Friday, May 13, 2016

An answer to my brother Rico Cortes: CAN ANY MAN CHANGE WHAT THE KING CALLS HOLY?

…Lessons from the Wilderness… [1] [2] [3] [4]
Volume Three


This epistle is in response to a post on social media by one of my teachers Rico Cortes – a man whom I have profound respect for. Rico posted the following [note: format change is mine, but his words are as he wrote them]:

“…I do have a question?
When a king gives a decree, can a servant change it?
Ok, then if Yah says that he has made something Kadosh which means Holy and set aside for his service.
Does any man have the authority to disregard, discredit, change what YHVH has called KADOSH.
·         The land of Israel Elohim called Holy
·         The Sabbath Elohim called holy
·         The feast Elohim called Holy
·         The Sprit of Elohim is Holy
·         The Name of Elohim of Israel is Holy
·         The people of Israel Elohim called Holy
·         The temple Elohim called Holy
·         The tabernacle he called Holy
·         The Levites and the Family of Aaron are called Holy
·         The temple vessels He called holy
·         The sacrifices Elohim called Holy
·         The mountain Jerusalem He called holy
·         The priestly garments He called Holy
·         The oil of the temple Elohim called Holy
·         The question is?

Please, answer something that will can be backed by scriptures in context. Please take time to answer because if your argument is against anything that Elohim called holy then in fact you will be calling the king a liar and That his oath is not valid.
I will stand with everything that my king calls holy.”[5]

I can’t promise how brief this answer will be – but I like the question. It is one that needs to be asked. So here goes…

There are many examples in Scripture where G-d declares something “Holy” – set apart for Him, or His Purpose, yet there is nowhere in Scripture that G-d gives man authority to change His laws or decrees. Yet some will say Yeshua did this when He gave to Kefa (Peter) the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” in Matthew 16:19:

“…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven…"

In fact, all Yeshua gave to Kefa was the right to set halaka, the way believers were to walk according to the proper interpretation of Torah that Yeshua set down. What he said was released (allowed or permitted), was what should be; what he bound (disallowed or forbid) was what should not be. Sid Roth puts it this way:

“…The Hebrew for binding is to disallow or forbid, and the Hebrew for loosing is to allow or permit. So the verse should read, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you forbid on earth shall have been forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth shall have been permitted in heaven.”  Yeshua was saying that binding and loosing or rather permitting and forbidding are directly connected to this issue of authority. Okay, so, what is being forbidden or permitted? It’s all about how to observe Torah…”[6]

Now the issue wasn’t to drastically alter how Torah was observed – it was who had authority to issue the change – and the only change was the way Yeshua observed Torah, as Father Yahveh had always intended it to be observed – as a matter of the heart, not of restrictive rules and man-made decrees. The obedience of Torah was to be done because one loves the Father and delights in His ways because they are right; anyone may argue with my assessment here – that is okay, but Scripture clearly says we are to walk as Messiah did. He broke not one mitzvoth – He obeyed unto death. We are to do no less.

The real question is one of authority (see Matthew 21:23).

A quick study of the word “authority” yields us with a variety of definitions.

One Hebrew word that authority can be traced to is מֶמְשָׁלָה memshâlâh.
This is defined in The Hebrew &Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament as:

“…מֶמְשָׁלָה" :II משׁל, Bauer-L. Heb. 490a, 614; MHeb. DSS: cs. מֶמְשֶׁלֶת (Sir 74 abs.), מֶמְשֶׁלְתְּךָ Leningrad Is 2221 Ps 14513 Bomberg מֶמְשַׁ׳, מֶמְשַׁלְתּוֹ, מֶמְשְׁלוֹת (Ps 1369 rd. מֶמְשֶׁלֶת), מַמְשְׁלוֹתָיו (MSS מֶמְ׳, Sept., Pesh., Jerome sg.): —1. dominion over with sf. Gn 116, with בְּ Ps 1368f, abs. Is 2221 Mi 48 Ps 10322 14513 (of Yahweh) Da 115 Sir 74 436; —2. area of one’s dominion אֶרֶץ מֶ׳ 1K 919 Jr 341 5128 2C 86; > מֶ׳ 2K 2013/Is 392, pl. Ps 1142 (see above !); —3. military strength 2C 329 (= חֵיל כָּבֵד 2K 1817). …” [7]

In the Greek the word used in Matthew 21:23 is the word ἐξουσία, (transliteration:  exousia or ex-oo-see'-ah). This carries the (many) definition as:

“…ἐξουσία exousía; gen. exousías, fem. noun from éxesti (1832), it is permissible, allowed. Permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something (Acts 26:12). As éxesti denies the presence of a hindrance, it may be used either of the capability or the right to do a certain action. The words éxesti and exousía combine the two ideas of right and might. As far as right, authority, or capability is concerned, it involves ability, power, strength (dúnamis [1411]) as in Matt. 9:8; 28:18.
(I) The power of doing something, ability, faculty (Matt. 9:8; John 19:11; Acts 8:19; Rev. 13:12). Followed by the gen. art. and the pres. inf. (Luke 10:19); by the pres. inf. (Matt. 9:6, i.e., He is able to forgive; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24; John 5:27); by the aor. inf. (Luke 12:5; John 10:18; 19:10; Rev. 9:10). With the meaning of strength, force, efficiency (Matt. 7:29; Mark 1:22; Rev. 9:3, 19), with the prep. en (1722), in, and the dat., en exousía as adjunct, powerful (Luke 4:32); with the prep. katá (2596), according to, kat˒ exousían being equivalent to en exousía, as adv., i.e., with intensive strength, with point and effect (Mark 1:27 [cf. Luke 4:36]).
(II) Power of doing or not doing, i.e., license, liberty, free choice (Acts 1:7; 5:4; Rom. 9:21; 1 Cor. 7:37, “if it stands in his own free will” [a.t.]; 8:9; 9:4–6, 12, 18; 2 Thess. 3:9; Rev. 22:14).
(III) Power as entrusted, i.e., commission, authority, right, full power (Matt. 8:9; 21:23, 24, 27; Mark 3:15; 11:28, 29, 33; Luke 20:2, 8; John 1:12; Acts 9:14; 26:10, 12; 2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10; Heb. 13:10; Rev. 13:5).
(IV) Power over persons and things, dominion, authority, rule.
(A) Particularly and generally (Matt. 28:18, “Unto me was given all authority in heaven and on earth” [a.t.]; Mark 13:34; Luke 7:8, i.e., subject to authority, rule; Jude 1:25; Rev. 13:2, 4; 17:12, 13; 18:1; Sept.: Ps. 136:8, 9; Dan. 3:33; 4:31). Before the gen. of person to whom the power belongs (Luke 20:20; 22:53, “of darkness”; Acts 26:18, “the power of Satan”; Col. 1:13; Rev. 12:10, “the authority of Christ” [a.t.]). Followed by the gen. of the object subjected to the power (Matt. 10:1; Mark 6:7, “power over unclean spirits”; John 17:2). Followed by epí (1901), upon, with the gen. (Rev. 2:26, “power over”; 11:6; 14:18; 20:6); by epí, with the acc. in the same sense (Luke 9:1; Rev. 6:8; 13:7; 16:9); by the inf. with hó̄ste (5620), so that, implied (Rev. 11:6 [cf. Matt. 10:1]); by epánō (1883), on, with the gen. (Luke 19:17).
(B) As a metonym used for: (1) What is subject to one’s rule, dominion, domain, jurisdiction (Luke 4:6; 23:7; Sept.: 2 Kgs. 20:13; Ps. 114:2). (2) In pl. or coll., those invested with power as the powers of rulers, magistrates (Luke 12:11; Rom. 13:1–3; Titus 3:1). For the celestial and infernal powers, princes, potentates, e.g., angels, archangels (Eph. 1:21; 3:10; Col. 1:16; 2:10; 1 Pet. 3:22); demons (Eph. 6:12; Col. 2:15). See aé̄r (109), air, in Eph. 2:2. Generally of the powerful adversaries of the gospel (1 Cor. 15:24 [cf. arché̄ {746}, principality]). (3) In 1 Cor. 11:10, where exousía is used as an emblem of power, i.e., a veil or covering (cf. 1 Cor. 11:13, 16) as an emblem of subjection to the power of a husband, a token of modest adherence to duties and usages established by law or custom lest spies or evil–minded persons should take advantage of any impropriety in the meetings of the Christians (cf. timé̄ [5092], honor).
Syn.: krátos (2904), dominion; dúnamis (1411), power. Exousía denotes the executive power while arché̄ (746), rule, represents the authority granting the power.
Deriv.: exousiázō (1850), to exercise authority.
Ant.: asthéneia (769), weakness…” [8]

I understand these are long, technical definitions, but I need to convey the full sense of what we call Biblical Authority. Only by first laying out this groundwork can we truly answer Rico’s question. As I said before, the real question has to do with who had or has the authority to alter G-d’s word? The answer may shock you.

No one. Not even Yeshua.

No man has that authority, and even Yeshua, no matter whether a person holds to the idea of echad=unity (i.e. just another way to say “Trinity”), or if one is a monotheist and holds to another view of the divinity of Yeshua, or whatever view one has (and don’t get me wrong – what you believe is between you and Yah) – even Yeshua Himself said the following – and one note here – if I only give a one verse reference, it does not mean I am “cherry picking”, for I expect you to be serious students of the word of G-d. For brevity’s sake, I am only including one or a few verses in each reference, but YOU should read these verses in context – five or ten above each reference and five or ten verses below them -  whatever it takes for you to fully grasp the context. It is only in context that any should study the Scriptures – for then the word of G-d cannot be twisted and manipulated into saying something it does not. So, in that understanding, Yeshua said:

Joh 8:25-29  So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus replied, "What I have told you from the beginning.  (26)  I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the Father who sent me is truthful, and the things I have heard from him I speak to the world."  (27)  (They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.)  (28)  Then Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me.  (29)  And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him."

Joh 8:42  Jesus replied, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come from God and am now here. I have not come on my own initiative, but he sent me.

Joh 12:44-50  But Jesus shouted out, "The one who believes in me does not believe in me, but in the one who sent me,  (45)  and the one who sees me sees the one who sent me.  (46)  I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in darkness.  (47)  If anyone hears my words and does not obey them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world.  (48)  The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has a judge; the word I have spoken will judge him at the last day.  (49)  For I have not spoken from my own authority, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak.  (50)  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. Thus the things I say, I say just as the Father has told me."

Joh 14:8-11  Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."  (9)  Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? (10)  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (11)  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

Joh 14:23-24  Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (24)  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

·         The point is this: Yeshua’s own words make it clear where the message He spoke and the authority to do the works He did came from: The Father.
·         He worked not His own agenda – it was YHVH’s agenda.
·         He spoke not words on His own accord – They came from Yah.
·         He taught not His interpretation of Torah: He taught what Elohim told Him to teach.
·         He had the authority to speak these words to do these deeds but He came not in His own authority – He came in the authority granted to Him by the Almighty Living Yah.

In answer to Rico’s question:
·         None have the authority to alter G-d’s word; none can set aside what Yahveh has called “holy” or “set-apart”.
·         The covenants of Yah are everlasting.
·         The feasts of Yah are forever more.
·         The nation of Israel was and is and will remain the apple of His eye.
·        The Sabbath is Forever.
       The Torah shall not depart.

·         We of the nations that bow down now will be or are grafted into the family of Israel, and can come alongside our brethren the Jews, not to replace, but added into the book of life, all praise and glory be to Yah the Father for sending all His Son!

·         Yeshua will return and reign until ALL His enemies are put under His feet and then, only then, does the Son return control back to His Father, so Yah can be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:22-28).

I hope this answers your question Rico.

May Yah richly bless you all, His beloved, Amein

[1] Authors note: Use of information from Jewish-themed websites should not be construed as these sites endorsing or confirming any thesis introduced by the author of this epistle. I present the information from their respective sites for instructional purposes only and/or to aid in the readers understanding of the subjects discussed. The inverse is also true – by using these sites in no way confirms or denies that this author holds to all things found on these sites – but brethren, we all can learn from one another, Jew and Gentile; may it be so in shalom and love and respect.
[2]  Author’s note:  Throughout this study I’ll be using the Net® Bible and  the Net® Notes: within the notes you’ll see symbols like this: ( א B Ψ 892* 2427 sys). These are abbreviations used by the NetBible© for identifying the principal manuscript evidence that they (authors and translators of the NetBible©)  used in translating the New Testament. Please go to and see their section labeled “NET Bible Principals of Translation” for a more complete explanation on these symbols and other items pertinent to the way the NET Bible uses them.
[3] Author’s Note: In these studies I have used the notes that come along with the passages I cite from the sources that I cite: these need a bit of a disclaimer though. As in all things, not everything that is footnoted is something that I necessarily agree with, especially if it contradicts what I believe pertains to any matters of the Torah or the commandments of G-d. I give you the notes as they are written by the authors of the material I cite from, so that you can see the information contained within them. It truly is not my place to edit or correct them; if they state anything that is in opposition to what I teach, then so be it. I will address these issues if requested, but for the sake of brevity (as if any of these posts of mine are brief ) I insert them and let them stand as they are. If I don’t agree with them, why do I include them you might ask? I don’t believe in censuring anyone’s opinions or scholarship; as I would not want mine censured, so I will not do to that to another. As Rabbi Hillel once stated, “What is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. Go and learn it.” Torah leads me to respect others, even if I disagree; it leads me to present both sides of the coin, even if it could mean I’d lose part of the argument. That is not to say I should not challenge something I believe contradicts the truth of G-d’s word; that I will do in the main body of my epistles; that is where my gentle dissent belongs. Most (but not all) of the differences will come when I quote from the NET® Bible (but not exclusively); it has a decidedly Western/Greek mindset to it, but as a wise man once said “How do you eat chicken? Swallow the meat and spit out the bones…” I do though want to present the NET® notes because there is a wealth of information and research contained within them that I hope you find helpful.
[4] One may wonder why I omit the “o” when I write the title “G-d”. While there are many who say that to leave out the “o” is a sign of being under the influence of the Rabbis who forbid saying the name of Yahveh, I say, one must come to a conclusion on their own, and do as their heart convicts them (within the bounds of G-d’s word of course). I believe in the power of the name of the Most High – the name of Yahveh – and in uttering it in awe and reverence, yet find no contradiction in my soul for the hyphenated title “G-d”. I have written it both ways – stopped doing it, and now I have returned to the practice – as I said, one must follow the conviction of their heart. I do not disrespect anyone else’s opinion on this matter, and regardless if you think it wrong or right, I ask for the same respect. Let each be fully persuaded in their own mind and heart – and let G-d sort it out with each believer. For now, this is right for me, till the Father corrects - or confirms; I am after all, a work in progress. Shalom. 
[5] From a post in Facebook® by Rico Cortes; see his website at
DSS Dead Sea Scrolls; → Dam.; DJD; Kuhn Konkordanz
Sept. Septuagint; → Swete Septuagint, Göttingen Edition 1936ff; Rahlfs Sept.; Brooke-M. OT in Greek; SeptA → BHS Prolegomena p. iv; Würthwein Text 75f (fourth ed.); SeptRa → Rahlfs Septuaginta
Pesh. Peshiṭta; → Würthwein Text 64ff (fourth ed. 86ff)
Jerome → Siegfried ZAW 4:34ff; Sperber Translit.; Barr JSS 12; Kahle Geniza 166
[7]Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M., & Stamm, J. J. (1999, c1994-1996). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament. Volumes 1-4 combined in one electronic edition. (electronic ed.) (596). Leiden; New York: E.J. Brill.
[8]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G1849). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

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