Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Response to yet another Jesus-rejecter...

Chaz Miller (the author of the lies in this screen shot) is clearly smitten with the rabbi’s explanations and he is blind to the essence of "forgiveness" vs "afterlife". 

Okay, this is going to be long, for there is no true, easy explanation.

There are two issues here.
  First is the forgiveness of sins during our earthly life, and the second is eternal life after death.  Miller seems convinced that forgiveness of sins automatically includes eternal life with Hashem.  But with or without the Temple, we all have access to forgiveness of our unintentional sins during our earthly lives by repentance and returning our hearts to Hashem.  So, there is more here than he realizes.

Miller is plain wrong to make his assumption that his sins are [automatically] forgiven and that he is therefore "saved" like Daniel who could not offer sacrifices at the Temple.  Daniel was in Babylon, and the several kings he lived under demanded that people of the kingdom worship the king.  But Daniel did not.  Daniel continued to live by the Word, and only worshiped Hashem.  That contributed to Daniel's righteousness.

Daniel – who was TRULY righteous, and “favored by Hashem” -  was not able to bring sacrifices because (1) he was not in Jerusalem; and (2) the Temple was destroyed during his lifetime.    (Daniel was 3 times called "a man greatly loved" by Hashem! - Daniel 9:23, 10:11 and 19).  Not many of us can make that claim!

Further, Hashem made it clear that He does NOT "automatically" forgive sin, or offer eternal life to an unrepentant sinner! In Ezekiel 14 we read that Israel had (once again) separated themselves from Hashem, completely turning from Torah.  Hashem says he would destroy animals and people alike as a result (vs 13), but that "even if these three men were in it [living at that time] — Noach, Dani'el and Iyov (Job) — they would, by their righteousness, save only themselves" (vs 14). 

So, if Mr. Miller thinks he is going to be saved just because "all my sins are forgiven by Hashem," he has a rude awakening ahead; for we are told that humans DIE when they sin:

Ezekiel 18:4 "All lives [nephesh] are Mine; the life [nephesh] of the parent and the life [nephesh] of the child are both Mine. The person [nephesh] who sins, only he shall die." (JPS Tanakh; I have inserted "nephesh" where it appears in the original Hebrew.)

So, recognizing that Mr. Miller is NOT Daniel, how do we obtain eternal life without the Temple sacrifices? How does our nephesh, which belongs to Hashem (Ezekiel 18:4), join Him when our earthly bodies die?  Well, first, we live our lives righteously (or as righteously as we can).  Since we are not perfect, we will sin from time to time.

But we can return to righteousness by our repentance and returning to a conscious obedience to Torah.  Our purpose in life is to live for Hashem and be obedient (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Being "righteous" alone, however, is not enough for the nephesh to be "saved"; that is, for our soul [nephesh] to be with Hashem when we die.  

Being "saved" requires, in addition to living righteously, the substitution on the altar - a "redemption" if you will - of a nephesh for your nephesh.  This was ALWAYS required, and with or without the temple, it is still required.  Most people don't understand this. 

"For the life [nephesh] of the flesh is in the blood, and I have assigned it to you for making expiation for your lives upon the altar; it is the blood, as life [nephesh], that effects expiation." (Leviticus 17:11, JPS Tanakh). 

Most Jewish rabbis dismiss this verse as only addressing individual sins or only condemning the consumption of blood; sins which can be atoned for by other means; thus, they dismiss that the expiation of sin by blood is required.

So… the Jewish rabbis miss the point.  Annually at Yom Kippur, at the Temple, the people were both atoned for in their earthly lives (the goat released to Azazel, Leviticus 16:21), and they were purified, "ta'her" (meaning "sound, unadulterated, pure) for their everlasting life. In other words, they were redeemed. This is different from being "forgiven". 

Redemption is required to be in the presence of Hashem and redemption is by blood - one nephesh for another. 

Note verse 30: "For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the LORD" (JPS Tanakh).  See the words "ye shall be clean before the LORD"? …

No one unclean can appear before Hashem, so this is a redemption - a price was paid (one nephesh) for the sinner's nephesh to enable them to appear before Hashem.  Thus, every year, the people were redeemed; and should they then die that year (provided they did not intentionally sin) that is, they remained righteous, their place in the Kingdom of YHWH was assured.

So, what about Daniel, and everyone else, who couldn’t obtain their eternal life at Yom Kippur because there was no Temple?  Perhaps there was a Temple and they simply could not get to it at Yom Kippur! So, were they not "saved"?  That's the real question and the only answer is that it was all up to Hashem and no one else.

Here, Mr. Miller will poo-poo the response because he will likely disagree with how one obtains eternal life. You see, the rabbis actually never explain "eternal life"; rather, they argue that "all you have to do is repent and do teshuva" – and, of course, the Mr. Millers of this world WANT it to be that easy!  Nevertheless, the response is this:

Even Daniel knew there was an eternal life.  Some would receive it while others would not (Daniel 12:1-2).  So those who have died but have not been redeemed, MUST be given the opportunity to be redeemed or they (i.e., their nephesh) simply can't appear before Hashem.  Since YHWH tells us that He is our redeemer (Isaiah 60:16, for example), and we are to be in His presence, how are we redeemed?

Daniel, who was favored by Hashem (see above), probably was simply accepted on his righteousness alone - we don't know! But we do know that it is up to Hashem as He shows favor to whomever He chooses; and it's not our choice (Exodus 33:19).  Since none of us were Daniel, Noah, or Job, how would we have been redeemed “back then”?

Well, the New Testament (which the Millers of the world dismiss) tells us that Hashem, once and for all sent the Messiah so HE (Hashem) could be our redeemer as He promised (see again Isaiah 60:16).  And since the redeeming Messiah (who was the Word – John 1:1, 14 – and the “Arm of YHWH” – Isiah 53:1, and thus always a part of YHWH) has always been, and always will be with Hashem, even those who were not redeemed at Yom Kippur (while there was an earthly Temple), WILL HAVE the opportunity to accept and receive the redemption of the Messiah when they (i.e., their nephesh), appears before YHWH. 

To put it plain English, their salvation is retroactive!

In closing, we strongly suggest that the Chaz Millers of the world read again Daniel 12:2 and reconsider their choice!

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