First mention of a solution against death 7 Human sacrifice

In the previous articles about the solution for man and offerings, we talked about the way human beings looked for ways to restore their relationship with God and how they wanted to please God with offerings.

The first human beings had the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, symbolizing potentialities or possibilities that God has made available to Man, who is free to choose and explore as much as he pleases, even to separate himself from God, like the Prodigal Son from his Father.

Man had made his choice and had to leave the Garden of Eden, trying to build up a decent life. Though now he had to work hard for everything and was aware he had disgusted or displeased God. First there was only the Most High Divine Creator of all things Who was above Adam and Eve and above all other living creatures, the plants and animals. There was no hierarchy.

Hierarchy (from the Greek ἱεραρχία hierarchia, “rule of a high priest”, from ἱεράρχης hierarkhes, “leader of sacred rites”); ranking of objects into grades, orders, or classes of increasing dominance or inclusiveness + specific type of social organization in which members are divided by status or especially authority – people on a “ladder”

The first story were we saw human beings ‘fighting’ for a place or rang order is the one of Cain and Abel. Slowly hierarchy entered the human system. From simple hunter-gatherer tribes to complex, modern industrial societies we can find a hierarchy which is loved by people. Some scholars argue that gender played a central role in the formation and functioning of stratification systems. They showed that women’s exclusion from social life placed them in an inferior position, resulting in lessened life chances and status. While women’s standing in social and economic life has improved over the past half-century, women are still restricted by gender roles and patriarchy. Rich literatures examine the impact of family structure, occupational segregation, devaluation of women’s work, and sex-based pay gaps.

We also can see that the colour of skin, the place of origin, became important to place people on a step of the ladder. One’s racial and ethnic background or ethnicity, also greatly came to influence one’s life chances. When not belonging to the troop it could well be that people saw the person suitable to be used as an offer to the gods.

Human life was looked at as something very special and was considered by many as the most valuable material for sacrifice. The killing of a human being, or the substitution of an animal in place of a person, has often been part of an attempt to effect communion with a god and participation in his divine life.

We may find two primary types of human sacrifice: the offering of a human being to a god and the entombment or slaughter of servants or slaves intended to accompany the deceased into the afterlife. The latter practice was more common.

The realisation of human sacrifice to the promotion of the earth’s fertility may explain why the phenomenon has been most widely adopted by agricultural rather than by hunting or pastoral peoples.

The region where the Austronesian languages are spoken spans over 200 degrees of longitude from Madagascar to Easter Island

In a study published in Nature1, Joseph Watts, a specialist in cultural evolution at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and his colleagues have analysed 93 traditional cultures in Austronesia (the region that loosely embraces the many small and island states in the Pacific and Indonesia) as they were before they were influenced by colonization and major world religions (generally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries).  {On Human Sacrifice (Article Nature)}

By mapping the evolutionary relationships between cultures, the team suggests that human sacrifice and social hierarchy co-evolved. Although societies can become more or less stratified over time, societies that practised sacrifice were less apt to revert to milder degrees of stratification.

Clearly there were different ways to look at the sacrificial bodies. They could be seen as something very special and very worthy but also as something they did not want in their community and found good enough to give to the gods. More than animal sacrifice human sacrifice helped to stabilize hierarchy, and conceivably, therefore, had a common role in the development of highly stratified societies that generally persist even today. Instead of killing the one in power a substitute was taken to receive for some time divine status and then was put to death. Sacral kings (considered to  embody gods of vegetation) were sacrificed when their vigour declined, in order to prevent reciprocal effects on soil fertility. In various places in Africa, where human sacrifice was connected with ancestor worship or veneration of the dead, some of the slaves of the deceased were buried with him, or they were killed and laid beneath him in his grave.

Aztec cosmogram in the pre-Hispanic Codex Fejérváry-Mayer—the fire god Xiuhtecuhtli is in the centre

There were also places were people thought the elements of nature, like the moon and the sun, needed human nourishment, which led to sacrifices in which thousands of victims perished annually in their rituals, like by the Aztecs. The Incas confined such wholesale sacrifices to the accession of a ruler.There were instances of human sacrifice in Peru and among tribes of North American Indians.

All human societies have been shaped by religion, leading psychologists to wonder how it arose, and whether particular forms of belief have affected other aspects of evolved social structure. According to one recent view, for example, belief in a “big God” — an all-powerful, punitive deity who sits in moral judgement on our actions — has been instrumental in bringing about social and political complexity in human cultures.

The network of small and island states stretching from Madagascar to Easter Island  — challenges that theory. In these states, a more general belief in supernatural punishment did tend to precede political complexity, the research finds, but belief in supreme deities emerged after complex cultures have already formed 2.

Joseph Watts, a specialist in cultural evolution at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, who worked on the study, wanted evidence to examine the idea that “big Gods” drive and sustain the evolution of big societies. Psychologist Ara Norenzayan at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has suggested that belief in moralizing high gods (MHGs) enabled societies to outgrow their limited ability to police moral conduct, by threatening freeloaders with retribution even if no-one else noticed their transgressions3, 4.

Watts says

“Austronesian cultures offer an ideal sample to test theories about the evolution of religions in pre-modern societies, because they were mostly isolated from modern world religions, and their indigenous supernatural beliefs and practices were well documented.”

The believers in moralizing high gods (MHGs) got in their system some people who got control by aligning themselves with those supreme deities and then making lists of things people could and could not do. We can imagine their way of getting more power by making the people afraid with ideas of suffering or torture (in the underground or hell) and by the possibility to become a target of offering. For centuries certain religious organisation or churches made their followers afraid of doomplaces and told them that they could buy themselves free from those torture chambers by giving money to their church. People could buy indulgences.

The granting of indulgences was predicated on two beliefs. First, in the sacrament of penance it did not suffice to have the guilt (culpa) of sin forgiven through absolution alone; one also needed to undergo temporal punishment (poena, from p[o]enitentia, “penance”) because one had offended Almighty God. Second, indulgences rested on belief in purgatory, a place in the next life where one could continue to cancel the accumulated debt of one’s sins, another Western medieval conception not shared by Eastern Orthodoxy or other Eastern Christian churches not recognizing the primacy of the pope. {Indulgence –
Roman Catholicism, encyclopaedia Britannica}

A Catholic bishop granting plenary indulgences for the public during times of calamity. Note the almsgiving in the background. Wall Fresco by Italian Artist Lorenzo Lotto, Suardi, Italy, circa 1524.

Certain faithgroups or churches wanted their believers to believe that offerings could reduce the the debt of forgiveness of sin. The offers could exist out of many gifts but also by the performance of good works in their life (pilgrimages, charitable acts, and the like) and if their offerings were not yet sufficient they would get a lesser penalty after they died, by temporarily suffering in purgatory instead of eternal suffering in hell. Indulgences could be granted only by popes or, to a lesser extent, archbishops and bishops as ways of helping ordinary people measure and amortize their remaining debt.

In different cultures an other way was less bloody, having the sacrifice taking place by going under water. Whilst in Mexico young maidens were drowned in sacred wells, others found it sufficient to have an immersion. As such we can find Celtic rituals. Whilst the burning of children occurred in Assyrian and Canaanite religions and at various times among the Israelites, it became a custom by the Israelites to be cleared of sins by immersion to enter a new life. John the Baptist as such came to immerse his cousin Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who was the long awaited Messiah. About 40 days after Jesus’ birth, his parents had brought the customary sin offering permitted in the case of the poor,

“a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:24; Leviticus 12:6-8)

The offerings and human sacrifice legitimises political authority and social class systems, functioning to stabilize social stratification. It was also an ideal way to get rid of unwanted people or to take care that those who stood in the way could disappear from the scene.

In this way the Nazarene Jeshua an annoying person and possible peril for the security and peace in the Roman empire and in the Jewish community. Though it was not thought him to be an offer, several thought it better to give him away to be killed instead of the vigilant or robber Barabbas. Pilate knew that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests and elders wanted Jesus out of the way, i.e. being killed.

“Give us Barabbas!”, from The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, 1910

The man being called to be crucified did not have his roots in the right soil because nobody thought anything good could come out of Nazareth. (John 1:46; 7:41, 52) Although he was a perfect man and a descendant of King David, his humble circumstances did not impart to him any “stately form” or “splendour” — at least not in the eyes of those who were expecting the Messiah to come from a more impressive background.
Spurred on by the Jewish religious leaders, many were led to overlook and even despise him. In the end the crowds saw nothing desirable in the perfect Son of God.

Matthew 27:11-26 NHEBME  (11)  Now Yeshua stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Yeshua said to him, “So you say.”  (12)  When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.  (13)  Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?”  (14)  He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.  (15)  Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired.  (16)  They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.  (17)  When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Yeshua, who is called the Messiah?”  (18)  For he knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.  (19)  While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”  (20)  Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Yeshua.  (21)  But the governor answered them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”  (22)  Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do to Yeshua, who is called the Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”  (23)  But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the louder, saying, “Let him be crucified!”  (24)  So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this man. You see to it.”  (25)  All the people answered, “May his blood be on us, and on our children!”  (26)  Then he released to them Barabbas, but Yeshua he flogged and delivered to be crucified.

In the time before Jeshua the ancient temple courtyard was the altar for offering sacrifices. This foreshadowed God’s provision, according to His will, for a perfect human sacrifice to ransom the offspring of Adam. (Heb 10:1-10; 13:10-12; Ps 40:6-8)

This man, born in Bethlehem, at his immersion was proclaimed by God Himself to be the “Only begotten beloved son of God“. Nobody had managed to fully do the will of God neither could have brought a perfect sacrificial body in front of the Most Divine God. This time that man managed to put aside his will and managed to keep all the time to God’s Will. He was the living proof that man, if he wanted, could keep to God’s Commandments. Still to today there are religious groups in Christendom who want others to believe no man would ever be capable to keep God’s commandments, and therefore Jesus would have to be God himself. This idea makes of God a very cruel God Who imposed Laws to man which He knew they would never be able to keep. But God is a God of love and order Who does not asks more of people than they can endure or do. That what God asks of mankind Jesus managed to fulfil and by doing God’s Will all the time, not going against the Will of God, he was not at any time an opposer or adversary of God.  Jesus him being a perfect human being made the sacrifice of his life acceptable in the eyes of God to be the best ransom that could be paid for making an end to the curse of death.

God even expanded the gift of Christ to mankind by declaring all those who have faith in Christ’s sacrifice, righteous on the basis of their faith. By believing in Jesus Christ and following his teachings, when they after their immersion try to keep to the commandments of God,  they are viewed by God as sinless while in the flesh.

Romans 3:20-26 NHEBME  Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.  (21)  But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets;  (22)  even the righteousness of God through faith in Yeshua the Messiah to all those who believe. For there is no distinction,  (23)  for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;  (24)  being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Yeshua;  (25)  whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;  (26)  to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Yeshua.

Romans 5:1-2 NHEBME  Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah;  (2)  through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Differently than in other religions where every time a new sacrifice is needed, the blood of Christ is for ever and makes that no other sacrifices have to be made.

Romans 5:9-10 NHEBME  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.  (10)  For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.

Romans 8:1-7 NHEBME  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua.  (2)  For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua made you free from the law of sin and of death.  (3)  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh;  (4)  that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  (5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  (6)  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;  (7)  because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be.

 

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References:

  1. Watts, J., Sheehan, O., Atkinson, Q. D., Bulbulia, J. & Gray, R. D. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature17159 (2016).
  2. Watts, J. et al. Proc. R. Soc. B 282, 20142556 (2015).
  3. Norenzayan, A. Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict (Princeton Univ. Press, 2013).
  4. Norenzayan, A. & Shariff, A. F. Science 322, 5862 (2008).

Please find also to read:

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Preceding articles:

Gone astray, away from God

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #17 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #1 In the image and after the likeness

First mention of a solution against death 1 To divine, serpent, opposition, satan and adversary

First mention of a solution against death 2 Harm or no harm and naked truth

First mention of a solution against death 3 Tempter Satan and man’s problems

First mention of a solution against death 4 A seed for mankind

First mention of a solution against death 5 Evil its law of death

First mention of a solution against death 6 Authority given to the send one from God coming out of the woman

Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  5. Counterfeit Gospels
  6. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  7. Redemption #2 Biblical solution
  8. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  9. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  10. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  11. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  12. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  13. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  15. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  17. Bad things no punishment from God
  18. Thought for the third day of the Omer
  19. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  20. Wishing to do the will of God
  21. Worship and worshipping
  22. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  23. Be an Encourager
  24. Expenses, costs – Onkosten, uitgaven
  25. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  26. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  27. Purify my heart
  28. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  29. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  30. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  31. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  32. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature

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Further reading

  1. Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Cultures
  2. The Ceremony of the Goddess of Knowledge in Bali
  3. River Ganges ‘The Offering’
  4. Bali Religious Ceremonies to Invoke the Safety, Gratitude and Protection of God
  5. Human Sacrifice In The Ancient Mysteries, Paganism, Druidism and Satan The Founder of
  6. King Killers of Ancient Ireland
  7. Human Sacrifice, Ancient Gods and Lady Fern
  8. Bible 2016: 13 June Daily Bible Reading
  9. II Kings 23
  10. A Reflection of the Heart
  11. Ark First, Altar Next
  12. Numbers 7
  13. Leviticus 4; The Sin Offering
  14. Leviticus 6:14-23; The Priests Grain Offering
  15. Parasha Naso (an accounting of)
  16. A Story of Two Fathers and Two Sons
  17. Showdown
  18. A Living sacrifice before God
  19. Giving All
  20. Jesus as an Offering
  21. Ascended, offered life
  22. His Witness
  23. Is it important to tithe?
  24. Please God
  25. Hoping God is Pleased, While Knowing He Is Not
  26. Who Are You Trying to Please?
  27. The need to please!
  28. Man of Faith
  29. Regaining Soulfulness
  30. Pray to Receive Forgiveness (Repost)
  31. God or Man Pleasers
  32. Suffering Is Not For Nothing
  33. Trusting God’s Promise
  34. Kingdom Economy
  35. Relationship, Better than Choice
  36. When All You Have Is Enough
  37. Is the Bible fact or fiction? Yes!
  38. Empty Oaths or Missing the Real God
  39. Are there two Gods in the Bible?
  40. Two Gods and Two Countries
  41. Watchtower Study June 5, 2016—Being Faithful Leads to God’s Approval
  42. An Offering Prayer
  43. Did Jesus believe in sacrifice?
  44. Bible 2016: 13 June Daily Bible Reading
  45. The Vedic rituals, their innovative nature and contribution to the early knowledge
  46. Vayikra: Offering
  47. Animal Sacrifice, Leviticus, and Penal Substitution
  48. Despite naysayers, archaeologists assert thesis about child sacrifice in ancient #Carthage
  49. It’s not just ancient Roman propaganda: Carthaginians really did sacrifice children
  50. Ancient Greek stories of ritual child sacrifice are true, study claims
  51. Carthaginians sacrificed own children, archaeologists say
  52. Bakra Eid – A Religious Ritual or Calories to Waste?
  53. Irfiction: Payback
  54. Holi Mubarak*
  55. When my mother was a Voodoo priestess, animal sacrifices and my broken heart
  56. A Mosque, Some Mosaics, and a Whole Lot of Raw Meat: the streets of Istanbul
  57. Sacrificing in the city
  58. Anthropology Friday: Animal Souls
  59. The Politics of Sacrifice
  60. Ode to Eternal Justice
  61. বলি কি সত্যি দরকার ?

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Of the Sabbath day

On the seventh day, which was neither longer nor shorter than the days which preceded it, “God ended his work which he had made”; and because of this notable event, “he blessed and sanctified it”.

A day is blessed, because of what is or will be imparted to those who are commanded to observe it. The sanctification of the day implies the setting of it apart that it might be kept in some way different from other days. The manner of its original observance may be inferred from the law concerning it when it was enjoined upon the Israelites. To them it was said,

“Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”.

If it be asked, how was it to be kept holy? the answer is,

“in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor any one or thing belonging to thee”;

and the reason for this total abstinence from work is referred to the Lord’s own example in that “he rested the seventh day”. The nature of its observance in the ages and generations, and the recompense thereof, is well expressed in the words of Isaiah:

— “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” {Isaiah 58:13, 14.}

"Der Samstug (Sabbath)", Frederich C...
“Der Samstug (Sabbath)”, Frederich Campe, 1800: German Jews, wearing baretta hats, gather outside a synagogue on Sabbath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this passage, the conditions are stated upon which faithful Israelites might inherit the blessing typified by the rest of the seventh day. They were joyfully to devote themselves to the way of the Lord. They were not simply to abstain from work, yawning and grumbling over the tediousness of the day, and wishing it were gone, that they might return to their ordinary course of life; but they were to esteem it as a delightful, holy, and honourable day. Their pleasure was to consist in doing what the Lord required, and in talking of “the exceeding great and precious promises” He had made. To do this was “not speaking their own words”, but the Lord’s words. Such an observance as this, however, of the sabbath day, implies a faithful mind and a gracious disposition as the result of knowing the truth.

Neither antediluvian nor postdiluvian could “call the sabbath a delight” who was either ignorant or faithless of the import of the promise,

“thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob”.

Representation of Sabbat gatherings from the c...
Representation of Sabbat gatherings from the chronicles of Johann Jakob Wick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man who simply looked at the seventh day as a sabbath in which he was interdicted from pleasures, and conversation agreeable to him, and from the money-making pursuits in which he delighted, would regard the day more as a weekly punishment, than as joyous and honourable. Though he might mechanically abstain from work, he did not keep it so as to be entitled to the blessing which belonged to the observance of the day of the Lord. It was irksome to him, because, being faithless, he perceived no reward in keeping it; and

“without faith it is impossible to please God”.

The reward to antediluvian and postdiluvian patriarchs and Israelites, for a faithful observance, or commemoration of Jehovah’s rest from His creation-work, was

“delight in the Lord, riding upon the high places of the earth, and feeding with the heritage of Jacob”.

This was neither more nor less than a promise of inheriting the Kingdom of God, which is a summary of “the things hoped for and the things unseen”, or the subject matter of the faith that pleases God. When that kingdom is established, all who are accounted worthy of it will “delight or joy in the Lord”; and occupy “the high places of the earth”, ruling over the nations as His associate kings and priests; and share in the “new heavens and earth,” in which dwells righteousness, when Jerusalem shall be made a rejoicing, and her people Israel a joy. The knowledge and belief of these things was the powerful and transforming motive which caused Abel, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. to “call the sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, and honourable”; and to observe it as the sons of Belial cannot possibly do. But while this was the motive, even faith, which actuated the sons of God in their keeping holy the seventh day, Jehovah did not permit the faithless to transgress or desecrate it with impunity. We know not what penalty, if any, was attached to its violation before the flood; but its desecration under the Mosaic constitution was attended with signal and summary vengeance, as will appear from the following testimonies:—

1. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” { Exodus 31:12–17.}
2. “Remember (O Israel), that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” {Deut. 5:15.}
3. “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day mere shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath day.” { Exodus 35:2, 3.}
4. “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.” { Numb. 15:32–36.}
5. “Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem: neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.… And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, to do no work therein: then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and upon horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meat-offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the temple of the Lord. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then I will kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” {Jer. 17:21–27.}
6. “Abide ye every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” {Exodus 16:29, 30.}

From these testimonies it is clear that it was unlawful for servants in the families of Israel to light fires, cook dinners, harness horses, drive out families to the synagogues, or priests to the temple to officiate in the service of the Lord. The visiting of families on the sabbath day, the taking of excursions for health or for preaching, and conversing about worldly, or family, or any kind of secular affairs, was also illegal, and punishable with death. The law, it will be observed also, had regard to the seventh, and to no other day of the week. It was lawful to do all these things on the first or eighth day (some particular ones, however, excepted), but not on the seventh. On this day, however, it was “lawful to do good”; but then, this good was not arbitrary. Neither the priests nor the people were the judges of the good or evil, but the law only which defined it.

“On the sabbath days the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath, and were blameless”; {Matt. 12:5.}

for the law enjoined them to offer “two lambs of the first year, without spot, as the burnt-offering of every sabbath”. { Num. 28:9–10.} This was a profanation of the seventh-day law, which prohibited “any work” from being done; and had not God commanded it, they would have been “guilty of death”. It was upon this ground that Jesus was “guiltless”; for he did the work of God on that day in healing the sick as the Father had commanded him.

“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore”,

said Jesus,

“the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath Day ”. {Mark 2:27.}

It was a wise and beneficent institution. It prevented the Israelites from wearing out themselves and their dependents by incessant toil; and revived in them a weekly remembrance of the law and promises of God. It was, however, only “a Shadow of things to come”, the substance of which is found in the things which pertain to the Anointed One of God.  (Col. 2:14, 16–17)

14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Let No One Disqualify You
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. {The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Kol 2:14–19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.}

It was a part of “the rudiments of the world” inscribed on

“the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us”,

and which the Lord Jesus “took out of the way, nailing it to his cross”. When he lay entombed he rested from his labours, abiding in his place all the seventh day. Having ended his work, he arose on the eighth day, “and was refreshed”. The shadowy sabbath disappeared before the brightness of the rising of the sun of righteousness; who, having become the accursed of the law. delivered his brethren from its sentence upon all.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 13–17). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

+

Preceding: Creation of the earth and man #2 Evil Angels and moments of creation

++

Additional reading:

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Observance of a day to Remember
  3. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Written to recognise the Promised One
  6. The Right One to follow and to worship
  7. Sabbath according to the scriptures

+++

Gone astray, away from God

Man created in the image of God had received everything from God. He was given dominion over everything around him, but still was not yet pleased enough and wanted more. Man wanted to control everything himself and wanted to know good and evil. He doubted the power and the right for God having alone all knowledge, control and power over everything.

Piero della Francesca - The Prophet Jeremiah -...
Piero della Francesca – The Prophet Jeremiah – WGA17586 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It took not such a long time before man riposted and went against God. By time this made him drifting further and further from the Most High Elohim. Several occasions of such drifting away are notated by the scribes God appointed to write down His Words. As such we can find men like the prophet Jeremiah who laments over the condition of his people and the great nation that he loved. Through tears he even comes to write in pain with a heart pounding within him, not allowing him to sit still. (Jeremiah 4:19-21)

Jeremiah recognized the negative spiritual and social changes of his day and the destructive consequences those changes were bringing down upon the land. And so he asks of God how long he must see those battles going on. With the years probably the answer of God shall not be changed and perhaps He could say the same as then:

22 “My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” (Jeremiah 4:22 – TLB)

From the beginning man could have had a paradise to live in with no worries and no problems. But by wanting it to do their way instead of God’s Way people got more than enough problems on their way. Throughout time we have seen many deniers of God. Lots of people do not want to believe He exist or that He is still at work being available for all those who want to meet Him.

We have a world today where lots of people still deny God. but we can also find others who have build up their faith, having the assured expectation of what is hoped for, (+). Many would like to see for everything a scientific explanation or evident demonstration of realities that are not seen. We have receive the Book of books telling about all things in the past, explaining what has happened to the men of ancient times who have witness borne to them.

Many have been strangers and temporary residents in a land but they kept courage and kept believing. They were convinced that there is a Divine Creator leading and giving His Word. By faith they also were convinced that they could perceive that the systems of things were put in order by God’s Word, so that what is seen has come into existence from things that are not visible. (Hebrews 11:1-13)

Faith Happens
Faith Happens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the book of books is told and shown that it was by faith that man offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than that of others. And several men and women by faith got answers from God which released them. They received the witness that they were righteous, for God approved what they did, and although they died, those people still speaks through their faith.

Those people received the witness that they had pleased God well. And that is something we should take at heart. Without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that He is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking Him. (+)

The request of God form early times is till going. We still have to seek Jehovah,(+) all of us who are meek ones of the earth. (Zephaniah 2:3) When we are willing to seek God He shall provide the means to find Him.

Today lots of people deny god but are also resisting to feel their inner side, resisting to follow their instinct. Not willing to feel the part of nature in them, many refuse to observe those laws of nature, the righteous decrees. Not many are willing to seek righteousness, seek meekness. Like the people of Jeremiah’s times who had effectively become deniers of the One True God, today lots of people deny Him or still do not want to accept His Oneness. In the old times those people had sown wind and now they were reaping the whirlwind. But here’s the troubling part, this rejection of God and His ways is happening in our time too – right now – all over the world. to see it we only have to look around us and to look at the screen which brings us a lot of pictures and words in the house we never would allow our children to say to us. Look with discernment at modern politics, entertainment and popular culture. Even those who profess to “believe in God” often act like Godless people.

Not willing to believe in the existence of God lots of people refuse Him to come into their heart and as such exclude a lot of knowledge. The Bible represents God’s Word, given to mankind for edifying measures. That Book of books teaches us to treasure knowledge. (Proverbs 10:14) It is not because man went wrong in the Garden of Eden that he has to keep going wrong. It also does not mean he cannot become wiser. Jehovah wants us to come to understanding and to get more knowledge. He is willing to give us more insight in His works. He is wiling to give us a hand, but He does not want us just to give Him a hand because then we would receive the good things. No, He wants us to have our faith in Him to be built on evidence and sound reasoning, not on human philosophy or religious traditions. (Hebrews 11:1)

To build strong faith in God, we must first be convinced that Jehovah exists. (Hebrews 11:6) This understanding or sense of God’s existence, God wants us to get from reasoning and from examining the facts. God wants us to use our brains, getting to consciousness and growing awareness by using our “power of reason.” (Romans 12:1)

Rom 12:1-3 NHEBJE  Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.  (2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.  (3)  For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.

God provides enough material in the Book of books, His infallible Word. Throughout history god kept working and those works can be recognised by man. They only have to open their eyes and their heart.

Though by the fall we may have received inequities, having faults everywhere, it does not mean we should be worthless and not able to conquer those inequities. Even when at one time we may have acted in ignorance and with a lack of faith, like Saul and others had done, it does not mean we could not get faith in what was promised there in that Garden of Eden and can not come to see who was provided by the Creator to bring a solution to that fall of man.

There in the Garden of Eden was laid the seed for the good news (+) God’s power for salvation to everyone having faith, (+) Even when it was first promised with assurance for the Jew (+) and also to the Greek (+) all people from all nations and cultures can become part of the blessing if they are willing to receive the Grace given to them. For in it God’s righteousness is being revealed by faith and for faith, (+) just as it is written:

“But the righteous one will live by reason of faith.” (+)

After the fall everything kept going wrong and still goes wrong, making that God is not so pleased with what is going on. God’s wrath (+) is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who are suppressing the truth (+) in an unrighteous way, because what may be known about God is clearly evident among them, for God made it clear to them.(+)

Psa 19:1 NHEBJE  <For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.> The heavens declare the glory of God. The expanse shows his handiwork.

Act 14:15-17 NHEBJE  “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them;  (16)  who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.  (17)  Yet he did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness.”

People should know that the Creator God His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made,(+) even His eternal power (+) and Godship, (+) so that they are inexcusable.

Isa 40:18-26 NHEBJE  To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to him?  (19)  A workman has cast an image, and the goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts silver chains for it.  (20)  He who is too impoverished for such an offering chooses a tree that will not rot. He seeks a skillful workman to set up an engraved image for him that will not be moved.  (21)  Haven’t you known? Haven’t you heard, yet? Haven’t you been told from the beginning? Haven’t you understood from the foundations of the earth?  (22)  It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in;  (23)  who brings princes to nothing; who makes the judges of the earth like meaningless.  (24)  They are planted scarcely. They are sown scarcely. Their stock has scarcely taken root in the ground. He merely blows on them, and they wither, and the whirlwind takes them away as stubble.  (25)  “To whom then will you liken me? Who is my equal?” says the Holy One.  (26)  Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their host by number. He calls them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, Not one is lacking.

Rev 4:11 NHEBJE  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!”

For although lots of people could have got enough opportunities to know God, they kept refusing to listen to their inner voice or to put away their pride and to say they were wrong but see now better. Lots of people could know better but they keep preferring to adhere man made doctrines and the human traditions and did not glorify The Elohim as God nor did they thank Him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their senseless hearts became darkened. (Romans 1:21+)Although claiming they were wise, man became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and birds and four-footed creatures and reptiles. (Romans 1: 23 +)

Rom 1:18-25 NHEBJE  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,  (19)  because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.  (20)  For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divine nature; that they may be without excuse.  (21)  Because, knowing God, they did not glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.  (22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  (23)  and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.  (24)  Therefore God also abandoned them in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves,  (25)  who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

+Preceding articles:God, the Father, the Sole Creator of Heaven and EarthGenesis 1:26 God said “Let us make”The very very beginning 1 Creating GodsScripture about Creation and Creator DeityThe very very beginning 2 The Word and wordsComing to the creation of human beings in the image of God++

Additional reading:

  1. The business of this life
  2. Finding God amid all the religious externals
  3. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  4. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  5. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  6. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  7. People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms
  8. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  9. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  10. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  11. A God between many gods
  12. The True God, Divine Creator or God of gods
  13. Attributes to God
  14. Only One God
  15. God is one
  16. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  17. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  18. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  19. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  20. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  21. Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh
  22. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  23. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  24. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  25. Believing in God the rewarder
  26. Isaiah 55-56, Revelation 11
  27. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham

+++

  • Faith In Action ‘Dare To Do’ (mylordmyfriend.com)
    We also know if we have Faith and come to Our Heavenly Father, He is a re-warder of them that indigently seek Him. Faith is an Action. Diligence is an action, and if we use both we will be rewarded. {Never to be used just to be rewarded} Hebrews 11 verse 6Rewarded not with material processions, but in substantial things of God.

    More Peace, more Joy, more Love to give, more hope, more compassion and more of the God like qualities. Wouldn’t we all like to walk in more of these

  • An offering for sin (dailymedit.com)
    Paul wrote that our body should be living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). That means holiness colours our work of service.Talking about how well the church in Macedonia were involved in giving, Paul said: “they first gave themselves to God and then to us (2Corinthians 8:5).”
  • Acquiring Great Faith (tos4god.com)
    Throughout his lifetime, Abraham obeyed God. At the Lord’s command, he left his country (Gen. 12:1-4), was circumcised (17:10, 26), conceived Isaac when he and his wife were old (21:1-3), and sent his son Ishmael away (vv. 9-14). By the time he was asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, he already knew that God would always be faithful to His promises. Abraham’s previous experiences had taught him to trust the Lord.
    +
    Why You Should Trust the Lord
  • A Life Bearing Fruit (therealdaniel.com)
    God has set eternity in the hearts of humans, and when He created the Garden of Eden He longed to be with Adam and Eve, and He longed for them to be with each other in the way He designed for that to be. The first sin was a sin of comparison because a human being wanted to be like another Being, and so the endless cycle of convincing other human beings to desire something they didn’t have began.
  • The faithful God (fromguestwriters.wordpress.com)
    Scriptures tells us that man nor death can do God anything. That truth is overlooked by many man. They seem to forget that God is a loving God Who keeps His promises and Who says things how they are, not wanting disorder, but order like He created order out of chaos. that was part of His creation and is still part of His Plan.
  • Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts (christadelphianworld.blogspot.com)
    Getting closer to the 14th of Nisan, the most important day of the year in which we celebrate our salvation, we think about freedom or liberty. Many people may be caught in chains but not aware of it.
  • The Chosen People Syndrome (mooglemeow.blogspot.com)
    Some Former Jews – especially those who become Christians – still hang on to it because it makes them feel special. Apparently, Jesus is not enough for them. They want to be set apart. Unfortunately, that is totally  NOT biblical.
    “There is neither Judahite nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3: 28
    They don’t want to assimilate with other Christians. Instead, they choose to separate themselves by pretending to be Judahites (i.e., by pretending to be more important than the rest of the Body of Christ). They are thus abiding in sin.
    “…those liars who say they are Judahites but are not…” Rev 3:9
    They even call themselves Jewish-Christians. They conveniently ignore the fact that being Jewish is being part of a religious group and not part of the once chosen Hebrew race which no longer exists as a people. Judaism is a religion. A religion that rejects Christ. And how they figure they can be both Jewish and Christian is beyond comprehension. It’s like a Satanist who becomes a Christian and decides he’s now a Satanist-Christian. Jews For Jesus should be Former Jews For Jesus just like it would be Former Satanists For Jesus. Can you imagine Satanists for Jesus? Ridiculous, right?
    Unfortunately, that’s what the disease does. It removes all trace of logic, common sense and compassion.
  • The Chosen People Syndrome (biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com)
    Fortunately, there are many Jewish groups along with many individual Jews who are not infected with the syndrome. They are trying their best to educate their co-religionists.
  • The ESV Action Bible Study Bible For Tweens and Teens (juststopscreaming.com)
    At the beginning of each book, you find out who the author of that book is, find out how you see God in action through that book, learn who the people in action are, learn faith in action (keywords) and a ‘Did you know’ fact about that book!
  • Palestine is not the Jews’ Promised Land (new book) (therebel.is)
    neither Egypt was the land of the Israelite Exodus nor Palestine is their Promised Land (so much for the Arab/Israeli conflict and millions of Palestinian victims and refugees)
    +
    The truth that will be revealed in the book is that the land which witnessed the Israelite stories of Abraham, Joseph and Moses is actually named “Mizraim/Misrim” and not Egypt of the River Nile we all know (never let any fool/ conniver convince you that Mizraim/Misrim is the name (Hebrew/Arabic) for Egypt, for that is simply not the historical truth (twisted/distorted by an ancient Jewish deception)Egypt’s native name during the alleged timeline of the Israelite stories was Gopt/Copt and not Mizraim/Misrim (as expounded in the book)

    The truth could still be gleaned from the Hebrew Version of the Old Bible. In the following chapter from Genesis that describes selling Joseph as a slave in Egypt (the very beginning of the Israelites’ alleged story in Egypt) you will notice that the English translation explicitly mentions Egypt as the place of selling Joseph.