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Friday, August 10 2012

Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism

Studies in this complete series of Israel In History and Prophecy:
1. Roots and Branches 2. Jacob's Family 3. Moses 4. The Exodus 5. Passover
6. Law Of The LORD 7. The Sinai Journey 8. Joshua 9. The Judges 10. Samuel
11. Saul and David 12. The Civil War 13. Jerusalem 14. Zion 15. King David
16. Solomon 17. The Tabernacle 18. The Temple 19. Israel and Judah 20. The Lost Ten Tribes
21. Kingdom Of Judah 22. Back To Babylon 23. The Prophets 24. Babylon and Persia 25. The Return Of Judah
26. Jews 27. Judaism 28. Purim 29. Hanukkah 30. Hasmonean Judea
31. Roman Judea 32. Herod 33. The Messiah 34. The Zealots 35. Aelia Capitolina
36. Rome and Islam 37. Balfour Declaration 38. Israel Of Judah 39. The New Covenant 40. Alpha and Omega

"Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"

A definition of "Judaism," from the 2012 online Encyclopædia Britannica:

"Judaism, the religion of the Jews. It is the complex phenomenon of a total way of life for the Jewish people, comprising theology, law, and innumerable cultural traditions."

The "religion" of Israel, all of the tribes of Israel together (of which Judah was just one tribe; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Jacob's Family and Israel In History and Prophecy: Jews), may be summed up by the formal statement by the LORD in The First Commandment (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD):

"20:1 And God spake all these words, saying, 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:1-3 KJV)

Who was, and is, "the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt"? Answer: "that Rock was Christ" (see Who Is The LORD?).

"10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant ["ignorant" means to ignore], how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Moses and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus]; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

How is it then, that by the time of the birth of the Messiah, a prophesied event that they were aware of (e.g. see Matthew 2:3-6), that the people of Judah ("Israel" was long gone by that time; see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes - the northern kingdom of Israel never knew the religion of Judaism) not only didn't recognize Him, but actually rejected Him and called Him a "sinner"? What happened to the religion that the LORD gave to them that it later became their religion, but in His Name?

The Western Wall

"7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:6-9 KJV)

It was a strong rebuke. But it wasn't just to the Jews who did as they please in His Name that He spoke; the principle applies just as much to the "Christians" of today who proclaim "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name," to which the LORD will one day answer, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" - because they are merely using His Name to worship themselves, by their own traditions.

"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate [see The Strait Gate]: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7:15 Beware of false prophets [see What's The Bible Word For False Prophet?], which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves [see The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans]. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven [see The Church: Mission Accomplished]; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock [see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God]: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:13-27 KJV)

How Did It Happen?

When the kingdom of Judah became corrupt, the LORD had them taken into captivity by the Babylonians (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: Back To Babylon). The LORD had them remain in Babylon for seventy years.

Back To Babylon

"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets], until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD [see Raiders Of The Lost Ark], and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

36:20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia]: 36:21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years." (2 Chronicles 36:15-21 KJV)

Exactly as prophesied, the people of Judah returned after seventy years, in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah).

"1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Temple], which is in Judah. 1:3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, he is the God, which is in Jerusalem. 1:4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:1-4 KJV)

After the people of Judah rebuilt the city and the Temple, they pledged themselves to be faithful to the LORD.

"8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD [i.e. Christ - see Who Is The LORD?] had commanded to Israel. 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law." (Nehemiah 8:1-3 KJV)

It was during the many years after that return from the Babylonian exile (and later, from the time of the original abomination of the Temple - see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation) that the Essenes, Sadducees, Pharisees and other "religious parties" were established. The people's original pledge to obey God's Law, as we read in the verses quoted above, was very good, but in their zeal to obey God's Law, over time they added many of their own "laws" and traditions that eventually overshadowed and contradicted the pure Law of God - "traditions of men" that became the basis of what is called "Judaism" today. By the time that the Messiah came, they blasphemously accused Him of being a sinner because He obeyed God's Law, rather than their traditions.

Pharisees and Herodians The apostle Paul was one of the Pharisees who rejected and persecuted the Messiah, but the Messiah later converted him in that famous incident on the road to Damascus (see Straight Street). Paul did not thereafter reject his being a Jew, or even his being a Pharisee ("I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question" Acts 23:6 KJV), but rather he simply recognized the Truth that the people of Judah were originally given by the LORD. Also, again the duality of what happened to the original truth that was given to the people of Judah became "another gospel," just as it has to the merely Christian-professing world (i.e. claiming to be Christian, while rejecting what He actually taught and commanded). The lesson, and the present-day result, is exactly the same for "Judaism" and what merely calls itself "Christianity" (see A Biography Of Abraham: Abrahamic Religions) - both of which lost sight of the actual and original teachings and commandments of the LORD, Who was and is Jesus Christ.

"1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the LORD's brother. 1:20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 1:21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 1:22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 1:24 And they glorified God in me." (Galatians 1:1-24 KJV)

Fact Finder: As in the example of Paul the Pharisee, when do Jews become Christians?
See The Babylon Exodus And Exile; also The Passed Over Pharisees

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This Day In History, August 10

410: Alaric the Visigoth captured Rome.

757: Aethelbald, king of the Mercians from 716, died. He became a chief king of a confederation including all of the Anglo-Saxon (Saxony is in Germany; the Anglos were a tribe of the Saxons) kingdoms between the Humber River and the English Channel. By 736, he was signing himself as the "king of Britain."

955: King Otto I of Germany defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld, ending a possible invasion.

1519: Ferdinand Magellan's 5 ships set sail to circumnavigate the Earth.

1557: The French army lost more than 14,000 men when they tried to block a Spanish army under Count Egmont at the Battle of Saint Quentin in the Spanish-French Wars. The Spaniards lost just 50.

1582: Russia ended its 25-year war with Poland.

1627: France's Cardinal Richelieu began the siege of the Huguenot fortress at La Rochelle with royal troops.

1675: The foundation stone of the Royal Observatory was laid at Greenwich in south London by order of King Charles II to improve knowledge of the positions of stars and thus aid navigation. John Flamsteed became the first Astronomer Royal.

1792: King Louis XVI of France was arrested after a mob stormed the Tuileries in Paris.

1804: Francis II became emperor of Austria-Hungary.

1846: The Smithsonian Institution was established in Washington as a center for scientific research. It was created from funds at the bequest of British scientist James Smithson.

1876: Alexander Graham Bell made the world's first "long distance" telephone call, from Brantford to Paris, Ontario, Canada, a distance of 8 miles. Bell spoke with his father, Melville, and the conversation lasted 3 hours (Daily Bible Study is written about 10 miles from the Bell Homestead in Brantford, which is now a museum).

1911: The House of Lords in Great Britain gave up its veto power, making the House of Commons the more powerful House.

1913: The Treaty of Bucharest ended the Second Balkan War.

1920: The Treaty of Sevres was signed between Turkey and the Allied powers after the First World War, relieving Turkey of much of the land ruled by the Ottoman Empire (listen to our sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars).

1954: A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York, officially starting the St. Lawrence Seaway project. Construction of the 3,790 km. waterway took 5 years and opened Canadian and U.S. ports on the Great Lakes to ocean traffic.

1961: The first use of the extremely toxic and carcinogenic defoliant "Agent Orange" (manufactured primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical) by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. By the end of the war, during which 20 million gallons of the chemical was sprayed across the country, it resulted in approximately 400,000 Vietnamese civilian deaths (apart from the thousands of U.S. troops and air crews who inadvertently poisoned themselves and their fellow troops on the ground with it) and 500,000 Vietnamese children born with severe birth defects.

1964: Pope Paul VI issued his first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam, which stated his willingness to "mediate" in international disputes.

1966: A daylight meteor was seen from the northern U.S. to Canada. It was the only documented case of a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere and leaving it again.

1977: In Yonkers, New York, David Berkowitz, a 24-year-old postal employee, was arrested for the "Son of Sam" killings in the New York City.

1993: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand.

2003: A temperature of 38.5 Celsius (101.3 Fahrenheit) became the highest ever recorded in the United Kingdom - the first time over 38 C. / 100 F.

2003: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space. His wife was on earth, 240 miles below.


Copyright © Wayne Blank