Between the Testaments
By Ernest Martin and Harry Eisenberg
The Good News of Tomorrow's World September, 1971
Introduction by Pastor Eli James
Children of Israel , one of the most important revelations of my ministry has been the documentation of the fact that the Jewish people are totally UNRELATED to the Judahites of the Old Testament. At the same time, I have also documented the fact that JUDAISM IS NOT THE RELIGION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.
Both of these facts are irrefutable, despite prevailing beliefs to the contrary.
The whole world has been deceived by this dual set of lies, both of which come from the Synagogue of Satan, Judaism. Under no circumstances can Judaism be considered to be either identical to the teachings of Moses, nor can Judaism be considered to be based on the teachings of Moses. Since Judaism is based on the TALMUD, Judaism is, in fact, TOTAL HERESY AGAINST THE TEACHINGS OF MOSES.
In far more instances than not, the Talmud CONTRADICTS THE TEACHINGS OF MOSES, thereby violating Deut. 4:2, in which Moses himself condemns any attempt to change the WRITTEN DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Hence, the supposed “oral law,” by which the rabbis of Judaism claim authority over the Old Testament is nothing but a Satanic device to fool Christians into believing that they have some sort of “hidden wisdom” that we should accept as authentic. Nothing could be further from the truth; and the authors, one a Christian and the other apparently a Jew, of the following article agree with me.
Jesus Christ, Himself, confirms the fallaciousness of Judaism, when He accuses the Pharisees with this charge: “You have made the Law OF NONE EFFECT BY YOUR TRADITIONS.” (Matt. 15:5.) In Matt., Chapter 23 and in numerous other places, the Messiah condemns the Jews and their religion. The entire Gospel of John is one long excoriation of the Jews and their religion.
The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia confirms that Judaism is based on the teachings of the Pharisees and not upon the Law of Moses:
“The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a very great deal is still in existence. The Talmud is the largest and most important single member of that literature.” - Vol. VIII, p. 474 (1942).
The Origins of the Great Deception
So, how is it possible that the Jews have been able to deceive the world with their fables? Two elements: Jewish deception and popular ignorance.
As I was in the process of writing my book, The Great Impersonation: How the Anti-Christ Has Deceived the Whole World, a careful, historical reading of the Holy Scriptures revealed to me that the Jews are not the Judahites of Scripture. Nor are the Jews derived from any of the other 11 tribes. Nor was Jesus a Jew. He was a Judahite of the House of Judah, which is categorically the OPPOSITE of a Jew. The rabbinate has capitalized on the similarity between the words ‘Jew’ and ‘ Judah ,’ falsely claiming that, therefore, the Jewish people are descended from True Judah. But this is not the case.
I have written extensively on the Edomite origin of the Sephardic Jews, who were the only Jews in existence at the time of Christ. Under King Herod, an Edomite who had usurped the throne of Judah, the Pharisaic priesthood had become a haven for Herod’s Edomite friends. These Pharisees perverted the Law of Moses while claiming to preserve it in their tradition. This is the origin of the Sephardic Jews. Later on in history, the Japhetic/Mongoloid/Hittite nation of the Khazars CONVERTED to this sham religion; and these non-Shemitic Jews make up at least 90% of the Jewish people today. The Khazars are also referred to as the Ashkenazi.
Thus, 90% of modern Jews have zero Shemitic blood in them. The other 10%, the Sephardic Jews, are, since the days of Esau (the race-traitor brother of Jacob/Israel), Edomites with very little Israelite blood in them either. This genetic situation makes the charge of “anti-Semitism” against the Jews’ enemies a sham as well. Since the Jews are not Shemites, but Edomites and Khazars, one who opposes Edomites and Khazars cannot be a accused of “anti-Semitism.” This is just a clever part of the Jewish charade. It must be understood that, therefore, the Jews have been staging a religious and cultural impersonation for the last two
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thousand years. The rabbis are fully aware of this charade; and their priesthood is devoted, 100% of the time, to making sure that the religious world remains befuddled by their deceptions. This is what all Jewish rabbinical students learn how to do in their Yeshivas.
This spiritual and cultural cancer has sunk its roots deeply within Christendom and Western civilization. This religious, spiritual and moral cancer is not easily cured.
The Historical Truth
There were two kinds of Judeans in the days of John Hyrcanus and Herod: the original, native Judahites and the recently naturalized Idumeans, who were allowed to become citizens of Judea via a treaty signed by King John Hyrcanus with the nation of Idumea. I can assure you that this treaty did not make these Idumeans into Judahites. But this is precisely what the rabbis do not want you to know. They want you to believe that Judaism somehow emerged out of changes in the doctrine of True Judah. This is nonsense. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, the Minor Prophets, the Apocrypha (especially I and II Maccabees) and Josephus, all describe how True Judah fought with all their might to remain a racially and religiously exclusive nation. They fought wars to maintain their Identity. Now, we are supposed to believe, according to Jewish perversion of history, that these same Judahites simply gave it all up and changed from a segregationist culture into an integrationist culture? Without resistance? I don’t think so!!! The fact is that the Talmudic changes in doctrine arose with the Pharisees, a mixed-race priesthood who were empowered by Herod, the Idumean usurper, who murdered John Hyrcanus, True Judahite, and took his place.
These Idumean Edomites, having taken over the throne of Judah , began the process of dismantling the Judahite power structure, by replacing pure-bred Judahites with race-mixed Edomites. These facts are contained in the historical works of Josephus, who was NOT A JEW. He was a Judahite, as his own writings attest. If you pay close attention to what Josephus wrote, you will discover that he makes a clear distinction between the Judahite people of Judea and the Edomites of Idumea. Whenever someone cites “Josephus, the JEWISH HISTORIAN,” rest assured that this slogan was invented to cement into your mind the false idea that Josephus was a Jew rather than a Judahite. There is a big difference. Every time an author references Josephus, he or she never fails to add the words “the Jewish historian” to the name of Josephus. This is nothing but indoctrination by repetition - repetition of a preposterous lie!!!! Therefore, the works of Josephus should be entitled Antiquities of Judah and Wars of Judah . The Jewish charade as Israel and Judah requires that historical documents be retitled and renamed so that the impersonation can go on undetected and unquestioned.
(If you are paying attention to current history, you will notice that the Jews have been doing exactly the same thing to America, having infiltrated our government with their Zionist agents, beginning in the days of Woodrow Wilson and even more so in the days of Federal Dictator Rosenfeldt, who was nothing but a Zionist puppet during the entirety of his career as a pro-communist, pro-Zionist dismantler of the United States Constitution. During the ought years (’01 - ’09) of our new millennium, the Neo-Kahns (the Neo-Conservatives, the phony “Republicans” who came out of Leo Strauss’s communist school of tactical deception at the University of Chicago), the Jewish takeover of our government has been completed, just as the Herodians displaced the Judahites. It was these Neo-Kahns (internationalist Jews of the New World Order) who elected George Bush, staged 9/11 and used it as an excuse to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, thus exploiting the American military, causing our people to lose life and limb to make the world safe for Jewry.)
Even Jewish scholars admit that Herod was an Idumean. Yet, this fact is glossed over, minimized, ignored, buried, hidden and otherwise pigeonholed, so that you, Dear Christian, will not be able to understand that what REALLY HAPPENED in those days was a PUTSCH, a COUP, an OVERTHROW of Judah by the Edomites of Idumea, just as America has been overthrown by the International Jew in modern times.
I have documented these historical deceptions in several works. These can be found online. Here is a list of the studies that can be found on my website, www.anglo-saxonisreal.com :
The Parasite’s Dilemma:
The Origin of Talmudism:
“Tell Me Please, British-Israel Identity Foundation Truths”:
“An Informed Consensus: An Essay on the Proper Use of the Word, ‘Jew’”:
“Webster and the Term, ‘Jew’”:
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“Misconceptions About Josephus, the Judean”:
95 Theses Against the Anti-Christ (my free ebook, which explains how Judaism violates every law of Moses)
Arsenal of Words (another fee ebook, documenting how the Talmudic rabbis have invented false definitions of words in order to deceive the masses):
(Arsenal of Words contains much information on the rabbinical technique of INTERPOLATION, which is the technique of redefining words to suit their deceptive purposes, so this is MUST READING for anyone who wishes to understand how the Talmudic rabbis have butchered the Holy Scriptures.)
For a quick summary of the works of Josephus, please see An Informed Consensus Revisited:
I have also documented the whole story of the separate histories, religions and cultures of the Israelites versus the Jews, from Genesis 3:15 to the present, in my book, The Great Impersonation: How the Anti-Christ Has Deceived the Whole World. This book is available by mail for $37. A $37 check to ANP POB 411373 Chicago IL 60641 will secure a copy of this book. In The Great Impersonation, I exhaustively document the Idumean usurpation of the throne of Judah and Jesus Christ’s thorough denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees, the founders of the Jewish religion.
From all of these writings, I think I can fairly claim to be the world’s reigning expert on the so-called “Intertestamental Period,” which is the historical period that is, in fact, well covered by both the Apocrypha and the works of Josephus. You will note that there exists, in both the secular academic world and the Judeo-Christian theological world, a stark paucity of written materials about this historical period. There is a good reason for this. The rabbis of Judaism do not want you to know about Judaism’s illegitimate origins; and the Judeo-Christian ministry does not dare to challenge rabbinical authority and claims to the “right” to interpret the Law of Moses or the historicity of Jewish claims. The chosen of Satan do not wish to be contradicted. Their empire of deceit may come crashing down!
As a servant of Yahshua Messiah and my people, Anglo-Saxon Israel, I am most happy to throw a monkey wrench into the mechanism of their grand design. For me, there is no greater joy in life than the pleasure I experience in exposing hypocrisy – especially rabbinical hypocrisy - wherever it may lie. When I hear Lucifer cackling, I dare him to lie some more. The liar always gets caught in his lies; and the rabbinate will not be an exception much longer.
As long as the true facts of this historical period remain unknown, the Jews can perpetuate their IMPERSONATION OF TRUE ISRAEL. I have dedicated my life to EXPOSING THIS HISTORICAL LIE. And I need your help in disseminating this information, so that Christians everywhere will become aware of the true nature of Judaism and its phony claims to origination in the Old Testament, with either Moses or with the prophets or with the Judahites of the Temple.
All of these notions are pure fabrication by the synagogue of Satan, and I will not rest until everyone on this planet is aware of these deceptions. Jesus Himself prophesied that all such deceptions will one day be revealed (Matt. 10:26, Luke 12:2), and this is the revelation. Praise Yahweh!
How Did the Jews Claim the Name of Israel and Judah ?
The word ‘Jew’ derives from the New Testament word, ‘Judean,’ which does NOT have the same meaning as the word ‘Judahite.’ A Judahite is a direct descendant of the Tribe of Judah, which tribe practiced a racially segregated religion and culture. Yahshua’s genealogy is given in Matthew, Chapter 1 and Luke, Chapter 3, thus proving that He is a genealogical descendant of David. In contrast, a Judean is merely a resident of the country called Judea . Since the City of Jerusalem was an international metropolis throughout most of its history, many non-Judahites resided there; and any resident was called a “Judean.” But only native-born Judahites could refer to themselves as “ Judah .”
It is patently obvious, therefore, that the racially exclusive Judahites cannot be equated with any of the racially mongrelized Judeans. Mongrelization is strictly forbidden by Deut. 23:2 and many other verses. Jesus Christ Himself confirms His own racial exclusivity in numerous passages of the New Testament, especially at Matt. 15:24, where He tells the woman of Canaan, “I am not sent but unto the lost [Greek appolumi, meaning “exiled”]sheep of the House of Israel .” He goes on to tell this Canaanite woman that His Gospel is intended exclusively for the Children of the Covenant and not for any other people: “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.” At Matt. 10:5-6, where Yahshua states the Apostolic Commission, He tells the
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Apostles: “Go not into the way of the nations, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, BUT GO RATHER TO THE EXILED SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.”
Luke 1:68 confirms the fact that Jesus came to redeem His People, Israel . Since no other people had been party to the Covenant of the Law of Moses, no other people had fallen from grace by disobeying the Law. Note this language closely: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel : for He hath visited and redeemed His People.” The Bible does not say, “all people.” It says “ Israel .” The Bible is very clear in stating, hundreds of times, that ONLY ISRAEL CAN BE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE.”
Jesus clearly distinguishes between His Israelite Kinsmen and the Jews, for He always condemns the Jewish Pharisees for their hypocrisy. “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) At John 7:1, we are told that,“Jesus would not walk in Jewry, BECAUSE THE JEWS SOUGHT TO KILL HIM.” Knowing the difference between the Judean impostors (the Jews) and His Judean kinsmen (the Judahites) clears up the apparent discrepancy in the language of the Gospels, concerning the word ‘Jew.’ Many Bible scholars have been mystified by this duality of “good Jews” and “evil Jews” in the Bible.
Because they do not understand that the Jews are impostors impersonating True Israel, they assume that the “evil Jews” in Scripture were rebellious Judahites, who turned against Christ, thus becoming “evil Jews.” Yes, there were such Judahites. But there is far more to this story. The fact is that the rejection, railroad trial and crucifixion of Jesus was led by the Pharisees, who were the Edomite agents, the preferred priesthood of the Edomite coup against Judah, by a bunch of Satanic conspirators, led by Herod and his father, Antipater. Without knowing the history of the various conflicts between these two peoples, the Israelites versus the Edomite Jews, Bible commentators have simply assumed that the “evil Jews” were Judahites gone bad. On the contrary, the “evil Jews” were, first and foremost, the Sephardic Edomites of Idumea.
The Jewish Encyclopedia admits that today’s Jews have Edomite blood in them. “Edomis in Jewry.” How did this Edomite blood get into Jewry? Of all Bible scholars, only Pastor Eli James has revealed the precise, significant history behind this fact.
The Jewish Impersonation of Judah and Israel is based on their false claims regarding their origins in Judah . The reality is that the Jewish people originated in Idumea, as the racial descendants of the Edomites and Canaanites of old Canaanland, which HAD ALWAYS BEEN THE RANKEST ENEMIES OF TRUE ISRAEL. The master strategy of Talmudic Judaism has been to deceive the world by impersonating Israel and Judah
Unfortunately, after the Davidic throne was permanently established, the Israelites of the House of Judah had been in the habit of hiring Edomite scribes to help out in their recordkeeping procedures. Even King David did this. Since these Edomite scribes were intimately aware of the true racial differences between themselves and the Judahites, they developed the idea of impersonating Judah . (Ezek. 36:5.) But it was impossible to implement this idea as long as the Judahites prevented the Edomites access to the Holy Temple and the priesthood. Only True Israelites were allowed into the Temple or allowed to be priests. Non-Israelites were never allowed to become priests and, with regard to the Temple , they were never permitted to get any closer than the outer court. This is documented, historical fact.
In his Antiquities of the Judahites, Josephus records (Book 14, Chapter 16, Paragraph 3) the day that Herod’s Edomite kinsmen were finally allowed into the Temple : "And now Herod having overcome his enemies, his care was to govern those FOREIGNERS WHO HAD BEEN HIS ASSISTANTS, FOR THE CROWD OF STRANGERS RUSHED TO SEE THE TEMPLE , AND THE SACRED THINGS IN THE TEMPLE …" These "foreigners," being Herod’s assistants and ambitious priests from Idumea, were to become the new government and priesthood of Judea . These Idumeans had for many centuries wanted to enter the Holy of Holies, which had always been forbidden to them because they were not Israelites. Thus, under Herod, the Pharisaic priesthood, comprised mainly of his Idumean friends, became the official priesthood of Judea . Secular history, numerous Biblical passages and numerous Apocryphal passages confirm the fact that the Judahites of Judea strove, with all of their might, to preserve their racial integrity and exclusive religion. In my various essays on this subject, I have dissected the false claims of the Jews. I have proven, without any shadow of a doubt, that Judaism’s claim to a Biblical origin is history’s greatest deception. I have also proven, without any shadow of a doubt, that the Jewish people, contrary to the racially exclusive Judahites of Judea, are descended from the mongrelized people then known as Canaanites and Edomites and are today known, simply, as Jews.
Since the Talmudic rabbis are in the business of falsifying history and falsifying Scripture, their claims must be scrutinized. But no one in either academia or in Judeo-Christian theology has ever had the notion – let alone the courage – to question Jewish assertions regarding the origins of their religion and people. All of their claims to Israelite, Hebrew, Shemitic or Israelite heritage are demonstrably false.
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Anyone who does not understand what I am saying must reflect upon these two questions: 1.) If the Jewish people are Israel, at what point did Yahweh permit His Chosen People, Israel, to allow non-Israelites into His congregation? The whole of Scripture, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, confirms the exclusivity, separateness, and racial segregation of True Israel. This is another taboo subject for modern scholarship. All sorts of false doctrines have been promoted by the un-Scriptural notion that the Covenants made exclusively with True Israel have somehow been amended or changed and given to some other entity, or to other races of people. This doctrine IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE AND HAS NO BASIS IN SCRIPTURE. It is simply part of the BIG LIE that the Old Testament is Jewish in origin and that the New Testament applies to Christians by mere belief in Christianity. I can assure you that THE WHOLE BIBLE was written to, for, by and about Israel exclusively, and no one else.
2.) If Judaism is the religion of the Old Testament, at what point did Yahweh permit Talmudic interpretations of Scripture to supersede or overrule the Law of Moses? I can assure you, without any fear of contradiction from God’s written Word, the Bible, that Yahweh never authorized Talmudic changes to the Holy Scriptures. The Talmud is Satan’s doctrine, pure and simple. Thus, Jewish and Judeo-Christian doctrine have combined to form THE GREAT APOSTASY of the end times. (II Thess. 2:3.) Talmudism and Judeo-Christianity are the GREAT DELUSION (II Thess. 2:11) by which all Judeo-Christians have been fooled into accepting the Jews as the people of the Old Testament and mere “believers” as the “saved Christians” of the New Testament. These doctrines are simply loaded with rabbinical deception.
My work has exposed the deceptions of the rabbis and put the lie to the rabbinical claim that “Christianity owes its existence to Judaism.” This statement is unadulterated nonsense. There was no such religion before the Pharisees invented it.
The Jews Have Always Been the Greatest Enemy of True Israel
The Jewish people are Jewish by religion (via Talmudic Judaism), but they are NOT Judahites by race, ethnicity, culture, descent, customs, or by religion, because the Judahites of Scripture practiced the Mosaic Law, not the Talmud. There is actually proof of this fact in modern Palestine . There is a remnant of the ancient Samaritans still in existence in Palestine today. They are known as Karaites, and they still practice the Mosaic Law, uncontaminated by the Jewish Talmud. In addition, the so-called Black Hebrews, who are Ethiopian Blacks that have a tradition that goes back over 3,000 years (when Mosaism was practiced there by Adamite Hebrew Israelites), also practice an non-Talmudic version of Old Testament religion. The fact that both of these groups practice a non-rabbinical form of the Mosaic Law, which was borrowed from the True Israelites, shows that true Mosaism is that which is uncontaminated by the Talmud. And since Jesus Christ is the lineal descendant of the House of David, there is no doubt that He is the Messiah and that Christianity is the true fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Judaism fails on all counts. Christianity owes its existence to the prophets of Israel and Yahshua’s redemption. Christianity owes nothing to Judaism, because Judaism in not the same as the religion of the Old Testament.
In tracing the genealogy of Jesus Christ, it was obvious to me that the Jews descend from the ENEMY NATION OF EDOM.
Rarely does anyone outside of Christian Identity broach this subject of the origins of the Talmud and of the Jewish people. Recently, while doing research on a completely different subject, namely, divorce in the Holy Scriptures, I came across an article, which deals with the origins of the Jewish religion. Before this time, I had never come across any serious research by a non-Identist. I can say that everything these two authors say confirms my teaching on the subject of the non-Scriptural origin of the Jewish religion. But the article does not deal with the subject of the non-Israelite origin of the Jewish people. One of the authors appears to be Jewish, so that person would not be inclined to expose the entire fallacy. Consequently, the article still falsely equates the historical Judahites with “Jews.”
For this reason, I have annotated the article with my comments, so that you will thoroughly understand the nature of the deception, the depths of which these two authors do not comprehend. The fact that these two authors assert that Judaism IS NOT to be equated with the Law of Moses is a gigantic leap forward, a major step in the revelation of the Truth that, in the end times, the whole world will have been deceived by the anti-Christ. (Rev. 12:9.)
A major piece of the puzzle has thus been put into place and confirmed by two non-Identists.
Between the Testaments by Ernest Martin and Harry Eisenberg
The Good News of Tomorrow's World September, 1971
[With Annotated Commentary by Pastor Eli James, in italicized brackets.]
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Just who were the Pharisees and where did their religious doctrines originate? In the Old Testament? If so, why did Christ so strenuously oppose their ideas? Is the Bible -- both Old and New Testaments -- a house divided? An examination of the period "between the Testaments" shows that while men may be divided -- the Bible is not! PHOTO CAPTION: During the Ptolemaic period, Hellenistic culture rapidly spread among the Jewish people. [Sic: Here is the gist of the problem. The Judahites of the Hellenistic period were NOT “Jews.” They were Judahites of the House of Judah . This is precisely the false equation (i.e., the deceptive interpolation) that is assumed by all writers except Identists. The Judahites of the Intertestamental Period were the racially and religiously exclusive citizens of the House of Judah .
By referring to this segregationist people as “the Jewish people,” a false identity between the segregationist Judahites and the racially mongrelized Jews is posited. No such identity has ever existed! And, most certainly, no such identity exists between modern Jews and the ancient Israelites or Judahites! Hence, the proper identification of these people is “Judahites.” All pre-Herodian references to “the Jewish people” are quite anachronistic, simplistic, and erroneous, despite the popular usage. There were no “Jewish people” before the first Edomite was circumcised under John Hyrcanus, circa 121 BC. Before this Edomite admixture into the House of Judah , the citizens of Judah were called either “Judeans” or “Judahites” and their nation was called, simply, “ Judah ” or “the land of Judah .”
Thus, to be historically accurate, this sentence should read: “During the Ptolemaic period, Hellenistic culture rapidly spread among the Judahites of Judea .” The false identification of these Judahites as Jews simply perpetuates the impersonation of Judah by the Edomite Jews. For the remainder of this article, I will simply bracket the word ‘Jewish’ with [‘Sic’], without further explanation, wherever this error occurs. The simple fact is that there was no such thing as a “Jewish religion” or a “Jewish people” until the Pharisees invented both, during the days of Hyrcanus and Herod. – Eli] One reason why was the existence of numerous Greek cities in their midst, such as Gerasa (Jerash) pictured below. Another bastion of Hellenism was Ashkelon (see inset photo) on the Mediterranean coast.
MUCH OF the professing Christian world today suffers from the mistaken notion that Christ came to do away with His Father's religion -- the religion of the Old Testament. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus Himself said, "Think NOT that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (fill to the brim)" (Matt. 5:17). [Hooray for the Truth, plainly stated! – Eli]
Christ plainly said that He did not come to do away with His Father's religion but to COMPLETE God's revelation. Then why are so many confused on this point? Why do some mistakenly preach that the Law was "done away"?
One of the major assumptions in this connection is that most theologians ASSUME that the Pharisees and the other religionists of Jesus' day were the representatives and the exponents of the revelation given to Moses -- God's Old Testament religion. But the Bible shows that the One who later became Jesus Christ was the Lord of the Old Testament:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God .... All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:1, 3, see also Eph. 3:9 and Heb. 1:2).
Just where and when did the Pharisees get their practices which Jesus condemned?
The Return From Babylon
Chronologically speaking, the last three authors of the Old Testament are Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi. These three men all worked among the Jewish [Sic., Judahite] community that had returned to Judaea after the Babylonian captivity. They were largely successful in bringing the people an awareness of God's true religion. A body of priests (Aaron's descendants whom God had ordained to be the religious leaders) was set up to guide the people in matters of religion. This company of men was known in history as the "Great Assembly" or "Synagogue" ("Knesset Hagedolah"). Due to the work of this body throughout the period of Persian dominance the Jews were living for the most part in accordance with God's Law (Heinrich Graetz, "History of the Jews", Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1894, Vol. I, pp. 406-407).
[Typically, these commentators fail to mention that Ezra and Nehemiah expelled all of the children of missed marriages and no priests were allowed to engage in racially mixed marriages. (Ezra 9:12, Neh. 10, plus
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many more. Read these books for yourself to find out!) Either no one outside of Identity has read these passages or they all decline to cite them for fear of offending the Jews. – Eli]
Because of this, God granted them special protection and privileges by a series of miracles, at the coming of Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. This is described in Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews", [Sic, Judahites] Book XI, Chapter X, Parts 5-6.
A New Way of Life
At his death, Alexander's empire was divided into four parts (Dan. 8:22). Judaea first passed under rule of Ptolemies of Egypt and, later, the Seleucidae of Syria. Both of these were Macedonian (Greek) dynasties and were great exponents of the pagan, Gentile way of life known as "Hellenism." [The word ‘Gentile’ is also a confusing word. The rabbis of Judaism use it to distinguish between Jews and non-Jews; but the authors of the Holy Scriptures do not use this word at all. The Hebrew word, ‘goyim’ means, simply, “nations” and the Greek word ‘ethnos’ means “race, kinsmen.” So, we can see that the Jews redefine words to suit their deceptive doctrines and practices. In my seminal work on the subject, Arsenal of Words, I have proven conclusively that the word ‘Gentiles’ is a false translation of these two Hebrew and Greek terms. The reality is that the Bible uses these terms, in most cases, to refer to ISRAELITES.
The Hebrew ‘goyim’ is used in Scripture to refer to both Israelites and non-Israelites, depending upon the context. The Greek ‘ethnos,’ in contrast, almost always refers to Israelites of the Dispersed Twelve Tribes. (James 1:1, John 7:35.) By following the false usages of these words by the Jews, Christians have been deceived into thinking that the word ‘Gentiles’ always refers to “non-Jews.” This is gross deception. – Eli]
The basic philosophy behind Hellenism was this: Every man had the right to think for himself on any matter as long as there was not a real departure from the customs that were essentially Greek.
This philosophy -- freedom of thought or individualism, which is SEEMINGLY altruistic in-principle -- resulted in myriads of confusing and contradictory beliefs among the Greeks in every phase of life. Every man was allowed his own ideas about the sciences, the arts, law and about RELIGION. So varied were the opinions among the Greek scholars in the various fields of study that individuals took pride in contending with one another over who could present the greatest "wisdom" and "knowledge" on any particular subject.
With the encouragement of the rulers, Hellenism spread rapidly in the Ptolemaic Empire. Judaea was by no means exempt.
Great Assembly No Longer in Authority
Within a score of years after the coming of the Greeks, the Great Assembly disappears from history as an organized body having religious control over the Jewish people. It is not known how the Greeks dismissed this authoritative religious body from its official capacity as teachers of the Law. But it is obvious that the authority of the Great Assembly was eroded and the Greek leaders forbade them to teach. [The books of I and II Maccabees cover this era very well. It was a period filled with civil war between pro-Greek Judahites and pro-Mosaic Judahites. – Eli] Without the religious guidance of the Great Assembly, many Jews [Sic.] began to imbibe the Greek customs and ideas which were inundating the land.
"With the change from Persian to Greek rule (the Ptolemies were Greeks, remember), Hellenism made its influence felt, and came pouring like a flood into a country which had known nothing of it. There was no escape from its influence. It was present everywhere, in the street and the market, in the everyday life and all the phases of social intercourse" (R. Travers Herford, "Talmud and Apocrypha", Soncino Press, London, 1933, page 77).
Much of this Hellenistic influence came from the numerous Greek cities which were established under the Ptolemies. Most of these were on the Mediterranean seacoast or on the east side of Jordan .
With the Great Assembly removed from the scene and this new culture substituted for the Law of God, the Jews [Sic. Judahites] began to absorb many elements of Hellenism. The Jews [Sic] had no one to guide them in understanding the Law except a few isolated teachers here and there who lacked the official authority of the Great Assembly. [But the Judahites always had spiritual men military leaders who were leading the opposition against Hellenization. The Greeks never gained a total victory over Judah . – Eli] After a few years of this influence, the people literally came to a state of religious confusion. Some endeavored to keep a form of the Scriptural teachings, but with Hellenism everywhere, it became almost impossible to adhere to the true form of the law of Moses. Almost everything the Greeks brought to the Jews [sic] was antagonistic to the
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laws of God, and, without the religious guidance of the Great Assembly, many of them began to tolerate these innovations and even, as time progressed, to take up many of the Greek ideas and customs themselves.
100 Years of Ptolemaic Rule
After a series of battles with the Syrians, Ptolemy I, the Greek king of Egypt , took firm control of Judaea in 301 B.C. His descendants retained that control for over ONE HUNDRED YEARS, until 198 B.C. This one-hundred-year period of Greek-Egyptian domination is very important in the religious history of the Jews [sic]. This is the period in which many great and significant changes first began to take place in Jewish [sic. Judean, or Judahite] religious life. "During the comparatively quiet rule of the Ptolemies, Greek ideas, customs and morality had been making peaceful conquests in Palestine " (Charles Foster Kent, "History of the Jewish People", page 320). [All of the so-called “histories” of the “Jewish people” make the false equation between Judah and Edomite Jews. This is by rabbinical design. – Eli]
There was little resistance to these inroads. We are informed by Dr. Jacob Lauterbach, a learned Jewish scholar, that Jewish tradition knows of no religious teacher who taught any form of religion from the death of Simon the Just (270 B.C.) until about the year 190 B.C. (Jacob Z. Lauterbach, "Rabbinic Essays", Hebrew Union College Press, Cincinnati, 1951, page 196). "This would have been impossible," Dr. Lauterbach says, "if there had been any official activity of the teachers in those years" (ibid.).
But there was none. In fact, whole generations came and went, offering no great resistance to the new customs which were encouraged by the commercial and educational intercourse taking place between the Jews, Greeks and Hellenistic Egyptians. In fact, thousands of Jews migrated to Egypt during this period. By the end of the Ptolemaic period, there were over a million Jews in Egypt , out of a total population of about seven million. A prime example of Hellenistic influence is the PAGAN concept of the immortality of the soul. This doctrine was widely publicized in the writings of the pagan Greek philosopher Plato. [These last four paragraphs are nonsense. The Hasmonean dynasty endeavored to maintain the Law of Moses and fought against the Greeks and the Romans to maintain it. Josephus goes into the most minute detail of how both the Maccabees and the Hasmoneans fought valiantly to maintain their religion, race and culture. Also, the Bible clearly teaches that Israelites were predestined from the beginning of creation to have eternal life and to bring the everlasting Kingdom of Yahshua Messiah . These statements are simplistic! “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” - Eli]
The Coming of the Seleucids
In 198 B.C. the Seleucid kingdom of Syria conquered Judaea and drove out the Egyptians. Like the Ptolemies, the Seleucids were also of Greek origin and equally Hellenistic in culture and outlook. At first, conditions in Judaea were pretty much like what they had been under the Ptolemies. The Seleucid ruler, Antiochus III, was favorably inclined toward the Jews [sic].
Conditions rapidly changed, however, with the coming to the throne in 175 B.C. of Antiochus Epiphanes. Shortly after he ascended the throne, there was a contention among several of the priests in Jerusalem for the office of High Priest. Jason, the brother of the reigning High Priest, persuaded Antiochus to transfer the office to him, by offering a large sum of money to the King. Jason was Hellenistically inclined and was followed in this by many of the people. "A passion for Greek costumes, and Greek names (Jason's Hebrew name was Joshua) seized the people. Large numbers were enrolled as citizens of Antioch (the capital of Syria ). Many even endeavored to conceal the fact that they had been circumcised .... To demonstrate that he had left all the traditions of his race behind, Jason sent a rich present for sacrifices in connection with the great festival at Tyre in honor of the god Hercules" (Kent, "History of the Jewish People", pp. 324-325). Of course, not everyone in Judaea went this far, but by and large, most people are inclined to follow their human leaders, at least to a certain extent.
About three years after Jason assumed office, Menelaus (Hebrew name "Onias"), a man most believe to have been of the tribe of Benjamin (not a descendant of Aaron and therefore not truly a priest) offered Antiochus a larger bribe than Jason, and he was named High Priest instead. Because of this, Jason fled beyond Jordan to the Ammonites for refuge. (See McClintock and Strong, "Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature", Vol. I, pp. 271-272; and II Maccabees, Chapter 4). Many of the Jews [sic] thought Jason had been unjustly deprived of becoming High Priest. Many of the people began to take sides -- some for Jason, some for Menelaus. Fighting broke out between the two groups, both of whom were led by outright Hellenists. [Sounds like today’s Republicrats and Demopublicans, doesn’t it? – Eli] Jason's forces won out and Menelaus fled to Antioch . There Antiochus became infuriated to learn that many of the Jews [sic] had taken sides against his appointed official or, in effect, against his government itself! At that time Antiochus was planning to conquer Egypt . When that failed, due to the intervention of the Romans, he decided to take
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out his anger on the rebellious Jews [sic, Mosaic Judahites] at Jerusalem . He planned not only to subdue the Jews [sic] but to put an end to their religion once and for all.
Antiochus, feigning peace, proceeded to take the city. He polluted the Temple by burning swine's flesh on its altar, and erected a statue of Jupiter Olympus in the Holy Place . This had been prophesied by Daniel (Dan. 11:29-31). He plundered the Temple of all objects of value and then issued a decree forbidding the Jews [sic] to worship God or in any way to exercise their religion. Despite the severity of this decree, there were many Hellenistically inclined Jews [sic] who nonetheless accepted it without protest. Many of these Hellenists were priests and Levites.
On the other hand, for many other Jews [sic], the majority of whom may have been only slightly interested in religion previously, this decree forbidding such basic practices as circumcision and requiring idol worship was simply too much.
The Maccabean Revolt
In the small village of Modi'in, the head of a priestly family, Mattathias, and his five sons, stood up to oppose Antiochus and his decree. "If anyone zealous for the laws of his country and for the worship of God, let him follow me," he proclaimed (Josephus, "Antiquities of the Jews", Book XII, Chapter VI, Part 2). Thousands flocked to his banner and a full revolt was under way.
Just before his death, Mattathias made his third son, Judah (called Maccabee), general of their army. After a long series of battles with his forces greatly outnumbered, Judah defeated the Syrians and their Samaritan allies. In 165 B.C. he went up to Jerusalem and purified the Temple , restoring the true ritual of God.
Judah was killed in a later battle.
Finally Simon, the last survivor of Mattathias' sons, was able to proclaim an independent nation with himself as High Priest. [The last few paragraphs essentially provide an accurate retelling of the history of those times. Under no circumstances was the entire nation of Judah Hellenized, as the constant rebellions against the Greeks proves. True Judah strove to maintain her identity as Mosaic segregationists. The Hellenizing Judahites were the liberals of the day. – Eli]
The nation was now, at last, free of foreign domination. But the years of religious anarchy and Hellenistic influence had taken their toll. Dr. Lauterbach states: "During the seventy or eighty years of religious anarchy, many new practices had been gradually adopted by the people" (Lauterbach, page 205). The British scholar Travers Herford adds: "In the absence of authoritative guidance, the people had gone their own way; new customs had found a place among old religious usages ... new ideas had been formed under the influence of Hellenism which had permeated the land for more than a century, and there had been no one to point out the danger which thereby threatened the religious life of the people" (Herford, "Talmud and Apocrypha", pp. 64-65). [This is a gross exaggeration. It is part of the Jewish falsification of history that demands this false story of near-universal apostasy. The fact is that the Temple priesthood and the 24 Courses were solidly in Judahite hands, despite the turmoil. These institutions were HEREDITARY in nature, passed on from Judahite father to Judahite son. In this way, Judah maintained their religion and culture in spite of these hardships. It was the High Priesthood and other positions of leadership that were up for grabs. The priests of the Temple duty were always ready to do their jobs, circumstance permitting. The Essenes, a faction of True Judahites, were organized in opposition to these foreign influences. The Essenes were the ones who preserved the holy books of the Israelites, today known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The authors are relying on Jewish sources to misinform them. If they had read Maccabees and Josephus, they could not quote such nonsense without finding counter evidence therein. – Eli]
We are now at the point where the Pharisees first make their appearance in history, some time after the Maccabean wars. But before we note this, we need to examine briefly the rise of the Sanhedrin, the body which they dominated during much of its existence. While some sources would lead us to believe that the Sanhedrin was the direct successor to the Great Assembly, this was not the case. It was not until about 196 B.C. after a hiatus of some eighty years that the Sanhedrin was first established. This is shown by an ancient manuscript found today in a text called "Fragments of a Zadokite Work". This text points to 196 B.C. as the year the Sanhedrin first met. This body is said to consist of "men of understanding from Aaron" (that is, priests), and "from Israel wise teachers" (that is, non-priestly teachers) (Lauterbach, "Rabbinic Essays", page 203).
This is significant! [Indeed! – Eli] The writer mentions there were both priests and lay teachers in the new Sanhedrin. This was an innovation. Until this time only the priests, with their assistants, the Levites, were
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considered to have the authority to teach religion to the people. This would not have been permitted while the Great Assembly, the successor of Ezra, was in authority. This is clearly shown from the writings of Malachi, who was contemporary with Ezra, Nehemiah and the early days of the Great Assembly. "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he (the priest) is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts" (Mal. 2:7). The law of Moses, which God had directly commanded him, dearly enjoined that the priests and Levites were to perform the functions of teachers, not just any layman who would presume to do so. (See Deut. 18:1-7, 33:10 and also Ezek. 44:23.)
Lay Teachers Reject Sole Authority of Priests to Teach
Why this radical change? Again we must briefly go back to the period of religious anarchy when the Egyptian Ptolemies ruled Judaea . Both the Ptolemies and the later Seleucid rulers looked upon the High Priest as the head of the Jewish [sic] nation. In turn, it was the High Priest, with his assistants (other priests) who dealt with the Hellenist rulers on behalf of the nation. [Yes, and it was this body of liaison men who were caught in the middle and often changed sides! – Eli] Outstanding among these were Joseph, the son of Tobias, and his son Hyrcanus. In order to be successful diplomats at the Hellenistic court in Alexandria , they felt it necessary to adopt Greek ways. And these they brought back with them to Judaea . Thus, it was the priests, the ones who should have been teaching the people God's Law, who became the chief proponents of Hellenism. [No! Not all of “the priests,” but these particular priests of the newly-formed Sanhedrin. Please do not overgeneralize! – Eli]
From 206 to 196 B.C. a series of battles between the rival Hellenistic kings of Syria and Egypt devastated many parts of Judaea . Some blamed Hellenism for this trouble and began to seek to return to the laws of their fathers. But to whom could they turn?
The priests as a whole had become thoroughly Hellenized. [Again, not true!] In fact, different priests were taking sides in the wars and were even raising up armies to help either the Syrians or the Egyptians. The only ones who had studied God's Word and remained committed to it in any form were a few laymen and some minor priests. These sat in the new Sanhedrin. [It is true that the Levitical priesthood was effectively driven out of existence, but their replacements, most of whom were Judahites, continued to perform the Temple sacrifices according to the ordinances, even during the time of Jesus. The Pharisees had never taken total control of this priesthood, although Herod had given them “authority” to monitor their activities. These priests had not yet adopted the traditions of the Pharisaic rabbis. That was yet to come. – Eli]
What Was God's Way?
Prior to and during the Maccabean revolt, the outwardly Hellenistic priests and their followers supported Antiochus Epiphanes. The lay teachers and the Sanhedrin as a whole supported the Maccabees. [This statement supports my argument and renders theirs contradictory!!! An occupied population may pretend to go along with the occupiers, but most do not! – Eli] Religiously speaking, the major result of the Maccabean victory was the TOTAL DISCREDITING OF HELLENISM in Judaea . The High Priesthood was given to the Hasmonean (Maccabean) family itself, which descended from minor priests. No one was an outright Hellenist any longer. Many were desirous of following God's way. But whatever religious unity there might have been was short-lived.
The question basically was one of determining just what was God's way. There was, of course, the written Bible (the Old Testament). But how were the people to apply its teachings to the various problems and events that arise in daily life? The Jews [sic], remember, had just emerged from a period where the teaching and practice of God's Law had been forbidden. [But it was never totally expunged. The Judahites were always striving to rid themselves of their oppressors. - Eli] And this had been preceded by an era of some eighty years during which Hellenism had made great inroads into the daily lives of the people; and all this while there had been no organized body directing religious life. [They had been driven underground! – Eli]
Hundreds of years before, Ezra and those priests and Levites assisting him had "... read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and (had given) the sense, and caused them to understand the reading" (Neh. 8:8.). Through the ages, God's servants have been responsible to show the people (with His guidance) how His Law applied in various situations in their lives. This was never the prerogative of anyone who wanted to choose "the ministry," "the priesthood" or "the rabbinate" for a vocation, but only those whom God specifically chose. And in ancient Israel , under the Old Covenant, God chose the priests, primarily, with the Levites to assist them, for this purpose of teaching. [Let’s be TOTALLY ACCURATE HERE! The Levitical priesthood was HEREDITARY, belonging exclusively to the Levites and their sons!!! DUH!! Yes, Yahweh did choose them; and He also made their priesthood exclusively Israelite and hereditary! - Eli]
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The Pharisees Come on the Scene
Following the Maccabean victory there were many priests who were ready and willing to resume their ancient, God-given role as teachers and expounders of the Law. But there were also the lay teachers who had come to sit in the Sanhedrin and had made a notable contribution to the Maccabean cause at a time when many priests were outright Hellenists and supporters of Antiochus Epiphanes. Lauterbach says that the lay teachers "refused to recognize the authority of the priests as a class, and, inasmuch as many of the priests had proven unfaithful guardians of the Law, they would not entrust to them the regulation of the religious life of the people" (Lauterbach, page 209). It was these lay teachers who organized themselves into the party of the Pharisees. [Again, this is an oversimplification. It was the new Sanhedrin that had assumed power during these times; and they began appointing their own people into the positions that were available, just as the Jews today, in America, appoint their own people into positions, which were formerly held exclusively by REAL AMERICANS, not Jews! Note that there is absolutely NO MENTION OF HOW THE EDOMITES OF IDUMEA WERE INVITED IN BY HEROD. The authors are still trying to convey the false notion that this was an INTERNAL AFFAIR –among Judahites – making no mention of the Idumean usurpers who were busy subverting True Judah . It was among this new Sanhedrin that the Pharisees had the greatest influence. – Eli] Although many of the priests had indeed become Hellenized, this did not necessarily give the lay teachers the right to usurp some of the priests' God-given authority. But, sadly they insisted on following the way that seemed right to them (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). However, two wrongs did not make a right in that day any more than they do today. What these two wrongs did result in will be shown in the next installment. Watch for it in an upcoming issue of TOMORROW'S WORLD.
[If nothing else, Part I proves that the transition from the Levitical priesthood to the Pharisaic priesthood was ANTI-MOSAIC! No matter how you try to explain away Judaism’s origins, this fact is irrefutable!!! Do you understand the significance of such an admission? This proves that Judaism and its practitioners have no Mosaic authority! – Eli]
PHOTO CAPTION: Top: Floor of ancient synagogue uncovered at Beth-Alpha , Israel . Mosaic shows the 12 signs of the zodiac of pagan astrology. It is illustrative of the influence of Greek culture in Israel of the intertestamental period. Above: Graeco-Roman amphitheater was located in the shadows of the Temple Mount . Hellenism influence cultural and religious life of many in Judaea .
IN THE LAST INSTALLMENT we saw how a majority [No! – Eli] of people were weaned away from their observance of God's laws by the pressures of the Hellenistic culture. Under the rule of the Egyptian Ptolemies, they became interested in the education and culture of the surrounding nations. [This is exactly how America has become INTERNATIONALIZED and Judaized! Remember how our Founding Fathers warned us to stay out of the affairs of other nations? Our once Christian nation has turned into a nation of Jewish debauchery. – Eli]
Later, under the domination of a cruel Seleucid Syrian king, the Jews [sic] revolted against Syria . The revolt was successful, and Hellenism, as a culture of which the Syrians were great exponents, was now discredited. [Good!] The priests (those descended from Aaron), many of whom had been leading Hellenists, were looked upon with distrust by many. Now laymen were beginning to make their voices heard in religious disputes. This was the rise of the Pharisees. It was a layman's party, though some priests also belonged to it. [I totally disagree with this. There were certainly laymen who had ambition to become priests, but the reality is that the New Sanhedrin and the Pharisaic priesthood had become another party of foreign influence: Idumean influence. I’m beginning to suspect that this whole piece is designed to deliberately ignore the Idumean question!!! - Eli]
No one questioned the right of the priests to officiate in the Temple . But the priests pointed to Deuteronomy 17:8-13 as giving them, and not the lay teachers, the authority to teach and to decide questions pertaining to religion. They and their supporters organized themselves into the party of the Sadducees (name taken from Zadok, the High Priest in Solomon's day). [And even this was phony, as the Sadducees were Hellenizers! The Pharisees were Edomizers! Nothing about the Essenes, either! The Essenes were the True Judahites! – Eli] The priests as a whole were wealthy. This and their previous support of Hellenism caused the people to mistrust them by and large. Josephus tells us, "The Sadducees are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees have the multitude on their side" ("Antiquities of the Jews", XIII, x, 6).
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Lay Teachers Justify the People's Errors
And yet the main reason for the popularity of the Pharisees and the rejection of the Sadducees was neither the tainted past nor the wealth of the priests. It was in the teachings of the Pharisees themselves. During the period of religious anarchy under Hellenistic rule, the continuity of official teachers of the law had been broken. Hellenism had made its inroads. Consequently, when the Maccabean War came to an end, and some teachers did think of returning to God's Law, it was found that "many new customs and practices for which there were no precedents in the traditions of the fathers, and not the slightest indication in the Book of the Law, were observed by the people and considered by them as a part of their religious laws and practices" (Lauterbach, "Rabbinic Essays", Hebrew Union College Press, Cincinnati, p. 195). [What more proof do you need that the Pharisees were distorters of the Mosaic Law? – Eli]
In short, the people [No! The Pharisees were the ones who adopted non-Mosaic teachings. If the people adopted new traditions, it was because of ignorance, not deliberate choice. This is exactly how Judeo-Christianity has replaced TRUE CHRISTIANITY TODAY! Look at all of the false doctrines that have come in the name of Judeo-Christianity! - Eli] had adopted many customs and ideas which were in truth clearly pagan. The best example of these is the belief in the immortality of the soul already mentioned.
"The difficulty was to find a sanction in the Torah (the Law) for the new customs and practices which had established themselves in the community ..." (Herford, "Talmud and Apocrypha", Soncino Press, London, 1933, p. 66). The teachers should have shown the people they were sinning (Isa. 58:1). Instead they chose to justify them. This should not seem strange. It was done in Jeremiah's day (Jer. 23:21-22) and in Isaiah's (Isa. 30:10). [But Jeremiah and all of the Hebrew prophets rebuked the Israelites for such heresy. Today, modernist heresies are trumpeted from the pulpits!! – Eli]
Pagan Customs Called Jewish!
And yet the Scripture plainly states: "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2). Consequently, the teachers taught that the new customs the people had adopted were not really pagan -- they were actually Jewish! [Yes, Jewish, not Judahite!!!! Hehe! - Eli]
They reasoned this: "It is hardly possible that foreign customs and non-Jewish [sic!] laws should have met with such universal acceptance. The total absence of objection on the part of the people to such customs vouched for their Jewish origin, in the opinion of the teachers" (Lauterbach, p. 211). [Of course, Lauterbach teaches that the Old Testament is “Jewish.” This is ridiculous. It is the distortions of the Old Testament that are Jewish. Eli] These teachers told the people that it simply was not possible for them, being Jews [sic], to have inherited any heathen custom or practice. [Just as modern Judeo-Christians falsely believe that their Apostasy is “Christian.” As the Judahites of that time were deceived by the Pharisees, modern Christians have been deceived by the Judeo-Christian pulpitmasters. I can assure that none of these Judaizers know anything about history. – Eli]
They furthermore taught that since the customs were "Jewish," then they must have been taught by Moses himself. [I’m sure you get the point! – Eli] (This is no different from today, when churchgoers by the millions assume that the original apostles observed Sunday, Easter, Christmas and the like.) [Just the tip of the iceberg!!!! – Eli]
"Accordingly, the teachers themselves came to believe that such generally recognized laws and practices must have been old traditional laws and practices adopted by the fathers and transmitted to the following generations in addition to the Written Law. Such a belief would naturally free the teachers from the necessity of finding scriptural proof for all the new practices" (ibid.). [Boy, is history repeating itself, or what? – Eli] In other words they claimed that these customs, since they were not WRITTEN in the Old Testament, must have been handed down ORALLY from Moses -- by word of mouth. Actually, these traditional laws -- these oral laws -- were not from Moses nor any of the prophets. There is not a single reference in the Scripture that Moses gave the Israelites any oral or traditional laws that were to be transmitted to posterity along with the written Word. The Bible states just the opposite. It plainly says that Moses wrote the whole Law in a book. Notice. [Now, here, the authors have stated a most important truth. Since modern Judaism is based upon the so-called “oral tradition,” it is patently obvious that Judaism (the religion of the Pharisees) is a fraudulent religion! It’s about time that someone outside of Identity admitted this!!! – Eli] "And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were FINISHED ..." (Deut. 31:24).
There is no such thing as an "oral law of Moses." [Praise Yahweh for ABSOLUTE TRUTH!!! – Eli]
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Oral Law Gains Acceptance
The theory of the "oral law" was accepted only gradually -- a matter of a few years, rather than months. [I would say, rather, decades. - Eli] "The theory of an authoritative traditional law (which might be taught independently of the Scriptures) was altogether too new to be unhesitatingly accepted ... the theory was too startling and novel to be unconditionally accepted" (Lauterbach, p. 211 ). The greater opposition to the so-called "oral law" came from the priests who, as a whole, declared that the Scripture was the only necessary code of laws to obey. [And these were the Essenes, of whom John the Baptist was a member! – Eli] "This apparently simple solution offered by the priestly group in the Sanhedrin did not find favor with the lay members of that body" (ibid., p. 209). And, with the passage of time, the lay teachers ultimately came to constitute the majority of representatives in the Sanhedrin. These Pharisaic lay teachers succeeded in convincing the people that they were right and that the priests were wrong.
Some of the people's fears concerning the priestly Sadducees were apparently valid, however. Many of the priests did become worldly minded and they found worldly politics far more interesting than religion. The Sadducees eventually adopted the belief that there was no resurrection and that angels did not exist (Act 23:8). [It appears as though we have Sadducees today as well! – Eli] This was probably a result of the influence of the Greek Epicurean philosophy. It taught that there was no future life of any kind and that man should therefore seek as many physical pleasures in this life as possible, since that was all there was. [Didn’t I tell you that the Sadducees were Hellenizers? – Eli]
New Laws of the Pharisees
Many of the Pharisees came to believe what they were doing was God's will. [We can talk ourselves into being “righteous,” when, in fact, we are only being self-righteous! Not so? – Eli] "It is certain that they (the Pharisees) regarded themselves as the successors of the prophets, and not merely in fact but by right" (Herford, p. 71). [I disagree with this. It is apparent to me that the Pharisees knew they were phonies all along. The trick was to convince the Judahites of their legitimacy. They never convinced Jesus Christ of their legitimacy! - Eli] Based on this claimed authority, they adopted a method of teaching what they believed to be laws of God, without any initial reference to Scripture for authority. [This statement is astoundingly accurate! - Eli] "Finding no convincing proof for such laws in the Bible, they taught them independently of scriptural proof, i.e., in the MISHNAH-form" (Lauterbach, p. 229). [A very candid admission! – Eli]
MISHNAH-form was the name given for laying down laws to be observed, apart from Scripture. This is not to say MISHNAH-form avoided Scripture altogether. But it was only AFTER a law had already been accepted that the Scriptures might be checked for corroboration. [The rascals!!] Sometimes "affirmation" of a new law was forced from Scriptures totally unrelated to the particular subject. [Tell me about it!!! Hehe! – Eli]
The word MISHNAH is related to the Hebrew root meaning "second" and "study." MISHNAH-form was the SECOND form that the Pharisees adopted for "STUDY" as opposed to the original form of properly expounding the Scriptures, which was called MIDRASH-form. This older, original form was known as "teaching after the manner of Moses" ("Talmud", Temurah 156, "Yebamoth" 72b). [Now, tell me AGAIN they didn’t know they were deceivers!!! If they knew the difference between Midrash and Mishnah, THEY CERTAINLY KNEW WHEN THEY WERE INVENTING DOCTRINE!!!! Are you smelling the dirty rat that I’m smelling? – Eli]
MIDRASH-form is based on deducing laws, teachings, legends, etc., from the Scripture. As time went on it too became perverted. "Whenever there was the remotest possibility of doing so, they would seek by means of new hermeneutical rules (rules pertaining to Biblical interpretation) to find in the words of the Torah support for these traditional laws" (Lauterbach, p. 212).
Thus the Pharisees were able to "find" the traditions they were now approving of by twisted interpretations of Scripture. In doing this they still claimed to be using the MIDRASH-form. Ezra is said to have taught in MIDRASH-form when he, and his helpers "read in the book in the law of God distinctly and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading" (Neh. 8:8).
There was, however, one major point which Ezra was aware of, but which the Pharisees missed. It is this: God, in the Bible, never contradicts Himself. [Oh, man! This is where the rubber meets the road!! – Eli] Malachi, a contemporary of Ezra was inspired to write: "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Mal. 3: 6). But many of the traditional laws the Pharisees approved of did contradict Scripture. What's more, many of them even contradicted one another. [If you haven’t figured it out yet, now you know what Judaism really is. “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, WHICH IS HYPOCRISY.” (Luke 12:1) – Eli] With the introduction of the new MISHNAH-form, Scripture came to be less relied on than before. New laws, which were not even necessarily traditional, could be enacted. The Pharisees found the
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MISHNAH-form to be an important weapon in their conflict with the Sadducees. Laws that were accepted after being handed down in the MISHNAH-form tended to enhance the authority of the Pharisees, since it was SOLELY on their authority that the law was accepted. The very first individual of whom we have any record who began to teach new commandments in the MISHNAH-form, apart from the scriptural basis, was Jose ben Joezer of Zareda. [He was the first one who ADMITTED IT! – Eli]
Jose laid down three new commandments. The first concerned the eating of a certain locust; the second, the blood of slaughtered animals; and the third, the touching of a dead body. In doing this he became known as "Jose the Permitter" ("Talmud", Abodah Zarah 37b). [Those of you who have followed my writings know that I have stated, “Whatever Moses forbids, the Talmud permits.” Yet, not a word about the Talmud from any of these authors! – Eli]
"Furthermore, Jose is called 'the Permitter,' evidently because in all three decisions he permits things that were formerly considered forbidden" (Lauterbach, p. 219). [Yes, indeed!] These new laws of Jose were not customs the people had inherited from Hellenism. "It is therefore evident that these Halakot (rules) ... were not older traditional laws transmitted by Jose as a mere witness, but Jose's own teachings. He was the one who 'permitted' and he deserved the name (the Permitter)" (ibid., p. 218). These commandments of themselves were not earth-shaking violations, but they did set a precedent! Eventually others began to set down all sorts of new laws. These are what Jesus called "the commandments of men" (Mark 77). [Praise Yahweh for a candid admission of Scriptural Truth! – Eli]
The Prosbul of Hillel
Many others ultimately followed in the steps of Jose. If the majority of Pharisees agreed on a new decision, it was accepted as the Word of God -- even if Scripture taught just the opposite.
Of the myriad of new laws laid down, perhaps the best example and the best known is the Prosbul of Hillel. Hillel the Old headed a Pharisaic school in the days of Herod. [Finally! Herod is mentioned, but I’ll bet they won’t tell you that Herod was an Edomite!!!! – Eli] He was noted for his gentleness and was greatly beloved among the people, but his decisions, nonetheless, were not always in keeping with the Word of God. [YEAH, RIGHT! Don’t make me laugh! – Eli]
For example, "All private loans are automatically remitted at the end of the Sabbatical Year (Deut. 15:2) and hence it became difficult to obtain loans immediately before the onset of that year. In order to avoid hardship and encourage lending, Hillel instituted the "Prosbul" (Greek: "for the court"), which is a declaration made before a court of law by the creditor, and signed by witnesses, stating that all debts due him are given over to the court for collection. Since the remission of loans during the seventh year applies only to individuals but not to public loans, the effect of the Prosbul is to render the individual's loan public, and it is therefore not remitted" (Werblowsky and Wigoder, "The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion", art. "Prosbul," p. 312).
Hillel's motive was apparently quite practical. And yet the Bible clearly states: "Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD (Eternal) against thee, and it be sin unto thee" (Deut. 15:9). Rather, God says: "Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when you givest unto him: because that for this thing the Eternal thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto" (verse 10).
It was because of rules like the Prosbul that Christ told the Pharisees, "Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15:6). Hillel saw that the poor were unable to obtain needed loans and was trying to remedy the situation, but he was not doing it God's way! God says: "Trust in the Eternal with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).
There were many such instances where the Pharisees enacted many new laws, based solely on their own human reasoning in an attempt to make what they thought would be a better way of life. Yet God tells us: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).
Cause and Effect
The Pharisees' error was a classic one. Seeing wrong situations, but relying solely on themselves, they attempted to treat the EFFECT rather than the CAUSE. Notice the case of Hillel's Prosbul. God plainly tells us that the CAUSE of the problem was in the HEARTS of the people (Deut. 15:9). Today too many see the problems besetting mankind. Governments have their solutions and the revolutionary activists have theirs. But all attempt to treat ONLY THE EFFECTS of the problems. None gets at THE REAL CAUSE -- which is to
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be found for the most part in carnal human nature with its greed and pride. [The REAL CAUSE of the world’s problems is Talmudic Judaism. If you have not yet figured this out, you are either brain dead or stupid. – Eli]
Today, God is treating the cause of man's ills in some individuals. He is presently changing the hearts of a few. "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them an heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11.19).
God's Law as revealed throughout all of Scripture is indicative of God's CHARACTER. It is a giving, serving, sharing, concern for the other person as well as the self, and can be summed up by the word LOVE -- love first of all toward God and then towards fellowman. God's Law shows us exactly how He would live if He were a human being. And this is precisely what Jesus did when He emptied Himself of His divinity and took on human flesh -- He never once broke a single law of God. The rise of Pharisaism in the period between the Testaments represented an attempt on the part of these people to keep the Law. [No! This is making excuses for the Pharisees.
The Pharisees KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING! Jesus Christ tells us this explicitly!! (Matt. 23; John 8:39-44; John 10) – Eli] But they lacked a clear understanding of their own human nature as revealed in the Scriptures. [This is a nauseating example of pretending that the rabbis are well-intentioned! Even so, we all know what the road to hell is paved with! – Eli] Notice God's deeply felt near-lament in Deuteronomy 5:29: "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever"!
But "such an heart" was not in them at that time. They had only the human nature that we all naturally possess -- the heart that is "... deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9.) Joshua told his generation, "... Ye cannot serve the Lord nor is it in ours.
But man was not left without hope. There was a promise of better things to come. "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live" (Deut. 30:6).
The Pharisees as well as the other sects of the period wanted to serve God and keep His commandments. [Rubbish!] They had, as the Apostle Paul (who well knew) put it, "... a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge" (Rom. 10:2). [Paul was NOT speaking of the Pharisees in this passage. He was speaking TO his brethren, the Israelites! Read it for yourself! - Eli] Not aware of the necessity for a change in their own human nature, they found it necessary to change God's Law. Not that this was done outwardly, but rather by forced interpretations, rationalizations, attempted codifications of laws that are all-encompassing, and new laws that were not admitted always to be new. By changing the Law, they made it of "none effect." That is, it did not have the effect that God's laws should have on those who keep them. Inasmuch as the Pharisees did keep SOME of the laws correctly SOME of the time, it did have SOME good effects. But the overall results that come by living in total harmony with the laws the Creator set in motion simply were lacking. Pharisaic society did not abound with the love of God. You could never convince the Sadducees (with whom they often disputed) that it was otherwise. Nor could you convince the Romans. Nor could you convince the unlearned Jews [sic] of that day, whom many of the Pharisees thumbed their noses at with the epithet "am-ha-aretz" ("people of the land" -- the term is used in a derogatory sense throughout the Pharisaic writings). Pharisaic society was filled with strife. When Alexander Jannaeus, one of the Maccabean kings, ruled, the Pharisees were virtually at WAR with him and there was much bloodshed.
The Talmud [Well! They finally mentioned the Talmud! How about that? Can we have some examples of Pharisaic teaching, so we can know just how evil it is? – Eli] itself is a record of the Pharisees striving among themselves, one with another in religious DEBATES, each one trying to convince the others of the correctness of HIS particular idea, rather than all working harmoniously to seek GOD'S will. [The Talmud is also a record of rabbinical DEFIANCE OF GOD’S LAW! - Eli] Today, professing Christianity is treading down the same well-worn path the Pharisees mistakingly took. Where is the sect that has not attempted to read its own ideas into the Bible which it professes to obey? And where is the denomination that is truly bearing the fruits of God's Spirit -- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance? Indeed which one even knows what true love is? [It is quite certain that neither the Jews nor the Judeo-Christians have any idea what love is, for, in order to be loving, you have to be willing to tell the TRUTH! – Eli]
Don't YOU follow the crowd. DON'T be led down the garden path into religious deception by any who would warp, distort and twist the scripture to their own destruction. As you peruse the pages of your TOMORROW'S WORLD magazine, we encourage you to search the scriptures daily WHETHER THESE THINGS BE SO (Acts 17:11). But by the same token we also ask that you apply the same criterion to all who claim to represent God! Remember, "... if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them"
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(Isa. 8:20). As you continue to prayerfully study your Bible and this magazine of Biblical understanding, you will find new vistas of truth continually opening before your very eyes!
[Final comments: It is evident that these two authors have written this article in order to demonstrate that there is a woeful lack of knowledge about the Intertestamental Period. That their own knowledge of this period is woefully lacking is also evident. Although having demonstrated a willingness to broach the subject, they fall into apologetics about Judaism. Essentially, their analysis is that the Pharisees were well-intentioned stumblebums, the theological equivalent of the Keystone Cops. GIVE ME A STINKING BREAK!! - Pastor Eli James]
Also here without Pastor’s comments: http://www.soyawannamove.com/rcg/fundamentals/betweentestaments.htm