Amazing how some major issues in life can sometimes escape our notice and even the notice of the entire World around us.
One such paramount Epoch and historic Event that escaped my observations and considerations during my 60 years of serious research into the Divine Plan for humankind (the Creator’s ‘children’), shook my foundations when its historic influence came up in a Facebook discussion last week. Was it mere coincidence that I never took great note of this powerful religious movement? Notwithstanding my long, and exhaustive exploration of the great religious Division of mankind – especially regarding the last 2750-year division in the very Family Nation of Israel, between the two gravely divided Houses of Israel, i.e., Judah and 10-Israel?
This historical 2 to 3-century-long episode, which I missed out on, ignited in the wake of the New Testament (NT) Episode, which occurred 2000 years ago. The Event of the NT so shook the intelligentsia of the World outside of Judaism, at the time, that it blossomed advanced opinions from Judaism, the NT Messianism in its rooting stages, and – yes, majorly, paganism! The various concepts that the NT Event ignited were all dabbling with the impossible to answer (by man), namely, the Identity and Purpose of both the Creator God and the NT Main Figure’s claims. And we still do not have THE Solution! And the division still rages seemingly without resolve.
So, what is this significant Event referred to here, which highlighted the very core of religious contention between Judaism and Christianity and is still raging today?
Gnosticism is a collection of religious ideas and systems which banded together in the late 1st century among Jewish and early Christian sects. The gnostic doctrine taught that the World was created and ruled by a lesser divinity, the demiurge (a deity in Gnosticism), and that the NT main Personage represented the remote Supreme Divine Being. The various versions of Gnosticism created by religious scholars and the general intelligentsia of the various nations of the time (mainly Roman and Greek), all wrestled with the Identity of the Supreme Deity vs. the NT Personage. Emperor Constantine attempted to resolve the dispute with the final conclusions of the Nicean Council in 325 CE – which became the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church, then founded on the Council’s resolve of “a Trinity’, to define both the Supreme Deity and the NT “Messiah.”
This definition of “God” still divides Judaism and Christianity to this day – the unacceptability to Judaism of a ’man-God,’ and Christianity’s continued confusion, after 2000 years, of Who God and/or their NT Messiah really is. Judaism itself is divided on the specific identity of the Creator God, Whom we worship, with various opinions defined by leading Jewish Sages throughout Time. This disparity in Jewish interpretation is further complicated when the topic of a Coming Messiah enters the debate and then what his relationship to the Supreme God will be.
In the end, the core reason for all this difference in interpretation lies in the very fact that HaShem, the Creator God of Israel, is “a God Who hides Himself.” Since the destruction of the 1st Temple in Jerusalem (546 BCE), the visible Presence (visible Shechinah Glory) of God has left this World (Ezek. Ch. 10). Rabbinic expectation is that He shall return with the Exiles of Israel, in the process building up to the eventual Final Redemption (Geulah).
In the meantime, the clash of opinions remains irresolvable between Judaism and Christianity. The recent Phenomenon of millions of NT believers who are leaving Christianity in their process of Torah Restoration, seems to be ever more intensely highlighting the very question that the 3rd force (Gnosticism) wrestled with at the time of the birth of the NT – an Event which has so rattled the World to this day, namely:
“What is the true Identity of Judaism’s God and its expected future Messiah vs. especially, the confusing claims of NT Messianism of Christianity, which is fast changing its Christian identity towards Judaism and its perceived God of Israel.”
A quick scan thru the comprehensive evidence of Wikipedia (or any other source) will clearly unfold the foundational reality of this 3 to 4-century consternation of Gnosticism (of the 1st 4 centuries CE). It can be summarized as follows: It would help no one to go and scratch in the labyrinth of this historic mine dump of confused, searching, and even solid pagan convictions of the learned who proposed answers and solutions. We only have at our disposal the closest that we can get to the ONLY ONE Who knows it all – the Creator. That is His Written Word, the Tanach (the O.T.) of which Judaism is the Guardian: Gen. 49:10 and Rom. 3:2; Matth. 23;2 in the NT. The Tanach (OT) is the more authentic, as admitted even by the NT in several places. Truth is so elementary that a small child or uneducated soul can understand it. It confuses intellectuals. For the culturally imprisoned religious follower in every Faith, it normally is the easiest way of escape for them to simply stick to what they have in some or other way come to believe. So, confusion persists.
The valuable lesson from Gnosticism
What we do learn from the intervention of Gnosticism, is that the entire World is challenged by the as-yet unresolved question of Who the Creator God is, and His relationship to the proposed answers of the various faiths and cults of the World population, His intended Purpose for mankind, and how He will achieve it.
This week’s Parashah
V’erah (and I appeared). Who appeared? Ref. to the opening words of this Parashah from Ex. 6:
Wow! Call this coincidence? At the time of writing the above Newsletter content, I had no idea what the theme of this week’s Parashah was. Add to this, our previous week’s Parashah feature by Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks, in which he reflected on Exod. 3:164-16 – where HaShem claims to reveal Himself in any form that He chooses – as He did in the Exodus, which stunned His People – becoming a fiery column protecting them by night. He deduced this from HaShem’s defining of His Name in Ex. 3:14 as being “eheyeh asher eheyeh” (I will be what I will [choose to] be.) (translated generally as ‘I am’ – check various translations of this text).
In our commentaries, Jews do not perceive this “Appearance of HaShem” to the Patriarchs of Israel as recorded in Torah as being God Himself – while Christians popularly claim that this proves that it was “Jesus”: who appeared in Torah – yet they reject the idea that he really is God on the Throne – while claiming that he is rather a separate ‘son’ of God. Yet, in their confusion, they present Jesus as superior to “God the Father, Most High” Whom Jews worship, by their insistence that Jews should worship ‘His son!’
Confusion upon confusion remains – while God hides Himself from mankind. He has withdrawn His visible appearance (Shechinah) from the World (since the destruction of the 1st Temple).
2000 years – and Gnosticism is still running wild!
Let it be known: that “HaShem our God, HaShem is ONE.” And He decides to “be what and how He chooses to be” in the Process of Redemption of His People.
”eheyeh asher eheyeh”
May these messages assist in promoting the Unity to advance and proceed to the Final Redemption (Geulah} – the Time Period of which it seems that we are now entering towards the end of this 6th Millennium – the Time of Trouble, birth pangs of the Shabbat Millennium with all its Blessings …
Wishing you HaShem’s richest Blessings!
Co-founder, KOL HATOR Vision for the Restoration of the re-united 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel
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