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2021 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - What is True Worship?

Rabbi Schneider - What is True Worship?


Rabbi Schneider - What is True Worship?
Rabbi Schneider - What is True Worship?
TOPICS: How the Old and New Testaments Connect, Worship

We are in the midst of an extended series now entitled discovering how the Old Testament, which is called in Hebrew, and the New Testament which is called in Hebrew the Tanakh connect. Many of us have wrong perceptions of how the Hebrew Bible relates to the New Testament. We're showing you how the two fit together like a hand in a glove. In the gospel of John, chapter number 4, Yeshua gets into a discussion with a woman from Samaria. And she begins to dialogue with him. And Yeshua says woman, go call your husband. And she says sir, I have no husband. Yeshua said you have said rightly, for you have had five husbands, and the man you're now living with is not your husband.

And of course, he revealed to her intimate details of her life that no way he could have known in the natural. And when he did this, she realized that he was a prophet. So she said to him, sir, I perceive that you're a prophet. And then she begins to dialogue with him about spiritual things. And she said, you know, you Jews worship in Jerusalem. We Samaritans worship over here in this mountain. And Yeshua said to her in John 4:22, he said woman, you don't know what you worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews. Listen again what he said to this woman. He didn't say that she was not sincere. He didn't say that she wasn't trying hard. What he said, beloved, is that she didn't know what she was worshipping. He said woman, you don't know what you worship.

We know what we worship, Jesus said, John 4:22, for salvation is from the Jews. You know what that says to me? That beloved, unless you and I as believers in Jesus understand our faith from a Judaic perspective, we don't really know what we're worshipping. That's why the first verse in the New Testament, Matthew 1:1, says, this is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son, listen now, of Abraham. You see, the first verse in the New Testament takes us all the way back, beloved, to the first book in the Hebrew Bible. God doesn't want us to understand our faith in Jesus out of a vacuum. He wants us to understand it foundationally. And foundationally, beloved, Jesus has emerged out of the Hebrew Scripture. So unless we have an understanding of the revelation of God contained in the Old Testament, contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, our knowledge of who Yeshua is, is going to be askew.

So we are now seeking to help you understand how the Hebrew Bible, how the Old Testament and the New Testament fit together to enhance your appreciation of Jesus, beloved, and to grow in your understanding of God and his ways. Over the last several weeks, we've looked at the nature of God. We said that the revelation of God's nature is identical as it's revealed in the Hebrew Bible and comparing that to what the New Testament teaches us about what is foundational concerning God's nature. What we saw in the Hebrew Bible is that the Lord is above all else holy. Only one three-fold repetition of any of God's attributes in the Hebrew Bible. It's in Isaiah 6, where Isaiah sees the Lord in the vision. And when he sees the Lord, Isaiah sees these divine beings around the throne of God.

And the divine beings, Isaiah reveals to us in Isaiah 6, don't cease crying out day and night holy, holy, holy. In Hebrew, kadosh, kadosh, kadosh. The only time in the Hebrew Bible where any of God's attributes are repeated like that three times in a row for emphasis. And by the way, three is a fundamental number in the Scriptures in both the Hebrew Bible: we have Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we have the tabernacle, there's the tabernacle, the holy of holies, the holy place, the outer court, and we could go on. The same thing in the New Testament. Three is foundational. We have the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we could go on. Only one time then in the Hebrew Bible where any of God's attributes are repeated three times in a row for supreme emphasis, and that is in Isaiah 6, referring to the holiness of God. He's above all else holy, completely unique, completely separate. He is the Creator. Everything else is created. God has always been. He's without cause. Everything else, beloved, has come into being at a point in time.

God is utterly unique and separate from his creation, and that's what the word holiness fundamentally means. Holy other. In the New Testament, we saw once again that there's only one three-fold repetition of any of God's attributes, and that is found in Revelation 4, where John sees the Lord on the throne. And he sees the Lord on the throne, and there's the same beings that Isaiah saw crying out day and night holy, holy, holy. So we saw in the Hebrew Bible that God is above all else holy. That same theme, beloved, is repeated in the New Testament. Then what we did in showing how the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament connect is we looked at the plan of salvation. And what he showed you was that God's means of saving human beings, of bringing individuals to himself has always been the same. It's by grace, first of all. It's undeserved.

The Lord appeared to Abraham in a vision three times. When God appears, beloved, when the Lord shows himself to you, God is so powerful you can't help, beloved, but believe. In the day of God's power, the Scripture teaches, man is made willing. And so Abraham is brought to faith because God just in his grace chooses to reveal himself to Abraham. The same thing was true with Peter in the New Testament. Remember Jesus said to Peter, who do you say that I am? And Peter said you're the Messiah, the Son of the living God. What did Jesus say to Peter? Peter, blessed art thou, Simon, son of John, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. So once again, we find that people are brought to faith first of all by God's initiative. God produces faith. He comes into a person's life, he shows up, he reveals himself somehow, and through that revelation, whether it be an internal witness in your spirit, whether it be some other encounter like Abraham had, through that initiative on God's part of revealing himself to us, faith is produced.

Faith, beloved, is the gift of God. That's what Ephesians 2 teaches. By grace you've been saved through faith. So both in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament we find that man is brought into relationship with God through the initiative of God's grace, which produces faith. And then what God does is when he brings somebody to himself by grace through faith, he calls them to holiness. He did it first of all, beloved, with the children of Israel when he brought them to Mount Sinai. You see, God didn't save Israel out of Egypt just to set them free, but he set them free, beloved, listen now, to bring them to himself. And so we see that God delivers Israel out of Egypt to bring them to Mount Sinai, where he reveals himself and calls them to live for him.

Well, the same thing is true, beloved, in the New Testament, right? God saves us by grace through faith, and what does he do? He doesn't just save us and say you're going to heaven, but he calls us, beloved, to holiness. The Scripture says without holiness, no man will see God. That's in the New Testament. So God saves us, beloved, to walk with him. We've been bought with a price, beloved. So we're therefore to offer ourself as living sacrifices to the Lord. And then we saw that even when we're seeking to live for the Lord, God saved us by grace through faith, he's brought us to himself, called us to holiness, but we still are human beings, the Lord knows that we're just dust, and so what does he do? He makes a way for us, beloved, to be forgiven when we fail and miss the mark, when we sin. How? Through blood atonement, which was shown in the Hebrew Bible through the sacrificial system when the blood of a bull and a goat covered the sins of the Israelites on Yom Kippur.

And the New Testament teaches us in the book of Hebrews that, that was a shadow of Jesus, God himself taking upon human nature and dying in our place. Isn't it an awesome thing, beloved, that when Yeshua's blood was shed, he said it's finished, that once and for all, he's provided a way for you and I to be forgiven for our sin, and it's an also awesome thought to realize that God loves you so much that he didn't send an agent to die for you, but that God himself came unto earth in the flesh and died for your sins, that God didn't send an agent to save you. He loves you so much, beloved, that he came to save you. The Lord says I am your Savior, and there is no other. And then as we continue to understand, beloved, the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in regards to the plan of salvation, I want you to think about the theme of a mediator.

Sometimes people say I don't need a mediator. I just go directly to God myself. But you see, beloved, that's not what the Israelites understood. In ancient Israel, the Israelites did have a mediator. It was the priesthood. There was a high priest and there was a Levitical priesthood, and God anointed Aaron and his offspring to be the mediators between himself and the children of Israel. So that for example when the Lord called the children of Israel to make a sacrifice, what did they do? They didn't just offer up their sacrifice to God as individuals by themself in their own homes, on their own properties, but rather, beloved, they brought their sacrifices to the priests, to those what were officiating in the office of Levitical priesthood. So the mediator in ancient Israel stood the gap between God and man.

And so we find in the New Testament that Yeshua himself has fulfilled the theme of priesthood by himself becoming the High Priest who serves as a mediator between the Lord, between God and us. Yeshua is God himself in the flesh, but the Scripture says because he came, because God came and took upon flesh and blood, he's able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses because he knows, beloved, what we feel by the fact that he himself knows what it's like to live as a human being. You see, the Scripture says that when God himself emptied himself, the Scripture says in Philippians that he emptied himself and took upon flesh and blood and lived totally on dependence of the Holy Spirit, and so he knows what you and I feel and how difficult it is for us as human beings, and he's able to sympathize for us in our sufferings and strengthen us, beloved. Isn't that an awesome thing, that our God is able to relate to us because he himself became one of us?

And then finally, beloved, we see the role of the Jewish people and that Israel, beloved, has always been the couriers through which the Lord's revelation has come. It began, beloved, in the Hebrew Bible where the Lord revealed himself to Israel alone. In the Hebrew Bible, God said of the Jewish people in the book of Deuteronomy, 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. And then through the Hebrew people the revelation of the Old Testament came, the Hebrew prophets came. And you know what, beloved? God still has a role for the Jewish people. Now salvation is spread to the entire world, Jew and Gentile are one in Messiah, there's no second class citizens in the Lord, but God still has a special role for the Jewish people. And we read about it in Romans chapter 11, where the Bible teaches in Romans 11, beloved, that when Jewish people come to faith, it's going to be like life from the dead for the entire church, and it's going to usher in, hallelujah, the return of Jesus the Messiah.

So I hope that you're beginning to see how simple it is. A lot of times when we read the Hebrew Bible, we get so lost in some of the details that we lose sight of the big picture. So what I'm endeavoring to do is to help you to see the big picture and to see how simple this truth, beloved, fits together and how beautiful and how rich it is and what an incredible heritage you have, beloved, in the Lord in the Hebrew Bible. See, the Scriptures teach that the Old Testament, the Tanakh, was not just written for the Israelites, but it was also written upon you, many of you as Gentile believers, the Scripture says, on whom the end of the ages has come. "Baruch atah Adonay, Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olam borei pri hagafen". Blessed art thou, oh Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth the fruit of the vine. Hallelujah.

Well, as I continue on, Yadid, beloved ones, I am going to be talking about the principle of baptism. We've looked at the plan of salvation, and now I want to continue on this theme as we look at baptism. Yeshua's come, and what has he said? He that believes in me, Yeshua said, and is baptized will be saved. So what I want to do is I want to look at the theme of baptism as revealed in the Hebrew Bible. First of all, let me say that the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, is written obviously in Hebrew because the only people that the Lord was communicating to at the time were the Israelites, the Jewish people, and their language was Hebrew. But when Yeshua came, it was time for the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant to come to pass, and the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant was the seed of Abraham through whom salvation would come to the entire world.

Remember the Lord said to Abraham through your seed, Abraham, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, and the seed is Jesus. So when Jesus comes, it's time for salvation to go outside of just Israel, and it's supposed to cover the entire world. And the most common language at that time, at the time of Jesus, the most common language around the world, Yadid, beloved ones, was the language of Greek. So the New Testament is recorded in Greek, because now God was just not speaking to the Israelites, he wasn't just speaking to the Jewish people, but now he wants everybody to hear, and the common language of the earth was Greek. And so the word that we use as a church is taken for baptism is taken from the Greek word baptismo. That's what the ancient manuscripts of the New Testament speak of when they speak about baptism. The original Greek word is baptismo. But the word baptismo, the Greek word baptismo is equivalent to the Hebrew word, listen now, for mikvah.

Now, get this very carefully. When we first read about the rite of baptism in the New Testament, it's clear that baptisms were already taking place in Israel before Jesus came. In other words, when we think of baptism, we think about something that is particularly a Christian rite. But what I need you to understand and hear now is that baptism, beloved, was part of Israel's religious practices before it became a Christian rite. And so by understanding what baptism, which the Hebrew people don't refer to as baptism, they call it mikvah. Mikvah is the Hebrew word, and it means a gathering of water, a going into the gathering of water and being immersed. It's the same thing. It's just that once again, mikvah is the Hebrew word, baptism is the Greek word. By understanding what the Israelites were doing when they went to the waters of the mikvah, we can more appreciate what it means for us as believers in Jesus to go into the waters of the mikvah or to be baptized, listen now, in Jesus name, or in Yeshua's name.

And so this is true with all of the New Testament. By understanding the roots of the New Testament in the Hebrew Bible, we get a fuller appreciation of what the New Testament is saying. In other words, even when it comes to the death of Jesus, the death of Jesus means so much more to us when we understand the whole sacrificial system that was outlined in the Hebrew Bible. And so considering now the right of Christian baptism and seeking to gain a better hold of it through understanding what baptism or the mikvah meant to Jewish people, let's continue on. First of all, we need to talk about, beloved, that we're baptized or immersed in water. Why water? Why is it that Yeshua said he that believes and is baptized, and obviously, we know it was in the water, shall be saved.

What is it about water? We see for example, beloved, the beginning of this going to the book of Matthew chapter number 3. Hear the Word of God. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God abides forever. We see this was going on. There's something very special about water, what was going on and why did Jesus speak about the importance of it. I'm reading now from Matthew chapter 3 beginning in verse number 1. Now in this those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, I'm going to go verse number 5, to repent and be baptized, and then it says in verse number 5, then Jerusalem, all Jerusalem, then Jerusalem was going out to him and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan, and they were being baptized in the Jordan River. Why? They were being baptized, beloved, for the forgiveness of sins. But obviously, the Jewish people were very familiar with this.

In fact, some of you that have gone to Israel and have visited the holy sites there have gone to the early mikvah pools, and you have learned when you went to Israel the mikvah pools, it's a large, hewn out usually into stone that's filled with water. And they were all over at the time that Jesus walked upon the earth. So this whole rite of going to the Jordan River, the Israelites, and the mikvahs all around Israel during the time of Jesus, it was already very, very prevalent. Why? What is it about this? Consider, beloved, that in the beginning, in the very beginning, all there was, listen to this very carefully, was the Spirit of God moving over the surface of the waters.

Why water? Something very mystical about water. Do you know, beloved, that it was out of water that the world was formed? That in the beginning, the Scripture says, let me read for you the book of Bereshit, Genesis. It says in verse number 1 of chapter 1, it says, In the beginning, Elohim, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over, listen to this now, the surface of the deep. Listen now. And the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. So at the very beginning, listen, the first two verses of the Bible speak about God moving over the surface of the waters. That's all there was, was the Spirit of God moving over the surface of the waters.

So now think about this. We're called to be immersed in water in Jesus' name. We're going back, beloved, to creation. We're going back, beloved, to before the earth was formed. And now what we're going to see is the Lord speaks, listen to this now, and out of the water, listen to this, God pulls out the dry land. So listen now. Water is the agent of creation, and water, listen now, is the womb of the earth. Let me read it again. Bereshit, Genesis chapter 1, verse 1 and 2. In the beginning, Elohim, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness, listen now, was moving over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim, the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. And then God separated the light from the darkness, and then the Lord separated the waters in verse number 6. Then God, then Elohim said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters. And God made the expanse, and he began to separate things.

Notice, everything's coming out of the water. Everything is being birthed and separated out of the water. And then it says in verse number 9, listen, And Elohim said let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place. Let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters he called the seas. So when we, beloved, go to be immersed in Yeshua's name, get this now, in water, we're going back, get this now, we are going back to the agent of creation. That's why the Bible says we're born again. It's brand new. Nicodemus said can a man go back in his mother's womb and be born a second time? Jesus said no, you'll be born again, you'll receive my Spirit, and now I want you to go get baptized in the water. Because the water, listen to this, beloved, that you're baptized in, the water that you're immersed in, the waters of the mikvah, get this, listen now, are the same waters that existed in Genesis chapter 1. No new water is created. The waters on earth now are the same water that existed at creation.

So what you're doing is you're going back to the water that existed before anything was, before you were born, before the earth was made. You're going into that water, you're going under the water, your old life is passed away, now listen, you're coming out of that water. The water is the womb of creation, it's the place out of which life comes. You're coming back out of that water in Jesus' name, hallelujah, as a new creation.

Isn't that an awesome thing? Jesus said old things pass away, all things become new. I want you to go to be baptized in my name. Go immerse yourself in water. Go back to that water that existed at creation. I'm going to let you start all over. I'm going to wash your past away, and I'm going to bring you out of that water, and you're going to be created anew, hallelujah, in my name. No longer the son of Adam, but now a son of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. No longer a slave to sin, but now freed in Messiah Jesus. No longer under condemnation and sin, but now walking in forgiveness and liberty in Messiah Jesus. I have made you a new creation. I've become your Father, and you've become a child of mine. Go into that water, and let it be proclaimed that your old life is passed away, behold all things have come new because you've been baptized and birthed in Messiah Jesus.
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