Christ Made Peace Between Jews and Gentiles
He made peace between Jews and Gentiles
by creating in himself one new people
from the two groups. Ephesians 2:15
He made peace between Jews and Gentiles
by creating in himself one new people
from the two groups. Ephesians 2:15
This question was asked by someone on Facebook recently.
This is my answer below:
God’s biblical instructions for the treatment of “Slaves” by their “Masters” has been often used to oppose Christianity and the Bible by those who have an inaccurate understanding of the issue.
There are two major points to note when discussing God’s biblical instructions to “masters” and “slaves:”
From the beginning of time God created humans to rule over creation NOT EACH OTHER. Gen 1:28
People wanting to rule other people is a direct result of Adam’s sin and the destructive nature we inherited from Sin’s curse.
God giving laws on how a master should treat a slave in no way indicates His approval of the situation.
Why then would He do it? Why would He actually tell a “Master” how to treat a “Slave” if He wasn’t in favor of it?
This brings us to the two points I mentioned before.
Point #1: God allows slavery and all other evils to exist because He created humans with free will and will not violate our right to choose even when disobeying Him creates serious problems for us!
People owning people as slaves is not now and never has been God’s idea… God is absolutely against human slavery of any kind.
God said, “Kidnappers must be put to death, whether they are caught in possession of their victims or have already sold them as slaves. Exodus 21:16 (NLT)
God considers the stealing and selling of human beings as slaves to be a crime and a sin!
This is where we must begin this conversation.
It is only AFTER we have clearly established that God is NOT for the selling of human beings as slaves THEN can we begin to arrive at the truth concerning this matter.
I have been teaching the Bible for over 25 years and have always said to my students, when studying the bible begin with the understanding that it was NOT written in English by Westerners living in the 21st century.
The Bible was recorded in 3 ancient languages, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek by people who lived 2,000-4,000 years ago in Eastern Lands saturated in Eastern Culture.
Their language was different, their culture was different, their customs, laws and lifestyle… everything was different!
So even though the message of the Bible is inspired by God and it’s power is eternal, the actual recording of the events was done by men living in ancient times in foreign lands, governed by archaic and alien laws.
The average person trying to interpret biblical events today attempts to make their interpretation fit into their 21st century understanding of society instead of accurately applying the correct culture and times to the passage they’re interpreting.
When they don’t make this adjustment it’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Most times if we don’t understand and apply the correct culture and times to a passage of scripture it will either make no sense or be taken completely out of context and abused… As is the case with God’s biblical instructions to “masters” and “slaves.”
Point #2: The second point to note when discussing the biblical issue of masters and slaves has to do with understanding and applying the correct culture and times to the issue under discussion.
Here’s what God said to the Israelites in the Old Testament, “There will always be some among you who are poor; that is why this commandment is necessary. You must lend to them liberally.
If you buy a Hebrew slave, whether a man or woman, you must free him at the end of the sixth year you have owned him, and don’t send him away empty-handed!
Give him a large farewell present from your flock, your olive press, and your winepress. Share with him in proportion as the Lord your God has blessed you.
Remember that you were slaves in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God rescued you! That is why I am giving you this command.
But if your Hebrew slave doesn’t want to leave — if he says he loves you and enjoys your pleasant home and gets along well with you — then take an awl and pierce his ear into the door, and after that he shall be your slave forever.
Do the same with your women slaves.
But when you free a slave you must not feel bad, for remember that for six years he has cost you less than half the price of a hired hand! And the Lord your God will prosper all you do because you have released him!” Deuteronomy 15:11-18 (The Living Bible)
Here is verse 12 again from the New Living Translation, “If a fellow Hebrew sells himself or herself to be your servant and serves you for six years, in the seventh year you must set that servant free.”
This translation gives it a slightly different perspective doesn’t it?
Two things are apparent:
I’ll address these two points later on.
Here are some verses from the New Testament, “Slaves, obey your masters; be eager to give them your very best. Serve them as you would Christ.
Don’t work hard only when your master is watching and then shirk when he isn’t looking; work hard and with gladness all the time, as though working for Christ, doing the will of God with all your hearts.
Remember, the Lord will pay you for each good thing you do, whether you are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8 (The Living Bible)
Here’s what you need to understand about God’s instructions to “masters” and “slaves:”
In the ancient Middle East it was a commonly accepted custom if someone
became destitute and could no longer provide for himself and his family he had the option to sell himself as a “slave” which was very much like a live-in servant.
In this arrangement his “master” would provide for him shelter, clothing, food and whatever he needed to survive PLUS a minimal wage in exchange for his services.
Most times the people who engaged in this type of arrangement were folks who had borrowed money and could not repay the loan or who had become indebted for some other reason and couldn’t pay so this was their way of paying off a debt.
Their choices were either spending the rest of their lives in prison, dying from starvation or living a life of servitude to a “master.”
The reality of this situation was that the “master” actually became a type of “savior” to this individual who would have most likely starved to death not being able to support himself and his family.
Notice carefully in Deuterronomy 15 above God said to potential “masters”… “There will always be some among you who are poor.” “You must lend to them liberally.”
From God’s perspective the so-called “master” was helping the “slave” by extending an arm of financial salvation to him.
Compare the tone of this Deuteronomy passage with the one in Exodus 21 where God specifically says that anyone found trafficking in slaves was to be put to death.
There is a distinct difference between these two kinds of “slavery,” isn’t there?
The Exodus type refers to what we 21st century folks know as slavery while the Deuteronomy type has more in common with an Employer/Employee type relationship which is why most times I have the words “master” and “slave” in inverted commas.
Of course everything is not identical to our modern Employer/Employee relationship but the main problem with the biblical concept of masters and slaves is not so much the substance of the experience but the terminology used.
When 21st century people hear the words “Master” and “Slave” it automatically conjures up images of Alex Haley’s “Roots” or the more recent “12 Years a Slave” movie and the reality of the atrocious treatment of black people by white slave owners.
But when we put things into perspective and interpret the scriptures in their correct context we understand that God’s instructions to “masters and slaves” for the most part can be interpreted as instructions to Employers and Employees.
Even in the extreme cases in Old Testament times where slaves were taken from prisoners of war God still intervened with His own guidelines on the merciful treatment of those foreigners in service to their Israelite masters.
God said, “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished.” (Exodus 21:20)
This is saying that the master shall be punished if he inadvertently caused the death of his own slave.
God also said, “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.” (Exodus 21:26-27)
Did you get that?
God said, if a slave owner knocks out a slave’s tooth he must let the slave go free for the damage caused. Does that sound anything remotely like the treatment of African slaves under white slave owners of the last several centuries? I think not!
Be assured God is not, never was and never will be in favor of people owning or mistreating other people in any way.
When mankind chose to follow his own sinful ways and subjugate each other God gave laws encouraging men to show mercy to each other but humans enslaving each other was never God’s will.
God’s perfect human civilization consists of a society of Kings and Priests (both male and female) all equal to each other and worshiping God in equality.
From the beginning of time God wanted Human Beings to form a Holy and Royal Society reigning over God’s creation.
The Bible says, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:27-28 (NLT)
So, in the beginning God wanted a society of Kings and Queens.
After the first human family sinned and fell from grace God formed the nation of Israel as an example for every other nation to follow.
He told the Prophet Moses to say to them, “And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” Exodus 19:6 (NLT)
In creating the nation of Israel God was still looking for a society of holy Kings and Queens.
Israel failed to fulfill God’s will and even in this present age God’s will for the Human Race is still to form a holy kingdom of Believers through faith in Christ Jesus.
He inspired the Apostle Peter to write to Believers saying, “For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1st Peter 2:9 (NLT)
At the end of time God will finally have the human society of holy Kings and Queens He desired from the very beginning. He will accomplish this through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
John the Apostle saw Christian Believers in the future and recorded in Revelation 1:6 concerning them saying, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God.”
And in Revelation 5:10 he said again, “And hast made us unto our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Do these scripture verses sound like a God who is in favor of humans enslaving and mistreating each other?
If that’s the case then why did Jesus come and die in the first place?
Do not be ignorant Brothers and Sisters. Learn the truth before it’s too late. God is FOR us and NOT against us!
He has always wanted the best for us but we keep getting ourselves in the way and hindering His best from reaching us.
To my black Brothers and Sisters, the weapon the devil is using against you is false ideology.
He is giving you a false sense of importance and a perverted sense of identity and destiny.
There can be no true knowledge of self outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ… Anything else is a cleverly constructed Lie meant to lull you into a false sense of security until it’s too late.
Jesus Christ is the Divine mold from which every human being was originally crafted and it is only when we return to that source can we find true peace and everlasting satisfaction.
The Image of The Christ is the ideal of human perfection… In this context Christ has NO Race, NO Color, NO Ethnicity, NO Nationality, NO Gender!
He is simply… The Divine Expression of God!
This same Divine Expression is birthed in you when you receive Him as Savior and are regenerated in the image of God.
That feminine looking Caucasian with blond hair and blue eyes in those religious paintings is utter nonsense… everybody knows that!
The Bible says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
I can add to that verse, “neither black nor white” and it would fit in perfectly.
Do you know how liberating it is to be fully aware of the history of slavery and racism and even be aware of the present reality of racism in America but still have no hate in your heart for any white person?
To look at a white stranger and the first thought is, “here is someone who might be a Brother or Sister in Christ”… THAT IS FREEDOM!!!
On the other hand, when you’re carrying around the burden of the memory of what white people did to our ancestors and the present experience of what they’re still doing to us today and having those memories and experiences taint every interaction with white people… THAT’S SLAVERY!
If your every interaction with white people is prejudiced by the reality of slavery and racial injustice then you’re still a slave… You’re not free!
You’re in a psychological prison!
Freedom is knowing the facts of racism and slavery but choosing rather to live the truth of racial unity in the love of God… This is what TRUE Christianity is about.
It’s not about worshiping the “white man’s God” it’s about coming to the revelation knowledge of the truth… God loves us all equally and sent His Son to die for all of us!
Based on this knowledge, you need to make the most important decision of your life.
What are you going to do with Jesus Christ and the Salvation He offers you?
Joshua told his people, “If you think it’s the wrong thing for you to serve the LORD, then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve — the gods whom your ancestors served on the other side of the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose territories you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
I am asking you Brothers and Sisters, “Choose this day whom YOU will serve, the gods of our African ancestors or adopt New Age Ideologies, as for me and my family … WE WILL WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST!
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Please make the right decision!
May God grant you grace to receive and faith to believe the Gospel of your salvation. Amen!
QUESTION: Why is the tiny country of Israel always in the news? Why is there so much anti-Israel sentiment in the world?
ANSWER: Why? Because the Bible says Satan is the “god” of this world and the driving force behind it’s ideologies.
Jesus said, “The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. (John 12:31) (NLT)
Paul, the Apostle said, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. (2nd Corinthians 4:4) (NLT)
(Unfortunately, this also applies to the same Jews Satan hates and is trying to destroy)
Jesus further explained, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 5:18-19)
Did you notice Jesus said, “the world would love HIS own?”
The King James Translators being guided by the Holy Spirit personalized “the world” indicating that there is a specific spirit behind the hatred directed at God’s people.
Clearly the Bible teaches us that Satan is the instigator of all things anti-Israel and anti-Christian, therefore, Bible Believing Christians need to get with the program and align themselves with God and STAND WITH ISRAEL!
Satan has been instigating hatred toward all God’s people from the beginning, Christians and Jews alike.
That’s why Islam exists. The religion of Islam is just another tool Satan uses to attack God’s people – both Jews and Christians.
The Quran says, “O you who have faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for allies: they are allies of each other. Any of you who allies with them is indeed one of them. Indeed Allah does not guide the wrongdoing lot. (Surah 5:51)
It also says, “Fight those who do not have faith in Allah nor [believe] in the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and His Apostle have forbidden, nor practise the true religion, from among those who were given the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the tribute out of hand, degraded.” (Surah 9:29)
The above quotes are taken from the online Quran located at: Al-quran.info
Satan’s desire is to hurt God as much as possible and since he cannot do this directly he’s resorting to his only recourse… attack God’s people – Jews and Christians.
To my Christian Brethren I say… Stand with Israel and be found on the right side of this war… God’s side – The winning side!
To my Jewish Brethren I say… You have been relentlessly hated and persecuted by the rest of the world for centuries. Do you honestly think this is a coincidence?
The reason is simple.. Your Messiah has come and taken His place at the right hand of God.
He has been wooing you to His heart for 2,000 years waiting with open arms to embrace you with nothing but LOVE!
Satan has distracted you by corrupting and perverting God’s message to you through the Roman Catholic organization which IS NOT and NEVER HAS BEEN God’s true vessel to bring His message of love to you.
The Roman Catholic church is a hybrid construct of paganism and scripture and has done more to damage the true message of Christianity than anything else.
As a matter of fact, God’s message to all Born Again Christians still involved with the Roman Catholic organization is to… “Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4
So, my Jewish friends, my advice to you is to do what wise people still do when they hear God’s message of peace to them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
They ask... “What must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30
And the answer will always be the same… “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31
God bless you!
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Sometime ago I made a video about Atheism and posted it online and there were several responses to it.
In one of my rebuttals I told someone, “God is the One who called Atheists fools, I’m simply quoting Him.”
Based on that reply another Atheist then accused me of hiding behind my God to which I gave him the following reply:
I AM calling Atheism foolishness and those who practice it, fools!
I’m just saying the concept didn’t originate with me. It’s not my original idea. It’s God’s.
But make no mistake, I 100% endorse the idea that if you can observe the complexity, intricacy and specificity of this meticulously functioning universe and decide it all came from a causeless cosmic accident then, oh absolutely, you are displaying stupidity of the highest order!
I make no apologies for saying that.
I would be remiss however, if I did not share the rest of the story with you and let you know that we were ALL fools at one time or the other.
This distinction is not reserved for Atheists.
Every human being is basically born stupid and until we positively respond to the revelation knowledge of who Jesus Christ really is and the priceless Gift He offers each of us, we only grow in our inherent stupidity.
This scripture is experientially true of me. I was involved with drugs, the occult and was even demonized when I received salvation back in 1988.
So, when I tell you you’re being foolish for not acknowledging God, it’s not from the perspective of, “Hey, you idiot! Look how stupid you are and look how smart I am!”
That’s not it at all.
I know that we Christians come off like that sometimes but that’s entirely incorrect!
The correct perspective is, “Hey Bro, I was once where you’re at and it’s not a good place to be. If you stay there you’re courting disaster and you seriously need to re-evaluate your situation.”
For instance, if someone were poisoned and didn’t know it, but you knew and had the antidote, how would you approach the situation to help them?
Would you just walk up to them and try to force-feed them the antidote or would you first make their situation clear to them by explaining the danger they’re in?
I know we Christians don’t always succeed in cultivating the right approach to non-Christians but believe it or not, this is what we’re actually trying to do.
When we share the Gospel we’re saying, here’s the antidote.
Your response is based on your free will so it’s entirely up to you to take the antidote or not.
On behalf of myself and every other Christian who has failed in the past to make this situation clear to you.. I apologize.
It is my hope that you will forgive our own ignorance and short-comings and differentiate between the messengers and the message and see the virtue in the latter.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35
Living a successful life as a Christian is based entirely on learning to love others with the love of God.
However, loving each other does not mean compromising with people’s sin.
None of us can love more unconditionally than Jesus and He never compromised with people’s sin.
Loving unconditionally means seeing each other as God sees us and interacting with each other based on the knowledge of God.
On the cross of Calvary Jesus substituted Himself for each human being.
He died in their place so He can live His life through them.
He lives in us so He can experience life through us.
That means He experiences everything that we experience.
So, what do you think happens when we mistreat and abuse each other?
Because Jesus lives in us and experiences what we experience He feels everything we feel.
Every insult we hurl at each other… He feels!
Every lie we tell on each other, every betrayal of trust… He knows exactly what that feels like.
When we do it to each other we are doing it to Him!
When you look at another Christian with scorn, Jesus looks back at you through that person’s eyes and feels the hate you’re projecting at Him!
Exactly what we think of another Christian – In that moment – That’s exactly what we think of Jesus!
I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?
Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:35-40