Fulfilled Theology - Preterist

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

 

Tom,

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.

 

Hi Tom,

 

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.

 

Hi Tom,

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

 

Hi Tom,

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

Tom,

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

Hi Tom,

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

 

Hi Tom,

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.

 

Tom,

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.

 

Tom,

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.

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Hello Lads,

Is there any writings from Jewish,Abraham Israelites pertaining to the completion of the new covenant? Why did non-Israelites believe in Christ if it was for Israel only? Why were the church fathers non-Jewish? If the gospel had nothing to do with Gentiles don't you think some Jews would of told them? I find it hard to believe that before and after Christ came there were no Gentile's coming into the church who had nothing to do with israel or Abraham.... Did any of the Celtics, Anglo-Saxons, Gauls,etc who were pagan's come to Christ? Every single Greek or Italian who heard the Apostles preach who were non-Israelites/Abraham's seed did not come to Christ? All these historians and Gentile non- Israelites became Christians?

Thank you

Timothy Wallace

Hi Timothy,

 

According to scripture, "every person" who belonged to Israel and Christianity was resurrected for judgment at the time of the parousia during the apostolic generation (Matthew 16:27-28; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:23-24).   The believers were taken to be with the Lord in the heavens and the unbelievers were destroyed (Revelation 20:11-15).   That's all we know from scripture.

 

Speculating about what happened several hundred years after the parousia is fruitless.   Just because the Church Fathers claimed to be "Christians" doesn't make it true.   For example, the modern "Jews" that we know today have nothing to do with the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of scripture.  Their genealogical heritage is of Mongolian and Germanic origin.  They are merely called "Jews" because they "adopted" the religion of Judaism and eventually migrated to the country we call "Israel" today.

 

Likewise, perhaps the Church Fathers merely adopted the Christian "religion" without any relation to the true God or Jesus at all.

 

Rivers :)

riversofeden4@gmail.com

Hi Don and Rivers,

This specific Blog/Forum has been a tremendous help for me to understand the whole issue of the Gentiles being the scattered House of Israel, and the Jews/Judah still being in covenant with God in the first century city of Jerusalem.
You two have done a great job in explaining God's specific covenant with a specific people (National Israel) and I couldn't agree more.

But I'm having a problem with 2 parallel passages in the Gospels, and I'm hoping you can shed some detailed light for me.

The passages are Mark 7:25-31 and Matt.15: 21-28.

In Mark, it says that the woman is a Syro-Phoenician BY RACE/Birth
In Matthew, it says that she is a Canaanite woman.

In Matthew 15, Jesus says that He has not come except for the lost sheep of Israel. He said THAT statement after the disciples tell Him to send her away (because she's a Gentile).
Jesus then says to the woman, "It is not right to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs".

What I want to ask is this----

Does this show that she was a non-Israelite by race, or did this show that she was a dispersed Israelite that was saved by faith apart from works ?

Thanks for your time, Vinnie

 

 

Hi Vinnie,

 

Great questions!   Here are some things to think about with respect to the Syrophenecian woman and the actual words that are used to describe her.

 

1.  The word "Gentile" in Mark 7:26 is actually the word for "Greek" or "Grecian" (HELLENIS) and not the usual word for the "gentiles".   The term "Greek" was used in scripture of Israelites who were not following the "Jewish" religion of the native-born Hebrews (John 7:35; Acts 6:1).  It was also used interchangeably with "gentiles" for those who were "uncircumcised" descendants of Abraham (Romans 3:9, 19; Romans 4:1; Romans 4:16).

 

2.  The word "race" in Mark 7:26 is from the Greek word GENOS which simply means place of birth (i.e nationality).   For example, the word GENOS is used elsewhere to speak of a "Levite" who was "of the country (GENOS) of Cyprus" (Acts 4:36).  Thus, an Israelite by "race" could have a different "nationality" depending upon where he lived.    In Acts 2:8-11, the word is used to speak of the "devout Jews" (Acts 2:5) who were "born" (GENNAW) in foreign countries and spoke the foreign languages of those regions.

 

3.  The word "Syropheonician" (Mark 7:26) identifies what region the woman came from in the same way that the words "Cretan" and "Arab" and "Egyptian" identified where the "devout Jews" came from at Pentecost (Acts 2:5-11).   We also know this because "Syropheonician" modifies the word "nationality" (GENOS).   Thus, her nationality was "Syrophoenician" because of where she lived (and not because of her race).   This is like the "Levite" (Israelite) from "Cyprus" (Acts 4:36).   He would have been called a "Cyprian" (because of where he lived) but he was still of the Israelites tribe of Levi.  "Nationalities" in the ancient world did not depend upon one's "race."

 

4.  The Syropheonician woman was like the "Samarian" woman Jesus met at the well.   Although she was called a "Samaritan" (because of where she lived and worshipped), she was also a descendant of Jacob (Israel) just like Jesus (John 4:9-12).  This shows that "nationalities" do not necessarily indicate "race" in scripture.   In the story of the Samaritan woman, we are told that "Jews had no dealings with Samaritans" (John 4:9) even through both the Jews and Samaritans all had "Jacob" (Israel) as their "father" (John 4:12).

 

5.  In Matthew 15:22, the woman is referred to as a "Canaanite."  The context explains that Jesus had juar left Judea and gone into the "district of Tyre and Sidon" (Matthew 15:21) and that the woman "came from that region" (Matthew 15:22).  Thus, the term "Canaanite" is another reference to her place of birth (or language) and not her "race."

 

6.  The part about "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" could be taken 2 ways.   Jesus had already told the disciples "do not go into the way of the Samaritans or the Gentiles but go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:5-6)  This shows that  "the house of Israel" in some sense was contrasted with "Samaritans" and "Gentiles" by geographic region even though some "Samarians" (John 4:9-12) and "Gentiles" (Matthew 4:15) were also Israelites.  It seems that the Jews in Judea only regarded their own district as "Israel."

 

The main thing to think about here is that the biblical evidence shows that "nationalities" (e.g. Samaritan, Syrophoenician, Ethiopian, etc) were not used in scripture to identify a person's race.  Israelites who were born outside of Judea and did not speak Hebrew were considered "Greeks" or "Gentiles" or "foreigners" even though they were still descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Romans 4:1; Romans 4:16; John 4:9-12) by genealogy.

 

The term "Jew" in scripture refers to a certain religious sect of Israelites that "circumcised according to the customs of Moses" (Acts 15:1-3).   Terms like "Greeks" and "Samaritans" were used of other Israelites who did not follow the religious practices of the "Jews" but were still descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (John 7:35; John 4:9-12; Romans 4:1, 16).   

 

I think misunderstandings arise because most people who study the Bible simply assume that all Israelites were "Jews" and aren't taking the rest of the evidence into consideration.  Even most preterists are using "Jew" synonymously with "Israelite" and cause a lot of confusion.

 

Rivers :)

riversofeden4@gmail.com

Rivers,

 

How do you deal with Rahab the harlot (Heb. 11:31)? Was she a Canaanite? She and her family were placed outside the camp of Israel (Joshua 6:23) but she has gained approval through her faith which God had provided something better (Heb. 11:39-40).

Hi Donald,

 

As far as we can tell, Rahab the harlot was not an Israelite or allowed to be part of the congregation of Israel (Joshua 6:23).  According to Hebrews she was saved from dying at the hands of Joshua's armies on account of her faith (Hebrews 11:31).

 

The "and all these" in Hebrews 11:39 is grammatically referring back to Hebrews 11:32 where it speaks of additional heroes in the history of Israel.  Notice the transitional word "and" in Hebrews 11:32 that separates it (grammatically) from Hebrews 11:31

 

Another reason I don't think it was the author's intent to suggest that Rahab the harlot was part of Israel's blessing is because because the "us" that appears twice in Hebrews 11:40 puts the discussion back in the context of "partakers of flesh and blood ... the children of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:14-16) that are the subject of the whole book of Hebrews.

 

Rivers :)

riversofeden4@gmail.com

Rivers,

 

Hmm...interesting thought of yours. I always thought the "and all these" in Heb. 11:39 referring to Heb. 11:17-38 with the list of people "by faith."

Hi Donald,

It's possible that it could be inclusive of the Hebrews 11:17-38, but that still wouldn't necessarily mean that "Abel" or "Rahab the Harlot" was included in the covenants and promises made with "the Israelites according to the flesh" (Romans 9:3-5). 

 

The point of the passage is just to show that there were people in the OT who were commended by God for their faith in times of trouble and temptation.   It isn't a passage about who was eligible for salvation or eternal life under the new covenant.

Also, Hebrews 11 is within the greater context of the letter to the Hebrews who were a specific geneaology of people (Hebrews 2:14-16) who were the recipients of God's revelation through the prophets (Hebrews 1:1).

 

Rivers :)

riversofeden@gmail.com

Rivers,

 

Thanks. In regard with the “foreigner” (Heb: nokriy/Strong's #5237) in 1 Kings 8:41-43, is it referring to the Hebrew race who came from a far country to worship God? Also in verse 43 says, “all of the peoples” (Heb: am/Strong's #5971) of the land referring to members of one’s people, country-men, kinsman, kindred as the people of Israel, correct?

Hi Donald,

 

Yes, I think that is correct.   In the context of 1 Kings 8, I think the "foreigner" is referring to scattered Israelites for many reasons based upon the fact that a "foreigner" could simply be someone who no longer had an inheritance in the land of Israel because they were sold into slavery or resided far away from the rest of the people.

 

For example Rachel and Leah were regarded as "foreigners" by their own father, Laban, because they had moved far away from their home to live with Jacob (Genesis 31:14-16) and no longer had any right to an "inheritance" where they were originally born.   I think this gives us some insight into how the word "foreigner" was understood and could be applied to a fellow Israelite.

 

As we see in Matthew 10:5-6 and Matthew 15:24, there was a sense in which "the house of Israel" in the NT sometimes referred to the covenant people who resided in Judea, as opposed to other Israelites who were born or resided outside of Judea (e.g. the Samaritans, John 4:9-12 and Galileans, Matthew 4:15).   The word "foreigner" is not a racial term in scripture.

 

Rivers :)

riversofeden4@gmail.com

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