LETTERS TO JP – SEARCHING OUT OUR HEBREW ROOTS NO. 1: The Search
Dear JP: Concerning our recent discussions regarding the study of the Hebraic Roots of our Faith. I have, here undertaken to describe to you our process of study, what started it and, the core concepts that we have discovered along the way. As we discussed when we last met, we present our information as just that, information – what you decide to do with it is entirely up to you.
We anticipate that we’ll break our journey into seven introductory segments:
Intro and Beginnings – Yes, Jesus is Lord
It’s a Hebrew Book
Roots of “Christianity”
First Borns and the Roots of Religion
Two Groups, – One Family
Time of the End – Entering the Age to Come
Remember, the information to be provided in these seven installments is intended to introduce a topic. If you find the topic of interest / would like additional information and / or the basis for our comments we’ll be more than happy to discuss in detail.
SEARCHING OUT OUR HEBREW ROOTS:
Jesus is Lord:
Right up front, Jesus is Lord and His blood is the way to salvation. Never fear -- that does not change.
That said, several years ago, we were more and more strongly impressed to know for ourselves – beyond any doubt, why we believe what we believe. It was not a salvation question, it was a question of how the whole system of thought / theology hung together. As you and I discussed, most of us “lifers” - and those who have been Christians for a long time – have questions that have not been answered, no matter how many times we’d been over those particular topics / passages of Scripture. So – in 2008 we began our search.
Some, not all, of our questions were:
Exactly what was the transition process from “Judaism” to “Christianity”
Did it, and if so, how did, Christianity replace Judaism. How do Jews get saved. Is the Torah “Law” and a replacement for faith
Exactly who are “the Jews”
Exactly how did (not did it) Jesus’ blood create that eternal relationship between us and G*d
What exactly are the ”Jewish Feasts”, how did they get started, how are they observed and how do they relate to our holidays
How about all those sacrifices – exactly how did that work, what were they for, how and why did they do them
What about the Millenium and the age after that – can we find more clarity
How do the Old Testament and the New Testament relate – is the OT just a history book and a “foreshadowing”. When the Apostles quoted it what was going on .
So, that was the beginning. Since that time we’ve reread the Bible eight or ten times, studied several thousand hours and begun keeping the Feasts. We study from a wide range of sources BUT ALWAYS tie it back to Scripture. We’re not ever going to classify ourselves as experts (there’s way too much to learn) but we really are pretty well studied and can back up our point of view – we know why we believe what we believe.
A quick intro to the various topics that we’ll introduce
It’s a Hebrew Book: The Book was written to the family of Abraham. It provides a documentation of how G*d looks at the world / expects to be treated / guidelines for a long and happy life and in effect is a Constitution of the His Kingdom here on earth. It was written to the family, anyone can join if they wish but ultimately it is written in terms the family recognizes.
Roots of “Christianity”: There were about three hundred years between the time that Jesus (Yeshua) was crucified and the time that “Christianity” was formalized. During that transition the Apostles wrote letters, people gathered in homes and synagogues, Jews and believers in Yeshua clashed, Rome persecuted Christians, brilliant minds provided commentary and Rome redefined its Imperial Religion.
First Born and Roots of Religion: The original concept was that understanding / knowledge of G*d (Yahweh) would be passed down from first born priest of the family to priest of the family. They were in covenant with Yahweh. Not every “first born” is the physically first born but rather the one who is righteous of heart. Adam, Seth, Enoch, Cain, Mahal. Jared, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Along the way Cain left home and went to the north east where he established a city and his own version of what he’d learned from his time with his mom and dad.
G*d’s Feasts: These feasts were declared by Yahweh with specific dates on the calendar and for specific purposes. They were primarily to remember things and to celebrate our covenant with Him. They’re not so much “Jewish” feasts, they’re straight out of scripture as written down (Yahweh speaking to Moses) over 3,500 years ago.
Two “Houses” – One Family: Abraham’s kids (Jacob’s twelve tribes plus Joseph’s Ephraim and Manasseh) argue a lot. The ultimately split came right after Solomon (around 1000 BC) where 10 tribes (Israel) were led by Jereboam from Shechem in the north and two tribes (Judah) were led by Reheboam out of Jerusalem. The ten were carried off by Assyria in about 720 BC and never returned, the two were carried off to Babylon around 590 BC and some of them came back 70 years later. The ten are spread all over the world, many of the two live in modern day Israel. The ten are considered Ephraim – most folks who want to be “grafted in” are grafted in to Ephraim.
Time of the End – the Age to Come: Because the book is one story from beginning to end, core concepts should be consistent. The concept of “heaven” in the Old and New Testaments relates / is consistent. Also, the concept of the next age (including the concept of rapture) need to be consistent.
Coming up next... NO. 2: It’s a Hebrew Book