‘Saviour-ism’ As The Alternative To Redemption

The Loss of Redemption among Jews and Christians

PRELUDE

The terms ‘Salvation’ and ‘Redemption’ are used repeatedly in the Jewish Bible. Salvation, given its role as the more clear-cut kind of divine help, occurs more frequently. Redemption, given its unique and special role as the most radical and fundamental divine intervention that the Messiah is ‘anointed’ to perform, occurs less frequently. Though both terms in Hebrew arise very early on, and have exceedingly primitive etymological root meanings, not only does Salvation occur more often and Redemption occur less often, but also, Salvation undergoes less metamorphosis over time, its spiritual implications always pretty obvious in the primal physical action of saving, whilst Redemption undergoes more evolution down the ages, the spiritual undertone latent in the primal physical action of redeeming only gradually crystallising. It is not surprising that Redemption is deployed more numerously in the Post Exilic Isaiah than in any other prophet, for it is this prophet who is given by God to declare the meaning of Redemption that differs so markedly from Salvation in the Four Slave Songs. Moreover, this prophet is the only scriptural source in the Jewish Bible for the Messiah’s Descent into Hell= the key to what makes the divine power of redeeming so different to the divine power of saving. Finally, it is this prophet who attributes divinity, in some sense, to the Messiah, making the Redeemer divine-human.

All this is different, and odd. The Jewish Bible is adamant that only God ‘saves’, but whilst it is also God who ‘redeems’, this power of redeeming is extended from the divine to the human in the strange figure of the Messiah as the ‘Suffering Servant’ of God.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Salvation is almost invariably confidently named. Redemption, by contrast, is now and again not named, rather, it is described by equivalent terms. This happens all the time in the Christian Bible; for example Paul gives an account of redeeming in the three-fold process of [1] ‘calling’ [summons to the human heart by God], then [2] ‘justification’ [vindication of the heart in humanity gambled upon by the heart in God], and finally [3] ‘glorification’ [the honouring of the victory of the heart of God in the human heart]. Yet this non naming of Redemption also happens in the Jewish Bible. Both Jews and Christians, whatever their disagreements of interpretation, know more or less what they mean when speaking of Salvation. By contrast, both Jews and Christians struggle to articulate Redemption= its meaning comes more slowly, over time, like brief lightning flashes that come and go in a numinous divine darkness. Redemption is the ultimate secret of divine wisdom and divine power that the Jews were chosen to carry, as a heavy burden, and to suffer for, as a savage wound. They wrestle with it; since they are the people upon whom it was first inflicted, why wouldn’t it take a long time to come into clearer awareness? After all, the Jews virtually ignored The Book of Job until the Holocaust forced them to ‘think again’ about such matters as innocent suffering, the triumph of the wicked and the defeat of the righteous, in this world. Less understandable, and more worthy of rebuke, is that Christians, even after the Messiah has arrived, remain confused about the difference between Salvation and Redemption. That confusion has had serious consequences in Christian history.

The truth is, both Jews and Christians are historically confused about Salvation and Redemption, and this is down primarily to reasons to do with the pace, and ‘economia’, of divine revelation= the way God must give more accessible things before more difficult things — though it seems that God likes to prefigure the greatest and deepest things initially, then hide them away during a time when simpler and more intelligible structures are erected on their mysterious foundation, only to uncover the buried implicit level later on, which revises everything seemingly settled, and agreed upon, throwing the whole edifice into newness and dynamic change.. Instability and lability take over, preventing the constant and static from dominating the spiritual landscape. This means, however, that religious people are always being wrong footed by God, and have to play catch-up. In the un-creative times when the static preserves everything, religious people think they know who they are, and what God wants from them. In the creative times when the dynamic shifts everything, religious people no longer have an identity, and no longer can anticipate what God will do. Their truer personhood comes alive only in chasing God’s footsteps, and during that hunt God draws near to them, for in ceasing to know ‘about’ God, they come to directly experience God, or as Job puts it, ‘to see for myself.’

The paradox is, Redemption is the older and primal spiritual reality, pointed at in The Lamb Slain From The Foundation of the World [Revelations, 13, 8; 1 Peter, 1, 18-20; 1 Corinthians, 2, 7-10]. But as a concession to human weakness, God allows Salvation to seem to have the priority, such that Redemption appears to ‘nest’ in Salvation, like a younger bird growing up in the shelter of the older bird. In reality, Redemption is prefigured in the story of Job, the oldest of all texts in the Jewish Bible; Redemption underlies the First Covenant with Abraham, and flows into the contending with God of Jacob. However, Redemption is submerged during the long captivity in Egypt. This is why the Law, as a ‘formalised’ and restricted Salvation, is instituted in the wake of Egypt, and Redemption is recovered, arduously and slowly, in David and the prophets, after the time of Moses. There is only one redeeming moment in the entire story of Moses; anyone who recalls this incident knows what Redemption is and how fundamentally it differs from Salvation. Yet, it is not true to call Moses [1391-1271 BC], as a later revisionist party in Judaism did [600-400 BC] — the Mosaic party, or the Deuteronomists [as one scholar calls them] — “the father of prophets.” The very name Moses is a variant on ‘saviour’, and thus both as the instrument of his people’s deliverance from Egypt, which was their liberation to serve God, and as Law-Giver, there is not much in Moses to connect him to Redemption. His connection is to Salvation.

There are also secondary and unhelpful reasons, to do with politics and historical circumstances, why the complicated partnership between Salvation and Redemption has been distorted, resulting in the confusion of their divinely given converse roles. This confusion began in Post Exile Judaism, and continued into early Christianity.

1,

What happened to the Jews after the Exile to Babylon?

From the time of the building of the Second Temple [500 BC] down to the time of Yeshua [30 AD] something strange seems to have happened among the Jews. Judaism polarised, or split, into bigger and smaller streams.

The smaller stream ‘officially’ took over Judaism, pushing the bigger stream to the margins. This happens all too often in the history of religions, but it happened to the Jews at a particular time and in a particular way.

Many scholars have commented upon this ‘parting of the ways’ in Jewish religious consciousness, but few have studied it as intensively as Margaret Barker in a score of heavily researched books. The story goes like this.

During the reign of King Josiah [641-609 BC], written materials containing an early version of the contents of Deuteronomy were discovered. They dated from no earlier than 700 BC. However, after the return from Babylon, and during the rebuilding of the Temple, these writings were attributed to Moses, as if he had added them to the Ten Commandments [Deuteronomy, 31, 9; 31, 24-26]. This is clearly false. Moses [1391-1271 BC] was not the source for the multitudes of ‘laws’ in the newly found documents. But Margaret Barker shows that what she calls a ‘Mosaic party’ within Judaism used this ‘legend’ about the Mosaic origin of these relatively recent texts to push Judaism toward a much narrower religion, founded upon a vast and intricate web of Law. Indeed, these Law-oriented Jews did far worse. They ‘redacted’ the Jewish Scriptures — an ugly word for an ugly deed of cutting, adding to, revising, the original text — in order to play up the Law and play down the direct experience of God which in earlier times had been the decisive feature of both the prophetic fire and the priestly light..

These hagiographers of the Mosaic Law had given up on the direct experience of God, either as the Fire of God’s Spirit burning the prophet’s heart, or as the Light of God’s Face shining in the Temple upon the soul of all who gathered in that locale of the Sacred. This means that the newly revamped religion of Law had given up on not only the dynamics of Redemption, but also had reduced the ‘presence’ of God to mere words in a text. This is a cataclysmic contraction of the beauty and meaning of Salvation..

Mere ordinances of outer behaviour replace the tumultuous engine of the heart and the contemplative eyes of the soul. The mind is left high and dry. It ceases to ponder the heart’s depth, and becomes unable to gain sight into the soul’s innerness. The mind is reduced to thinking about rules and regulations governing behaviour. Such a mind becomes a legal accountant, keeping score, counting pluses in the positive column and minuses in the negative column, and generally is wholly confined to the shallow and the external. The very language of this pernickety mind is incapable of poetry, because it has no appreciation of the humanly subtle and the divinely mysterious manifest through metaphor and symbol. Law-obsessed consciousness is stupid, humanly and divinely. It has no awareness of, or concern for, the burdens humanity carries in existence, and it has no respect for the otherness of divinity: it tries to reduce divinity to a formula. Therefore human life, under the control of divinity, is lived under the domination of a formula.

The paradox, ambiguity, contradiction, absurdity, of human existence is safely but blindly ignored; the messiness of human inter-relating is safely but untruthfully denied. The ordinances of the Law are dealt with like a positivist scientist deals with facts and figures. You measure, you calculate, but you do not understand what is right in front of you.

But what happens in this new ‘Mosaic’ regime is even worse than that loss of all mental capacity for the astuteness and nuancing necessary to wisdom.

The Law — which should be only a yoke of discipline, a means to an end — becomes an end in itself. The Law becomes all we know of God, and so it is reduced to the status of a tin pot ‘god’, before which everyone must bow– or else. This is what opens the door to the Law becoming Satanic Accusation, the devil’s best weapon. Tempt us into sin, then condemn us, legally and judgementally, for breaking the Law. Case closed..

Clearly, the Law also becomes a weapon of social power for an elite of those upholding it to use against the ordinary people governed by it. The religious elite claim to know the Law better than anyone — it would take four life times to study all its multiple strictures — and therefore claim the unique right to apply it in human affairs. Somehow, the Law invariably bites more harshly on the populace than on the elite.

Indeed, when the Law is used in such an inhuman and ungodly way, its very ‘rightness’, its very ‘correctness’, its very ‘kosherness’, becomes the very devil, since this allows for a veritable demonic host of abuses, all of which have been evident down the ages. The Law used in this wrong spirit bullies, forces conformity, adopts an authoritarian stance; it trumpets its unilateral power through intimidation, and threat= ‘the Law is the only god, so bend your knee to god, or god will punish you.’ Any unethical, unmerciful, unkind, inhuman, deeds can be justified under the cloak of the Law, because its self-appointed guardians can lie to themselves and others about the evil they do, claiming they are merely the instrument of enforcing the Law against all those who defy its claim to legitimacy, and rebel against its commands. Thus, the Law can be used not only to cow people into submission, but also to rationalise the moral and physical murder of people who do not agree that the Law is the only god, and this god must be obeyed, or dire results will follow.

The Pharisees, with whom Yeshua was constantly at war in the New Testament, are the heirs of the Mosaic party which high-jacked mainstream Judaism 500 years earlier. It was this Law-following mentality that, for example, objected to Yeshua healing people on the Sabbath. It is important to realise that two cultures of Law, religious [Jewish] and secular [Roman], converged to crucify the Messiah.

The false ‘elevation’ of the religious Law to the status of ‘the only god’ is very dangerous, and far reaching in effects. The 500 years in which the ‘Deuteronomy faction’ tended to take over Judaism were marked by the near total disappearance of prophecy, and another questionable sign, the rise of political peace and economic prosperity.

Yet this is also the time when the secret wisdom of Redemption came out of hiding in the dark deeps of God. Though the more primitive meanings of redeeming are to be found in Deuteronomy and Leviticus, it is in Isaiah and the Psalms that the more advanced and profound mysteries of redeeming are indicated. Thus, the tradition of David continued to develop and come to maturity. It was the Davidic stream of Jewish tradition that produced Yeshua, and all those Jews who experienced him as the Mashiach.

However, when the Satanic Accuser takes over the Law, it then seems that to seek the way of saving or struggle with the way of redeeming are increasingly misunderstood, and lost. The Davidic stream flowed on, but more underground.

The prophets revealed, before the Babylonian Exile, that the First Covenant had ended, and that God would give to the Jews a Second Covenant, the Covenant of the Messiah coming to redeem the world.

A worrying thought obtrudes= were the Mosaic Jews trying to revive the Old Covenant, out of lack of faith in the coming of the New Covenant? This would make the stream of Judaism given over to the new and ‘reconfigured’ Mosaic Law also the Judaism ‘conservatively’ trying to go back to the First Covenant.

The story gets more twisted..

In effect, this conservatism tries to prove the ‘legitimacy’ of the Law by tracing it back to the primal beginnings. ‘At the start, the Law ruled, and everybody bowed their heads.’ This is a Satanic Lie. In the beginning, God was accessible, and directly encountered. There was no Law. The Law appears later, as a sign of a falling away. Though it might be ‘good’ that the falling away is intervened on, and stopped, it is also ‘bad’ that the Law is ever necessary.

The ‘Tao Te Ching’ of Lao Tzu gets such logic of inversion= when the Tao was lost, you get fraternity, when fraternity is lost, you get rules and regulations, and so on it goes.

“When the true Way falls into disuse, there is benevolence and rectitude;
when cleverness emerges, the great pretence begins.”

Freud’s myth of a primal horde ruled over by a mean and brutal patriarch whom they murder is really about the understandable human ambivalence towards the coming of the Law. On one level, we bend our heads to the Lawful Figure of Authority. On another level, we dream of killing him off. Thus do ‘super-ego versus id’ enter their unending opposition.

The Law is a ‘curse’ — as Paul said — that will only be eradicated when there is neither super ego nor id. You cannot get rid of one; both go, or neither go. The super-ego people are dishonest about their rebellious urges toward Authority; the id people are dishonest about their guilt toward Authority.

2,

What is the true role of the Law?

The Law was given to the Jews after Egyptian Exile, to remind them of the religion they had lost. The Law was falsified after Babylonian Exile, again in the aftermath of losing their religion. The Law is a reminder to people who are without religion, people whose organic and intuitive roots in religion no longer function. The Law is only brought in when our immediate connection to God is sundered..

It is important that in the time of Moses, the Law is ‘constrained’ by the Temple. The Law confronts us with the hurtful reality that we have become disconnected from God, yet the Temple discloses to us, and shows us in immediate experience, that we can regain connection, because in the Temple we encounter the ‘presence’ of God, as Moses did at the Burning Bush. Isaiah, 63, 9= “..his presence saved them.”

The First Temple, unlike the Second, conveyed the fullness of Salvation as God’s presence. It therefore portrayed the Law as a necessary discipline, helping people in their everyday life to reconnect to God. The real reconnection, however, was more than keeping the commandments, it was the contemplation of and living in God’s actual illuminative and enlivening presence. The more we reconnect with the living God, the less do we need any curbing; we can trust our spontaneous reaction.

Though the Law contains positive commands to do this, as well as negative commands not to do that, there is a more subtle sense in which the Law is ‘essentially’ negative, not positive, since its focus remains firmly fixed on the brokenness of our link to God. It is such distance from God which leads us into transgression. Consequently, despite the Law telling us to love God and love neighbour, the Law has no power to spark the transformation in us necessary to trust love in our being and living. The Law trenchantly, and unflinchingly, delivers the unflattering news that we have lost God, and in that situation, there is a road back to God, and a road going further away from God.. Still, the Law is not a ‘god’, and in itself, it cannot ‘cross the gap.’

In short, the Law tells us our interior roots are still uprooted from God. In this situation of needing re-connection to God, we may know what it is better to do, to draw close to God, yet the pressure from within is such we are propelled into doing what we know is worse in terms of putting ourselves outside God. The Law does not let us off the hook of knowing we are ‘not there yet.’ For people sunk in sin, and perfectly content with it, the Law is a severe wake up call.

The Temple ensures the dialectic between outer discipline and inner awareness. The Temple is needed to temper the harshness of the Law, making it serve human transformation in ‘the inner parts.’ Therefore, the Temple puts the Law in its proper place by making it plain we can be reconnected to God, for in the Temple we come back into the presence of God. That makes us hopeful, and provides medicines that actually heal our divine estrangement. The God of Law, even when the Law does not itself become a tin pot god, a non-compassionate and strict dictator, is the God we have lost. The God of the Temple is the God we encounter, and thus is the God we can regain. The ethos of the Temple stops the Law from becoming an absolute, holding human nature in chains out of an inherent pessimism about its chances of regaining God. The Temple reveals the God who is already near, and yearns for our return more than we, in our crippled state, can yearn for returning. This God is a magnet, drawing us closer.

Thanks to the Temple, Salvation becomes ontological; it is not just ethical regeneration, it is the regeneration of our entire being and life. Paul captures this when he refers to Christ’s Salvation rendering us ‘dead to sin’, and thus able to ‘walk in newness of life’ [Romans, 6, 4].

The Law without the Temple loses Salvation, distorts its spirit, cramps its Eros.

A Hassidic story captures the Temple attitude.

A father says to his son who has wandered far off, return to me. The son says, I cannot. So the father replies, come as far as you can, and I will meet you there.

Come as far as you can= God will go the rest of the way, making up the lack.

Only the Temple, with the Law as one of its practices, but never the deciding one, can deliver the message of the Hassidic story.

The Law without the Temple= the start of the road to perdition, the beginning of the Law taken over by Satan the Accuser.

3,

Salvation, focused on the Temple and the priest, and Redemption, focused on the World and the king, are both underplayed, and truncated, under the revisionist Mosaic regime.

The Law without the Temple can exercise only the power to condemn. From this comes puritanism, moralism, judgementalism, legalism, conservatism, authoritarianism, fundamentalism= the patriarchal road of Satanic Law.

The Temple does not condemn. It sometimes calls to account and rebukes, but in the ultimate, it helps and heals. As many in the Christian East have pointed out, the Temple is a hospital for the ailing.

The Messianic Kingship stemming from David and reaching its climax in the Reversal Messiah of the Four Slave Songs of Isaiah, inverts the Law, not only by its own humility and suffering, serving rather than lording it over, but also by the universality of its outreach to the entirety of humanity. By redeeming the ‘hell’ in each and all, making hell the gate to the redeemed condition, the clashing of heaven versus hell ends.

The conclusion seems inevitable. The Mosaic Law cramped the Salvation of the Temple. Equally, the Mosaic Law repudiated the fullness of Redemption for the World. It could only have been the Mosaic revisionists who ignored the inner restoration attained through the paradox of descending to and passing through hell, preferring a ‘Redeemer’ not Reversed, not suffering for the suffering of all humanity, not humiliated for the humiliation of all humanity; rather, a triumphant, all-conquering Redeemer who frees the Jews from outer chains of oppression, but leaves the real ‘bondage’, the inner chains of hellishness, intact.

The bogus Redemption limited to Israel, narrow and external, was opposed to the true Redemption, universal and deep, brought by Yeshua the Messiah. These were two competing hypotheses over what redeeming would accomplish.

The ordinary Jews were closer to the bigger Judaism, while their religious leaders were — with honourable exceptions — closer to the smaller Judaism. The people did not know whether to defer to their leaders, or believe the evidence of their own souls, their own hearts, confronted by the soul of God, the heart of God, luminously alive, and burning warmly, in the strange man confronting them. The man whom David foresaw; a man is coming whose heart is deep= Yeshua of Nazareth.

4,

What happened to early Christianity was that it became uncertain over whether it should continue, or break from, Judaism.

This is also a complicated story, and an unhappy one..

By the first century AD, Redemption had become eschatological for Christians. Redemption will not be finished ‘finally’ until the Second Coming of Christ [Luke, 21, 28; Romans, 8, 23; Ephesians, 4, 30]. Peter says God is not ‘slack’ in his help for us, but ‘long-suffering’ towards us [2 Peter, 3, 9], giving us the time needed to ‘work out our salvation in fear and trembling.’

For the early Christians, then, the deliverance of the Jews from Exile was regarded as the foreshadowing in history of the Messianic deed of deliverance by which history would be brought to a victorious end, after an indeterminate span of time. Only Yahweh knows ‘how long it will take.’

A commentator points out that it was probably due to the nationalistic and political interpretation that became attached to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah that caused the first wave of Christians to rarely call Yeshua ‘Redeemer’ in the Greek of the New Testament [Greek= lytrotes]. They translated the Hebrew ‘Mashiach’ into the Greek ‘Christ’, but reacting against the limits of Messianic Judaism at that time, they seem to have almost slipped back into regarding the Christ as only a Saviour.

This is a mixed picture of wheat and tares jumbled up. It needs to be unravelled step by step.

[1] A simple statistic points at the extent of the ambiguity gripping the first Christians. Whereas in the Jewish Bible Salvation and cognate terms, compared with Redemption and cognate terms, occur in a ratio of 75% to 25%, in the Christian Bible the two groups of terms, saving and redeeming, occur in a ratio of 88% to 12% [according to John Cruden’s 18th Century ‘Biblical Concordance’]. Of course, there is no pressure to be overly impressed by numbers, because the quality of something that happens is not always indicated by the frequency with which it happens. Something that happens once can be more meaningful than something that repeats and repeats..

None the less, the disparity between the Jewish and Christian ratios is disturbing. Why is the bias in favour of Salvation over Redemption so much worse in the Christian Bible vis a vis the Jewish Bible? For the Jews, Salvation is already at work, whilst Redemption is coming; that might be why Salvation words occur more frequently than Redemption words. For the Christians, Redemption has arrived, so it might be thought that Redemption words ought to rise in frequency relative to Salvation words. The opposite is the case.

The ratio of Salvation to Redemption of almost 9 to 1 for the Christian New Testament is shocking. Some kind of bias is at work, rendering Yeshua as merely a new and improved Saviour, not the long awaited Messiah who will redeem all of time in this world, from the first to the last, ‘olam to olam’.

[2] The truth is, early Christianity had to break from Mosaic Judaism, but should have continued with Davidic Judaism, taking the latter further even as it blocked the former. Whilst it is certainly fair to assert that the ‘grace’ of Salvation and the ‘truth’ of Redemption brought by Yeshua the Mashiach differ markedly from the Law of Moses, especially as exaggerated by the later Deuteronomists, such grace and such truth was already present in earlier Judaism, the Judaism of David.

But the statistics suggest that to avoid the cramped and pseudo Redemption espoused by the then current Mosaic Judaism, the early Christians made Yeshua mainly a Saviour, assimilating redemptive features to the uniqueness of his Salvation. This means the ‘Messianic’ becomes Salvational, not Redemptive. The Messiah is first a Saviour, then secondarily a Redeemer. Or, much worse, the redemptive features are a sort of afterthought added on to the primary salvational features.

It is the other way round, despite the fact that Yeshua was a Saviour before he became a Redeemer, in the chronology of time [Mathew, 1, 20-23; Luke, 19, 8-10]. We should understand, not by the mind alone, but in the soul and in the heart, that Yeshua came to redeem everyone and everything, over time, in time, for all time, and by virtue of that universal Redemption, removed the conditionality on Salvation and made it universal as well.

The early Christians got horse and cart backwards. We can learn from their mistake, but we cannot slavishly follow them in it because they came before us in time. Time corrects the inevitable errors in every tradition. What Mosaic Jew today keeps the ordinances in the Law that require him to stone women who commit adultery? Yeshua countered that Satanic piece of the Law with, ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’

There is something new about Christ’s Salvation, as any quick perusal of the 4 Gospels will show. His miracles, his healings, his teachings, are all Salvation in its more generous ‘ultimate’ mode. Still, Yeshua is downright dismissive to the woman of Canaan whose request for healing he first refuses because she is not a Jew, but among the pagan believers against whom Israel had contended so long. This is Mosaic Judaism in action! When she insists, he reverses his prior refusal, granting her desire for her daughter’s healing, and praising her faith which has enabled this miracle to happen. Such an incident intimates the post-Redemption universal Salvation, as distinct from the pre-Redemption conditional Salvation.

But there are further bad outcomes of the early Christian over-estimation of Salvation and under-estimation of Redemption.

[3] This might suggest to Christians that they can afford to be primarily concerned with their own Salvation, whilst treating the Redemption of the world as a secondary matter. Grudgingly they give away, or give up, something precious to ‘ransom’ those in bondage, but there is a tendency to regard this as merely the ‘cost’ of Salvation. Salvation has no cost. That is its whole point. It is free, overflowing, unmeasured. Redemption does have a cost, yet it should not be regarded as the price of being saved; it needs to be understood as the extremity love will go to for those who are in hell, and cannot get out. Our blood is needed to kindle the world’s sparks. We cannot give blood except as the sovereign deed of the heart, in its supreme passion, the passion like Christ’s once he ceased being a Saviour, and became Isaiah’s Reversed King and Redeemer. The man of deep passion entered the end game, where humans fear to go, and made the real ‘last stand’ there and then.

Our fire of love needs to burn so vividly, and to be so moved by the poignance and pathos of the human condition in its terrible tragedy, that we would gladly dive in to the mystery, and die a million times, to redeem one person stuck where we are all stuck.

Christ did not like= hypocritical religious leaders, who burden their followers with heavy religious demands they wear lightly; the crypto bourgeois for whom nothing else was sacred except money; the luke-warm sitting on the fence..

All of these stances block Redemption more than they obscure Salvation.

It virtually reaches the point where the religion calling itself ‘Christianity’, Messiah-ism, has no Messiah!

Christians, if followers of the Messianic, are mainly concerned with being redeemed and redeeming. This puts saving into a different perspective. The question who is, or who will be, saved, becomes totally irrelevant. When the Christian Way is being redeemed and redeeming, then our own ‘saving’ is of little or no concern. Like anyone else, we prefer Eros to the Daemonic if given a choice; the wine of joy is good and the bitter dregs of the wine of blood are harder. But the Daemonic gives us no such choice, it stabs us with the fate everyone avoids, and yet this very knife to the heart reignites our dormant passion. For passion, the cup of sacrifice is more moving, more urgent, more intense, more motivating, than the cup of goodness. If we are touched by Redemption, we are changed, and become deeper and more fiery, and it is this we give away, and give to, our brother and sister in need of it.

Redemption stands with people, and dies for people, because of not accepting any single one of them to be lost. This is supreme love. It is not a grudging duty. It is the fervour with which every heart ‘laid hands on’ by God’s heart burns.

When we can offer good things, to save people, we do so, unreservedly and unstintingly. Salvation is the cup we drink with other people. We celebrate life together. Equally, when we must ‘lay down our life’, making sacrifice to redeem the dark and suffering depths of existence where our brothers and sisters are under ultimate threat, we do that, gladly and willingly.

Salvation= we are all on our way to a Wedding.
Redemption= we are all in a Journey and Battle, and no one knows if we will arrive, or win through.

Many Christians, like everyone else, will remain children of Light. They respect the Fire, and thank it, but they cannot enter it, burn with it, enact its calling.

Some Christians, like very few people anywhere else, will become children of Fire. In them you will see now what will enflame everyone at the end. Do not call these Christians ‘martyrs’ and consign them to the past. They are more than martyrs. They are kings and warriors of the Reversed Messiah. They are the lovers of humanity.

Christianity will continue to lose existential credibility until it grasps that its calling is to end not the blasphemy against God, but to end the blasphemy against humanity. That blasphemy will cost to end. The true Christians of the real Redemption are thus perfectly clear to others. To shed my blood, for a fellow human, is the very faith in humanity that God
holds.

[4] It boils down to something basic. Christianity must be, basically, Christ Crucified. Everything that matters flows from the Cross.

St Paul, Galatians, 2, 16; 19-21= “A man is not justified by works of the Law but through faith in Jesus Christ, ..because by works of the Law shall no one be vindicated.. For I through the Law died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God [the Messiah], who loved me and gave himself for me. ..for if vindication were through the Law, then Christ died to no purpose.”

This points to the worst of all disasters affecting Christianity at its start, and still haunting Christians today, in these turbulent and tormented times. This is worse than putting Salvation ‘higher on the agenda’ than Redemption, or assimilating the dynamics of the latter into the former. That manoeuvre already fails to do justice to redeeming. Much of the peculiar, and particular, meaning of redeeming gets diluted. However, there is a worse error which distorts the very Cross of Christ.

[a] The yearning for life after death.

Both in the West and in the East of Christianity, albeit in different ways, Christians have contrived to shrink the ‘good news’ of the Messiah Reversed, Christ’s Cross, Descent into Hell, and Resurrection, making this three-step journey and battle in the deeps of existence merely a confirmation of the possibility of an ‘eternal’ life in heaven after death on earth. For far too many Christians, this scenario is all that Christianity is. ‘Tikkun olam’ is jettisoned. Christ’s ‘special’ Salvation becomes viewed as guaranteeing eternal life, outside the world.

However, this very non-Jewish emphasis on ‘the next life’, which cares little for ‘this life’, has to be set in context. At the time of Yeshua, it seems Judaism was uncertain as to whether there was any continuation of the human spirit, soul, heart, mind, after physical death. Some Jews felt that the line in Scripture about Yahweh as ‘the God of the living’ should have
been sufficient to reassure people that death is not extinction. Was this attitude very widespread among the majority of Jews?

Similarly, the gods and goddesses of Greece provided no guarantee of human survival of, or continuation after, death. They represent the highest humanity can aspire to culturally. They are not spiritual in nature. They cannot deliver genuine immortality. Fame in human culture — mere mortals remembering forever the glorious and gifted name of Achilles — is a limited immortality, for death destroys cultures as well as peoples.

Plato was in no doubt that there was a realm of Eternity beyond the transitory, and constantly degrading, world of time. Yet, who could be certain of reaching the exalted realm after death? The criteria of entry were doubtless far from clear to the mass of common people in Greece..

Thus, the perennial human worry about ‘what happens after death’ seems to have been exacerbated at the time of Yeshua. In this situation, two things about his bodily Resurrection from actual death are noteworthy.

–First, in the climate of uncertainty where people speculate this, or speculate that, this event is spectacularly decisive. The grave is not the end. O Death, where is thy sting?

–Second, whereas the pagan immortality — whatever it means or does not mean — is aristocratic, confined to the culturally prominent, this rebirth is not confined to ‘the rich and famous’, but extended to everybody, and therefore welcomes the ordinary people. That ‘inclusion’ of the culturally, politically, economically, ‘lowly’ is very persuasive! Christ’s whole mission, but especially his rising again from death back into life, appeals mightily to the ‘common man’ of that era.

The same might be argued for Judaism, though in terms of the ordinary religious Jew vis a vis the hierarchy of religious leaders. There is something genuinely democratic in Yeshua’s Salvation. It reaches ordinary life, and can be understood by ordinary people. His parables are brilliant because they take principles that religious leaders are apt to fossilize, and try to own by wrapping them in a mystique, and give them back to the people really living them, for in the parables religious issues are fully incarnate in ‘real life.’

There is, then, something attractive in Salvation ‘extending’ from new aliveness in the here and now [Jewish] to new eternal life thereafter [Christian]..

But there is also something very dangerous, and skewed.

The real question is, can everyone ‘relocate’ to the realm of eternal life after death? If there are any exclusions, creating a duality of included versus excluded, then the new focus on eternity is itself sucked back into the old Jewish conditional Salvation. Is that really such an improvement in the human condition?

The idea of a few people being eternally saved while the rest of humanity are eternally thrown away is obscene. For, who could be at peace and enjoy eternity whilst other people are prevented from entering it?

Two very different issues are conflated. That people survive death, in some way, or are raised from death back into life, in some manner, is a different matter to the question of the redemption of the entire world process from beginning to end.

In reality, the latter secures the former. If redeeming this world fails, then the ‘retreat’ to heaven is a fall-back position, a sign of defeat. In that case, Satan wins the bet he made with God in the Book of Job. Only if ‘God’s will is done on earth, as it is in heaven’, has God prevailed in the existential gamble he has taken with humanity. Regarding heaven as the ‘fail-safe position’ for the failure of heaven to win the earth casts God as the largest ‘loser’ ever.

[b] The Platonic Eternity is not heaven.

Early Christians seem to have unwittingly adopted Plato’s dematerialised, and disembodied, Eternity as their model of the Jewish ‘heaven’; this in itself is a huge mistake, because in the Jewish Bible the heavenly has very different connotations. It is not a better ‘space’, outside time. It is the Fire of God’s passion that dwells in, and abides through, time. Greek ‘Eternity’ is not the Jewish ‘Everlasting.’ The former is spatial, the latter is temporal. The Jewish Everlasting means victory in time. It has no implication of escape to a better place. Places are in time. The Paradise lost at the beginning of time will only be resuscitated at the end of time, as the Sacred Garden within the Holy City.

The point is, Plato’s Eternity is frightened of, and hostile to, time. It wants to see, to contemplate, to feel and bathe in, the beauty and felicity of the Infinite Fullness for a timeless Eternity without beginning or end, without vicissitudes, without losses, without degeneration, without any change but always statically the same, undiminished. The Platonic Higher Realm is the ultimate ‘safe haven’ proof against the depredations of time.

The Platonic Eternity, forever at rest and ‘timeless’, is not the Jewish heaven in any sense, none the less it is where countless Christians, then and now, want to go. They will meet any conditionality to get there.

[c] The Cross is not the condition of entry to Eternity.

This seeking of the Platonic Eternity — rather than acceptance of and going with the will of heaven toward the earth, which is to ignite it in Holy Fire — is made worse when further non-Messianic, even anti-Messianic, beliefs are woven in.

By putting a condition on Salvation, restricting who can and cannot be saved, the answer is provided to the question of how a person is to secure their ticket to Eternity. They accept Christ as their Saviour. Given his new Salvation has the power to transport us to Eternity, then if we do not accept it, we will not go to Eternity. The old Jewish Hell will claim us forever instead. Or, perhaps we will end up in the grey and ghostly half-life of the Greek Hades.

This doctrine of ‘accepting Christ as your Saviour, in order to get in to heaven’, has more subtle and more crude versions.

In the East, “accepting Christ as your Saviour” comes to mean ‘communing with him.’ He is not a mediator, or messenger, of the Light of God. He is that Light incarnate in human form, as the name Yeshua proclaims. Thus to commune with the Light is to enter its Eternal Life. That starts in this world, and goes into the next world. This emphasis is mystical. Resting in the nearness of God, it also generates a humane ethos. Everyone, somehow, will be saved in the end, thanks to the kindness of God..

Mathew, 4, 16-17= “The people who sat in darkness saw great light. And to them who sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”

In the West, “accepting Christ as your Saviour” comes to take on a much more Satanic and threatening edge. The old Jewish dualistic conditionality of Salvation is back with a vengeance, since only the ‘saved’ get to go to eternal heaven, whilst the ‘non saved’ end up in eternal hell. This final division of sheep and goats is not mourned, but trumpeted triumphantly. This emphasis is moral, and at its worst, legal. Arising from the distance of God, it also generates a fearful and cold ethos. Only some, not all, will be saved, due to the strictness of God..

Western commentator= “Those who will not receive the salvation he had provided for them, whether Jews or Gentiles, must necessarily perish; for this plain reason, there is but one remedy, and they refuse to apply it.”

Each stance can point to places in the Christian Bible to support their understanding [Acts, 4, 12; Mark 10, 23-27].

Sometimes Yeshua voices the older pre-Messiah conditionality of Salvation, sometimes Yeshua voices the newer post-Messiah universality of Salvation. But that is because both are true, as what obtains before and after Redemption.

Thus, both these stances are making the same mistake.

The Cross does not buy for us our ticket into Eternity, whether this ‘purchase’ is seen generously, as in the East, or seen severely, as in the West.

Though the East is closer to the post-Messiah universal Salvation, and the West is closer to the pre-Messiah conditional Salvation, neither understands that this contradiction is resolved only by Redemption.

Christianity is not ‘Saviourism.’

The Cross is not the gate to heaven. It is doing something far more stupendous than raising the earth ‘up’, it is bringing heaven ‘down.’

[d] The Cross is the defeat that wins victory.

The Cross is the Messianic Mystery in which heaven is made subject to hell, in order to change hell, such that heaven is only reborn from hell.

The core of Messiah-ism is not about being saved ‘from’ this world into the next world. Its core is the redeeming of this world ‘bought’ by the sacrifice of the Redeemer. His sacrifice reaches down to the mysterious foundation of the world, to change that foundation, from the very bottom up.

The Cross is not the free pass into heaven.

The Cross is the costly key for unlocking hell.

Any wish to be saved from this world’s rigours is a lack of faith in God, in God’s Redeemer, in God’s Redemption.

Saviourism is a doctrine of world disgust, of fear and loathing for existence, of a shrivelled soul and a cowardly heart.

It totally distorts Christ’s Cross.

[5] Summation.

The Redeemer is active when it is understood that in him, God has taken the initiative to act mercifully, vulnerably, passionately, on behalf of those who are powerless to help themselves. The Redeemer came for those many who cannot be saved, and are therefore forsaken, abandoned, bereft, beyond help.

When people are expected to help themselves, in some fashion, however limited, and condemned for not responding, and thus remaining outside the help, it is Salvation that is operative.

Christ Jesus came to overturn the limitation of Salvation, by making it secondary to the primacy and limitlessness of Redemption.

The Cross has no condition attached to it. It is unconditional.

The Holy Saturday ceremony on Friday evening of Passion Week=

“O Christ, as both God and man, thou has revealed thy hidden secrets to those in hell who cry: there is none holy but thee..”

God’s secret wisdom is hidden in hell. Once redeemed by the Cross, hell becomes the ‘dark gate’ leading to the New Land of Heart.

5,

Though Yeshua is not often called the Redeemer in the Greek of the Christian Bible, there are indications he is understood as such..

For one thing, though rare compared with salvational terminology, the few instances of redemptive terminology are striking. The activity of Yeshua as the Christ is described in ‘redemptive’ terms as the paying of a ransom in order to deliver people from their condition of enslavement; the ransom paid by Yeshua is his death on the Cross [Mathew, 20, 28; Mark, 10, 45; 1 Timothy, 2,6]. Therefore, the Redeemer pays for the redeemed with his blood [Ephesians, 1, 7]. The tragically deep human alienation from God has been overcome through the Cross and Resurrection of Christ [Romans, 4, 25]; hence, Christ has ‘reconciled’ God and humanity [2 Corinthians, 5, 17-21]. In fact, Paul uses the term ‘deliverance’ in its redemptive sense in several places [Romans, 3, 24; Romans, 8, 23; 1 Corinthians, 1, 30; Ephesians, 1, 14; Ephesians, 4, 30].

What priority Redemption maintains in contrast to Salvation, and the creeping blight of Saviourism as the worst of all falsifications of Christianity, must remain a concern.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging that, even if the Greek terms for redeeming are absent, other images and other words are deployed to invoke the reality and power of Redemption. This is what offsets the statistics which would otherwise be so disturbing.

What are the alternate expressions and symbols for Redemption in the Christian Bible? They are familiar to Christians, and so can be briefly alluded to, rather than quoted in full. They fall into themes.

[1] Yeshua explicitly identifies himself with the Suffering Servant of Isaiah [Mark, 8, 31; Mark, 9, 31; Mark, 10, 33-34]. Even dying on the Cross, he utters with almost his last breath the words of David in the Psalms that indicate the hell of abandonment, to declare this is the agony he has entered. Yeshua’s repeated insistence he has come to serve, not to be served, to minister to, not to be ministered to, manifests the Reversed King and Redeemer [Mathew, 8, 17; Mathew, 12, 18; Acts, 4, 27; Acts, 4, 30; Romans, 15, 21; 1 Peter, 2, 22-25]. Yeshua explicitly declares that his mission includes the service of self-sacrifice, and that he will give his life as a ‘ransom’ for many [Mark, 10, 45]. He voices the central paradox of redeeming= ‘the first will be last, and the last will be first.’

[2] Yeshua performs deeds of Salvation which are recognizable from Jewish tradition, and depicts Salvation in familiar Jewish ways= [a] a light for revelation to the Gentiles [Luke, 2, 30-32]; [b] a transition from death to life [John, 5, 24]; [c] peace with God [Romans, 5, 1]; [d] a gift of grace through faith [Ephesians, 2, 8-9]. None the less, even during the initial salvational phase of his calling, redemptive themes are alluded to in his fiery denunciation of Jewish leaders espousing the ‘blind’ and ‘deaf’ Mosaic Judaism, and acting in the main from lust for power, prestige and privilege, rendering their leadership heartless and hypocritical. Indeed, if we look at the people whom Christ attacks, we will see they are the high and mighty who oppress, and cheat, the poor. Redemption will end the division of human society into the powerful few and the powerless many. Not only does Yeshua exhort the rich to give much of their money to the poor [Mark, 10, 17-22; Luke, 19, 8-10] — which is the generosity of Salvation extended into radical sharing among the community — but also by the Reversal logic of Redemption, the poor and modest, and dispossessed, are valued, even as the wealthy and arrogant, sitting at the top table, are denounced [Acts, 9, 36; Acts, 10, 4; Acts, 10, 31; Acts, 24, 17]. Christ never manifests anger toward the ordinary human lot wherein we struggle with sin, and stumble under the weight of tragedy. It is the Mosaic Law that ‘works the way of wrath’, according to Paul. The Cross ends any anger of God toward humanity [Romans, 5, 6-10]. In the Cross, Yahweh accepts humanity’s anger and despair towards God. The Cross is a heart to heart cry. So radical is the outreach of the Cross, God accepts even to be blasphemed for the sake of removing the Satanic blasphemy against the human.

[3] Yeshua brings ‘not peace but a sword.’ This is the sword of righteousness that demands truth in the inner parts from each and thus creates justice between all in their dealings one with another. Such righteousness is not attained by following the Law. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” [Romans, 3, 21]. Indeed, the Redeemer brings both righteousness and wisdom= “God has made you members of Christ Jesus, and by God’s doing he has become our wisdom and our righteousness, our holiness and our freedom” [1 Corinthians, 1, 30]. To link righteousness and wisdom is paradoxical. It creates the binding of fundamental inner change and fundamental outer change, a revolution in ‘how the world works’ that is at the same time a revolution in ‘how the heart works.’ The two mutually reinforce each other= political change, with no inner change, is not redemptive; inner change, with no political change, is not redemptive. The key to the human condition, within and without, is the redeeming of the human heart at its abysmal foundation. This is why Christ Jesus is the building block the Jews rejected, preferring not Isaiah’s Slave of Yahweh, but a worldly conqueror like Cyrus who establishes good by overpowering evil. Despite being rejected, Yeshua’s Reversal is the real foundation stone of Redemption.

[4] The righteousness brought by Redemption therefore operates through faith [Romans, 1, 16-17]. No one is justified, or vindicated, simply by keeping within the Law [Romans, 4, 22-25]. The ‘lawful’ are not the righteous, the virtuous, the upright. In Paul’s understanding, the Law was only ‘added’ after Egypt because of the people’s transgressions; it was meant as a ‘schoolmaster.’ But after Babylon, the Law became the supreme ‘authority’ in Judaism — which could only be interpreted by Levite priests — and this meant the way of faith, both in salvational activity, and in redemptive activity, was forgotten. Abraham came out of a safe and secure place to become a nomadic wanderer into the peril of the unknown. He followed the way of faith in Redemption, wrestling with its existential turbulence and paradox; he had no Law whose instructions girded his every coming and going.. Abraham trusted God, wherever God prompted him to go, whatever God prompted him to do [Romans, 4, 18-25].

[5] It is through the Holy Spirit that we recognise, trust, love, the Redeemer sacrificed and humiliated on the Cross [Romans, 5, 8]. Since the Holy Spirit empowers the Redeemer, the Ruach plays a major role in redeeming, initiating us into the Messianic Mystery, and drawing us onward as we go through its dynamic process [Acts, 8, 14-17]. Thus, “the Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption” [Ephesians, 4, 30]. The Holy Spirit took Yeshua down into hell, and raised him up from hell, and does the same with those who are, in Paul’s words, ‘crucified with Christ and resurrected with Christ’, joining his death and joining his rebirth from death into life. Thus did John the Baptist differentiate his own baptism, for Salvation, from Yeshua’s baptism, for Redemption= “As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether he were the Messiah, John answered them all, I baptise you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, ..he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire” [Luke, 3, 15-17].

[6] Yeshua identifies himself with the Davidic, not the Mosaic, kind of Good Shepherd, for this Messianic king dies for his sheep, indeed, is stripped of his power and glory for their sake [John, 10].

[7] At the Passover before his death on the Cross, which in Christian tradition became known as The Last Supper, Yeshua explicitly changes the ‘daily bread’ and cup of wine of Salvation into a bread and wine of Redemption, for he tells the disciples that the bread is now his body ‘broken’ for them, and the wine is now his blood ‘spilled’ for them. Whereas before the Redeemer has come the bread and wine are the sacraments of Eros, the Way of Light, after the Cross, the bread that is the broken body, and the wine that is the spilled blood, become participations in the Daemonic, the Way of Fire. They do not merely ‘remind’ us of the Fire; they baptise us into the Fire, so that its meaning, its energy, its potency, goes into us, for what we have to do. The Messianic Temple, the Third Temple, readies us for the place in the world where the two roads cross, the Golgotha in the world that leads straight into the hell beneath.

[8] Failures of individual righteousness, in their karmic consequences for collective injustice, are borne, paid for, and forgiven, by the Cross [Ephesians, 1, 7; Colossians, 1, 14]. There is no ‘propitiation’ in such atoning, but there is a realism in regard to the unbearable burdens people place on each other by their inability to love and be loved. This weight crushing everyone, of betraying and being betrayed, is lifted in redeeming, so all people can live together. Not fear driven propitiating, but the love which ‘bears the brother’, is the heart of forgiving — rather than judging — our brothers and sisters.

[9] The redeeming of any given person, and of all persons, will not be complete until the Second Coming of Christ at the time of the End [Luke, 21, 28; Romans, 8, 23; Ephesians, 4, 30].

[10] Christian tradition — very strongly in the East — has honoured the ‘abysmal agonies’ of David in the Psalms, which are clearly not salvational, but markedly redemptive.

Redemption is God’s reply to David’s ‘deep crying to deep.’ There is no other reply, because this is the deep answer to the human cry; God enters the human plight, and achieves the liberation of humanity from bondage in that abyss through the faithfulness, suffering, death, descent into hell, and resurrection from death and hell, of the Messiah.

Yeshua proclaims, ‘God saves.’ Mashiach, or Christ, means= God’s Fire suffers to redeem the suffering of humanity in which the spark in the heart’s abyss has all but gone out, leaving the world a dead crust of ashes beneath which a faint flickering of flame still lingers.

Christ Jesus came into the world ‘to kindle fire’, and his yearning was that it should be burning already in his time. His patience, and long suffering, is that it will take a long time to ignite. The time of Redemption is in God’s hands; not even the Messiah knows it.

In a more mysterious sense, the End should always be at hand, so that we can experience the urgency to take our last stand to tip the balance.

6,

If Saviourism is to be purged from every Christian tradition, in whatever variant East or West, broad and beautiful or mean and ugly, something else must be understood.

It must be realised that the ‘payment’ the Messiah makes is not to a wrathful authoritarian judge, a dictator patriarchal god, nor is it to Satan the Accuser, whose Lie about God is the first and last adversary of the human venture. All kinds of dark and deadly twists have arisen in the West out of a fearful attitude toward the cost paid by the Redeemer.

There is no remedy if the East eliminates all cost, so there is no blood to blood suffering, just light to light joy.

Cost is existential. The heart understands. For, it is the heart that refuses the price, yet in witnessing the Messiah’s heart taking it on, is moved to change.

7,

In response to the delving of Nicodemus, Salvation is described enigmatically as a new birth; a spiritual rebirth from above is necessary to enter the ‘kingdom of heaven’ [John, 3, 1-11]. Its perspective is very different, hard to grasp, from a human point of view, because it is the participation in a new creation [Romans, 5, 16-17]. The ‘new heaven and the new earth’..

Nothing is more tantalisingly near yet remote than the many parables Yeshua tells about the ‘kingdom of heaven.’ The phrase is certainly open to abuse by Saviourism. In context, it means many things, some salvational, some redemptive.

Dealing with evil, finally, opens many possibilities previously crippled, or stopped. Redemption will bring a fullness of Salvation currently beyond imagination. We cannot imagine, and no Bible can put into mere words, what final feast God has prepared for everyone who has been wounded and redeemed by God’s heart, never fully revealed in its grief and flame until the End.

We will all look back, and be glad it was hard, and pained, and an offence to us in wanting a straightforward saving from difficulty. The roundabout route proved more heroic and more profound. There were many casualties on the way. Redemption carried them, paid for them, all.

8,

Recently the Chief Rabbi of England stated that ‘reading’ the Scriptures always implies ‘interpreting’ them. There is no such animal as a ‘literal’ reading of the Jewish Bible or the Christian Bible.

The distortion of Scripture operates by reading some already explicit doctrine ‘in’ to the text. By contrast, to read in the Spirit is to be guided to read ‘out’ from the meaning implicit in the text in order to crystallise something illuminating or wise. This can be dramatic. Sometimes it will happen that, though familiar, a text comes alive and gets under our shallow comprehension, and hits us in the chest. These are the words that provoke sudden enlightenment, or instant combustion.

There are two main ways to read the Jewish and Christian Scriptures for any follower of Christ Jesus.

[1] One way is to read them in the Light, and this occurs in the Temple. The Temple is an experiential, immersed, embodied, meeting with the Light of God; in its sacred precincts the Light is at home. This is why the Temple is a place specially blessed to interpret the Scriptures in which that Light has ‘spoken.’ The Temple tradition has chosen from Scripture its key meaningful portions, and placed these in the sacred ceremonies. Over an entire liturgical year, all texts that have life in them, and are not just cultural accretions like barnacles on a ship’s hull, get read aloud to the people gathered together. The way these readings are assembled, their shape and limit, and when they are called upon, constitutes the Temple’s tradition of interpretation. The readings are chanted in the Temple for a good reason= so as to engage not just the cognitive and abstract mind nor the surging emotions, rather to address nous, soul and heart, at a more underlying level. Then we begin to ‘see’ and to ‘hear’ in the texts meanings otherwise missed.

If people want to study the Bible on their own, individually or in small groups, they should be guided by the liturgical framework within which Scripture has been placed. Just as the Law, ripped out of the motherly Temple, becomes an evil patriarchy, so too does Scripture deprived of its situating in the Temple lose its sacredness and become yet another weapon in the extensive armoury of Satanic Accusation.

It remains among the many jobs of the priest to pass on the teachings of the Scriptures as understood through the common, handed-on, tradition.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity continues the ethos of the First Jewish Temple, in regard not only to Law, but also Scripture. This has been lost in much of Western Christianity where the church space is white-washed to resemble more a court of law, or an academic hall, or even if not white-washed, resembles the over-impressive palace of a hierarchic ‘lord’ far above his people.. A sacred space will always be respectful, not casual, yet intimate. It emboldens closeness to God, and trust in Mystery.

[2] The other way of proceeding is to read the Jewish and Christian Bibles in the Fire, and this occurs when we let the Cross of Christ guide us to Scriptures, and allow its pillar of flame to search them and unearth what they ‘really’ intend.. This is a bold way of proceeding. It puts the Cross before any Scriptures, and it becomes the only key to their locked in condition.

This is what Paul did. He makes errors, as he admits, because he is still in the long drawn out travail of throwing off the heritage of the Deuteronomist-Mosaic, Law-dominant Judaism from which he came. Yet the deepest meanings of the Cross, and all that is mysteriously connected with it, are shot into Paul through direct confrontation, like flaming arrows, straight and true. “I preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and folly to the Greeks” [1 Corinthians, 1, 23]. Stumbling block= obstacle; the Cross is not sufficiently morally forceful towards the severity of ‘this world.’ Folly= nonsense; the Cross is irrelevant to climbing the ladder to the exaltedness of the ‘other world.’

Paul was not ‘gathered together’ with the people of the Messiah. He was outside. He stood alone. He was even persecuting the Cross of Christ. Yet, once he met Christ Crucified and Risen, personally, this event scarred him, marked him, not just converting him, but turned him upside down and inside out. From that point onward, he ‘knew’ the truth of Redemption, and he needed no Scriptures to tell him. Indeed, in the wake of meeting the Christ ‘in the Spirit’, Paul reconsidered all his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Jewish Bible, and began to read out from these texts a new meaning he had never found before.

The superficial knowledge of Scripture evidenced by those who endlessly quote texts without any understanding of them should never be thought to take priority over the unmediated encounter with the Cross enflamed in the Spirit. This immediate confrontation with the Cross is prophetic.

[3] The priestly and prophetic stand in necessary tension. The prophetic will cause changes in tradition. The priestly will hold out for keeping the people together, showing how even revolutionary leaps forward should take everyone along.. The Light must not quench the Fire; the Fire must not sweep away the Light.

The Scriptures are useful, only in context. They must be handled by the Light or through the Fire.

Outside these two ways, ‘personal interpretation’ of Scriptures is, as Peter warns, not to be pursued. Nor should the priesthood become a powerful elite who do not share their supposed expert and arcane knowledge of Scriptural ordinances with the general populace, except to keep them in their place.

You cannot encompass God, you cannot put all of God on a page. You can only write what he tells you to write.

You need to be prayerful, and alert, and living the life.

9,

There is confusion between Salvation and Redemption in Judaism, different to that in Christianity. Judaism also has its version of Saviourism, different to Christian Saviourism. Both distort the Messiah, his nature, his work, his achievement, but in almost opposite ways..

[1] Christian Saviourism assimilates Redemption into Salvation by making the Cross the ‘condition’ of Salvation. Jewish Saviourism, because it has no Cross, assimilates Redemption into Salvation in a cost free way that renders it quasi magical, rather than existentially realistic.

This Jewish version of the expected Messiah focuses upon the ontological salvational outcomes, and neglects the existential redemptive dynamics needed to attain them. The Messiah is merely the instrument for ‘guaranteeing’ the Salvation that will bring to the Jews both physical and political security, on the one hand, and sacred and divine glories, on the other hand. The Jews will be made safe and whole, in their homeland, and thus, as they have not been permitted to do for centuries, they will prosper and flower, not just materially but also spiritually. Israel will come into her fullness, and this will be ‘a light on the hill’, a beacon of holiness, for all the world. No more will the surrounding foreign peoples attack, and oppress, Israel; on the contrary, they will admire and be led by Israel. There will be peace in the world.

Hence, there is no Redemption such as is starkly indicated by the Cross of Christ, and various Jewish Biblical texts in Isaiah, the Psalms, and the Book of Job. The Messiah is akin to a Cyrus liberator with the difference that his political liberation brings, almost miraculously, all the wonders of Salvation for ever more. In effect, there is neither Redeemer nor Redemption in this scenario. The Messiah is not a King and Redeemer, in the strong and deep sense; he is, by sharp contrast, a combination King and Saviour.

It is the King-Saviour who will — similarly to the earliest connotation of the word for saving — provide a ‘stronghold of salvation’ for Israel, since under his Messianic rulership, Israel will be protected, happy, healthy, joyfully basking in the splendour of God [Isaiah, 46, 13].

The focus is on the Salvational transformation of a ‘remnant’ of Israel once out of Exile, and able to return Home. The texts in Isaiah, and other prophets, where Yahweh solaces the Jews, telling them they have not been forgotten, not been cast adrift, because he will remember his old promises, and not give up on them, but will regenerate them for his holy purpose [Isaiah, 43, 5-7], do not necessarily reinforce the viewpoint in which the Saviour-King is portrayed as the Messiah. For these texts can be read more humanely, like a father comforting children who have gone through punishing times – both innocently and self-destructively — that he has by no means washed his hands of them. He still hopes big things from them, and he will stick with them, to help them get there in the end.

None of this compassionate reassurance by Yahweh of the Jews, who have been captives for hundreds of years, tossed from pillar to post, battered by foreign hands, really supports the interpretation of the Messiah as Israel’s King-Saviour. It is humanly understandable that they should look forward to everything which this particular view of the Messiah can deliver. Such ‘deliverance’ would end their seemingly endless woes and hardships.. Still, ‘man proposes and God disposes.’ The King-Saviour Messianic Deliverer, the Messiah of Jewish Saviourism, is still awaited! What the Jews wanted from their escape from Exile and going Home has as yet not been granted by God. It therefore cannot have been the ‘true’ reading of Isaiah’s texts to anticipate such a Salvation brought by such a King. The only way round this is to postpone the coming of the Messiah, indefinitely. We can go on believing all this is still coming, for Israel, and through Israel to the world, though no one knows when..

This is where Jewish Saviourism, misconstrued as ‘Messianic’, rests today, two and a half millennia later. Far from anything getting much better once the Jews were back home again, soon the Roman Empire took over from Alexander, and things only got far worse. The Jews were moving toward a third national catastrophe..

The Post Exile comforting reassurances from Yahweh to the Jews are true, but their time scale is what Jewish Saviourism has so spectacularly not taken into consideration. Why is Salvation postponed so far into the future? This is what we must accept because a very tough and gritty Redemption must precede in time any wonderful and vivid Salvation. The Jewish King-Saviour under-estimates, and misrepresents, who the Redeemer is, and what the Redeemer does.

[2] There is another factor probably at work in the developing of Jewish Saviourism after the return from Babylon in 500 BC. The Deuteronomist-Mosaic party in Judaism may well have contributed to the depiction of the King-Saviour as the Messiah through their tendency to over elevate Moses as the single most important religious ‘leader’ in the whole of Judaism, not only ‘father of all prophets’ — this ignores Job, Jacob, Abraham, before Moses, whose entire lives of existential risk were prophetic of the Redeemer — but also ‘teacher of all teachers.’

Hence, it is likely that the King-Saviour was in some respects more or less directly modelled on not so much Cyrus as Moses, despite the fact there is nothing redemptive about leaving Egypt, for neither Moses nor any of the Jews pay a cost to get free. If any cost is paid, it is Yahweh’s sacrifice of the Egyptians who are also held in his love. Isaiah, 43, 3-4= “For I am Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honoured, I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”

This is the stream of Judaism that teaches ‘about’ God but has ceased to commune with, and participate in, God. Any influence it exerted in shaping Jewish Saviourism is bound to have been doleful.

[3] Whether understandable human hopes, or the political machinations of a revisionist patriarchal cabal in Judaism, had more to do with shaping the Saviour-King who would miraculously ‘save’ Israel forever, is hard to decide. Never the less, there would seem to have been another factor at work in maintaining Jewish Saviourism.

This teaching about the Messiah is perhaps Judaism’s response to the claim that Yeshua is the Christ, and his Cross is what demonstrates the truth of that claim. Post Christian Judaism prefers a ‘Messiah’ who is not Reversed, but who is ‘victorious’ in the ‘restoration’ of Israel. Clearly such a Mashiach had not yet arrived in 30 AD, nor any time soon after, and therefore it became inevitable that the Jews would dismiss Yeshua as the Mashiach.

Insisting on the expectation of the King-Saviour as the Messiah [as could be read from, for example, Jeremiah, 23, 5] seems the response of much — though not all — of Judaism to the Cross of Christ, in its abject failure either to bring Salvation to the Jews who returned from the Babylonian Exile, or to prevent another diaspora of the Jews in 70 AD when their revolt against Rome failed, and they were cast to the four winds..

[4] Saviourism in Christianity was politically driven by misunderstanding of Judaism. Saviourism in Judaism seems driven by reaction to the claim that the Messiah had arrived. Given the political and Godly Salvation wanted by Judaism, Yeshua’s Cross was ‘not good enough’; it did not measure up.

The Messianic impulse, in this form of Judaism, becomes about progressively making the world better, not giving up on the world but doing all that each and every one of us can to improve the human lot, which might induce the King-Saviour to come. This is no bad thing..

A Hasidic Zaddik writing a letter to a student left bitter in the wake of successfully defending their PhD thesis=

“I trust you know the basic principle of our sages.. that the essential thing is the deed, that is to say the practical result. Similarly, in your case, whether you have taken the right course or not will depend on how you utilise your degree; if you do so in the direction of the good and the holy, and use it to illuminate your environment– it will prove that it was the right course. On the other hand, if your qualifications and capacities will not be utilised [in that way], or utilised in the opposite direction, then the inevitable conclusion, ..would have to be that it was not the right course. For a person must not be a passive observer in his environment and society, not to mention [that he should not become] a negative factor; he has a duty to his society to be a positive and active agent to improve his environment. And everyone has the capacity to do so, at least to some degree.”

Similarly, a modern Hasidic commentator= “..every good deed we do hastens the Redemption and ends the Exile that much faster. Let’s get to work!”

A Biblical scholar= “Yahweh is.. involved in all areas of life, and so doing the right thing as a result of trusting [in God] is part of Salvation. Salvation begins with trusting in his words which leads to right action. ..To be ‘saved’ in Greek Hellenism is to be released from this evil world. [In sharp distinction, Jewish] Salvation is not leaving this world but becoming actively involved in changing what is wrong and sustaining what is right. ‘Peace’ in Greek thought is to escape the pressures of life. ‘Peace’ in [Jewish] thought is to ..take part in the ‘completion’ of what is ..righteous.”

The Christians who listen to Yeshua’s Sermon on the Mount, about radical generosity and sharing the good things [Luke, 3, 10-11], can make common cause with the Jews still waiting for the King-Saviour. Yet, the ‘Mosaic Messiah — a contradiction in terms – does not lock horns with the ‘hidden God’, the hidden father Yahweh, whose final mysteries are disclosed on the Cross.

On this last point, the Christians of the Redeemer are at odds with the Saviourism of Christians and the Saviourism of the Jews. Undoubtedly, the Saviourism of Jews is healthier, and more benign, than some slants on Saviourism among the Christians. None the less, where the latter falsify the Cross, the former ignore the Cross.

There is no Redeemer, there is no Redemption, without the Cross.

The Jewish Saviour-King is — as many commentators have noticed — more akin to the Second Coming of Christ in his true Glory, his fidelity to and manifestation of Yahweh’s hidden fatherly heart plainly on display.

10,

The Jews fail to properly differentiate Salvation and Redemption, just like the Christians.

Salvation without Redemption= you escape the evil things in the world, because somehow they are magically swept away by the inrush of good things, but you leave evil’s challenge to God in relation to humanity unanswered. The devil says to God in the Book of Job, ‘take salvational contentment and fulfilment away from humanity, put them in the arena of test, and they will reject God.’ It is in the arena of test that Redemption wins an authentic victory by accepting that evil is allowed the freedom to ‘check out’ the human heart.

If Redemption is eschatological, and apocalyptic, as in prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation of John, then Salvation cannot come before Redemption has done its work and finished its task. Redemption, if victorious over an indeterminate span of time, paves the way for Salvation at the End.

Yet it does more than that. It makes possible a Salvation post-evil, wherein the heart of humanity has been tested and confirmed. If Salvation comes too soon, before the testing has had time to reach any climax, then the heart of humanity is untried when it enters Salvation. God wants us to enter Salvation not from Innocence, but from Experience, in William Blake’s contrast. Obviously, we get glimmers and tastes of Salvation all along the route of time, from Beginning through Middle to End. But if Salvation comes prematurely, it stops what Redemption is testing and proving= the deep and hidden things of God and the deep and hidden things of humanity. It is these deep and hidden things of the heart, divine and human, with which God counters Satan’s sneering judgement.

If the Mashiach, anointed by God, is King and Redeemer, then that he also brings a final Salvation poses no problem, for once you have gone deep, you then can go anywhere, high and broad, near and far.. However, if the Mashiach is simply King and Saviour, then this eliminates any need for a Redeemer. If the Messianic King is so potent as to ‘instantly’ deliver Salvation, then we can dispense with a Redeemer who pays with his own blood to free humanity in slavery to the devil. Such a Salvation just snatches us away from evil, without ever overcoming it in a fair fight, where its point is taken on, to expose its Lie.

If imposed too soon, saving rescues us from a negative situation but in doing exactly that, it blocks what the Redeemer must undergo and come through, in time, for all of time. If we can be saved immediately, then there is no time for our redeeming to work through all it must go through..

The vulnerability of God defeats the invulnerability of the devil, in Redemption. If Salvation ‘saves’ us from that vulnerability, by protecting us, by shielding us, by bringing us to refuge, then Redemption cannot happen.

This cuts against not just Saviourism in Judaism, but anyone and everyone, including Hinduism and Buddhism, who want Salvation without cost, without sacrifice of blood. The Cross also says, ‘my strength is revealed in vulnerability.’

11,

Given the vulnerability masked by Salvation but exposed by Redemption, then it is not surprising that the most telling Scriptural basis for the clear difference of Salvation and Redemption, apart from the 4 Slave Songs of Isaiah, comes from the Book of Job, and the Psalms.

David often registers his amazement that Salvation, as the Jews experienced it so beautifully in the First Temple, is simply not enough to overcome the existential and abysmal deeps into which he is constantly thrown by the action of his heart. He is in the arena of test, and Salvation cannot help him, cannot reach him, cannot dent his ongoing and unrelieved tribulation. God has with-held Salvation, he feels, and he does not understand why. Why this deep dark, deep pain, abysmal tragedy?

Psalms, 69, 1-3; 14-15; 17= “Save me, God! The water is already up to my neck! I am sinking in the deepest swamp, there is no foothold; I have stepped into deep water and the waves are washing over me. Worn out with calling, my throat is hoarse, my eyes are strained, looking for my God. ..Pull me out of this swamp; let me sink no further, let me escape those that hate me, save me from deep water! Do not let the waves wash over me, do not let the deep swallow me, or the Pit close its mouth on me. ..do not hide your face from your servant.”

No Salvation can miraculously, nor magically, reach into this existential abyss. Only Redemption goes there. David, in the next utterance [Psalms, 69, 18], realises this= “quick, I am in trouble, answer me, come to my side, redeem me.” God cannot drag David up and out. God has to come to his side to redeem him. David is broken in heart, he has found no consolation, “they gave me poison to eat instead, when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink” [Psalms, 69, 20-21].

This last line prophetically anticipates Christ on the Cross. Indeed, the only reply to David’s tragic existential condition is the Messiah Reversed= Christ Crucified. David prays that Yahweh will vent his fury on these enemies, but God is silent, and does not intervene to rescue David from all that torments him. He remains ‘in’ it, and he is in way over his head.

David pleads, “by your saving power, God, lift me up!” [Psalms, 69, 29]. Again, there is no Salvation out of the deeps. There is no remedy for the deeps other than the Redemption which must embrace their full abysmal profundity.

Psalms, 88, 1-2; 5-10= “O Yahweh, God of my Salvation, I call for help all day, I weep to you all night. ..for my life is on the brink of Sheol, I am numbered among those who go down to the Pit, a man bereft of strength: a man alone, down among the dead, ..among those you have forgotten, those deprived of your protecting hand. You have plunged me down to the Pit, to its darkest, deepest place, ..drowned beneath your waves. ..in prison and unable to escape, my eyes are worn out with suffering. ..can ghosts rise up to praise you? Who talks of your love.. in the place of perdition? ..But I am here, calling for your help.. why do you reject me?”

This is Daemonic= “I have borne your terrors, now I am exhausted” [Psalms, 88, 15].

David gradually understands= “Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles” [Psalms, 25, 22].

Really, we are redeemed ‘through’ our troubles..

12,

The wish for Salvation as a way to avoid Redemption becomes not only humanly escapist, but also evil, because it is the intent of the devil to tempt the Redeemer away from paying the cost of assuming humanity’s existential fate.

Psalm 91 is the paradigm example of this danger of Salvation being twisted to evil ends. David describes Yahweh’s saving as a refuge away from and fortress against all the exactions and horrors of existence; you will not be caught in the snares of nasty people, you need not fear the terrors of the night and the arrow in the day, plagues will not sicken you, battles in which thousands are fallen will not kill you, and angels will even guard you lest your foot is dashed against a stone= hence, ‘no evil will befall you.’ But this total Salvation belongs to the Parousia; none of this is possible prior to Redemption, and all of it is only possible after Redemption.

It is of the utmost significance that the devil quotes from Psalm 91 when tempting Yeshua in the wilderness.. In fact, all 3 of the devil’s temptations to Christ, on different levels, try to tempt him to be a King-Saviour of miraculous ‘power over’ the world, and therefore are tempting him away from his real calling, to be the Suffering Servant, the King-Redeemer, who freely submits himself to being in the ‘power of’ the world. The devil urges Yeshua= turn stones to bread; rule over all the kingdoms of the earth [which are in the devil’s gift because he is ‘prince of this world’]; jump off the roof of the Jerusalem Temple, and let the angels soften your fall= “And [the devil].. set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, if you are the Son of God [the Messiah], throw yourself down from here, for it is written, Yahweh will give his angels charge over you, to keep you, and in their hands they will bear you up, lest at any moment you bruise your foot against a stone” [Luke, 4, 9-12].

The devil reads Psalm 91 as really referring to the Messiah, whom God will not abandon, whatever Yahweh puts him through. If so, Yeshua is in no doubt this portrait of divine protection belongs to the future time after Redemption has won. Yeshua is equally robust with Peter who, in wanting to ‘spare’ the Messiah his sufferings, is unwittingly supporting the devil’s scheming in Luke, 4, 1-13; thus Peter is refused with, ‘get thee behind me Satan.’

That Yeshua is not the miraculous Messiah, but the long-suffering, passion-bearing Messiah, is declared soon after his spiritual battle with the devil in the wilderness.

He returns home, to Nazareth, and goes into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stands up to read. He opens the Jewish Bible, and speaks the words of a passage from Isaiah concerning who the Messiah is and what the Messiah will do= “The Spirit of Yahweh is upon me, because he has appointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” [Luke, 4, 18]. Then Yeshua closed the book, and after sitting down, concluded, ‘today this Scripture is fulfilled.’

Yeshua’s temptation by the devil echoes all the way back to something in the story of the loss of Paradise by Adam and Eve. God reveals that Eve’s soul and the Luciferian cunning of the mythical serpent will be at war; her offspring will trample on the head of the serpent, his offspring will bite their heel [Genesis, 3, 15]. This anticipates Mary giving birth to Yeshua the Messiah.

This is the earliest text in the Jewish Bible promising the coming Messiah, who cannot save anybody from anything, but will redeem everyone through everything, and it demonstrates two things.

First, that the promise of the Messianic Redemption is given through-out Scripture in different terms, in different images and symbols. The Hebrew word ‘Mashiach’ is not always used, nor need it be. ‘We get the message.’

Second, that the promise of the Messianic Redemption occurs as early as the loss of Paradise, and the entry into the arena of test. Even before we enter the ordeal, Redemption through it — not Salvation from it — is declared.

It is from the Cross of Christ that all such reading back and reading forward comes.. It is primarily from the Cross of Christ that the Redeemer, and his redeeming, is revealed to the world. This puts Salvation into its proper, secondary setting.

Thus, the Messiah is not mainly a Saviour, rather, he is primarily a Redeemer, for the arrival of the Messiah is the sign that Redemption is coming.

It is this world, olam hazeh, which will be redeemed. The world to come, olam haba, will not be heaven without earth. It will be the earth redeemed, so that it has been saved to become a transfigured spiritual and material unity, and this will inaugurate the Messianic Age, a time without end..

13,

The irony of history.

The Jews used the word ‘Redeemer’, but their Messianic King was a Saviour who would bring good and get rid of evil, above to below, miraculously; a bloodless, quick, saving. This Salvation ends time..

The Christians used the word ‘Saviour’, but their Messianic King was a Redeemer who would subject good to evil, to undermine it, below to above, realistically; a sacrificial, patient, redeeming. This Redemption takes time..

This is why Salvation in the complete majestic sense [Isaiah, 35, 1-6; 10] is put ‘on hold’ by God. The Messianic Saviour the Jews yearned for and still await would bring time to its finish, precipitously, impatiently, prematurely. The Messianic Redeemer will not allow time to end because redeeming is long drawn out in time, and it is time that is being redeemed. “This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it” [Ephesians, 5, 16].

Yahweh will grant the Redeemer and humanity the time needed for Redemption to do its work– though this will not go on forever. Time will run out..

The Day of Trouble will come violently. The Day of Redemption will be revealed starkly.

The Jewish Messianic Saviour eliminates all need for Redemption in time.
The Christian Messianic Redeemer brings Salvation only after Redemption is victorious in time.

Jewish Messianic= heaven comes to earth.
Christian Messianic= heaven goes to the realms of hell, to win the earth from hell, and marry the earth with heaven.

The Post Exilic Jewish belief in a remnant of Israel returned to and restored in their promised land, so as to be saved and to spread that saving beyond their borders, still supports Zionism down to this very moment.

The supreme irony is how protracted has been the existential Cross on which the Jews have always been crucified, day in and day out, year in and year out.. No wonder they demand Salvation, and want it delivered as a miraculous sign. Crucifixion they know only too well.. Who needs it? Why would they accept a Messiah crucified like they were, bearing their tortures, seemingly not saved from them, but dumped right into them, such that redeeming is the coming good of precisely all that trouble.

For some Jews, understandably, enough is enough..

On TV recently, a Jewish woman, asked about all the holocausts her people had suffered, replied=

“They tried to kill us. They failed. Let’s eat.”

Yet, it was among Jews going through the trouble, unable to be saved from its arena of test, that the hope in the Messianic Redeemer was born. So it was for Abraham, Jacob, David, the true Messianic stream in Judaism because they accepted the trouble as God’s deep and hidden purpose.

14,

The Jews exemplify in one people, in one very human heart, two contrasting hypotheses in regard to its inexplicable sufferings in existence.

On the one hand, as with David wishing he could fly above the storm like a dove, there is the demand for Salvation instantly to escape, to avoid, to be delivered from, the sufferings in time.

On the other hand, as Yeshua voiced in the Garden of Gethsemane when he wanted the cup of bitter wine and the bread of sorrow to pass him by, yet accepted his time had come to embrace the Daemonic Fate from Yahweh, ‘thy will be done.’

We all struggle with the heart in this way, though not as openly, not as turbulently, not as truthfully, as the Jews. Therein lies their holiness.

They display honestly what is usually denied in the rest of humanity.

The struggle they had with the suffering Messiah is the struggle we all have, if we are able to admit it.

15,

There is a final irony.

The real contrast is not between Jews versus Christians. That is misleading.. A fool’s errand.

No, the real contrast is between two different groups of people who are just as discernibly different today as they were ‘back then.’

[1] In one group are the Jewish and Christian followers of the Reversed Messiah, the King-Redeemer.

[2] In the other group are the Jewish and Christian followers of Saviourism.

There is a difference within each group, but it is not as large as the difference between the groups.

[1] In the group of the followers of the Messianic Redeemer, there are Jews who believe he has not yet come and Christians who believe he has come. So powerful is the Redemptive Spirit, however, these Jews and Christians have a host of unexpected affinities.

[2] In the group of the followers of the Messianic Saviour, there are Jews who await this miracle for the present world and Christians who claim the miracle has arrived but concerns mainly the next world. Wanting to be saved, and not having the stomach and faith for being redeemed, makes strange bed fellows who have some differences and a lot of similarities.

The Jews and Christians who trust the mystery and poetry of Redemption differ markedly from the Jews and Christians who espouse the dogma and theology of Salvation.

16,

Yahweh will redeem the Jews as a people, to make them a name, by ‘great and terrible things’ [1 Chronicles, 17, 21].

Nehemiah, 1, 10= “They are your.. people whom you redeemed by your great power and your strong hand.”

Psalms, 31, 5= “Into your hand I commit my spirit, you have ransomed me, O Yahweh, God of truth.”

The Left Hand of the Daemonic= not grace, but truth.

The Messiah anointed by God is a Redeemer= “on him the Spirit of Yahweh rests, a Spirit of wisdom and insight, a Spirit of counsel and power, a Spirit of knowledge and the respect of Yahweh” [Isaiah, 11, 2].

Mathew, 2, 4-6= “Herod demanded of the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah should be born, and they answered, in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus is it declared by the prophet.” Micah, 5, 2= “As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathiah, insignificant among the clans of Judah, from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past. His goings forth are from long ago [olam], from the days of the everlasting [olam].” Psalms, 111, 9= “He has sent redemption to his people, he has promised his covenant forever [olam]. Holy and awesome is his name [everlasting God].”

Paul, 1 Corinthians, 1, 7= “But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages.”

Redeeming will bring the heart to direct knowing of God.

Isaiah, 11, 9= “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the world will be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the seabed.”

Job, 19, 21; 25-27= “Have pity on me, O you who are my friends, for the hand of God has touched me.. ..I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. I will see him for myself.”