“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16)
Although Christianity acknowledges that Jesus Christ is identified by his likeness to Moses, Christianity ignores the importance of Moses and his successors by downplaying their roles as being nothing more than just “types” of Christ. This results in an intrinsic “unhitching” of the significance of the Old Testament to the following New Testament, even by those who deplore the open “unhitching” of the Old from the New.
We are discarding our own identity in Christ if we consider that Moses and his immediate successor were just place holders until the ultimate Christ showed up over a thousand years later. Joshua and his successors were each a true Promised Deliverer at that time and in those circumstances by FOLLOWING THE COURSE SET BY MOSES.
“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for THOU must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and THOU shalt cause them to inherit it.
And the LORD, he it is that doth go before THEE; he will be with THEE, he will not fail THEE, neither forsake THEE: fear not, neither be dismayed. ” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)
“the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister…as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail THEE, nor forsake THEE…
“he hath said, I will never leave THEE, nor forsake THEE. So that WE may boldly say, The Lord is MY helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto ME.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Why do we leave out the rest of the passage?
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee?” (Joshua 1:1-9)
In another passage, mainstream Christianity treats one Old Testament prophecy as applying to the New Testament Church because of the world-wide viewpoint.
Instead of taking a blind flying leap forward into the future, serious students who continue to stick with the hermeneutical and historical approach will recognize the world-wide perspective of the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, at that time and in those circumstances.
“My people [which we have proven aforetime in the post Melchizedek Moses, at that point in time, are the Hebrews] went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause...they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed…
Therefore my people / the Hebrews shall know my name / attributes / famous acts: therefore they shall know IN THAT DAY that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I…”For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall HE be called [not Sennacherib].”(Isaiah 52:4-6, 54:5)
The passage is written to encourage people being oppressed at the time of writing to trust in the promised deliverer. For that objective to work, the promise must have been fulfilled in the past. Like unbiased archeologists, let’s sift through the levels to discover what it is, starting with the historical context in which Isaiah wrote these encouraging words.
“Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defensed cities of Judah, and took them. And the king of Assyria [predatory precursor to Nazi ideology and possibly even genetically to some Germans] sent…a great army…to Hezekiah, saying…Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed…?
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him…Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel…Because thy rage against me…I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” (Isaiah 36-37)
The next level to analyze is the historic circumstances equivalent to those currently being experienced c. 700 by people “howling under oppression.” This is what provides valid encouragement to have faith in the same previous experience of deliverance. For example, the basis for faith in being delivered by God from their enemies by the individuals Isaac, then Jacob, then Joseph, then ultimately by a horde of Hebrews was knowledge of past miraculous deliverances of their ancient fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This is the only basis for faith in ANYTHING – Sennacherib’s promise of leniency for those who surrender or utter destruction for those who resist, a COVID vaccine, the utterly contradictory self-evolution of selfish humanity into self-sacrificing Superman able to save a world clearly set on self-destruct – despite the bedrock basis of eugenics in evolution as “the survival of the fittest”, a presidential candidate…
Even God himself.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“ (Romans 10:17)
So, placing the meaning of this message in proper historical context, especially with the significant words, we find that this is not a prophecy of a future new religion of Christianity at all, but solidly establishes our saving faith in events that occurred, and relationships that were established, before the world began. This passage can then apply to future believers, just as the relationship between God and the Adams, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. applies also to us. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it is only about us. It is about all mankind from the beginning of time.
- Maker – foundational relationship of God towards humanity. “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26)
- Husband – Partner in a union where two become one. And the LORD God…took one of his ribs…and made he a woman…And Adam said…she shall be called Wo-man, because she was taken out of Man…they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-23)
- LORD of hosts / armies – Dominion requires defense against enemies. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.“ (Genesis 2:1)
- Redeemer / kinsman Since the champion of his people represents all his nation / family he must be “one flesh” with them. “The LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this…her seed…shall bruise / crush thy head.” (Genesis 3:14-15) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them…“ (Hebrews 2:14-15)
- Holy / consecrated, set apart one of Isra / He who struggles with – not against – El / God. The perennially popular movie The Karate Kid exemplifies this nicely. In both Jacob and Daniel’s cases, persistence in submitting to the sensei’s / master’s instructions and methods, through crippling difficulties, results in character transformation and reflexive modeling of the master’s behavior, turning oppression to victory. According to Hosea, the title Isra-El applied to Jacob before God officially bestowed it on him.
- “Jacob…took his brother by the heel in the womb and by his strength he had power with God.” Are you catching that? We could rephrase “by his strength he had power with God” as “He who struggles with God.” Even in the womb infants respond to God’s Spirit, and Jacob was one of them, fighting to make God’s plan come to pass.
- “Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed.” Again, do you catch the figure of two matched wrestlers? Like David’s choice of Joab and his mighty men, God chooses dogged fighters who are willing to give their lives for the cause. So much for Calvinism.
- “he found him in Bethel…Even the LORD God of hosts/armies”…every time Jacob needed supernatural power.
- when fleeing from Esau where he bargains with God
- when oppressed by Laban
- when returning to face Esau’s wrath
- when fleeing from the Canaanites revenging the massacre at Shechem.
- And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel [functioning as God’s Fighter although not yet officially designated as such] served for a wife [since Isaac did not give him a bride price like Abraham had given, but Jacob clung determinedly to faith in God’s promise to his inheritance]…
- And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved...Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.” (Hosea 12)
- Don’t miss the point Hosea is making! Like Isaiah, Hosea encourages his audience to follow Jacob’s example of trust in God’s promises during their times of conflict: This title of Isra-El / God’s Fighter does not apply only to Jacob son of Isaac as a name. Like a Medal of Honor, is an award given in recognition of a character trait, developed through years of faithfulness despite adversity, and proven through exemplary behavior, designating anyone who God chooses to set apart as a partner in his service.
- “The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” This is a battle plan, not an afterthought, and it was not put into place on the Day of Pentecost with Christianity. It was the gauntlet thrown down in challenge to Nimrod’s 70 nations at Babel with the single Hebrew nation .
- “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD.
- Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt?
- and the Philistines from Caphtor,
- and the [As]Syrians from Kir?
- I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, to serve their purpose of witnessing of God!
- “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore…the Gentiles are turned to God: For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” (Acts 15:18-21)
- In that day will I raise up the tabernacle / destructible building of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:7-12)
So let’s revisit what the Apostle Paul, the so-called “founder” of the “new religion” of Christianity, really says about what it takes to be declared righteous in order to gain eternal life in God’s kingdom of Heaven.
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel [good news] of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures, Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name [God’s Promised Savior]…
the gospel of Christ / The Promised Deliverer…is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.“ (Romans 1)
This passage must be linked to Jesus’ account in Matthew 25 to be accurately understood. The just – those declared righteous at the end of time when God holds every individual accountable for their actions on earth – shall live – forever – by faith. Faith in what?
“From faith to faith” is commonly taught by Christians to mean converting from faith in animal sacrifices in Judaism to faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in Christianity. But if we read the rest of the story we discover there is only one faith.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was ONCE delivered unto the saints…beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude v. 3, 20-21)
That faith is in CREATOR GOD.
The Bible starts with creation because it is foundational to understanding who is the ultimate power and therefore authority for our soul’s existence now and forever.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, [Good example being the children of Israel at Mount Sinai making the golden calf.] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things…Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen…
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1)
“And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2)
But there seems to be a contradiction, because Paul goes on to say:
“…Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
What Paul is saying, clearly and repetitively, is that on-one can claim they have accomplished enough “good deeds” to earn eternal life. Fortunately, no-one needs to accomplish enough, or outweighs the amount of bad deeds with good deeds.
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law OF MOSES and the prophets WHO QUOTED MOSES; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of YHVH’s Promised Savior unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus / The Eternal I Am’s Promised Savior: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his – HIS, GOD’S – righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus / YHVH’s SAVIOR…
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law…it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision…and uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3)
When we overlay the Matthew 25 passage with the Romans 3 criteria, we realize that the criteria for entrance into God’s eternal kingdom is not the doing of good deeds like caring for the sick, poor, and imprisoned in general, but identifying with God in this life by the way we treat his human children. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
This concept is central to the Godfather saga, of which the first movie in the trilogy is considered by many critics to be the best movie of all time. A crime drama, nonetheless (in a perverse way), Nothing is More Important Than Family. This hugely famous and popular story provides a parable of a sort, of God’s attitude about the respect and loyalty due to him and the children he created in his image and likeness.
When Godfather Don Vito Corleone denies drug baron Sollozzo’s request to invest in his narcotics business and provide protection through his political connections, Sollozzo has the Don gunned down in the street. The Don survives, and his son Michael risks his life to thwart another attempt on his father in the hospital, suffering a permanently disfiguring injury in the process.
- Sonny’s disregard for his father’s authority is his undoing, as he is killed when he tries to assume his father’s position before his father transfers his authority to him.
- Fredo’s lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life are his undoing as he retreats from his family’s fight for survival to enjoy a life of ease in the enemy’s camp.
- Only Michael, of Vito’s three sons, conceives of and succeeds in a plan to take vengeance and minimize further attacks on their father, because he is motivated solely by love for his father no matter the cost to his own life, and he is guided by his father’s ways and means of accomplishing his objectives.
Near the close of his life the Godfather transmits all his wisdom to his successor, Michael, in a prediction of the future events that will be triggered when the family has lost his direct leadership. Sure enough, at his death, Tessio, a Corleone capo, sets in motion the betrayal that the Don had forewarned his successor, thereby preparing him to deal with it successfully. All goes as planned as, in one day of judgment, Corleone soldiers:
- murder the other New York dons, breaking their power and emerging as the survivors of a long war
- murder Corleone partner Moe Greene in Las Vegas for disrespect and insubordination
- execute Tessio for treachery
- extract Carlo’s confession to setting up his brother-in-law Sonny’s murder and garrote him with a wire.
Although he does wait until after the death of their mother, Michael even executes his own brother Fredo for his disloyalty to their family.
Compare this well-known fictional American plot line to the little-known true-life Israelite plot line.
King Solomon, i.e. the Prince of Peace and the first son of David promised to perpetuate David’s Israelite dynasty, is a type of Jesus Christ, the penultimate son of David. He gives us a biblical sample of judgment day in which how someone shows respect for the king and his chosen heir by how he treats them determines one’s fate in the new kingdom.
“Now the days of David / Don Corleone drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon / Michael his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God…That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
- Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.
- But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.
- And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now therefore [YOU] hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.” (1 Kings 2)
Zoroaster is a excellent example of the fundamental faith in, and respect for, Creator God required by, and available to, all humanity, not just Jews and Christians. As in Judaism and Christianity, there are corrupting elements inserted over time, but the original, basic faith of Zoroaster / Zarathustra can be recognized as being true to the ancient biblical teachings.
Zoroaster proclaimed that Ahura Mazda was the supreme creator, the creative and sustaining force of the universe through True Statement / Word /Asha, and that human beings are given a right of choice between supporting Ahura Mazda or not, making them responsible for their choices. Though Ahura Mazda has no equal contesting force, Evil Spirit /Angra Mainyu(destructive spirit / mentality)…is considered the main adversarial force of the religion, standing againstSeven spirits before God’s throne /Spenta Mainyu (creative spirit/mentality)…
Asha (truth, cosmic order), the life force that originates from Ahura Mazda, stands in opposition to Druj (falsehood, deceit) and Ahura Mazda is considered to be all-good with no evil emanating from the deity. Ahura Mazda works in gētīg (the visible material realm) and mēnōg (the invisible spiritual and mental realm).
Job, the main character in the oldest book of our compilation of records known as the Bible, is a prime example of the minimalist faith required for salvation by an individual who has never heard the name “Christ Jesus”. He understands – from the evidence of God’s controlled creation and, in contrast, his own uncontrollable destructive ways – that he needs to enter into a humble relationship with YHVH’s Savior Messenger to be save from his own self-destructive ways.
“Then Job answered the LORD / YHVH, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not...I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)
Job is also the prime example of the need to act on whatever revelation you’ve received. Your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on your acceptance and application of the truth you have been blessed to receive.