Skip to comments.Yom Kippur: Israel's Reconciliation
Posted on 09/29/2006 8:27:34 AM PDT by Buggman
In my first article on the Fall High Holy Days, we saw that the Feast of Trumpets is intimately linked by both Yeshua and Shaul with Yeshuas Second Coming on the clouds of heaven, and saw that this corresponded with the expectations of the rabbis. Now we come to the second of the Fall Feastdays, and the holiest day of the Jewishwhich is to say, Biblicalcalendar: Yom Kippur takes place on the tenth of Tishri, nine days after Rosh Hashanah.
On that day, the high priest would put on a special coat of white linen and carry out a very unusual sacrifice.
And he shall take the two goats, and present them before YHVH at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for YHVH, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which YHVH's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before YHVH, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness. . . .Today, the sacrifices which were the centerpiece of the Levitical ceremony cannot be held of course, but this does not make it impossible to observe the day. Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur is not a pilgrimage Feast: No one was required to be in Jerusalem (other than the cohenim, or priests) for its service. However, those outside of Jerusalem still bore the responsibility for not doing any work, gathering in a holy convocation (i.e., in their home synagogues), and for denying themselves (Lev. 23:27ff). Out of these three commands, modern Judaism has built its customs.
And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Lev. 16:7-10, 20-22)
After a final, festive meal in the afternoon before Yom Kippur, Jews the world over dress in white in remembrance of the High Priests white linen robe that he would wear within the Holy of Holies, and at sundown go to what is known as the Kol Nidre (All Vows) service. The Kol Nidre is a prayer sung to a haunting cadence, which asks God to release one from any wrongful oaths taken that year. It dates to the Middle Ages, when Jews were forcibly converted to Christianity; they would ask God to release them of the vows taken at the point of a sword. Another traditional song is Avinu Malkeynu (Our Father, Our King), which translates as follows:
Our Father and Our King
Our Father and Our King
Our Father and King
Be merciful to us
Be merciful unto us.
For we have done no deeds
Commending us unto You
For we have no deeds commending us to You
Be merciful, save us, we pray.
Synagogue services typically run all day, with observant Jews petitioning God to forgive their sins. Fasting, denying ones self, is mandated by Torah, and observant Jews will usually refrain from any comforts at all during the day, including bathing, wearing leather shoes, etc. It should be noted that Isa. 58 and Mat. 6:16-18 both speak against fasting to be seen and fasting in lieu of true repentance:
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.True self-denial is not the mere restraint from food, though it may include fasting from food (Mat. 6:16-18, 1 Co. 7:5).
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to YHVH? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? (Isa. 58:3-7)
Yom Kippur ends with the Neilah (The Closing of the Gates) service and a final blast from the shofar. It is said by the rabbis that the gates of Heaven through which our prayers of repentance can rise close at this time, sealing ones fate for the year. Of course, in the Messiah Yeshua, we may always come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). However, there is still an eschatological truth to the rabbinical belief, discussed in the previous article on Rosh Hashanah.
Of course, it may rightly be asked in what sense can one be atoned for on this day without blood, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Lev. 17:11). One who believes in the Messiah Yeshua, of course, looks to Him and His perfect sacrifice for their atonement. Non-Messianic Jews follow the belief established by Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai that acts of righteousness provide atonement (Avot de Rabbi Nathan 4:18). However, even in the Jewish community, the need for blood redemption still runs deep. In the ceremony called Kaparot, practiced only in very Orthodox circles, a chicken is waived over the head three times as the man says,
This is my substitute, my vicarious offering, my atonement. This fowl shall meet death, but I shall enjoy a long, happy life. After reading several selections from Job and the Psalms, the person lays his hand on the head of the bird as a symbol of identification, it is killed as his substitute, and given to the poor for their final meal before the fast. (Howard and Rosenthal, The Feasts of the Lord, p. 126)Why is a chicken used instead of a goat, for example? Because goats, bulls, oxen, rams, and lambs could only be offered for sacrifice in the Temple, so the rabbis forbade the use of any animal which might make it appear that one was continuing the sacrificial system. (Turkey or chicken is substituted for lamb for the Passover dinner in most Ashkenazi homes for the same reason.)
In Biblical times, of course, a bull and two goats were the sacrifices made. The bull was offered for the sins of the High Priest and the other priests, so that he could be purified before entering into Gods presence. The goats, one for Yhvh and one for the scapegoat would then atone for Israel. The word scapegoat is a translation of Azazel. Keil and Delitzsch explain the significance of the word:
Azazel, which only occurs in this chapter, signifies neither a remote solitude, nor any locality in the desert whatever (as Jonathan, Rashi, etc., suppose); nor the he-goat . . . The words, one lot for Jehovah and one for Azazel, require unconditionally that Azazel should be regarded as a personal being, in opposition to Jehovah. . . We have not to think, however, of [just] any demon whatever, who seduces men to wickedness in the form of an evil spirit, as the fallen angel Azazel is represented as doing in the Jewish writings . . . but of the devil himself, the head of the fallen angels, who was afterwards called Satan; for no subordinate evil spirit could have been placed in antithesis to Jehovah as Azazel is here, but only the ruler or head of the kingdom of demons. The desert and desolate places are mentioned elsewhere as the abode of evil spirits (Isa. 13:21 and 34:14; Mat. 12:43; Luk. 11:24; Rev. 18:2). (Keil, Johann and Franz Delitzsch, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, [e-Sword version 7.0.0, ed. Rick Meyers, 2000-2003])And yet, while the scapegoat was, in effect, given over to Azazel, to the very Enemy himself, the two goats . . . must be altogether alike in look, size, and value; indeed, so earnestly was it sought to carry out the idea that these two formed parts of one and the same sacrifice, that it was arranged that they should, if possible, even be purchased at the same time (Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, p. 248). So all speculations that the scapegoat might represent Satan or the Antichrist or some other evil entity fall short. What could these two goats signify other than the dual-natured Messiah Yeshua? He carried away all our sin, just as the scapegoat would be sent into the wilderness with the sins of Israel: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us (Psa. 103:12). Unlike the lambs, goats, and bulls that died on the altar, our Messiah rose again. Thus, like the two goats, He was both sacrificed and yet lives.
A red ribbon was tied in the horns of the scapegoat. When the goat was led out before the people, if God accepted the sacrifice, the ribbon would miraculously turn white as a reminder of the promise that though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18). It is most interesting that for the forty years between the sacrifice of Yeshua and the destruction of the Temple, the scarlet ribbon did not turn white!
Forty years before the Temple was destroyed the chosen lot was not picked with the right hand, nor did the crimson stripe turn white, nor did the westernmost light burn; and the doors of the Temples Holy Place swung open by themselves, until Rabbi Yochanon ben Zakkai spoke saying: O most Holy Place, why have you become disturbed? I know full well that your destiny will be destruction, for the prophet Zechariah ben Iddo has already spoken regarding you saying: 'Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour the cedars' (Zech. 11:1). (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 39b)Hebrews 8 -10 explains that when Messiah completed His sacrifice on the cross, He entered the heavenly Holy of Holies, of which that of the Tabernacle and the Temple were merely copies, to complete the Yom Kippur ritual of atonement. The sacrifice was not accepted because it was being offered by the wrong High Priest:
For Messiah is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others . . . But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. (Heb. 9:24-25, 10:12-13)But if this is the sole and sufficient fulfillment of the feastday of Yom Kippur, then we have a problem. In every other feastday that we have seen fulfilled in history, the fulfillment took place on that day. Yeshua was offered up on Passover as the Lamb of God, thus taking away our sin just as leaven was removed from the Hebrews houses during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He rose as the firstfruits of the dead (cf. 1 Co. 15:20-23) on Sfirat HaOmer or HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits. The Church was given the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) in power on Shavuot, or Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks. And we have seen that His Second Coming seems likely to occur on a Rosh Hashanah in order to fulfill that feastday. Why then would the Day of Atonement be out of sequence?
The Feastdays of the Torah are divided into three groupsthe spring feasts, Shavuot (Pentecost), and then the fall feastseach of which is linked to a distinct stage of the Exodus and Israels instruction at Sinai. In addition, there are at least three minor feasts (that is, those which were not ordained at Sinai) which are also prophetically significant. The key to understanding the Feasts prophetic significance is to understand their historical significance.
When YHVH reorganized Israels calendar by proclaiming the month of the Pesach (Passover) to be the beginning of months (Exo. 12:2), He was establishing that His plan of salvation begins with the Passover. However, to truly understand Gods plan, we begin our brief study not with the Passover, but with the six silent months which separate the Passover from the previous Sinai-ordained Feastday, Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Within this silent period lie two minor Feasts: Hanukkah, which celebrates the victory of Israel over the forces of Antiochus Epiphanes, and Purim, which celebrates her victory over the forces of Haman some three centuries earlier as is described in the book of Esther. Hanukkah has an eschatological significance which will be explored in another article, but for now it is enough to note the element these two feasts share in common: Both celebrate YHVHs hidden protection of and provision for His people. Though He did not act with any obvious miracles like fire from the sky or supernatural plagues, nevertheless He brought His people to victory against overwhelming odds: In Purim by the placement of a Jewish queen, and in Hanukkah by giving the Jews might in battle.
These silent months between Sukkot and Pesach correspond to the 430 silent years which lead up both to the Passover of the Exodus (Gal. 3:17) and the Passover of the Messiah. Both periods were characterized by the lack of a true prophet to lead the people, a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of YHVH" (Amos 8:11). God had not forgotten His people, but it probably felt to them like He had.
When the Lord fulfilled His promise to redeem His people from bondage, it was through the Passover and the death of a Lamb. Gods people were set free from Egypt via the blood of the lamb painted on their doorposts, so that they would not die in Gods wrath. Likewise, Gods people were set free from sin by the blood of the Lamb painted on their hearts, so that they would not die in Gods wrath. The seven days of the Feast of Matzah, in which all the leaven had to be removed from Israels houses and no leaven could be eaten, represents the quick removal of Israel from Egypt (in which there was no time to make leavened bread) and the complete removal of all sin in our lives by the sacrifice of Yeshua as we flee the ways of the world.
In the third month after Israels departure from Egypt, they arrived at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:1). There God descended on the mountain in fire, with the sound of a shofar (vv. 16ff), and called Moses up the mountain to begin giving him the Torah. According to Jewish tradition, the day that this happened was the day of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, a date consistent with the Biblical record. Like HaBikkurim, the Feast of Firstfruits for the barley harvest, on which Messiah was raised as the Firstfruits of the dead (cf. 1 Co. 15:20), Shavuot is a firstfruits festival for the wheat harvest. On the first Shavuot, the firstfruits of the nation of Israel began receiving the Torah. On Shavuot after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, the firstfruits of the Church began receiving the Torah written on their hearts by the giving of the Spirit of God in the form of fire and with a great sound (Jer. 31:33, Ezk. 36:26-27, Acts 2:3ff).
After giving Moses the first commandments, the Lord called him back up the mountain to receive further instruction, and Moses remained with Him for forty days (Exo. 24:18). It was during this period that Aaron led the people in the sin of making and worshiping the golden calf. When Moses descended again from the mountain and saw this, he smashed the stone tablets on which God had written His commandments, signifying that Israel had broken the covenant they had made to follow all of Gods commands, and many in Israel died, both at the hands of the Levites whom Moses commanded to take arms against their kinsmen, and by a plague sent by God. Moreover, Moses removed the Tent of Meeting (not the Tabernacle, which had not yet been built, but a different tent in which Moses lived and met with YHVH; Exo. 33:7ff) to outside the camp, signifying that the peoples sin was great enough that God had removed the visible place which was the focal point of Israels worship and His Presence.
The parallel is not difficult to understand: Forty years after Yeshua ascended into Heaven, Israel still had not repented as a body from her golden calf. Just as Israel in the Exodus fell into the sin of worshipping God in the manner of their tradition (in this case, image-based worship), which they learned while in Egypt, instead of worshipping God in the manner in which He had commanded them, Israel in the first century fell into the sin of worshipping God in the manner of their traditions rather than doing so through the Messiah as He had commanded them. While the details differed, the essential core of the sin was the same.
So was the punishment. As Israel in the Exodus was punished by the sword and plague, so Israel in 70 AD was punished by the sword and plague. And as Israel in the Exodus had the Tent of Meeting removed by their prophet, Moses, so Israel in the first century had the Temple removed by the prophet after Moses, Yeshua HaMashiach. The destruction of both Temples took place on Tishbi bAv, or the 9th of the month of Av. While it cannot be proven, the timing of the Golden Calf incident makes it quite possible that Tishbi bAv is the day on which Moses removed the Tent of Meeting as well.
In the Exodus sin, Gods fury was so great that He said to Moses, Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation (Exo. 32:10). YHVH-Tzvaot, the Lord of Hosts, was actually planning to destroy the whole nation and start over with Moses and his children! This is, in fact, what Replacement Theology claims that God did to Israel in the first century: destroyed them, and replaced them with the Messiahs children, the Church.
Those who believe that God has cast away His chosen nation need to take another look at Exodus. Moses, who had not joined in the sin of the people, interceded for Israel so that God would not utterly destroy them, though He did punish them, even (temporarily) taking away their place of worship. Are we to think that Yeshua did any less, or that His intercession for Israel would be any less heard? And notice the basis on which Moses interceded for Israel: Not on the basis of their obedience or repentance, but on the basis of YHVHs Namethat is, His reputationand His promises (ibid., vv. 12-13). It is on this same basis that the Lord has already begun returning Israel to her land: Thus saith the Lord YHVH; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy Name's sake . . . (Ezk. 36:22).
The Future Fulfillment
Okay, the amillennialist answers, clearly not all of the Jews were destroyed, but the Temple was, and since we are now the Temple of God, there will be no other. Again, keep reading. After seeing to the punishment of Israel and removing the Tent of Meeting, Moses was told by God, And I will send an angel before thee . . . for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way (Exo. 33:2, 3). But Moses, not content that a lesser angel go with Israel, returned up the mountain, and interceded with God for another forty days, going without food or water, until YHVH relented and agreed to send His Presence with Israel. The form in which His Presence went with Israel was in the pillar of fire and cloud which was intimately connected with the Tabernacle:
The Tabernacle of Israel was known by several names. . . The name dwelling from Heb. mishkan, from shakan, to lie down, a dwelling, connected itself with the Jewish, though not scriptural, word Shekinah, as describing the dwelling place of the divine glory. (Unger, F., The New Ungers Bible Dictionary, R.K. Harrison, ed. [Moody, 1988] Tabernacle of Israel, p. 1238)According to the Talmud, the day on which Moses returned with the second set of stone tablets, showing that YHVH had forgiven Israel and restored fellowship with them, was the day of Yom Kippur (Tractate Taanit 30b), and the forty days that he fasted before God correspond with the forty days of Tshuva (Repentence) that are traditionally observed leading up to the Day of Atonement. (This forty-day period of fasting may be the same forty-day period that Yeshua spent fasting and being tested in the wilderness after His baptism.)
Likewise, the day on which Yeshua will return to restore His fellowship with Israel, and direct them in building a Temple greater than that which they built on their own, just as Moses directed Israel in building a Tabernacle greater than the former Tent of Meeting which was taken away from the camp, will be on Yom Kippur. Like the Levitial High Priest emerging from the Holy of Holies to show that God had accepted the sacrifice of the goat on the peoples behalf, Yeshua will emerge from the Holy of Holies in Heaven to show Israel that God has accepted His sacrifice on their behalf.
Yom Kippur is not yet complete. Our High Priest is hidden from our eyes, beyond the veil, making intercession for us day and night, but He has not yet emerged to show all Israel that His blood-stained garments have been turned as white as snow, proving that the Father has accepted the High Priests sacrifice on behalf of all Israel, not just the remnant that now believe. When He does, carrying the sign of a covenant restored before Israel even as Moses did, then the Temple promised by Ezekiel will be built, just as the Tabernacle was.
When will the High Priest come forth? On the last day of Daniels Seventieth Week when Israel and Jerusalem will make reconciliation for iniquity (Dan. 9:24). The word for reconciliation, kaphar, is most often translated atonement.
With Israels sins atoned for, the way will be made for the final stage of the Messiahs reconciliation of all things to Himself. Next we will study Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, when Yeshua will be officially crowned King over all the nations . . . on His birthday.
Shalom, and God bless.
A warning in advance: I'm going to be away from my computer for most of today and most of the weekend, so it'll probbly feel like I've abandoned this thread. I apologize for that, but there were a number of Freepers who asked me to go ahead and post this article now before the advent of the Day of Atonement. Those demanding a defense of my belief that Christians should observe the same Feastdays that our Lord did and does can read my comments on the previous thread or visit my blog.
To any of my non-Messianic Jewish friends who might be offended at my "co-opting" of the Feastdays, I apologize for the offense, but I have to share what I see revealed in the Scriptures, both the Tanakh and the New Testament.
Also, I apologize in advance for any typos that might have escaped me. I didn't have as much time for editing as I would've preferred.
This is sort of the informal Messianic not-a-ping-list. Those I've pinged either directly requested it or showed enough interest in the previous article that I thought you'd enjoy reading this one. If you want on or off this non-ping-list (the Neeners have a strict rule against actually having a ping list), then let me know.
Since you kept the last thread going for so long, I thought I'd invite you to this one as well. Again, I apologize in advance that I won't have time to join in the usual debates until next week.
Ping for later review
Non-ping-list.... 4 me -- please
Will there be more on Yom Kippur, or is this it?
This is it for Yom Kippur, I think, barring any "additions" I make in responding to posts when I can get to it. What, eight pages in MSWord isn't enough for you? ;-)
I see I wasn't invited to the party, but once again, your ideas do not match written scripture.
And I saw no temple therein (the new Jerusalem) for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) are the temple of it.
And the reason you weren't invited is because I saw no reason to invite one who makes unfounded accusations against my integrity instead of making well-written arguments about the subject. If you're going to hang around on this thread, please leave the snarking behind.
Paul says in Romans 5:11. ..through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have the atonement.
We do not have "an atonement", we have the atonement
Jesus' ordainment as High Priest was from God.
Hebrews 7:15-28 gives all the reasons why Christ and Christ alone is able to make atonement.
Hebrews 9:11-28 lists all the reasons why Christ was the perfect offering for sins.
Hebrews 10:1-18, shows why the sacrifice was once, for all
Hebrews10:12, He offered one sacrifice for sins, forever
Your millenial temple is the new Jerusalem, better read it again. You are teaching incorrect ideas not based on scripture, and that is the one reason you don't want me here. I will continue to correct any false notions that I see. If that is "snarking" so be it.
So the Millennial Temple is the New Jerusalem, which has no Temple.
You're just nitpicking without actually reading the article, aren't you?
Thanks for the ping!
Those interested might also want to read:
Count me in, Buggman! Thanks!
"And I saw no temple therein (the new Jerusalem) for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) are the temple of it."
Amen. Christ our only fortress.
18 Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. 19 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."
From an earlier footnote:
35 [Comp. Recognitions, ii. 50, 51, 61-65. The emphasis laid upon supernatural visions in the remainder of the Homily has been supposed to convey an insinuation against the revelations to the Apostle Paul.-R.]
And Peter said: "I remember that I promised to prove this point, and to give my proofs in regard to it from Scripture and apart from Scripture. sand now listen to what I say. We know that there are many (if you will pardon me the statement; and if you don't, I can appeal to those who are present as judges) who worship idols, commit adultery, and sin in every way, and yet they see true visions and dreams, and some of them have also apparitions of demons. For I maintain that the eyes of mortals cannot see the incorporeal form of the Father or Son, because it is illumined by exceeding great light. Wherefore it is not because God envies, but because He pities, that He cannot be seen by man who has been turned into flesh. For he who sees God cannot live. For the excess of light dissolves the flesh of him who sees; unless by the secret power of God the flesh be changed into the nature of light, so that it can see light, or the substance of light be changed into flesh, so that it can be seen by flesh. For the power to see the Father, without undergoing any change, belongs to the Son alone. But the just shall also in like manner behold God;39 for in the resurrection of the dead, when they have been changed, as far as their bodies are concerned, into light, and become like the angels, they shall be able to see Him. Finally, then, if any angel be sent that be may he seen by a man, he is changed into flesh, that he may be able to be seen by flesh. For no one can see the incorporeal power not only of the Son, but not even of an angel. But if one sees an apparition, he should know that this is the apparition of an evil demon.
Chapter XVIII.-The Nature of Revelation.
"Thus to me also was the Son revealed by the Father. Wherefore I know what is the meaning of revelation, having learned it in my own case. For at the very time when the Lord said, `Who do they say that I am? '47 and when I heard one saying one thing of Him, and another another, it came into my heart to say (and I know not, therefore, how I said it), `Thou art the Son of the living God.'48 But He, pronouncing me blessed, pointed out to me that it was the Father who had revealed it to me; and from this time I learned that revelation is knowledge gained without instruction, and without apparition and dreams. And this is indeed the case. For in the soul49 which has been placed in us by50 God, there is all the truth; but it is covered and revealed by the hand of God, who works so far as each one through his knowledge deserves.51 But the declaration of anything by means of apparitions and dreams from without is a proof, not that it comes from revelation, but from wrath. Finally, then, it is written in the law, that God, being angry, said to Aaron and Miriam,52 `If a prophet arise from amongst you, I shall make myself known to him through visions and dreams, but not so as to my servant Moses; because I shall speak to him in an outward appearance, and not through dreams, just as one will speak to his own friend.' You see how the statements of wrath are made through visions and dreams, but the statements to a friend are made face to face, in outward appearance, and not through riddles and visions and dreams, as to an enemy.
Chapter XIX.-Opposition to Peter Unreasonable.
"If, then, our Jesus appeared to you in a vision, made Himself known to you, and spoke to you, it was as one who is enraged with an adversary; and this is the reason why it was through visions and dreams, or through revelations that were from without, that He spoke to you. But can any one be rendered fit for instruction through apparitions? And if you will say, `It is possible, 'then I ask, `Why did our teacher abide and discourse a whole year to those who were awake? 'And how are we to believe your word, when you tell us that He appeared to you? And how did He appear to you, when you entertain opinions contrary to His teaching? But if you were seen and taught by Him, and became His apostle for a single hour, proclaim His utterances, interpret His sayings, love His apostles, contend not with me who companied with Him. For in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church,53 you now stand. If you were not opposed to me, you would not accuse me, and revile the truth proclaimed by me, in order that I may not be believed when I state what I myself have heard with my own ears from the Lord, as if I were evidently a person that was condemned and in bad repute.54 But if you say that I am condemned, you bring an accusation against God, who revealed the Christ to me, and you inveigh against Him who pronounced me blessed on account of the revelation. But if, indeed, you really wish to work in the cause of truth, learn first of all from us what we have learned from Him, and, becoming a disciple of the truth, become a fellow-worker with us."
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