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Judaism

The first thing we must understand is that Judaism is not a race but a religion. In fact, most Jews today are not believers in or members of any of the various sects of Judaism. Almost 80 percent of the Jews in America do not belong to any Jewish religious organizations. 

Part 1

The Biblical View
The second error we must correct is the idea that “Judaism” doe not accept Jesus as the Messiah. This is erroneous because what we call “Christianity” is actually “Messianic Judaism.” The early Christian Church was only one of many Jewish sects. They even met in the synagogue (James 2:2).

Acts 24:5: “For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.”
    
Acts 24:14: “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the prophets.”
    
Acts 28:21: “And they said to him, ‘We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you.’ “
    
Acts 28:22: “But we desire to hear from you what your views are; for concerning this sect, it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere.”
   
Acts 28:23: “And when they had set a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.”

The third fact to remember is that if you are a Gentile who has accepted Jesus as the Messiah, then you are a believer in Messianic Judaism. This means that you are now Jewish in religion.

Rom 2:28: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.”
    
Rom 2:29: “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
    
Phil. 3:2: “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.”
    
Phil. 3:3: “For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”

Gentiles must remember that they are wild branches grafted on the tree of Judaism, while those Jews who reject Jesus are broken off the tree and are thus no longer part of Judaism.
    
Rom. 11:13: “But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry.”
  
Rom. 11:14: “If somehow I might move to jealously my fellow countrymen and save some of them.”
    
Rom. 11:15: “For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life form the dead?”
    
Rom. 11:16: “And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too.”
    
Rom. 11:17: “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree.”
    
Rom. 11:18: “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.”
    
Rom. 11:19: “You will say then, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
    
Rom. 11:20: “Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear.”
    
Rom. 11:21: “For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.”

          The tree = Biblical Judaism

          The Jews = the natural branches in the tree

          The Gentiles = branches from wild trees

           Unbelieving Jews = branches broken off the tree

           Believing Jews = branches still in the tree

           Believing Gentiles = branches grafted on the tree

 

Part 2

The Modern Meanings of ‘Judaism’
The word “Judaism” has many definitions. Not even the Jews have a unified definition. If you ask two Jews, they will give you three opinions! The following definitions of Judaism reflect the massive confusion that exists on the subject.

1.      The original religion of mankind. Judaism is thus the first and oldest religion. Adam, Eve, Abel, Seth, and all true believers in God before the Flood were part of Judaism.

2.      The covenant with Noah. The present day Jewish cult called B’nai Noah, the Noahides or Sons of Noah, led by J. David Davis, reduces Judaism to the laws established by Noah after the Flood.

3.      The covenant with Abraham. The blessings, promises and curses connected with the Abrahamic covenant are sometimes identified as Judaism.

4.      The covenant with Moses. We now come to what most people assume to be Judaism. The Mosaic laws governing the civil, ceremonial, and cultic aspects of the national and religious life of the nation of Israel are often what people think when they hear the word “Judaism.”

5.      Jewish life during the diaspora. After the destruction of the temple, the synagogue became the center of Jewish religious life instead of the temple. The rabbi instead of the temple priest became the teacher of the Law. Many different Jewish sects arose that contradicted each other on fundamental doctrines:

                         Scribes                                The Apocrypha
                         Pharisees                            The Pseudepigrapha
                         Sadducees                          The Targums
                         Herodians                            The Septuagint
                         Zealots                                 The Midrash
                         Hellenists                             The Dead Sea Scrolls
                         Apocalypticists  
                         Essenses                  

6.      The Talmudic period. After the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the oral traditions had to be written down or they would be lost. The Mishnah, the Jerusalem Talmud, and the Babylonian Talmud were written. Since without a temple or its ceremonies, the Mosaic covenant was impossible, a system of legalistic rules about food, drink, etc., were substituted for the Mosaic covenant.

7.      The Cabalistic occult period. During the Middle Ages in Europe, many Jews practiced witchcraft, magic, and the occult sciences called the Cabal. Much of modern witchcraft is derived from the Cabal. The Golem is an example of this occult brand of Judaism.

 

8.      The Rationalistic period. After the Industrial Revolution, many European Jews adopted a secular humanistic worldview. A rationalistic Judaism arose that was anti-supernatural in nature. The Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch and the historicity of miracles were rejected.

9.      The Zionistic period. When the Jews returned to Israel, there was a small revival of Talmudic Judaism. But most Israelis are still secular humanistic in outlook. Yet many of these secular Jews feel that the old geographical boundaries of biblical Israel should be set up again.

 

10. The Messianic period. As more and more Jews accept Yeshua as the Messiah, there is a growing movement to reclaim Jesus as a Jewish prophet.

 

Part 3

How to Graft Broken Branches Back on to the Tree

  1. Don’t assume that the Jew you are talking to believes in God.
  2. If he does believe in “God,” realize that he is usually pantheistic in outlook.
  3. If he believes in a personal God, don’t assume that he believes in the Bible.
  4. If he says he believes in the Holy Scriptures, realize he only means the five books of 
    Moses, the Torah. He does not believe the Writings or the Prophets are inspired.
  5. Realize that he believes that Christianity was created by Paul—not Jesus, and that Paul derived it from Greek paganism—not Judaism.
  6. Understand that he believes that the Catholic Inquisition killed millions of Jews and that this is what Christians do: kill Jews. He blames Christianity for the crimes of Roman Catholicism. 
  7. Once you get through all these hurdles, share with him that true Christianity is Jesus. Show him that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament:

 

Old Testament

New Testament

Unfilled prophecies
Unsatisfied longings
Incomplete destiny
Unexplained ceremonies

Fulfilled
Satisfied
Completed
Explained

 

Recommended Book and CD:

 http://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/08b/260/39f/Judaism-Explained.jpghttp://0101.nccdn.net/1_5/058/1ea/1ad/the-trinity.jpg

 

The Trinity: Evidence & Issues
This book is the most detailed exegetical work on the Trinity ever written by an evangelical scholar.  It begins with a discussion on epistemology and hermeneutics and then proceeds to deal with all the Trinitarian passages found in the Old and New Testaments, the Intertestamental Jewish literature, and early Church writings. Includes refutations of anti-Trinitarian arguments. Recommended by Dr. Gleason Archer and Dr. John Ankerberg. 587 pages

Judaism Explained--CD
Modern Judaism is much different than it was in Old Testament times. This lecture will help you explore the kinds of Judaism

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