Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are Gentile believers in Jesus “spiritual Jews” or “spiritual Israel”

Are Gentile believers in Jesus “spiritual Jews” or "spiritual Israel"?

Here is a link to an excellent article looking at this question.

http://dailyminyan.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/are-christiansgentile-believers-spiritual-jews-or-israelites-part-i/

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well we're hardly likely to hear anything to the contary from a messianic jew are we! . Personaly , i'd be giving messy jews a wide berth, and reading this linked article and a couple of others from the same site do little to convince me that they have anything worthwhile to contribute to a healthy debate on christian doctrine.

Anonymous said...

"Are Gentile believers in Jesus Spiritual Jews or Spiritual Israel"
Does it really matter all that much? We are eighter Children of God or Children of the devil. People are dieing and going to hell every day. The question should be " whos your Daddy?"

Onesimus said...

Unfortunately anonymous, your comment is typical of the ignorance pervading the church.

Scripture makes it clear that Israel has not been replaced by the church or anyone else. They continue to have a place in God's redemptive purposes.

Trust in misguided tradition or trust in the revelation given by God through His word.

The choice is yours.
Believe what you have been taught or believe what God has revealed.

Onesimus said...

Another (or maybe the same) Anonymous commenter said:

Are Gentile believers in Jesus Spiritual Jews or Spiritual Israel" Does it really matter all that much? We are eighter Children of God or Children of the devil. People are dieing and going to hell every day. The question should be " whos your Daddy?"

_____

The question is can your “daddy” be trusted.

If He has broken His word to Israel He can’t be trusted to keep His word to anyone else – not even to you.

I don’t believe God has broken His word to Israel.
I don’t believe He has replaced Israel with another people.
I don’t believe He has given the name Israel to anyone else as a sneaky way of fulfilling His promises to Israel.*
Israel remains Israel remains Israel.

We don’t need to appropriate (steal/misapply) promises made to Israel to experience God’s blessing. We don’t need to resort to identity theft.

In assuming the (mostly gentile) church have replaced Israel, we will be unaware of our role of making Israel (descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob) jealous. We won’t see the need. We would see Israel as irrelevant and belief in the promise of their future entry to the new covenant as being misguided.

The reality of Israel’s future salvation is one of the most exciting aspects of God’s salvation plan. After millennia of unfaithfulness of Israel towards God, God remains faithful towards Israel and the covenants He made with them.

In casting Israel aside in our theology, we demonstrate ignorance about the gospel of the Kingdom – a significant part of which relates to the coming earthly rule of Jesus over the nations from Jerusalem.

For the truth of God’s promises and His faithfulness to Israel read the OT prophets, WITHOUT applying a “spiritualised” interpretation of what is meant.

__________
*regarding their restoration, regarding their entry to the new covenant or regarding their return to the land He gave them.

Onesimus said...

In addition to the comments above.

I don't give the original article any more or less credence because it was written by a "messianic jew".

I recommend the article because it expresses a clear scriptural view.

Personally, based on that article, I would find its writer has far more worthwhile things to contribute to healthy debate on doctrine than the anonymous writer of the first comment above.

Anonymous said...

With regards to this particular topic, you would do well to read the passage that is posted as your headline.
John 15:5
Iam the vine and you are the branches....

Dissappointingly , the writer of the article that you have linked to , goes to great lengths in his assertion of maintaining a distinction between Jews and Gentiles, where clearly the scripture teaches to the contrary, and I particuarly find this portion of the article galling..

quote
Another source of confusion is when the New Testament seems to say that there is “no difference” between Jews and Gentiles:

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Yeshua is L-rd,” and believe in your heart that G-d raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same L-rd is L-rd of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the L-rd will be saved.”" (Romans 10:9-13)

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Messiah. For we were all immersed by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

“You are all sons of God through faith in Yeshua the Messiah, for all of you who were immersed into Messiah have clothed yourselves with Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Yeshua the Messiah.” (Galatians 3:24-28)

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Messiah is all, and is in all.” (Colossians 3:9-11)

Has it occured to you that perhaps the scripture is actually saying there are no distinctions, or that the scripture actually says that both Jew and gentile are grafted into the one olive tree, or that the scripture actually says that the one and same gospel is for everyone who hears His voice?.Or perhaps you have overlooked the fact that salvation is not for our sake , but for the purpose of Gods glory. Sorry mate, but none of this is about any man , be he Jew or Gentile, and sadly both your views and Gene's are reflective of the humanism that has invaded much of christian thought today.

Anonymous said...

Onesimus,

From Another Anonymous: What I was trying to say is, I don't see the reason for all the debate over whether or not Christians are "spiritual Jews" or "spiritual Israel" If a Jewish person has accepted Jesus as Messiah, then they are a completed Jew, they are Born Again the same with a Gentile person. We all become one in Christ. We have all become a new creation. IMO the scolars debate too much the importance of our idenity. The hour is late and we need to know that we are right with God, The God of Abraham,
Isaac & Jacob. We need to stand for Israel allways, remembering Jesus was a Jew and still is as far as I know.
Just another Anonymous ;)

Onesimus said...

Anonymous said

“Has it occured to you that perhaps the scripture is actually saying there are no distinctions, or that the scripture actually says that both Jew and gentile are grafted into the one olive tree, or that the scripture actually says that the one and same gospel is for everyone who hears His voice?.Or perhaps you have overlooked the fact that salvation is not for our sake , but for the purpose of Gods glory. Sorry mate, but none of this is about any man , be he Jew or Gentile, and sadly both your views and Gene's are reflective of the humanism that has invaded much of christian thought today”
____________________________

Of course there is one and the same gospel for all. I am not promoting a separate way of salvation for the Jew – and I can’t see that Gene is either.

Jew and gentile are NOT grafted into the same olive tree.
Gentile believers are wild grafted into tree in which Jews are NATURAL branches. We would be wise therefore to follow Paul’s advice. “Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either”.

And

“And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

"The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins."

What Paul says here regarding the salvation of Israel is totally consistent with the message given to the old testament prophets. That Israel will be disobedient, they will be exiled to all the nations, they will be “sifted” among those nations and will eventually be restored to land God promised them and will enter the new covenant after recognising their Messiah. The very SAME new covenant through which gentile believers are saved.

Jews are not saved any differently from gentiles. Jesus is the only way for both Jew and gentile to be saved. BUT scripture makes it clear that eventually Israel (the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob) WILL be saved. They WILL come to a saving relationship with their Messiah

Contrary to your accusation of “humanism” the truths that Gene addresses in His article are based on the word of God. They express HIS revealed will and HIS revealed plan.

Forget your idea of what “God’s glory” entails – God is glorified through HIS purposes being achieved with His people (both Jew and gentile as one new man in Messiah) despite the traditions and deceptions of man portraying Him as a liar and a covenant breaker.

Again I suggest that you go to SCRIPTURE and read what SCRIPTURE says without reinterpreting it to fit the traditions you have been taught.

IT would be very helpful to read the OT prophets and see what they have to say about the future of Israel and thier relationship to the new covenant. Read the propehts as they are addressed: TO ISRAEL (without the assumption that Israel has been replaced). Note the very physical promises relating to the land and read it as MEANING the land and not some spiritualised, non-physical, "heavenyly" substitute.

Read scripture AS WRITTEN instead of changing it to fit men's traditions.

Onesimus said...

From Another Anonymous: What I was trying to say is, I don't see the reason for all the debate over whether or not Christians are "spiritual Jews" or "spiritual Israel"…

_________

Hi “another anonymous”,
I think I addressed some of your concerns in my reply to your earlier comment.

But additionally I think it is an important debate because a large section of the church has promoted a lie for many hundreds of years.

That lie has helped to alienate the Jewish people against the gospel by them being subjected to horrific treatment throughout church history – because they have been portrayed as being rejected by God and as Christ-killers.

Scripture tells us that because of Israel’s disobedience, God has (temporarily) hardened their hearts. I am convinced that one of the major tools used for that hardening process has been an equally disobedient “church”, an apostate church following tradition rather than Jesus. A “church” used as a vessel of dishonour instead of a vessel of honour.

Our personal response and reviews regarding Israel* has no effect on God’s purposes being carried out, but our response WILL determine what part we play in God’s purposes (will we be used as a vessel of honour or dishonour?). For that reason I think it wise to gain understanding of GOD’s viewpoint rather than be satisfied with anything less.

What does God reveal in His word? Is our understanding based on what God has actually revealed? Or is it based on what someone has told us? Have we read scripture in a way that someone has told us it should be read and interpreted? Or are we reading what is actually on the page and accepting it at face value?
Do we believe what God has said?
Or do we believe men who tell us why scripture doesn’t exactly mean what it says?


Also I suggest you take note of the world and look for a continuing rise of anti-semitism. If you see it happening, ask yourself why - and be sure you know what God thinks about it and how does that affect you.
_____
*When I use the term I mean the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I’m not limiting the term to the present political nation.

Anonymous said...

"Also I suggest you take note of the world and look for a continuing rise of anti-semitism. If you see it happening, ask yourself why - and be sure you know what God thinks about it and how does that affect you."

Onesimus,
I have been a reciepient of anti-semitism as well as my children, because we are messianic friendly.
I don't understand it. I can only think it comes from satan.

I know one thing. The more a person knows about the Jewishness of the Gospel, the more uncomfortable it is to remain in a traditional church.

I don't believe that christians are spiritual Jews or spiritual Israel. We are all One New Man.
But Jews are still Jews, we are adopted. I read on one of the blogs, a story about a Father who adopted a boy who was born the same day as his natural son but the boys grew up not knowing which one of them was adopted. When they where older, they asked their Father to please reveil to them which one of them was adopted. He responed by saying " I don't remember any more "
That is the way I like to look at it. I also look at it this way if God choose the Jewish people and they are the apple of his eye, and he watches over them night and day then I should have an even greater compassion for them. They are still his people. I love and hold dear what he does.

Another Anonymous

Onesimus said...

Hello again “Another Anonymous” thank you for your contribution.

How important it is to recognise the “Jewishness” of the gospel. So much wrong understanding has arisen in the church because of the attempt to deny it and turn the gospel into something separated from the Jewishness of Jesus.

God is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is still the God of Israel. Gentile believers are grafted into THEIR natural tree but have tried to take ownership in place of the natural branches.

Anonymous said...

Wow,I really can't believe that I'm reading this quote of yours....

Quote
Jew and gentile are NOT grafted into the same olive tree.
Gentile believers are wild grafted into tree in which Jews are NATURAL branches. We would be wise therefore to follow Paul’s advice. “Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either”.

Ask yourself this , exactly how is anyone grafted into the olive tree, would it be through Christ? , and if so , would that not make Christ the olive tree.

Eph 2:11
11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15Having 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;

16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Onesimus said...

Anonymous,
I suggest the following:

1)You read your bible

Romans 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

"The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins."

AND

2) You read and understand what other people say BEFORE you offer your opinion about what they have said.

From my earlier reply to you:
Jews are not saved any differently from gentiles. Jesus is the only way for both Jew and gentile to be saved. BUT scripture makes it clear that eventually Israel (the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob) WILL be saved. They WILL come to a saving relationship with their Messiah

Tonjia said...

Only Gentiles believe in Jesus.

Jews do not now, nor have they ever believed in Jesus, the Christ, who came in the FLESH, and taught non-violence, who refused to observe the sabbath, and refused to keep the law of Moses.
He is the Messiah of the GENTLE's and he was gentle, and meek, and lowly as a lamb. Lambs kill no one. They are vegetarians, who never kill anything for any reason.He was mercy, and not sacrifice.

Wolves, on the other hand, are sacrifice and killing. And when doctrines of sacrifice and killing and armegeddon come into the flock of the sheep, they come by wolves, in sheeps clothing, who are false prophets.

Onesimus said...

Tonjia,
I don't know where you got those dangerous and disturbing ideas from - but you definitely did not get them from scripture and they do not come from God.

Jesus was and is a Jew according to His humanity.
Jesus is and always has been the promised Messiah of Israel. God is and always has been the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the God of Israel.

Gentile believers have been privileged to be grafted into an olive tree of which Israel are natural branches and we have been accepted into God's new covenant promised to Israel.


I can only encourage you to search the scriptures for yourself and find God's truth regarding this matter.

And I stress you need to see what the whole of scripture reveals and not a handful of out of context verses.

You have a clear choice, to seek what God has revealed in His word - or to follow a "spiritual" path created by others. Please trust GOD rather than man.

Tonjia said...

Dear Onesimus,

the God of Moses is ALLAh. The Law of Moses is Sharia. It is the Law of Man, and the Law of the Levites, and Levi-athon. It is not the law of God, neither is it the law of the Jews. It is the law of the Levites, the followers of Moses the Levite, otherwise known as Mosh-lems.

If the Jews have embraced the Law of the Levites, of whom Osama bin Laden is the head, then they have erred gravely,and are blind.

Jesus was Jewish by birth. And he taught the law of the jews, which is mercy, and not sacrifice, forgiveness and not retribution, love of ones enemies instead of the love of ones own tribe, etc.

It is important that we know what we worship.

Onesimus said...

Wow Tonjia,

Those are some of the weirdest ideas I've seen in a long time !!!

I don't know what religious group you belong to or what teacher has given you those beliefs - I can only pray that one day you will receive the truth and be reconciled to the REAL God (the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob) through faith in the REAL Jesus, (the Jewish Messiah) who came to redeem both Jew and gentile.

Gene Shlomovichh said...

Onesimus, great blog. Thank you for standing up for your Jewish brothers and co-citizens of the Kingdom. In this world we could certainly use more advocates like you - G-d knows there are a lot more of the "other" kind, sadly even among those who profess to be lovers of Christ. Can one profess to love Christ that one cannot see, if one doesn't love Christ's Jewish brothers and sisters (believing or not) that one does see (to reformulate the famous NT verse a bit)?

You do get some interesting visitors!

Onesimus said...

Thanks Gene,
I certainly do get some interesting visitors.

And thank you for the article on your blog.

Anonymous said...

quote

IT would be very helpful to read the OT prophets and see what they have to say about the future of Israel and thier relationship to the new covenant. Read the propehts as they are addressed: TO ISRAEL (without the assumption that Israel has been replaced). Note the very physical promises relating to the land and read it as MEANING the land and not some spiritualised, non-physical, "heavenyly" substitute.

Not some spiritualised , non physical " heavenly" substitute,

Your ignorance and contempt of scripture are boundless, would this be the " heavenly" substitute you're referring to here ,

Hebrews 12 :22
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels , to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all , to the spirits of just men made perfect , to Jesus Christ the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks of better things than that of Abel.

Onesimus said...

Again anonyomous: CONTEXT!!!

Who is Hebrews written to and for what purposes?

It is written to HEBREW believers warning them against the temptation of turning away from Jesus and back to Moses to avoid the growing persecution directed towards Christians but not towards Jews.

Read the WHOLE book instead of concentrating on a verse or two of that book (taken out of their context).

The book is telling them that what they have in Christ and the new covenant is far better than what they had through Moses and the Mosaic covenant. That turning back to Judaism to avoid persecution would be a big mistake from which they will not be able to return. That the new covenant has secure eternal benefits so don’t fear the temporary hardships of the present. That those present day hardships should be seen as discipline, training from a father.

Anonymous said...

/"Are Gentile believers in Jesus “spiritual Jews” or “spiritual Israel”"/

The question that comes to mind is, why does this matter?

I can think of the reformer, Martin Luther, who wrote words that spoke a poor message of the Jewish people. Then we have Adolf Hitler who delighted in taking such words to aid in his own reasoning and propaganda. Hitler also aligned with the Catholic churches to gain the support of his political career. (Hitler used whatever suited his political agenda.)

So I ask, does such beliefs lead to Jew haters?

I'll bet they do not complement the Jewish people.

I do believe that there is a rise in growth in anti-Antisemitism, and it comes from lawlessness.

What we need to see is that Christians and Jews are meant to be on the same side, One in Him.

The problem I find is two-fold: I see Christians who see that they have replaced the Jews with their faith in Christ, and see the Jews as rejecting God, and are lost.

The other problem is that the Jews, particularly Messianic associated, talk as though they are 'the cream of the crop', over the gentiles, and tell the gentiles, you must be like us, and in the same breath, say you are not like us!

IF you notice, the common element is, whom is the greater mentality?

What comes to mind is Matthew 18:1-4
" 1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

This scripture goes on to state that we are not to offend or hinder any in the least. We need to look at all as like this little child.

Ronnie O'Brien said...

(continued)
Who is Israel?

Romans 9 answers this.
"6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8That 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."

Understand, that the gentiles are children of the flesh.
When Jesus spoke,
Matthew 7:6
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
AND
Matthew 15:26
"But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs."

He was referring to the gentiles, this way, why?

Look at Galatians 2:15, Paul says, "We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,"

In other words, the gentiles' disposition was not naturally inclined to believing the things of God. But God did call Israel, and they who knew it was well to set themselves apart from the world of sin, would receive Him, those whom are truly Israel.

And the gentile who has received is One with the Jew in Christ. EQUAL. That is important to note. So, the Jew who follows Christ need not look down on the Gentile Christ follower, nor vice versa. But as noted, we are not the same and yet we are. We are rooted in the ONE and ONLY tree of life, in Jesus Christ.

The wild olive tree are those that normally do not belong but are adopted into the natural olive tree, that place of faith in God, which comes through Jesus Christ.

The Jews have a covenant with the Almighty, and it should be in the hearts of the gentile believers to reach out to them because if He saved us, then why not save our neighbor next door, or the Jew who, like us, needs a revelation of whom Jesus is. Has not Christ loved us, sinners, undeserving and prideful? We need now to live unto God, as many Jews have been called before us to do, and show them, the witness of Jesus Christ applies to them, today. Let love of Christ be our message, not who is greater, as though we did anything, only let Christ be glorified, not man.
ronnie_obrien@hotmail.com
Nl, Canada