This beautiful valley of Jezreel/Megiddo will never see an end-time battle
Last site edit: April 16 2017
In defence of the sidelined God Jehovah, Creator of the Universe and Father of Humanity
The meaning of Sacrifice in the theological context of Scripture
The above heading sounds impressive, does it not? So are sacrifices.
All of them. For whatever reason.
Alas, do they leave a good impression? Are they that impressive? Do they impress some at profound emotional depth? Ah, but positively or negatively? Are they all good? Does good mean a good sacrifice or is it the resulting benefit or pay-off that is good?
Were all those sacrificed in WWI, which apparently was to end all wars; not good sacrifices?
In hindsight, did the end truly justify the means?
When comparing good with bad all is relative. A very bad headache is in fact very good in quality compared with other headaches. Excellent good quality headache it may be indeed, but no good for the user, except as a warning of underlying causes, which, strictly speaking, makes that a good headache even in another way, while it feels terrible.
This matter of sacrifices in the religious context has given scholars, theologians and other students of the seemingly unfathomable, untold headaches of varying degrees as they grope for answers for the reason to have a sacrifice in the first place. Who needs it? Why is it needed? Who was the sacrifice? Who was to benefit?
What does the Bible, the workshop/service manual for Israel have to say about all that? Does the idea of sacrifice originate in that manual?
But to digress, how do we get lamb chops or rump steak?
My goodness, of course, sacrifices at the abattoirs!
The faith of members of the Evolutionism sect has it that untold zillions of earth-years ago all matter had either coalesced into an infinitesimally small particle, if the oscillating universe theory is to be given credence, or that was its genesis state, which gave rise to the big bang, a cosmic orgasm as fate interloped with space in a marriage of expediency, which in turn caused the birth of Mother Nature whose incredible birthing capacity gave rise to the universe.
Behold the imagery.
The actual record in the manual coupled with the reverse engineering the reality of the current world population coalesces humanity into an infinitesimally small molecular arrangement of a sperm cell in Adam's loin.
I am not here getting into which one of the two ideas are here trying to outdo Grimm's Fairytales; rather leave that to scientism.
What does all this have to do with sacrifice?
Well, if the first proposition is right. Relativism triumphs in that good and bad cannot exist, since they have no firm and fair standard for judging. The fickle finger of fate is then the only arbitrator, as it runs amok in men's minds and hearts.
We are going to concern ourselves here with the reality of the second proposition.
Yes, the manual does speak profusely about sacrifice – completely misunderstood by religion and therefore scoffed at and maligned by scientism.
After Adam and Eve were put in place on planet earth, a reasonably intelligent, good-looking person of the angel (messenger) kind residing in another dimension was given the job of liaison officer. He was to supervise humanity for the 7000-year earth-related rest-day of God until the beginning of the next ‘creative’ week of seven x 7000 years after a 1000 year Jubilee*.
* 7x7000=49000+1000=50000 years for the entire earth related period of creation
However, he wanted more than just remain a handyman for all that time, while all human praise went to the Creator. So he initiated the greatest deception of all time and became a rebel or resister (Satan) and a maligner of God or slanderer (devil). He was completely self motivated, allowing envy and narcissism to get the better of him. To perpetuate the deception and get everyone on his side he invented religion; chief among all manner of schemes to further his cause.
Before he could go all the way with this, he first had to get the original two humans on his side.
So he made use of the circumstances set by the Creator who instructed Adam about his mission and that everything on earth was there for his use, except for one of all the trees good for food.
He told mortal Adam that he would be certain to die if he ate from it. The fruit of that tree were definitely good for food, in that they passed through Adam and Eve along with all the other foods they ingested without any adverse effects. In fact, they continued living for many centuries thereafter. They were, however, removed from their sample garden and away from that other named tree also good for food: the tree of life, so that they could not again eat from it, as they had done for over four decades along with all the other trees good for food they no longer had access to.
A few years later, Adam's firstborn Cain decided to give something back to God as a gift in appreciation of the best he had access to in his way of life as an agriculturalist: Vegetables or perhaps pretty flowers, who knows.
So began the very first sacrifice initiated by that very son generally held in derision by the religious.
Adam and his family were still perfect, not impaired in any way and certainly not cut off from God, except that He would no longer offer dietary and general advice for their continued well being in view of the independence Adam's action had indicated he desired.
That they were never cut off from their maker, as is continually asserted by the religious, was demonstrated by what happened in connection with Cain.
Abel meanwhile, already involved with animal husbandry, had developed relationships with the little ones of the flock different to what one might have with a carrot, tomato or an onion. To see the firstlings of the flock being born and nourished by the mothers, as well as his own relationship with them, would gave generated a whole host of emotions in Abel's heart.
Abel responded to or followed Cain's example by offering one or more of these dear ones he watched grow and have affection for. Their respective actions indicated to God who had a more profound and heartfelt sense of appreciation and gratitude for the Creator's abundant provisions.
It needs to be acknowledged that even in this 21st century it is still customary in many tribal regions, as it has been for thousands of years, to sign contracts with a handshake and a shared meal of a sheep or goat sacrificed especially for that occasion.
It enhances the general satisfaction engendered by a deal well struck and the hope of a continuing peace among the parties or families involved.
This is precisely the manner of sacrifices for whatever reason in Israel's relationship with God.
When Cain became angry, God immediately tried to help him, counselling him to get a grip on himself for fear of making a serious mistake*. The rebel angel Satan meanwhile mistakenly assumed that God required some sort of animal sacrifice, but he bided his time for when he may appropriately use that idea to his advantage.
After the Deluge, Noah also offered a sacrifice in gratitude. Noah had nothing of value to him other than the seven pairs of each kind of clean animals*. All the while Satan was watching developments.
* not sin or transgression, because these had not yet been defined by God nor enshrined
(see Romans 4:15, 5:13)
* the determination of what were clean or unclean animals was only made Law some 850 years later. All the then common domestic animals for milk, wool and clothing were familiar to Noah and were among those later declared clean under the law. Noah would have deemed these clean by default, without specific instructions, not forgetting that this account was written for those who did have Law to understand God's direction to Noah and Moses' inspired report.
As humans increased in number, and especially after the many additional languages were given to them because they refused to scatter farther afield, Satan soon arranged for humans to invent religion and offer animal sacrifices to ostensibly appease the gods they deemed to exist.
God had never required sacrifices of any kind. He simply accepted the precious heartfelt gifts from out of their survival rations, as it were. It is tribal religion, under the auspices of Satan, who may have contrived, although pretty dumb he is, to use these earlier gifts made by Abel and Noah as an indication of Man's supposed sense of inherent sin and the need to offer redemptive blood sacrifices.
The very first animal sacrifices commanded by Jehovah had also nothing to do with sin, inherent or subsequent.
They had to do with preparing a proper place for God to dwell with Israel. Like preparing one's home for an important, even royal, visitor. The dwelling and everything in it is cleansed thoroughly with nothing but the best of utensils, cutlery, dishes and bedding provided to make the visit a memorable occasion and in keeping with the importance of the visitor.
One only needs to consider the occasion of the burning bush, where Moses was instructed to take his sandals off, because he was now standing on holy ground. Incidentally, what does that say about a cursed earth and man's sinfulness? Simply, that neither is true, but much more about that in other essays.
The first thing was to prepare Aaron as High Priest and then consecrating him and his four sons Exodus 29:32-35. Thereafter the altar had to be prepared for the visit through careful cleansing and consecration, a bit like polishing the silver in anticipation of a VIP visitor.
Careful reading of the procedure Exodus 29:36, 37 reveals the use of the Hebrew words for cleansing and sin-offering, indicating no more than a ceremonial cleansing or purification, but certainly not a covering of sin only needed after Israel had actually sinned against the Law only they had and could have successfully obeyed.
Anointing is NOT exclusive to Kings and priests nor members of the Bride of Christ, remembering that becoming or being a bride is not an anointing for becoming-a-royal matter, while being set aside, like reserving a seat in a theatre, it certainly is.
Exodus verses featuring anoint, and please note the inanimate connection:
Ex 28:41 "So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint <04886> them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
Ex 29:2 "and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed <04886> with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour).
Ex 29:7 "And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint <04886> him.
Ex 29:36 "And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint <04886> it to sanctify it.
Ex 30:26 "With it you shall anoint <04886> the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony;
Ex 30:30 "And you shall anoint <04886> Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
Ex 40:9 "And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint <04886> the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy.
Ex 40:10 "You shall anoint <04886> the altar of the burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar. The altar shall be most holy.
Ex 40:11 "And you shall anoint <04886> the laver and its base, and consecrate it.
Ex 40:13 "You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint <04886> him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.
Ex 40:15 "You shall anoint <04886> them, as you anointed <04886> their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations."
Anoint simply means to set aside for a special purpose, to hallow and sanctify any-thing/one and is NOT exclusive to people chosen for Royalty or Priesthood.
Here from Strong’s Hebrew:
These verses speak of a cleansing of the altar from sin, making atonement for it, to anoint it and to sanctify it, which was no more than to make it acceptable for God's royal visit and use. No inanimate altar could ever be said to have committed any sins from which it had to be cleansed.
That was really all about extending God's heavenly Most Holy dwelling into the earthly realm.
This was done on an even grander scale when Jehovah's heavenly presence was first extended farther into the Most Holy compartment of the tabernacle and subsequently into the Most Holy compartment of Solomon's Temple. Although literally impossible, God did in fact dwell with His people Israel in a manner of speaking. ‑Exodus 25:8, 29:45; Leviticus 26:12; Deuteronomy 23:14; 1 Kings 6:13; Psalms 132:13.
Although there are arguments against the use of Atonement in the sense of at‑one‑ment, as there are against anything anyone might ever say about anything connected with the Scriptures per se or its contents, making God's earthly domain at‑one with His heavenly dwelling and His expectations, is the intent of both the expression and its implementation as presented or reported in Scripture.
Prior to these sacrifices associated with this preparatory cleansing, there was a commanded animal sacrifice every Israelite family had to make to save the lives of their firstborn.
That was the Passover lamb and associated measures that allowed the angel to pass over the dwellings of those families who had obediently carried out all the requirements, without killing their firstborn. This in turn paved the way for the Exodus of God's people as they emerged out of the womb of Egypt as God's Firstborn Son Israel –Exodus 4:22.
Interesting, and as an almost a funny aside, is the fact that all the families of the Exodus would have had to eat a meal on that day anyway, which may very well have necessitated the death of an animal. The difference this time was simply God told them what to eat on this special occasion.
All families were therefore required to prepare and eat an identical meal, which required the killing of either a male lamb or kid one year old and without blemish in preparation the day before the day of the Exodus when the Angel of Jehovah passed over without touching their firstborn.
What about the sacrifices commanded by God in the Law mediated through Moses?
They served a two-fold purpose:
1. A token of repentance either by an individual sinner against the Law of Moses
or collectively by the whole nation, as the occasion demanded.
2. A contribution toward sustaining the priesthood.
All these sacrifices were a form of taxation.
Primarily however, they were celebratory meals shared between His firstborn son and wife Israel and God, whatever the occasion, of which there were quite a few.
Voluntary sacrifices alongside those demanded as penance by the Law also served to maintain the entire infrastructure required for a healthy relationship with God.
Israel's disobedience to the ten words* as in all the body of Law commonly known as the Law of Moses, continually drove them apart from their God. They refused to dwell with Him. They made His dwelling with them very unpleasant for Him.
* that is the Hebrew expression, not ten commandments, as religionists have it - ten here indicating all of the body of Law, not just the ten superscript headings of that body.
Their continuing refusal to obey a body of Law that was not too difficult for them (Deut 30:11), finally resulted in their complete alienation from their Father and Husbandly Owner.
Who was sacrificed for whom? Not a mythtery.
Christians are admonished: For all the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4) NWT
Who are the our and we here? Christians? Certainly. Who or what are they?
Since Christian means anointed, with each Christian thus individually a Christ or Messiah, what are they anointed for? One needs to read all the epistles to find out who they are, where they came from, where they are going, what they were forgiven, including the why and how.
OK, who are those addressed with these plural personal pronouns we, our, us and you in Isaiah 53, which was written aforetime of the we, you, us and our of Romans 15:4 and all other epistles.
Who was Isaiah, where did he live? Of what people or nation was he a part of? Who did Jehovah sent him to? Why? The things written aforetime in Isaiah were written to whom? The same possessors of all the plural personal pronouns in all the epistles?
In Daniel's fervent prayer to God Daniel 9:4-19, who were the you, your, our, ours, we and us?
Mankind? No? Who then? Israel! No doubt about that!
Then why commandeer the same plural personal pronouns in Isaiah 53 and all the other utterances of the OT prophets and apply them to all humans?
Prudent now to click here to identify plural personal pronouns in the Bible.
OK then, what about the potential sacrifice of Isaac?
What significance could that possibly have for the plurals we, us, our, ours, you and your?
Just camp-fire palaver, ethnic folklore - who cares anyway? Hey wait a minute, could that be among the things written aforetime to the possessors of all the plural personal pronouns in all the epistles? Yes, come to think of it, it just might at that! But isn't that just something nice for the pulpit and better still for the atheists who used it to bash God up about this cruel practice?
Fancy that - human sacrifice, no thank you!
But then again, wasn't it only a sheep that actually died in the manner of all animals that were customarily sacrificed for domestic consumption or on certain occasions as part of hospitality to visitors, strangers passing by in those days or even weddings celebrations? Yes indeed. So what is so bad about that?
In the Abraham Drama his only begotten son Isaac was saved by a sheep provided by God who had asked for Abraham's only begotten son to be sacrificed in the first place. Weird?
What possible use can that folkloric incident have for plural pronoun Christians?
Beats me! But, hey wait a minute, the same apostle Paul, when writing to the Seed of Abraham Israel in the NT book of Hebrews, fancy that, Hebrews eh?
Uh yes, where was I? Well, Paul wrote of another body that was to be prepared for someone along the lines of the Abrahamic drama, or was he? Take a look here at Hebrews 10:5-10 via the NAS, which unfortunately capitalizes all OT quotes which in this case serves us well:
5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY THOU HAST PREPARED FOR ME; 6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN THOU HAST TAKEN NO PLEASURE. 7 "THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE ROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.’" 8 After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, NOR HAST THOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO THY WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Which world in the above verse? Why, Strong's #2889: 1. Government 2. Decoration, Adornment. Which government was from God? Israel! What wife decorated and adorned God? Israel!
Prepared Body? What body? The Body of Jesus Christ! Sheep? Yes, final atonement lamb that took away Israel's sins while doubling as their second Passover lamb. WOW! But hey, wait a minute, Paul's quotation is completely wrong! Was he blind? Had he mislaid or lost his copy of the Psalmist's scrolls, was he being deceptive, lost his mind or what?
Here from the same translation is the original Paul quote from Psalm 40:5-6:
5 Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. 6 Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened; Burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not required.
Not only have they taken out the name of God -the English version- but also have the opening of one's ears instead of a body prepared? Some make the desperate allusion to one earlobe of a former slave's being pierced for permanent servitude. But that is just one earlobe, not ears.
The point I like to make here: did that sacrificed sheep caught in the bushes and sacrificed in place of Abraham's only begotten son ever come back? Will it? Should it? Do they ever? How does that play out in the reality of the fulfillment of the pre-enactment?
I shall let you ponder over that while keeping in mind that a ransom price is never taken back.
Please try to figure out who is speaking to whom in Hebrews 10:5-10. Who prepared
a body for whom in the Abraham analogy? God did by providing a sheep especially
for this occasion in keeping with His purpose. Did Jehovah prepare a body to die
instead of the heavenly only begotten of God actually offered for Jehovah's firstborn
son Israel? (Exodus 4:22). The two Adams pose a formidable quandary in their equivalence.
Adam I was directly fashioned by God without sexual intercourse. Same goes for
Adam II. Adam I will not be resurrected because he was not deceived like Eve; a
matter clearly given substance by Paul in
1 Timothy 2:14.
Adam II, Jesus and Passover lamb #2 cannot ever exist again in the manner of the first Passover lamb that was eaten and defecated, because he was also consumed* to save Israel.
God had provided him from outside Adam's human family to become Israel's second Passover lamb because no Israelite human descended from Adam I could provide the ransom for God's firstborn son Israel; here via Psalm 49:
To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
1 Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
The Hebrew word translated world in the above intro of the verse is Strong's Hebrew 2465:
Here from: http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=2465
* John 6:53-58
In the phrase give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world the Hebrew world finds a synonymous echo in Strong's Greek 165: age, epoch, world where world in this definition signifies the unique historical period of Israel under their first testamental covenant to whom this psalm is addressed.
Israel's temporary existence having been further compromised to the point of permanent deletion through their blatant rejection of their God and Father Jehovah and His law, required a redemptive process to redeem God's firstborn son Israel so that they would ultimately never see corruption, live forever and, as the seed of Abraham, ultimately bless all humanity past present and future.
Since not even the richest well-meaning descendant of Adam would ever be able to provide a ransom, as pointed out in Psalm 49, meant that some living creature from outside the human family had to be provided to forfeit its life instead.
In the prophetic type a sheep gave its life in lieu of Abraham's only-begotten son Isaac.
In the fulfilling antitype it was the sheep Jesus who died in place of God's only-begotten son He had offered for His firstborn son and seed of Abraham Israel -Ezekiel 4:22.
Neither sheep, having been sacrificed and consumed to save the life of another, have ever been and shall ever be restored to life in the standing-up-again-fashion of a resurrection.
As Isaac willingly yielded completely to Abraham's will without fighting back and trying to get away, allowing Abraham to tie him down on the altar making himself completely subject to his father's will, so it was in the heavenly drama as the heavenly only begotten totally subjected himself to Jehovah's will to be as good as dead or nonexistent.
Why did Jesus weep so bitterly, sweating blood even, in Gethsemane unlike and out of character of those who have hope? -as per 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
Because he knew that he would be dead forever. He was the body, the sheep, the sacrifice especially prepared outside the human family descended from Adam #1 and only for that purpose and none other.
I had found this initially difficult to digest, given my JW-Christian background, as will others.
It must be remembered, though, that all the things he did, as well as all the attendant duties, assignments, achievements, experiences and anointing were bequeathed upon the Only Begotten Heavenly son, as they were in the manner of Elijah bequeathing all he was, had become, possessed and was anointed for together with a double portion of God's holy spirit to Elisha.
This is certainly one of the images from out of the transfiguration where Jesus is accompanied by both who prefigured him: Moses and Elijah.
Too much to swallow, let alone to digest? Remember Isaac stood up erect again from off the Altar. That was a re-erection, as both the Hebrew and the Greek have it. English gurus of the past simply inserted an s to remove any naughty connotations (my opinion entirely).
In my native tongue German, it is less problematic in that the word almost exactly
reflects that of the Greek:
die Wiederauferstehung literally the again-up-standing
Appreciating Jesus and what he did is fundamental to all Christianity, the Holy Scriptures, the whole universe and particularly his heavenly Father Jehovah. His name will be remembered for all eternity, in fact all the families of the earth will owe their name to him, because without him they would never exist in any future. Every knee on earth in heaven and under the ground will bend in the name of Jesus, for without him in history, they would not exist to have knees!
1 Corinthians 15 and so many other Scriptures seem to show that Jesus came down from heaven died, was resurrected and went back up again. Take care not to jump on that bandwagon, because behind all the distortions and falsehood lies the Trinity, which demands that God the Son came down from heaven to die for sinful humanity, while leaving the other two Gods temporarily in Heaven.
1 Corinthians 15, however, also speaks about the last Adam, which is precisely how God redeemed His firstborn son Israel with someone from outside the human family out of the first Adam. Please see here.
This whole coming to earth and dying for decrepit humanity is just Trinitarian play-acting, since none of their three 'gods' could possibly ever die, since they are co-eternal, quite aside from other corporate qualities.
Was that body then prepared for the Jesus part of the Trinity so that God the son Jesus could get back up there for the tri-unity to continue in its/their heavenly ‘blessed’ state?
That magnificent charade trinitarians have thus concocted, required some editing of the inspired word of God to suit themselves and their secular masters with whom they had formed an alliance to control the people of the realm.
The oldest extant manuscript of Paul's letter to the Philippians hails from 175-225 CE, plenty of time to subtly blur the distinction between Jesus, the Christ, son of Mary, son of God, only-begotten son of God and son of man to name but the most significant.
Lucky for us at this time, where knowledge of Godly matters is becoming ever more abundant according to Daniel, that we still have the complete and almost virginally intact Old Testament on which the NT is built. So the analogy of the pre-enactment of Jesus' sacrifice via Abraham's offering of his firstborn son Isaac still stands immoveable as a testimony to Jehovah's irrevocable, inimitable purpose.
There we have Abraham as the Father offering his compliant only-begotten son Isaac who was saved by the prepared body of a sheep.
This ensured the survival in arrival of the God-purposed Seed of Abraham Israel, through whom ALL the families of the earth would finally be blessed.
Jesus told the Jews that they . . . why not allow John to report it:
"Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son
of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my
flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks
my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself
draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.’"
—John 6:53-57, JB.
How is that for a Passover and atonement lamb? What is also forgotten or completely ignored is that these wildly denigrated sacrifices were in fact celebrations of rejoicing and not some ritual blood-letting.
Animals were customarily eaten! To do that they have to be sacrificed in the same manner we usually sacrifice our cash to buy food at the shops. Clever, eh?
Weddings, Birthdays, Christmases and other anniversaries likewise demand all manner of sacrifices to facilitate satisfaction and rejoicing. That's what we do as humans. All biblical sacrifices were likewise associated with rejoicing. Sometimes they served as final signatures in an agreement, contract, repaying a debt, to recompense, in celebration of a good done deal and especially marriages which were regularly accompanied with feasts where animals are presented as gifts and food for the guests, remembering that all gifts are of a sacrificial nature, as are involuntary taxes.
The most significantly superlative Wedding Celebration Feast, of course, was when Jehovah married Israel as a symbol of oneness and cohabitation in Exodus. Joyful celebrations also ensued when they subsequently renewed their marriage vows, as it were, at the annual atonement festivities when Jehovah regularly forgave Israel her transgressions.
Rejoicing! Rejoicing! Rejoicing!