Rabbi Schneider - Does the Hebrew Bible Matter
We're going deep into the Word of God. We're going into the Hebrew Bible that we call the Tanakh, standing for the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Prophets and the Writings and we're pulling out of the Torah the first five books of Moses: the Nevi'im, the Prophets, and the Ketuvim, the Writings like Psalms and so on. And we're pulling out from there, prophecies that pointed to Yeshua the Messiah. Now it's interesting when we consider, is this really important? Is it really critical for us to understand Scriptures, oftentimes encrypted deep in the pages of the Hebrew Bible, that were shadows and types and even printed depictions of the coming of the Messiah? How important is that as believers, whether we're Jew or Gentile, to know about these prophecies today?
Well, beloved, let me simply state that Yeshua proved to His first followers that He was the Messiah by showing them how He fulfilled these ancient Hebraic prophecies. He brought them on a journey through the law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms, pointing to those scriptures and showing His first believers how those specific scriptures that He pointed to were fulfilled in Him. Then the Scripture says He opened their eyes to be able to perceive the ancient predictions that He had fulfilled.
So Jesus used the Hebrew Bible to show that He was the Messiah. So that tells us today that if we're going to be rock solid in believing that Jesus truly is the only way, we need to understand how we fulfill the Hebrew Bible. Because if we don't fully grasp how Yeshua fulfilled the writings of the Old Testament or the Tanakh, we're just going to think perhaps, like some people do, that Christianity is a good religion. But you know what, there's lots of good religions in the world. And people think, "As long as someone's a good person, I'm not going to interfere with what they believe or what they think". In the back of their mind, what many of these that I'm describing are saying, even if they call themselves Christians, in the back of their mind what they're thinking is, "You know what, let's leave well enough alone. All roads lead to the same place". And for that reason, they don't preach. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through me". Yeshua said to His own people, "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins".
Let me tell you one of the greatest travesties that is happening right now in the so-called Christian church. And when I use that term, "Christian church," I'm using it very lightly. Because many will say on that day, "Lord, Lord," and Yeshua is going to say, "I never knew you". When we look at the fact that Yeshua fulfilled the Messianic prophecy of the Hebrew Bible, that He died on the cross for our sins, that we read in the book of Acts that there is no name under heaven by which men can be saved but the name of Yeshua, when we consider the fact that Yeshua said once again, "Unless you believe," speaking of Himself, "that I am He, you will die in your sins".
When you consider the fact that Jesus' first disciples were Jews. He sent them from Jerusalem to Judea and then to the outermost parts of the earth, when you consider the fact that whenever Paul went into a new city, He went first to the synagogue, when you consider the fact that the book of Romans says that the gospel is the power of God to the Jews first, and also to the Greek or the Gentile, when you consider all these things that Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures in the Hebrew Bible, that it all pointed to Him, that He is the way the truth and the life, that He is the Messiah and His Father is the God of Israel, that He said there's no way into the Father but through Him, when you consider all these things, that He was a Jew, came as a Jew, lived as a Jew, died as a Jew, chose 12 Jewish apostles, sent His kingdom into Jerusalem first, Paul, again, going first, whenever he went to a new city, to the synagogue, when you consider all these things, and compare that to what is going on today, it's unbelievable.
What am I talking about? I'm talking about this. Do you know that we have a significant amount of people in the Christian church today that think it's wrong to share the good news of Messiah with Jews, and that they're accusing Jewish believers like myself of being hateful because we believe it's important to share the good news of Yeshua with everybody, to the Jew first and also to the Greek? Paul said in the book of Romans, he said, "The Holy Spirit bears me witness. I have unceasing grief in my heart. For I wish I myself would be a curse for the sake of my brethren who are the Israelites". Paul's whole burden was to see Israel saved. Paul said he magnified his ministry because even though it was to the Gentiles, he said it because it was through the Gentiles that Israel would be provoked to jealousy and be saved.
Beloved, messianic prophecy helps us understand that Jesus is not only the One, but He is the only One. And either He is the only One for everybody or He's for nobody. You see, the value of knowing messianic prophecy, which we're going to get into today, the value of knowing messianic prophecy is it helps solidify our thinking and understanding so that we can come to a place in life that we truly have revelation to be able to understand that there's only one God, and God has only made one way to Him. When He came into the world clothed in humanity with the name Yeshua, Jesus. Then after leading a sinless life, God and man merge together. It's called in theology, the Hypostatic Union. Yeshua is fully God and fully man, sinless, blameless. Then at 33 years old, He went to the cross. The nails were pierced through His hands and through His feet. The spear went into His side, the crown of thorns pressed down His head with blood coming down His head, still bleeding from the lashes that they gave Him before He went to the cross.
Again, then they took that spear, thrust it in His side, and eventually, He breathed His last, saying, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". And when that happened, beloved, that was the most cataclysmic thing that this world has ever experienced since it was created. God Himself died on the cross for the sins of humanity and said, "If you will come to me, you will be saved. But He that will not come to me," He said, "They'll be cast into the outer darkness". We have this opportunity, beloved, not only to come to Yeshua, ourselves but to also recognize through studying the Hebrew Bible, through understanding all the ways that God is working in our life, through all the manifold ways that the Lord is revealing Himself, to be able to boldly be His witnesses in this earth, saying, "Jesus is the way. There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved".
So I guess I'm just today a little worked up because I can't even believe what I'm hearing. Fights within the so-called Christian world as to whether it is right or wrong for a Messianic Jew to proclaim Jesus to other Jews. Is that even a question? Either Jesus is the Savior of the world or He's the savior of no one. Either He is the one that died on the cross for the atonement of man's sins, and that's the only way to the Father, or He's not. Either He's a liar, He's a lunatic, or He's Lord. Beloved, Yeshua is the God of the entire world, and He needs to be preached to every tribe, tongue, and nation. When we study messianic prophecy, we become more convinced than ever that Christianity isn't simply one great world religion. No, there's one God. He's the God of Israel. The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh is His Holy Word. In the Hebrew Bible, He revealed to us the identity of Messiah. And when Messiah came, Moses predicted that whoever would not listen to Him would be cut off.
So my prayer is that by studying the Hebrew Bible and looking at these Messianic prophecies, your fate will be established. That you won't back down because people tell you you're a narrow-minded, bigoted, hater Christian. No, you're not a hater. You're not bigoted. You're not narrow-minded. You're standing for the truth in a world that has gone astray. Jesus said, "Straight and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it". So don't let the world back you down. Don't let anybody back you down. Jesus said, "If they persecuted me, they're going to persecute you". So we need to recognize Yeshua is the only way. And I pray today, beloved ones, that as we study messianic prophecy, your faith will be built up more than ever. That though the world rage against you, you will stand strong and be His witness, and lovingly be His light to all people.
When we began this series months ago, again, we're beginning Season 4, I began in this series by sharing with you that the way that Matthew and some of the other writers of the New Testament use the word "prophecy" when they say that Jesus thus fulfilled this prophecy, and then the New Testament writer brings us back to some prophecy in the Old Testament, we oftentimes wonder, well, how did Jesus fulfill that prophecy? Because oftentimes when we think of a prophecy, we're thinking of something that's predictive. But I want you to understand that many of the prophecies that the New Testament uses, in other words, many of the times that the New Testament writers quote an Old Testament Scripture and say that Jesus fulfilled that, they weren't speaking about the fact that it was in the Old Testament a predictive prophecy. That it wasn't a prophecy as originally given that was predictive in the normal sense of the word.
What do I mean by that? Predictive would be if I said, for example, on May 13 in the year 2073, there's going to be an earthquake in the world that's going to be the biggest earthquake the world has ever experienced. That would be a predictive prophecy. It could be scientifically measured. So oftentimes in the New Testament, when the writers are using Scriptures from the Hebrew Bible and saying Yeshua fulfilled it, they're not saying that He fulfilled it in the sense of the fact that the Old Testament writer was making a prediction that Jesus fulfilled. But rather what the New Testament writers are doing is they're taking a paintbrush, and they're showing how in Israel's history, Jesus filled it up by going through the same things in His own life.
So, for example, Yeshua was in the wilderness fasting for 40 days and 40 nights even as Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years. So what Yeshua went through, Israel went through. Israel was in Egypt. And so what happens shortly after Yeshua's birth? He is taken into Egypt. So again, when the New Testament writers go back and they quote Old Testament prophecies saying that Yeshua fulfilled it, they weren't necessarily saying that Yeshua fulfilled the prediction, but rather that Yeshua fulfilled Israel's history up with meaning. He filled it full, fulfilled, or filled it full by going through the same thing in His own life. Because Israel is filled up in Yeshua. Yeshua being Israel's divine representative or divine head. So as Israel was, so Yeshua went through in His own life. We talked about that, first of all.
Then we continued in our earlier seasons by going through types and shadows. We saw, for example, the principle of blood in the Hebrew Bible and how the blood made atonement, how on Yom Kippur they would bring in the blood of the bull and the goat into the Holy of Holies, poured over the mercy seat, the altar on top of the Ark of the Covenant. And God would overlook the sins of His people for the year. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood," Sayeth the Lord. And He gave it to us, sayeth the Lord, "To make an atonement for your souls". So in the blood we see types and shadows of how Yeshua, the perfect one, God in human form shed His own blood to do away with our sin once and for all. We looked at type and shadows as we examine the Hebrew patriarchs like Abraham, Moses, Joseph, and others. And showed from the patriarch's life, from the forefathers of our faith in the Hebrew Bible, we saw how Yeshua incorporated many of the truths that they revealed into His own ministry. Because, once again, Israel's history is fulfilled and climaxed in Yeshua himself.
Then on last season, we move forward from there, and we began to talk specifically about predictive prophecy. That's where we are at today. So I want to encourage you, go back watch Season 1 on messianic prophecy, Season 2, and Season 3. Now we're continuing in Season 4. Last week or last time on the last episode on Season 3, I was tracing Yeshua's genealogy. That He was going to come from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And we traced that, that He was going to come through the line of David. Today, what we're doing is we're getting into new material, where I'm going to be bringing to light the fact that the virgin birth of Yeshua that we read about in the New Testament did not appear in a vacuum. Because what we're going to find today, beloved ones, is this concept of supernatural birth, the virgin birth being the climax of supernatural birth, but we're going to look today in the Hebrew Bible and see that the principle of supernatural birth was already deeply rooted from Israel's foundation.
Let's look at this, for example. In the life of Abraham, who God made the covenant with that eventually was fulfilled in the coming of Yeshua. Remember God made the covenant with Abraham, and God said, "Abraham, through your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed". The Scripture tells us in the book of Galatians that that prophecy was fulfilled in Yeshua, who is the seed that Lord prophesied over Abraham that would bless the entire world. So let's think about how this seed came into the world through Abraham. Well, we know the story many of us, that God had promised Abraham through the seed, the whole world would be blessed. But Abraham and his wife Sarah ran into a problem. They couldn't conceive.
So with that place, let's now pick up in the book of Bereshit or Genesis chapter 18, verse 1. Hear the Word of God. "Now the Lord appeared to him, to Abraham, by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day". I'm continuing in verse 9. "Then they said to him, to Abraham, 'Where is Sarah your wife?' And he said, 'There, in the tent.' He said, the Lord said, 'I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold,'" the Lord is speaking to Abraham, "'Sarah your wife will have a son'". Now, remember, Abraham and Sarah are way advanced in age. They had given up already. But now the Lord appears to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre and tells him, "At this time next year you're going to have that son".
Continuing the story. "And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself saying, 'After I become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?'" In other words, "Am I going to be able to conceive? Not only am I past the age of childbearing," Sarah was saying, "but my husband, he's past the age of childbearing too". "And the Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?' Is anything too difficult for the Lord"? I love that. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? Let's get that through our heads. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? Scientifically, both Abraham and Sarah are past the age of childbearing. But what happens at the appointed time? A year later she conceives and brings forth Isaac.
Beloved, that was a foretaste of the supernatural birth of Yeshua the Messiah. So a lot of times people balk at Mary at supernaturally conceiving by the Ruach HaKadosh and then bringing forth Yeshua because she had been impregnanted by the Holy Spirit. But Beloved, I want you to understand, that principle of supernatural birth was seen, first of all, in the life of Abraham our father. When he was too old to give birth, Sarah was too old to give birth, and in being a scientific impossibility, Isaac is born. That principle of supernatural birth reaches its climax when Mary conceives by the Holy Spirit and brings forth the birth of our Savior. Until next week, beloved, this is Rabbi Schneider. Be sure to tune in. We've got a lot more to cover.