Category Archives: Steven E. Daskal

Has Anyone Seen the Face of God?

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

By: Steve Daskal and Joe Butta

No mortal human being has ever seen the Face of God — that is, God the Father.  Moses never saw God’s actual “face” — no man has except the God-Man, Yeshua/Jesus.

The emphasis in Exodus 33:11 is not on the “face-to-face” aspect, but on the last phrase, “as a man speaks to a friend,” [as translated in the NKJV, NIV84, & NASB].  One can speak to a friend “face-to-face” in the sense of speaking to them in person, relationally, but not look each other in the face [think of two people working on a project side-by-side, which in a sense is what God was doing by including Moses in His redemptive work and in creating the foundation for the nation of Israel].  This is what the QUEST Study Bible notes say — verse 11 is emphasizing that Moses, like Abraham before him and David who came after him, had a personal relationship with God.  Charles Ryrie and John MacArthur note that Moses never saw God’s actual “face” — no man has except the God-Man, Yeshua/Jesus.

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Filed under Faith, Judeo-Christianity, Steven E. Daskal, Tanakh

WHO IS MELCHIZEDEK?

BY: Steven E Daskal

This is a simple question at one level, and a much more complex one beyond that.  It is one of my favorite Biblical conundrums, because we know quite a bit, yet so little.  BTW, while Melchizedek is commonly used, the pronunciation and Hebrew spelling reflect Melkhizedek (the KH being the sound common to Semitic and Slavic languages, while CH is the sound common to many linguistic families, as found in “Church” or “Chalice”).  I tend to use the KH version.

At the simplest level, it is a reference back to Abram’s (later Abraham) life in Genesis:

(Gen 14:17-24 NIV84)  After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

          Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

          The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”  But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me — to Aner, Eshcol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

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Filed under Faith, Judeo-Christianity, Messiah, Steven E. Daskal, Tanakh

SECULAR HUMANISM AND SIN: DETERMINING WHAT IS ULTIMATELY RIGHT OR WRONG

By: Joe Butta & Steve Daskal

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS

It is nearly 2018 and things that would have been unimaginable in the 1950’s are today protected by laws in various western nations.  The question is…How did we get here and who determines what can be described as normal behavior?

Secularism is not new.  It was rampant in the latter days of ancient Greece and the latter 2/3 of the Roman Empire.  Alexander’s Hellenism was very humanistic — while pagan rituals were retained, they were not taken very seriously as a belief system, but rather as a justification for the imperial cult and the sports, sex, and self-indulgence that was the norm for the free minority and eagerly sought by the enslaved majority.  Similarly, the Roman Empire became increasingly secular by the end of the Antonid [first] dynasty.  Again, pagan rituals were retained, but as a justification for the imperial cult and the orgiastic rituals of the various sects and cults that grew up around this or that “deity.”  Secularism arose at the end of these civilizations and played a role in their end, because the beliefs and values which motivated them during their rise became hollowed-out shells of what they once were, getting paid “lip service” but not being taken seriously.

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Filed under Atheism, General, Joseph A. Butta, Jr., Judeo-Christianity, Steven E. Daskal

NEED PROOF TO BELIEVE AND TRUST THE BIBLICAL GOD?

By: Joe Butta/Steve Daskal

Christian Messianic Analysis and Apologetics

There can be little doubt that this world is troubled by a myriad of problems.  But that isn’t anything new — mankind has faced problems since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden.  So what has changed?  Why do we so often have a sense that something is deeply wrong — that something is missing?

For the most part modern Americans have come to avoid or reject Biblical truth because we have been told through schools and the media/entertainment industry, dominated by secular humanist progressives, that a truly caring, loving God would not permit all the suffering and injustice we perceive around us.  They assert that if God did exist, He would want us to be happy.  So either God does not care — isn’t really good, God isn’t powerful enough to “clean house,” or God isn’t there and perhaps never was.

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Filed under Joseph A. Butta, Jr., Judeo-Christianity, Religion, Steven E. Daskal

How Many Times Did Moses Climb Mt Sinai?

By:  Steve Daskal,

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS

 

** A brother in Christ recently asked me about a seeming inconsistency in the Exodus account of Moses’ interactions with God and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai.  He thought it appeared as if the number of trips up and trips down didn’t match.  I had never actually sat down to work this out, though I’ve been hearing and reading this story repeatedly since I was in grade school.  This is what I found:

Ex 19 — The Israelites are three months after leaving Egypt via Rephidim [located in the Sinai desert].  They’ve reached Sinai, and set up camp in front of the mountain.  Moses goes up the mountain the first time [v3], he returns to the people [v7] and warns them that they are going to get the terms of the Covenant, and they agree to them — without having heard them — based upon God’s taking them out of Egypt and providing for this huge mass of people in the desert for 3 months.

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Filed under General, Judeo-Christianity, Miscellaneous, Religion, Steven E. Daskal

Habakkuk—Pivotal Prophet of Judah

FROM: Steve Daskal

CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS & APOLOGETICS

 

What Was Happening?  Judah is on the Brink of Disaster

— Judah’s new king at this time, Jehoiakim, aka Eliakim, is a relatively young man.  But he is characterized in 2 Chronicles 36:1-8 and 2 Kings 23:34-24:6 as being an evil king, who did not follow the pattern of godliness of his father Josiah.  Josiah had been an ally of Assyria against Egypt who died in battle when the Egyptians had defeated the last remnant of Assyrian power at Megiddo [in the lands of the former northern Israelite kingdom of Israel].

— Jeremiah refers to him this way:  “your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion.”  [Jer. 22:17]  While it may have required heavy taxes and harsh action to pay the required tributes to great powers and keep his throne in the face of widespread violence and disorder, the tone of Jeremiah’s condemnation [and those in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles] indicates that not only was Jehoiakim tough and demanding, he was also brutal and corrupt.   Jehoiakim apparently reverted to the idolatry and unjust rule of his grandfather Amon and great-grandfather Manasseh [ref 2Ki21].  Jehoiakim also openly rejected and mocked prophetic warnings from Jeremiah [36:23-27] and had them destroyed.

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Jewish Views on Messiah circa 30 A.D.

FROM: CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS

BY: Steve Daskal

The Jewish faith, as was being taught & practiced in Jesus’ day, was no longer a single unified faith focused on “the Law and the Prophets,” but was made up of several sects that at best disdained or ignored each other, each following its own particular interpretations that suited them.

The Sadducees denied that anything beyond Torah [The Law, Pentateuch, Five Bks of Moses] was inspired of or delivered from God.  So, they didn’t accept that there would be a Messiah at all.  The Torah references frequently cited, such as Gen 3:15 and in Deuteronomy when Moses tells them that a Prophet like himself will come to lead Israel back to God after they have “fallen away,” point to from the perspectives of Christians, and of Pharisees, but they aren’t unambiguous/direct statements.  The Psalms & the Prophets were considered by the Sadducees the way we’d consider books by C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton — good reading, edifying, but neither inspired nor authoritative for doctrine.  The Kohanim [the priesthood-by-descent] and many of the other Levites were Sadducees.  They controlled the Temple in Jesus’ day and had a sizeable presence on the Sanhedrin which was the religious court that had been granted ultimate socio-religious authority for the Jews of Judea under Roman rule.

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