Messiah in Sukkot Chapter 22

  1. Closing reflections on the Messiah in Sukkot
  2. The Religious Leaders were right about one thing…
  3. The vain imaginings and man-made traditions of the Bramble Bush King
  4. Moses predicted that the Messiah first would be rejected by his own people
  5. Why is the Light of HaShem’s Presence hated?
  6. The Light condemns pride and arrogance but favors the humble and lowly of heart
  7. The religious elites are no better than the rest of us
  8. The Bramble Bush rabbinate claims to be righteous before God when it is not
  9. The Bramble Bush has always been opposed to the will of the Father of Mercies
  10. Messiah came to heal the spiritual paralysis of all the people of Israel
  11. The Righteous Judgment of Ha-Mashiach (Mishpat Tzedek)
  12. Freedom to believe: The 21st Century demise of the Bramble Bush King
  13. The reasoned response of Messiah to his detractors
  14. The conflicted religious factions were united in their hatred of the Messiah
  15. The words of the Prophets and Messiah were replaced by the mental inventions of men
  16. Soon the Messiah will return to earth as the Conquering Messiah ben David:
  17. The Bramble Bush King became the dictator over all of the other Trees
  18. Springs of Living Water flow out of the redemptive teaching of the Messiah
  19. The Gift of the Unfailing New Heart
  20. The Father protected the Messiah until the appointed time of his sacrifice
  21. “No one ever spoke the way this man does!”

Closing reflections on the Messiah in Sukkot:

When it was the middle of the Feast of Sukkot, the Messiah went up into the Temple and began to teach.

{Classic and Mishnaic Hebrew}

וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי יְמֵי הֶחָג וְיֵשׁוּעַ עָלָה אֶל־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וַיְלַמֵּד׃ וַיִּתְמְהוּ הַיְּהוּדִים וַיֹּאמְרוּ בַּמֶּה יָדַע זֶה סֵפֶר וְהוּא לֹא לָמָד׃ וַיַּעַן אֹתָם יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמַר לִקְחִי לֹא־שֶׁלִּי הוּא כִּי אִם שֶׁל־שֹׁלְחִי׃ הֶחָפֵץ לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנוֹ יֵדַע לִקְחִי אִם־מֵאֵת אֱלֹהִים הוּא אוֹ מִנַּפְשִׁי אֲַדַּבֵּר׃ הַמְדַבֵּר מִנַּפְשׁוֹ כְּבוֹד עַצְמוֹ יְבַקֵּשׁ וְהַמְבַקֵּשׁ כְּבוֹד שֹׁלְחוֹ נֶאֱמָן הוּא וְאֵין עַוְלָתָה בּוֹ׃

{Modern Hebrew}

בחצי ימי החג עלה ישוע לבית המקדש ולמד. תמהו היהודים ואמרו: היאך זה יודע ספר בלי שלמד? השיב להם ישוע ואמר: תורתי אינה שלי כי אם של שולחי. הרוצה לעשות את רצונו ידע אם תורתי מאלהים היא או אם מעצמי אני מדבר. המדבר מתוך עצמו מבקש את כבוד עצמו, אבל המבקש את כבוד שולחו נאמן הוא ואין עולה בו. פ

בַּחֲצִי יְמֵי הֶחָג עָלָה יֵשׁוּעַ לְבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְלִמֵּד. תָּמְהוּ הַיְּהוּדִים וְאָמְרוּ: הֵיאַךְ זֶה יוֹדֵעַ סֵפֶר בְּלִי שֶׁלָּמַד? הֵשִׁיב לָהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ וְאָמַר: תּוֹרָתִי אֵינָהּ שֶׁלִּי כִּי אִם שֶׁל שׁוֹלְחִי. הָרוֹצֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת רְצוֹנוֹ יֵדַע אִם תּוֹרָתִי מֵאֱלֹהִים הִיא אוֹ אִם מֵעַצְמִי אֲנִי מְדַבֵּר. הַמְדַבֵּר מִתּוֹךְ עַצְמוֹ מְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת כְּבוֹד עַצְמוֹ, אֲבָל הַמְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת כְּבוֹד שׁוֹלְחוֹ נֶאֱמָן הוּא וְאֵין עַוְלָה בּוֹ. פ

But when it was now the middle of the Feast (of Sukkot, Tishri 18) the Salvation of HaShem (יֵשׁוּעַ-Yeshua) went up into the temple, and began to teach. The (religious) leaders of the Yehudim then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” So the Salvation of HaShem (יֵשׁוּעַ-Yeshua) answered them and said, “My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God (אֱלֹהִים-Elohim) or whether I speak from myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who is seeking the glory of the One who sent him, he is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

The People Wondered #1.  Because of plots to kill him the Messiah made a covert entry into the city of Jerusalem. It was not yet time for his messianic manifestation; therefore, the first three days of the Feast of Booths had past without anyone seeing the Salvation of Adonai (Yeshua). The people wondered if Rabbi Yeshua would come and perhaps claim to be the Messiah.

The People Wondered #2.  Then halfway through the feast, the Faithful and True One (נאמן ואמיתי) began teaching in the temple courts. As his enemies, the established religious leaders, listened to Him along with the crowds they were amazed.

The People Wondered #3.  Messiah’s words were like no other. His words were incrdibly powerful, authoritative and spiritually penetrating. Yet He had never been a disciple in any Rabbinic school. The people of Israel asked themselves “How could this be possible?”

The People Wondered #4.  The opposing rabbinical leaders believed that either a person studied in a traditional school or else he was self-taught. To be self-taught was dangerous. If one were to be self-taught then the continuity and greater validity of group consensus would be dangerously neglected.

The People Wondered #5.  However, the Master Yeshua pointed to a third alternative; an alternative that the elite rabbinic leaders had not considered. The Messiah was different than all other men. His teaching was directly from Adonai (the LORD). He was personally commissioned by the Holy One. The Anointed One was not a voice among many other voices of God. Ha-Mashiach was The Voice of Adonai! He was a one-of-a-kind special envoy of the heavenly Father.

The People Wondered #6.  As the Holy Servant (Eved HaKadosh) of El-Elyon (the Most High God), the Prophet and Prince of Life was superior to the cumulative authority of the priests and rabbinic leaders that opposed him. If these leaders really wanted to do the will of the Father in heaven then they would publicly acknowledge the Messiah and obey his teaching. For only he who wills to do the will of the Father is the one who knows (actually experiences) the true teaching.

The People Wondered #7.  The problem was the leaders of the Yehudim in Jerusalem secretly did not want to do the will of Adonai. They only wished to do their own will. But they dare not openly reveal this to the people. Initially, in secret, these men did everything they could to covertly undermine the ministry of the Messiah. For He was a real threat to their elite status, power and affluence. Therefore, by these religious leaders only being committed to trust in themselves it became impossible for the Jerusalem leaders to hear, understand and obey anyone or anything but their own will. This allowed no room for them to trust in the  Most High. If the religious leaders had put their trust in Adonai then they would have believed in the Anointed One whom He had sent.

The Religious Leaders were right about one thing…

The true goal of the Messiah was only to glorify Adonai Avinu and to enjoy Him forever.

The religious leaders, however, were right about one thing. If the Master were only self-taught and speaking only from his own personal insights, no matter how brilliant, then his ministry would be invalid. But the Holy Servant did not seek honor for himself. The true goal of the Messiah was only to glorify (honor) Adonai (his Father and his God) and to enjoy Him forever. The Salvation of Adonai was sent from heaven with the mission to return the People of Israel to what our heavenly Father truly wants us to be. His purpose was to enable us to hear, understand and obey the will of our Father who dwells in heaven. He is the Man of truth. He is the Reliable One whose life is one of perfect righteousness. In great contrast to the Messiah, the religious leaders sought honor only for themselves. Not God. The Bramble Bush (cf. the mashal of the Bramble Bush in the Tanakh) religious leaders were not called by the Holy One to act as prophets, priests and kings. Yet, over time, the corrupt rabbinate leaders supplanted all three of these great institutions. They outlived the priestly ministry and they conveniently replaced the rule of Messiah and the writings of the prophets with their own teachings; what Messiah rightfully called the “vain imaginings” and “traditions of men.”

The vain imaginings and man-made traditions of the Bramble Bush King:

In the first century report of the Messiah teaching at Sukkot we observe the skillful social and psychological manipulations of the Bramble Bush rabbinate (Jewish year 3790, fall 29 CE). The self-proclaimed Separate Ones (i.e. holy ones) of the first century had successfully led the Jewish people to follow their teachings rather than the directives of Adonai our Father and our God, as given by His holy prophets and His Messiah. These false-teachers taught the Yehudim who followed them that salvation would come to them by obeying their man-made interpretations and hyper-complicated applications of the Torah of Moses.

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #1.  In this counterfeit way of the oral traditions of the Bramble Bush these invalid false-teachers ultimately replaced the Divinely ordained directives of the prophets, priests, and kings of Israel whose valid institutions were established by Elohei Avoteinu (the Almighty of Our Fathers).

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #2.  The true prophets of the Tanakh foretold that this great falling-away of Israel would inevitably occur. However, they also promised that Israel would eventually return to a right relationship with the Holy One. This revival would occur “after” the people returned to the Land of Israel a “second (שֵׁנִי)” time (i.e. 1948 Modern Israel; cf. Isaiah 11:11):

וְהָיָה בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יֹוסִיף אֲדֹנָי שֵׁנִית יָדֹו לִקְנֹות אֶת־שְׁאָר עַמֹּו אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׁאֵר מֵאַשּׁוּר וּמִמִּצְרַיִם וּמִפַּתְרֹוס וּמִכּוּשׁ וּמֵעֵילָם וּמִשִּׁנְעָר וּמֵחֲמָת וּמֵאִיֵּי הַיָּֽם׃

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the “second time” to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #3.  In the first century instead of repenting because the Light of the Holy One had rebuked their darkness, the Bramble Bush followers severely insulted the Spirit of the Holy One, by slandering His Holy Servant the Messiah. These false teachers claimed that the one the Holy One blessed forever was demon-possessed! The wayward religious leaders had already led a much smaller number of the Jewish people to believe the same thing about the Prophet Yochanan ben Zechariah (the Immerser).

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #4.  How did the Bramble Bush that would be prophet, priest, and king rise to power? First the religious leaders covertly assaulted the prophets of Israel by significantly changing-up the intended meanings of their prophecies; including the Torah of Moses. Then they elevated their take-over oral tradition to the level of killing the prophets when the rabbinates replaced the Divine salvation of the true Deliverer with their own man-made salvation.

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #5.  The Bramble Bush who would be Ruler over all the trees (i.e. all of the institutions of Israel) was trying to change himself and everybody else from the Outside-in, according to the corrupt motivations of men’s own vain ambitions. This was the exact opposite of what Moses and the holy prophets taught. The true holy ones taught us that we have to be changed from the Inside-out, according to the pure motives that only the regenerating Presence of the Spirit of Grace and Truth can produce.

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #6.  The Bramble Bush King who has ruled over all of the institutions of Israel (prophet, priest, king, and teacher) for over twenty centuries has repeatedly beaten, killed and stoned to death the original Divine intents and meanings of these great offices and institutions (symbolized as the Trees that the invalid Bramble Bush rules over).

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #7.  The Bramble Bush rabbinates have stoned the holy prophets when they have blasphemed the King of Glory (אֲדוֹן הַכָּבוֹד), whom all of the prophets of Israel bear witness to.

Vain imaginings and man-made traditions #8.  The Bramble Bush rabbinates declared war on the holy prophets when they called the one who the Holy One blessed forever “demon possessed.” Therefore, the first century Jewish religious leaders took it upon themselves to do what cannot be done by any man:  They jealously and hatefully declared Kedosh Ha-Elohim (the Holy One of God) Indwelt by Ruach Elohim Chayim (the Spirit of the Living God) to be indwelt with Satan. Tragically, these foolish self-righteous national leaders of Israel had publicly mislabeled the Spirit of Adonai Who Indwelt the Messiah, “Ha-Satan!”

Moses predicted that the Messiah would first be rejected by his own people:

Mosheh Eved HaKadosh, the Holy Servant Moses, knew this would happen and prophesied as much.

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #1.  Moses prophesied that when the Messiah would finally appear – his Jewish brothers (religious leaders) would violently rebel against him.

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #2.  In over one hundred ways like the Beloved Son Yosef ben Israel, Moses outlined in the prophetic Genesis account the Beloved One would be hated by his own countrymen, whom He loved.

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #3.  Aware of this fact from the Torah Ha-Mashiach informed his Jewish brothers that initially the world, both Jew and Gentile, would hate him. After his Jewish brothers sold him into slavery his Gentile masters only kept him alive because of the wealth and power his wisdom brought them. The truth is until the Pharaoh of Egypt noticed Yosef, everyone (both Jew and Gentile) treated him in a manipulative, selfish, and abusive manner!

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #4.  This initial universal rejection and exploitation of Joseph, initially by his fellow Jews and later by the Gentiles. teaches us that due to our own self-vanity all of us are prone to go astray from the will of Adonai. Our bent, imperfect nature (Jew and Gentile) is such that we all naturally tend to turn to our own way before we will turn to the way of the Holy One.

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #5.  Moses  predicted that instead of embracing the teaching of the Suffering Servant Messiah (Messiah ben Yosef) the proud leaders of Israel (and the Gentiles) would only insist on hatefully exploiting him. The world has rejected his call to teshuvah (repentance). Rather than confessing our sins and returning to humble service to Adonai Eloheinu (the LORD our God), the world would rather accuse the Faithful and True One of exercising ‘false witness’ against us; when in truth it is we who have committed the sin of bearing false witness against the Messiah.

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #6. Our insistent claim that we are sufficient in our own self-works, without the ‘help’ of the Messiah is a lie. Messiah called this claim of self-sufficiency “evil.” Why? Because the evil deeds in view are the vanity of spiritually imperfect human beings proclaiming to El Shaddai (the All-Sufficient One) that we are sufficient in our own good works, when in truth “we have all sinned” and come short of the glory (the unreachable standard of  perfection) that the Holy One requires.

Moses prophesied about the Messiah #7. When we persist in claiming the opposite of what the prophet Moses and the Messiah are saying, who are the Voice of Adonai, we are calling the Holy One a liar. The fact is we are all sinners together (Jew and Gentile) and we are all in need of the One who is HaMoshia l’chol Adam; who is the Savior of all of the human race. Therefore, the I AM THAT I AM (Ehyeh asher Ehyeh) says to His people “everyone who does evil,” who bears false witness to Me, by proclaiming you are righteous before Me when I have clearly told you, “you are not,” you are guilty of behaving “hatefully” toward Me. You are calling Me a Liar!

Why is the Light of Adonai’s Presence hated?

Why is the Light of Adonai’s Divine Presence hated?

The Light of Adonai (the LORD) is hated because it proclaims the truth that we are all imperfect sinners whose lack of a truly perfect and blameless life keeps us from fellowship with Him.

Condemned by our works #1. The horrible truth is that we are all, therefore, condemned by our works. We are not vindicated by our works. Even though we sinfully keep saying otherwise!

Condemned by our works #2. It is a hateful, evil deed to lie to the Holy One and say to Him, “I am justified by my works.” No one will ever be proclaimed righteous by the Holy One because their good deeds outweighed their bad deeds. There is no such thing as the Balancing of the Scales!

Condemned by our works #3. The Holy One will never proclaim anyone righteous before Him other than the Blameless One, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. The Holy One will not accept our imperfections. We must become perfect (shalom) as our heavenly Father is perfect (shalom).

Condemned by our works #4. We hate that we are condemned by our works #1. We hate that we must put our trust in another for our salvation. We wish that our Father in heaven would acknowledge us as righteous “just as we are.” Why does our Father make us accept our brother (the Messiah Yosef) as the “ruler over us”?

Condemned by our works #5. Nevertheless, we must put our faith in the Messiah ben Yosef who is our Redeemer (HaGo’el). Through faith in the Moshia HaOlam (Savior of the World) the Father has given us the sole means by which we can die to all our sin (imperfection) so that we might thereafter be resurrected into all of His Righteousness. Therefore, to proclaim oneself righteous apart from the loving-grace afforded to us through faith in the Messiah is a hateful, insulting act toward Abba our Father. Those who love Adonai will humble themselves before His Light. They will confess they are sinners in need of His Branch of Righteousness (Tsemach Tsedakah), the Deliverer, the Moshia HaOlam who Abba Avinu sent to us.

The Light condemns pride and arrogance but favors the humble and lowly of heart:

Those who hate the Light refuse to come to the Light.

They will proudly insist that their imperfect deeds are sufficient for the Holy One. They will proclaim themselves to be “righteous” before the Spirit of Holiness. But they are not. This is why the world hates the Messiah. Many call the Messiah Lord but He is not the Lord of anyone who claims they are proclaimed righteous by their own works.

The Light condemns our pride #1. Many who say “Lord, Lord” actually hate the Messiah. For they commit the hateful, evil deed. The proud and the arrogant hate anyone or anything that would relabel them as “unrighteous.” There are billions of deceived Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims (etc.) in the world today who presently believe in some version of the doctrine of balancing of the scales. This false teaching is a universal deception.

The Light condemns our pride #2. The lie in the Garden was that the experience of evil mixed in with good would create enlightenment (cf. Messiah in Sukkot, remarks regarding the dual nature of the Etrog (good on the outside, evil on the inside).

The Light condemns our pride #3. The truth is “any” mixture of evil mixed in with good does not create enlightenment. It is sin. It creates death! No matter how small the content of sin and how great the content of good in a person’s life, any mixture of good and evil  together will inevitably lead to that person being judged as unworthy of the Holy One.

The Light condemns our pride #4. So the work of anyone proclaiming himself (or herself) to be righteous according to one’s own works is evil. It is hateful to the Spirit of Truth (Ruach HaEmet). The prideful, impure works of self-righteousness are evil deeds. The humble, pure works of the Spirit of Adonai (Ruach Adonai) are good deeds!

The Light condemns our pride #5. Any religious dogma or philosophy that declares itself righteous by any other means than the righteous deeds of the Spirit of the Holy One and the Messiah will be opposed and condemned by Adonai. Therefore, the character and sacrifice of the Beloved One, the Righteous One our Tzaddik, who was sent to earth by Adonai, He alone possesses the Power (Hagevurah) to save us. Those who proudly insist on being declared righteous by their own delusion of self-sufficiency hate the Light because the Light of Adonai universally condemns their foolish puffed up pride and arrogance.

The religious elites are no better than the rest of us:

The false teachers of the world hate the conviction that the Father of Lights (Avi HaMe’orot) sends upon them.

The elites are no better than us #1. The Light of the World (Or Ha’Olam) was clearly telling the Jewish religious leaders of his day (and their successors in our day) that they are all definitely not the elite spiritual leaders they have declared themselves to be. They are full of the sin of pride. They are arrogant.

The elites are no better than us #2. In the righteous perfectly pure eyes of Adonai the ultra-religious are no better than the rest of us. They are worse! This is so because they claim to be something they are not, righteous by the merits of their own works.

The elites are no better than us #3. The religious elites are not rich in Adonai. They are poor stewards of the wealth and power that they have accumulated for themselves. Like the common people they are all sinners in need of a Savior. Yet, unlike the common people they commit the evil deed.

The Bramble Bush rabbinate claims to be righteous before God when it is not:

The counterfeit righteous ones #1. When the Messiah rebuked them for their evil deeds the leaders of all of the Jewish sects hated him. They plotted as a group to kill him. They insisted that the Gentiles (the Romans) take the lead in helping them murder the Chosen One. Instead of doing Teshuvah (repentance and returning to the Holy One) as the Messiah directed the religious leaders to do, they plotted to kill the  Righteous One, the Savior of all Men (HaMoshia l’chol Adam).

The counterfeit righteous ones #2. The counterfeit righteous ones and holy ones (Tzedukim-Sadducees and Prushim-Pharisees) hated the Messiah because in their extreme self-vanity they hated his convicting Message. They were elitists. They were the upper class religious and political leaders of their day. So they absolutely hated the Message of the Light; especially that they were no better than their common, less-educated and less religious brothers and sisters.

Messiah truthfully told the religious leaders of his day that the prostitutes would enter the kingdom of Adonai before ‘they’ did. [Therefore, As was the case in Saul’s efforts to kill David] The first century rulers of Israel in their strong delusion of exclusivity, entitlement, authority, and power chose to wickedly ally themselves with the powers of the wicked (the anti-messiahs, the Gentile Caesars) to kill the Messiah because his Message (the will of the heavenly Father) was too serious a threat to them personally and to their continued rule over the nation and people of Israel.

The Bramble Bush has always been opposed to the will of the Father of Mercies:

Just two weeks before Sukkot Messiah had miraculously healed a paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda.

In Jerusalem, just over two weeks before Messiah’s appearance in the middle of Sukkot, at the time of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Teruah (Tishri 1-2, Jewish year 3790), the Messiah had miraculously healed a paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (cf. Messiah in Rosh HaShanah and Yom Teruah, chapter 37).

Opposition against Avi Ha-Rachamim #1. Instead of praising the Holy One for this miracle the religious leaders claimed that the miracle was illegitimate because it occurred on Shabbat. Messiah’s detractors were so ignorant of the real spiritual meaning of the Sabbath that they actually thought the Divinely sourced miracle was an egregious violation of Shabbat.

Opposition to the Father of Mercies #2. This ridiculous conviction came from the leaders’ own errant interpretations of the Torah and not the Torah itself. What is more important on the sacred day of Shabbat than our celebrating the healing mercies of Adonai our Healer (Adonai Rofeka)?

Opposition to the Father of Mercies #3. The false teachers did not understand that Shabbat was made for man and not the other way around. For many centuries now the false teachers have lost sight of the true rest of Shabbat which the Father of Mercies desires. Therefore, Avi HaRachamim has said to us, “I want you to practice giving loving-kindness, love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to be My checed in the world more than I want your burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6):

כִּי חֶסֶד חָפַצְתִּי וְלֹא־זָבַח וְדַעַת אֱלֹהִים מֵעֹלֹֽות׃

“For I delight in steadfast love (חֶסֶד-chesed, loyalty) rather than sacrifice (lo za’vach),
And in the knowledge of the Almighty One (da’at Elohim) rather than burnt offerings (melot).”

Messiah came to heal the spiritual paralysis of all the people of Israel:

Yet here during the Messiah’s own celebratory observance of Sukkot the unmerciful hyper-condemning rabbinic leaders were trying to use the wonderful miracle of the healing of the paralytic as a means to kill (execute) the Righteous One. The spiritually blind religious leaders could not see the miracle for what it really was: The healing of the paralyzed man on the Shabbat of Rosh HaShanah was a blessed act of mercy by the Holy One. The miracle was a Message not of defilement but of purification and healing. It was a Sign of a New Beginning on the day of new beginnings.

A call to righteous judgment #1. The truth is the cleansing and healing of Israel’s spiritual paralysis had begun on Rosh HaShanah and Messiah was continuing the recovery process into the observance of Sukkot. In this regard the Word of Life (D’var HaChaim) said to his detractors:

הֲלֹא משֶׁה נָתַן לָכֶם אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה וְאֵין־אִישׁ מִכֶּם עֹשֶׂה הַתּוֹרָה מַדּוּעַ תְּבַקְשׁוּ לְהָרְגֵנִי׃ וַיַּעַן הָעָם וַַיֹּאמַר שֵׁד בָּךְ מִי מְבַקֵּשׁ לְהָרְגֶךָ׃ וַיַּעַן יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם מַעֲשֶׂה אֶחָד עָשִׂיתִי וְכֻלְּכֶם עָלָיו תִּתְמָהוּ׃ משֶׁה נָתַן לָכֶם הַמִּילָה אַךְ לֹא מִמּשֶׁה הִיא כִּי אִם־מִן־הָאָבוֹת וּבְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת תָּמוּלוּ כָל־זָכָר׃ וְעַתָּה אִם־תִּמּוֹל עָרְלַת אָדָם בַּשַּׁבָּת לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תוּפַר תּוֹרַת משֶׁה מַה־תִּקְצְפוּ עָלַי כִּי רִפֵּאתִי הָאִישׁ כֻּלּוֹ בַּשַּׁבָּת׃ אַל־תִּשְׁפְּטוּ לְמַרְאֵה עָיִן כִּי אִם־מִשְׁפַּט־צֶדֶק שְׁפֹטוּ׃

הלא משה נתן לכם את התורה ואין איש מכם מקים את התורה. מדוע אתם מבקשים להרג אותי? השיב ההמון: שד בך, מי מבקש להרג אותך? ענה ישוע ואמר להם: מעשה אחד עשיתי וכלכם תמהים. משה נתן לכם את המילה אלא שלא ממשה היא כי אם מן האבות – וגם בשבת אתם מקימים את המילה. ובכן, אם נמול אדם בשבת כדי שלא תופר תורת משה, עלי כועסים אתם מפני שרפאתי כליל איש בשבת?! אל תשפטו על-פי מראה עינים; משפט צדק שפטו. פ

הֲלֹא מֹשֶׁה נָתַן לָכֶם אֶת הַתּוֹרָה וְאֵין אִישׁ מִכֶּם מְקַיֵּם אֶת הַתּוֹרָה. מַדּוּעַ אַתֶּם מְבַקְּשִׁים לַהֲרֹג אוֹתִי? הֵשִׁיב הֶהָמוֹן: שֵׁד בְּךָ, מִי מְבַקֵּשׁ לַהֲרֹג אוֹתְךָ? עָנָה יֵשׁוּעַ וְאָמַר לָהֶם: מַעֲשֶׂה אֶחָד עָשִׂיתִי וְכֻלְּכֶם תְּמֵהִים. מֹשֶׁה נָתַן לָכֶם אֶת הַמִּילָה אֶלָּא שֶׁלֹּא מִמֹּשֶׁה הִיא כִּי אִם מִן הָאָבוֹת – וְגַם בְּשַׁבָּת אַתֶּם מְקַיְּמִים אֶת הַמִּילָה. וּבְכֵן, אִם נִמּוֹל אָדָם בְּשַׁבָּת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תּוּפַר תּוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה, עָלַי כּוֹעֲסִים אַתֶּם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁרִפֵּאתִי כָּלִיל אִישׁ בְּשַׁבָּת?! אַל תִּשְׁפְּטוּ עַל־פִּי מַרְאֵה עֵינַיִם; מִשְׁפַּט צֶדֶק שִׁפְטוּ. פ

“Did not Mosheh give you the Torah? Yet none of you carry out the Torah. Why are you seeking to kill me?” The people (the crowd who were observing the verbal conflict between Rabbi Yeshua and the priestly and rabbinic leaders) answered and said, “There is a demon in you. Who is seeking to kill You?” Yeshua (the Salvation of HaShem) answered and said to them, “I have done one deed, and all of you are amazed by it. Moshe gave you circumcision, although it does not come from Mosheh but the fathers, and even on Shabbat every male is to be circumcised (brit milah). Now if you will circumcise a person’s foreskin on the Shabbat so that the Torah of Mosheh is not violated, why do you get angry at me for healing the entire man on Shabbat? Do not judge by the appearance of the eye, but judge with righteous judgment” (מִשְׁפַּט־צֶדֶק-mishpat tzedek).

A call to righteous judgment #2. Circumcision is a religious rite that predates Moses. Father Abraham circumcised as a sign of the covenant (Genesis 17:9-14). But Moses gave Israel circumcision in the sense of establishing it as part of a Levitical system. Under the Torah of Moses, “on the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised” (Leviticus 12:3). If that day fell on a Shabbat circumcising a boy would seemingly violate the Shabbat law of rest. Yet the leaders of the Yehudim circumcised on the Shabbat. Therefore, the Messiah Yeshua argued, if care for one part of the body was permitted, then certainly the healing of the whole body (that of the paralytic) should be allowed on Shabbat. Hence they had no reason to be angry with him.

A call to righteous judgment #3. The problem of the Prushim (Pharisees) was that they understood the Scriptures superficially. They majored in what is minor and minored on what is major. The religious ones completely missed the Divine intent of many of the scripture passages that they claimed they were expert in interpreting.

A call to righteous judgment #4. The rulers of the Yehudim were judging by mere appearance. Their superficial understanding was caused by their hostility against the Representative (Image) of Adonai (Tselem Adonai). In their darkness they erred. The Messiah called upon them to make a right judgment. They refused. Ultimately this call to righteous judgment was a call for them to do Teshuvah (repent); something the prideful ones refused to do.

The Righteous Judgment of Ha-Mashiach (Mishpat Tzedek):

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (מִשְׁפַּט־צֶדֶק-Mishpat Tzedek).”

Fruit of the False Teachers #1. The fruit which Abba Avinu desires from His national-Servant (Israel) is love (chesed-ahavah), righteousness (tzedakah), and justice (mishpat). However, what did our heavenly Father get from His national and spiritual leaders of Israel up to the time of Messiah (the first century)? He received the fruit of violence, bloodshed (mispach), and  the “cry” of distress (tze’aka). He received the fruit of oppression (cf. Isaiah 5:7).

Fruit of the False Teachers #2. Due to the failure of the national-Servant (Israel) the individual-Servant (Messiah) was sent to be the “True Vine” (i.e. the Faithful Vine). In this way, with the help of the Tzaddik (Righteous One), Adonai (the LORD) could still fulfill His redemptive plan for Israel and the world. The very real and continuing problem for Israel has always been its religious leaders.

Fruit of the False Teachers #3. The invalid Bramble Bush rabbinates who have for over two millennia supplanted the irrevocably valid spiritual leadership of the prophets and Messiah are still growing their hyper-legalistic delusions of grandeur at the expense of the people of Israel. Therefore, for almost two millennia the Prushim false teachers and their successors have managed to keep the people of Israel from really knowing the Holy One. Ever since the people of Israel became exclusively tethered to the Bramble Bush King it has been true what the Messiah prophesied about his own beloved people: “The blind lead the blind into the pit.” Today the gross failures of the leadership of the Jewish Bramble King (and his Gentile religious counterparts) have led to most Jews ceasing to believe in Adonai altogether!

Freedom to believe: The 21st Century demise of the Bramble Bush King:

So now what? We Jews are divided about the question of what to do next. In the twenty-first century the Yehudim are divided about all religion and its place in our lives. In this century we are flooded with an unlimited supply of theistic, agnostic, and atheistic options.

Freedom to believe #1.  In the democratic nations we are not ostracized and punished for exercising individual freedom of belief. So now there exists a plurality of belief.

Freedom to believe #2. In the twenty-first century Jews for the first time have embraced the notion that one is a Jew by virtue of one’s physical ancestry and not one’s religious beliefs. The Yehudim are no longer allowing the Bramble Bush King (or anyone else) to define who is and who is not a Jew!

Freedom to believe #3. This modern Freedom of Belief has made the spiritual and philosophical lives of the Yehudim far more diverse and complex than ever before.

Freedom to believe #4. In the first century through to the twentieth century life was much simpler. A Jew was whatever the religious leaders defined us to be. Based on the thought monopoly of the the last twenty centuries, the Yehudim were given a very simple choice: accept the systematic theology (false oral law) of the Bramble Bush King and remain in the Jewish family or be completely disowned!

Freedom to believe #5. In spite of this history a majority of the Jews in the world today could care less about the empty threats of the Bramble Bush King. More and more Jews in the twenty-first century are defying the Bramble Bush King’s ultimate prohibition: We are once again openly seeking answers in the twenty-first century to the same questions and beliefs that our ancestors asked and held in the first century:

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲנָשִׁים מִיּשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלָיִם הֲלֹא זֶה הוּא אֲשֶׁר בִּקְשׁוּ לְהָרְגוֹ׃ וְהִנֵּה הוּא דֹּבֵר בָּרַבִּים וְלֹא יִגְעֲרוּ בוֹ הַאַף אֻמְנָם יָדְעוּ רָאשֵׁינוּ כִּי־בֶאֱמֶת זֶה הוּא הַמָּשִׁיחַ׃ אַךְ הֲלֹא יָדַעְנוּ זֶה מֵאַיִן הוּא וְהַמָּשִׁיחַ כִּי יָבוֹא לֹא־יֵדַע אִישׁ אֵי־מִזֶּה הוּא׃ אָז קָרָא יֵשׁוּעַ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ וַיְלַמֵּד וַיֹּאמֶר הֵן יְדַעְתֶּם אֹתִי אַף־יְדַעְתֶּם מֵאַיִן אָנִי וּמִנַּפְשִׁי לֹא־בָאתִי אָכֵן יֵשׁ נֶאֱמָן אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחַנִי וְאֹתוֹ לֹא יְדַעְתֶּם׃ וַאֲנִי יְדַעְתִּיו כִּי מֵאִתּוֹ אָנִי וְהוּא שְׁלָחָנִי׃ וַיְבַקְשׁוּ לְתָפְשׂוֹ וְאִישׁ לֹא־שָׁלַח יָד בּוֹ כִּי לֹא־בָא עִתּוֹ׃ וְרַבִּים מִן־הָעָם הֶאֱמִינוּ בוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִם־יָבֹא הַמָּשִׁיחַ הֲַגַם יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתוֹת הַרְבֵּה מֵאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה זֶה׃

הגיבו ואמרו כמה אנשים מיושבי ירושלים: הלא זהו האיש שרוצים להרג אותו! הנהו מדבר בגלוי והם אינם אומרים לו דבר. האמנם הכירו המנהיגים שהוא המשיח? אלא שיודעים אנו מאין האיש הזה, אך כשיבוא המשיח לא ידע איש מאין הוא. בלמדו בבית המקדש הכריז ישוע ואמר: אתם מכירים אותי וגם יודעים מאין אני. עם זאת לא מטעם עצמי באתי, אלא ששולחי הוא אמת ואותו אינכם מכירים. אני מכיר אותו מפני שמאתו אני, והוא שלח אותי. אז בקשו לתפס אותו, אך איש לא שלח בו יד, כי עוד לא הגיעה שעתו. רבים מן העם האמינו בו ואמרו: כאשר יבוא המשיח, האם יעשה נסים יותר מאשר עשה זה? פ

הֵגִיבוּ וְאָמְרוּ כַּמָּה אֲנָשִׁים מִיּוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם: הֲלֹא זֶהוּ הָאִישׁ שֶׁרוֹצִים לַהֲרֹג אוֹתוֹ! הִנֵּהוּ מְדַבֵּר בְּגָלוּי וְהֵם אֵינָם אוֹמְרִים לוֹ דָּבָר. הַאֻמְנָם הִכִּירוּ הַמַּנְהִיגִים שֶׁהוּא הַמָּשִׁיחַ? אֶלָּא שֶׁיּוֹדְעִים אָנוּ מֵאַיִן הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה, אַךְ כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא הַמָּשִׁיחַ לֹא יֵדַע אִישׁ מֵאַיִן הוּא. בְּלַמְּדוֹ בְּבֵית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הִכְרִיז יֵשׁוּעַ וְאָמַר: אַתֶּם מַכִּירִים אוֹתִי וְגַם יוֹדְעִים מֵאַיִן אֲנִי. עִם זֹאת לֹא מִטַּעַם עַצְמִי בָּאתִי, אֶלָּא שֶׁשּׁוֹלְחִי הוּא אֱמֶת וְאוֹתוֹ אֵינְכֶם מַכִּירִים. אֲנִי מַכִּיר אוֹתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמֵּאִתּוֹ אֲנִי, וְהוּא שָׁלַח אוֹתִי. אָז בִּקְשׁוּ לִתְפֹּס אוֹתוֹ, אַךְ אִישׁ לֹא שָׁלַח בּוֹ יָד, כִּי עוֹד לֹא הִגִּיעָה שְׁעָתוֹ. רַבִּים מִן הָעָם הֶאֱמִינוּ בּוֹ וְאָמְרוּ: כַּאֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא הַמָּשִׁיחַ, הַאִם יַעֲשֶׂה נִסִּים יוֹתֵר מֵאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה זֶה? פ

“Is this not the man whom they (the religious leaders) are seeking to kill? Look, he is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to him. The rulers do not really know that this is Ha-Mashiach (the Messiah), do they? However, we know where this man is from; but whenever Ha-Mashiach may come, no one knows where he is from.” Then the Salvation of HaShem (Yeshua) cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know me and know where I am from; and I have not come of myself, but He who sent me [HaShem] is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent me.” So they [the religious leaders] were seeking to seize him; and no man laid his hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. But many of the crowd (the worshipers attending Sukkot) believed in him; and they were saying, “When Ha-Mashiach comes, he will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will he?”

Freedom to believe #6.  Some of the worshipers in Jerusalem during Sukkot were amazed at the Messiah’s fearlessness in his teaching. They somehow knew about the plot of the religious leaders to kill him. Yet these very same leaders were not doing what they said they would do. The common people asked, “Why were the leaders not following through with their avowed plans to arrest and execute the Messiah? Had the authorities changed their minds?” The people were confused. On the one hand they believed that if Rabbi Yeshua was a deceiver, at the very least He should be forcibly taken into custody. Then He should be put on trial and, if found guilty, He should be punished. Freedom to believe: The demise of the Bramble Bush King #7. However, on the other hand, if Rabbi Yeshua really was the Messiah (and He is), the leaders should believe in him and do whatever He says!

The reasoned response of Messiah to his detractors:

Why our people did not know #1. Apparently, the people were unaware of the fact that Rabbi Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem, in the city of his ancestor David, and not in Galilee. The crowds assumed that Yeshua (this Man) was only a Galilean carpenter from the town of Nazareth. They knew from the scriptures that the Messiah was required to be born in Judea; specifically in Beit-Lechem (Micah 5:2):

וְאַתָּה בֵּֽית־לֶחֶם אֶפְרָתָה צָעִיר לִֽהְיֹות בְּאַלְפֵי יְהוּדָה מִמְּךָ לִי יֵצֵא לִֽהְיֹות מֹושֵׁל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֹוצָאֹתָיו מִקֶּדֶם מִימֵי עֹולָֽם׃

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah (בֵּֽית־לֶחֶם אֶפְרָתָה)),
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you one will go forth for Me to be Ruler in Israel (מֹושֵׁל בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל).
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity (מִימֵי עֹולָֽם).

Why our people did not know #2. The people did not know that over thirty years previously Rabbi Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem, the city of David, on the very first day of Sukkot (Tishri 15). The people had yet to realize that Rabbi Yeshua was the Coming One, Hu Haba’ (cf. Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim, chapter 68).

Why the people did not know #3. The people were unaware that the Righteous One, the Rabbi of rabbis Yeshua, is both the Suffering Messiah ben Yosef (in his first appearance) and He will be the Conquering Messiah ben David (in his second appearance).

וְהַפְּרוּשִׁים שָׁמְעוּ אֶת־הָעָם מִתְלַחֲשִׁים עָלָיו כָּזֹאת וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ הַפְּרוּשִׁים וְרָאשֵׁי הַכֹּהֲנִים מְשָׁרֲתִים לְתָפְשׂוֹ׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יֵשׁוּעַ אַך־מְעַט עוֹדֶנִּי עִמָּכֶם וְהָלַכְתִּי אֶל־אֲשֶׁר שְׁלָחָנִי׃ תְּשַׁחֲרֻנְנִי וְלֹא תִמְצָאֻנְנִי וּבַאֲשֶׁר אֲנִי שָׁם אַתֶּם לֹא תוּכְלוּ לָבוֹא׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַיְּהוּדִים אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ אָנָה יֵלֵךְ זֶה וַאֲנַחְנוּ לֹא נִמְצָאֵהוּ הֲיֵלֵךְ אֶל־הַנְּפוֹצִים בֵּין הַיְּוָנִים וִילַמֵּד אַנְשֵׁי יָוָן׃ מָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָמַר תְּשַׁחֲרֻנְנִי וְלֹא תִמְצָאֻנְנִי וּבַאֲשֶׁר אֲנִי שָׁם אַתֶּם לֹא תוּכְלוּ לָבוֹא׃

כאשר שמעו הפרושים את העם מתלחשים עליו כך, שלחו ראשי הכהנים והפרושים משרתים לתפס אותו. אמר ישוע: עוד זמן מעט אני אתכם והולך אני אל מי ששלחני. תחפשוני ולא תמצאו; ובאשר אני אהיה, לשם אינכם יכולים לבוא. אמרו השומעים איש אל רעהו: לאן הוא מתעתד ללכת שלא נמצא אותו? האם ילך אל התפוצות של היונים וילמד את היונים? מה הדבר הזה שאמר, תחפשוני ולא תמצאו; ובאשר אני אהיה, לשם אינכם יכולים לבוא? פ

כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁמְעוּ הַפְּרוּשִׁים אֶת הָעָם מִתְלַחֲשִׁים עָלָיו כָּךְ, שָׁלְחוּ רָאשֵׁי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַפְּרוּשִׁים מְשָׁרְתִים לִתְפֹּס אוֹתוֹ. אָמַר יֵשׁוּעַ: “עוֹד זְמַן מְעַט אֲנִי אִתְּכֶם וְהוֹלֵךְ אֲנִי אֶל מִי שֶׁשְּׁלָחַנִי. תְּחַפְּשׂוּנִי וְלֹא תִּמְצְאוּ; וּבַאֲשֶׁר אֲנִי אֶהְיֶה, לְשָׁם אֵינְכֶם יְכוֹלִים לָבוֹא. אָמְרוּ הַשּׁוֹמְעִים אִישׁ אֶל רֵעֵהוּ: לְאָן הוּא מִתְעַתֵּד לָלֶכֶת שֶׁלֹּא נִמְצָא אוֹתוֹ? הַאִם יֵלֵךְ אֶל הַתְּפוּצוֹת שֶׁל הַיְּוָנִים וִילַמֵּד אֶת הַיְּוָנִים? מָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה שֶׁאָמַר, תְּחַפְּשׂוּנִי וְלֹא תִּמְצְאוּ; וּבַאֲשֶׁר אֲנִי אֶהְיֶה, לְשָׁם אֵינְכֶם יְכוֹלִים לָבוֹא? פ

The Prushim (the Separated Ones) heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests (affiliates of the Sadducees, Tzedukkim, the Righteous Ones) and the Prushim sent (the Temple) officers to seize him. Therefore the Salvation of HaShem (the NAME) said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to him who sent me. You will seek me, and will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.” The leaders of the Yehudim then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Gentiles (Greeks), and teach the Gentiles (Greeks), is he? What is this statement that he said, ‘You will seek me, and will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”

Why our people did not know #4. The Messiah cried out! This introduced a solemn announcement. The True and Righteous Witness (Ed HaEmet v’haTzedek) responded to the religious elite’s misinformation campaign against him with irony. He clearly explained he was sent from HaShem, our Father in heaven.

Why our people did not know #5. HaShem is true. He is reliable. He is the One who sent us Yeshua. The religious leaders and the people who followed them did not know who Yeshua was because they did not know Who the heavenly Father was who sent him.

The stern rebuke that the Melekh HaYehudim (the King of the Jews) directed at the religious leaders and the people that followed them sufficiently angered the crowd enough that they attempted to forcibly seize Him and arrest Him. However, the angry crowd was supernaturally restrained from arresting the Messiah because the heavenly Father had ordered a different time for this to occur. The religious leaders and their foolish followers could not lay a hand on the Anointed One until the appointed time (cf. Messiah in Purim, chapter 14, the “Hidden Day”).

Fortunately, not all of the Yehudim were led astray by the rebellious religious leaders. The direct exposure of the people to the words and miracles of the Messiah moved many in the crowd to believe in him (forty-nine miracles were recorded during his three and one-half year public ministry). These believing Jews reasoned that Messiah’s miraculous signs marked him out as the Deliverer (HaPalat) that the patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets promised would one day appear in Israel. Therefore, many rightfully understood in the first century what we should be reasoning out now in the twenty-first century that the promised Messiah could not do anymore miracles than this Man!

The conflicted religious factions were united in their hatred of the Messiah:

The fact that many of the Jews were turning to Rabbi Yeshua was extremely threatening to the rabbinical and priestly leaders. What if this minority of Messianic Jews kept growing? What if a majority of the people came to believe that Yeshua was the Messiah? Then the people would set aside the Prushim’s precious oral teachings and replace them with the teachings of the prophets and the Messiah. The Prushim were the highly venerated guardians of the Jewish oral tradition. They realized all to well that something needed to be done quickly to silence the threat of Rabbi Yeshua’s teaching. The Messiah was such a great threat to the Jewish religious bureaucracy that the priestly leaders (the Sadducees) became allies with the Prushim, whom they despised.

Normally, the rabbinical and priestly religious factions were locked in a constant state of conflict with one another. However, their common hatred of the Messiah had made them temporary allies against a common enemy. So, the plan to arrest, convict, and execute Rabbi Yeshua proceeded. The Messiah was fearless. Knowing the violence that was in his detractor’s hearts He continued to speak forth the truth of HaShem anyway. With these forces at work the nation and people of Israel were given only a short time to decide who they would follow. Would they follow the leaders of the religious establishment or would they follow the Messiah?

The timing of this decision was not determined by the religious authorities or the people but by the Heavenly Father Himself. The people had a choice to make. They could follow the way of Messiah or they could follow the way of the Bramble Bush King. The people chose the way of the evil deed. They chose the way of the Bramble Bush King. After the Suffering Messiah ben Yosef completed HaShem’s redemptive plan for his life on earth he returned to the heavenly Father. Then at another time of Adonai’s choosing, after Israel would be miraculously reestablished as a nation, the immortal Messiah ben David would return from heaven to earth a “second” time. Finally, after a new generation of Israel embraces true faith in the Messiah, he will return in glory and establish his messianic kingdom in Israel and throughout the world (in a single day, on an unknown future Yom Kippur). Therefore, the Messiah said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” The phrase that the Messiah used, “You will look for me” is a prophecy that in the future reestablished nation of Israel the people of Israel will once again long for her Deliverer, the Messiah.

The words of the Prophets and Messiah were replaced by the mental inventions of men:

Today a remnant of the nation and people of Israel are longing for the Deliver, the Messiah ben David.

Modern hatred for the Jewish people and nation is internationally on the rise. Israel is longing for Shalom (Peace) without knowing that there will be no Shalom until true faith is exercised in the Sar Shalom. Now the Grace of HaShem is available to us a second time. His name is the Salvation of HaShem (Yeshua). He appeared to our ancestors over nineteen centuries ago. Tragically, our Jewish ancestors rejected him. Yet, there is still hope. For both the prophets and the Messiah have promised that one day all of our Modern Israel will come to a state of faith in Messiah then will there be the long-awaited Golden Age of Israel.

One day, we believe in the near future (this century), all Israel will mourn for Messiah when all of us come to a final awareness that the Suffering Messiah of the first century and the (Immortal) Conquering Messiah of the promised future are one and the same same Person, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach (cf. Zachariah 12:10-13). Ha-Mashiach Yeshua is the Man of Sorrows (Ish Makhovot), the Redeemer (HaGo’el), the Lion of Judah (Ha-Aryei Mishevet Yehudah), and when He returns a second time He will become the King of Israel and King of all the Gentile Nations (Melekh HaGoyim). Therefore, the Messiah has afforded his people (Am Israel) the spiritual opportunity to believe in him in the past but our first century ancestors chose to follow the Bramble Bush King instead. Thereafter the Messiah went into heaven where the unbelieving cannot go.

Soon the Messiah will return to earth as the Conquering Messiah ben David:

Soon the Messiah will miraculously return to earth, however, this time He will return as the Immortal Conquering Messiah ben David (cf. the Messiah in Purim). So in the near-future our people of Israel will believe on him (the Firstborn Son who was despised and rejected). This widespread acceptance of the Messiah Yeshua will occur in a single day when the children of Israel will be given the unique opportunity to behold the Glorified Messiah (Adon HaKavod) Face-to-face when He returns to earth in great glory, accompanied by the holy angels.

The rabbinical leaders of our people the Jews then said to one another: “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles, is he? What is this statement that he said, ‘You will seek me, and will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”

The first century words of the Messiah were originally an enigma to his fellow Jews—-especially the religious leaders. Our people had been without a prophet for over four hundred years. The priests, scribes and rabbis possessed no real spiritual authority. The signs and wonders of HaShem that the prophets of Israel had routinely performed had ceased. The signs and wonders of HaShem ceased when the naturalistic human reasonings of the oral law of the teachers of Israel began to replace the Divinely inspired (supernatural) writings of the prophets. Therefore, the miracles of HaShem (the NAME) began to cease – just the moment the Bramble Bush King(s) began their ascent to power!

The Bramble Bush King became the dictator over all of the other Trees:

The Bramble Bush King #1. How did the rabbis ascend to power? First, the Bramble Bush replaced the prophets. Then the Bramble Bush replaced the Messiah (the King). Then when the Temple was destroyed the Prushim rabbinate replaced the priests. Then when all of the  prophets, priests, and rightful King of Israel were replaced, the Bramble Bush became the king of all of the other institutions of Israel (i.e. all of the other Trees).

The Bramble Bush King #2. The supernatural ministry and gifts of the Spirit of Holiness were replaced by the hyper-legalistic mental inventions of man-made traditions and laws.

The Bramble Bush King #3. The religious leaders of the first century and all of the following centuries could not possibly know what the Messiah was talking about because they possessed no real supernatural faith. They were of the earth. Unlike the Divinely motivated prophets of Israel they could only understand earthly things. They were not supernaturally inspired. For HaShem has said His thoughts are not naturally but spiritually discerned (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9):

כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבֹותַי מַחְשְׁבֹותֵיכֶם וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי נְאֻם ה’׃ כִּֽי־גָבְהוּ שָׁמַיִם מֵאָרֶץ כֵּן גָּבְהוּ דְרָכַי מִדַּרְכֵיכֶם וּמַחְשְׁבֹתַי מִמַּחְשְׁבֹתֵיכֶֽם׃

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares Adonai (the LORD). For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Springs of Living Water flow out of the redemptive teaching of the Messiah:

וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הָאַחֲרוֹן הַגָּדוֹל בֶּחַג וַיַּעֲמֹד יֵשׁוּעַ וַיִּקְרָא לֵאמֹר אִישׁ כִּי יִצְמָא יָבֹא־נָא אֵלַי וְיִשְׁתֶּה׃ הַמַּאֲמִין בִּי כִּדְבַר הַכָּתוּב מִבִּטְנוֹ יִנְהֲרוּ נַהֲרֵי מַיִם חַיִּים׃ וְזֹאת אָמַר עַל־הָרוּחַ אֲשֶׁר יִקָּחֻהוּ הַמַּאֲמִינִים בּוֹ כִּי לֹא־נִתַּן רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ בְּטֶרֶם נִתְפָּאֵר יֵשׁוּעַ׃

ביום האחרון, ביום הגדול של החג, עמד ישוע והכריז: מי שצמא יבוא נא אלי וישתה! המאמין בי כדבר הכתוב, נהרות של מים חיים יזרמו מקרבו. זאת אמר על הרוח שהיו עתידים לקבל המאמינים בו, שהרי עוד לא נשלחה רוח הקדש, כי ישוע טרם נתפאר בכבוד. פ

בַּיּוֹם הָאַחֲרוֹן, בַּיּוֹם הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁל הֶחָג, עָמַד יֵשׁוּעַ וְהִכְרִיז: מִי שֶׁצָּמֵא יָבוֹא נָא אֵלַי וְיִשְׁתֶּה! הַמַּאֲמִין בִּי כִּדְבַר הַכָּתוּב, נְהָרוֹת שֶׁל מַיִם חַיִּים יִזְרְמוּ מִקִּרְבּוֹ. זֹאת אָמַר עַל הָרוּחַ שֶׁהָיוּ עֲתִידִים לְקַבֵּל הַמַּאֲמִינִים בּוֹ, שֶׁהֲרֵי עוֹד לֹא נִשְׁלְחָה רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ, כִּי יֵשׁוּעַ טֶרֶם נִתְפָּאֵר בַּכָּבוֹד. פ

On the last, great day of the festival (of Sukkot), the Salvation of HaShem (יֵשׁוּעַ-Yeshua) stood and called out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! One who believes in me, as the word is written, ‘From his innermost being (lit. belly) will flow rivers of living water.’” He said this about the Spirit that those who believe in him would receive, because the Spirit of the Holy One was not yet given before the Salvation of HaShem (יֵשׁוּעַ-Yeshua) was glorified.

The feast of Sukkot was celebrated each day with a solemn procession from the temple to the Gihon Spring. A priest filled a Gold Pitcher with water while the priestly choir sang, “Ooshavtem-mayim besason mimayney hayeshua (Isaiah 12:3):

וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם־מַיִם בְּשָׂשֹׂון מִמַּעַיְנֵי הַיְשׁוּעָֽה׃

Therefore you will joyously draw water from the Springs of Salvation (Mimayney Ha-Yeshuah).

Then the procession returned to the altar and poured out the water into one of two silver funnels. This symbolic act reminded the people of the water that was supernaturally drawn from the Rock during their wilderness wanderings (Numbers 20:8-11; Psalm 78:15-16). “Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.” So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.”…“He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths. He brought forth streams also from the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.”

The ceremony of the Gold Pitcher of water also speaks prophetically of the coming days of the Mimayney Ha-Mashiach Yeshua, the Springs of the Messiah Yeshua (Zechariah 14:8, 16-19). The Messiah, the Salvation of HaShem, stood before His People and spoke in a loud voice. His offer, to come to him and drink from the Springs of Salvation (הַיְשׁוּעָֽה-the Yeshuah). This was an offer of salvation. Therefore, the Salvation of HaShem was prophesying that the Streams of the Living Water of the Holy Spirit would flow from within anyone who believed in M’shicho (His Messiah). The scripture references the Messiah is referring to here are (1) Psalm 78:15-16, (2) Zechariah 14:8, and (3) Ezekiel 47:1-12.

First reference: “He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths. He brought forth streams also from the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.”

Second reference: And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.”

Third Reference: “Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side. When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me back to the bank of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other.

Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”

Ezekiel 47 performs a dual purpose. First, it explains that in the future Messianic Kingdom the physical landscape of Israel, in the Sacred District of Jerusalem that extends approximately fifty by fifty miles (i.e. cube, N-S-E-W) from Jerusalem in the South to ancient Shechem to the North (cf.  Messiah in Rosh HaShanah and Chanukkah II).

This area of land will be geographically altered and will extend from the Millennial Temple located in the midst of the Sacred District (ancient Shiloh)all the way to the Dead Sea. All of this land will be transformed into an especially beautiful, lush geographical area, teeming with fish and incredible fruit trees that are able to produce their fruit year round.

Second, the supernaturally induced physical changes of Ezekiel 47 also function as prophetic signs that symbolically describe the privileged spiritual affluence (prosperity) that will be enjoyed by the people of Israel who are privileged to live in this future, new, beautiful, physical paradise.

Equal to the beauty of the physical environment will be the moral beauty-goodness of the people who live in Israel at this time. Just as the land will be transformed from deep Inside the Heart of the New Physical Temple, so will the people be transformed from deep Inside the Heart of their new spiritual lives.

Therefore, the spiritual environment in the Temple of the Hearts, Souls, Minds and Bodies of the citizens of Israel will become beautified through all of the people of Israel receiving the gift of the permanent Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of Holiness. Therefore, the prophets of Israel speak of the “Living Water,” the life-giving works of the Holy Spirit that will continuously be manifested in the lives of all of the people (Jew and Gentile) who embrace faith in the heavenly Father and His Messiah whom He has sent (once before) and will send again a second time to rule over all of the nations and peoples of the earth.

The Gift of the Unfailing New Heart:

In the coming Messianic Age: The permanent Indwelling Presence of the Spirit of the Living One (HeChai) will dwell continuously within the Temple of every Yehudi man, woman, and child. In this future Israel every person will personally possess the necessary knowledge of HaShem required to hear, understand, and obey the Holy One. This personal intimacy of every child of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is what the prophets meant by their predictions that in the Golden Age every member of the State of Israel shall enjoy the fruits of his or her own grapevine and the satisfaction of possessing his or her own fig tree. “Each of them (the Jewish people in the messianic age) will sit under his (or her own) vine and under his (or her own) fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of Adonai Tseva’ot (the LORD of armies) has spoken” (Micah 4:4).

“In that day,” declares Adonai Tseva’ot, “every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his (or her own) vine and under his (or her own) fig tree” (Zechariah 3:10). As a matter of covenant the Spirit has always been present “with” the people of Israel but He will in the future actually come to permanently “Indwell” all of His People. The promise of the fulfillment of these mysteries (sodim) are graphically illustrated in the teachings and traditions that are providentially embedded in the annual observances of the Counting of the Omer and the Festival of Shavuot.

This leads us to a most obvious fact: The children of Israel are providentially destined (elected) to come to full faith in the Salvation of HaShem (i.e. through their believing in the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Ha-Mashiach). For this is the only means by which we as a nation and people can fulfill the prophecies regarding our one day all coming to be permanently indwelt by the Spirit of Holiness. For the Golden Age of Israel to come into being we will first need to do Teshuvah as one man, for the sin of rejecting the Messiah Yeshua and thereby bringing insult to the Spirit of Grace (cf. Psalm 51:6-12). Then we will receive as one man (as a Unity) the gift of the New Heart, the living Torah of the Spirit, which includes the gift of eternal life (cf. Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:26-28).

Reference #1.  Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make us know wisdom. Purify us with hyssop, and we shall be clean; wash us, and we shall be whiter than snow. Make us to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from our sins and blot out all our iniquities. Create in us a clean heart, Almighty One, and renew a steadfast spirit within us. Do not cast us away from Your Presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of our salvation and sustain us with a willing spirit.

Reference #2.  Moreover, I will give you a New Heart and put a New Spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from 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 be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your Almighty One. Not understanding the words of the Messiah and following the disinformation campaign of the errant spiritual leaders caused most of the Sukkot worshipers not to receive Yeshua as the Messiah. Only a small minority of the Jewish worshipers (a few thousand) believed Rabbi Yeshua was the Coming One promised by the prophet Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18).

A minority said Yeshua was the Messiah but the majority rejected that idea because they erroneously believed the famous Rabbi came from Galilee. According to the prophets Samuel and Isaiah the Messiah was to be born into the family of David; and as the prophet Micah accurately predicted the Messiah had to born in Beit-Lechem; the actual birthplace and hometown of King David (cf. 1 Samuel 16:1; Isaiah 11:1, Micah 5:1 ff.).

The truth was the Messiah Yeshua actually was from David’s royal family. He was also born in Beit-Lechem, just as Micah had prophesied. But somehow the crowd did not know these facts. No doubt the spiritual leaders deceitfulness was the source of this confusion. The leaders knew of Messiah’s actual birthplace and they knew that the Messiah was the rightful heir to David’s throne. There was proof of this through eyewitness accounts and the census records. There was also irrefutable proof of this in the carefully safeguarded Temple genealogical records that were protected and preserved by the Temple Levites and priests.

The Father protected the Messiah until the appointed time of his sacrifice:

Most of the Messiah’s countrymen held a favorable opinion of him. This was the case even though the people as a whole refused to personally commit themselves to him. The Messiah’s bureaucratic enemies had to be careful. If the religious leaders prematurely arrested the Messiah at the wrong time (and setting), the people might react negatively and a riot could result. Shrewdly, for a time, the leaders decided to let Rabbi Yeshua continue his public ministry.

וַיָּשׁוּבוּ הַמְשָׁרֲתִים אֶל־רָאשֵׁי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַפְּרוּשִׁים וְהֵם אָמְרוּ אֲלֵיהֶם מַדּוּעַ לֹא־הֲבֵאתֶם אֹתוֹ׃ וַיַּעֲנוּ הַמְשָׁרֲתִים מֵעוֹלָם לֹא־דִבֶּר אִישׁ כָּאִישׁ הַזֶּה׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵיהֶם הַפְּרוּשִׁים הֲכִי נִדַּחְתֶּם גַּם־אַתֶּם׃ הֲגַם־הֶאֱמִין בּוֹ אִישׁ מִן־הַשָּׂרִים אוֹ מִן־הַפְּרוּשִׁים׃ רַק הֶהָמוֹן הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אֵינָם יֹדְעִים אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה אֲרוּרִים הֵמָּה׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם נַקְדִּימוֹן אֲשֶׁר־בָּא אֵלָיו בַּלַָּיְלָה וְהוּא הָיָה אֶחָד מֵהֶם׃ הֲכִי תִשְׁפֹּט תּוֹרָתֵנוּ אִישׁ בְּטֶרֶם תַּחְקְרֵהוּ לָדַעַת אֶת־אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה׃ וַיַּעֲנוּ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הֲגַם־אַתָּה מִן־הַגָּלִיל דְּרָשׁ־נָא וּרְאֵה כִּי לֹא־קָם נָבִיא מִן־הַגָּלִיל׃ וַיֵּלְכוּ אִישׁ אִישׁ לְבֵיתוֹ׃ וְיֵשׁוּעַ הָלַךְ אֶל־הַר הַזֵּיתִים׃

אחרי כן חזרו המשרתים אל ראשי הכהנים והפרושים ואלה שאלו אותם: מדוע לא הבאתם אותו? השיבו המשרתים: מעולם לא דבר איש כמו שמדבר האיש הזה. אמרו הפרושים: האם גם אתם התעיתם? כלום האמין בו מישהו מהמנהיגים או מהפרושים? אך ההמון הזה, שאינם יודעים את התורה, ארורים הם! אמר להם נקדימון, אשר בא אליו קדם לכן, והוא אחד מהם: האם תשפט תורתנו את האדם בלא שתשמע אותו תחלה ותדע מה שעשה? ענו ואמרו לו: האם גם אתה מן הגליל? חקר וראה שלא יקום נביא מהגליל. אחרי כן הלכו איש איש לביתו וישוע הלך אל הר הזיתים. פ

אַחֲרֵי כֵן חָזְרוּ הַמְשָׁרְתִים אֶל רָאשֵׁי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַפְּרוּשִׁים וְאֵלֶּה שָׁאֲלוּ אוֹתָם: מַדּוּעַ לֹא הֲבֵאתֶם אוֹתוֹ? הֵשִׁיבוּ הַמְשָׁרְתִים: מֵעוֹלָם לֹא דִּבֵּר אִישׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁמְּדַבֵּר הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה. אָמְרוּ הַפְּרוּשִׁים: הַאִם גַּם אַתֶּם הֻתְעֵיתֶם? כְּלוּם הֶאֱמִין בּוֹ מִישֶׁהוּ מֵהַמַּנְהִיגִים אוֹ מֵהַפְּרוּשִׁים? אַךְ הֶהָמוֹן הַזֶּה, שֶׁאֵינָם יוֹדְעִים אֶת הַתּוֹרָה, אֲרוּרִים הֵם! אָמַר לָהֶם נַקְדִּימוֹן, אֲשֶׁר בָּא אֵלָיו קֹדֶם לָכֵן, וְהוּא אֶחָד מֵהֶם: הַאִם תִּשְׁפֹּט תּוֹרָתֵנוּ אֶת הָאָדָם בְּלֹא שֶׁתִּשְׁמַע אוֹתוֹ תְּחִלָּה וְתֵדַע מַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה? עָנוּ וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ: הַאִם גַּם אַתָּה מִן הַגָּלִיל? חֲקֹר וּרְאֵה שֶׁלֹּא יָקוּם נָבִיא מֵהַגָּלִיל. אַחֲרֵי כֵן הָלְכוּ אִישׁ אִישׁ לְבֵיתוֹ וְיֵשׁוּעַ הָלַךְ אֶל הַר הַזֵּיתִים. פ

The servants (officers of the Temple) then returned to the leading priests and Prushim, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The servants answered, “No one has ever spoken like this man does.” The Prushim then said to them, “Have you been drawn away? Have any of the rulers (Sanhedrin) or Prushim believed in him? It is only these crowd of people who do not know the Torah. They are cursed.” Nakdimon, (Nicodemus), who went to him at night before, and was one of them, said to them, “Does our Torah judge a man before investigating to know what he has done?” They answered and said to him, “Are you also of the Galil? Go search and see that no prophet arises from the Galil.” Each man went to his home. But the Salvation of HaShem (יֵשׁוּעַ) went to Har HaZeitim (הַר הַזֵּיתִים),  the *Mount of Olives.

[*Narrative of the Eighth Day of Extended Assembly is continued in Shemini Atzeret.]

The temple guards, who were sent to arrest the Messiah, returned without him. Responding to the questions of the chief priests and Prushim, “Why did you not arrest him?” the officers of the Temple answered:

!מעולם לא דבר איש כמו שמדבר האיש הזה

Never spoke a man like this man speaks!

“No one ever spoke the way this man does!”

The follow-up question of the religious leaders to the guards was, “Has any of the rulers of the Sanhedrin or leaders of the Prushim believed in him?” This elitist attitude toward the Messiah reveals the personal vanity and insulating arrogance of the religious leaders. The elitist religious leaders only exercised faith and confidence in themselves. Ironically, a small number of the members of the ruling Sanhedrin did believe that Yeshua was the Messiah (i.e. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea). In any case, the chief priests and the Prushim were incredibly jealous of the Messiah’s growing popularity. Soon it would seem to them that the whole world had gone after him.

The leading priests and Prushim further lectured the wayward temple guards that the popularity of Rabbi Yeshua was completely due to the gross ignorance and gullibility of the people. The crowd was too ignorant of the oral Law to know what the real meanings of the Torah were and that Yeshua was a deceiver. The people did not study the oral Law that the Prushim were the ruling trustees and experts of.

However, the people were aware of some of the written Law (the Scriptures) but because they were ignorant of the oral Law they did not have the slightest idea of how to correctly translate the meanings of the written Law into practical use. Therefore, since the people did not obey the oral Law (the proper applications of the written Law), the hype-religious Prushim considered the common people accursed (Deuteronomy 28:15).

The irony of the situation was that the Prushim, not the mob, were living under the wrath of the Holy One because they had ignorantly misinterpreted and misapplied the Scriptures. This was proven by their outright rejection of the Messiah whom He had sent. “Nicodemus…said to them, ‘Our Torah does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?’”

The written Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 1:16-17) and the oral Rabbinic Law stipulated that a person accused of a crime should get a fair hearing. Nicodemus, a ruler of Israel, who was a believer in the Messiah Yeshua, did not want his fellow members in the Sanhedrin and in the Prushim rabbinate to make the mistake of rushing to judgment without benefit of due process.

Nicodemus was deeply grieved at the conduct of his colleagues. He had personally spoken with Rabbi Yeshua and he knew that He was the Messiah sent to them from Adonai Elohei Yisrael (the LORD God of Israel). Tragically, even though Nicodemus was a highly respected teacher and a highly esteemed ruler over Israel, he was repeatedly insulted by several of the other members of the Sanhedrin and of his fellow members in the Prushim rabbinate.

In the end, the irrational prejudice and fierce emotional hatred against the Messiah was too strong a force for the sound reasoning and good judgment of Nicodemus to overcome. The majority of the Sanhedrin members accused Nicodemus of being as ignorant as the Galileans. Furthermore they argued, “No prophet arises out of Galilee.”

Embarrassingly, we know this last assertion to be an obvious error of biblical fact. Any person with a simple working knowledge of the bible (Tanakh) knows that a prophet of Israel did come from Galilee, the prophet Jonah. For it is written in 2 Kings that Jonah came from Gat-HaChepher of the tribe of Zebulun in Galilee (cf. 2 Kings 14:25). This proves that the religious leaders, who were experts in their own oral law and the five books of Moses (Torah), were quite ignorant of the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. Especially the priests and rabbis were ignorant of the Nevi’im and Ketuvim (the Prophets and the Writings). Apparently these experts were too preoccupied with their own naturalistic oral law to waste their time on the supernatural writings of the prophets!


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