|tear down this Temple...|
by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"So the Pharisees said to Him, 'What SIGN do you show us for doing these things?' Yeshua answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days it shall be raised.' The Pharisees then said, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking about the temple of His Body. When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the Word that Yeshua had spoken ." John 2:18-22
"Come, let us return to YHVH. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day HE WILL RESTORE US that we may live in His Presence. Let us know; let us press on to know YHVH; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." Hosea 6:1-3
Christianity consistently creates problematic doctrine by yanking one verse out of context from the rest of all scripture in an attempt to make the words written support its own pre-conceived theology - instead of just reading the words for what they say and mean from the Hebraic perspective those words were written in. The Greek word translated as the English "scripture" in the passage from John 2 above is graphe (click on highlighted words to view content)) which means "a writing, thing written". The only scripture available at the time of this event was the Tanakh (OT). Just as Yeshua pointed to the scripture (or writings) concerning the "sign of Jonah" in Matthew 12:38-40; in similar manner, when asked what sign He would produce to verify His authority and right to cleanse the temple in the previous verses, the scripture Yeshua was quoting in this passage and the SIGN to which He was pointing about what His Father, YHVH, would do is written in Hosea 6:1-3 above. The only Word Yeshua speaks are what He has been taught of His Father, YHVH, which are contained in the Tanakh (John 7:16, John 8:28, John 14:23-24, John 12:49-50, John 14:10). The response of those Pharisees present to Yeshua's statement concerning the temple was not of disbelief, but one of wonderment over HOW such a thing could be done. Having diligently studied the Tanakh, they understood the sign He was referring to was the Restoration of the Kingdom spoken of from the scripture in Hosea and the Word He was speaking as that of His Father's.
It is important to recognize how the very structure of our language subtly alters how we understand the text. Hebrew does not work like English or any of the Indo-European languages of which we are familiar. First, it has no vowels. Secondly, the structure of the Hebrew letters communicates a second level of meaning impossible to translate and, third, the syntax of Hebrew is strikingly different than other languages. Even though the only documents we have of the Messianic Writings (NT) are in Greek, they were still written by Hebrews out of a Hebrew mindset influenced through Hebrew culture from a purely Hebrew perspective. If we are going to truly understand what these Hebrews were trying to communicate, we must consider the perspective these words were written from. The phrase, "I will raise…" is artificially inserted into all of the English translations of John 2:19. This phrase is actually taken from the single Greek word, egaro, which means "to raise up, produce, cause to appear". There is no personalization connected to this or any other usage of it in the Messianic Writings (NT) except what is placed there by the translators. Thus, a more accurate translation of this phrase in English (as shown above) would be, "…it (the Temple) shall be raised" and is referring to the restoration of YHVH's Kingdom from without to within which is the Promise of Inheritance given to YHVH's Family of Israel - precisely what Yeshua said His Purpose was in being sent.
...and in three days it shall be raised.
Since the time of the separation with Adam until Yeshua's Resurrection, the tabernacle in the wilderness and the subsequent temple had been the place where YHVH resided. The Family always had access to His Presence but it was from without - apart from being echad with the Father of the Family of Israel as it had been in the Garden. From without to within - restoring the relationship of echad first vested in the Hebrew Adam in the Garden but lost in the Separation. This is the reason Yeshua was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel because the restoration of the inheritance of YHVH's Kingdom had to first be re-established within His Own Family of Israel before it could be offered to all nations. What was extended to other nations was the opportunity to be in a behavioral relationship covenant with the Holy One of Israel - not some universal "god". The sin Yeshua was sent to expunge was not individual sin so that you and I could just do what we want, but the generational sin of disobedience to YHVH's Word that kept the family separated from being echad with the Father. Yeshua's comment about the Temple was in reference to the fulfillment of the Restoration of YHVH's Kingdom which is His Purpose for being sent and the reason for His Resurrection - to establish a new place of residency for His Father within His Communal Body.
|"And they were all filled with ruach hakodesh (Hebrew for spirit of holiness) and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Hebrews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own dialect." Acts 2:4-6|
...from without to within
|"And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, 'You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them'." Acts 11:2-3|
How many times have you heard that Peter's vision on the rooftop was YHVH's sign that we no longer have to follow kosher requirements? Apparently, interpreters who suggest that the vision was about food haven't bothered to read what Peter himself says about his vision. In Acts 10:35 Peter summarizes the lesson of his vision that he received in Joppa on the rooftop of the house of Simeon, the Tanner: "But in EVERY NATION he that fears Him [YHVH], and works righteousness, is accepted with Him." Clearly the vision seen by Peter was to show him in a very graphic and profound way that righteous Gentiles (considered unclean by rabbinic ordinances) were permitted into YHVH's covenant in spite of those ordinances that have previously prohibited them. Nowhere in this passage are YHVH's clean food pronouncements discussed or repealed. Peter himself says that he would never eat anything that conflicts with the clean food statutes and the reason for his initial confusion over the vision was because Peter understood the Father knew this about him. After Peter goes to the home of Cornelius and realizes that YHVH has ushered in righteous Gentiles because of the same indwelling of YHVH's Spirit into these men - only then is he given the understanding of what the vision meant. The subsequent accusation Peter faced in the beginning of Acts 11 was not over whether he broke the dietary regulations of Torah, but that certain men under rabbinic law come to him complaining that he fellowshipped with the uncircumcised. You can read "Gentiles" for this Greek term akrobystian because the clear implication is that Hebrews and Hebrew proselytes were circumcised and Gentiles were not - and, of course, Cornelius fits that description. According to the interpretation of these circumcised men, no respectable Hebrew would ever share table fellowship with the uncircumcised. That was like eating with the devil. Pagans (read, "uncircumcised") were not to be included in close fellowship.
Now, if Peter thought that his vision was about food, he would never have used his experience at Cornelius' house as a teaching opportunity about what YHVH was doing with people. But that is exactly what he does. In order to justify his table fellowship with uncircumcised men, he explains the vision on the rooftop. Peter himself realized his vision was about people, namely non-ethnic Hebrews who kept YHVH's Words, and not about food - not when it occurred, but certainly after his encounter with the righteous Cornelius. Everything that Peter relates to these objectors in the next ten verses is an explanation about the connection between the vision and the uncircumcised. There is not a single word about rejection of the Torah dietary regulations. Furthermore, after Peter's explanation, the text tells us that these objectors "...ceased their argument and glorified YHVH because YHVH granted favor to the Gentiles". In other words, they accepted Peter's explanation of the vision. It was never about food. It was about people.
If Peter tells us that his vision had nothing to do with food, and if the detractors accept this explanation as the truth, then why do we continue to claim that this vision sets aside food regulations? In my view, there are only two possible explanations for this deliberate misreading of the text. First, theological predispositions are applied to the text regardless of what it actually says - following the approach of the early church fathers that rejected the Torah (containing the dietary regulations) in order to drive a wedge between Christianity and anything Hebraic. Or secondly, we have heard these doctrines for so long that we no longer question them - nor do we care to question them because we really just don't want to change what we eat or how we behave. Just As Yeshua became echad with YHVH by Manifesting His Name, so are those who are called to follow in His Example to do the same. The Body of Yeshua is now the Temple in which the Name of YHVH abides. To be a member of the Body of Yeshua, of which He is the Head, is to be in a behavioral covenant relationship with YHVH's Spirit in this earthly realm. To BE Yeshua is to bear witness to the Truth of the Words of YHVH by living those Words. YHVH has changed His residency. He has a new abode - but His Words remain the same.
Part One: Without to Within
Part Two: the Circumcision
Part Three: the 613
Part Four: the Elevation
|"Yeshua answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Pharisees. But my kingdom is not from the world.' Then Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Yeshua answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world - to bear witness to the Truth. Everyone who is of the Truth listens to my voice'." John 18:36-37|
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.