Why Jewish Studies (read this first)

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Jewish studies are for all people seeking the Ways of God. The Enemy has for centuries maligned the Jewish people with endless lies and rumors. Fools believed and followed by perpetrating terrible crimes against the innocent. You will never understand Christianity if you don’t understand the culture from which it comes. Most Jews are like you. They love children, care for their wives faithfully, are honest in business dealings, are generous when there is a recognized need, and indeed are taught to be generous to win God’s favor. The basic thought of Judaism is to help restore the world that was perfect and then ruined by the Enemy, whose name means in ancient Hebrew, Evil, Destroyer. The name Satan, however, stems from the Hebrew word “śaṭan,” a term whose definition includes “adversary” and “accuser.”2 In the Hebrew Bible, śaṭan was thus never used as a proper name and served merely as a term to identify an adversary.

It is the Jewish ideal that we make the Heavenly Father the CENTER of our lives and the focus of all thinking. God should not be a separate philosophy that may or may not have some relevance to our lives. God’s ways and words should be everything in our lives.

Every morning devout Jews begin the day with washing, thanking God for their restored lives another day, thanking God for their opportunity to wash, and then this prayer which stopped Islam in its tracks and caused Muhammed to hate these people so much.

The ancient Jewish prayer, “Hear O’ Israel, The Lord is God, the Lord is One.” What does it mean?

First, we know These Jewish People were not going to accept some other god and that is the way they did and still do see Muhammed’s “Allah” who was originally worshipped by Muhammed’s father and was a god of the moon!

But, then we return to the question….”the Lord is One” what does it mean? There is just ONE God, one holy infinite one and from the Christian view he chose to be three.

And if there is any “list” of who is most important, The Lord is God, The Lord is One, means…. There is one God. Jews often don’t yet understand this but that One God has also chosen to split Himself into three persons, being of course, Jesus Our Christ/Savior and The Holy Spirit. AND I think there is something more…. It must be written somewhere, but I haven’t seen it.

God is ONE – that is – The CENTER of your life. Above everything, God should be the number 1 focus. In time God becomes more real to you. He is not some separate idea that you look at occasionally. He is always part of your awareness. The more you focus upon Him, the greater the blessings He gives you and the more you will understand as time passes.

People want success and even try Gnostic prayer thinking, involving emotion, seeing it done already. It may be effective but I don’t expect such change in prayer style will bring instant miracles. It might take years of such effort. I don’t think you need to change theology so much. Just make God the center of your life and the blessings will come.

So, FOR ME, God is #1,
• and of course you must be concerned for yourself, but I have no number for that because it’s a constant in the background.
• Then it must be that beloved children are #2. They must be because, logically they are who will follow when we have gone. At least it would be so in normal times. These years will differ. We may all go together when God pulls those who love him suddenly into the Heavenly Kingdom. He has promised it. It will happen sometime. We never are sure when, but we think soon. In that case there will be no pain of the heart and funerals. We will love one another here and in some way also there.

• Your spouse then is #3 in your life just after God and children. There is only ONE person who can be #2 in my mind and also at the same time #1 in the earthly, material world. That would be my wife. If I keep this always in mind there will never be any worry about ill feelings, misspeaking or unfaithfulness.

• Family and friends, and community are #4.

It may be that I will change my mind about this one day, and of course you must think in your own way and in prayer and you will sort your ideas out in whatever way seems best to you.

For me, for now, God the Creator of Life in Heaven is #1 including Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I think this will never change.

Christianity came from Jesus our Christ who was raised in an Essene community near Qumran in the foot hills. His step father Joseph lead a political party. Joseph was of the line of King David and they wanted the evil king Herod. There has been a civil war in the Roman empire. During a civil war in the Empire, Herod won the favor of Octavian, who later became the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar. It was Augustus who placed Herod on the throne.

The Mother Mary also was of the family “blood line” of King David. Jesus, properly called YaShuah / Joshua/ God with us, Our redeemer, Our Savior, was Jewish Royalty. The community of Essenes, also called Nasserians, or (eventually) the people of the territory often called Nazareth, had heard a prophecy that 7-generations after the speech of the prophet, a savior would be born. Jesus was that 7th generation child. No one knew with certainly who he was until he began to reveal himself around age 12. Traditional stories say Joseph and Mary knew and spirited the child away to Egypt for protection until Herod died. But, we are not sure this is truly what happened. In any event, at age 29 or 30, Jesus began to preach and teach and this culminated in the expected final sacrifice, He, the sacrificial Lamb of God, would die to atone for all the sins of humanity – including yours!

I tell you this because so many think Jesus just appeared to John the Baptist one day and came out of a cloud or something. There are even some who think “Jesus Christ” was the son of Joseph and Mary Christ! This is so ridiculous it boggles my mind. How could anyone believe upon a theology and know so little, actually believe such foolishness?

Hebrew and some Arabic were spoken throughout most of the Middle East, and because of wars and conquerors, many knew a bit of Greek and Italian/Roman. When Herod took the throne, he spoke enough to be understood and he had the support of the Roman army. Jerusalem had been made a captive of Rome because for centuries Jerusalem was a crossroads of trade. That’s why everyone spoke at least a little Hebrew and Aramaic.

Now you have a little beginning on who the Jewish people are, and from where Christianity comes. Now you’ll can dig deeper to understand Jewish people, culture, idioms and speech expressions. From this the Bible stories become clearer and your understanding becomes more complete.

Stephen Newdell

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