THE TWO COVENANTS

In Ephesians 3, Paul tells us the mystery of Christ which was hidden from previous generations was the union of the Jews and Gentiles in one body.

While many are advocating another gospel centered on the modern state of Israel, and building again the separating wall which Christ destroyed, the truth of the gospel declares that God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus is revealed through the one new man in Christ. It is through the church – Jews and Gentiles in Christ – that the manifold wisdom of God is revealed (Read Ephesians 2:11 -3:21).

God is not going to go contrary to the gospel of His Son by reverting back to national secular Israel, and blessing a man made temple with animal sacrifices and all that was associated with old testament Israel after the flesh. That covenant has been made obsolete and God has established a new covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Paul describes these two covenants (the old and the new) in his epistle to the Galatians. Consider Galatians 4:22-31:

22 For it is written, that ABRAHAM HAD TWO SONS, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born AFTER THE FLESH; but he of the freewoman was BY PROMISE.

24 Which things are AN ALLEGORY: for THESE ARE THE TWO COVENANTS; the one from the MOUNT SINAI, which gendereth to BONDAGE, which is Agar.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to JERUSALEM WHICH NOW IS, and is IN BONDAGE WITH HER CHILDREN.

26 But JERUSALEM WHICH IS ABOVE is free, which is the mother of us all.

27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

28 NOW WE, BRETHREN, AS ISAAC WAS, ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE.

29 But as then he that was born AFTER THE FLESH persecuted him that was born AFTER THE SPIRIT, even so it is now.

30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREEWOMAN.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

God, through Christ, as reckoned all in sin and will hold everyone accountable to the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has no special alternative for the Jew apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ revealed in the new testament. That is why the same gospel was first sent to the Jew and then to the Gentile. One gospel for all, so that all who believe can be united as one new man in Christ Jesus!

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PAUL AND THE JEWS’ RELIGION

For ye have heard of my conversation (conduct) in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it. And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. ~ Galatians 1:13-14

Paul makes the above statement after telling the Galatians that he marveled that they were so soon being removed from Him who had called them to the grace of Christ, unto another gospel.

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ Galatians 1:6-12

Paul is telling the Galatians at the very outset of his letter that those in the Jews religion, in which he once excelled above his peers, are preaching another gospel. In Galatians, Paul is dealing with the false teachings of those who were advocating Jewish identity (via circumcision and adherence to the law) rather than glorying in Christ.

These religious Jews (aka, Judaizers) did not simply want to bring the Gentiles under some sort of “works righteousness” but rather, they were seeking to make Jewish proselytes of the Gentiles, and this was something that Paul rigorously opposed.

It wasn’t enough to these religious Jews that the Gentiles had believed the gospel and received the Spirit. The wanted the Gentiles to go beyond the cross of Christ and become Jewish proselytes (through circumcision and adherence to the Law).

It is this “Jewish supremacy” based on the Jew’s religion that Paul is countering so strongly in Galatians.  Jewish supremacy, such as Paul is addressing in Galatians, is in opposition to the truth of the gospel.

Because of the cross, there is no privilege of one ethnic group above another in the sight of God. In Galatians 5:11 Paul says, “And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision (the mark of Jewish identity) why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased.

The issue of circumcision in the first century church wasn’t merely about “legalistic works” as we in the church today would refer to legalism. It was much more than that. It literally meant being converted, and becoming a Jew. It was for this purpose that the apostle Paul was being persecuted by those who preached circumcision. Paul preached that the cross alone could save and being circumcised or not being circumcised no longer had relevance with regards to being in covenant with God.

To put it another way, being a Jew or not being a Jew no longer had any bearing on who was God’s people and who wasn’t. God had abolished the separating wall between Jews and Gentiles in the death and resurrection of Jesus. God’s people are no longer of one ethnic group in the flesh, but rather are people of every nationality united in one new man, in one body of believers, in Christ Jesus. What matters now is being a new creature in Christ Jesus.

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/one-new-man-in-christ/

ONE NEW MAN IN CHRIST

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made BOTH (Jew and Gentile) ONE, and HATH BROKEN DOWN THE MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION BETWEEN US: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace…(Ephesians 2:13-14).

The middle wall of partition (or wall of separation) mentioned above refers to the Law. The Law separated the Jews from all other nations. With the Law removed, there is no longer any distinction between the two.

Paul tells us that Jesus has broken down this wall of separation by abolishing in his flesh the enmity, which was the law of commandments contained in ordinances.

The enmity between the Jew and Gentile has been taken away. It was slain in the crucified body of Jesus (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14).

Now both (Jew and Gentile) are united in Jesus as one new man. Paul says to the Gentiles; “ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (v.13).

I recently watched a portion of a video by a well know Zionist minister, claiming that the wall of separation (which is taken away in Christ) will again be raised when Christ returns. I truly don’t think people understand how egregious such teachings are in view of the gospel.

In the book of Galatians, we get a glimpse of just how offensive this wall of separation was to the apostle Paul. Notice Paul’s words in Galatians 2:11-14:

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, HE DID EAT WITH THE GENTILES: but when they were come, he withdrew AND SEPARATED HIMSELF, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And THE OTHER JEWS DISSEMBLED LIKEWISE WITH HIM; insomuch that BARNABAS WAS ALSO CARRIED AWAY WITH THEIR DISSIMULATION. But when I saw that they WALKED NOT UPRIGHTLY ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Paul goes on to expound on righteousness through faith and how the Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ as the seed of Abraham according to the promise.

According to Paul, Peter and the other Jews with him were not walking uprightly according to the truth of the gospel when they separated themselves from the Gentile believers at Antioch.

Doctrine which “separates” those for whom Jesus died to make one, is contrary to the truth of the gospel.

In God’s eyes, unbelieving Jews and unbelieving Gentiles are all under sin. God makes no distinction between the two. Paul tells us the following in Romans 10: “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is NO DIFFERENCE between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (v.11-12).

Likewise, in God’s eyes, believing Jews and believing Gentiles are under grace and God makes no distinction between the two because they have become one in Christ through the blood of Jesus. In Christ, Jews and Gentiles alike are the children of God because those who are of faith in Jesus are Abraham’s children through faith according to the promise God made to Abraham.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:26-29).

THE EKKLESIA

In the book of Acts, before the gospel went to the Gentiles, there were 120 Jews who were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; a Jewish feast day, which commemorated the giving of the Law at Sinai.

In Acts 2, there were thousands of Jews who had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. In Acts 2:5, we read “…there were dwelling at Jerusalem JEWS, devout men, out of EVERY NATION under heaven” (Acts 2:25).

Many of these Jews were residents of other nations because they were the descendants of those Jews who had been scattered when Israel was overthrown by the Assyrians and when Judah taken captive by the Babylonians.

Though there was a return to the land after the Babylonian captivity, the nation never became what it once was, as Jews were scattered throughout the known world. In Acts 2:6-11 we read of the nations from which these Jews (who were gathered in Jerusalem) were residents.

Later , in Acts 2:22, the apostle Peter addressed these thousands of Jews as, “YE MEN OF ISRAEL” as he preached the gospel to them. As Peter preached the gospel many were convicted of their sins. Acts 2:37 says the following:

Now when they heard this (the gospel), they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?

Peter responded by telling them to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins and they would receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter tells them the promise of the Holy Spirit is for them, and their children, and to all who are afar off, and to as many as the Lord their God should call.

That day 3000 Jews were born again and joined the 120 as followers of Jesus. In Acts 2:47 Jews who believed in Jesus were said to have been added daily to THE CHURCH.

Notice that the Jews who believed in Jesus were called “the church.”

At that time “the church” was entirely Jewish. They continued on in covenant with God through Jesus Christ. On the contrary, those Jews who rejected Jesus were cut off from the from the covenant.

Over the next few years many more Jews would repent and follow Jesus. For them, true redemption had nothing to do with being residents in Israel; it had everything to do with belonging to this community who followed Jesus.

Though many believed, others chose to harden their hearts against Christ, and against His followers, and the message of the gospel. Throughout the book of Acts we can see that God was separating His people within Jewry by calling the people of Israel to repentance. Those who obeyed and believed the gospel were consequently added to THE CHURCH. Those who refused to repent were cut off from being’s God’s people.

Many, who have embraced dispensational premillennialism, have been taught that Israel is not the church and the church is not Israel. However, what they overlook is how God made a difference between the Jews who believed the gospel and those who did not. God separated the believing Jews unto Himself and called them “the church.” The rest – those who hardened their hearts against Jesus – were cut off as Moses said they would be (Deut 18:15; Acts 3:22-23; Acts 7:37).

Yet, in the ideology of the dispensational premillennialist, national, ethnic Israel retains a special covenant status in the sight of God. This is completely contrary to the gospel. The gospel which was preached to the Jews about Jesus called all Israel to repent of their sins because God’s people were now identified by their obedience to Jesus and not by their ethnicity.

On the Day of Pentecost the New Testament church was born, yet the concept of the church did not begin on Pentecost. It began with Israel in the Old Testament.  In Acts 7, Stephen referred to Israel in the wilderness as “the CHURCH in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38).

The Septuagint (LXX) which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament (completed some 200 years before Christ) was a primary source employed by the New Testament writers when quoting from the Old Testament scriptures.

The Greek word Ekklesia which is translated in the New Testament, as church, is used in the Old Testament by the Septuagint to describe the gatherings,  assemblies, and coming together of the people of Israel.

For instance, ekklesia is used to describe the gathering of the people of Israel at the giving of the Law. Consider the following from Deuteronomy 4:10:

“… the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, GATHER me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”

The word gather, here in Deuteronomy 4:10 is the verb form of ekklesia. In Deuteronomy 9:10 it is “the day of the assembly.”

And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the Lord spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in THE DAY OF THE ASSEMBLY (Deuteronomy 9:10).

This “day of the assembly” is “the day of the ekklesia” or the day the church in the wilderness gathered to receive the Law. This is very interesting in view of the events which occurred on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Remember, Pentecost was a commemoration of the giving of the Law.

The giving of the Spirit at Pentecost was the fulfillment of that which was foreshadowed when the Law was given in the Old Testament. It is by the giving of His Holy Spirit that God has inscribed His Law upon the hearts of His people.

The ekklesia is not a new concept. It began with Israel in the Old Testament and continued with born again Israelites in the New Testament. That is why the Jews who continued on in covenant with God through Jesus Christ were called the church, or the ekklesia.

If we know from the scriptures that the New Testament church was born on the Day of Pentecost (a Jewish feast day) and was an entirely Jewish assembly of believers in Jesus Christ, then the church cannot and must not be thought of as a Gentile entity. The church is the true assembly of the people of God, as the writer of Hebrews exhorted his Jewish brethren:

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CHURCH (ekkliesa) of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…(Hebrews 12:18-23).

THE UNSCRIPTURAL NARRATIVE OF ZIONISM

The greatest problem I have with the theology of Christian Zionism is that it is a narrative based on a collection of scriptures that have been placed together in a way that is contrary to the Biblical narrative. In the Biblical narrative of the story of Israel, the coming of Jesus Christ is the main event. All that God had given Israel under Moses and through the prophets was leading them to Christ.

According to the Biblical narrative, the calling and destiny of Israel comes to fruition in Jesus Christ. Yet, in Zionism, Israel’s destiny is not “in Christ,” but rather, it is in their national status via covenant with God apart from Jesus. There is no national status in Christ for the Jew, because in Christ, the Jew and Gentile have become one new man.

The apostle Paul goes into great detail to explain that in Christ there is no distinction between the Jew and the Gentile. Yet, the Zionist’s agenda advocates a separation between the Jew and the Gentile.

I recently watched a video of a Zionists teacher claiming that the wall of separation (which is taken away in Christ) will be raised again when Christ returns. No such doctrine exists in the New Testament, and such thinking is contrary to the New Testament revelation of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for all, and all who believe in Him, are “one in Him.”

The restoration of the Jew does not mean being grafted back into a physical nation with an identity separate from others in Christ. The restoration of the Jew means being grafted into God’s people (the true Israel of God) and becoming one with all who are in Christ.

The mistake that Zionists often make is that they, knowing Israel has fallen through their rejection of Jesus, believe that they will be restored as a nation in a manner which is separate from those who are one in Jesus.

This ideology is foreign to the teachings of Christ and the doctrine of the apostles; and such unscriptural ideology ought to be rejected. No man comes to the Father except through Christ. In book Romans as Paul expounds on the unbelieving Jew being cut off, he says, “IF THEY WILL NO LONGER ABIDE IN UNBELIEF” they will be grafted in again.

It is not a “physical nation” into which the Jew is once again grafted when he believes the gospel; it is a spiritual nation. It is the body of believers in Christ Jesus, into which the Jew is grafted when he believes!

Jesus is the stone of stumbling and rock of offense, by which Israel has fallen. He is also the precious corner stone to those who believe the gospel. In Him, and in Him alone, the Jew is restored to God.

REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY INCOGNITO

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land…” (Isaiah 1:19).

What a wonderful promise. Many Christians have heard this verse preached and have been encouraged by it. Yet many of those same Christians have been taught that there is something called “replacement theology” that they should reject because there are certain promises made to Israel that do not apply to the church.

Well, my apologies, because if you are going to think this way, you can’t claim Isaiah 1:19 anymore because Isaiah 1:19 was a promise given to Israel. The good of THE LAND is a reference to the land of Israel.

Well, what about verses such as Deuteronomy 28:6 – “Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out” ? Well you can’t have that one either, for all of Deuteronomy 28 deals with the terms of the covenant between God and Israel regarding Israel’s obedience and disobedience in the land of promise.

What about the Jeremiah 29:11? This verse is a favorite of many Christians: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Well you can’t have this verse either. This was a promise made to the Jewish exiles that were taken captivity by the Babylonians. The previous verse (Jeremiah 29:10) says: “For thus saith the LORD, That AFTER SEVENTY YEARS BE ACCOMPLISHED AT BABYLON I will visit you, and perform MY GOOD WORD TOWARD YOU, in causing you to return to this place.

There are many Old Testament verses which could be cited which were promises to Israel, which Christians believe apply to themselves, and ministers will preach these verses to Christians applying them to Christians. In doing this, they are engaging in their own form of replacement theology.

Many who have been taught that others have “replacement theology” have never noticed their own replacement theology. In fact, I recently read where one minister taught that some verses in Deuteronomy which applied to Israel’s covenant in the land of promise was prophetic of America.

Is that not replacement theology?

The truth is, the term replacement theology is a misnomer, and many of the truths given to Israel do indeed apply to the church. For example, the apostle Peter took the words God had spoke to Israel after He brought them out of Egypt and applied them to the church.

Here is the text as it was said to Israel: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a PECULIAR TREASURE unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an HOLY NATION. These are the words which thou shalt SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL” (Exodus 19:5-6).

Now, here is how the apostle Peter quotes this text, applying it to New Testament believers: “But ye are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an HOLY NATION, a PECULIAR PEOPLE; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light…” (1 Peter 2:9).

Did you notice the similarities?

Again, the term “replacement theology” is a misnomer and it is an unjust accusation used to put up a wall towards other believers rather than believing the narrative of scripture that Israel’s history was leading to Christ and comes to fruition in Christ.

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/the-misnomer-of-replacement-theology/

ISRAEL’S LAND INHERITANCE WAS DEPENDANT ON OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S LAWS

Recently, I listened to few minutes of a conversation between two pro-Israel advocates as they discussed replacement theology, which is actually a misnomer.

At the beginning of the video, the host minister made a statement about the land of Israel. He commented that there are more than a thousand references regarding the land in the Bible and he made this statement to support his position regarding the modern state of Israel.

He actually offered a proof-text, by the volume, without going into any detail about what those scriptures reveal about the land. His loose and vague handling of scripture was used to promote the idea that the land promises given to Israel were “unconditional promises” which still applies to modern day Israel.

We must take the time to learn the Biblical narrative regarding Israel and the land of Israel, and not allow anyone to persuade us with their vague proof-texts which often lead to unscriptural ideas about Israel.

Oftentimes the picture is painted that the blessings of God on other nations depends on their support of the modern state of Israel. Yet, in your Bible, God did not judge nations based on their support of Israel or lack thereof. God judged each nation based on their own sin or righteousness. Of course when Israel was right with God, He defended them against those nations that rose up against them. On the other hand, when Israel was in rebellion against God, He allowed other nations to come against them. Israel’s blessings in the land and God’s blessings other nations, through Israel, was always dependent on their being right with God.

Furthermore, the concept that Israel was only blessed with regards to the land is a very faulty concept. Throughout the Old Testament, the wicked within Israel (not the remnant of righteous Jews) committed all sorts of grievances against God within the land. They committed idolatry by worshipping other gods, they sacrificed their children to idols, they committed all sorts’ sexual sins, and the list goes on. Time and time again, God’s anger and wrath was against Israel within the borders of the land of Israel.

In the book of Ezekiel, God had Ezekiel prophesy to the wicked leaders of Israel and say:“Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you IN THE BORDER OF ISRAEL; and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 11:1-2, 10).

God told them that He would judge them within the borders of Israel. In verses 11-12 we read the following: “This city shall not be your caldron (an iron pot of protection), neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I WILL JUDGE YOU IN THE BORDER OF ISRAEL: And ye shall know that I am the Lord: for ye have NOT WALKED IN MY STATUES neither EXECUTED MY JUDGMENTS, but have done AFTER THE MANNERS OF THE HEATHEN that are round about you.”

All throughout the Old Testament, there was much bloodshed and death in the land of Israel and many times God’s anger and judgment came on the people within the boundaries of Israel. In fact, Israel wasn’t yet even settled in the land, but in the process of possessing it, when God turned against them because of the sin of Achan.

God told Joshua, “Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings. That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart FOR DESTRUCTION. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction” (Joshua 7:11-12).

Notice that within Israel’s borders, God said “Israel has been set apart for destruction and he would not be with them any longer unless they repented.

From the very outset of God’s covenant with Israel, the promise of the land inheritance was always dependent on Israel’s obedience to God’s law. Many scriptures from the Bible could be provided to prove this. Therefore, the land inheritance was never an unconditional promise, but conditional. If it were unconditional, God would have never drove Israel and Judah out of the land into captivity.

Israel’s right to the Land was completely dependent on their obedience to God, otherwise they were not entitled to the land.

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/is-the-land-inheritance-still-relevant-today/

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/the-promised-land-and-gods-rest/

GOD’S MERCY FOR ISRAEL

As he saith also in Osee (Hosea), I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God (Romans 9:25-26).

Though often thought to be a reference to the Gentiles, Hosea is actually referring to the house of Israel in the text referenced above. Hosea was a prophet in Israel before the northern tribes of Israel were taken captive by the Assyrians and before Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians.

In chapter one of Hosea, God instructed Hosea to take a wife from among the prostitutes, so Hosea married a prostitute named Gomer. Gomer then conceived, and gave birth to a son, and the Lord told Hosea to call his name Jesreel; for God was going to cause the Kingdom of the house of Israel to cease.

Gomer then gave birth again, but this time to a daughter. God told Hosea to call her name Loruhamah, because God said, “I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.”

After Gomer had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare another son. God told Hosea to call his name Loammi, meaning “For ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” This was the a message to kingdom of the house of Israel as well.

It is after this, in verse 10, that we find the words quoted by Paul in Romans 9:25-26. Here is how it reads in Hosea:

Yet the number of THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place WHERE IT WAS SAID UNTO THEM, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

When the northern tribes of Israel (the Kingdom of the house of Israel) were overtaken by the Assyrians, they were scattered among the nations, never again to recover and become a unified nation. They had become as the Gentiles in the sight of God, for God said of them – “For ye are not my people and I will not be your God” (Hosea 1:9). They lost their inheritance, being scattered under the curse of the law.

However, God’s mercy remained with  Judah because of His promises to David, and He caused Judah to return to the land after 70 years in captivity; but the Kingdom of Israel (the 10 tribes of the north) never recovered.

If it had not been for God’s oath to David, Judah’s punishment would have been more severe. However, God made an oath to David, and God kept His promise. In His mercy, He brought Judah back to the land in preparation for the Messiah, in whom His oath to David would be fulfilled.  Christ is the Messiah, the descendant of David who will reign forever. He is now seated as the King of Israel, enthroned at the right hand of God.

When God disinherited Israel, He said to them; “Ye are not my people.” Yet, He gave them the promise that it shall be said unto them, “Ye are the sons of the living God.” In Romans 9-11 Paul tells us how God fulfilled this promise to Israel.

It was not through the Law, for under they Law they fell under the curse and were disinherited as the people of God. How then, did  God fulfill his promise to those He disinherited? How would they receive life from the dead as Paul says in the book of Romans?

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (Romans 11:15)

How would God accomplish this? It would come through the THE SALVATION OF THE GENTILES! Paul tells us in Romans, “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11).

In Romans 10:19 we read the following: But I say, DID NOT ISRAEL KNOW? First Moses saith, I will provoke you TO JEALOUSY by them that are NO PEOPLE, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

Notice the language here: “I will provoke you to jealousy by then that are NO PEOPLE.” This terminology – no people – is the same sort of terminology used to describe Israel by Hosea in Chapter 1, and Paul in Romans 9: “And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are NOT MY PEOPLE; there shall they be called the children of the living God.”

In Romans 11, concerning those who were not a people (whom God would use to provoke Israel to jealously) Paul says: “For as ye in times past, have not believed God, yet have now OBTAINED MERCY THROUGH THEIR UNBELIEF: Even so have these also now not believed, that THROUGH YOUR MERCY THEY ALSO MAY OBTAIN MERCY.

Paul does not mean to say, since God showed you Gentiles mercy, He will be fair and also show them mercy as well. It is much more than that. Paul is saying “the mercy you have received as “not a people” is the same mercy they have too will receive “as not a people.”

For there is NO DIFFERENCE  between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him (Romans 10:12). In essence, God has reckoned Israel along with the Gentiles as being, under sin, so that He might make salvation available to all on the grounds of his mercy and grace.

In Romans 3 Paul says, “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ is UNTO ALL  and UPON ALL them that believe: FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCEFor all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…”

The mention of NO DIFFERENCE, is a reference to the Jew and Gentiles. Paul is echoing his sentiments from earlier in the chapter when he said: “What then? are we (Jews) better than they (Gentiles) ? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that THEY ARE ALL UNDER SIN…”

In correlation with his statements in Romans 3, that all are under sin, both Jews and Gentiles, Paul says the following in Romans 11:

For as ye (Gentiles) in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these (the Jews in unbelief) also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. FOR GOD HATH CONCLUDED THEM ALL IN UNBELIEF, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE MERCY UPON ALL. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:30-33).

God foreordained that salvation would be by grace to all who believe therefore whoso ever believes on HIM shall not be ashamed! (Romans 9:33)

 

ISRAEL AND THE GOSPEL

The ideology of Christian Zionism goes beyond the gospel of Jesus Christ to cater to unbelieving Jews. It literally gives the Jew who refuses the gospel of Jesus Christ another alternative. One Christian friend said to me “God will use the Law to reveal himself to them once again, otherwise, they will never hear…”

Yet, the Bible says otherwise. Notice the words of Paul In Romans 10:

1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God FOR ISRAEL is, that they might be saved.

2 For I bear THEM record that THEY have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

3 For THEY  being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish THEIR own righteousness, HAVE NOT SUBMITTED THEMSELVES unto the righteousness of God.

4 For CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW for righteousness to everyone that believeth.

5 For Moses describeth THE RIGHTEOUSNESSES WHICH IS OF THE LAW, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

Notice that Paul, in context of his heart’s desire and prayer to God, regarding Israel’s salvation, declares that Christ is the end of the Law. He says concerning unbelieving Israelites, who are seeking their own righteousness through the law; “they have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.”

Remember the context here is Paul’s heart’s desire and prayer for Israel’s salvation.

Paul continues:

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

In verses 6-8 Paul is quoting Deuteronomy from the Old Testament scriptures and applies those scriptures to Jesus.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE JEW AND THE GREEK: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Notice that Paul says, “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek.” He says this with regards to non believers. If God has an alternative for the Jew apart from the gospel revealed in the New Testament, there certainly would be difference between the Jew and the Greek. The Jew would then have a special privilege for salvation apart from the gospel. Yet Paul holds them accountable to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and gives them no other alternative.

13 For WHOSOEVER (Jew or Greek) shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, AND BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF THE GOOD THINGS!

16 BUT THEY HAVE NOT ALL OBEYED THE GOSPEL. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Paul again quotes from the Old Testament, this time from Isaiah in reference to the gospel. He says, “they have not ALL obeyed the gospel.” This is a specific reference to the Jews who have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God in Christ.

Though a remnant of Jews have believed the gospel, Israel as a whole has not, and God holds the rest of Israel to the same standard by which He as saved the remnant of believing Jews. If they do not believe the gospel, like the rest of the world who rejects Christ, they will perish.

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

18 But I say, HAVE THEY NOT HEARD? Yes verily, THEIR SOUND went into all the earth, and THEIR WORDS unto the ends of the world.

Paul tells us that the gospel is “their sound” and “their words.” Moses testified of the gospel in their Law, and their prophets testified of the gospel as well. Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit of the Lord was giving witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ through those He sent to them.

God gave to Israel; Moses, the prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles, and the salvation of the Gentiles.

19 But I say, DID NOT ISRAEL KNOW? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

21 But TO ISRAEL HE SAITH,  All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

The gospel is their testimony, their witness, their message, and if they reject the Gospel there is no other alternative. God does not have another narrative for Israel outside of, or beyond, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

THE ALIYAH TO ISRAEL

Aliyah is a word used to describe the immigration of Jews to Israel.

According to the Law of Moses, God promised He would gather the children of Israel back to into their land after He had scattered them, ONLY if they turned their hearts back to Him to obey all His commands (Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Leviticus 26:40-42).

The modern state of Israel, however, was established with armed force and not with repentance towards God and a commitment to obey Him. As a result of the of the 1948 establishment of modern Israel, there were more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees, some of which were Christians.

Since 1948, Israel has yet to become a nation representing the one true God. On the contrary, modern day Israel is a state whose religious traditions are aligned with the Jewish Talmud (a collection of rabbinical teachings which blasphemes against the Lord Jesus Christ).

In contrast to the establishment of the modern state of Israel, consider the following from the book of Nehemiah chapter 1:

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cup bearer.

Notice that Nehemiah was humble and repentant, and he cited to God the conditions which God Himself had established that the people were to turn to God, to keep His commandments and to do them.

Later in Nehemiah we read the following:

The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples FOR THE SAKE OF THE LAW OF GOD. together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand— all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and BIND THEMSELVES WITH A CURSE AND AN OATH to follow THE LAW OF GOD GIVEN THROUGH MOSES the servant of God and TO OBEY CAREFULLY ALL THE COMMANDS, REGULATIONS, AND DECREES of the Lord our Lord (Nehemiah 10:28-29).

These Israelites, who were returning from the Babylonian captivity, bond themselves with a curse because they were dedicating themselves to God and to the covenant God made with their fathers through Moses.

The prophet Jeremiah had foretold of this very thing when he said the following:

10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive (Jeremiah 29:1-14).

This (Jeremiah’s prophecy) is exactly what happened according to the book of Nehemiah, and it happened just as it was required according to the Law of Moses, for the prerequisite for aliyah (according to the Law) is repentance towards God (Deuteronomy 30, Leviticus 26:40-42; Daniel 9:1-21; Nehemiah 1:1-11; 10:28-29 Jeremiah 29:10-14; Ezra 9:7,15).

So the questions that we must ask in all fairness is this; “Why doesn’t the aliyah of modern Israel look anything like those who returned after the Babylonian captivity?”

There simply is no doctrine or precedence in scripture which supports a Jewish national aliyah to Israel without there first being a turning of the heart towards God!