The above concepts will be expounded on in Part III of this study. What does this mean? The pages of the Bible do not give us much detailed information about the worlds of spiritual forces, angels, demons, etc. From the opening story of Creation through the rest of the Torah, the prophets and the "New Testament," the spiritual realm, its inhabitants and powers are mentioned in a way that assumes a pre-existing knowledge. Jewish teachings about "The Messiah" come from Oral Tradition [and there is no one definitive opinion].

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The above concepts will be expounded on in Part III of this study. What does this mean? The pages of the Bible do not give us much detailed information about the worlds of spiritual forces, angels, demons, etc. From the opening story of Creation through the rest of the Torah, the prophets and the "New Testament," the spiritual realm, its inhabitants and powers are mentioned in a way that assumes a pre-existing knowledge.

Jewish teachings about "The Messiah" come from Oral Tradition [and there is no one definitive opinion]. When the writers of the New Testament make messianic claims about Yeshua, they are expressing their view of an Oral Tradition of their day. There are other overt references besides the above list, as well as allusions to the spiritual realm. However, throughout Scripture, we are given little if any detailed explanation about these things.

This is not saying that Scripture deems the spiritual realm and its inhabitants unimportant, as they are quite significant. However, the written Scriptures do not give us much information regarding the "who, what, why, where and how," of these things. For the student of Scripture, this leads to an important question.

Are we free to "invent" our own approach and answers to the questions regarding these matters or is there a tradition to guide us? The Hebraic tradition as Ramchal teaches is grounded in an unbroken chain of transmission going back well before the time of Yeshua. This includes not only the "Oral Torah" given to Moses and developed since Sinai, but even other teachings that are said to go back to Abraham and some to Adam himself. The pages of the Talmud as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls show well-developed ideas concerning the spiritual realm from the period just prior to Yeshua.

It is such a tradition that the authors and characters of both the Tenakh and the New Testament draw from. As an advisory, many of the ideas presented by Ramchal here and in subsequent chapters as well as other we will mention also from Judaism , will not correspond to those in the Christian tradition.

When they differ, one must ask, from where does Christianity draw its ideas? For instance, there are churches today that not only have teachings about the dark side of the spiritual realm, but also how to come against it. Delivering people from demons, etc. These Christian concepts and methods came about long after the early Messianic Nazarene communities were obliterated by the Romans. As a simple example, many churches teach that demons are the "fallen angels.

As Ramchal states, demons and angels are very different types of entities. That is the Jewish tradition. It was transmitted from master to student in such a manner that if the student had any question, he would be able to ask, and thus avoid ambiguity.

A written text, on the other hand, no matter how perfect, is always subject to misinterpretation Furthermore, the Oral Torah was meant to cover the infinitude of cases which would arise in the course of time. It could never have been written in its entirety. It is thus written Ecclesiastes , "Of making many books there is no end. If the entire Torah would have been given in writing, everyone would be able to interpret it as he desired. This would lead to division and discord among people who followed the Torah in different ways.

The Oral Torah, on the other hand, would require a central authority to preserve it, thus assuring the unity of Israel. This idea parallels modern science regarding the physical universe, which teaches that there are four fundamental forces i. This is reflected in the creation account of Genesis. Many critics of the Bible point to inconsistencies with the first three books of Genesis. These are resolved when one understands how creation "unfolded" as follows: Genesis chapter 1 is an account of creation at the level of these forces Beriah.

The "plants" and "animals" discussed in Genesis 1 also exist in this state. Note how Genesis describes the creation of man, yet this seems to be repeated in Genesis Further, Genesis tells us that plant life "exists" yet in Genesis we are given a summary statement that no vegetable matter was yet present, as God had not caused it to "rain upon the earth yet.

At this point however, Adam and Eve, as well as all animals and vegetables, do not yet exist in the physical state that we do today. This occurs with their banishment from Eden into the lowest world of creation, the physical realm, beginning in Genesis , where Adam will now have to "work" the physical land.

Thus we see that in a sense, the spiritual and physical realms are "images" of each other. As Scripture begins with a "hidden" account of these three worlds of creation, it also closes with such. The book of Revelation depicts three sets of "seven judgments. See our online Revelation study for more details on this concept. This is reflected in the following teaching: Talmud, Berachoth 33b - Everything is in the hand of heaven except the fear of heaven.

A critical concept brought forth here is the fact that our reality consists of both "deterministic" and "indeterministic" influences existing at the same time.

God created every "point A" and "point B," but allows for much leeway in how we get from one to another. There is an interesting teaching in Judaism on this issue, that being that "no negative prophecy has to come true. A classic case is Ninevah. Jonah was told by God to tell the inhabitants of that city that they had been judged and would die. Yet, the city did repent, and this judgment was nullified for a while at least!

In any situation, from microbiology to world or cosmic events , if we have enough information, we can make an "educated guess" about how things will "play out. As stated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan: It is interesting to note that according to the most modern scientific picture of the world, free will is an integral part of creation. Science teaches us that there is an element of indeterminancy or "free will" inherent in the very quantum nature of matte, and this clearly indicates that the universe was created as an arena for a free-willed creature such as man.

It is this freedom of will that gives man a wider choice than merely to react to his surroundings. As with the physical realm, the slightest such alteration at the "cause" can result in enormous changes with the "effect. Ramchal points out that even words and thoughts have this capacity. Our existence in multiple worlds and the impact sin can have helps us understand the deeper meaning of New Testament teachings such as this one: Colossians - If then you were raised with Messiah, seek those things which are above, where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. When Messiah who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Messiah is all and in all.

Ramchal hints at the complexity of "how divine providence works. We can understand our world of four dimensions. These include the three dimensions of space up-down, north-south, east-west , as well as the fourth dimension of time.

The fifth dimension extends beyond the physical however, and is a "moral" dimension. As Ramchal states, the fundamental Forces either exists in a state of "good" or otherwise. An example of these Forces existing in a negative state and the effect this has on the physical realm is seen in the book of Revelation.

The "four horsemen" of Revelation chapter 6 are representative of these Forces. See our online Revelation study for more on this.

Turning again to the harsh judgments evil found in the book of Revelation we see: Revelation - And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

He closes by reiterating the specific role of angels as discussed above.


Moshe Chaim Luzzatto

The son of Jacob Vita and Diamente Luzzatto, [1] he received classical Jewish and Italian education, showing a predilection for literature at a very early age. He may have attended the University of Padua and certainly associated with a group of students there, known to dabble in mysticism and alchemy. With his vast knowledge in religious lore, the arts, and science, he quickly became the dominant figure in that group. His writings demonstrate mastery of the Tanakh , the Talmud , and the rabbinical commentaries and codes of Jewish law. Poetry and literature[ edit ] At an early age, he began a thorough study of the Hebrew language and of poetic composition. He wrote epithalamia and elegies, a noteworthy example of the latter being the dirge on the death of his teacher Cantarini, a lofty poem of twenty-four verses written in classical Hebrew. Before age 20, he had begun his composition of hymns modeled on the Biblical Psalter.


Derech Hashem

For in truth, the perception of many parts about which we do not know their connections or true places in the structure of all that is constructed by them is nothing but a heavy and joyless burden to the intellect that desires to understand [it]. The intellect wearies itself with it; it toils, despairs, tires and has no pleasure; as it will not quench its desire to come to the purpose of any [part] that one has come to consider. For this will not come to him, since he is missing its complete context. As a great part of something is surely its relationships to those things that relate to it, and its place within its context - and this is lacking from him.



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