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2021 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - What Is the Tanakh?

Rabbi Schneider - What Is the Tanakh?

Rabbi Schneider - What Is the Tanakh?
Rabbi Schneider - What Is the Tanakh?
TOPICS: How the Old and New Testaments Connect, Tanakh

Beloved, as Christians we often refer to the first part of our Bible as the Old Testament, but the traditional Jewish community does not refer to their Bible as the Old Testament, they refer to it as the Tanakh. I began to talk about that on last week's broadcast. In the Hebrew alphabet, there are no vowels, there are just consonants so in the word "Tanakh" we have the three consonants: the T sound, the N sound, and the K or the ha sound. And then what we do in the Hebrew language is because we don't have vowel letters, we have accent markings that will put above or beneath the consonants that will tell us how that consonant is pronounced.

In other words, what vowel sound will be attached to it. But the word "Tanakh", which is the Jewish way of speaking to or referring to the Hebrew Bible, comes from beloved, the three types of, of writings, the three types of prophetic literature in the Old Testament or in their Bible. The first sound I began to speak on last week's broadcast, the T, the come, comes from the Torah. The Torah is the first five books of our Old Testament, and it is the writings beloved, that we believe Moses wrote down and received on Mount Sinai. The N sound in the word Tanakh comes from the Hebrew word Nevi'im, which is the Hebrew word for the prophets. So we have the, we have the Torah- the first five books of the Old Testament, that's the T sound of Tanakh.

We have the Nevi'im, that is the Hebrew word for prophets. That covers the prophets in the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible. And then we have the K sound or the ha sound at the end of the word "Tanakh" and that comes from the word Ketuvim, which refers to beloved, the writings in the Hebrew Bible like the psalms. It's really interesting beloved, that in the Book of Luke chapter number 24, Yeshua is on the road to Emmaus. And as he's on the road to Emmaus, he goes up to his disciples in a physical form that was not recognizable to them. They were so downcast. Emmaus is about 17 miles, mu understanding about north, northwest of Jerusalem. And as he was traveling on this, on this road, he goes up to the disciples and he, and he, and again he comes to them in a way that they thought he was a stranger, and he kind of plays dumb with them.

He says to them, you know why are you, why are you men so downcast looking? And they kind of look at him like what's wrong with you; don't you know what's going on around here? That this one that many people thought was the Messiah, Yeshua ha Mashiach, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified? Don't you, don't; and you see the disciples beloved, all their hopes and all their dreams had come crashing down. After all, think about it, they had left their boats, they had left their nets, they had left their homes, and now beloved, this one that they had left everything for to follow; as far as they knew, he was crucified and dead. So they are downcast and you can understand why. Yeshua comes, you know why, why you downcast? And then he begins to speak to em, he said didn't you know from the writings in the, in the Hebrew Bible that the Christ would come, that the Messiah, that the Mashiach would come and would have to suffer?

And then the Scripture says in Luke chapter 24 verse number 27, it says: And beginning with Moshe, beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, he explained to them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. Yeshua also used the Psalms. Remember when Yeshua said to David; why did David write: The LORD said to my Lord, and he was talking about the relationship between the Father and the Son. The point that I'm making Yadid, the point that I'm making beloved ones, is that the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, the Torah, the first five books, the Nevi'im, the prophets and the Ketuvim, the Psalms and other writings was Yeshua's Bible. Yeshua viewed it as fully authoritative. He used it beloved to teach, to illustrate who he was. He showed Messianic prophecy in it, and as I said in my first broadcast in this series, he even used the Book of Deuteronomy to cut off Satan's power in the wilderness. Truth beloved is truth, and God's truth is in the whole Word of God, not just the New Testament.

In this series, Discovering How the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament Connect; what I've been endeavoring to do beloved ones is to show you how the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, and the New Testament, which we call in Hebrew, the Brit Chadashah, fit together like a hand in a glove. Often times as I've said, we've had a wrong perception of the God of the Hebrew Bible. We've kind of been taught that you know; the God of the Hebrew Bible was a God of wrath and a God of judgment. And the God of the New Testament is the God of grace. It's like God is schizophrenic or something. And then in and in the Old Testament he's mean and mad, but in the New Testament he gets cured and he puts on his happy face and forgives everybody. I mean we all know this is ridiculous and I'm saying it humorously to illustrate a point. The reality is the Lord doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today and forever.

Now in last week's broadcast, I showed you that what the Hebrew Bible and what the New Testament teaches about God's nature is identical. That God is above all else, holy and this is revealed beloved, in the Hebrew Bible in Isaiah chapter 6 when Isaiah sees the vision of the Lord, and the beings around the throne are crying out day and night: Holy, Holy, Holy, a threefold repetition, the only threefold repetition of any of God's attributes in the entire Hebrew Bible. His holiness, the Hebrew word is kadosh, it means totally separate, totally unique, totally other. In the beginning was God, he's always been, he's self existent, he's holy, he's set apart, he's holy, other and unique. We also saw last week in Exodus chapter 34 verse 6 and 7 when the Lord reveals to Moses who he is. You see the Bible said that the Lord's relationship, get this, the Lord's relationship to Moses, the Lord described, was a face to face relationship.

The Lord said beloved, that his relationship with Moses was like a relationship that is with a man and his friend. The Lord said I speak to Moses as a man speaks to his friend; I speak with Moses my servant, the Lord said, listen to this: face to face. In other words, Moses saw clearly who the God of the Hebrew Bible was. And how did the Lord of the Hebrew Bible that revealed himself to Moses face to face, reveal himself to Moses? Did He reveal himself as a harsh lawgiver that mercilessly punished people for their sin. No beloved. In Exodus, in the Book of Shemot, the Lord revealed himself to Moses beloved, Exodus 34 verse 6 and 7, listen: As the Lord God, Yahweh Elohim the Lord said, I am compassionate, rachamim, I love you.

Rachamim is the Hebrew word, I am compassionate Moses, I'm a God who loves you, listen; with the type of love that a mother loves her infant with, that's what the Hebrew word rachamim comes from. It comes from the Hebrew word meaning womb. That the Lord, when he reveals who he is, he says I love you so much, I love my people so much that it's only described in your human terms as a type of affection a mother has beloved, for the womb, that infant that comes out of her child, a love beloved, that's stronger than death. And the Lord said I am compassionate, rachamim, coming from the Hebrew word meaning womb and he said and what else? He'sed, listen, and listen, gracious. We think that the God of the New Testament is a God of grace and the God of the Old Testament is a God of law. That's not true. The law itself beloved, is a manifestation of God's grace.

The Bible tells us in the Book of Hebrews that in times past the Lord spoke to us through the prophets in many portions and in many ways, but in these last days, he spoke unto us through his Son. Listen to this, who is the exact representation of his nature. So it's like in the Hebrew Bible, the Lord, they were like beams of light that came down, giving us glimpses of who God was. But in the New Testament beloved, the grace of God was more fully revealed in the person of Yeshua, who is the exact representation of the Father's image. But the law beloved, is not contrary to the grace of God. The law itself beloved, listen to this, is a manifestation of God's grace.

You see when the Lord said in the law: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; that wasn't the verdict of some harsh law-giving God that had no feeling for his children. But rather beloved, you have to understand that Israel was living in a barbaric world. And in a barbaric world where there's no law, there's no police force, there's no jurisdiction; what happens is if somebody steals your camel in a barbaric world, you may retaliate by going over to that person's house at night, murdering their wife and kids, and burning his house down. That would not be an equitable way of being repaid for the camel that was stolen. And so when the Lord said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, that wasn't the word of a harsh lawgiver, but rather it was the word Yadid, of a gracious God that was lifting his children out of barbarianism to live in a society beloved, that could be governed by laws of grace.

That's why the Lord said in Deuteronomy chapter 4 to Israel: what nation is there that has such great statutes and such righteous laws as this whole law that I'm giving you today? And so clear that out of your mind that the Old Testament is about law and the New Testament is about grace as if they're opposite each other. No, the law itself beloved, is a manifestation, hallelujah, of the grace of God. Well, we saw then in the Hebrew Bible that the Lord, when he revealed himself, he revealed himself beloved, as a God of grace. He said to Moses, I am rachamim, I love my children with the type of love that a mother loves her infant with. He, he revealed himself beloved, as a gracious God, loving and gracious: Holy, Holy, Holy. And listen, the New Testament tells us the same thing. In Revelation chapter 4, we're again looking at what is the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament teach us about foundationally who God is?

We saw in the Hebrew Bible that foundationally and preeminently, God is holy and secondly beloved, he's a God of grace as is revealed in Exodus 34:6 and 7, in the face to face encounter that Moshe had with him. Now we're taking the revelation that we seen in the Brit Chadashah and in the Hebrew Bible rather, and we're comparing it to the Revelation in the New Testament, the Brit Chadashah. Well first of all, what does the New Testament tell us as God's most foundational attribute? Again this is a review from last week, but I really need you to get this, Revelation chapter 4, Yochanan, John's on the island of Patmos, the Spirit of God comes upon him, he hears a voice that says come up here. John immediately is seeing in the Spirit in the heavens. He sees the Lord upon the throne, Revelation 4, and around the throne beloved of Yahweh, are the angelic beings that do not cease crying out, according to John: Holy, Holy, Holy, Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh, is the Lord God Almighty. The only threefold repetition of any of God's attributes beloved, in the entire New Testament.

So what I'm saying is this: in, in the Old Testament, the Tanakh, one time there's a threefold repetition of God's attributes. It's in reference to his holiness: Holy, Holy, Holy, Isaiah 6. New Testament, only one time is there a threefold repetition of any of God's attributes. It's in Revelation chapter 4, what is the threefold repetition? The same thing that Isaiah saw in, in Isaiah 6. Revelation 4, again: Holy, Holy, Holy. God beloved, is a God of holiness above all else, and about the Hebrew Bible and in the Brit Chadashah, the Lord has revealed himself, hallelujah, as a God of grace. So we've settled the issue that God has revealed the essence of, of foundationally who he is, consistently both in the Tanakh and the Brit Chadashah; both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Why? Because he's the same beloved, yesterday, today and forever. And God wants you to free yourself from that bondage that you may have been picked, picked up in the past, the erroneous teaching that he was a God of law in the Old Testament and a God of grace in the New Testament; no beloved, it's all about grace from the beginning to the end.

Now, now that we've covered the nature of God and see that he's predominantly holy and that he's always been a God of grace; I wanna move now into the plan of salvation. How did people in the Hebrew Bible come into a saving relationship with Yahweh? Was the plan of salvation for people different in the Hebrew Bible as opposed to the plan of salvation in the New Testament? I'm gonna show you now once again beloved, that the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament fit together like a hand in a glove, and that the means of salvation beloved, has always been consistent. It's been by grace, listen now, through faith made possible only through sacrificial atonement and the blood of that sacrifice, a given for the guilty party. So let's look at now the plan of salvation, and see how it unfolds in the Hebrew Bible. Well, we really begin to see the plan of salvation unfolding in the life of Abraham.

Now the question is how did Abraham come into this relationship with God? We know that Abraham's parents were idol worshippers, that he lived amongst idol worshippers, but he came to an understanding that there was one God, and he also came to an understanding as to who this one God was. How did it happen? It happened beloved, listen, because of God's sovereign election of Abraham. In some traditional Jewish teachings, they say that Abraham somehow was able to figure out there was only one God; even though all the peoples around him worshipped all these idols, and many god, many gods, they teach that somehow through, through meditation, that Abraham was able to transcend those thoughts and recognize that there was only one God. It isn't true beloved. It wasn't Abraham that figured it out, but rather the Bible says: the Lord, Genesis, Bereshit in Hebrew, Genesis in English, Bereshit in Hebrew, chapter 12 verse 1, it said: Yahweh, the Lord beloved, listen now, came to Abraham.

How did Abraham come to faith in the one true God? Because the one true God beloved, listen, came to Abraham and revealed himself to Abraham. And it's the same way today; the only way that we can come to faith beloved, is when God first comes to us and reveals himself to us. Remember the story beloved, when Yeshua said to one of his disciples, who do they say that I am? It was, it was Kephas, Peter. Remember Yeshua said to Peter: who do the people say that I am? And Kephas, his Hebrew name, Peter in English; Kephas said Lord, some say Elijah, some say John the Baptist back from the dead; that's who they say that you are. And then Yeshua looked at Kephas and he said to Peter, but who do you say that I am? And Peter said: Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Yeshua looked straight in his eyes and said: blessed art thou Simon, son of John, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And then he said, and upon this rock, I will build my church.

That's a very critical portion of Scripture. In fact that particular portion of Scripture beloved, defines the main difference between Catholicism and the Protestant Church. Because the Protestant Church believes that what Yeshua was referring to in that section of Scripture was Peter's confession that Jesus, hallelujah is the Messiah. So what the Protestants teach is that when Yeshua said upon this rock, I'll build my church; the Protestants teach that the rock that Yeshua was referring to was the rock of Peter's confession of faith in himself, in Jesus. The Catholics on the other hand interpret the rock as referring to Peter, and they say that Peter was the first pope.

So when Peter said thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Yeshua said blessed art thou Simon, son of John, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven, and upon this rock I'll build my church. The Catholic community believes that the rock Yeshua is referring to was Peter. Beloved, I believe neither of those. I believe that the rock that Yeshua was referring to, listen now, was the rock of divine revelation. Cause remember what happened? Peter said well some say Elijah; some say John the Baptist back from the dead. Yeshua said but who do you say I am? And Yeshua said, and Peter said you're the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Jesus looked at Peter and said blessed art thou Simon, son of John. Listen to this now: you're blessed he said, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven, and upon this rock I'll build my church. What rock was Yeshua referring to? He's referring beloved, to the rock of divine revelation.

See the Scripture says all that hear and learn from the Father, come to Jesus. And so how did Abraham come to faith in the living God? Abraham came to faith in the living God the same way Peter came to faith in Jesus; because the Father beloved, in his electing grace, revealed himself to Abraham. God came to Abraham. It says the Spirit of the Lord, it says that God appeared, listen, the Scripture says God appeared to Abraham. Can you imagine what that must have been to have the God of all creation, the eternal God appear to you? You'd think that faith would spring forth from you? Absolutely it would spring forth. When God appears beloved, let me tell you, faith erupts and so listen: it's not first of all, get this, it's not first of all, get this, it's not our faith that saves us first of all, it's the grace of God that saves us first of all. And because the grace of God comes to us, because, because God chooses to reveal himself to us, because of his grace; the result is that grace produces faith.

That's why the Book of Ephesians beloved, tells us in chapter 2, by grace, listen now, by grace you've been saved through faith. You see you've been saved by grace, and the grace produced faith, and faith is the channel that brings you into a relationship with the Lord, but the thing that produced the faith beloved, was God's grace active in your life. So Ephesians 2 says by grace you've been saved through faith, and the faith is not of yourself, Paul said in Ephesians 2: it is the gift of God. So we're looking at the plan of salvation, we're going back to Abraham, because we say that Abraham is the Father of us all, he's the Father of all believers.

We're in Yeshua today beloved, because we've been made a partaker of the Abrahamic Covenant, Ephesians chapter 3 verse 1, the blessing of Abraham has come to the Gentiles. God said to Abraham, listen: in your seed Abraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. What is the seed of Abraham? The Lord said to Abraham, in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. What's the seed of Abraham? The seed of Abraham beloved, is Yeshua, Amen, amen. So listen: how did Abraham come to faith? We're looking at the plan of salvation. He came to faith because God chose in his grace to appear to him. How did you come to faith in Jesus? Because God in his grace beloved, chose to reveal himself to you. Jesus said in John chapter 6: No one comes to me unless it's been granted from the Father. Jesus said all the Father gives me shall come to me, and he that comes to me, I shall in no wise cast out.

You see beloved, Yadid beloved ones; if you're a believer today, you know why? It's because the same grace, the same God of love that appeared to Abraham beloved, is active in your life. God quickened your heart to believe. He gave you thoughts beloved, to believe. Yes, we did have to choose, we did have to choose, we're partners in this; but God initiated it beloved, and we love him, because he first loved us. Even as he came to Abraham beloved, he came to you. Now in next week's broadcast, I'm gonna continue on this theme. We're gonna look at the plan of salvation in the Hebrew Bible. We're gonna look at what does God teach us in the Hebrew Bible about the path of salvation? And what you're gonna see beloved, is in the Hebrew Bible, the same truths that are taught in the Brit Chadashah, in the New Testament about God's plan of salvation, that those same truths revealed in the New Testament are also clearly seen, hallelujah in the Hebrew Bible.
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