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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

Beloved I hope to generate an awareness of this topic as I know it is close to the heart of our Lord.

Why don't a majority of the Jews Believe? Paul said that he wished he could be accursed from Christ for his people the Jews to be saved. I propose a series of statements to spark an interest in this subject as it has been widely ignored in Church history; it is this:

Jesus was a Jew. The Gospels were set in Isreal with Jewish characters looking for a Jewish Messiah. Every author of the scriptures was Jewish and it can be argued that Luke was 1/2 Jew. Nearly every one of Jesus' followers were Jews. All of the disciples were Jews. There was not a single Gentile mentioned as being saved before Acts 10. The Gospel was carried to the ends of the earth originally by Jews. Much of the confusion concerning the whole topic of election is furthered by the whole misunderstanding that Paul sought to establish in the hearts of the Gentiles that they were not an "after thought" of God. The Jews already believed they were the elect of God- the Gentiles needed that to be emphasized to them.


Who really were the Pharisees (Perushim)? What really was the upper room? What are tzitzit? Who were the Galileans? Who are the Goyim? What is a both kol? How many gentiles are mentioned in the New Testament before Acts Chapter 10? Who were the Zealots and Sacarii? What is the "Oral Law"? What is the Talmud? What is the Mishna? Who was Rabbi Akiba (Akiva)? Who was Simon Bar kochba?

Pretty Good Start! Any Interest?

God Bless and Best Regards In Christ,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/3/13 20:24Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

Quote:
I propose a series of statements to spark an interest in this subject as it has been widely ignored in Church history



Yes, Praise God Robert! I do hope we can grasp this, it is truly a incredible thing that we have largely westernized the faith and forgotten that we are the branches. Art Katz has been a tremendous help in drawing my attention back to this fact, if you haven't you might check out:
[url=http://www.benisrael.org]http://www.benisrael.org[/url]
Art is a Jewish believer for those who are unfamiliar with him. Astute. Intelligent and a man after God's own heart if I might be so bold to say.

You got my interest.
Where do we start?

Mike


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Mike Balog

 2004/3/14 0:06Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Bro Mike,

Thanks for the interest. I think I saw a quote you made from the Talmud on the cannibalism thread. I rolled out and kept my word not to return. I appreciate your added Talmudic insight- as I am in full agreement with you. One of the things that knowing the Jewish Roots of the faith does is emphasize Jeremiah 31:33 as the New Covenant that we are now under. "I will put my law (Torah) into the hearts and in their minds will I write it..." We are grossly missing this in the Church. When I say that passage or make reference to God's law on our hearts people often assume "personal convictions"- when it is not that at all. Personal convictions change from person to person- while God's law is no respector of persons and the "Spirit of the Law" is the same for everyone. God's nature and His word do not change. The conduct of a born again believer will always be in harmony with God's word- if they are led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit and the Word always agree (i know you know this). And though the Law of Moses was a national law for Israel it embodies the personality of a holy and righteous God. Art Katz did an awesome job describing profaning the things of God. Yes, I'm afraid, our liberty in the eyes of the Jews has become a cloak of malice. Did you know that Jews (so I have heard told) hold the human body so precious in Israel that when a bomb blows a person up they try to use the highest and most dignified means of treating the remains? We have lost that concept because (in some ways) we have believed that the "body" is evil and confuse the Greek Word sarx as meaning body when it often means "sin nature." I can walk either side of the issue personally and say "the body is tainted with sin" and yet still believe "It was still made in the image of God." On both accounts I see truth.

I heard a guy tell us a few weeks ago that God directed him to read a New Age book because "to the pure all things are pure." That is insane! Knowing the Jewish roots of the faith will get us a new respect for God and the things of God and will strip us of the tendency to profane things just because we have "liberty." Lets start with a book by Marvin Wilson called "Our Father Abraham" and we can work from there. These is so much to say and so little time...

God Bless and Brotherly Love,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/3/14 15:42Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Did you know that Jews (so I have heard told) hold the human body so precious in Israel that when a bomb blows a person up they try to use the highest and most dignified means of treating the remains?

I think you are referring to the acts of kindness squads

I think it may be a providence that I am going to be away for a few days. It will give you time to start without lots of interruptions. ;-)

I respect Art Katz as a man of integrity with a passion for God and a willingness for painful honesty. I have met him on a couple of occasions; the first was when he came to speak at a meeting in my home over twenty years ago, the second time was about 5 years ago when he came to speak in the church to which I now belong. He is bold and vulnerable, without formal style; all these things I love in the man. His theological views on the matter of Israel are another matter; I doubt that we could be further apart.

This could be an 'interesting' thread. I understand that an ancient chinese curse is 'may you live in interesting times'. ;-) I trust we shall be able to talk together in good humour, mutual respect and that the thread will not be 'interesting' in the 'chinese' sense.

I must admit to a quiet groan when I saw the thread arise. The topic has the power to be extremely divisive. But perhaps it is time... Let's be diligent to maintain the unity of the Spirit and be willing, often, to resort to that wonderful little phrase of Paul's 'we know in part".

It will be interesting to see if my reputation for 'balance' can survive this thread. :-o


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Ron Bailey

 2004/3/14 17:36Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

I was smiling at your post brother because of the many times I have sat in class and wanted to get up and walk out and watched other people strait get up and fold their books and walk out the door in disdain. In time I learned what was happening and it didn't bother me anymore. We have a lot of "concepts" about the Jews that we are so often in "love" with and say things like "we love the Jews... they're God's chosen people." I learned that what we really were in love with was the "idea" of the Jews and not the Jews themselves (how many Christians have heard the term Hassidic?). I learned I knew relatively nothing about them-- I only had my distorted concept of who they were. Bro. Jerry Feldman never tried to console people when they got up to walk out; it was almost like the rich young ruler. Jewish people I have known are generally strait talkers- I think its because of the raucous way that they sat around the dinner table with their doors open- inviting the neighbors to join their dinner conversations. They get loud-- but seem to get over it.

The question for the first 10 years of the Church was "can a gentile be saved?" As the entire Church was Jews. Why has the Church not asked the question as to how that could be possible? The short answer is "The Jews rejected Jesus." How could this be when Christianity began as a sect of the Jews called the Nazarenes (Notzrim)? One of something like 27 different sects of Judaism in the 1st century CE.

I have a pretty good sketch of what has happened. Thats what I hope to discuss. We have to consider that they must know of their Messiah and not our western version of Him. They will reject that and for good reason. The JEWS were faithful to take the Gospel to the Gentiles-- how are we doing in returning the favor? I personally was able to reach a Jewish man on his death bed with the Gospel in a Nursing Home about 3 years ago. I thought all my studies may have been for that one man's soul. Maybe it can find a lodging place here. Most of what I will tell you- you have likely never heard. many of the issues are not even known in the Church. And it will be my prayer, that as we find that balance in wading through the facts and holding to that which is good-- we will at the very least understand that God has not cast away his people, Paul's kinsman according to the flesh.

Romans 11:16-20... if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

I have been careful to "Take Heed" as Paul admonished us. We are grafted in- they are the natural branches. They CAN be grafted back in. did the Jews reject Yeshua? Some did- some did not. The controlling leadership certainly did (for the most part). But I ask a riviting question... did the Gentiles ALL accept Christ? Nay. Some did and some did not. God forgive us for our teachings of dispensationalism that have made us believe that the Jews will be saved in the end... when the Bible teaches that ALL who reject Christ have no hope.

God Bless and Much Brotherly love,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/3/15 8:48Profile
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 Re:

Hi Robert
what is the root?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/3/15 10:06Profile
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Posts: 9192
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 Re:

Thanks Robert,

I am looking forward to learning. My knowledge is certainly lacking in this foundational truth.
As you stated:

Quote:
We have a lot of "concepts" about the Jews that we are so often in "love" with and say things like "we love the Jews... they're God's chosen people." I learned that what we really were in love with was the "idea" of the Jews and not the Jews themselves


And
Quote:
I have a pretty good sketch of what has happened. Thats what I hope to discuss. We have to consider that they must know of their Messiah and not our western version of Him. They will reject that and for good reason. The JEWS were faithful to take the Gospel to the Gentiles-- how are we doing in returning the favor? I personally was able to reach a Jewish man on his death bed with the Gospel in a Nursing Home about 3 years ago. I thought all my studies may have been for that one man's soul. Maybe it can find a lodging place here. Most of what I will tell you- you have likely never heard. many of the issues are not even known in the Church. And it will be my prayer, that as we find that balance in wading through the facts and holding to that which is good-- we will at the very least understand that God has not cast away his people, Paul's kinsman according to the flesh.



Indeed, and as Ron alluded to, it's about time that we began discussing this. It has been pressing on me that very little attention is being given to the Jewish people in modern Christianity (At least in this corner of the world) though The Book is filled with 'our ancestors' and 'our heritage'.

There is so many aspects to discuss and likely it will encompass a broad range of issues and raise many questions.

In reference to the Jewish man that you witnessed to, I can only wonder at the difficulty that may escape many of us in all that entails.

Yesterday I read a testimony that I can only guess is all to common and have heard of similar story's of the additional hardships that are unique to those of Jewish tradition who have come to faith in their Messiah. Being disowned by your own family not the least of their anguish. Can we imagine that?


Hope this is within the realm of what you wanted to begin discussing here. You lead Brother and we will follow, see if we can keep the sheep in the pasture without wandering off to far.

Mike


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Mike Balog

 2004/3/15 10:08Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Beloved,

Once we trace the history of the early Church up to 135 CE I think we would conclude much differently than post 135 when the Church began drifting from Jerusalem and towards Athens and then Rome. However we decide, we must conclude based on the clear teaching of Romans 11 that we are "wild" branches and grafted in as Gentiles. That is a very sobering thought that escapes our minds. Since I began diving into the "Messianic's" claims personally as any good Berean should (amen?); I found that the half has yet been told. I would get upset and think something like this "If that is true then the Gentiles hijacked the whole thing!" Then I would go to the study library at the huge Nazerene Theological Seminary and check their sources and guess what... I went out of their almost hostile, shaking my head at some of the things that were written by some of the early church fathers (ante nicene). They didn't have to convince me... it was in plain black and white and I was sorely ashamed for and angered at the early Gentile Church! Then I found Luther's tractate about the Jews (which didn't he die a few weeks after writing that? I'll check it out.) and it burnt a lot of my thoughts about him.

What ever the root is the Jews are "naturally" growing from it- we have been grafted in contrary to nature. So how is it that if we are grafted in, we the "Gentile Church," could be the root?

So little time....


God Bless and Best Regards in Christ,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/3/15 11:33Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 Re:

Hi Robert,
you write What ever the root is the Jews are "naturally" growing from it- we have been grafted in contrary to nature. So how is it that if we are grafted in, we the "Gentile Church," could be the root?

I could answer this question for you, but it is absolutely essential to the whole of Paul's argument that you know what the 'root' is. If you have not decided what the 'root' is whatever conclusions you come to are just going to be 'castles in the air'.

It's a little bit like someone giving me a route which says I'm not sure where you start but follow the directions and you will get there. No you won't, not unless you know where you are starting from.

Its not a trick question, by the way. The answer is there in Romans.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/3/15 11:42Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hello again brother,

Yes, I agree. The theological road we have taken as Gentiles has sure taken us off track. The short answer is of coarse:

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen (Romans 9:1-6)

Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is the ONLY true Israel as HE is the promise, the covenant, the lamb, the priest, etc.

That is pretty clear; but why do the Gentiles now believe the Jews rejected their Messiah and the Gentile Church is now "Israel?" The problem as my studies have led me to see is that God intended that the root remain the root and the remnant of elect Jews would always be the natural branches and the elect Gentiles would be the "grafted in" branches. What we have now is a tree loaded with grafted in (or "taped on" if they are "almost Christians"); but where is the bulk of that remnant?

Lets go back to the first century and begin to see it all play out.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/3/15 12:27Profile





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