Updated: Dec 19, 2020
A Little Animation to Bring This to Life
In this second article, I intend to further break down the Doctrine of Salvation, "Soteriology". Most of the Christian world has been trained to think of their relationship with Abba YeHoVaH in certain terms that the rest of the world doesn't get. In fact, this is so pervasive that it's kind of like having their own "code language" which has been surnamed "Christianese" even by many within the movement.
Have You Read 👉🏼 Part 1 👈🏼 of this Series Yet?
Each Segment is written to be a stand-alone document,
but reading each in succession does help to provide context.
Sadly, to a large portion of the world, the lingo of the Church has become a sort of foul language. They view it with contempt and contrary to what we'd like to believe it's not just because the Spirit is "at enmity with the world" (loosely referencing Romans 8:7 and James 4:4). More on this later...
Romans 8:7 "because the prudence of the flesh is enmity against God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, neither indeed can it."
James 4:4 "...adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship of the world is to be at enmity with God? Whoever desires to be a friend of the world, makes themself the enemy of God."
When we really examine Scripture without our religiously trained eyes and view it from a perspective of one just wanting to understand what it's saying, a whole new world begins to open up. Any Eisegesis we've been handed begins to fade and give way to Exegesis; slowly the blinders we've had on that keep us looking only straight ahead (like a racehorse or plow ox), in the direction of our particular religious training, come off. Little by little, we are able to look around and see there is a vast world of Biblical education we've not seen before, and frankly it may be better ground than what we've been plowing.
Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Isaiah 28:13 But the Word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
In Isaiah 28 the prophet is addressing national sin and the turning of the hearts of Israel from God and to the worldly behaviors of pagan societies. He warns them and then symbolically prophesies the coming of Messiah to restore Israel back to YeHoVaH. Please keep in mind, that Messiah did indeed restore Israel, though the complete manifestation of the fruit of that has not been fully realized. He tore down the religious barrier they created when they, with uncircumcised hearts, rejected the offer to become a nation of priests at the very same time Abba gave them Torah (Instruction).
In many ways, "the Church" has become just like the religious leaders with whom Yeshua seemed to always be at odds. Indulge me for a few minutes, that is not intended to be an insult or verbal jab. As I've said many times before, Yeshua was at odds with them for the religion they added to relationship, you cannot find a place in any of the Gospels where He argued over their teaching of Torah - only rabbinic law. Their religion brought burdens to the people that they could not carry and the leaders had no power or authority to offer the people that would help carry the burdens of those takkanot (rabbinic laws). These additions, some 4,000-7,000 according to some sources, made understanding Scripture next to impossible for those without religious education and meant something different to nearly every "teacher/rabbi" depending on the school of study they attended. Sound familiar...? It's not at all unlike the various Seminaries of various Denominations. The error of thinking this was acquiescent to what is now known as the Halakhah, which is the entire body of "law" added to Torah. Each specific ruling of the Halakhah is known as a takkanah (takkanot is plural). One of a number of reasons the Essenes left Jerusalem claiming the Pharisees had corrupted Torah making the Temple also corrupt and in need of cleansing comes from their strict intellectualization of Torah. This led to arrogance and twisting of such instructions as found in Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 17:8 & 9 "If a matter of judgment shall baffle you, between... matters of controversy in your gates, you shall rise up and ascend to the place which the Lord your God shall choose. And you shall come to the Kohanim (preists), the Levi’im (Levites) and to the judge who will be in those days, and you shall inquire, and they will tell you the word of judgment. And you shall do according to the word that they will tell you from that place that the Lord will choose, and you shall be careful to do according to all that they will teach you. According to the teaching that they will teach you and according to the judgment that they will say to you, shall you do; you shall not deviate from the word that they will tell you, right or left. (emphases mine)
There is, among modern rabbinic movements, and it appears to have been around during Yeshua's ministry; a takkanah which says a rabbis ruling is inerrant**, that it is equal to Scripture, and when necessary overrules Scripture itself. Now, before we get too high and mighty about how wrong this is, let's consider a few things.
The first "church" we actually find in history enacted the very same rule about its priests
Much of "revelation" in the modern "church" isn't hermeneutically sound because it is based on the eisegesis of past generations
as such it overrules Scripture in the lives of those who choose to believe these revelations and accept them into their theology and doctrine
How does any of this relate to "Salvation"?
I am setting the stage with a little precedent. We've all witnessed the above in every circle of Christendom, just as it has happened in Judaism which preceded "Christianity". The longer time goes on the more the two drift apart. Remember the "two roads" from part 1? Now there many more than that. Each of the two has split on many occasions over differences which they allowed to separate them and further isolate the followers of each from any likelihood of reconciliation. So in this part of the series I want to go back to the basics and pointing us in the direction we need to eventually discover where each is correct or incorrect. No, I don't intend to try and list all of those. Instead, I will approach this as if writing out a Pardes - Hebrew version of Hermeneutics.
"Pardes" refers to (types of) approaches to Biblical exegesis of text in Torah study. The term, sometimes also rendered PaRDeS, is an acronym formed from the initials of the following four approaches:
Peshat (פְּשָׁט) – "surface" ("straight") or the literal (direct) meaning.
Remez (רֶמֶז) – "hints" or the deep (allegoric: hidden or symbolic) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
Derash (דְּרַשׁ) – from Hebrew darash: "inquire" ("seek") – the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in 'lore') – "secret" ("mystery") or the esoteric/mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.
I don't plan to label each piece of information by the area(s) of the above under which it falls. It's generally not important to most folks, so I'll leave it to those interested in such info to do so on their own, or you may email our app using the module on our Contact Us page.
We have several foreshadowing circumstances in the Hebrew Scripture ("Old Testament") that show us different aspects of the Apostolic Writing's perspective of Salvation. The one I want to look at today is the sacrificial lamb. Obviously, the scenario of Avraham and Itzak in the banner/gif for this article is a very important example, and I will come back to that occasionally throughout this series.
As we step out to begin to exegete the foreshadowing of the annual sacrificial lamb, I'd like you to keep something at the back of your consciousness to mull over. In Christendom people tend to think of all the words for "Salvation", found throughout Scripture, as synonymous. I submit for your consideration the possibility they are not; but rather, many actually point to a specific "doctrine" within the sub-categorical segment of Theology labeled Soteriology. To discover them, we have to put away our Western Gentile/Greek understanding of the Apostolic Writings and look for the clues that point to the Hebraic Context.
As this series progresses we will examine the doctrinal significance of the words:
We all know there are many Biblical Symbols in the Hebrew Scriptures that point to or hint at the picture of Salvation we think we see in the Apostolic Writings. The question is when we hold those symbols up to the Theology we've inherited, do they match? In this article I want us to focus on the "type/shadow/symbol" of the Passover Lamb. We will eventually look at the individual sin offerings, but they are not really a picture of "salvation" in a general sense that applies to all of humanity. They are instead, as they are called... 'individual'. Before we go there, we need to first understand the symbology (typology if you prefer) we find in the National Passover Lamb chosen by the High Priest, since Yeshua died approaching Passover [1 See "The Sacrifice"], just as the National Passover Lamb (chosen by the High Priest out of the Bethlehem flocks) did and also since Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) introduced Yeshua as the "Lamb of God" which is an important point as well.
John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!"
🕎 In Western Gentile Christian Theology, we often do not truly grasp the significance of John's statements. Let's dig them out, Shall We? 🕎
We find the requirements for the Passover Lamb in Exodus.
Exodus 12:5 "Your lamb is to be without blemish, a year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats."
There really isn't a lot to look at here, but there is more than meets the eye for certain. I don't want to spend a lot of time on peripheral information, but there is one critical piece here that most of us are trained to overlook. I'll come to that in just a moment. First of all, the lamb had to be male. Yeshua was obviously male. The lamb had to be one year of age - without going into a lengthy explanation on how to reckon time by the Hebraic custom of that day, I'll just point out that this means it could not be younger than one year of age and could not have reached its second birthday. Yeshua's ministry began when Yochanan the Immerser introduced Him as the Lamb of God. THAT is partly why noting that before was so important. Yeshua's ministry ended 70 weeks later, some have calculated 70 weeks to the day. I cannot be so certain of that part myself as I do not have access to the software they used. I can say that based on the evidence I have gone over, that seems accurate. I can say this; Clement of Alexandria and others all record His ministry length was "about 1 Year" including Eusebius who later recanted and said it was 3.5 years and appears to be the first to argue it as a point of Orthodoxy. Yeshua Himself declared, when quoting Scripture about Himself (Isaiah 61:2), He was anointed to "proclaim the acceptable year of YeHoVaH" (Luke 4:19).
As far as I am concerned, the corroborating evidence is more consistent with Scripture than the evidence His ministry was 3.5 years in length. There is much more evidence I'd like to display for you, and perhaps I will as this series plays out, but I don't want to get too far off track now.
The lamb could be a sheep or a goat. This often confuses Christians because of the Apostolic Writings' tendency to use goats as stubborn and unfavorable creatures who represent those God opposes. The key here is to remember the animal lamb/kid was innocent, young, and without blemish. So the goats referred to later in the Scriptural timeline are not innocent or without blemish. They oppose God in their stubbornness and therefore are subject to His wrath. Which in all honesty represents another side of this whole thing. He didn't just die for the "lost sheep of Israel" He also died for the goats who would allow themselves to be transformed and taken into the sheepfold. In this way, "all things become new" or are "renewed" in such a way as to be acceptable.
We'd be remiss if we neglected to address something very important here. This national sacrifice took place once per year. It did not happen every time someone committed sin. This will become increasingly important as we go along. So keep this point ready for recall.
Remember the one place there is in all of Scripture that actually defines sin.
1 John 3:4 "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law (Torah): for sin is the transgression of the law (Torah)."Jubilee Bible - parenthetic inserts mine
It may seem like "nitpicking" to spend much time refuting the 3.5 year ministry theory, but it is important for a number of reasons.
IF Yeshua's ministry had reached its 2nd Year Anniversary then He'd no longer qualify as the "Lamb of God" and our "salvation" is fraudulent by God's own specifications
This points to a dilemma within Scripture which we need to reconcile so the Apostolic Writings align properly or else their testimonies cannot be admissible in any Court, much less meet the requirements of Divine Justice
John 6:4 "And the passover, the feast of the Jews, was near." (KJV)
There was a Pesach/Passover in John 2 & 4 preceding John 6. How is this possible coming from the man who said "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should be written every one, I think that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." Basically, if this were true, then the man who talked about all the things Yeshua did, then skipped an entire year of His ministry OR Yeshua did practically nothing for an entire year!
Here is a list I composed, a few years ago, of the Moedim (Appointed Times/Feasts) in John and the more likely specifics of those Moedim
John 2:13 The time of the Passover of the Jews was near and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (Passover) Connected to the next!!!
John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. Connected to the next!!!
John 4:45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. (Passover)
John 5:1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (Shavuot)
John 6:4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. (Sukkot) Connected to the next!!!
John 7:2 But the feast of the Jews, the feast of tents, was near. (Sukkot) Connected to the next!!!
John then begins to give the details from the beginning of the Fall Feast Cycle.
John 7:8 Go you up to the feast: I am not going up now to the feast because my time has not fully come. (Yom Teruah/Trumpets) Connected to the next!!!
John 7:10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he went up, not publicly, but in secret. (Yom Kippur/Atonement) Connected to the next!!!
John 7:11 At the feast the Jews were looking for him and saying, Where is he? (Sukkot) Connected to the next!!!
John 7:14 Now in the middle of the feast Jesus went up to the Temple and was teaching. (Sukkot) Connected to the next!!!
John 7:37 On the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus got up and said in a loud voice, If any man is in need of drink let him come to me and I will give it to him. (Last Great Day)
John 10:22 Then came the feast of the opening of the Temple in Jerusalem: it was winter;(Chanukah/Feast of Dedication or Opening of the Temple)
John 11:56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another while they were in the Temple, What is your opinion? Will he not come to the feast? (Purim) Connected to the next!!!
John 12:12 The day after, a great number of people who were there for the feast, when they had the news that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (Purim) Connected to the next!!!
John 12:20 Now there were some Greeks among the people who had come up to give worship at the feast: (Purim)
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, it was clear to Jesus that the time had come for him to go away from this world to the Father. Having once had love for those in the world who were his, his love for them went on to the end.
If we accept that John 6:4 is a Passover, then the rest of the Feasts do not line up with the order in which the Feasts occur and His Crucifixion and His Resurrection are not on the days which match the prophetic picture contained within them, and He is again disqualified from being the "Lamb of God", our Savior, and God. We further need to recognize that this would also throw John's Gospel out of sync with the other Gospels.
There is one event that each of the 4 all has in common. The feeding of the 5,000. If we use that as a central piece to create a place to work forward and backward from, we can align the Gospel events more easily. Doing so does require a few adjustments just as is required when aligning the testimonies of multiple witnesses in a Trial by a Court. However, when the overall testimonies match and the preponderance of the stories contain the same elements, creating a timeline is usually possible as the trial goes along. We've had 2,000+/- years to examine this and most have never even heard of this possibility - John 6:4 was added to the text. Somewhere in the production of the many copies of Manuscripts John 6:4 was probably, even likely, added to Greek manuscripts that contain it. 👈🏼 I had never seen this video until I decided to find a citation for those who read this article. The evidence you may want to see begins at about the 30-minute mark and continues through 3 more video segments. So there is plenty for you to consider.
Lastly, let's consider this; if John 6:4 is truly a Passover, then Yeshua is violating the Torah Command to "GO UP TO JERUSALEM". The preparations for Pesach/Passover are far more extensive than for te other two "Go Up" Feasts and if He were to spend a day more in the Gallilee, as the chapter goes on to say, He could never have gotten back to Jerusalem and made preparations for that Moed (singular for Moedim/Appointed Time). If He had violated the "go up" command for Pesach, He would NOT be without spot or blemish and CANNOT be the "Lamb of God", our Savior, or God. His very own Torah, which He testifies He Is the Incarnation of would be broken and HE would be The Man of Lawlessness (a'nomia). See the pic below the following Scripture excerpts to understand how Yeshua said He was Torah Incarnate.
Exodus 23:18-23 Offer a sacrifice to Me three times each year. Keep the festival of matzos [Pesach/Unleavened Bread/Passover] ... the reaping festival [Shavuot/Pentecost] ... the harvest festival [Sukkot/Tabernacles].... Three times each year, every male among you must appear before God the Lord...." (Exodus 23:14–17) and "Keep the Festival of Matzahs [i.e., Passover].... Keep the Festival of Shavuot through the first fruits of your wheat harvest. Also keep the harvest festival [i.e., Sukkot] soon after the year changes. Three times each year, all your males shall thus present themselves before God the Master, Lord of Israel."
Deuteronomy 16:1, 9-10, 13, 16-17 "Safeguard the month of standing grain so that you will be able to keep Pesach (the Passover) to God your Lord, since it was in the month of standing grain that God your Lord brought you out of Egypt at night.... Then count seven weeks for yourself. From the time that you first put the sickle to the standing grain, you must count seven weeks. You shall then celebrate the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost) to God your Lord, presenting a hand-delivered offering according to the extent of the blessing that God your Lord has granted you.... When you bring in the products of your threshing floor and wine vat, you shall celebrate the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) for seven days.... Three times each year, all your males shall thus be seen in the presence of God your Lord in the place that He will choose: on the festival of matzahs, on the festival of Shavuot, and on the festival of Sukkot. You shall not appear before God empty-handed."
THE natural and only solution to this is from John 4:45 to John 6:4 (including the unnamed Feast in John 5:1) we have to put the Feasts in their order: 4:45 is Passover, 5:1 is Shavuot, 6:4 is Sukkot.
It is imperative that we learn to put the entirety of Scripture to the test without the segmented distractions of studying singular passages; especially without forcing ourselves to put them in the proper context. Yeshua must meet all of the requirements to be our Savior, which is where the word study on "Salvation" must begin. Without a proper Savior, there is no actual Doctrine of Salvation. This, in my increasingly humbled opinion, is why the Ram was caught in a thicket when Avraham and Istzak reveal to us the very first picture of Yeshua as Mashiach (Messiah). That Ram could not escape its destiny. It was unable to do anything which would allow it to deviate from the Plan, or the Plan would fail. That thorny bush represents the many "points" of prophetic fulfillment Messiah had to meet in order to satisfy Divine Justice and qualify as the "Lamb of God". If even a single piece was missing, or not in its proper place, He would "miss the mark" and that violation would have doomed us all.
In the next segment of this series, we will begin to open up the various terms related to Soteriology throughout Scripture. Understanding their actual meaning as they apply to the Hebraic Concepts behind them will challenge many of you. But, if you will choose to stick with me until the end of this series, I believe you will find it worth the journey.