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To Embrace Hebrew Roots: Part VIII
Literal Kabbalah: Gematria & Numerology
Please note: Research into the Hebrew Roots & Messianic movements constitutes research into Judaism as well as the occult. We fully respect each persons right to believe or utilize what resources they choose. We however, see a clear distinction in believing the Messiah has come versus utilizing resources which still await His coming. That is how and why we must evaluate all to Christ and the New Testament as well as the Tenach. We do not wish to edit or criticize Judaism, but recognize it as distinct from our Christian beliefs, just as many in Judaism also see a distinction and separateness from our beliefs, and we jointly have mutual respect for our differences and each other.
"But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee."
Gematria & Numerology
The basis of the Hebrew Roots Movement is the belief that Christians need to understand the Word of God through Jewish thought and teachings and that without the wisdom of the ancient sages they cannot truly grasp Scriptural truth. The question must be asked, what methods were used to obtain the oral traditions of the ancients and are they Biblically sound?
Gershom Scholem states that in all religions," mystics are men who by their own inner experience and their speculation concerning this experience discover new layers of meaning in their traditional religion." If their new revelations do not cause them to break away from the old traditions, they generally determine a way to cause the needed change for their interpretations to become dispensed within the tradition. 1.
Jacob Prasch's Midrash
As with all gnostics, Kabbalists had to overcome many obstacles in order for their teachings to be regarded as sacred texts. Gershom Scholem relates that the vehicle of choice for mystics to bring their gnostic view into harmony with their own traditions was allegory or midrash.
"It is generally known that allegorical interpretations arise spontaneously whenever a conflict between new ideas and those expressed in a sacred book necessitates some form of compromise. What is true of allegorical interpretation is still more applicable to the specifically mystical interpretation of such texts…Vast numbers of books have been written by Jewish mystics attempting to find their own ideas in, or read them into, the Biblical texts. A large part of the enormous Kabbalistic literature consists of commentaries of Books of the Bible, especially the Pentateuch, the Five Scrolls, the Psalms, the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, and Ecclesiastes. Many productive minds among the Kabbalists found this a congenial way of expressing their own ideas, while seeming to make them flow from the Bible. It is not always easy, in a given case, to determine whether the exegesis was a deliberate device, calculated to bridge the gap between the old and the new vision by reading completely new ideas into the text…"2.
The Kabbalah in English verifies that the Kabbalists reinterpreted large portions of the Old Testament midrashically in order to inject Judaism with gnosticism:
"The Midrash, stemming from the same period as the Talmud, but more concerned with supplying context and elaboration of the Biblical text. Much legendary material is archived here. Midrashim exist on the Torah, the books of Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Song of Songs (together referred to as the five Megillot), and Psalms. Usually all but the last are grouped together as Midrash Rabbah, and a multivolume translation from the Soncino Press is available. 3
Mr. Jacob Prasch of Moriel recommends the classical Jewish works mentioned above, Midrash Rabba and Lamentations Rabba, as the preferred resources for the study of Scripture:
"Midrash interprets prophecy as a cyclical pattern of historical recapitulation (prophecies having multiple fulfillment), with an ultimate fulfillment associated with the eschaton, which is the final focal point of the redemptive process. A classical work of Midrash in Judaism is the Midrash Rabba on Genesis (Berashith). Another is Lamentations Rabba.
" The clearest set of guidelines in Midrash are the Seven Midroth attributed to Rabbi Hillel, the founder of the Pharisaic School of Hillel, where Rabbi Shaul (St. Paul) was educated as a rabbi by Rabbi Gamaliel, the grandson of Hillel.
Midrash makes heavy use of allegory and typology to illustrate and illuminate doctrine, but never as a basis for doctrine. It sees multiple meanings in Bible texts found in strata, but this is very different in certain fundamental respects from the gnostic and Alexandrian uses of figurative interpretation associated with Philo and Origen, reflecting more of Hebraic, rather than Helenistic philosophical world-view and view of theology. 4.
Hillel was one of the sages referred to in Part 7 of this series, whose teachings contributed deeply to the Talmud, Mishnah and other works. It is common knowledge that the Talmud holds over 300 differences of opinion between Hillel and Shammai, another famous Talmudic sage. In every dispute over their interpretations and teachings, Hillel invariably prevailed.
The apostle Paul was a Pharisee, who before his conversion, persecuted Christians according to the instructions of the Pharisees. After his conversion, he was inspired by God to write extensively about the change in his beliefs and their incompatibility with the Pharisee's teachings that had caused their rejection of Jesus Christ. Peter also addressed the issue of fables or allegory in his epistles.
2 Peter 1:16
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."
For an indepth treatment of a Scriptural view of allegory or Fables, see the article "Have Nothing to Do With Fables and Old Wives Tales," www.SeekGod.ca/fables.htm
"The Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism" identifies the doctrine of creation and the throne of God, as the two primary subjects of ancient mystical thought which were consistently interpreted midrashically by the sages.
"The Talmud contains vague hints of a mystical school of thought that was taught only to the most advanced students and was not committed to writing. There are several references in ancient sources to ma'aseh bereshit (the work of creation) and ma'aseh merkavah (the work of the chariot (of Ezikiel's vision), the two primary subjects of mystical thought at the time." 5.
Gershom Scholem explains Kabbalistic interpretation of the written Torah as theosophy. The use of allegory to interpret Scripture on a consistant basis, was considered dangerous.
What Kabbalistic exegesis discovers behind the literal meaning of the Bible or of the Talmudic interpretations of the Bible was something very different. What the Kabbalists looked for in the Bible was not primarily philosophical ideas, but a symbolic description of the hidden process of divine life, as it unfolds in the manifestations and emanations of the sefiroth. Their primary interest in the Bible may be termed theosophical. As for allegory proper, we find very different attitudes among the Kabbalists. So outstanding an authority as Nahmanides deliberately avoided the allegorical interpretations of the philosophers in his commentary on the Torah. He was well aware of the danger that might accrue to the observance of Jewish ritual from a pure spiritualization of the Torah such as a consistent application of allegorical method would apply. He expressly warned against this danger in a passage in his commentary on Deuteronomy 29:29…" 6.
Jacob Prasch states that Midrash follows various forms of Hebraic interpretation of the Scriptures and can therefore only be understood by a student of Judaism or theology:
" Midrash follows certain formats. One is the Mashal/Nimshal format seen in Proverbs or the parables, where physical things are representative of things spiritual. Figurative midrashic exposition in the New Testament is viewed, for instance, in Jude's epistle or Galatians 4:24-34. It is Midrash which accounts for the manner in which the New Testament handles the Old Testament…Another format is the parashiyot; sections opening with a petihah in which a base verse is followed by commentary.
"In addition to exegetical midrash, there are homiletic midrashim, arranged in topically argued pisaqaot. These frequently follow a yelammedenu rabbenu format used by Jesus in the gospels. Both of these kinds of midrashim are haggadic. There are also wide bodies of midrashic literature which are halakik, but these are of less importance to New Testament scholarship.
Unless someone has been educated in Judaism, Hebrew, or theology, it is easier to demonstrate midrash than to explain it. " 7.
According to Gershom Scholem, the use of allegory or Midrash by the sages was a mystical interpretation leading to higher levels of esoteric thought such as theosophy.
"…But not all the Kabbalists were so reserved toward allegory. Many regarded it as a legitimate instrument. The author of the Zohar, though interested primarily in a mystical and symbolic description of the Godhead, did not refrain from interpreting certain Bible passages allegorically. Thus the Book of Jonah and also the story of the Patriarchs in Genesis become allegorical accounts of the human soul--though this does not prevent the author from giving a purely mystical (and more far-reaching) interpretation of these same stories of the Patriarchs. Once the esoteric interpretation of Scripture had assumed two different aspects --the one allegorical, the other mystical---the way lead open to the doctrine of the four levels of meaning. While for example, Joseph ibn Aqnin, contemporary of Maimonides, speaks, throughout his commentary on the Song of Songs, of three such levels of interpretation--literal, Aggadic, and philosophico-allegorical--the Kabbalists added a fourth, that of theosophical mystery in the sense defined above. This level the Zohar terms raza de-mehemanutha--understanding according to the 'mystery of faith.' " 8.
Jacob Prasch states we need a demonstration of Midrash unless we have been trained in Judaism, Hebrew or theology. In other words, lay people cannot understand Midrash or Biblical truth, without the help of teachers such as himself. 9.
We have seen that Jacob Prasch recommends the Midrash Rabbah which the Kabbalah in English states, includes the Midrash on the Book of Ruth. Midrash on the Book of Ruth is used repeatedly throughout Kabbalistic thought and it contains the earliest representations of the four mystical levels of interpretation of the Bible. Referring to the Zohar Hadash, Scholem demonstrates this Midrash:
"The earliest reference to the four levels is to be found in the Midrash ha-Ne'elam to the Book of Ruth, one of the earliest works of the author of the Zohar. In it he writes:' The words of the Torah are likened to a nut. How is this to be understood? Just as a nut has an outer shell and a kernel, each word of the Torah contains outward fact (ma'aseh), midrash, haggadah, and mystery (sod), each of which is deeper in meaning than the preceding.' This passage is remarkable in several ways…Haggadah seems to refer to some allegorical or tropic form of interpretation, while by midrash is meant the hermeneutic method by which the halakhists, or legalists, of the Talmud derived their definitions from Biblical text. The comparison of the Torah with a nut is not new in Jewish literature. It was already employed by the German and French Hasidism of the early thirteenth century, especially in connection with the merkabah…" 10.
Certainly, as demonstrated by Jewish scholars and sages, Midrash or allegory would damage beliefs and understanding of the written Bible. The allegory of the sages was intended to change the traditional thinking. Mr. Prasch acknowledges that changing the meaning of Scripture is wrong.
Whenever you have a change in world-view, you're going to have a change in theology… Redefining the gospel instead of re-explaining what the Bible means, redefinition changes what the Bible means. That is wrong…. " 11.
Mr. Prasch defines theosophy, which clearly applies to the sages he upholds, but then applies his definition to Greek and not Jewish thinking.
"People began reinterpreting the Bible, not using the Jewish method of midrash, but using Greek methods."
"Typology and allegory. Midrash uses typology and allegory-symbols- in order to illustrate and illumine doctrine. "
"These methods first started to creep into the Church through people who were influenced by Philo. His teachings progressively entered into Roman Catholicism, … Instead of recontextualising, they were redefining Scripture. They were reading a Jewish book as if it were a Greek book. That was a mistake…. " 12.
However, Gershom Scholem and many other Hebrew scholars are clear that the Midrash and other oral teachings are derived through theosophical interpretations. Mr. Prasch disregards information that is common knowledge of the mysticism of the sages and their influence and understanding of Jewish Midrash. Gershom Scholem states that the mystic interpretations of the Jewish sages were paralleled in the works of Philo and were only developed through esoteric practices.
"…many Jewish philosophers identified the inner meaning of the Torah with philosophical allegory. And indeed many of their explanations smack strongly of Philo… But allegory in this sense was by no means the cornerstone of the Kabbalistic exegesis, which was strictly symbolic." 13.
The Midrash or allegory and typology of the sages was the gnosticism Mr. Prasch wishes to only apply to the Church, Greek thinking and Catholicism. He points out that Midrash uses typology and allegory--"symbols", which he has stated is not a part of Jewish thought, but rather a method of Gnostics.
"In the Gnostic world of Greek thinking, the opposite happens. Gnostics claim to have received a subjective, mystical insight -called a gnosis-into the symbols. They then reinterpret the plain meaning of the text in light of the gnosis. For Gnostics, symbolism is the basis for their doctrine, contrary to the ancient Jewish methods." 14.
Jacob Prasch of Moriel also states that Christians today are bound by the thinking of the Reformers, and that we must shed any hindrances to exegesis we have assimilated from their teachings, and embrace the much more accurate Jewish thought, found not only in the Midrash, but in the Talmud.
"The problem with the Reformers is that they only went so far. They made rules governing the application of their grammatical-historical system in order to refute medieval Roman Catholicism, and many of those rules are still taught in theological seminaries today. One such rule is this: There are many applications of a Scripture but only one interpretation. That is total rubbish! The Talmud tells us there are multiple interpretations. Who did Jesus agree with? The Reformers? Or the other rabbis? …" 15.
Although Jacob would have us believe that Jesus agreed with the rabbis, it is a matter of Scriptural fact that Jesus spoke often against the Rabbis who were referred to at that time as the Pharisees.
In his scathing rebuke to the Rabbis and Pharisees, Jesus warned his disciples not to follow their pernicious and hypocritical ways Matthew 23:6-8
" And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren."
Jacob's reference to the allegorical interpretation of Jonah, conveniently omits the introductory verses which are Matthew 12:38-39:
"Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:"
After responding to the Pharisees and the scribes of Jerusalem, Jesus again rebuked them for their teachings in, Matthew 15:7-9:
"Ye hypocrites, well did E-sai-as prophesy of you, saying, This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
The comparison to the Old Testament teaching that Jesus referred to on this issue, is found in, Isaiah 29:13-14:
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men. Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
We can see that the ancient sages either (1) understood the danger of Midrash and avoided it; (2) totally embraced its use for disseminating their esoteric beliefs; (3) rejected the New Testament and Jesus Christ; or (4) used Kabbalist definitions and applications as well as the Babylonian Talmud to reinterpret the Word of God. To which of these groups of sages are we to turn? And since there are no Jewish Midrash teachings of the New Testament in any of the oral or written works of the sages of old, whose ancient wisdom is Mr. Prasch promoting for interpreting the New Testament?
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."
Do we need the teaching or methods of men who reject Jesus Christ?
Does Scripture state that we need men to tell us what a passage means, or that its meaning is really something entirely different than what is in the written words of the New and Old Testament?
1 John 2:26-27
"These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
Do scholarly authorities agree with Jacob Prasch's teaching that although the Gnostics read their subjective, mystical insight into symbols, this is not true of ancient Jewish methods of interpretation?
M. Matter in Histoire du Gnosticisme, erroneously presents Gnosticism as an extension of Christianity.
"... In its purer forms Gnosticism aimed at supplementing faith by knowledge of eternal verities and at giving a wider meaning to Christianity by linking it up with earlier faiths."
"The belief that the divinity had been manifested in the religious institutions of all nations"¹ thus led to the conception of a sort of universal religion containing the divine elements of all." 16.
Such misinformation is in contrast with the Jewish Encyclopœdia, which states that Gnosticism, as Jewish mysticism, predated Christianity:
"... Gnosticism, however, as the Jewish Encyclopœdia points out, "was Jewish in character long before it became Christian." ² M. Matter indicates Syria and Palestine as its cradle by which it was influenced at the time of its alliance with Christianity. This influence again was predominantly Jewish. Philo and Aristobulus, the leading Jewish philosophers of Alexandria, "wholly attached to the ancient religion of their fathers, both resolved to adorn it with the spoils of other systems and to open to Judaism the way to immense conquests." ³ 17.
In "Gnosis: The Nature & History of Gnosticism," Kurt Rudolph exposes the true character of Gnosticism as a heresy that infiltrates and destroys Christianity from within:
" ... The process, which is plain from the New Testament itself, is twofold, the Christianising of Gnosis and the gnosticising of Christianity. The result of both processes is the canonizing of Christianity as an orthodox Church on the one hand, and the elimination of Gnosis as a heresy on the other. Gnosis as we meet it in the New Testament is understood less as an alien pagan religion; " rather, it is only dealt with so far as it is a phenomenon within Christianity." The gnostics feel themselves as Christians and present themselves as such in the young Christian communities. Thus it is a danger of more from inside than from outside about which Paul is already said to have given warning. (Acts: 20:29)" 18.
Gnosticism, according to Rudolph, aims at "the acute secularisation of Christianity," meaning its Hellenization. The Jewish contribution to Gnosticism is duly noted by one historian:
" ... the work of Adolf von Harnack (1851-1930)… set the treatment of Gnosticism under the programmatic heading: "The intent of the gnostics was to create an apostolic doctrine of faith and a Christian theology, or: the acute secularisation of Christianity." In this way he lead the basis for an assessment of Gnosis from the point of view of church history...but which now first clearly emerged and became normative for almost half a century thereafter. Gnosis is the Hellenisation of Christianity (that is what Harnack understood by "secularisation"); it was kept at a distance from the church by orthodoxy. Harnack later showed himself open to newer insights. For example, he made room for the Jewish contribution to the origin of Gnosis, and indeed recognised an extra-Christian Gnosis, but he regarded this as "a Syrian vulgar-Gnosis" and assigned to it no significance for the history of Christianity. This shows he wanted to treat Gnosis only within this church-historical framework…" 19.
Two separate authors, M. Matter and S. Baring-Gould agree that the Gnostics sought to replace the Christian Scriptures with their own.
"... By way of systematically perverting the doctrines of the Christian faith the Gnostics claimed to possess the true versions of the Gospels, and professed belief in these to the exclusion of all the other..." 20.
Kabbalist James Trimm, of the Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism, who is allied with Avi ben Moredechai, the Qumran Bet webring, and Yair Davidy's Lost Tribes (which publicly rejects Jesus Christ) is in the process of writing his own version of the New Testament called, "Semitic New Testament". Many others are involved in similar projects.
M. Matter identifies the esoteric methods through which the Gnostics purveyed their secret doctrine:
"... From all this M. Matter concludes that: 1.The Gnostics professed to hold by means of tradition a secret doctrine superior to that contained in the public writings of the apostles. 2. That they did not communicate this doctrine to everyone… 3. That they communicated it by means of emblems and symbols … 4.That in these communications they imitated the rites and trials of the mysteries…" 21.
Literal Kabbalah Interpretations
The Kabbalists, who believed themselves to be Orthodox Jews, believed that the Torah holds interpretations that are deciphered and accessible to the sages or prophets alone. The oral Torah of the sages is their esoteric interpretation of the written Torah. That interpretation relies on the Literal Kabbalah teachings, which involves the idea that every letter and space of the written Torah holds magical meanings and that there are layers of meaning within the written Torah.
"Most if not all Kabbalistic speculation and doctrine is concerned with the realm of the divine emanations or sefiroth, in which God's creative power unfolds…two most important kinds of symbolism used by the Kabbalists to communicate their ideas. They speak of the attributes and of spheres of light ; but in the same context they speak also of divine names and the letters of which they are composed." 22.
Kabbalists believe that unless one goes beyond the literal, or first layer of the written Torah, one has not really understood much of value.
"The word zohar means literally radiance. According to him [Hayim Vital], the radiance of the Torah's divine light is reflected in the mysteries of this book. But when these mysteries are shrouded in the literal meaning, their light is darkened. The literal meaning is darkness, but the Kabbalistic meaning, the mystery, is the zohar that shines in every line of Scripture. This devaluation of the simple literal meaning is no invention of the later Kabbalists. It is clearly stressed in certain passages of the zohar itself." 23.
Citing from passages of the Zohar, Nesta Webster states that once the Cabala initiates solved the magical significance of the Hebrew alphabet their students learned truths that they would never have known through the study of the written Word of God. One of these new revelations was that Noah was lamed for life.
"According to the Cabala, every letter in the scriptures contains a mystery only to be solved by the initiated.4. By means of this system of interpretation passages of the Old Testament are shown to bear meanings totally unapparent to the ordinary reader. Thus the Zohar explains that Noah was lamed for life by the bite of a lion whilst he was in the ark…5" 24.
Co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Kabbalist, S.L. McGregor Mathers explained in, Introduction to the Kabbalah, the significance of the Hebrew alphabet to the Kabbalist:
"…To Jewish mystics, every letter in the Hebrew alphabet was a channel to the life force of God and possessed of sacred meaning. Hebrew numbers were also represented by letters so that names and words had numerical values. Finding associations of words with the same value revealed a complex series of hidden meanings beneath the text of the Torah, the book of law attributed to Moses. In fact, the entire Torah can be considered to be a single long word spelling out one of the names of God. The significance of the name of God goes back to ancient Egypt where knowing the name of a god allowed one to gain power over that god." 25.
Gematria and Numerology
McGregor Mathers in the "Introduction to the Kabbalah Unveiled" categorized the various parts of Kabbalah:
"The Qabalah is usually classed under four heads:
- The practical Qabalah.[Talismanic and ceremonial magic]
- The literal Qabalah. [Gematria]
- The unwritten Qabalah.[Secret oral teachings kept hidden]
- The dogmatic Qabalah. [The doctrinal portion]
"…The literal Qabalah is referred to in several places, and therefore a knowledge of its leading principles is necessary. It is divided into three parts: GMTRIA. Gematria; NVTRIQVN, Notariqon, and ThMVRH, Temura." 26.
Gershom Scholem's "On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism" explains the changing terms referring to Gematria in (around) the years 1280. Gematria was added to the four methods of interpreting the hidden and esoteric meanings of Scripture, that is: outward fact (ma'aseh), midrash or allegory, Haggadah (which is also allegory), and sod (mystery) or theosophy.
"…The old term haggadah is replaced by the new term remez, which in medieval Hebrew had come (under Arabic influence) to designate allegory…in addition to the above mentioned four levels of meaning [of the Torah], a fifth is mentioned, namely gematria, or interpretation through the numerical value of the Hebrew letters, which elsewhere is not regarded as an independent level of meaning." 27.
Jacob Prash compares Midrash, which we know was derived through esoteric means, to an equation that must be solved by the wisdom of the ancients.
"Midrash is like a quadratic equation or a very complex second order differential equation, a thirteen or fourteen step equation. Some people take the first step of grammatical-historical exegesis and think the equation is solved. There is nothing wrong with what they do, but there is plenty wrong with what they don't do. The equation is not solved. There is nothing wrong with grammatical-historical exegesis. It is a necessary first step, it is a necessary preliminary, and it is okay for reading the Epistles. But that is all.
It takes the wisdom of the ancients to really understand these things-Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast... (Revelation 13:18)-not the wisdom of the 16th century, but the wisdom of the first century." 28
In her Theosophical Glossary, H.P. Blavatsky defined Gematria as she received it by special request from her colleague, William Wynn Westcott, who was Secretary General of the Rosicrucian Society and Praemonstrator of the Kabalah to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn:
"Gematria (Heb.). A division of the practical Kabbalah. It shows the numerical value of Hebrew words by summing up the values of the letters composing them; and further, it shows by this means, analogies between words and phrases. [w.w.w.] One of the methods (arithmetical) for extracting the hidden meaning from letters, words and sentences." (Theosophical Pub. Co., 1982, p. 127)
S. L. McGregor Mathers, who in 1888 co-founded with William Wynn Westcott the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, provides an understanding of the very complex application of Gematria and its various equations, modes and forms.
"Gematria is a metathesis of the Greek work grammateia. It is based on the relative numerical values of words…Words of similar numerical values are considered to be explanatory of each other, and this theory is also extended to phrases. Thus the letter shin, Sh, is 300, and is equivalent to the number obtained by adding up the numerical values of the letters of the words RVCh ALHIM, Ruach Elohim, the spirit of the Elohim; and it is therefore a symbol of the spirit of the Elohim…."
"… Notariqon is derived from the Latin word notarius, a short-hand writer. Of Notariqon there are two forms. In the first every letter of a word is taken for the initial or abbreviation of another word, so that from the letters of a word a sentence may be formed. Thus every letter of the word BRAShITh, Berashith, the first word in Genesis, is made the initial of a word, and we obtain from it BRAShITh RAH ALHIM ShIQBLV IShRAL ThVRH, Berashith Rahi Elohim Sheyequebelo Israel Torah: "In the beginning the Elohim saw that Israel would accept the law."
Note: The term Berashith in the second paragraph, refers to the Genesis Rabbah promoted by Jacob Prasch as a classical work of Judaism. "A classical work of Midrash in Judaism is the Midrash Rabba on Genesis (Berashith)."
"The second form of Notariqon is that exact reverse of the first. By this the initials or finals, or both or the medials, of a sentence, are taken to form a word or words. Thus the Qabalah is called ChKMh NSThRH, Chokhmah Nesthorah, "the secret wisdom;" and if we take the initials of these two words Ch and N, we form by the second kind of Notariqon the word ChN, Chen, "grace." Similarly, from the initials and finals of the words MI IOLH LNV HShMIMH, Mi Iaulah Leno Ha-Shamayimah, "Who shall go up for us to heaven?" (Deut. xxx. 12), are formed MILH, Milah "circumcision," and IHVH, the Tetragrammaton, implying that God hath ordained circumcision as the way to heaven. " 29.
By applying the various forms of Kabbalistic gematria and numerology to the Bible, entirely heretical meanings can be promoted as also is demonstrated with the process of Temura or permutation of the Scriptures:
"Temura is permutation. According to certain rules, one letter is substituted for another letter preceding or following it in the alphabet, and thus from one word another word of totally different orthography may be formed. Thus the alphabet is bent exactly in half, in the middle, and one half is put over the other; and then by changing alternately the first letter or the first two letters at the beginning of the second line, twenty two commutations are produced. These are called the "Table of the Combinations of TzIRVP," Tziruph".
"…There are 22 methods of combinations, plus the modes ABGD and ALBM… Then comes the "Rational Table of Tziruph," another set of twenty-two combinations… There are also three "Tables of the Commutations," known respectively as the Right, the Averse, and the Irregular…."
Besides all these, there is the method called ThShRQ, Thashraq, which is simply writing a word backwards. There is one more very important form, called the "Qabalah of the Nine Chambers,"…"
Besides all these rules, there are certain meanings hidden in the shape of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; in the form of a particular letter at the end of a word being different from that which it generally bears when it is a final letter, or in a letter being written in the middle of a word in a character generally used only at the end; in any letter or letters being written in a size smaller or larger than the rest of the manuscript, or in a letter being written upside down; in the variations found in the spelling of certain words, which have a letter more in some places than they have in others; in peculiarities observed in the position of any of the points or accents, and in certain expressions supposed to be elliptic or redundant." 30.
The introduction of Bible Codes is nothing less than the mainstreaming of gematria in the Christian churches. For further explanations and examples of gematria, see The Kabbalah Unveiled, at: http://www.webvs.com/hogd/kabalah_unveiled.html
"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."
The Hebrew alphabet is the very basis of Kabbalistic and Hassidic teachings.
"According to Qabalistic and Hassidic tradition, the material aspect of the world (=universe) rests on the structure of the Hebrew aleph-beth (cf., e. g., the 'Sepher Yetsirah', where, having stated that"... the world was created through 32 paths or ways, the 10 primordial numbers and 22 fundamental letters...", the text goes on to expound in detail the relationship between the letters and the body, the letters and the directions arisen from the primordial point-instant, etc…" 31.
Using the Kabbalistic practice of gematria, Mr. Peter Michas has expanded upon the literal meaning of Scripture in his book "The Rod of an Almond Tree in God's Master Plan.
"Rabbinical understanding also reveals the light of Genesis 1:4 to be associated with Messianic fulfillment. By study of the numerical equivalence of the Hebrew words (gematria) the light of creation is shown to be related to the light of Torah, God's instructions according to the 613 commandments given in the first five books of the Bible.7" 32.
By applying Gematria, Peter Michas expounds on the remedy for Adam's Fall:
"The human race would now need the full manifestation of the Light that God placed into the earth realm for redemption." 33.
In this chapter, Peter has previously explained that the Light of Genesis 1:3,4 refers to "Primeval Light," which is illumination or enlightenment:
"The Hebrew word, 'or', is translated 'light' in the above verses. The literal meaning of this word is 'illumination' or 'luminary.' Its root means 'to be, cause, or make luminous' and 'enlighten,' and may be used literally and/or metaphorically..." 34.
"Metaphorically" seems to be the Hebraic Roots euphemism for gnostically or mystically. In fact, there is no indication that these verses refer to anything but physical light. Peter continues to exegete these verses using the occult method of gematria, which leads to the interpretation that Yeshua is identical with the Torah:
"By study of the numerical equivalence of Hebrew words (gematria), the light of creation is shown to be related to the light of Torah. God's instruction according to the 613 commandments given in the first five books of the Bible. In John 1:1, Yeshua is referred to as the Word, the meaning of which is identical to Torah. Again this is a direct reference to Yeshua as the Light and the Word (Torah) of God..." 35.
Rabbinical understanding rejects Jesus Christ. Gematria is a Kabbalist esoteric teaching. Peter Michas references John 1, saying 'The Word" is the same as "Torah" and that Torah is the same as Light. However, "The Word" in John 1 means "Logos" (#3056), not Torah, as indicated in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
Since the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) is not the whole revelation of Scripture, students of HRM are bereft of full revelation of Jesus Christ. Peter's conclusion to the matter is that this Messiah was and will be the Primeval Light or knowledge, wisdom, illumination or enlightenment (gnosis) that is restored to the world:
"Delving deeper into the Hebrew of Genesis 1:3, we find that there are two Hebrew words translated 'let there be light.' The word meaning 'light' has already been discussed. [ed. enlightenment] The other Hebrew word literally means 'let be.' The word 'there' does not appear in the original Hebrew but has been added for clarification. In fact, the Hebrew word that means 'let be' is a masculine form and therefore refers to 'him', rather than 'it.' Therefore, the Hebrew can validly be translated as 'Let Him be Light.' In this way, Messiah is revealed in the original Hebrew words! An expanded translation of Gen. 1:3-5, including its metaphorical meanings, is:.." 36.
To appreciate the total changing or permutation of the Scriptures that is taking place through Peter's application of Gematria, please note his spiritualization of Genesis 1:3,4 of the KJV:
Genesis 1:3: "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
Peters gematria rendition: "v. 3 And Elohim said, 'Let Him be Light [life, natural and spiritual; prosperity; honor; joy and all manner of happiness in this world and the next, encouragement; comfort; hope in adversity; the saving knowledge of Elohim and of the Messiah]' and He was Light." 37.
Genesis 1:4: "And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."
Peters gematria rendition: "v. 4 "And Elohim saw [the revelation of] the Light that [the knowledge and wisdom of it] was good. And Elohim separated the Light from the darkness [spiritual darkness, spiritual ignorance, spiritual discernment]." 38.
Genesis 1:5: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."
Peters gematria rendition: "v. 5 "And Elohim spoke, 'You will be the light' [Messiah; Word of God], until darkness [Lucifer; spiritual darkness] is defeated..." 39.
"God expressed Himself through this Primeval Light when He commanded the Light to be revealed. By his Word, God's knowledge, wisdom, and purpose for this world burst across the chaotic waters in a blinding revelation of God's glory...[And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters v.2]God gave this light as the knowledge of Himself...God's first words to the world contained the knowledge of Himself, the very essence of Himself, the Word of God. This was the light that shone so brilliantly on Day One. It was the gift of the Light of God, the Primeval Light that was revealed to a world which had been consumed in chaos and darkness." 40.
If we evaluate Peter's teaching about creations' light and darkness, the implication is that Christ was created. The teaching also places Christ or God, as an equal and opposite to Lucifer. This concept is not new but is the classic occult doctrine of dualism. In her expose of Jay Gary, The Millennium Doctor, Dr. Cathy Burns quotes David Spangler's Reflection on the Christ: "Lucifer and Christ are twin sides of the demiurgic power of the manifest universe..." (Scotland Findhorn Publication, 1997). This is the gnostic concept of dualism which contradicts Scriptural truth.
There is none equal to God. Nor is there any Scriptural reference that Lucifer was created on Day 1.
When Peter states that God expressed himself through this Primeval Light, he is actually referring to the Kabbalistic concept of the Torah as a living organism which is an extension of God or the wisdom of God. "Primordial Torah", also referred to as "primordial wisdom," is actually the second sefiroth, Hokhmah or wisdom, and the Torah is viewed by the Kabbalist as emanations of God and His wisdom. Gershom Scholem explains this concept.
"In other words, the secret life of God is projected into the Torah; its order is the order of the Creation. This most secret aspect of the Torah, or one might say, the Torah in its occult form, is sometimes referred to in the Kabbalistic literature of the thirteenth century as torah kedumah, the primordial Torah, and is sometimes identified with God's hokhmah (sophia), His 'wisdom', the second emanation and manifestation of the divine power, which sprang from the hidden 'nothingness'.3. We shall see in the course of our discussion how certain Kabbalists conceived the state of the Torah when it was still contained in the mystical unity of God's wisdom. ..."
From the Footnotes of that passage we read: "3: Sophia as the primordial Torah ...:The primordial Torah is the name of God". " 41.
Gershom Scholem decribes in, On the Kabbalah and it Symbolism, a teaching that parallels that of Peter Michas. The following is from an expansion of a Talmudic theme.
"…Abraham bar Hiyya writes: "Every letter and every word in every section of the Torah have a deep root in wisdom and contain a mystery from among the mysteries of [divine] understanding, the depths of which we cannot penetrate… 'The meaning of the holy text cannot be exhausted in any finite number of lights and interpretations, and the number seventy stands here of course to for the inexhaustible totality of the divine word. Moreover, the light and the mystery of Torah are one, for the Hebrew word 'or, light, and the word raz, mystery, have the same numerical value, 207. When God said, Let there be light,' he meant, as the author of the Midrash ha-Ne'elam puts it, the mystery that shines in Torah. And it was this hidden primordial light of Creation, which was so noble that it could not be abased to the use of creatures, that God enclosed the Torah." 42.
We shall at this point turn to H.P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine for another look at the Kabbalist interpretation of the Genesis account of creation. The term "Primeval Light" is a frequent usage of Blavatsky and the Kabbalists from whom she derived her "secret doctrine" (as a search on the Internet will reveal). Note the exposition of Genesis 1:3 from her foundational theosophical work, which identifies the light as "Spiritual light" created by a "second god" who is the eternal Law (Torah):
"Let anyone read the first verses of chapter i of Genesis and reflect upon them. There 'God' commands another 'god' who does his bidding -- even in the cautious English Protestant translation of James the First's authorised edition...
"'And God said, Let there be a firmament. . .'(i,6), and 'God,' the second, obeyed, and 'made the firmament' (i,7). 'And God said let there be light,' and 'there was light.' Now the latter does not mean light at all, but in the Kabala, the androgyne 'Adam-Kadmon,' or Sephirah (Spiritual light), for they are one: or, according to the Chaldean book of numbers, the secondary angels, the first being the Elohim who are the aggregate of that 'fashioning' god. For to whom are those words of command addressed? And who is it who commands? That which commands is the eternal Law, and he who obeys, the Elohim..." 43.
According to Mme. Blavatsky and Peter Michas, the light of Genesis 1:3 was Spiritual light created by a secondary god, who is himself the eternal Law (Torah). Elsewhere Peter states "In Jewish thought, the Word (Torah) of God is the same as God." 44. This is a Kabbalistic teaching which a perusal of works like Gershom Scholem's reveals.
"From here it was only one more step to saying that God Himself is the Torah…He explains this by saying that the letters are the mystical body of God, while God, in a manner of speaking, is the soul of the letters...The principle that the Torah is a living organism falls in with several lines of Kabbalistic thought. The reference to body and soul …suggests such a conception, and the notion that the Torah is woven of holy names is merely a metaphoric way of saying that it is a living fabric...This conception of the Torah as an organism is also fundamental to the Zohar…the position of the Zohar: 'Scripture is like a man and has flesh [according to the literal meaning], soul [according to the allegorical interpretation] and spirit [in accordance with the mystery].' " 45.
"The author of the Tikkune Zohar, who wrote only a few years after the completion of the main body of the Zohar, also declares: 'The Torah has a head, a body, a heart, a mouth and other organs, in the same way as Israel.'1.
Here we have the parallel between the two mystical organisms: the Torah and Israel…The mystical organism of the Torah, which embodies the name of God, is thus correlated with the mystical body of the Community of Israel, which the Kabbalists regarded not only as the historical organism of the Jewish people, but also as an esoteric symbol for the Shekhinah, its members being, as it were, the 'members of the Shekhinah.'2 …" 46
Changing the Word of God
In a similar teaching of Avi ben Mordechai: "Understanding the New Testament in Light of the Torah" Mr. Mordechai also teaches that Jesus=Torah=Light. In fact, Mr. Moredechai acknowledges that he is changing Scripture and that it is "fun" to do so.
"Proverbs 6:23 …29:18… In Deuteronomy 32:46 …
In these three passages, the English word translated law is the Hebrew word Torah (Tow-Rah) which literally means teaching. In other words, the Torah is G-d's teaching. In the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 32:46, the phrase, "words of this law" is "Divra HaTorah." This is really wonderful and inspiring because now we have a true biblical definition for the term Torah. It is simply, "The Words" or in its more conversationally Hebrew form, "The Word." "Torah Is light…" 47
Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible reveals Torah, "towrah" or "to-rah" to mean not a person, but a law or teaching: 8451: from 3384; a precept or statute; espec. The Decalogue or Pentateuch - law."
3384: yarah, (yawrah); or (2 Chr 26:15) yara, yaw-raw ; a prim. root; prop. to flow as water (i.e. rain); trans. to lay or throw (espec. an arrow, i.e. to shoot); fig. to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach: (+)archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, shew, shoot, teach (-(-er, -ing), through.
Mr. Mordeachai continues with his lesson on how to change the Word of God.
"..Also, in Proverbs 6:23, …"For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light." In the Hebrew, the word translated teaching is Torah and therefore Torah is defined as light. With these definitions, let us look at Psalm 119:105, … "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." To King David, who wrote Psalm 119:105, the Torah was considered a lamp and a light." 48.
To the Hebrew people the Torah is the first five books of the Bible. Mr. Mordechai is teaching that those first five books alone are the "light".
" Now, we are going to have some fun! Let us go to the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) and to the words of the Messiah, who was a Jew and understood the significance of His usage of the word "light." In Yochanan (John) 12:46 we read, "I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. "In Yochanan 12:35-36, we read, "...For a little while longer the light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light." In Yochanan 9:5, "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Now go back over each of these verses and where you see the term light read it as Torah. And remember what Torah is? It is the The Word!
So, with this biblical definition, we are not just going to have some fun. We are going to have BIG FUN!
Let us go back to Deuteronomy, which is called in Hebrew, Dvarim or Words and turn to Chapter 18, verse 18… Now go forward to the Brit Chadashah (now you know why G-d gave you fingers!) And to the words of Yshua who said in Yochanan 14:24…" In Yochanan 1:14 it was written concerning the Messiah, "and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." In this passage we learn that Yshua, the light and the Torah of the Mosaic Covenant, is also G-d's grace and truth. This is where we progress beyond BIG FUN! We are going into the realm of excitement beyond words! We are going to biblically define grace and truth."
"Torah is truth."
"In Psalm 119:42 we read, "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is truth." In this passage the term "law" is the Hebrew word Torah. So, King David is simply saying, Thy Torah (or Word) is Truth. Does this sound familiar? In the garden of prayer of Yshua, yochanan 17:17, He says, "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth." Oy Vey! Did you hear that?!!! Yshua is praying to the Father, saying on behalf His talmidin (disciples) and 2,000 years later, that The Torah sanctifies us, sets us apart and makes us holy! And then in Psalms 119:64 King David says of G-d His Torah, "The earth is full of His lovingkindness, O Lord; teach us Thy statutes." In the Hebrew, this is astounding! The word translated lovingkindness or in some translations mercy is the Hebrew "Chesed" which means "grace" in English. And notice, King David links G-d's grace with His statutes which is from the Hebrew root word Choq, one of five specific descriptions of the commandments of Torah! And you thought grace and law were two different concepts? Not on your life - grace and law are the same!"
"Now, let us return back to chanan 1:14, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." If I was doing the translating it would say something like this, "And the Torah of Moses, the Sinatic Law of G-d became flesh and tabernacled among us and we beheld His glory, glory as of the unique one from the Father, full of grace (chesed) and the teaching of G-d's Torah."
"I know for many this news is shocking. Right about now you ought to be having a spiritual seizure trying to reconcile the words of Paul to the Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, etc. … " 49.
What Mr. Mordechai had fun doing is simply the application of gematria and kabbalistic thinking to Scripture. However, please realize that Avi ben Mordechai literally changed the Word of God. Instead of sticking with the true definition of "words of this law" referring to the Torah - "words" - Avi made the change to "Word" with a capital letter. He took "The Word" "in its more conversational Hebrew form". All of the WORDS of Scripture are called the WORD. The Word in John 1 means Logos, not Torah. The Word or Logos was already defined.
By taking "The Word" "in its more conversational Hebrew form" he then took the leap that since Jesus is The Word, and The Torah is The Word, then Jesus is The Torah. Then he made his substitutions.
Mr. Mordechai has, through the use of gematria corrupted the text in the New Testament. This departure from the Word of God which redefines Jesus as the Torah is supposed to "restore" Christians to their so-called Hebraic or Jewish Roots, although Mr. Mordechai denies association with the Hebrew Roots.
Furthering his "FUN", Mr. Mordechai proclaims that since Jesus came as Torah and grace, then "GRACE AND LAW ARE ONE AND THE SAME!" That completely contradicts Romans 3:21 and many other Scriptures which state that Law and Grace are mutually exclusive.
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested".
Those who accept Avi ben Mordechai's teachings over the written Word of God, are brought back under the law and have rejected the message of grace in Jesus Christ.
In order to test Mr. Mordechai's formulas, we shall apply them to the book of Galatians, as did Ed Tarkowski in May of 1998 before retracting his defense of the Gospel.
Galatians 5:4: Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by THE LAW; ye are fallen from GRACE.
Mr. Mordechais teaching of substitution: Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by GRACE; ye are fallen from THE LAW. Galatians 5:4: Torah is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by CHRIST; ye are fallen from Grace.
Romans 6:14: For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under THE LAW, but under GRACE.
Mr. Mordechais' teaching of substitution: Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under GRACE, but under THE LAW.
Those that believe the New Testament know that righteousness without the law was by the grace given to us in God in His sending Jesus Christ. They are clearly NOT the same--if one believes the New Testament.
Remembering that Avi ben Mordechai has presented the "fun" of changing Scripture we can take his teachings to fruition. If his doctrine were valid, then Jesus=Torah= the Law= Grace are all interchangeable in all Scriptures. This technique can totally destroy who Christ is and salvation in the New Testament.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without THE LAW is manifested, being witnessed by THE LAW and the prophets.
Mr Mordechais technique: Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without JESUS is manifested, being witnessed by Torah and the prophets.
Galatians 3:1-2: "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of THE LAW, or by the hearing of faith?"
Mr. Mordechais technique: Galatian 3:1 "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes THE LAW hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of JESUS Christ, or by the hearing of faith?"
Galatians 3:10: " For as many as are of the WORKS OF THE LAW are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the BOOK OF THE LAW to do them.
Mr Mordechais technique 3:10: "For as many as are of the works of JESUS are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the Torah to do them."
Galatians 3:11 "But that no man is justified by THE LAW in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Mr Mordechais technique: 3:11 "But that no man is justified by JESUS in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
Galatians 3:12 And THE LAW is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Mr Mordechais technique: 3:12 "And JESUS is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them."
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of THE LAW, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Mr Mordechais technique 3:13 "THE LAW hath redeemed us from the curse of JESUS, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"
Galatians 3:14: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Mr Mordechais technique 3:14; That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Torah; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Galatians 2:16: " Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Mr Mordechais technique : 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of JESUS, but by the faith of THE LAW, even we have believed in THE LAW, that we might be justified by the faith of THE LAW, and not by the works of JESUS: for by the works of JESUS shall no flesh be justified."
And finally: Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
Mr Mordechais technique: Ephesians 2:8 "For by The Law are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
God clearly warned in Deuteronomy 4:2:
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."
For More on Avi ben Mordechai see: Avi ben Mordechai & Millennium 7000
Nesta Webster states that M. Matter was correct in his assessment that gnosticism had the effect of kabbalising Christianity through mixture, rather than developing a system separate from Christianity.
"... M. Matter is therefore right in saying that Gnosticism was not a defection from Christianity, but a combination of systems into which a few Christian elements were introduced. The result of Gnosticism was thus not to Christianize the Cabala, but to cabalize Christianity by mingling its pure and simple teaching with theosophy and even magic." 50.
" For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."
We are reminded in 1 John 1:6:
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth."
All Scripture Quotes from the Authorized King James Bible
To Embrace Hebrew Roots IX: Practical Kabbalah
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