Judeo-Christianity

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A term we do not hear much about any longer is Judeo-Christian. This term was used because our faith is based upon the Hebrew Scriptures. Christianity begins its faith at the time of creation: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Our God is the God that created the heavens and the earth in six days. Our God is the God who rested on the seventh day and made it holy. "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Genesis 2:3). Our faith is based on Bible characters like Joshua, Moses, and David and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel. The Hebrew Scriptures are the foundation of our faith. Our moral fiber is based on the Ten Commandments. Yeshua (Jesus) was Jewish in every sense of the word, and so were His disciples. Yeshua and His disciples kept the feast days, the sabbaths, and Yeshua quoted the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, He was the fulfillment of those Scriptures.

The Apostolic Scriptures are all based on the Hebrew Scriptures. God's Word is one, just as He is One; and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our God does not change, so why have we changed His Word? Yeshua was the word made flesh and if He is the same, He being the word, then the word should be the same. But we have changed our faith from Hebraic to a Greco-Roman faith. Our forefathers no longer wanted to identify with their Jewish roots. They went from using God's calendar to a Roman style calendar.

God's calendar is a lunar calendar based on the cycle of the moon. God's Word tells us that there was night and then there was day in the story of creation. In that same story of creation, God rested on the seventh day and made the day holy (set apart, sanctified). The seventh day, or the Sabbath, is the day we call Saturday. Even the Roman calendar did not change the seventh day, though they named it after their god Saturn (all the days are named after pagan gods).

God speaks of His Appointed Times, His times of gathering, which are listed in Leviticus 23. These days have special meaning to God, and as believers, they should have special meaning to us also. What is special to our Father should be special to us. The church has changed these times and hidden their meanings. Scripture tells us that Yeshua is our Passover Lamb and that we are to eat the Passover with unleavened bread (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). This has been changed to Good Friday and in many years the two are not even in the same week, so we lose the significance of this important time and the meanings behind these feast days. At the Seder Meal, we see the meaning of the cup that Yeshua lifts up, and the unleavened bread that He breaks. And then Communion takes on its true meaning, and the Passover becomes personal to us, for Yeshua was the true Messiah that was to come. He died for the sins of man. He has taken us out of darkness and into the light, and we who have come to believe have experienced our own exodus from the bondage of sin into the freedom of redemption. This is what we are to remember every time we eat the Passover Seder.

The church called Yeshua's Resurrection "Easter" after a pagan fertility goddess. The church has totally done away with Rosh Ha-Shannah, Yom Kippur, and the Feast of Tabernacles even though the Bible tells us in Zechariah 14:16-21 that when Yeshua comes back, every nation will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate this feast or else God will cause it not to rain on their land. The only feast day that the church has kept was Pentecost. And why do we keep this feast out of them all? Because we say that it is the birthday of the church.

Now before you write this off, read this through and then determine whether you think it is right or wrong. I am here to tell you that God has only one flock. Paul tells the Ephesians in chapter 4, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all in all."

The day of Pentecost was a pilgrimage feast for the Jewish people. This meant that they would travel to Jerusalem and offer their sacrifices in the Temple, just as they did for the Feast of Passover. The city was full of Jewish people from all over the Diaspora. Those 120 people who had been praying in the upper room upon which The Holy Spirit descended were now in the temple. So people from all over saw and heard this great phenomenon. What was born on the day of Pentecost was a glimpse of the Messianic Age which was prophesied of by the prophet Joel: "And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days."

Yeshua's resurrection marked the beginning of the first fruits, for it was on the Feast of First-Fruits that He rose. Paul tells the Colossians in Colossians 1:18, "He (Yeshua) is also head of the body, the assembly (church); and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything." James writes, "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shadow of turning. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first-fruits among His creatures" (James 1:17-18).

At Pentecost, the Spirit of God was poured out on over 3,000 Jewish people (there were actually more because they only recorded the men) who were there that day when Peter got up to speak to the crowd. The Scriptures tell us that this number grew daily, and all these people were zealous for the Torah. We find the disciples and even Paul going to the synagogue and the Temple on a regular basis. But the Scriptures tell us that God hardened the hearts of the majority of the Jewish people so that the Gentiles could also come into the flock. Romans 11:17-18 tells us, "But if some of the branches were broken off, and you being a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them and become partakers with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root; but the root supports you."

There have always been Gentiles who believed in the one true God, the God of Israel. They were called God Fearers. They lived by the Torah, and many of them even worshiped with the Jewish people. Here are only a few references, for there are many.

Exodus 12:37-38 tells us, "Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children and a mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock."

Exodus 12:49 tells us, "The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you." This is a reference to Passover, but it applies to all of God's Appointed Times. The God Fearers were to keep the same law regarding God's feasts and Appointed Times. This meant keeping the Sabbath law of no work of any kind on these days. In Yeshua's (Jesus') day, there was a centurion who came to Yeshua and asked if He would heal his servant. In the account of Luke he tells us, "And when they had come to Yeshua they earnestly entreated Him, saying, 'He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation, and it was he who built us our synagogue'" (Luke 7:4-5).

In Acts 10, we find Peter directed to go to the house of Cornelius: a centurion, a righteous man, and a God Fearer. This may be the same centurion that Yeshua encountered, or it may be another; for I'm sure even those at the cross must have come to believe. We see Philip with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:25-40 reading the Hebrew Scriptures. So we see that God's Word is not only for the Jewish people alone, but for all who believe in the one true God, for God is one, and His Word is one word.

Paul came along and he preached to many of these God Fearers (Acts 17:4, Acts 17:12, Acts 17:17, just to list a few) and his message was a simple one. But we have twisted his message over the years to say that the Torah is not for Gentiles, and the so-called "Old" Testament was only for the Jewish people. But Paul's message was the same, even up to his death; and that message was only this: a Gentile did not have to become a Jew ceremonially first to become a believer, for it was by faith that we are saved and not by the works of ceremonially becoming a Jew. This meant the requirements which the law mandated for anyone becoming a legal Jewish member such as undergoing circumcision, the ceremonial washing called a mikvah, and offering up the appropriate sacrifices did not have to be met to become a believer. Paul's message was nothing more and nothing less than that. Paul did not start a new religion, nor did he change God's Word. He did not eliminate God's teachings, but instead said that the Torah was good.

So we should live by all of God's teachings which are found in the entire book of the Bible. For Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." We have been grafted into the covenants, the promises, and the blessings all given to Abraham and to Moses and to the Jewish people, and are part of all that it means to be God's chosen people. For 1 Peter 2:10 tells us, "We once were not a people but now we are the people of God." We need to live by God's entire Word and keep His entire commandments; for God is one, and His message is one from cover to cover.

If we are Judeo-Christians, then our foundation is built upon Judeo principles. Shouldn't we be living out those principles?

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