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Did Jesus Use Hyperbole?

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

QUESTION:

I was disturbed when I read Matthew 18:9, “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” I don’t believe Jesus was teaching us that we need to literally pluck our eye out, was He? I assume it had to do with sin in our lives and doing whatever it takes to get rid of it. Am I right about this?


ANSWER:
Yes of course you’re right. We need to realize that Jesus used hyperbole in many of His teachings and these images were not to be taken literally. A hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional response. Some familiar examples of hyperbolic statements would include:

“He’s got tons of money.”

“He is older than the hills.”

“I’m so hungry I can eat a horse.”

“His brain is the size of a pea.”

“My feet are killing me.”

In regards to Jesus’ statement regarding “plucking out your eye” (Matthew 18:9), we know the Lord did not intend this to be taken literally. The Bible condemns self-mutilation or inflicting woundHyperboles on your body, which is the temple of God. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has encouraged the practice of self-flagellation (imitating the sufferings of Jesus) for centuries on their “Good Friday” holiday. They believe that scourging their backs with whips or placing a crown of thorns on their heads until their blood runs down is pleasing to God, when in fact He disapproves of it completely.

Other examples of the use of hyperbole by Jesus in His teachings are found elsewhere in the gospels. One involves His statement:

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ (You vain fellow) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” – Matthew 5:22

Although we should most certainly avoid cursing other people or calling them harmful names when we are angry at them, I don’t believe that God would send you to hell for calling someone a “fool.” Neither is the sin of visually or intensely lusting after a woman (or man) the same as actually committing the physical act of adultery with her.

Jesus used exaggerated or extravagant statements (hyperbole) to emphasize the point He was trying to drive home in His teachings. They are not intended to be taken literally, in most cases, but analyzed in view of the essence of the message.

– Luis Josephus

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comment_smCOMMENT FROM DONNA:

“Another great explanation of God’s Word. As I understand it, the word “fool” as used in the Bible would be best defined as someone who refuses to do as instructed. For instance, the five foolish virgins were foolish because they did not listen when they were told to bring extra oil. (Matthew 25:1-13). By using this definition of “fool”, (someone would have to be foolish not to listen to God’s wisdom), we can better understand what the Bible means when someone is called a fool. When we call someone a fool, it is equal to condemning that person, saying that we believe that person is condemned as a fool for not listening to God’s instructions.”

comment_smCOMMENT FROM BROTHER LUIS: “Amen Donna. A fool is indeed a fool for not listening to God’s instructions. God has given us His Word to provide wisdom and protect us from making mistakes. If we don’t take His fatherly advice, how foolish is that?”



FOR FURTHER STUDY:

The Use of Extreme Language By Jesus
http://www.voiceofjesus.org/extremelanguage.html

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Crazy Man or Genius?

Martin LutherMartin Luther’s teaching of Justification by Faith.

Martin Luther was a German friar, priest, professor of theology, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Initially an Augustinian friar, Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.” – Wikipedia

In the following video message below, Professor R. C. Sproul teaches about the life of Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483 – 1546 AD) who pioneered the way for the Protestant Reformation.

Because of his rejection of Roman Catholic doctrines and his teachings of Justification by Faith, Luther was excommunicated from his position of priesthood in the church. The Pope of that time, labeled him a crazy man and “a wild pig” (See Ex Surge Domine).

But Luther was neither; He was a genius that God used to bring the Christian Church out of superstition, false doctrine, idolatry, and the dreadful years known as, “the Dark Ages.”

The modern church today has much to be grateful for – to God, and the courageous efforts of reformers like John Wycliff, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Calvin, William Tyndale, and so many others. It is true that these were also imperfect men that made mistakes about other matters. But they were all right about one thing: Salvation comes by faith alone – we cannot earn it by our good works – it is a free gift from God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

– Luis Josephus

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Was Christopher Columbus Jewish?

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

I recently came across the following article on the Spanish website www.Semana.com. This reliable editorial details the latest revelations on the true ancestry of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón) and the primary motivation behind the discovery of The Americas. It further confirms my own Jewish ancestry that dates back to the migration of Spanish Jews to the island of Cuba onboard the voyages of Columbus.

Here are some highlights of these recent revelations:

  • Christopher Columbus was not of Italian nationality as previously supposed. He was actually a Spanish Jew who went to great lengths to hide his Jewish-ness by obscuring his childhood records. However, much of Columbus’ personal correspondence contained reference to King David of the Bible, the often used term “Bet Hei” (which is Hebrew for “with God’s help”) and his letters were written from right to left in the Hebrew reading fashion, instead of left to right.
  • During this period in history, the Spanish Inquisition was in full force. The powerful Roman Catholic Church in Spain was arresting, imprisoning, torturing, and burning alive all Jews in Spain who refused to convert to Roman Catholicism. It is estimated that as many as 120,000 Jews fled from Spain to avoid the persecution. Many of these Jews traveled on Columbus’ voyages and populated the countries of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Hispaniola (today Dominican Republic/Haiti), Venezuela, Panama, Honduras, Mexico, and many other islands in the Caribbean. Columbus himself is buried in the Dominican Republic.
  • Many Jews who remained in Spain changed their Jewish names and identities to avoid persecution. They also pretended to convert to Roman Catholicism while practicing their own Jewish religion in secret. These new Jewish converts were nevertheless labeled “Marranos*” (swine or pigs) and Christopher Columbus is believed to have been one of those professing conversion while remaining a secret Jew.
  • Columbus’ first voyage set sail from Spain on August 3, 1492. It is believed this date was deliberately chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the destruction of the two Jewish temples in Israel.
  • Contrary to previous opinion, the voyages of Columbus that resulted in the discovery of the Americas was not  financed by the Catholic kings Fernando II de Aragón and Isabel I de Castilla, but by the wealthy Jewish community (Marranos*) who remained in Spain.
Map of Spanish colonization of North America many years before the English Puritans landed.

Map of Spanish colonization of North America many years before the English Puritans landed.

Christopher Columbus made a total of four trips to the Americas during 1492-1504. It is believed that during these trips to the Caribbean Islands and Central and South America, hundreds and thousands of Jews disembarked and began lives in the new world with religious freedom. It’s no wonder that these new colonies began to thrive under God’s favor. God has historically blessed the nations that supported the Jewish people.

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:3

Could it be that these countries were blessed of God because of the first Jewish inhabitants? Let us remember that the United States was first colonized by Jews from Spain in the areas of Florida (Spanish word meaning “Feast of Flowers”) and other parts of the U.S. eastern coastline. It is quite possible that the United States was blessed of God – not only because of the English Puritan colonists, but also because of the first Spanish-Jewish settlers.

– Luis Josephus

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FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Jewish Ancestry’s Influence on Cuban Culture

There are many Jewish Cubans (nicknamed “Jewbans”) like myself who’s ancestors first settled on the island of Cuba fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th Century. Here is a new version of Hava Nagila performed by Cuban singers and dancers (possibly descendents of Spanish Jews) within a backdrop of Old Havana, Cuba. In this video, they have incorporated the Cuban “salsa” rhythms. “Hava Nagila” (Hebrew: “Let Us Rejoice”) is a popular Hebrew folk song that is traditionally sung at Jewish weddings, and Bar Mitzvah’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sss1BTQFPYY

The Cuban Connection & Israel

During the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Cuban planes and pilots brought nearly 150,000 Jews to Israel from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and India. “Unreported for nearly 60 years, the airlift was one of the largest in history”

https://yehudafm.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/the-cuban-connection-israel

¿Colón era Judío?

Una exposición muestra que el descubrimiento de América habría sido financiado, no con las joyas de la reina Isabel, sino con dineros de la comunidad judía, a la cual pertenecería, además, el descubridor.

http://www.semana.com/gente/colon-judio/159526-3.aspx

Marranos Secret Passover Seder

Marranos: Secret Passover Seder in Spain during the times of the Spanish Inquisition, painting by Moshe Maimon.

* Marranos (Spanish: [ma-rranos];  were originally Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula who had been forced to convert to Roman Catlocism, some of whom may have continued to observe rabbinic Judaism in secret. The term came into later use in 1492 with the Castilian Alhambra Decree, reversing protections originally in the Treaty of Granada (1491). The converts were also known as Cristianos nuevos (Spanish) and Cristãos novos (Portuguese), which mean New Christians, and conversos (the converted).
The term Marrano derives from Arabic muarram; meaning “forbidden, anathematized”. Marrano in 15th century Spanish first meant pig, from the ritual prohibition against eating pork, practiced by both Jews and Muslims. Marrano in Spanish still means pig and dirty, but it is no longer commonly related to religious beliefs.
Although originally the term was used by common people, the insult was mostly racist. Marrano acquired connotations of “filthy-dirty” (sucio) and “unscrupulous” (sin escrúpulos) during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, when the term was used to impugn the character of the recalcitrant crypto-Jew. In contemporary Portuguese the word refers only to crypto-Jews, with marrão meaning the animal pig or swine.
Today, even among Jewish historians, the term ‘marrano’ is no longer considered correct. The preferred terms are ‘anusim’ (Hebrew for “forced”); or ‘conversos’ or ‘conversas’ (Spanish) for men and woman respectively (singular ‘converso’ and ‘conversa’).
–         From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Never Forget To Lie

"Never Forget To Lie" by Marian Marzynski.

“Never Forget To Lie” by Marian Marzynski.

MOVIES

In Never Forget to Lie, Emmy-award-winning filmmaker and director Marian Marzynski journeys back to Poland to explore the story of his childhood and those of other Jewish child survivors of the Holocaust. Their parents changed their Jewish names, taught them to make the sign of the Catholic cross, and instructed them to lie about their Jewish identities in order to avoid Nazi persecution. They candidly discuss their feelings about Poland, the Catholic Church and the long-term ramifications of hiding their true identities.

Marzynski was on WBUR Radio’s “Here & Now” program today to discuss why he decided to make this film now, the vivid memories of other child survivors and the unfinished business of his own Holocaust story.

Marian Marzynski

Listen to Marian Marzynski interview by clicking on link at right.

Click the link below to listen to the interview courtesy of PBS.org:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/biographies/never-forget-to-lie/training-a-camera-on-the-children-of-the-holocaust

Stay tuned for the FRONTLINE broadcast on April 30, 2013.

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Prophecy Watch

Prophecy Watch_300 pxThe Great Whore is rising

“Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters….And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth…” – Revelation 17:1,5

We believe the Great Whore of Revelation 17 represents the Roman Catholic Church which, since its founding in 380 A.D., has corrupted the Christian church with idolatry, occult practices, pagan holidays, and all manner of abominations. It has also spawned the many corrupt Protestant denominations. That is why she is called the “mother” of all spiritual harlots. Eventually, she will unite every form of false spirituality into a one world religion that supports the coming Antichrist. We also believe the Pope (at that time) will be the False Prophet that causes the world to worship the Beast and take his mark of 666.

Catholic_Pope_Holding_MassAlready the Lutheran and Anglican churches (Episcopalean Church in the U.S.) are succumbing to the seductions of the Great Whore and committing spiritual fornication with her. After almost 500 years apart, Lutherans could be re-joining the Roman Catholic church. Since 2009, Anglicans have been able to reunify with the Roman church through groups called “ordinarates”, which allow them to keep many of the Anglican traditions while being absorbed into Roman Catholicism.

The larger Lutheran community is now following suit and also moving towards Rome. Back in 1999, the Lutheran World Federation signed a Joint Declaration with the Vatican overcoming the greatest obstacle on the matter of justification by faith. This would allow the Vatican to bring a significant nymber of Lutherans back under its authority. Watch as the Roman Catholic church continues to rise in power as the Great Whore of Bible Prophecy.

Police officer plots atrocities

Law EnforcementIn an increasingly sick society rife with the glorifying of evil, violence, drug abuse, and perversion, even our police officers who are paid to uphold the law, are breaking the law.

Recently, a shocking case appeared in court when a New York City police officer was arrested and charged with plotting to kidnap, rape, torture, then cook and eat his female victims. The officer used access to police files to gather detailed information on 100 potential victims. He was also allegedly commissioned to kidnap a woman for someone else. He responded back by email: “$5,000 and she is all yours.”

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be…unholy…fierce…” – 2 Timothy 3:1-3

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Religious Syncretism

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

The following article was reprinted from www.GotQuestions.org

I believe it contains some very useful information that will expose new light on today’s current trend among the Protestant churches to introduce a “mixture” of foreign religious philosophies or pagan practices with Christianity.

Some examples of Syncretism might include “Christian Yoga”, “Christian Psychology”, “The Ecumenical Movement” (the false teaching that all religions lead to God), and the general incorporation of New Age occult teachings and practices into the church.

As the article states, “Religious Syncretism is not compatible with true Christianity… syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture.”

Beware of so many Christian churches today that have fallen away from the true Christian faith by following the doctrines of men and demons. “Now the [Holy} Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” – 1 Timothy 4:1.

Please pray for spiritual discernment to know truth vs. error, and be courageous enough to “come out” from among them and be separate, says the LORD (2 Corinthians 2:17).

We speak the truth in love,

– Pastor Luis Yosefus

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Question: “What is religious syncretism?”

Answer: Syncretism, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is “the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief.” This is most evident in the areas of philosophy and religion, and usually results in a new teaching or belief system. Obviously, this cannot be reconciled to biblical Christianity.

Religious syncretism often takes place when foreign beliefs are introduced to an indigenous belief system and the teachings are blended. The new, heterogeneous religion then takes a shape of its own. This has been seen most clearly in Roman Catholic missionary history. Take, for example, the Roman Catholic Church’s proselytizing of animistic South America. Threatened with the fear of death, natives were baptized into the church by the tens of thousands without any preaching of the Gospel whatsoever. Former temples were razed, with Catholic shrines and chapels built on the same spot. Natives were allowed to substitute praying to saints instead of gods of water, earth and air, and replaced their former idols with new images of the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, the animistic religion the natives had formerly practiced was never fully replaced—it was adapted into Catholic teachings, and this new belief system was allowed to flourish.

More recently, religious syncretism can be seen in such religious systems as the New Age, Hinduism, Unitarianism, and Christian Science. These religions are a blending of multiple different belief systems, and are continually evolving as the philosophies of mankind rise and fall in popularity.

Therein lies the problem, for syncretism relies on the whim of man, not the standard of Scripture. The Bible makes it very clear what true religion is. Think on just a few things stated in Scripture: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37); “Jesus replied, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6); “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31-32); and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Religious syncretism is simply not compatible with true Christianity. In fact, any modification to biblical law and principle for the sake of a “better” religion is heresy (Revelation 22:18-19).

Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other gods by Ravi Zacharias.