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It’s sometimes not as hard as we make it.... This note is not meant to be sarcastic (OK, a little, but delivered good-naturedly) .  Its g...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Greek Philosophy Blinding This Rabbi

In Rabbi Nachmani’s prediction, he provided an oblique Biblical reference to support his claim that the distant country would one day become a major threat. He warned that ‘She’ol’ would come to Israel. She’ol is Hebrew for Hell...  
North Korea was not always considered the rogue nation it is today and has never been considered an existential threat to Israel. So it was shocking when Rabbi Levi Sa’adia Nachamani, the most prominent kabbalist of the time, gave a speech in 1994, one month before he died, he surprisingly warned that of all the threats to Israel, North Korea posed the most danger.

“Not Syria, not Persia (Iran), and not Babylon (Iraq), and not Gaddafi (Libya),” the rabbi said, naming Israel’s greatest threats at the time. “Korea will arrive here.”
-Kim Jong Un Dissapears: Here’s how One Rabbi Connects it to ‘Opening Gates of Hell’ (Excerpt) 

We have covered the "gates of hell" previously, but only as it has been misused by Christians. It's quite shocking that an unbelieving Jew not familiar with the Lord's use (quote) in the gospels would invoke the phrase incorrectly. The "hell" of man's tradition is borrowed from Greek philosophy and religion, it is foreign to the Law, the Prophets, and the Apostles. 

The rabbi should know from Isaiah that the "gates of hell [Sheol/Hades]" is a euphemism for death. Paul uses Hades in his epistles only once and it refers to deceased believers (1 Cor 15). His only other use refers to Christ in the Acts. From Isaiah 38:

This is the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his 
sickness:
I said,
“In the prime of my life
I shall go to the gates of Sheol;
I am deprived of the remainder of my years.”
Gates do not attack anything, they either hold in or keep out. Death holds in all, but in Christ, we rise again unto life. This is our hope. This is why the Lord's resurrection is the absolute pinnacle of God's Plan. It is the undoing of the curse on all men (death/decay). This is the context of both Paul's use of Hades and the Lord's quotation of Isaiah in Matthew. Peter's profession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," will conquer the gates of Hades. The gates cannot "prevail," they must give way to life. 

The Christians enemies are "in heavenly places." We quote the passage in Ephesians all the time, but do we believe it? 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness IN THE HEAVENS.
-Eph 6:12 

We are expressly told that Satan walks about us seeing whom he may devour (1 Pet 5). He also presents himself as an Angel of Light (2 Cor 11). The lie of Satan is "You shall not surely die." The lie is that we are immortal. This is also from Greek Philosophy (Plato). We are not immortal. God alone has immortality (1 Tim 6). We gain immortality only in resurrection (1 Cor 15).

The same Greek phrase ("in the heavens") is used of the hope of the Body in that same epistle. It is also used of where Christ sits. This is why there must be both a "new heavens" as well as a "new earth." But even in the heavenly places, Christ is far above all! 

"He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come." (Eph 1)

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