Discussion All Areas Of Systematic Theology
These posts were from the Planet Preterist in regard with the “Jews” and the “Gentiles”. We need to understand who were the “Jews” and the “Gentiles” in the Biblical era.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Mon, 08/10/2009
1. I believe the holy spirit only "dwelt" temporarily in the church between the time of Jesus resurrection and his parousia (John 14-16). I don't think the "wrath of God" abides on anyone any longer because there is no covenant between God and anyone since the parousia.
2. Well, I see the parousia as the point where all the generations (i.e. ages) of Israel were brought to their consummation and completely judged. Since the Law contained both the old covenant stipulations, as well as the new testament promise itself, when the Law came to fulfillment at the parousia, then all was fulfilled. Thus, "the whole (remnant of) Israel" (Romans 11:26) was saved at that point and God became "all in all" so there was no more need for Christ to rule in his Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
3. Yes, I see both resurrections in Ezekiel 37-39. Ezekiel 37 refers to the pouring out (i.e. baptism) of holy spirit that began at Pentecost and united the believing remnant of "all Israel" back into one body. On the other hand, Ezekiel 38-39 refers to the unbelieving majority of Israel (called "Gog and Magog") who would also be gathered together in the Land to be destroyed by the fiery parousia.
In other words, the "Gog and Magog" horde is the resurrection of the dead because the generation of the last days was to be held accountable for all of the sins of the former generations. Just as the believers were being gathered into the "church" (and their "dead" would join them - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), so the unbelievers were being gathered to war to be destroyed by the Romans so that they would join their "dead" in the graves.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Tue, 08/11/2009 - 08:55.
Let me try to clarify a few points:
1. I see the fulfillment of the "resurrection" language in the OT (Ezekiel 37-39; Isaiah 26; Daniel 12) to be referring to the gathering of all of Israel during the generation of the last days. When holy spirit was poured on at Pentecost, it represented the gathering of the believing remnant of Israel who represented all the faithful Israelites of the previous ages. All of those believers were caught away at the parousia (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
On the other hand, the increasing apostacy of the generation of unbelieving Israelites who were rejecting Christ and persecuting the church was the gathering of the wicked who would be destroyed at the parousia. In this way, God judged all of Israel at the parousia.
2. Jesus came "only" for Israel (Matt 15:24). He pointed out in Matthew 25 that he had come to fulfill the "judging of sheep and goats" in fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy of the regathering of Israel to be judged as one nation at the parousia (Ezekiel 34, 36). Those who obeyed the prophecies were saved, and those who didn't were destroyed.
3. No, the angels gathered the entire harvest in two groups (wheat/tares, sheep/goats, etc). The ones who left Jersusalem at the abomination of desolation were saved, but those who gathered around the city to make war with the Romans were destroyed.
4. The "Kingdom of God" in scripture was nothing more than the rule of David and his family over the unified 12 tribes of Israel (2 Samuel 7). David was the king selected by YHWH Himself, so this is why it was the "Kingdom of God."
The Kingdom of God had nothing to do with any people other than Israel, nor did it have to so with any place other than the Promised Land (i.e. between the Nile and Euphrates rivers). Jesus was the promised "son of David" who would be raised up and seated on David's throne at the consummation of the ages (Acts 2:22-30) and the church was the "rebuilding of the house of David" (Acts 15:16-18). All of this came to its "end" at the parousia (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) when all prophecy was fulfilled.
5. The reason I tend to "paint with a wide brush" here is because everyone here has missed the forest for the trees, so to speak. These so-called "preterists" here pride themselves in taking the "time statements" literally, so I'm am trying to show them that there is far more evidence that Bible prophecy pertained only to fleshly Israel as well. Of course, they fight against this idea (no matter how plain it is in scripture) because they are afraid of losing their personal religion (or their $$$ - in the case of the preachers). It's as simple as that.
6. I don't see Jeremiah 31:27-30 or 31:35-40 being any different than the other verses. Those who were destroyed at the parousia were destroyed forever and those who were caught away at the parousia went to be with their Lord forever.
Hope this helps ...
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 09:13.
I apologize if my comments haven't gone into enough detail. I appreciate your sincere desire to understand where I'm getting my view from scripture, and I've probably been excessively brief due to the volume of information it requires to answer your questions in more detail.
1. Yes, you are correct. I see that God plainly stated in scripture that "only" the 12 tribes of Israel were His chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6; Amos 3:1-2) and that He named only those same tribes of Israel in both the old and new covenants promises (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:13; Romans 9:3-5), and that Jesus himself said that God send him "only" to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24).
2. The reason that God "loved" Israel was on account of the covenant that He made with Abraham to bless his descendants through Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 17:1-5; Acts 3:13). Both Daniel and the apostles explained that all of the covenants and promises made to those people were to be consummated when the whole Law was fulfilled at the parousia (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 5:17-20; Romans 11:26-27; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
3. Yes, I believe it was the "covenant" that obligated God to fulfill His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants (Acts 7:8). This was the things operated in the ancient world and that is why the "covenants" are central to everything in the Bible.
With that said, we must be willing to recognize that fact that God named only "Israel according to the flesh" in all of the covenants and promises in scripture (Romans 9:3-5). Therefore, there is no basis for thinking that God would be obligated to love any other people. I think it's also important to note that God used "marriage" as a metaphor for the covenants and this suggests that both God and Israel could not "love" any other nations without committing "adultery" (Jeremiah 3:1-6).
4. Yes, the prophecies in Ezekiel 34 and 36 explain that God would "regather" the scattered houses of Israel back out of all the nations of the world under one shepherd (which was Christ). This promises do not name any other nations because God had no covenants with any other nations.
However, it is critical to see that foreign "gentile" names were given to scattered Israelites wherever they were born due to the customs of the ancient world (Acts 2:5-11). This is where most people get confused because they make the mistake of thinking that an "Egyptian" or a "Greek" is referring to the person's genealogy, when it is only referring to where the person was born or the language they spoke (see Acts 2:5-11).
We cannot ignore these examples. Moses was called "an Egyptian" because he was raised their and spoke the language - but, he was still an Israelite! The same was true of Ruth. She was called a "Moabites" because she was living in "Moab" (where Moses gave the Law to Israel), but she was still an Israelite! Also, we know that the "Ethiopian Eunuch" was a circumcised Jews because Philip preached the gospel to him when "they were preaching to no one but the Jews only" (Acts 11:1-2) prior to the conversion of Cornelius.
5. Yes, I believe the resurrection encompassed "the whole Israel" and "the full number of the gentiles" as Paul said (Romans 11:26-27). Jesus also plainly stated that "EVERY PERSON" would be judged at the parousia (Matthew 16:27-28). This suggests to me that there was no one left to be gathered, raised, saved, or judged after the harvest was completed at the parousia.
6. Thus "unifying" of the 12 tribes took place via the holy spirit which was poured out (baptized) on all of the believers during the last days (Acts 2:32-36; 1 Corinthians 12:13) per Joel's prediction (Joel 2) and Ezekiel's prophecy (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
Now, it seems the apostles understood that the believers would be caught away into the heavens at the parousia (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) to be with the Lord in the place where he went and prepared for them (John 14:1-6). Thus, they began to understand that their was a spiritual place for the fulfillment of the Kingdom promise (Hebrews 11:3-8).
7. Yes, I think it's obvious that the Kingdom Of God only pertained to the 12 tribes of Israel because it is identified with the rule of King David in both the past and future (2 Samuel 7). Moreover, the Promised Land only referred to the geographic area between the Euphrates and the Nile (Genesis 15:18) where David ruled and the 12 tribes were allotted their Land inheritances.
Thus, there is no "worldwide" aspect to the Kingdom at all except that the children of Israel were scattered in "every nation under heaven" and God promised to regather them back into their own Land (Ezekiel 34, 36). These prophecies also show that the location of the Kingdom was the Land of Israel and not the rest of the world. There would be no reason for God to "regather" His people to "their own Land" if His purpose had been to redeem the rest of the nations.
7. I'm using resurrection and salvation interchangeably. Those who fled the city (several years before the parousia) were saved from much persecution and waited outside of the city for their resurrection.
8. Again, I'm sorry for being so brief with the responses, but there is a lot of ground to cover. I hope this information helps to clarify where I'm getting my views from scripture.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 15:11
1. I think it was both physical and spiritual. First, it began with a physical group of people "out of every nation under heaven" who received holy spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:5-11). Second, there were also churches located throughout the Roman Empire that were anticipating the gathering at the parousia when they were "caught away together" (1 Thess 4:13-18). Of course, the living people themselves (who represented all the previous generations of living and dead) made up the physical part, the outpouring of the holy spirit is what made it spiritual (1 Corinthians 12:13).
2. We can see from the book of Acts that there were 2 parts of the church during the last days. There was the church in Jerusalem (led by the 12 circumcision apostles) and then there were the uncircumcised converts converted through Paul's gospel. Remember, the circumcised Jewish Christians were still obligated by Christ to obey the Law of Moses until the parousia (Matthew 5:17-20; 23:1-2; 28:19-20) whereas the uncircumcised converts were not obligated to keep the whole Law (Acts 15). When Jesus spoke of the church "fleeing the city" he was talking specifically to the believers in Jerusalem (Acts 21:20).
3. Yes, the implication I get from the totality of the judgment and resurrection prophecies is that there would be no Israelites remaining after the parousia. The texts say that "EVERY PERSON" (Matthew 16:27-28) and "THE WHOLE ISREAL" and "THE FULL NUMBER OF THE GENTILES" (Romans 11:26-27) were raised and judged at that point.
Tom ... this is the "Achilles’ Heel" of the quasi-preterism of people like Max King, Don Preston, and Ed Stevens. If you take the fulfillment language of prophecy as literally as you take the "time statements" then you can't avoid the conclusion that there is no continuation of the Kingdom or Church on Earth after the parousia. If the Futurists ever get a hold of this weakness, they will easily embarrass any preterist preacher in a debate because they will be able to plainly demonstrate that preterism logically leads to the "end" of the church and Kingdom at AD 70 or else those quasi-preterists will have to concede that they can no longer insist on taking the "time statements" literally either.
4. Yes, I think you are beginning to understand correctly the implications of my view. I hope you also understand that I'm simply trying to be consistent about taking all the evidence in scripture at "face value" and not just the "time statements". I think when you begin to work with my perspective on this, you'll find that it solves all of the theological problems (beyond eschatology) that have been uselessly debated in the church for centuries.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Thu, 08/13/2009 - 13:57
1. No, I don't see any difference between a "spiritual" and "physical" resurrection. The same people who received the pouring (i.e. baptism) of holy spirit were the ones physically raised at the parousia. The resurrection did not occur until the parousia (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Adamic curse was physical death (Genesis 2:17; 3:19) and thus the resurrection reversed that curse just as Jesus physically died for sins and was physically raised from the dead (Romans 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
2. Yes, an "Israelite according to the flesh" was a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Paul identified his "gentile" converts as descendants of Abraham several times (Romans 4:1; Romans 4:15; Romans 9:3-5; Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, etc). This is why he refers to Abraham as the "forefather" and "father" of those to whom he was writing.
Also, please note that the apostles often used the words "kinsmen" (i.e. blood-relative) and "brethren" to address the churches. These are technical words for "fellow Israelites" and are not simply generic terms for a fellow church person. Those folks were literally "brothers" because the "sons of Israel" were all literally brothers.
3. No, most of the NT church was made up of "law-zealous" Jews (Acts 21:20) who were required to obey the Law until the parousia (Matthew 5:17-20). Jesus told the disciples to "obey Moses" (Matthew 23:1-2) and to teach the rest of their converts to do the same (Matthew 28:19-20). This is why the Jerusalem church struggled with accepting uncircumcised brethren into the church until they understood Paul's unique apostleship to those other people (Acts 15).
When you read the book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament, you must keep in mind that there were two different apostolic commissions being carried out by agreement of all the apostles as part of regathering the whole house of Israel throughout the known world. Peter and Paul made a "solemn agreement" that the Twelve would continue their "ministry to the circumcised" and not interfere with Paul's ministry "to the uncircumcised" (Galatians 2:7-11).
One of the most obvious trademarks that distinguished these different ministries was "water baptism". The Twelve circumcision apostles were required to water baptize their Jewish converts in keeping with the requirements of the Law (Matt 3:15; Hebrews 6:1-2; Acts 2:38) whereas Paul "was NOT sent to water baptize" (1 Corinthians 1:13-17) because his uncircumcised converts were not bound to the requirements of the Law (Galatians 3:9-11).
4. No, only the believing remnant of fleshly Israel was saved. All fleshly Israelites were eligible for salvation, but only the ones who gave testimony of faith in Jesus Christ could be saved. This is what distinguished between the "sheep" and "goats" who were separated at the final judgment/parousia (Matthew 25).
In Galatians 3-4, Paul is NOT talking about pagans become "spiritual children of Abraham" at all. What he is talking about is the difference between faithful Israelites who received the holy spirit as an indication that they were part of God's Kingdom through faith in Christ, as opposed to those other Israelites who rejected Christ and continued to put their trust in "works of Law" that were passing away (1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 John2:17). None of this had anything to do with pagan people who never had any covenant or inheritance in the Kingdom of God in the first place.
Always keep in mind that the OT prophecies are calling for the "restoration" of "scattered" Israel and not the salvation of pagans who had no covenant connection with YHWH. You can't be "restored" something that never existed in the first place! The church (including Jews and gentiles) was the "REBUILDING of the house of David which had fallen" (Acts 15:16-18). This means that the 12 tribes that David ruled in the past were being reunited. David's Kingdom did not include any other people, nor did it extend beyond the Promised Land geographically.
6. No, people like Abel, Enoch, and Noah were not Israelites nor were they part of the Kingdom of God. They were merely examples of faithful descendants of Adam (i.e. ancestors of Abraham and Israel) that were recognized for their obedience to YHWH while they lived in His Land before Abraham returned to it and was given the covenant (Genesis 12:1-3).
The only reason for the genealogies of Genesis 1-11 is to show that Abraham was a physical descendant of Adam who was the first descendant of Israel that YHWH made for the Promised Land. This provided the legal justification for the later Israelites to conquer and possess the Land that God originally gave to Adam (and that is why it is at the beginning of the Pentateuch). In the Law of Moses, the Land and Law are inseparable.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Fri, 08/14/2009 - 15:43
Let me try to clarify where I'm coming from with regard to the "gentiles."
First, the "gentiles" included all of the nations/tribes of Israel who were the elect descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who received the original promises (Genesis 17:1-8). The word "gentiles" simply means "nations" and "all Israel" was composed of the 12 nations/gentiles that were descended from the 12 sons of Jacob.
Second, the OT historical records tell us that, after the reign of David and Solomon, the Kingdom of God became divided into 2 parts (the "houses of Israel and Judah"). Judah was primarily constituted of the nations of Judah and Benjamin, whereas Israel (or Ephraim) was constituted mostly be descendants of the other 10 sons of Jacob.
Third, after the two houses were divided for a few generations, God divorced the house of Israel (Ephraim) and scattered them into captivity so that they were no longer effectively a part of the covenant and were no longer known as God's people (Hosea 1 & 2) and became the same as the other gentiles who were not part of Israel (Hosea 8:8). On the other hand, the house of Judah remained in covenant with God up until the time of Christ. They were called the "Jews" (first mentioned in 2 Kings 16:6) because the lived in the area know as Judea and still circumcised their children according to the customs of Moses.
Fourth, after the two houses were divided and the Northern Kingdom (Ephraim) was scattered away, God declared that He would make a "new covenant" (Jeremiah 31:31-34) with both "houses" of Israel in order to restore both the Jews (Judah) and the "the fullness of the gentiles" (Ephraim, Genesis 48:19-20; Romans 11:26) back into one nation ruled by "one shepherd" (Ezekiel 34, 36).
Fifth, Jesus was sent "only to save the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 15:24) and intended to "restore the Kingdom to Israel" (Acts 1:4-8) at his parousia. During the last days, there was holy spirit poured out first upon the "Jews" (Acts 2) and then upon Ephraim (Acts 10) as the evidence that God was restoring all the nations of Israel back into one Kingdom (Acts 15:16-18; 1 Corinthians 12:13) under the rule of Jesus, the son of David.
Sixth, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is just saying that the apostles anticipated a moment (at the parousia) when both the living and dead believers in Christ would be "caught away" to meet the Lord Jesus in the heavenlies where he had gone to prepare a permanent place for them (John 14:1-6). The word "caught away" means to be taken suddenly from one place to another (Acts 8:39).
Seventh, of course "A = A" and "B = B" but the scriptures sometimes use different names to identify the same nations. For example, the word "gentiles" is a common term that could apply to any "nations", but the specific context of scripture identifies the "gentiles" as physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who were the elect of God (Genesis 17:1-8; Genesis 48:19-20; Romans 11:26).
Eighth, If you read Paul's elaborate explanation of who was under the Law in Romans 3:9 - 4:1, you can see that "BOTH" Jews and Greeks (3:9) were under the Law (3:19) and had Abraham as their "forefather according to the flesh" (4:1).
Even though Ephraim was scattered in judgment, God promised not to ultimately forsake those gentiles because He would eventually restore them under the new covenant. In this sense, all 12 of the tribes/nations/gentiles of Israel were always "under the Law."
Ninth, I hope this helps! As I said earlier, your questions are covering a lot of ground so it's difficult to be specific in limited space. If you want to discuss things on the phone in greater detail, send me a PM with your number and I will arrange to contact you.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 16:20
I'm sorry I'm not being specific enough for you. I'm doing my best. I'll try to be more specific with these answers:
1. No, God did not care about any "gentiles" other than the ones descended from Abraham (Genesis 17:1-5).
2. The elect "gentiles" were predestined (Ephesians 1 & 2) for salvation based upon their descendancy from Abraham and not the Law (which was added later). Therefore, those uncircumcised Israelites (to whom Paul was sent) were still eligible for salvation but were not required to go back to circumcision and the Law because it was fading away.
3. Yes, I believe 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 only pertains to fleshly Israelites because they were only ones named in the "new covenant" (Jeremiah 31:31-34), the only ones to whom Jesus was sent (Matthew 15:24), and the only ones to whom the covenants, promises, and adoption of sons belonged (Romans 9:3-5).
4. Even though the word "gentiles" was the common word for any "tribe/nation", it specifically refers only to Abraham's descendants in the NT because they were only ones for whom salvation was intended (Romans 9:3-5; 11:26-27). When God names only "Israel" in all of the covenants and promises, then they are the only gentiles He cared about.
5. In Romans 3-4, Paul plainly mentions "both Jews and Greeks" (3:9, 19). Therefore, he is talking about both kinds of Israelites. The "Jews" were the circumcised party of the Pharisees and Sadducees, whereas the "Greeks" were the one who did not follow their doctrine.
6. Thanks for kind interaction on your part too. I've been trying for years to get the people here to see my ideas, but they are usually militantly opposed to them because they are scared of the true implications of consistent preterism. It's hard from most people to "lose their religion" even if the biblical evidence demands it.
7. Again, the word "gentile" is simply the common word for a "tribe" or "nation" of people (regardless of genealogy). The pagan Catholics used this term more specific when they were formulating the Creeds in order to refer to "non-Jews." However, this Latin denotation is not scriptural.
As I've shown repeatedly, the Bible almost always uses the term "nations/gentiles" to refer to the 12 nations that were descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 17:1-8; 48:19-20). Therefore, in the context of scripture, a "gentile" was an Israelite and not necessarily a non-Jew.
Another problem with most Bible readers who are influenced by the erroneous Catholic definition of "gentile" (as non-Jew) fail to understand that there were 2 different "houses" of Israel. The "Jews" represented only one of them (i.e. house of Judah). Thus, the word "nations" was used to describe the other "house" in order to distinguish their relationship to the covenant.
The "Jews" were mostly the Southern Kingdom Israelites who returned from the Babylonian captivity and remained in Judah until the parousia. The "house of Ephraim/Israel" was mostly the Northern Kingdom tribes that were divorced by God (Jeremiah 3:1-6) and "became gentiles" (Hosea 8:8) and "no more a people" (Hosea 1-2) until God restored them under the "new covenant" during the last days.
Hope this helps.
Submitted by RiversOfEden4 on Tue, 08/18/2009 - 10:45.
1. Let me clarify the issue with Galatians 4:4-5 and the Law. Abraham's "gentiles" were definitely under the Law just like the Jews.
2. As I noted earlier, the Law was "added" to the promise God made to Abraham at a later time and did not nullify that original promise (Galatians 3:17). Even though God "divorced" the gentiles of Ephraim (Jeremiah 3:1-6), it did not nullify the promise that was originally made with Abraham that "all" of his descendants would be blessed (Genesis 17:1-8).
3. Also, after God cut off Ephraim, He declared many promises through the Prophets regarding a future time when those "lost sheep" would be restored to the Kingdom under a "new covenant" (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 34-36). This is what was happening in Acts when both the "Jews" (circumcised) and "gentiles" (uncircumcised) of Israel were being "restored to the house of David" (Acts 15:16-18) by means of the unifying power of holy spirit poured out upon them all (Acts 2:32-36; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
4. You are right ... Galatians 4:4-5 DOES NOT say that Jesus came to redeem people who were not "under the Law". Thus, only the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who had been exclusively given the Law (Psalms 147:19-20) were predestined for redemption through Christ who was "sent ONLY to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 24:15) and to "help the children of ABRAHAM" (Hebrews 2:14-16).
5. Tom ... there are many reasons that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 refers only to Israel. It is not necessary to mention "Jew and gentile" in the passage when it is already in the immediate context of those verses:
a. Paul wrote the book to his "brethren" (1 Th. 1:1, 2:1, 2:9, 2:14, 2:17, 5:1, 5:4, 5:25, 5:27) and "brothers" (1 Th. 4:6, 4:9, 4:10, 4:13) which meant fellow Israelites (Romans 9:1-3) who "had Abraham as their forefather according to the flesh" (Romans 4:1).
b. Paul exhorted those people "in the Lord Jesus" and "by his authority" (1 Th. 4:1-2). Jesus was sent "only" to Israel (Matthew 15:24) and the apostles only had the authority to judge "the 12 tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28).
c. Paul contrasted those people with "the nations who don't know God" (1 Th. 4:5) and were "outsiders" (1Th. 4:12). This would be every other nation besides Israel (Amos 3:1-2).
d. Those people had received "holy spirit" (1:5-6) which was promised only for Israel (Acts 2:32-36) and the "house of David" (Acts 15:16-18).
Again, I hope this helps you to get more specific answers to your questions ...
RiversOfEden4 on Thu, 08/20/2009 - 09:55.
OK ... I will answer your questions again.
1. Yes, both Jews and Gentiles were "under the Law" (Romans 3:9-19) because they were all physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Romans 4:1; 9:3-5).
2. Yes, the gentiles who were under the Law were the ones descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 17:1-8; 48:19-20) who were God's only elect people on earth (Amos 3:1-2) and the only ones who received the Law (Psalms 149:19-20).
3. Yes, during the last days, holy spirit was poured out upon the gentiles indicating that they were not required to submit to circumcision or works of Law (Acts 15; Galatians 3:1-5). The Twelve were sent to the gentiles of Israel who were circumcised (Matthew 28:19-20; Galatians 2:7-11) whereas Paul as the apostle to those who were uncircumcised (Galatians 2:7-11).
4. Yes, the circumcised Jewish Israelites were required to be sprinkled with water (Acts 2:38) and to obey the Law of Moses (Matthew 23:1-2; 28:19-20) in order to be saved until the passing of the Law at the parousia (Matthew 5:17-19).
5. The word "gentiles" is simply the Latin translation of the common word for "nations" which was used to speak of Abraham's descendants from the beginning (Genesis 17:1-8). These are the only gentiles with whom God made any covenants, promises, adoption, or Law (Romans 9:3-5).
6. Yes, only the gentiles descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob received the Law (Deuteronomy 7:6; Amos 3:1-2; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalms 147:19-20; Romans 9:3-5).
All of this is quite consistent and makes perfectly good sense. I'm sorry that I can't explain it to you any more clearly. If you don't understand what I'm saying (or get the answers to your questions), that's OK too. You can believe whatever you want. You don't have to agree with me.
In Eph. 2, this chapter is also about the reuniting of the two houses of Israel, not about the "Gentiles" (non-Israelites) and the "Jews".
In Eph. 2:1-3 speaking to the gentile Israelites (the house of Israel), their forefathers who were once walking under the Law, even their brethen the Judahites in their time were doing those things i.e. circumcision, following every deails of the Law, genealogies, etc. but useless without faith in their Messiah, Jesus.
Let's go back to Eph. 1:4-7 for a moment: 4 according as He (Yahweh) did choose us (the descendants of Abraham) in him before the foundation of the world (the Mosaic world), for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love, 5 having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, 7 in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
Paul identified himself and those to whom he was writing in Ephesus as having been chosen before the foundation of the world and predestined unto the adoption of children. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul declared that the adoption belongs to Israelites:
Rom. 9:3 for I was wishing, I myself, to be anathema from the Christ -- for my brethren, my kindred, according to the flesh 4 who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises, 5 whose [are] the fathers, and of whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed to the ages. Amen.
This pretty much say it all. Paul also spoke of redemption in Ephesians 1:7. Redemption implies buying something back. Other nations could be bought, but only the people of Israel who had previously been the possession of Yahweh (Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, Psalm 135:4) could be bought back. Only their kinsman can redeem them according to the Law (Lev. 25:47-49).
In 1 Peter 2:9 says, and ye [are] a choice race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired, that the excellences ye may shew forth of Him who out of darkness did call you to His wondrous light (Psalm 147:19-20).
Now back to Ephesians 2, verse 11: Wherefore, remember, that ye [were] once the nations in the flesh (the house of Israel), who are called Uncircumcision by that called Circumcision (the house of Judah who were still in covenant) in the flesh made by hands.
Most "Christians" assume that the Ephesians must be non-Israelites. However, bear in mind that Yahweh divorced the house of Israel because she no longer followed His laws, including the law of circumcision.
Eph. 2:12 says that ye (the house of Israel) were at that time apart from Christ, having been alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and without God, in the world.
The phrase “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel” describes the house of Israel after Yahweh divorced and banished her. The Greek word "alienated" is apallotrioo (Strong's #526). It means that the house of Israel were estranged from God when they were scattered among the nations in c. 722 BC (Ez. 14:5; Zech. 11:7-10, 14). This description fits only Israelite nations because only they had once been citizens of the commonwealth of Israel. They were once strangers to the covenants of the promises because God considered they were not His people according to Hosea 1:4, 6, 9-11; 2:23 for over 700 years.
Ephesians 2:12 describes the gentile Israelites as being “without hope.” In Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the dry bones, Yahweh proclaimed because the people of Israel were without their God that they were also without hope:
And He saith unto me, `Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; lo, they are saying: Dried up have our bones, And perished hath our hope, We have been cut off by ourselves (Ezek. 37:11).
The Prophets testified that hope would be restored to the house of Israel when it was reunited with the house of Judah (Ezek. 34; 36; 37; Hosea 1 & 2; Jer. 31:16-20, 31-34 Joel 3:1-16; etc.). Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, God made it possible for people from both houses of Israel to be reunited with Him and with each other.
Eph. 2:13 and now, in Christ Jesus, ye (the house of Israel) being once afar off became nigh in the blood of the Christ.
The phrase “ye being once afar off” might appear at first to describe non-Israelite gentiles. However, “far off” is precisely where Yahweh exiled the nations of the house of Israel after divorcing them and from where He also promised to save them (Isa. 43:1-6; 49:7-12; Jer. 3:3-10; Dan. 9:7).
Eph. 2:14, for he is our peace, who did make both (houses of Israel) one, and the middle wall (Hos. 2:6) of the enclosure did break down, 15 the enmity in his flesh, the law of the commands in ordinances having done away, that the two he might create in himself into one new man, making peace, 16 and might reconcile both (houses of Israel) in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity in it, 17 and having come, he did proclaim good news -- peace to you -- the far-off (the house of Israel) and the nigh (the house of Judah), 18 because through him we have the access -- we both -- in one Spirit unto the Father.
In regard with "reconcile both", this cannot refer to a reconciliation between those who were never in a prior state of harmony. The implication of this phrase fits only Judah and Israel who lost their harmonious relationship when the united kingdom was divided and the house of Israel was divorce and dispersed abroad among non-Israelite nations.
There are no Old Testament prophecies describing such an event between Israelites and non-Israelites. Therefore, the word “ethne” in Ephesians 2 refers to Israelite rather than to non-Israelite nations.
Finally, in Eph. 2:19 Then, therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens of the saints, and of the household of God.
The word “strangers” refers back to verse 12 and the phrase “strangers from the covenants.” When Jesus reconciled the two groups by the blood of the New Covenant, the Ephesian gentile Israelites who became Christians were no longer strangers from God’s covenants of promise. This can only refer to Christian Israelites because God made His covenants with the people of Israel (Romans 9:3-4; Jer. 31:31-34). Therefore, there are no prophecies declaring that God would make His New Covenant with both Israelites and non-Israelites.
From Covenant Preterism forum:
I’m sorry you don’t see what I see. It seems to me that you don’t want to answer my questions in regard with Hosea 1 and 2 and also there is no proof that non-Israelites were part of the olive tree. The house of Israel was once called not His people:
Rom. 9:24 not only out of Jews, but also out of nations, 25 as also in Hosea He saith, `I will call what [is] not My people -- My people; and her not beloved -- Beloved, 26 and it shall be -- in the place where it was said to them, Ye [are] not My people; there they shall be called sons of the living God.'
Notice in Hosea talking about both houses were gathered together into one head (one body of Christ).
Hosea 1:9 and He saith, `Call his name Lo-Ammi, for ye [are] not My people, and I am not for you; 10 and the number of the sons of Israel hath been as the sand of the sea, that is not measured nor numbered, and it hath come to pass in the place where it is said to them, Ye [are] not My people, it is said to them, Sons of the Living God; 11 and gathered have been the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel together, and they have appointed to themselves one head, and have gone up from the land, for great [is] the day of Jezreel.
Their root dried up and they were wanderers among the nations.
Hosea 9:16 Ephraim hath been smitten, their root hath dried up, fruit they yield not, Yea, though they bring forth, I have put to death the desired of their womb. 17 Reject them doth my God, because they have not hearkened to Him, And they are wanderers among nations!
As prophesied in Jeremiah 11, 23, and 31 and as stated by Paul in Romans 11, Yahweh is saving a remnant out of all the families of both houses of Israel.
Here’s what happened to both houses of Israel in regard with the olive tree.
Jer. 11:10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their first fathers, who refused to hear My words, And they have gone after other gods to serve them, the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, have made void My covenant, that I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore thus said Jehovah: Lo, I am bringing in unto them evil, that they are not able to go out from, And they have cried unto Me, And I do not hearken unto them. …16 `An olive, green, fair, of goodly fruit,' Hath Jehovah called thy name, At the noise of a great tumult He hath kindled fire against it, And broken have been its thin branches. 17 And Jehovah of Hosts, who is planting thee, hath spoken evil concerning thee, for the evil of the house of Israel, and of the house of Judah, That they have done to themselves, To provoke Me to anger, to make perfume to Baal.
This is what God promised to both houses:
Jer. 23:5 Lo, days are coming -- an affirmation of Jehovah, And I have raised to David (Jesus) a righteous shoot, And a king hath reigned and acted wisely, And done judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In his days is (house of) Judah saved, and (house of) Israel dwelleth confidently, And this his name that Jehovah proclaimeth him, `Our Righteousness.' 7 Therefore, lo, days are coming, An affirmation of Jehovah, And they do not say any more, Jehovah liveth who brought up The sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, 8 But -- Jehovah liveth, who brought up, And who brought in, the seed of the house of Israel, From the land of the north, And from all the lands whither I drove them, And they have dwelt on their own ground!
Here’s another one.
Jer. 31:1 At that time, an affirmation of Jehovah, I am for God to all families of Israel, And they -- they are to Me for a people. 2 Thus said Jehovah: Found grace in the wilderness hath a people remaining from the sword going to cause it to rest -- Israel. 3 From afar Jehovah hath appeared to me, with love age-during I have loved thee, therefore I have drawn thee [with] kindness. 4 Again do I build thee, and thou hast been built, O virgin of Israel, Again thou puttest on thy tabrets, And hast gone out in the chorus of the playful. 5 Again thou dost plant vineyards In mountains of Samaria, Planters have planted, and made common. 6 For there is a day, Cried have watchmen on mount Ephraim, `Rise, and we go up to Zion, unto Jehovah our God; 7 For thus said Jehovah: Sing, O ye to Jacob, [with] joy, And cry aloud at the head of the nations, Sound ye, praise ye, and say, Save, O Jehovah, thy people, the remnant of Israel. 8 Lo, I am bringing them in from the north country, And have gathered them from the sides of the earth, Among them [are] blind and lame, Conceiving and travailing one -- together, A great assembly -- they turn back hither. 9 With weeping they come in, And with supplications I bring them, I cause them to go unto streams of waters, In a right way -- they stumble not in it, For I have been to Israel for a father, And Ephraim -- My first-born [is] he. 10 Hear a word of Jehovah, O nations, And declare ye among isles afar off, and say: He who is scattering Israel doth gather him, And hath kept him as a shepherd [doth] his flock, 11 For Jehovah hath ransomed Jacob, And redeemed him from a hand stronger than he.
Finally, Paul mentioned Abraham as “our father” in the epistle of Roman which means his audience was the gentile Israelites (Rom. 4:1). This is pretty strong case for my view.
In fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the valley of dry bones, both the house of Judah and the house of Israel were given “life from the dead” (Rom 11).
Ezek. 37:15 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, 16 `And thou, son of man, take to thee one stick, and write on it, For Judah, and for the sons of Israel, his companions; and take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel, his companions, 17 and bring them near one unto another, to thee, for one stick, and they have become one in thy hand. 18 `And when sons of thy people speak unto thee, saying, Dost thou not declare to us what these [are] to thee? 19 Speak unto them, Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I am taking the stick of Joseph, that [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions, and have given them unto him, with the stick of Judah, and have made them become one stick, and they have been one in My hand. 20 And the sticks on which thou writest have been in thy hand before thine eyes, 21 and speak thou unto them: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I am taking the sons of Israel, from among the nations whither they have gone, And have gathered them from round about, And I have brought them in unto their land. 22 And I have made them become one nation in the land, on mountains of Israel, And one king (Jesus) is to them all for king, And they are no more as two nations, Nor are they divided any more into two kingdoms again. 23 Nor are they defiled any more with their idols, And with their abominations, And with any of their transgressions, And I have saved them out of all their dwellings, In which they have sinned, And I have cleansed them, And they have been to Me for a people, And I -- I am to them for God. 24 And My servant David (Jesus) [is] king over them, And one shepherd (Jesus) have they all, And in My judgments they go, And My statutes they keep, and have done them. 25 And they have dwelt on the land that I gave to My servant, to Jacob, In which your fathers have dwelt, And they have dwelt on it, they and their sons, And their son's sons -- unto the age, And David My servant [is] their prince -- to the age. 26 And I have made to them (both houses, not for non-Israelites) a covenant of peace, A covenant age-during it is with them, And I have placed them, and multiplied them, And placed My sanctuary in their midst -- to the age. 27 And My tabernacle hath been over them, And I have been to them for God, And they have been to Me for a people. 28 And known have the nations that I Jehovah am sanctifying Israel, In My sanctuary being in their midst -- to the age!'
You need to keep in mind that in the books of the NT were written to the 12 tribes of Israel, either or both houses of Israel, depending on whom. Notice that James, Cephas (Peter), and John were sent to the Circumcised (Gal. 2:9) while Paul was sent to the Uncircumcised (Gal. 2:7-9). Now we know that the epistles of James, Peter, and John were written to the Circumcised. Paul’s epistles were written to the gentile –Israelites as we have shown you in previous posts (Rom. 4:1, 18; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:4; 1 Cor. 10:1; etc.). We don’t know who the writer in Hebrews was but of course it was written to them (not for non-Hebrews). The book of Revelation was written by John and we know it was written to the 12 tribes of Israel before the end of the age come at the parousia of Christ. There is nowhere in the NT was written to the non-Israelites.
Think about it. If you have read early part in the book of Acts, they were sent to the Jews/Circumcised. Later on God called Paul to be an apostle to the “Gentiles”. Notice in rest of the book of Acts Paul was sent to some certain places, mostly at the synagogues in far north of Israel. Why is that? Why not anywhere or close by where they can find the non-Israelites easily? Why did Jesus told his followers will be raised and judging the 12 tribes of Israel (all nations) at his coming (Matt.19:28; Luke 22:30)?
I am new to this great site and it is going to take time to get my brain warmed up! I Agree that the 12 tribes were not lost and God keeped his promise to Abraham. I am sure most reformed churches have missed the mark on the lost tribes and the physical seed of Abraham...I would like to get your guys thoughts on some issue's about this...Where those citizens of Nineveh Israelites? Where they related to Abraham by blood? I believe the 12 tribes were scattered through out Europe and Asia etc....Where do Gentiles fit into the church? How do you look at the church today and were all the Gentiles back before the Parousia Abraham's seed? Thank you.
Good question about if the citizens of Nineveh were Israelites or maybe among the Assyrians? I've been wondering about this. Maybe someone (Rivers? Mark?) can answer this.
Donald or Rivers,
Is the account in 2 Kings 17:22-28 an example of non-Israelites being given God's law and being required to obey it under penalty and how does this square with Psalm 147:19-20?
We have to keep in mind that the "Law" and the "Land" are inseparable in scripture (Genesis 15:18; Galatians 3:16-19). Whoever occupied the Promised Land was required to be accountable to the "God" who ruled there (i.e. the God of Israel). This is why those Assyrians were being judged while they temporarily occupied Samaria after God scattered His own people out of the area.
The fact that the King of Assyria had to find a priest of Israel to return to Samaria to teach God's Law to the temporary occupants shows that the Law was only entrusted to the Israelites (Psalm 147:19-20; Amos 3:1-2). As the Law said, other nations could learn from the Law even though they were not God's chosen people, but the Israelites were still never to welcome them into their faith (Deuteronomy 7:1-3).
Also, keep in mind that when non-Israelites passed through the cities of Israel, they were still required to obey God's Laws and were also protected by them (in the same way that a non-US citizen today would still be accountable to, and protected by, many of the same laws that apply to a US citizen). Of course, the jurisdiction of the Law doesn't determine the citizenship.