Rabbi Schneider - Old Testament, New Testament: One God
We are beginning a brand new series today entitled: Discovering How the Old and New Testaments Connect. You know many of us deep down were confused, because we tend to associate the God of the Old Testament as being a harsh law giver. He seemed, we sometimes feel to mercilessly punish people for their sin. We think about the way that he did bring judgment at times and it causes us to wonder is, was he a God of grace in the Old Testament? And then we begin to look at the New Testament and we see how Yeshua, how Jesus forgives everybody, and it seems to some of us, this God of the Old Testament seems to be a different God than the God that's revealed to us in the New Testament.
We feel that the Old Testament God seems to be a God of law and judgment, and the New Testament God seems to be a God of grace and forgiveness, and it seems to many of us that this is two different God's with two different personalities. But I know that by studying this subject with me; over the course of the next several weeks, you're gonna come to appreciate beloved, how the God of the Old Testament is the same God that we see revealed to us in the person of Jesus. And you're also gonna come to understand Yadid, beloved ones, how the Old and New Testaments fit together like a hand in a glove.
Now the place to begin is to consider how did Jesus, how did Yeshua relate to the Old Testament? What was his attitude about the Old Testament, because this is the foundation for everything? And many of us know as we ask our self that question that the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament was Jesus' Bible. In Hebrew it's actually referred to, not as the Old Testament, Jewish people don't call it the Old Testament, they call it the Tanakh. The "T" in the word Tanakh, the "T" sound stands for Torah, and the Torah is the first five books of the Old Testament. We find in the Torah, not only the law that was given to Moses, but we also find in the Torah, the story of creation, the story of Abraham, and other self revelation as to who God is.
So when we're speaking about the Torah beloved, we're not just speaking about the law; we're speaking about many things, and you know that Yeshua, related to the Torah in such a way that not only did he use it to teach, but he even used it when he was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan, in Matthew chapter 4. We know the story, Yeshua was in the desert being tempted by the devil and the devil would come. And how did Jesus defeat the devil? Well Matthew 4 tells us, he kept on saying to Satan, it is written, and then he would quote from the Torah, he would quote from the Book of Deuteronomy.
So Yeshua actually exercised spiritual authority that subdued powers of darkness underneath his feet by quoting beloved, from the Torah. And of course it needs not being, it needs not having to be said that if it was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for you and I as well. If he was able beloved, to be strengthened in truth through the Torah in such a way that he used it as a sword to chop Satan's legs off; that tells me that by knowing the Torah, I also can use the truth found therein to chop Satan's legs off and his power in my own life, praise God. So Yeshua beloved, related to the Hebrew Bible, he related to what we call the Old Testament in several ways, number one: he related to it as a teaching document. In other words he taught from it. Often times when he was with his disciples and he was teaching, teaching them about kingdom truth, what did he say? It is written. And what did he do? He would quote from the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament.
So Yeshua used it to teach about the kingdom of God. And remember, Yeshua said in Matthew 5, he said: Everyone that forsakes the law and the prophets shall be called least in the kingdom of God. But he said he that teaches others how to live out of the abundance of truth in the law and the prophets, he said will be called greatest in the kingdom of God. So not only did Yeshua use the law and the prophets, not only did he use the Hebrew Bible to teach from himself, but he also said that those of us that know how to teach truth about the kingdom from the Hebrew Bible will be called greatest in the kingdom of God. In fact if you think about it, the first verse in the New Testament, Matthew chapter 1 verse 1 begins by saying this: This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, get this now, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Listen again, Matthew chapter 1 verse 1, the first verse in the New Testament begins by building a bridge from the New Testament, back all the way to the Book of Genesis. This is the genealogy, Matthew 1:1, of Jesus Christ, the son of David, here we go, the son of Abraham; linking the New Testament back to the first book in the Torah. And so Jesus then, he, he lived his life out of the Torah, he taught with it, he defeated powers of darkness with it, and he said that as we also learn how to live by the truth in the Torah, and teach others from it; we'd be called greatest in the kingdom of God. One of my favorite Scriptures is Matthew chapter 13 verse 52. In that section of Scripture, here's what Yeshua said. He said every scribe, and a scribe was somebody that copied down the Torah, they were a student of God's Word, so a scribe was someone that knew the Old Testament like the back of his hand.
Yeshua said in Matthew 13:52: Every scribe that becomes a disciple of mine becomes a follower of Jesus; Jesus said would become like the owner of a mansion, and out of his mansion he has and brings forth treasures both old and new. So Jesus is saying in a mansion there's treasures. You have treasures that are old- things like antiques and you have treasures that are new- contemporary things. He said a scribe that becomes a follower of mine will be able to bring forth from his mansion, treasures old and new. And of course the teaching is this: that as you and I learn from God's Word as found in the Hebrew Bible, we're gonna be like that owner of a large house; we're gonna be able to bring forth truth beloved, treasures that are gonna strengthen our heart and be used as well to bless others, both old and new.
So I hope that you're really starting to understand how important it is to study the Hebrew Bible, and probably some of you are a little bit convicted right now, because you know in your own life, it's been neglected. Now let me say this: I have found in my own study of the Hebrew Bible that you need to, you need to focus beloved on the general prophetic realities. You're looking for the general prophetic principles that point to Yeshua and teach us how to follow him as we're being led by the Spirit. So let me just give you an example of what I mean; how do I study the Torah, how do I study the Hebrew Bible? I'm not interested beloved, listen now, in getting bogged down with all types of details. What I'm looking for is what is the spiritual principle that I see here that is applicable to my life today that will help me today follow the Spirit's leading as I follow Yeshua?
So as an example, we read in the Book of Numbers called in B Midbar, it's called B Midbar in Hebrew. Numbers in Hebrew is called B Midbar. We read there in the 9th through the 11th chapter that when the tabernacle was built, immediately the Spirit of God came over it, and the Spirit of God rested over the mishkan or the tabernacle, as a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. And the Scriptures tell us there in Numbers 9 through 11, that as long as the fire and the cloud hovered over the tabernacle in a specific geographical location; the children of Israel would stay camped in that physical geographical location as long as the fire and the glory cloud stayed in that spot. But then whenever the fire and the cloud lifted, the children of Israel would immediately pick up tent, they'd pick up camp and they'd begin to follow the pillar of fire and the cloud wherever it moved to.
So the tabernacle beloved, was following the fire and the cloud for forty years in the wilderness. And the Scripture tells us that the children of Israel never knew how long, when the fire and the cloud stopped, that it would remain in one place. Sometimes it remained in the same place two days, sometimes two months, sometimes two years; they never knew how long they would be in any specific geographical location. But they knew this, that when it lifted, they had to move out and follow. So when I say that I study the Torah, looking for the prophetic spiritual applications for my life today; how then do I translate that into the story that I just told you concerning the fire and the cloud?
Well beloved, here is what I do: I say to myself, now the fire in the cloud that was a manifestation of the Ruach Kadesh, the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that lives in me as a believer and that lives in you if you're a born-again believer; that same Spirit that lives in us was the Spirit beloved, that manifested above the tabernacle as a fire in a cloud. So if we see how the fire in the cloud trained the children of Israel to follow the Spirit, because the fire in the cloud was a manifestation of the Spirit, then we can better understand how we're to be led by the Spirit today, and here are some of the prophetic principles that I learned from that and I'm just teaching you how to study the Torah prophetically.
What we learned beloved, is this: first of all that, that the fire in the cloud beloved, was not something that the children of Israel could simply put in a box. In other words, they, they couldn't just put down a mailbox and say okay Holy Spirit, I'm gonna stay in this location for nine months and in nine months, I'd like to move again. No, they had no control. See, the New Testament tells us regarding the same principle, listen very carefully now, that the Spirit blows where it wishes. Remember Yeshua talked about this in the Gospel of John? The Spirit blows where it wishes, and we don't know where it's coming from, or where it's going, and so it is with everyone that's born of the Spirit.
Isn't that what happened in the wilderness? The children of Israel didn't know when the cloud or the fire was gonna life, they didn't know where it was gonna go; all they knew is when it lifted, they had to follow. So what are the principles, number one, think about it. If, if somebody, if, if one of the families in Israel said you know what, I'm kind of tired of this spot? You know I don't like the scenery here, it's too hot in this spot, I'm, I'd like to move on. If they would have picked up their family and moved on, and the pillar of fire, and they cloud didn't go before em, if the pillar of fire and cloud hadn't moved on first, if they would have moved on, you know what of happened to em? That family beloved, would have died in the desert wilderness, because they would have been outside of the provision of God, because they would have been in their own flesh and in their own strength, and there's no provision there.
On the other hand beloved, think of what would have happened if the fire did lift, and the cloud did lift, and it began to move, and there was another Israelite family that said you know what, I don't really feel like moving. I've got comfortable here. I've learned to like it right where we're at, I've built myself a family in this place; I'm not going anywhere. Guess what? If the fire moved, and the cloud moved, and that family said you know what? I'm not moving. They would have also died in the wilderness. And so you see the prophetic teaching is that if we're gonna be led by the Spirit of God; we need to be settled in one place, not in our external circumstances, but internally as well. It means that we need to learn how to beloved, just be still before God until God is leading us.
We need to learn how to cultivate beloved, just setting, just being still before the Lord; just as the Israelites set and were still in one geographical location until the fire lifted. You see the truths that we see revealed in the Hebrew Bible in the material world have spiritual application. In other words, the children of Israel were, were commanded to drive out the Hittites, the Amorites, the Jashubites into slaughter and to kill em. Well listen: we're not commanded today to go kill people, because our fight is not against flesh and blood, but it does mean we need to be ruthless against spiritual forces. So do you, are you getting the feel of this? I'm trying to teach you how we study the Torah. We don't get bogged down in legalism, we don't get bogged down in manushya, we look for the spiritual application.
You know, thinking once again about the fire and the cloud: if the fire lifted and the cloud lifted, and the children of Israel once again; they had to move. It wasn't a question of whether they wanted to move or whether they liked where they were at; if they wanted to grow in God, if they wanted to move toward the promise land, if the wanted to fulfill their destiny; when the fire moved and the cloud moved, they had to move. But let me ask: how many of you are stuck in a rut in your spiritual life, because you've always done it the same way before? How many churches have died, because they refused to move on and to yield to the Spirit of God as the Spirit of God beloved, began to move in the church? In other words, no, we're not gonna allow any other instruments, because of the fact that we've only allowed an organ here for all these years. Excuse me for one second.
So beloved, we need, we need to study God's truth in the Hebrew Bible looking for the prophetic application today. Now Yeshua wasn't born with a microchip in his head that, that he automatically had the Hebrew Bible programmed into him. In other words, he wasn't born beloved, with the Hebrew Bible memorized, but rather he grew in his understanding of it. I'm reading from the Book of Deuteronomy now, chapter 6 verse number 6 and 7. The Lord is commanding the fathers of the Israelite families to teach their children the Torah. So the Lord says, Deuteronomy, its called Devarim in Hebrew, chapter 6 verse 6 and 7: And these words which I'm commanding you today shall be on your heart, and you shall teach them diligently to your sons, and talk about these truths and these laws in my word when you're journeying on the road, and walking by the way, all through life.
So you see Yeshua wasn't born with a microchip in his head having instantly you know, memorize the Hebrew Bible from, from birth, but rather beloved, he was taught it by his father. And listen to this, the Scripture says that he grew in his comprehension and his understanding of it. The Bible tells us that when Yeshua's parents, in the Book of Luke chapter 2, took him to Jerusalem every year for Passover, which by the way as a side note, tells us that Yeshua's parents were religious Jews, they were observant Jews, because every year they took him to Jerusalem for Passover. Some families only went like once in a lifetime, but Yeshua's parents took him every year, they were practicing Jews.
And the Bible tells us in Luke 2 that when they took him to Jerusalem on once specific Passover, and, and then they began to leave, the parents left. And after journeying for a while, they noticed that, that Jesus wasn't with them. And this was not uncommon in those days, there was not, not nearly the type of crime that we have in society today, and families all kind of pitched together in helping raise the children, and so it wasn't unusual for the kids to be kind of lagging behind a little bit, and the parents could be ahead. But, but after a little while, Yeshua's parents started looking around: where, where is Yeshua? And, and they, they, he wasn't there, so the parents went back. They had to go turn around, go back to Jerusalem and they found Jesus beloved ones, in the temple talking to the religious leaders. And the Scriptures say the religious leaders were amazed at his understanding of God's Word.
And what Luke tells us there in Luke chapter 2 verse 41 through 52, listen to this, I want you to get this, is that Yeshua, that Jesus, listen now, continued to grow in stature with both God and man. In other words beloved, Jesus' understanding of the Bible grew as he aged, just like is the case for you and for I. And so we began today by saying that we have to come to a place of harmony in our thinking about the Word of God by understanding beloved, that the God of the Hebrew Bible is the same God that's revealed in the New Testament. Remember Yeshua said if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. Secondly today, we've talked about Yeshua's relationship to the Hebrew Bible. That not only did he defeat the devil with it in the wilderness in Matthew 4, not only did he teach his disciples from it, but he also told us as his disciples, that as you and I learn God's truth through the Hebrew Bible, we would be called greatest in the kingdom of God.
The Bible says he that teaches others how to live by the principles, and the truths, and the law, and the prophets: Matthew chapter 5 will become greatest in the kingdom of God. It's a great honor to be able to teach ancient truths from the Torah and from the rest beloved, of the Hebrew Bible. You know Yeshua said in John 4:22 to the woman of Samaria. You all know the story about the woman of Samaria, she was not considered Jewish, she was considered a half-breed. They didn't worship the same way the Jewish people worshipped. They didn't worship in the same way. It was a different religion the Samaritans had.
And the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4 comes to Yeshua. She meets him at the well and they begin to dialogue about spiritual things, and she perceived that Yeshua was a prophet, because Yeshua said go call your husband, and she said well I don't have a husband, and Yeshua said your right, you don't have a husband. You've had all these guys that you've lived with, and this guy that you're living with now isn't your husband, so he read right into her life, and he revealed and exposed to her. She recognized that this was no normal man that knew all these things about me, so she said sir; I perceive you're a prophet. And then she began to talk to Jesus about the Samaritan way of worship, and she said you know we Samaritans worship over on this mountain, and you Jews, you worship in Jerusalem.
Listen what Jesus said. Jesus said to the woman, you don't know what you worship. We know what we worship for salvation is from the Jews. Beloved, you need to understand; if you're going to have an accurate, a more accurate perception of who the Lord is, you're gonna need to discover what the Hebrew Bible teaches about him. There is a lot of wrong theology in the church today, because much of the church does not know the Hebrew Bible. There's a lot of wrong doctrine, there's a lot of wrong teaching, because people are just studying the New Testament. If you wanna know better who God is, begin to read the Hebrew Bible. Don't get lost in the small details. Don't lose sight of the forest, because of the trees. Look for the spiritual principles beloved, and look for the spiritual application.
As we close today, I wanna just continue by saying that Paul beloved, he would go into the synagogues the Scriptures said, and he would reason with them daily from the law and the prophets, convincing them beloved, Acts 28:23, of Yeshua through the writings in the Hebrew Bible. Paul and the New Testament believer's beloved, they related to the Hebrew Bible. In fact the Bible tells us in the Book of Acts that these new Christians, the Gentile believers would go to the synagogue to be taught more of who God was. I wanna encourage you to make a commitment today to tune into this broadcast, if you're not already doing so, each and every week. I believe God is gonna begin to unpack some things for you and bring you into new colors beloved, of his revelation. And when you know that your faith beloved, is rooted not just in the New Testament, but that its rooted beloved, 3500 years plus, back in time; it's gonna strengthen your faith, you're gonna know that you're not brainwashed, you're gonna know that Jesus is the Messiah.