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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Before the Foundation of the World

Rabbi Schneider - Before the Foundation of the World

Rabbi Schneider - Before the Foundation of the World
Rabbi Schneider - Before the Foundation of the World
TOPICS: Deep Revelation From the Book of Ephesians Season 1

So let's get right into it now. Ephesians 1, here we go, friends, verse number one, "Paul..." Many of you know that Paul is a Jew, the Jewish apostle. And the Hebrew name for Paul is Sha'ul. Paul or Sha'ûl, an apostle. And the word "apostle", it means "a sent one". So an apostle is a sent one. Apostles in the New Testament, they were groundbreakers, they were sent of the Lord to establish new territories that had not been reached, to lay foundations, biblical foundations in those territories. So the Apostle Paul or Sha'ûl, he would go from city to city preaching the gospel. He would establish churches in those local cities. He would appoint elders there, and then he would move on.

So we read, for example, in the book of Titus, how he told Titus to continue on with the work that he had started, to appoint elders in every city. So, apostles, they're not just pastors. They're not even just preachers. They're groundbreakers. Apostles lay the foundation. So the Apostle Paul said that he was determined not to build on another man's foundation. You could kind of look today at a church planter, somebody that goes, or a missionary that goes to a new area, preaches the gospel there for the first time, starts a local church, establishes leaders in that church, and then moves on. So this is who Paul is, his role. "Paul, an apostle of Christ..." And many of you know that Christ is just the Greek word for the Hebrew Mashiach or Anointed One. And so Christ once again, the New Testament written in Greek, is the equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach.

So Jesus we call Him Yeshua HaMashiach. Many of you have heard that term before. Yeshua, Jesus in Hebrew, "Ha" means "the", "Mashiach", "Anointed One". Yeshua HaMashiach. "So Paul, an apostle of Christ, or an apostle of Mashiach, the Anointed One, by the will of God, Christ Jesus by the will of God". Then he continues on. "To the saints who are at Ephesus, who are faithful in Christ Jesus". He was writing to God's people. "Grace to you..." And I love that Paul begins every one of his letters by blessing God's people. He doesn't begin his letters with a condemnation word. He begins his letters by blessing them, letting God's people everywhere know how fond the Father is of you and I. Paul's letters are not just to Ephesus or any of the other local churches that he ministered to or wrote his letters to. His letters are for the whole church, for you and I today.

That's why the Bible has been preserved. So what Paul wrote to the saints at Ephesus, you and I could receive that same proof today. So notice how he begins. "Grace to you," Paul begins, "and shalom, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". So this is the way God approaches you. Think about this. God does not approach you and I, beloved ones, you know, with fiery wrath. He approaches us with peace. Jesus approached the disciples, he said, "Peace unto you," right? So Paul, once again, "Grace, chesed to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". So let's just take that in for a second. A lot of times we're afraid of God, you know, we're aware of our own sin, of our own failings, so we're almost afraid of God. We're afraid to approach Him. We're afraid of God. But notice what God says. "Grace to you, My child, and peace to you today. I love you".

Let's continue on. Paul continues in verse 3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". Now, I want to draw your attention here to the fact that Paul's addressment is to the Father here. Listen. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ". Listen again, and we'll talk about it. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ". The point that I'm driving towards is that many times in the church, people just focus on Jesus. You know, they just focus on singing songs to Jesus, talking to Jesus, praying to Jesus. And it's like their whole faith is centered on Jesus. But they've left out God the Father.

You see, Jesus is the Way but the Father is the destination. The reason Jesus came, listen, is because the Father sent Him. It all begins and ends with the Father. Right? Even the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life". But do you see it began with God the Father? God the Father's love for you caused Him to send Jesus for you. But a lot of times you and I, we haven't been thankful to the Father. We haven't really understood that it's all coming from the Father. We've made it all about Jesus, and we've eliminated the father. This is in no way minimizing Jesus, it's just restoring the place of the Father.

Remember Yeshua said when you pray, pray in this way: Our Father who art in heaven. So what I'm trying to do, beloved church, is to restore the place of Father God in our hearts. Remember, Jesus is the way to the destination, but He's not the destination. The Father is the destination. Right? Jesus said, I am the way the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through Me. So let's read the verse again and then we'll continue on. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us..." Listen to that word. He has blessed us. It's already done. "...who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ".

Now, this is a word that is not just an anticipation of something in the future but it states a fact that's already happened: That we've been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Now, the reality is, it's a process for us to enter in to the enjoyment of the blessing, right? What are the blessings? Peace, love, power, the enjoyment of fellowship with the Holy Spirit, supernatural joy, the soundness of the mind of Christ. I mean, spiritual blessings, all the things that are of the spirit, love, joy, peace, goodness, all these things of the Spirit, we've been blessed with the very essence of God's presence in our life, the fullness of who He is.

Every spiritual blessing of the heavenly places is ours in Christ. But the reality is to enter into the enjoyment of these blessings, it takes time because it involves dying to the flesh. Like John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease". But know that you've already been blessed. This is why the Scripture says, in Christ we are complete. So now it's just a matter of you and I spending our whole lives crucifying the flesh, sowing to the Spirit so that we can enter into our inheritance in the Spirit. So we've been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Now, the next verse is a conundrum. Because the next verse uses a word that actually leads up to verse five. But we're going to look into a word here, as we get to verse number five, that is going to mess some Christians up. Let's go there. Verse 4, the next verse, "Just as He chose us in Him..." We're blessed with every spiritual blessing of heavenly places. In the same way, listen, that He chose us in Him. "...just as He..." Who is He? He is the Father, right? If you're looking at your Bible with me. "Just as he," this is referring to the Father. "Just as the Father chose us in Him". Who's the Him? Jesus. So the Father chose us in His Son. The Father chose us to be in the Son. All the Father's love is focused on the Son.

See, the Creator is love. God is love. But love has to have an object. I mean, love has to have an object by its very nature. So the Father's love has always been focused on His Son who has always been in His bosom. Now you and I have been chosen in Him in the Son. So that now even as the Father's love, beloved one, is focused on Jesus, now because you're in Jesus, all that love is focused on you. Now, I love what he says next. Why are we chosen in Him before the foundation of the world? This is really important. We're chosen, He chose us in Him... When did He choose us? Before the foundation of the world. And why? That we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.

Now, let's consider this together. You and I, those that know Jesus, those that are, you and I, that are truly in relationship with Him, we are in relationship with Him because God the Father chose us to be in relationship with Him. When? Listen, before you were born. Paul says this choice of you was made before the foundation of the world. I mean, this is a big thing to get our heads wrapped around. So many people today they're looking for identity. Think how much time people spend taking selfies with their phones and then sending their pictures to their friends. What's this all about? It's all about identity. It's all about us wanting to be affirmed in our identity. And the way that we do it, because there's deception going on, is we're looking to the world to affirm us.

So we keep on posting on Facebook, we keep on taking selfies, we keep on looking in the mirror. People are looking for identity and people... The whole world is in a complete identity crisis. That's why we've got this transgender movement going on. People are so confused about their identity. But when you know, beloved, according to the Word of God, who you are, it answers the question of who you are. You are chosen by the Father. You are chosen by the Father in love before you were even born. And the purpose for which you're chosen is that you would be holy before the Father and blameless before Him in love. Let's read the whole verse again. "Just as He", the Father, "chose us in Him", in Messiah, "before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him, in love".

Now what does holy mean? Holy means to be set apart. Holy means to be unique. God Himself, above all else, listen now, is holy. The Hebrew word for holy is kadosh. It carries with it the meaning of being cut out. Like you look at a piece of rock, a big rock and you cut out a piece of it and you separate it from everything else. Holy, once again, is to be unique and to be separated. God, if you think about this, as He has revealed in Scripture, He's revealed as love, right, He's revealed as a compassionate God, He's revealed as all-knowing. All those things are true about God. But there was only two times in the entire Bible where there's a threefold repetition of any of God's attributes that reveal who He is.

In other words, we know that God is love but we never see any word in the Bible that says, God is loving, God is loving, God is loving. We know that God is all-powerful, right? But nowhere in the Bible do we have a record of God being described as all-powerful, all-powerful, all-powerful. There is only one of His attributes that comes with a threefold repetition. And that's in regard to His holiness. We see this first revealed in Isaiah 6. Isaiah has a vision of the Lord, right? Isaiah is caught up into the heavens, he sees God on the throne. Isaiah's response is he falls on the ground like a dead man. And Isaiah says, Woe is me. He said, for I am unclean. I'm surrounded by people of unclean lips. He sees God on the throne. And when he sees God on the throne, he said, There were angels, seraphim around the throne.

Isaiah said, and the seraphim or the seraphim did not stop crying out day and night, listen, kadosh, kadosh, kadosh. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty and the whole earth is full of His glory. So God, above everything else, is holy. He is unique. He is separate. He is unlike every other thing that exists. Think about it. God is the only person that has not been created. He's the Creator. He came from nothing. He's completely different and unique. John, in the book of Revelation 4, had the same exact vision that Isaiah did. John is caught up into the heavens, He sees God on the throne, He sees the seraphim around the throne. And what's going on? The seraphim don't stop crying out day and night what? Kadosh, kadosh. kadosh. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.

So God is above all else separate, completely unique, completely different. What have we been called to be? We are called to be holy before the Lord and love. God has separated us from the world and called us to be holy unto Him, to be unique people, to be a unique son and daughter in the earth. We are different. We're called to be different. Isn't it so unfortunate that so many of God's people, rather than accepting the call that God loves you so much that He chose you in His love before the foundation of the world for the purpose of being separate unto Him, being holy unto Him, being unique unto Him.

This is why Jesus said, If you love the world, the world would love you. But because I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. If you love the world, the world would love you, but I chose you, same word that Paul uses here, out of the world. So as you and I, beloved ones, are trying to figure out who we are, let's stop looking in the mirror all the time thinking that we're going to find our identity by what we look like. You know, the physical appearance, the flesh changes all the time, it withers away and is gone.

Let's not look primarily to other people to know who we are. Because people are fickle. It's always going to change. And they're not a barometer of truth. If we want to know who we are, let's take our identity from the revelation of truth that we have in the Word of God. When you know that the Father loves you with an everlasting love, that you did not first choose Him, but He first chose you. And His choice of you wasn't based on anything that He saw in you that was better than anybody else. He simply, beloved, decided to love you even as a mom loves the infant.

Before that infant even comes out of the womb, it's simply based on the mother's choice to love that infant within her. It's an unconditional love. The mother doesn't know what hair the infant is going to have. You know, times previous, the moms didn't know if it was going to be a boy or a girl, but they loved the child in the womb. It was a matter of choosing to do so. That's how God loves you and me. He chose to put His love upon you, not because of anything that He foresaw you would do in advance. Not even because He foresaw that you would choose Him. Rather He chose you. Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, I chose you".
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