Rabbi Schneider - Predestination and the Bible
Baruch Hashem, beloved ones, bless the name of the Lord. We're in the second season of a series that I'm calling, How Jesus Completes Biblical Judaism. Father God we just ask You for a spirit of wisdom and revelation now, to understand Your word and to understand You and Your nature. In Yeshua's name, amen. I am talking about how the plan of salvation that we see revealed in the Hebrew Bible that we call the Tanakh, which is often referred to as the Old Testament, is identical to what we find in the New Testament. How were people saved in the Hebrew Bible? Beloved, they were saved through God's sovereign choice of them and because God chose an individual, He then gave them faith. That's how Israel got saved. Israel as a nation was chosen out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, according to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse 6 and 7. God didn't choose them because they were great, but because God loved them. In the same way today, individuals come to know God because of His sovereign choice.
In the book of Romans chapter 9 Paul is asking this question. He said, "If Israel is God's chosen people and if Yeshua, Jesus, is the Messiah, why are so many within Israel not believing? Has the Word of God failed"? Paul actually asked that question. "Has the Word of God failed"? Listen again, "If Israel is God's chosen people," we know that Israel is God's chosen people. They were chosen, we're gonna find out, to bring the revelation of God to the world. They were not chosen in a sense that every individual Jew was chosen to walk with God, because we read through Israel's history many Jews didn't walk with God. But they were chosen as a nation to be the couriers to bring the revelation of salvation to the world. The prophets were Jewish, the scriptures came through the Hebrew people and ultimately Messiah Himself came to us through Israel. So the nation of Israel was chosen, but not every individual Jew in Israel was chosen. This is why God said to Elijah, "I've reserved seven thousand for Myself that have not bowed to knee of Baal".
So listen once again. We're in Romans chapter 9. Paul is asking the question. Israel's God's chosen people, Jesus is the Messiah, but so many within Israel are not believing. Paul asked, "Has the Word of God failed? If Israel is God's chosen people and Yeshua is the Messiah and so many within Israel are not believing". Has something gone wrong? Has God's plan failed? And Paul answers the question, "Absolutely not". And the way, beloved one, that he answers the question is by showing us that not everybody born into the nation of Israel was chosen to know God.
Now I know at this point things are really beginning to feel a bit controversial. It's beginning to be a bit, "What is he saying here" for some. So I want to ask you if you would, please just to hear me out and to be patient, because I'm just gonna be sharing with you, beloved ones, the Word of God. And I know that there's balance to what I'm gonna teach you today and I'm gonna try to bring balance to it. But what I'm sharing with you is really important, because when you understand the truth of what I'm gonna share with you, it will really solidify you in your walk with God. So once again, Paul is gonna answer the question. Listen, God's Word has not failed. Although many within Israel have not believed, Romans chapter 9, it's not as though the Word of God has failed. And Paul shows us this now by quoting to us some truths from this history of the Bible. Let's begin.
Romans chapter 9 today and I want to begin reading in verse number 10. Paul says this, "And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac". So Rebekah the Jewess is pregnant. There's twins in her womb, okay? Verse number 11, "For though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice," some translations read election, that's His choice, "according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger'. Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated'". Now that does not sound fair. The twins were not yet born. Neither had done anything either good or bad.
Now some people because they don't like what Paul is saying here and it doesn't make sense to them and it's not easy to receive and it makes God seem unfair to them, they think "How could this be"? They say to themselves, "Well even though the twins had not yet done anything good or bad, God knew what they were gonna do and so God made the decision, because He knew what they were gonna do". But beloved ones, Paul is trying to make the exact opposite point. Paul is trying to make us understand that God is making a determination about who He's gonna bring to Himself and it has nothing to do with either Jacob or Esau. It has nothing to do with their works. It has nothing to do with anything within them. It's based, Paul said, on God's sovereign choice. That election might stand.
So listen once again. "For though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls". I'm saying, if you're open, isn't it plain what Paul is saying here? He's saying that God is gonna make a determination about these two in the womb. "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. The elder shall serve the younger". And God's determination of choosing the one and not the other has nothing to do with anything within Jacob, or anything to do with what's in Esau. It's based only in God's prerogative to choose who He wants to, because He's God.
In the same way that God said in Deuteronomy 6 and 7, "Israel I've chosen you to be a people for Myself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth". God chose them out of all the peoples. He made a distinction. He didn't treat everybody the same. He chose Israel out of all the world. And then He said, "And it wasn't because you were great. You were the fewest. I did it because I love you". So I want you to grab this, because when you understand that you love Jesus because God first loved you and that the reason that you have faith is because He gave it to you as a gift. It's the gift of God. If you'll tune into my broadcast last week, I taught on that subject. It will make you rejoice exceedingly and you'll know who you are. You'll know your identity and you'll know your destiny, when you realize as Jesus taught in John 15:16, we did not choose Him, but He chose us.
Let's continue on. "So though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls. It was said to her, 'The older will serve the younger.' Just as it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated'". Now that doesn't sound fair. What I'm teaching doesn't sound fair. And the reason you can be assured that what I'm saying and teaching is the correct way to interpret this, is because Paul knows that we won't like this revelation. So what's the very next thing Paul says? "What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be"!
In other words beloved, what I'm teaching is that God does not treat everybody the same. He doesn't have to, He's God. I'm teaching that plainly and clearly, because it's exactly what the scripture says. But people don't like hearing this, because they want to bring God down to their own morality. They think God needs to be fair in the same way that humanity's fair. But beloved, God's ways are above our ways. His thoughts are above our thoughts. God is fair and the way to understand that is, He didn't have to choose anybody. No one deserved to be chosen. The Bible says, remember we looked last week at Ephesians, "we too, those that believe were by nature children of wrath," Ephesians chapter 2, "indulging in the lust of the flesh and of the mind, being led by the course of this world".
God didn't have to save us. If God would have not saved anybody, if He would have destroyed the whole world just like He did during the time of Noah, without saving a soul, God would have been just. No one had a claim on Him. No one deserved anything. So if God wanted to show mercy to a few when no one was deserving of His mercy, does that make God guilty and unfair because He showed mercy to a few when He didn't need to show mercy to anybody?
What if I walked out my building right now and I just walked across the street and I went into a, knocked on a door. There's a bunch of homes on this street. I knocked on a door. The person came to the door and I gave them a hundred dollars. And that person was stunned. They said, "Well what's this for"? And I said, "Well I just felt like I wanted to do this for you. I just wanted to bless ya. Here's a hundred dollars". Would I be guilty for not going to the other 55 homes on the street and giving them a hundred dollars too? No I wouldn't be guilty, because none of them deserved a hundred dollars. The one I gave a hundred dollars to didn't deserve it. I just out of my own free will wanted to be merciful to that one and to bless that one. It didn't make me guilty for not doing the same for all the other homes on the street, because none of them deserved a thing.
In the same way God, beloved, out of a world that was walking away from Him. "We too," the Bible says, "were by nature children of wrath even as the rest". We weren't seeking God. The scripture says, "No one seeks God. No not one". We read in the Gospels that someone came to Jesus and said, "Good teacher". Jesus said, "Why do you call Me good? Only God is good". When Isaiah saw the Lord he fell on his face as a dead man and he said, "Woe is me for I'm a man from unclean lips. I'm surrounded by an unclean people. The whole world is filthy". So if God wants to take out of the world a few people and reconcile them to Himself, God's not guilty for doing that. God has not rejected people that come to Him. God saves everybody that comes to Him. God doesn't turn anybody away. The problem is no one comes to Him unless God brings them to Himself. It's a gift.
Let's continue on. So what I'm sharing, it doesn't fit the world's framework of being fair, but it fits the way God is able to be fair. The reason that you can be assured that what I'm explaining is true, beloved, the way I'm explaining it, is because Paul tells us how people will react. And the way that people will react, Paul says, is exactly the way perhaps some of you are reacting. So Paul says in the very next verse, He says, "What shall we say then"? Paul asked a question, because he knows, I'm in verse number 14, he knows what he is saying doesn't seem fair to humankind. Humankind says God has to treat everybody the same way. Paul knows that when he explains to people, they'll say "That's not fair". So what does Paul say? "What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there"? In other words, he knows people are gonna say, "Is God unjust? That seems unjust. Is this an unjust God that we believe in"? Paul says, "What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be"!
Now notice, beloved one, the next verse. "For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion'". In other words, God can show mercy to who He wants to. Just like I gave the analogy of my walking out of my building, 55 homes on the street, I haven't done a thing for any of them. None of them have done a thing for me. No one owes me anything. I don't owe anybody anything, but I just decide, "You know what? I want to go bless somebody on that street". I walk up to one of the homes, again, knock on the door. They come to the door. I give them a hundred dollar bill. They say, "Wow, what's this for"? I say, "Nothing, I just wanted to bless you". I turn around and walk away. They're like, "Wow". I'm not guilty for not giving the other 54 homes a hundred dollar bill. That was an incredible thing I gave the one a hundred dollar bill.
So once again God says, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion". So then it does not depend on the man who wills or on the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. Once again, it doesn't depend on who we are or what we do, but it depends on God that has mercy. Now a lot of people hear what I'm teaching and they just won't let them self receive it. They want to bring it back to themselves. The reason that God would be merciful to one and not another they reason, is because something about the person. God foreknew the person was gonna choose Him. God foreknew the person, that's exactly the opposite of what Paul is saying. Paul just got done saying here, "It does not depend on the man who wills or on the man who runs, but it depends on God who shows mercy".
It's the same thing, beloved, we looked at in the book of Ephesians chapter 2, "That we also were by nature," all those that are born again and believe, "That we also were by nature children of wrath even as the rest". "We were dead," Paul said, "in our transgressions and sins". What was the difference? Paul says in verse number 4 of Ephesians 2, "But God," that's the difference. Not who we were, but God. "Because of the great love with which He loved us made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved through faith and the faith is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God that no one should boast". Do you see the commonality? Do you see, church, the similarity? Will you receive the Word of God today? Throw out your own understanding. Throw out your own limitations. God's ways are not your ways. The Word of God is clearly revealed and I'll continue, beloved, by the grace of God to show it to you today. I hope that you'll be able to receive it.
Now what many people argue is that, "Well God chose some, because the scripture definitely speaks about God choosing". For example I read in, a few weeks back, in Ephesians chapter 1 verse number 4 that God chose us. The exact word, "God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world". Peter writes, "To those that are chosen". So there's no question that the word chosen is used in the Bible, as is the word predestined used in the Bible. "God predestined us," we read in the book of Ephesians chapter 1, "to Himself". We read in the book of Romans chapter 8, "Whom He chose He also did predestine to Himself". People say, "Okay I see it in the Bible. I can't deny the word chosen is in the Bible". Let's actually, let me just show you once again very quickly. Just so you'll see it, I'm gonna put it up on the screen, because I know that what I'm teaching is new for some of you.
Look at verse number 4 of Ephesians 1. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love". Verse number 5, "He predestined us to adoption". He chose us and because He chose us to be His, to be before Him holy and loved and blameless. "Because He chose us," verse 5, "He predestined us to adoption". So right off the bat let me say, no one can argue with the concept of being chosen or with the concept of being predestined, because if you're gonna argue that there's no such thing as being chosen or there's no such thing as being predestined, well you might as well just throw out the Bible; because it's in the Bible.
Let's go to the book of Romans chapter 8. I'm gonna show you the same concept. Romans chapter number 8. The grass withers the flowers fade, hallelujah, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. Look in verse number 29. "For those who He foreknew He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son". Now what does it mean, "Those who He foreknew". Paul doesn't say there that He foreknew what you were gonna do and because He foreknew that you were gonna choose Him, He predestined you. That's exactly the opposite of what Paul is saying. Paul is saying He fore loved you, he foreknew you as He said in the book of Ephesians, "You were chosen before the foundation of the world". Because you were chosen before the foundation of the world, Ephesians chapter 1 verse 4, "God predestined you to Himself".
Do you get it beloved? His choice of you was not dependent on you. He did not choose you, because He saw that you were gonna choose Him. Let me say it again. He did not choose His people. He did not choose you beloved, or I, or any other believer, because He saw that we would choose Him. That would make His choice of us dependent on our choice of Him. But Paul just went out of his way to say it did not depend on the man that wills or the man that runs, but on God who shows mercy, He shows mercy to whom He wants to show mercy to. Before the twins were born neither having done anything either good or bad in order that God's purpose, according to His choice might stand. He did not choose you and I and as a result of that, predestined us to Himself, because He saw that we were gonna choose Him.
When the scripture said in Romans 8:29, "Whom He foreknew He also did predestine to Himself". It means that God chose us before the foundation of the world and because we were chosen, beloved, in Him before we were born; just like Jeremiah was chosen in his mother's womb, because we were chosen, beloved, He brought us to Himself. Jesus hits this head on in John 15:16. He says to His followers, He said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you". You are chosen by God. Why would any of us want to resist that? To know beloved, that you were specifically, personally chosen by your Creator to be His, before the foundation of the world, to be in relationship with Him. To be holy and blameless and loved before Him, beloved why would you not want to receive that? God loves you. He's always loved you. He'll never love you anymore, beloved ones, then He does right now. This is Rabbi Schneider saying, I love you. Baruch Hashem and shalom.