Sunday, October 9, 2011

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God And Israel

          Just as Jesus was sacrificed for the whole world in the Old Testament, the Tora was also given to the whole world.  The Jews were the only ones that received God’s call to obey the Tora, so God only attached His name to Israel.  “The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Israel, I am God over all who come into the world, but I have only associated my name with you.  I am not the God of idolaters but the God of Israel.”[1]  When we accept Jesus, as our Savior and Lord, we are grafted into the vine of the God of Israel.  Whenever the Israelis were exiled, the Shechinah Glory of God remained with them.  In the same way, the Shechinah Glory of God is with Christians in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.  “All the peoples of the world proclaim the praise of, The Holy One, blessed be He, but mine (Israel) is more acceptable than theirs.  Israel declares, ‘Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one’, and the Holy Spirit cries, ‘who is like thy people Israel, a nation one in the earth’.  Whoever helps Israel is as though he helped The Holy One, Blessed be He; whoever hates Israel is like one who hates Him.”[2] 

          All the nations of the world were given access to the Tora; but only Israel accepted it.  Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of the Tora.  Accept Christ, and The Holy One, blessed be He, will accept you.   A gentile was accepted as a believer by the Israelites, as one of them, if he came to the Lord with pure motives.  After instruction in the Tora, and the plight of the Jewish people, the proposed convert would accept the condition of his conversion and “he is circumcised forthwith.  After he is healed, he undergoes immersion without delay, and two disciples of the Sages stand by him and instruct him in some of the minor and more important precepts.  When he has immersed himself and ascended from the water he is an Israelite in every respect”[3].  Under Christ, circumcision is not physical, but spiritual.  Baptism, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the same way, represents the death of the old and birth into the new life.   God, the Father, accepts those who sincerely receive Christ as Savior and Lord; then He sends His Holy Spirit to guide them, whether they are Jew or gentile. 

          The Shechinah Glory of God dwells not only in Heaven but also in each of us who have received the Holy Spirit (Ruach Hahadesh) who is God’s direct influence on man.[4]  The Holy one, blessed be He; The Lord God Almighty, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Elohim, the All Powerful One, the Mighty One, the All Knowing One, the Alpha and Omega, the I Am, the Holy One of Israel, Jehovah Jaira, Jehovah Shalom, El Shadi, Yahweh, and Jehovah Niche are all different names for God but I prefer to call Him Adonai which means “my Lord”.

          The Jews, in their attempt to explain away the Trinity of God, use Genesis 1:26 and the verse following.  In Genesis 1:26, God said “Let Us create man in our image, and let them rule over……..  In Genesis 1:27 God created man in His Image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them”.  The inference of Rabbi Simali was that “our” meant God, in addition to man and woman.  Since man had not yet been created, I don’t see the application of his theory.  The Hebrew word ‘Elohim’ has a plural form that I believe the rabbi missed.  Rabbi Simali wrote this at a time when Judaism was fighting the growth of the early Christian church. 

          “Whether atheism, in the sense of the dogmatic denial of God’s existence, was accepted by anybody in Biblical and rabbinic times is doubtful; but both in the Bible and Talmud the concern was with practical atheist who conducted his life as though he would never be held to account for his deeds.”[5]  As we see today, there are many who claim to be Christian, but are so in name only, having a semblance of the truth but not walking therein.  “Don’t forget that Jesus was crucified by church members whose sins He rebuked.”[6] 

          As concerns our walk in this world, the Talmud explains: “the hour of man’s departure neither silver nor gold nor precious stones nor pearls accompany him, but only Torah and good works; as it is said, ‘When thou walkest it shall lead thee [in this world], when thou liest down [in death] it will watch over thee and when thou awakest it shall talk to thee [in the world to come]”[7].  In Jesus time, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection, the Sadducees did not, and were therefore sad, you see.

          Christ Himself was an Israeli, in His human form.  Many religions are vehemently against Christ because the only path to salvation is through Jesus, who was a Jew.   “Jesus said: ‘Come to Me’, not the church; to Me, not a creed; to Me, not a preacher; to Me, not an evangelist; to Me; not a priest; to Me, not a pope; ‘come to Me and I will give you rest.’ Faith in Jesus Christ moves you, not faith in the church.”[8]

How does God feel about you?   He knows everything; and has since before the creation of the world.  He knows who will be saved through Christ, and who will not.  If your name is not written in the Lambs book of life, you are lost. God, before anything was, knew whose names would be in the book of life.  That is what is known as predestination.  Now we can see why God wants us to treat everyone as a brother.  We don’t know who will wind up being one of us, and who won’t.  That is one reason why Jesus said the most important thing was to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.[9]

          If you have a book that is thousands of years old, that was written over a period of thousands of years, which has never been disproved, that the archeological evidence supports and is in conflict with more recent writings; why in the name of all that is Holy, would you value the newer and obviously inferior writings? 

          Why is what the Lord has done for us not the lead story of every news presentation?  What could be more important news than that the Lord is doing His best to keep us from going to Hell?  Throughout all creation, God reached out to man.  Throughout the Old Testament He sent messenger after messenger to help mankind.  The New Testament describes how He sent His Son to redeem mankind.  What in the world is more important than that? 

[1] Everyman’s Talmud, A. Cohen, 1949
[2] Everyman’s Talmud
[3] Pg. 65 Everyman’s Talmud 
[4] Pg. 45 Everyman’s Talmud
[5] Everyman’s Talmud, A. Cohen
[6] Billy Sunday
[7] Pg. 69 Everyman’s Talmud
[8] Billy Sunday
[9] Mark 12:29-31


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