Rabbi Schneider - God's Promise to Abraham
Well, we're going to move today into a new area. I'm talking, beloved, about the plan of salvation. What does the Hebrew Bible teach us about the plan of salvation? You see, because of anti-Semitism, you see, the early church fathers tried to disconnect people that believed in Jesus from the Jewish religion and from the Jewish roots of their faith. Because at the time of Constantine, who made Christianity the state religion, the Jewish people were really not a people that were favorably received by him in the Roman empire. You see, the Jewish people, they wouldn't assimilate. They had their own laws, they had their own clothing, they had their own foods, they had their own holidays, and they had their own God.
And so to Constantine, this was a thorn in the flesh. And so when Constantine had a revelation that Jesus was the Messiah, because of the anti-Semitism that was in him, he sought to distance the two religions from each other. And we've been suffering from that as a church ever since. Christians have been disconnected from the Hebrew roots of their faith. But you see, Jesus said in John 4:22 salvation is from the Jews. And Romans chapter 11 says it's the Jewish people, it's the Jewish Torah, it's the Jewish prophets, it's the covenants that God made with Israel that support, beloved, our faith in Jesus today, because Jesus came, beloved, according to the flesh as a Jew. So what we're doing is we're putting it all back together and showing you how it all connects. And so we're talking about the plan of salvation.
You see, some of you have been taught that in the Hebrew Bible in the Old Testament the Jews were saved, beloved, by keeping the law. But the Israelites were never saved by keeping the law. The Israelites and the Jewish people, beloved, were saved by grace, through faith, through a blood sacrifice just like you and I are today. On last week's broadcast I talked about Abraham, the first believer. Abraham has become the father of us all. Abraham the believer. Beloved, the Bible says that God made a covenant with Abraham, and in the covenant the Lord said this. Through your seed, Abraham. And who's the seed? Galatians tells us that the seed is Jesus. So God said to Abraham through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. And so the walk that you and I have with the Lord today, beloved, really is a fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham when God said to Abraham, Abraham through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
You see how it all fits together? And when we think about this and think about really Abraham as the father of our faith, we ask ourself the question, did Abraham come into a saving relationship with God by keeping the law? Absolutely not. There was no law during the time of Abraham, right? The law didn't come till years and years and years later. Abraham wasn't saved by keeping the law. Abraham was saved, beloved, because of God's favor on his life. God came to Abraham. God appeared to Abraham, we read three times in the Torah. God appeared to Abraham, beloved, in the Scripture in the book of Bereshit, the book of Genesis, and he revealed himself to Abraham and showed Abraham who he was. And he said Abraham, I want you to leave the idol worshippers, I want you to leave your own family, and I want you to follow me, and I'm going to bless you and make your name great, and in you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
And so when we look at the plan of salvation as revealed in the Hebrew Bible, we see that it resulted as a result not of man keeping the law, but it's a result of God's initiative. And Abraham didn't deserve God's grace. The Bible says all of us have sinned, all of us are guilty, none of us, beloved, are deserving of God's grace. That's why it's called grace. It's a free gift. And what did God do? He produced within Abraham faith. God appears to Abraham. And let me tell you, that when God appears to you, you will as a result of that have faith. When the power of God comes upon a person's live, beloved, faith springs forth. The Bible says that man is made willing in the day of God's power.
So the plan of salvation revealed in the Hebrew Bible begins by the grace of God. God comes to Abraham in his grace because of the his favor on Abraham, and then God produces within Abraham faith, and it's this faith that's produced in Abraham that brings Abraham to God so that God can now say to Abraham, Abraham, follow me. Leave your mom and dad, leave everything you have, and follow me. The grace of God came, it produced faith in Abraham, and now Abraham is able to walk with God and be in relationship with God and follow God because of faith that had been produced. Well, beloved, the same thing is true for you and I today. The Bible says in Galatians 3 verse 1, the blessing of Abraham has come upon you. How are you saved? The same way Abraham was. Ephesians chapter 2, listen, by grace you've been saved through faith. How? By grace. The grace of God comes, God reveals himself to you, he stirs something in your heart, he puts faith in you. By grace you've been saved through faith. The same way Abraham did.
Now, as we continue to look at this as it's revealed in the Hebrew Bible, we find that in order for man to be forgiven, there had to be, beloved, a sacrifice. Substitutional sacrificial atonement. In other words, in order for a guilty person to be able to be in union with God, in order for a guilty person to have harmony and peace with God, that guilty one's sin had to be punished, beloved. And the way that God dealt with that was by having an innocent one die in the guilty one's place so that the guilty one could be made righteous. This is first illustrated in the Hebrew Bible, beloved, in the law... well, Passover, actually. What happened? The children of Israel in the book of Shemot, Exodus, they took a lamb, an unblemished lamb, right? They had to put that lamb to death. They had to eat the lamb. Symbolizes of putting Yeshua to death and then having to eat his flesh and drink his blood, the Scripture teaches us. And then the Israelites were commanded to put his blood over their doorpost. And on the night of Pesach, on the night of Passover, when the angel of death moved through the land of Egypt, every home that was under the blood on the doorpost, the angel of death passed over, they were not judged.
And so it is today, beloved, when we stand before the Lord, when we stand before Elohim, at the white throne judgment, beloved, what's going to happen? Everyone's name, beloved, who's written in the Lamb's book of life. Whose book of life? The Lamb's book of life, going back, beloved, to the Passover. And so we see that it started all the way back with Passover. And then it continued with the law. Do you know that when the children of Israel were given the law, that Moses, when they accepted the law, Moses came down from the mountain, he had the tablets of stone, he had the covenants of God, and he had the law, and do you know, Yadid, when the children of Israel said we will receive God's law, and we will be his people, do you know what? Moses, the Scripture says, he sprinkled them at that time with blood, once again showing, beloved, that blood is the symbol of an innocent one dying in the place of the guilty. The Torah teaches us in Leviticus 17:11 that the life of the flesh, the Lord said, is in the blood. And I've given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your soul.
So God is bringing his people into relationship with him now, once again, by faith, they're coming to him, they say we will receive you, and now God is giving them instruction as to what is right and what is wrong, he's separating them unto himself through the law, but still in order for them to maintain fellowship with him, there had to be an innocent one dying in the place of the guilty, which is symbolized by the blood being shed. That's why when Yeshua was on the cross, they took the spear and they pierced his side, and the Blood ran out, because the symbol of a life given is the Blood poured out. And so the Lord was saying to Israel, I am separating you unto myself with this law. But the way that you're saved is not by keeping the law, it's through the innocent one dying in the place of the guilty. That's why we celebrate as the highest holiday of the Jewish year Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Yom means day, kippur means atonement.
And what happened in the book of Vayikra, or the book of Leviticus, chapter 16, 17 and 23? We have instructions there as to how Yom Kippur was celebrated. The high priest, beloved, would take a bull and two goats. First they would put the bull to death. The high priest would take the blood of that bull, he would carry it into the tabernacle, into the holy place, through the veil, into the Holy of Holies where only he could go once a year for the purpose of bringing in the blood on the day of atonement. The high priest would then take that blood, he would pour it on the altar over the ark of the covenant, sometimes referred to as the mercy seat. And when the Lord saw the blood poured upon the altar over the ark of the covenant, the Lord would forgive the sins of the high priest.
Now the high priest, beloved, would go outside once again. They would cast lots. There were two goats waiting outside. The high priest, beloved, would cast the lots. One of the lots would fall to the goat named azazel, or scapegoat. Then the other goat was taken. It also was sacrificed. Its blood was taken into the holy place, then into the Holy of Holies, the priest would once again pour that blood on the altar. And then, beloved, the Lord said he had forgiven the sins of Israel for the year. On what basis, beloved? On the basis of that innocent goat and bull dying in the place of his people, Israel. You see, the Scripture tells us in the book of Hebrews that the blood of the bulls and the goats could never really take away sin, but that God accepted them as symbolic payment because they symbolized, beloved, that Yeshua was coming. It's kind of like a credit card.
You see, a credit card, it has no intrinsic value, right? But when you go to the store in the next couple of days, if you pull out your credit card and give it to the merchant, the merchant's going to accept that credit card, even though that credit card's just a piece of plastic and it has no real value in itself, but the merchant accepts the credit card because the merchant knows that real payment is coming. And that's the same way it was with the sacrifice of these bulls and the goats, beloved, in the Hebrew Bible. The Lord accepted them as a means to forgive his people to cover up their sin. That's why we call it Yom Kippur. Again, the word Yom is day, kippur means cover. So the Lord was covering his people's sin through an innocent one dying in the place of the guilty, symbolized by the shedding of the blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood. And the Lord said I've given it to you on the altar, Leviticus 17:11, for the atonement of your souls. Okay?
So once again, what are we seeing in the Hebrew Bible? It's by grace God comes to Abraham. He produces faith that allows Abraham to follow. The Lord continues to show us that it's only through an innocent one dying in the place of the guilty that he can keep his people maintained in fellowship with him, because sin has to be dealt with. And the soul that sins, the Scripture says, it shall die. So you see the consistency? What's our faith like, what's our walk like in Yeshua? What is the plan of salvation as revealed in the Hebrew Bible? It is what? It's grace. The Lord comes to us in his grace. By grace you've been saved through faith, the Lord said. God's grace in our life produces faith. We respond to him, we begin to humble ourselves because of faith, we begin to submit to him because of faith, we begin to believe the words of Yeshua and his truth because of faith, but we still, beloved, even though we're following the Lord now, and even though we're attempting to live for him as successfully as possible, even as Israel was seeking to live by the Lord at some points by the law as successfully as possible, still, though, we sin.
And so what has to happen? We have Jesus. We have Yeshua. We have the death of Yeshua, the death of the innocent one dying in the place of the guilty so that our walk with God and our relationship with him can be maintained. Because he died, beloved, for us even as that blood of the bull and the goat, beloved, kept the children of Israel in relationship and walking with God. It's always been by grace, it's always been through faith, it's always been by the blood. As we continue today looking at the plan of salvation, I want to talk about, beloved, the role of the Jewish people. Sometimes Christians are shy about sharing their faith with Jewish people because they say but the Jews are God's chosen people. And you know what, Yadid? They are God's chosen people. The Lord said to the children of Israel in the book of Deuteronomy, the book of Devarim, he said to them, you alone have I chosen to be a people for myself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
So we say well, the Jews are God's chosen people, so we say what right do I have, you might ask yourself, as a Christian to share my Jesus? Because these are God's chosen people. So if they're the chosen people, why should I push my Jesus on them? But beloved, you have to understand what God is meaning when he says that the Jewish people, that the Israelites are his chosen people. It doesn't mean that every single Jew, beloved, is walking in relationship and with favor with God. Remember, Elijah in the book of Romans cries out. He says Lord, he said they've killed everybody, Elijah says I'm the only Israelite that's left. Elijah said all of Israel is unfaithful to you, and I'm the only Israelite, Elijah said to the Lord, on the face of the earth that's faithful to you. But what did the Lord say? The Lord said no, Elijah. I've got 7,000 others. The point is 7,000, beloved, out of a whole nation is not that many.
There's always been a remnant of people that are walking with God. And that's the way it is with Israel. Just because a person is born a Jew, it doesn't mean that they're walking in favor with God. Everybody needs Jesus, whether you're a Jew or a Gentile. So don't shrink back from sharing your faith with a Jewish person because you say they're God's chosen people. They're chosen, beloved, in the sense that it's through them that the revelation of Yahweh has come to the world. And God has a special affection and a love for his first covenant people, but Jesus said to the Jewish people, unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. The apostle Paul said he would give up his own salvation in Romans 9 through 11 for the sake of the Israelites, if they would come to faith.
So you understand that when the Lord speaks of the Jewish people as his chosen people, he's referring to the fact that it's through them that the Scriptures have come to the world through. The Torah has come to the world through the Jewish people. The prophets have come to the world through the Jewish people. The Psalms have come to the world through the Jewish people. And Messiah himself, beloved, came in the flesh as a Jew. God has a special love for Jewish people, beloved, but you need to understand that whether you're a Jew or Gentile, there's only one way to heaven, and there's only one path to salvation, and that is Jesus. Jesus said I Am the Way.
You see, in ancient Israel, the Lord told the children of Israel to build him a mishkan, or a tabernacle. When we study the tabernacle, which is the prophetic type of how to walk with God, we find that there was only one entrance into that tabernacle. The tabernacle was the dwelling place of God. The glory of God was in the tabernacle. But you couldn't just get in any way. You could only go in through the one door. And beloved, Jesus said I Am the Door. I Am the Gate. He that enters through me shall be saved. So I'm helping you to understand that God's plan of salvation has always been the same. Whether you're a Jew or a Gentile, it's by grace through faith. It's always demanded that an innocent one die in the place of a guilty. This was foreshadowed in the Hebrew Bible by the animal sacrifices but was fulfilled in Jesus, and now the Scripture says it's no longer necessary to offer up the types of sacrifices that were offered in the Hebrew Bible because Jesus, beloved, has fulfilled it once and for all. The Innocent One, Yeshua Mashiach, has died in the place of the guilty. He's the only way in, once again, whether you're a Jew or a Gentile.
Now, God I want to say still has a special plan and destiny for the Jewish people. In fact, Yeshua said in the book of Matthew chapter number 23, verse 39 that he will not return until the Jewish people are crying out, until there is a mass of Jewish people that are crying out to him saying in Hebrew "Baruch haba b'shem Adonai", which translated in English means blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. So Jesus says I'm not going to return until there's a mass of Jewish people, Matthew 23:39, calling out to me saying blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. The Bible tells us at the end of the book of Revelation, let the Spirit and the bride say come.
Here's what's happening, as we begin to close today. According to Romans chapter 9 through 11, God is right now commissioning a massive army of Gentile believers to share their faith with Jewish people. Romans chapter 11 verse 11, Paul says to the Gentiles, for this purpose you've been saved, that you might provoke the Jew to jealousy. In other words, God is saying to every single one of you Gentiles that is watching right now, there's a call on your life to do something to bring the gospel of Yeshua Mashiach to Jewish people. That's why it's important to support this broadcast and others like it. Through supporting this broadcast, beloved, you're allowing me to teach and train Gentiles how to share their faith with Jewish people, and I'm broadcasting additionally into Israel right now.
Now, God is right now training up a massive army of Gentile believers to share their faith with Jewish people. That's why Paul said that he's happy about his call to the Gentile, because Paul said it's through the Gentiles that the Jewish people are going to be reached. And Paul said, listen, as Jewish people are being reached by Gentile believers, this is all in Romans 11, it's going to be like life from the dead for the entire church. God is saying to you as a Gentile believer, if you were blessed when the Jewish people rejected the Gospel, how were you as a Gentile blessed when the Jewish people rejected the Gospel? You were blessed because the Gospel came to you. Paul started out going to the Jewish people. God said no, they're not going to receive your testimony here. I'm sending you far away to the Gentiles. So as a result of the Jewish people rejecting the Gospel, beloved Gentiles, the Gospel came to you.
Paul said if you were blessed when they rejected the Gospel, how much more will you be blessed when they receive the Gospel? It's going to be like life from the dead for you. Paul concludes Romans chapter 11 verse 25 through 27 by saying this, right now there's a temporary blindness on Israel, but through the witness of Gentile believers, through you, beloved, doing something to reach Jewish people with the Gospel, there's going to be a critical mass over time of Jewish people that will come to faith. This critical mass, beloved, will begin to call upon the name of Yeshua Mashiach to return, and then the Bible says there, and then he will come forth from Zion and reveal himself to the world.