4.1 A Case Of Divine Censorship?
“…a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The same came to Yahshua by night, and said unto him,
Rabbi, WE KNOW that thou art a teacher come from YHWH: …” John 3:1-2
What’s it like to pass sentence on another human being? Especially the death sentence? If you had to make that choice, how would you react?
Every believer today marvels at how the people around the Messiah in His day could have killed Him. Why, we would never do such a thing, would we? But just ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. “If I were the judge, or rather the Chief Priest in Messiah’s day, would I have sentenced Him to death?” Be honest now.
And, if you actually KNEW that the man you were sentencing was the real, literal Son of the Mighty One of Israel, would YOU sentence Him to death?
That seems like a hard question, doesn’t it? However, the answer is quite easy. If you really believed YHWH existed, that the LAW was indeed His Word, and you were His High Priest on earth, and you KNEW THE LAW and Writings thoroughly, then your sentence would be DEATH! You would have no recourse, just as the High Priest had no recourse. Otherwise you would be guilty of breaking the LAW yourself! It is a shocking “catch 22” for the High Priest as you will see.
In this chapter, we are going to explore some reasons why the Messiah’s Name was changed, why there are no historical records of His existence outside the Bible and why the New Testament was carried on in the Greek language with the wrong names of the Messiah and His Father implanted in it.
4.2 HIGH PRIEST’S DILEMMA!
The High Priest was “sworn” to obey the Law and uphold it. Because of this, he understood two things. First that the Law demanded the death of anyone “blaspheming” in public, and that the Law demanded that person’s name be wiped from Israel’s Sacred and civil records. There was no mistake in this matter. In the first century one aspect of blasphemy believed at the time was that blasphemy included pronouncing the Father’s Name out loud in public.
Secondly, the High Priest KNEW without any shadow of a doubt that the man he had to sentence was the Messiah. He knew this man was of Divine origin. Of this there was no mistake.
What complicated his life was the fact that the Messiah, in the eyes of the High Priest, FINALLY “BROKE” THE LAW OF YHWH! That’s right, the High Priest believed, Yahshua actually broke one point of the Law. Therefore, He became guilty of them all. The law He broke was done deliberately, and not through weakness. He broke it through strength of conviction that He must die, as His final physical act on this earth. If He had not broken that law, He would not have been killed and this would have defeated His very purpose for existence. And, it was the only law He could use to cause this reaction by the High Priest. So, in the eyes of man, Yahshua broke the law and blasphemed. Yet, in the eyes of the Father, the Messiah did no such thing.
Believing this, the High Priest must have spent a restless night praying about what to do. In the end, he obeyed the Divine Law as he understood it. If he hadn’t, there would have been no Messiah.
What would you do in such a dilemma?
4.3 THE HIGH PRIEST KNEW
We’ve already seen by the lead in quote above that the priests KNEW the Messiah was from YHWH. Of that, there is no real doubt. However, did the High Priest himself really know and did he know the purpose of this Messiah? Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin confirmed the priests knew that this man was the Messiah.
Even the people of the Messiah’s day recognized this fact.
“… then some of the Jerusalem people said, Is not this the Man they seek to kill? And here He is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to Him! CAN IT BE POSSIBLE THAT THE RULERS HAVE DISCOVERED AND KNOW THAT THIS IS TRULY THE MESSIAH?” John 7:25-26
It is obvious, from other statements, that they knew. And, the High Priest was one of the rulers was he not? Let’s read some more.
“Then one of the Jewish rulers put this question to Him, ‘Master, I know that you are good…” Luke 18:18 (Phillips)
The scribes and chief priests had this to say to Him at another time.
“Master we KNOW that what you say and teach is right and that you teach the way of Elohim truly without fear or favor.” Luke 20:21
If you will notice, they always precede their trick questions with a snide remark about their belief in Him. Their pride, even in the midst of knowledge about who He was, kept them from obeying and serving Him.
If you will spend the time, you can find several scriptures showing that these rulers of the Jews did, in fact, know who Yahshua was. They also tried every scheme in the book to kill Him. But their hands were tied. Why? Simply because He had not “broken” the Law yet. Therefore, they had no grounds to try Him in their “court of justice.”
Now, what did the High Priest have to say on the matter? Simply this.
“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year, declared, ‘You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand or reason out that it is expedient and better for your own welfare that ONE MAN SHOULD DIE on behalf of the people than that the whole nation should perish’ [be destroyed, ruined]. [He said this in reference to possible Roman destruction, but there was a deeper meaning as the next verse shows.] ‘Now HE DID NOT SAY THIS SIMPLY OF HIS OWN ACCORD — HE WAS NOT SELF-MOVED; BUT BEING THE HIGH PRIEST THAT YEAR, HE PROPHESIED THAT YAHSHUA WAS TO DIE FOR THE NATION; AND NOT ONLY FOR THE NATION, BUT ALSO FOR THE PURPOSE OF UNITING INTO ONE BODY THE CHILDREN OF ELOHIM WHO HAVE BEEN SCATTERED FAR AND WIDE. SO FROM THAT DAY ON THEY TOOK COUNSEL AND PLOTTED TOGETHER HOW THEY MIGHT PUT HIM TO DEATH.” John 11:49-53 (Amplified)
Up to this point, it is obvious the rulers of Israel wanted this Man dead. And, in spite of themselves, they knew who He really was. BUT THEY COULD NOT HAVE HIM KILLED! Yet. Why?
Simply because they had no case against Him. Read the accounts of how they tried many times but always came away empty-handed. They could not arrest and kill a man till he broke the Law. So, they did plot His arrest, but could do nothing drastic until they could legitimately charge Him. Now, we must backtrack a moment.
4.4 YAHSHUA CONTROLS OWN DEATH!
Knowing the problem at hand, the Messiah had the power to die or not to die. He knew the Jews could not kill Him until He broke a law. If He broke no law, He was safe from death, although not safe from persecution. Let’s see.
“… and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down in behalf of the sheep. . . For this the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life to take it back again. NO ONE TAKES IT AWAY FROM ME. ON THE CONTRARY, I LAY IT DOWN VOLUNTARILY – I PUT IT FROM MYSELF. I AM AUTHORIZED AND HAVE POWER TO LAY IT DOWN –to resign it; and I am authorized and have power to take it back again … John 10:15-18 (Amplified)
If He had that power – and He did, then He could also decide WHEN to have it happen. And this He did.
Before going on, there is one other point we must understand. He gave up His life because He was COMMANDED to do so. The only way possible, under the circumstances, to obey that direct command from the Father was to BREAK A LAW REQUIRING THE DEATH PENALTY, or at least, in the eyes of the High Priest! Or, better said, “appear to break” such a law. As we shall see, He did just that. First, though, read this.
“… These are the instructions [orders] which I have received [as My charge] from My Father. (Amplified) ”
… “This is the COMMAND that I have received from my Father.” John 10:18 (Phillips)
Think about this. Somehow, Yahshua had to find a way to cause the Jews to have Him killed. He had to cause it to occur at the right time. He had the POWER to do this. (Important note: That word POWER is synonymous with the Name of the Father, YHWH.) He used the POWER He had at just the right time in history. Watch now what happens.
4.5 FINALLY A REAL CHARGE!
Time after time this Man, calling Himself the Messiah, escaped the attempts of the rulers to kill Him. The scriptures use the expression “his time had not come.” But there had to be a way, the rulers thought, and finally it did come. Here’s how.
“[Now] before the Passover Feast began, Yahshua knew [was fully aware] that the time had come to Him to leave this world and return to the Father…” John 13:1 (Amplified)
Finally, just after this, He was arrested. Up until the time of His arrest and even during the first part of His “trial,” there was NO EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM. He had not “broken” the law up until this moment in time. Here’s part of the description just before the frightening moment of deliberately appearing to break the law. And, in fact, in the eyes of the High Priest He broke the law. (If He hadn’t broken it, they could not have killed Him, remember.)
“Now the chief priests and the entire council [the Sanhedrin] were CONSTANTLY SEEKING [TO GET] TESTIMONY AGAINST YAHSHUA with a view to condemning Him and putting Him to DEATH, BUT THEY DID NOT FIND ANY.” Mark 14:55 (Amplified)
Up until this very moment even the Sanhedrin COULD NOT KILL HIM. They needed something, anything, to render a judgment of death.
Finally, after much disagreeing and false testimony, the final seconds arrived. The Messiah had to give the Sanhedrin the reason and authority to kill Him. Read this carefully and place yourself mentally in the room in which this is happening and “listen” to the most frightening words to ever be spoken. The very Son of YHWH is going to use His POWER to give Himself over to a horrible DEATH.
4.6 THE DAMNING EVIDENCE
“And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Yahshua, ‘Have you not even one answer to make? What [about this which] these [men] are testifying against you?’
“But He kept still and did not answer at all. [Probably a long pause of hushed absolute silence.] Again the high priest asked Him, ‘Are you the Messiah – the Messiah, the Anointed One – the Son of the “Blessed?’ ”
Now the moment of truth.
“And Yahshua said, I AM [ego emi = I Myself AM]; and you will [all] see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of POWER [the Almighty] and coming with the clouds of heaven.” He just condemned Himself to death!!! The word Power here is an insertion, like Adonai is in the O.T., or Ha-Shem, for the pronunciation of the Name of the Father, YHWH. Here is what He really said, “…and you will see the Son of Man [which I AM] sitting on the RIGHT HAND OF YAHWEH!” He spoke the unspeakable before the High Priest!
Now, notice the reaction! NOW they had something to go on. At last, they could kill this thorn in the flesh.
“Then the high priest TORE HIS GARMENTS, AND SAID, WHAT NEED HAVE WE FOR MORE WITNESSES? YOU HAVE HEARD THIS BLASPHEMY. WHAT IS YOUR DECISION? AND THEY CONDEMNED HIM AS BEING GUILTY AND DESERVING OF DEATH!!! Mark 14:62-64 (Amplified)
The reason for the final death of the Messiah is now clearly explained. Most of us know, if we are a believer, that He died, that He was buried and rose the third day. But what we don’t know is why there are no historical records about the Messiah outside the Bible. Nor do we know by what reason, other than hate, that the “Jews” changed His Name.
The basis for answering both of the above questions actually starts here. It is the particular law the Messiah “broke” deliberately that caused the historical dilemma for both believer and historian alike. Here’s why.
4.7 MORE THAN ONE PENALTY!
What we must understand at this juncture, is that there was more than one penalty for the law just broken. The first, and obvious penalty was a sentence of death on the perpetrator.
Remember the high priest called what Yahshua had just done blasphemy. Blasphemy at that time not only meant the misuse of, but the pronunciation of the Sacred Name without the authority to do so. At the time of the Messiah, even though He was the Son of YHWH, only the high priest could pronounce it, and then only on the Day of Atonement. Actually, the Messiah broke both parts of that law. He spoke it in public, and He was not, under law, authorized to speak it.
Here, then, is the death penalty.
“And he who blasphemes the name of YHWH, he shall surely be put to DEATH,…” Leviticus 24:16 (Amplified) The Septuagint was changed here to read, “who names the Name shall be put to death.”
Some believe to blaspheme is only to misuse the Name of the Father, not to pronounce it. However, if one is of the tribes of Israel, they may not publicly say the Name, even to this day under certain conditions. Here is just one scripture to show why the messiah was punished just for pronouncing it. This verse is one that has been used by the Jewish teachers to claim one cannot even pronounce the Father’s Name out loud.
Amos 6:10-11, “…Hold thy tongue: for we MAY NOT make mention of the Name of YHWH. For behold, YHWH commandeth,…”
Though there is much more that could be said and quoted, that is the “legal” basis for the death sentence on the Messiah.
However, the high priest could not just leave it there. There was more to the punishment for this “blasphemer.” The high priest’s hands were tied. He must fulfill the rest of the law!
It is this part of the sentence that we first explained in Chapter One where the disciples were instructed not to preach in His Name any further. Here’s why they were issued those instructions, and why the messiah’s real Name was changed to a curse. Because that WAS in reality the curse He was now under. Let’s see.
4.8 DIVINE CENSORSHIP TAKES OVER
The Messiah was totally abhorred by the priests. To them He had broken the most stringent of the laws the Jews observed. He was guilty now, by default, of breaking ALL the laws. This is simply explained in James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, [which Yahshua did] and yet offend in one point [which Yahshua did deliberately], HE IS GUILTY OF ALL.”
Thus, the high priest brought the full law to bear and wiped out this Man’s real name from both secular and sacred writings. This was the job of the scribes in the Temple to do. They did just that. Documents were changed and rewritten. Officially, the man “Yahshua” disappeared, and “Yashu” appeared taking His place. It is this second name that was transliterated into the Greek manuscripts that became the New Testament. But more about that just a little later.
Scripturally, the high priest based his decisions on the following.
In a court case, these scriptures would be used as precedent. “And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt DESTROY THEIR NAME from under heaven: … ” Deuteronomy 7:24 – a divine order or censorship.
Next precedent: “Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and BLOT OUT THEIR NAME from under heaven… ” Deuteronomy 9:14
Finally, this one would directly apply to the case under discussion. The defendant was now guilty of breaking ALL (including idolatry) the laws. In fact, by saying He would be on the right hand of YHWH, Yahshua had made Himself equal to YHWH in the eyes of the Jewish leaders. Therefore, He had fallen from the ways of Israel in their eyes into “self –worship,” thus, fitting what is said in all of Deuteronomy 29. Here are the specific verses.
“Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before YHWH our Elohim, AND ALSO WITH HIM THAT IS NOT HERE WITH US THIS DAY: … Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family or tribe whose heart turneth away this day FROM YHWH our Elohim, to go and serve the mighty ones of the nations; … And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this CURSE that he bless himself in his heart, saying I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: [Remember He was also accused of drunkenness.]
“YHWH will not spare him, but then the anger of YHWH and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and ALL the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and YHWH SHALL BLOT OUT HIS NAME FROM UNDER HEAVEN. And YHWH shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to ALL the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law.” Deuteronomy 29:14-21.
Now you know why there are NO surviving records of Messiah today, other than the New Testament.
4.9 THE FINAL BLOW
Here is what happened from the death of Messiah until about 70 C.E.
The Messiah was put to death. His Name was blotted out of all written records in Israel, especially citizenship records. (Up until this time, the scribes also kept a written record of His life and activities.) in the temple.By LAW the disciples dictated the life story of the Messiah to the scribes from their notes. This is how Matthew came to be written first in Hebrew, as were other of the books. This was required by law, and the Apostles obeyed that law until the time of 70 C.E. when the Temple was destroyed.
It was obligatory on them to have the scribes write the history of Yahshua. Remember what Paul himself said. And remember, they all kept going up to the temple daily. Ever wonder the total reason why? To give the history of Yahshua as required by the law of the day. “What advantage then hath the Jew? … Much every way: CHIEFLY because that unto THEM WERE COMMITTED THE ORACLES OF Elohim.” (i.e. the sacred writings). Romans 3:1 The problem now was that the scribes could not write the name “Yahshua” any longer, by decree and law, so they wrote “Yeshu” instead. Thus, when the scrolls were translated into Greek, they could only use “Iesou(s).”
The coup de grace was that even those records in the Temple containing His story – now using the effaced Name of course – were even DESTROYED. This left NO records anywhere except in the Greek translations the disciples took with them when they fled to Pela. It is these Greek manuscripts that were the beginnings of the New Testament as we know it.
For you see, Titus came in and finished the job of destroying all secular and sacred records about the Messiah. This occurred when he destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem. The temple was the repository of all the Jewish sacred oracles and civil records. Total wipe out! This is also why there are no manuscripts of that time of the Old or New testaments in existence today. There are additional reasons. But now you know the rest of the story as Paul Harvey says.
You should also understand this important point. Once the Temple was destroyed, no further sacred histories or writings could be made by the “Oracle Keepers,” the Jews. The Apostles knew this and knew that they no longer could keep the history of Messiah in the Sacred language of Record! Future writings were therefore translated into the Greek language.
This story of the destruction of the Temple records is mentioned in the monumental book Anacalypsus.