The Abomination of Desolation

Chapter 9: The Restoration

 

 

Yahshuah said, “Wretched is the body that is dependent upon a body, and wretched is the soul that is dependent on these two.” Thomas 87

 

Although it may not be commonly understood that the Law of Moses holds carnism in such great contempt as we have seen in the previous chapters, or even that the Old Testament ideal was veganism, it has been demonstrated and will be understood that the sacrificial system of the Levitical priesthood stands in stark contrast with the message of the prophets of Israel. This understanding is especially important mainly because the common perception of an inherent contradiction between the Law (the Pentateuch) and the Prophets (the rest of the Bible, minus the sayings and distinctly Jewish fables which do not properly belong in it) disappears with the realization that they are in agreement, and also because the belief that the Law of Moses is inferior to the gospel of Christ actually finds merit, unlike in the mainstream Christian paradigm which reduces both to total absurdity. However, this realization does not amount to the idea that the Law is bunk, but rather that it is for sinners (only). (This only makes sense with the realization that you must already obey the mandates of the Law in order for it not to have any authority over you. This is the case with any punitive legal system, not just the Law of Moses!) Nor does it establish the idea, as the Christians allege, that freedom from the Law is tantamount to laissez-faire humanism and hedonism. We have already observed that Christ demands more righteousness than Moses—and no wonder, as it is to God’s standard that Christ makes his appeal directly, while the Law was described by God himself as a test to see whether Israel would live by it.

That being said, the Prophets are in agreement that the Judeo-Christian doctrine of atonement by sacrifice is completely ineffectual wherever it fails to produce repentance, which is necessarily antithetical to sinning at the fundamental level of the paradigm. Without exception, every prophet of the Old Testament despised the practice of sacrifices that fell outside the bounds imposed by the Law, and their animosity was carried over into the New Testament even to what would be considered lawful sacrifice. (These prophets included not just those whose books have been quoted in the previous chapter, but all the prophets—i.e. everyone who was set-apart from the Law to follow the way of Yahweh, whether as a Levite or as a Nazarite. At any given time, there were thousands who fit this description, rather than just a handful, as commonly supposed. This is evident, for example, in the fact that God numbered 7000 even after Ahab and Jezebel had wiped out the majority of them, and all among the sect of Nazarites except Elijah.)

As we have said several times now, the Law was only intended to induce repentance by creating a record of a debt which needed to be paid, and instead the Israelites took it as an occasion to sin more by practicing carnism. Sin is privation (debt), so the idea was, if you sinned, then you lost something in order to pay off the debt. This is the definition of ‘redemption’ in the legal sense, or of ‘atonement’ in the moral or theological sense, and is critical to understanding what the New Testament is all about.

Under the Law of Moses, a great sin could merit the loss of an animal which you had to bring to the Tabernacle yourself. Anyone who has ever raised an animal from the time it was born, or had a house pet that he truly cared for, can sympathize with the fact that being forced to put your hand on its head and to watch it die needlessly, just because you broke the Law, would discourage you from breaking it again. To then proceed to eat the animal and take any satisfaction in it would be unthinkable for most people, who would rather bury their pets, just as it would be hard, though not nearly as personal, for any sympathetic priest performing the ceremony. (A priest who is typically cheerful when he leads a typical funeral ceremony is likely to be out of the job shortly after a few instances.) In terms of whether this ceremony actually constitutes a loss (and who does not consider a house pet a member of his family, at least to some degree?), considering how big a deal people typically tend to make about the relatively trivial citations they have to pay off for infractions of traffic regulations, we imagine that this much harsher punishment was very effective among those whose sense of right and wrong had not been gradually obliterated by the constant practice of sin and redemption.

The historical problem with this system is not a matter of design, but that people found a way around it, thus bypassing the point of it altogether (the point being to induce a sense of guilt, and therefore repentance). Rather than going to the Temple with their own ewes or livestock, they took advantage of an industry which was built up around the sale of animals for slaughter which the sinners who came there had no emotional attachment to. The Bible calls these miscreants “the moneychangers,” but we should think of them as a banking guild, which charged a commission for currency exchange and specialized in the exchange of animals for slaughter. In other words, they were the world’s first industrial animal farming firm.

The moneychangers’ currency exchange was practically forbidden by the Law, because usury (lending money for profit) was, and their function was to give the sinners a coin which was acceptable by the Law for paying the debt, because the money which the sinners were using was “unclean” on account of its graven images. (This was especially true during the Roman Empire period, due to the face of the Emperor on the coins and the nature of the Imperial cult, which we will be discussing in detail later.) Considering that the sinner used this unclean money to purchase a different currency, and the new currency was used to purchase an animal, and the animal was used to purchase atonement, the sinner was effectively trading in the wealth of his sin for the piety of impoverishment, while the moneychanger was making a profit on it. It was therefore the moneychanger who was taking on the sin, rather than the priest who was supposed to take the animal directly from the sinner. This puts the moneychanger in the role of the priest. Needless to say, if he was the first man you dealt with at the Temple, he would leave an impression of some sort, and if he was advocating that you sin more, because it was to his economic advantage to have a greater demand for his service, then he was subverting and effecting the opposite intention of the role of the priest, as well as the whole process in its entirety.

Thanks to economic practices which encouraged an industry of sacrifice, like those of the moneychangers and of the shrine prostitutes before them, and mostly to the Israelites’ lust for flesh, slaughter offerings were desired rather than regretted. In effect, people were paying for meat, rather than “paying” for their sins. Furthermore, this was already going on from the moment the Israelites stepped into Palestine, so it is no wonder that after a full 14 centuries of this constant and rampant disobedience and rejection of the Law, Yahshuah aimed to “fulfill” it by superseding the particulars of its mandates and getting rid of the slaughtering altogether. Consider his remarks in John 4 which express an obvious contempt for sacrificial customs as a whole, rather than any particular cult, as well as a clear and deliberate contrast between their system (the one which he expressly intended to abolish) and his (the one which he expressly intended to create): “The hour is coming, and now is, when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem … when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth … those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

It is by no stretch of the imagination an exaggeration to say that Yahshuah’s murder was the direct result of his initiative to break the power of the moneychangers. This fact alone makes it the focal point of his entire ministry, as Christians pretend that his death is an atoning sacrifice and that nothing else (including his entire testimony) matters at all, so that they can eat meat apart from the notions of solemnity and guilt which God intentionally attached to it by the regulations of the sacrifice. This, too, was prophesied many centuries earlier, and these prophecies show that Yahshuah was merely carrying out the mandate of the prophets before him.

And every pot in Yerushalayim and Yehuḏah shall be set-apart to יהוה of hosts. And all those who slaughter shall come and take them and cook in them. And there shall no longer be a merchant in the House of יהוה of hosts, in that day. Zechariah 14:21

So it is no wonder that Yahshuah is quoted in the Gospel of Thomas (64) as saying “Businessmen and merchants will not enter the places of my Father.” For clarification, though, it was not the fact that he openly challenged the merchants’ monopoly on a certain trade that got him killed; it was the fact that he was aiming to destroy the system of sacrifice in its entirety, and bring the people under his influence to repentance and observance of God’s higher moral law. In other words, he was going to finish what the prophets before him had started—those who were likewise murdered or driven into exile for speaking out against the establishment in Jerusalem.

So while some Christians are content to blame Yahshuah’s death on the Romans, some on the Jews, some on all humanity, and most on God (because God allegedly required his blood as a sacrificial offering to himself, even though God himself is allegedly the victim of the sacrifice), in reality, the blame rightly falls upon those supporting the Temple trade of the animal farming industry: the consumers, i.e. the meat-eaters. They were not just accused of it by the apostles, who called it what it was—“murder”—but they also told Pilate that they were happy to take responsibility for it. Moreover, Pilate’s own wife was a believer, and he himself referred to Yahshuah as the messiah and the zadok, which is what his own followers were calling him.

Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with יהושע who is called Messiah?” They all said to him, “Let Him be impaled!” And the governor said, “Indeed, what evil has He done?” And they were crying out all the more, saying, “Let Him be impaled!” And when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this Righteous One. You shall see to it.” Matthew 27:24

“And as the lame man who was healed was clinging to Kĕpha and Yoḥanan, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Shelomoh’s, greatly amazed. And seeing it, Kĕpha responded to the people, “Men of Yisra’ĕl, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or reverence we have made him walk? The Elohim of Aḇraham, and of Yitsḥaq, and of Yaʽaqoḇ, the Elohim of our fathers, esteemed His Servant יהושע, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you denied the Set-apart and Righteous One, and asked that a man, a murderer, be granted you. But you killed the Leader of life, whom Elohim raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.” Acts 3:11-15

We already know that “leader of life” is a description tantamount to saying “the son of Adam,” as in, “the one in whom God has invested the spirit of life, and who was predestined to vanquish the serpent.” It is fitting, then, that Yahshuah would be called this, in direct contrast to the “murderer” Barabbas, whose name in Aramaic (the language of the Jews—so he was a Jew) means ‘son of the father.’ The fact that he is called Barabbas in this context and in the Gospels is likely due to the fact that Yahshuah claimed the Jews had the Devil as their father, and that he was “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:42-44). There can be no doubt, therefore, even apart from the Barabbas connection, that Yahshuah’s rant against the Jews in John 8 pertains to their eating flesh, as that is exactly what the sin of the serpent in Genesis was.

The incident recorded here in Acts 3 is very revealing, because it shows exactly what was on the minds of Yahshuah’s disciples immediately after his death, resurrection and ascension. Peter’s speech amounts to a description of the redemptive work of Yahshuah, but bears no resemblance whatsoever to what Christians universally uphold it as. It was concluded with his arrest (and with John’s), which makes it even clearer that they were carrying on Yahshuah’s legacy, and that they were in trouble with the authorities for exactly the same reasons as he had been. That legacy, they claimed, was also the legacy of the (Old Testament) prophets, as well as being the historical basis of the true Christian religion, due to the mass conversion by way of the disciples’ teachings. Had they taught something which was false, or not in line with the prophetic tradition, then obviously they would not have been taken seriously, or else they could have been easily discredited by the religious authorities which sought to silence them.

“And now, brothers, I know that you did it in ignorance, as your rulers did too. But this is how Elohim has filled what He had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that His Messiah was to suffer. Repent therefore and turn back, for the blotting out of your sins, in order that times of refreshing might come from the presence of the Master, and that He sends יהושע Messiah, pre-appointed for you, whom heaven needs to receive until the times of restoration of all matters, of which Elohim spoke through the mouth of all His set-apart prophets since of old. For Mosheh truly said to the fathers, ‘יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brothers. Him you shall hear according to all matters, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every being who does not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Shemu’ĕl and those following, have also announced these days [“the times of restoration”]. You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which Elohim made with our fathers, saying to Aḇraham, ‘And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, Elohim, having raised up His Servant יהושע, sent Him to bless you, in turning away each one of you from your wicked ways.” Acts 3:17-26

The event (a miraculous healing) which had caused the people to seek the disciples just prior to this discourse also caused the Sanhedrin to convene. (The Sanhedrin was a council of Jewish elders, composed at that time of Pharisees and Sadducees, roughly equivalent to a national parliament or bicameral judiciary.) They could not decide what to do to the disciples, because everyone was praising God over the miracle, and the disciples had the mob on their side. Later on, however, Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin and accused of saying that Yahshuah would undo the laws given by Moses. The text calls this allegation false, implying that Yahshuah was actually upholding Moses, which is obviously what he meant by the statements recorded in Matthew 5, which we quoted at the beginning of this treatise.

And they set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this set-apart place and the Torah, for we have heard him saying that this יהושע of Natsareth shall overthrow this place and change the institutes which Mosheh delivered unto us.” And all who sat in the council, looking steadily at him, saw his face was like the face of a heavenly messenger. And the high priest said, “Is this so?” Acts 6:13-7:1

Stephen’s response to the charge was a speech where he told them Israel’s history, as if they did not already know it. The only reason he could have had for doing so is that he had a different point of view than they did, and wanted to accentuate something they were in the habit of ignoring or overlooking. His point of view is essentially that the Israelites (including they) had never even accepted Moses, which is exactly why the Law was given to them in the first place. The focus of 7:37 makes it clear that the rest of the speech was intended to set the basis for his response to the charge by reminding them that Moses himself had laid the groundwork for the dismantling of the Law. His speech implicitly compares Solomon’s Temple to the Israelites who fashioned a golden calf while Moses was atop Mt. Sinai, implying that the Temple sacrifices are no different from the sacrifices the Israelites made to false gods for 40 years in the wilderness while Moses yet lived—and no wonder, for we have already seen that the sin of Jeroboam who succeeded Solomon as King of Israel and set the precedent for all the rest was none other than a double portion of the Golden Calf.

“At that time Mosheh was born, and he was well-pleasing to Elohim. And he was reared three months in the house of his father. But when he was exposed, the daughter of Pharaoh took him up and reared him as her own son. And Mosheh was instructed in all the wisdom of the Mitsrites, and was mighty in words and works. And when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Yisra’ĕl. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended and revenged him who was oppressed, smiting the Mitsrite. And he thought that his brothers would have understood that Elohim would give deliverance to them by his hand, but they did not understand. And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and urged them to peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers, why do you wrong one another?’ But he who was wronging his neighbour pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you wish to kill me as you killed the Mitsrite yesterday?’ And at this saying, Mosheh fled and became a sojourner in the land of Miḏyan, where he fathered two sons. And after forty years were completed, a Messenger of יהוה appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai. And Mosheh, seeing it, marvelled at the sight, and coming near to look, the voice of יהוה came to him, saying, ‘I am the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Aḇraham and the Elohim of Yitsḥaq and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ.’ And Mosheh trembled and did not have the courage to look. But יהוה said to him, ‘Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is set-apart ground. I have certainly seen the evil treatment of my people who are in Mitsrayim, and I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, let Me send you to Mitsrayim.’ This Mosheh whom they had refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this one Elohim sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Messenger who appeared to him in the bush. This one led them out, after he had done wonders and signs in the land of Mitsrayim, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is the Mosheh who said to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brothers. Him you shall hear.’ This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the Messenger who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received the living Words to give to us, unto whom our fathers would not become obedient, but thrust away, and in their hearts they turned back to Mitsrayim, saying to Aharon, ‘Make us mighty ones to go before us, for this Mosheh who led us out of the land of Mitsrayim, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, and brought an offering to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their own hands. So Elohim turned and gave them up to worship the host of the heaven, as it has been written in the book of the Prophets, ‘Did you bring slaughtered beasts and offerings unto Me during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Yisra’ĕl? And you took up the tent of Moleḵ, and the star of your mighty one Kiyyun, images which you made to bow before them. Therefore I shall remove you beyond Baḇel.’ The Tent of Witness was with our fathers in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Mosheh to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Yehoshua into the land possessed by the gentiles, whom Elohim drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of Dawiḏ, who found favour before Elohim and asked to find a dwelling for the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, but Shelomoh built Him a house. However, the Most High does not dwell in dwellings made with hands, as the prophet says: ‘The heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. What house shall you build for Me? says יהוה, or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these?’ You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Set-apart Spirit, as your fathers did, you also do. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who before announced the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who received the Torah as it was ordained by messengers, but did not watch over it.” Acts 7:20-53

Again, Stephen clearly says in 7:42 that God gave them over to worship of the “host of heaven,” i.e. the pagan pantheons, described elsewhere as demons. That they were not sacrificing to Yahweh (“Did you bring slaughtered beasts and offers to me?”) implies that they were sacrificing to someone else—the host of heaven. The implication here is either that the Israelites were sacrificing to demons, or that God had already demonstrated that he was happiest with them when they were not sacrificing at all, because they had nothing to sacrifice, because he had forbidden it and forced them (against their will) to stick to the manna he was giving them. However we choose to look at it, this was clearly intended by Stephen to invalidate the entire function of the priesthood, and of the Temple as a whole, which also means that this is what the intent of the original passages he cited was.

Given that this speech was delivered probably not more than a few days or weeks after Peter’s invocation of the exact same text, it is obvious that this is what was on the minds of those who had witnessed the events of Yahshuah’s passion, and who had believed in him. Stephen was implicitly admitting that the charge that Yahshuah had undermined the Law (and that he was doing the same) was essentially true in point of fact, but could not be legally used against him, because the changes to the Law were mandated by the Law itself, as was even the death of those who refused to adhere to them, which in this case clearly indicts the Sanhedrin. The question, then, is whether or not Yahshuah had the authority to effect these changes, which he did, because he had the authority of “heaven and earth,” and no one could challenge it. This is also why the Witnesses who render the final judgment of the world in Revelation 11 are two in number (the Law and the Prophets), for by law, two witnesses were required to pronounce a sentence of death.

“When you come into the land which יהוה your Elohim is giving you, do not learn to do according to the abominations of those gentiles. Let no one be found among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practises divination, or a user of magic, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these are an abomination to יהוה, and because of these abominations יהוה your Elohim drives them out from before you. Be perfect before יהוה your Elohim, for these nations whom you are possessing do listen to those using magic and to diviners. But as for you, יהוה your Elohim has not appointed such for you. “יהוה your Elohim shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brothers. Listen to Him, according to all you asked of יהוה your Elohim in Ḥorĕḇ in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of יהוה my Elohim, nor let me see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And יהוה said to me, ‘What they have spoken is good. I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be, the man who does not listen to My Words which He speaks in My Name, I require it of him.’” Deuteronomy 18:9-19

And since then no prophet has arisen in Yisra’ĕl like Mosheh, whom יהוה knew face to face. Deuteronomy 34:10

“If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to Yoḥanan, and he bore witness to the truth. But I do not receive witness from man, but I say this in order that you might be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and for a while you wished to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than that of Yoḥanan, for the works that the Father gave Me to accomplish, the works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father who sent Me, He bore witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. And you do not have His Word staying in you, because you do not believe Him whom He sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you possess everlasting life in them. And these are the ones that bear witness of Me. But you do not desire to come to Me in order to possess life. I do not receive esteem from men, but I know you, that you do not have the love of Elohim in you. I have come in My Father’s Name and you do not receive Me, if another comes in his own name, him you would receive. How are you able to believe, when you are receiving esteem from one another, and the esteem that is from the only Elohim you do not seek? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Mosheh, in whom you have set your expectation. For if you believed Mosheh, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?” John 5:31-47

Notice from Acts 7 that the words which got Stephen killed were that they had received a law apart from Moses—this being the “heavenly tables,” the implication being that the Law of Moses was never really legitimate to begin with. His reference to the “Most High” is a clear association with the order of Melchizedek, as is the description of the covenant with Abraham in the preceding verses. He even went so far as to proclaim that the Temple of Solomon was itself an abomination, having been devised neither by God, nor by Moses. According to these people, it was blasphemy just to speak ill of the Temple, but Yahshuah left no room for doubt that he held contempt for it when he declared that he would raise a new one in three days. The Gospel of Thomas does not even bother to mention the “three days” part, implying a distinction between Yahshuah’s desire to destroy the Temple, and his desire to be raised from the dead.

Yahshuah said, “I shall destroy this house, and no one will be able to rebuild it.” Thomas 71

Even though the Jews clearly missed the dual meaning, Stephen did not, so his implication is that the Most High does dwell in Yahshuah. This would have been considered blasphemy in the eyes of his judges, which was enough to warrant his death in their eyes, but it was also deliberately set in stark contrast to what he was accusing them of: worshiping the Temple which was built in spite of Moses, and not by God’s command or to his glory, as if to specifically spite Moses. Nor is this just ironic, for throughout Scripture we are told that God judges us by the same rule we use to judge others, so it is not adhering to a different law than someone else which puts us in jeopardy of condemnation, but our own hypocrisy which does. So the charge, by Stephen’s own admission, was true, and by laying it on him, they were really charging Moses. And by charging Moses, to whom they claimed to give reverence, they were ultimately charging themselves of a crime they were thoroughly and undeniably guilty of, according to their own standard.

So the Law and the Prophets are in agreement after all, and it is wrong to kill. The only reason either one was ever necessary for communicating God’s will is that people just do not want to hear it, because they are too caught up in their fleshly desires, by which they are temples of demons and not of their creator. There is, therefore, “a great chasm” between Man and God, owing to Man’s adultery. The Christians who have received the Gospel have failed to understand even the basic associations in Yahshuah’s parables (the core of his teachings), so they think that there are several distinct lines of teaching with no cohesion and no meaning in any given context, but in fact, there is only one, and the meaning should be clear by now: the teachings are all just a reiteration of same principles of the Law. So rather than dissect and examine each of the parables one by one, we will just tell of one and explain it briefly, even as Yahshuah explained them to his disciples. The reader is at liberty to examine the others.

And the Pharisees, who loved silver, also heard all this, and were sneering at Him, so He said to them, “You are those who declare yourselves righteous before men, but Elohim knows your hearts, because what is highly thought of among men is an abomination in the sight of Elohim. The Torah and the prophets are until Yoḥanan. Since then the reign of Elohim is being announced, and everyone is doing violence upon it. And it is easier for the heaven and the earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Torah to fall. Everyone putting away his wife and marrying another commits adultery. And everyone marrying her who is put away from her husband commits adultery. But there was a certain rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and lived luxuriously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Elʽazar, being covered with sores, who was placed at his gate, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Indeed, even the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to be that the beggar died, and was carried by the messengers to the bosom of Aḇraham. And the rich man also died and was buried. And while suffering tortures in the grave, having lifted up his eyes, he saw Aḇraham far away, and Elʽazar in his bosom. And crying out he said, ‘Father Aḇraham, have compassion on me, and send Elʽazar to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering in this flame.’ But Aḇraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your life you received your good, and likewise Elʽazar the evil, but now he is comforted and you are suffering. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set, so that those who wish to pass from here to you are unable, nor do those from there pass to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, let him warn them, lest they also come to this place of torture.’ Aḇraham said to him, ‘They have Mosheh and the prophets, let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Aḇraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they shall repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Mosheh and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded even if one should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:14-31

The reason we have cited this parable instead of another is because, in spite of the seemingly incongruent nature of Luke’s narration throughout the book, it manages to attach Yahshuah’s implicit condemnation of material pleasures to the Pharisees’ love of material wealth by way of the adultery metaphor. Adultery, therefore, is really what is being condemned, and it is adultery of the spirit that is being spoken of here rather than of the flesh—though adultery of the spirit takes its form in adultery of the flesh. Yahshuah was openly, if only subtly, accusing the Pharisees of having divorced themselves from Moses and from God, and fornicating with Solomon and Molekh. According to him, the Law and the Prophets are in agreement, both condemning the “righteousness” of the Pharisees, and their time has passed. As of the beginning of John’s ministry, the Law of Moses had reached its completion, and now the Law of God (the kingdom of heaven) was being preached. But the law of the kingdom of heaven is more demanding than what the Pharisees practiced; those who cannot abide by the latter will neither find themselves in agreement with the former.

Also, the name of Eleazar (or Lazarus) is significant here, as we know that Yahshuah’s friend was so named, and that Yahshuah resurrected him from the dead, so the parable is not simply a metaphor, but a true declaration of things to come. Living for yourself and amassing wealth will earn you nothing but punishment in the great hereafter, while living in poverty and humility will incidentally bring you the good fortune which the materially-minded seek. He who commits himself to righteousness and to self-improvement, even if it comes at the expense of his bodily health, will see the kingdom of heaven. Is it not obvious? It is better to starve oneself and suffer the transient torment of hunger than to eat what God disapproves of and thereby lose one’s very own being, forever. This parable demonstrates that the rich regret their folly in hindsight.

Now, if God is not even willing to cohabitate with dead flesh at a predetermined holy site (the “bosom of Abraham”), then it is preposterous to suppose that he would cohabitate with demons in the graveyard that is the average human’s digestive tract. Think about it. Under the Law, the sacrifices were performed by priests, on behalf of supplicants, in the courtyard of the Temple which Solomon erected to glorify himself, while God did not even allow anyone to approach the Holy of Holies unless he was completely free of guilt. Even if God had ever decided to make the Temple his abode, it is still not as though he was coming out from behind the curtain, into the profanity of the City of Blood, to gorge on burnt flesh. So if our bodies are truly temples, then they are either going to be inhabited by unclean spirits, or by the spirit of life.

Now consider Yahshuah’s use of “the grave” (ᾅδῃ, G86: adē or hades) here. Perhaps you have heard a vegan (or vegetarian) say “My body is not a graveyard,” or perhaps you have seen it on a T-shirt. This is quite a popular saying now, but it really has a precedent in Scripture. This merits examination, in light of the fact that God utterly refuses to go near anything unclean, and even requires his servants (the Nazarites) to avoid corpses and graveyards specifically.

And יהוה answered me and said, “Write the vision and inscribe it on tablets, so that he who reads it runs. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, and it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it lingers, wait for it, for it shall certainly come, it shall not delay. See, he whose being is not upright in him is puffed up. But the righteous one lives by his steadfastness. And also, because wine betrays him, a man is proud, and he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his appetite as the grave, and he is like death, and is not satisfied, and gathers to himself all nations and heaps up for himself all peoples. Shall not all these lift up a proverb against him, and a mocking riddle against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his! Till when is he to load on himself many pledges?’” Habakkuk 2:2-6

But one might say that this is just a simile: that citing an obscure metaphor from one of the “minor” prophets does not constitute a valid argument. Very well, let us look to the New Testament, to Yahshuah. First, let us set the context, and then examine what follows it. We provide separate renderings of the same word (τάφοις, G5028: taphois) from Matthew 23:27 in the NIV and the KJV to demonstrate the point that meat-eaters are literally unclean “graveyards” according to Yahshuah, however we interpret the semantics, exactly.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are filled with plunder and unrighteousness. Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside of them becomes clean too.” Matthew 23:25-26

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” (NIV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. (KJV)

The word rendered here “dead” (in the KJV and most other translations) is nekrós (νεκρῶν, G3498), which is an adjective that commonly takes the form of a noun as ‘the dead’ (as the NIV mistakenly has it here). However, this is when it is preceded either by the definite article or by ek (‘from,’ i.e. ‘from the dead’), neither of which is the case here. The word for ‘impurity’ (or ‘uncleanness’) is akartharsía (ἀκαθαρσία, G167), which denotes disease, as katharós (‘purity’ or ‘cleanliness’) is lost from contact with dead flesh or infectious diseases such as leprosy. The actual meaning, without any inferences added, is as follows:

“Woe [to] you scribes and Pharisees, actors, because you are like graves covered [with lime] which on the outside indeed appear fair; on the inside, however, [they are] full of dead bones and of all impurity.”

Basically, this is not simply allegorical: Yahshuah was actually declaring that they were ceremonially unclean due to their leukemia, osteoporosis and atherosclerosis! Is it any wonder? No diseased animal is clean, by the Law of Moses.

Furthermore, taphos (or taphois in plural form) signifies a place of burial rather than an individual tomb, necessarily, just as the Latin root of ‘sepulchre’ does, so ‘graveyard’ is more appropriate than ‘grave,’ as ‘grave’ implies only one corpse is interred there, and Yahshuah’s implication is that many are. Meanwhile, the word ‘sarcophagus’ literally means ‘flesh-eater’ in Greek. So ‘graveyard’ is about the most appropriate thing he could have called them, except, perhaps, ‘zombies’ or ‘animated corpses,’ neither of which really has a corresponding word in ancient Greek. Besides, ‘graveyard’ is a description, and therefore an implied condemnation, of what they were doing, rather than what they were (or what all meat-eaters are). One might wonder, by extension, if what the Nazarites like Yahshuah himself were not sworn to avoid was meat-eaters, and that the meaning of the Nazarite vow in Numbers 6 has been lost in translation from ancient Hebrew. This notion is certainly in keeping with their beliefs and customs, if not actually the precedent for them, and we will see plenty of evidence of it in the next chapter.

Matthew 23 is not this only case where Yahshuah is depicted as likening the Pharisees to tombs or graveyards. There is another instance in Luke 11:44. Recall that the translators have chosen ‘tombs’ and ‘sepulchres’ for taphois instead of ‘graves’ or ‘graveyards,’ either of which is a true translation. In this case, the translators show their bias by not translating the word for ‘graves’ as ‘tombs’ or ‘sepulchres,’ when the word mnemeia (μνημεῖα, G3419) actually warrants it. We provide this passage from the same texts (NIV and KJV) to make the point.

“Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.” (NIV)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. (KJV)

Mnēmeia (μνημεῖα, G3419) connotes remembrance; it means ‘monuments,’ and therefore corresponds much better with ‘tombs’ than taphois in Matthew 23:27 does. The irony is that they are supposed to know there is a grave there, but they do not. (The implication is that they have unknowingly become tombs by consuming corpses.) So by pretending to be righteous while simultaneously defiling themselves, they have become hypocrites. Thus the whole description only makes sense with the recognition that eating corpses makes one a burial place.

Of course, if we are going to say that this is actually a proper analogy and not just an implicit condemnation of the Pharisees’ general mentality, then we would expect to find something from the OT to back it up. Indeed, every little nuance of Yahshuah’s speech has a great deal of significance in light of the OT, so we do not even need to stick to the use of taphois in Matthew and mnēmeia in Luke. The word rendered “whitewashed” (NIV) and “whited” (KJV) has no less significance. The most obvious source of corroboration is Ezekiel 13.

And the word of יהוה came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Yisra’ĕl who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, ‘Hear the word of יהוה!’ ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Woe to the foolish prophets, who are following their own spirit, without having had a vision! O Yisra’ĕl, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. You have not gone up into the breaches, nor do you build a wall for the house of Yisra’ĕl to stand in battle on the day of יהוה. Their visions are false and their divinations a lie, saying, ‘Thus declares יהוה,’ when יהוה has not sent them, yet they expected the word to be confirmed! Have you not seen a false vision, and have you not spoken a divination of lies? You say, ‘יהוה declares,’ when I have not spoken.” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “Because you have spoken falsehood and seen lies, therefore see, I am against you,” declares the Master יהוה. “My hand shall be against the prophets who see falsehood and who divine lies. They shall not be in the council of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Yisra’ĕl, and they shall not enter into the land of Yisra’ĕl. And you shall know that I am the Master יהוה. Because, yea because they have led My people astray, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when one is building a wall, see, they are coating it with whitewash! Say to those who coat it with whitewash: it shall fall! There shall be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones: fall!—and a stormy wind breaks it down, and see, the wall shall fall! Shall you not be asked, ‘Where is the coating with which you coated it?’” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “I shall break down with a stormy wind in My wrath, and a flooding rain in My displeasure, and great hailstones in wrath, to consume. And I shall throw down the wall you have coated with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, and its foundation shall be uncovered. And it shall fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. And you shall know that I am יהוה. So I shall complete My wrath on the wall and on those coating it with whitewash, and say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those whitewashing it—the prophets of Yisra’ĕl who are prophesying concerning Yerushalayim, and who are seeing visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’” declares the Master יהוה.’” Ezekiel 13:1-16

These are words of Ezekiel and of Yahshuah himself, so they are beyond dispute or reproach by Christians. It is abundantly clear from all this that the whole movement of Christianity was deliberately aiming for the disestablishment of the Abomination of Desolation right from its outset, and that this was the major cause of contention between them and the Temple priests. Of course, this could only have had its precedent in the actions of Yahshuah himself, who was essentially murdered for instigating it. In fact, the Cleansing of the Temple is one of the few events of his life that is significant enough to be described in all four canonical gospels. Most Christians refer to it as “Jesus driving the moneychangers from the Temple,” but this description is grossly inaccurate; the moneychangers are merely incidental to the story.

And יהושע went into the Set-apart Place of Elohim and drove out all those buying and selling in the Set-apart Place, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It has been written, ‘My House shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of robbers.’” Matthew 21:12-13

And they came to Yerushalayim. יהושע, entering into the Set-apart Place, began to drive out those who bought and sold in the Set-apart Place, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He did not allow anyone to carry a vessel [that is, a pot for cooking, or for transporting meat] through the Set-apart Place. And He was teaching, saying to them, “Has it not been written, ‘My House shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of robbers.’” Mark 11:15-17

And having entered into the Set-apart Place, He began to drive out those selling and buying in it, saying to them, “It has been written, ‘My House is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of robbers.’” Luke 19:45-46

And the Passover of the Yehuḏim was near, and יהושע went up to Yerushalayim. And He found in the Set-apart Place those selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers sitting. And having made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Set-apart Place, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the moneychangers’ coins and overturned the tables. And He said to those selling doves, “Take these away! Do not make the house of My Father a house of merchandise!” John 2:13-16

Is it not telling enough that Yahshuah, the extreme pacifist who preached that we should “turn the other cheek” when we are struck, and who returned neither fist nor insult to the men who beat him nearly to death prior to executing him without any cause, is depicted in the Bible as having engaged in one (and only one) act of violence in his life? The mere phrase ‘righteous anger’ evokes this very scene in the imagination, does it not? Here, he is not depicted as responding to violence so much as instigating it. Know, therefore, that the anger and the violence were righteous indeed, and not matters which we ought to take lightly, given how uncharacteristic they were against the pacifistic nature of Yahshuah and his ideology.

John’s use (2:16) of “house of merchandise” has been translated from ἐμπόριον (empórion, G1712). Keep this in mind later, when we discuss Paul’s use of the word makellon and its common translation as “meat market.” Makellon is the Greek derivative of the Latin macellum, whereas emporium is the Latinized version of the Greek empórion. This is important because it demonstrates the translators’ selective bias in rendering Yahshuah’s condemnation of the merchants in the Temple as having turned it into a “house of merchandise,” while Paul allegedly tells the Corinthians to eat whatever they feel like eating from the “meat market,” though the two words essentially have the exact same meaning.

Now notice that Yahshuah chose the time of the Passover to make the scene, which was the annual high point of the sacrificial ritual. Notice also that in Matthew, Mark and John, the moneychangers are mentioned second, after the merchants selling the animals, while Luke fails to mention them altogether. The moneychangers were present merely to facilitate trade through currency exchange, and the only trade of the Temple was the buying and selling of birds and animals to be sacrificed. The principal target of his outrage, then, was the traders themselves—the buyers and sellers. This is in keeping with the other uses in the NT of the root of empórion, ἔμπορος (emporos, G1713), all but one of which are in reference to the “merchants” mourning the fall of the Whore of Babylon in Revelation 18.

On the other hand, based on this, it might be objected that Yahshuah was enraged not by the sacrificial system itself, but simply by the profits derived from it, hence his reference to a “den of robbers” rather than a “den of murderers.” This objection is not a valid one, and ignores that the overtly hostile tone of the speech implies that anyone involved in the trade as a whole is culpable in something. The phrase “it has been written” indicates that Yahshuah was not just speaking casually, but actually invoking an established prophecy, so we need to consult the OT passage to clarify his meaning. This leads us to Jeremiah 7, the proper understanding of which should already be understood from our previous chapter.

The word that came to Yirmeyahu from יהוה, saying, “Stand in the gate of the House of יהוה, and you shall proclaim there this word, and shall say, ‘Hear the word of יהוה, all you of Yehuḏah who enter in at these gates to bow before יהוה! Thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “Make your ways and your deeds good, then I let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these false words, saying, ‘This is the Hĕḵal of יהוה, the Hĕḵal of יהוה, the Hĕḵal of יהוה!’ For if you truly make your ways and your deeds good, if you truly do right-ruling between a man and his neighbour, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other mighty ones to your own evil, then I shall let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever. See, you are trusting in false words, which do not profit—stealing, murdering, and committing adultery, and swearing falsely, and burning incense to Baʽal, and walking after other mighty ones you have not known. And you came and stood before Me in this house which is called by My Name, and said, ‘We have been delivered’—in order to do all these abominations! Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Look, I, even I Myself have seen it,” declares יהוה. “But go now to My place at Shiloh, where I set My Name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of My people Yisra’ĕl. And now, because you have done all these works,” declares יהוה, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, I shall also do to this house, which is called by My Name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I shall cast you out of My presence, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the seed of Ephrayim.” And you, do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me, for I do not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Yehuḏah and in the streets of Yerushalayim? The children are gathering wood, the fathers are lighting the fire, and the women are kneading their dough, to make cakes for the sovereigness of the heavens, and to pour out drink offerings to other mighty ones, to provoke Me. “Is it Me they are provoking?” declares יהוה. “Is it not themselves—unto the shame of their own faces?” Therefore, thus said the Master יהוה, “See, My displeasure and My wrath is poured out on this place, on man and on beast, and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it shall burn and not be quenched.” Thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “Add your burnt offerings to your slaughterings and eat meat. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim, about matters of burnt offerings or slaughterings. But this word I did command them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I shall be your Elohim, and you be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it be well with you.’ But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the counsels, in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. From the day that your fathers came out of the land of Mitsrayim until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. But they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did evil, more than their fathers.”’ And you shall speak all these words to them, though they do not listen to you. And you shall also call to them, though they do not answer you. But you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that did not obey the voice of יהוה their Elohim, nor did they accept instruction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. Cut off your hair and throw it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights, for יהוה has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath. “For the children of Yehuḏah have done what is evil in My eyes,” declares יהוה. “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My Name, to defile it. And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart. Therefore see, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when it shall no longer be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, for they shall bury in Topheth until no room is left. And the corpses of this people shall be food for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth, with none to frighten them away. And in the cities of Yehuḏah and in the streets of Yerushalayim I shall make to cease the voice of rejoicing and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall become a waste!”’” Jeremiah 7

Note how it is expressly stated that the “innocent blood” that God is upset about is shed in the Temple, and can only possibly therefore refer to the sacrificial rites performed lawfully under the Law of Moses—as though that is not clear enough from the rest of the rant. The implications for the rest of the Prophets are enormous, to say the least. Moreover, this was not just Jeremiah’s take on it, but Yahshuah’s, as well. To reject either of their witnesses is to reject the Bible’s authority; to reject both is to reject God as sovereign.

Yahshuah was the high priest of the order of Melchizedek and legal claimant to the throne of David. He was hailed as King of Judea upon his entry into Jerusalem, the capital. So how he entered the Temple is a rather big deal and says a lot about what his priorities were, and how he felt about the ones who had set themselves up there. That being said, he put on an angry face and went straight for the people selling animals. He did not even have his followers or the general assembly do it for him; he did it himself—violently.

With one phrase, “den of robbers,” spoken in the heat of his battle against the Zionists, Yahshuah prophesied the destruction of the Second Temple and the slaughter and exile of Judea’s population, which we know began within 40 years of his speaking it. Considering his remarks about the Abomination of Desolation, and how those who had followed him and listened to his teachings for years considered the Temple itself to be as abominable as the sacrifice, it could not be clearer that he viewed the sacrificial system of the Temple as the principal sin meriting the punishment which ultimately wiped Israel off the map of the ancient world forever. It is not a little significant, then, that Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was similarly killed precisely because he denounced the Temple as the central location for sacrifices to false gods.

The truth is that all the early Christians saw animal sacrifice not just as abominable in and of itself, but done purposefully in order to indulge in lawlessness and worship gods other than Yahweh, just as all the prophets before them did. Their opposition to animal sacrifice may seem rather muted in the New Testament compared to the Prophets, but this has more to do with the fact that it is rarely pointed out by mainstream Christianity due to the dangerous territories this would lead a wandering sheep, than that discussion of this opposition is altogether absent from the NT or NT-era Christian literature. Enoch, for instance, explicitly states that the sacrifices taught by the Watchers were made to demons, for the purpose of adultery, and this is the most relevant indication that we have of the context of the views of the early Christians.

And Uriel said to me: “The spirits of the Angels who were promiscuous with women will stand here; and they, assuming many forms, made men unclean and will lead men astray so that they sacrifice to demons as gods. And they will stand there until the great judgment day, on which they will be judged, so that an end will be made of them.” 1 Enoch 19:1

This is a matter of how a human body becomes unclean, which happens by way of consuming animal proteins, not a matter of whether you are worshiping the right god or not, which is a matter of spiritual rather than physical health (though the two are certainly also related to large degree). Although they would surely like for you to give in to it entirely, if you were not willing to do so, then the demons would probably prefer it if you thought you were worshiping Yahweh, so that you would not suspect their influence. We really cannot underestimate to what lengths they would go to possess the religious establishment which it depends on to protect their means of infiltrating our minds; one only needs to look at how far most otherwise-civil people (Christians included) will go to attack anyone who advocates the vegan ethic in order to realize that preaching this gospel causes their demons to manifest in desperation. If they are exorcised, they will go straight to their judgment, as the dead are awoken to judgment, and that means they go to their end, as stated in Enoch. Knowing that they will literally cease to exist, they have all the incentive in the world to cling to us by any means necessary. We are told that when the apostles healed someone and exorcised a demon, it would depart with a loud voice or great shriek (Acts 8:7). This indicates that to them, the day of Yahweh had already come.

Near is the great day of יהוה, near and hurrying greatly, the noise of the day of יהוה. Let the mighty man then bitterly cry out! That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and trouble, a day of waste and ruin, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of ram’s horn and alarm—against the walled cities and against the corner towers. Zephaniah 1:14-16

In spite of all this, and even if Yahshuah did instigate the rebellion which did away with the Abomination in Jerusalem, Christians will still insist that it has no relevance for us, drawing upon several other New Testament passages to justify their belief that it is perfectly okay to consume meat. In their minds, they need look no further than to Yahshuah as an example for their behavior, and they are quick to insist that he facilitated the consumption of animals, and likely even did so himself. These interpretations and their other objections are provided, along with our rebuttals of both, in Appendix B and in the succeeding chapters. In the meantime, if we truly want to know what the position of Scripture is, then such discussions of the details of why Christians think it does not matter whether or not they contravene God’s law really need to be placed in the proper context by looking at the broad scope of Yahshuah’s life.

The Cleansing of the Temple incident is just the tip of the iceberg, as the culmination of the long-established prophetic tradition. We have seen its roots in the examination of the historical and literary background leading up to it. In many ways, it had been in the works for thousands of years by that time, but perhaps more importantly, it was not finished by Yahshuah, or by anyone else prior his ascension. This is absolutely essential for determining what became of the true Christian religion, as preached by Yahshuah’s disciples, and therefore not only what caused the outbreak of the Judean War, but also what the intent of each of the NT epistles is.

It may be recognized that Yahshuah was generally opposed to the Temple sacrifice, based on the evidence in Scripture, but this would seem to contradict the notion that God had required it at all, so most Christians would not even begin to approach the issue. Instead, they would divert attention from it by saying that the reason it was ended was because God no longer required it, though he did before, because Jesus fulfilled the obligation once and for all—by doing something (dying), incidentally, other than what the Law required. On the other hand, no rational explanation is ever given as to why God had required it, or what the requirement actually consisted of prior to the Law of Moses, and independently of the specific circumstances which never even applied to those who were not sinners. Why, for instance, were the Nazarites exempt from sacrifices unless they broke their own law or else returned to the common law of Israel?

Even though it is illogical, the mainstream Christians’ understanding does have a basis in Scripture; it is based on the application of the metaphor among people who had already espoused the notion of sacrifice to begin with, but certainly not on God’s thoughts on the matter. Those thoughts are most evident in the words of the prophets, among whom Yahshuah was the greatest, not the least significant. So the fact that very few Christians appreciate to what extent Yahshuah was opposed to the system of animal sacrifice practiced at the Temple goes a long way to demonstrating that they have no idea what it was he was really preaching, and therefore why they have constructed a false paradigm around their own beliefs, claiming authority from God in the name of their Messiah. Fortunately for us, Yahshuah’s own perspective, which is basically the exact opposite of theirs when it comes to atonement, is hinted at in two passages from Matthew, from much earlier in his ministry than the Cleansing (proving that his desire to abolish the sacrifice was a or even the theme of his ministry rather than an isolated incident which just happened to lead to his death):

And יהושע hearing this, said to them, “Those who are strong have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion and not offering.’ For I did not come to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

“And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion and not offering,’ you would not have condemned the blameless.” Matthew 12:7

This is a citation of the prophet Hosea. It is clear that he was directing his audience to it, not just to read it, but to understand it, as well. So Christians are obligated, if they wish to claim such understanding, to at least open up a Bible and consider the context of the quotation before insisting that they already do, as even the Pharisees who were actually immersed in the Scriptures are not said to have done. As we might suspect, reading the passage in its context demonstrates just what it was that he was opposed to. Nor is the idea exclusive to Hosea, so that someone might say it is obscure or out of place, thematically, in one of the “minor” prophets, rather than a major theme. We quote Isaiah and Ezekiel to demonstrate this much; the association with Jeremiah 7 and the Cleansing of the Temple should be self-apparent.

“Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth. And my right-rulings break forth as the light. For I delight in kindness and not slaughtering, and in the knowledge of Elohim more than burnt offerings. But like Aḏam they transgressed the covenant. There they acted treacherously against Me. Gilʽaḏ is a city of workers of wickedness—tracked up with blood. And as bands of robbers lie in wait for a man, so the company of priests murder on the way to Sheḵem, for they have done wickedness. I have seen a horrible matter in the house of Yisra’ĕl: the whoring of Ephrayim is there, Yisra’ĕl is defiled. Also, a harvest is appointed for you, O Yehuḏah, when I turn back the captivity of My people.” Hosea 6:5-11

“Your first father sinned, and your interpreters have transgressed against Me.” Isaiah 43:27

“There is a conspiracy of her prophets in her midst, like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have devoured life, they have taken wealth and precious matters, they have made many widows in her midst. Her priests have done violence to My teaching and they profane My set-apart matters. They have not distinguished between the set-apart and profane, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean. And they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned in their midst. Her leaders in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy lives, and to get greedy gain. And her prophets have coated them with whitewash, seeing a false vision, and divining a lie for them, saying, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה,’ when יהוה had not spoken. The people of the land have practised oppression, and committed robbery, and have wronged the poor and needy. And they oppressed the stranger without right-ruling. And I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the breach before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it—but I did not find one! Therefore I have poured out My displeasure on them, I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath. And I have put their way on their own head,” declares the Master יהוה. Ezekiel 22:25-31

Put another way, sacrifice is treachery against God, as is deliberately destroying the meaning of the Bible, like the Christians regularly do without apology or shame. Hosea and Isaiah both clearly liken these two sins to the original sin, the one that brought about the Fall—not as an analogy, but by repeating the same mistake. (Presumably, the mistake would not be continually repeated if people had better guidance, rather than the false interpretations which they have been given by the clergy.) So it is clear that in Yahshuah’s mind, eating meat is what caused Adam to fall from grace, and the only way for anyone to come back to God was not to eat even more, but to cease entirely. It is also clear, based on his citation of Hosea, that it was not just sacrifice to idols and foreign gods that he and all the prophets before him took exception to, but to the practice of sacrifice itself. Nor is this merely theoretical, as in, he had a problem with it, but it was not important enough to merit much attention because he was in the process of getting ready to die for the sins of the world or whatever—a notion which is blatantly contradictory toward everything that God had ever revealed through the Law and Prophets.

On the contrary, the “knowledge of God” which Yahshuah sought to teach was about life, and they simply did not want to hear it. That is why he had to die—not for their sins, but to shut him up. It was not because God had ordained it, but because God had ordained compassion, understanding and life, and they were in the business of sin, ignorance and death. Ignorance leads to sin, and sin leads to death. In order for anyone to be saved from sin and death, they have to overcome the ignorance by knowing God, and the knowledge of God is described in the Hosea passage (and therefore also by Yahshuah) as the antithesis of sacrifice.

“Hear another parable: There was a certain man, a householder who planted a vineyard and placed a hedge around it, and dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. And he leased it to farmers and went abroad. And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive its fruit. And the farmers took his servants and beat one [Joel, or possibly Amos—it is unclear which it was that was killed by Ahaziah of Judah, but he died from a blunt wound to the head after the king beat him with his staff], and they killed one [Isaiah, who was killed by Manasseh of Judah], and they stoned another [Habakkuk, who was stoned in Jerusalem]. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them [Ezekiel was murdered by Jews in exile, and Jeremiah was also stoned to death by Jews in exile]. And at last he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They shall respect my son.’ But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and let us possess his inheritance.’ And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Therefore, when the master of the vineyard comes, what shall he do to those farmers?” They said to Him, “Evil ones! He shall bring them to evil destruction, and lease the vineyard to other farmers who shall give to him the fruits in their seasons.” Matthew 21:33-41

“Because of this I say to you: the reign of Elohim shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. And he who falls on this stone shall be broken, but on whomever it falls, he shall be pulverised.” And the chief priests and Pharisees, having heard His parables, knew that He was speaking of them. And seeking to lay hands on Him, they feared the crowds, seeing they held Him to be a prophet. Matthew 21:43-46

So we see that, far from being a mere bedtime story, Yahshuah’s parables have real meaning. He fully expected and predicted that the Jews would murder him. We can also see that the basis of his ministry is the prophetic tradition, which amounts to the teaching of compassion and good stewardship of the land in direct opposition to the Jews’ system of sacrifice and exploitation. Yet Yahshuah was just the culmination of the prophetic tradition, spanning well over a millennium; he himself is not recorded as having much to say apart from the context of the Law and Prophets, and even implicitly remarked about it in this parable, that his was the same message as those before him, though he came from a position of greater authority.

One might wonder at this, for if he was the one to whom the Israelites were obligated to listen, then either he should have had more to say (more even than is contained in the Law), or else God failed to raise him up as he had promised to do—meaning, essentially, either that God is impotent, or that Yahshuah was not his son after all. However, we know that God did not so fail, for he raised him even from the dead, and the movement flourished. It is not the fault of those preaching the message that the true gospel has not spread, but of those who have refused to listen to it (i.e. Christians), and of those who have deliberately stifled it (i.e. the Church). This really ought to be understood from the parable cited above, as should the idea that God has tried to reason with Earth’s tenants (the vineyard is leased, not owned by them), but found them to be as malicious as they are unreasonable.

As the main reason for the inadequacy of the gospel is that people are unwilling to give it the attention it deserves, and would rather argue against God’s Word (while simultaneously pretending like their arguments are from God’s Word), and persecute the prophets and drive them all to exile or ruin, their short attention span requires a short and extremely simple and hard-hitting approach, such as cannot possibly be misunderstood or argued with. Simple-minded people require simple explanations for things, which is exactly why God gave Moses the sacrificial system (to teach stupid people, not to appease himself), and why Yahshuah taught in parables, as though he was speaking to children. For the prophet doing this, it will necessarily mean that he draws the ire of the demons in power upon himself (Ephesians 6:12), so he does not have much time to say what he would want to say in the way of teaching. Jonah lived in exile for fear of the Jews, Elijah prophesied stealthily (he is depicted as fleeing for his life on numerous occasions, and in one instance of running out of Jehu’s tent after anointing him), and other prophets such as Obadiah and those with him lived in hiding (as did David for a time). In contrast, Stephen, though he had been preaching day and night in the Temple, was silenced and killed just moments after he gave his one and only testimony to the Sanhedrin. Still, the prophetic message had been practically dormant for centuries before Yahshuah came into the picture, on account of the prophets’ isolation and exile, so the authorities were not expecting it and did not know how (or even whether) to deal with it. Their response was always to kill everyone who spoke against them, but their jurisdiction did not reach as far as the wilderness, where any group of brigands, rebels or outcasts could assert their own natural rights and way of life, so it was in the wilderness that the gospel had germinated from the time of Elijah and Elisha, and began to thrive when John the Baptist came onto the scene.

Forget what you have heard about John 3:16 being the “gospel in a nutshell.” The whole prophetic message from Enoch to Revelation is summed up by a single word of the Baptist: “Repent!” This is deliberate, for as every Christian knows, John’s ministry was supposed to set the basis for Yahshuah’s kingdom. Even though every theologian knows that repentance entails a profound change of heart leading to lifestyle changes, we might suppose that John was just calling people to stop sinning in general. Some Christian may object that he no longer watches pornography after praying the Sinner’s Prayer, and perhaps he is to be congratulated, but this hardly constitutes true repentance and falls miserably short of the perfection demanded by the Almighty, for it is the Christian religion itself and the mentality of all who espouse it which God has a vendetta against. Based on what we have already examined, true repentance would still entail nothing so much as ceasing to eat meat, and perhaps performing other acts of violence. Unprovoked violence against humans is already a given. So when it is shown that John was unquestionably a vegan, the focus of the call to repent becomes even more unmistakable, particularly because it was picked up by Yahshuah himself and added onto by his own disciples, as he instructed them.

And when He had come into the Set-apart Place, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these? And who gave You this authority?” And יהושע answering, said to them, “I shall ask you one question too, which if you answer Me, I also shall say to you by what authority I do these: The immersion of Yoḥanan, where did it come from? From heaven or from men?” So they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He shall say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the crowd, for all hold Yoḥanan as a prophet.” And they answered יהושע and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither do I say to you by what authority I do these. But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ And he answering, said, ‘I do not wish to,’ but afterwards he repented and went. And having come to the second, he said similarly. And he answering, said, ‘I go, master,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the desire of the father?” They said to Him, “The first.” יהושע said to them, “Truly, I say to you that tax collectors and whores are entering into the reign of Elohim before you, for Yoḥanan came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but tax collectors and whores believed him. And when you saw it, you did not repent afterwards, to believe him.” Matthew 21:23-32

In order to understand who John was and what he stood for (i.e. what this “way of righteousness” consisted of), a little background information is necessary, as Yahshuah was hinting here. When asked who he was, he said he was a “voice in the wilderness,” crying “prepare the way of Yahweh.” His association with the prophet Elijah is therefore sealed, as it means he made it deliberately, as we will show in a moment. However, the passage cited in the Gospels is actually from Isaiah (Elijah left us no book to quote from), and the context of the citation demonstrates that to “prepare the way of Yahweh” is to restore the earth. Therefore, John’s call to repent is a call to stop destroying God’s creation, to honor his creatures with compassion, and to till the soil (i.e. to eat plants, not animals).

“Speak to the heart of Yerushalayim, and cry out to her, that her hard service is completed, that her crookedness is pardoned, that she has received from the hand of יהוה double for all her sins.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of יהוה; make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim. Let every valley be raised, and every mountain and hill made low. And the steep ground shall become level, and the rough places smooth. And the esteem of יהוה shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see it. For the mouth of יהוה has spoken.” The voice said, “Cry out!” and he said, “What do I cry?” “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. Grass shall wither, the flower shall fade, when the Spirit of יהוה has blown on it! Truly the people is grass!” Isaiah 40:2-7

“Do not remember the former events, nor consider the events of old. See, I am doing what is new, let it now spring forth. Do you not know it? I am even making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field esteems Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen, this people I have formed for Myself, let them relate My praise.” Isaiah 43:18-21

Thus said יהוה, “In a favourable time I shall answer You, and in the day of deliverance I shall help You—and I guard You and give You for a covenant of the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the ruined inheritances, to say to the prisoners, ‘Go out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ Let them feed on the ways, and let their pasture be on all bare hills. They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither heat or sun strike them, for He who has compassion on them shall lead them, even by fountains of water guide them. And I shall make all My mountains a way, and My highways raised up.” Isaiah 49:8-11

This is clearly talking about grazing (nonhuman) animals. Matthew 3:3 actually states explicitly that the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3, which it quotes directly, pertained to John. So this is on the authority of the Gospel, rather than just a deliberate association by John himself. With this in mind, John was clearly part of the ancient prophetic tradition, rather than a madman who randomly appeared out of nowhere to announce the arrival of the Messiah, or whatever Christians imagine about him and every other prophet. So the rest of what we have to say about him from here on should make sense and be taken for granted as fact, including the inferences about Elijah and Elisha. Notice that when Yahshuah makes this association of John and Elijah for his disciples, he declares that John’s role was to “restore all things,” a clear reference to Isaiah 49:8; by implication, Yahshuah saw his own mission as working against the Abomination of Desolation, just as we have said, which amounts to setting caged animals free, leveling so-called civilization (turning roads into pastures) and restoring the earth. (Really, the earth would restore itself, given enough time to recover from the existence of mankind upon it.)

And His taught ones asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Ěliyahu has to come first?” And יהושע answering, said to them, “Ěliyahu is indeed coming first, and shall restore all matters. But I say to you that Ěliyahu has already come, and they did not recognise him but did to him whatever they wished. In this way the Son of Aḏam is also about to suffer by them.” Then the taught ones understood that He had spoken to them about Yoḥanan the Immerser. Matthew 17:10-13

Elijah was probably a Nazarite. He was described as “hairy” (2 Kings 1:8) and as wearing a girdle of “skin” (i.e. animal hide, presumably a piece of fur or untanned leather, though this is almost universally misunderstood to be “hair”), just like John the Baptist (Matthew 3:4). Even if this is not enough to establish with certainty that Elijah was a Nazarite, it is certainly enough to establish that John made a deliberate association with Elijah, which even the Pharisees recognized from his appearance and from their relatively scant (compared with his) knowledge of Scripture. We might suppose that the garment of “camel’s hair” is a euphemism for his wild appearance, or else that John wore an actual garment to imitate the appearance of Elijah. In fact, some far-fetched traditions would have us believe it was the very same piece of clothing that Yahweh gave to Adam after he was expelled from the Garden of Eden. In any case, the association is both deliberate and clear; John was called to prophesy against the King of Judea, as Elijah had prophesied against the King of Israel.

Now, we might inquire as to why John would have worn a girdle of “skin” if he was indeed a vegan. The answer is in the association with Elijah, rather than in an examination of the implication that he may have partaken in or been a supporter of unnecessarily exploiting or killing animals for human purposes.554 The prophets who succeeded Elijah each wore his girdle, from one generation to the next, as it symbolized (or perhaps was even miraculously imbued with, as the text seems to indicate) the spirit of the prophet. The girdle was famous in its own time, and significant enough that King Ahaziah recognized Elijah from a description of it, with no other descriptions of him, so it would have been very easy for the Pharisees to identify John as “the Prophet,” which is to say, the successor of Elijah (i.e. as the reincarnation of Elisha).

And they answered him, “He was a hairy man, and wore a leather girdle around his waist.” And he said, “It is Ěliyah the Tishbite.” 2 Kings 1:8

And Ěliyahu took his mantle, and rolled it up, and struck the water. And it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them passed over on dry ground. And it came to be, when they had passed over, that Ěliyahu said to Elisha, “Ask what I am to do for you, before I am taken away from you!” And Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” And he said, “You have made it hard to ask, yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it is yours; but if not, it is not.” And it came to be, as they continued on and spoke, that see, a chariot of fire with horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Ěliyahu went up by a whirlwind into the heavens. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Yisra’ĕl and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own garments and tore them into two pieces. And he took up the mantle of Ěliyahu that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Yardĕn. And he took the mantle of Ěliyahu that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is יהוה Elohim of Ěliyahu?” And he struck the water, and it was divided this way and that, and Elisha passed over. And when the sons of the prophets who were from Yeriḥo saw him, they said, “The spirit of Ěliyahu rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him. 2 Kings 2:8-15

Now this was the witness of Yoḥanan when the Yehuḏim sent from Yerushalayim priests and Lĕwites to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then, are you Ěliyahu?” So he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Therefore they said to him, “Who are you, so that we give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of יהוה,’ as the prophet Yeshayahu said.” And those sent were of the Pharisees, and they asked him, saying, “Why then do you immerse if you are not the Messiah, nor Ěliyahu, nor the Prophet?” Yoḥanan answered them, saying, “I immerse in water, but in your midst stands One whom you do not know, the One coming after me, who has become before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loosen.” John 1:19-27

John would have been lying, had he answered any of these questions with an affirmation, hence the fact that he told them that the one who came after him was greater than he. The implication is that he was Elijah and that Yahshuah was Elisha (if only in spirit). However, this would contradict Yahshuah’s own words in Matthew 17, so we must suppose that he had either distanced himself from his heritage as a Levite, or that Elijah was not a Nazarite, as he was. Either way, John certainly was a Nazarite, and closely related to Yahshuah, who was the same age, so the real question is how he did not seem to know that Yahshuah was the Messiah.

On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has become before me, for He was before me.’ And I did not know Him, but that He might be revealed to Yisra’ĕl, therefore I came immersing in water.” And Yoḥanan bore witness, saying, “I have seen the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove and remain on Him. And I did not know Him, but He who sent me to immerse in water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit coming down and remaining on Him, this is He who immerses in the Set-apart Spirit.’ And I have seen and have witnessed that this is the Son of Elohim.” John 1:29-34

2 Kings indicates that there were prophets at Bethel (2:3), at Jericho (2:5) and at the Jordan (2:7), though these may have been those from Jericho, which is likely. After Elijah was taken up, Elisha stayed at Jericho. This does not necessarily mean he stayed in the city of Jericho, but rather in the vicinity of the city. So considering that Elisha was from Damascus in Syria, this is almost certainly a description of the founding of the community of Damascus in Judea, the birthplace of Christianity. (Khirbet Qumran is just a few miles due south of Jericho.) This would seem to indicate that the “teacher of righteousness” of the Damascus Document credited with founding the Damascus community was either Elisha or Yahshuah, or perhaps someone else of their prophetic lineage. It is very likely that both held the title informally, but Elisha was the one who first settled the prophets of the Jordan community there.

And they returned to him, for he remained in Yeriḥo, and he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?” And the men of the city said to Elisha, “Look, the site of this city is good, as my master sees, but the waters are spoilt, and the soil barren.” And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” And they brought it to him. And he went out to the source of the water, and threw salt in there, and said, “Thus said יהוה, ‘I have healed this water—no longer shall death or barrenness come from it.’” And the waters were healed, to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke. 2 Kings 2:18-22

And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. Please, let us go to the Yardĕn, and let every man take a log from there, and let us make there a place to dwell.” And he answered, “Go.” 2 Kings 6:1-2

The scholarly consensus is that the Judean Damascus was founded at the outbreak of the Maccabean Revolt. This effectively means that it was a town of refuge and defiance of the Abomination, and that Yahshuah’s remarks about fleeing to the hills amount to a command to find refuge in Damascus. That this is what happened is certain, due to the fact that Damascus became the only stronghold of Christianity in the whole of Judea before it began to flourish in Jerusalem. This is critical to understanding where John came from, why his origins are even significant to the scriptural context, and what the details of his ideology were.

The description of the founding of Damascus in 2 Kings is even more significant in light of the fact that before he returned to Samaria, Elisha proceeded to “Mt. Carmel” (2 Kings 2:25), or Moriah, which is where Nazareth was located. Evidently, all of the prophets of Moriah except Elijah had been killed by Jezebel, so it is likely that Elisha’s “double portion” means that he founded not just one school of prophets to replace the Nazarites at Moriah, but two: the settlement which became known as Damascus in Judah (later Judea), and that of Nazareth in Israel (later Galilee). This explains why each settlement had two names—one by which the prophets knew them, and one by which the rest of the world did. Whereas Damascus had a mixed population, ideologically, the population of Nazareth was homogenously sympathetic to the prophetic tradition, as it was naught but the Bethlehem of Israel. So John, who was from (or at least a resident of) the area around Damascus, did not know who was going to be sent to him from Nazareth, but immediately recognized Yahshuah, who he obviously knew was from Nazareth, if for no other reason than that he was the only Nazarite who would have come his way, and a Nazarite is recognizable just by his appearance. This is true whether or not John ever saw Yahshuah (his own cousin) face-to-face, and the idea that he never did strains credibility.

Elijah baptized Elisha with fire at the Jordan. John baptized Yahshuah with water in the Jordan, after proclaiming that Yahshuah would baptize with fire. John protested, as the ritual suggested that he was Yahshuah’s master, not vice-versa, and sort of implied that Yahshuah needed to repent of and make atonement for some kind of sin, which is obviously not the case, but Yahshuah nevertheless responded that it was fitting. As John had inherited the legacy of Elijah, Yahshuah thus inherited the legacy of Elisha, whose portion of Elijah’s spirit was double.

This explains why, when asked to perform a miracle at Cana, Yahshuah quoted Elisha (2 Kings 3:13) by saying “What do I have to do with you?” Elisha finished his statement with “Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.” Shortly after this a woman came to him (Elisha) and asked for help, and he performed a miracle by filling empty jars with oil (2 Kings 4:1-7). The implication is that Yahshuah’s mother was enjoying the same foods at the wedding feast at Cana which Yahshuah himself would have detested. In effect, he was both calling her a heathen and likening himself to Elisha.

These two associations are why Yahshuah said “My time has not yet come,” because John the Baptist (Elijah) was then still living, meaning the mantle had not passed to him yet (literally—the idiom of “passing the mantle” actually comes from Elisha’s succession). It is also why John proclaimed that one greater than he was coming after him. The fact that Yahshuah waited until John’s ministry was finished before beginning his own is immediately apparent from a cursory reading of the Gospel of Matthew.

And יהושע, having heard that Yoḥanan had been put in prison, withdrew into Galil. And leaving Natsareth, He came and dwelt in Kephar Naḥum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zeḇulun and Naphtali, to fill what was spoken by Yeshayahu the prophet, saying, “Land of Zeḇulun and land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Yardĕn, Galil of the gentiles—the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the land and shadow of death, light arose to them.” From that time יהושע began to proclaim and to say, “Repent, for the reign of the heavens has drawn near.” Matthew 4:12-17

The fact that Yahshuah invoked John’s baptism to establish his own authority to the Pharisees is also significant. John baptized with water in the Jordan because that is what Elisha did. This fact alone is sufficient to show that John’s role in restoring all things amounts to repentance, symbolized by the purification ritual of the flesh, which we are told happens by way of Yahshuah’s “sacrifice,” even though that notion really just amounts to homicide (or deicide, depending on how you look at it) and cannibalism (or theophagy—that is, feeding on a god). This baptism ritual, too, comes from the book of Isaiah as well as from the precedent of Elisha, in a larger context which makes it abundantly clear that the thing being preached against is the spilling of the blood of animals. (This, as opposed to blind superstition, is how we know Yahshuah had nothing to repent of or atone for.)

And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go, and you shall wash seven times in the Yardĕn, that your flesh might be restored to you, and be clean.” But Naʽaman became wroth, and went away and said, “See, I said to myself, ‘He would certainly come out to me, and stand and call on the Name of יהוה his Elohim, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leprosy.’ Are not the Aḇanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Dammeseq, better than all the waters of Yisra’ĕl? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” And he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had spoken to you a great matter, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” Then he went down and dipped seven times in the Yardĕn, according to the word of the man of Elohim. And his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 2 Kings 5:10-14

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Stop doing evil! Learn to do good! Seek right-ruling, reprove the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you submit and obey, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword,” for the mouth of יהוה has spoken. Isaiah 1:16-20

Knowing this, it is inconceivable that John and Yahshuah would have imitated Elijah and Elisha in every way but failed to follow their dietary protocols, especially given that the whole idea of water baptism comes from washing blood from the hands of flesh-eaters.555 It is not plausible that they could have ever indulged in the same process which they condemned as the focal point of their entire message, and indeed of their entire existence, as that would have made them hypocrites of the highest order, and they would have held no sway with the masses which would have identified them as such, rather than as prophets. Moreover, the fact that Elijah and Elisha were strict vegetarians is easy to demonstrate. For instance, consider the almost comically dramatic reaction which the prophets serving Elisha had to the thought that they had eaten meat, having mistaken the cucumber in their stew for “death”:

And Elisha returned to Gilgal. And the scarcity of food was in the land, and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him. And he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot, and cook stew for the sons of the prophets.” And one went out to the field to gather plants, and found a wild vine, and gathered wild cucumbers from it, filling the skirt of his garment, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were. They then served it to the men to eat. And it came to be, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, “O man of Elohim, there is death in the pot!” And they were unable to eat it. And he said, “Then bring some flour.” And he put it into the pot, and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” And there was no evil matter in the pot. 2 Kings 4:38-41

We see plenty of examples of the fact that the ideology of John and Yahshuah was no different than that of the prophets before them. This is evident enough in the fact that both were Nazarites from the womb, while Yahshuah’s father was also a Nazarite, and John’s was a priest at the Temple who had been forced into retirement (by God, not by the system). However, more specific examples can be cited to demonstrate the same point. For instance, Yahshuah’s miracle of the feeding of the multitude—a favorite of Christians in defense of their carnism—has its precedent with Elisha, where the fish is conspicuously absent, a fact which is more than a little damning to the people who altered the New Testament narratives. (This issue is discussed in Satan’s Synoptics.)

Now a man came from Baʽal Shalishah, and brought the man of Elohim bread of the first-fruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people to eat.” And his servant said, “What? Do I set this before one hundred men?” And he said, “Give it to the people to eat. For thus said יהוה, ‘Eat and have some left over.’” And he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of יהוה.a2 Kings 4:42-44

Honestly, how many Christians have even heard of Elisha’s miracle? It is not as though the Church flaunts it or encourages them to scour the Old Testament for anything other than evidence that Jesus is God and the Church itself is sovereign (even though Jesus is God). And this brings us to our next point, which is where the evidence of NT revisionism really begins.

John’s diet of “locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6) is already one of the more controversial pieces of information in Scripture, but we can hardly even imagine what the controversy pertains to, apart from the utterly preposterous notion that he ate locusts, as in grasshoppers. Such a blatant misreading of the text demands an explanation. It would be easy to simply refute it and walk away, but seeing how the point that the Bible mandates strict vegetarianism is already well established, it is more appropriate at this point in the present treatise to demonstrate how the NT text was deliberately changed, in order to discredit John’s paradigm by making him look like a raving lunatic who ran around looking for insects to gorge himself on, instead of the highly educated civil reformer and holy man he was.

The famous (and unscrupulous) Roman bishop/inquisitor Epiphanius was well aware of the subversion in the late 4th century, when he wrote against the Ebionites. (The Ebionites were basically the Christians of the 1st century, those who followed the teachings of John and Yahshuah and had a direct and immediate association with them. Bear this in mind, as we will demonstrate it later. Epiphanius, on the other hand, was very much part of the establishment which sought to destroy the Christian sect by any means necessary. He himself was the means, in large part.) However, Epiphanius was a supporter of the subversion, and claimed that the original text was the subversion. His relation of the matter in question is found in his Panarion.

“John had a garment of camel’s hair, and a girdle of skin about his loins. And his meat,” it says, “was wild honey, whose taste was the taste of manna, as a cake in oil.” This, if you please, to turn the account of the truth into falsehood, and substitute “a cake in honey” for “locusts”! Epiphanius556

For clarification, the accusation is that the Ebionites wrote in their gospel “a cake in oil” where “locusts” belongs. Notice the inconsistency and extremely poor attention to detail in Epiphanius’ account, given that he was supposedly attempting to set the record “straight.” (‘Orthodoxy’ means ‘straight-ruling’ or ‘straight teaching.’) First it is “a cake in oil,” then “a cake in honey.” Clearly, at least one of these contradictory statements is false and misrepresentative of the Ebionites’ view. So Epiphanius’ argument already ought to be regarded as invalid and his credibility shot, even in the minds of anyone reading this who has not studied his Church-sanctioned works and found them to be the cesspools of disinformation that they are, as we have. That there is even a debate about this is absurd, and demonstrates to what lengths Christians will go to in order to avoid accepting the cold, hard truth.

Put simply, the Ebionites could not possibly have changed the meaning of the text, because they were the ones who had recorded it in the first place. There are only two possibilities for the discrepancy, and given John’s ideology, both necessarily implicate the Church in its refusal to acknowledge it. The first and more likely possibility we might chalk up to a mere transcription error, but given the Church’s history of malicious subversion of both the text and the intent of the Bible, this is highly unlikely. The word that gets translated into English as ‘locust’ is the Greek egkris, meaning ‘pancake.’ Epiphanius, having never read the Bible, seems completely oblivious to the fact that the Ebionites’ description of John’s diet matches the description of the taste of manna as being “like the taste of cakes baked with oil” (Numbers 11:8) and “like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31). The association with manna is self-apparent: the Israelites were given manna in the wilderness, and John appeared in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1). This is obviously the original description, and the word in question was obviously changed later to akris (ἀκρίς, G200), or ‘locust,’ even though there is no precedent whatsoever for supposing that John ate grasshoppers, and it is also nonsense. Furthermore, we have already noted that when Elijah was in the wilderness (between Beersheba and Mount Sinai—exactly where you would expect someone who was preparing a highway for Yahweh), he ate a “cake baked on coals” (1 Kings 19:2-8), i.e. a pancake. So there really should not be any question about the fact that John was eating honeycakes, because they were the closest thing to manna available to him, and he was trying to make a point that could not possibly be misunderstood.

The second and less likely possibility is that John was eating carob pods, which are mentioned as swine feed in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua) are alternatively known as St. John’s-bread due to this ancient association. The pods look quite a lot like locusts, so they were actually called akris in the ancient world. This is probably the only thing John could have subsisted on in the wilderness without a lot of support, but it just so happens that a traditional form of preparation is to turn them into powder and bake it as cakes, or to turn it into syrup—hence “wild honey.” There is no reason to suppose that John was not doing this, even apart from the strong evidence from the OT and the Gospel of the Ebionites which seems incontrovertible enough on its own. It could very well be that both suppositions are true, and we see no reason not to suppose that the cakes (that is, the egkris) he was eating were made from carob pods (if not the pods themselves), while the “honey” was nothing more or less than the syrup produced by their refining. A life in the desert would have demanded such practicality.

In any case, the fact that the Church has deliberately misinformed us about John’s diet and altered the wording of the text when the Gospel writers thought it worthy of mention just to establish his connection with Moses and Elijah shows how far they are willing to go to detract from the spirit and the message of the text, as surely as the connection itself bridges the gaps between the Law (represented by Moses), the Prophets (represented by Elijah) and the Nazarites of the New Testament era. Had they simply changed a single vowel, it may have gone unnoticed, but as it is, they changed a word by changing the vowel, so they would have been better off changing it to something that actually made sense, so that the alteration would actually be believable and the burden of proof to demonstrate the change would be greater. Yet the subversion was necessary to them, and the reason is obvious; the Church is heavily invested in destroying the legacy of all three of these scriptural authorities, and John is the culmination of each. So the last thing it would ever want is for John to fulfill his mission, even posthumously. After all, his mission was to turn people back to God, which is the same as to destroy the political-religious establishment which pretends to wield his authority.

“And he shall turn many of the children of Yisra’ĕl to יהוה their Elohim. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Ěliyahu, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the insight of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for יהוה.” Luke 1:16-17

An interesting side note to this is that the texts of Matthew 11:18 and Luke 7:33 do not match up. The former seems to imply that the text was either redacted, or else is speaking in general terms which would have been understood by the audience. The latter is either a redaction of the former, or else the fuller account of the description given by Yahshuah concerning John’s diet.

“And to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to their companions, and saying, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we lamented to you, and you did not beat the breast.’ For Yoḥanan came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Aḏam came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘See, a man, a glutton and a winedrinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ And wisdom was declared right by her works.” Matthew 11:16-19

And the Master said, “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the market-place and calling to each other, saying, ‘We played the flute for you and you did not dance, we lamented for you and you did not weep.’ For Yoḥanan the Immerser came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Aḏam has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a man, a glutton and a winedrinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ And wisdom is declared right by all her children.” Luke 7:31-35

The metaphor of the song of the flute obviously pertains to one’s decision to indulge, so to not dance is to abstain from good foods in favor of a different song. The dirge, likewise, signifies a lamentable matter, as with the case of murdering animals for food. This parable is a criticism of those who choose death over life, and who lack compassion for the ones they murder, while the compassionate ones weep for these helpless victims, though they would otherwise dance and enjoy life, if it were up to them. Yahshuah even singled out the marketplace in this analogy, where the exchange always took place, and deliberately identified himself with John when he said “we,” in the midst of his description of his cousin.

It is not possible that John neither ate nor drank anything, even if it were possible that he could have subsisted on soups or shakes made mostly of water, because we already know that he ate cakes. As it is a negative premise here, “eating” must mean ‘eating (that which he restricted from his diet, which is understood, i.e. flesh),’ and “drinking” must mean ‘imbibing (that which he restricted, i.e. alcohol, or possibly milk). That is, Yahshuah was affirming that his cousin was a Nazarite, and that he adhered to the rule of the Nazarites. Assuming that it is indeed bread which is being spoken of here, then the point of this remark is clearly to show that John did not eat the Eucharist, and that the Pharisees still criticized him (à la “Vegans are crazy,” or “Prophets are all about doom and gloom”), but when Yahshuah’s example showed them that not every animal rights activist is so extreme, and may find satisfaction in eating human foods without imposing such dietary strict restrictions, they still found cause for criticism in that such people indulge in a pleasurable pursuit. Whoever cannot see that this is the same hypocrisy levied by meat-eaters to attack vegans now probably has not seen them interact with each other.

In any case, when Yahshuah said that John came neither eating (bread) nor drinking (wine), but that the Yahudim did not believe him, what he meant is that John’s way of life demonstrated that he was both a prophet and a Nazarite, yet they did not accept his authority, though they recognized it in theory. This is why Yahshuah foretold that they would not believe, even if someone was to rise from the dead, for even that would not convince those who were not convinced by the authority of the Prophets, which they invoked as the basis of their own paradigm. Needless to say, the implication for modern Christians (and Jews) is the same.

As we all know, John’s ministry was cut short when he died for his cause. We might inquire as to the reason behind the fact that his head was offered to a harlot on a silver platter, or what was done with it at that point, but there is no sense in taking any greater pains to speculate about the cannibalism and murderous intentions of the rulers of Israel, as that is already well established. So that brings us to Yahshuah, and if we can show that he was a vegetarian and also required his disciples to be, then it stands to reason that Christians have no excuse not to be.

Several things stand out in regards to Yahshuah’s diet and dietary prescriptions. Some of these take the form of objections to the idea that he was a strict vegetarian, which we will be dealing with either here or, in the case of the question of whether or not he ate fish (which, if he did, but did not eat meat, would make him a pescatarian), later on.557

For these objections to even be relevant, it needs to be shown that he was, in fact, a vegetarian, so that is where we will begin. To make this point, it should suffice to invoke the material we have already covered and then merely point out that he was a Nazarite from Bethlehem (a.k.a. the Ramah of Judea), and that he grew up in Nazareth (a.k.a. the Bethlehem of Galilee). This is indeed a conclusive argument all by itself, but we will not leave it at that.

We begin by showing evidence from some of the messianic prophecies of Isaiah, which Christians acknowledge as applying to him (though they are mistaken for thinking that they apply only to him, in most cases), and all of which point to the fact that Yahshuah was set-apart from the womb, as Samson and Samuel were. Let us first recall our discussion of Isaiah 7:14, as it is quoted directly in Matthew 1:23, and is unquestionably therefore applicable to Yahshuah, even as it was applicable to the reign of Ahaz. In fact, the doctrine of the virgin birth, which this passage is used to substantiate, suggests that the purity of Yahshuah’s DNA goes well beyond the fact that he was undefiled from the womb, meaning, in effect, that he was theoretically more vegetarian than other vegetarians—if you subscribe to the doctrine, that is.

And all this came to be in order to fill what was spoken by יהוה through the prophet, saying, “See, a maiden shall conceive, and she shall give birth to a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanu’ĕl,” which translated, means, “Ěl with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

“Therefore יהוה Himself gives you a sign: Look, the maiden conceives and gives birth to a Son, and shall call His Name Immanu’ĕl. He eats curds and honey when He knows to refuse evil and choose the good.” Isaiah 7:14-15

For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His rule and peace there is no end, upon the throne of Dawiḏ and over His reign, to establish it and sustain it with right-ruling and with righteousness from now on, even forever. The ardour of יהוה of hosts does this. Isaiah 9:6-7

And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. And יהוה said to me, “Call his name Mahĕr-Shalal-Ḥash-Baz [Hebrew: ‘he has made haste to (the) plunder’]; for before the child knows to cry ‘My father’ and ‘My mother,’ the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Shomeron is taken away before the sovereign of Ashshur.” Isaiah 8:3-4

Listen to Me, O coastlands, and hear, you peoples from afar! יהוה has called Me from the womb, from My mother’s belly He has caused My Name to be remembered. And now said יהוה—who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Yaʽaqoḇ back to Him, though Yisra’ĕl is not gathered to Him, yet I am esteemed in the eyes of יהוה, and My Elohim has been My strength. Isaiah 49:1,5

[A]nd He says, “Shall it be a small matter for You to be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Yaʽaqoḇ, and to bring back the preserved ones of Yisra’ĕl? And I shall give You as a light to the gentiles, to be My deliverance to the ends of the earth!” Thus said יהוה, the Redeemer of Yisra’ĕl, their Set-apart One, to the despised, to the loathed One of the nation, to the Servant of rulers, “Sovereigns shall see and arise, rulers also shall bow themselves, because of יהוה who is steadfast, the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl. And He has chosen You!” Isaiah 49:6-7

See, My Servant shall work wisely, He shall be exalted and lifted up and very high. As many were astonished at You—so the disfigurement beyond any man’s and His form beyond the sons of men—He shall likewise startle many nations. Sovereigns shut their mouths at Him, for what had not been recounted to them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall understand. Isaiah 52:13-15

Yahshuah said, “I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart.” Thomas 17

The name of Yahweh is indeed remembered in the name of Yahshuah, which means ‘Yah saves,’ or ‘Yah is salvation.’ This is significant to the prophecies of Isaiah, as the angel declared what his name was to be when his mother’s pregnancy was announced, just as the name of Isaac had been announced and ordained by the heavenly tables. If we did not understand that Isaiah was speaking of someone else—that someone else obviously being Yahshuah—then we might suppose he was talking about himself, seeing how he was speaking in the first person, while elsewhere he was not. The discrepancy is probably due to the fact that he was then much further along in his ministry and in his life, but the context and meaning of the prophecies in relation to Yahshuah are still consistent and coherent. In any case, this demonstrates that the Messiah was preordained to be a Nazarite from the womb, whose divinely appointed duty it was to abolish the sacrificial system, to teach what others have not understood about the law of God, to restore men to favor with God, and to rule in righteousness. Contrast that with the notion that Jesus (as the Messiah) is God, who decided to sacrifice himself to himself in order to atone (with himself) for the sins of the world, so that he could decide to forgive the world, so that the world could go on sinning without remorse or threat of adverse consequence, provided that the individual believes that this is the role of the Messiah and that Jesus has fulfilled it. The first description is what Isaiah prophesied and what is confirmed in the Gospels; the second is what Christians universally believe and preach to the rest of the world.

Now, considering that Yahshuah would have had to have eaten meat offered either to idols or to Yahweh, if he indeed ate meat at all, the level of absurdity would have to reach a new height before any Christian would claim the former. We are comfortable writing this off as not worth the trouble of debunking, and expect no objection from the Christians, even though we do not put it past them. (We have let this argument pass because it is inconceivable to us that anyone would be convinced by it, but in all honesty, if they are so convinced, then they deserve to be.) As for the notion that he may have eaten meat dedicated to Yahweh, that is a different matter. However, he would not even have had the opportunity in Nazareth, so it would have had to have been outside his hometown, which basically means at Jerusalem, late in his life. That effectively rules out the possibility, as he was met at the time of his dedication by a prophet (a Nazarite) who quoted the very same text of Isaiah 49 which we have just cited here in his praise of Yahweh for showing him the Messiah, and there is no evidence that he returned more than once until he was near the end of his life, at which point he carried out his plan to rid the Temple of its sacrificial customs, as we have discussed elsewhere. In fact, there is scant evidence that he was even in Judea or Galilee at all during his adult life, and if the stories of his travels around India and Kashmir are true, as some indeed seem to be based in truth, then it is doubtful that he was even surrounded by the prospect of eating flesh for the larger part of his life, until he returned to Galilee and went on to demonstrate his contempt for the local custom of drinking to the point of exhausting the wine supply at the wedding feast at Cana. Perhaps this is why John did not know him, though they were closely related. His remark of “Woman, what do I have to do with you?” certainly seems to imply such an unfamiliarity with his own mother as could only have resulted from his having been away from his home for a very long time (in a land where no one ate flesh, no less, as the implication is that his customs were different from hers), or else from a long and strict application of his ascetic ideals, either of which points to his strict vegetarianism and virtually no possibility that he ever ate meat according to the sanction of sacrifice, and therefore at all.

That being said, the main argument for establishing that Yahshuah was certainly a strict vegetarian lies in the fact that Scripture is silent to the contrary. It would have to be inferred, as pointed out above, that he ate meat which was offered to idols, or else that he only did it on an extremely rare occasion—that is, perhaps once in his life, at the age of about 12 or so, and that is totally unrealistic in light of his separation from the womb, the fact that he was already teaching in the Temple by that time (i.e. that he had an advanced understanding of Scripture), and also by his later teachings and actions. At no point in Scripture are we ever told that Yahshuah ever performed an act of violence apart from the Cleansing of the Temple, that he commissioned anyone else to do so or even implicitly condoned it, even though they came to his defense when his own life was on the line. Nor is there any evidence whatsoever that he ever ate meat, not even as an obscure messianic prophecy which we could theoretically apply to him, such as could controvert Isaiah’s assertion that he had done “no violence,” or his telling Peter to put down his sword and restoring the ear of the wounded soldier at Gethsemane. At no point is he ever depicted as controverting the many condemnations of flesh eating throughout the Prophets, or otherwise at odds with the prophetic tradition in any way whatsoever, such as would demonstrate an incongruity between them. Quite a lot is written about him in the Gospels, even apart from all the OT prophecies, so surely if he was okay with it, then there would be some sort of evidence that he was, even if we had to infer it or fill in the details, as there is even direct evidence that he saw nothing wrong with his disciples gathering corn on the Sabbath or eating with dirty hands.

These last two observations are good examples of how the Pharisees were always looking for reasons to criticize him and came up with all kinds of provocations in order to catch him in one of their traps so they could condemn him according to the Law. At one point, they accused him of drinking wine, which certainly would not have been any cause for scandal, except that he was a Nazarite, so what they were really accusing him of was breaking his vow (except that he was not under oath, as he had been dedicated from his infancy). Scripture does not record that he denied the charge, so we have no reason to suppose that he did not let it stick. However, the rules for Nazarites vary, and are largely a matter of perspective, particularly when it comes to grapes or wine. (Grapes are quite healthy compared to many foods and do not by themselves have an intoxicating effect until they have been fermented and consumed in large quantities—which other foods also do, especially other fruits.) Samson drank wine, but was still empowered by his dedication, unlike when his hair was cut, and even the hair of a Nazarite’s separation could be cut within the tradition if it became too burdensome. So if the Pharisees really wanted to call Yahshuah out on his alleged hypocrisy, they should have accused him of eating meat, as this would be totally unacceptable to any Nazarite, as it is against the very ethic espoused by the Nazarites, rather than the more incidental customs associated with the separation. The fact that the Pharisees did not levy this allegation, though they levied many others, is strong evidence that they had no reason to, because he never did and was never even suspected of it.

The mere idea that Yahshuah would have sanctioned the death of an animal in order to allow someone to indulge in a completely unnecessary, self-destructive habit is contrary to everything he stood for. And this is not merely an inference from silence, as there is no Christian tradition at all—not even by word of mouth—that speaks of Yahshuah sanctioning meat in any capacity whatever. This is extremely relevant to the context of the epistles, which is where we find the staunchest criticisms of carnism in the whole Bible. As Oxford professor of theology (and founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics) Andrew Linzey has observed regarding Paul’s epistles, which comprise the bulk of the NT after the Gospels, “he nowhere explicitly states what one would have expected him to say, namely that since our Lord ate meat; there should be no problem about his followers doing so.”558

But if Jesus ate meat, possibly meat offered to idols, even (according to one scholar) sacrificing animals himself, why should there be any Christian vegetarians at all, let alone some to whom Paul is prepared to make concession of Conscience? Andrew Linzey559

On the other hand, there is indeed a rich and very ancient tradition within Christianity which has always maintained that Yahshuah never ate meat and that he prohibited his followers from doing so (hence the tradition). Tertullian specifically says that he was wont to abstain from flesh food in his De Jejuniis: adversus Psychios, in the midst of a polemic against the practice. He even goes so far as to say that Jerusalem and indeed the entire nation of Judea was destroyed, its holy site made a “monument of concupiscence,” specifically because of its lust for meat.

It was divinely proclaimed “wine and strong liquor shall you not drink, you and your sons after you,” etc. So, also, he upbraids the Jews: “and you gave the Nazarites wine to drink.” (Amos ii., 3.) Now this prohibition of drink is essentially connected with the vegetable diet. Thus, where abstinence from wine is required by the deity, or is vowed by man, there, too, may be understood suppression of gross feeding, for as is the eating, so is the drinking (quails enim esus, talis et potus). It is not consistent with truth that a man should sacrifice half of his stomach only to God—that he should be sober in drinking, but intemperate in eating.

You reply, finally, that this [abstinence] is to be observed according to the will of each individual, not by imperious obligation. But what sort of thing is this, that you should allow to your arbitrary inclinations what you will not allow to the will of heaven? Shall more licence be conceded to human inclination than to divine power? I, for my part, hold that, free from obligation to follow the fashions of the world, I am not free from obligation to the requirements of Religion. Tertullian560

And even if he have handed over to you the keys of the slaughterhouse or butcher’s shop (macelli), in permitting you to eat all things, excepting sacrifices to idols, at least he has not made the kingdom of heaven to consist in butchery; “for,” says he, “eating and drinking is not the kingdom of God, and food commends us not to him.” You are not to suppose it said of vegetable, but of gross and luxurious, food; since he adds, “neither if we eat have we anything the more, nor if we eat not have we anything the less.” How unworthily, too, do you press the example of Christ as having come “eating and drinking” into the service of your lusts. I think that he who pronounced not the full but the hungry and thirsty “blessed,” who professed his work to be (not as his disciples understood it) the completion of his Father’s will, I think that he was wont to abstain—instructing them to labour for that “meat” which lasts to eternal life, and enjoining in their common prayers petition not for rich and gross food, but for bread only.

And if there be One who prefers the works of justice, not, however, without sacrifice—that is to say, a spirit exercised by abstinence—it is surely that God to whom neither a gluttonous people nor priest was acceptable—monuments of whose concupiscence remain to this day, where lies buried a people greedy and clamorous for flesh-meats, gorging quails even to the point of inducing jaundice. Tertullian561

Tertullian was as prominent as any Christian of his era, which is exactly why his writings survived the Church’s attempts to destroy them, as it did with most of his contemporaries. So, at the very least, it must be recognized that the view within early Christianity that Yahshuah abstained from flesh was common, though the view that he did not remains unsubstantiated to this day. Nor are these simply isolated quotations evidencing one man’s mere opinion. In fact, there are actually versions of the Gospel in which Yahshuah is expressly depicted as denouncing the consumption of both wine and flesh, such as the Evangelion Da-mepharreshe, also called the Old Syriac Gospels. The text of Luke 21:34 reads as follows in the Old Syriac Gospels:

Now beware in yourselves that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come up upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all them that sit on the surface of the earth.

This seems to indicate another discrepancy with the extant text of Luke 21:34, which leaves the latter wanting. In the extant version, the word used in place of “eating of flesh,” kraipalē (κραιπάλη, G2897), denotes a headache induced from drunkenness. This is the only use of the word in the NT, and the redundancy of the extant text bespeaks tampering, as though the text was subverted specifically so that the person reading it would not heed Yahshuah’s warning to avoid meat or associate it with intoxication or anxiety. These associations are suggestive of guilt, which is why it is appropriate that he listed it first, as guilt of conscience is the one of the three which you would least want to be ensnared by when the day of judgment arrives, and we already know that the Canaanites’ sacrificial customs were called “snares” in the OT.

Other evidence can be gleaned from the fact that Yahshuah displayed open contempt for common practices that involved violence. For instance, he sought fishermen to be his disciples and told them they would be “fishers of men” instead. At least two, and probably at least four of them were fishermen, before what amounts to their conversion and adoption of the Nazarite values. This is hardly a boon for fishermen, as it puts them in league with a tax collector—a profession which was even more despised then than it is now. (None of the other professions of the Twelve are mentioned in Scripture.) By comparison, Luke himself was a physician (Colossians 4:14)—a healer, like Yahshuah—yet somehow, incredibly, Catholics have decided he should be the patron saint of butchers as well as of physicians and surgeons!

The best evidence, however, is from Yahshuah’s own mouth. The meat, so to speak, of his teachings comes to us in the form of his parables, as this was his sole recorded means of relating his kingdom of heaven message to his audience, unlike John the Baptist, who went for ceremony and simplicity. Most significant to the present treatise is that he taught this way specifically in order to ensure that his teachings would not be understood by those who did not have the capacity or the will to understand them (i.e. sinners). This policy effectively rules out all mainstream Christians as the audience (those unwilling to repent and get out of Babylon, that is), and explains why there are only a few explicit condemnations of meat eating in his teachings, though there are many that are implicit. The Parable of the Wedding Feast in particular is useful for demonstrating why this is the case.

And יהושע responded and spoke to them again by parables and said, “The reign of the heavens is like a man, a sovereign, who made a wedding feast for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast. But they would not come. Again he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Say to those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened cattle are slaughtered, and all is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they disregarded it and went their way—this one to his field, that one to his trade. And the rest, having seized his servants, insulted and killed them. But when the sovereign heard, he was wroth, and sent out his soldiers, destroyed those murderers, and set their city [Jerusalem] on fire. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast, indeed, is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the street corners, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding feast.’ And those servants went out into the street corners and gathered all whom they found, both wicked and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. And when the sovereign came in to view the guests, he saw there a man who had not put on a wedding garment, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the sovereign said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and throw him out into the outer darkness—there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:1-14

This passage is remarkable because it shows that simply having a garment (a covering for sin) suffices to get in to the feast. It is not having a garment that gets you kicked out. Note this well, Christians, because Yahshuah is not a covering for your sins, though you hold him to be, and have not put your trust in Yahweh, nor even in your own worthiness, as the Pharisees did.

When asked about adultery, Yahshuah even steered the discussion back to the esoteric teaching behind the Parable of the Wedding Feast. “God is the god of the living, not the dead,” he said, equating celibacy with service to God. Celibacy, therefore, is a euphemism for abstinence from whoring. This is easily one of the most common metaphors in Scripture, and takes many different forms. You will recognize part of this passage from the previous chapter’s heading; here it is with a little more context. The subtle implication which you probably missed the first time is that the woman proposed by the Sadducees is dead by Yahshuah’s standard—that she is not going to be resurrected at all, because she has broken the Law and is unworthy of life. In other words, Yahshuah was telling them that they would not be resurrected, because they were adulterers. After all, the “living” men which he referred to were dead, physically, while the Sadducees in question were yet alive.

On that day Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying, “Teacher, Mosheh said that if anyone should die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise offspring for his brother. And there were with us seven brothers, and the first died after he had married, and having no children, left his wife to his brother. In the same way the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died too. At the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven shall she be—for all had her?” And יהושע answering, said to them, “You go astray, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of Elohim. For in the resurrection they do not marry, nor are they given in marriage, but are as messengers of Elohim in heaven. And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by Elohim, saying, ‘I am the Elohim of Aḇraham, and the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ’? Elohim is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living.” And when the crowds heard, they were astonished at His teaching. Matthew 22:23-33

This is precisely why the Elect are called “chaste” in Revelation 14:4, offered as firstfruits, which is a fancy way of saying that they are all Nazarites. By extension, no one who is not a Nazarite at the Second Coming is “saved,” in the literal sense of the word. Needless to say, whoever does not presently espouse the same ideology and practice as they will is damnable, and will meet with the same fate (being shut out from the New Jerusalem, or else destroyed) as those whom the Elect will have separated themselves from.

They are those who were not defiled with women, for they are maidens. They are those following the Lamb wherever He leads them on. They were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to Elohim and to the Lamb. Revelation 14:4

One might also infer from this that the “angels in heaven” are Nazarites, or that the Nazarite tradition descended from them, whether it was actually set by them, or in imitation of them. Either way, the metaphor of chastity was clearly chosen to exemplify Yahshuah’s teachings regarding adultery, which takes us back to the consumption of flesh. All throughout Scripture, nakedness is equated with shame, which is to say, with guilt. To sin is to have consciousness of sin, which is to be ashamed. Therefore sin needs a covering in order for the shame to be removed. It is not that God kills animals and gives us their skins to clothe us. This is a metaphor for forgiveness following repentance. We have already explained the event of Genesis 3; here it is again, in its context, which clearly shows that to be “naked” is to be defiled by the sin of eating flesh.

And the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which יהוה Elohim had made, and he said to the woman, “Is it true that Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We are to eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of it, nor touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You shall certainly not die. For Elohim knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.” And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves. And they heard the sound of יהוה Elohim walking about in the garden in the cool of the day, and Aḏam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of יהוה Elohim among the trees of the garden. And יהוה Elohim called unto Aḏam and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who made you know that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Genesis 3:1-11

And יהוה Elohim made coats of skin for the man and his wife and dressed them. And יהוה Elohim said, “See, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever …” so יהוה Elohim sent him out of the garden of Ěḏen to till the ground from which he was taken, and He drove the man out. And He placed keruḇim at the east of the garden of Ěḏen, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:21-24

Ezekiel 16 alone uses “nakedness” 4 times to describe sin, and “naked and bare” 3 times, as well as “whoring” or “whorings” a total of 10 times. So when Ezekiel omits the metaphor, as in 21:24, his meaning becomes clearer, as there is no longer any room for doubt that the word is code for ‘sin’ (or ‘transgression’).

“Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, ‘Because you have made your crookedness to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that your sins are seen in all your deeds. Because you have been remembered, you are taken by hand.’” Ezekiel 21:24

As with the rest of Ezekiel (and indeed, practically the whole Bible), the sin in question is the sin of eating flesh. In fact, with 49 verses, Ezekiel 23 stands out as being the longest figurative description of Israel’s apostasy, consistently referred to as “adultery” (or “whoring”) throughout Scripture. As with Ezekiel 21, the meaning of the parable is self-evident to anyone who knows Scripture, but this does not prevent the prophet from deciphering it in elementary fashion, so that there is no room for doubt as to the meanings of “nakedness” and “whoring” in Scripture, nor as to the meaning of exposing nakedness (i.e., prophesying, passing judgment).

“For thus said the Master יהוה, ‘See, I am giving you into the hand of those whom you hate, into the hand of those from whom your being turned in disgust. And they shall deal with you in hatred, and they shall take away all you have worked for, and they shall leave you naked and bare. And the nakedness of your whorings shall be uncovered, and the wickedness of your whorings. I do this to you because of your whoring after the gentiles, because you have been defiled by their idols.’” Ezekiel 23:28-30

“For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. And they have committed adultery with their idols, and even offered their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour. They also did this to Me: They have defiled My set-apart place on the same day, and they have profaned My Sabbaths. For when they had slain their children for their idols, on the same day they came into My set-apart place to profane it. And see, that is what they did in the midst of My House.” Ezekiel 23:37-39

“But let righteous men judge them with the judgment of adulteresses, and the judgment of women who shed blood, for they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.” Ezekiel 23:45

The New Testament employs the term ‘naked’ the same way, going so far as to associate it with demon possession, thus demonstrating that, according to the Bible, the process of adulteration actually works. In Acts 19, for instance, it is evident that nakedness is comparable in spiritual terms with a physical beating. Both are evidence of being abused by a demon and of being too weak to fight against it. Thus the term ‘bare’ is shown to mean ‘wounded’ (or ‘hurt,’ as the effect of being beaten and shamed by the force of reason, once the sinner comes to terms with the fact that his arguments have failed to justify his wickedness—it is his pride that is wounded).

And Elohim worked unusual miracles through the hands of Sha’ul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the wicked spirits went out of them. But certain roving Yehuḏite exorcists took it upon themselves to call the Name of the Master יהושע over those who had wicked spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by יהושע whom Sha’ul proclaims.” And there were seven sons of a certain Skeua, a Yehuḏite chief priest, who were doing this. And the wicked spirit answering, said, “יהושע I know, and Sha’ul I know, but who are you?” And the man in whom the wicked spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:11-16

This also ought to inform us as to why Noah was so irate about Ham’s sin against him (uncovering his nakedness). The wording of the depiction of that incident has precedence elsewhere in Scripture, but based on the way “uncovering nakedness” is used elsewhere, Noah’s fall from grace presumably involved being given something unclean to eat when he was too intoxicated to know better than to accept it, or he did it on his when he was intoxicated and Ham simply made it known to his brothers. Otherwise we are obligated to assume that it happened as written: that Ham defiled his father by way of a sexual act. It seems inevitable to infer that the sin of Noah entailed both eating flesh and some sort of sexual perversion (most likely sodomy), as it apparently did with Adam and Eve, and perhaps this is even the origin of the metaphor of uncovering one’s nakedness.

This would explain why adultery is not just a matter of polluting one’s own flesh in the Bible, but also of Abraham’s descendants marrying or fornicating with women of other nations, thus contaminating their own bloodlines with Satan’s DNA (or DNA that had been corrupted) while simultaneously causing them to fall into apostasy by worshiping their gods. The “wine” or intoxication which led to the Fall would be the Luciferian doctrine: “You shall not surely die,” which is the same lie we are being told by the whole establishment today, but especially by those who, against all reason, advocate the eating of animal products for health reasons. Anyone who is duped by this absurdity for whatever reason (be it of a nutritional or moral nature) has been “beguiled” or seduced by Satan as surely as Eve was, and committed adultery against her husband (Yahweh) with the Devil, with no less enthusiasm than Eve. Just look at how cynical Yahshuah evidently was, because he knew well that everyone in Judea had been so beguiled.

יהושע saw Nethanĕ’l coming toward Him, and said of him, “See, truly a Yisra’ĕlite, in whom is no deceit!” John 1:47

Christians, especially those of the Roman Catholic persuasion (more on that later), are undoubtedly the most beguiled and adulterous of all humans, being those who claim to be the “bride of Christ” and all that. They insist that Yahshuah bore the sins of the world, so that the belief that he did merits salvation from the consequences of sin. Yet lacking any depth of understanding, they have mistaken the metaphor of atonement (as the covering of sin) for something else (being mocked by the Romans as a “king”), and missed the significance of it completely. The fact that this was done at all signifies the fulfillment of one of the most famous messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, which the same Christians love to invoke to justify their atonement doctrine. We know that the baptism of John was based on the prophets’ extreme distaste for sacrifice, and Isaiah’s declaration that, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (1:18). It was also Isaiah’s prophecy that was famously fulfilled not when he was hanging on the cross, but when he was made to don the scarlet cape:

Truly, He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains. Yet we reckoned Him stricken, smitten by Elohim, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our crookednesses. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We all, like sheep, went astray, each one of us has turned to his own way. And יהוה has laid on Him the crookedness of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, but He did not open His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment. And as for His generation, who considered that He shall be cut off from the land of the living? For the transgression of My people He was stricken. And He was appointed a grave with the wrong, and with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was deceit in His mouth. But יהוה was pleased to crush Him, He laid sickness on Him, that when He made Himself an offering for guilt, He would see a seed, He would prolong His days and the pleasure of יהוה prosper in His hand. He would see the result of the suffering of His life and be satisfied. Through His knowledge My righteous Servant makes many righteous, and He bears their crookednesses. Therefore I give Him a portion among the great, and He divides the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His being unto death, and He was counted with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:4-12

And having stripped Him, they put a scarlet robe on Him. Matthew 27:28

This, like many other such passages, clearly shows that Yahshuah was the scapegoat of the Jews. However, we must not fall into the trap of thinking, as the Christians do, that this is what God wanted or demanded in any way. God is not evil, as they are, and this kind of policy is exactly what has caused him to punish such men in the past, and to plague us all with disease and death before the final judgment. If the Christians had understood the meaning of “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” they would not have condemned the innocent. Nor do they have any excuse, as Yahshuah told his enemies to go and find out what the meaning of that particular passage is, which they have not even bothered to attempt.

The metaphorical significance of Yahshuah’s death is that he paid a “ransom” (Matthew 20:38; Mark 10:45) “for all people” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). This is how atonement was made (as redemption of a debt) for murder under the Law of Moses, including the murder of animals. The precedent for this clearly goes back to God’s declaration right after the Flood that he would hold both men and beasts who killed others accountable by requiring their own blood—“a life for a life.”

“And when an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall certainly be stoned, and its flesh is not eaten, and the owner of the ox is innocent. However, if the ox was previously in the habit of goring, and its owner has been warned, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox is stoned and its owner also is put to death. If a sin-covering is laid upon him, then he shall give the ransom of his life, whatever is laid on him.” Exodus 21:28-30

And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, “When you take the census of the children of Yisra’ĕl, to register them, then each one shall give an atonement for his life to יהוה, when you register them, so that there is no plague among them when you register them. Everyone among those who are registered is to give this: half a sheqel according to the sheqel of the set-apart place, twenty gĕrahs being a sheqel. The half-sheqel is the contribution to יהוה. Everyone passing over to be registered, from twenty years old and above, gives a contribution to יהוה. The rich does not give more and the poor does not give less than half a sheqel, when you give a contribution to יהוה, to make atonement for yourselves. And you shall take the silver for the atonement from the children of Yisra’ĕl, and give it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. And it shall be to the children of Yisra’ĕl for a remembrance before יהוה, to make atonement for yourselves.” Exodus 30:11-16

“‘Whoever kills someone has to be put to death as a murderer by the mouth of witnesses, but only one witness does not bear witness against someone to die. And take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall certainly be put to death. And take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge to return to dwell in the land before the death of the priest. And do not profane the land where you are, for blood profanes the land, and the land is not pardoned for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.’” Numbers 35:30-33

So we see that the concept of ransom as a means of paying off a debt which otherwise requires a life for a life has a precedent in the Law of Moses, as well as in Genesis 9, and that it is not strictly metaphorical. It does not come up often in the Prophets, however. The one place where it does that is most relevant to that issue is also the one most relevant to the present discussion—Hosea, which declares that God desires mercy rather than sacrifice, i.e. that the debt of murder needs to be redeemed by atonement rather than canceled by justice. Thus the biblical concept of atonement is based on living without sin, rather than on vengeance. In other cases, such as in Psalm 49, upon which Hosea 13:14 seems to be based, we are told that there is no compassion, that all who sin succumb to death; therefore, no one can pay this debt except the one who has mastery over death.

A brother does not redeem anyone at all,
Neither give to Elohim a ransom for him;
For the redemption of their lives is costly,
And it shall cease forever;
That he should still live forever,
And not see the Pit.
For he sees wise men die,
The foolish and the ignorant both perish,
And shall leave their wealth to others.
Their graves are their houses, forever;
Their dwelling places, to all generations;
They call their lands after their own names.
But man does not remain in esteem,
He is like the beasts that perish.
This way of theirs is folly to them,
Yet their followers are pleased with their words. Selah.
Like sheep they shall be laid in the grave;
Death shall shepherd them;
And the upright rule over them in the morning;
And their form is consumed in the grave,
Far from their dwelling.
But Elohim does redeem my being From the power of the grave,
For He does receive me. Selah.
Psalm 49:7-15

“From the power of the grave I ransom them, from death I redeem them. Where is your plague, O Death? Where is your destruction, O Grave? Repentance is hidden from My eyes.” Hosea 13:14

The Hebrew here actually reads אהי (ehiy, H165), “I would be,” not איה (ahyay, H346), “where (is),” which is taken from later foreign language manuscripts which have perverted its meaning by inferring that the he of ehiy belongs ahead of the yod, which belongs at the end, i.e. that the people who wrote it in Hebrew must have recorded it wrong, or else that the original intent was illogical. Strong’s has repeated the mistake by arbitrarily deciding that its meaning is “less suited to the context … unusual with the [first] person [tense].” So even where the Bible actually does speak of Yahshuah as an atoning sacrifice, the translators have mistaken the meaning and deliberately rendered it false, thus eliminating the significance of the metaphor and striking it from Scripture altogether.

So much for going and learning the meaning of “I desire mercy, not sacrifice!” Few translations render it accurately without the imposition of the “where is” in the place of “I will (to) be,” and in this case the KJV and the Douay-Rheims (Catholic) Bible (DV) are actually truer to the text than the others. (This is remarkable because these are generally two of the very worst of the myriad English translations, along with the NIV. The fact that most people use one of these three actually has a lot to do with why most people are so misinformed.) Compare these two translations to a few others which represent the overall consensus of (mis)interpretation:

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. (KJV)

I will deliver them out of the hand of death. I will redeem them from death : O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite: comfort is hidden from my eyes. (DV)

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? I will have no compassion.” (NIV)

“From the power of Sheol I will rescue them, from death I will redeem them. Death, where are your plagues? Sheol, where is your destruction? My eyes will remain closed to your pleas for compassion.” (ISV)

Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not! Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not! O Death, bring on your plagues! O Sheol, bring on your destruction! My eyes will not show any compassion! (NET)

Clearly, Hosea was prophesying the redemption of sinners in accordance with the Law (not the Law of Moses, but the heavenly law). The meaning in the original Hebrew text clearly pertains to the murder of the innocent redeemer in the place of the redeemed sinner: “From the power of the grave I will ransom them [take their place]; from death I redeem them. I [instead of they] shall be your plague, O Death; I [instead of they] shall be your destruction, O Grave. Comfort will be hid from my sight.” It is no wonder, then, that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).

This metaphor is critical to understanding the Bible’s final position on the efficacy (and therefore the legitimacy) of animal sacrifice, and of the role which Yahshuah plays in our salvation. As such, its meaning is explained in the New Testament. Peter makes it clear that the only work which Yahshuah’s sacrifice actually makes to the end of our salvation is by causing us to trust in God through the demonstration of his miraculous power to raise us from the dead. The very same context which tells us that he paid our ransom also preempts the belief that salvation is by belief in this work by telling those who have been redeemed that it is through faith in God, purification of the soul (i.e. body) and obedience to the truth. This is the true meaning of “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Knowing that you were redeemed from your futile way of life inherited from your fathers, not with what is corruptible, silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, foreknown, indeed, before the foundation of the world, but manifested in these last times for your sakes, who through Him believe in Elohim who raised Him from the dead and gave Him esteem, so that your belief and expectation are in Elohim. Now that you have cleansed your lives in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned brotherly love, love one another fervently with a clean heart, having been born again—not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible—through the living Word of Elohim, which remains forever. 1 Peter 1:18-23

And they sang a renewed song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals, because You were slain, and have redeemed us to Elohim by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9

Christians love to tell us that “Jesus” paid a “king’s ransom” with his blood. The problem with this is that that the only king in the context of this redeeming sacrifice is Yahshuah himself, and that “king’s ransom” denotes the payment of the life-debt of a king. So to turn the term ‘ransom’ to “king’s ransom” is to deny that he paid the debt, and to imply that he incurred it, and that it must be (or has been) paid by someone else. (By implication, the redeemed sinner is sovereign. Even without calling it a king’s ransom, the notion that he actually gave his life to pay the debt of a sinner means the sinner’s life is at least as precious as, if not more precious than Yahshuah’s, which is surely as much an affront to reason as it is to piety.) In fact, Yahshuah’s kingship is very relevant to the nature of this debt, as it is a matter of the king of the kingdom of heaven redeeming (only) the heirs of the kingdom from death. This atoning sacrifice therefore makes payment for the consequence of the Fall, by awarding a second chance at life for those who would take it. Thus is fulfilled the prophecy that he came to set the captives free (i.e. to ransom them, and commute their sentence of death), not to mention his statement that in order to see the kingdom of heaven, one must first be “born again” in “spirit” (the nephesh, the spirit/mind of life, i.e. of ethical veganism, which had first been given to Adam—it is the undoing of the Fall which restores us to God).

Consider that the term ouranós (οὐρανός, G3772), translated as “heaven” or “heavens,” as in “the kingdom of heaven,” actually comes from a root meaning ‘to cover/encompass.’ It is not actually the blood of Yahshuah (or of Jesus) which “covers” sins, nor the Christian sacraments, but repentance and remission of sins which cover sins—hence the dual purpose of the Gospel in the preaching of both the kingdom of heaven, which is for the societal level, and the remission of sins, which happens at the individual level. The Strong’s entry for this word notes, by way of HELPS Word-studies, “The singular and plural have distinct overtones and therefore should be distinguished in translation (though unfortunately they rarely are).”

With this in mind, we turn to the Hebrew, presuming even that Yahshuah’s words in the NT were originally spoken in Hebrew. In Hebrew, the word for ‘heaven’ is shamayim (שמים, H8064), a plural term which has no singular equivalent, and which therefore begs an etymology. We propose that the singular is shem (שם, H8034), which means ‘the renowned’ or ‘the named,’ based on the fact that ‘kingdom of heaven’ is interchangeable with ‘Kingdom of Salem,’ and that the writer of Genesis (where the term ultimately comes from) decided to name Noah’s son (the one who “covered his nakedness” and was blessed by him) Shem. Supposing this, then the term ‘kingdom of heaven’ actually means ‘reign of the named,’ as in ‘sovereignty of the Elect,’ as those who are “named” are those whose names are written in the Book of Life, or the “heavenly tables.” Consider that Yahshuah actually makes no distinction whatsoever between the two.

“But do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names have been written in the heavens.” Luke 10:20

In any case, Yahshuah’s teachings concern the restoration of the sons of Adam to God’s favor, by covering the consequences of the Fall, just as Noah’s other sons covered him. What this entails is being placed into the position of authority over the animal kingdom, where our common ancestor belonged, without messing it up this time. This is why the otherwise grossly incompetent KJV translators demonstrated their understanding of stewardship when they took poetic license with both of the events used to invoke Man’s authority over Nature. Most people think these words are redundant and convey that they were supposed to breed quickly, but in fact they convey exactly what the same translators (being clergymen) would have wanted them to convey if they could have been applied to them—authority—except that this authority carries with it responsibility, and it certainly did not extend to them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Genesis 9:1 (KJV)

The covering knowledge is the knowledge of good and evil, which gives men the same power as the gods. As indicated in a previous chapter, it is disastrous in the wrong hands, as evidenced by the fact that the Israelites were so engrossed in their sacrificial system that they would rather have persecuted or even killed every prophet that Yahweh ever raised among them than listen and repent in a single instance. Therefore the meaning of the teachings needed to be hidden by the form of the parables, yet it is still ridiculously obvious (if you know Scripture, that is), so that it is accessible to anyone who would truly desire to know, as opposed to whoever would blindly invoke a single verse from the Bible to justify his open contempt for God and all of his commandments.

Yahshuah said, “It is to those who are worthy of my mysteries that I tell my mysteries. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Thomas 62

If you have managed to get this far into the present book, then it is assumed that you deserve to know the meaning behind the Parable of the Wedding Feast, so we do not refrain from explaining it here. The meaning is that in order to be counted among the Elect, we must be clothed by a white robe, for the “nakedness” (i.e., the shame) of every sinner is readily apparent by the garment he wears (i.e., his body), and the garment will only be white if it is washed (baptized) and then remains clean (undefiled). Who cannot tell a persistent meat-eater apart from someone who follows a natural diet merely by his obesity and unhealthy skin? The answer must be the one who has no concept of what a natural diet would consist of, or what a person following it would look like. Either way, God is not mocked. He knows who belongs at the wedding feast and who does not.

And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads. And I heard a voice out of the heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder, and I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a renewed song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. And in their mouth was found no falsehood, for they are blameless before the throne of Elohim. Revelation 14:1-3,5

This is what it means to be blameless before God: to remain undefiled by the conventions of the world. The metaphor of the white robe and the meaning behind it are even more obvious in Enoch, but an explanation of Enoch’s second prophetic dream would take a lot of space, because it is very long, and no less esoteric than Yahshuah’s parables. Yet it is there for those who would read it. We provide a single excerpt here to show that the influence of Genesis on Enoch, and of Enoch on Revelation, is unmistakable—and how accessible this mystery has always been to all the billions of “Christians” who have constantly overlooked it.

And I stood up to see till they folded up that old house; and carried off all the pillars, and all the beams and ornaments of the house were at the same time folded up with it, and they carried it off and laid it in a place in the south of the land. And I saw till the Lord of the sheep brought a new house greater and loftier than that first, and set it up in the place of the first which had been folded up: all its pillars were new, and its ornaments were new and larger than those of the first, the old one which He had taken away, and all the sheep were within it. And I saw all the sheep which had been left, and all the beasts on the earth, and all the birds of the heaven, falling down and doing homage to those sheep and making petition to and obeying them in every thing. And thereafter those three who were clothed in white and had seized me by my hand [who had taken me up before], and the hand of that ram also seizing hold of me, they took me up and set me down in the midst of those sheep before the judgement took place. And those sheep were all white, and their wool was abundant and clean. And all that had been destroyed and dispersed, and all the beasts of the field, and all the birds of the heaven, assembled in that house, and the Lord of the sheep rejoiced with great joy because they were all good and had returned to His house. And I saw till they laid down that sword, which had been given to the sheep, and they brought it back into the house, and it was sealed before the presence of the Lord, and all the sheep were invited into that house, but it held them not. And the eyes of them all were opened, and they saw the good, and there was not one among them that did not see. 1 Enoch 90:28-35

Notice that the beasts obey the sheep “in every thing.” That this is speaking of the dominion which Christians always fall back on is self-evident, though the fact that it extends to mankind as subject to the dominion may not be. This, too, is evident elsewhere in Enoch, where it is given to the Messiah specifically (rather than the Elect in general) as the Son of Adam. By itself, this constitutes proof that said dominion actually consists of sovereignty according to the standard of Scripture, that it is only awarded to Yahshuah, and that anyone who claims it for himself, as the pseudo-Christian meat-eaters all do, is an antichrist.

And he said unto me: “All these things which thou hast seen shall serve the dominion of His Anointed that he may be potent and mighty on the earth.” 1 Enoch 70:4

Moreover, the “secret sayings” of Yahshuah (a term which is usually rendered ‘mystery’ or ‘mysteries’ in English versions of the Bible) are recorded in the Gospel of Thomas, so it is not without precedent that we say that the prophetic tradition uses a very easy to understand language of metaphor which can be associated with Yahshuah’s esoteric teachings. When the parables are broken down into simple sentences in this way, it becomes even more apparent that their meaning is that men who eat flesh are not fit for the kingdom of heaven. Some of these mysteries pertain to nakedness or knowledge; all pertain to living in harmony with Nature, which begins with knowledge of self. (And humans are natural herbivores.)

Yahshuah said, “If those who lead you say, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” Thomas 3

Yahshuah said, “The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same.” Thomas 4

Yahshuah said, “Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.” Thomas 5

His disciples questioned him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?” Yahshuah said, “Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.” Thomas 6

Yahshuah said, “Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh.” Thomas 112

Even if we do not regard the Gospel of Thomas as Holy Writ, v. 6 is the one place in all of Scripture which best evidences what Yahshuah thought was an appropriate diet for his disciples, so it at least needs to be addressed. We might suppose that he answered the other questions which they put to him and left this one out because it was unimportant, but in truth, it was so important that he glossed over the other questions and then gave three specific examples of different types of diets for the remaining one. The following parables are clearly intended to be understood as his response to carnism (or an omnivorous diet), pescatarianism, and vegetarianism, respectively. This is all the more clear in the fact that the conditional statements of v. 14 (several verses later) show themselves to be a direct response, without the metaphors.

Yahshuah said, “Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man.” And he said, “The kingdom is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of small fish. Among them the wise fisherman found a fine large fish. He threw all the small fish back into the sea and chose the large fish without difficulty. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” Yahshuah said, “Now the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered them. Some fell on the road; the birds came and gathered them up. Others fell on the rock, did not take root in the soil, and did not produce ears. And others fell on thorns; they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on the good soil and produced good fruit: it bore sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per measure.” Thomas 7-9

Yahshuah said to them, “If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they received you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth—it is that which will defile you.” Thomas 14

Needless to say, this seems to contradict everything we have been saying so far. However, we only need to shed a little light on this mystery to show that it substantiates it. For instance, what does it mean to fast? What does it mean to pray? These are not clear concepts in Yahshuah’s teachings, because he was not speaking out against fasting or prayer, but against organized religion. He was telling his disciples to eat whatever was set before them by those who received them, not by just anyone. That is, they were only to eat the food of those who listened to their message—as evidenced by the fact that they were obedient to it. By implication, they were not supposed to eat anything else. So if the message was a vegetarian one, as we have already seen that it was, then he was necessarily affirming the vegetarian diet.

Fasting may be good for the spirit, if there is need for it, but it also serves the purpose of purifying the body of whatever substances have been ingested. It can be quite painful or even hazardous, especially if the body is unaccustomed to it, or if the wrong things have been eaten. For example, a long fast undertaken after a long period of ingesting toxins can dramatically increase the risk of colorectal cancer, because the toxins may build up in the colon when they are being processed out of the body during the fast. It is much safer to start with shorter intermittent fasts and make them progressively longer, especially where there is a lot of toxicity that needs to be purged from the body. The best way to fast is to clean out the digestive tract with fruit (especially fruit juice or vegetable juice) in preparation. But to someone who eats like this all the time, and has not absorbed many toxins, fasting is a waste, and actually harms the body by increasing metabolic efficiency and therefore causing unhealthy weight gain. This is why fasting is pointless for someone whose body and spirit are both pure, and therefore why Yahshuah warns against it—not that fasting itself is a sin, but that getting into the habit of purging can lead you to think that the habit of binging is okay. In other words, fasting and prayer are for people who are in need of exorcisms, and for those in mourning.

They said to him, “Come, let us pray and let us fast.” Yahshuah said, “What is the sin that I have committed, or wherein have I been defeated? But when the bridegroom leaves the bridal chamber [i.e. when they kill him], then let them fast and pray.” Thomas 104

Yahshuah said, “If you do not fast as regards the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath, you will not see the Father.” Thomas 27

Fasting, therefore, according to Yahshuah, is in regards to the world, which is to say abstaining from society, and especially religion—the kind which tells you not to obey God’s laws, which include abstaining from meat with far more surety than observing the Sabbath. The analogies of hunger and thirst are used to describe the desire to pursue righteousness, which can only possibly be exclusive of eating flesh, and which are sated by eating “bread” (the bread from heaven). We know that Yahshuah declared that his teaching was not his own, and that anyone who chooses to do the will of God must know the teaching, whether by him or by some other means. The Gospels, which were used as witnesses for unbelievers, touch upon the metaphor of hunger and thirst in the Sermon on the Mount, but the more esoteric teachings intended for his disciples are those which everyone who would call himself a Christian must pay attention to, as those are the teachings which lead to life. Here is where we see that it is better to starve the flesh for the sake of God’s will than to starve the soul for the sake of the flesh.

Yahshuah said, “Blessed are they who have been persecuted within themselves. It is they who have truly come to know the Father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled.” Thomas 69

“Persecuted” is not an appropriate translation here. A more appropriate, though perhaps less literal rendering would be, ‘Blessed are they who have been set-apart in their minds.’ Either way, the point is that it is good to deprive the body of physical temptations, and that this is how we come to know God. This is common sense to any ancient philosophy other than the atomic materialism (i.e. atheistic hedonism) of Epicureanism. Compare that with the Christians’ notion that “Jesus is the way”—a way which they have utterly forsaken in every nuance imaginable.

This text (the Gospel of Thomas) is essential to understanding the teachings of Yahshuah, because it is about the teachings themselves rather than about him. Saying 21 has him describing his disciples as children who undress in order to rid themselves of their shame. Saying 23 has him describing entry into the kingdom as granted to only one in a thousand and two in ten thousand. So entry is given only to a few, those few being those who rid themselves of the sins of the flesh, as described in Revelation and in Enoch.

His disciples said, “When will you become revealed to us and when shall we see you?” Yahshuah said, “When you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your garments and place them under your feet like little children and tread on them, then will you see the son of the Living One, and you will not be afraid.” Thomas 37

Yahshuah said, “Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return.” Thomas 49

Yahshuah said, “Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber.” Thomas 75

We quote from the Coptic gospel here, as Thomas and Enoch have both been preserved only in Coptic, but the Greek text of 37 says “strip naked” instead of “disrobe.” The irony here is that the idea of being naked without shame was offensive enough to the Copts that they gave it a more modest rendering, proving that they were not willing to seek the kingdom, in favor of what they regarded as decency. Once again, this points to the metaphorical meaning behind the concept of adultery and why it relates to chastity or virginity. To defile oneself with a “woman” is really to defile himself with a man, for it is the ways of other men which defile him, just as we have seen in the case of the sin of Sodom and Jerusalem.

The reason the word ‘woman’ is used in the prophetic language is that we, the sons of Adam, have been commanded not to eat the forbidden fruit, just as our father was. So if we do it, it is because we listened to our “wife,” the Whore of Babylon, with whom we have committed fornication, if indeed we have committed adultery against Yahweh. Those who have not are called sons of the living God, for they are the esteem of his creation and the likeness of his own being, just as Adam had been, and as Yahshuah is.

And to the man He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘Do not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground because of you, in toil you are to eat of it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17

The disciples said to Yahshuah, “Tell us how our end will be.” Yahshuah said, “Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death.” Thomas 18

His disciples said to him, “Is circumcision beneficial or not?” He said to them, “If it were beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become completely profitable.” Thomas 53

Yahshuah said, “When you see one who was not born of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is your Father.” Thomas 15

In other words, any Nazarite from the womb is much purer and holier than anyone who is not, to the point of being the incarnation of the spirit of God and truly worthy of all the veneration which the Christians give to their beloved Jesus. This is a clear indication that to have never been defiled by flesh is the highest ideal that any human being could ever aspire to, the veritable blessed state of grace lost in Eden. And lest anyone retort that this is not taken from the Bible, and is therefore an invalid association, it is actually also implicit in the canonical gospels. Also implied is that those who would say this only condemn themselves.

A woman from the crowd said to him, “Blessed are the womb which bore you and the breasts which nourished you.” He said to her, “Blessed are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, ‘Blessed are the womb which has not conceived and the breasts which have not given milk.’” Thomas 79

Yahshuah said, “Among those born of women, from Adam until John the Baptist, there is no one so superior to John the Baptist that his eyes should not be lowered. Yet I have said whichever one of you comes to be a child will be acquainted with the kingdom and will become superior to John.” Thomas 46

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than Yoḥanan the Immerser, yet the least one in the reign of the heavens is greater than he. And from the days of Yoḥanan the Immerser till now the reign of the heavens is violated, and the violent seize it. For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied till Yoḥanan.” Matthew 11:11-13

“For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than Yoḥanan the Immerser, but he who is least in the reign of Elohim is greater than he.” And all the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard, declared Elohim righteous, having been immersed with the immersion of Yoḥanan. But the Pharisees and those learned in the Torah rejected the counsel of Elohim for themselves, not having been immersed by him. Luke 7:28-30

So that is what it means to be a “woman” (an emotionally unstable or effeminate man, one who cannot think for himself and exercise sound judgment, i.e., a coward, fool or Sodomite). You can all breathe a sigh of relief, women. You are not all summarily written out of the Book of Life simply on account of the gender which God decided to ascribe you, unless you decide to sin like all the other “women.” On the other hand, all you really have to do to please God and find your name in the Book of Life is appreciate life itself enough to stop sinning by destroying it. Considering how very little that is for God to ask of us, and considering the teachings we have examined here and the precedent of Yahshuah surrendering his very life for us just to get his point across, there is no excuse good enough to justify the hate which the so-called Christians routinely demonstrate for Christ’s own spirit of ethical veganism. Whether you are male or female does not matter; either way, you must follow Yahshuah if you want life.

Simon Peter said to him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.” Yahshuah said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Thomas 114

For Elohim has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and of love and of self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

 

 

 


 

 

554 This latter idea had not really been part of the ancient vegan ethic, as it is now. While the concept of veganism was certainly alive at the time, it was more a matter of eating a vegetarian or strictly plant-based diet for ethical reasons than anything else, with the primary focus on advocacy of animals’ rights to live, just as that is still the focus now, though there are many more issues that have been taken up by animal rights advocates. Back then, animals were not senselessly tortured or butchered for sport or for science (at least not in Palestine, to say nothing of the Roman culture), and they were routinely used for agriculture, because plowing was extremely hard work before the advent of heavy machinery. Wealth of material possessions was based on need and want, not on excess, so it was in the best interest of those who owned animals to preserve them, not to kill and eat them. Even so, the exploitation of livestock for human purposes centered around food production, and the exploitation of pack animals centered around transportation, so the concept of veganism was almost exclusively one of eating a vegetarian rather than a plant-based (vegan) diet. The reason for this, essentially, is that animal farming in the ancient world would not have been seen as inherently harmful to the farmed animals, the way it is now. They simply did not have the machines to automate the process of gathering milk and eggs, or of slaughter, and they had not hybridized chickens to produce more eggs at the expense of their own well being, so the animals would have necessarily been treated as humanely as a farmer is inclined to be when he is milking a cow or gathering eggs with his own hands. Given the fact that dairy production largely revolves around milk production, and the fact that livestock produce milk for their own offspring (and therefore that a human is stealing it if he is drinking it) is common sense, it may very well be that certain groups of vegetarians did not distinguish between eating a vegetarian diet and eating a plant-based (vegan) diet, if only because they themselves did not keep animals and saw no reason to. However, we can only speculate, as there is a deficiency of evidence either way. What we do know is that those called to be prophets in Scripture typically abandoned their occupations (Elisha his farm, the sons of Zebedee their nets, Amos his flocks, etc.) and then foraged for food, which strongly implies that they ate what grew of itself. The “death in the pot” incident in 2 Kings 4 is a good example of this, for the natural inclination during a severe famine would be to start drinking milk or eating meat, but instead they ate soup and foraged wild cucumbers. Suffice it to say that if 1st -century vegetarians like Plutarch and John the Baptist ate eggs every now and then, then that was in accordance with the spirit of veganism at the time, because it was not seen as harming the animals that produced them, but that it is still folly to suppose that they did without any evidence in support of the supposition, and with much to the contrary.

555 See the whole text of Isaiah 1.

556 Panarion, Book I, xxx.13.4-5.

557 As this is mostly a matter of two instances of deliberate subversions of the NT manuscripts, we have addressed this issue mainly in Satan’s Synoptics. For the time being, it suffices to say that this is a less serious contention, as fish are not actually animals in the theological sense of the Bible, though they possess the same characteristics of memory and intelligence as land animals do. More important to the context of Scripture, and therefore to the present book, is that fish never had anything to do with the sacrificial customs of the Jews, unlike those of the Romans, and this is among the most obvious giveaways indicating the Roman subversions. The main point here is to show that although an exception was made in the allowance of animal flesh, through the sacrificial rites, no comparable exception was ever made for fish, meaning the prohibition of fish by the heavenly law is even more obvious, as it has no exception under the Law of Moses, as other animals do. From this, one could infer that as long as he were to obey the Law strictly and not deviate from the no-meat rule except in the case of the sacrificial rites, in order to fulfill the heavenly law and still find a loophole, fish would be strictly prohibited even though some land animals would not be. However, eating either is still a contravention of the heavenly law, so the point is moot, even if it does merit our consideration in light of prophetic views on the reinstitution of the sacrifice, such as Ezekiel’s vision and the Temple Scroll (11Q19). We could use these arguments to establish that it does not follow that Yahshuah ever ate meat or condoned such, just because he ate fish or condoned it. However, the goal here is to get to the truth, and it is wholly unreasonable to suppose that he ever would have (the argument that he did is used to evidence a blatantly false premise—that the heavenly law is no law at all, in that it allows all foods), so our aim is to show instead that he was consistent with the heavenly law, and therefore that he ate, and condoned the consumption of, neither fish nor animal flesh.

558-559 Jacob A. Shaw, “Jesus Was a Vegetarian,” The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation, http://www.all-creatures.org/articles/an-tpr-shaw.html.

560 Howard Williams, The Ethics of Diet: A Biographical History of the Literature of Humane Dietetics, from the Earliest Period to the Present Day, A. Broadbent, 1907, p. 52; retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=Tk8qAAAAYAAJ.

561 Ibid., pp. 52-53.