Whilst not all of the Holy Bible is directly written to the Church, all scripture as it states in 2 Timothy 3:16 is profitable for the Church. We then within the present day Church can learn important teachings which were primarily to the Hebrews first of all and are now directed to the one new man (Jew and Gentile in Messiah).
We have two scriptural references that prove this point:
Romans 15:4. ‘For whatsoever things were written a foretime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’
1 Corinthians 10:11. ‘Now all these things happened unto them as ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’
The golden rule of all exegesis is context, followed by the literal, grammatical and historical meaning. These four rules must always be used first in reading any portion or verse of scripture. If we take a verse out of context we have a pretext and you can make the Bible say anything you want to. This is why false teaching abounds and why so many saints become snared by modern day apostles and teachers who distort the truth. Truly there are wolves in sheep’s clothing and predators in our pulpits. These men are able to put up a smoke screen of prattling and flattering words, tickling the ears of their followers. They make disciples of them and fleece them as Christ, Paul and Peter warned.
Again let me state that we within the Church can learn important lessons from the teachings given primarily within the Old Testament to the Jews.
The Jewish Temple can be seen as a type of the Body of Messiah made up of all believers (Jewish and Gentile), indwelt by the Holy Spirit as the Temple was until the Spirit of God departed, a solemn warning indeed!
Secondly, the human battles, the trials, tests and tribulations seen in the Psalms show us the spiritual battles we have against the flesh and the powers and principalities!
Thirdly, the material blessings of Israel on earth once again through typology point to our spiritual blessings in the heavenlies through Messiah. Outside of this we are told our heavenly Father knows our needs and will supply them in love.
Then we can see the life application principles to be learnt from the 40 years of wandering by the Hebrew nation as being again a type of our own pilgrimage and so on.
There are then many lessons for us to pay close attention to and yet the Old Testament is ignored or not taught by so many ministers today which means the sheep are not given ‘the whole counsel of God’ within the churches. Certainly the Church Age of Laodicea is upon us (Laodicea means– the people ruling – not God!) and so it is hoped this teaching will firstly inform then assist and grow disciples in their walk with the Lord.
Question – Is the Gospel new or did Israel have a message of good news to give to the nations concerning salvation through the one true and living God?
Answer – Of course they did! So let us now begin to see this, possibly for the first time!
Key verse: Isaiah 43:10-11. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I AM He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and besides Me there is no saviour.”
Let us understand exactly what the Lord is saying here. In context the Hebrews are being spoken to, they are to believe and are His chosen instrument as witnesses that the Lord is the one and only true God. The Lord finishes off by stating that He is also the only saviour. This is exactly the message of the Gospel. So there truly is nothing new under the sun. They were to be witnesses as we are today telling the world that there is no other God but that of the God of Israel, the Creator and Sustainer of all life. His is the right and the might, He has the right to make the rules and we have no right to break them. Therefore the Jews had the message of life in the past but sadly failed to tell the world, so the Kingdom was handed over to those who would produce the fruit of it, just as our Lord Y’shua/Jesus stated. (Matthew 21:43) But the remnant of Israel did not entirely fail, all the early believers were Jewish and they turned the world upside down for their Messiah and brought the message of life to many Gentiles far and wide.
Question – Has the Church boasted against the natural branches and the root system?
Answer – Sadly, yes! Romans 11:18 was and still is an apostolic warning from Paul.
Indeed, let me be so bold as to state that we have blood on our hands, Jewish blood…!! Where was the Church during all the years of persecution against His people after the flesh! Yes, the Son of God became a Jew not a Gentile! You see, most of the saints in the past remained silent, others joined in along with false brethren claiming they did God’s work in purging and plundering His ancient covenant people. If this dear reader begins to grate then good, for history is going to repeat itself in the not too distant future. This time we must stand with Israel till He comes or catches up His Bride depending on your theology! But until then we are to work while it is still light, for darkness comes (an allusion to the Great Tribulation) when no man can work. (see John 9:4).
Let me ask you to examine yourself and your Church, are we praying for Israel (Psalm 102:14 and Psalm 122:6), are we involved in Jewish outreach support and in material things as instructed. (Romans 10:14-15 and Romans 15:26-27) It’s never too late to start as the saying goes!
Let me ask you to change something in your Bible. Go to the maps if you have them at the back of your Bible and change the title of ‘The Land of Palestine in the time of Jesus’ to ‘The Land of Israel in the time of Jesus’. There, you have just stood against a form of anti-Semitism! How? There never was a land called Palestine until after the Romans had killed our Lord, then in 70ad and finally in 135ad scattered the Jews and changed the name from Yisrael to Syria Palaestina and the name of Yerushalayim to Aelia Capitolina to try and eradicate this troublesome people and their history. Of course the Church by the 3rd Century just accepted this new name (using the term Palestine in English) without batting an eyelid and sold out the Jews instead of standing up for them and our Hebraic Judeo heritage. The rest is history, Arafat was able to shout and claim so much that the world and most of the Church has believed the lie. This terrorist’s greatest asset was the world’s media and by the end of the day the Nobel Peace prize was awarded along with millions of dollars of aid etc which for the better part has gone missing. Quite simply the Land belongs to the Lord and He gave it to His people. We should note that they lost their Lord, their Land and their Language in that order and their God and ours, is truly a God of restoration by giving them these back in reverse order! They will have all the land He promised by His own oath and they will all also come to know Him on His return.
Let’s look at some other word changes and twists that have separated the one new man – the Jew and Gentile believer. (see Ephesians 2:15). Being the pastor of a Messianic Fellowship I am only too well aware of the problems within both camps and the legalism, traditions of one camp, and then the anti-semitism, and replacement theology of the other. We are to keep ‘the bond of peace’ that Paul writes of, because the wall of partition has come down in Messiah to give the ‘one new man’ principle, for there is neither Jew nor Gentile within the Lord. This is our standing in our salvation and sanctification before Him, one God, one people.
Greek word Ekklesia – literal meaning is [out called] This word became Church!
Greek word Kyriakon – literal meaning is [House Lord] This too became Church!
Greek word Christos – literal meaning is [anointed one]
Greek word Christianos – literal meaning is (followers of the anointed one)
So we change the last two words into English and get Christ and His followers become Christians. Whatever happened to the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16) and The Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12). The Middle Wall of partition was broken down by the Lord as Paul writes in Ephesians 2:14-15 and we have rebuilt it. The truth is Jesus never literally said, “I will build My Church” but “I will build the Lord’s House” Israel was now pushed to one side and replacement theology thrived amongst the Churches. Are we not told to comfort His people! Isaiah 40:1-3. Did Paul not say that ‘God has certainly not finished with Israel’ Romans 11:1. Indeed, are they not ‘all to be saved.’ Romans 11:26.
This is what happens when the goal posts are moved and we no longer have a Hebraic root system but a mother Church which led into the Dark Ages and Jews ran for their lives. The Reformers never went far enough several hundred years later!
What these name changes and new titles have done is quite simply made the Jews think we have another religion and another God. We have had one Reformation and I believe along with many others that we need an end times one just as much. In many ways we have lost the plot, no wonder the Lord Jesus speaks of and then gives us the Church of Laodicea as the last main Church type and Church age during the Dispensation of Grace. Paul writes of this present dispensation as well as giving us our real name – The Commonwealth of Israel ( please see Ephesians 3:2 and 2:12 or are we so smitten with Covenant Theology that Dispensational Teaching is ignored!!). The truth is, both are presented but certain camps have arisen just as with Judah and Israel contending with one another – no wonder I love to use Ecclesiastes 1:9 so much in preaching. The ‘two sticks’ will become one, foretold by Ezekiel as he prophetically writes for the Lord.
Do I have a problem with the names Christ, Christian and Church. Not really, but they are a stumbling block and make Jewish outreach a whole lot harder. Before you can give the Gospel you have to win their friendship and re-educate. We have to overcome 1,900 years of anti-Semitism and we don’t have 1,900 years to do it in!
What sayeth the Scripture? Let us see how God names His people. This progression of names shows us the process of our sanctification as we walk with Him.
BELIEVERS – Acts 5:14. This name describes our Convictions as we become born again of the Spirit. Here we are sealed and our salvation is secure, we are blood bought.
BRETHREN – Acts 6:3. This name describes the Company we keep.
DISCIPLES – Acts 9:1. This name describes our Commitment – to walk the walk!
SAINTS – Acts 9:13. This name describes our Character. By their fruits ye shall know them!
CHRISTIANS – Acts 11:26. This name describes our Conduct of life in Messiah. It was at Antioch that others called us Christians (Christianos) as followers of the Christ (Christos). We took the name as our main designation and the Church became gentile orientated in its thinking and theology. The name Church came much later ….. as did all the error and the rest is history.
It is interesting to note that in Isaiah 65:15 we are told the Lord God will slay His people and call His new servants by a new name because the nation of Israel were to be scattered for their disobedience. It is sadly Israel that the Lord is referring to in verses 2-7 and 13-15 of Isaiah chapter 65. In verse 1 we have a prophetic picture of the Gentiles seeking after the one true and living God. Thankfully and mercifully God promises to regather His people to Himself and forgive them as Ezekiel chapter 36 shows. Verses 16 to 38 are pivotal in understanding the plan and purposes of God. The Gentiles are to know as stated in Ezekiel 39:23 that Israel was scattered by the Lord for their iniquity. So it would seem that the new name of His servants in Isaiah 65:15 has become Christians but what problems this can bring when you are involved in Jewish evangelism. However, the Lord is on the throne reigning and ruling. To the Jew first then, for salvation came from them through the Scriptures and the Saviour and His name is Y’shua, for He will save His people from their sins. As it is written so shall it be! Amen.
Date : 30/11/-0001