We see here in the wisdom of ancient the covenant of Israel
a foreshadowing of the later new covenant collaboration between God
If we translate kingdom of God
as "kingship of God
" or the "reign of God
", which in fact is more literal, it means that Jesus realized the full reign of God in his
life and taught others how to live that way, as if God reigned over Israel
is king, his
kingship is made evident, or realized, by the lives of his
But the entire concept of the rule of God
rests on the historical foundations of biblical Israel
Why did God
"It was because the LORD
loved you and kept the oath that he
swore to your ancestors" (Deut 7:8).
Through the Mosaic covenant God established a way of life for the covenant people that included blessings or curses, the consequences of obedience or disobedience.
established the laws of the kingdom.
By the Promise to David & house of David, God set up a throne from which he
was the central picture of God's relationship to all the earth, but in reality God's relationship to his
creation was a process in the making.
It was historical.
It would take time.
As human understanding grew, the divine goal became clearer and he
end came into view.
Leap over a few centuries and we find the serpent cult established in Israel
The Israelites had treated the bronze serpent as a god of healing.
The symbol had become idol worship.
"[King Hezekiah] removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole.
broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel
had made offerings to it; it was called Nehushtan" (2Kings 18:4).
Nothing could be more natural than to treat a sacred object as a means for continued divine aid.
As far as we can tell, this practice went on during the reigns of David and Solomon and all the other kings of Judah, until finally, the reformer King Hezekiah (715-687), in the year 715 BC, finally destroyed the symbol.
It was part of the maturation of Israel
, the removal idolatry from its midst as they attempted to distinguish themselves from all other peoples and learn to worship the God
of no images.
was to build the household of God
with the help of God
according to the will and desire of God
The Wayalso bears a curious similarity with the rabbinic word halakhah, translated as law or custom, but probably comes from the verb "to walk," hence the way in which Israel
The Way for the followers of Jesus may derive from his
own version of the way to walk versus the way of the Pharisees.
In Israel Christians
are Notsrim, Hebrew for Nazarenes.
suffered for the name.
Early in the second century that we find followers of Jesus speaking of themselves with pride as Christians
And this is by Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch who was on his way to martyrdom in Rome sometime around 117 AD.
Christianism was a distinct set of beliefs and practices that marked Christians
from Jews within what was understood to be a single covenant tradition with God
The history of early Christianity is a history of conflict in the church on how to define the practices and beliefs of Christians
On Paul's own testimony, his
ministry was in a perpetual state of conflict.
confronted Peter publically in Antioch, which we may assume went down very poorly with the Jewish believers.
in the east, from Turkey to Israel
, thought we should celebrate Easter on the Jewish Passover, while Christians
in the west wanted to choose the date for Easter independently from Judaism.
Within a generation, the percentage of Christians
in the Roman Empire went from about 10% to 50%.
There are millions of Christians
in China, worshiping in underground cell congregations, still under the scrutiny of a suspicious dictatorial government.
In Muslim countries and in North Korea, Christians
are still persecuted.
That is what Satan wants: pretending Christians
If we are raised in a church environment, we think of ourselves as Christians
Peter concludes: "Therefore let the entire house of Israel
know with certainty that God
has made him both Lord and Messiah
, this Jesus whom you crucified" (Act 2:36).
is my firstborn son.
In ancient Israel
all things associated with the tabernacle or temple rituals were holy.
We are made holy in Christ, and like Israel
, we are devoted to God
The separateness that applied to ancient Israel
We are to be spiritually, or morally, pure, in the place of being ritually pure.
But like ancient Israel
, we are to maintain our holy status, separated from sin, devoted to God
The translation Spirit of holiness better emphasizes the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, especially when seen in the lives of the saints, the holy ones.
The evidence of the Holy Spirit is the spirit of holiness.
That is how we test for the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Long ago God said to the people of Israel
: "Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples.
Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation" (Exo 19:5-6).
was to mediate between God
and all the earth.
Gentiles of all places were granted entrance into the covenant of Israel with God through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and upon entrance they become part of the holy nation.
Truly, you are a God
who hides himself, O God of Israel
, the Savior. (Isa 45:15 ESV)
"Thus says the LORD
, the King of Israel
Redeemer, the LORD
of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god'" (Isaiah 44:6).
Greek polytheists considered Jewish and Christian monotheists to be atheists because they did not acknowledge all the gods, and Jews and Christians
saw all polytheists as atheists because they did not worship only the one true God.
Everyone in antiquity, however, viewed atheism (being without god) in the practical ways of how one lived.
If you lived as if God
or the gods did not matter, then you were an effective atheist, regardless what you thought about the deity.
In antiquity behavior mattered far more than what beliefs you claimed to hold.
Despite the fact that Israelites evolved in their thinking about Yahweh along with the development of religions worldwide, there is something unique about how Israel
, and as believers in God
, we attribute the uniqueness to God
Despite the social factors at work in Israel
, we also see the subtle inspiration of God
According to our sacred narrative: Moses said to God
, If I come to the people of Israel
and say to them, 'The God
of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his
name?' what shall I say to them?
(Exo 3:13 ESV)
It was the same great monotheistic poet-prophet of Israel
who also declared: "Truly, you are a God
who hides himself, O God of Israel
, the Savior" (Isaiah 45:15).
Saint Paul argued for a law-free gospel that liberated Christians
from most regulations of the Old Testament
, such as eating shrimp and succulent pork ribs.
There is a wide variation in the celebration of the Eucharist, and different ways churches baptize new Christians
, we believe the Bible is unique because it is inspired by God
Narrative is highly selective and easily remembered, but may rely on records of events, especially court records of the kings of Israel
The vine is the metaphor that speaks of Israel
and of Jesus.
to read the Bible as if it were a mirror.