Kirt A. Schneider decided he was going to confront the pastor on his sermon. Armed with Scripture references, he and his friend met with the pastor after the service to talk. However, not long into the conversation, the pastor looked at Schneider's friend and said:
"This guy refuses to read his Bible!"
Schneider wasn't sure which Bible the pastor was teaching from. He visited the church eager for strong Bible teaching, and what he encountered was a sermon that was rooted solely in the New Testament, not the total Bible.
"When we, as Christians, are not rooted in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, we can develop a distorted view of who God is," Schneider says.
In his book The Lion of Judah, Schneider describes the pastor's sermon, which argued that because of Jesus' death on the cross, God's work is done and it's up to us to "complete" our salvation. Schneider was disturbed by how the pastor preached on our free will getting in the way of God's purposes. He was a new Christian, but he didn't recognize this hands-tied-behind-His-back version of God.
Later on, as he considered why he and the pastor had such radically different views of God, Schneider realized it had to do with his Jewish upbringing.
God as Adon Olam
Schneider spent the first 10 years of his life in a suburb with the second-highest concentration of Jewish people outside Israel. Even after moving to another suburb, he continued to attend synagogue for Hebrew school, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and his seventh-grade bar mitzvah.
He was raised believing that God is Adon Olam, or "master of the universe." Although this idea neglected to portray God as a personal Savior, it rightfully taught Schneider that God was sovereign over everything.
"Judaism places a high emphasis on God's sovereignty and power, whereas in some Christian circles, humanity's free will is highlighted more," Schneider says.
Understanding the healthy balance between God's sovereignty and humanity's free will requires a full understanding of who God is—which requires a full understanding of His Word. All of it.
"The Old Testament is God's self-revelation, as is the New Testament. They are not two separate books; the Bible is one progressive revelation of who God is," Schneider says.
He writes on how God's sovereignty is evidenced across Scripture, from the Book of Daniel to Romans. As his book The Lion of Judah emphasizes, the Old and New Testament fit together like hand and glove, intricately linked to each other.
Threaded throughout the Old Testament, for example, are allusions and prophecies of Jesus. God's condemnation to the serpent in the garden foretells a Redeemer descended from Adam and Eve who will bruise the devil's head (Gen. 3:15). Abraham's sacrifice of his son, Isaac, provided a picture of the sacrifice of God's son (Gen. 22:1-18). Moses relayed to the Israelites how God said he would raise up a prophet and put His words in his mouth, and that he will speak to them all that God commanded him (Deut. 18:17).
When you see the entire story of the Bible, you see God's sovereign hand in the lives of people and circumstances across history.
In The Lion of Judah, Schneider writes, "When we view God's Word in this way, as one book written by the one true God, we can unveil the deeper revelations He desires for us to gain."
This article is based on The Lion of Judah: How Jesus Completes Biblical Judaism and Why Judaism and Christianity Split (Charisma House, 2019) by Rabbi Kirt A. Schneider. Schneider is an international evangelist who serves as rabbi of Lion of Judah World Outreach Center. He is the author of The Book of Revelation Decoded, Self-Deliverance, Do Not Be Afraid! and Awakening to Messiah. He writes from having seen the truths of God's Word confirmed by the Holy Spirit performing miraculous healings and deliverance. Schneider is host of Discovering the Jewish Jesus, which is listed in television guides as "The Jewish Jesus." For a list of times and stations that broadcast Rabbi Schneider's program, visit DiscoveringTheJewishJesus.com and click on the "Ways to Watch" link.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.