Rabbi Schneider - Did God Choose You?
I want to first of all before I get into the content today, just speak for a moment about the title of the series. Once again, this is season two of How Jesus Completes Biblical Judaism. Just a couple nuances that I think would be good for you to be aware of; Number one, the Judaism that is practiced today amongst the Jewish people obviously that are practicing Judaism on the planet, is known as Rabbinic Judaism. When the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. Judaism could know longer be practiced in a large measure the way the Torah prescribed it. And the reason is, is that when the temple was destroyed, no longer could sacrifices be offered and so much of Biblical Judaism had to do with sacrifices that were being offered in the temple. And the sacrifices were largely being offered, because through the offering of sacrifice blood was being shed.
You see the Lord said in the Torah, in the book of Leviticus chapter 17 verse 11, "That the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I've given it to you on the altar," sayeth the Lord, "to make an atonement for your soul; for it's the blood by reason of it's life that makes atonement". And so continually we had a temple that was standing in Jerusalem, there was a priesthood that offered up sacrifices in the temple and when innocent animals were being put to death and the blood was being shed as a symbol of the fact that the life had been given, that was the means by which mankind could stay in relationship with the Holy God. In other words, the blood sacrifices through the animals being put to death, the blood represented atonement. "The life of the flesh is in the blood and I've given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your soul".
Even as far back as the Passover, when the Jewish people were delivered out of Egypt. What were they required to do? To take the blood of a lamb, put it over their doorpost of their home, go inside the home and when the Angel of Death, the Angel of Judgment moved through the land, everyone that was in a home that was covered by the blood was spared. And so to practice what I'm calling Biblical Judaism, sacrifices would need to be offered, a primary temple in Jerusalem would need to be standing, there would need to be a priesthood in place that was offering these sacrifices. None of those three pillars exist in the Jewish world today. There is no temple. There are no sacrifices and there is no priesthood. And so the Judaism of the scriptures in large measure, beloved ones, can no longer be practiced.
There was a council that took place of Jewish leaders in approximately the year 90 A.D., which is often times referred to as the Council of Yavneh. The Jewish leaders got together and what they addressed was this, because we no longer have a temple and can no longer offer up sacrifices, what can we do to hold our people together? And as a result of that conference, what was launched is what is known today as Rabbinic Judaism. Now liturgy and other types of religious ceremonial things have replaced the temple, the priesthood and the sacrifices.
So when I'm calling this series, How Jesus Completes Biblical Judaism, I'm not talking about Jesus' relation to Rabbinical Judaism, which is a modern invention that Jewish leaders invented, once again, because they could no longer practice many of the things that the Torah prescribed. So what I'm doing, is not talking about Jesus relationship to Rabbinic Judaism, because that to me is not largely relevant. What I'm trying to do, is show you how Jesus completes Biblical Judaism. I'm going back, beloved, to the Torah and the written Word of God, showing how Yeshua Hamashiach, the prophesied Jewish Messiah, completes the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. So with that said, I'm moving forward today. We have been talking, as we're breaching now into new subject, we are talking about the plan of salvation.
Again, I spoke on this on last week's episode. And what I shared last week was, was the plan of salvation different in the Hebrew Bible, in the Old Testament, than it is in the New Testament? Were Jewish people saved in a different way back then during Old Testament times, were Jewish people saved back then in a different way than people are saved today? That's the question we're addressing. And I began answering that question last week by going back to the life of Abraham. Abraham is called the father of all believers, right? He's also the father of Judaism, when we speak fo the Jewish patriarchs we speak of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It all starts with Abraham. The New Testament refers to Abraham, once again, as the father of all those that believe. The New Testament also says that, "The blessing of Abraham has come upon everybody that's a believer in Yeshua today". God said to Abraham, "Abram for your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed".
Listen to that again. God said to Abram, who's name was changed to Abram, "Abraham through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed". Through Abraham's seed the whole world would be blessed. The New Testament identifies that seed as Yeshua Himself. Through Yeshua, who's the seed of Abraham, all the world can be saved, all the world can be blessed. And so with that concept in mind, with Abraham as our starting point, looking at the plan of salvation, asking ourselves, were people saved in the Old Testament, the Tanakh, in a different way than they are in the New Testament? I began answering that last week and I said, "Absolutely not". And I began to show last week how Abram was saved through faith. Abraham left where he was living with his parents who were idol worshipers. He left them to follow God into the Promised Land.
Now listen to this, how was it that Abraham, or Abram gained the faith to leave where he was? We read about it in Genesis chapter number 12. God told him, "Listen pick up, leave where you're at and follow me and I'm gonna greatly bless you. I'm gonna make your name great". We find the same phenomenon in the book of Bereshit, Genesis 17. God appears to Abram once again, affirms the covenant with him. How did Abraham get the faith to follow God and enter in to the promised blessing? Abraham was able to do that, listen now, because he received faith. In other words, if Abraham didn't have faith he would not have left where he was to follow the Lord into a place he didn't even know where he was going. If Abram didn't have faith he wouldn't have been able to follow the Lord through the unknown. Abram was able to do it, because he had faith.
But the question is, where did his faith come from? Did Abram's faith originate from his own vessel? Did Abram's faith come because he meditated hard enough? Did Abram's revelation of the Creator come to him, because Abraham was so focused on God? No, he was an idol worshiper. Abram's faith, listen church, came to him as a gift from the Creator, just as it is with you. Faith is the gift of God. In Genesis 17 for example, we read that Abram was sitting there and all of a sudden the Lord spoke to him. Let me read it for you quickly. Genesis 17 verse 1, "Now when Abram was nienty-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am God Almighty'". Same thing we read earlier in the book of Bereshit, in Genesis chapter 12 verse 1. "Now the Lord said to Abram". Abram heard God's voice and Abram, listen church, had an experience where the Lord literally appeared to him in His glory.
So of course when you hear the voice of God audibly and clearly in your spirit and in your presence and when God appears to you in glory, you're gonna have faith. God is so big that when He shows up, beloved, all doubt, all darkness disappears. All doubt flees in His presence. All darkness disappears totally when the light of God appears. And that's what happened to Abraham. Just like in a room, the room could be in total darkness, but when you switch the light bulb on, all the darkness disappears. Abraham was able to follow God and become the father of all believers, because he had faith and his faith beloved, was the gift of God. Now think about this, not everybody had faith, but Abraham received faith, because God sovereignly chose to give it to him. The Bible teaches the same thing about you and I today.
I'm going to the book of Ephesians with you today to show how the Old and New Testaments, the Hebrew Bible and the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament, fit together as a hand in a glove and that the plan of salvation is the same in both. It begins with faith and faith is the gift of God. I'm gonna read Ephesians chapter 2, beginning in verse number 1. Hear the Word of God. "And you were dead". Now Paul is speaking to believers here. He's speaking to you and I that believe. Paul says this, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them," listen, "we too". We just like people that don't believe. "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging in the desires of our flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest".
In other words Paul's saying, "We're not different than anybody else". Before Jesus came to us, before God revealed Him to us, we were dead in our transgressions and sins. We were spiritually dead. We were living in darkness. There was nothing about us that separated us from anybody else in terms of our make up. Paul said, "We were by nature children of wrath," get it now church, "even as the rest". It wasn't that there was something different in us. But listen, the difference was in God. Verse 4, "But God". Say it with me. "But God". The difference wasn't in you and I. We were, "by nature children of wrath, even as the rest". What was the difference? Verse 4, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins, made us alive together with Christ by grace you've been saved" now listen, "and raised up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus".
And then Paul goes on to say that this grace that we received, in verse number 8, "For by grace you have been saved," listen now, "through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God". I want you to think about this with me church. We really have to get the American mindset out of our head. You see we think that in order for God to be just He has to treat everybody the same way, but God has never treated everybody the same way. He has compassion on who He wants to have compassion on and He hardens whom He hardens. God sovereignly chose you and I out of this world, beloved ones, and saved us by grace through faith; Even as beloved, He sovereigly chose Israel out of all the people that are on the face of the earth and revealed Himself to them beginning with Abraham.
Abram, again, he didn't know God. He had no faith. He was spiritually dead, but God spoke to him. God appeared to him. This caused faith to birth in Abram. As a result, Abram followed God and even offered up his own son. But listen, his faith was the gift of the Creator. God appeared to him. God spoke to him. Faith was given to him. As a result of the faith that was given to him he was able to follow the Lord and obey. The same is true today. Those of us that believe, believe because we have faith. Did everybody in the world believe at the time of Abram? No, because they didn't all receive the same revelation that Abram received. Beloved, listen what God said once again. I read this last week, but I want to read it again.
The book of Devarim, Deuteronomy, chapter 7 verse 6 and 7. The Lord is speaking here to Israel. "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen," there's that word chosen, "The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession". Listen to this next phrase, "out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth". Notice once again, God did not choose everybody, but God chose Israel out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. Then notice the next verse. "The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all the peoples". In other words, the Lord was saying, "I did not choose you because of who you are, but I chose you simply because I desired to place My love on you".
In the same way that we just got done reading beloved from the book of Ephesians, that we too were just like everybody else, even as Israel was not different in and of themselves. There was nothing spectacular about them. There was nothing special about them that resided within them being different. God said, "You were the fewest of the people". Remember God again said they were a stubborn people, an obstinate people. Jesus said, "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not stone"? Moses before he died again said, "You're a stubborn people. You're gonna forsake the Lord". So God did not choose them or set His love upon Israel, because there was something better in them. But God simply did it beloved, out of the prerogative of His own heart; Even as a mother loves the child that comes out of her womb, not because there's something different in the child, but simply because the mother's affection chooses to love her baby.
Here's what I'm saying beloved ones, those of us that have come to Jesus have come to Jesus for the same reason that Abraham followed God and for the same reason that Israel was chosen. We have come to Jesus, because God chose us to do so. Jesus said in John chapter 15 verse 16, "You did not choose me, but I chose you". Listen, I want to go back again, because we were in the book of Ephesians and I was showing you in the book of Ephesians how we were by nature children of wrath, before we knew the Lord, even as the rest. We were living after the lust of our flesh and of the mind. We were dead in our transgressions and sins. We didn't know God. We were alien to the things of God. But the scriptures is what made a difference, remember we read in verse number 4 of Ephesians 2, was God. You were dead in your transgressions and sins, but God being rich in mercy because of his great love with which he loved us made us alive.
So the difference was not us. It wasn't that we chose God. The difference was God and why did this happen? Listen as I read now from the book of Ephesians chapter number 1, beginning in verse number 3. "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, just as", listen now, verse 4, "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love. He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself". Did you notice the word chose there? Listen again to verse number 4. "God blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places". Verse 4, "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world". What did God say to Israel? "I chose you to be a people for Myself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth". Get it through your head.
Church let's get it through our heads. Father chose us in Jesus and that's why we believe. That's why Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you". That's why Jesus said, "No one comes to Me unless the Father draws them. All the Father gives Me shall come to thee". We're gonna study this from John 6 next week. Beloved ones, when you know that you're chosen, when you know that you believe, because God gave you the gift of faith even as Abraham believed, because God supernaturally gave him the gift of faith; When you know you were chosen before the foundation of the world, that you were foreknown and fore loved and God's decision to choose you was not based on anything that He saw in you. It wasn't because you chose Him, it was because He chose you. When you know that, you're gonna know who you are. It will be easy for you to live in this world for Jesus, because you're gonna know that's what you're destined for, that's what you were born for.
God said, "I chose you before the foundation of the world". When you know you're chosen your faith won't be rocked. You won't become dismantled when you're surrounded by unbelievers, when you're surrounded with people that have all these atheistic arguments. You'll not be dissuaded by any of those things. You'll have joy in you, because you'll know beloved ones, that you believe because you're chosen. And because you're chosen you're anchored in eternity. Beloved, when you know this, it's gonna strengthen you. Don't reject it. Receive it. I love you. Jesus loves you. Father loves you. Listen, He's got a special gift that's coming to you. Stay tuned for next weeks broadcast. God's gonna anchor you in the rock of eternity.