Bible Believers' Newsletter 320
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; we are happy to see you.
For a long time your Church Newsletter has been censored by particular i.s.p's. controlled by elements of the 'hidden hand' who take your money and ours to send and receive email, then refuse to deliver content with which they disagree, returning dishonest, often ludicrous "error messages" to excuse non-delivery. So much for the First Amendment.
One US Company, its affiliates and i.s.p's. piggybacking its bandwidth worldwide is particularly vexatious, deciding who should be allowed to read what. Please connect the dots (inserted in hopes of bypassing the "thought police" who might otherwise censor this issue of your Church Newsletter) http://www. . .rense. . .com/general51/req. . .htm. Read the "full story," then decide whether you should change to a completely independent i.s.p.
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith and whosoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel Bush Adviser
Washington (IPS) March 29 IPS uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001the 9/11 commissionin which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel . . .
Zelikow made his statements about "the unstated threat" during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president.
Full story: ipsnews.net informationclearinghouse.info
It's Payback Time in Iraq
Well, folks, Hollywood has once again stepped up to the plate to deliver an uncannily timely dose of propaganda to the masses. On April 5, just five days after four American, uhmm, 'civilian contractors' were dragged through the streets of Fallujah, the Los Angeles Times ran an article by John Horn entitled "The Avengers." This is how the piece began:
Ready or not (and many in the country seem to be ready), several new films are about violent retribution . . .
How do they do that? How do they manage to always have the right product ready at the right time? It's almost as if the studios knew long ago when these films went into production that the events of the last week would transpire at exactly this time. But that would be impossible, it would seem. Unless, of course, what happened in Fallujah was itself a Hollywood production . . . Full story: davesweb.cnchost.com joevialls.altermedia.info Australian Defence Adviser Sacked for Refusing to Lie About the Case for War in Iraq Deaths of Mercenaries not Reported Marines going Home
The Battle of Darkness and Light
The search is on for a substance that can be absorbed through the skin and lungs as well as by swallowing it. Undetectable to us except by scientific measuring, it is a substance that does its work quietly and in extremely low doses. Working at a molecular level, it would cause a gradual onset of disease and disability observable only after the slow passage of years. It is then, after that slow, slow passage of years, that an epidemic of epidemics would be noticed while its cause long forgotten in the mists of time . . .
This mysterious substance is so corrosive, when added to water it will eat its way through a titanium container. Since it will eat its way through titanium, perhaps it should not come as a great surprise to learn that it is also known to act as a severe corrosive agent on human gastric and mucosal tissues. . . Any agent that passes through the brain can be expected to affect behavior, mood and cognitive function, and this substance has been repeatedly shown to create a depressing, numbing effect . . .
The strange, corrosive, toxic but still controversial agent in the water is fluoride. Full story: Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb Why EPA Opposes Fluoride Statements from European Health, Water, & Environment Authorities on Water Fluoridation fluoridealert.org Absurdities of Water Fluoridation rense.com bruha.com holisticmed.com salon.com mercola.com
In August 2005, everything in Europe is about to change
Over 300 bioavailable nutrient forms present in over 5,000 safe vitamin and mineral products that include a large number of the safest, most readily absorbed and most effective, food-derived forms will be banned from the market.
Full story: curezone.com saveoursupplements.com.au
Bacteria run wild, defying Antibiotics
Time for colloidal silver, homeopathy, systemic cleansing, natural hygiene . . . or stronger drugs! "A new chapter in the continuing story of antibiotic resistance is being written in doctors' offices across the country, as a group of common bacteria rapidly becomes resistant to the antibiotics that have been used to treat them for decades . . . Dr. John Gullett, an infectious disease specialist in Abilene, Tex., has grown accustomed to getting calls . . . from local doctors who have used the usual antibiotics to no effect". Full story: nytimes.com
GPS tracks Young Offenders under House Arrest
March 26, 2004 The State Division of Youth and Rehabilitative Services is using satellite tracking technology to monitor juvenile offenders under house arrest. The agency is the first in the state to use a global positioning system to track offenders. Texas-based Big Brother Monitoring provides surveillance. Full story: delawareonline.com
Cleric lists Quran's 20 'Bad Traits' of Jews
April 6, 2004 The bad traits, he said, are fabricating; listening to lies; disputing and quarreling; hiding the truth and supporting deception; rebelling against the prophets and rejecting their guidance; hypocrisy; wishing evil on people; feeling pain at others' happiness and feeling happiness at others' afflictions; rudeness and vulgarity; murder of innocents; mercilessness and heartlessness; breaking promises; cowardice; and miserliness.
In discussing these bad traits, Sheikh Saqr wrote, "We would like to note that these are but some of the most famous traits of the Jews as described in the Quran. They have revolted against the divine ordinances, distorted what has been revealed to them and invented new teachings which, they claimed, were much more better than what has been recorded in the Torah.
"It was [because of] these traits that they were not warmly received in all the countries where they tried to reside. Instead, they were either driven out, or lived in isolation. Full story: worldnetdaily.com
Comment: This is nothing but the truth, as confirmed by Moses and the prophets.
Of Faith Unfeigned
New words are created and the meanings of old words change over time. For example, there was no such word as "Jew" in any Bible in any language until it was coined and inserted in the 1750 newly revised Douai version, then in the 1769 revision of the King James Bible. As the old word it replaced referred to one who was a resident of the conquered kingdom of Judea without distinction as to ethnicity, culture or religion, the meaning of this new word has been changed.
Soon after Jeroboam seceded Israel from Judah and Benjamin in 975BC the Northern kingdom fell into open idolatry, and devout tribesmen and Levites emigrated to Judah under Rehoboam. Then in 721BC Sennacherib invaded Israel, transported and resettled the apostate ten tribes throughout the Assyrian empire, and their nation ceased to exist. Following Judah's captivity in 587BC the words "Israelite" and "Jew" generally became synonymous in the writings of subsequent prophets, while in the New Testament the "kingdom" distinction no longer applied.
Beyond this, the meaning of the new word "Jew" has been intentionally changed for political reasons by the enemy of God and man to enable Esau to further infiltrate and dominate Jacob as prophesied by Isaac in Genesis 27:39-41, and in time the whole world. No longer does the word "Jew" refer to the residents of Judea, to the descendants of Judah, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or even a Semitic people, to those who observe the Law and the Prophets, or their antithesisTalmudic Judaismbut to anyone who claims to be a "Jew" and is recognized as such by the "Jewish" community. Under the heading, "A brief History of the Terms for Jew" in the 1980 Jewish Almanac we read: "Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an Ancient Israelite a 'Jew' or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew" (p. 3). That's a racial fact!
One of our "Jewish" subscribers sent me a quotation from the Philadelphian Age saint Adam Clark's Bible Commentary which we shall consider along with explanations from Facts are Facts by Benjamin Freedman, a Christian convert from Jewry. We will also discuss Israel's ten tribes and demonstrate that they have never been "lost," thus emptying the wind from the sails of John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I's Cabalistic Astronomer Royal and original secret agent 007 who devised the hoax that Caucasians are in fact the "lost" ten tribes and conceived British Israel theory followed by Christian Identity (so-called), Worldwide Church of God, Philadelphia Church and other disciples of the false Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong. Lastly, we will prove by Scripture that an Israelite is one who has overcome by the Word of God for his hour and put on Christ.
In Exodus 20:1-17, Moses comes down from the mountain with his timeless laws of God and man, a decalogue of universal principles which might inform the conscience of any wise person. In Matthew 5, the new Moses, Jesus Christ, brings down from the mountain not new laws but new blessings that magnify the Law as prophesied in Isaiah 42:21. He beatifies the poor and hungry of spirit and soul, the gentle and the sorrowing, the pure and the merciful, the righteous victims of persecution, calumny and other abuse, going to the heart of all law, human and divine, by suggesting the qualities of character necessary if we are to live well together and to the glory of God.
Closing His testimony against Jerusalem, the Lord in His last denunciation of Israel says, "Your house is left unto you desolate. And He departed from the temple" (Matthew 23:29; 24:1). Yet many Gentiles who claim to be Christians are anxious to put themselves under "the Law." But God has never put them there. The Law was given by God to Israel alone by the hand of Moses. Gentile Christians have never been put under that Law. Indeed Paul, who was "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews," declares distinctly of himself and his fellow Israelites in Christ, Romans 7:6, "Now we are delivered from the Law, being dead to that wherein we were held." Or as Brother Branham explained, their old husband, the Law, had to be dead to them before they could marry their new Husband, Christ the Word.
Likewise we must recognize our Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist or Pentecostal denomination is desolate, because Christ has departed, having been put outside their doors, and reckon those old husbands of creed and traditions dead to us before faith in the present Truth can marry us to Christ, the fullness of the Word in this day (Revelation 3:17-20).
Galatians 2:21 3:5, "I do not set aside the grace of God: for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died in vain. O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vainif indeed it was in vain? Therefore he who ministers the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith"?
Were he present today, Paul would say, "If righteousness comes through church creeds, then Christ died in vain. This only I want to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of man-made traditions: infant baptism, confirmation, confession, speaking with other tongues, or by the hearing of faith in the present truth?" We must walk in the Light as Christ is in it, not impersonate the Light for a day gone by.
In I Corinthians 9:20-21 he says, "To the Judeans I became as a Jew, that I might win Judeans; to them that are under the Law as under the Law." Here there is an important sentence omitted by a later scribe, but found in all the ancient versions and critical texts and restored in the RSV, Emphatic Diaglott, NIV, NASB, etc.,"not being myself under the Law!" Then continuing his argument: "that I might win those under the Law. To those who are without law as without law; not being an outlaw of God, but a subject-of-the-Law of Christ; not being destitute of divine Law, but under Christ's Law; for though I am not under the Law of Moses, I am under a law of God being under obedience to the commandments of Christ! (So if I keep Christ's commandments what law shall I break? None! For if I walk in the love of Christ I shall fulfill the Law of Moses as Jesus explained in the beatitudes (Romans 13:10). If I walk in love I shall "fulfill the Law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2): that I might win those who are without law".
In conclusion, Christians, whether Gentiles who never were under the "Law" or Israelites who were are not under the Law of Moses but are under obedience to the commandments of Christ, which are far higher and far holier than the Law could ever be "in that it was weak through the flesh" (Ezekiel 20:23-26). Romans 8:1-4 does not imply that Gentiles or Christians are under the Law, but that we are "freed from the Law of sin and of death".
Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free [from the Law], and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage".
Because of their unbelief in the revealed Word of God the Hebrew nation of Israel was "broken off" from the root, which is Christ, and elect Gentiles grafted in. However, at the close of the Gentile dispensation the nation of Israel shall be grafted back in, and "all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11). That is, all 144,000 elect. War criminals, murderers and assassins like the Khazar Ariel Sharon are not Israelites of the flesh or of the spirit, and the Ashkenazim who comprise at least 95% of those who call themselves "Jews" cannot be grafted in to the root when God returns to Israel since their lineage does not stem from the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Revelation 22:15).
Why do these "Goyim rage, and the people [like Esau] conspire a vain plan to outwit the Lord?" (Psalm 2:1). If they are of Adam's race they need only repent and walk in the Light to become Abraham's seed and heirs with Messiah (Galatians 3:26-29). However, their burning anger and fallen countenance betrays them to be sons of Cain (Genesis 4:6).
Contrary to these non-Semitic, anti-Semitic self-styled "Jews," salvation is not dependent upon being in the Jewish race, or even natural descent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Besides, the genealogy was no longer necessary after Pentecost and perished when the Temple was razed in AD70; the prophesied Savior had come, and new birth is not contingent upon sexual procreation but new creation by the Word of God whereby a clear revelation of the present Truth rejuvenates the soul of His elect, transforming the individual into a written epistle of what Jesus is doing now. Not by works like giving up cigarettes, alcohol, stealing or deceit: Buddhism, Islam and Christian Science (so-called) produce those fruits, but works without faith is dead. Our soul is quickened to eternal Life by God's grace through faith alone. Once we receive the faith by recognizing our day and its Message the works follow automatically in Token or evidence of the new Life of Christ in us.
In his Commentary on I Timothy 1:4-5, Adam Clark wrote, "Neither give heed to fables" [idle fancies; things of no moment; doctrines and opinions unauthenticated; silly legends, of which no people ever possessed a greater stock than the Jews. Their Talmud abounds with them; and the English reader may find them in abundance in Stehlin's Jewish Traditions; "and endless genealogies" [which are uncertain and never could be made out, either in the ascending or descending line; and, principally, such as referred to the great promise of the Messiah, and to the priesthood.
The Hebrews had scrupulously preserved their genealogical tables till the advent of Christ. The evangelists had recourse to them, and appealed to them in reference to our Lord's descent from the house of David; Matthew 1 takes this genealogy in the descending, Luke 3 in the ascending, line. And whatever difficulties we may now find in these genealogies, they were certainly clear to the Israelites; nor did the most determined enemies of the Gospel try to raise one objection to them from the appeal which the evangelists had made to their own public and accredited tables.
All was then certain; but we are told that Herod destroyed the public registers. He, being an Idumean, was jealous of the noble origin of the Israelites; and, that none might be able to reproach him with his descent, he ordered the genealogical tables, which were kept among the archives in the temple, to be burnt (Eusebius. H. E., lib. i. cap. 8). From this time the Jews could refer to their genealogies only from memory, or from those imperfect tables which had been preserved in private hands; and to make out any regular line from these must have been endless and uncertain. It is probably to this that the apostle refers; I mean the endless and useless labour which the attempts to make out these genealogies must produce, the authentic tables being destroyed. This, were all other proofs wanting, would be an irresistible argument against the Jews that Messiah has come; for their own prophets had distinctly marked out the line by which He was to come; the genealogies are now all lost; nor is there a Jew in the universe that can show from what [if any Ed.] tribe he is descended. There can, therefore, be no Messiah to come, as none could show, let him have what other pretensions he might, that he sprang from the house of David. The Jews do not, at present, pretend to have any such tables; and, far from being able to prove the Messiah from his descent, they are now obliged to say that, when, the Messiah comes, he will restore the genealogies by the Holy Spirit that shall rest upon him.
"Which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith." They are the foundation of endless altercations and disputes; for, being uncertain and not consecutive, every person had a right to call them in question; as we may naturally suppose, from the state in which the genealogical tables of the Jews then were, that many chasms must be supplied in different lines, and consequently much must be done by conjecture, rather than godly edifying. Such discussions as these had no tendency to promote piety. Many, no doubt, employed much of that time in inquiring who were their ancestors, which they should have spent in obtaining that grace by which, being born from above, they might have become sons and daughters of God Almighty.
[Not one Jew in the universe who can show that he is related to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and is indeed a Hebrew and an Israelite, yet every Jewish encyclopedia states emphatically that over 95% of Jews are non-Semitic Ashkenazim who are excluded from God's covenants with Israel].
What had Jewish genealogies to do with the Gospel? Men were not to be saved by virtue of the privileges or piety of their ancestors. The Jews depended much on this"We have Abraham to our father" imposed silence on every check of conscience, and every godly reproof which they received for their profligacy and unbelief. [Like the words "anti-Semitic," or "racist" do today Ed]. In the dispensation of God, FAITH in Christ Jesus was the only means and way of salvation. These endless and uncertain genealogies produced no faith; indeed they were intended as a substitute for it; for those who were intent on making out their genealogical descent paid little attention to faith in Christ. They ministered questions rather than that economy of God which is by faith. [We speak only of the genealogy of Israel, ignoring for the time being the genealogy of the Serpent's seed Ed].
This dispensation, says the apostle, is by faith. It was not by natural descent, nor by works, but by faith in Christ; therefore it was necessary that the people who were seeking salvation in any other way should be strictly informed that all their toil and labour would be vain.
Verse 5. "Now the end of the commandment is charity." These genealogical questions lead to strife and debate; and the dispensation of God leads to love both to God and man, through faith in Christ. These genealogical questions leave the heart under the influence of all its vile tempers and evil propensities; FAITH in Jesus purifies the heart. No inquiry of this kind can add to anything by which the guilt of sin can be taken away; but the Gospel proclaims pardon, through the blood of the Lamb, to every believing penitent. The end, aim, and design of God in giving this dispensation to the world is, that men may have an unfeigned faith, such as lays hold on Christ crucified, and produces a good conscience from a sense of the pardon received, and leads on to purity of heart; LOVE to God and man being the grand issue of the grace of Christ here below, and this fully preparing the soul for eternal glory. He whose soul is filled with love to God and man has a pure heart, a good conscience, and unfeigned faith. But these blessings no soul can ever acquire, but according to God's dispensation of faith.
The paraphrase and note of Dr. Macknight on this verse are very proper: "Now the scope of the charge to be given by thee to these teachers is, that, instead of inculcating fables and genealogies, they inculcate love to God and man, proceeding from a pure heart, and directed by a good conscience, and nourished by unfeigned faith in the Gospel doctrine. The word 'paraggelia' denotes a message or order, brought to one from another, and delivered by word of mouth. The charge here meant is that which the apostle ordered Timothy to deliver to the teachers in Ephesus; for he had said, I Timothy 1:3, "I had besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, that thou mightest charge some:" here he tells him what the scope of this charge was to be. "Of faith unfeigned". A faith not hypocritical.
The apostle appears to allude to the Judaizing teachers, who pretended faith in the Gospel, merely that they might have the greater opportunity to bring back to the Mosaic system those who had embraced the doctrine of Christ crucified. This is evident from the following verse.
The "Lost" Ten Tribes
This word 'dodekaphulon' (i.e. "the twelve tribes") is used collectively of the Israelitish people by St. Paul in Acts 26:7, where, speaking of the hope of resurrection, he says, "Unto which promise our Twelve Tribes, instantly serving God, day and night, hope to come."
This shows that the idea of the Twelve Tribes being "lost" is a popular fallacy.
It is true that in the Old Testament prophecies the term "Judah" may be used technically of the kingdom of Judah, and the term "Israel" of the Ten Tribes; but it does not follow that the current popular use of the words is marked by the same exactness. We speak today of all the seed of Abraham as "Jews," but we do not by such a use of the word determine the fact that they are belonging only to the tribe of Judah! The popular belief is that at the time of the crucifixion only the tribe of Judah was in the land, and responsible for the death of the Lord Jesus.
But it is a fact that, at the time of the separation of the two kingdoms, there were "children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah," II Chronicles 10:17; and in II Chronicles 11:3 we read of "all Israel in Judah." Long before the dispersion of the Ten Tribes and the captivity of Judah, numbers from all the tribes joined the kingdom of Judah on account of the idolatry introduced by the kings of Israel.
In II Chronicles 11:13, 16-17, "the priests and the Levites that were in all Israel took their stand with him [Rehoboam, king of Judah] out of all their territories . . . and after the Levites left, those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the Lord God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah. . ." (But only for three years did this strength continue. Then they, too, fell into idolatry, and were no longer a strength, but a weakness).
In II Chronicles 15:9, Asa, king of Judah, moved by the prophet Azariah, made a reformation, "and he gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon: for they came over to him in great numbers out of Israel, (the Hebrew means "multitude." See Genesis 16:10; Deuteronomy 1:10; Joshua 11:4, etc.), when they saw that the Lord his God was with him." (A type of Revelation 18:4 in its fulfillment now).
Josephus says (Ant. xi. 5, 7) of the term "Jews," "that is the name they are called by from the day that they came up from Babylon, which is taken from the tribe of Judah, which came first to these places, and thence both they and the country gained that appellation." But the word soon obtained a wider application, and on the return from the captivity in Babylon, what we call "Judah" was not confined merely to the original tribe, but embraced the old kingdom of Judah and Benjamin, together with an "abundance" out of all the other tribes of Israel.
(Josephus was speaking of the original word since replaced by the word "Jew" and could know nothing of the secondary meaning of the word as Benjamin Freedman explains: "When the word "Jew" was first introduced into the English language in the 18th century its one and only implication, inference and innuendo was "Judean." However during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries a well-organized and well-financed international "pressure group" created a so-called "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" among the English speaking peoples of the world. This so-called "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" bears no relation whatsoever to the 18th century original connotation of the word "Jew." It is a misrepresentation.
The United States Supreme Court has recognized the "secondary meaning" of words. The highest court in the land has established as basic law that "secondary meanings" can acquire priority rights to the use of any dictionary word. Well-planned and well-financed world-wide publicity through every available media by well-organized groups of so-called or self-styled "Jews" for three centuries has created a "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" which has completely "blacked out" the original and correct meaning of the word "Jew." There can be no doubt about that. (Thus we see why "Truth" is no longer considered a legal defense Ed).
There is not a person in the whole English-speaking world today who regards a "Jew" as a "Judean" in the literal sense of the word. That was the correct and only meaning in the 18th century. The generally accepted "secondary meaning" of the word "Jew" today with practically no exceptions is made up of our almost universally-believed theories. These four theories are that a so-called or self-styled "Jew" is (1) a person who today professes the form of religious worship known as "Judaism", (2) a person who claims to belong to a racial group associated with the ancient Semites, (3) a person directly the descendant of an ancient nation which thrived in Palestine in Bible history, (4) a person blessed by Divine intentional design with certain superior cultural characteristics denied to other racial, religious or national groups, all rolled into one.
The present generally accepted "secondary meaning" of the word "Jew" is fundamentally responsible for the confusion in the minds of Christians regarding elementary tenets of the Christian faith. It is likewise responsible today to a very great extent for the dilution of the devotion of countless Christians for their Christian faith. The implications, inferences and innuendoes of the word "Jew" today, to the preponderant majority of intelligent and informed Christians, is contradictory and in complete conflict with incontestable historic fact. Christians who cannot be fooled any longer are suspect of the Christian clergy who continue to repeat, and repeat, and repeat ad nauseam their pet theme song "Jesus was a Jew." It actually now approaches a psychosis).
In the Gospels we read of "Anna, a prophetess, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher" (Luke 2:36). So that here was one of the Ten Tribes who could trace her genealogy, and was yet living in the land.
In giving His instructions to the twelve Apostles, the Lord particularly enjoined them, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:5-6). And of Himself He said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24).
The fact is that the whole nation was spoken of by the Gentiles as "Jews," and the terms "Jews" and "Israelites" are not used in the New Testament with the distinction which modern usage has given to them.
It is clear from the Book of Esther that in Persia and elsewhere they were known as and spoken of as "Jews."
In Jeremiah 34:9, the term "Jew" is co-extensive with the term "Hebrew."
In Zechariah 8, too, which carefully distinguishes between "the house of Judah" and "the house of Israel" (verse 13), the term "Jew" is clearly used of the whole nation (verse 23).
We see the same indiscriminate use of the words "Jew" and "Israelite" in the New Testament. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, addresses them as "men of Judea" (Acts 2:14), and in verse 22, as "men of Israel." And, again, in Acts 4:8, "Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people and elders of Israel. . . Be it known unto you and to all the people of Israel."
Further, in Acts 4:27, we are expressly told that, so far from the Jews, as such, being guilty of the death of Jesus, it was "all the people of Israel."
Peter and James addressed their Epistles to the Diaspora, (the word occurs only in John 7:35; James 1:1 and I Peter 1:1), the "Dispersion," i.e. "the Twelve Tribes scattered abroad."
And, finally, the Holy Spirit, by Paul, speaking of the promise of Resurrection made unto the fathers, says (Acts 26:7), "Unto which promise our Twelve Tribes, instantly serving God, day and night, hope to come." We thus see that those whom we speak of as "Jews" are identical with the "Twelve Tribes".
Although neither we nor they may be able to separate and distinguish them now, the true Joseph, Who "is yet alive," shall show that He can do so, when He causes them to sit in order before Him (Genesis 43:33).
"Gentile" is another word whose meaning has been changed. It meant in general all nations except Israel and was used geographically in no invidious sense, but in course of time, as Jews began more and more to pride themselves on their peculiar privileges, it acquired unpleasant associations, and was used like it is today, as a term of contempt, meaning "human cattle".
With all the superiority of the Gentile great kingdoms, in military prowess, commerce, luxury, and the fine arts, Israel stood on an immense moral and Spiritual elevation above them, in one pointnearness to God, and possession of His revealed will (Exodus 19:5-6; Psalm 147:19-20; 148:14; Romans 3:1-2). But this superiority was purely by grace through faithnot of works or anything Israel might meritand in order that Israel, as priests unto God, might be mediator of blessings to all nations (Isaiah 61:6). From the start, the covenant with Abraham contemplated that "in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed" (Genesis 22:18). The Jews in national pride failed to see that Abraham's name meant "father (of the faith) to all nations." Despising us Gentiles they neglected to fulfill God's evangelistic commission and failed to discern the outward flesh man who was nominally an Israelite from the inward man of the soul who becomes an Israelite indeed. Israel's rejection of Messiah proved that they too were heathens, and they were "broken off" from the olive so that we Gentiles might be "grafted in" (Romans 11:11-35). The difference between a heathen and a true Israelite is not flesh but faith"Christ in you, the hope of glory".
In The Present Truth, December 10, 1896, we read: "Wherefore 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; (works Ed) that 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" (Ephesians 2:11-12).
An idea that prevails quite extensively is that God has one covenant for Jews and another for Gentiles; that there was a time when the covenant with the Jews utterly excluded the Gentiles, but that now a new covenant has been made which concerns chiefly if not wholly the Gentiles; in short that the Jews are, or were, under the old covenant, and the Gentiles under the new. That this idea is a great error may readily be seen from the passage just quoted.
As a matter of fact, Gentiles, as Gentiles, have no part whatever in God's covenants of promise. In Christ is the yea. "For how many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea; wherefore also through Him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through us" (II Corinthians 1:20). Gentiles are those who are without Christ, and so they are "strangers from the covenants of promise." No Gentile has any part in any covenant of promise. But whosoever will may come to Christ, and may share in the promises; for Christ says, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). But when the Gentile does that, no matter what his nationality, he ceases to be a Gentile, and becomes a member of "the commonwealth of Israel."
But let it be noted also that the Jew, in the common acceptation of the term, that is, as a member of the Jewish nation, and a rejecter of Christ, has no more share in the promises of God, or the covenants of promise, than the Gentile has. That is only to say that nobody has any share in the promises, save those who accept them. Whoever is "without Christ," whether he be called Jew or Gentile, is also "without God in the world," and is a stranger from the covenants of promise, and an alien from the commonwealth of Israel. This is what Ephesians 2:11-12 teaches us. One must be in Christ in order to share the benefits of "the covenants of promise," and be a member of "the commonwealth of Israel." To be "an Israelite indeed," therefore, is simply to be a Christian. This is as true of the man who lived in the days of Moses, as of those who lived in the days of Paul, or those who live today. (Republished in The Everlasting Covenant: God's Promises to Us, by Ellet J. Waggoner, pp. 227-236; Glad Tidings Publishers, 2002). nl320.htm
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.