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Testimony for Yeshua's Sake

 

 

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A Reply to the Call: "Anyone with Evidence for His Acquittal Shall Come and Present It"

 

 

This Evidence is Provided via Needed Corrections to the Churchs Teachings

 

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Yohanan Ben Zechariah the Cohen proclaimed his good news of the imminent Kingdom of Heaven to all Israel.

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Yohanan Ben Zechariah splashed pure water on everyone in Israel who repented in order to purify them.

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Yohanan initiated fulfillment of the Kingdom prophecy in Ezekiel 36 and did not invent a new ritual of his own accord.

 

O mortal, when the House of Israel dwelt on their own soil, they defiled it with their ways and their deeds; their ways were in My sight like the uncleanness of a menstruous woman. So I poured out My wrath on them I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries: I punished them in accordance with their ways and their deeds.

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I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you back to your own land. I will sprinkle [splash] clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes. And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh; and I will put My spirit into you. Thus I will cause you to follow My laws and faithfully to observe My rules. Then you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be My people and I will be your G‑d. (Ezekiel 36:17-19; 24-28)  JPS Tanakh

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Multitudes gladly welcomed Yohanan. Nevertheless, many did not believe his besorah. Israel's leaders ignored Yohanan and rejected Yeshua of Nazareth as Messiah. Thus Hashem postponed the Kingdom. Despite the delay, the Yohanan's rite splashing pure water promised by Ezekiel is an indispensible part of Israels heritage, and the commandment remains in force to this day.

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Yohanan compared and likened his work of splashing pure water to the work of the Messiah coming after him who pours out the Ruach Hakodesh abundantly.

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Yeshua the Messiah met Yohanan in the wilderness and participated in his purification rite. Yeshua even endorsed this purification of the people to the national leadership when he met them in the Temple thus, according to Messiah Yeshua, the Jewish people are obligated to accept Yohanans work of preparing for the Kingdom and to participate in Israels purification.

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Yeshua the Messiahs disciples also performed this national purification in parallel with Yohanan and his disciples. After Yeshua arose in resurrection, his disciples continued to purify Israel in the name of Yeshua the Messiah who arose from the dead. In other words, the disciples performed their deeds by his authority.

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, βαπτίζω () . , , διαφόροις βαπτισμοῖς. " " "" , ". , .

Followers of Messiah Yeshua recorded the important issues that came to pass in Greek they used a colorful group of words with a wide range of use, of which the verb βαπτίζω (baptizo), emphasizes the complete change in the condition of an object usually the change relates to purification or sanctification or unification. For example, the author of Hebrews used the noun baptismos, which is derived from baptizo, and wrote that the Torah contains διαφόροις βαπτισμοῖς. Clearly the meaning is "various kinds of purifications" because "tevilah" () is not found in the Torah even once, nor in the Tanakh. Careful investigation in the New Covenant writings into the words derived from baptizo reveals that these words often bear the meaning of purify, and that the proper surname for Yohanan should thus be the Purifier, not the Immerser.

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Thus in contrast to Hebrew translations of the New Covenant writings Yohanan purified and sanctified with water, and Yeshua purifies and sanctifies with the Ruach Hakodesh.

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In contrast to versions of the New Covenant writings in Hebrew, Yohanan did not dip or immerse anyone nor did Yeshua the Messiah dip or immerse anyone.

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In complete contradiction to the Churchs teaching, Yeshua the Messiah never annulled nor replaced the national purification of Israel, which Yohanan had first performed.

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" " βαπτίζω " .

In complete contradiction to the Churchs teaching Yeshua the Messiah never commanded his disciples to perform a new water rite for gentiles in Matthew 28:19 instead the word βαπτίζω which appears in the verse relates to a complete change in the nature of the gentiles who leave idolatry and receive sanctification of their souls by a true knowledge of Israels G-d.

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In the New Covenant writings a comparison occurs between Yohanans work with water and Messiah Yeshuas work with the Ruach Hakodesh this comparison appears six times in the four gospels and the book of Acts there are two critical aspects to this comparison: 1) there is no confusion between water and the Ruach Hakodesh 2) there is no hint of a new water rite that replaces Israels national purification.

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Thus, in complete contradiction to the Churchs teaching, there is no Christian baptismal rite there is only a positive command for Israel for a national purification with purifying water, proclaimed by Yohanan; after Messiahs resurrection this purification was performed in the name of Yeshua the Messiah who had endorsed it every Jew who repents and trusts Yeshua the Messiah ought to participate in it.

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Even so, there is a much more wonderful promise to the people of Israel, which is also more important than any water rite and this is the promise of the out-poured Ruach Hakodesh on the people by Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua pours out the Ruach Hakodesh to fulfill the wish of Moshe rabbenu: But Moses said to him, Are you wrought up on my account? Would that all the Lords people were prophets, that the Lord put His spirit upon them! JPS Tanakh.

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Messiah Yeshua pours out the Ruach Hakodesh with joy on those who trust him, as in accord with Joel 2, which is quoted in the Acts of the Apostles 2:17-18:

 

"And in the last days it shall be, G-d declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy."

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In complete contradiction to the Churchs teaching, the true experience of receiving the Ruach Hakodesh is not dependent on a water rite. In other words, one cannot infer reception of the Ruach Hakodesh simply because of participation in a water rite.

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The experience of receiving the Ruach Hakodesh described in the New Covenant compares to incidents in the Tanakh where people underwent dramatic experiences with no dependence on water for example the seventy elders in Numbers 11 and the house of Cornelius the Roman centurion in Acts 10.

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Thus, in contradiction to the Church's teaching, the experience of receiving the Ruach Hakodesh is actually described in the epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 4 verse 5: One Lord, one faith, one "baptism" [one purifying washing by the Ruach Hakodesh]. This verse in no way refers to a water rite. Thus this issue reception of the Ruach Hakodesh is one of the most important for Messiah Yeshua regarding his followers. Everyone who trusts him, whether Jew or gentile, is promised to undergo this personal experience.

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Shaul of Tarsus lived as a Torah observant Pharisee, and also as a Messianic emissary to the gentiles. In his proclamation of the good news he emphasized the foundational internal change caused by the Ruach Hakodesh, which follows repentance and trust in Messiah Yeshua. Shaul and all the Jewish apostles proclaimed that Yeshua died and rose in resurrection to establish the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:

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31 See, a time is comingdeclares the L‑rdwhen I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers, when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, though I espoused themdeclares the L‑rd. 33 But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these daysdeclares the L‑rd: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their G‑d, and they shall be My people. 34 No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, Heed the L‑rd; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Medeclares the L‑rd. For I will forgive their iniquities, And remember their sins no more. 35 Thus said the L‑rd, who established the sun for light by day, the laws of moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea into roaring waves, whose name is L‑rd of Hosts: 36 If these laws should ever be annulled by Medeclares the L‑rdonly then would the offspring of Israel cease to be a nation before Me for all time.

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In contradiction to the Churchs teaching, Shaul-Paul never annulled Torah observance for the people of Israel. However, Shaul clearly emphasized that in Hashems eyes one is not guiltless who keeps mitzvot, but who has not turned to Yeshua the Messiah, nor received the Gift promised for the last days from him, the Ruach Hakodesh. Only in this way does one receive the inner change of a new heart and a new spirit.

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Shaul-Paul stressed that gentiles need not observe the 613 commandments of the Torah as long as they received a new heart and a new spirit, following repentance and trust in Messiah Yeshua nevertheless, he expected their dramatic change of conduct and described them as holy ones of the Holy One, blessed is he.

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The body of followers of Yeshua the Messiah was supposed to contain a remnant of Torah observant Jews and a remnant of repentant gentiles who abandoned idolatry all walking as holy ones of the Holy One, blessed is he.

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There was never given to the gentile Church the authority to demand that Jewish followers of Messiah Yeshua (heaven forbid) transgress mitzvot of the Torah.

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In the same way, there was never given to Jewish followers of Messiah Yeshua the authority to demand complete Torah observance by gentile followers of Yeshua the Messiah.

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Hashem, G-d of Israel, exists from eternity past and forever more, outside the limitations of time. Moses wrote in his psalm: Before the mountains came into being, before You brought forth the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity You are G‑d. (Ps 90:2). The Holy One, blessed is he, has a foundational, prominent attributehe expresses himself in what is called d'var Hashem. Thus it is written in connection with creation of the universe: By the word of the L‑rd the heavens were made, by the breath of His mouth, all their host. (Ps 33:6). Clearly Hashem's capacity of expression is completely different from human speech.

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Since indeed the attribute of expression exists in the Holy One, blessed is he, could it be that before creation of the universe Hashem was (heaven forbid) eternally silent without expression? This simply cannot be. The foundational truth is that Hashem expresses himself fully and completely from eternity to eternity. Hashem expresses all his infinite being in his eternal Word or Expression (Dvar or Logos). Thus, the Word of Hashem reflects Hashem completely. Therefore, this infinite D'var is certainly worthy of being called the Son. It is important to emphasize that the Word of Hashem is not self-existent, and is completely contingent on Hashem the Father who expresses him. The Son is completely dependent on the Father. Even in the Siddurs prayers there is a strong hint both of the Words glory and dependence on the Father. One rises and says, Baruch shey-amar vav-hay-yod-hay. Thus the Word of Hashem bears the glory of Hashem, but the vav emphasizes dependence on the Father who speaks. Even so, the Word of Hashem is known in the New Covenant writings as the radiance of the glory of G-d and the exact imprint of his nature, of Hashem the Father (Heb 1:3).

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Concerning the attributes of Yeshua: it is clear that the individual, Yeshua of Nazareth, was a man of flesh and blood and possessed a human nature similar to the rest of humankind. But he was also differentiated in the same sense that Adam the first human was different from his offspring: Adams body was created from earth, without father and mother. Similarly, Yeshuas body was created in his mothers womb, but instead of earth, Hashem used the flesh of his mother. This creative act is similar to the creation of Eve, from the rib that Hashem had taken from the man. Thus Yeshua is certainly flesh and blood, and an offspring of Adam, Avraham, and David because of his mother. Yeshua is fully human. But Yeshua is also different from the rest of humanity and did not inherit the natural tendency toward sin. Because of this he is worthy to be the holy Redeemer for the Holy One, blessed is he.

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Yeshua indeed distinguished himself from the rest of humanity and stated that he existed before the creation of the universe it is clear he is talking about a spiritual existence, not flesh and blood.

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In fact, the Word of Hashem entered the creation in order to take on the role of Messiah Ben David, and that in accord with the divine emptying (kenosis tzimtzum) that permitted the universes creation. In this way Yeshua the Messiah is both flesh and blood and a complete human being, and he is also the spiritual Word of Hashem who existed before the creation of the universe.

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Regarding the spiritual nature of Yeshua: The Torah contains supporting testimony to the idea that a man of flesh and blood who is unique and fundamentally different from the remainder of humanity can exist. Every human being is composed of flesh and blood, and spirit (ruach). Thus it is written in the Torah, Numbers 16:22 O G-d, the G-d of the spirits of all flesh! and Numbers 27:16 Let the L-RD, the G-d of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation and also Ecclesiastes 12:7 And the dust returns to the earth as it was, And the spirit returns unto G-d who gave it The unique personality of each human is based on flesh and spirit (ruach). Thus Yeshua of Nazareth is truly a man like all other humans of flesh and blood and human spirit, but he is also the Word of Hashem which was made flesh, and the fulness of deity. Thus he is different from the rest of humanity because of his unique spiritual attributes.

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Yet the title with which Yeshua described himself son of G‑d was already applied to Israel. It is written in Deuteronomy 14:1, You are children of the L‑rd your G‑d. Thus there is a hint in the Torah for the words of Yeshua as he describes himself as son of man, son of David, and son of G‑d. Nevertheless, again, the Dvar Hashem in Yeshua existed before creation, and thus he is different from the rest of humanity.

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King David received faithful promises about his kingdom from Hashem. For example, Natan the prophet declared in Hashem's name: Your house and your kingship shall ever be secure before you; your throne shall be established forever (2 Sam 7:16). Thus Israel waits for a Messiah from the house of David.

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Yet Natan the prophet pronounced another grave prophecy for the house of David:  Therefore the sword shall never depart from your Housebecause you spurned Me by taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite and making her your wife. (2 Sam 12:10). If so, how can the Messiah of the house of David ever bring everlasting shalom to the people of Israel, when the sword of violence is set against the house of David forever? To this question Hashem has already provided a stunning answer. Yeshua, King Messiah, suffered the swords violence, for he exposed himself to death (Isa.53:12). Afterward, he arose in resurrection to life everlasting, while still bearing in his body the scars from the sword. He bears those scars forever. The scars also represent the New Covenant that endures forever. And that is in addition to and in parallel with Brit Milah that Yeshua also bears in his body forever. Thus Yeshua of Nazareth is certainly worthy of the title King Messiah!

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Messiah Yeshua ascended to heaven after his resurrection, and that was two thousand years ago. But when the birth pangs of Messiah reach their peak in coming days, Yeshua will surely come with the clouds of heaven and with the armies of heaven and he will gather to himself all who love him. And in accordance with what is written: It will be a time of trouble, the like of which has never been since the nation came into being. At that time, your people will be rescued, all who are found inscribed in the book (Dan. 12:1) Yeshua will save the people of Israel; he will reign over Israel and rule the entire world with a rod of iron.

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