Monday, October 19, 2009
Who Is Israel? Who Is The Church?
by Lorraine Day, M.D.
The Doctrine of Dispensationalism states that the Church of Christ, which was born on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2, is definitely NOT a part of God's covenants with Abraham and David. It is believed that the Christian Church with its gospel of grace is only an "interruption of God's original plan with Israel, unforeseen by the Old Testament prophets and having no connection with God's promises of an earthly kingdom to Abraham, Moses, and David.
'While there are differences of opinion among Christian scholars who teach about Bible prophecy, the majority firmly believe the following five events have been definitely predicted by God to occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ:
(1) The rebirth of the state of Israel in 1948
(2) A soon coming "Seven Year Period of Great Tribulation"
(3) The rebuilding of the third Jewish temple on the Temple Mount inside Jerusalem
(4) The rise of a mysterious man, the Antichrist, who will enter this rebuilt Jewish temple, proclaiming himself as God
(5) A final war against the nation of Israel, resulting in a Middle East battle of Armageddon" Exploding the Israel deception, Steve Wohlberg, pg 9.
They further believe that the "Israel" of the New Testament is the present-day literal nation of Israel even though most Jews are atheists and the other Jews, who are religious, do not believe in Jesus.
Let's look at Israel in 1) The Old Testament, 2) The New Testament, and in 3) Revelation.
What does the name Israel mean? Who first spoke the name?
Jacob, the son of Isaac and brother of Esau, was returning to his homeland after years of hiding in a far country for fear of his brother's revenge. Jacob, many years before, had stolen Esau's blessing by deceiving their father, and Esau had vowed to kill him. The name Jacob means supplanter (plotter or deceiver) which described Jacob's true character in his early life. But he had spent most of his adult life reaping what he had sown as others continued to deceive him. Eventually his heart was changed and so was his character.
Now, on his return to his homeland, it's nighttime. He has heard that his brother is coming after him with a large band of men, to kill him. Jacob is afraid for himself and his family. He sends his wives and children ahead and stays alone. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, he is approached by a ferocious stranger who attacks him in hand to hand combat. Jacob, undoubtedly thinking that his brother has found him, fights for his life. But after a time of struggling, the stranger touches Jacob's hip causing great pain. Jacob's hip is dislocated. The pain is excruciating.
Jacob now realizes that this Being is supernatural, and he hangs on pleading for a blessing. The "Angel" asks, "What is your name." (Of course, the angel already knows Jacob's name. He just wants him to say it.) When Jacob states his name, he is admitting that he is a deceiver. He has made confession for, and repented from, his years of deceit and his life course has been changed. His character has changed!
The "Angel" responds, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel (Prince with God); for you have struggled with God and with man and have prevailed."
The name "Israel" was a Spiritual name. It symbolized Jacob's spiritual victory over a life of deception. The human being, Jacob, a natural man, had now been given a spiritual name, "Israel", meaning "Overcomer."
Israel (formerly called Jacob) and his sons moved to Egypt because of a famine in the land of Caanan. Another one of Israel's sons, Joseph, had been sold into slavery by his brothers years before, but now Joseph had been elevated to the leader of Egypt, only surpassed by the Pharoah.
JACOB HAS HIS NAME CHANGED TO "ISRAEL"
The first time the name "Israel" is used in the Bible is in Gen 32:27,28. After Jacob wrestled with the angel and Jacob would not let go until he received a blessing, the angel said "What is your name? and he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called nor more Jacob, but Israel (meaning Prince of God), for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed."
So the name "Israel" was given to Jacob as a Spiritual name. Jacob's self-sufficiency was gone, he was willing to give up self and follow God. His new Spiritual name referred to his character. The name Jacob means deceiver. So the name change symbolizes his transformation in CHARACTER.
"ISRAEL'S" (JACOB'S) SONS ARE ALSO CALLED ISRAEL-ITES (Heirs of Israel)
The Children of Israel went into Egypt
Ex. 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob." And then the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel) are named. These are the literal "children of Israel" (children of Jacob) who went into Egypt.
Israel is called "My son, My firstborn"
Ex 4:21,22 "And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. Vs 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, 'Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even My firstborn".
NOTE: The whole NATION is NOW called "Israel," not just Jacob (Israel).
The nation of Israel is called a "vine."
Ps 80:8 "Thou has brought a vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it."
The nation of Israel is called a "servant."
Isa 41:8 "But thou, Israel, art My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend."
Isa 49:3 "And said unto me, 'Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
Isa 42:1-3 "Behold My servant . . . " This chapter outlines God's original plan for Israel which they failed to follow.
* Hosea 11:1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt."
NOTE: The Nation of "Israel" is called:
1) "My son",
2) a "vine",
3) the "seed of Abraham",
4) God's "servant", and
5) "My son" that God "brought out of Egypt."
NOTE ALSO: Joseph (whose father was JACOB/ISRAEL) had dreams and went into Egypt.
Matt 1:1 "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ "
The New Testament is about Jesus Christ - NOT about Israel!
Joseph, the earthly "father" of Jesus, also had a father named Jacob (Matt 1:16). Joseph also had a dream and went into Egypt.
Matt 2:13 "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, 'Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him."
Matt 2:15 "And (he) was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying "Out of Egypt have I called My son."
* This New Testament text (Matt 2:15), is a DIRECT QUOTE of Hosea 11:1, which was originally spoken of the Nation of Israel, but NOW it refers to Christ as the FULFILLMENT of the prophecy of the Hosea text.
Jesus is NOW the NEW "Israel." The prophecy is FULFILLED in Jesus!
Israel came out of Egypt and was "baptized" in the Red Sea.
1 Cor 10: 1,2 Paul is speaking, "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea: And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."
Jesus came out of Egypt and was baptized in the Jordan.
Matt 3:16 "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.
INTO THE WILDERNESS
Israel, after being "baptized" in the Red Sea, went into the wilderness for 40 years
Jesus, after being baptized, went into the wilderness for 40 days. (Matt 4:1)
In the wilderness Jesus was tempted THREE times. Each time He responded to Satan with a text. ALL three texts that He quoted, are from the book of Deuteronomy, the book given to Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness: Deut 8:3, Deut 6:16, Deut 6:13.
Jesus is REPEATING the history of Israel. Jesus, the NEW "Israel", is overcoming where the nation of Israel had failed! Every Christian has to go their own "wilderness" experience and overcome as Jesus overcame.
When God brought Israel out of Egypt, they were brought to a mountain, Mt. Sinai, where God gives them the law on tablets of stone.
Matt 5: After Jesus had been in the wilderness, He goes to a mountain to teach the beatitudes - a practical explanation of the law written in our heart.
God made a covenant with the twelve tribes with the blood of animals.
Matt 26:28 Jesus meets with the 12 apostles and makes a NEW covenant with His OWN blood - a New covenant with a NEW Israel.
Matt 12:15-18 "Behold my servant..." This Old Testament passage applied to Israel, but now it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
John 15:1 Jesus said, "I am the TRUE VINE.
Gal 3:16 "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith NOT 'And to seeds, as of many, but as of ONE, and to thy SEED which is Christ."
Jesus is called:
1) "My Son" 2 Peter 1:17
2) The "vine" John 15:1
3) the "seed of Abraham" Gal 3:16
4) "servant" Matt 12:15-18
5) "My Son" God "brought out of Egypt" Matt 2:15
"Israel" was one man, and his heirs became the nation of "Israel".
Jesus (Israel) is one Man, then His heirs are ALSO Israel.
Jesus' followers (those in Christ), now become the New Testament Spiritual Israel. "If you are Abraham's seed, then you are heirs according to the promise." Gal 3:29
Gal 3:29 "So if you be Christ's THEN are you Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise."
The name Israel, was expanded to include all of Israel's (formerly called Jacob) offspring. And as his descendants increased, they became a nation - the nation of the same family name - - - Israel. God called this new nation of Israel, "My son. . . My firstborn."
Steve Wohlberg, in his excellent book Exploding The Israel Deception, points out the many parallels between the history of Israel and the history of Jesus Christ. In Hosea 11:1, the prophet writes, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." Matthew declares this text "fulfilled" in Jesus (Matt 2:15)
*When God called Israel out of Egypt, He called the nation "My son." Ex 4:22. When Jesus came out of Egypt, God said, "Out of Egypt I have called My Son."
*When Israel left Egypt, they were "baptized" by crossing the Red Sea - then they spent 40 years in the wilderness. When Jesus began His ministry, He was baptized, then immediately went into the wilderness for 40 days.
In the Gospel of Matthew, "Jesus is repeating the history of Israel, point by point, and is overcoming where they failed. Jesus becomes the new Israel, the one victorious Man who overcomes all sin." (Wohlberg, pg 21)
In Galatians 3:16, Paul wrote, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith NOT, And to seeds, as of many; but as of ONE, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
Paul explains that Abraham's seed does not refer to "many," seeds, but to "One, . . . which is Christ." Paul is opening our minds to realize that what originally applied to the nation of Israel is now applied to Jesus Christ. The Messiah is now the "seed." Therefore, Jesus Christ is "Israel!" And those in Christ are his heirs according to the PROMISE, not according to the flesh.
But as, in the Old Testament, the name Israel was first applied to one man - and then to his offspring, so in the New Testament the same principle applies. "The seed" is Christ, and Paul then tells his Gentile converts "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed." Gal 3:29.
So the name "Israel" not only applies to the True Seed, Jesus Christ, but also the believers in Jesus become part of "the seed." The true Christians are now God's Spiritual Israel.
Paul continues to drive this point home throughout his writings. In Gal 3:6,7, he wrote, "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
"Behold, thou art called Jew, and you rest in the law and make your boast of God." "For circumcision verily profits, if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision (the Gentiles) keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?" "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Roman 2:17,25,26,28,29
Paul is saying that if one only has the outward appearance of being religious without being changed in the heart, then the circumcision of the Jew means nothing.
Romans 9:3-8: There are two Israels in the New Testament.
A) Vs 3 & 4: "Israelites according to the flesh and
B) Vs 6 & 7: For they are NOT all Israel (of God in Jesus Christ) which are of Israel (some who DON'T have the disposition of Christ), neither because they are seed of Abraham, are they all children (even if they are direct blood descendants of Abraham, it doesn't make them "children" of Abraham.)
C) Vs 8: That is they which are the children of the flesh (literal nation of Israel), these are NOT the children of God: but the children of the promise (who have faith in Jesus Christ) are counted as the seed." (This means ALL who truly believe in Jesus Christ, whether they are a Jew or a Gentile makes no difference, it all depends on their spiritual belief in Jesus Christ. If they believe in Jesus Christ, they are children of Abraham!)
Question: Which "Israel" is Revelation referring to in which the promises will be fulfilled?
Rev 11:8 ". . . . spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord was crucified (Spiritual Jerusalem.)
Rev 11:19 ". . . temple of God was opened in HEAVEN - Ark of His Testament inside (law of God)."
Rev 7:4 144,000 of tribes of children of Israel
Rev 14:1 144,000 standing on Mt Zion.
Hebrews 12:22,23 Mt Zion - " . . . the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY Jerusalem." ". . . church of the firstborn on Mt Zion."
Rev 21:10 "Carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God".
Rev 16:12 River Euphrates dried up. (Babylon's support system will dry up, the people that support deceptions of spiritual Babylon) preparing the way for the Kings of the east.
Rev 16:16 Armageddon, a Spiritual war between the followers of Christ and the followers of the Beast power and Satan.
Rev 17:1,3,5 Spiritual Babylon
Rev 17:15 Waters (symbolic for) = people
Rev 11:19 Temple of God opened in heaven - ark of Testament seen
Rev 14:9 3rd angel
Rev 14:12 Keep Commandments of God
Rev 16:13 3 unclean (counterfeit) spirits of devils like frogs.
Rev 16:14-16 3rd frog (false prophet) manifestation of false prophet - counterfeit 3rd angel's message. False prophet = false prophecy ". . . go to the WHOLE WORLD to gather them to battle of the great day of God Almighty."
Rev 16:17 Heavenly temple - - - NOT earthly temple
Rev 16:19 3 parts: dragon, beast and the false prophets
Rev 16:15,16 "watch" out for deceptions. Keeps his garments (symbolic for) . . . (righteousness of Jesus).
These are ALL spiritual terms, showing a SPIRITUAL Israel, NOT a literal Israel. Not born of the flesh, but born again(more properly, born from above)in a Spiritual birth. Flesh and blood humans cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.
Here is the KEY: 1 Cor 15:46,47: "Howbeit that was NOT first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthly: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Explanation: The FIRST is natural or the physical representation. And the SECOND is the Spiritual.
The Old Testament is, in general, the description of the physical events that actually took place.
The New Testament is the SPIRITUAL reality of what the physical Old Testament illustrations looked forward to.
The Old Testament testifies of JESUS - Jesus says so HIMSELF!
How can ANYONE be a "New Testament Christian" and disregard the Old Testament, when Jesus says the Old Testament is about HIM?
NOTE: Jesus does NOT say that the Old Testament is about Israel!
John 5:39, 40 (NIV) Jesus said, "You diligently search (study) the Scriptures because you think that in THEM you possess eternal life. (But) these are the Scriptures that testify about ME, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life."
Jesus was talking about the Old Testament Scriptures! Those were the ONLY Scriptures available when Jesus was on the earth. "The Old Testament speaks about ME," Jesus said. That is the ONLY focus of the Scriptures. The Scriptures, including the Old Testament, only have meaning when referring to Christ, the Messiah.
The Old Testament is CHRIST-CENTERED! NOT Israel-Centered!
The Old Testament must ONLY be interpreted in a Christ-centered manner.
Jesus said, "More than Jonah is here, more than Solomon is here, more than the Temple is here." The whole Old Testament points to Christ, to His fulfilling the Messianic prophecies.
Zephaniah 3: 9, 12,13. "Then will I purify the lips of the peoples (everyone), that ALL of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder...
"But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid."
Joel 2:18-32 (NIV)
"And afterward, I will pour out my spirit on ALL people....And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls."
Gen 12: "ALL people will be blessed through Abraham." Abraham was called out of Babylon. ALL people have been blessed through Jesus who came through the line of Abraham.
God's plan is a WORLD-WIDE plan, NOT a plan just for one group of people!
Rev. 6: Describes End time events, centering in the Judgment.
Rev 6:12 - 17 - Six Seals.
vs 14: "The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place".
Then the KINGS OF THE EARTH, (meaning Universal - worldwide) the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.
They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us' and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! (They are afraid) For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" (They think NO ONE can stand, because they are afraid and they are the leaders.)
Rev 7: 4 "And I HEARD the number of those who were sealed; 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. (John did not SEE the number, he HEARD the number)
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000 ...
After this I LOOKED and there before me was a GREAT MULTITUDE that no one could count, from EVERY NATION, TRIBE, PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
John HEARS the number of 144,000, but he SEES a GREAT MULTITUDE that no man could count. The number 144,000 is NOT literal, it is symbolic for a Great Multitude that no one can count.
(The 144,000 AND "the great multitude that no one could count" are the SAME.)
(The 144,000 are NOT Jews - they are from ALL nations, tribes, peoples and languages.)
Rev 1:10-12 ("I heard - then I turned around to see...") What John sees is a further explanation of what he hears.
Rev 5:2: And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?"
Vs 5: " Then one of the elders said to me (I heard), "Do not weep! SEE, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
Then I SAW a Lamb looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders." (The Lion and the Lamb are the same.)
CONCLUSION: What John sees is an explanation of what he first hears. He hears about the Lion, but he SEES the Lamb. (The Lion and the Lamb are the same.)
By the way, all of these terms in Revelation are from the Old Testament:
Lamb (from the sanctuary)
Lion (from the tribe of Judah)
Israel = the Israel of Christ, Matt 16:16-18 (How does God call His own people?)
When Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said, "FLESH AND BLOOD HAS NOT TOLD YOU THIS." (This has NOT been a revelation from man, from a church, but it has been a direct revelation from God to you.) Jesus continued, "On this rock (this doctrine) I will build my CHURCH." "On THIS Rock - the doctrine that GOD will be our teacher rather than organized denominations and churches.
The Israel of the Old Testament has now become the "Church" (ecclesia = the called ones) of the New Testament. As physical Israel was called out of Egypt (a type for sin & bondage), now spiritual Israel is called out of spiritual sin and bondage.
Literalism would make the "Lamb" in Revelation, literal. But the "Lamb" is Christ. The Lamb is symbolic.
And the 144,000 are NOT Jews, they are from "ALL nations."
All of this must be interpreted in relation to Christ.
The interpretation must go "through the Cross" and when it does, it leaves all the geographic and ethnic restrictions in the Cross, and they become all spiritual, universal, world-wide terms.
Revelation is FULL of Old Testament terms: Jezebel, Baalam, Babylon. But these terms which were LITERAL in the Old Testament, are NOW SPIRITUAL in the New Testament!
Hebrews 12: 18 "You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words, that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded... (This is talking about Mt. Sinai where the Ten Commandments were given).
Vs 22-24: "But you have come to (a better mountain) Mount Zion, to the HEAVENLY Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the CHURCH of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God... to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." (Abel's blood speaks of revenge, but Christ's blood speaks of reconciliation.)
"Mt. Zion" means salvation.
Christ incorporates the whole human race because He is the second Adam, the father (creator) of the whole human race.
Revelation corresponds to Genesis: There is Paradise, the Tree of Life, the River.
We understand the Old Testament THROUGH the New Testament.
Jesus the Christ is NOT Jewish, He is Divine! He is God! "He is the Saviour of ALL mankind."
Jesus is gathering us to HIM. "If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL to ME!" They will NOT be drawn to Palestine - or to the Temple - or to Jerusalem - - - but to JESUS!
Jews and Gentiles: What do the terms mean?
Let's stop right here and discuss the terms "Jew" and "Gentile." I'm sure you will be astonished to learn that NEITHER of these terms EVER appears in the Bible, in the original Scriptures. These are actually propaganda words placed there by the translators to support their own preconceived theological ideas.
Let me give you the documentation for this statement.
The word "JEW" NEVER appears in the Original Scriptures
The word "Jew."
Look in a Concordance, Strong's Concordance is a popular, commonly used one. The word "Jew" (#2453 in the Greek) is actually short for the word Judean, or more accurately Ioudas, pronounced ee-oo-dah-yos. The letter "J" is not present in the New Testament Greek alphabet. The English alphabet had no "J" prior to the 14th century, and it wasn't predominantly used until the 17th century.
Since the word "Jew" is an English concoction that did not exist at the time of the writing of the New Testament, we know that it actually is the word "Judean."
The King James Bible in 1611, for example, used the word Iudea, not our present "Judea", and it was pronounced you-dee-a.
So the word "Jew" is short for the word "Judean", meaning a resident of a particular area - Judea, the southern part of Canaan, later known as Palestine. Jerusalem was in Judea, and the temple was in Jerusalem. The word "Jew" did NOT mean an ethnic background.
The English word Jew evolved phonetically from the prefix 'Iou, from the Greek word 'Ioudas which means Judean.
Judea is the same as Judah, and Judah was the tribe of Israel that inhabited that geographical area when the twelve tribes conquered the inhabitants of Canaan about 1400 B.C. The Tribe of Judah was the largest of the twelve and the most influential. God said that the Messiah would come through that Tribe.
The word "Judean" (later shortened to "Jew) MEANS -
those who had knowledge of the God of heaven.
In addition, study of the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, makes it clear that the designation "Judean" or "Ioudas" refers to those who had a knowledge of the God of heaven, as opposed to those who had NO knowledge of the God of heaven or those who worshiped pagan gods, referred to as the "Nations."
The word "Gentiles."
Now look up the word "Nations" in the Greek (#1484) and the Hebrew (#1471). Now look up the word "Gentiles." You will see that the numbers are identical to the word "Nations" both in the Greek (#1484) and in the Hebrew (#1471).
This shows that the Bible translators used the word "Gentiles" at their own arbitrary discretion, when it would have a theological or sociological impact, rather than using the word "Nations" in every instance, as unbiased translation would dictate. There is NO instance in the Bible, where the word "Gentiles" is appropriate. The word should ALWAYS be "Nations."
The Hebrew word (#1471) translated "Nations" or sometimes "Gentiles", is the word "goy" or "goyim", a present-day derogatory term used by Jews to describe non-Jews, and means a troop of lowly animals, such as cattle, or a heathen people.
Isa 37:12 "Have the gods of the nations delivered them..."
Ps 96:5 "For all the gods of the nations are idols..."
Isa 9:1 "...Galilee of the nations."
Again: The Scriptural meanings of the two terms are the following:
Judeans (mistranslated "Jews" in the Bible): Those who were aware of, or who worshiped, the God of heaven. (Even though often they had wandered far from the God of heaven they were supposed to know.)
Nations (mistranslated "Gentiles" in the Bible): Those who did NOT know, nor worship, the God of heaven, but instead worshiped pagan idols.
Neither term was a designation of ethnicity or blood line. Both terms were defined in relation to their religion - their worship which, in general, correlated with their geographical location.
The center of the worship of the God of heaven in the entire inhabited world, was Jerusalem which was in the region of Judea. Everywhere else was referred to as "the Nations."
"There were no nations until after the flood. God did not "select" Israel and Judah (and the Pharisees) because of their superiority to other nations, God "created" them for one purpose, to be His bondslaves, so that through that nation all the other nations should come to know Him. The idea that Israel was a magnificently developed type of nation is a mistaken one. Israel was a despised, and a despisable nation, continually turning away from God into idolatry." Complete works of Oswald Chambers; Discovery House Publishers pg 1317
Was Jesus born a Jew?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, so He was a Judean by birth location (NOT a "Jew" by genetics), but he lived his life in Nazareth, in "Galilee of the Nations (Gentiles)" so He was a Nazarene. Isa 9:1
Jesus was a child of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:34,35). He had no lineage from His stepfather, Joseph. Yes, His earthly parents, both His earthly mother and His earthly father, were from the line of David. David was an Israelite, He lived in Israel in the area of Judah, but did that make him "Jewish" genetically?
The prophecy of Jesus' lineage through His earthly parents was given so those who were searching the Scriptures and watching for the Messiah would be able to identify Him appropriately when He came. Even then, the greatest scholars and the wisest in the synagogues STILL did NOT recognize the Messiah.
Many claim that Jesus had to have had genes from His mother, Mary, or He wouldn't have been able to fulfill the prediction of the Scriptures - - to be "tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15) Yet Adam and Eve were created by God, with no genes from an earthly mother or father, and they were not only "susceptible" to sin - - - they ACTUALLY sinned!
So Jesus did NOT have to have earthly genes in order to be susceptible to sin. But when He was tempted, He overcame!
There is an additional compelling reason why Jesus had NO earthly genes from either of His earthly parents, including NO genes from His earthly mother, Mary. He could NOT have had ANY of Mary's human genes, because if He had, it would have been a case of the creature (a human being - Mary) CREATING the CREATOR (God in the human form of Jesus), it would be a case of humanity CREATING God! That could NOT be! Jesus had NO genes from a human parent. He was "born of the Holy Spirit." Matt 1:18
Jesus was placed in Mary's womb to grow in her body, to symbolize Jesus coming from "outside" of us, from "outside" of this world to come into us and become One with us. Jesus came into this world to become One with humanity, to live in us.
"Christ in you, the hope of glory!" Col 1:27
"Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus." Phil 2:5
Paul said, "I died, yet I live, but not I, but Christ lives in me." Gal 2:20
Is Salvation "OF the Jews?"
Is "Salvation of the Jews" as the King James Bible translates John 4:22? The prepositions in the Greek are far more specific. The Greek word used here is "Ek" (#1537) which means "origin."
Since Jesus was born in Judea and since He identifies Himself as the "Saviour of ALL mankind" (1 Tim 4:10), the phrase should be translated, "Salvation is OUT OF Judea." (John 4:22) Salvation is found ONLY in Jesus, Who was born (came OUT OF) Judea!
It's ALL ABOUT JESUS - NOT about Israel or the "Jews!"
Look at Matt 2:6 "And thus Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."
Micah 5:2 "And thou, Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, art few in number to be reckoned among the thousands of Judah; yet OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) thee shall one come forth to me, to be a ruler of Israel; and His goings forth were from the beginning, even from eternity." (From the Greek O.T.)
Heb 7:14 "For it is manifest that OUT OF ("Ek" #1537) Judah has sprung our Lord..."
Jesus NEVER identified Himself as a Jew
In fact, He was ALWAYS at odds with Jewry.
Jesus was taunted, baited and hated by the Jewish Rabbis because He taught a TOTALLY DIFFERENT religion from what the Pharisees and Rabbis taught. Christ's message was the ANTITHESIS of that day's Jewish religion.
Jesus NEVER identified Himself with the "Jews." He always referred to them as separate from Him.
John 7:1 "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He would not walk in Jewry (Judea), because the Jews sought to kill Him."
Luke 11:47, 48 "Woe unto you! for you build the sepulchres of the prophets, and YOUR fathers killed them."
John 6:58 "I am the Bread which came down from heaven; YOUR fathers ate manna and are dead."
John 8:56 "YOUR father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it and was glad."
Mk 7:9 "And He said unto them, Full well, you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep YOUR OWN tradition."
Matt: 15:3, 6 "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by YOUR tradition?...."Thus you have made the commandment of God of none effect by YOUR traditions."
The designation "Judean" (shortened in the King James Version to "Jew), was NOT a genetic designation, it was a religious and cultural designation. Jesus was the ANTITHESIS of EVERYTHING Judean or "Jewish!"
Jesus was definitely NOT a Jew!
Galilee was an Ethnic "Melting Pot"
The area of Galilee had been conquered by foreign invaders twice and each time the majority of the population were killed or taken prisoner to the conqueror's homeland. The area was then repopulated with people transported in from the conquering nation.
The first conqueror was Assyria, which came against the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Samaria was captured and its people exiled, bringing the northern Kingdom to an end. The area was then repopulated with people from the conquering Kingdom.
2 Kings 17:5,6,17,18 "Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hosea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes...
The Lord was "provoked to anger because Israel "caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments... Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight; there was NONE left but the tribe of Judah ONLY."
2 Kings 17:24 "And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof."
The second time was by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in 586 B.C.,when Daniel and his three friends were taken into captivity along with thousands of others. The area of Israel was ravished and became almost a wasteland.
2 Kings 24:1,2,14,15 "In his days, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. And the Lord sent against him (Jehoiakim) bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the Word of the Lord, which he spake by his servants the prophets.
"And he carried away ALL Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths; none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land."
2 Kings 25:11 "Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, carry away."
So Judah, as well as Galilee, had been repopulated with non-Jews.
In addition, we are told repeatedly in the Bible that when the Israelites came into the land of Canaan, they inter-married with the Canaanites, rebelling against the Lord's directions not to do that.
Also, Rahab, the (NON-Jew) Canaanite prostitute, was an ancestor of Jesus. Rahab was Boaz' mother. (Matt 1:5) Boaz married Ruth and they were the grandparents of Jesse, the father of King David, through whose line Jesus came. (Rahab was King David's great grandmother! Rahab was NOT "Jewish!")
One more thing, when the Israelites initially left Egypt, when they were an infant nation, they were already a MIXED MULTITUDE! Ex 12:38 says, "And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a MIXED MULTITUDE went up also with them;..."
It's abundantly clear that there was no ethnically pure "Jewish" heritage in Israel hundreds of years BEFORE Jesus was born, much less when He arrived. Even MORE so today, with all the intermarrying, there is really no such thing as a "Jew" by heredity, only by social culture.
This is dramatically confirmed by Arthur Koestler, a "Jew", in his amazing book, The Thirteenth Tribe. Koestler reveals that approximately 80% of all the "Jews" in the world today, the Ashkenazim "Jews", are really Khazars, originating from Khazaria, an area that later became Russia. The vast majority of "Jews" in the world today, have NO semitic blood in them. They are "Gentiles", if you will.
In his book, Koestler "traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in the Dark Ages became converted to Judaism. Khazaria, which flourished from the seventh to the eleventh century, was finally wiped out by the forces of Genghis Khan, but evidence indicates that the Khazars themselves migrated to Poland and formed the cradle of Western Jewry. . ."
"The Khazars found themselves in a precarious position between the two major world powers: the Eastern Roman Empire in Byzantium and the triumphant followers of Mohammed. As Mr. Koestler points out, the Khazars were the Third World of their day, and they chose a surprising method of resisting both the Western pressure to become Christian and the Eastern to adopt Islam. Rejecting both, they converted to Judaism. . . The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated. Alas, "anti-Semitism" can no longer be "anti-Semitism" if the "victims" are NOT "Semitic" - - - if the "Jews" are NOT "Jewish"!
Under his chapter heading RACE AND MYTH, author Koestler states: "The Jews of our times fall into two main divisions: Sephardim and Ashkenazim. The Sephardim are descendants of the Jews who since antiquity had lived in Spain (in Hebrew Sepharad) until they were expelled at the end of the fifteenth century and settled in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and to a lesser extent in Western Europe. They spoke a Spanish-Hebrew dialect, Ladino, and preserved their own traditions and religious rites. In the 1960s, the number of Sephardim was estimated at 5000,000.
"The Ashkenazim, at the same period, numbered about eleven million. Thus, in common parlance, Jew is practically synonymous with Ashkenazi Jew....Summing up a very old and bitter controversy in a laconic paragraph, Raphael Patai wrote:2
"The findings of physical anthropology show that, contrary to popular view, there is no Jewish race. Anthropometric measurements of Jewish groups in many parts of the world indicate that they differ greatly from one another with respect to all the important physical characteristics - stature, weight, skin color, cephalic index, facial index, blood groups, etc."
According to Koestler, a "Jew" himself, as well as other "Jewish" authors, there is no such thing as a Jewish race. There is no such thing as a Jewish ethnicity. There IS a Jewish culture - a way they look at the world, a way they treat others who they consider Non-Jews, a way they raise their children to think of themselves, a way of doing business - a Jewish culture, but NOT a Jewish race.
There is NO evidence that any "Jews" can trace their ancestry to Abraham.
Blessing Abraham's "Heirs"
Christians base their support of the present-day State of Israel and the present-day "Jews" on Genesis 12:1-3,
"Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from they kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Not just "Jewish" families).
This is interpreted by many Christians to mean that God will bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse the Jews. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have just shown that Abraham's "seed" are those who follow Christ! The Jews. in general, and the Jewish religion HATE Christ!
First of all, the present day "Jews" CANNOT trace their ancestry to Abraham as has just been shown.
In addition, the Bible clearly states that being the "offspring of Abraham" is based on spiritual, NOT physical, factors.
In Romans 2:17,25,26,28,29,, Paul points out that someone who is "called a Jew" because he is a physical descendant of Abraham, and yet who lives as a breaker of God's law, "is NOT a Jew."
Romans 9:7 "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall by seed be called." Abraham had two sons. The first, Ishmael, was born after the flesh. He was a son of "unbelief." Abraham didn't believe that God could give a son to his wife, Sarah, and himself in their very old age.
The second son was Isaac, who was born when Abraham had faith in God's promise (Gen 16:1-3, 15; 21:1-3; Rom 4:18-21) In Galatians 4:22-31, Paul reveals that Ishmael represents unbelieving Jews, while Isaac represents both Jews and Non-Jews who have faith!
In Romans 9:8, Paul concludes by saying, "That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God; but the children of the promise ARE COUNTED for the seed."
But Galatians 3:16 says: "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds, as of many, but as of ONE,' And to your Seed,' who is Christ."
Again Paul says in Galatians 3:29 "And if you are Christ's, then YOU ARE Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
So CLEARLY what God is talking about when He says, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee" are the TRUE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST, those who have an intimate relationship with Jesus - THESE are the "True Children of Abraham!" NOT the residents of present-day Israel - - who hate Jesus!
Another text often quoted is Matt 25:40 where Jesus says, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me," claiming that Jesus is referring to His "Jewish" brethren.
Jesus is GOD. God is NOT Jewish. Jesus wasn't, and isn't, Jewish. Here Jesus, as a human being, is speaking of His brothers (and sisters) of the human race. Paul, considered to be a Jew of ALL Jews (in a relegious sense only, Paul was from the Tribe of Benjamin), writes to the "Gentiles" in the books of Romans, Corinthinians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and the other epistles, and over 100 times refers to them as his "brethren." That DOESN'T mean they were "Jewish." They were his brethren in Christ.
Jesus explains this plainly in Matt 12:46-50: "While He talked to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him.
"Then one said unto Him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
"But He answered and said unto him that told him, 'Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
'And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, 'Behold my mother and my brethren!
"For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the SAME is My brother, and sister, and mother."
The present-day State of Israel is populated by a group of people who are NOT the descendants of Abraham and have NO right to the area of Palestine based on Bible promises nor any factor, other than their indiscriminate use of military force.
I have found no such evidence regarding the Arab population, including the Palestinians. It appears that they may well be able to trace their lineage back to Ishmael and thus to Abraham, Ishmael's father, who was a descendant of Shem, Noah's son. A descendant of Shem is a Shemite or semite.
They (the Palestinians) then are the TRUE semites - and ANY words or actions against THEM (the Palestinians), must be considered Anti-semitism! It would follow then that the State of Israel and the "Jews" around the world are guilty of the most intense and abhorent anti-semitism against the Palestinians.
Who was the FIRST Jew?
If there is a Jewish race, with "Jewish genes", then WHO was the first "Jew"?
Abraham is often called the "father of the Jewish race," but Abraham was NOT a Jew! He was a Chaldean, from Ur of the Chaldees in the area of Babylon. So was Abraham's wife, Sarah.
Abraham was a "Hebrew" which is NOT synonymous with the word "Jew." The word "Hebrew" means "to pass or to cross over." Abraham "crossed over" the River Euphrates to get to the land of Canaan, but in doing so, his genes DID NOT change into "Jewish genes." Abraham was NOT Jewish! He was a Chaldean, from the area of Babylon!
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac but neither one could have "Jewish genes" since neither Abraham nor the mothers of the two sons were "Jewish."
Isacc's sons were Jacob and Esau - and NEITHER one was "Jewish." If they were, then when did their "genes" suddenly become Jewish?
Esau became the father of the Edomites - they were definitely NOT Jewish!
Jacob and his sons went down into Egypt, then came out in the Exodus to the wilderness and on to Canaan, 40 years later. But their genes didn't change into Jewish genes along the way.
In fact, the group that came out of Egypt, the Israelites, were called, in the Bible, a MIXED MULTITUDE, meaning that there were others in the group BESIDES the offspring of Jacob.
Then when the Israelites reached the Land of Caanan they intermarried, against God's explicit command, with the pagans who were NON-Israelites, . Obviously, THAT didn't suddenly make them "Jewish."
SO - - - who was the FIRST Jew?
And HOW did ANYONE ever become "Jewish" genetically?
CONCLUSION: There is NO SUCH THING as a Jewish race! There is only a Jewish culture, the culture of the Talmud!
THE PRESENT-DAY"JUDAIZING" OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Over the recent years, there has been a progressive "Judaizing" of the Christian church with claims made that Christianity originated out of Judaism and that Christians owe their religion to the Jews - not only their religion, but their Messiah, Jesus Christ, who, it is claimed, was (is?) Jewish.
We have already addressed the issue of Jesus' ethnic background. Jesus is God! God is NOT Jewish! Jesus wasn't, nor is He now, "Jewish."
As for the question of the origin of the Christian church, Christianity is the absolute antithesis of Judaism. Judaism is Talmudism, the Talmud being the written-down traditions of the Pharisees, the VERY THING Jesus constantly denounced. (Mark 7:6-8) Everything Jesus taught was diametrically opposed to what was taught by the Pharisees, Rabbis and scribes. That's why they were constantly plotting to kill Jesus.
So Christianity did not originate from Judaism. Christianity was a CLEAN BREAK from EVERYTHING Judaism stood for. Christianity owes NOTHING of its beginnings to Judaism.
True Christianity is not a religion, it is The Way, The Truth, and The Life... a reality.
There is NO SUCH THING as "Judeo-Christian" anything! Judaism and Christianity are ABSOLUTE OPPOSITES!
God doesn't play favorites. He is "the Saviour of ALL mankind." (l Tim 4:10) He came to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10) which means EVERYONE, since everyone is lost at one time or another, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background.
Paul writes that "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus." Gal 3:28
God loves EVERYBODY the same! Israel(the overcomer)is His first-born. God has many children and ALL will be birthed in their order.
1) The "Israel" of the New Testament is composed of the TRUE FOLLOWERS of Christ. It is NOT the literal Israel in Palestine.
2) There is no such thing as a "Jew" in the New Testament. The word is Judean and refers to those, of whatever nationality, who worship the God of heaven, most of whom in Bible times lived in the area of Judea.
3) The word "Gentiles" does NOT appear in the original Scriptures. It is a mistranslation of the word "Nations" meaning those who do not worship the God of heaven.
4) The modern word "Jew" is not a racial or ethnic designation. It refers to a culture or religion.
5) Jesus was (is) NOT a "Jew." Jesus is God! God is NOT Jewish!
6) The promise to Abraham, "And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee" does NOT apply to the Jews! It applies to blessing or cursing the TRUE followers of Christ - the "seed of Abraham." (Rom 2:17-29, 9:8)
7) The majority, if not all of, the "Jews" in the world today are NOT semitic, nor can they trace their ancestry to Abraham. They are "Gentile" Khazars, so they have no right to the area of Palestine based on ANY Biblical promises!
8) There is NO such thing as a Jewish race, ONLY a Jewish culture - the culture of the Talmud.
9) Christianity does NOT have its roots in Judaism. Christianity was, in Christ's time, and is today the ANTITHESIS of Judaism!
This study reveals the following:
1) In the Old Testament, a man named Jacob is given a SPIRITUAL name, "Israel."
2) The HEIRS of Israel (Jacob) are ALSO called "Israel." And the "heirs" of Israel along with others become the NATION of Israel.
3) The Nation of Israel is called several names by God, including
a) My son, My firstborn
b) a "vine"
c) a "servant"
d) the "seed of Abraham"
e) "My son" that God "brought out of Egypt."
4) In the New Testament, a Divine Man, Christ, is given a SPIRITUAL name, "Israel."
5) The "HEIRS" (Children - followers) of Christ are ALSO called "Israel."
6) Christ is called by God:
a) My Son
b) a "vine"
c) a "servant"
d) the "seed of Abraham"
e) "My Son: that God "brought out of Egypt."
Christ SUCCEEDS everywhere that Israel Failed.
Christ and His HEIRS (Children - followers) are NOW the SPIRITUAL OVERCOMERS Israel, JOINING the literal flesh Israel of the Old Testament! The First Covenant was made with physical Israel, the Second Covanant is with "whosoever believes". Israel has not been "replaced", she has been enlarged by every nation (ie. nationality), tribe, people and language. All Christians are different parts of the SAME body.
1 Coverpiece of: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler, Random House, N.Y., 1976
2 Enc. Brit. (1973), Vol XII, p. 1054
For more information on this subject, read:
Exploding the Israel Deception, by Steve Wohlberg, published by Amazing Discoveries, 7051 McCart Ave, Fort Worth, Texas 76133.
Israel: Our Duty Our Dilemma, by Theodore Winston Pike, published by Big Sky Press, P.O. Box 203, Oregon City, OR 97045
The Other Israel, (a video). A National Prayer Network Productions, P.O. Box 203 Oregon City, OR 97045
The Lion Out of Judah, by Gordon Ginn, Ph.D., published by Smyrna Publications, P.O. Box 493101, Redding CA 96049
Strong Delusion, by Gordon Ginn, Ph.D., published by Smyrna Publications, P.O. Box 493101, Redding, CA 96049