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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but please understand her theological position, July 20, 2010
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This review is from: The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach: Bible Based Homeschooling (Paperback)
Let me first say that I absolutely agree with the other reviews in regards to the premise of this book. The premise is that we are to teach our children the Word of God in everything we do. I wholeheartedly agree and for that, I give Mrs. Sampson five stars on that! The other reviews do a fine job explaining that part of the book, so I don't feel the need to elaborate.

However, where I disagree with Mrs. Sampson, is that she clearly considers her brothers and sisters in Christ who adhere to the Covenant Theology doctrine, as heretical, and I dare to say she blames them for the atrocity committed by Hitler and his soldiers in the holocaust.

I am slow to consider someone heretical, unless I have a firm grounding in scripture to do so. She fails to do such, but gives her opinion on the matter, which is hardly an explanation as to why she would make such an extreme claim. Without quoting her book, you are welcome to go to her blog and find her same opinion written there on this matter. Type in, "Replacement theology", and you will find what is found in this book. You can decide from there if you agree or disagree with her stand.

Replacement theology is what it is commonly known among those who disagree with the belief, but the proper term is Covenant Theology. The reason for this distinction is clear; a misunderstanding of what Covenant Theology is. Those against CT call it Replacement Theology, because they wrongly understand what CT is, accusing it as saying Christ has replaced Israel and God has broken His covenant with Abraham. However, the right understanding is not that Christ replaced it, but fulfilled it (I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it -Matthew 5:17). CT says that Christ fulfilled the covenant, He did not replace it. The Covenant was fulfilled in Christ and continues today through God's people, the body of Christ.

She goes on to say those within the RT camp (though, remember, it is properly called CT) are anti-semetic (and are the reason for the holocaust). This couldn't be further from the truth. I have great compassion for my Jewish friends and I love them dearly. However, Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, NO ONE comes to the Father but through Him. Jews do not believe in Christ, but deny their Messiah has come. Salvation is of the Jews, because Jesus was a Jew first, because He had not died yet, so He came to obey the Law in EVERY way, so that He could be the fulfillment of the Law. He is our Jewish Messiah. He is our High Priest! There isn't any more shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins, because Jesus has fulfilled that requirement. Now we take communion, because we remember that very fulfillment in Christ through the breaking of his body and blood shed he paid upon the Cross through His death, burial, and resurrection. Again, Jesus said only He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father, except through Him. If a Jew today is saved, but denies the deity of Christ and is still awaiting a future Messiah, is Jesus a liar? Paul was saved, because He believed and repented of his sins through Christ. In Acts, they called themselves, Christians; however, they were previously Jews. The Pharisees, teachers of the Law, who refused to bow to their Messiah, will receive their reward...and Jesus didn't make that sound like it was Heaven.

Covenant theology agrees that there is one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ alone. Anyone who refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of their sins, will not be saved. It's clear in the scriptures. I will witness to my Jewish friends, just as I witness to anyone else of whatever belief they have. If you don't have Christ, you don't have eternal life. It isn't anti-semitism at all. (If you claim to be a Christian and are anti-semitic, you need to examine your heart before God and repent. You are commanded to lovingly reach out to them with the saving faith of Christ, just as you would anyone else!) CT believers reach out to Jews, just as they reach out to an atheist. Both are lost without Christ.

And that is the breaking point with this book. If you disagree with that, you will love this book wholeheartedly. However, if you are like me, and agree that Jesus is absolutely the ONLY way to God, you will absolutely gleen wisdom from this book in the sense that we are to teach the scriptures in everything we do with our children, but you may be put off by the strong use of the word "heretical" for those of us who believe Christ fulfilled the covenant with Abraham.

I would rather recommend teachings from Voddie Baucham Jr. on this matter. Family Driven Faith is an excellent resource on how to live out the principle of Deut. 6. Answers in Genesis has a great resource from Diana Waring on teaching the history of the church, so that your children can see God in every aspect of history. I know there are other resources, but those come to mind.

And one more thing to note, the whole OT is filled with stories that point us to Christ. All fuzzy pictures of something to come...Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah! Abraham and his son on the altar, the Passover, Jonah in the belly of a fish for three days and nights, David...the King, et cetera. It is all riddled with Christ in it. I thought I would mention that, as it is hard to "replace" something that was already there. :) Jesus has always been and will always be. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the author of the covenant and He is the finisher. Everything, absolutely everything, wraps around Jesus. And for that, I am not ashamed to say that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to Him, except by His mercy and grace alone to grant you repentance and faith in Him.

Be good bereans and search the scriptures to see if these things are true. May the Lord bless you! :)
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Showing 1-10 of 34 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 31, 2010 8:51:24 PM PDT
PictureMe says:
Hi livin4christ,

Covenant theology is not really defined by scholars, who termed the meaning to begin with, as you have defined it. Covenant theology does not believe Christ replaced the OT, covenant theology believes the church replaced Israel. Big difference. Going by your definition, those who do not adhere to covenant theology would be the heretics. Replacement theology is the euphenism used by dispensationalists to call out covenant theology for that belief. And sadly so, it did and does contribute to Anti-Semitism. BUT not all covenant theologians are that way. Many, which I would include you, just see Jesus in everything because they love him and are passionate Christians. The problem is when some covenant theologians believe that Christ appeared as an angel or as the high priest Melchizedek in the OT. But that is not heretical thinking.
Blessings,
Denise

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2010 12:04:14 PM PDT
Palm Tree says:
Denise, thank you so much for responding! I appreciate your response in a kind way!

With that said, coventant theology has been defined clearly and is a far deeper subject that what I've only scratched the surface of here. I wasn't trying to describe covenant theology in its whole here, because that wasn't needed. All I wanted to do was describe what was needed in order to help a prospective buyer who believes in Covenant Theology understand where the author of this book challenges those beliefs. That's all. :)

Also, you say that by my definition, I would be calling everyone heretics who don't believe in CT. That's where you have to understand CT further to see that nothing could be further from the truth. For instance, John MacArthur is a dispensationalist. John Piper is not. These two both share fellowship with one another, because despite their theological differences in certain areas, BOTH equally agree on the essentials. One can theologically disagree on certain areas in the Bible and still be in perfect union with one another in Christ, if they agree on the absolute essential, which are the doctrines surrounding Christ, his deity, and salvation through Him alone. Therefore, I submit to you that I would never call someone heretical, unless they do not agree with the essentials of the scriptures. That's where this author has gone too far in that she made non-essentials, essentials, where it shouldn't be; and calls people who believe those things, heretical. I am simply pointing that out in my review.

I am not familiar with your other findings about some CT theologians thinking Christ appeared as an angel or the high priest, Melchizedek. I have never heard of that at all within the CT community and we regularily have talks about such, so I'm not sure if you are correct or not on that one. Could you please state who you are referring to? Perhaps we are not on the same page and you are thinking of a different theological position, because that is foreign to my understanding.

Thanks, again, Denise! :) May the Lord bless you!

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 9:43:23 PM PDT
Elizabeth says:
Replacement Theology is actually the teaching that the Church replaced Israel, which is taught by most denominations and even many non-denominational congregations. This is absolutely false. What Robin believes and even writes about in her Biblical Holidays book is total truth. People who covet this RT are, in my educated opinion, anti-Semitic. Why? Because they teach we no longer need to obey the commandments and that those who do and teach so are "Judaizers". While the Jews are waiting for Israel to be restored, "The Church" is waiting to be raptured into heaven forever. The Church has some far fetched ideas when it comes to what will happen in the end simple because they don't realize that they are Israel and that there will be an earthly kingdom for 1000 years and they will be part of it. Also, Jesus did not keep the entire Law. The 613 commandments were not meant for everyone. He kept the ones that applied to Him and fulfilled it. Fulfill in the Greek means to 'bring the highest meaning'. It was a Hebrew Idiom, not an excuse for us not to keep the commandments. If you want to truly be successful in bring Jews to Messiah, make sure you are keeping the commandments of the Torah and not the ones made up by Babylon and man. A real Jew knows that the Jesus of Christianity is a false prophet due to the teaching of Him coming to annul the Law. If you teach them their real, Jewish Messiah, they will most likely listen closer.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2011 8:40:21 AM PDT
Palm Tree says:
Elizabeth, I am not even sure where to begin with your post, because every statement you have made is false to CT; yet, you claim to understand it rightly and that it is false to the scriptures. :(

However, the greater problem here is not CT, but in who you have claimed Jesus to be. None of your other comments about prophecy or such matter (though, I will say, you have a clear misunderstanding of what most CT believers understand about prophecy and it's not what you have posted here).

Christianity differs from ALL other faiths/religions by one thing. That one thing is the deity of Christ. Who do you say Jesus Christ was and is today?

According to your response, Jesus Christ "did not keep the entire Law", "He kept the ones that applied to Him and fulfilled it", "A real Jew knows that Jesus of Christianity is a FALSE PROPHET due to the teaching of Him coming to annul the Law."

Elizabeth, someone can differ with me on the issue of CT all day long and we can still be brothers/sisters in Christ. However, this is where the road meets the rubber. To say Jesus is a FALSE PROPHET is to deny the very deity of Christ! To say that He did not keep the whole Law is to deny His sacrifice for sins as perfect and acceptable to God as the final sacrifice for sins! This is, indeed, heretical. An entire book is needed to really show how this is true in depth, because the entire Bible claims otherwise. (And I am in no way equipped to write such a book, so here are a few of my simple thoughts.) However, for the sake of this being a brief review on Amazon, let me point to a few verses that come to mind:

In Matthew 1:23, we are told that Mary is to call Him, Immanuel, which is, "God with us".

When the Jews were questioning Jesus' claims about Himself and pointing to God as His witness of Who He is, He makes a radical statement to the Jews that packed a punch and Jesus knew it would. They were making fun of Jesus for claiming He knew Abraham and Abraham had seen Him, even though Jesus was young in "earthly age". In John 8:58, Jesus says, "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM." Any Jew would know how utterly POWERFUL that statement is and to make such a claim is BLASPHEMY. Yet, Jesus made it with confidence, because He is, indeed, I AM!

How do we know this? Again, an entire book is needed, because so much of the Bible points directly to Christ's deity as the Son of God, equal to God in deity. However, staying in the book of John, lets go back to the beginning, since that great statement is recorded in John.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 Jesus' deity as equal to God and having ALWAYS existed eternally.

"He was in the beginning WITH God." John 1:2 Again, Jesus' eternal existence. (Thus, how He could claim He knew Abraham, which baffled the understanding of the Jews of that time.)

"All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being." John 1:3 Jesus is by whom we have Creation at all! The life that has been given to all men, was given to them by Christ alone.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." John 1:4 His claim to be the sole source of salvation for mankind.

"The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:5 His claim that He is the light that shines in darkness, which we understand through all His parables, such as the blind man who can now see! He was blind before, just as ALL men are prior to salvation, but through Christ alone, just as the blind man, can now see! Jesus' apostles questioned Him on how can one be saved then, and He responded, "With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible." Again, proving that men cannot save themselves, but only God can save them. And Jesus makes the claim that He is the ONLY way when He tells us, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. NO ONE comes to the Father, but through Me."

That's just the first part of John, let alone the multiple other verses that attest to this Truth in other books.

The Bible was written by various authors, in various places; yet, its claim to be God-breathed, or divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, rings true by how it all is self-pneumatic, or self-proving. Amazing, simply amazing! :)

I was reading the book of Hebrews yesterday and I couldn't hold the tears back, because of its nature to who Christ is! :) However, I believe God had me read it yesterday, because He knew you were to write this post. Otherwise, this book would have never come to mind. But my heart is overjoyed that He did, because not only does the author of Hebrews describe who Jesus is, it is minor when it also was written to the COVERTED JEWS of that time who still had an affection for the Temple and the things of it. And rightly so! Imagine going to the temple your whole life and being accustomed to the traditions, only to be told that Christ is the completion of all those traditions, and having to leave them behind. It wouldn't be easy. So the author of Hebrews is telling them that Christ is the final sacrifice once and forever. He flat out told them that the Law DOES NOT SAVE! (**By the way, when I capitalize something, I am not "yelling", I am emphasizing, but Amazon won't let me italicize. Please forgive me if you felt I have been "yelling", as that is not my intent.")

Hebrews discusses in great detail the purpose of all the previous "high priests". They were greatly needed, which God appointed to the Jews for the forgiveness of their sins. However, Hebrews makes the strong claim that Jesus is the final "High Priest".

Please read Hebrews 7. (This chapter also covers the issue on Melchizedek, which Denise mentions.) However, key in on Hebrews 7:23-28. Here are a few statements from that:

"The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but JESUS, on the other hand, because He continues FOREVER, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:23-25 Jesus is the final High Priest! All high priests before died and could not continue, because they could not provide a perfect sacrifice for all men. Only Christ can! We even know this is true, because even Jews today acknowledge the tearing of the curtain that separated men from God prior to Christ.

I recently learned what this curtain consisted of and it totally changed my understanding of when the curtain was torn in two when Christ died on the Cross. The curtain could not be torn by any man. It was symbolic of the separation between God and man. ONLY the high priest could enter behind to make a sacrifice for sins, because they would then be in the very presence of God. We know from several stories from the OT that this is no small thing and brought about a great deal of fear in the people!

This curtain was 60 feet high, 30 feet wide, and 3 inches thick! This is not your average curtain hanging on your windows. I understand that horses on two ends of it could not tear it in two. No one could tear this curtain. It was rock solid. Yet, it is recorded in Matthew 27:51, after having yielded His spirit, "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks split." WOW! :) So amazing! Jesus was, indeed, the FINAL SACRIFICE for sins!!! There wasn't a need for another high priest, for Christ was and is the FINAL HIGH PRIEST! Glory to God! That makes me excited! :)

Therefore, as to the covenant in the OT, lets go back to Hebrews. I am a simple person. I don't claim to know the scriptures like someone who has been studying them for years and years. However, as a lay person, I don't know how one can misunderstand Hebrews 8:7-13, but in particular, vv 7,8,13. Verses 7,8 says, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second. For finding fault with them, He says..." Then the author goes on to quote Jeremiah 31:31-34. I suggest one to read that, but it's quite a lot to quote here. If you have read that, then when reading verse 13, I don't know how one reconciles this:

"When He said, 'A new covenant', He has made the FIRST OBSOLETE and growing old is ready to DISAPPEAR." This is after quoting directly from Jeremiah, so this is NOT new to the NT, but rather quite old from the very scriptures Jews would have understood, which is exactly who the author of Hebrews is addressing. Thus, they would have understood the significance of this.

After this, in chapter 9, the author goes on to describe the earthly sanctuary, but then continues by explaining why it was limited in its ability to be a final sacrifice for the sins of men. Finally, the latter half of the chapter explains what the earthly sanctuary mimicked, but was not perfect. Jesus was the only one who enter in the perfect tabernacle, "not made with hands, this is to say, not of this creation" vv.11, nor with the sacrifices of animals, but through Christ's blood, because He was the ONLY perfect sacrifice.

The rest of the chapter, as well as the rest of the book, make even greater claims than that, but I am running out of time here.

However, I really quick wanted to touch base on your claim on Christians having NO need to keep the commandments. This is false. Romans 6 completely demolishes that. In fact, if ANY professing Christian claims that they are in Christ, so they are free to sin, you can rest assure the Holy Spirit does not testify with them and they are not Christian at all, but still in need of a Savior! Do Christians continue to sin? Yes, but with the new man that has been given to us through Christ, in our re-birth, we no longer are slaves to SIN, as we once were, but we are slaves to CHRIST and His RIGHTEOUSNESS. We hate the things that God hates (which is sin) and love the things that God loves (which is righteousness). We should be lovers of good deeds and reject the things of this world. God killed Ananias and Sapphira for lying to the Holy Spirit about the amount of money they received for the selling of their land and giving to the apostles. God KILLED them for that! What is the ninth commandment? "Thou shalt not bear false witness". You better believe we are still commanded to keep the commandments. That did not change! In fact, Jesus made it worse for us Christians! How? He tells us that not only can we not commit adultery or murder, but if we lust in our hearts or hate someone, we are guilty of those, too!!! Yikes! We have it worse! I say that is seriousness, but also kind of jokingly. If we are new creatures in Christ, however, we won't desire those things and when we stumble in those sins, the Holy Spirit will make us miserable until we repent!

Jesus summed up the WHOLE law into this. He quoted the OT when He said that the first half of the Ten Commandments were this, "Love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." The second half is summed up in, "Love your neighbor as yourself." None of that changed, at all, with Christ. So to say that Christians believe we no longer have to obey the Ten Commandments is a product of several relevant preachers of today who have skewed the Gospel to make it acceptable to false converts, so that the pill is easier to take. That is why Romans 6 is needed, because the same people of that time, still exist today, who believe we can continue in our sins, because we're in Christ. Not at all!

Further, there is one exception to the Ten Commandments, and that is in regards to the Sabbath. Read Hebrews 4. This book deserves a book by itself, because I am still trying to grasp all the great concepts that are within. My simple brain still has a lot to learn on this matter, but from I do know, it perfectly matches Jesus' claim that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, that we are to enter His rest! Jesus Christ is the final rest! The actual Sabbath day is only symbolic of the rest that comes in Christ. Christians can rest in Christ for their salvation. Should a Christian not observe the Sabbath? That's up to them. Men certainly need rest and we are commanded not to neglect the fellowship with the brethren. However, it is not commanded, as Christ is our rest.

I have written too much and I am now in a hurry to complete this, so I hope what I have written makes sense. Perhaps I can come back later and correct it needs be, but I don't have the time right now.

I hope that makes sense. I am, but a simple person. I simply desire to see the Truth spoken. I find that Truth within the scriptures. I will abandon any of my own beliefs if they do not match scripture! I don't have any desire to be "right". I have a desire to see the Truth made known.

I welcome your thoughts. However, I will leave this with saying that your post, Elizabeth, deeply concerns me. And if Robin Sampson agrees with what you have written, I guess I did not read the book in its entirety and I am even more concerned with what she teaches in this book. I will go to the source later and see what she does say.

And please forgive me, I had to write quickly and only wrote what came to mind. I know there are better teachers of the Word out there who are reading this that could smoke me in this. :) I am just writing from a simple understanding, but what seems so abundantly clear!

Anyways-thanks for your post, Elizabeth! I hope you have a wonderful day in what God has so richly given us! :)

-Livin4Christ777

P.S. I noticed I didn't touch base on prophecy. Only want to say that the eschatology you mention about a rapture that is to come in the future, is called Dispensation Theology, it is NOT Covenant Theology. I do not hold to the DT beliefs, whatsoever, and most CT believer do not either. There are those, like John MacArthur (a CT teacher), who do, but most that I know, do not. A great video on that is done by the Nicene Council, The Late Great Planet Church: The Rise of Dispensationalism.

Also, most churches do not teach CT, they teach Dispensation Theology.

Okay, I have to go. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2011 12:06:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 25, 2011 2:11:04 PM PDT
Palm Tree says:
Elizabeth, I had a moment to look at Robin Sampson's book to find her beliefs about the biblical holidays. I do not see them mentioned in the book I have reviewed here. I believe you are referring to another book of hers. A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays

I have not read this book. I am not familiar with her position on biblical holidays. Nor did I mention anything about it in my original review. I guess I am a little baffled now as to why you mentioned that?

I was concerned your views on the deity of Christ, if I am reading your post correctly, mirrored Mrs. Sampson's. However, in opening up this book again to review the pages, she does not hold to the views you claim here about the deity of Christ in relationship to the Jews. At least, not in the way I understand from what you have written.

I did want to ask you, however, you said, "If you teach them their real, Jewish Messiah, they will most likely listen closer." I did not focus on that sentence earlier, but it has puzzled me now. What do you mean by this statement? Who IS their real Jewish Messiah? Is it not Jesus? Your post suggests another Jesus. Am I understanding you correctly?

*Edited to say, I re-read what you wrote and you were stating that book directly in reference. I apologize for not clearly understanding that at first! :) Still, I have not read her beliefs on this, so I am not at all familiar with her stand on it.*

Blessings.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2011 2:09:30 PM PDT
Palm Tree says:
Sorry to write so much.

I had my husband read what you wrote, to make sure I was not incorrectly understanding things and if I was, to correct me. He wonders if you are referring to the fact that Jesus did not keep the Law, in terms of things like, Jesus healing on the Sabbath?

However, again, Hebrews explains why this is so, as I mentioned in my previous post.

Also, it is understood that if those who hold to this command even today were to be true to the real holding of the Sabbath, they would not leave their homes to attend service of worship. (Exodus 16:29) They would also stone a man today if he did any work at all on the Sabbath. Do we see this? I don't even see Jews today doing this.

Why could Jesus heal on the Sabbath and command a HEALED man to pick up his mat and walk on the Sabbath, into the tabernacle, no less? Because of Hebrews 4 explanation that Jesus is the Sabbath rest! :)

So in order to witness to the Jews, you would suggest I stone any of them for doing ANY work on the Sabbath? That's how I witness to them? But that doesn't make sense, because a "real Jew" knows that Jesus of Christianity is a "false prophet". If that's the case, why witness to them, because Jesus is a false prophet regardless of what I do to "impress" them with my following of the Torah? And if they are a "real Jew" and God still has a future for the physical state of Israel, then we should let them be, because they don't need Jesus to be saved.

I guess I don't understand or maybe I do.

Also, I looked up the meaning of "fulfill" (pleroo) for the passage in Matthew and I do not find, "bring to the highest". I find, "accomplished", "comes to pass", "fully come", et cetera. Thus, I would continue to understand this verse to mean that Jesus did not abolish the Law, but fulfilled it, meaning accomplished their true future meaning. Again, Jesus is the final sacrifice for it all. The Law points to Christ. Jesus said, "It is finished". He did not say, "It is mostly finished, but the people of God still must keep the Jewish Law in order to be saved. My sacrifice is not sufficient." Again, if that were so, why should Jesus die on a Cross, bearing the wrath of God upon Himself, to save men of their sins? Doesn't make sense. No high priest conquered death and rose again. Only Christ. He continues to be our High Priest today continually making intercession for Christians.

It never gives license for Christians to sin. Again, Romans 6 demolishes any person's desire to make that argument. And again, Jesus made it worse for us, by showing us our hearts are full of sin! Adultery of the heart is by merely lusting. No physical act needed. We are murderers when we hate someone. No need to physically murder someone.

Please explain your "Jewish Idiom" of "bring the highest meaning", because I do find your belief about this in articles very similar to your post. However, their meaning is that Jesus only came to "confirm" the Law. They give the same rhetoric that we are to obey the Torah. Again, if that is so, shall I stone my brothers and sisters in Christ who go to church on Sunday or putting wood in the fire? Have you done this? It's in the Torah.

Jews are also commanded to circumcise their sons, but Paul told the uncircumcised Gentiles to not seek circumcision, because it does not save. Should Christians still circumcise? If so, why were the Gentiles of the 1st century exempt from 21st century Christians and everyone in between?

Do you see how this contradicts itself?

Read Hebrews 7 again and it's reference back to Jeremiah. There is a future covenant to come, a better one, and that time came in Christ.

"I am the Way, the Truth, and Life. No one comes to the Father, but through Me." -Jesus :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2011 6:37:19 PM PDT
Elizabeth says:
Hello, I'm not sure I can touch on everything you wrote at this time as there is so much. But, I will touch on a few of the bigger issues you brought forth. I understand where you are coming from because I've been in your same shoes. However, even if you do not fully understand at this time, I will do my best to make things more clear.

First, I would like to clarify that I do believe that Yeshua is Yahweh in the flesh. However, we cannot apply 21 Century language (English) and Greek thought to a 1st Century Hebrew language and culture. We have to remember that when Yeshua/Jesus was here, He came to a broken nation named Israel. The Southern Kingdom, Judah (Jews), were waiting for their Messiah to come to restore the northern and southern kingdoms (Israel) again. They were not anticipating Him to start a 'church' (Ekklesia just means assembly and was incorrectly transliterated by Greek thinking men). Even Yeshua said He came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matthew 15:24). Also, lets look at Jeremiah 31:31 - "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,". WHO is this covenant with? Christians like to claim this verse as a 'reason' to not keep the commandments. However, let's first look again at WHO the covenant is with. It's with the House of Israel and the House of Judah (the nation of Israel, all 12 tribes). It doesn't matter what a pastor says, the verse is pretty clear on with who YAHWEH made this covenant. So, if Yeshua said He came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel, then WHERE do you fit into this? Please know that I am not speaking pridefully, I am only provoking you to think and study a little more.

The Torah is how we worship Yahweh. It is how His Kingdom is delegated. It is a righteous, just, system. Stoning did not happen that often when the Judicial system was run correctly. The purpose of stoning was to purge any wickedness out of the Kingdom. But, like I said, it was not done very often and every attempt was made to give the person an acquittal. Remember, we serve a set-apart Elohim who hates sin. Yes, He loves us, but hates wickedness and will. We now are only released from the curse of the Law (death), not keeping the commandment.

When Yeshua returns, the Torah will go forth into the nations (Michah 4:2). We will be expected to go up to Jerusalem on Sukkot. Whoever doesn't will receive no rain (Zechariah 14:17-18). Even Isaiah 66 says that we will be worshiping Him from new moon to new moon and Sabbath to Sabbath. His Kingdom will be set up again for the millennium. As difficult as this may be for you to grasp, please let Yahweh's peace settle with you.

It is true that the blood of animals cannot fully cover our sin and that we no longer need to sacrifice animals to atone for us. However, when Yeshua died, ONLY ONE CURTAIN was torn to allow us to have full fellowship with Him. If the system of offerings had been abolished at that time, the entire temple would have come down. But, it didn't. People were still going to the temple to make offerings. Even Paul went up for Passover (1 Corinthians 5:8). If you study Leviticus from a Jewish perspective, you will see that some of the offerings were not atonement for sin. They were simply offerings up to Yahweh. HE found them to be a sweet aroma. I know you must be feeling very confused right now. But, keep reading.

The matter of what was becoming obsolete was the priesthood, not the entire old covenant, because of the temple being prophesied to come down in 70 AD. This has nothing to do with the entire covenant. Just because Yeshua fulfilled the law doesn't mean the Sabbath was done away with or that we can eat unclean foods. What was made unclean is still unclean. Peter's dream was about Gentiles, not food. But, we still keep the Sabbath as a way of celebrating being able to enter into His rest. It also has to do with His second coming and the 7000 years of creation.

When I said Yehsua didn't keep all of the Law, this is because there are commandments for women, commandments for priests, and other commandments that did not apply to Him. But, I can assure you He was circumcised, kept all the Feast Days, kept the Sabbath and He taught others to uphold the Torah, as well (Matthew 5:17-19). People met in the Synagogues on the Sabbath, just like Paul who was there with Jews AND GENTILES. So, let's think about this: Just what were the Gentiles being converted to? And, what were the Jews being converted to? BELIEVERS IN MESSIAH. They didn't stop keeping Torah over this. The issue of the requirements of the Gentiles was a condition Paul put on them in order for the Jews to even accept them into their presence. The gentiles were considered unclean because of their pagan, unclean practices. So, let's look at these four requirements of the gentiles of no fornication, eating foods sacrificed to idols, blood, and animals strangled. Did you realize these are Torah commandments? And, if these four things are the only things a gentile is bound by, that means I can steal, kill, use the Name in vain, covet my neighbor, sleep with animals, etc.

What many Christians don't understand because of their lack of knowledge of Torah, is that the Torah was kept BECAUSE one believed in the God of Israel.

Numbers 15:15 says: As for the assembly, there shall be ONE statute for you and for the STRANGER who sojourns with you, a PERPETUAL statute throughout your generations; as you are, SO SHALL THE STRANGER BE before the LORD.

See, there is no 'Law for the Jews' and Sunday, pig, and pagan holidays for the gentile. Once you become a believer, you are no longer a gentile. You are grafted into the olive tree of Israel according to Romans 11.

Sunday is for the sun god, pig, shrimp, Christmas, Easter, Lent, Ash Wednesday, Halloween, etc. are all pagan. If it's not found in the bible, then it's not to be observed. All these things are what the pagans do. Please don't take this as an attack, but this is the truth of things. All these things are what Yahweh hates. He hates that His people are still in Babylon, keeping Babylonian holidays and days of worship. And, just to mention Romans was not talking about Sabbath days. It was talking about fasting. The Church has taken so much of the NT out of context because they don't understand the Torah (Hosea 8:12, Hosea 4:6)

I highly encourage you to read Ezekiel 37 to 48. This is still future. There will be a third temple in the Millennium, with a Levitical Priesthood, with our Messiah as High Priest. Animal offerings will again be made - as a memorial of what has been fulfilled. As strange as this may be to you, I highly encourage you to seek out the roots of your faith. I know much of this does not have to do with the book being reviewed, but it seems we have both gone there. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2011 9:57:10 AM PDT
Palm Tree says:
Elizabeth,

Thank you for taking the time to kindly respond! I really, really appreciate that!

It's Saturday, so I am only briefly checking my email today, since we spend time together as a family on this day. However, I just wanted to let you know I got your message and I will respond to it within a few days or at least within the week. :)

May the Lord bless you!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 6:41:18 PM PDT
joel says:
Baruch Hashem sister

I thoroughly enjoyed your response to the last customer, it is all soooo TRUE. Deut. 13 also talks about false prophets. It is always great to find another person with the same like mind, continue studying and sharing the Torah the way it is supposed to be shared. The Torah is the way, the truth and the light. Some people fail to understand that Yeshua did not have a KJV of the bible in his hand or the brit hadasha(new convenant) as well, He taught all of his Talmidims from the Torah. Thank you again, Yah bless and shalom.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 7:03:31 AM PDT
Palm Tree says:
Oh my, Elizabeth, I am so sorry! Joel's response made me realize I didn't get back with you on your last response. I have had so much going on and this topic is so deep, so I haven't stopped to sit down and write out a response yet. And I still can't promise it'll be anytime soon, as I have a new little one coming soon and my hands will be quite full for awhile. I'm very sorry, Elizabeth, as that was not my intent. I hope you can forgive me! :( I will try in the days to come.

I will say this in brief that I agree with some points you make. Others, I don't agree with, but they are not issues of salvation. The main issue being the deity of Christ and what His purpose in fulfilling the Law is. Yes, among the many Mosaic Laws given, some did not "apply" to Jesus, per se, but in every way they still did and were all very much fulfilled through Jesus Christ in full or else His death and resurrection were for nothing. Jesus absolutely was circumcised, but He was also baptized (not Jewish Law). To deny the latter and its purpose, blurs the line of what Jesus' purpose and intent were and are today.

As for future events, I'm not sure I'll touch on those, because eschatology is not one I'm going to break fellowship with another over. What I know is that I am here on this earth to fulfill a purpose God has given me for His glory. As a mother, I know that duty begins with the ministry of my home and how that extends out to fulfill taking the Gospel to every creature and nation, so that the Lamb may receive the reward for His suffering! In the future, when my children are older, my purpose will be the same, but the way it looks may be different. Either way, I could die today, so I live for today as Jesus commands this, as we look to His return. So when it comes to animal sacrifices, God did not take pleasure in animal sacrifices, but desires mercy and grace, which is what I am saved with through Christ! Read Hosea 6:6 and its context. Jesus repeats this verse in Matthew twice and this is what we should learn, mercy and grace only come through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, so that you and I can be made righteous before the eyes of almighty God (who cannot have one speck of sin in His presence...e.g. Adam and Eve). Notice who Jesus is talking to in Matthew. The Jewish Pharisees that Jesus Himself also said surpassed all of them in keeping of the Law. But did Jesus really mean we should have righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees? Yes, and it was in reference to Himself, not them. And why was Jesus healing on the Sabbath? Because Jesus was fulfilling the purpose of His coming, to do away with the keeping of the Law in order to be made righteous, so that it could be shown from whom salvation comes....Jesus Christ.

On a side note, in regards to eschatology, Ezekiel is not a future portrayal of a reinstated animal sacrifice system in the millennium, but a future portrayal of God's "plan" for salvation. It was not presented to faithful Jews, but rebellious ones. God had a purpose in this, but it's not the one you mention. The teaching you mention is one I long believed for a long time, simply because it is so highly popularized by books, such as the Left Behind series. When God saved me, and scripture began coming together, I saw the missing links in that doctrine and none of it adds up. In reference to Hosea 6:6 alone and Jesus' purpose in repeating it twice in Matthew alone, I clearly see why Jesus said it twice. God does not take pleasure in animal sacrifices, but takes pleasure in His Son, of whom He is well pleased (said at Jesus' baptism). There is a plethora of OT references to Jesus and how God takes pleasure in Him. So I look at that verse in Hosea alone, not to mention so many others, but that one alone, and I ask myself, "Why would God reinstate animal sacrifices, if He takes no pleasure in them, but in Christ? Is God a liar? Does He really not mean what He says?" Apparently, He does mean what He says, because He has proven Himself time and time again. Why would He suddenly go back on Christ's finishing atoning work on the Cross and say, "Well, I take pleasure in my Son, but I want to reinstate animal sacrifices, because Your sacrifice, my Son, is no longer entirely pleasing to Me." Doing that not only removes the glorious nature of what Christ did, but it removes His people, the ones He redeemed, from their position He has placed them in...above the angels. This has serious consequences! While I don't break fellowship over eschatology views, I do challenge them, because your views on eschatology can greatly effect how you see the need for following the command to take the Gospel into all the world, so that the Lamb may receive the reward for His suffering. Take one look at Harold Camping and his followers to see an extreme view on this issue and its consequences. That's an extreme view, I'll admit, but I see exactly that view in subtle ways in several Bible believing Christians who hold to the view of Christ's imminent return before a massive 7 year tribulation and thousand year reign, which includes animal sacrifices. I should note that one of my favorite teachers of God's Word holds to this view and while I agree with him on so many, many other issues, I differ on this one. Yet, He is still my brother in Christ and I love him as such! :)

Salvation is through faith alone, by grace alone, in Jesus Christ alone, for the glory of God alone! It's a cliche to say, but it wraps up the truth of the Gospel nicely. Eschatology is interesting to learn, but my views on that do not determine my salvation alone.

Do I look to the OT for its principles and apply them to Holy living? Yes! I love the OT, because all of it points to Jesus Christ and so I want to know all about it. What, when, where, why, how? It all comes together perfectly when you see the core of whom it all points to. (John 5:39) Again, here is Jesus rebuking the Pharisees and the Jewish people, who claim to know God, for not believing in the One standing before them of whom the scriptures speak about. A full reading of the context of that verse is important in showing that Jesus came in humble submission to the Father, so that His will (God, the Father) could be accomplished through His Son.

I've only briefly touch the tip of the iceberg on this subject and I am nothing more than a common woman, so I do not speak with haughty boasting, but humbly searching this issue out for the Truth.

OH....I must point out the curtain issue, because out of all the things you mentioned, I feel it was probably the most important aspect to address. The Temple was torn down. How? Again, Jesus told the Pharisees to tear down the Temple and HE will rebuild it in three days. You can find that in Matthew, Mark, and John. Scripture even makes it plain to understand afterwards that He was clearly talking about His body. The temple is no longer on this earth. God's dwelling place is not in the temple in Jerusalem, but in the body of Christ! We know this, equally, because we are told that when one becomes a Christian, he is no longer his own, but Christ's. The Holy Spirit is then given to that person and his body becomes the Temple. God comes to dwell inside of us. This is His temple, our body! How can God do that in such an unholy, filthy, sinful place as us? Because once we become saved through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God washes away our sins, and makes us righteous before Him through the lens of His Son! Our sins were imputed on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. That is why there are strong verses in scripture that testify against those who harm the body of one who is saved by Christ, which you can trace back to the roots of the temple in Jerusalem. But that's for another topic.

The physical temple of old may be standing in Jerusalem, yes, but it is not the temple for the purpose it once was used for. Someday, I pray God gives my husband and I opportunity to visit it, but not for the purpose Jews came before Christ was the final sacrifice for sins. The temple by which I am saved, I long to see in His glory when He shall call me Home. Until then, I have a glimpse of that temple in my heart when He miraculously saved me. Miracles still happen today and they happen in the hearts of those whom Jesus saves. Salvation is a miracle far more miraculous than what we realize.

On a final note, I consider the Law of tithing and I think about all the prosperity preachers who have ripped scripture out of context to hang it over the heads of men and women in judgment for them not being "healed" or having financial prosperity. That doctrine of the Word of Faith preachers make me so righteously angry, because of what damage it has caused. The healing Jesus came to give was healing from our sin. The prosperity Jesus came to give was in the riches and glory of Jesus Christ. This kind of twisting of scripture is, once again, reason why we have to carefully understand why the OT is no longer our Judge, if we are born again Christians. To go back to the Law is spitting in the face of Christ and preachers like the Word of Faith ones, among many others, do just that. Another example are those who firmly believe in a works-based salvation. The Law was works, was it not? Isaiah says our works are like filthy rags (in reference to the same kind women use for a menstrual cycle). Jesus said there is none good, not even one. We cannot earn our way to Heaven and that's the purpose of the Law, to show us our sinfulness and then to show us our helplessness to keep it (remember Adam and Eve...perfect and yet sinned). We are saved through Jesus Christ alone or we're not saved at all. So I emphasize the point that by going back to the Law in any way, has very serious, serious consequences, especially eternal ones.

I keep rambling, because this topic is so deep and complex, and yet, simple at the same time, once it all comes together.

So I wrote more than I anticipated and my kiddos have waited patiently for me to quit. Haha. :) I hope my tone is conveyed in my reply, as I wrote it as such in my heart as passion to see Christ glorified. If this was not conveyed, I truly apologize, as that was my intent. I also apologize if I repeated myself, as I don't have time to go back and re-read everything right now, but some of what I said vaguely seems like I may have already touched on it. I don't remember though.

I hope I can sit down at another time and really write a more thoughtful reply to you, Elizabeth, as you deserve such. Hope you are doing well! May the Lord bless you this day! :)

On a very last note, apart from my conversation with you, Elizabeth, I have also been thinking about how passionately the author of this book feels about the holocaust. I do, too! However, I wonder if the author feels as passionately about the North Korean people who are in concentration camps today, as I write this, and how utterly horrible the conditions are inside that hermit country? What happened to the Jews and others, including Christians, during the holocaust is utterly horrible and my emotions are too strong to describe how it makes me feel when I think about it. What bothers me, however, is that we still have a holocaust today in forms of concentration camps in places like North Korea and we have Christians around the world who are suffering greatly for their faith. Do we feel as passionately about those who are suffering today, like we do for what we know about a historical time? In no way does this undermine the holocaust, but should even further drive us to want to somehow help those who are suffering from such circumstances today! That is just something I've thought heavily about in recent days as God puts a burden on my heart for suffering Christians and the people of North Korea. :(
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