Greetings in His Name:
It’s been a while since I did any regular posting here but I’ll try (once again) to make regular posts for consideration of friends and family. The question today is, “Is a Christian a Jew?” This will be remarkably short (by my standards) since the answer is very simple: Yes. How do I know that? From Paul’s (former Saul of Tarsus) writings in the letter to the Romans, Chapter 11: (Yes, it’s rather long but necessary to the whole argument. So read carefully and understand that I have taken the liberty of using Goyim rather than Gentile, Avraham rather than Abraham, etc.)
- I say then, Hath G-d cast away his people? [I Sam 12:22, Jer 31:37] G-d forbid! For I also am Yisraelim, of the seed of Avraham, of the tribe of Benyamin.
- G-d hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Do ye not know what the scripture saith of Eliyah? How he maketh intercession to G-d against Yisrael, saying
- [I Kings 19:10] “Lord, they have killed thy prophets, digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.”
- But what saith the answer of G-d unto him? ”I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.”
- Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
- And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.
- What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the the election had obtained it, and the rest were blinded. [Is 29:10]
- According as it is written, [Deut 29:4, Is 6:9] “G-d hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear.” unto this day.
- And David saith, [Ps 69:22] “Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them:
- Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.”
- I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? G-d forbid! but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Goyim, for to provoke them to jealousy.
- Now, if the fall of them be riches of the world, and the diminishimg of them the richs of the Goyim, how much more their fullness? [Jer 30:4, Zech :11]
- For I speak unto you Goyim inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Goyim, I magnify my office.
- If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh and might save some of them.
- For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
- For if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
- And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatnes of the olive tree;
- Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
- Thou wilt say then, “The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”
- Well, because of unbelief they were broken off and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded but fear!
- For if G-d spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
- Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of G-d; on them which it fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness if thou continue in His goodness; otherwise thou also shall be cut off.
- And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for G-d is able to graft them in again.
- For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature and wert grafted contrary to nature into the good olive tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
- As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes but as touching the election they are beloved for the fathers sakes.
- For the gifts and calling of G-d are without repentence.
OK, that’s enough scripture for now. I will deal with works and grace, predestination, foreknowledge and election, etc. in another blog at a later date. Note that the “wild olive tree branches”, meaning the Goyim or the Gentiles, were grafted INTO the true olive tree that is Judaism. NOWHERE does Paul (nor any other apostle) say that there is to be a new religion to be called Christianity, nor Messianic Judaism nor anything like that. No, rather he says that those who were NOT Jews shall be grafted into Judaism BECAUSE of their belief. After all, the New Testament [Acts 11:26b] does say that it was in Antioch that the Schismatics were first called Christian, a Greek word for Messiah, or Messiahim or followers of the Messiah. And history books seem to record that until that time the Jewish leaders referred to them as Schismatics, not as Messiahim of Messiah Jews – just a splinter of Judaism, like Reformed , Conservative, Hassadim or Lubavitch.
The MAIN point here is the so-called Christians today are actually nothing more than Jews who believe that Y’Shua was (and is) THE Messiah, the deliverer of Israel, not a whole new religion that would in later days persecute the very Jews that He came to save. Y’Shua Himself said, [Matt 5:17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Not one jot (a punctuation mark) nor one tittle (a flourish made on the first letter of each book or chapter that was decorative in nature only) would pass away until all be fulfilled. Now most Christians say that the Law (Torah) was all fulfilled in Y’Shua. I shan’t argue with that for I also believe it to be true. But I will say that even though the Torah was fulfilled in Y’Shua that it can not be thrown out. Did not G-d say through Malachi (Ch 3, v.6), “For I AM the LORD, I change not.” I G-d does not change, then it would follow that what he said through Moshe, through Isaiah, through any of his prophets, that they are a covenant forever, not just for that time and period? Y’Shua only repeated that when he said that the Torah would not change.
And again, in David’s Psalms 19:7, The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the souls; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making the wise the simple.  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Remember, that Y’Shua kept all of the commandments; that all of the first century New Covenant apostles and disciples kept the commandments as best they could; not that they could obtain salvation through keeping the law, no one can, but that they might please G-d by being obedient. As I told my son the other day, we don’t keep the law and the commandments because we HAVE to do so, we do this to please G-d. G-d himself said that obedience is better than sacrifice and that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.
And, again, Y’Shua said to the 12 apostles, [Matt 10:5] These twelve Yshua sent forth, and commanded them saying, “Go not into the way of the Goyim, and into any city of Samaria, enter ye not.  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.
And again, Y’shua talks with woman who wanted healing [Matt 15:22] And behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.  But He answered her not a word. And his diciples came and besought saying, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.” But he answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Yisrael.”
And the passage continues where she rationalizes that even dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of the Master and Y’Shua marveled at her faith and her daughter was healed. There are several lessons here but the one that I am pointing out is the Y’Shua was sent to the Jew first and then to the Goyim. All of that to say this:
The so-called Christian is a Jew who believes that Y’Shua is the Messiah who came and is to come again. Acts 11:26 says, … “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Not that they themselves called themselves Christians, but they were called Christians by others. By others! They themselves attended services on Friday night or Saturday morning in the temple or place of worship at home. In Rome they met on the “Lord’s Day” – meaning Ascension Sunday – each week before work and had a very brief service and sang some hymns and then went to work. This because the Jews who were in charge (the priests and others) of the Temple (Synagogue) of that day would not permit talking about Y’Shua in the temple itself.
There. That should be enough to chat about for a while. BTW, as to the question, “Can a Jew be a Christian?” that has been answered here as well. A Christian IS A Jew and a Jew who accepts Y’Shua as the Messiah is a Christian. Plain and simple. Not a Christian-Jew nor a Jewish-Christian nor a Completed-Jew nor a Converted-Jew nor a Converted-Christian. They are one and the same. Salvation came to the Jew first and then to the Goyim.
“I could be wrong,now – but I don’t think so!” (From “It’s a Jungle Out There”) The following is for those seeking understanding on the traditions of three of the world’s main religions. Most of what follows is history and not meant to open up a discussion but mainly to help those who don’t really understand the differences in the three main religions of the world nor the sub-groups within each one. This came about because I have many friends who believe that a Jew is a Jew and a Moslem is a Moslem (Muslim is the plural of Moslem) and a Christian is a Christian. Each one has many shades and colors of meaning and this is just my attempt to explain the grouping to my friends and neighbors.
I’ve given a bit of thought to the problem of explaining the world’s three mainline religions to my friends. This paper follows their origins along with some thoughts about the breakdown of each one into its main components. One of the problems in this dissertation is that I have not found a way to post anything in Hebrew, Greek nor Aramaic so most of this will be Julian dates and a (best as I can do) transliteration of the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic words into pronounceable words in English. Also, this article is directed to those not terribly familiar with all three religions but mostly with one or the other.
Judaism is the oldest and more established of the three main religions of this paper. Born when Avram (later Avraham) was called out of Ur (supposedly located in Iraq between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers) and later established by Moshe when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and G-d gave him the Torah to give to the Children. Judaism seems to be (or is) composed of four (or five) main branches: Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and Hassidic. All believe in the ONE G-D and that there is no other G-d or gods. Outside of that, they seem to be all over the map in what they believe. My Rabbi once told me that there is a Jewish proverb that wherever there are two Jews you will have three opinions; the first Jew’s opinion, the second Jew’s opinion and G-d’s opinion. He also told me that the original characters for a Jew as three yuds; two side by side and one in the middle just above them showing that two Jews are united under one loving G-d and father over all. But, you can’t show that in the early printing so the third yud was dropped.
- Orthodox and Hassidic are similar in observances in that both believe that the Masoretic Text (bretween 600 and 1000 AD – 4550 to about 4750 on the Jewish calendar), closely observe all of the 621 laws in HaTorah. HaTorah (The Law) is the first five books of the bible – Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. (Bereshis, Shemos, Va-Yikra’, Be-Midbar and Devarim in Hebrew.) Some of those laws, most dealing with sacrifice and civil penalties, cannot be observed until the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem or until the nation of Israel moves from a secular collection of of Jews (by birth) becomes the nation of Judah, a nation observant to HaTorah. Pretty much, they believe that the Bible is the revealed Word of G-d. More on the Hassidic later.
- Reformed are the “left wing” of Judaism in that they are observe a “big tent” where you can believe almost anything and still be a Reformed Jew. (Seriously! Almost anything!) This “latter day” movement started in Eastern Europe in the early 1800′s and spread to the USA and the UK in the early 1900′s. There is in a short document in Wikepedia on Reformed Judaism that recounts most of the highlights of the movement. Suffice it to say that that Reformed Judaism does not follow the letter of the “Law” of the Torah nor many of the practices of traditional Judaism.
- But what about Conservative or Masorti Judaism? Conservatism is neither Orthodox nor Reformed, but seems (to me) to be an attempt to reconcile between the two main branches and is neither fish nor fowl. While more liberal than Orthodoxy and more traditional than Reformed, they seem closer to the Orthodox in that they (for the most part) do believe that the Masoretic Bible is the revealed Word of G-d and has been preserved down through the ages.
Christianity came about with the birth and death of Y’Shua (Jesus) who was thought to be the son of a certain Joseph and Mary. However, Christians believe that G-d himself “caused” Mary to become the mother by a miracle and this was revealed to Joseph in a dream from an Angel of G-d. Others believe that Y’Shua was a priest (or rabbi) from a little known sect of Jews called Essenes, a minor movement compatible with the Pharasees and the Saducees. When he was crucified by the Romans he is believed to have risen from the dead after three days (if you believe in a Thursday crucifixion rather than Friday) and ascended into Heaven bodily after a period of about 40 or 50 days and was seen by hundreds during that time. Present day Julian calendars are denoted as BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini – Year of the Lord).
Christianity can be broken down into three main groups as well: Conservative (Baptists, Reformed Baptists, Reformed Methodists, Bible Churches, Four Square, Church of Christ, Orthodox – Eastern, Russian, Coptic, etc – and Nazarene.), the Liberal (Presbyterians, Episcopaleans, most Methodists, most Lutherans, Church of England, Roman Catholic, etc.), the Charismatic churches such as Assembly of God and others who hold to the belief that God still gives the gifts of tongues and healing today and the Cultic churches such as Mormans, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the like. You will find that most of the “TV Churches” are of the Charismatic variety but there are still a sprinkling of the conservative and liberal. However, all except the cult groups (to be discussed later). All except the Cults and a few non-trinitarian churches hold that Jesus was the only son of G-d and was, in fact, very G-d himself. The Trinity is explained as three parts of the ONE G-d and not three separate gods, which would be heresy.
- Conservatives, for the most part, believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of G-d, baptism is part of the salvation process and only those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus (Y’Shua) was the Son of G-d will be allowed into Heaven. Some have closed communion (commemoration of the Last Supper) some are open but all seem united in certain causes such as anti-abortion to preserve the life of the unborn baby and yet favor the death penalty for certain crimes. Some will not allow divorce except for adultery or desertion while others recognize divorce as a sin to be forgiven. All seem to favor baptism by immersion but some (just a couple) will accept baptism by other congregations of the same denomination but only if they were immersed. Why so many denominations? Usually because of splits over methods of baptism, whether communion should be observed every week or monthly or quarterly or annually, titles in the church, etc.
- Liberals are diverse group who usually do not believe in the inerrancy of the bible (much like the Reformed Jews) and hold to permitting abortion, are strongly anti-death-penalty for anything, don’t really seem to have a firm conviction of who will go to heaven and who won’t and usually vote for the more liberal political party. Except for the Roman Catholic who are liberal EXCEPT for being strongly anti-abortion and strongly anti-divorce, even more so than their conservative counterparts. Christianity is, indeed, a multi-colored coat that embraces almost anything.
- Charismatic churches are pretty much orthodox christianity EXCEPT that they believe that G-d still gives the gifts of healing and tongues in today’s churches. For many years they were outcasts but recently they have been included into the mainstream churches and even some of the conservative and liberal churches have begun to accept this point of view while not preaching it from the pulpit. Again, rather strange behavior but the churches seem to be bent on keeping their members even if they have to bend their faith a bit.
- Cults are the hardest to explain to the outsider. While the Mormons do believe in the King James Version of the bible as the inerrant word of G-d (so far as it is interpreted correctly) they add several books to the bible that were give to them by Joseph Smith, their founder and first prophet. These are the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and The Doctrines and Covenants. They are also polytheistic in that they believe that Jesus was the G-d of THIS world but that there are other worlds and other g-ds of those worlds. One of their main doctrines is that “As Man is, G-d once was and as G-d is man may become.” Also they seem to hold that Jesus and Lucifer were both sons of G-d and that only Jesus was chosen to redeem mankind. Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, hold that Jesus was a man and only a man which is as heretical in the Christian way of thinking as believing that HaShem was only one of many gods in Judaism. But, both Mormonism and JW’s are growing at fanatical rates, especially outside the USA where they were first developed.
Islam is broken into two main groups: The Shite (pronounced Shee’-ite with a soft ‘t’) and the Sunni (pronounced Su’-nee) and, to my understanding, has more to do with a political breakup after the death of Mohammad. Some followed the sons of Mohammad and others followed the then leaders of Islam. Even today, while Iraq is mostly Sunni with Shite in political control, Iran is mostly Shite with very few Sunni. The Arab states (Arabia to most of us) is almost all Sunni with a sprinkling of Sunni. Islam (the Koran) recognizes the other two main religions of Judaism and Christianity as “People of the Book” since, by their way of thinking, the Jews have the Old Testament and the Christians have the New Testament. Both are allowed to co-exist with Islam under certain conditions – usually that they don’t preach nor convert anyone from Islam to their faith. In practice, neither are allowed to co-exist unless Islam is not in power. Even then, Islamists seem to push for Shari Law and other concessions that they would never allow in a country controlled by Islamists.
I have tried to understand the Islamists point of view and have read an English translation of the Koran. I do find certain points of view acceptable but, according to the Koran, any other faith other than Islam is not allowed unless the non-believer confesses that Allah is G-d and that his only prophet is Mohammed. This no believing Christian or Jew could do and still be following their faith. Frankly, I don’t see any kind of co-existence possible UNLESS we can all recognize that while we have different faiths we have to abide by a civil law that is an amalgamation of all of these different faiths. And if we do that, then none of us can live by their professed faith. Truly it is a problem for which the only solution is to have countries that are Muslim, others that are Christian and others that are Judaic. But, if we did that, the Catholics would want their own country and the Baptists would want theirs, etc., etc.