- Good Rabbinical Teaching is inherently Relational
- Good Teaching is also Behavioral
- Good Teaching is Community-Based
- The full knowledge and experience of the Rabbi are temporarily set-aside
- The Student receives help to discover a new identity and a better future
- The Greatest Communicator of all time
- The empathy and compassion of the Rabbi of all rabbis is boundless
- Messiah paid the penalty for our sin
- Messiah is the Suffering Servant
- Messiah has experienced our lives in a thorough and comprehensive way
- His omniscient empathy allows him to sympathize with our weaknesses
- We are waiting for our salvation to be made complete
- Man’s sinful consciousness has been transferred to the Messiah
- The Ha-Derech and Halakha of Messiah is his Living Torah of the Spirit
- Seven hundred questions that are asked in the Four Faces of Ezekiel
- Ezekiel and the Witness of the Four Faces
- Four historical accounts become one single authoritative body of testimony
- What we discover from the Four Messengers
- We are all sinners in need of a Deliverer
- One day… the knowledge of the LORD will cover the whole earth
- Messiah’s Ten Sayings on Forgiveness are found in the Four Faces of Ezekiel
Good rabbinical Teaching is inherently Relational:
The fundamentals used to construct stories in rabbinical teaching are: listening, questioning, and dialogue. Good teaching is inherently relational. A good teacher is more concerned about the empathic, compassionate, and altruistic character of the learning process, than he is of the actual techniques that are employed. Therefore, teaching is eclectic and personal.
Good Teaching is also Behavioral:
Good teaching is also behavioral. Normally, a good teacher will assume a caring, respectful stance toward his students. Therefore, a master teacher will prefer to assume a role that is one of being “helper,” “collaborator,” and “co-author.” In this caring way the thoughts and perceptions of the learner are of central interest to the mentor. In such a case the Teacher is not the change agent. Rather, the relationship between the Teacher and student is the change agent. The Rabbi creates a relational context for change. The Teacher behaves in such a (inspirational) way that the student can actually ‘see’ in his mentor’s behavior a life-lived-out version of his teachings.
Good Teaching is Community-Based:
This creation of a proper learning environment and process includes the Teacher helping his students make relational connections with supportive people. The Rabbi supports the disciple’s community of relationships by centrally incorporating these supportive voices into the learning process. For this reason the Teacher needs to know to whom their followers have been talking to. It is important to converse about those people who are significant in the disciple’s life, what persons they are in conversation with and who is a resource to them.
The full knowledge and experience of the Rabbi are temporarily set-aside:
Being a ‘Helper’ means that the Teacher stays focused on what the student knows and where the student is at.
The full knowledge and experience of the Rabbi are temporarily set aside. The Teacher adjusts and fits himself or herself to the learner’s present capacity to know. This requires that the Teacher understand the disciples values, beliefs, interests, culture, and environment and use them as a platform for change. The Teacher setting aside his knowledge and wisdom, therefore, is the “knowing one” humbly entering into, dwelling in, and remaining in the ‘not-knowing’ world of the disciple. In this humble, understanding way, the Servant-leader gives deference to the needs of the follower over his own needs. The student is treated as the ‘expert’ of his or her own experience. The Servant-leader comes alongside the student to help him in his endeavor to learn and grow.
The Student receives help to discover a new identity and a better future:
As a Helper, collaborator and co-author the Master, oftentimes, acts as a humble assistant (servant) to the student. His main skill is that of facilitating a good conversation. Good conversations move back and forth between decision (volition), action (experience), and consciousness (meaning). Good conversations contribute to the discovery and development of new life stories that do not support the problem and bring into focus the neglected positive aspects of the talmid’s (student’s) experiences. As a facilitator of a good life story the Rabbi assists the disciple by identifying preferred directions that can be used to develop preferred ways of thinking, choosing, feeling and living that help the student live out a new identity, with new opportunities, and a better future.
The Greatest Communicator of all time:
Rabbi Yeshua, our Master Teacher (the Rabbi of all rabbis), is the quintessential conversationalist. His listening, questioning, and dialogical skills, as depicted in the Holy Scriptures, demonstrate He possesses a singularly unique ability for doing everything well all the time. No one has risen to the heights of relational eminence that the Master has. He is the greatest communicator who has ever lived. When the religious-political leaders of his day sent officers to arrest him, they returned empty handed. After returning, these men were asked, “Why have you not brought him?” The Temple officers (of the Sanhedrin) answered, “No man has ever ‘spoken’ like this Man!”
The empathy and compassion of the Rabbi of all rabbis is boundless:
More important than the Mashiach being the greatest communicator the world has ever known is that He is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. The Master possesses an empathy and compassion of which no other person is capable. In his Spirit the Anointed One (Ha-Mashiach) possesses the divine attributes of omniscience (he is all-knowing) and omnipresence (his Spirit is present at all places at the same time). No other human being has had the ability to listen so well that he or she could actually hear all the secret thoughts, feelings, and intents of another person. Yeshua (lit. the “Salvation of Adonai’) listened with more than great intellect; He listened with unmatched affect, feeling, and emotion. His empathic reach is boundless. Messiah embraces the suffering of humanity comprehensively, thoroughly and completely. Yeshua’s divine consciousness, that is his limitless emotional and cognitive aptitude, allows him to feel, as well as to know, what every human being feels during every failure and disappointment throughout his or her lifetime.
Messiah paid the penalty for our sin:
Messiah’s unmatched degree of empathy is united with his equally unmatched compassion.
In compassion, the Messiah ben Yosef died a horribly tormenting death on the accursed tree (configured in the sign of the ancient Hebrew (22nd) Letter of the Tav; shaped like a crude cross). Incredibly, the Righteous One embraced the Holy One’s horrific penalty for sin: His wrath. Yeshua embraced all humanity’s sin and allowed himself to be punished on the accursed tree so that ‘our’ sin might be destroyed in his own perfect, sinless body. Out of an immeasurable love for humanity Yeshua became our Korban Pesach. He became sin that all who would believe on him for salvation would be saved.
Messiah is the Suffering Servant:
Isaiah poignantly describes the Suffering Messiah’s omniscient empathy and (com)passion when he prophecies: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, he was despised, and we did not esteem him. Surely our griefs he himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but Adonai (the LORD) has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him” (Isaiah 53:3-6).
Messiah has experienced our lives in a thorough and comprehensive way:
Since Yeshua knows perfectly all our sins and sorrows, He truly has, in a thorough and entirely comprehensive way, experienced our lives ‘with’ us. This uniquely qualifies Yeshua as the Person who has intimately entered the inner cognitive, affective, behavioral, and relational sanctums of our lives. Every individual is intimately known. However, regretfully and necessarily (due to the Holy One’s uncompromising righteousness), much of what ‘the Spirit of Messiah’ experiences with humanity in his omniscient empathy and compassion is severely grieving to him (Genesis 6:5-6). Thus, Yeshua is a perfect representative, advocate, and Mediator between persons and the Spirit of the Holy One. The Spirit of Mashiach has, in human form, embraced all our individual experiences, even though so much of his conscious experience of our lives is grievous, hurtful, disgusting, and even tormenting to him.
His omniscient empathy allows him to sympathize with all our weaknesses:
Therefore, the Scriptures say of him, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15; Letter to the Hebrews is a Midrash on Psalm 110). It is the sinless Yeshua, embracing the sinful lives of humans, that uniquely qualifies him to be humanity’s advocate for salvation. If anyone confesses with his mouth that Yeshua is Master (HaAdon, the Lord) and believes in his heart that God (Adonai, the LORD) has raised him from the dead (for the forgiveness of sin and gift of eternal life), then he will be delivered from sin and death and granted the gift of eternal life. By this act of faith in the Messiah of the LORD our God He is faithful to exchange our sin for the Messiah’s righteousness. As the writer of the Letter to Hebrews explains (a midrash on Psalm 110), the worshipers “once purified” (by Yeshua’s once-in-eternity offering for sin) possess “no more consciousness of sin” (Hebrews 10:2).
We are waiting for our salvation to be made complete:
This means that the redemptive ministry of Messiah for now has brought us a complete forensic cleansing from sin. However, although the permanent ‘consciousness’ of our precious soul and spirit is perfectly clean, our body and brain are still infected with the evil impulse (the antagonist of our socially conditioned false intellect, will, emotion, habits and memory). This present problem of our souls and spirits possessing a sin-free consciousness while being housed in an imperfect body and brain will only be resolved on the day of resurrection. Then joyously will our salvation be complete. On the day of resurrection we will be clearly seen (through the flawless mirror of our new immortal bodies) for what we already really are: the sons and daughters of the Most High!
Man’s sinful consciousness has been transferred to the Messiah:
In view here is the marvel of the great Salvation of Adonai our Father.
Man’s sinful consciousness (previously resident in our souls-spirits) has now been transferred to the Messiah who has born all our sin on the accursed tree. Through the redemptive sacrifice of Messiah the consciousness of our soul and spirit is now permanently cleansed. Once purified, redeemed humanity is now able to be filled with the Eternal One’s righteous life: His thoughts, feelings, volition, and behavior (this is the gift of the new Unfailing Heart that comes to permanently reside in our spirits after we have done Teshuvah and been purified of our sin).
Therefore, it has been rightfully said that “it is by the graciousness of the Holy One alone” that we have been delivered from sin, and not through any works of righteousness that we have done. So then what of the practice of boasting of our own works? We have completely done away with it. For since our salvation has been provided us by the graciousness of the Eternal Father through the redemptive-righteous works of the Messiah, we have put an end to boasting about ourselves. Now we only boast in the Lord. He is the Captain of our Salvation and not we ourselves. Consequently, in the kingdom of God persons no longer exist as self-initiated, self-willed, self-directed beings. Rather, we become ‘His’ workmanship. We are the Creator’s living poetry, His masterpiece, His beloved workmanship: created in Messiah Yeshua for good works ((tzedakah) which the Creator prepared beforehand that we should “walk” in them.
The Ha-Derech and Halakha of Messiah is His Living Torah of the Spirit:
In this “Way” (Ha-Derech) we now know that the Adonai’s halakha (“walk”) for us is not a complex system of man-made traditions and rules that are too grievous to bear. Instead we know we have generously been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is not enough for us to be cleansed of sin. We must one day be made to sin no more. The Spirit of the Holy One will make us sinless beings, glorified sons (and daughters) on the day of resurrection. Meanwhile, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. The Halakha of Messiah, our one true Rabbi of all (the One who is of higher rank than any other rabbi), is to simply learn to “walk in the Spirit.” By our exercising faith in the Messiah, the Spirit of the Holy One takes up permanent residence in our spirits and begins the long journey of changing us from the “inside-out.”
The Holy Spirit is our Living Torah!
While our spirits patiently wait for the salvation of our bodies (including our defective brains), our spirits already see His Spirit “Face to Face” (for more info on this matter please cf. our writing on “Messiah in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Teruah,” Chapter 6). The Creator, therefore, has listened and been attentive to the plight of humanity to such a high degree and in such a remarkable manner, that no one, other than the Holy One Himself, could possibly understand it. His empathic, compassionate and altruistic character, His entering into, dwelling in, and remaining in the world of persons, His ability to transform people’s self-identities, facilitate purpose, change hearts, minds, cells, and souls, and create opportunities for a new conscious life and physical existence are, in a word, awesome!
Seven hundred questions are asked in the Four Faces of Ezekiel:
As for the Master’s use of questions, there are over seven hundred questions found in the Four Faces of Ezekiel.
As for the Master’s use of questions, there are over seven hundred questions found in the Four Faces of Ezekiel (the four Jewish Gospel accounts), almost three hundred of these questions are personally asked by Yeshua. The Mashiach asks eleven of these questions in his Ten Sayings (halakha) regarding the twin subjects of: “Man’s Forgiveness of Man;” and “HaShem’s Forgiveness of Man” (actually twenty-two questions, counting duplicate narratives found in the Besorah of the four Faces of Ezekiel). By Messiah’s ‘Ten Sayings’ I am referring to those ten narratives that actually employ the word “forgiveness” (there are four different words used) in the four Jewish Gospel narratives.
Ezekiel and the Witness of the Four Faces:
What are the Four Faces of Ezekiel?
In the visions of Ezekiel (related to the Proceedings of the Heavenly Court; cf. Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10) there are Four Faces symbolically projected (mirrored) from the faces of four Cherubim (whose form is like that of four men). In the prophet’s first vision each of the faces of the four living creatures mirror forth the images of a man (center forward), a lion (right), an ox (left), and an eagle (center back). These four “mirror images” are a prophetic testimony to the (then future) ministry of the Messiah. In reference to the first testimony of Ha-Mashiach (the Anointed One) this witness is conveyed through the agency of men. The four-fold testimony of men reveals Messiah as the promised King (the lion), Servant (the ox), Perfect Man (man), and Ben Elohim (the eagle).
Four historical accounts become one single authoritative body of testimony:
Providentially, at the beginning of the Brit Chadashah there are therefore four successive accounts of the Life of the Messiah. In the Besorah (Glad Tidings) of the Four Jewish “Malakim” (literally messengers; either men or angels) we are presented with a four-fold eyewitness account of the ministry of Messiah. The vision of Ezekiel points to these four historical accounts as coming together to form one single authoritative body of testimony. Furthermore, this body of testimony regarding the Messiah is revealed to be an Unveiling of the actual Proceedings of the Heavenly Court:
Face #1. The King (the Lion). In the testimony of the first session, according to the one called “Given of Adonai” (Matthew, Matthias) and “Joined” (Levi) the Messiah is depicted as the King of Israel, the Lion of Judah (Ha-Ayrei Mishvet Yehudah), who is a direct descendant of David; and therefore the legal heir to David’s throne.
Face #2. The Servant (the Ox). In the testimony of the second session, according to the one called the “Grace of Adonai” (Yochanan-John) and “Hammer” (Mark, the same meaning as ‘Maccabees’) the Messiah is depicted as the Suffering Servant, who is the Holy Servant (Eved HaKadosh) and the Man of Sorrows (Ish Makhovot).
Face #3. The Perfect Man (the Man). In the testimony of the third session, according to the one called the “Light-bringer” (Lukas; same meaning as ‘Aaron’), the Messiah is depicted as the Perfect Man, the Savior of all Men (HaMoshia l’chol Adam).
Face #4. The Ben Elohim (the Eagle). In the testimony of the fourth session, according to the one called the Grace of Adonai (John, Yochanan), the Messiah is depicted as the ben Ha-Elohim (Son of God); the symbol of the “Eagle” in Ezekiel’s vision indicates the Divine Presence.
What we discover from the Four Messengers:
In the Testimony of Messiah we discover from the witness of the four Malakim (Messengers, Jewish Evangelists) that the Anointed One is the Last Adam. In the Tanakh four is the numerical symbol for “universality” (N-S-E-W). Therefore, the Message here does not just apply to the Children of Israel. The Message of the four Jewish Evangelists also applies universally to every human being (cf. the “Messiah in Sukkot”). The besorah of Ha-Mashiach is universally directed to the Jew first (‘to him who much is given, much is expected’) and then, thereafter, also to the Gentile. The problem of sin is a universal one. Both Jew and Gentile are members of the race of Adam. The need for deliverance from sin and the gift of righteousness is a universal need. Although Israel is the Creator’s chosen nation and elect people, it has always been the plan of HaShem (the NAME) to use the royal, priestly nation and people of Israel as a means to reach out and spread His mercy and saving-help to all the nations and peoples of the world. In an unknown time in the (near) future Israel will fulfill this calling… We believe in this 21st century!
We are all sinners in need of a Deliverer:
So what is it that both Jew and gentile must understand after we hear the testimony of the four Jewish Evangelists whose testimony was foretold by the prophet Ezekiel? The answer is that as members of Adam’s race we must all understand that we are sinners in need of deliverance from the oppression of sin and its consequence, death; and we must understand that the Salvation of the Holy One is not embodied in a single religious system (although its foundation is Jewish) but all of the universal salvation of the Holy One is embodied in the Person of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua.
From the prophets of Israel we learn that the Messiah is our King. He is our Suffering Servant who gave up his life for us as a ransom for (our) sin. Messiah is the Perfect Man who the entire world and all its peoples should aspire to be like. He is the ben Ha-Elohim. He is the Coming One (Hu Haba’), the Son of the Almighty, the Promised One (the Seed of the Woman), He is the Ben Avraham who has succeeded where Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Aaron, Moses, David and all others have dreadfully failed. He is the one true Tzaddik, the Righteous One, the Moshia HaOlam, the Savior of the World who alone has conquered sin and death (on our behalf).
One day… the knowledge of the LORD will cover the whole earth:
Since the Besorah of the Four Faces of Ezekiel is a Message of universal appeal, its revelatory contents are (like the festival of Sukkot) first communicated to the Jew but thereafter are also intended to be heard, understood and properly responded to by all of the Gentile nations and peoples as well. Therefore, all of the Holy Scriptures are first conceived in the Mind of the Holy One, then delivered in the languages of first Shem (שם-Hebrew) and second Yaphet (יפת-Greek) and thereafter all the other language groups of the world (חם-Cham, etc.). In the future millennium of Messiah’s rule on earth all will know the Holy One in their own language, according to their own assigned nationality and family tribe.
However, when it comes to the universal study of the Holy Scriptures the two favored languages for study will be Hebrew and Greek. The sages preferred to study in Greek the Septuagint (Greek version of the Tanakh) because it was blessed of Noah. Therefore, as the name Yaphet indicates: This is an anointed language created by the Holy One that both beautifies and enlarges the meaning of the (even more blessed) pure Hebrew text. Therefore, both the Tanakh and Brit Chadashah are in the Mind of the Holy One first conceived in pure Hebrew, then translated into Greek, and then translated into all the languages of the world. So will His Word prosper until that day when, “the earth will be full of the knowledge of Adonai as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
Messiah’s Ten Sayings on Forgiveness are found in the Four Faces of Ezekiel:
In the Four Faces of Ezekiel that is revealed in the first four books of the Brit HaChadashah the Messiah clearly demonstrates the use of deconstruction, opening up, preference, story development, and meaning questions. Additionally, Rabbi Yeshua’s masterful use of story-telling and other literary devices to communicate his life-transforming message of forgiveness can be observed in the following Ten narratives (the number Ten is a symbol of HaShem’s sanctification of our people (Israel) and therefore, it is the number that best represents the most holy day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur). Messiah’s Ten Forgiveness Sayings are:
Forgiveness Saying #1: Healing of the paralytic (ריפוי איש משותק)
Forgiveness Saying #2: The woman who loved much (ישוע בביתו של שמעון הפרוש)
Forgiveness Saying #3: Unmerciful servant (משל על עבד שלֹא רצה למחול)
Forgiveness Saying #4: Reason for speaking in meshalim (פשר משל הזורע)
Forgiveness Saying #5: Limitless forgiveness (מכשולים, אמונה וציות)
Forgiveness Saying #6: Forgive and you will be forgiven (אהבה לאויבים)
Forgiveness Saying #7: How to pray (תפילה)
Forgiveness Saying #8: Blasphemy of the Spirit of Holiness (גדוף כלפי רוח הקודש לא יסלח)
Forgiveness Saying #9: Forgiveness at the accursed tree (כאשר המשיח עשה את נשמתו קרבן על חטאינו)
Forgiveness Saying #10: Post-resurrection authority (סמכות לכבול ומשוחרר)