07:48 02Jul12 FRank Onofrio -
I agree with you: "God's command to Joshua [to wipe out the
Canaanites] was a one time exceptional command for exceptional
I also agree that we must maintain Biblical inerrancy: the Bible
itself demands it and also logic demands it, otherwise we know
not which verses to pick as true or false and thus the Bible
Sadly, I once heard a retired Protestant minister tell me that we
(the New Testament Church) should only read the New Testament
because the Old Testament was just for ancient Israel.
10:13 02Jul12 V -
Thank you - the issue of the Israeli conquest of the Jordan under
God's direct command has been a perplexing one for my
friends and I have not been able to quite understand it myself -
and I was beginning to read Liberal evangelicals' views on
Christianity when I came across this. A hundred times, Thank you!
I had not thought of the interaction of God's command with
the spiritual realm in the region and its necessity.
11:04 02Jul12 Peter Hartgerink -
Excellent word. Thank you for stating matters so clearly. This
Gentile believer agrees with you on all points and is grateful
for your clear witness.
11:18 02Jul12 C Salaverry -
I agree - the Bible all of it is the truth, for the Lord God
Almighty said if anyone changes anything in His word, even so
much as a dot, it goes against our King and Saviour. Teach the
whole word of God or not at all.
11:38 02Jul12 Mike Reeves -
In my church in east London, England, we also are deeply
concerned at the theology to which you refer.
We find, as we read further in that stream of thinking, that
Jesus/Yeshua is apparently (among many other serious errors) no
longer the one whose substitutionary death atones for our sin, is
no longer truly both fully God and fully man, and no longer in
any real way our saviour.
And of course, desperately sadly, "modern" revision of the text,
and understanding of the text, of the scriptures, and "modern"
interpretation of the text of the scriptures, will reflect into a
wrong view of the place of Israel in the world today, and in the
Let's pray that this tragic movement away from the truth
will be seen clearly, by as many as possible, for what it is.
11:40 02Jul12 Lucy K -
Thank you for posting this. I agree and I love your concluding
sentence. "I am a mere created human being and am submitted to
the Word of God as the only safe ground upon which to stand."
Scripture says that Jesus Christ was "slain from the foundations
of the world." God did not change His mind. All of the feasts
of the Lord, all of the temple, all of the temple sacrifices, all
of it, point to the redemption we have in Jesus. Jesus was
ALWAYS His plan of salvation. Jesus has fulfilled all of the
sacrifices in His one sacrifice ... He has fulfilled the first 4
of the 7 appointed feasts of the Lord and He will fulfill the
last 3 of these feasts when He returns at the end of the age.
11:52 02Jul12 Uta Schmidt -
I would not have suffered so much, If I had known this truth you
are talking about. In a painful process The Lord in his mercy
brought me back to this kind of teaching. As child I was not
allowed to believe in Jesus or bible.
Thank you for this clear words below from you. I pray that those
who are dead by the blind leaders can escape them and come to the
truth! Yeshua set me free from the lies of humanism and
12:00 02Jul12 Robert Stagmer -
Good Article. God told Abraham that the promised land would not
be settled by his descendents until "The iniquity of the Amorite
had come to fullness."
14:05 02Jul12 Kyle Meythaler -
Great article. This is one of the biggest accusations against
orthodox Christianity, from "within" the faith. Modern Christians
need to, as you said, "bow to the text of Scripture as our
authority." The authority of Scripture is based upon the
authority of God. The most hated doctrine in Scripture, in my
opinion, is that of God's absolute right to rule as the
Sovereign over everything. This means that God can do whatever He
wants, that He is right in whatever He does, and that no one can
challenge His leadership. "But indeed, O man, who are you to
reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed
it, 'Why have you made me like this?'"(Rom. 9:20). The
bottom line is that people hate God and His ways thinking they
know more than Him and could do a better job at orchestrating
history. I join you in bowing my knee before the matchless power
and unfathomable wisdom of God and His Word.
15:45 02Jul12 Jeanne Johnson -
Avraham avinu was not allowed to enter the promised land until
the fullness of sin of those living in the land came into being
which was when Moshe and our tribe entered, over 430 years later.
Adonai gave those living in Canaan time to repent because He is
fair and just to ALL HE has created both then and now and used
lower story Israel to bring His fair Judgment.
18:11 02Jul12 Diana -
Throughout Scripture there is the concept that the sin of a
people group can reach such a point that it must be destroyed
(take Noah's generation, for example.) But in the case of
the Canaanites, God specifically said that Israel could not take
over Canaan until 400 years would pass, because they were not yet
wicked enough to deserve to be wiped out. Genesis 15:16 "In the
fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the
sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
-- Dr Juster replies: Yes, I agree, but the liberal evangelical scholars I am noting do
not take this seriously.
16:25 02Jul12 KH -
Excellent article. We need to wake up, and raise awareness:
Liberal and post-modern thought is not of God, but is an alien
concept to the Torah, Tanakh and Apostolic Scriptures. I have
also met liberal-minded Messianic Jews who, perhaps in a
misguided attempt to make common ground with mainstream
Jewish-Americans (not deeply religious or observant), seem
willing to make compromise. Where are the Maccabees of our time?
Let's be tolerant, but not so tolerant that the brain falls
out. Let's be Torah-observant, but with love and compassion.
Let's lift up Yeshua and serve the triune G-d, living lives
of holiness, purity and Torah, with the supernatural Spirit and
Fire of Hashem in our hearts and minds, in our homes and
business. Please consider to also write about liberal-minded
ideas sneaking into Messianic Judaism, if you perceive this as an
issue. Liberal theology is basically a godless theology, placing
human thoughts and human ideas in the place of God's
thoughts and ideas, insisting on keeping only those commandments
which make sense to the human mind -- a view which, of course, is
dangerously fragile to shifting times. In the 1940s, a modern
Believer would have been a Nazi and a racist. In 2012, in favor
of gay marriage and abortion. But true Believers should stay true
to the eternal Word of G-d, which is not subject to change for
anyone, anywhere, at any time.
-- Dr Juster replies: I would say that the liberal drift among some Messianic Jews is
parallel to that drift among evangelicals. They are passionate
for Israel, but do not understand that the same interpretive
framework of their more liberal leadings does not give them a
base to stand regrading Israel. They point to communal norms
for interpretation, but not to the objective norm of the Word of
20:24 02Jul12 Greg Wells' -
I agree wholeheartedly with your article, and thank you for
speaking out on this subject. I would take your statement "It is
never the case that the commands of Scripture are somehow
abrogated by new commands, as if to suggest the character and
purposes of God have changed. God never wanted us "to hate" and
then introduced a new program where He now wants us "to love".
Such an understanding of Scripture is absurd." one step further
though. It is just as absurd to think that God has abrogated His
commandments to accomodate gentile believers. One law for them
all, Yeshua, the same yesterday, today, and forever!
-- Dr Juster replies: Yes, in one sense the law is for all. However, it would violate
the Law for all to keep all the same laws. Women are not
circumcised (they are in some Islamic countries). Men are not
unclean for so many days after child birth. Levites and Cohenim
have laws that only apply to them. And I would add that in the
Law of Moses, the same is true for Gentiles. Even those who
embrace the laws of Israel were not circumcised and did not go
into the inner court. The New Covenant continues a distinction
known in the Mosaic Law and well applied by the school of Hillel
within the rabbinic world.
02:17 03Jul12 James Hetrick -
It does provoke a question pondered before at some point, that
is somewhat adjacent to what you covered in this article. That
is: do you believe that some Messianic Jews, or even Messianic
Jewish people, generally, would have a problem with so-called
Gentile spiritual authority being placed over them, in Yeshua?
In other words, besides any necessary tolerance that even the
best of leaders have to maintain for those who would just
naturally have a tendency to "chafe" under any leadership; is
there any kind of a spoken or unspoken, "official" or doctrinal,
sentiment among believing Jews that, to put in one way, any
spiritually immature believing-Jewish person has more authority
in Yeshua than even the most mature/elder believers and leaders
of non-Jewish decent, because of a sort of birthright by
lineage? If so, and the emphasis to my question is more on
this, how would play kind of thing play out practically, in
church or worship settings, or pedagogically, where any kind of
teaching is concerned?
-- Dr Juster replies: You have put your finger on a big controversy in some parts of
the MJ movement. In Tikkun a Gentile can be called to lead a
congregation and we have such leaders. They are in full
authority in their roles. Our people do not chafe at this as it
has been our orientation for so long. However, there are some
in the movement that reject this, and would make the mistake to
choose an immature person over against choosing a Gentile.
10:15 03Jul12 Blaine Robison -
Well done! The liberal Evangelical view apparently overlooks the
fact that God destroyed the entire world and its population with
a great deluge and then destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by fire.
Even in the New Testament, God exacts vengeance on the wicked,
such as Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11, Herod (Acts 12:22-23),
the Antichrist (2 Thess 2:8), and of course all those not in the
book of life (Rev 20:15). Also ignored by these liberals is that
Yeshua came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), not
to accommodate them.
12:15 03Jul12 Marilyn Krivanek -
I totally agree with you. God told King Saul the same thing
about the Amalekites, He said to kill every living thing, but
Saul took it upon himself to do a change order and it cost him
his kingdom, his life and the lives of his children. God has a
reason for everything He does. "A little leaven leavens the whole
lump" Gal 5:9 and 1 Cor 5:9 "do you not know that a little leaven
leavens the whole lump of dough?" A perfect example of where the
Church in the US has failed, when one woman got prayer taken out
of our public schools, the Church didn't rise up and stop
it. Oh but apostate preachers wolves in sheeps clothing were
telling their congregations "God dosen't want you to be
involved in the political arena." I wasn't a Christian at
that time but my Bible tells me that "when the rightous are in
authority the people rejoice but when the wicked are in authority
the people groan." Prov 29:2 This nation is groaning today
because we have compromised God's Word. Look where we have
come to. Ungodly orginizations wanting to take every mention of
God out of society, all kinds of immoralities blatently displayed
everywhere, murdering of innocent babies. If America's cup of
sin is not running over I don't know what you call it, and an
ungodly administration in the White House, and the Body of Christ
is responsible for it coming to this. There is no hope for for
this nation without an awakening to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 "If My
people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray
and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear
from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land."
-- Dr Juster replies: I would say that everything follows from the denial of the Word of
God. It is a tragic situation.
02:08 04Jul12 FR -
Here is something which causes many to stumble and question God
about. But the spirit of our age is wanting us to accept evil
and even calls it good - so that we don't do the radical
thing (or let the cross do its radical work) with the evil in us
which is much more insidious than are the obvious evils of past
(or present) generations or peoples. This call of Joshua has to
be linked with the scripture that says the land itself spat the
Canaanites out of it for the defilement they were causing -
nature itself vomited, or was trying to vomit this abnormal
destructive force out, in an attempt to cleanse itself. In this
context G-d called Joshua to do the job, to help the creation,
His creation, cleanse itself. We, when we live in this world try
to avoid divesting ourselves of what is defiling, and do not (if
we follow our basic inclination) allow the cross to put that to
death which ultimately causes eternal death.
-- Dr Juster replies: I agree!
02:54 05Jul12 Kaytee -
It makes me sad the fruits of rebellion can not gather the kingdom
so good. I am still their sister in Messiah though, even if they
are carnal believers. Real mother response to Solomon, "DONT
DIVIDE THE BABY!" Love the body of Messiah like a newborn.'
04:11 05Jul12 Eberhard Fuchs -
Thanks for putting things right and clearly telling the truth.
To love God and my neighbour isn't possible without loving
the truth. This includes God's opinion, purpose, warnings
and judgement throughout history as reported in the Bible. How
deeply must a people have been fallen morally, how polluted must a
land - God's land - be, that He had to throw the inhabitants
out or even to destroy them. Though waiting for centuries He
couldn't spare his own people Israel in the past. Actually
the annihilation of Canaanite peoples in history should be a
serious warning to western societies and churches as well as
08:59 05Jul12 Maureen Long -
As a growing Christian I am delighted to read such articles as
this which bring clarity to some of today's "modern"
interpretations of Holy Scripture. I was astonished recently to
learn that replacement theology still exists. Blessings to Dan
Juster and all of Tikkun for bringing forth truth in an age of
11:13 08Jul12 Hank -
I find myself in agreement that The Almighty has in past times
condoned, commanded, and orchestrated what we would call genocide.
The mercy of God is great, but judgement belongs to Him also.
What happens to a church, a city, a nation, or the world when
mercy is not enough? When even the mercy of the cross is rejected?
I fear the foolishness of man's doctrines.
17:32 08Jul12 Marie Rubino -
Thank you for the good explanation.
17:44 08Jul12 Glenn Thomas J -
As Michael Horton points out - God never commanded Genocide as
Genocide is based and rooted in ethnicity. God based his command
on ethical violations rooted first and foremost in idolatry and
never on ethnicity. The Kingdom was revealed as Israel was
commanded to possess the land which represents divine judgment.
Meredith Kline developed Intrusion ethics from this notion. This
foretells the future divine judgement which will take place on
Christ's return when the Kingdom comes in it's full
reality over the entire Earth. Again - this is rooted in ethics
and not ethnicity. Now is the time to procalim the forgiveness of
sins as we live between the two ends of Joshua's conquest
and Christ's return.
-- Dr Juster replies: An excellent comment!
22:14 09Jul12 Carolie -
I totally agree with your conclusions, Brother Dan. I came to
the Lord in the 70s when much emphasis was put on experience.
As I've matured (an ongoing process) I've come to trust
more in the fundamental Biblical truths which is to me a more
stable place to be, especially as the darkness grows. I love the
Truth which, I believe, can only be found in Jesus Christ and the
Word of God.
05:32 21Jul12 Pastor Philipneri C. Iberi -
Anyone who says God did not command the Israelites to eliminate
the Cannanites does not know the scriptures.
16:10 21Jul12 Karen Greene -
I don't believe for one minute that God EVER commanded Israel
to commit genocide. Not even one exception! These were warrior
cultures and to them any God worth it's salt would aid them
in defeating their enemies. Having been delivered from their
enemies by God in Egypt, you would have thought they would have
had compassion for others, not hatred.
I can't understand why or how you could ever think God was
behind this and that to question this is somehow some awful way of
thinking. Why is there not more room for others who love God as
you do to think and question without being dismissed as liberal,
I think we need to learn from their mistake in this, not believe it
was God sanctioned! You know in your heart of hearts that today it
would be absolutely wrong to commit such an atrocity in the name of
God so why would it had been any different with Israel?
-- Dr Juster replies: The whole issue comes down to the Word of God, or is the Bible
really the trustworthy word of God. Let's look at the issues.
First, not just one text, but several texts say that "God said" or
commanded Israel to totally wipe out men, women and children. He
tells this to Abraham re: the fact that the iniquity is not yet full
and that will be 400 years in the future. It is commanded by Moses
as a command from God, repeated by Joshua as from God, repeated in
Judges and used as a reason for why, in Israel's disobedience,
they stumbled. It is repeated in the Psalms and prophets in the
In addition, if this command is not from God, then the text is wrong
and in error; the Bible is then in error. In addition, the whole
question of the exodus is up for grabs since Israel was to leave
Egypt and to possess the Land. Was this command from God? How were
they to possess the Land? What was the means in that time? No war?
Just perhaps have all become Jews by handing out tracts and preaching
a Gospel but in pre Yeshua form? How were they to eliminate the
demonic control of the people there. They could not command the evil
spirits to go in the name of Yeshua. I think questioning these texts
brings into question the whole Exodus narrative and the conquering of
the Land narrative.
God gave these commands in that time for his purpose and will never
again give such a command. Today his command is to make disciples of
16:46 22Jul12 Carolyn Parr -
Excellent - thank you for reiterating the truth of the Bible being
one book, not two!
05:27 04Aug12 Brian and Anne -
This is 100% accurate and we need to return to BIBLICAL TRUTH AND
BIBLICAL ABSOLUTES!! We (local congregants) do not seem to desire
these any longer and it is therefore, small wonder that our local
Christian fellowships are without POWER AND AUTHORITY today!!
18:11 31Aug12 Alex -
In Leviticus 18:22, homosexuality was forbidden. In the same chapter
(v19), it was also forbidden to have sexual intercourse with a woman
(even one's own wife) in her monthly period. Do we have to
observe this command this day?
Consuming blood was also forbidden in Torah, and it was one of four
things gentiles should abstain (Acts 15) by decree of the Jerusalem
Council. Do we have to abstain from drinking and/or eating blood
these days? Some Christians would say that we are free to eat or
drink blood of any kind of animals.
-- Dr Juster replies: I put respect for the holiness of blood on the universal moral side
of the Torah commands. In this regard, drinking blood is forbidden
to all humanity from Noah. So much for blood sausage! I think the
same applies to sexual intercourse during a woman's period.