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Thank you for having taken the time to reply.
I am not sure whether you want to deliberately explain away salvation, or whether your sole reliance on intellect has led you astray; I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and suppose the latter is the case.
I will copy/paste the main points and comment in bold/italics:
Regarding "born again" you write:
To best understand this phase it is important to understand that the Tanak teaches that the nation Israel was born, died, and will live again.
Firstly, Israel only died in the sense that she lost her homeland, and secondly, Yeshua doesn't talk exclusively about the Jews, but about MAN - how can a MAN enter the Kingdom of God? Jew, Samaritan, Gentile, anyone - how can they be saved and become followers of Yeshua? That was the issue. By the time Kefa wrote his letter, Gentiles had been born again (or do you want to deny this?). So how can Gentiles be born again if John 3:3 only refers to Israel?
After Israel’s birth Israel died from rejection of Torah but would live again! Israel would be born again!
Show me a verse in the Tanakh or B'rit Hadashah which shows that Israel died due to her rejection of Torah = due to disobeying the Pentateuch. She died nationally after 70 CE / 135 CE because she rejected the Messiah, and her European exile culminated in the Shoah or the 'Valley of Bones'. But the Messiah is not the Pentateuch as you'd like to put it (if I understood you correctly). The Torah was even slightly modified by Yeshua, but I'm sure you know that.
In a similar way anyone who turns to Torah is “born again” in that they become like a new creation. The Talmud says "...a proselyte is like a newborn infant." (b.Yevamot 62a; see also b.Yevamot 48b).
Show me two verses in the Tanakh or B'rit Hadashah which say that one becomes a new creation and is born again by turning to the Torah (N.B. The Word of God is the Tanakh & the B'rit Hadashah, not just the Pentateuch).
3:5-6 born of water and spirit… born of flesh… born of spirit - Yeshua ties this in as an elaboration of the previous phrase "born again." Here Yeshua is referring to a Tanak passage (Ezekiel 36:24-28) which reads:
For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries and bring you into your own Land
That occurred in 1948 (nowhere does Scripture say that the entirety of Jewry would make Aliyah, but speaks about represenatives - JER 3:14).
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take he heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
This will occur when the Jews receive the Holy Spirit: "I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, the spirit of grace and of supplication" (ZECH 12:10), and hence start speaking in tongues: "Then will I turn to the peoples, a pure language: that they may all call upon the Name of YHWH, to serve Him with one consent." (ZEPH 3:9) As the context is Armageddon, we know that the pure language has nothing to do with the revival of Hebrew which began in the 19th century.
What does it mean to be “born of water”? Water represents Torah as Isaiah writes:
Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. (Isaiah 55:1)
Where does Isaiah write that water represents Torah? James Trimm writes that Isaiah writes that water represents Torah! This way of injecting your biased interpretation borders on lying. Water stands also for the Holy Spirit, but here the water[s] represent the Father, which is why it reads "Come unto me... " in verse 3. The water has nothing to do with the Pentateuch (Bereshit 1:2-3 shows how Yeshua was born of the waters (Father) and the Spirit (Mother) hovering over it).
What does it mean “born of spirit” and “born of flesh” ? The Tanak foretells that that when Israel casts away its transgressions and makes for itself “a new heart and a new spirit” its death will end (Ezek. 18:29-32) and thus will Israel be reborn.
Again, the verse shows that Israel will be reborn according to James Trimm; the verse itself doesn't say anything about rebirth! The verse itself is an obvious call to turn around: Repent! Change your mind! Change your heart-attitude! Start obeying!
Ezekiel also writes:
And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. and I shall take the heart of stone out of her flesh and give them a heart of flesh, (Ezekiel 11:19)
When the Spirit of YHWH is received YHWH says:
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (Ezek. 36:27)
As explained above, these verses refer to the time of Armageddon when the Jews will accept Yeshua HaMashiach because they will see Him touching down on the Mt. of Olives, and the Spirit will be poured on them (people often get the chronology wrong).
Your last sentence reveals such a poor understanding, that I need to take it apart:
1) In order to enter the kingdom and be regathered to the Land, the Jewish people would have to be born of water (made clean)...
The Jewish people were regathered into their land in 1948, not because they were clean or good or loved Jesus or obeyed Torah, but because of the UNCONDITIONAL Abrahamic Covenant which came into force in that year (Israel was punished for 7 Times or 2,520 years of 360 days, starting after the Babylonian exile in 536 BC - because they hadn't repented - and terminating in 1948). They were NOT born of water, only that the nation's establishment ('rebirth') took place on Shavuot (or one day before).
In order to enter the kingdom and be regathered to the Land, the Jewish people would have to be born of flesh (receive a heart of flesh rather than stone).
A person who remains born of the flesh will go into a lake of fire for all eternity. "Born of the flesh" refers to fallen man's natural birth in sin, by the will of man, not by the will of God. Yishmael is a type of someone born of the flesh, to whom Paul alludes when He writes: "He that was born of the flesh persecuted the one born of the Spirit, EVEN SO IT IS NOW (GAL 4:29) - trust me James, there were born again Jews and Gentiles in that congregation, and they were despised and attacked by unregenerate Jews (like today). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 COR 15:50). Something entirely different is that man receives a fleshy, soft heart through rebirth of water and Spirit.
and receive the Spirit of God so as to walk in the statutes.
Yes, once the Jewish people have received the Spirit the will finally obey Torah.
One last point, James:
Your whole theory about John 3:3-5 relating exclusively to Israel and thereby explaining away individual rebirth and salvation (which is nothing short of satanic), - that whole story collapses because Gentiles were born again too (e.g. 1 Kefa 1:23).
I have hardly come across such bias and wresting of Scripture as in this case.
1Kefa is addressed to "the chosen, and sojourners who are scattered in Pontus and in Galatia... [etc.]" (1Kefa 1:1)
If we compare with the opening verse of Ya'akov (James) we read:
"Ya'akov, a servant of Eloah and of our Adon Yeshua the Messiah, to the twelve tribes that are scattered among the nations" (Ya'akov 1:1)
Who were the Galatians? They were a colony of Gauls. Gauls had migrated from an area just north of the Assyrian Empire across Europe to the area we know today as France. The HRV appendix map 1 shows the Ancient WOrld as known to the Hebrews. You will see the land we know today as France was Gaul. These Gauls were also known as Celts... they migrated across the English channel into the Brittish isles... thus the Celts spoke "Gealic". According to Obadiah 1:20 the House of Israel would migrate to a place called Tzarfat... this is the Hebrew word for "France" in fact Rashi's commentary on Obadiah 1:20 says that this refers to France. These "Gauls" were GAL-aeens who had been exiled by the Assyrians to the land north of Assyria, As they passed through the area known now as Turkey they created a colony there called GAL-atia. If one compares the openning of James and 1Kefa there is an obvious parallel. One will notice that "the twelve tribes scattered among the nations" in James is said in 1Kefa to include "Galatia".
So 1Kefa 1:23 is speaking of Israel.
Individual salvation is another topic, with which I agree. But I am not convinced, when reading these verses from a Jewish perspective, that the phrase "Born Again" refers to individual salvation as opposed to the rebirth of Israel. It is however possible for it to refer to both, the Scripture has 70 facets.
In Acts 15:1 false brethren were teaching the reborn Galatians that they needed to be physically circumcised in order to be saved (cf. Acts 14:26 - Antioch in Galatia not Syria). The entire discussion is about whether the Goyim ought to be physically circumcised (and in the letter to the Galatians, Paul refers to these ‘works of the law’ to gain salvation - nothing to do with some code of the Essenes as per DSS).
If you are referring to the ‘rebirth’ of the nation of Israel, that occurred in 1948, but it is not what Yeshua referred to in John 3:3-5. Israel was NOT not reborn for some 1,900 years, she was reborn on Shavuot in 28 CE - 50 days after the crucifixion, paralleling Mt. Sinai because the Torah was written into their hearts as promised by Jeremiah 31:31-33, a passage quoted twice by Paul when explaining what had happened to the Hebrews - salvation, entering the B’rit Hadasha (HEB 8:10; 10:16). Until 34 CE only Israel & Judah got saved, followed by the Samaritans in 34 CE and in 40 CE by the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-47; 11:15).
Israel as a whole rejected Yeshua HaMashiach and only a remnant will accept Him at His Second Coming which was foreshadowed by ‘the election of grace’ that got saved in Yeshua’s day.
”He came to His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. WHICH WERE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.” (John 1:11-13)
If you cannot see that the above passage refers to individual rebirth and salvation of anyone coming to Yeshua (from Samaritan prostitutes to Gentile murderers) then I have to assume that you don’t want to see it - because no one can possibly be that blind; it needs a conscious, self-righteous descision: “I don’t like it because it questions my own salvation, I don’t want it, it doesn’t fit my long-held views, I’ll explain it away.”
I can only respond to your misunderstandings with 4,000 characters. Therefore here are links to where I have responded to your common Christian Gentile understandings elsewhere:
You misunderstand Acts 15
You misunderstand Galatians on Circumcision
No I speak of the rebirth of the Kingdom of Israel
You misunderstand Jer, 31:31-33 and Hebrews 8:10;10:16
No the Jews have not Rejected Yeshua
i certainly dont wish to comment too early to you, i have been reading some of your posts, and your conversing with Jake, there is a lot of information there, a lot of study and time you have put into your posts. So far i like the structure of this website as well ( seems someone has some web design skills). on another note, i am certainly ready for bed as it approaching the end of my day. just meaning a little late in my day for to much reading so i am certainly responding quickly with out a full investigation to your beliefs.
you quoted this in one of your posts
“The new heart alludes to man’s nature, and the [new] spirit to the desire and will. It is this which our Rabbis have said : “And the years draw nigh, when you shall say: I have no pleasure in them; these are the days of the Messiah, as they will offer opportunity neither for merit nor for guilt,” for in the days of the Messiah there will be no [evil] desire in man but he will naturally perform the proper deeds and therefore there will be neither merit nor guilt in them, for merit and guilt are dependent upon desire.”(Ramban on Deuteronomy 29:6)
I could try and search for these answers to my questions, however if your willing,
1) Ramban , what does he mean by naturally?( as i am assuming that you agree the New Spirit has arrived in man), i fully believe in the In Dwelling Of Gods Precious Holy Spirit that I received after I repented in Jesus Name and asked/Begged The Great God Of Abraham for forgiveness. I remember when Gods Spirit entered my Body... the term naturally does not seem to enter my definition, perhaps you could explain?
2) you say study Torah, i have no problem with that, what if i said to you i am only going to read from the New Testament or the renewed Testament as you say from this day forward, although what comes to mind is when Jesus says i make all things New... so if i only read from the New Testament, never once reading from the Torah, how would you respond to me as far as my walk with Jesus might be, just based on this one comment?
i am trying to see how you see Jesus, and the New Testament, How do you see Jesus?... Jesus is my All in All, if i see Jesus, i see The Father... Jesus is my Lord, my GOD and my Saviour, although i do worship the Great GOD of Abraham Most High, may His Holy Name Be Honored. and i am basically saying if i only read from the New Testament the rest of my days, i see no difference at all from reading The New Testament, or from the Torah,in fact i would say the New Testament is much more important to my walk, in all that i understand, just curious what you would say to this, would you agree? i suspect not, however i can not discern my left hand from my right.
Curious about your beliefs
Bruce, i am certainly no intellect, however i am certainly part of the called of the Body Of Christ...
I have to correct myself in one point: you are right by saying that Yeshua = Torah. Due to not being Jewish I’ve connected the Torah merely with the Pentateuch, but the entire Word of God including the B’rit Hadashah comprises Torah (‘instruction’).
But even with this in mind, to say that the Jews have not rejected Yeshua is ludicrous. Except for the early Jewish Nazarenes, the Jews as a people have rejected Yeshua because they neither realized that He is the embodiment of the Torah nor that He is the Messiah. Jerusalem’s destruction in 68 CE (as per Rashi and Rambam) was God’s direct judgment for rejecting His Son – even though the Talmud says because of sinat chinam (Yoma 9b), which is a good example of ridiculous and evil, rabbinic anti-Yeshua claims.
One cannot iron this out by saying the Jews have actually not rejected Yeshua, because Yeshua is Torah, and they have not rejected Torah. The Torah is anyway the Written and Oral Law in their view, and on top of that until today they have broken – and are breaking – the Pentateuch left, right and centre through the “traditions of the elders” (by adding, taking away, or nonsensical interpretations).
I don’t have your knowledge of the Talmud (or Zohar), and there are some good things in there which help to understand who Yeshua is and what His sayings mean; however, most of it is diametrically opposed to Him. Hence, to rely on all those ‘esteemed’ Rabbis in everything they say will lead inevitably result in unbiblical heresies.
I disagreed with your claim that the ‘evil inclination’ can be overcome through Torah study (as profitable as it is for improving the character). If Judaism teaches that man was created with both the yetzer hatov and the yetzer hara, then this is very interesting, but not biblical. I wasn’t talking at all about the rebirth of the Kingdom of Israel, because it doesn’t tell us how an individual can overcome his ‘evil inclination’ called ‘the flesh’ in the Bible (unless you want to claim that only Jews can be reborn). You diverted to Israel’s rebirth as a people, thereby undermining individual rebirth – the latter being the biblical basis for mortifying the flesh (overcoming ‘yetzer hara’).
Scripture shows that man has a sinful nature. This fallen nature is the root of the evil we do. It’s not about any sins you commit or don’t commit, but about what you are from birth. As David says, “I was born in sin and iniquity”. The blood of bulls and goats can only atone for sins, but it cannot change the Adamic sinful nature – that needs the blood of Yeshua, the second Adam (who will stop the curse, and re-create man).
Why did Job ask the rhetorical question, “How can man be justified before El?” Because the answer is that he cannot clean himself up, neither through Torah study or through making a handstand. He may improve his conduct, but he cannot become righteous in the sight of God through his own efforts (and it really doesn’t matter if Judaism says otherwise). “All our own righteounesses are as filthy rags” Isaiah says.
Paul wrote to the Romans, “Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (ROM 6:6). You will agree that the Roman assembly surely consisted not exclusively of Jewish Nazarenes, but that there were some Gentiles among them (or rather vice versa). The context is water baptism which puts “the old man” to death. “The old man” is our sinful, Adamic nature which needs to die and be replaced with a new nature in order to walk in righteousness. Scripture nowhere says that “the old man” needs to be improved through Torah study, but that is has to die. Full water baptism in the name of Yeshua is not some ‘Christian Gentile rite’, but the first part of man’s rebirth – no matter if rabbinic Judaism despises it. All of the Nazarenes, Jews and Gentiles, had been baptized following the example of Yeshua when He re-enacted His own ‘birth’ by submitting to John’s baptism. After His death and ascension He baptized with fire, i.e. with the Spirit. This is the second type of baptism which all of the Nazarenes had received: they received the Holy Spirit. Why? What for? Because they, like every son or daughter of Adam, had been born with a heart of stone, with a dead human spirit due to Adam’s sin. How can one have intimacy with God who is Spirit in another way than through the spirit? It doesn’t work through the flesh/soul, i.e. through your carnal intellect. You will be only conformed to His image if your own spirit has been quickened through God’s Spirit, and has taken control of your soul.
That was my point. To mortify the flesh (yetzer hara, if you will) one has to have God’s Spirit dwelling within. One may explain this again away by saying that Yeshua’s words (Torah) are Spirit, thus we need to mortify yetzer hara through Torah study; but this is not meant here. It speaks about the Holy Spirit which needs to infill a person, just as the Spirit filled the Temple on Shavuot 2,000 years ago. As one can read in ACTS, it is a supernatural event which occurs in a matter of seconds, not through internalising the Torah. How long does someone have to study the Torah before they are born again? Shall I tell a repentant Gentile prostitute who wants to get saved, “Read the Torah, then you will be born again… maybe start with Bamidbar.” The rabbinic concept of being ‘born again’ is diametrically opposed to Scripture – it’s plain nonsense.
To the born again Corinthians who all spoke in tongues, Paul writes: You are a letter of the Messiah [= Torah] that was served by us: written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the Living Eloah; not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of the heart of flesh. (2 COR 3:3).
Is it not obvious that this is what Jeremiah had prophesied: This the [new] covenant that I will make with the House of Yisrael after those days, says Yehovah, I will put My Torah in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it. (JER 31:33)
Shall we object, “But the Corinthians were not the House of Israel!” True; because the New Covenant was extended to the Gentiles after Israel had rejected it: In their stumbling, salvation has come to he Goyim (ROM 11:11). Because they had “stumbled at that stumbling stone [Yeshua]” (ROM 9:32).
However, I must assume you deny that the New Covenant was inaugurated on Shavuot 2,000 years ago, seeing you prefer the term Ketuvim Netzarim to B’rit Hadashah.
Yeshua was thoroughly versed in the written and oral law, and it’s important to understand the rabbinical backdrop and the Hebraisms, etc. However, it is very wrong to rigorously employ Talmudic thought for interpreting Scripture. At the latest since Rashi reinterpreted Isaiah 53 as referring to Israel’s suffering instead of the Messiah’s (as seen for centuries by earlier Rabbis) only a fool would rely on rabbinic sources in order to ‘unlock Scripture’, especially when it relates to Yeshua. Usually anything goes in Orthodox Judaism to explain away His Messiahship, including tampering with manuscripts.
You are quick to call clear biblical principles ‘Christian Gentile misunderstandings’, override and replace them with certain rabbinical views, and present them as truth to prop up your own version of the Gospel (as if Rabbinical Infallibility were any better than Papal). While doing so you don’t even shrink back from explaining away the pattern of salvation which all of the Nazarenes adhered to: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yeshua HaMashiach for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. They all received the Holy Spirit with the manifestation of tongues. What happened when you received the Holy Spirit, James? The Torah tells you to pray in the Spirit – how do you do that? No need to reply, James.
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