Judeo -- Christian Heritage
Much has been said about The Christian Heritage, and about the Judeo -- Christian Heritage. The word heritage is defined in an exhaustive dictionary as :
1. That which has been or may be inherited; any property, and esp. land, which devolves by right of inheritance.
2. The fact of inheriting; inheritance, hereditary succession.
3. Anything given or received to be a proper and legally held possession.
4. The people chosen by God as his peculiar possession; the Ancient Israelites; the church of God.
5. That which comes from the circumstances of birth; an inherited lot or portion; the condition or state transmitted from ancestors.
6. Heirs collectively.
In order to properly discuss what is Christian Heritage, and what is Judeo -- Christian Heritage, we must first look at scripture to see how God defines heritage. The word heritage is found in 29 verses.
The first occurrence is found in Exodus 6:8 and the last is found in I Peter 5:3. While the word heritage is spread throughout the bible, it is only found in the New Testament in I Peter 5:3. I Peter is mainly written to the Jews in Diaspora (scattered throughout the world).
(1Pe 1:1) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
The rest of the occurrences of heritage are found in the Old Testament. In God's word, Heritage is mainly dealing with Israel. As we go through these verses, one will see that heritage is applied to others based on how they deal with Israel, or how they deal with God and his law.
Exo 6:1-8 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. (2) And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: (3) And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (4) And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. (5) And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. (6) Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: (7) And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (8) And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.
In this verse the heritage is the land that the Lord gives the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not the line through Ishmael. The Lord makes it very clear who is to get the land for an heritage. It is Israel.
Israel's Heritage is the promised land that includes the area known as Palestine today.
Job 20:19-29 Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not; (20) Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired. (21) There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods. (22) In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him. (23) When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating. (24) He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. (25) It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him. (26) All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle. (27) The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him. (28) The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath. (29) This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.
While Israel gets the land, the wicked man receives the wrath of God.
Job 27:13-22 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. (14) If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. (15) Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep. (16) Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; (17) He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver. (18) He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh. (19) The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not. (20) Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. (21) The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place. (22) For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand.
The wicked man and the oppressor's heritage is that they lose everything mentioned above. Everything they work for will be taken from him.
Psa 16:1-11 Michtam of David. Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. (2) O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; (3) But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. (4) Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. (5) The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. (6) The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. (7) I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. (8) I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (9) Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (10) For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
David's heritage is the Lord Himself. This is a prophetic passage dealing with Lord Jesus Christ not seeing corruption. The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead. David is writing here about God being his goodly heritage. We can spiritualize this to apply to both Israel and the Christian having the Lord Jesus Christ for a goodly heritage. One day Israel will mourn over the one whom they have pierced.
Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Psa 61:1-8 To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David. Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. (2) From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (3) For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. (4) I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (5) For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. (6) Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations. (7) He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. (8) So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
There is a heritage for those that fear the name of the Lord. They are sheltered and protected from the enemy verse 3. Those that fear the name of the Lord can be applied to the Christian who will abide with the Lord forever.
Psa 94:1-23 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. (2) Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. (3) LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? (4) How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? (5) They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage. (6) They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. (7) Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. (8) Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? (9) He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? (10) He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? (11) The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. (12) Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (13) That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. (14) For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. (15) But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it. (16) Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? (17) Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. (18) When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. (19) In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (20) Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? (21) They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. (22) But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. (23) And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.
The wicked afflict God's heritage.
Joel 3:2 mentions Israel to be God's heritage. God will defend and protect Israel verse 22. Those who are anti-Israel and anti-Jewish end with their iniquity upon them and will be cut off in their own wickedness verse 23.
Mic 2:1-3 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. (2) And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. (3) Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
We see another heritage mentioned here. This heritage is basically dealing with a person's inheritance or lineage. It would deal with his offspring, his wealth, and his possessions. Notice also the mention of family in verse 3. The Lord will devise evil on them that devise iniquity and work evil. If one steals from the heritage of others, he and his family will be punished. This is the same principle of the wicked receiving punishment on how they deal with Israel, but is brought down to a simpler level on how they deal with others as well.
Mic 7:1-20 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. (2) The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. (3) That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. (4) The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. (5) Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. (6) For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. (7) Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. (8) Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. (9) I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. (10) Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets. (11) In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed. (12) In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain. (13) Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings. (14) Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. (15) According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things. (16) The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. (17) They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee. (18) Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
The above is definitely end time passage. The whole chapter is given for context. The word heritage is mentioned two times. Once in verse 14 and the other in verse 18. Verse 10 mentions 'she that is mine enemy'. This is a warning to all the enemies of Israel not to touch Israel. The Lord will chastise Israel (verse 14) and then will pardon Israel and protect Israel (verse 18). Notice the remnant of his heritage. There will only be a remnant left at the end of the tribulation period when the Lord saves the remnant of Israel at the second advent. Israel will be saved from annihilation, and the enemies of Israel will be destroyed at Armageddon.
It is also a stern warning that God is not done with Israel and that Israel is not replaced by some other nation, group or people. Read Romans 11 to see that God is not done with Israel forever and that they will be grafted back in. Israel is in spiritual darkness during the church age. Israel will have their eyes opened in the tribulation after the church has been raptured out.
Mal 1:1-4 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. (2) I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, (3) And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (4) Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.
The above verses deal with Esau and his heritage. It is dealing with the lineage between Esau and Jacob. Esau's heritage (the land) is made desolate. We have shown earlier that Israel's Heritage is the land which they will get when the Lord Jesus Christ returns at the second advent. This passage deals with heritage and not salvation.
The Calvinists are quick to read Romans 9:13 which says " As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." when dealing with Predestination. It has nothing to do with salvation between the Esau and Jacob. You have some saved and some lost in both offspring of Esau and Jacob.
God Loving Jacob and Hating Esau has to do with the heritage of both. Jacob's offspring get's the land and Esau's offspring does not. God has the foreknowledge to know the history of both. He blesses Jacob and the lineage goes through Jacob and the heritage of the land goes through Jacob.
You will never see a Calvinist going to Malachi 1:1-4 that shows what Romans 9:13 is referring to. It refers to the land and not salvation.
1Pe 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: (2) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (3) Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
The word Heritage is only found once (1 Peter 5:3) in the New Testament.
I Peter is dealing mainly with Israel and all of Israel that is scattered throughout the world.
1Pe 1:1-4 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
The flock of God is God's heritage. This flock of God mentioned in I Peter 5:1-4 would be mainly those souls saved during the tribulation period. A lot of those souls will be Israel. Those who are pastors or leaders of those saved in the tribulation period are told not to be as lords over them, and instead to be ensamples to the flock. It can be spiritually applied to the church today.
The word heritage according to the word of God refers mainly to these areas.
- The land that Israel inherits
- The blessings one receives on how they treat Israel (the Jews)
- The punishments one receives on how they treat Israel (the Jews).
- Blessing on whether or not they fear God.
- Punishment on the wicked for destroying man's heritage (his offspring).
When one says the United States only has a Christian Heritage and not a Judeo -- Christian Heritage, he is throwing out all of the verses dealing with Heritage in the scriptures themselves.
Our Judeo -- Christian Heritage of being blessed these past two hundred years of our country's history had to do with the fact that the United States was founded by men who feared God and at the same time did not persecute the Jews. They restricted the Jews on various occasions in some ways, however in the end they were given the freedom to worship by the constitution. The Jews fought in the Revolutionary war. They gave money to the cause of the Revolutionary war. Certainly there were those that were opposed to the freedom of the Jews, but in the end the Jews were given religious freedom in this country. As a result of this we were blessed by God and gained the land from coast to coast. We were protected from our enemies. We also had the blessings of wealth and health and became the strongest nation on earth. We received these blessings from Almighty God for the way we treated the Jews and our fear of the Lord. This is what is meant when we say our Judeo -- Christian Heritage.
Today, however, comes a stern warning. This country is turning her back on God. Congress no longer fears God. We are killing man's heritage (his offspring through abortions). After all of this we still have not been broken completely apart because we have been a staunch supporter of the nation Israel. Now that appears to be changing. Has anyone wondered why our country is having so many earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, natural disasters and why is it escalating? It is because we are now turning against Israel? Even the preachers on the pulpits are refusing any Jewish Heritage because of their ignorance of scripture. They have turned from the bible to catechisms. They have turned from scripture to confessions of faith. Some are preaching replacement theology saying God is all done with Israel. And we also have congress and judges turning away from God and Israel. Our Country, congress, and judges no longer fear God. Our Country has killed the innocent through abortions. Our Country is now turning its back on Israel. We will end up with the heritage of the wicked if we continue down this path. And our country wonders how did we end up as a socialistic country with President Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid? If they truly read and believed the bible they would know the answer to that.
Our Country has a Judeo Christian Heritage. We better not lose it. We are on the edge of losing it.