WHY DID PAUL TELL THE CORINTHIANS TO KEEP THE PASSOVER?

In first Corinthians 5:7 when Paul says to keep the feast (Passover) it is a metaphor. The context deals with sin that was in the midst of the Corinthian church, namely fornication.

Under the Old Testament the Israelites were to put away leaven for seven days and to eat unleavened bread only. This was a type of the putting away of sin in exchange for purity.

According to the context of 1 Corinthians 5, Paul says nothing about the feast of Passover which was to be kept on the 14th day of the month of Nisan (the first month on the Jewish calendar). He does not make reference to a day as Passover, as the Old Testament did. (see Ex 12:6,14,18,19; Numbers 9:2; 28:16; Deuteronomy 16:1; Joshua 5:10; Ezekiel 45:21)

Leviticus 23:5 says, In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover.

Paul does not refer to Passover as a time on the calendar,  or a ceremonial festival when speaking to the Corinthians. On the contrary, Paul refers to Christ Jesus himself as our Passover.

Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Paul applies the object lesson which was contained in the shadowy type – the Passover given to Israel – and tells the Corinthians to walk in the reality of it. In other words, Paul says, Put away this sin from your midst and serve God, in Christ, with sincerity and truth, because Christ, who is our Passover, was sacrificed for you.

There is nothing wrong with dedicating the Passover season as a time for the Lord to focus on Christ’s death for us. In fact that is a very good practice. The error comes in when the festival becomes a law for Christians to observe as is becoming more of a common place within some of the modern day Messianic movements, such as the Hebrew Roots Movement.

The New Testament writers are the authoritative interpreters of the Old Testament scriptures and they gave us everything we need to know for godly and righteous living.

That which was foreshadowed in the feasts has become reality in Christ Jesus, and we can walk in the reality every day because the light has come and the shadow had been put away.

Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.  Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ.~ Colossians 2:16-17  Amplified Bible

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THE BLOOD OF THE PASSOVER LAMB

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/the-blood-of-the-passover-lamb/

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF PASSOVER IN CONTRAST TO HEBREW ROOTS TEACHINGS

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/the-biblical-doctrine-of-passover-in-contrast-to-hebrew-roots-teachings/

 

 

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15 thoughts on “WHY DID PAUL TELL THE CORINTHIANS TO KEEP THE PASSOVER?

  1. Paul did not teach the Corinthians to observe the feast of Passover according to the prescriptions given to Israel under the law. The observance of Passover under the law required the offering of animal sacrifices, which served as a type of Christ, who is the true lamb of God.

    The feasts given to Israel served as types and shadows under the first covenant until Christ came, and established the New Covenant.

    Paul says to the Corinthians “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” and he instructs the Corinthians to keep the feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 

    Paul  is not referring to keeping the Jewish feast of Passover. He is referring to the purity by which the Corinthians should live now that they are the servants of Christ.

    Under the law, the Israelites were to observe passover by eating unleavened bread (natural, physical bread –  the kind of bread you eat with your mouth). Paul is not referring to this kind of unleavened bread. He is referring to that which the unleavened bread, eaten by the Jews, was symbolic of. It was symbolic of the putting away of sin. That is why he says in view of Christ being our Passover, “let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

    When Jesus was handed over to Pilate by the Jewish leaders they refused to enter the judgment hall because they did not want to ceremonially defile themselves (John 18:28). Yet they were already defiled by the malice and wickedness in their hearts towards Jesus. The gospels and the book of Acts reveal their antagonistic disposition towards Jesus.  

    They thought they were keeping the Passover by not going into the judgment hall, but the true Passover was being betrayed and condemned by them. 

    Jesus is the Passover that God has provided. He is the fulfilment of all that was foreshadowed under the law in the feasts given to Israel. Under the New Testament, we do not keep the Passover by eating a physical lamb, and natural bread, with no leaven in it. We keep the feast by living a Christ-like life in sincerity and truth. 

    If we will allow the context of 1 Corinthians 5 to speak for itself, there is no doubt that Paul is not referring to natural bread but to spiritual bread. He is not speaking of eating of a physical lamb, but partaking of Christ, who is our Passover.

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  2. Hi this is Jamel…

    Grace and peace in our fellowship with the God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ!

    In in both letters 1 Corinthians and Colossians Paul is writes to the saints:

    “1 Corinthians 1:
    2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, >>>called to be saints<<>>To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ<<>>his saints:<<>>saints:<<>>here are they that keep the commandments of God<<>>and the faith of Jesus<<>>sin is the transgression of the law.<<>>these things write I unto you, that ye sin not<<>>And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

    4 >>>He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him<<<.

    May God continue to open our heart and understanding to the truth of His Holy Word. Amen!

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  3. Hi this is Jamel… Grace and peace in our fellowship with the God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ! In in both letters 1 Corinthians and Colossians Paul is writes to the saints:

    “1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, >>>called to be saints<<>>To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ<<>>his saints:<<>>saints:<<>>here are they that keep the commandments of God<<>>and the faith of Jesus<<>>sin is the transgression of the law.<<>>these things write I unto you, that ye sin not<<>>And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
    2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    4 >>>He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him<<<.

    May God continue to open our heart and understanding to the truth of His Holy Word. Amen!

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    • The word law has more than one connotation when it is used throughout the Bible. Sometimes it is used to refer to the 600 plus laws which governed ancient Israel as a nation. Sometimes it refers to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible),and at other times it refers to the entirety of the Old Testament. Sometimes it is a reference to the Ten Commandments, and at other times the Law of God in Christ to which the whole of the law pointed, and was a foreshadowing.

      The book of Hebrews tells us that the offering of animal sacrifices under the Old Testament was a carnal ordinance, imposed on the people until the time of reformation, meaning, until Christ came and fulfilled all that was written of him.

      Jesus is our Passover, and he has fulfilled what was foreshadowed in the Passover under the law. We no long observe the carnal feast that Israel observed BEFORE Christ. We keep the Passover daily by walking in truth and sincerity from the heart.

      Paul told the Colossians to not allow anyone to judge them regarding feast days as these were only a foreshadowing of Christ.

      Yes, sin is transgression of the law, but not the 600 plus laws that governed Israel under the Old Testament. Sin is transgression of God’s love, which is the law which is inscribed on our hearts by the Holy Spirit, through our faith in Christ.

      Much of the context of 1 John which tells us sin is transgression of the law, is dealing with the issue of love. John says, we know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren.

      The commandments given to Israel were given as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. They were preparatory to bring us into the New Covenant where the law is fulfilled by love.

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  4. Don’t you think that when you have to have such long, convoluted commentary to explain Paul’s simple instruction…that maybe the easiest answer is that Paul meant what he said?

    On a similar note, why did Paul observe a Nazarite vow in Acts? Why did he purchase the sacrificial animals for himself and others? Or, were those perhaps metaphorical animals?

    Or, how do you explain away his very clear seemingly prophetic answer to your position in Romans 3:31? You do, of course, realize that he was fully prepared for this potentially wrong interpretation of his words (as Peter also warned about those who move toward lawlessness) and made this pre-emptive declaration about upholding Torah….or, that dreadful law, as you imply. Torah means instruction…instruction from your Creator. Why do you want to avoid your Creator’s instructions?

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    • Hi Jack! You are 100% right about G-d’s perfect instructions. But do know, that Gentiles ARE NOT obligated to the law. Meaning it is NOT a requirement. The Torah was given strictly to the nation of Israel. Yes through Yeshua Gentiles are graphed in, but they are not bound to the Torah. Now, if they want to celebrate and follow it that’s great. However, those who teach against it or “replacement theologies” or “dual covenants” etc, this is WRONG. G-d’s covenant is eternal, but unfortunately, many cannot understand Rav Sha’ul (Paul) and his Pharisitical mindset that he gained from Rabban Gamliel the Great! Many see the Apostles in the eyes of their own perspective of human beings and not them as being 100% Jewish and fully obeying the Torah the WAY it is supposed to be. So forgive the Gentiles and correct them, however, the teaching of the Torah is in the hands of the Jewish people and this is again acknowledged by Yeshua (Matt 23:1-3) and Sha’ul (Acts 15:21 & Romans 11). G-d Bless You

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  5. what’s walking in sincerely and truth? truth is the father’s law in spirit and sincerely is the spirit in your heart according to the commandments. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure Who can understand it? jeremiah 17:9 the spirit makes your heart sincere in the truth (father law in spirit) For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. john 6:38 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit (sincerely) and in truth.”(his law)Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth. psalm 119:142

    “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my LAW in their minds and write it on their hearts.( heart means will and doer the right way in the spirit) and “your mind” means receive and belief. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33.. to the two houses of Israel, and then the gentile. the gentile also meaning the ten tribes that was dispense. who became gentiles. ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. Ezekiel 36:24. when the messiah comes back and put his people in the land.. he also said “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”( meaning seed of abraham.
    read the old testament to clarified. their is a order to this.. your right on the feast being a shadow but wrong on the day and time and the method on doing it. it’s a gathering of the true Israel.” James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings”. James 1:1

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  6. In response to the last two comments, I write the following:

    First, the feast of Passover was given to Israel under the Law, which was Israel’s covenant with God. 

    Gentiles were not allowed to partake of the Passover, only circumcised Jews, or those who had become part of Israel through circumcision (Exodus 12:43-44, 48). 

    To insist that Gentiles are to keep the Passover which Israel was given under the law, is to insist that physical circumcision is still relevant with regards to being in covenant with God. It is not. 

    Secondly, you cannot keep the Passover which Israel kept without animal sacrifices (Exodus 34:25. Leviticus 23:5-8, Numbers 9, Deuteronomy 16). Now that Jesus has died and been raised again, animal sacrifices are no longer accepted by God because they only served as a foreshadowing of Jesus until Christ came. Offering animal sacrifices now that Christ has died and risen again, would be apostate.

    Thirdly, after Israel entered the Promised land, the Passover was to be observed in the “place” within the boarders of Israel which the Lord chose.

    Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. ~ Deuteronomy 16:5-6 

    That place eventually became Jerusalem. 

    You cannot make up your own rules and think you are keeping the Passover given to Israel, when you are not observing it according to the instructions given Israel under the Law.  

    If you do not follow the instructions given to Israel, you are not keeping the Passover given to them. Instead, you are reinventing the Law, and in doing so, you are violating the law. The Law is fulfilled in Jesus, and he is our Passover. We keep the Passover under the New Covenant by faith in his blood and living a godly life. This is what God desires from his people: pure hearts and godly lives. 

    Under the Law the appointed feasts given to Israel, served as a foreshadowing of Christ. For example: Passover, Unleavened bread, and first-fruits foreshadowed the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

    Passover was on the 14th day (at evening) of first month which was Nisan 14 (or Abib 14). The next day was the 15th day and the beginning of seven days of unleavened bread. This day was also a Sabbath, and the next Sabbath was not until seven days later. On the 16th day of Nisan or Abib was the feast of first-fruits. There was only one day between Passover and first-fruits and that was the Sabbath of unleavened bread.

    Jesus was crucified on Passover, the 14th day.  His body rested in the tomb on the Sabbath of unleavened bread (the 15th day), He was raised from the dead on the 16th day of the first month, fulfilling the first-fruits.

    In the same way that Paul describes Jesus as our Passover in 1 Corinthians 5:7, he describes Jesus as the first-fruits of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. In Colossians 2, Paul tells us that the feast days were only shadows of Christ.

    Jesus is the one to whom the Passover under the Law, pointed. He is our Passover. 

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  7. Also I want to reply to the above comment about Paul and the nazarite vow.

    In Acts 21, Paul did not go to Jerusalem for the purpose of taking a Nazarite vow. Paul went to testify of Jesus.

    After his arrival, James insisted he do this in order to keep the Jews from rioting. Paul went along as his mission was to testify of Jesus in Jerusalem, and to show how Jesus had fulfilled that which was spoken of in the Law of Moses and the prophets.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul says,

    Therefore, though I am free regarding everyone, yet I have made myself slave unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to those that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those that are under the law; to those that are without law, as without law (being not without law of God, but under the law of Christ), that I might gain those that are without law. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to everyone, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker together of it.

    The narrative in Acts reveals that no commands to follow Jewish customs of worship were given to the Gentiles who believed. James even address this in Acts 21.

    Paul being a Jew, and for the sake of the gospel, went along with James’s advice because Paul wanted to appeal to the Jews so that he could testify of Jesus.

    This is a long narrative, and later own, Paul reveals that he indeed worshiped God according to “the Way” which the religious Jews viewed as a cult. These were the same devote Jews who were zealous for the Law and Jewish customs.

    This is why James urged Paul to do this. Paul wanted to appeal to the Jews using their own Law. As the narrative unfolds, a riot erupted before any sacrifices were ever offered.

    Before Paul went to Jerusalem, he had been warned by multiple friends of the persecution he would face there (Acts 21:1-14) and it played out just as he had been warned, nevertheless Paul went to Jerusalem, by the will of God, to preach the gospel to the Jews.

    With that said, don’t try so hard to be prove your point that you miss the narrative of how Paul went to Jerusalem knowing persecution awaited him because of his faith and the gospel he preached. Paul carefully navigated through his time there facing the hostile Jews who wanted to put him to death.

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  8. Hi Michael,

    #1. There is a difference between Jews and Gentiles and the community of Corinth like all communities Paul went to, had a mix of both. The Jewish people through faith like Avraham, are to maintain and keep the covenant because it is eternal and G-d’s word is perfect. Nothing can override perfection. But to stick to Pesach/Passover, Exodus 12:14 specifically tells the Jewish people to “eternally” keep the Passover/Pesach and all the details that go with it.

    #2. Jesus himself (Matt 4:4, 5:17-19, 23:1-3) clearly tells the Jewish people that they are to fulfill the commandments of G-d and LISTEN to those who sit in the Seat of Moshe/Moses. Let alone that man should live by the Word of G-d, which is taken from Deuteronomy and the only word given at that point is the Torah. So if you think Paul or any Christian doctrine can override G-d’s PERFECT Torah, then that doctrine is either wrong, or you are misinterpreting what Paul is saying.

    #3. The Torah (the first 5 books) is much more than animal sacrifices. There are exactly 613 mitzvot/commandments for Jews to uphold, however without a Beit HaMikdash/Temple, many (more than 1/2) cannot be fulfilled. This is why you don’t see Jews offering sacrifices 3x a day in Synagogues as they were commanded to. Yeshua, however, teaches Jews how to PERFECTLY fulfill the Torah.

    #4. Gentiles by no means are obligated to the Torah. Both Paul and throughout the history of Judaism, (minus the heretics within Judaism or Judaizers) have pushed Gentiles AGAINST/AWAY from conversion. Judaism does not proselytize. Gentiles are not even obligated to anything more than the 7 Noachide Laws, which are the Laws given to all of MANKIND before the Torah. Acts 15:21, where the disciples actually repeat 3 of the 7 of them, and then another 3 are basic for any human in the 21st century to understand.

    #5. Remember Paul’s Mission. His mission was to reach the Gentiles, so of course, when you read Paul and you read the context correctly, he is “against” the law in regards to Gentiles. Again, never was there a righteous Jew who pushed conversion. BUT, to think Paul is against the PERFECTION of G-d, and even Yeshua, who followed not only the Written Torah but the Oral Torah too (i.e. Chanukah/Festival of Dedication, Sukkot and the Singing of Hallel, Reading the Haftarah during Shabbat, Circumcision overriding Shabbat if it lands on the 8th day, telling others to MAKE sacrifices, Redemption of the 1st Born, Anointing by Living Water and a Priest, etc.).

    #6. Please, listen to what Yeshua said, “Listen to the scribes and Pharisees who SIT in the Seat of Moshe, just do not do what they do”. Pharisees today (one of many sects in the 1st century), is the ONLY sect that survived that period of time and today they are Orthodox Rabbi’s. Why? Because they understood every JOT & TITTLE of the Torah that by Yeshua’s words, would never pass away, let alone G-d placing the ETERNAL STAMP on them throughout the Tanakh. What do you think King Solomon in the book of Proverbs teaches us by seeking wisdom? Why do you think Jews excel so well in life, yet they don’t even make up 1% of the population?

    #7. For Gentiles, they ARE NOT required to be obligated to the Torah, but certainly can LEARN from it. For all morality, principles, lessons on creation, existence, answers to all philosophies, technology and much more can be found inside the Torah. For one to simply narrow the Torah to animal sacrifices is a GRAVEN SIN. For G-d is PERFECT and He set the commands for a reason of AMAZING WISDOM…it is only human beings who only see “poor Billy the Goat”. You do not understand G-d if all you see is “poor billy the goat”.

    Fear of G-d is the beginning of Wisdom!

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  9. Every Jew that has lived from the 1st century knows that the Rabbi’s today come from the sect of the Pharisees. Sha’ul/Paul himself recognizes it and if you ever read the Talmud, you’ll learn not only to see the amazing similarities in written styles between the Brit Chadashah but how, unfortunately, Christian’s (Gentiles) butcher the Jewish interpretation of the NT. That is why the oracles, the Torah was given to the “Jewish” nation to gift “spiritual gifts” (Romans 11). But just because Jews give spiritual gifts, does not mean Gentiles who believe are “second class citizens”, it means that they are to do “physical gifts” and just like a few of the 12 tribes of Dan, they were not great scholars, but simple Jews who equally and financially supported them (additionally just like the reason everyone tithes to the Levites).

    Unfortunately, for many Christian leaders to admit, they are not willing to humble themselves and state outward “AFTER” making theological errors, that yes it is the Jew and the Jewish disciples who gave the halachic ruling (the how to’s) of the bible. Acts 15 is a perfect example and even then, many Christian teachers don’t teach the basic laws the disciples gave. Why?

    Finally…When G-d gave Noach the “new” covenant from Adam’s covenant, did Adam’s covenant get replaced? When Avraham or the Jews were given a “new” covenant, was the one Noach or Adam replaced? Since when did receive a “new” covenant”, “REPLACE” the ETERNAL ONES? Yes, Yeshua is the Torah, he is a walking Torah scroll, amongst many other things. Yeshua/Mashiach is written about in the Torah and Tanakh, so since when did you read that the coming of the Mashiach/Messiah = replaces Israel? Again, simply read Romans 11, and Paul himself gives his 2 cents about anyone who dares to think to “replace/boast” over Israel!

    As Gentiles or BELIEVERS…you are “graphed INTO Israel”. Are you not satisfied with such love and grace from G-d to do such an act THROUGH Yeshua? You need to now “replace” Israel?

    Like forget religious text for 1 minute, and observe Israel’s history from a historical level. Their survival AND SUCCESS…stumps even ATHEISTS! They are the #1 persecuted nation with a tiny population and YET they still flourish, they are incredibly spiritually strong, THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LAND AFTER A HOLOCAUST…they survived COUNTLESS CHRISTIAN ATTACKS…and yet you think G-d has “left them” for what we call the “church”? What arrogance anyone has to even remotely think that, of the nation that “all shall be blessed by”, which was PROMISED to Avraham from G-d!…

    Please, repent and admit that you are off with your theology and it is severely damaging to anyone who reads it. Gentiles should be so happy and full of joy for such a gift!!! Not boastful and overriding, heaven forbid. This is why Jews for 2,000 (minus the time of Yeshua and his disciples) they REJECT Yeshua…not because of Yeshua himself, but because of his “followers”. “Thou shall not bear FALSE WITNESS…”

    I’ll be praying for you brother!

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    • First, the Talmud is not scripture, it is not inspired by God, and it speaks blasphemously against the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Secondly, throughout the Old and New Testaments, there is a distinction made between righteous Jew and unrighteous Jews. God, Christ, the prophets, and apostle all make this distinction. I have addressed this in my writings on my blog.

      Thirdly, the New Covenant absolutely replaced the Old.

      Paul says the following in 2 Corinthians as he contrasts the Old and New Covenants:

      Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:7-11

      The writer of Hebrews refers to the New Covenant replacing the Old when he cites the scriptures concerning Jesus. He says, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ~ Hebrews 10:9-10

      In chapter 8 the writer of Hebrews says the following concerning the New Covenant replacing the Old:

      But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 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 write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. ~ Hebrews 8:6-13

      The covenant God gave to Israel under Moses bound them with a curse. Had that covenant not been abolished, Israel would still be under the curse.

      As it is, God in his mercy, has “cut off” from covenant relationship unbelieving Jews, counting them all as sinners so that he might show them all the same mercy that he has bestowed on the hopeless Gentiles who repent and believe the gospel.

      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. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. ~ Romans 11:30-32

      Notice, that Paul declares that God is saving the Jews who will believe, not because they are Jews in the flesh, but by “the mercy” he has given to Gentiles who were lost in sin and had no covenant with God.

      God has only “one covenant family,” and that family is the blood washed church from every nation! And this was God’s plan of salvation all along, even before Israel existed.

      Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love… ~ Ephesians 1:3-4

      The salvation of the world was not an afterthought. It wasn’t plan-b. It has always been the plan hidden in Christ, and for this purpose God called the nation of Israel.

      Israel was chosen by God for redemptive purposes which have come to fruition in his Son: the true Israelite and the King of Israel, Jesus Christ!

      In Christ, God has accomplished what his people under the Law could not do. He raised up a Savior from among them by which he has redeemed to himself a family, a holy nation, a sanctified body who worships him and serves him – not after the Law, but after the Spirit – and this was his eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:11).

      Salvation through Jesus Christ comes to the Jew, not through the Law, but in the same way it has comes to the Gentiles – by God’s mercy!

      If God had not cut off the unbelieving Jews, destroyed their temple, and put an end to their system of worship, they would have never been redeemed. They would have continued under the curse of the law.

      Because of his mercy, God has cut off all unbelieving Jews and abolished the Mosaic covenant, so that he can have mercy on all Jews who will believe the gospel.

      And to this Paul declares:

      Even so have these 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! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen. ~ Romans 11:31-36

      Finally, Gentiles are not grafted into Ethnic Israel. Under the Old Covenant, Gentiles were grafted into the nation of Israel. When a Gentile under the New Covenant believes in Jesus Christ, he does not become an “ethnic Jew.” Nor does an ethnic Jew who has been “cut off” from covenant membership cease to be an ethnic Jew.

      Gentiles are grafted into the family of Abraham which is a household of faith!

      This is why Paul makes a distinction between Jews in the flesh and the remnant who were of faith in Romans 9-11.

      But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. ~ Romans 9:6-8

      Those who were righteous within the nation of Israel were the true children of Abraham, and those Jews who were not righteous were not the true children of Abraham.

      Jesus did not think the religious Jews of his day, those had opposed him, had any special privilege with God. When they claimed that Abraham was their Father, Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father”. ~ John 8

      They responded “We are not illegitimate children, the only Father we have is God himself. “To which Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” ~ See John 8

      Jesus told these ungodly Jews who were actual physical descendants of Abraham, “You belong to your father, the devil.”

      Jesus continues; “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God “. ~ John 8:45-47

      Abraham’s children are those who are of faith that lead to Christ and who practice righteousness, for God’s promise to Abraham was to make him the father of many nations!

      This is the family tree into which Gentiles are grafted through faith in Christ. They are grafted into Abraham’s family which God promised Abraham. This is a spiritual family (a household of faith) and not a physical one. Gentiles are not grafted into ethnic Israel. Ethnic Israel no longer has a covenant status with God. All unbelieving Jews are cut off from the covenant as Moses said they would be.

      Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ ~ Acts 3:22-23

      The spiritual heritage of every Jew is to be a person of faith, but not all Jews choose to trust God. Not all Jews choose to live godly. They are the branches who were cut off as described by Paul in Romans 11, and they were cut off because of “unbelief.” They were not cut off from their ethnicity, they were cut off from their spiritual heritage of being the children of God by faith, which is the promise that God made to Abraham “in Isaac!”

      Yet Paul declares, they will be grafted back in again if they no longer abide in unbelief for God is able to graft them in again. Their being grafted in is a “faith” issue and not an “ethnic” issue.

      A person’s ethnic status does not profit them in their standing before God. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus, who was a Jewish leader, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3 And, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” ~ John 3:5-7

      John the Baptist told the Jewish Pharisees, “do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” ~ Matthew 3:9

      The Jews who were “cut off”, were not cut off as ethnic Jews. They were cut off from the covenant because of unbelief, because the “promise” God made to Abraham was “spiritual” in its fulfilment and requires faith!

      The church has not replaced Israel, because true Israelites in the eyes of God have always been the church. The church of Jesus Christ began with the remnant of godly Jews, who through faith believed Jesus is the Messiah. It is into this body that Gentiles who believe in the Messiah have been baptized by conversion, and it is into this body, which is the true family of Abraham, which unbelieving Jews will be grafted back into if they will no longer abide in unbelief. This is Israel of God!

      Thanks for the prayers.

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      • Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being BROUGHT TO AN END. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:12-13

        NOTE ~ The KJV says “abolished” where the ESV (above) says, “brought to an end.”

        That which was being brought to an end, or abolished, was the covenant given to Israel in the flesh. The glory of that covenant radiated from the face of Moses after he had been in presence of God, and that glory has been surpassed by the glory of the New Covenant.

        Continuing with the scriptures,

        But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.v. 14-18

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