Jews and Gentiles
What is a Jew and what is a Christian? There are alot of stereotype definitions for both of these terms. "A Jew practices a form of religion called Judaism" or "is one born to a Jewish mother." "A Christian is a "gentile", whether he is Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, etc." These definitions are all valid, but are incomplete. To understand the Jew and Christian, one must go to the scriptures and find the origin of the term for each.
The term "Jew" comes from the name of the fourth son of Jacob. Reuben, Simeon and Levi were passed by in the birthright and blessings, and the fourth son Judah received them. "Judah" in Hebrew is "praise of God". The northern kingdom of ten tribes was referred to as "Ephraim" and the southern kingdom of three tribes was referred to as "Judah". Judah is where the Temple was and and eventually the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, became known as Judaism. In our time the term Jew represents all the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Even-though about 85% of the Jewish people are secular, we still think of the term "Jew" as a religion. You can be born a Jew and still be Jewish, but you can not be born a Christian unless you are re-born.
The term "gentile" is anyone not Jewish. The word in Hebrew is "goy" and is also used for the term pagan. This is where I have a problem. If I, being a Christian, worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, am I still a pagan? I also worship a Jewish Messiah, but does that make me a Jew? In the "Breit-Hadishah" or "New Testament" in 1 Corinthians 10:32, God classifies humanity into three groups of people: Jews, gentiles, and Christians. The term "Christian" derives from the word "Christos" the Greek word for Messiah. The word "Christian" means "Messiah-like", and that opens up a big "can of worms". If we as Christians, are supposed to be Messiah-like, we are in big trouble. (He ate no pork, He observed the "Feasts of the Lord", and He kept the Sabbath/Saturday Holy.) I have read somewhere that when the Christ followers were first called "Christians" in Antioch, it was a reference to the far eastern religion of Heir Krishnah, and not to the Messiah. Being referred to as Messiah followers would not have been an offensive term for the first followers of Jesus.
Jew and gentile are ethnic terms, but "Christian" is not. To become a Christian, one gives his or her heart to the Messiah and looks forward to the Messianic Kingdom. A Jew who becomes a Christian or Messianic, will still remain a Jew. A gentile that becomes a Christian does not loose his ethnicity, but he is no longer pagan! When a Jew accepts the Messiah, their faith is broadened and they become a completed Jew. For a gentile not being brought up knowing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is easy to be swayed by the paganism that has seeped into the teachings of the Messiah by liberal lawless denominational leaders. I do not mean to be judgmental of religions, but we as Christians need to get back to our roots just as Paul tells us in Romans chapter 11. There is only one "Church" and that is the body of the Messiah, all believers in Him. It is up to us to clean up and restore our individual congragations where we worship. Accepting Jesus/Yeshua as the Messiah is the only way to enter into His Kingdom. Good intentions and traditions of man will not help us. God is rising up Messianic believers in all the different congregations but it is a long patient process for those that have been called. Two thousand years of pagan traditions is hard to overcome. As an experiment, try telling your congregations that the word "Easter" is an abomination to the Lord of Host. The scripture to back you up is Exodus 23:13, and the next scripture is about "Passover" that we call "Easter". Or try and change your worship service to the proper Sabbath, the seventh day of the week Saturday. The scripture right before the last Exodus 23:12. If this does not bring persecution, you are in the right church. Is it wrong to worship on Sunday? No, of course not. It is the first day of the week and we are giving our "first fruits" to the Lord. But, the Sabbath is Saturday, and we are told to keep it Holy and it is a day set apart for us to rest in the Lord. It is a teaching, seven days then a Sabbath, a Sabbath year in seven years, a jubilee year every 7×7 years and a millennial reign of a thousand years when the Lord comes.
As usual, I got off track and got preachy, well so be it we all have our faults. You know, the bottom line is, whether you are Jew or gentile a personal relationship with God is a wonderful thing. A Christian has met the Messiah and has found grace, but needs to be obedient to the Father’s WORD/LAW for blessings. A Jew has found blessings through the "Law" and loves the Father but has missed out on the grace of salvation (Yeshua). A Christian needs to ask God for guidance into His instructions (Torah), and a Jew needs to ask the Father to introduce them to the Jewish Messiah/Yeshua. Judah’s eyes will be opened to see the truth, and Ephraim/Christians will find the Hebraic roots of their faith.
The two shall become one in His hand Ezekiel 37 and the true gentiles (Islam) will convert or be driven from the land.