I received today a comment on the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiYRheI9aQM from Rebbe Piper. He has seven uploads on his channel including his beautiful performance of the song “Sandals” and some pieces by another person relating to the need to understand Hebrew in order to get a perspective on biblical teleology. Since I have not seen everything that Rebbe Piper has posted a you tube, neither have I have any conversations with him at length on what he believes, I don’t want to come to this debate making any assumptions as to where he is coming from ideologically. There seems to be a lot about Judaism in what he’s posted up, and clearly also, he seems to be interested in Jesus Christ. Whether or not he is a messianic Jewish believer is not 100% clear to me. From what I’ve seen from him, it seems most likely, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions, and hopefully in the course of this debate he will be more forthcoming on what he does think on a variety of matters. My apologies if he has made this clear, and I simply haven’t watched or read that far yet.
In any event, I will simply for the purposes of this post just addressed the words that he says in his quote below
Perhaps a reading of the early church fathers would serve to educate the ignorant: Church Canon XXXVII: “It is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts off Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them.” Masons have no problem with Jewish fellowship in Lodges, apparently some of the Church does. How odd, in the model prayer, Jesus ended it not with his own name, but rather..for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever and ever RebbePiper 18 hours ago
Since there is an awful lot to talk about just in answering what he says here, I thought it was pointless to start to discuss it on you tube, where there is barely any space for debate at all because of the limit of characters on each comment. So I obtained Rebbe Piper’s permission to take this discussion here, and in hand. I hope that he will read what I have to say now about his comment above.
I understand that he commented because of a little bit of discussion that happened in other comments regarding the Masons, beginning with one commentator who criticised the Masonic symbols in the architecture of the Church where this song was being sung. Another commentator then came in and said that the Masonic organisation is fine and not at all unchristian. I then chimed in and suggested that any Christian thinking of being recruited into the Masons ought to do some research on you tube as to what happens are at higher levels in the organisation. Rebbe then gives an example of some early Church “Canon” in which Jews are likened to heretics. Without particularly wishing to confirm or deny the veracity of that “Canon”, or getting into discussions about the date of it, I prefer to say that there are plenty of cases where people ought to know better in the Church don’t have the correct approach to Judaism. If we’re talking about the Roman Catholic Church, then of course they ride ride roughshod over many scriptures anyway, ignoring for instance when Paul mentions that forbidding to marry is a “doctrine of demons” – which you will find in his letter to Timothy. In fact, they can’t even get the order of the 10 Commandments correct.
They placed their traditions over the Word of God consistently and repeatedly. And ever since the time of Constantine, they have been largely a political structure, and not really a spiritual structure. Which of course means that they are not really the Church at all, because of course they are of this world with political power, and the Church of Christ, which is the bride of Christ, the fellowship of believers, is not a political earthly structure.
Of course there are many Roman Catholics and Christians who are in the Church well enough, but that’s not exactly the church that they think it is. If they believe in Jesus Christ and love him, and of course they’re in the Church, and this regardless of what people dressed in black gowns and other effeminate clothing either confirm or deny to them.
The Church as a political entity is absolutely full of emissaries of the devil, and by this I don’t even mean only the Roman Catholic Church. Much of Protestantism is the same, only worse. It started out well, by referring back to the Word of God instead of to tradition, but it soon went off the rails also. Every generation needs to rebel against traditions and go back to the Word of God for itself. Every individual believer needs to take his guidance in this life directly from God’s Word. God wrote this book for people, other people have been burned alive or buried alive or both so that you can read this in your own language. If you read it carefully and prayerfully, in the main you can expect that God will enlighten your mind and heart to have some understanding and guidance from the Bible. But what these so-called church fathers may have said interests me very little, especially bearing in mind that Jesus Christ himself said: “Call no man ‘Father’.” Again, this is a piece which the Roman Catholic Church, in which just about every minister is called Father, conveniently ignores, knowing of course better than God what they should do.
I don’t expect anything of spiritual use coming from church leaders once the Constantine era has gone past. Before Constantine, if you were a leader in the Church you could expect to be thrown to the lions. That means getting held down by a very large cat, while other large cats appear and start to pull your muscles away from the bone as you bleed to death in tremendous agony. This is not what I recommend for those of you who are concerned with obtaining all the modern comforts. Oh yes, and most of the church leaders prior to that point in time were also Jews, as were most of the Christians. After Constantine, if you were a church leader, you could expect to have a nice salary, a public office, all the perks, respect, a cushy career. Naturally, people who would have gone anywhere near the church for the simple reason that they have no real faith in Christ were suddenly queueing up to take offices in the Church as indeed they are today. And of course the official church went downhill slowly but inevitably from that point onwards. Because of the real genuine faith of some people in the church, this rot was not as fast as it otherwise would have been. Nevertheless, if we see somebody in the post-Constantine period writing that church officers should not eat with “Jews and heretics”, we ought to be able to dismiss it with the contempt it deserves.
I would not like to give anyone the impression that I am blaming the Roman Catholic part of the Church with the bulk of anti-Semitism. This is in fact, probably not the case. Often people think that because Adolf Hitler was a Catholic, at least in name, that the Catholics were the worst of the lot, but that simply is not true. In the 1880s, the revival of Russian Orthodoxy in czarist Russia as well as the abandoning of some of the reforms made by Alexander I, led to a vicious pogrom against the Jews, and also of course harassment and prejudicial behaviour towards Roman Catholics and Protestants living in the Russian Empire. One also ought to mention that the greatest supporters of Adolf Hitler when he was elected to government were actually not from the Catholic parts of Germany. The Prussian controlled areas were actually more Nazi than than the Bavarians and Swabians. If we go back a few centuries before, when Germany was really the centre of the Hexenwahn or the obsession with the burning of witches, there are also records of Catholic areas being safer for women than the Protestant areas. And it was of course Protestant extremists who were responsible for the Salem witch burnings in America. If we go back to Martin Luther himself, regarded as the father of the Reformation and deferred to even by Calvin, you would be hard pressed to find any more anti-Semitic a piece of prose than his pamphlet “On the Jews and their lies”, which has been described as a blueprint for the Night of the Long Knives. It has been said that Martin Luther started out hoping that his Protestantism would be the vehicle whereby the Jews would be converted en masse to Christianity, but that when they refused him, he spat out his dummy and started to rail against them. It remains a massive blemish on his image to this day.
John Calvin and the Calvinists were relatively pro-semitic, and in Calvinist England the Jews, who had been banished previously, were invited to return and since that time have been largely safe in Britain. The same applies to Calvinist Holland, except for the fact that Holland was invaded by Nazi Germany and of course many Jews became the victims of that regime notwithstanding the brave attempts of the Dutch to save many of them. In today’s America can see two forms of Protestantism: you can see the pro Israel pro-Jewish evangelicals, but as well there is still an organisation called the Ku Klux Klan which is anti-Semitic – and by the way Masonic in origin and there is no big secret in that – you can simply look at the credentials of the founders of the Klan – and (one is ashamed to say) the KKK also have their catchment area in the Bible Belt and the more ignorant end of the Protestant churches.
So when we come to really look at whether Masonic lodges are more welcoming to Jews than the Christian church is, I would tend to regard the issue rather differently to the way you put it. I fully acknowledge the shortcomings of many believers in Christ, in many of the so-called churches, to approach the covenant people with the correct love and friendliness, as well as humility and deference which the Holy Bible explicitly expects of us. I can promise you that in my own case I fully believe that God Almighty has got the backs of the Jewish people in a way that no other people can claim, and that things will turn out okay for them in the end even though they’ve been through the toughest history of any people. God Almighty had a difficult plan for them, but also he has in hand for them privileges above all the other peoples on the earth.
God promises to Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, and Christians understand this to refer to the Messiah whom they see as Jesus Christ. But God further promises that whoever blesses the offspring of Abraham he will bless, and whoever curses the offspring of Abraham he will curse. In fact no weapon was formed against the children of Israel will ever prosper for long, and moreover I have discovered that some of the greatest blessings of my life have come to me via friendship with Jewish people. I don’t go every Friday, but quite often you’ll find me at the Beit Warszawa for the sabbath service, and I greatly enjoy both the singing and the speaking by Rabbi Schumann as well as of course eating with the community afterwards. I can tell you that this is one Christian who takes absolute delight in breaking bread with Jewish worshippers, and whatever they may be sensing, whoever they may be sensing in the worship of God, I personally feel that when the bread is broken and a glass of wine is pressed into my hand and we raise it and say “leChaim”, I feel Jesus Christ is very near to me in that moment. It seems more similar to his communion supper than most of the Eucharists I have ever seen practised in Christian churches by New Testament believers. I personally believe that Jesus Christ is coded into almost every aspect of Jewish worship. I don’t even need to say to the people in the congregation “oh, this refers to Jesus Christ”, because Jesus Christ himself is right there amongst them, but as it says in Romans, God put a blindfold on their eyes. They can’t tell that he’s there, but he is. Jesus Christ belongs to Jews much more than he belongs to us, and the only way to be right with Jesus Christ is not to be at enmity with the people that Jesus Christ was born among when he walked this planet.
It says “and so shall all Israel be saved” , which I take to mean that when Jesus Christ himself decides that the time is up for the cultivated olive tree to be grafted back onto the wild one, which was drafted into the cultivated root in the first place, he will graft them in again just as Paul says to the Romans. I don’t have to do the grafting. I don’t have to shove the gospel down the throats of people are already worshipping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If they want to ask me any questions about my theology can always explain them to them, but it will be with humility. I would rather hear about their traditions and theology, and the things that have been handed down in their people, which God has always protected, and kept alive even in the worst of adversities, this being a miracle that accompanies their Scriptures through to the present day, and gives life and validity to the Torah right through to our time. Neither the ancient Egyptians, nor the Ammonites, nor the Philistines, nor the Romans, nor the Russians, nor the Nazis, nor the Arabs have been able to extinguish from the earth the bearers of the Word of God, although so many of them have wanted to and still want to. No other nation has come up against such opposition. A multitude of nations have existed that have seemed stronger than the Jewish people, but they have come and gone. Hittites, Goths, Assyrians -they may have come down like a wolf on the fold, but they died like dogs in ditches time after time while the bearers of the sacred scrolls struggle on. A massive historical miracle.
Back to the Masons. In my view the masons are an organisation of control of many millions of people from a small number of people. The motivation behind the people joining the Masons is generally a good one – it is sold to professional men as an organisation trying to take good men and make them better. It positions itself as a public benefit organisation. Of course, most people who join it are aware that they will be able to network with people who could be good for business, and maybe they also expect that certain benefits will come to them from knowing the “signs and tokens and perfect points of entry” that would not be available to them otherwise. And that certainly does exist. If you are a mason, you can pretty much expect another mason who has identified you in a public situation to have your back and you’ll have to do the same for them. A harmless club? A mafia? Somewhere between the two, maybe.
Certainly these benefits are not fair, they do not make for a level playing field in society, and by no stretch of the imagination can the organisation be called transparent. But up to the third degree, most Masons probably don’t have much of an idea of what is going on in the higher reaches of Freemasonry, especially the Scottish Rite (headed in the past by the same people who put the KKK into existence), which goes to 33 levels, after which there are a range of hidden organisations which are open to people who have achieved, by a process of selection at every stage, 33 degree freemasonry. There is plenty of information about these things on the Internet, often given by people related to masons or occasionally by ex-masons.
At the 33rd degree, however, the Mason is already worshipping a very different God to the one he came in on, be that the Jewish view of God or a Trinitarian one, as required in some Rites. Certain rites will accept you as long as you believe in God, in some rites you have to be Trinitarian, and in one rite, the French rite, you can even be an atheist, and that is why the French lodges are not in regular amity with the English and Scottish lodges, although individual French rite masons can transfer from 3rd degree French masonry into Scottish lodges, and many do so, as it is the only way for them to advance in the esoteric knowledge that is opened that way. The 33 degree mason receives a name for God which is in fact diabolical, and takes part in Satanic worship rituals. So the people at the head of the organisation handing down edicts to the porch level masons are in fact Satanists, and they will make Satanists of the “successful” lower level Masons. They are actively recruiting men with influence, not only from the Church and from Judaism, but from Islam also.
They don’t mind who they take in, they will put them through their programme anyway, because what comes out the other end is a compromised believer anyway, someone entirely sold out to the devil in a Faustian way. So they’ve infiltrated most of the established churches – almost no Church is free of them, and many churches are riddled with them placing their symbols amongst the Christian ones in order to confuse and confound the Christian believer. They’ve infiltrated Roman Catholicism at the highest levels even though the Vatican has an edict that Catholics should not become Masons. The P2 lodge, a descendent of one of the Lodges that founded modern Italy (many modern countries were put in place by Masons, including the US, where 13 of the 33 founding fathers were practising Masons and they were the ones pulling the strings there) contains may figures from Church life, political life and the upper echelons of organised crime. And they’ve also infiltrated the Jewish community, and they’re working on the Muslims also. They’ll have a finger in every pie.
So strong are their links with some Jewish families of larger wealth, that some people wrongly attribute the conspiracies to Zionists or Jews, when ordinary Jews are as innocent of these things as ordinary Christians are, and the people doing it, whatever their origins may be, don’t care really for the Torah or the New Testament, and have completely different beliefs and interests altogether, and certainly not the public interest.
Lodges are the places where the greatest hypocrisies of modern political life are hammered out, and the crimes against democracy and equality for ordinary people committed. Wars are planned in them, and peoples carved up into so-called countries and set against each other. They will welcome any of us with open arms as long as they think they can use us and compromise us. Dear Rebbe Piper, I hope you are not deceived by them, just because they have sweet words for Jews, and we Christians have behaved disgracefully towards the Jews so often. Sometimes the biggest enemy is the nicest towards us of all.
Let me now come on to your point about the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer addressed to God the Father, and it addresses God as Father. Old Testament prayers did not tend to address God as Father, and to today, in the synagogue, I will hear not “Avva” but “Baruch hashem Adonai” and we all bow the knee and bow forward. Jesus Christ invites us to pray to God as our Father, which is out of synch with the Jewish theology of the day, indeed the Pharisees say that if Christ calls God the Father his Father, then he makes himself equal with God. Yet Christ invites us to pray to His Father as “Our Father” and to speak of His glory, His kingdom, His power, His will that shall be done. Prior to the cross Jesus Christ says “Father, if it be Thy will, take away this cup from me. Nevertheless, Thy will, not mine, be done”. Jesus has explained to his disciples that if they have seen Him, they have seen the Father, and that “I and my Father are one”, and yet He also acknowledges that for the purposes of achieving the salvation of mankind, he has placed himself in a position where he is separate – His will may differ from that of the Father, but the will of the Father and not His in this case, should prevail. This was necessary in order that God Himself could be born among us, His own creation, and unite with us in taking on the flesh of humankind via Mary, live out a life of obedience to the law and die taking the punishment that was rightfully ours, so that by faith we could be united with him. A dispensation of justification by faith, even as Abraham had, for it is written that “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”. This was only possible because God had provided the lamb, or the young ram, for the sacrifice, as it was when Abraham went obediently to sacrifice Isaac. God did for us what Abraham was ready to do for God. But in order for that to happen the second person of the Trinity needed to place himself vis a vis the Father in a place of eternally begotten sonship.
This is what is meant when we come to the words of the New Testament in Philippians 2 v 5-11:
“Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and has given him a name that is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
This passage is very full of meaning related to how to understand the particular position of Jesus Christ with relation to the godhead on the one hand and human beings on the other, indeed, all of creation on the other. Prior to becoming a man, Jesus Christ had glory with the Father equal to that of the Father. He “thought it not robbery to be equal with God”. And indeed, He says, “I and my Father are one”, and the only reason why Jesus Christ would appear to be any less God the Father, or to submit his will to that of the Father, is that he should become obedient to death, even the death of the cross, and then be raised up and given the Name (a clear reference to Hashem) above every name. So that in the end by the will of the Father and to his glory, every time will confess that it’s Jesus Christ, who is the Lord, (Adonai).
There are passages in Colossians as well as certain aspects of the way the account is written in Genesis which show to the reader that Jesus Christ is the actual creator of this physical world. When we see God’s footsteps walking in the garden and his confrontation of Adam in Eden, we can understand this to be Jesus Christ and none other. We can understand that Jesus Christ is the one “like unto the son of God” walking in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Mishach and Abednego. We can understand that it’s Jesus Christ who speaks with Abraham bargains with him over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. Indeed, he speaks of this to the Pharisees when they ask him “hast thou known Abraham?” and He says “before Abraham was, I am”, again taking upon himself the name of God eternal, given to Moses on Mount Sinai. At which point they tried to kill him, and he is taken from them, but with no attempt to appease them with an explanation that He did not really mean that He was equal with God.
It pleases God the Father and gives glory to God the Father when we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. When we pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ then we are told by Christ himself that we will be granted our prayers. And whilst at the time in which He was asked to teach the disciples to pray close to the beginning of His ministry, Jesus Christ does not say to his disciples to pray in His Name, it is implicit in the fact that they are calling God “our Father”, that they are placing themselves within Christ Jesus, because only Christ Jesus is in fact, the son of God and our sonship and adoption as children of God proceeds derivatively from the Sonship, which Jesus Christ has got the Father. That is why neither Judaism nor Islam prays to God as “Father”, indeed the term is regarded as inappropriately familiar, as indeed it should be if Christ had not stood in our stead and become our second Adam, he being the true and acknowledge Son of God the Father, and one with him, and one with us now by the vehicle of faith also, faith which by the way he produces in us, therefore re-uniting the penitent believer with God in a way which no angel or any other being of heaven has ever experienced.
And this was in the end the sense of making this world, with all its sins and sufferings – the redemption is more blessed than the sin was accursed. The health that emerges is greater and more appreciated than the health that existed before the sickness that led to the healing. They who are forgiven much, love much. They that are whole have no need of a physician but them that are sick, so Christ came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. And then it is like the return of the prodigal, the feasting and the joy, more than over the elder brothers, the angels, who never went astray. There is not so bitter a tear that the God of heaven cannot dry it with sweetness and eternal joy. Abraham says “Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?” Of course He will, and “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart of man those things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”.