Jews vs the Church

Fred R. Coulter—01/21/1989

pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download
Track 2 or Download

Today I want to cover the problem of the Jews vs the Church. When the Church first began, every member was a Jew. Please understand, not all Jews today are what were Jews back then—it's considerably different. I'm going to stick mostly to the Scriptures, but I'm going to read out of a couple of books that I have. Again, let me caution: Don't get carried away with everything that's written in a book. You have to balance it all out with the Word of God. This book is

Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma by Theodore Winston Pike, which is a good and very informative book to read. As long as he sticks with the facts and quotes that, that's fine. But when he starts getting into some of the prophecies and gets carried away with that, then you can see he's got his own little axe to grind.

I want to stay away from axe grinding and I don't want to get into a situation where there is a lot of villianist's things brought out. However, in order for us to understand what happened with the Church and the Jews and why we are in such a situation today, and how that has a bearing on the book of Galatians.

The book of Galatians is a Christian/Jewish problem. That's what it is, and unless you know something about the Jews and Judaism as a 'religion' you're not going to understand very much as to what the problem in Galatians really is. I'll have to admit that that is certainly true.

  • How much do you know about Judaism?
  • Have you ever been in a synagogue?
  • Have you ever read any Jewish encyclopedias?
  • Have you ever read any Jewish publications?

I mean, just for Jews alone. The only thing you can conclude is probably not; you probably haven't. The only thing we know about Jews is, don't say anything bad against them, because you're an anti-Semite. Well, that's not necessarily so.

From: Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma—Introduction—The Unknown Religion:

In contrast to the Judaism of the Bible, modern or rabbinic Judaism is the least understood of the great world religions. At the same time, there is no culture or religion which is in greater in need of being understood, especially in the light of the events of the troubled Mid East.

That is certainly true. We made a comment here, and we have observed, the wheel turns. After the Second World War the Jews screamed 'genocide; they kicked us out of our homes; they took all of this.' Now what is happening to the Palestinians at the hands of the Jews? What we're talking about is not something that is unusual to human nature, but part of human nature.

This book, which attempts to identify from the Scriptural view point, the roll modern Israel plays in God's plan for the ages, and our duty to her as Christians and as Americans.

However, it's extremely difficult to arrive at such a definition simply because we know astonishing little about rabbinic Judaism.

We'll get into the New Testament and see where it started and then we will see how they treated the Church. Then we will look at how they treat the Church today, and in particularly I want to call you attention to the movie that was put out: The Last Temptation of Christ. That will pretty well solidify in your mind how the Jews, even to this day, view Jesus; how they view the Christian religion.

This book has, unfortunately, so many things that I've marked down that I can only bring out some of them. But did you know that the Jews do not feel that anyone but the Jews should keep the Sabbath? That they try and do everything within their power so Gentiles will not keep the Sabbath? I never knew that!

I read Exo. 20, the commandment for the Sabbath, and what did I find? It says, 'the stranger within your gates shall rest.' The Sabbath was made for the stranger. As a matter of fact, Jesus said it was 'made for all mankind.' When I would meet a Jew I would tell them that I keep the Sabbath. Now I know why I would get some of these weird looks.

However it is extremely difficult to arrive at such a definition because we know, astonishing little about rabbinic Judaism. In contrast to our ample knowledge of the Hebrew religion as recorded in the Old Testament, Christians today are unbelievably ignorant of the history, beliefs, literature of the Jews After the Biblical account comes to an end in the book of Acts.
I would have to say 'Amen' that is true!

In fact, most Christians know next to nothing concerning Jewish history during the 800 years following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Yet, that period is of equal significance with the Old Testament toward understanding what rabbinic Judaism is all about. It was during that period when the Jewish people returned in mass to Babylon that the bulk of modern Jewish attitudes and literature emerged.

Let's see how this started in the book of Mark. If you go back and study Matthew, Mark, Luke and John from the point of view of who were the enemies of Jesus and what did Jesus say to them, it gives you a little more inkling of some of the things that were being built up.

We also have to understand certain attitudes that the Jews had {see part eight of this series}. 'We are the children of Abraham; we be Abraham's seed and never in bondage to anyone.' They've exalted themselves to the position that all the rest of human beings are animals compared to Jews.

When we get into the book of Acts you'll see that's how the problem came about with Peter and Cornelius and all the problems that affected them. I just want to let you know where I'm headed in this so we can understand. Please understand, it can happen to any people if they give themselves over to that kind of thinking. Whether you give yourselves over to thinking as Jews, or thinking as the Gestapo, or thinking as other people in such a way that you narrow it down to just me and You, Lord, and the rest of the world go into Gehenna. That's not what God has in mind.

Mark 8: 14: "But they [the disciples] had forgotten to take bread; and they did not have any with them, except one loaf in the ship. Then He charged them, saying, 'Watch out! Be on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.'" (vs 14-15). The Pharisees were the one who produced the religion of modern Judaism today, direct from that time—Pharisaism.

Who were the Herodians? We're to watch the leaven of both. The Herodians, or Herod, and the Herodian Party were the political ones involved, the ones in charge of politics. Jesus says to 'beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.' And there's a reason for it.

Verse 16: "And they were reasoning with one another, saying, 'It is because we do not have any bread.' But Jesus knew it and said to them, 'Why do you reason that I said this because you do not have any bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts still hardened? Don't you see with your eyes? Don't you hear with your ears? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?' They said to Him, 'Twelve.' 'And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?' And they said, 'Seven.' Then He said to them, 'Why is it that you still don't understand?'" (vs 16-21).

He didn't answer the question right there; He left them hanging in the account of Mark—right? Yes, He did! So, we have to go to Matthew 16 and we'll see a parallel account of it. So far we have the Pharisees and Herod—or the Herodians.

Matthew 16:1—a parallel account: "Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Him…" The Pharisees were in charge of the temple. They were the ones who set all the festival dates; did all of the offerings, and the Chief Priests belongs to the Sadducean Party. It important to remember for something we will cover at a later date.

"…came to Him, tempting Him and asking Him to show them a sign from heaven" (v 1). Notice how many times Jesus never did what they wanted. He never did! Jesus would be a real renegade today, to put it in a little modern parlance: Are You who You say You are? Prove it! So, they said 'show us a sign.'

Verse 2: "But He answered and said to them, 'When evening has come, you say… [notice how he handles this and puts it back on their head]: …"It will be fair weather, for the sky is red." And in the morning, you say, "Today it will storm, for the sky is red and lowering." Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign…'" (vs 2-4).

There's a reason for why He says 'a wicked and adulterous generation'—it's brought out in this book. I won't bring it out here, but I ask you to trace down most of the pornography and most of the things that come today as far as lax morals. I think you will find that it comes out of some of the roots of Judaism. This tells why.

"'…shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.'…." (v 4). That really made them angry because Jonah was sent to Nineveh. He didn't cater to their whims of how great they were. He did that on several occasions.

"…Then He left them and went away. Now when His disciples came to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. And Jesus said to them, 'Watch out, and be on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'" (vs 4-6). So, we've got three things they had to beware of:

  • Pharisees
  • Sadducees
  • Herodians

Verse 7: "Then they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'It is because we did not take bread.' But when Jesus knew this, He said to them, 'O you of little faith, why are you reasoning among yourselves that it is because you did not bring bread? Do you still not understand? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I was not speaking of bread when I told you to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?' Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (vs 7-12).

That becomes very important. What is doctrine? Doctrine comes from the word 'didaskos' or teachingthe teaching! Why would they have to beware of the teaching of the scribes, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Herodians? Most people assume—because of their ignorance of Judaism—that Judaism was following the Bible! Judaism was not, as we saw last time. That's very important to remember and keep in mind. They were not; they had their traditions.

Let me read a couple of other pages out of this book: Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma so we know where we're heading:

Where did the Pharisees come from?

We saw last time how that they rejected God's Word by keeping their traditions. Here's what they say out of their own writings:

Moses handed down to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, elders to the Prophets, Prophets to the men of the great synod, the men of the great synod to the rabbis.

Despite God's testimony—He made a covenant with Israel because of the written law—the scribes claim that the Holy One, blessed be He, only made a covenant with Israel on account of the oral Torah.

As it is said, after the tenor of these words, "I have made covenant with you and with Israel." Now they have their oral tradition.

This then was compiled into what is the Talmud, the Mishna and all that sort of thing.

As custodians and interpreters of the secret tradition, the Pharisees invested themselves with tremendous authority. By majority decision, their most eminent rabbis could overturn anything Moses had said. If a particular rabbi was acclaimed by his fellow Pharisees to be the greatest of that generation, then he is—by virtue of that position—as chief of the courts of justice invested with the same authority as Moses.

Matthew 23—let's cover right here what Jesus said. First we have to separate out the teachings that they would teach, which would be in accordance with the Word of God vs the teachings that they would teach, which were not in accordance with the Word of God. If you read the whole chapter, that's the worst, most stinging indictment of any people anywhere that Jesus talked about.

Matthew 23:1: "to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, 'The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down on Moses' seat as judges; therefore, every judgment that they tell you to observe, observe and do. But do not do according to their works; for they say and do not'" (vs 1-3).

At this point they were still preaching a lot of the commandments of God. They had their own traditions. They did sit in the seat of Moses, and I think that had to do with when they were teaching from the Law of Moses. Jesus made it clear that certainly their traditions has no authority. I mean, that's clear. So, they cannot take upon themselves that kind of situation where the traditions are greater than the Bible.

from: The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Article on Pharisaism:

"With the destruction of the temple the Sadducees disappeared altogether…

I might add here: it gave the Pharisees the chance to alter the history to make it appear that they were always in charge—and that's precisely what they did.

…leaving the regulation of all Jewish affairs in the hands of the Pharisees. Henceforth, Jewish life was regulated by the teachings of the Pharisees, the whole history of Judaism was re-constructed… [their own admission] …from the Pharisaic point of view, and a new aspect was given to the Sanhedrin of the past. A new chain of tradition supplanted the older, priestly tradition. Pharisaism shaped the character of Judaism and the life and thought of the Jew for all the future.

The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent without a break through all the centuries from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a great deal is still in existence. The Talmud is the largest and most important single piece of that literature…and the study of it is essential for any real understanding of Pharisaism."

From: Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma:

For this reason, to understand the Jews, the only sensible approach is to quote directly from their most trusted authorities. Because this book primarily concerns our duty to the state of Israel, here is the Orthodox position, a statement of faith, for most of the religious inhabitants of Israel today.

Thus the ultimate authority for Orthodoxy is the Babylonian Talmud. The Bible itself ranks second to it in reality, if not in theory.

Jesus said they have their traditions that reject the Word of God. That's actually true. They have it where the Bible as secondary. They have it where that all of their traditions take primary teaching over the Bible.

The outstanding achievement of the academy… [in 189 A.D. when they got the Talmud together] …under the rabbi was the final authoritative arrangement of the entire oral tradition—the Mishna

The effects of this great work were incalculable in the period of the teachers, which came to a close with the rabbi. The Bible had been studied and expounded as the primary source of religious tradition. Henceforth the Mishna became the primary text.

So, Judaism kicked out the Bible!

Let's go to the book of Acts and follow this through. There are some very important things that we need to look at and see what has happened from a historical point of view. Let's begin with the Apostle Paul:

Acts 9:1—this is after the martyrdom of Stephen: "Now Saul, still breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, asking him for letters to take to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who were of that way, he might bring them bound, both men and women, to Jerusalem" (vs 1-2).

The Jews—and we need to understand this in relationship to understanding the problem in Galatians—from the time that they crucified Christ, except for those who were converted and brought into the Church, they had to take an opposite stance. They had to take a stance that they were right and they were going to stop this Christianity. Notice the extent that they went to.

So, God reached down and took care of Saul. God called him! Reached right down into the most zealous of any in Judaism and called him.

Now you know where the law came from, Acts 10:28: "And he said to them, 'You know that it is unlawful for a man who is a Jew to associate with or come near to anyone of another race….'"

That was a Jewish law. That was one of the their traditions. That's why God chose Paul to go to the Gentiles, and when he was out there three and half years in the desert, I imagine God really had to teach him an awful lot of things. What did Paul say to the Greeks on Mars Hill? God has created all men under heaven of one blood!

Unless you understand the hatred that the Jews have toward other people, you don't understand what a fantastic statement that was to be coming from Paul. I'm not going to belabor you with it, I just wanted to point out a couple of basic things.

Acts 11—We know that Herod was stretching forth his hand, that he was going after the Church, that he was arresting and putting people away and all these sort of things.

Acts 11:19—a key historical verse; it's not necessarily a key doctrinal verse: "Now, those who had been scattered… [because of the thing with Herod] …by the persecution that arose concerning Stephen went through Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the Word to no one except Jews only." So, there was a time when it only went to the Jews.

Verse 20: "But certain men among them who were Cypriots and Cyrenians came to Antioch and spoke to the Greeks…" When you see the word 'Greeks' in Matt., Mark, Luke and John the Greek word is 'Hellenists' and those were Hellenist Jews. Here where it is Greeks (or Grecians) it is to the Greek people—not Greek-speaking Jews. That's why historically this is a major point here.

"…preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Now the report concerning them was heard in the ears of the Church that was in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced; and he exhorted them all to cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart, for he was a good man, and was filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large multitude was added to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to seek Saul; and after finding him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came to pass that for a whole year they assembled together with the Church and taught a great multitude. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians" (vs 20-26).

Here we have now going to the Gentiles. It's very important to understand when we come later on to the book of Galatians and the problem of circumcision, the problem of keeping law/not to keep law and the function of law. We need to keep that in mind as we're going along.

Acts 13:2—let's notice what happened immediately after Paul and Barnabus were sent out: "And as they were ministering and fasting to the Lord, the Holy Spirit said, 'Separate both Barnabas and Saul to Me for the work to which I have called them.' And when they had fasted and prayed, they laid hands on them and sent them out. So then, after being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed away to Cyprus. And when they came to Salamis, they preached the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they also had John as an assistant. And when they had gone through the island as far as Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus" (vs 2-6).

Most people don't realize it, but even then—and today—Judaism is full of witchcraft! It is full of magic! It is full of all the superstitions! I was shocked to really understand how much that that was involved in Judaism. That's why you find so many of the Jews—even to this day—a lot of them are not Jews the way that God looks at a Jew. They say they are Jews but are of the synagogue of Satan and are not Jews! That's why they're all involved in this thing.

Look at this right here: "…certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus"—which means the son of Jesus. That makes you wonder—doesn't it? Makes you wonder about some of these things!

Verse 7: "He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who called Barnabas and Saul to him, desiring to hear the Word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so was his name interpreted) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith" (vs 7-8). It's still a goal of Judaism to this day. Please, brethren, understand that!

Verse 9: "But Saul, who was also called Paul, being filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on him, and said, 'O full of all guile and all craftiness, you son of the devil… [A Jew, which is not but 'of the synagogue of Satan' clearly fits here—doesn't it?] …and enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the straight ways of the Lord? And now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season.' And immediately a mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand. And after seeing what had happened, the proconsul believed, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord" (vs 9-12). So then, Paul went on his way.

Verse 14: "Now, after passing through from Perga, they came to Antioch of Pisidia; and they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and sat down. And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue said to them, 'Men, brethren, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, speak.' Then Paul stood up…" (vs 14-16). Read the whole account, he really laid it out; let them have it. He went through the whole history, talking about Jesus:

Verse 30: "But God raised Him from the dead." They were witnesses; 'we declare these good things to you.'

Verse 38: "Therefore, be it known to you, men and brethren, that through this man the remission of sins is preached to you. And in Him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses" (vs 38-39).

Let me emphasize here very clearly: What is the function of law?

  • To show what sin is!
  • To give us a standard of conduct to live by!
  • Law never forgave sin!

Forgiveness is required to have justification. Under the Old Covenant they were justified to the temple by the sacrifices. The Jews took law-keeping and applied it to justification by works.

  • Law never forgives a thing!
  • Law never justifies a thing!
  • Law was never given to give eternal life!

Keep that in mind. That's very important to know, especially when you read 'by works of law is not man justified, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.' Then the minister stands up and says we've got to keep the laws of God. You go cross-eyed on that, because one seems to contradict the other. They don't! Paul went through the same thing here bringing this out. It's a Jewish problem!

Verse 40: "'Take heed, therefore, lest that which is spoken in the Prophets come upon you: "Behold, you despisers, and wonder and perish… [what a sermon!] …for I work a work in your days, a work that you will in no way believe, even if one declares it to you."' And when the Jews had gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles entreated him that these words might be spoken to them on the next Sabbath. Now, after the synagogue had been dismissed, many of the Jews and the proselytes who worshiped there followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. And on the coming Sabbath, almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the Word of God. But when they saw the multitude, the Jews were filled with envy…. [and also wrath] …and they spoke against the things proclaimed by Paul, and were contradicting and blaspheming" (vs 40-45).

So, the Church's big troubles were not really with the Gentiles, but with the Jews right at the beginning. The reason I'm going through this is so that you can understand how this foundation of anti-Christism in Judaism got its start. Some of the things that have said about Jesus is just mind-boggling.

In this book: Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, in the synagogue—because there were so many Christians—everyone would have to get up and they would have give an oath cursing the 'minim,' the 'minim' was a derogatory name for Christians. If you didn't you were kicked out of the synagogue. What did Jesus say?

  • The hour is going to come that they are going to kill you and think that they do God's service!
  • They hated Me before they hated you!
  • He who hates Me, hates the Father Who sent Me!

Here's where it's building right here, v 46. "But Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly, saying, 'It was necessary for the Word of God to be spoken to you first; but since you reject it and do not judge yourselves worthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles… [What a teeth-gnashing thing to say to the Jews] …for so the Lord has enjoined upon us: "I have set You for a light of the Gentiles that You should be for salvation unto the uttermost parts of the earth." And when the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced; and they glorified the Word of the Lord, and believed, as many as were appointed to eternal life. And the Word of the Lord was carried throughout the entire country" (vs 46-49). This was over a period of time.

Verse 50: "But the Jews stirred up…" If you dare say or write anything against Jews, what's going to happen? The Jews will stir up someone and come after you!

"But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the principal men of the city… [always a political in, always a political power coming after you] …and raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their borders…. [What did they do?]: …And after shaking the dust off their feet against them, they came to Iconium. Then the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (vs 50-52).

Acts 14:1: "Now, it came to pass in Iconium that they went together into the synagogue of the Jews and spoke so powerfully that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews…" (vs 1-2). Now we're getting more political momentum; more political organization going here.

"…stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. For this reason, they stayed a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, Who bore witness to the message of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done through their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided…" (vs 2-4). Notice that everywhere Paul went it turned into an uproar! Here's this peaceful little village of Iconium; Paul and Barnabas come in and start preaching Christ. Everybody's in an uproar!

"…the city was divided and some were with the Jews, and some were with the apostles" (v 4). If it's anything like what we see with these riots in the Middle East, I mean, it gets tough. Poor Paul was in the middle of it.

Verse 5: "And when an assault was about to be made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers to insult and stone them, they became aware of it;so they fled to Lyconia, into the cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region. And there they preached the Gospel" (vs 5-7). Then they healed a man who was impotent from birth. There was little bit of devotion by the pagans. They came and said, 'Hey, this is great!'

Verse 11: "And when the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in Lyconian, saying, 'The gods have become like men and have come down to us.' And Barnabas they called Zeus; and Paul, Hermes, because he was the principal speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, who officiated before their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, desiring to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard this, they ripped their own garments in disbelief, and rushed into the multitude, shouting out and saying, 'Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, with the same nature as you, and we have been preaching the Gospel to you, so that you will turn from these vanities to the living God, Who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all the things in them; Who in the past generations allowed all peoples to go in their own ways'" (vs 11-16). No problem! They didn't slay them; they didn't haul them up before the majesties.

Notice, all this great rejoicing, they turned them to God, turned them from the pagan gods!

Verse 19: "Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and after persuading the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, supposing that he was dead."

Here comes the subterfuge again, going to fight Christianity with political means. Brethren, that's still going on today. Political means of the media: television, printed word—it's something. The same spirit lies within Judaism. I'm not saying within every Jew, but within Judaism.

Just like here there were Jews who believed and became part of the Church; didn't get involved in it. But if you're going to hold to your own ways, as these Jews did; they use political means to get back at them; stirred people up; created enemies; talked against them. They left Paul as dead.

He got up and went back again and preached in the cities, ordained elders and went on his way. Then they came back and rehearsed all the things.

Acts 15:1: "Now, certain men who had come down from Judea were teaching the brethren, saying, 'Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'"

(go to the next track)

Now we start having the problems. Here's where the Jewish problem begins entering in on a religious basis. They had no small stir. They had disputations. In other words they had a heated, knocked-down drag out argument, is what they did.

Verse 4: "And when they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the Church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all the things that God had done with them. But there stood up certain of those who believed…" (vs 4-5)—that didn't mean that they gave up all of their traditions. They believed that Jesus was the Lord.

Just like anybody else, they didn't want to get rid of some of the things that they believed in. It was really hard for them, because it was not like coming out of, say, Catholicism, into the Church of God; that's an easy thing compared to this. This was a very difficult thing. After all, they were God's people. After all, they had been right. After all, Christ was of tribe of Judah. They believed! They were 'good guys.'

"…who were of the sect of the Pharisees, saying, 'It is obligatory to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses'" (v 5). That's where everybody doesn't understand what's being said. The Law of Moses to the Jew, the Pharisee, includes all the traditions as well as the Law of Moses! That's what that really means.

We'll come back to this and deal with this at a later date, in greater detail. I just want to go through this and show you the time-setting where the problem began. This reflects greatly in the book of Galatians. But notice it was the sect of the Pharisees, certain ones. They believed!

Does that necessarily mean they were all converted? I don't know! Read John 6 where there were many Jews who believed in Jesus. Then when He said, 'You have to eat My flesh and drink My blood,' those who believed on Him turned their back on Him. So, we don't know the situation with the Pharisees, except they were causing a lot of problems.

Acts 16:1: "He then arrived at Derbe and Lystra; and behold, there was a certain disciple named Timothy, son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was a Greek. He was recommended to Paul by the brethren in Lystra and Iconium, and Paul desired to take him with him; but because of the Jews in those places, he took him and circumcised him, for they all knew that his father was a Greek" (vs 1-3).

He had him circumcised so that the Jews wouldn't cause him any problems. In other words, Timothy then would then be allowed to come into the synagogue when Paul would go into the synagogue, because that's where Paul would always go to start.

Notice the pressure here, and I'm sure that that was from Jews within the Church. Apparently they were much more intimate in their investigations of people than we would think of today.

Acts 17:1: "And after journeying through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And as was the custom with Paul, he went in to them and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, expounding and demonstrating that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and testifying, 'This Jesus, Whom I am proclaiming to you, is the Christ'" (vs 1-3). That is in Jewish terminology Messiah.

Verse 4: "Now, some of them were convinced, and joined themselves to Paul and Silas, including a great multitude of devout Greeks, and of the chief women not a few. But the unbelieving Jews… [see where the resistance comes] …became envious and took to them certain evil men of the baser sort; and when they had gathered a huge crowd, they set the city in an uproar…" (vs 4-5). Are there people who would cause riots? Is this the 'AAA Rent a Mob' as it is in today's terminology? Yes, it is! Tactics haven't changed much—have they?

"…and they assaulted the house of Jason, looking for Paul and Silas, to bring them out to the people" (v 5). If we could somehow with our television minds sort of equate some kind of picture that was going on there, there was a near riot: yelling and screaming, demanding that these people be brought out.

Verse 6: "And when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and certain brethren before the city magistrates, crying out, 'Those who have set the whole world in confusion have come here also, whom Jason has received; and these all do what is contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.' And they caused great agitation among the people and the city magistrates, who heard these things. But after taking security from Jason and the rest, they let them go" (vs 6-9). It's going to build up even more as we'll see a little later on.

In a recent ruling in New York? There was a marriage between a Jew and a Catholic, which resulted in divorce. The court ruled that the children would have to be Jewish; go to Jewish synagogue. The point I'm making is: Do the Jews to this day resort to civil means to execute what they want done? Yes! Same thing they used here; they went to the magistrates—right?

Acts 18:1: "Now after these things, Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth; and there he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with Priscilla his wife (because Claudius had ordered all the Jews out of Rome)…." (vs 1-2). Why? They set the city in an uproar! They rioted! They looted! They killed! There's even an allegation in this book—Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma—which may be true:

Why did the Emperor Nero hang the Christians on crosses and burn them for burning the city—allegedly? He did it under the advice of his wife who was a Jew. Have things like that been done? Yes, many, many things!

Who are we going to be confronted with, brethren, in this end-time? The synagogue of Satan, which is going to be—if you read this book—the epitomized in humanism! Humanism is a secular expression of all the religions of the world out of Babylon, including Judaism. That's why we're admonished to beware of those of the synagogue of Satan.

That's why, and I want you to understand what has subtly happened in this political campaign about family values—traditional family. That's telling a message; that's Bible over here:

  • husband
  • wife
  • children
  • family together

vs

  • family over here: that is anyone who agrees with humanism:
  • you can be a homosexual, you can have children
  • you can be a lesbian and bring up your own kids
  • you can be a homosexual and teach in the Boy Scouts
  • you can have no God taught in school—atheism
  • teaching sex in school

Those are the other values over here. Even in the political scene today there is this great chasm between the two that's going on.

But they dare not say: the Jews. Everybody over here on this side who are saying 'traditional values' knows that they will not get a thing printed in the Jewish press or the Jewish media or the Jewish television or the Jewish movies—which they all are. They will be totally blackballed!

So, they have to code what they're saying. What did they say with the ALCU flap that we had? Had to be coded! We need to realize that this same thing that was going on then in starting is still going on today.

Verse 4: And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. Now, when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was stirred in his spirit and was earnestly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ" (vs 4-5). So, apparently, three Sabbaths Paul was in there persuading the Jews and the Greeks that were there, then he let it loose on the fourth Sabbath:

Verse 6: "But when they set themselves in opposition and were blaspheming… [I can almost see that in a movie; just picture this in a synagogue now]: …Paul shook his garments and said to them, 'Your blood be upon your own heads. I am pure of it. From this time forward I will go to the Gentiles.'" Whoo! Tough! I mean, tough! I've never preached like that in my life! Paul did, and it was a good thing it was one Jew against another. Can you imagine what it would have been if God would have called a Gentile an apostle to go into the synagogue of the Jews? Christianity would have never gotten off the ground anywhere!

Verse 7: "And after departing from there, he went into the house of a certain one named Justus, who worshiped God, whose house adjoined the synagogue. But Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with his whole house; and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized" (vs 7-8). They he stayed there a year and six months. He had a wild time there.

Verse 12: "Now when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up against Paul with one accord and led him to the judgment seat, saying, 'This man is persuading men to worship God contrary to the law'" (vs 12-13)—that means contrary to Judaism, brethren. They always hide behind the law. They hide behind the Torah! They kiss the Torah! But they don't keep it.

Verse 14: "And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, 'Now then, if it were a matter of some injustice, or wicked criminality, O Jews, according to reason, I should put up with you; but on the other hand, if it be a question about a message and names and a law of your own, you see to it yourselves; for I have no desire to be a judge of these things.' And he drove them from the judgment seat. Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But none of these things mattered to Gallio" (vs 14-17). Then they left.

Acts 19:1: "Now, it came to pass that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the upper parts and came to Ephesus; and when he found certain disciples." He had to re-baptize them because they had not received the Holy Spirit.

Verse 8: "Then he entered into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and refused to believe, speaking evil of the way before the multitude, he departed from them and separated the disciples; and he disputed these things daily in the school of a certain Tyrannus. And this took place for two years, so that all those who inhabited Asia heard the message of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. And God worked special works of power by the hands of Paul" (vs 8-11).

Verse 13: "Then certain vagabond Jews, exorcists, took it upon themselves to pronounce over those who had wicked spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, 'We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul proclaims.' Now, there were certain men, seven sons of a Jew named Sceva, a high priest, who were doing this. But the wicked spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I have knowledge of; but you, who are you?' And the man in whom was the wicked spirit attacked them, overpowered them and prevailed against them, so that they escaped out of that house naked and wounded…. [that must have been quite a bloody fight] …Now, this became known to everyone inhabiting Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified." (vs 13-17).

Now we find a situation coming where the idol business was affected, the idols to the goddess Diana. They had a big uproar with the Gentiles—that the first one Paul had a big uproar with.

Acts 20:1: "When the tumult was over, Paul called the disciples to him and embraced them; then he left to go into Macedonia. And after passing through those parts and exhorting them with much speaking, he came to Greece. Now, after he had been there for three months, he was going to sail to Syria. But when he learned that the Jews were lying in wait for him, he decided to return through Macedonia" (vs 1-3). So, they were out there waiting for his life.

Paul doesn't tell us all the things that he went through, but here he gives one little summary, 2-Corinthians 11:23—speaking of false apostles: "Are they servants of Christ? (I am speaking as if I were out of my mind.) So am I, above and beyond measure—in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in imprisonments more frequent, in deaths often. Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes less one" (vs 23-24). Five times! That's the only place it tells us. It doesn't tell us in the book of Acts that he received the whip—39 stripes!

If we saw the body of the Apostle Paul… Remember, Jesus said, 'I called you to show you the things that you must suffer for Me.' Paul had scars! You and I get hurt a little bit, you can show me a scar. Think of Paul, he was stoned! His eyes were real ugly! His back was laced open because of these five beatings!

Now you know why the book of Hebrews says that 'you haven't resisted unto blood, yet; striving against sin!' We've gone through a few little tittley-wink things; I mean, really compared, what we've gone through is nothing compared to what this is.

Verse 25: "Three times I was beaten with rods… [in addition to it] …once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked…" It's a disaster for us if we have a flat tire on the way to Church—right? How about on the ocean you have a shipwreck? I know the first thing my wife would say: 'The sharks! The sharks!'

"…a night and a day I spent in the deep" (v 25). I wonder what his prayer was? Holding on—a day and a night—to something? God is all powerful! God is all wise! God knows everything! If he didn't believe in God, he would say, 'If you are God, why would You let me go through this?' There are people who take that point of view. There are people who leave the Church of God because they have a little trouble, saying, 'If God be God, surely He wouldn't let this go on.'

Look at the Apostle Paul; what did he say when he was done? 'I've run a good race, I finished my course, fought the fight of faith and now there's a crown of life laid up for me.' I imagine by that time he was creaking in his bones. If you have a hip broken or something, that will affect you the rest of your life.

Going through this I really felt sorry for the Apostle Paul. I'm going to be very cautious in taking my complaints to God. I'm just thankful that He hasn't come back and said, 'Come on, grow up, don't be stupid!' Sometimes God will give you an answer a different way.

Verse 26: "I have been in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own race, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the desert, in perils on the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides all these things from the world outside, pressing on me daily is the care of all the Churches" (vs 26-28). No comment, just let it sink in!

1-Thessalonians 2:14—Paul is talking to the Greeks here: "For, brethren, you became imitators of the Churches of God in Judea which are in Christ Jesus; because you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they also suffered from the Jews." How convenient would it be on Sabbath just to stay home because you might have a Jew throw a rock at you on the way to Church? Possible? Yes, very possible!

Verse 15: "Who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drove you out, and do not please God, and are contrary to all men." It is absolutely amazing, the greatest writings against the Jews are by Jews.

{by the way, this guy is a Jew who wrote Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma}

Paul, no doubt, was a Jew. Does anybody doubt that Paul was a Jew? No doubt about it! Lest anyone say we are anti-Semitics, we're not, we're reading what Jews have written about Jews! I'm torn in-between. I know a Jew who is one of the nicest men I have ever met. Nicer than some people that were supposed to be ministers in the Church of God. So, don't get to thinking that I'm blaming Jews by pointing it out. I'm just reading what has been written about the Jews so that we understand what that problem was with the Church of God.

Read Acts 21-28 and it shows how the Jews would come down and they would put the pressure on to try and get Paul killed. Especially read when Paul was arrested. They had spies up there. He went back and came to the apostles and they said, 'Look, Paul, you're in trouble. And we know it's not true, Paul, but there are a lot of the brethren who are zealous of the law and the word is coming back that you're teaching contrary to the Law of Moses. What we want you to do, we want you to take this vow and offer these offerings at the temple. Will you do that, Paul?'

He said, 'Sure.' He did it, no problem. But what happened? Some of the Jews from Asia saw him and said, 'That's the one, get him.' They had Paul arrested. They were going to stone Paul right there at the temple. The Roman soldiers had to run in and intervene, save Paul from that, and he said, 'Please, may I talk to the people?' They brought him up on a balcony and here were all the Jews out there. He started talking to them in Hebrew. Everything quieted down right away.

Paul told them about what he was doing and when he said the word Gentile, there was a riot! They went absolutely bonkers! There was a riot that they were tearing their clothes! I mean, I've been accused of having a temper, but never have I been so angry that I've torn my clothes. That's how upset they got.

Acts 26:9—Paul is saying what he did: "For this very reason, I truly thought in myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus the Nazarean, Which I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints I shut up in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my full consent against them. And by punishing them often in all the synagogues, I compelled them to blaspheme. And being exceedingly furious against them, I persecuted them even as far as to foreign cities. During this time, I was journeying to Damascus with authorization and a commission from the chief priests" (vs 9-12). Then he tells about his calling.

I tell you, the Jews have a lot of ability. They are very politically shrewd. When they get the forces against you, look out! Maybe that's one reason why we're in a smaller group. I know I would have great difficulty in bringing this to a larger group, I know I would.

Acts 28:17: "Now, it came to pass that after three days, Paul called together those who were chief among the Jews. And when they had come together, he said to them, 'Men and brethren, although I have done nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers, I was delivered into the hands of the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem. After examining me, they desired to let me go because there was not one cause of death in me. But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar—not as though I had anything to charge against my nation. For this cause then, I have called for you, in order that I might see you and speak to you; because it is for the hope of Israel that I have this chain around me.' Then they said to him, 'We have neither received letters concerning you from Judea, nor have any of the brethren…'" (vs 17-21).

I want you to notice the close ties the Jews always had. You have to get permission from someone high up—right? That's the implication here. Keep that in mind.

"'…who have arrived reported anything or spoken evil of you. But we would like to hear from you and to know what you think, because we are indeed very aware that this sect is everywhere spoken against'" (v 21-22). By whom? The Jews!

Verse 23. And when they appointed a day for him to speak, many came into his lodging to hear him; and he expounded to them from morning until evening, fully testifying of the Kingdom of God and persuading them of the things concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. And some were truly convinced of the things that were spoken, but some did not believe. And they departed in disagreement with one another after Paul had spoken these words: 'Well did the Holy Spirit speak by Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, "Go to this people and say, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, but in no way perceive. For the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.'" Be it known to you, that the salvation of God has, therefore, been sent to the Gentiles; and they will hear.' And after he said these things, the Jews went away with much debate among themselves" (vs 23-29). He stayed there two years, preached concerning the Kingdom of God.

That ends the Bible account of the history of the Jews against the Church. I won't get into anymore of how the Jews are dealing today, I'll let you do that. Remember the ghastly things that the Germans were accused of, taking Jews and skinning them alive and using the skin for lampshades. That's what the Jews did to the Gentiles! It's recorded in history. God is not unfair! I don't want to fall into the judgment of God. Lord knows, I have my own sins and weaknesses—you do and everybody else does—right? I'm not going to stand up and say we're better than anybody else or we're greater than anybody else, because we're not. We're only here because of the grace and mercy of God. But we need to understand what has gone on. We're also admonished at the end-time about 'the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but do lie.'

I know that I have a greater appreciation of what Paul went through after going through and just seeking that, realizing what he went through. How many other Christians went through things. It's not only just those other pagan Christians we have to fight, but there are also pagan Jews that we have to aware of. I'm very, very glad that I wasn't living back then. Lot's of times we think we would love to have seen Jesus. Would you really? I suppose it would have been nice. It wouldn't guarantee that you would be in the Kingdom of God anymore than now. I hate to see all the evil things that are coming on the world, what's happening to the people—I really do! But we can't change what we're living in, the time we're living in.

When we get to the book of Galatians I hope you will see that all of a sudden these things will open right up to you. That you will now understand them as you never have before.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Mark 8:14-21
  • Matthew 16:1-12
  • Matthew 23:1-3
  • Acts 9:1-2
  • Acts 10:28
  • Acts 11:19-26
  • Acts 13:2-12, 14-16, 30, 38-52
  • Acts 14:1-7, 11-16, 19
  • Acts 15:1, 4-5
  • Acts 16:1-3
  • Acts 17:1-9
  • Acts 18:1-2, 4-8, 12-17
  • Acts 19:1, 8-17
  • Acts 20:1-3
  • 2 Corinthians 11:23-28
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15
  • Acts 26:9-12
  • Acts 28:17-29

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 20
  • John 6
  • Acts 21-28

Also referenced: Books:

  • Israel, Our Duty, Our Dilemma by Theodore Winston Pike
  • Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 12-27-12

BOOKS