Jewish Influence in the Lord’s Prayer

What I am about to talk about today may shock and challenge some people who are blind to certain facts of historical significance. There are many things about Christianity that so many have been blinded from by radicals who desire supremacy over others when the origins do not even belong to their ethnicity. There is no “Master Race”. There is no White Jesus or Black Jesus. Here is the fact. Jesus was born of Middle Eastern ethnicity in Bethlehem in Judea. His mother and earthly father came from Nazareth. Both of them are descendants of Abraham who descended from Noah who descended from Adam. When Rome took The Way and made it into the national religion called Christianity they tried to strip away all things Jewish except that one fact.  

Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer and other things we say and do as Christians have Jewish roots? In fact, we would not have Christianity except that the first people who knew Jesus and spread the faith were Jewish.     

So we ask this question, “How did Jewish Liturgy influence the Lord’s Prayer?”

Jesus taught us the model on how to talk to God in prayer. Here is the Lord’s Prayer as we know it.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
  Luke 1:1-4

For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever, AMEN was added later.

The Lord’s Prayer is by far the most central and well-known Christian prayer in the world but it has almost word by word similarities with different Jewish prayers.

First, the content of the Lord’s Prayer is the same as the key Jewish liturgical concept of אבינו מלכנו (pronounced: Avinu Malkenu). When translated it means “Our Father, Our King”. In fact, everything in the Lord’s Prayer is centered around either the fatherhood or kingship of God.

Our Father, Who art in heaven

​The prayer begins by professing our core religious belief that God is our heavenly Father who is all knowing and all powerful. Notice that Jesus didn’t instruct us to say, “My Father” but stressed “Our Father.” God is not just the Father of one or five children but the Father of the human race.

 “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt.6:9b-13a)

Second, there are word-by-word parallels between the Lord’s Prayer and variety of Jewish prayers such as “Our Father, Our King”, the “Amidah”, and the “Morning Blessings”. Here is one example from each:

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמְחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ

Our Father, Our King, forgive and pardon all our sins.

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם

We will sanctify your Name in this world, as it is sanctified in high heaven.

ואל תביאנו לא לידי חטא ולא לידי עברה ועון, ולא לידי נסיון ולא לידי בזיון, ואל ישלט בנו יצר הרע

Lead us not into sin and transgression, iniquity, temptation and disgrace, so that evil will not rule over us.

Jesus had taken what was already known from established prayers and petitions to God and gave them deeper meaning outside of the realm of Israel as the plan was originally intended.

The liturgy of Jewish prayers, their festivals, and traditions, are the basis of all things Christian. Some modern scholars even want the Old Testament put aside but then call the New Testament, Scripture. The Word of God, Jesus, is found at the very beginning of the Christian Bible cannot be ignored. Jesus gave the two Great Commandments but they lose their meaning without understanding the Ten Commandments. The Great Commandments are the culmination of the Ten so everything in the Ten still apply.

STOP THE HATE

This Anti-Semitism and ethnicity hatred that has grown stronger must stop. We are supposed to be helping the Jews see Jesus in a peaceful manner not by killing them like the zealous Catholics did during the Inquisition. We should be spreading Love not hatred because we are all of the same flesh. Our outward appearance comes from a manipulation of dirt, clay, and water. That is what our bodies will return to. Our spirits live on after the body dies. There is no color, gender, or ethnicity, just the spirit. We are all one. Let’s start acting like it. Look at the inner person not the sinful shell. Be the Child of God He desires us to be. Love one another, give up the hatred and all things that keep us in the world. That is one of the ways we will have communion with God.

Brothers and Sisters, the time is past and we are already hurting. Now is the time for healing.

Love to All,

 Rob Servant of God     

How is Your Heart Health

Our bodies are similar in that we have skin, bone, muscle, hair, intestines, etc. Our bodies differ when it comes to the shade of brown that colors our skin, our eyes, our biological gender, and other features. But there is one part of the body that is completely unique to all yet has a purpose beyond our understanding, our hearts. The heart is the muscle which moves the blood throughout our entire body which gives us life. That is the biological work of the heart. The heart is also connected to our mind in a spiritual sense that affects our physical being. When we feel negative things (anger, sadness, anxiety), our heart speeds up and causes everything to go out of sorts. When we have positive thoughts and feelings, our heart functions normal and gives us exactly what we need when and where we need it. All of this goes even deeper and we find that our heart reaction also dictates not just this life but the next as well. Let’s explore what the Bible has to say about the condition of the human heart. We Have…….

A Deceitful Heart by Nature
If our hearts truly controlled our actions then the choices made which caused Original Sin were the effect of the deceit which poisoned Eve then Adam. “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it? I, Adonai, search the heart; I test inner motivations; in order to give to everyone what his actions and conduct deserve.” (Jer. 17:9-10) In other words, the absence of God in our hearts allows deceit to enter and separated us from His Glory. Evil intentions are in our hearts and we must fight them so our motivations turn more good so that when tested we are found to at least have tried to fight what evil lies within. But….

An Honest Heart Receives God’s Word
But what fell in rich soil — these are the ones who, when they hear the message, hold onto it with a good, receptive heart; and by persevering, they bring forth a harvest. (Luke 8:15)
If we are ready and willing to listen, follow, and conduct ourselves according to His Word, we receive His Grace generously. This causes us to be able to reach out to others and share His Word giving others a chance to do the same… But our humanisms still get in the way sometimes which causes….

A Double Heart in Hypocrisy
David saw the fault in man and knew that there were almost no more truly righteous people in the world. Help, Adonai! For no one godly is left; the faithful have vanished from humankind. They all tell lies to each other, flattering with their lips, but speaking from divided hearts. (Psalm 12:2-3) The Israelites and others around them still had been doing what they felt was right in their own eyes and therefore their tongues were forked due to the inability to understand the need for following God alone and not the ways of man. Just like today where we have many who go to church on Sunday and then fall short the rest of the week. Everyone does it because no one is perfect but there are some that are much worse than others.

An Opened Heart Yields to God’s Hand
What happens when God is invited in…..One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in fine purple cloth. She was already a “God-fearer,” and the Lord opened up her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. After she and the members of her household had been immersed, she gave us this invitation: “If you consider me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay in my house.” And she insisted till we went. (Acts 16:14-15) Lydia knew of God and but did not know God until her heart was opened by the saving Grace and Mercy of Jesus was spoken of through Paul. She became an instrument of God as she yielded her life completely to Him. This happens when we accept Jesus into our life, our hearts open to the filling of His Word and we can feel the hand of God guiding our every move. But without the knowledge of God in our hearts we are still deceived.

A Deceived Heart through Ignorance
Such people know nothing, understand nothing. Their eyes are sealed shut, so that they can’t see; their hearts too, so they can’t understand. Not one thinks to himself or has the knowledge or the discernment to say, “I burned half of it in the fire, baked bread on its coals, roasted meat and ate it. Should I now make the rest an abomination? Should I prostrate myself to a tree trunk?” He is relying on ashes! A deceived heart has led him astray; so that now he won’t save himself, just won’t say, “This thing in my hand is a fraud!” (Isaiah 44: 18-20) Items of the world and people who are put above all else are not as reliable for saving our eternal souls as God is. This world is full of deception and many fall victim. I myself have been deceived but I came back because I realized that God was there all along and would not allow me to fall further. Some are so deeply deceived that every time God steps in, they step away in total fear and return to the false idol that gives only a temporary comfort. But….

A Believing Heart Welcomes God’s Righteousness
It is all about trust. The respectful fear that we have of our Lord God is a part of understanding that if we put our full faith and trust in God and believe 100% that Jesus saved us through His sacrifice, we are forgiven and will live eternal in His loving arms. “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance. (Romans 10:8-10) We must willingly openly confess our faith in Jesus that He will stand in for us at the Judgement. We must willingly confess that Jesus Christ is Our Lord and Savior. But some of us still do not get it.

A Hardened Heart through Unbelief
There are some out there that just cannot accept that there is a higher power that created all things, controls all things, has infinite wisdom and it was through that enlightened that brought us into existence. The Word is our source of nourishment. But, aware of this, he said, “Why are you talking with each other about having no bread? Don’t you see or understand yet? Have your hearts been made like stone? (Mark (8:17). The Disciples still did not understand at this point that the bread Jesus spoke of was and is the Word that gives us life. They still were in a point of unbelief. They still thought Jesus was a great teacher and would rule over them physically. They had no idea what was to come. Jesus eventually broke the stones away from their and made way for the Helper, the Holy Spirit to enter in.

A Glad Heart Rejoices in His Salvation
You have filled my heart with more joy than all their grain and new wine (Psalm 4:7). Having been blessed by God and meditating on His Word while it flows in our blood to renew our body with the Spirit. How we use this gift of life is really up to us but understand that God really does not want to give up on us even though we may think that way sometimes. When we keep the Word in our hearts, stay in conversation with Him through prayer, and live the way God desires of us then we can fully rejoice in the knowledge that we are saved.
I know the world gets us down and tries to knock us away from God with every distraction possible but we have to maintain our focus on God because He has a plan for each and every one of us that may challenge us to do things we would not normally do. He may completely turn your life upside down only to redirect and give you a new purpose which was His intent all along. What do I say to that?? Go with it. Enjoy and endure the struggle but go with it because the fullness of the Glad Heart will bring peace and contentment.
Love God with All of Yourself giving nothing to the world and everything to Him. Your heart will thank you .

 

The Apostles ‘ Creed (12th Day of Christmas)

Apostles CreedThe Apostles’ Creed does not mean the Apostles wrote it, rather it states the fundamental truths of Scripture as given to us through the apostles. It is said to have been formalized by the Second Century but began to take shape with the Apostles as a Baptismal Confession of Faith. This is reverently spoken in many denominations which hold traditional values. It is however becoming a rarely spoken Confession in most Baptist churches today which is odd considering it was a Confession of Faith spoken by those about to be baptized.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (some use Christian) church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Twelve Tenants of Faith

  1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

We have a God that has a personal relationship with us. We are His Creation, His Children by heavenly adoption through His Mercy and Grace. It is He who created us, judges us, and saves us.

  1. and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

We believe in Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God. He is God Incarnate, Immanuel Savior, Redeemer. Jesus is fully God and fully man and the Way into heaven. He is our lawyer and our substitute who receives our punishment for our sins.

  1. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;

The seed by which Jesus was conceived was not of this world but of the Holy Spirit, God’s Breath. Born of a sexually pure young woman (translated to Virgin), Jesus was born without sin.

  1. suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

Christians teach that the death of Christ was for the purpose of making propitiation for our sin, reconciling us to God, and paying the price for our sins in our place. This is essential to the understanding of how Jesus is able to do what He does in our lives. He had to be sacrificed to make amends for our sin.

  1. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;

So is the final mission of Christ while on earth. To defeat death’s hold over us due to our sinful nature. It is crucial to the understanding of the nature of Christ, the importance of His death for our atonement, and what will happen to us after death. It is because He rose from the dead in His physical but elevated form, the Spirit in the flesh.

  1. He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

Just as the Death and Resurrection are essential, the Ascension is vital to the faith because He returned to the Father to take His place at the witness stand next to God’s judgement throne. This is where He will witness us to the Father and erase our sins by speaking in our place. 

  1. from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

AS Jesus continues to watch over the flock we are judged. Jesus judges the living in matters of the heart (repentant heart) and of our faith activity after we die. The final judgement spoken here is upon Jesus return to earth He will reward the faithful and destroy the wicked.

  1. I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Spirit, Breath of God, Third Person of the Trinity is the Helper, Comforter, Savior, that dwells within us. He is revealed by our faith through the regeneration of our soul. The Holy Spirit grants us the Gifts/Fruit by which we are known as Believers. There is no peace within us without the Holy Spirit.

  1. the holy catholic church, the communion of Saints,

The One Church Body of Jesus Christ. In other words, all Believers are part of the same Body IN Christ. The catholic spoken here is non-specific to the Roman Catholic Church but the people, the Believers, the One Church with One Mission, and Many Gifts to accomplish it. The word catholic means “universal. The church is not the “New Israel” and we did not take the place of Israel as the nation is still God’s chosen. We are, however, an extension of Israel through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ who took over the mission that the Jews could not do.

The communion of Saints has nothing to do with the sacrament. It is the coming together in one accord as Believers in Jesus to worship, fellowship, and conduct the work of the Kingdom here on earth. When God created Adam and Eve, He had communion with them. Meaning He had a close personal relationship with them and worked with them to learn more about Him. When we commune with each other, we develop relationships, learn from one another about God’s relationship in our lives.

  1. the forgiveness of sins,

Christ pardons the sins of His people by His free grace. We are forgiven by the Blood of Jesus but we must Repent of our sins. That is, we must recognize that we are filled with sinful nature, admit to our sins and the lack of being able to rid ourselves of them eternally without the sacrifice of Jesus. Without Repentance there is no forgiveness. Another piece of this is:  “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

(Mark 11:26 NAS) Meaning, if you cannot forgive, you will not be forgiven.

  1. the resurrection of the body,

Not the Physical body as we see each other right now but a Spiritual body that leaves the flesh yet in the form of the flesh and either goes to heaven or damnation. Resurrection of the “Spiritual” body is at the instance of death. We are not held in waiting as the ancient Hebrews believed but taken up upon the earthly shells death. Yes, Sheol is real as those before Christ could not truly save themselves and they awaited the Messiah to bring them to the Father for their reward. Yes Hell is real as the place of eternal torment. The Spirit goes the direction of the Judgement.

  1. and life everlasting. Amen.

The Spirit body, once again, is eternal and lives forever either in peace or in torment dependent on how the life was lived in the body. If repentance was made truthfully then the Spirit lives with God, If there was no repentance then the Spirit suffers in the darkness away from God.

The Apostles’ Creed is an important extra biblical document that should not be overlooked or forgotten as it has been part of the faith since the beginnings of the church. Saying it is one thing, believing the basis behind it is another. This Statement of Faith should be on all Believers hearts upon Baptism and spoken as a reminder of the tenants of faith.

So ends the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany begins tomorrow. This celebration begins with the Wise Men visiting the Christ Child and not reporting back to Herod thereby saving Jesus life.

This coming week we will begin looking into the Didache, the teachings of the Apostles and an early guide to presenting the Gospel to the masses. God Bless you all.

God Has A Plan For The Proud (And It Ain’t Good)

If you think that because you are human and do not have an All Powerful Being in control of your fate, you have some serious issues. The Pride of man will be his undoing as we have seen many times in the past even recently. Though right now we have many issues that have resulted from people bieng in lofty and high places who thought they could not be caught, they are being exposed and revealed to the world. Sins of man are being brought to light by those who have been victimized. Some have passed the statute of human limitations but God reveals all. The solution, do not give into temptation.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.       1 John 2:15-16

I myself have had a dark few months recently where temptation had taken hold. Am I suffering for it? yes. Have I repented? yes. Have I asked forgiveness from those I have wronged Physically and Spiritually? Yes. Will I recover? God forgives those who seek Him, Love Him, and return to Him (Think Prodigal Son).

The immoral behaviors of Hollywood which have been rampant for decades are finally coming to light. Fame and fortune do come with a cost. The Idol of money has taken over the lives of many with quid pro quo, bribes, hush money, and even extortion. These are things that man thinks will cover up misdeeds. The love of money called greed will be man’s undoing.

Now as Isaiah points out, there is no escape from the wrath of God. Sometimes He uses people to exact His wrath upon those who sin, and even though they think they can hide, God knows their hearts so they will be found out.

Be aware of those who will try to persecute you or vicitimize you, they will have their day in the heavenly court where they will be seated in the furnace awaiting punishment. Stay in the Word, and if you falter return quickly and repent. Do not let temptation rule your life, I have learned that the hard way. Love One Another Just As He Loves Us. Do not give up hope, He will be returning soon.

Is Loving Money Worth Your Soul?

America is a Capitalist nation. We are so dependent on the “Almighty Dollar” that in some places we cannot even take care of natural release functions without paying for it. What has this country come to? Has money replaced God here? There was an article on how much pastors make and as I spoke of pastors who make much more than the parishioners are not Pastors in Ministry but in truth are Business Men, I was replied to by a person who claimed to be able to show me all the Scriptures about prosperity and wealth. Well, he did not produce a single one so I retorted back the story of the rich young ruler and Jesus challenge to which the rich young ruler had a bright light moment to which he went away saddened. I also shared how Scripture speaks not of material prosperity and wealth but that of the spirit.
So today I wish to expand on this as we discuss the Dangers of Being of the World vs Being of the Spirit.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
How many professions that help mankind desire more money for their services when they should be following God’s mandate and work in accordance with His original plan of being caretakers of His creation. Yes we need some kind of stuff to live on but does God not provide for us through our toil?
Mat 6:19-21 “Do not save riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, save riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are.”
This desire has led to greed the building of unnecessary mansions and. For some they forget their gift for assisting people and suffer lawsuits due to malpractice, wrongful imprisonment of innocents, misappropriation of funds, etc. It has led to untimely deaths, lack of good judgement, mental instability, distorted realities, use of unnatural things to take place of happiness, and other misfortunes.
For:
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon.”
We are called to:
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.”
And To:
Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
Because we are to:
Psalms 37:7,16 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way… Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked.
So we should let go of our possessions and return to the way God delights in us. Sounds easy and difficult because many will ask, “How will we eat, where will we sleep, how will I cloth myself?” This is answered already:
Acts 2:44-45 All the believers joined together and shared everything in common; they sold their possessions and goods and divided the proceeds among the fellowship according to individual need.
Small communities do this still with some adjustments. No one needs to be rich in material things when each person pulls his/her share. Individual needs that concern outside sources (hospitalizations etc.) are met through combined efforts. Christian thinkers in the insurance business have already thought of this and it works real well. The sharing of things is hard to do today in this “Me” society but it can work as long as no one is kept in the dark.
To have much in material things, the person may lack in spirit. When you do not think in material things but spiritual, the need and desire for stuff outside of how you can help others becomes a moot subject.
Farmers and gardeners in small communities bring things to market for sale or trade. People who make items from wood and other materials do the same. To make a little extra to help the community the wood and metal workers may sell outside of the community but how much goes into the pocket, not much.
Leaders would not ask for money to outsource when roads are being kept up, food is on everyone’s tables, clothes are on backs, and roofs over heads.
THIS IS NOT SOCIALISM this is a community of like-minded Christian Believers who do not desire the false idol of money.
When people in a community work together for the greater good, no one is left behind.
Look, I know some people will think this as fantasy but it is a reality of how to live within the bounds of Christ.
Ecc 5:10-15 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune… Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs…
Amen

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