March 22, 2010

Why Israel’s Salvation Matters

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Why Israel’s Salvation Matters (Video Message)

19 Comments
  1. I personally have a burden for street ministry, I love to speak with people who live in rough neighborhoods, connect and relate with them.

    But I do acknowledge that Jesus is Jewish and that He is truly the King of the Jews.. He is truly the God is Israel and I do believe that I should be praying for, and trying to minister to the Jewish people more than I do. It is a good reminder, wow life from the dead! What an amazing scripture to meditate on. I recently bought “Our hands are stained with blood”, what a touching book it really hits your heart when you understand what the Jewish people as a nation have gone through in the name of Jesus.

    God bless you all and continue to pray for Israel!

  2. Hab 2:14. For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. … Yes. Yes. Praying that the Lord would give you such prominence that this message would ring through out our culture it is what is needed, thank you brother. PREACH

  3. That was a great message!I have learned alot about the Jewish people the past two years from you Dr.Brown.I love and pray for the Jewish people and for their salvation. Also for Israel.I believe all followers of Jesus should as the lord has instructed us to do.You have a great ministry.God Bless You!

  4. I recently bought and read your book, Dr. Brown, “What Do Jewish People Think About Jesus?” Thank you, I couldn’t put it down. It was very informative; of course, scholarly, and honest, and well-balanced.

    I appreciated your video message here tonight. I have a dear friend and soul brother, born Jewish in Israel; ever since I first met him, I have felt the Lord pressing upon my heart to reach out and be of help to him (he’s disabled from a motorcycle accident). And of course, I have hoped, ultimately, for his true salvation in Messiah. Many of our conversations would just wind up gravitating to Jesus; and he once told me that he’d had a conversation with his rabbi about me and was advised never to discuss matters of faith with me. My friend was feeling fairly isolated; he once said, “I wish you could know what it’s like to be a Jew for just one day.” Anyway, having a lot of other things in common nonetheless, we’d become close friends, and despite his rabbi’s advice, he wound up sharing a lot about his life as a Jew; interesting minutiae, like Yiddish words and stories, slices of life growing up in Israel, and also inviting me to a Seder at a Reform synagogue. I must say, though, I was pretty shocked by the sale of “goddess” cards in the temple there, and I told him, not facetiously, that I thought Jeremiah would be turning over in his grave if he could see the blatant paganism at this temple. For awhile his extremely liberal views and my ‘socially-conservative’ leanings made for some intense discussions over Scriptural meanings.

    Anyway, I discovered “Messianic Judaism” while searching the web, and sincerely felt the Lord wanting me to invite him to meetings at a synagogue in a nearby town. I have been driving us there for Shabbat, as I think the main thing is to have fellowship with believers, which trumps any prohibition (he tells me of) to “drive” on that day! We have both enjoyed it so much. I have found it enriching beyond my expectations. He knows, of course, all the prayers in Hebrew and felt right at home there.

    Recently my friend was in an accident, but no sooner was his truck plunged into a ravine than someone showed up to pull him out. When he recounted it to me the following day, he said he felt it had to have been God’s blessing that he received help so quickly. Furthermore, he was not hurt and his vehicle was fairly unscathed. But later in the week, when he met the guy (who’d helped him) in the daylight, my friend was astonished to see that this man had the “entire Hebrew alphabet” tattooed on his right arm. He was so puzzled over that; he said, “What could it mean?? What are the chances of me, a Jewish man from Israel, finding anyone in this town [in New Mexico] with the Hebrew alphabet written on his arm? And of him being the one to come to my aid that night?” That reminded me of a passage in Isaiah 63:5…but anyway…

    Sorry if I’m rambling a little, but I’m just writing tonight to ask the Body of believers who might read this to please, please take a moment to pray for my friend, this dear soul whom I know the Lord loves so much…that he will truly take in the message of the Good News; that it will touch his heart deeply and he will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Yeshua really is the Messiah of Israel [and the whole world] and that he will know of the deep love which God (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) has for him…

    Thank you so much

  5. Praise God! Thanks to everyone (whoever you might be) who prayed for my dear soul brother (see above). Just this evening he said to me on the telephone: “You know, it’s a great thing that you and I have…Yeshua…in common.” All I managed to say was, “Yeah…” But brothers and sisters, this is not something I have heard him say before! All I know is that people really have been praying, and it HAS – Praise God – made a difference…! Thank you, and most of all, THANK YOU LORD!!!

  6. It is most vital, Israel’s inclusion and salvation. Romans 11 gives us the redemption plans of the end of the age, which is about this crucial completion. Peter said in Acts 3:21 why the heavens will hold back the return of Jesus until this salvation event comes to pass. Romans 11 also soberly tells all believers, everywhere, their proper attitude toward Israel and Jews.

    Jesus and the disciples, 99% Jewish (Luke not). The concept of salvation comes from the Jews and their religious/conceptual literature. God’s own heart of hearts permeates every New Testament book, with mention of the Jews throughout these documents.

    The error of the church replacing Israel is easily addressed as the wrong understanding when one reads the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments (Tenach and New Covenant writings). The regathering of Israel in times of trouble, the Jerusalem Temple question (need it be in place to have Jesus return?), and the need of a whole people group to know their God, from the least to the greatest, is in play.

    We then watch Israel with an eye toward cooperation with the Redemptive Plans of God, completion of all related covenant promises, and simply to rejoice as our redemption too draws near!

  7. Jabez H.,

    The error of the church replacing Israel is easily addressed as the wrong understanding when one reads the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments (Tenach and New Covenant writings).

    I don’t mean to be picky, but I am someone who would be considered a believer in what is called “covenant theology,” and we strongly object to language like “the church replacing Israel.” There is an excellent article entitled Not Replacement…Expansion to be found here:

    http://www.chaim.org/xpansion.htm

    I think it explains the position well that I would advocate, namely, covenantal postmillenialism. I have no problem with the idea that the Jewish people are going to be saved, as I believe *all* nations will be saved; that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not the church existed as the church in the OT. Covenant theologians would argue that there is no promise given solely on the basis of being the physical seed of the physical man Abraham. The promises of God are always conditioned upon faith in every instance.

    Therefore, we would argue that, although the church consisted mainly of the Jewish people in the Hebrew Bible [with the few exceptions of Ruth, Rahab, etc.] because the land promises were limited to a geographical location in the middle east, the church now expands in the New Testament to include a much more preeminently gentile membership, and the land promises expand to include the whole world.

    In fact, Gary DeMar points out very perceptively that Dispensationalists believe in a kind of “replacement theology.” In an article found here:

    http://www.americanvision.org/article/answering-a-replacement-theology-critic/

    he writes:

    As Peter Leithart and I point our booklet The Legacy of Hatred Continues,[3] it’s dispensationalists who hold to a form of replacement theology since they believe that Israel does not have any prophetic significance this side of the rapture! Prior to the rapture, in terms of dispensational logic, the Church has replaced Israel. This is unquestionably true since God’s prophetic plan for Israel has been postponed until the prophetic time clock starts ticking again at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week which starts only after the Church is taken to heaven in the so-called rapture. Until then, God is dealing redemptively with the Church. Am I making this up? Consider the following by dispensationalist E. Schuyler English:

    An intercalary [inserted into the calendar ] period of history, after Christ’s death and resurrection and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, has intervened. This is the present age, the Church age. . . . During this time God has not been dealing with Israel nationally, for they have been blinded concerning God’s mercy in Christ. . . . However, God will again deal with Israel as a nation. This will be in Daniel’s seventieth week, a seven-year period yet to come.[4]

    According to Schuyler and every other dispensationalist, the Church has replaced Israel until the rapture. The unfulfilled promises made to Israel are not fulfilled until after the Church is taken off the earth. Thomas Ice, one of dispensationalism’s popular writers, admits that the Church replaces Israel this side of the rapture: “We dispensationalists believe that the church has superseded Israel during the current church age, but God has a future time in which He will restore national Israel ‘as the institution for the administration of divine blessings to the world.’”[5]

    My point here is that we have to use accurate language to describe each other’s position. Using pejorative, inaccurate, or otherwise unhelpful language that can be turned around, and applied to your own position, does not portray the situation the way it really is, and is entirely unhelpful.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  8. Adam, I do not quite follow you, by, for example, calling the “church,” a Greek New Testament term (Ecclesia), as extant in the Hebrew Bible (Tenach), while stating a need for accuracy. If this were the collective term for the whole people of God, throughout time–or of every covenant, conditional and unconditional–we would not have had the special revelation of the Messiah, in the fullness of time. He came and went away with his provision of the Holy Spirit for and within believers in the New Covenant established of his blood. His church is just that as to His established and New Covenant. This is divinely basic to a New Covenant faith, not the Tenach.

    We have many references to the people related to God in the Tenach, but not as the church, and yes most often in reference to faith, as seen primarily by believers’ hindsight understanding. Certainly the grafted in section of believers in Yeshua in the vital passage on salvation futures of Romans 9-11 talks of a single way of salvation, not of the church replacing Israel, as being Israel. Paul cautions as to who supports who and about boasting not against the roots of historical Israel (who did not receive Messiah in the symbol of the tree of life or of the family of of God when He visited His own). This section of the redemptive intentions of God is accurate as to the then prophetic NT status quo, and its future. But, who saves then, and now, and how does this contrast with the various covenants of the Tenach?

    Where is it written this is the “church age,” which you refer to while claiming to not be a dispensationalist? Prophetic Scripture references two ages since the time of Daniel, and this is through a direct revelation given him from God’s sent from heaven messengers. We find the Age of the Gentiles, and that of the Kingdom which overcomes all other relative governments on the earth at the end of the Age of the Gentiles (Daniel 7 to 12). Here is Biblical accuracy as to prophetic references and as to the people of Daniel, the Jews, carrying these references, and also “those of understanding” carried through the trials of their appointed time and seasons, apparently by faith.

    I wrote the section of my post which you quoted in a conversational style. This was a response to what Michael Brown stated on the radio program, which quoted some church so-called “fathers,” dependeing on the history period, as anti-semetic: with a wrongful hatred of the Jewish people. Dr. Brown has other posted material on this site’s umbrella on the error of replacement theology which is the well established definition I mentioned.

    Accuracy is important, and is Biblically established and referenenced.

  9. Jabez H.,

    Adam, I do not quite follow you, by, for example, calling the “church,” a Greek New Testament term (Ecclesia), as extant in the Hebrew Bible (Tenach), while stating a need for accuracy. If this were the collective term for the whole people of God, throughout time–or of every covenant, conditional and unconditional–we would not have had the special revelation of the Messiah, in the fullness of time. He came and went away with his provision of the Holy Spirit for and within believers in the New Covenant established of his blood. His church is just that as to His established and New Covenant. This is divinely basic to a New Covenant faith, not the Tenach.

    The problem is with this equation between the New Covenant and the church. I don’t agree that the New Covenant=the church. It is not somehow inconsistent to speak of the progressive revelation of God to the church.

    Not only would I not say that it is basic to the New Covenant faith, but I would ask you who taught this distinction before 1800. While certainly no one would argue that there are no differences between the two covenants, I don’t see any evidence for talking about a difference in the people of God.

    We have many references to the people related to God in the Tenach, but not as the church, and yes most often in reference to faith, as seen primarily by believers’ hindsight understanding.

    I have often times said that, just as you can use how the New Testament applies passages in the Old Testament that specifically speak of YHWH to Christ, you can use passages that specifically reference Israel, and apply them to the church. Consider this text:

    Exodus 19:5-6 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”

    And of the church we have written:

    1 Peter 2:6-9 For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.” 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” 8 and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

    The reason why I quote such a large portion of this text is because it is in the context of Peter dealing with the rejection of the chief cornerstone by the Jewish people. In contrast to that, Peter calls the church the very unique things that God only gives to Israel in the Tenach, “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

    Also, there is another thing that is unique to Israel that is then taken in the New Testament and applied to the church, namely, “God’s people:”

    Jeremiah 24:5-7 “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 ‘For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 ‘And I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

    Notice how we are clearly in the context of the return of the exiles. However, this very same phrase is taken by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:33 referring to the New Covenant [which you say is where the church began], and Hebrews 8:10 does likewise:

    Hebrews 8:7-10 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.

    Again, clear language uniquely used of Israel in the Old Testament, taken here and applied to the New Covenant church by the author of the Book of Hebrews.

    Certainly the grafted in section of believers in Yeshua in the vital passage on salvation futures of Romans 9-11 talks of a single way of salvation, not of the church replacing Israel, as being Israel. Paul cautions as to who supports who and about boasting not against the roots of historical Israel (who did not receive Messiah in the symbol of the tree of life or of the family of of God when He visited His own). This section of the redemptive intentions of God is accurate as to the then prophetic NT status quo, and its future. But, who saves then, and now, and how does this contrast with the various covenants of the Tenach?

    I think the point of that passage is that there is one tree. There are not two peoples of God [i.e., two different trees]. There remains only one tree, and thus, only one people of God. Also, again, it is totally inaccurate to call what I believe “the church replacing Israel.” That whas the point of my last post.

    Where is it written this is the “church age,” which you refer to while claiming to not be a dispensationalist? Prophetic Scripture references two ages since the time of Daniel, and this is through a direct revelation given him from God’s sent from heaven messengers. We find the Age of the Gentiles, and that of the Kingdom which overcomes all other relative governments on the earth at the end of the Age of the Gentiles (Daniel 7 to 12). Here is Biblical accuracy as to prophetic references and as to the people of Daniel, the Jews, carrying these references, and also “those of understanding” carried through the trials of their appointed time and seasons, apparently by faith.

    I would actually argue that all of the book of Daniel has been fulfilled in the coming of Christ. The only question I have is whether 10:20-12:1 is dealing with the Greek and the Roman empire, or just the Greek empire. J. John Collins seems to take it to be referring to Antiochus Epiphanies, while I have seen others try to see a transition between the two empires. Either way, I would see Daniel 7-12 as having very little relevance to what you would call the church age [with Daniel 9:24-27 being the one exception that comes to mind, where, if you take the weeks/years understanding of the passage, you get the seventieth week talking about the ministry of Jesus and his making a firm covenant with the many [Matthew 26:28].

    I wrote the section of my post which you quoted in a conversational style. This was a response to what Michael Brown stated on the radio program, which quoted some church so-called “fathers,” dependeing on the history period, as anti-semetic: with a wrongful hatred of the Jewish people. Dr. Brown has other posted material on this site’s umbrella on the error of replacement theology which is the well established definition I mentioned.

    I think one has to understand what one means by “anti-semitic.” Normally, when that term is used, it refers to racism. That is, a person who is anti-semitic hates someone else specifically because he is part of a particular race, namely, the Jewish race. Now, all hatred of any human being, including racism is wrong, but if we are going to understand the term “anti-semitic” in the sense that it is traditionally used, I can’t think of any church father who specifically said that they hated the Jews simply because of their race.

    Now, it is true that Judaism as a theology became identified as a heresy, and the penalties for heresy during the middle ages certainly were theological hatred. In that sense, one could argue that there was real hatred for those who were Jewish who still held to Jewish theology [which would be a majority, considering how closely related they are in Judaism]. Also, you have many cases in the early church of the Jews persecuting Christians, and even as late as the time of the reformation, Jews engaging in poor behavior, and Christians such as Martin Luther started hating them because of their theology and because of their behavior. But consider the following quotation from Paul Halsall:

    The Nazis imprisoned and killed even those ethnic Jews who had converted to Christianity: Luther would have welcomed their conversions [introduction of excerpts of On the Jews and Their Lies].

    That is the difference between the racism of Hitler, and the hatred of Luther for the beliefs of the Jews, and I would argue is the difference between many of the church fathers, and Hitler.

    Again, all hatred is wrong. However, one crime of hatred is not made worse because it his the hatred of a Jew. All hatred is equally wrong because all men are equally created in the image of God, and to hate them is the same thing as killing them, and destroying one who is created in God’s image. It has nothing to do with their race, or anything else.

    Also, I would argue that there is also a pretty good argument that there is things that could be called “antisemitic” in dispensationalism. Dispensationalists believe that, at the battle of Armeggeddon, two thirds of the Jews will be slaughtered. In fact, I know of entire ministries trying to send Jews to Israel to live. If I believed that two thirds of the Jews in Israel were going to be slaughtered, I think I would want to get them out of there! Why would you send someone to a place where you know that they are going to get killed, and why would you hold a belief that they are going to get killed if you are not “antisemitic?”

    I would actually argue that no one believes in “replacement theology.” I unfortunately think that terms like “replacement theology” and “antisemitic” can too often used as pejoritive labels to keep the other side from being heard in a fair manner. That is why I insist on accuracy in describing someone else’s views. That is what I mean by “accuracy.”

    However, if you want to deal with another Biblical text, I would ask how you understand Ephesians 2:12:

    Ephesians 2:12-13 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    How is it that verse 13 can cancel out being separate from Christ, being strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope, and being without God in the world, and yet, not cancel out being “exluded from the commonwealth of Israel?”

    God Bless,
    Adam

  10. I’m not really involved in the theological arguments here. I just want to add something to my earlier post, after checking out the website, “Jews for Judaism” and its articles against Messianic Judaism, which it regards as sneaky, deceptive, and guilty of luring away Jews not firmly rooted either in faith at all or faith in Judaism especially. The story posted on the site of a teenager who got enticed into a Messianic group did not seem at all even plausible; frankly, it seemed made up. I earlier wrote about a friend who is Jewish and who goes with me to a Messianic temple. I just wanted to add that before inviting him to this temple, I actually did put him in touch with traditional Jewish organizations, (and even a Kosher Deli), in the nearest town, when he complained of being the “only Jew” in the state. In point of fact, he felt no sense of spiritual satisfaction, and little to no outreach, in his association with traditional Judaism in New York, Los Angeles, and even in his native Israel. And all he knew of Jesus was that he wasn’t even supposed to know about him; and certainly if he believed on him, he was taught that he would have to give up his Jewish identity — something which misguided, misinformed and themselves coerced by law “Christians” also once held to en masse, in the church’s darkest age. Of course, while there have always been people who knew the difference between real Christianity and not, as it has been clearly pointed out, the historical Church has had so much blood on its hands, proving itself to have been in desperate need of Jesus’ light, that it could not light others’ paths. I wish I could see it only as being in the past, though. When I hear the arrogance of Gentiles yet today toward the “root” of our faith, I have to hang my head in shame. This is what happens when people just don’t practice what He himself taught, and only the adversary could be pleased with that! Why weren’t Paul’s words adhered to, either, when he wrote, “…for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things.” [The New Oxford Annotated Bible] Romans 15:27 Could this be any clearer?

    To learn that no Jew need ever ‘stop being a Jew’ if he/she believes in Yeshua [Jesus] is a wonderful, liberating truth which traditional Judaism finds unacceptable and very challenging. But the light of this truth just will not be extinguished. And when we consider the deep and shameful darkness of the church in ages past, this truth is all the more important to declare and uphold in all its fullness today.

  11. Ruth Smith,

    It is not a matter of having to “stop being a Jew,” it is a matter of recognizing that one is not truly a Jew without faith in Christ. What it means to be a Jew has nothing to do with who your father is, and everything to do with faith in Christ. A true Jew is anyone who either looks forward to the coming of Christ, or looks back at his coming. That is why Jesus’ teaching and Paul’s teaching were so radical, because Jesus called men who were physical seed of Abraham “of [their] father the devil” [John 8:44], and Paul said that one is only a Jew if one is a Jew inwardly, by conversion [Romans 2:28-29]. That was a scandalous teaching at that time, but Jesus and Paul demand that people not trust on who their earthly father is, but upon who Christ is.

    As for Romans 15:27, that is in the context of gifts that were given by the church in Jerusalem [v.26], and has nothing to do with the relationship between the Church and Israel.

    Also, I think we need to be careful to not make the gospel more pallitable to Jewish ears. The gospel to the Jews is very clear: Stop trusting in your geneology, and start trusting in Christ. If you are trusting in who your father is, and what your family traditions are, then you are trusting in the wrong things. That may be offensive to the Jews, but it was no more offensive than when Jesus and Paul said the very same thing.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  12. Adam, Obviously you have a predetermined position on your beliefs. Yeshua spoke of the church in Matthew 16 and 18; I’d suggest reading an original language with your language interlaced translation, which has good footnotes for the Greek meanings (or at least refers to Strong’s exposition of numbered words).

    One reads to of the charge to the original Apostles, the words given to Peter on his particular assignment by Yeshua, and the journeys of Paul–as are magnified in story and outcome by church establishments all around the Med. sea’s various trade route entered roads to various cities. Paul too was given a vision of where to go, and what to do, as he and other new believers with Biblical backgrounds prayed as to what to do. His letters to Timothy and others (e.g. the Corinthians) are often addressed to church matters and church challenges.

    One reason that the scriptures alone must be referenced as foundational works, prior to going into interpretations of church governments and history thereafter, is that all believers at least begin on the same pages so to speak on the essential doctrines and events founding the New Covenant faith. I would also suggest reading the Revelation given to John, of Yeshua the Christ, as to what it stated to churches founded by a first love of His becoming their center, calling, and purpose for existence.

  13. Adam, To correct some of your misunderstanding of what I wrote earlier, church history started with the Ecclesia of Jerusalem, peopled in leadership at least by some of the original chosen 12 Apostles, and by the Lord’s half brother, James. Doing a concordance study of other terms and references to the “church” than the term gathered ones (Ecclesia) also separates it globally and locally from Tenach based communities of reference. Certainly Yeshua said he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, FOR THE RISING AND FALLING OF MANY in it.

    Later, with differing Gentile nations church histories as founded by the disciples sent into the Nations and others over time–of histories shared and not over the long and variant history of faith among the Nations–a historical definition for church came to include organizations of government, membership, doctrine, clergy, lay folk, of actual locations so administered, and buildings and ground of its varied organizations and locations. The authority of such was often suspect by the authority of others, and so conflict of theology became a factor of allegiance for some.

    As for Judaism and your view of it, it was different prior to the destruction of the Temple than it is now, or was immediately after the dispersion of Jews and Christians away from Jerusalem after two conquering Roman armies did what they did to Jerusalem in the first and early second centuries, Roman calendar. This was the Judaism which the author of Hebrews addressed, not the Judaism of today, or of the later second century, or as it has evolved to be in many ways over time. Dr. Brown has debated post modern Rabbis of Talmud groups origins, and reconstructionist origins, which differed even in their orientations as to belief in G-d and his word being a vital reference at all. These debates can be found on the askdrbrown umbrella sites. If anything, they show a need for anyone with scales on their eyes of understanding and heart, to know the Lord indeed.

    Judaism today has many meanings, some with Biblical roots, some not so. Those of recent tradition embrace a requriement of the people to help heal this world; those of old embrace common calendar and community practices of cohesion, identity, and intention. Certainly the letter to the Hebrews compares and contrasts primarily the Judaic Temple system built around the law and Judaism’s then accepted traditions with the New Covenant of Yeshua and what its New and Living way offers a disciple. It becomes confusing to try to place its historical changes template on what is being restored today in post modern Israel, the histories of European and Asian Jewery, and modern attempts of a meaningful Jewish religion when the Temple does not play into the mix, etc. So, a read of Dr. Brown’s expositions on Who is a Jew, and the Error of Replacement theology is important to understanding whos who, and not mixing one’s metaphors so to speak.

    Even so, there is a distinct people group called the Jews, and a distinct nation of Israel–as the miracle of 1948 which G-d clearly has established. A way to deal with the Messiah who has come in relationship to those calling themselves Jews, in and outside of Israel, is carefully approached by the various Messianic witness organizations, some of which Dr. Brown espouses (as no one can all of them, he goes with the ones he knows, and trusts, usually stemming from his established schools of discipleship over time).

    Acts 3:21 nor Mt. 13:52, nor hundreds of prophecies given Daniel’s people in the Tenach cannot be ignored as to their distinctions advanced to the Nation of Israel, and as to those too of the Jewish disciples of Yeshua (Daniel’s people “of understanding”–which may also include unconverted Jews who uphold the literal OT promises, law, and word too by their own faith distinctions). In the first chapter of Acts the Angelic messengers state that only G-d knows the times and seasons for the promised restoration of the Kingdom to Israel (per David and Moshe)–but they do not deny its promise or purpose.

    You mentioned early on Covenant theology, and coupled this with your conditional view of this, as you promoted it to be. The fact remains that there are many covenants, with promises, in the Tenach. Some are conditional, some not. But, for a believer in God’s sovereignty–whether of the old or new instruction (Mt. 13:52), or both–anyone who is the head of a household has requirements of prophetic fulfillment in their own days simply in the way in which they may live life and honor the Father.

    I agree that the Commonwealth of Israel, like the heavenly Jerusalem of Hebrews and the Revelation includes symbols and visions from Hebrew and Gentile belief cultures linked to the Bible. I do not agree that Romans 9-11 replaces those broken off with those grafted in, for, there is the “mystery” statement of future inclusion for the distinct people groups Paul wrote of, and described as to what they were charged with and carried. This was in regard to what was established prior to scales on eyes, and what was later given regarding acceptance in the family tree for those never past of it. If the references in this section of Romans were only about amalgemated believers since the visitation as constituting the whole people of God, in history, there would be no distinctions made by Paul as to past, present, and future for those so affected.

    The New Testament maintains both inclusive and exclusive statements in tracing out prophecy and its past, present, and future promise–for the Jew first and the Greek also. The city of God coming down in the Rev., chapter 21 has foundations, gates, and entries both of the twelve tribes, and of the 12 Apostles. We may be at our peril to ignore the scriptures of either in achieving faith and survival in these testy times.

  14. Jabez H.,

    Adam, Obviously you have a predetermined position on your beliefs. Yeshua spoke of the church in Matthew 16 and 18; I’d suggest reading an original language with your language interlaced translation, which has good footnotes for the Greek meanings (or at least refers to Strong’s exposition of numbered words).

    First of all, dispensationalism is a predetermined position, so, I don’t know what the significance of your first statement is.

    Also, I am well familiar with the fact that Dispensationalists like to use this text. The problem is with the fact that it is not speaking of the church as a whole, but the church built on the confession of Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” [v. 16], that is, the New Covenant church. Keep in mind that a rejection of dispensationalism does not mean a rejection of dispensations within the covenant of grace; it simply means that we believe that God has one people of God throughout each dispensation. In this case, instead of the Old Covenant church being built upon the foundation of looking forward to the coming of the messiah, the New Covenant church will be built on the foundation of the confession of Jesus *as* messiah.

    One reads to of the charge to the original Apostles, the words given to Peter on his particular assignment by Yeshua, and the journeys of Paul–as are magnified in story and outcome by church establishments all around the Med. sea’s various trade route entered roads to various cities. Paul too was given a vision of where to go, and what to do, as he and other new believers with Biblical backgrounds prayed as to what to do. His letters to Timothy and others (e.g. the Corinthians) are often addressed to church matters and church challenges.

    One reason that the scriptures alone must be referenced as foundational works, prior to going into interpretations of church governments and history thereafter, is that all believers at least begin on the same pages so to speak on the essential doctrines and events founding the New Covenant faith. I would also suggest reading the Revelation given to John, of Yeshua the Christ, as to what it stated to churches founded by a first love of His becoming their center, calling, and purpose for existence.

    As I said earlier, a rejection of dispensationalism does not involve a rejection of the idea that God has worked with his people in different ways in different times. A rejection of dispensationalism only means that God has always had *one* people throughout all ages. There is not a Jewish people of God, and a gentile people of God. There is one people of God, namely, the church throughout all generations.

    Adam, To correct some of your misunderstanding of what I wrote earlier, church history started with the Ecclesia of Jerusalem, peopled in leadership at least by some of the original chosen 12 Apostles, and by the Lord’s half brother, James. Doing a concordance study of other terms and references to the “church” than the term gathered ones (Ecclesia) also separates it globally and locally from Tenach based communities of reference. Certainly Yeshua said he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, FOR THE RISING AND FALLING OF MANY in it.

    And yet, you also have Jesus helping the Syro-Phoenician woman Matthew 15:22-28, after he specifically said that he had only been called to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in that context! Again, the intention was always to go out to the gentiles. However, they were going to the church that was already in existence, namely, the church [Jewish people] in Jerusalem and Israel first before offering the message to the gentiles.

    Also, I would point out that we should not do concordance studies on the word “church.” Such studies assume that meaning is wrapped up in individual words. The fact of the matter is, if you want to go that route, the Greek term ecclesia is used of the assembly of Jews in the Septuagint! Now, I do think it is relevant, but you have to prove a whole lot more first, namely, as I showed, the New Testament takes unique statements about Israel, and applies them to the New Testament church. In such a case, I think we can say that the church is the true continuation of Israel.

    Judaism today has many meanings, some with Biblical roots, some not so. Those of recent tradition embrace a requriement of the people to help heal this world; those of old embrace common calendar and community practices of cohesion, identity, and intention. Certainly the letter to the Hebrews compares and contrasts primarily the Judaic Temple system built around the law and Judaism’s then accepted traditions with the New Covenant of Yeshua and what its New and Living way offers a disciple. It becomes confusing to try to place its historical changes template on what is being restored today in post modern Israel, the histories of European and Asian Jewery, and modern attempts of a meaningful Jewish religion when the Temple does not play into the mix, etc. So, a read of Dr. Brown’s expositions on Who is a Jew, and the Error of Replacement theology is important to understanding whos who, and not mixing one’s metaphors so to speak.

    I don’t think you are quite understanding what I am saying. Jesus is foundational to what it means to be a Jew. Anyone who looked forward to his coming in the time period of the Hebrew Bible is a Jew, and anyone who trusts in him after his coming is a Jew. These are the *only* Jews in the Biblical sense of the term. In fact, Jesus specifically says in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 that the people who call themselves a Jews and do not submit to him, are not truly Jews, and are, in fact, of the “synagogue of Satan.”

    Also, again, to reject dispensationalism does not mean to reject the idea of dispensations, any more than rejecting socialism means the rejection of social structures. All we are talking about is the unity of the people of God, and the fact that God does not have two peoples [Jews and the church], but one people [the church throughout all ages].

    Also, because of this, please cease and desist using the term “replacement theology.” As far as I know, it originated with men of wild-eyed fanaticism such as Jack Van Impe and Hal Lindsay, and is nothing more than a pejorative term which doesn’t even accurately explain Covenant Theology.

    Even so, there is a distinct people group called the Jews, and a distinct nation of Israel–as the miracle of 1948 which G-d clearly has established. A way to deal with the Messiah who has come in relationship to those calling themselves Jews, in and outside of Israel, is carefully approached by the various Messianic witness organizations, some of which Dr. Brown espouses (as no one can all of them, he goes with the ones he knows, and trusts, usually stemming from his established schools of discipleship over time).

    I would argue that 1948 had nothing to do with anything in the Bible. If you believe that it does, can you show me one place in the New Testament that talks about Israel becoming a nation again? Also, it would seem impossible to argue that Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 is significant if you don’t accept the Israel/Church distinction.

    Acts 3:21 nor Mt. 13:52, nor hundreds of prophecies given Daniel’s people in the Tenach cannot be ignored as to their distinctions advanced to the Nation of Israel, and as to those too of the Jewish disciples of Yeshua (Daniel’s people “of understanding”–which may also include unconverted Jews who uphold the literal OT promises, law, and word too by their own faith distinctions). In the first chapter of Acts the Angelic messengers state that only G-d knows the times and seasons for the promised restoration of the Kingdom to Israel (per David and Moshe)–but they do not deny its promise or purpose.

    I don’t have any question that the prophecies of Daniel had to do with Israel as a nation. I would just say that all the propecies of Daniel were all fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It is at that time that the period of transition between the Old and the New Covenant is over, and the Old Covenant is now entirely obsolete, and has passed away [Hebrews 10:13].

    You mentioned early on Covenant theology, and coupled this with your conditional view of this, as you promoted it to be. The fact remains that there are many covenants, with promises, in the Tenach. Some are conditional, some not. But, for a believer in God’s sovereignty–whether of the old or new instruction (Mt. 13:52), or both–anyone who is the head of a household has requirements of prophetic fulfillment in their own days simply in the way in which they may live life and honor the Father.

    I would argue that, given the structure, the people involved, etc., they are meant to be read as renewals of the covenant from the previous generation. Also, what do you mean when you say that a covenant is “unconditional?”

    I do not agree that Romans 9-11 replaces those broken off with those grafted in, for, there is the “mystery” statement of future inclusion for the distinct people groups Paul wrote of, and described as to what they were charged with and carried. This was in regard to what was established prior to scales on eyes, and what was later given regarding acceptance in the family tree for those never past of it. If the references in this section of Romans were only about amalgemated believers since the visitation as constituting the whole people of God, in history, there would be no distinctions made by Paul as to past, present, and future for those so affected.

    As to your first statement, I don’t know how you can get that from Paul’s statement here:

    Romans 11:19-20 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;

    I don’t know how you are getting the idea that, therefore, the gentiles did not replace the unbelieving Jews. Also, the term mystery in the New Testament does not refer to something that is obscure, but it refers to something that was once obscure, but is now fully understood.

    The New Testament maintains both inclusive and exclusive statements in tracing out prophecy and its past, present, and future promise–for the Jew first and the Greek also. The city of God coming down in the Rev., chapter 21 has foundations, gates, and entries both of the twelve tribes, and of the 12 Apostles. We may be at our peril to ignore the scriptures of either in achieving faith and survival in these testy times.

    I see that as an example of the *unity* between the Old Covenant people and the New Covenant people, not as an example of their distinctiveness. Also, while I would say that Revelation 21-22 is future [given the mention of a thousand years in chapter 20], it might also be profitable to discuss whether or not most of the book of Revelation is future. Consider the following verses:

    Revelation 1:1-3 he Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

    Now, again, because of the thousand years of Revelation 20, I would say that chapters 21-22 are future. However, there is no long period of time mentioned before that. Thus, how can you throw chapters 1-19 into the future?

    God Bless,
    Adam

  15. Adam, Interesting responses. I agree that the confession of faith in Jesus as the Christ Atoning One is the foundation of the universal church (Ekklesia, twice in Mt. 16:18–don’t know what you mean about an insistence for an “Old Covenant church”) as is symbolized, then fulfilled of the Lord’s supper offer of the “blood of the New Covenant”. The blood of Jesus was shed for all believers in His Gospel story over time, acting as the communion symbol of what he soon did and accomplished thereafter, not prior.

    Mt. 18: 17 has a different emphasis of the same Greek word as to its usage of what was next instructed of Him in living church relational application, as given of the local church for its processes around practicing ongoing forgiveness and reconciliation since its establishment in locales (not prior).

    The Tenach was not written in Greek, but in Hebrew and Aramaic (the latter language appearing in Daniel), hence Tenach synagogue and other references later rendered Ecclesia in some early translation manuscripts are not of the original words so written. Thus church per se is not a Tenach term.

    Much is written in Daniel which has nothing whatsoever to do with the New Covenant or its people of faith, as its foundational words and prophecies are about world kingdoms; Daniel’s people of Israel (and Judah) being capitive in Babylon, and changes thereafter affecting what was Daniel’s people (see Who is a Jew, elsewhere, by Dr. M. Brown). Its later words are about the Kingdom which will overtake all other kingdoms, i.e. the Kingdom of the Messiah (who was in time also proclaimed in Daniel’s weeks as being cut off). This part of Daniel remains a teleological projection, not a total completion. Daniel contains two Ages, as to world history, neither called the church age. It is problematic to try to reduce all covenant’s peoples to your notion of church for many historical, religious, and ethnic reasons.

    I’d suggest listening to Dr. Brown’s how to interpret scripture or the Bible in his so themed radio program coming shortly after this one to understand what I have written. And his writings on
    the two concerns about “Who is a Jew” and “the Error of Replacement Theology” in order to understand what these notions mean as in scripture differ from your preconceived theological template of reference. There remain scholarly reasons for these and many other referenced conceptual distinctions–as are derived from scripture and its time and place realities.

    This was my point way back in our interchange, that the Church, global, and local, is ushered in with Jesus, not with the Tenach, as you had stated/state. Thereafter, it is one of the many interactive realities of the both the New Testament and church history(ies) among believers of the Nation (Messianic believers) and the Nations (Gentile believers). I remain unaware of an Old Covenant church. There are other references to covenant peoples in the Tenach than any being of any church, per se (except as prophetic futures therein).

    Jesus did not shift intention for inclusion to the Gentiles through other means than his blood, and the carrying of the Apostle’s eyewitness accounts of his atoning accomplishment to these people in historical time–not so of the Tenach (other than prophetically and about the remnant among Israel, where not all who call themselves Israel were Israel). This was sealed by the Holy Spirit sent to various groups as were gathering and receiving Him in the book of Acts.

    There is simply no usage of “church” historically in the Tenach. It is one thing to say someone was looking forward to what was coming, and quite another to say the provision, declaration, and clarification of the New and Living Way and its people came therein earlier (see Hebrews on the greater aspects of the New Covenant than the contrasted older one’s law covenant requirements and temporary and transitory establishments.). The template of a church dispensationalism as you state it to be is not found in the contrasts made and found both ways as is written therein.

    It was the fullness of time which permitted the Messianic New Covenant clarification and fulfillments, not a looking forward hope. Hopefully we too look forward to the Return, but that does not make its provisions now extant.

    YOU HIGHLIGHT YOUR BELIEFS, E.G.:

    “However, they were going to the church that was already in existence, namely, the church [Jewish people] in Jerusalem and Israel first before offering the message to the gentiles.

    Also, I would point out that we should not do concordance studies on the word “church.” Such studies assume that meaning is wrapped up in individual words”.

    This logic is problematic at best, for, word studies are the beginning of the effective opening of passage and historical contextual meanings of even larger scripture sections than verse passages, yet as discovered by first examining vital passage words contextually, as to literary intentions, and historically. One could say “in a sense” Jesus was sent to a church already around as the Jews, but this is inconsistent with the Gospels and letters usage of the terms church, Jews, and Israel.

    You seem to be attempting to conform scripture to your theological template and terms, not the other necessary way around.

  16. So as not to confuse anyone reading my own responses, above, even synagogue word references do not come into Biblical faith literature until the New Testament; the Tenach offers its focus on people of God leading to the Tabernacle traveling ritual place, and the Temple establishment(s), in reference to Mosaic tradtions and requirements.

    We know by hindsight and the words of Hebrews and the first followers of Yeshua that there were people of faith throughout the Tenach, and, that what they may have hoped for indeed was not known or realized until Yeshua came in the fullness of time.

    One of the many reasons concordance word studies and original language study by scholars is important is to not be hoodwinked by such erroneous statements as are found in this blog that early Bible Greek manuscripts of the OT refer to “church” in the Tenach. The word does not appear, nor is it referenced, prior to the New Testament manuscripts.

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