“Death by being taken captive”
At the beginning of this contemporary time table, we find several people who were willing to face death by stoning, like Stephen, or in the arena or at the stake, by hanging or burning, after being humiliated in front of many. The process of bearing witness was not intended to lead to the death of the witness, although it is known from ancient writers (e.g. Josephus) and from the New Testament that witnesses often died for their testimonies.
For Christians there is the archetypal martyr Jesus Christ, who was killed for the words he said and for the position he was taking in. That Nazarene Jewish teacher was not willing to give in to human philosophy and preferred only to keep the the words of his heavenly Father, the Only One True God. He also did not mind to give his body for the sins of many. He had to suffer greatly because of his religious but also political beliefs, preaching understanding between all people, but also preaching a kingdom that would be governing all over the world. He became admired and respected by billions of people who came to share those beliefs.
Several people found the sayings of that curious man, who could deliver miracles, very interesting, and thought it worth following him. But as soon that it seemed they had to do certain things, “doing works” and could not participate any more in folk traditions, they choose to go back to their old way of living, enjoying life like it was.
Also the convert Saul saw that many, who first wanted to follow the teaching of Christ Jesus, felt attracted by very tempting doctrines of certain preachers. This did not prevent Paul from warning them. He wrote in his letter to the Colossians
8 Beware lest there be anyone of you taken captive through philosophical tevunah (wisdom) and empty deceit according to the kabbalah (oral tradition) of mere Bnei Adam, according to the ikkarim (basic principles) of the Olam Hazeh and not according to Moshiach; (Kehillah in Colossae 2:8 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
Today we still see a lot of people who are taken captive by philosophic arguments and empty deceit according to human tradition.
When Jesus was alive, he too wondered why so many kept going against the command of God because of their tradition. All those people who were showing off how much they loved God, and how much they could give to the synagogue, were “undressed” by the words of Christ who showed others the importance of those who honour God in small things and sometimes unseen or at the site (out of the way). He watched all those play-actors and remembered them of the prophet Isaiah who had the right words for them in his prophecy, declaring their worship which they offered to be in vain, because they taught, as law, mere human precepts.
3 But Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, in reply to them, said, Why [do] also you transgress the mitzvat Hashem for the sake of your own masoros?
4 For Hashem has said, KABED ES AVICHA VES IMMECHA (honor your father and your mother, Shemot 20:12; Devarim 5:16), and MKALEL AVIV VIMMO MOT YUMAT (the one cursing his father and mother to die he must die, Shemot 21:17; Vayikra 20:9).
5 But you say, Whoever says to his abba or his em, whatever support you might have had from me, [it is] a gift [i.e., korban, dedicated to G-d].
6 By no means does [anyone who says this] honor his abba or em. And you nullify the Dvar Hashem on account of your masoros.
7 You tzevuim, well did Yeshayah give a dvar hanevuah concerning you, saying,
8 YAAN KI NIGASH HAAM HAZEH BEFIV UVISHFATAV KI-BDUNI VLIBO RICHAK MIMENI VATEHI YIRATAM OTI MITZVAT ANASHIM MELUMADAH (This people with their lips honor me, but their heart is far away from me,
9 and in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the mitzvot of [mere] men, Yeshayah 29:13.) (Mattityahu 15:3-9 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
In Roman times many statues where made of gods and people loved kneeling down in front of statues. In later years many Christians also started doing such things, bowing down in front of statues, paintings and burning incense or candles in front of these graven images or on graves. They, like many today, have forgotten that creating things to observe and keep do not make us more righteous – indeed they have the opposite effect – they can make us self-righteous.
Lots of people seem to forget the many verses in the Bible which emphasise how we should be careful how to honour people and to whom we only may offer worship. The infallible Word of God is very clear on that, that there may only be worshipped One God of gods.
Not man’s words should be cherished, but the Words of God. Man has even to set those Words on their hearts and they should not be a futile thing for us, because we should know that the words of man perish, but God’s Word always shall stay alive and shall be the giver of life.
4 He is the Tzur, His po’al is tamim; for all His ways are mishpat; El Emunah and without avel (iniquity), tzaddik and yashar is He. (Devarim 32:4 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
7 Remember the yemot olam, consider shenot dor v’dor: ask Avicha, and he will show thee; thy zekenim, and they will tell thee. (Devarim 32:7 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
We have the Book of books which tells us about the days of the past. We should think about what happened so long ago. If we do not know it we should ask our ancestors or our spiritual leaders, so that they will tell.
Today we face the many countries, because there had come division between the haughty ones who wanted to build a tower high in the sky to defy God. But from all those people God choose one particular nation as His People, the Nation of God.
8 When HaElyon divided to the Goyim their nachalah, when He separated the Bnei Adam, He set the gevulot (borders) of the people according to the number of the Bnei Yisroel.
9 For Hashem’s chelek is His people; Ya’akov is the chevel (allotment) of His nachalah.
10 He found him in an eretz midbar, and in a barren and howling wilderness; He encircled him, He granted him discernment, He preserved him as the pupil of His eye. (Devarim 32:8-10 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
But though they knew they where the chosen ones, they more than once angered God.
18 Of the Tzur that fathered thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten El that formed thee.
19 And when Hashem saw it, He spurned them, because of the provoking of His banim, and of His banot.
20 And He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very perverse generation, banim in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is lo El (not G-d), they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those which are lo Am (a nonpeople); I will provoke them to anger with a goy naval (foolish, senseless nation) [Ro 10:19].
22 For an eish is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Sheol, and shall devour Eretz and her increase, and set on fire the foundations of harim.
23 I will heap disasters upon them; I will spend Mine khitzim (arrows) upon them.
24 They shall be burned with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction; I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the venom of serpents of the aphar (dust).
25 The cherev without, and terror within, shall destroy both the bochur and the betulah, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
26 I said, I will dash them in pieces, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men;
27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should misinterpret, and lest they should say, Our hand is triumphant, and Hashem hath not done all this.
28 For they are a goy (nation) void of sense, neither is there any seichel in them.
29 O that they were wise, that they had seichel, that they would consider their acharit (latter end, future)!
(Devarim 32:18-29 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
Those living in the 21st century should recognise how those Chosen Ones suffered more than once and how even certain people tried to destroy them totally, not taking into account that God always would be with them. Even a Holocaust made them not perish from the earth. Death may have come over them but lots of them kept going strong and after many wars always found the way back to the Most High Elohim.
But the patience of God came to a point where the goyim also where called to become part of those God was willing to accept in His Kingdom. Though each of those non-Jews shall have to decide themselves if they want to be part of that Kingdom and step over the “death of this world”.
For the period where God shall make an end to the power of the adversary of God, Jehovah God has given the world His only begotten son, Jeshua (Jesus Christ) the authority to judge the living and the dead. People will have to know that when they die it is too late to make a choice. Before that time they shall have to have made up their mind. When in their lifetime they kept preferring to love all those saints, martyrs, and many gods, the Only One True God shall in a certain way laugh at them, seeing that their power shall be gone and that they are all helpless.
36 For Hashem shall judge His people, and relent for His avadim, when He seeth that their power is gone, and there is none left, slave or free.
37 And He shall say, Where are their elohim, their tzur in whom they trusted,
38 Which did eat the fat of their zevakhim (sacrifices), and drank the yayin of their nesakhim (drink offerings)? Let them rise up and help you, and be your shelter. (Devarim 32:36-38 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
Yes we may not forget that there is only One Who Is The Supreme Being or I Am that Is, The One and Only One God! When taken by death, for many, it shall be too late, to see at last, that there is no other God! Then, when Jesus returns and shall come to judge them, they shall realise that it is Jehovah Who put people to death and Who let people live.
39 See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no elohim besides Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand.
40 For I lift up My hand to Shomayim, and say, Chai Anochi L’Olam (I live forever).
41 If I sharpen My glittering cherev, and Mine hand take hold on mishpat; I will render nakam (vengeance) to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me.
42 I will make Mine khitzim (arrows) drunk with dahm, and My cherev shall devour basar; and that with the dahm of the slain and of the captives, from the head of leaders of the foe.(Devarim 32:39-42 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
In our life we encounter many who try to make us afraid, want to hurt us or even threaten us with the worst. They should know that no one can save another person from the Power of God!
When we look at the past we can see that all the promises God made became a reality, except the few ones which still have to happen. But we may be sure also these things will happen!
26 For when we intentionally commit chet b’yad ramah [“wilful sin with a high hand of defiance” Bamidbar 15:30] after having received the full da’as of HaEmes, there remains no longer a korban for chattoteinu, (Yehudim in Moshiach 10:26 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
It may be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, but when falling in the hands of the worldly people, there shall be no place in His Kingdom.When reading the bible regularly one should come to understand that we should know the importance of God’s Word and the sent one from Him, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
When having received Christ Jesus, we should walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as we have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. So let yourself be careful that no man comes to spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Always be aware of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.
2 For I want you to have da’as of how great a ma’avak (struggle) I have for you and the ones in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen me panim el panim (directly, in person),
2 That their levavot may be given chozek (strength), having been made an aguda of ahavah and all osher (wealth) of the full assurance of binah, resulting in the da’as of the raz of Hashem, namely Moshiach,
4 This I say so that no one may delude you with the sleight of hand of the ba’al melitzot (rhetorician).
5 For, though absent in basar, but present with you in the Ruach Hakodesh, with lev same’ach (glad heart) I am seeing your order and the firmness of your [Orthodox Jewish] emunah in Moshiach.
6 Therefore, as you became mekabel Moshiach and received Moshiach Adoneinu Yehoshua, so let your halichah be in Him,
7 Having been rooted and built up in Moshiach and being firmly founded in the emunah as you were given Messianic [orthodox] lernen [study], abounding in hodayah.
8 Beware lest there be anyone of you taken captive through philosophical tevunah (wisdom) and empty deceit according to the kabbalah (oral tradition) of mere Bnei Adam, according to the ikkarim (basic principles) of the Olam Hazeh and not according to Moshiach;
9 Because in Moshiach kol melo Elohim (all the plentitude of G-d) finds its bodily maon laShechinah (dwelling place for the Shechinah).
10 And you have been granted melo (plentitude) in Moshiach, who is the Rosh of all rule and authority.
11 In Moshiach also you were circumcised with a Bris Milah not made with human hands, a Bris Milah of the surgically removing of the body of the basar (old fallen and unregenerate nature) in the Bris Milah of Moshiach,
12 Having been buried in the Ohel of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach’s tevilah with him, with whom also you were made to stand up spiritually in the Techiyah together through your emunah and bitachon in the ma’aseh of Hashem who made Moshiach stand up from the Mesim. (Kehillah in Colossae 2:1-12 Orthodox Jewish Bible)
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