4. From a Greek to a Hebrew Mindset

Messianic 101-part D: From a Greek to a Hebrew Mindset

Salvation is not conversion because Salvation is the awakening of our Spirit who was dead (asleep) after the sin of Adam when God said, “if you eat from the fruit of the tree you will die”.

DOWNLOAD THIS TEACHING AS A PDF and its companion PDF: The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Church from 1897!

This was not a physical death but a Spiritual one. When we give our heart to Yeshua our Spirit awakes to the Spirit of God and we become the Temple of the Holy Spirit. But a conversion must come together with Salvation; we must convert our mind set from Hellenistic ways to a more Hebrew understanding. And I say Hebrew not for you to know the language but, a whole new understanding.

All of us have a set of opinions or what we might call our “worldview.” We have this worldview from our earliest days, imparted within us from our society, culture and teachings we received since an early age from others.

Removing ourselves from the Greek mindset, which characterizes our western culture, is a diffi­cult task but a necessary one if we hope to understand the Scriptures on their own terms. Greek worldview: that the world of ideas reigns supreme over the physical world, and that truth exists in the realm of linear logic in which the law of non-contradiction exists as a universal reality. In contrast, the Hebrew world­view does not consider the physical world to be inferior to the world of ideas or beliefs, but views both as necessarily integrated, called block logic.

It is easy to see, then, that as we strive to return to a Torah perspective, it is necessary that we abandon our Greek worldview and seek to read and understand the Bible from the Hebrew mindset in which it was written. The spiritual equality of Jew and Gentile in the Messiah is a monumental change. Without making such distinctions, the so called “Church” (Body) often has nothing to say concerning the unique calling and destiny of the Jewish people.

Those who teach that we only need to love and can forget the Law of God, are badly mistaken. Why? Because without the Torah to tell us what love looks like, we will fall into sentimental indulgence. True love is always according to God’s commandments. Therefore, the true believer, saved by grace, keeps God’s Torah, and one of the marks of our salvation is the obedience of God’s Torah.

Let’s talk about Matt 5:17-20, especially verses 18 & 19, 17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah (Law) or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Torah (Law) until all is accomplished. I do not believe that Heaven and earth has passed away. The Torah is still here to teach us some good principles.
19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
 It is very clear if we are Kingdom people and followers of the most High God we cannot say that the Torah is not part of our lives.
20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Yeshua teaches mostly on those parts of Torah considered to be universal in accordance with Jewish teaching of that period.

Plato believed that reality existed in the realm of ideas, not in the material world, and the realm of reality and truth exists in the form or idea of a thing rather than in the thing itself. For him, what we experience through our senses in the physical world are only shadows of reality. In this way, the world of our existence is dualistic. The material world has no essential meaning in and of itself. Only the form or idea gives meaning.

The Hebrew worldview, however, never considered the physical world as inferior to the non­physical realm, nor did it elevate ideas above actions. The physical world was endowed with God’s bles­sings at creation, and such blessings remains even though, because of the entrance of sin, the creation cries for redemption as is said in Romans 8:22.

One early Christian writer of the 2nd and early 3rd century, Clement of Alexandria, demonstrated Greek thought in writing: "Philosophy has been given to the Greeks as their own kind of Covenant, their foundation for the philosophy of Christ. The Church historian Eusebius suggested, essentially, that Greek philosophy had been supplied providentially as a preparation for the Gospel. First, as the Christian Church in the 2 and 3rd century divided away from the synagogue, she naturally looked for leaders among her educated men, most of whom had been educated in the Greek academies, teaching a platonic notion that true faith exists in the realm of ideas—in agreeing intellectually with a list of doctrines or a Church creed.

The Death Sea scrolls demonstrate very clearly the Jewish soil out of which Christianity grew. Not the message, but the life of Yeshua is unique and remains unique in history. If you want to know about Yeshua, you have to know about the Jewish world in which He lived.

It is seldom recognized that much of what Paul says about the Torah must be interpreted in the context of his Jewish understanding, with the special distinction as equal partners in God’s family with the Nations. It is important to remember, the original intention of the Torah was not to provide a means of salvation, but a rule of life for those already redeemed. Paul’s teachings reject the rabbinical emphasis on justification through works of the Torah that is not the intention of Scriptures. As Messianic Believers we must not fall back into that trap. We must affirm the original intent of the Torah, to be a guide for godly living.

Paul, in both his life and through his close relations to Rabbinic Judaism, has become clear and we cannot too strongly insist again that for him, the acceptance of the Gospel and the recognition of the advent of the true and final form of Judaism, in other words, the beginning of the Messianic Age of Jewish expectation with the discovery of a new way of Judaism.

Starting in the late 19th century, Dispensational Theology overturned much of this view in popular Christianity in the United States and even in world missions. It taught that the Mosaic Law had no claim at all on the believer, since Christianity teaches that one is saved by grace and are instructed mostly by the epistles, not the Torah and not primarily even the teaching of Yeshua, which is an application of Torah. Replacement Theology will argue that the true Israel is said to replace the old Israel of the flesh, and now “the church” is now the spiritual Israel. Now, there is a new twist that this new Israel is called Two People One Torah, meaning, needing to observe the Torah all the way. The arguments are the same as in replacement theology but with the addition of all keeping the Torah.

If Christian leaders hoped to put an end to controversy with definitions, they were sadly mistaken. Edwin Hatch, a notable Protestant theologian and Oxford scholar, concludes: Venture to claim to have shown that a large part of what are sometimes called Christian doctrines, and many usages which have prevailed and continue to prevail in the Christian Church, are in reality Greek theories and Greek usages changed in form and color by the influence of primitive Christianity, but in their essence Greek still.

Greece lives, not only in its dying life in the lecture-rooms of Universities, but also with a more vigorous growth in the Christian Churches. Its ethics of right and duty, rather than of love and self-sacrifice; its theology, whose God is more metaphysical than spiritual—whose essence it is important to define . . . —in all these, and the ideas that underlie them, Greece lives.

DOWNLOAD THIS TEACHING AS A PDF and its companion PDF: The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Church from 1897!