s nothing wrong with that unless someone claims we Jews must have these same concerns.

    Once the stories of Adam and Eve are finished in Genesis, they are never mentioned again in all of Tanakh! Their ‘sin’ is never mentioned again either. And since their sin was obviously intentional, there was no sacrifice that would atone for it anyway.

    We both ask for forgiveness pretty much the same way, it’s just some would say you’re given it automatically and I’m denied it automatically, not on the basis of our actions or how we live, but on the basis of what we say we believe. We’re so close sometimes, but also so incredibly far apart.

  2. I see the Law and Salvation as two parts of a larger plan of redemption. The Law shows us our need for God. Those of us who are in Christ were called out not because of our perfection but because of our baseness. If God can have mercy upon me, He can have Mercy on anyone. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save it. I believe that we are now in the chruch age or the age of Grace in a future age called the Millenial Rule (which I also believe is a time when the Jews receive their earthly kingdom), all of God’s enemies will be put under the feet of Jesus at the end of His rule on the earth and He will turn all things over to the Father completely redeemed from the Law of sin and death.

    If it weren’t for the Jews, I could not know Jesus. The Jews are His chosen people and I am of His called out company. Neither, I believe, really chose to be what we are but we simply are what God has made us to be according to His purpose and plan. In fact, there are times that it hurts so much to be a Christian that I would probably quit being one if I could but I can’t quit being what I am.

    Pam

  3. Hi Pam,
    Obviously theology wise we have different POVs, but as far as being who we are for good reason? In that I agree completely. I lived 40 years of my life trying to be someone else; it didn’t work. And for anyone to come along now and try to convince me THAT was the right way, the only right way? Too funny. My ex-husband told me a few years back that it is so obvious I and our kids were meant to be Jewish. Life would have been easier if we could have been something else, or nothing at all, but life would not have been better. This is the best life for us, as I have no doubt yours is for you.

    Oh well, the guys like to argue and tussle with each other. I think it’s best to just stay out of their way and let them spar. At least it keeps them occupied so they’re not out trying to save the world for their POV.

  4. Hi Jason. You know I love you but I think you might have some confusion here.

    this leads me to a ‘common ground’ thing – concerning our fellow compatriots in Judaism.

    “Fellow compatriots”? I love Jewish people and am ardently pro-Israel, but if you want to reconcile modern Judaism which denies Jesus’ divinity with Christianity in a way that they could be brothers and sisters you will be disappointed. I think you are already inventing a new faith when you put reconciliation with others above reconciliation with Christ.

    It doesn’t matter though – because we are all still just following the teachings of God at this point – and Jesus (and all the letter writers) – only elaborate on original Judaic texts. One can ascertain the Jewish faith actually follows the teachings of God…this is my opinion.

    Christians call this the Old Testament. You would need to study the New Testament in light of the Old Testament thoroughly and then state why you think they do not flow together.

    I would like to know who you think Jesus Christ is. From that last paragraph it seems like you don’t remember. I know you’ve read a lot of Bible but you don’t seem to address the claims of Jesus there. There is no middle ground with Jesus. Either He was who He said He was (and thus still is) or He was a lunatic whose corpse rotted away like anyone else’s. If you do not embrace Him, you reject Him.

    One last point on atonement. The priests could make the sacrifice in the OT era. The atonement for sin would last a short time then they would have to perform another sacrifice and then another. Jesus’ sacrifice ended that, for whoever believed in Him received atonement. Prior to that there was nothing we could have done to atone for our sins permanently.

    Now if you follow Jesus, you not only follow the Law, you follow God Himself. “Just following the teachings” is not enough in light of God’s intervention through Christ. Through Jesus there is the more intimate relationship offered to us. That’s my take on this. Take care.

  5. Hi Yael,

    I think the big problem is in trying to reconcile one another’s religions. Either one runs over the other or they each get watered down. I accept that God has a much larger plan for all of us than I can comprehend and trust the He will work it out. I’ve also learned that if we listen to one another, each of us will give a true account of where we are with God. Where we are ( and where our brother or sister is) is right where He wants us to be. I am not Sovereign.

    Pam

    Pam

  6. “but if you want to reconcile modern Judaism which denies Jesus’ divinity with Christianity in a way that they could be brothers and sisters you will be disappointed” (JIm)

    I deny Jesus’ divinity – and maybe that is part of this – but I see their monotheistic stance a more honest interpretation of the things God had said (even in the NT). But I am already quite disappointed with the church in general – so if things don’t mesh as I think they can – no big deal. I still consider the Jewish faith as equals.

    “Christians call this the Old Testament. You would need to study the New Testament in light of the Old Testament thoroughly and then state why you think they do not flow together.” (JIm)

    OT is a made up word (for doctrinal reasons) – it appears nowhere in the Tanakh – so for me it is the Tanakh and not the OT. As for studying the Tanakh by the standards of the NT – that’s one way to do it – but I have noticed this leads to interpretive error a lot of times (something I want to be honest about also).

    I take the Jewish interpretations of the Tanakh as containing more authority than the Christian interpretations – since these are the books their rabbi’s spend their lives examining (and we can say we do not do that in the same extent). However, I take the NT as authoritative from Christian interpretations – and this has come to be seen in a variety of ways (which is good also).

    The thing is Jim – I think they flow – that’s the root of the whole thing for me. What I have noticed is my understanding of the NT are made even better with a Jewish viewpoint (and have even noticed similar understandings in ideas/teachings). I am just acknowledging the fact we come from them – and not vice versa.

    “There is no middle ground with Jesus. Either He was who He said He was (and thus still is) or He was a lunatic whose corpse rotted away like anyone else’s. If you do not embrace Him, you reject Him” (Jim)

    Or he is someone special (ie: Christ) and not God. I will take Jesus serious up to his messianic claims – but I will not add divinity onto him. Fact is, Jesus is seperated from divinity by every single writer in the NT to no exception of any of them – and he is primarily called the ‘Christ’. I think Christianity has a misunderstanding of what those writers were trying to say about Jesus – we have mis-interpreted them and their intentions. Jesus is close to God (I get that much) – but is God (that’s a stretch).

    As for the embrace and reject – one or the other thing – it’s a corny game and more of a fear tactic to faith and I won’t play it. I think Jesus was the Christ – and is afforded some special relationship with God (mediator). That being said – the Torah and Prophets is not complete – so for me the Jewish faith has a great value also.

    “Jesus’ sacrifice ended that, for whoever believed in Him received atonement. Prior to that there was nothing we could have done to atone for our sins permanently.” (Jim)

    Why is there always a clarifier on Christian ideals – ‘we have to believe them’ to make them actually work for some reason? To me, either they happened or didn’t and that’s about it – belief has nothing to do with it. I think Jesus does away with the sacrifical system and made allowance for the Gentiles (and all peoples) to enter God’s presence (however that looks to each of us). However, following the teachings is the whole point of all of this colorful language and symbolism – to deny that is to deny the obvious teachings of all the writers.

    “Just following the teachings” is not enough in light of God’s intervention through Christ. Through Jesus there is the more intimate relationship offered to us” (Jim)

    Following the teachings is the whole point of this thing we call faith – since it symbolizes our committment to God. Jesus may offer us an intimate relationship with God – but how do we know what that relationship is all about? That’s why we have a bible isn’t it? It’s an unjustice to boil faith down to believing just in Jesus and then placing the teachings of that same person below that…I am guessing Jesus laughs about this. I think it’s very easy ‘follow the teachings of the man – and you are following the man’.

  7. “I’m curious as to how you would define “Christ’, Jason” (Pam)

    Christ – Greek word based on a Jewish theology about a coming Messiah – a saviour. The original meanings for this term come from Jewish roots – and this is where some search needs to be made to clarify this term.

    “Ezekiel 37. In this well known chapter, the prophet clearly teaches that we can recognize the coming of the messiah when: the resurrection of the dead, the building of the final Temple that will stand forever in Jerusalem, the universal knowledge of God and obedience to His Torah, the restoration of the lost tribes (Ephraim or the Kingdom of Israel whom Assyria carried off), and the complete restoration of the Jewish people to their land all take place.” (Rabbi Singer on messianic fulfillement)

    From this perspective and from common knowledge of Jesus’ claims in Matthew 5:17 – the Torah and Prophets are not completely fufllled – and we all know this is abundantly clear. The point I always turn to is the one simple quote from Isaiah = is the ‘lion laying down with lamb, and swords being beaten into pruning hooks’…or is the world still bloody violent? Not everything is fulfilled – and Christianity teaches this – thus a 2nd coming of Jesus doctrine.

    However, for me Jesus is the Christ. The evidence, for me, has lead me to accept this as what it is claimed. Now what is the Christ and his meaning is the real question? For me, Jesus seems to be someone authoritative in his teachings and requires us to look into his teachings on God to follow them. It’s all quite simple…follow the teachings and I am not sure you can do very much wrong by God.

    I know the Jewish people do not accept Jesus as the Messiah – and that’s also fair – why should they – they know what the teachings say about this ‘Messiah’. They point to the fact Jesus did not fulfill all the claims made by the prophets – and they are right. So I think the Torah and Prophets is quite an acceptable ‘way to follow’ also – as Jesus states ‘not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished’.

    The Christ is not synonamous with being God – actually being God has nothing to do with the messianic claims of the Tanakh and never have. I don’t think Jesus is claiming God status (however he may be acclaimed by some to this status) – but Christ status. I am willing to be wrong on this – but not without good research into the idea…and knowing Jewish tradition – monetheism is about God being ‘One’…now John and Paul get close to calling Jesus God (I can admit that much) – but if they saw Jesus as God they also have funny ways of speaking about a God quite seperated into 2 essences. That’s not a trinity – that’s dual Gods.

  8. Hi Jason. I see more of where you’re coming from.
    You wrote—I deny Jesus’ divinity – and maybe that is part of this – but I see their monotheistic stance a more honest interpretation of the things God had said (even in the NT). But I am already quite disappointed with the church in general – so if things don’t mesh as I think they can – no big deal. I still consider the Jewish faith as equals.

    First in bold. Denying Jesus’ divinity is not part but all of this. Jesus claimed a hundred times or more that He was the son of God or the Messiah (Promised One). Promised by whom? By God, thus a Messiah can not be other than divine.

    Therefore, this statement is contradictory: Or he is someone special (ie: Christ) and not God. I will take Jesus serious up to his messianic claims – but I will not add divinity onto him.

    If there was any doubt remember that Jesus was crucified for blasphemy; claiming to be God.

    The second bold – I think you are talking about the church in your area that made little children disappear and treat natives as if they were subhuman. That church and Christ are far removed from each other. You seem to be confusing the two.

    Society—Jesus may offer us an intimate relationship with God – but how do we know what that relationship is all about? That’s why we have a bible isn’t it? It’s an unjustice to boil faith down to believing just in Jesus and then placing the teachings of that same person below that…I am guessing Jesus laughs about this.

    I know what it’s about, having watched it change my life, renew my mind, and jumpstart my creative abilities. There’s more to human existence than following rules. God knows that.

  9. “First in bold. Denying Jesus’ divinity is not part but all of this. Jesus claimed a hundred times or more that He was the son of God or the Messiah (Promised One). Promised by whom? By God, thus a Messiah can not be other than divine.” (Jim)

    Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, not God (those terms are not synonamous) – in the gospels anyways. Even the trying with blasphemy didn’t stick in the gospels – and Jesus never replies to it with an actual ‘yes, I am God’. To be honest, Jesus never once states to be God – this is stated about him by some (and way less than a 100 times).

    In Matthew Jesus is tried for ‘being a King’ – same for Mark – also in Luke – and also in John (and those are the charges that stick – blasphemy is claimed of him – but even blasphemy does not mean Jesus is claiming to be God – but is blaspheming).

    I find it funny you are willing to claim Jesus is God – do you have to look the other way when proof like this is presented:

    Mark 15:34 “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” – Jesus calls the Father God – this is one example – but I am willing to wager this is done over a hundred times. Problem with Jesus calling the Father God is simple – Jesus admits to (a) a hierarchy where God the Father is greater than him and (b) Jesus calls him God – and does not incude himself at all in the equation. If Jesus is God – he doesn’t need to say anything at all – he will take care of himself in this scenario (and how can God forsake Himself?.

    “That church and Christ are far removed from each other. You seem to be confusing the two.” (Jim)

    Actually they are not far removed – the churches make these as orthodox to believe (must be important to them).

    The real problem is the church thinks Christ and God are the same in meaning and they are most definitely not. Christ, as a term, has nothing to with God at all – except in the sense as a representative of God. Son of God is a term of closeness – that much I know – but to claim God has a son…and Jesus is God is actually different.

    Sonship – and as seen in the gospels – is a created postion – part of the creation and not the creator. Being a son actually means ‘you are not the father’ – ask your son if he is ‘you’? The answer is quite clearly ‘no, even in that sense of the word ‘son’. I would even be audacious enough to say your son is ‘created’ by you (and would that be accurate to say?). There seems to be a relational difference even.

  10. **I’m curious as to how you would define “Christ’**

    I think the answer to this is key. One can say that Jesus is the Christ, without saying that Jesus is also God. Jesus Christ would literally mean “Jesus the Anointed One.” So anointed with what? One example would be in Luke 4: 18, where Jesus explains that he is anointed. But often when saying that he is the Messiah, or someone else says he is the Messiah, they qualify it with “son of the living God.” They don’t say, “You are the Messiah, God.”

    I don’t think any Jew at that time would’ve interpreted the Messiah to be God. And even if one says that the Messiah is promised by God, and thus divine … the “God” there would have to be qualified. Promised by which God? Triune God, the Father, Son, or HS?

    Jim, I’m also unsure as to how you’re connecting the idea that since God promised the Messiah, the Messiah is divine. Could you clarify?

  11. Hi Jason,

    Jesus did say that He was the Son of God. Also, He is Immanuel, God with us. I think the Feast of Tabernacles foreshadows what I am trying to express and that is God tabernacled among us. Paul also references our bodies as tents. I understand the Christ being 100% man but also 100% God. Jesus was and is perfectly obedient to His Father, His Will is seamless with the Will of His Father. Because Jesus lived out the Will of His Father on earth rather than His own, He was literally God upon the earth. The Bible doesn’t use the word diety in connection with Jesus but I do believe all that He says about HImself.

    I don’t want Yael to misudnerstand this next part, so bear with me, Yeal. In the book of Romans, Paul teaches that we Gentiles are saved on behalf of the Jews. Because God has shown Mercy upon sinners, many of whom are Gentiles, there is nothing that can prevent Him from having Mercy upon His Chosen people and give them also eternal life. Paul says that the Jews were blinded to Jesus as the Christ on our behalf and if their blindness was salvation to the Gentiles then their acceptance will bring the resurection.

    There would be no Christians if there were no Jews and the Jews remain God’s Chosen People. Paul teaches that we are wild olive branches that have been grafted in and we are completely dependent upon the root which represents the Jewish people. We do not replace Him as some teach but we are interdependent upon each other in a wonderful way that I believe will be revealed at the end of time.

    Pam

    p.s. I think we Christians often tend to think of God’s plan as being about us only, whether we will (in the overly simplified version) go to heaven or hell. Biblically, that is only a part of God’s plan set in motion to retrieve His Creation from sin and death.

  12. One Small Step,

    I really don’t think there was any more agreement among the sects of Judaism at that time than there is now upon the Messiah than there is now. To me, Jesus wasn’t about religion but about changing individuals by introducing them to God and opening the door to a personal relationship with HIm. This relationship (such as Adam and Eve enjoyed before the fall) has the power to change sinners (over a lifetime) and make them holy, to make them like Jesus. Because of this I think the important question is what and who we think Jesus is ourselves. He obviously was not what the majority of Jewish people were expecting then and not what the majority are expectling now. When I accepted Jesus as the Son of God and my Savior, it was an spiritual experience that began to change me from the inside out. It wasn’t about what I knew about Him intellectually and honestly, now that I ‘know’ much more, nothing has been added that I did not receive in that first moment. This is hard to explain without using overyly used phrases but I literally became a new person with a new point of view on life.

    Pam

  13. Pam,

    But prior to Jesus, I don’t think any sect of Judaism held that the Messiah would be synonomous with God. And the term ‘Christos’ would’ve meant ‘anointed one.’ It also wouldn’t have been equal with the concept of God.

    What I was getting to in terms of the definition of God is that I read that you accepted Jesus as the son of God and your Savior, and took those words alone, I wouldn’t interpret them that Jesus was God. In fact, Jesus is divided from God, in the sense that he is the son of. There just doesn’t seem to be a clear use of the word ‘God’ in Christianity, because at any point, it can mean one of four things: Triune, Father, Son, HS. “Clear” in the sense that everytime I use the word “God,” I mean [fill in the blank].

    I understand what you mean about not being able to put the experience into words. Most mystical experiences (probably all) are like that. But as I dive more and more into Trinitarian language, I notice the usage of the word ‘God’ gets very, very blurry. We don’t encounter this in Judaism or Islam. There, it’s a set use of the word ‘God.’ When they say ‘God,’ we know what the religions refer to. In Christianity, we don’t have the same type of clear-cut idea. Compare “For God so loved the world that He sent his son” with “God so loved the world that He became flesh.”

    Or Jesus telling Mary that he is to ascend to his God and her God, and then Thomas calling Jesus “My Lord and my God.” Or, even your first sentence: “Jesus is the son of God, and Immanual, God with us.”

  14. Pam,
    Not to worry. I know I’m where I belong living the life I’m supposed to live. You’re not trying to take me away from being who I am, but are willing to leave all of that with God. I am willing to do the same for you. Hope your day is going as well as mine. Take care. You’ll be pleased to know I’m going to the eye doctor tomorrow….8)

  15. One Small Step,

    I don’t like the words Trinity or Triune and I try to stay away from them. I think they do muddy the water. When I set that aside though, I really don’t have a problem understanding what people mean when they say, “God”, “Jesus”, or “Holy Spirit” probably, someone outside of the faith would have more of a problem. I also believe Jesus when He said that He was in the Father and the Father in Him. Also, that we are in Him and He in us. This is another three in one aspect of faith in Christ that is easier for me to grasp and when I apply it to Triune theology, it is not hard to understand either. There is still only One God. I also think the concept of God in us through faith in Jesus Christ is central to our practice of faith as Christians. It is one thing to try and force our own will to bend to God’s commands and quite another to be in a loving relationship with Him and to be changed by that relationship to the point of Jesus actually living through us. I believe that at the end of my sanctification process that I will be just like Jesus and my will won’t be in oposition to God’s Will anymore. I will be a true Son of God, in action and not just in name as the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were.

    I’m not an expert on the Jewish faith. In my experience, they are as varied as Christians and each one that I converse with has a differnt take on things. I do agree that Jesus was not what the Jews at that time were looking for but I really think it was the fact that He was a man of humble circumstance and not a conqueror that threw them. They did not realize that the Kingdom would be established in the spiritual sense long before it is established in the physical sense.

    I also know that Hebrew thought is very different from Pagan thought and Pagan’s had god-men who ruled over them for centuries before Christ. The blending of the two through the Catholic Church (which also is ruled by a god-man) are probably what has given us a more Pagan idea of a diefied Christ. Still I believe that Jesus obeyed His Father perfectly, so perfectly as to be God upon the earth. That can’t be said about any of the other god-men who have ruled nations and empires and religious organizations. What made Jesus different from all other men was that He came to do the Father’s Will and not His own. All other god-men seek out a higher power to help them enforce their own will upon the people they rule.

    I think I’ll do a word study on ‘diety’ and see what I come up with.:0)

    Pam

  16. Yael,

    Just remember that I may say something stupid sometimes but I don’t say things to intentionally hurt others and I don’t want to say anything to hurt you.

    I hope the eye exam is just routine and nothing serious.

    Pam

  17. Pam,

    **When I set that aside though, I really don’t have a problem understanding what people mean when they say, “God”, “Jesus”, or “Holy Spirit” probably, someone outside of the faith would have more of a problem.**

    It’s not defining “Jesus” or the “Holy Spirit.” It’s figuring out the usage of God, which often is dependent on context, as opposed to other religions, which have a straight definition. It’s not having a problem understanding what the words mean, it’s the problem of the definition being vague, and dependent on context. You would understand what “the son of God” meant, as well as what calling Jesus Immanuel meant. However, you have to change the definition of God, when using both those descriptions. Same with all the other examples I provided. So it’s not that it can’t be understood — it’s that the definition is relative, rather than absolute (somwhere, an irony meter just exploded).

    **Still I believe that Jesus obeyed His Father perfectly, so perfectly as to be God upon the earth. **

    I’m curious … how are you defining obey? Simple actions? Or desires, as well? Jesus did desire that he not die on the cross, but surrendered to the Father, in the end. And if Jesus was God, why wouldn’t the will of Jesus mesh with the will of God?

  18. “Also, He is Immanuel, God with us” (Pam)

    I would actually like to know what Immanuel means in Hebraic terminology…is it literally those 3 words?

    “I don’t think any sect of Judaism held that the Messiah would be synonomous with God” (OSS)

    One just needs to check into the various messianic claims on people of that day – all of them were human beings.

    “I also think the concept of God in us through faith in Jesus Christ is central to our practice of faith as Christians” (Pam)

    See this is not a concept I tend to argue with – namely concerning the place Jesus is given in the scriptures. But Jesus does not need to be God for this to mean something.

    “believe that at the end of my sanctification process that I will be just like Jesus and my will won’t be in oposition to God’s Will anymore” (Pam)

    How can you be like Jesus – he was God? We are humans and flawed to the core according to most Christian theologies (totally depraved or what not). This is the theological problem – we are to be like Jesus but we actually cannot do that if he was 100% God and Man – that’s like 100% more than is possible from us.

    “I think I’ll do a word study on ‘diety’ and see what I come up with” (Pam)

    I just did a NASB study and only John is so much as even suggesting that Jesus might be diety (and this is only in the chapter headings they add in). Colossians 2:9 is the other passage that calls Jesus Diety (and that is weird in context also).

    “And if Jesus was God, why wouldn’t the will of Jesus mesh with the will of God?” (OSS)

    That’s the million dollar question for sure. Jesus always uses terms like “I was sent from God’ or ‘the right hand of God’ and suggests some sort of hierarchy in most of his sayings – even in John this diety thing is not very clear as some would think. Jesus seems, more often than not, happy to call God his Father (which connotates some difference alone and of itself). Don’t we also call God Father? Are we claiming any sort of God-hood by that – not really.

  19. OSS–Jim, I’m also unsure as to how you’re connecting the idea that since God promised the Messiah, the Messiah is divine. Could you clarify?

    Who do you think the Creator of the universe sent? A sommelier? A busboy? C’mon, folks. God sends a person to earth to take on the sins of all mankind (Gen. 3:15, Isaiah 53, Zechariah 12:10, Numbers 21:9, + the entire NT) and that person is not divine? That person is not God Himself in the flesh? Who else could do such a thing?

    Society—How can you be like Jesus – he was God? We are humans and flawed to the core according to most Christian theologies (totally depraved or what not). This is the theological problem – we are to be like Jesus but we actually cannot do that if he was 100% God and Man – that’s like 100% more than is possible from us.

    Sorry, but this is like a slow-motion train wreck. No, we cannot be like Jesus becuase He is God. We have to believe in God’s Promised One (Messiah) and love Him and we will be transformed just as our wives whom we love transform us. My clothes match and my hair is combed because I love and obey my wife. I never pass by a homeless person without helping in some way because I love and obey my Lord.

    Following rules is not enough. Head knowledge alone won’t do. God knew that. That’s why He sent His Son. Do you care that He sent His Son? Do you believe that God’s Son walked among us?

  20. Jim,

    **God sends a person to earth to take on the sins of all mankind (Gen. 3:15, Isaiah 53, Zechariah 12:10, Numbers 21:9, + the entire NT) and that person is not divine? That person is not God Himself in the flesh? Who else could do such a thing? **

    Nothing in the Tanakh verses indicate that God is sending Himself. Genesis 3:15 doesn’t refer to anything taking on the sins, but rather that there’s enminity between the snake’s descendents and Eve’s descendents. Zechariah 12:10 simply says that God shall pour out a spirit of compassion upon people, so that when Israel looks upon those they have pierced, they’ll mourn. Numbers 21:9 just refers to putting a serpent on a pole, so that when a serpent bites someone, that someone must look at the serpent of bronze and they’ll live. Isaiah 53, from a Christian perspective, still has someone that the Lord selected, and is the only verse taken on its own that really hints at a sin sacrifice.

    You say the person has to be divine, but why? Is not nothing impossible for God? Paul specifically sets up a contrast between two men: one brought death, the other brought life. Acts 2 specifically has Peter saying that Jesus was a man selected by God, whom God made Lord and Messiah. Even Philippians 2 has God giving Jesus the name that is above all names. Because even here, the definition of “God” changes from one usage to another. If the person has the powre of God in him, and God working through him, why can’t the person do anything?

  21. OSS,
    All you are showing is that you can look at Scripture any number of ways. Are all interpretations valid? When I look at the whole body of Scripture in light of Jesus Christ, the historical man who changed the world like no other human who ever lived, when I look through that lens the whole thread comes together perfectly. I want to know what happened and what is happening.

    What I do know did not happen is that God selected an ordinary human being to be the Savior of all mankind that would just be human with benefits. Jesus did not leave that option. Aren’t you calling Him a liar? If not, then you’re saying the text of the gospels is dramatically flawed. Then why trust anything they say?

    Anyone could come up with the doubts you have regarding the messianic prophecies, but just looking at Genesis 3:15 shows you are not considering the words themselves. A male offspring of the woman will crush the head of the serpent, crushing the head of sin. That sounds quite final. Do you think this could be accomplished by a human who was not divine?

    Believing in Jesus as Messiah and that He was not divine is double-think for 2 very large reasons. One, it’s a contradiction on its face and two, Jesus claimed to be divine. That’s why they crucified Him. Since there’s nothing more to add to this thread I’ll sign off, but I’ll look forward to reading your responses. Take care.

  22. “God sends a person to earth to take on the sins of all mankind” (Jim)

    Even you use the language of the texts Jim and promote the hierarchy idea – for example – in your sentence ‘God sent…’ – if Jesus is God then he sent Himself? However, if I say that we will never find that passage (doesn’t exist) – the Father sent the ‘son’.

    “Do you care that He sent His Son? Do you believe that God’s Son walked among us?” (Jim)

    What does ‘God’s son’ mean? Apparently we are used in this same terminology and we are not divine – we are just humans adopted by God (via the son named Jesus). It’s actually fairly ironic that Christianity uses these terms about themselves (ie: sons/daughters and call God Father) but never questions their own divinity – we know we are not. Yet we are more than 100% sure Jesus is a literal God – and not just a son – actually God.

    Of course I care He sent His son – and I believe Jesus walked among us – as the ‘son of God’. It does mean something to me theologically – We have a mediator in heaven speaking on behalf of all of us (and not just me). But I think Jesus was created – and the gospels call him human (so does Paul) – for God’s very purpose of dealing with the atonement aspects and creating a path to God for all of us (for clearer communiation).

    But Christianity hears ‘son of God’ and we assume this means divinity everytime we hear it – this is not the case – not even in the Tanakh. Angels were called ‘sons of God’ in Job, we are called ‘sons of God’, and Moses is even made ‘god’ to the Pharoah. The term seems to signify a closeness to God – as in like a ‘son to their Father’ – but nothing about the saying in and of itself means God is into making literal God-children.

    Jesus is charged with blasphemy – but Jim – that clearly never sticks as a charge (and this was the point of the gospel writings – that Jesus was not blaspheming). Heck even in Matthew there are other charges levelled (that actually seem true upon face value) – and none of those charges stuck either. What charge did stick – King.

    “Jesus did not leave that option. Aren’t you calling Him a liar?” (Jim)

    But Paul says Jesus was a human and went through all our struggles – is this true? We see Jesus die – on a cross and is put into a tomb – is this true? Jesus cries and suffers – is this true? Jesus was tempted (by the devil in the wilderness) – is this true? Many things about Jesus are too human and cannot be attributed to God – namely temptation and death – those are things God cannot do (or at least as is stated in the Tanakh).

    But early councils left things out with their reasoning and interpretive wonderings – namely the Tanakh – and attribute to Jesus things only a human can do. But then they make up things (for which we have no proof) – Jesus is 100% human and 100% God – leading to the obvious – then he is NOT HUMAN AT ALL. He looks like a human but he is, as far as I can tell, not a human being (we do not have divinity within us). Nothing about this orthodox position makes logical sense.

    But if Jesus is a human promoted and created by God for the purpose of being Messiah – then we find Paul and the gospels to be at the best – honest.

  23. Jim,

    **Aren’t you calling Him a liar? If not, then you’re saying the text of the gospels is dramatically flawed. Then why trust anything they say?**

    What I find difficult about this response is that it doesn’t address any of the points I mentioned. I bring up Bible verses (and can bring up a lot more) and get told I’m not looking at the full picture, or the whole of the Bible. But this doesn’t address the key points found in those verses — Paul contrasts two men, Peter says that Jesus was a man in Acts 2, the difficulty in defining ‘God’ in Christian theology, the idea of Jesus being “given” something which implies it wasn’t always his from the beginning. Yet to answer my question, you provided specific Bible verses to prove your point.

    (If I’m a little snippish here, I apologize. I’ve encountered this in a few different blogs. I use quotes, I get told I can’t just use quotes but most look at the whole picture, and then the proof of the whole picture is provided by certain quotes which dicate the whole picture., which is exactly what I’m told I can’t do. Yet the points I raise in my quotes are never addressed).

    **but just looking at Genesis 3:15 shows you are not considering the words themselves. A male offspring of the woman will crush the head of the serpent, crushing the head of sin.**
    And where in Genesis does it equte the serpent with Satan? That’s adding to the words. As it is, all of the serpent’s descendents — literal snakes — are punished by having to move on their stomach. Where does it equate crushing the head of the serpent with crushing sin? That’s also adding to the words. Can you come anywhere close to that reading with the text itself? Even if we go with “crush.” Then the serpent, after its head is bruised, crushes the heel of Eve’s seed.

    **Believing in Jesus as Messiah and that He was not divine is double-think for 2 very large reasons. One, it’s a contradiction on its face and two, Jesus claimed to be divine.**

    No, it’s not double-think. The term “Messiah,” as mentioned before, literally means “Anointed One.” Anointed with what? When Judaism anticipated the Messiah, when they wrote about the Messiah, they did not express anything remotely close to God becoming flesh. However, part of our problem is that I am approaching this as though you are saying anyone who is a Messiah is by default divine, because the word “Messiah” means “divine.”

    Second, and this ties into calling Jesus a liar: did Jesus literally say everything in the gospels? I have no doubt that people came to experience Jesus as something extra, something with a very special connection with God, and by partaking in Jesus, they also came to that experience with God. But I see a definite hiearchy in all of the New Testament. The Father is God, and comes first. He gives Jesus all authority and power. He works in Jesus, Christ is God’s heir (and we are joint-heirs with Christ), God choose to have all the God-head dwell in Jesus, God will eventually be all-in-all when all things are sujected to Him, including Christ. Jesus ascends to his God, he grows in grace, he sits at the right hand of the Father, all bow at his name to the glory of God the Father.

  24. I’m sort of bogged down and lost in all this guys. Often, I think we make it more complicated than it is meant to be. Jesus is obtainable to all and it’s not rocket science. I think in simplifying, I would say that God is our Father in Heaven, the Holy Spirit is God’s invisible active force, and Jesus, the Son of God, the image of God on earth.

    OSS, Jesus didn’t want to die because He was all man and shared all the weaknesses that we have. I believe that it was God in Him that enabled Him to overcome that weakness and do what the Father had preordained for Him to do.
    In Christ, we have access to that same Power but we often fail to utilize it.

    Jason, you are right that on our own we are 100% short and that is what makes faith in Christ different from other religions. It isn’t about obeying rules and ordinaces and observing special days, it’s about the way we live and it is a life impossible to live without intervention from God. We have to experience God daily and that begins to take place when we except Jesus Christ for Who He says He is.

    Pam

  25. Pam,

    I’m still not sure how you’re defining obey. You do say that Jesus didn’t want to die, yet also are saying that he perfectly obeyed the Father? So this obedience is in actions, only? Even if there’s a desire that goes contrary to God’s will, that’s not a sin so long as the action is in accordance with God’s will?

    We both agree that Jesus didn’t want to die. Yet it was God in him that allowed him to overcome that weakness, and do the Father’s will. So it was God in Jesus that allowed Jesus to overcome part of his will in order to do another part of his will?

    Just to clarify, I’m not trying to browbeat you into agreeing with me. 🙂 I just want to make sure I’m understanding this clearly, and I know that a dissection like this can seem like an attack.

  26. OSS wrote—-Just to clarify, I’m not trying to browbeat you into agreeing with me. I just want to make sure I’m understanding this clearly, and I know that a dissection like this can seem like an attack.

    Not a dissection so much as it seems like a deconstruction.

    So it was God in Jesus that allowed Jesus to overcome part of his will in order to do another part of his will?

    Have you considered Jesus overcame the man in Him. He was also thirsty and hungry at times. Can God be thirsty or hungry? No. This is what we mean by fully God and fully man. How to explain it perfectly to a decontructionist is impossible. Fully God and fully man is a mystical construct we use to try and get our little brains around what God has done.

    Jesus points us to the Father. So does the Holy Spirit. I’m sure this is a poor analogy but think of Jesus as the sales department of a company, the Holy Spirit as the shipping department and God the Father as the Boss. Same entity, different roles. You can’t think of God as some sort of other person.

    I am going to pick what I think are your key points. When Judaism anticipated the Messiah, when they wrote about the Messiah, they did not express anything remotely close to God becoming flesh.
    I’m confused by “when Judaism anticipated the Messiah”. What do you mean by that?The prophecies were direct revelations from God. Much of what they had to say made the Israelites’ skin crawl. God’s immediate answer to Habakkuk’s call for help was that He was going to send invading armies to wipe them out. That would seem bad for “Judaism”, wouldn’t it?

    I think I smell a rat there, frankly, OSS. I sense a desire to defend modern Judaism. The Messiah was always going to be a person. In the line of Judah, a “son of David”, a suffering servant. The people who are arguing against that are modern Jewish scholars who want to explain why the Messiah hasn’t come yet. There’s even one book out that reasons that modern Jewish believers can be the Messiah if they want to. I think a better resolution than that comes from a good friend of mine who’s Jewish; the Messiah will come at the end times, and he believes in that Messiah, and if it’s Jesus then so be it.

    Now about your question of how do we know for sure what Jesus said, the gospels are unanimous regarding Jesus’ declaration of divinity. It is even at the heart of the reactions of His contemporaries to His message. They gave their lives to promote the divinity of Christ. If that’s not convincing enough for you, how can you be sure of much of anything.

  27. Society, my responses to OSS pretty much covers most of your points as well, although I can’t figure out how you reconcile Jesus as Messiah and not divine. His whole existence was planned by God as a key part of history. Picking Jesus as Messiah is a lot more than, say, picking Wayne Gretsky to be a great hockey player. How does one make this atonement binding? If Jesus was no more than a great philosopher chosen by God to die for the sins of mankind…well, it doesn’t make any sense. And, yes, Jesus’ claim to divinity is unequivocal. Paul repeats the divinity of Jesus in each of his letters so I don’t know what you meant by But if Jesus is a human promoted and created by God for the purpose of being Messiah – then we find Paul and the gospels to be at the best – honest. The aspect of fully God and fully man is as logical as it is inescapable. It’s also the kind of bridge to God one might expect God to provide. Jesus’ life answers all our questions about life itself.

  28. “I can’t figure out how you reconcile Jesus as Messiah and not divine” (Jim)

    Very easy, was it a requirement? Find me that Tanakh passage.

    “If Jesus was no more than a great philosopher chosen by God to die for the sins of mankind…well, it doesn’t make any sense” (Jim)

    I have never called Jesus by that nickname – but cannot God do the impossible? Why is not possible for God to create Jesus for this very purpose…atonement? One only need think to the fact God was accepting the blood of bulls and goats for atonement – now if an animal was acceptable…

    As for the orthodox view of atonement – well that’s where we differ – in its extent. I think Jesus created ‘a way’ to God – access for all to God (in a more intimate way). As for the covering of sins, well Jesus covered the one’s that held us back – now we no longer have a sacrifice…we are responsible solely for our actions before the Almighty God (but we do have a Mediator in Jesus).

    “Jesus’ claim to divinity is unequivocal. Paul repeats the divinity of Jesus in each of his letters” (Jim)

    Jesus’ claim to divinity is based on exactly what I pointed out – interpretation of John’s gospel and a passage from Paul (or interpretation of Paul). The problem with the texts themselves is they are being only seen as literal – ie: son of God means God can make children – type thing. I think we are under-estimating the literary uses of the Judaic faith and their writings. Jesus uses literary examples more than I can imagaine – namely parables – and then he is written in such a way with terms we have no handle for…like ‘son of God’, ‘son of Man’, ‘Christ’, etc. Those terms can be seen in many ways and it is possible we may not be using them according to their original intentions.

    Jesus’ does not claim divinity in Mark…why not? Matthew – I can’t see the claims by Jesus? Luke – again the claims to divinity are lacking. John – based on one’s interpretation – divinity claims out the ‘ying yang’ (I would even say most modern interpretations miss some of the less obvious ones). But to me, John is quite wishy-washy on this subject – in certain places he does not ascribe Jesus divinity…is John double minded on the issue (or worse – confused)? No…my conclusion is John is being misinterpreted for theological causes. Paul also.

    “The aspect of fully God and fully man is as logical as it is inescapable” (Jim)

    If it is so logical – then explain how God can claim human essence by being 100% divine while being 100% human flesh. Is God re-writing the rules – because logically – I am 100% human and 0% divine. That, in and of itself, makes Jesus’ experience and mine 100% different.

    “Jesus’ life answers all our questions about life itself” (Jim)
    I am not disagreeing about this – I accept the teachings as are – and they need to be the purpose and focus of this faith. What we are bantering about is if Jesus was or was not God/divine – and all Jesus likely cares about is if we are getting the teachings down.

  29. Hi Jason
    Societyvs said—Why is not possible for God to create Jesus for this very purpose…atonement?

    I’m sure glad God didn’t pick me for that. I guess I’m not convincing enough. So how’s the weather up there? 😉 Btw, I watched that Hidden From History documentary in full. It boggles the mind that the truth was so suppressed for so long. I’ll put up another post on that again. Take care.

  30. So, Jim, because you have one Jewish friend who doesn’t care if messiah is Jesus, you now think this is a common thing for Jews? Trust me, it isn’t! There is no Jesus in Judaism, not now, not ever.

    And what’s all this talk now about ‘modern’ Judaism as opposed to just Judaism? You didn’t use this terminology before but all of the sudden now it’s everywhere.

  31. Jim,

    **Have you considered Jesus overcame the man in Him. He was also thirsty and hungry at times. Can God be thirsty or hungry? No. This is what we mean by fully God and fully man. **

    Why can’t we take this a step further? Can God die? If God can’t be thirsty or hungry, as those are man-related activities, then God also can’t die — a man related activity. Yet in another post, you tell Society that his God is too small, in relation to the fact that Society says God can’t die. It’s too small of a God if we say God can’t die, yet perfectly logical to say that God can’t eat/drink? Not only that, but if the whole point of the Incarnation is so that God experienced what it was like to be a man, then how much experience was there if God can’t eat/drink/do anything actually human?

    And if Jesus overcame the man in him, because he was God … then how did the man perfectly follow the commandments?

    **How to explain it perfectly to a decontructionist is impossible. Fully God and fully man is a mystical construct we use to try and get our little brains around what God has done.**

    Is it a mystical construct, or fully logical? As Society says, if it’s fully logical, why can it not be comprehended in a logical manner? Why fall back on the mystical aspect? Or the mystery?

    **I’m confused by “when Judaism anticipated the Messiah”. What do you mean by that?**

    Where do I say that the Messiah wouldn’t be a person? Or he wouldn’t be the son of David? But pick any Hebrew text prior to the NT, or an interpretation of that text. Does it say anywhere that the Messiah will be God in the flesh? I’m not talking about modern Judaism, I’m talking about the expectations prior to the arrival of Jesus.

    Here is one website that highlights the Messianic expectations: http://www.aish.com/spirituality/philosophy/Why_Dont_Jews_Believe_In_Jesus$.asp

    **Now about your question of how do we know for sure what Jesus said, the gospels are unanimous regarding Jesus’ declaration of divinity.**

    If you read only the Synoptic Gospels, it is very difficult to come away with the idea of Jesus as God made flesh. I know there are aspects of people saying only God can forgive sin, but the idea of sickness and sin were closely related back then. People could heal sickness by the forgiveness of sins.

    From this website here: http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark02.html

    “As Sanders (1995, p. 213) notes, to say this was not blasphemy. In the Prayer of Nabonius from the Dead Sea Scrolls, it says “I was afflicted with an evil ulcer for seven years…and a gazer [exorcist? healer?] pardoned my sins. He was a Jew.” (Vermes 1981, p66-7). The relationship between sin and sickness was well established in ancient Judaism (Fredriksen 1988, p105). ”

    And saying that we are sure about what Jesus said cannot then be proven by the Gospels themselves. If my question deals with are the gospels 100% what Jesus said, you can’t use the very thing I’m asking about to prove your point. The followers of Jesus is a better example, but I will again to Acts, when they are preaching about the Gospel, such as Acts 2. What they are preaching about is that God choose Jesus, and of the resurrection. That Jesus is the Messiah. But find me one pre-Jesus analysis of the Tanakh that points to the Messiah as God made flesh.

    Like I also said earlier: I believe that they encountered somesthing in Jesus, that they found him as a way to access God. I believe they found him to be the Messiah and the Son of God. But that is not the same as saying that Jesus was God.

  32. Hi Yael,
    Sounds like you really hate Jesus.
    Trust me, it isn’t! There is no Jesus in Judaism, not now, not ever.

    I thought I’d make the distinction between the OT Judaism and the attitude you express. When messianic Jew Sid Roth bravely interviews fellow Jews about Jesus Christ on the streets of New York, it’s amazing the slammed-door reaction he gets. That’s what I mean by Modern Judaism. I see ancient Judaism as anticipating the Messiah while Modern Judaism is more angry at the suggestion they missed it. Cheers. Hope all is well with you.

  33. How is me saying there is no Jesus in Judaism evidence that I really hate Jesus? Jesus is nothing to me at all. It’s a statement of fact, there is no Jesus in Judaism, there never has been.

    I figured you were dabbling in messianics. Sid Roth is a Christian, what kind of reaction do you think Christians trying to evangelize Jews are going to get? Open doors? Come on in?

    Times were pretty tough back in the Roman days. Everyone was looking for an escape in the form of a messiah. Today life is pretty easy for most of us so we’re looking to repair the world, not escape it. Judaism today is angry? Puh-leeze Jim. You are too much sometimes. Not allowing missionaries into our homes and communities does not qualify us as an angry people, it qualifies us as smart! No group should be subject to another group’s attempt to force a different religion on them. Boundaries are good things.

    Live your life as you should and if someone is interested they will let you know. It happens to me all the time, Jim. So, tell me, when was the last time someone came up and said, “Jim, I want to know more about your beliefs. Can I come to church with you? Will you let me read what you’ve written?” Has that ever happened to you? It seems this is quite an uncommon event in the Christian world. The last time that happened to me? Last night. The last time prior to that? Just a few days prior. You see, people aren’t attracted to angry people, they’re attracted to people who are content with their lives. If anyone reads my rabbinic writing blog do they see anger? Don’ t think so. Or my Wisdom blog? No. They will see Jews trying to live Jewish lives.

    You guys have to stop getting so hyper about Jason’s interest in some few Jewish teachings since that seems to cause you to speak ill of Judaism every time I see certain names on comments. How about you instead start talking about what is good with your beliefs? You can beat up on the people who aren’t interested in your beliefs and think that will win them over to your side, a tactic used many times through the ages with limited success, or you can spread out a banquet and show people what you have is something they just might want for themselves. You can spend your time studying your own religion or you can spend your time studying what you think is wrong with mine. Your choice. Sid Roth….Good grief.

  34. OSS, I don’t feel attacked, confused maybe….;-}

    This seems to be the only thing that Jesus seriously had to struggle with, dying in order not to sin against God is not something that comes naturally to human beings. Yes, I believe that it was God in Jesus that finally brought Him to the point of, “Not my Will but Your Will be done”. In the end, He was in full, not partial, submission to His Father. In the end, He did not go kicking and screaming as I probably would. Jesus willingly laid His life down.

    There are many other things that point to Jesus being 100% God such as the temptation in the wilderness when He went 40 days and nights without food and water, a human impossibility. The miracles He performed were also beyond human trickery. Raising Lazerus from the dead is a feat that only God could perform. Jesus obviously had the power not to die but He chose to do as was appointed to Him by His Father for our sake. That is sacrificial giving that can only be described as divine.

    Pam

  35. Pam,

    We may have to conclude the discussoin of the “wills.” I confess that I’m still not following it. I’m guessing that when you say Jesus obeyed, you mean by actions, only? So his desire to not die was not a sin, and thus still allowed him to perfectly follow God? And part of that ability was the God in Jesus that allowed him to say that it was God’s will, not his will that be done. I’d still be left with two different wills in Jesus, with the God-will “overshadowing” the man-will. It would lead to an interesting discussion of free will, though. If we go with the idea that the God part of Jesus overcame the man part, then did the man part freely volunteer to die? Or was he compelled?

    **There are many other things that point to Jesus being 100% God such as the temptation in the wilderness when He went 40 days and nights without food and water, a human impossibility. The miracles He performed were also beyond human trickery. Raising Lazerus from the dead is a feat that only God could perform.**

    I wouldn’t see this as proof of the 100% God, though. After all, the miracles in the Tanakh were also done by humans, or God working through humans. Even rasing the dead — one of the E prophets (sorry, I get them confused: Elisha or Elijah) brought the dead back to life. The apostles were also given the power and authority over all devils, and were able to cure diseases Even with the wilderness — why couldn’t God have kept Jesus alive? Why couldn’t God have worked through Jesus, like He did with those in the Tanakh? Even Acts says that “God anointed [Jesus] with the Holy Spirit and with pwoer. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (10:38) Or even the apostles? If we’re going to say that anyone who performs miracles or brings people back from the dead is God, then wouldn’t we have to qualify quite a few Biblical characters as God?

  36. “I see ancient Judaism as anticipating the Messiah while Modern Judaism is more angry at the suggestion they missed it” (Jim)

    Jim, this is quite a condescending idea (in my opinion) – and it really isn’t backed by fact per se…it’s more an opinion. But the Jewish faith has all the right in the world to question our claims about Jesus as ‘the Messiah’ – due to the fact Jesus did not fulfill all things they expected from the Torah or Prophets. We Christians actually admit this fact – in that we wait for a 2nd coming (for true fulfillment of all that was promised).

    “He went 40 days and nights without food and water, a human impossibility.” (Pam)

    I just heard a story – very recently – about another person that went 40 days and nights without food and water. Now if I could prove if it was true I would – but maybe if we google ir something weird might come up.

    “There are many other things that point to Jesus being 100% God” (Pam)

    I don’t think I am denying Jesus was used by God – and in all your examples that can be seen as part of it. However, as OSS points out, prophets were used this way also. Jesus can do all these miracles and that makes him God? I am not sure I would agree with that – blessed/anointed by god ‘yes I agree’.

  37. Society wrote–“I see ancient Judaism as anticipating the Messiah while Modern Judaism is more angry at the suggestion they missed it” (Jim)

    Jim, this is quite a condescending idea (in my opinion) – and it really isn’t backed by fact per se…it’s more an opinion. But the Jewish faith has all the right in the world to question our claims about Jesus as ‘the Messiah’ – due to the fact Jesus did not fulfill all things they expected from the Torah or Prophets.

    And, responding to what I put in bold, I have all the right in the world to suggest they missed it!! There were two visits by Messiah prophesied, one in which He (capital H) would be humiliated but would rise from the dead (Hosea) and the second in which He would be justified (Psalm 110 et al) and judge the world.

    Yael wrote—-So, tell me, when was the last time someone came up and said, “Jim, I want to know more about your beliefs. Can I come to church with you? Will you let me read what you’ve written?” Has that ever happened to you?

    Today, yesterday, and the day before. Seriously, although this was a better week than usual. I don’t really come across as some demogogue in person. I try to learn something from everybody, even the homeless man my business temporarily adopted. He taught me a lot before our neighbors threw him out. Sid Roth is cool, no?

  38. **There were two visits by Messiah prophesied, one in which He (capital H) would be humiliated but would rise from the dead (Hosea) and the second in which He would be justified (Psalm 110 et al) and judge the world.**

    Except are there any writings, or interpretations of the BIble, that consider these Messianic prophecies, pre-Jesus? It’s one thing to say they all missed it. It’s one thing for people to say that Judaism missed the right prophecies when we have the NT telling us the “correct” interpretation. It’s another thing to consider those prophecies when all we have to go on is the Tanakh itself. For Psalms 110 — pre-Jesus, did anyone read that as a Messianic prophecy? Or just as something directed to a king? We can say Judaism missed it. But would we have done any better had we lived back then?

  39. We can say Judaism missed it. But would we have done any better had we lived back then?

    I’d say that is unknowable, although I’m certain I would not bet on myself.

  40. Jim,
    Sid Roth is an apostate seeking to lead others into apostasy. Perhaps that is cool in your world? In my world I just offer a prayer that he will do teshuva one day and rejoin his people.

    I find it quite pathetic that so many Christians flock to people like him and that ex-Mormon mentioned in another thread, so that these guys are given hero status for seeking to destroy the very ones who at one time were their people. Why this need to make such a fuss? Come to church tonight to hear a shocking expose: Mormonism revealed, taught by someone who left Mormonism! Yeah, and I’m sure he’s unbiased……Come to church tonight to hear this other guy talk about those lying rabbis! Another unbiased source. Always so sensational. Why? So, you can all laud each other? See, I knew we were right! Yes, and those poor people over there had it wrong, too, unlike us….These are guys have become known just because they came from groups where evangelical proselytizing has not been at all effective. The token Mormon, the token Jew.

  41. OSS,

    When we accept Jesus, God also lives in us through Him. Paul calls that the mind of Christ in us. The miracles worked through the apostles were works of God done through them by the power of the Holy Spirit in them. In the OT, the Holy Spirit did not indwell but came upon persons that God chose to use to perform miracles. Miracles are always performed that unbelievers might see them and beleive. They are all the works of God.

    I read the account of Jesus in the garden this morining and He went from , ‘Father take this cup from me’ to ‘Your Will be done’ in one sentence. It is more like Jesus is pouring out His heart to His Father rather than arguing with Him. This passage also gives us the expression, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” Jesus had weak flesh just as we do and from a Godly vantage point was more aware of its weakness than we are. I’m sure His weak flesh was struggling to take the upper hand but Jesus did as we should do and took His weakness to His Father. Jesus was not in disagreement with His Father but His flesh was weak.

    People were not allowed to worship Prophets but in the NT, Jesus did not prevent anyone from worshiping Him. He is not like the other Prophets who God spoke to so that believers would know God’s Will. Jesus is the Living Word. The Law and the Prophets given flesh and blood and lived out, not merely observed and often disobeyed. There was no other human being able to do this. Only God lives this way.

    No one other than Jesus was conceived by the Spirit. His mother was human but His Father was God, He was born man and God. Those of us who receive Him are reborn according to the Spirit. Through faith, we have become what Jesus was the prototype of. The difference is that Jesus never sinned even though He was ‘housed’ so to speak, in weak flesh. When Jesus conquered death and rose again, He received a glorified body that was no longer weak and prone to sin. I believe that when Jesus returns, those who bear His Name will receive the same type of body.
    We are in a process of learning to walk accoriding to the Spirit and the process will end in complete purification from sin and death. We will be just like Jesus.

    There have always been and always will be tricksters who imitate the works of God. They all eventually show themselves to be who they really are. As for those of us who believe, we are to walk by faith and not by sight. Signs and wonders are for a wicked generation, for those who disregard God. They are given as a proof to those who demand proof that they be without excuse.

    Pam

  42. Jason,

    Who you believe Jesus to be is who you believe Him to be. I can’t change that.

    I also stated this in my post to OSS and that is that in the OT, the Holy Spirit came upon persons that God chose to do His Work. Jesus was conceived according to the Spirit and believers in Him are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. These are two separate works of God but all of them are works of God. The works done in the OT are precursor to works done in Jesus’ day and work being carried out now. They aren’t at odds with one another and Christians should not flaunt ourselves as being better than the Jews. God chose Israel early on and there would be no Jesus Christ without them and certainly no Christians today. God chose the Jews and through them the world will be blessed, He is not done with them. He has made them many promises that the fulfillment of will bless us all. We Christians are a called out company of Jews and Gentiles, the body of Christ, and we are a small part of God’s plan for all of us. We have not replaced Israel as the children of God but have been called out that we might also be a blessing to them in an age to come.

    Christians who do not honor the Jews as God’s chosen people don’t have a complete view of who they are in Christ.

    Pam

  43. Pam,

    **They are all the works of God.**
    Yes, but we can also say that given Jesus was anointed with power, that is why he was able to do what he did. He also gave his apostles the power to do what he did, and said if people believed, they’d do the works he did. It doesn’t necessiarly equate that the works themselves make him God.

    **It is more like Jesus is pouring out His heart to His Father rather than arguing with Him. This passage also gives us the expression, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” Jesus had weak flesh just as we do and from a Godly vantage point was more aware of its weakness than we are. I’m sure His weak flesh was struggling to take the upper hand but Jesus did as we should do and took His weakness to His Father. Jesus was not in disagreement with His Father but His flesh was weak.**

    I never read this as Jesus arguing, though. It was always with the point that there was a part of Jesus who didn’t want to go through with what God asked, and so where would that fall in terms of perfect obedience? At one point, his desires were not obeying the will of God. But on the one hand, I have the God in Jesus allowed him to overcome the weakness, and now it sounds like the Father overcome the weakness. And even to say he wasn’t in disagreement … part of him didn’t want to do it. Isn’t that disagreement? Because the aspect of “flesh” doesn’t seem to be used in the same way as saying Jesus was a man. And then to say that Jesus had weak flesh just as we do: isn’t the flesh weak due to sin? You mentioned that he never sinned even though he was “housed” in weak flesh. But again — if there was no sin in the flesh, would the flesh still be weak?

    **The Law and the Prophets given flesh and blood and lived out, not merely observed and often disobeyed. There was no other human being able to do this. Only God lives this way.**

    But if people were in tune with the will of God that completely, as Jesus was, then God would’ve given Jesus the power to obey.

    **People were not allowed to worship Prophets but in the NT, Jesus did not prevent anyone from worshiping Him.**

    This is actually where it gets a bit tricky, depending on how the word “worship” is used. Literally translated, it means to bow down, prostrate oneself. So the Greek word itself can be used in terms of how one approaches GOd, and how one approaches people. The question would be when the people “bowed” to Jesus, were they worshipping him as God, or were they simply acknowleding that Jesus was in a superior position? For instance, Matthew 18:26, with a parable. Where the servent bows down/worships, it’s referring to a physical act. But the Greek word there has been translated as both “bow down” and “worship.” (The word is Proskuneo). We can also see this in such an example like Mark 15:18-19. Jesus was certainly not being worshipped as God there, the soldiers were mocking him. Or with Matthew 28:16-17. All the disciples were prostrating themselves, but not all were believing. This refers to a physical act, because of the doubt. So the question would be if they were worshipping him as God, or behaving as typical in those times, which was to bow down in a situation like that.

    This also happens in the Tanakh — I believe the word in Hebrew translated as worship can also mean to bow down, because people did bow to the prophets.

    **Signs and wonders are for a wicked generation, for those who disregard God. They are given as a proof to those who demand proof that they be without excuse.**

    I would disagree with this, simply because Jesus tells people at one point that if they don’t believe him because of what he’s saying, believe him because of the works he’s doing.

  44. Pam wrote—Christians who do not honor the Jews as God’s chosen people don’t have a complete view of who they are in Christ.

    That’s a key point. I have nothing to add except that you are spot on in each of your comments. Well done.

    Yael,
    It almost sounds as if you’re suggesting we’re supposed to blindly honor the family we were born into. But the first thing that God did was get Abraham away from his family of idol-worshippers.

    These are guys have become known just because they came from groups where evangelical proselytizing has not been at all effective.

    While it’s true they bring a knowledge and perspective that is unique, I don’t think it’s fair to condemn anyone for changing from the faith they were brought up in. I was raised amongst mostly proud agnostics. It took me 30 years to realize that was an oxymoron. And now i love my family more than ever because I’m a committed Christian. So relax. God bless.

  45. Jim,
    I don’t see God taking Abraham away from his family. Terah went part of the way with him, Sarah was his sister, Abraham sent his servant back to the family to find a wife for Isaac, and later his grandson Jacob went to there and married his wives. Geographically Abraham moved away, but he never cut ties to his extended family.

    I’m not sure where you got the idea that because I think these guys dishonor their families and former communities that I advocate blind honoring. There is a medium point of just honoring.

    These guys may not be as knowledgeable as you think. Mostly the former Jews come from secular backgrounds and only studied Judaism after they left. Their studies seem to focus on ‘why I was right to do what I did’ and ‘how I can convince others to join me’. IMO, they seem really insecure. Funny how they never seem to be able to totally leave Judaism. It’s like a kind of love/hate relationship.

    I myself changed religions so I don’t think I’m condemning anyone for leaving, if only they would truly leave. To keep going back trying to destroy is not kosher. I don’t go to church and I don’t study your texts anymore. If I still felt a pull to go to church and read your Bible, I would say I was in the wrong place and needed to return to Christianity.

    You know, Jim, I am relaxed. We’ve always disagreed. The difference is that before you started reading and quoting all the messianic garbage you used to at least respect the path I’ve chosen, even if you disagreed with it.

  46. Why does a good (or valid) Jewish faith have to be a Messianic one? Jim, do you think the Jewish faith will see the other side of heaven without the Messiah? Is their faith valid – or has Christianity replaced Judaism? I mean, from listening to your last few comments – it would seem you think the Jewish faith is an illegitimate child now?

    Inquiring minds would like to know?

  47. OSS,

    Jesus also said that signs and wonders are for a wicked generation. That blends perfectly with His telling them that if they didn’t believe Who He was to at least believe because of His works. Also, in the parable of Lazurus, it is stated that even if one came from Heaven people would not believe. There are many people in the world that just won’t believe, period. I am thankful that God has given it to me to believe in Jesus and to believe apart from any miracle and without even ever seeing Him. Some call this fallacy upon my part but I know it is a precious gift from God.

    Jesus could not disobey Himself even if the weak body He dwelt in upon the earth did not want to die. Flesh can’t be made strong but it can be subdued by the Spirit. (Flesh when it makes itself strong rises up in pride which is also sin. Our own natural way (what the Bible calls flesh) is always sin.)Jesus subdued His weak flesh even to the point of taking on all the sins of all the world and dying to pay the penalty of them. This is not a human act. This is divine. Jesus acknowledging the weakness of His flesh to His father is not disobedience but an example for us to follow in our own struggle with our own sin.

    I think in the book of Revelation, (I’ll look it up if you don’t recall on your own what I’m speaking of) there is an account of John falling down at the feet of an angel and the angel telling him to get up, that he must never worship an angel but God only. There are simular situations with Jesus and those who fall down before Him are never admonished not to do so. That is the reason that I say that Jesus never prevented anyone from worshiping Him. Also, many were healed simply by their faith in Jesus and not through any action of Jesus. They were not admonished for putting their faith in Jesus but praised. Also consider that “Jesus did not consider it robbery to make Himself equal with God”.

    I too think it is important to find out as much as possible how the people of the time viewed things but I don’t think trying to discern what the majority of Jewish people of Jesus’ day were looking for in the Messiah will help us decide Who Jesus is. There were many Jews who did accept Him as Messiah and of course, I agree with them because I accept Him as Messiah too. Others did not see what they were looking for in Jesus and many still don’t today. One side will never convince the other side because it is the Holy Spirit that draws us to faith in Christ. I believe there will come a day when all are convinced as is stated “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord.” This will come in God’s own timing and is a unity of the human family that we can’t immitate or bring before its time. God’s unity will never come under the uniformity of religion for God’s unity allows for great diversity and can only be brought about by Him.

    I do think such conversation is useful in aiding each of us in solidifying our own beliefs and we may even add to one anothers knowledge a bit but we can’t change another human being and make them see as we see. Only God can change a heart.

    Pam

  48. Pam,

    **Jesus also said that signs and wonders are for a wicked generation. That blends perfectly with His telling them that if they didn’t believe Who He was to at least believe because of His works. Also, in the parable of Lazurus, it is stated that even if one came from Heaven people would not believe. There are many people in the world that just won’t believe, period. **

    It’s not a matter of people “won’t” believe, it’s that they can’t. There isn’t a part of them that knows the truth deep down, they truly don’t see it as true. It would be like asking you to believe that you can fly.

    I also don’t think the John verse ties into the signs and wonders, because Jesus is telling them that if he’s not acting as his Father would, don’t believe him. But if he is acting as his Father would, accept that evidence in terms of the deeds. How else could they judge if Jesus was acting as the Father unless they went by the deeds themselves?

    In terms of the Lazarus parable, I never read that as regarding any sort of faith in Jesus. If the rich man had treated Lazarus better, as the Torah required, I don’t think he would’ve ended up where he did.

    What it would also depend on is the context of the wicked generation … would it make a difference if they were asking after alrready knowing the answer, compared to a seeker encountering Jesus for the first time?

    **Jesus could not disobey Himself even if the weak body He dwelt in upon the earth did not want to die.**

    Don’t we then lose something if we say that Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father, since we couldn’t? If he couldn’t disobey himself, then how could he have truly struggled? He was never going to disobey. I also kind of see a switch here, because we started with the idea that Jesus did not want to die, and now we have that the weak body he was in didn’t want to die. But isn’t saying the body he was in didn’t want to die different than saying Jesus himself didn’t want to die?

    **I think in the book of Revelation, (I’ll look it up if you don’t recall on your own what I’m speaking of) there is an account of John falling down at the feet of an angel and the angel telling him to get up, that he must never worship an angel but God only. There are simular situations with Jesus and those who fall down before Him are never admonished not to do so. That is the reason that I say that Jesus never prevented anyone from worshiping Him.**

    But falling down before someone is not equal with worship simply because someone falls down. Look at the Matthew 18:26 verse, where it says that “The servent fell down, did him homage …” the same word that is tranlsated as worshipped is translated there as “did him homage/worshipped him/prostrated.” The Greek word Proskuneo does not mean worship of God only. To “proskuneo” to a person, as that servent did, does not mean you are worshipping someone as God. Or look at Revelations 3:9 : “I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews are are not, but are lying — I will make them come and bow down before your feet …” In the King James version, that “bow down” is translated as worship.

    In the Revelations 22:8, we are clearly told that the man falling down is doing so as an act of worship to God. We aren’t told that in the Gospel verses. We are simply told of their physical action, which is that they prostrated themselves. Which they would do to anyone who was superior to them, such as Jesus, given his proclimations to being the son of God and the Messiah.

    ** Also, many were healed simply by their faith in Jesus and not through any action of Jesus. They were not admonished for putting their faith in Jesus but praised. Also consider that “Jesus did not consider it robbery to make Himself equal with God”.**

    That last line also depends on the translation. I see that entire verse as a comparison from Jesus to Adam. It has also been translated along the lines of: “Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited.” It’s also been, “did not regard equality with God as something to be seized” or even “did not seize at equality with God.”

    Because Jesus did not grasp at this, like Adam can been to have done, and Jesus did empty himself and obey God, he was exalted and given the name above all names. It’s not the same as saying Jesus is God.

    I would need specific verses in terms of the faith option you raised.

    **One side will never convince the other side because it is the Holy Spirit that draws us to faith in Christ. I **

    I may be a minority in this, but I do think that sides can be convinced. Reason should play a role, if we are to love God with our whole mind, and if God tells “Come, let us reason together …”

  49. Reasoning is fine but I think arguing to win when it comes to faith is a mistake. (I’m not saying that is what your intent is). We can all learn from each other but trying to make one another over into our own image or not leaving room for another to disagree or be different is just wrong. None of us can fully comprehend God.

    Jesus was born of a woman. He is the Son of Man. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Sprit. He is the Son of God. You have no problem assigning HIm the attributes of His mother, why strip Him of the attributes of HIs Father. My chidren are part me and part my husband so too is Jesus part His mother and part His Father. Jesus is man and Jesus is God. To look upon the face of Jesus is to look into the face of God, He is the express image of God in bodily form. If it were wrong to worship Him, He would not have allowed people to fall down before Him so that many, like me, would misconstrue it as worship. It is not in His character to take anything that is not His due. I am not likely to see the face of Jesus in this lifetime but I look forward to the day that I can look upon Him and when I do, I know that I will have seen the face of God. I will fall down when I see Him and worship because His is the Son of God. Jesus does not need to seize power that He already has. (what were the different translations you referred to regarding this?) It is true that Adam and Eve wanted to be like God and have power over their own destiny by choosing between good and evil. In the OT it say “you are gods but you will perish into the dust because of your own iniquity.” Adam too was made in the image of God but decided to be his own God and cut himself off spiritually from God. To do so is certain death. The Son of God came so that we might be restored to God spiritually and live. Only God bestows life and Jesus says of HImself that He is the life. In Hebrews it is written that all things visible were made through Him. He is not just an ordinary man with a special annointing.

    I don’t think I switched as far as the weakness of Jesus flesh. I may have misspelled a word or not explained myself as clearly the first time or second time. I do know that Jesus did not as His Father to make Him strong so that He could go through with dying on the cross. He simply said, “You Will be done”. His flesh was subdued by the Spirit, brought under the control of the Spirit not strengthened. Paul also said that when he was weak he was strong. When we are aware of our weaknesses and allow the Spirit of God to subdue our flesh then the works of God can be accomplished in us and through us. We can’t accomplish the works of God by our own might. Jesus the Son of Man could not obe God apart from Jesus the Son of God. These two were one and the same in Him and He could not disobey Himself. He also was appointed to die and the Will of God can’t truly be thwarted.

    I know there are people who can’t believe. We do not choose faith in Jesus, (or our choice is the responsive action while God’s is the directive) instead, it is the Father Who gives us to Jesus for His purpose. Still the miracles are given so that those who don’t believe are without excuse and those who do believe are encouraged by them. The Bible says that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord. Someday, everyone will be able to believe. This is my hope for the human family.

    Pam

  50. Pam,

    **Jesus was born of a woman. He is the Son of Man. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Sprit. He is the Son of God. **

    Question — why couldn’t we apply this to Adam, who was also created directly by God?

    The other part I need to break down a bit. (And get a little technical, because why not just say conceived directly by God Himself? Why say conceived by the Holy Spirit?) I’ve never read the virgin birth stories as a way to demonstrate that Jesus is both man and God. I’ve always read them as a way of demonstrating that Jesus is meant to serve a specific purpose, and has been specially created by God (and for Matthew, to specifically fulfill a prophecy). But the difficulty in comparing our children to Jesus is that our children are part us and part the father. If the example must match, then Jesus would only be part both. Yet he is 100% both. Our children are not 100% us and 100% the father. They are a merging of both.

    But to say that Jesus is God … I run afoul of the idea that “No man hath seen God, but the Only Son has made God known. John 1:18. Or “God has never been see by any man, but God dwells in us if we love one another.” (1 John 12). Or Jesus saying that the goal is for people to know the one, true God, and Jesus Christ, whom the one true God has sent. Or Acts 2, saying that God worked miracles through Jesus, singled the man Jeuss out, and then God raised him to life, and made him Lord and Messiah. Or Jesus saying he has been given all power and authority. There’s just too much a subordination there for me.

    Even with the idea of Jesus as the image of the invisible God — I agree with that, but I don’t see that as saying Jesus is God. (For one thing, I don’t see it saying that because of how Colossians 1 is using the word God. The very God that reconciles all things to Himself through Christ is this same God who made the choice to have the complete being of God dwell, and it is this God who Christ is the image of, and this very Christ is the firstborn of all creation. Though I’m feeling that the “creation” there means firstborn from the dead, though commentators go either way) That, and if we say something is the “image” of, that means that there’s is an original, and then a reflection/copy. But the copy is not the same as the original. Without an original, there can be no image.

    Then there’s the Son of God aspect. To say that Jesus being the Son of God means that Jesus is God means the word “God” breaks down. What it’s not saying is that Jesus is the Son of the Father, and so Jesus is the Father. But when Jesus is constantly pointing to God, such as saying, “Trust in God, trust also in me” or telling people that he is going unto their God and his God, that is the God that he is saying he’s the son of. So to me, there’s God, and there’s Jesus, the son of God.

    **f it were wrong to worship Him, He would not have allowed people to fall down before Him so that many, like me, would misconstrue it as worship. It is not in His character to take anything that is not His due. **

    But he would have allowed people to fall down before him, because that is how the society functioned back then. You fell down before superiors back then. That’s even what people did in the Medievil societies. There was an entire hierarchy to follow, and it was common behavior in all of the Roman Empire. You prostrated yourself before kings and people of power. It’s not Jesus taking something that is not his due — if he were the Messiah, it was his due for people to bow down to him. It would have been abnormal of him to not allow them to bow down.

    If Jesus was seen as the Son of God/Messiah or even someone in a general position of power then people prostrated themselves. That was how the society functions. But I think the reason why so many see that as worship is because in today’s times, worship was combined with a physical act. How that word is translated depends directly on who the object is. Matthew 8:2, the king james version has “worship” there. A lot of other translations simply go with “bow down.” Same with Matthew 9:18: it’s either worship or bow down. But bowing down is not synonmous with worshipping God. It can’t be, in that society. And we don’t clearly have the idea that those who bow down are doing so because Jesus is God. The text doesn’t say that.

    The thing is, I feel that the reason so many read that as “worshipping God” is because that’s how the word gets translated. I dont’ think there’d be the same complication if it was always prostrated themselves, because in today’s times, worship really only means reverence to God. In those times, Proskueno functioned for both prostration to a superior or reverence to God (or both). But the Greek word does not only mean “reverence to God.” Even in the times of the King James translation, worship could also go along the lines of the act of prostration. Today, it doesn’t.

    **Jesus does not need to seize power that He already has. (what were the different translations you referred to regarding this?) **

    But it doesn’t say he already has that power — the different ideas in translation are from NASB “… did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped” or the New English Bible “He did not think to snatch at equality with God …” Or the HarperCollins Study Bible: “did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited (and the text notes that it literally means “seized” as in robbery). It also has to do with what the word translated as “robbery” means: from what I understand, the word for robbery is a “verbal noun” “harpagmos,” which is based off of a verb “harpazo,” which deals with definitions as snatch away, carrying off, seizing, overpowering, captivating, but it always deals with something that the person does not yet have.

    Hence why some commentators go with the comparison to Adam, since it’s something Paul has done before. What Adam did, Jesus did not, and that is why God exalted Jesus, and gave him the name above all names. Even with Jesus saying he is the life — why can’t he be the life becaues God decided that? With the Hebrews quote, are you referring to Hebrews 1:10? Or Hebrews 11:3? Both do say that the Lord formed the earth, or that the word of God made things visible. However, Hebrews starts with the idea that God spoke through a son, through whom he also created the worlds. I always saw tying the word of God with creation going back to Genesis 1, where God spoke. God used the Word to create.

    But there are also quite a few verses that speak of Jesus anointed with power, and anointed with the spirit — why would he need to be anointed with either if he already possessed both?

    **These two were one and the same in Him and He could not disobey Himself. He also was appointed to die and the Will of God can’t truly be thwarted.**

    The problem I have is that if Jesus can’t disobey himself, how much of a struggle was this truly? He was never going to say no — he couldn’t, if he were God. The flesh was never going to get the upper hand. The reason I mentioned the switch is because there’s a different impression given between saying “JEsus did not want to die” and “The weak body he was in didn’t want to die.” The latter can say, “Jesus didn’t want to die, it was just his body.” It seperates Jesus from his body, in a way.

    Sorry, Pam, this got really long. If your eyes are crossed by the end of this, I wouldn’t be surprised. I think mine are, and I wrote it. 🙂

  51. To know Jesus is to know God. Jesus and the Father are One. I know there are different ways of reading these statements also. I even used to argue as you know argue but after knowing Jesus for 32 years, I’ve had a change of heart and mind. To be honest, I really don’t know how Jesus is both man and God but I know that He is. I also believe that is the destiny of believers. When we first believe in Jesus we become a new creature, part human and part God, and we spend the rest of our earthly lives growing into that new identity. Neither Jesus nor those who are born again in spirit when they believe in Him are usurping the Power of God or taking His authority. It is the way we were intended to be.

    Adam was not born but created and he was also created in the image of God. That doesn’t mean that God made Adam to look like Him. God is Spirit and invisible. He made man as His image to reflect Himself into the Creation. He made us to have constant communion and fellowship with Him. When Adam sinned that spiritual connection was cut off and Adam was no longer the image of God. I don’t think God was surprised by this. I view it as a part of His own plan for His Creation. He knew what Adam would do and He knew what He would do about it. Even you and I were known to Him from the foundation of the world.

    Truly, I don’t know how God made the worlds through His Son. I just accept it now. I guess I’m old enough as a believer now that I don’t question and struggle with things the way I did when I was young. I’ve learned many things the hard way and now I say, “Teach me easy, Lord.” I am more willing to just to take Him at His word. I think that is the heart of this discussion also. I believe Jesus is God and what I read confirms that belief. You believe that He is not God and what you read confirms that belief. That is the crux of faith. We have to believe before we can understand. In matters of faith, when our heart is right with God then our head clears up also. It is not that it is unreasonable to have faith. Believing in Jesus does not mean we check our reason at the door but we reason from a different position than our own point of view. We reason from God’s point of view which is nothing like our own and takes time to develop. I don’t understand everything written in scripture but I know that when I read something that seems to contradict that contradiction is in me and not in what God has written through men that is the Bible. I still have questions but many have been answered in a way that satisfies me and this has come directly from God to me through Jesus living in me. I have never been reasoned into any belief and I know I have not reasoned, or debated, or argued anyone into changing their mind either. I’m not a manipulator so I’ve never tried that.;-} It has always been God Who first drew me to Christ and educated me in the faith since that time. I do believe that Christian fellowship does improve us as in Proverbs is state that “iron sharpens iron” our words and actions can have the effect of slowly dripping water that causes change that is inperceptable (sp?). Some things can be washed away and others can be built up as dripping water builds by the minerals within it and the change is in all envolved rather than from one side to another.

    Anyway, I’m old and stubborn so you aren’t likely to sway me, sweetie. I have enjoyed this conversation and I’m glad to meet someone who is at least, as verbose as I am!:0)

    Pam

  52. Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require
    any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help
    would be really appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s