Dead Faith Vs Living Faithfulness (Sabbath)

Dead Faith vs Living Faithfulness

Time Piece and PenVery few authors can lay a claim to the boast that their works of prose or poetry have changed the course of the world’s history. “Semi-divine” kings of ancient empires, great philosophers and thinkers of antiquity, poets, politicians and generals have all enjoyed a very limited influence when it comes to their sayings, historical achievements and legacy in the world. Although thinkers of Plato and Aristotle’s caliber and poets akin to Shakespeare and Alexander Pushkin may still be quoted by a number of educated individuals, it would be a wild exaggeration to say that their works have truly changed the world.

Even the winners of our modern ‘Nobel Prize for Literature,” “Pulitzers Prize,” “Whitbread Awards,” etc constitute no more than a mere flash in the proverbial pan of time and ideas! The Apostle Paul, however, is among the very few, whose words and ideas have had some unprecedented impact on the lives and destinies of billions of people.

Today, I would like to present to your attention a short theological statement excerpted from one of Paul’s books. It has literally changed the modern world and continues to shape the faith of many millions of Christians today. The sheer magnitude of its impact should come as no surprise, really, considering the fact that Paul did not think it up on his own, but quoted it straight from the Word of the Almighty, - the unchangeable Hebrew Scriptures of the Jewish People!

The passage in question is found in the Book of Romans, chapter 1: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17) - It is safe to say that this particular biblical passage was instrumental in bringing the Medieval Europe out of the Dark Ages and from under the oppressive rule of the Catholic Church. The Reformation Era of the Church could now begin!

The Dawn of the "New Era" ?

Martin Luther Nailing His ThesesMartin Luther was at the forefront of the Protestant Reformation and one of its chief architects as well. A thorough product of his time and a true son of the Mother Church, Martin Luther confessed that he both feared and hated the “God of justice” as described in the Bible. Along with many other Christian theologians, both prior and after him, Martin Luther mistakenly viewed the “Old Testament” and its God as dark and oppressive, claiming that the New Testament and Jesus were the truer and fullest revelation of the Deity. Luther, therefore, was no different from countless other Catholic theologians before his time, who had perpetuated the falsehood of the Replacement Theology, declaring that the Church of Christ was the New Israel and that God’s Plan of Salvation was now being fulfilled through her auspices on the Earth!

Eventually Luther stumbled across the New Testament passages such as the one in Romans 1:16-17, containing the quote from the Hebrew Prophet Habakkuk: “the just shall live by his faith.” (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38) It happened during his lectureship at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, in the years between 1510 and 1520. During that time, Luther lectured from the Books of Psalms, Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. Please, notice that all three of the New Testament books on this list include the famous quote from Habakkuk! Later on, Luther testified of his experience:

“I greatly longed to understand Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression “the justice of God” because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore, I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against him. Yet I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant.

Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that “the just shall live by his faith.” Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sincere mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into Paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning. Whereas before “the justice of God” had filled me with hate, now it became inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.” (Roland Bainton, “Here I Stand,” pp. 49-50)

In a nutshell, that is a story of how all the modern Christianity came into existence. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, irrespective of one’s life and behavior, has been the battle cry of Christendom ever since. Anyone, who even attempts to suggest that works of righteousness and the proper mode of life are important in our experiencing of God’s redemption, are branded as legalists at best and heretics at worst! Mentioning God’s Law and His eternal commandments is a taboo in Evangelical and other Christian circles!

Our today’s reflection will cut the rug from under this brand of Christian spirituality, by not just exposing Luther’s understanding of the text as totally unfounded and thoroughly erroneous but also by showing that the New Testament texts of Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrew 10:38 cannot possibly mean what the Christian Church would like them to signify! That is a staggering claim to make, and I understand it. If proven, it will render the entire Christendom null and void again! We have done it before at “The Rock of Israel,” and will do it again with the LORD’s help! So hang tight and we will unpack these verses together!

A Bit of Personal Info . . .

Charismatic ChurchMy personal spiritual path through the domains of Christendom began at the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches. Both traditions strongly emphasize the doctrine of “salvation by grace through faith alone.” To become a member of a congregation in one of these denominations, one is asked to come up front, mutter a short “Sinner’s Prayer” and be baptized some time later on. The general thrust of these Churches’ theology is that one can never be separated from Christ, no matter what one does and how he lives his life. All that is ever required to be right with the Lord is to ask Him for forgiveness and believe that through Christ’s blood all of one’s sins have been forgiven! Such teachings are but an offshoot of Luther’s theological thinking and will continue to dominate the hearts and minds of Christians unschooled in the Hebrew Scriptures!

It is a self-evident fact that the writings of the New Testament cannot even exist without the foundation of the Hebrew Bible! That is why the writers of the NT scriptures attempt to quote the portions of the Hebrew Bible to give their own message the necessary weight and credibility! The most oft-cited refrain used by the Messiah of Israel himself, is his words, “It is written . . . ,” spoken in reference to the Jewish Scriptures, of course. All the NT authors understood full well that unless their message stood squarely and faithfully on the basis of the Hebrew Writings, it had no validity or value to it at all. With this premise in mind, we shall put the text of Romans 1:17 to the scrutiny of its Hebrew original! Will the keystone of Christian theology pass the test with the flying colors or crumble in a heap of misery, as so many others of its doctrines to date?

“Borrowing” from Habakkuk . . .

The first thing that should strike us as an obvious fact is that the idea expressed in Romans 1:17, (“the righteous shall live by his faith”), which gave such an impetus to Christian theology and Church growth, is not a result of some novel thinking on the part of Paul or any other Church theologian, but a well-known text from the sacred Jewish Writings! It was borrowed wholesale from a Hebrew prophet named Habakkuk! It is, therefore, thoroughly Jewish in its very nature! The first question, then, is: “How could countless Christian thinkers and dogmatists have claimed that the Era of the Church is the time of grace and faith, while the period of Israel was the time of works and law?” To say the least, it is an inconsistent and absurd claim to make. It should not be surprising, though, for many beliefs within Christendom are baseless and unbiblical!

Prophet HabbakukThe second question to be asked, is: “What exactly does Habakkuk say in his timeless oracle?” Let us get back to the biblical text and unravel this mystery! Unlike many of its older predecessors, the NIV (New International Version) translates the passage from Habakkuk 2:4 accurately! Here it is: “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness . . .” (Hab. 2:4) – Did you catch the word used by Habakkuk? It is not “faith” but “faithfulness.” The passage of Habakkuk 2:4 is the one cited by the apostle Paul and, perhaps, by some other writers of the NT (Galatians, Hebrews), and interpreted by the Church to mean that now the faith in Jesus Christ has somehow superseded the faithfulness to YHWH!

Notice a theological movement, present in the Church’s understanding of the matter, which attempts to shift the Bible’s unchanging focus on our faithfulness to the One God of Israel and onto a new reality of faith in Jesus Christ. Even the infamous doctrine of the Trinity could not satisfactorily explain this movement from the faithfulness to One God of Israel to placing one’s faith in somebody else! Please, try and find at least one verse in the Hebrew Scriptures, where our redemption, justification, salvation or blessedness depends on putting our trust and confidence in anything or anybody other than the LORD God of Israel, - YHWH! On the other hand, the Bible is replete with the truth that the Holy One of Israel is the only legitimate object of our faith, trust and devotion! Where do you put your faith today?

“Emunah” – “Faithfullness, Staedfastness, Firmness, Perseverance” . . .

Habakkuk's BookStill, the clearest exposition of the Church’s falsehood on this account lies in the Hebrew text itself. As you have noticed in the passage above, the prophet does not speak of some immaterial notion of “faith,” but rather declares that God’s righteous people shall live by their “faithfulness” to HaShem (YHWH). The word used by Habakkuk is “אֱמוּנָה” (“emunah”). What is the meaning of this powerful Hebrew term? Its correct translation is: “steadfastness, fidelity, faithfulness, firmness, persistence, perseverance.” The core meaning that this word conveys is “faithfulness to the LORD.” Although the Hebrew verb “to put one’s trust, to believe” is derived from the root of the noun “emunah,” the noun itself is not found to mean “faith” even once in the entire corpus of the Hebrew Scriptures. How, then could the Church understand the passages from Romans 1, Galatians 3, etc as speaking about our faith in Jesus?

In harmonious unison with all the other loyal prophets of God, Habakkuk was raised by HaShem to call the wayward Jewish nation back to their covenantal faithfulness with the One God of Jacob. His words “a righteous man shall live by his faithfulness” were designed to lead God’s people back to a faithful obedience to God’s Law, keeping all of His commandments and placing their trust in Him and Him alone! Let us now take a look at a few scriptural examples of the Hebrew noun “emunah.”

In Exodus 17:12, Moses, Aaron and Hur are on the top of a mountain overlooking the battlefield, where Joshua and his troops are prevailing against Amalekites. As the fight is prolonged, Moses’ hands grow weary and he struggles to keep them up: “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady (“emunah”) till sunset.” (Ex. 17:12) In Hebrew original, the hands of Moses are said to have been “emunah” until the sunset! The NIV translation is close to the Hebrew text in rendering the term as “remained steady.” Just try and replace “steady” with “faith” in this passage!

Deuteronomy 32:4 lists a few of God’s own attributes: “I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful (“emunah”) God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deut. 32:4) – What rendered here as “a faithful God” should in fact be “the God of faithfulness.” What does it mean? It means that the LORD does not break His covenant with His people! In other words, God perseveres and is steadfast when it comes to our relationship with Him! We serve an awesome and faithful God! Try and substitute the word “faith” for the original “faithfulness” in this text and it simply won’t work!

In Psalm 119 we read: “I know, LORD, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness (“emunah”) you have afflicted me.” (Ps. 119:75) – The idea behind David’s words is that His God applied some unpleasant disciplining to David as part of His faithful steadfastness to the covenant between them. Once again, try replacing the word “faithfulness” with “faith,” and the text won’t work!

I could have adduced many more biblical passages containing the word “אֱמוּנָה” (“emunah”). All of them have a connotation of a person’s steadfast perseverance in his/her adherence to the LORD God of Israel. After all, the quality of “emunah” or “faithfulness” is one of God’s own characteristics (Deut. 32:4)! He is faithful and steadfast, persevering in sustaining and saving those who trust in Him and Him alone! Habakkuk’s words, therefore, could not be taken to be a prophecy referring to some future time, when the people of God would have to make the object of their trust and faith anyone or anything other than their Creator! Habakkuk’s words are both a statement of fact and a prophecy that the righteous of the LORD shall always live by their faithful walk with the LORD God of Israel!

If the Apostle Paul was faithful to the biblical text while composing his Epistle to the Romans, and I believe he intended to be, then his quoting of Habakkuk’s text should have the exact same meaning as intended by the Jewish Prophet! The Apostle Paul, therefore, states that all the righteous people of God will continue to live by their faithful and steadfast adherence to the only Living God out there, - the LORD God of Israel! This raises another absolutely crucial question: “What do we do with Jesus Christ and the New Testament’s perceived insistence that we should put our faith in him as well?” This is the query, to which we shall now turn our undivided attention!

Believing in Jesus? . . .

Jesus by the ShoreIf the New Testament faith is but a logical and historical continuation of the Hebrew faith in One God, why do we find the world of Christendom worshiping anything but the LORD God of Israel? If our assumption that the writings of the New Testament rest securely on the immovable foundation of the Jewish Bible is correct, then, why is the core message and faith of Christendom run contrary to those of the Hebrew Scriptures? When and where did One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob command us to switch our allegiance from Him and onto a new “compound” Trinity of the Church? Did He ever order us to put our trust and faith in anyone but Himself? Who instructed us to trample on His immutable Law and change His Sabbath and Feast days?

Those of you who have studied with us for some time now, know the answer to these questions. The answer has a few important facets to it: First, the doctrine of the “The Most Blessed Trinity” was created by the Gentile Church to separate their emerging religious cult from the faith of Israel (3d -5th centuries CE). Second, the Church was now proclaimed to have become “the New Israel.” Third, the dogma of “The Absolute Supremacy of Christ” was introduced for the popular consumption among the “faithful” (11th-12th centuries CE). These doctrines have allowed the Church to create its own religion, completely disassociated from the eternal faith of Israel in One God of Jacob! Where do you stand today?

These and many other unbiblical notions have played a crucial role in the Church’s tempering with the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:9-20; I John 5:7-8, etc). Even the Hebrew Scriptures were consistently given some “fine tuning” in order to make them conform to the teachings of the Church! This type of Church tempering with the Bible can still be evident in many English-language translations today. At “The Rock of Israel” we have been boldly exposing many of them in our reflections and weekly articles.

Jesus' PortraitIf Jesus of Nazareth was a genuine Jewish Messiah and a prophet sent by the LORD God of Israel, his central mission would have been to bring both Israel and the Gentiles of the world into an intimate fellowship with the LORD God of Israel, Who, according to His own Word, is One, not three-in-one! Please, understand the following: The Jesus of the Christian Church, created by her in her own image, cannot be the Messiah of Israel, whose coming and mission the Hebrew Scriptures predicted so clearly! In fact, if you believe that Jesus brought to us a novel understanding of God as a compound tri-unity, he should have been stoned on the spot according to God’s Word decreed in Deuteronomy 13. The Church’s idea that God’s immutable Law is no longer binding after the coming of the Messiah is also unbiblical and contradicts the Hebrew Scriptures!

How can an honest seeker for God’s truth reconcile the New Testament’s claim that Jesus is the Promised Messiah with Christ’s insistence that folks around him should believe in him as well? Here is one such text, coming out of the mouth of Jesus himself: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe in me also . . .” (John 14:1) – This is one of those passages that the Trinitarian Christianity loves to adduce as their proof for the triune nature of God. What does Jesus say here? Does he mean to teach us that he is the Second Person of a divine pantheon? If he does, then he simply cannot be the Messiah predicted through the prophets of the Almighty in the Hebrew Scriptures but is a charlatan and a false prophet, to boot (Deut. 13)! Believing that the Bible should hold the key to its own puzzles, we shall turn to its pages to find answers to these questions.

Types and their Antitypes

All of my Christian friends would agree with me that the Hebrew Scriptures, or, what they pejoratively call the “Old Testament,” contain the narratives, whose characters serve as types for the coming Messiah. Literally hundreds of Christian books have been written on the subject of comparing the lives of, say, Joseph or King David, to the mission and destiny of Jesus Christ. The clue to our today’s quest lies in the person and mission of the greatest biblical leader apart from the LORD Himself. The story of Moses will show us that by saying “believe in me,” Jesus did not intend to correct people’s view of One God by urging them to believe in another deity at His side!

In order to save His people from their bondage in the Land of Egypt, the LORD had to persuade them that Moses was an authorized agent of God, sent directly by Him to carry out the mission of salvation for Israel! In other words, Moses was God’s “anointed one” through whom the LORD would work out their deliverance. Moses was a human Savior and Deliverer! In light of all this, it is quite understandable why Moses is one of the brightest types of the coming Messiah! By performing some of the mightiest miracles ever witnessed by human race through his servant Moses, God would enable the people of Israel to put their trust in the man as an agent of God. On one occasion, God even states that Moses would function as “God” for Aaron and others! (Ex. 4:16)

Moses at the SeaPlease, listen closely to the text of Exodus 14: “That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and believed in Him and in Moses His servant.” (Ex. 14:30-31) – The same idea of believing in both the LORD God of Israel and His earthly servant is expressed in this text. Please, you tell me, if the Israelites were to worship and revere Moses alongside their One God? Do you begin to see the absurdity of Christianity’s claim that we are to worship three gods (the compound deity of trinity) instead of Israel’s One God?

Although the miracles performed by the LORD through His servant Moses were of an incomparably greater magnitude than those done by anybody else in the biblical world, including the Jewish Messiah as well, Moses was no more to be worshipped than any other human being on the face of the planet! When Jesus Christ urges his hearers to “believe in him,” he suggests to their hearts and minds the image of Moses, the servant of the LORD. Just as people of Israel were to trust that the LORD had sent Moses to deliver them from the Egyptian oppression, so were they to believe that Jesus was a man sent by their God! It is that simple!

Right before his death, Moses instruct the Jewish People and refers to the coming Messiah with the following words: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” (Deut. 18:15-16) – Did you catch the thought that the prophet would be very much like Moses himself, i.e. perfectly human. That idea is underscored in the notion that just as Moses was asked by the people to speak to them instead of their God, so will that coming prophet convey the message of the Almighty to them as well! Why does the Christendom insist that Jesus should be some Second Divine Person in the flesh?

The text continues: “The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.(vv.17-19) - As the promised Jewish Messiah, Jesus would never have turned the faith of his people away from the One True God of Israel (see Mark 12:28-30)! It was done by the Gentile Church in their zeal to create an entirely new religious cult called Christianity today! Where does your faith belong? Do you worship and obey the One God of Jacob?

The Faith in Jesus or “of Jesus”?

Bible and SpectaclesDespite of Christianity’s teaching that one is to have “faith in Jesus” in order to be saved, the Messiah of Israel pointed his followers to the One legitimate object of their faith, - the LORD God of Israel. Thus, for instance, explaining the miracle of the quickly-withered fig tree, Jesus told his disciples “to have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22) The central message of Jesus’ preaching and teaching was the message of the “Kingdom of God.” He was a trusted messenger, God was the message! Did you know that many New Testament passages, which we have come to read as speaking of “faith in Jesus,” convey a completely different information when read in the original Greek? This find may prove to be quite revealing to those of you who have never thought along these lines before! Let us investigate a few representative examples!

Romans 3:22: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” – Although the NIV translation states that the righteousness is given to all through their faith “in” Jesus Christ, the grammar of the Greek language clearly points in a different direction. The relationship between the name of “Jesus” and the word “faith” is expressed in the Greek text of Romans 3:22 by means of the Genitive Case that denotes possession. In laymen terms this means that the text should be read: “This righteousness is given through faith of Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Even more precise, the text should be rendered as “through the faithfulness of Jesus.” This way it begins to make total sense. Through the faithful obedience of the Jewish Messiah and his voluntary death on the Cross, those of us who put our trust in the LORD God of Israel believing that He has provided the Lamb of God, find salvation and peace for our souls!

Romans 3:26: “He [God] did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Once again, the text in Greek does not say “faith in Jesus,” but rather, “faith of Jesus.” – You may respond by asking: “What is the big deal? Is there a real difference in these translations?” What does it mean to “have the faith of Jesus”? As we have outlined above, the faith of Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel was in the God of Israel. To “have the faith of Jesus” is to have the faith of any other true monotheist prior to him and after his coming: “You shall have no other gods before me. . .” (Ex. 20:3)! Jesus shows his theological colors with unmistakable clarity when responding to the question of one of his religions opponents.

Please, have a listen: “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:28-30) – By quoting from the most central confession of Israel’s faith in One God, Jesus declares his allegiance to the Holy One of Jacob in no uncertain terms. He speaks as a loyal Jew, kosher rabbi and a true son of His people Israel! This text exemplifies most vividly what the phrase “faith of Jesus” truly means! It means that the object of our faith should be the same as that of Jesus’ faith, namely, the LORD God of Israel! Who is the object of your faith? Do you the saving faith in your life? The saving faith is anchored in the Holy One of Jacob and Him alone!

The same translational “conspiracy” is evident in Galatians 2:16 and 3:22. In their zeal to replace the God of Israel with a newly-invented “god” of the Cosmic Christ, the Church felt free to translate the Greek text of the New Testament manuscripts in the way “suitable” to her devious ends! Interestingly enough, addressing his friend Philemon, the apostle Paul encourages his protégé to have both love and faith “toward” Jesus and other disciples! The text of the NIV twists the passage so as to separate the “other saints” from “Jesus” and thus make it plain to everybody that we are to love one another, while putting our faith in Jesus! But that is not what the text says! Why don’t people have the fear of God as they play with the Bible?

Here is the text of Philemon 1:5 as it appears in the NKJV: “I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints . . .” – Did you notice that Philemon’s love and faith are directed in equal measure both toward Jesus and other saints in this text? Should the other saints mentioned in this passage be worshiped too?

Revelation 14:12: For a good measure, we will bring out the witness of the Book of Revelation as well. The text of Revelation 14:12 encourages all the faithful people of God to keep His Commandments and have the "faith of Jesus.” As you may have guessed the majority of Christian Bible versions put it as “faith in Jesus,” which is not what the text is trying to convey. The NKJV renders it more or less correctly: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12) – As we have seen earlier, the phrase “faith of Jesus” signifies that we are to place our complete faith and ultimate trust in the same God as did Jesus the Messiah, namely in the LORD God of Israel! Simply put, the “faith of Jesus” is the faith of the loyal Israel. They were to have no other gods beside the Holy One of Jacob!

Walking With Jesus or Walking With God ?! . . .

Jesus and His disciplesHere is an illustration of the point I have been making throughout this paper: As a devout Christian and lover of God, would you like the people who have come to know, trust and love you to start calling everybody else into some intimate relationship with you? For the sake of our illustration, we can imagine that you have done something great for the people around you in the name of God and, therefore, glorified Him before their very eyes. Perhaps, you have saved their children’s lives by carrying them out of a burning building! Let us also imagine that your name is John.

How would you like to hear that folks whose lives you have saved proclaim everywhere that everyone should now develop “a closer walk with John”! Would you not protest against that scheme by saying that what you did for them was actually a saving act of God and that everyone should come to know, love and walk with Him and Him alone? I am sure you can see my point now! Jesus was the Messiah of Israel and the servant of the Most High. His ultimate goal was not to call everyone into the most intimate relationship with himself. He came to bring the world back to the One and Only Living God, - the Holy One of Jacob! He gathered the Twelve around himself with an express purpose of teaching them the Word of God and getting them acquainted with the Holy One of Israel! Who does your church call the world to walk with and worship? Is it a Jewish Rabbi and Israel’s Messiah or the Living God?


1. The text of Romans 1:17, “the just shall live by faith,” is the most crucial text for Christendom as we know it today! The entire protestant Reformation sprang up from its perceived meaning!

2. The text was not “invented” by the Apostle Paul, but borrowed from the writings of a Hebrew prophet named Habakkuk;

3. The Prophet Habakkuk does not employ the word for “faith” in his oracle, but rather speaks of a person’s “faithfulness or steadfastness.” The Hebrew noun “אֱמוּנָה” (“emunah”) implies an Israelite’s firmness, faithfulness and steadfastness in keeping the Covenant relations with the LORD God of Israel.

4. Habakkuk’s words have nothing to do with some future time when, according to Christendom, people would have to put their intangible faith in some Second Person of the three-bodied god, but refer to an ongoing faithfulness to HaShem on the part of the Covenantal People Israel!

5. Martin Luther and other Christian thinkers have imparted to Christendom a long-lasting legacy of false biblical interpretations!

6. In the Biblical context, “believing in Jesus” means exactly the same as “believing in Moses” (see Exodus 14:30-31). Neither of them, however, is to be “voted” into the position of the Second Body within the “godhead”!

Shabbat Shalom 17. In the predominant majority of cases, when the words “faith” and “Jesus” are mentioned in the same verse, the Greek text states “faith of Jesus” rather than “faith in Jesus,” as our Christian translations would have us believe!

8. “The faith of Jesus” is the faith of every true Israelite, whose trust and worship are directed toward the LORD God of Israel and Him alone!
9. With whom are you developing your walk today?

Shalom and Happy Sabbath!