“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3
So….God makes a promise to Abraham. The details are manifold. Abraham will father a great nation that will be God’s people on the earth, having just abandoned the 70 nations of the rebellion at Babel. He chooses this Babylonian Chaldean called Abram, commands him to take his wife and leave all of his other family behind, and start trekking to an unknown location. God later changes his name to Abraham, meaning “father of a multitude of nations”, and covenants with Abraham to father a nation for God that He too would later covenant with, and that would be His Elect [or chosen people], to be representatives of His character and moral standard before the rebellious nations of the earth. Through Abraham’s natural offspring would come “The Promise“, Abraham’s Seed, and in that Promise all of the families of the earth would be blessed. And herein lies the predestined plan of Yahweh to undo what He has just done at Babel; to one day extend the invitation back to all those nations to return to Him through this Promised Seed. So Who is this Promised Seed, and to whom does His invitation pertain? The Promised Seed is the Messiah, Jesus, the Savior of the World, and the invitation would be to whomsoever will; to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
“…and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
So Abraham naturally is given a miracle son in Isaac, being that He and Sarah were past the age of childbearing, and throughout the rest of the Genesis narrative, Abraham’s offspring begins to reproduce and birth a people that would become national Israel. The rest of their story would cover many conquests and defeats, their faithfulness and rebellions, their liberties and divine provisions, to their judgments and captivities. When the Elect of God were loyal to Yahweh they fared well. When they rebelled, God gave them judgment. This is the basic background of the Old Testament, from Abraham’s calling, to the birth of his Seed of Promise, Yeshua. Now let’s fast forward to the ministry of Jesus Christ…….
Firstly, let me preface the rest of this discourse in saying:
Speaking against the Christ-rejected religion of Judaism IS NOT the same as speaking hatefully against Jewish people. One is a religion, and the other is a race of people, of whom the Savior of the world was born, and ministered solely to. To insinuate that being antisemitism is like saying to speak against Christianity is to speak against all Americans, because “America identifies as a Christian nation“, or speaking against Islam is hatred to all Arabic people. That is complete and utter stupidity! Remember Paul rebuking Peter for cowering in the presence of some in the Jerusalem Church who were divisive over adhering to the circumcision of Judaism, when he was commanded to boldly declare the gospel of Jesus that condemned Judaism? Yeah… Many today do the same thing, showing a self preserving disposition over true loyalty to the only Message that saves; the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not a belief that denies Him!
“But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party (Judaism), and the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas [Peter] before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law of Moses but through faithfulness in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faithfulness in Christ and not by works of the Mosaic law, because by works of the Mosaic law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faithfulness in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law of Moses, then Christ died for no purpose.”- Galatians 2:11-21
So Paul boldly rebukes Peter openly because of his cowardice in standing for the Truth, in fear of offending those in the church clinging to Judaism, and for becoming a stumbling-block before not only them, whom he is called to minister to, but also to Barnabus, a young believer, whom his behavior had led to perceive wrongly about what God expected of him. Paul emphatically calls Peter out in this letter for his hypocrisy, to be read before all to the church at Antioch, and even now. Paul denounces the works of Judaism, and refers to that sect as “false brothers”, who showed themselves to be Jews before Christians, and he makes it crystal clear that if a man tries to rebuild this faith that was torn down by the gospel of Christ, then he is a proven transgressor against Christ. And that if any man is to obtain salvation, he must die to everything but a life of faithfulness in Jesus alone. Paul says he will not nullify the grace of God by upholding Judaism and making Jesus’ death of no purpose.
So secondly, there ARE NOT two different covenants: one for Jews, and another for Gentiles. There was a covenant God made with Abraham concerning him becoming a father of a peculiar nation, through whom would come another Promise, the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Abraham’s promised son would become the vehicle through which God’s Promised Son would enter the world, and redeem it. After establishing that nation, Israel, God later made a covenant with that nation, the Israelites, through Moses on Mt. Sinai, that we know as the Mosaic Law, or Old Covenant. (Old implies PAST). This Mosaic Law was NEVER about salvation, being that God made clear that the sacrificial system of that Law was INCAPABLE of making man perfect, as Hebrews 10:1-4 tells us….
“For since the Law has but a shadow of the good things to come, instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
But the Law was only a shadow of the Promise made to Abraham of the coming Savior, whose sacrifice would settle the sin debt issue forever. Salvation has always been wrought through loyalty to God. God has always desired for us to love Him and one another. This way of salvation has never changed from Adam until now. Allegiance!
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
All of these passages were written between the Mt. Sinai (Old Covenant) and the Pentecost (New Covenant) with Jesus. So we see the Mosaic Law was NOT about salvation. It was to show the moral standards and heart of God, so that we would know how to please Him in our loyal obedience to living out what is pleasing to Him; FAITH. Salvation to this day is, and has always been from the beginning, the same path for all of mankind: Loyalty in heart, shown through pleasing God by faith(fulness), in keeping His moral statutes, which is the Love of God, revealed in the Law of Christ.
1 John 5:3- “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
So with that said, there is a clear distinction in the Promise of God to Abraham versus the Old Covenant with physical Israel. Abraham’s Promise from God was an end game solution that would come THROUGH his natural offspring, Israel. But Mosaic Law was a covenant to that physical nation who would later birth a spiritual nation, the Church, beginning with a faithful, believing remnant of Jews, and flowing outward to the once abandoned nations of the earth, the Gentiles. The Law was a temporary covenant foreshadowing a final covenant that would redeem mankind and the dominion of the earth back to Christ. When Jesus made this New Covenant with the spiritual Israel, the Church, made of “neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, slave nor free” (Galatians 3:28), the temporary covenant with a physical nation, Israel, ceased, and a new nation of “spiritual Jews”, [aka “whosoever will“], began. Under the New Covenant, the human race known as Israelis, or national Jews ARE NOT the covenant people of God. The New Covenant people of God consists only of followers of Jesus Christ from every tribe, nation, kindred, and tongue, not an ethnic group. In this covenant, the Laws of God are figuratively written on fleshly tablets of believing hearts, guided by the indwelling Spirit of God. Does that mean God is done saving Jewish people. Absolutely not. Who were the first Christians? Yeah…..Believing Jews. The New Covenant was founded on Believing Jews! In Acts 2, when the Covenant is cut, ALL believers present were JEWS. All UNBELIEVERS who rejected the covenant and walked away mocking that day, too were JEWS. Who was the Covenant with? Whosoever will! To the Jew first, then flowing out to the Gentiles. But the fact is clear that the Covenant people of the New Testament is those who follow Christ. And all who are not in Christ, are NOT in Covenant. Period.
“If you belong to Christ, THEN you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE. (Galatians 3:29)
Paul makes clear that Abraham’s Promised Seed was not to covenant with ethnicity. The Promise’s offer came to the Jews first, and flowed out through those who would receive it from this ethnic people. National Israel was referred to as a “mother.” Old Testament scripture often referred to Israel as a “mother,” hence the Revelation chapter 12 image in the heavens. But isn’t it ironic that every one of the original followers of Jesus were Jews who rejected Judaism to embrace Christ? Yeah. Do we not see in the scripture where Jesus cursed Judaism and Jerusalem? “Hold on a minute, Chris, what did you just say?” Yes, I said that, because the Bible says that, and God’s Word is not ever to be restrained by men, but rather “shouted from the housetops.” I grew up being told in church that “Jesus withheld information from His disciples because they weren’t capable of handling it”, and that where Paul said, “Timothy, do not let people despise your youth” meant that “only the Pastor had a right to teach certain biblical subjects to people because he had earned their respect.” That is false, and EXACTLY why context is so important in interpreting scripture. Jesus, and every other Prophet and Apostle preached Truth to people that hated them, AND KILLED THEM. They often weren’t respected by the people they spoke to. Jesus often had to answer questions about what He preached because they didn’t get it. Notice how He didn’t NOT say things because people might not understand it? Jesus made this statement of things the disciples “weren’t able to bear” regarding His soon coming death, which would be a major blow to them at that time in His ministry, and their development.
So let’s look at various places where Jesus cursed Judaism, the religious system that sought to kill him. Notice, please, that I said He cursed Judaism, NOT JEWS. He cursed the religious system that denied Him. He cursed a Temple that defied Him. He cursed a city that killed His prophets and was about to kill Him. And because of it, God cast away the unbelieving Jews. But ALL JEWS WERE NOT UNBELIEVING. There was, is, and will be a remnant saved. Again, who were the first Christians? Yeah. Jews. But for some to declare that God is still in covenant with an ethnicity is an egregious perversion of the text. In the same way He pulled Abram from the human race to covenant with his offspring, God again pulled believers from all nations to covenant with them through His Son. Again, what ethnicity were the multitudes who walked away at Pentecost? Yeah….. Jews. But a remnant believed and came into covenant. Those were who Paul commanded to send aid to in Romans 15……
“Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. “They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants [sperma] and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, EVERYONE WHO SINS IS A SLAVE TO SIN. Now a slave has NO PERMANENT PLACE in the family, but a son (or daughter) BELONGS TO IT FOREVER. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants [sperma]. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because My Word is not in you. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father (the Devil).” (John 8:30-34)
Jesus makes a distinction between being Abraham’s natural descendants [Greek- sperma] in verse 37, versus being Abraham’s Seed [Greek-teknon] in verse 39.
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children [teknon], you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
But they cried that they were “Abraham’s offspring”, but Jesus counters, “You are naturally Abraham’s offspring, but yet you want to kill his Promise!” Who did Jesus say were His disciples? Those who hold to and apply HIS teaching. Those are the covenant people of God. Who did Paul, a former Pharisee, say were Abraham’s seed?
Galatians 3:28-29 …..“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, THEN you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
So where did Jesus curse the religion of Judaism? Let’s look and see His Words.
The Curse of Disinheritance
Luke 20:9-19 – “And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the Owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved Son; perhaps they will respect Him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the Heir. Let us kill Him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw Him out of the vineyard and killed Him. What then will the Owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But He looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The Stone that the builders rejected has become the Cornerstone’. Everyone who falls on that Stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on Him at that very hour, for they perceived that He had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.”
The scribes and chief priests perceived rightly! Jesus speaks this parable to them of how Yahweh sent the prophets to Israel one by one to correct them so that they’d bear fruit of righteousness, and one by one they beat and killed them. Then He began to speak of how now God has sent His Son in hopes that they would turn from their wickedness, in not doing righteously before Him. But instead of turning at His reproof, they sought to murder Him, and threw Him out of the holy city, and killed Him, thinking they had won the thing they so desired: that Temple and city, and the symbol it stood for: Yahweh. But Jesus asked, “What do you suppose the Father will do to those who slaughtered His only begotten Son in attempt to steal an inheritance that can’t be stolen? (God hardens whom He wills and has mercy on whom He wills.) But Jesus declares in this parable, “He will come and destroy those people and give the New Jerusalem to others.” And they cried, “No way?!?” But Jesus sternly reminds them of Psalm 118:22, where it spoke of Him as the Cornerstone that would be rejected, and that all who fell upon Christ would be saved, but all that refused would be destroyed. In essence, there is but One way to God, and He was it.
The Curse of the Fig Tree
“In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
In Matthew 21, Jesus had later, after cursing the fig tree that morning, turned over the tables in the Temple because of the irreverence of God taking place within Judaism. He then healed people in front of its religious leaders and they were indignant about it. (What kind of person despises a man who heals sick people?) So on His way to overturn the tables, Jesus approached a fig tree, and He saw “no fruit on it.” He cursed it and the tree withered. Jesus saw the leaf on the tree, but no buds forming. (Deciduous trees bud the fruit before the leaves appear.) Jesus knew it wasn’t time for fruit on this fig tree. So was He throwing a tantrum because He was physically hungry? Of course not. He desired to find fruit in the Temple and longed for His people to do righteously. This cursing of the tree was metaphorical of what He was about to do in the Temple. The Pharisees’ religious activity had the “appearance” of “life”, and bearing fruit because of the leaves, but no spiritual fruit was forming. They were diluting the commands of God by making “Church” a convenience store of spirituality. This cursing miracle on the tree is a parabolic judgment upon a religious system that had “leaves”, the appearance of worship, but no “fruit”, or true worship from the heart. It was outward appearance, and all about keeping Laws never intended to save, yet they were bent on navigating supposed loopholes to satisfy their own lusts for the things of this world: satisfying natural appetites, having wealth and personal gain, and a name and social status among men.
People have preached Israel as “the fig tree.” That is so NOT biblical. Were not Jesus and His disciples also Israelites, or Jews, as we say? Yes. People who preach Israel as the “Fig Tree” are unwittingly supporting a false doctrine called “replacement theology”, which uses the fig tree example as being Israel, to say that Jesus renounced the Jews, and will have no more to do with them, and the gospel will go only to the Gentile. That is not scriptural, as we will get to. Remember, Jesus didn’t curse the Jews as a people, He cursed the unbelieving Jews, the religious system of Judaism, which made the Word of God ineffective, and He cursed Jerusalem, and the Temple of Judaism, which he here called a den of thieves. If the fig tree is Israel, then Jesus cursed Himself. That is dumb. God declared that he has….
“partially hardened the Jews, until the fullness of the Gentile has come into His Kingdom, and so in this way ALL OF ISRAEL will be saved.”(Romans 11:25-26)
The word “ALL” doesn’t refer to every Jewish human being. It is idiomatic language being used, not a national, corporate salvation, or free pass for national origin. Nowhere is that seen of God. All persons must come through the Door, Jesus Christ, to be saved. And logically, where in any capacity has ALL of any group of people ever come to Yahweh/ Jesus? My Bible says few will enter through THE DOOR into the house made up of every nation, kindred, and tongue. Yet, here in this story, Jesus was declaring that He was doing away with the Levitical priesthood, and their system of carrying out God’s Law, and removing the kingdom authority away from the priesthood, (which he is about to do when He goes to the temple in this narrative) and turns everything upside down. He gives the authority to His Apostles, which are all believing Jews, and they’re going to have binding and loosing Kingdom authority. These Jewish Apostles, are those upon whom the foundation of the gospel will rest, with Christ as the Head, erecting a New Temple not made with hands, but made with living stones (believers), who are building up a most holy House unto the Lord. We believers are the Temple of God, not some third physical building representative of a religion that rejected the Messiah, and killed Him. Jesus loved His native people, the Jews, but He despised the religion that killed the Prophets, Apostles, and Himself, and made a mockery of the Word of God, which is His Name.
Paul tells us that God did cast away “unbelieving Israel” in Romans chapters 9-11. But there was a PARTIAL remnant that did believe! He did not cast the believers away. So to believe that God will save everyone simply because of national origin is erroneous and unfounded. Remember…“Rightly dividing the Word of Truth?” Context! Context! Context!
Romans 9:27-28 – “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For the Lord will carry out His sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
Then Isaiah is continued to be quoted by Paul , noting that “unless the Lord Almighty had left the Israelites a few descendants, they would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah.” So Paul was saying that God had brought together, in His new order, those of faith, regardless of their physical world background. Although He worked out his redemptive plan through his Son Jesus, a descendant of David in terms of his human nature, His new covenant people are comprised of those who are Gentile by birth, as well as Jewish. It is faith, not national origin that brings a person into the family and covenant of God now. No one comes to the Father but by Faith, and that faith is now through Jesus Christ only. Paul says….
“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to son-ship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the Promise (Christ) who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”(Romans 9:2-8)
THE CURSE OF DESOLATION
“In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today, and tomorrow, and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is left to you desolate. And I tell you, you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
On that coming day, every knee will bow! Jesus prophesies to them that their Temple will be destroyed and not revived. That is to say that God has abandoned their Levitical priesthood system, and it’s Temple, and that both will come to ruin. He tells them again how God sent his prophets unto them, in His mercy, and they refused to heed, but instead beat them, and killed them. He tells them He tried to bring them into His fold, but they were unwilling to receive Him. And because they had rejected Him, their Temple will be destroyed, denoting the illegitimacy of Judaism, and salvation will be withdrawn from all who had done so. I said illegitimacy of Judaism, NOT JEWS. Isn’t it amazing how much the enemy plays with semantics in people’s minds? TERMINOLOGY MATTERS, folks. Details matter!
In the Matthew account of this, it is immediately followed by, Matthew 24:1, saying….
“Jesus left the Temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to Him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Who declared the destruction of this Temple that had come to represent the rejection of the Son of God? Jesus, Himself. So this poses a very valid question: If the Temple was representative of a religious system that had been established by God, but had turned on God, and rejected and killed His prophets, who were God’s mercy sent to call them to repentance, and now have rejected the very Promise to their national father, Abraham, in the Messiah, why in God’s name are Christians promoting the rebuilding of that structure and priesthood that Jesus renounced, and spoke judgment upon? Is it the Love of God to support what God does not? No. That is hard to say because I have personal friends in Judaism that I really care for, but it is the Word of Truth. I must love Jesus above all things. What did we see that John defined the Love of God as? To KEEP HIS WORD before people. How else will they be challenged to make a decision for Christ, if I, like Peter, compromise the integrity of Truth to appease men for self preservation? God forbid. There are enough people doing that in pulpits across America to their own destruction.
The problem with the Church is that it is trying to show honor to God, outside of His will, by being obedient to where God has commanded us to be supportive in finances, protection, and prayer of the Jewish Christians, but instead have convoluted this message, in encapsulating all things “Jewish”, and in turn have become supporters of a religion that is as much Antichrist as Islam in the process. FYI: That big gold dome sitting on the Temple Mount is no more Anti-Jesus than a third Temple of Judaism would be. Judaism denies the Son.. It denies Him, just like Islam.
“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.”- 1 John 2:22
God is still saving believing Jewish people, a remnant who believe, and haven’t rejected and renounced Him. But God is dishonored in Christians supporting a belief system that has rejected His Son, and the sacrifice that He has made for all mankind. As tough as that sounds, it is just the truth. But hear me: Antisemitism is demonic, just like any form of racism. Much of the Catholic Church is eaten up with it. There is an attitude that “Jews” got what they deserved.” If you have that attitude, you lack Christ. Replacement theology is eaten up with it as well, and many other churches, in pure ignorance of scriptural context are becoming eaten up with it as well. It is wrong and from Hell. Without the faithful Jewish people who were loyal to Yahweh in the Old Testament, and the Jewish saints of the New Testament, you and I have no Bible, no Savior, no Salvation, and absolutely no legitimacy for Christianity. Every single person at Pentecost who was first brought into Christ’s Kingdom by faith, at the establishment of this New Covenant, were JEWS. And those Jews were sent to us Gentiles to preach salvation in the name of Jesus. And Jesus is not done saving Jewish people who will come to Him. But God rejected those who rejected Him thru Judaism, and cast them off. Does that mean God won’t save someone from the Judaism faith? No. He saves Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Satanists, and people out of every other false religion, as many as will come. But He rejects those who reject Him, and His Son, when confronted with the Truth. To reject the Truth is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, for it is the Spirit that leads men to Truth. Remember, Salvation occurs at death or transfiguration. It is a hope now, realized at death, for the Faithful. No one is truly saved until they die in faithfulness.
This thread is about clarifying covenant, about distinguishing between Jewish people and Judaism, and about the differences in National Israel versus Spiritual Israel, which Jesus called The Church, that is made up of a remnant from every nation, tribe, kindred, and tongue, including the people of national Israel who will accept Christ. Dual-covenantism preachers want to make Israel’s salvation distinct from Jesus, and that too is demonic. God no longer makes a distinction between Jew and Gentile spiritually. That is Bible, like it or not. Naturally in this Covenant, there is a distinction only between believers and unbelievers, but never ethnicity. We are either with Christ, or we are not. Nationality is irrelevant. Ethnicity is irrelevant. God has commanded us to support Abraham’s children, which are believers of all nationalities. Despite popular belief, the New Covenant command is NOT to support national Israel, but to support poor Christians, including Jewish Christians. God supports His own, not the world’s. As Paul declared…..
“For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.” (Romans 15:26-27)
The Gentile Christians sent financial support to the Jewish Christians, not unbelieving Israel. God has deemed that we have been blessed through them (Jewish believers) in spiritual things, being that our Salvation was born through them, and in turn we are to support them in poverty to show them honor. Why Jewish saints? Because they are the faithful to Yahweh in the Old Covenant, and the first heirs to the Promise, being that they were the firstfruits of Christ’s redemption. As Jesus had stated in John 4:22…“Salvation is from the Jews.” Paul later says that “the Gospel is to the Jew first, and then the Gentile.” Through whom was the Gospel delivered to the Gentiles? Jewish Christians.
Promoters of supporting national Israel quote from Genesis 12:3, where God promises Abraham the world will be blessed through him.
“I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
This passage is used of them to support national Israel today, but this verse is not referring to national Israel today, but rather Abraham, and is concerning the Old Covenant people of God, on to the Promise we know as Jesus Christ in blessing all families of the earth with salvation. Nowhere is modern national Israel in context concerning these statements. It didn’t even exist. This New Covenant support is to the covenant people of God, Abraham’s Seed. And who did we see by the Word of God that that is? Those who accept Christ, regardless of ethnicity. God takes care of His own, and He commands His people to do the same, in both our personal families, but also our spiritual family.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
The Curse of Deicide
“Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him. While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of Him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
Deicide is a term meaning, “the killing of a god.” Not only had those loyal to Judaism rejected Christ, they murdered Him in hatred, and cried for His Blood to be upon them and their children. Normally, pleading the blood of Jesus is a smart thing, but this is one context that was damning!! No matter what Christ had done for them, in healing, and miracles on their behalf, and all the love shown, they hated Him. This reminds me of the allegorical representation of the Book of Revelation where they look up into heaven during the judgments God sends upon the earth to bring repentance, and they cursed Him. This is the spirit in men who reject so great a salvation. Whether Jew or Gentile, God has made a way for all to be saved.
Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.
As to Paul’s vacillating between national Israel and spiritual Israel (the Israel of God) in his Romans 11 discourse, it is the reason for so much confusion on the topic of Israel and the Jews. Paul was not declaring national Israel would be all saved. He was saying that the foundation of believing Jews that made up the initial church would be sent out to the Gentiles, being that all other dispersed Jews present at Pentecost rejected Christ’s miraculous witness that day. Only 3000 Jews were converted by Peter’s preaching on the Temple Mount. 3000 out of hundreds of thousands! But Paul is saying that in the same way the Gentiles are converted, so likewise “Israel” will be converted. All who are truly the people of God at Christ’s return will be saved. Why did Paul use the outdated term “Israel” there, instead of “Jews?” To say “all Jews” will be saved is equivocation fallacy. Terminology, along with context matters with scripture. A lot!!! Paul’s use of “Israel” is pointing the reader to think of “God’s covenant people”, not an ethnic nation consisting also of unbelievers and reprobates. He made it very clear in Galatians 3 who is Abraham’s seed: New Covenant People; those in Christ. Compare some verses said to Gentiles…
“And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” – Galatians 6:16
“For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: ‘I will put my laws into their minds, and i write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ – Hebrews 8:8-10
“..remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world…….And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy Temple in the Lord.- Ephesians 2:12,17-21
“It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.” – Romans 9:6
So, Paul has clearly defined that national Israel is not the New Covenant Israel of God, or covenant people of God, to which he refers. Israel is a term used by Paul to denote those who are faithful in Christ Jesus. Ethnicity is irrelevant to the New Jerusalem, and its Temple is a spiritual habitation of God within His people now, and also will become again a physical habitation among His people, face to face, when He comes. God doesn’t dwell in a Temple made with human hands again.
Romans chapters 9-11 are a refutation of Paul to what he believed the Roman Christians were thinking in regard to the Jews and the promises of God. These three chapters are saturated with the Old Testament scriptures. There are over 45 quotes, allusions, or references to the Old Testament in these chapters alone in the book of Romans.
Paul realizes that for Roman Gentile Christians, it would have been easy to perceive that God was done with the ethnic Jews, and that Roman Gentiles were now the favored people of God. But Paul puts the brakes on this wrong assumption. In right context, national Israel was no longer favored under this New Covenant, but that DID NOT mean God was done with saving Jewish people, nor were Gentile nations favored with God. This covenant was NOT about earthly nations, or ethnic groups. That is carnality, and ill-informed thinking. The Old Covenant was with a physical kingdom: Israel. This Covenant is with a spiritual Kingdom: The Church. But in the end, this Kingdom will become both a physical and spiritual Kingdom on earth, when the King comes.
God, did cast off the “unbelieving Jews” for rejecting His Son. This scriptural language is likened to Romans 1, where He “gave them up” and “gave them over” for rejecting salvation for what they wanted. But, is that not the case with all peoples? Unbelievers who will not receive Christ will not be saved, no matter their ethnicity or nationality. All unbelievers are cast off in the end. But God does cast off people who willfully oppose Him in life. That is seen throughout the Bible with Cain, Babel, Eli, Saul, Judas, Solomon, etc. This is a crucial fact every human being needs to digest. There is a remnant of Jews who have, are, and will believe in Jesus, as we saw in the formation of the Church at Pentecost in Acts 2, are seeing now in the Messianic Jewish Christian Church, and will continue to see in the future. God is saving Jewish people. But despite bad theology, God did not promise to save every ethnic Jew in the end because He is loyal to an ethnicity. God is a god who will be with you while you be loyal to Him. God doesn’t forsake us. It is man who forsakes and leaves God. Salvation has never been an issue of God’s love for humanity. It is an issue of our love for Him. His love for us preceded our loyalty to Him. He died for us while we were still His enemies.
But, much like how Calvinism tries to “stretch the scripture” around, or to include into salvation, a people into God’s fold that God has not approved of, nor included, there likewise is a group of people who also try to do the same with ethnic Jews, or national Israel. They try to make these chapters say something the writers did not intend to portray; and that is the belief that all ethnic Jewish people will be saved in the end, and get a free pass for being Jewish. That is a false notion, as Isaiah stated of Israel’s unbelief in Paul’s quote in Romans 9:27…
“Though the number of the sons of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved.“
Paul continues to say that unbelieving Israel did not pursue righteousness by faith[fulness], but as if it could be obtained on their own merit of keeping the impossible Law, which caused them to stumble over the Stumbling Stone, Jesus Christ. Do we truly realize, despite dumb teaching, that The Law of Moses was never about acquiring salvation? We have seen this already in the previous paragraphs. Salvation has always been appropriated through loyalty to Yahweh, before, during, and still after the Mosaic Law. Paul again quotes the Old Testament in Romans 9:33, saying…
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offense. And whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
Foundation Stone at the Dome of the Rock
One of the features of Paul’s discourse is the discussion of God’s “foreknowledge” and His “election.” Foreknowledge deals with the fact that God knows everything. He knows all realities, possibilities, and probabilities. And from our perspective as time-bound creatures, He knows a lot of this in advance, hence the term “foreknowledge.” God knows beforehand. This is not a problem for any school of thought in biblical studies that I’m aware of. It is the “election/ predestination” issue where arguments arise. This is due to predetermined denominational filters placed on one’s thinking about what these terms mean.
So what is the relationship between what God knows and what actually happens? This is the heart of the issue. Is it true that just because God has a knowledge of this stuff that it is destined to happen? If so, who else could’ve been the “destiner” of what is to happen other than God? This is the logic of Calvinism. But is God that cruel and mean? And how then is free will really free will? I wouldn’t serve a god like that. Just sayin’!
Here’s the problem with that thinking: In Romans 9-11, God foreknew this group called “Israel”, [the “Elect” in that Old Testament era, known then as His chosen people], yet some of them WERE NOT SAVED. So, point #1) Foreknowledge is one thing, election is another corporate thing [as referring to a group], and yet salvation is altogether another thing.
So clearly, as seen throughout scripture, you can be a part of an elect group and still NOT BE SAVED. You could be a part of the “ELECT” of the Old Testament, “Israel”, and not be saved. You can be a part of the Church, or the “spiritual Israel” of the New Testament, and not be saved in the end. Election does not denote Salvation. Election is based on God’s will. Salvation is based on man’s response to God’s will, a.k.a. “free will.” God does not predetermine who goes to heaven and who doesn’t. That is a contradiction of Jesus’ words that say that it is “not the will of God that any perish (eternally), but that all should come to repentance.” Both thieves on the cross had a choice. Only one chose to believe Jesus. Look at the generation of Jews who wondered in the wilderness. They were God’s “Elect” in those days. They were all lost except for the few who got into the promised land. They were not saved by election, but by corresponding actions to the requirements of that election. Election has to do with God calling specific people for specific tasks on earth. Salvation has to do with man’s response in obeying.
“Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed”- Isaiah 45:1
“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”- Ezra 1:1-2
Consider this, Cyrus, the pagan Persian king, is called “My chosen/ elect/ anointed” by God because God used him to set the Jews free so they could return back to their land and rebuild the 2nd Temple. Was Cyrus saved? No he was not. So to not distinguish foreknowledge, election, and salvation is purely ignorant, and shows a lack of understanding of the person that God declares that He is. So, Romans 9 through 11 says that God foreknew those of Israel who would be saved and He foreknew those of Israel who would not be saved. God’s foreknowledge DOES NOT determine who will be saved. Individual human response in faithfulness to His will does.
So Paul deals with “ELECTION” as a corporate term. “Elect” is a chosen vessel in a plural aspect, whereas “anointed” is often the term used for the chosen vessel in a singular form. Paul uses the metaphor of the olive tree. He says there are these native olive branches, ethnic Jews, who have been temporarily broken off. Then comes these wild olive branches, the Gentiles, who have been grafted in. Paul is denoting a continuity of the people of God, factored by Faithfulness to His will. God has NEVER had more than one “people of God.” It wasn’t true back then, and it is not true now, according to Paul. In Paul’s view, [himself being an ethnic Jew], God’s people are now Jews and Gentiles alike, in Christ, and there is no longer any distinction. Key word here: IN CHRIST. This is the natural development of God’s Old Testament people, Israel. Israel is the term God gives to those to whom He deems the faithful to Him. Those who are not faithful lose citizenship among his people. Jesus fulfills an Old Covenant with an ethnic people, is Himself the fulfillment of the Promise of Abraham, through whose natural offspring, ethnic Israel, would be the vehicle by which The Promise would come, and yet be rejected by. And He would cast off the unbelieving Jews, and take a faithful remnant of believing Jews, and make all things new. Just as God had done naturally with Abraham in birthing natural Israel, so He does spiritually with Jesus Christ in birthing the spiritual Israel; His Bride known as the true Church. He creates a Kingdom of people who will be faithful to Him alone. This Cornerstone would be the Beginning of a New Covenant, whose foundation would be founded upon the Jewish Prophets and Apostles, and the believing remnant of Jews at Pentecost who would be sent into all the world, among the Gentile nations to reach the “whosoever will” of them all, and so likewise in the same manner will all of the Israel of God be saved.
When Paul speaks of a remnant of righteous Jews, who does he mean? Christian Jews like himself. Those were the branches not broken off from the Israel (covenant people) of God. Paul is symbolically shaking his finger at them, saying that if God can break off the “natural branches” in order to graft you Gentiles in, how much more could He reject you as well if you misbehave as they did? Do you see the emphasis on behavior in respect to salvation? What is it that makes the Lost, lost? It isn’t God’s preordained plan, but rather the chosen behavior of people. To quote a preacher I respect, “You are not eternally secure until you are securely in eternity.”
In closing, when I have said “ethnic Israel is not the covenant people of God”, it is a truth of God’s Word. It is a truth that I don’t like. When I say “Judaism is as anti-Christ in its beliefs as Islam”, it bothers me to say it, because it hurts me that it is true. Why? Because I love the Jewish people. I would to God that all would come to Him. I love visiting Israel. I love the Word of God that was written by Jewish saints. My Savior is a Jew. But my loyalty and responsibility cannot be to the ethnicity of Jewish people. My loyalty and responsibility is to Jesus Christ, to speak the truth of His Word to my own hurt, if need be. Jesus loves Jewish people more than I’m capable of. They were His own flesh. But Jesus gave His all to gather them all into repentance and salvation, and the vast majority rejected Him, are rejecting Him, and will continue to reject Him. He has, is, and will save all who come to Him in faithfulness. No more, no less. By modern standards in the use of the term “antisemitic”, Jesus and Paul would be called that if they were not of Jewish descent themselves, based of their words. But as Paul said, “Yea! Let God be True and every man a liar!” Jesus said, “Men will know the Truth and the Truth will set them free.” Nothing less will do.
I believe in supporting national Israel, and I do, even though contextually, the scripture does not tell me that that is my responsibility per se. It does however, as I’ve shown, tell us to support poor Jewish Christians, and poor Christians in general. We take care of and love one another. Yes, we also reach out in acts of kindness to the lost. But we do not give aid to what God detests. I support Israel the nation, for its people to see Jesus. I realize that dispensational eschatology doctrines have taught people that it is the will of God to build a third Temple on the mount in Jerusalem, and that Jesus is going to touch down on the Mount of Olives, cross the Kidron Valley, enter the Eastern Gate, walk up to this man-made Temple, and have a seat on His man-made throne, and rule the earth from there for a literal thousand years. So folks reared in that belief believe they’re doing God piety in doing so. But this is not a responsible exegetical view. No one before the 1800’s believed that. This is why I write this stuff. Not to offend, but in hopes of opening some eyes to Truth that have been overtaken by traditions and religion. False doctrine is blinding. I’ve been there! And God has been very gracious to me in opening my eyes to some things. In proper context, there is no literal temple in which Christ will sit, as we know it. As pertaining to the New Covenant, EVERY scripture referencing a temple is figuratively talking about a symbolic house made up of Christ, the prophets and Apostles, and the believers. A temple not made by human hands. God doesn’t want a stone temple erected in Jerusalem. He wants a habitation of faithful people, of whom all of those prior things were symbols of.
I support Jewish people, especially Christians. I DO NOT condone, nor support anything to do with rebuilding a Temple for Judaism, or helping gather the former style of artifacts used in its attempt to worship God apart from Jesus Christ. Those things were, and are continuing to be fulfilled in Christ anyway. THOSE WERE THE FORMER THINGS, pointing to what we now know as Jesus Christ, and the eschatological day of His Kingdom come. Jesus renounced Judaism for rejecting Him, and He abolished the Levitical priesthood. Jesus cursed its Temple, and its mounted city, Jerusalem. If Yahweh’s hand of providence hovered over it, it would have not been destroyed. And it all broke His heart, because they thought killing Him would allow them to keep their House, and their fulfilled religious ceremonies in tact, though the rebellion of it was diabolical in God’s sight. Jesus spent three and one half years trying to reach them, performing never-before-seen miracles in history, in their midst, along with the purest acts of love, but they were adamant in having their way, and blinded in judgement by their lusts for power, wealth, and social status. But thank God for the remnant of faithful, believing Jews who cast off religious tradition to follow Jesus, and for helping build a Church that will stand for eternity, but now with open arms is calling to “whosoever will!” A royal priesthood after the order of the King of Righteousness (malki tsedek), not Aaron. “Behold, I make all things new.”- Jesus