Bible Lesson 98


Judeo Christianity

“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” Matthew 22:32

Let’s take a look at the Word of God, the Bible, to see where we came from, as the people of God, so that we may better understand not only the Bible but the God of the Bible, and what it really is that we believe. The purpose of this lesson is to show that nothing has changed in Salvation with the exception that God has been continually beginning with men in the primer, so to speak, and then moving us along toward perfection. Up until the present time and the period that refers to as grace, men had no way to shed the burden of sin in their lives; but since the substitutionary sacrifice of the Son Of God, Jesus Christ, God has perfected what was temporary and made it permanent. Instead of having to offer innocent animals for every sin, and having that suffice for one year, we have come under the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

We are not given temporary forgiveness but permanent forgiveness by the blood of Christ. Our roots as Christians are in the Jewish worship of Jehovah. Most of us have heard the term Judeo-Christianity from time to time and perhaps even wondered what it meant. As far as I can determine it was a term that was coined in political discussions; but which none the less perfectly describes how we came to be called Christians.

As in any good book, we have to begin at the beginning and that takes us to the book of Genesis, where we are given the setting for our world. Genesis chapter one begins by informing us that first there is a God, and He was self-existent, having been from all time. Then it points to the fact that in and of Himself, God required nothing, but Himself. God then begins the creation of the world and all that we know is in the world.

If we follow the Genesis account we find that God made man (Adam) responsible from the moment of his formation. God had prepared a world that would sustain and complement the human race which was God’s crown jewel. God tested Adam who was born innocent, not knowing good nor evil, until he was convinced by his wife Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam failed the test of responsibility and as a result, he was instantly separated from God and began the process of physical death. We all know, or should know, about the fall of Adam and Eve who were the grandparents of us all.

As a result of their failure to obey God, they lost paradise (The Garden of Eden); they were driven out of the garden by God who cursed the serpent that tempted Eve. He also cursed Eve for her disobedience by multiplying her sorrow and her conception, and pain in childbirth. Then God cursed the ground for Adam’s sin so that he would be required to work very hard to make the ground produce’.and then at the end of life he would return to the dust from which God had made him.

There are no other gods that can claim the creation account, so we know that the God of Adam and Eve and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob is the only true God. As we read through the Old Testament, we find how Jehovah God, the Great I AM, lays out His plan of redemption for not only His creatures but for His creation. The Bible is the outline of God’s eternal plan, to not only create but to bring to fruition His world.

We could take much instruction from reading and connecting the dots so to speak in God’s plan for His creation. First, we can learn that God is not in a hurry like we have to be. God is eternal and He is not bound by the constraints of time like we are.

God has as much time as He requires to accomplish His perfect and eternal play. Every one of us, believers and unbelievers are living on God’s time and in our daily lives, God uses whatever He wills to complete His plan to not only have a creation and creatures but to make all things work together in every life to contribute in some way to that accomplishment. Multitudes of people go through their lives on this earth never realizing that they do certain things because that has been God’s eternal plan for their lives and not only that but that our seemingly insignificant lives are a part of His great and gracious plan. Before we move any further, let’s attempt to stand on level ground.

What we write here will mean nothing to some people who read it because they have never been interested in anything outside momentary needs, things like food and clothes, and the things that the flesh lusts after. For those who may be in that mindset when they read this lesson about the journey from creation, to law, and then to grace; I urge you to use your sense of reason to follow the Biblical route that God has used to not only teach man about God, and himself, but to save those who will apply themselves to gaining a knowledge of our Great God and then to discover their lost condition and their coming judgment and fall before our great God who will not only forgive your sins but will create them as a new creature.

Then God will empower them with His power in the Holy Spirit to live in such a way as to glorify Him. If that sounds simple, it is because it is simple. God has done everything that is required for men to be forgiven and granted a heavenly inheritance. You can add nothing to what God did in sending His One and Only Son Jesus Christ to substitute Himself in my place and yours on the cross, bearing our sin and our punishment so that we could stand perfect before God, ‘In Christ’. I know that men are not used to dealing with other men on that kind of gracious basis, but we are not dealing with men when we come to Christ for the forgiveness of our sin, we are dealing with God.

There may be someone who has been raised hearing people demean the Jew and cursing them for crucifying Jesus Christ. If that be the case, let me remind you that Jesus died for the Jews and for everyone else who would obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9). Whether we like it or not, God elected or chose the tiny nation’. no nation at all of Israel, the Jews, to be His people; and when God made that decision, the nation of Israel was still in the loins of Abram, who would later become Abraham. The nation of Israel was chosen by God to be a nation of Priests, a Holy Nation, that would bless all the nations of the earth (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; Exodus 19:6).

God who is Omniscient (knowing all things beforehand), knew that the nation of Israel would fail to become that Holy nation of priests that would bless all other nations of the world, allowed and uses that failure to produce what He wants to produce in this world before He calls time to an end. Understand now, in the end, God will use Israel for the purpose that He covenanted with Abraham for. God gives us that same measure of freedom as we live out our lives. Of course, God sometimes and for what reason only He knows, will override or overrule what we would do.

Every one of us is free to fail, except where God wills for us to succeed. Whatever we do, whether it is something that we meant to do but failed to accomplish or something that we did not mean to do, but somehow worked out that we accomplished it, works together in God’s eternal plan. Now, let me make it clear that these things that God allows us to fail in are the incidentals of life. God does not ever allow anyone that He has elected before the foundation of the world to fail to come to salvation and obedience to the will of God (Ephesians 1:4; John 1:13; 1st Peter 1:23; 1st Peter 1:2; James 1:18; Philippians 2:13). The God that we serve under the law of Love, by Grace, is the very same God that created Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and everyone else who has ever been or will ever be born.

Our Bible, the inerrant, inspired Word of Almighty God reveals to us God as He begins with a new creation and new creatures and provides them with guidelines or laws to teach them how to live and eventually in His time and in His way, God perfects His system of worship and obedience and right living for his people. God uses fallible human beings as He allows or predestines their lives to complete His perfect plan for His creation. I believe that God allowed the multitude of failures, transgressions of His law, and man’s disobedience to prove to man that failure is not necessarily fatal. Jehovah God is a God of second chances and He forgives us when we agree with Him about the seriousness of sin and humble ourselves and ask for forgiveness. Someone may say, ‘Well, God didn’t give Adam a second chance’; but He did give Him a second chance, and like all of us, God probably gave him many other chances.

Before God ever drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, God promised them a second chance. That second chance was in a much lower degree in their environment because they had sinned and caused the creation to suffer the curse of death (physical and Spiritual), the earth’s struggle to cause mankind to produce food from it, and all the rest. God promised them and us a second chance when He told them in Genesis chapter 3 and verse 15 where God promised a savior who would deal with Satan a death blow. Jesus Christ did that, thousands of years later, when He came from His eternal home in heaven, took on the form and flesh of mankind, without sin, and substituted Himself on the cross for those who would obey God (John 3:16-21; John 1:1-5,9-18; John 17).

You see, we are connected to Christ from the Garden of Eden to the coming rapture of the church. Remember the Exodus, and how God guided and protected the people on their travels’ We read about it in the Book of Exodus, when we read that they traveled behind a pillow of cloud by day and a pillow of fire by night, we know that that pillow of cloud and pillow of fire was the Lord Jesus Christ in his pre-incarnate form (Exodus 13:21-22). Jesus was the rock or power, that brought forth water at Meribah (Exodus 17:5-7). Jesus provided guidance, protection, and light for the people while they wandered in the wilderness. The virgin birth of Christ was prophesied in Isaiah7:14. The Messianic Triumph over the Kings of the earth was prophesied in Psalms 2, and Christ is spoken of as the Branch of righteousness, in Jeremiah 23:5.

In Isaiah 55 we find the invitation to abundant (eternal) life and the promise of the Commander for the people. In Isaiah 9:6 we find, prophesied, the Son that was to be given, who would shoulder the government and be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. In Isaiah 53 we find the cross prophesied, and the sin-bearer of those who would follow Jesus. We are told there that Christ would be a ‘Man of sorrows’, stricken, smitten by God and afflicted, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. Our chastisement was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed. God begins His revelation of Himself to us, in the Creation, and in that creation, He shows Himself to be Omnipotent, Omniscience, and Omnipresent. He creates all that we know, not by a hit and miss, trial and error system but in precise order.

First, there was darkness and God created light, then water covered the earth and God separated the water from the land, and caused grass and trees and foodstuffs to feed his coming creatures. Then God created the sun and moon and stars and called for the creatures of the sea and the birds. God created great sea creatures and told all of them to be fruitful and multiply. Only then did God bring forth cattle and creeping things and the beasts of the earth; and finally God made man in His image and gave him dominion over all the other creatures. God made everything to produce seed to reproduce itself in kind. It seems to be a problem in our society, this society that makes idols out of people that we know have exactly no real power, and are fallible, sure to die within a few decades. Because of that kind of mindset we tend to forget or recognize that God is vastly different from man. God did not have a beginning point, He has always been and will always be, He is the source.

God is perfect, without any shadow of turning. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is the Creator, and man is simply a creature, created in the image of God, but fallen in sin and disobedience. Man sometimes thinks that He is the center of the universe but in the end, he finds that he is incapable of creating anything. Man can change the form of things but he always has to begin and end with something that God has made. He cannot increase his height one inch or change the color of his eyes. A man may go to the doctor today and receive a good report but on his way back home, his brakes may fail, or a drunk driver may suddenly crash into him and kill him instantly. We have no assurance of tomorrow unless we know this Jesus who was promised in Genesis 3:15, this Jesus who led the children of the Hebrews out of Egypt into the promised land, as that pillar of cloud by day and that pillar of fire by night.

God has not changed and will never change one iota! We have somehow been led away from our roots by men who did not have the backbone required to teach a God who requires anything from the people that He saves. We seem to think that the God of the Old Testament was a God that would strike people dead or allow them to be destroyed because of their sin, and we want to think that Jesus Christ is some kind of celestial rabbit’s foot that will protect us from this God of Justice. If you have that kind of idea about God, you are in trouble because that God who drove Adam and Eve out of Paradise, that God who banished Cain to be vagabond and a fugitive in the earth because he murdered his brother Abel, and who drowned every living creature in the universal flood because they were evil and their thoughts were only evil continually, saving only eight people and the animals by pairs, is not the same God that you will stand before in the judgment, you are sadly mistaken. God has not changed his mind about the hatefulness of sin and His remedy for those who refuse the gift of life in His Son Jesus Christ is still eternal torment in the flames of hell.

God is the great teacher and protector of His creatures, at least He teaches and protects those who can obey Him. God created Adam and gave him only one command to obey. That command instructed him that he was free to eat of any and every tree in the Garden of Eden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now, mind you Adam lived in heaven or a place like heaven, it was a paradise. Everything worked for Adam without him ever having to work up a sweat, but Adam chose to listen to his wife instead of to God (Genesis 3:17).

God knew all the time that mankind would not be able to keep His laws, but God used the law to teach man that he needed something outside himself to be able to please God since sin would infect every aspect of man. So God gave man the law and even gave him the way that man, who would surely sin, could have his sin covered for a time. A man could stand just before God ‘.at least for a specific time (one year) if he brought the finest and best of his animals and sacrificed (shed its blood) before the altar. That was the hard lesson that God taught man about sin, and it was that sin is costly. We all know that the only wealth that people could accumulate back in that period was in their flocks and herds. So God used the law to show man how far he had come from what God intended for men to be, and so the man was continually having to bring his wealth to the Tabernacle and use its blood to cover his sins. Over the millennia God has used that shedding of animal blood to point us to the time that by His grace, we in our time would have the perfect sacrifice, the substitution of Christ in our place on the cross, in that once for all sacrifice, that continually cleanses those who are God’s children. What has Jesus Christ to do with the Old Testament’

Many things and all things because it was Jesus Christ acting as the representative of the Father who dealt with those who believed in the Old Testament and it is Jesus Christ who represents us to the Father in the New Testament. Jesus Christ says in John 6:44, ‘No man can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him at the last day.’ If we stop to consider the Bible in its context, we realize that Jesus Christ was born a Jew, His Mother was a young Jewish virgin who bore Him as the result of a supernatural conception by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:34-35). Jesus was part and parcel of a Jewish family and he was born and worshipped under the law. The Gospel of Matthew, a gospel written by a Jew (Matthew), to Jews (Israel) about a Jew (Jesus Christ), and in the first chapter of his gospel, Matthew give us the genealogy of Jesus Christ, beginning with Abraham, and ended with Jacob who begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

Many believe that Christianity was entirely new, separate from the Old Testament, and having nothing to do with the Old Testament but Jesus and His message to the world put the lie to that kind of thinking. Christ did not come to destroy the law (the Old Testament) but to fulfill it, and He said that ’till Heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle (the smallest letter and the smallest stroke in a Hebrew letter) will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.'(See Matthew 5:17-19).

Jesus did not come to destroy the religion of that day but to call it to reformation. What Jesus taught back there was that the Pharisees and others had changed the unchangeable, (God’s Word). Jesus was saying that what was being taught did not align with God’s word. The Rabbis had wrested the Word of God until it allowed what God prohibited and prohibited what God allowed. Perhaps it would serve us well if we reread the Sermon on the Mount and applied it to our own lives. I firmly believe that if Jesus were to come back today he would say the same thing about our practice of worship and our understanding, or misunderstanding of God’s Word, that He spoke to the people back then.

Jesus was a Jew and his religion was Judaism, at least the pure Judaism that came down from the prophets and the patriarchs. Jesus did not buy into the things that had been distorted about the Word of God, and He spent much time correcting it for them and us. I understand that for many different and strange reasons that some people do not like the Jews. I normally find that they don’t know why but they have been raised hearing derogatory ideas about Jews. Yes, the Jews did refuse their Messiah when He came to them; but they have been under the chastisement of God ever since that time.

God still has a purpose for the Nation of Israel, and He said back in the beginning that the Nation of the Jews would be His elect Nation, that has not changed and when the end comes with the seven years of tribulation, it will be Jacobs trouble; and the focus will be in and on the nation of Israel. It will affect the whole world but it will be focused on and in Israel. Be very careful when you spew hatred for the Nation of God because God has said to Abram ‘Get out of your country, from your family and your father’s house to a land that I will show you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

Many make the error of thinking that God set the nation of Israel aside, and took the Church as their replacement. You can’t read the Bible and believe that. The nation of Israel is a nation in waiting, and what they are waiting for is the return of Christ when they will realize their grave error in failing to receive Him as their Messiah; but they will be saved by the same blood that you and I were saved by, the blood of the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ. The true Church consists of those who have been called out of the world by God because of their faith in Christ.

We are saved by grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ, and nothing more. However, Abraham was saved by faith, and Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. So those who are saved are not any longer gentiles but they are Jews. When Jesus died on the Cross, he did not start a new or different religion but he opened the door to the ‘other sheep’ that were not of the fold of Israel (John 10:16). We, as wild olive branches, were grafted into God’s olive tree of salvation and covenant relationship (Romans 11:1-36). Notice that the ‘Roll Call of Faith’ does not mention one Christian name. They are all Hebrew! See Hebrews 11:1-39. We can understand that all Christian fruits have Jewish roots. I leave you to check out the listed scriptures and examine your heart about your opinion of the Jews.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob