Preaching The Gospel To The Jew First

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Hi again P____,

I especially appreciate the last paragraph of your e- mail. And of that paragraph I especially appreciate the last sentence:

But to be honest, so long as we consider “Israel according to the flesh” to be ‘God’s chosen people,’ instead of His “broken off” and supplanted people, we have no idea what “the things after God’s heart” are. This is the undeniable ‘heart of God’ on this matter for us today:

I receive hundreds of web pages that people want me to critique. I will do with this page what I do with them all. I will read till I come to the first thing that is not scriptural and I simply must stop there so I can do justice to my other readers. So I have cut and pasted the first part of this page that deals with the subject of the churches’ responsibility to Israel, and I will comment on that. Mr. Art Katz’s page will all be in italics and my comments will be in regular type:

Israel’s Restoration:

The eternal wisdom of God, demonstrated through the Church,
as the necessary prelude to Messiah’s parousia
by Art Katz

(Delivered in Kent, England; September 1995)

There are two great English Hebrew- Christian scholars: David Baron and Adolph Saphir. Both are outstanding and sensitive men of God whose writing is eloquent and contains an extraordinary depth of perception. I’d like to read to you this morning from David Baron who lived in the latter part of the 19th century and was involved in the White Chapel Mission to the Jews in East London. This book is called Israel’s Inalienable Possessions. The introduction mentions that many of Baron’s books and writings were destroyed in WWII when East London was bombed, so there are very few things of his that remain. When you see the things that are available you realize how precious a man he must have been.

His first article in this book is based on the Scripture that opens Paul’s statement in Romans on the mystery of Israel:

“I could wish that I myself were cursed or anathematized from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (9:3). It is a remarkable introduction to a subject wherein a man would exchange his salvation, willing to forego what he has already tasted and the eternal benefit of it, that his people might know Christ. Baron makes some remarkable statements about that opening that I want to share. He says: “The feelings to which he [ Paul] gives utterance are no mere natural sentiments such as a Jew might be supposed to have for his nation… ” And here is the remarkable thing as it pertains to the Church.

Comment: Paul’s feelings for his “kinsmen according to the flesh” are no more than Abraham’s feelings toward Ishmael when God told Abraham that Ishmael was not to be his heir. Abraham’s immediate response was “Oh, that Ishmael might live before thee.” Be sure to read How To Rightly Divide The Word Using A Principle Only The Apostles Understood. I have cut and pasted the portion of that paper that deals with Paul’s use of the scriptures. Paul demonstrates how we are to view Israel today as “Israel according to the flesh” relates to the church. Paul’s theology concerning Israel according to the flesh does not line up with the theology of Art Katz or David Baron. Paul’s theology does line up with what Abraham was finally forced to acknowledge:

Gen 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Gen 21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son [ Ishmael].
Gen 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Anti- Semitism is an abomination, but to place any special spiritual significance to “Israel according to the flesh” is to deny the Truth of the words of Christ Himself: “The flesh profiteth nothing…” (Joh 6:63). Continuing with Mr. Katz’s page:

There is something about the nature of the subject of Israel or the mystery of Israel for the Church that is so intrinsic, so central for its own sake, that the omission of it (which has been unhappily its historical experience), condemns the Church to a decrepit condition. There is I believe, something—a missing, crucial dimension—that God intended as normative: and that is the centrality of the people Israel who are out of the Way, out of the faith, blasphemous, and nevertheless yet God’s people to whom (through their fathers) he has made great promises of a destiny still to be fulfilled. But not before they pass through the severest of final testings known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:7), to be brought out of it—as a surviving remnant—through the mercy of God extended uniquely through a non- begrudging Church. And this, the concluding historical act of God, by which human history itself ends and the Millennial age commences! Everything hinges on the whole issue of this nation’s restoration.

Comment: Nothing could be less scriptural. The “mystery of Israel” is revealed in Galatians four, and Mr. Katz, along with the entire orthodox Christian world, has rejected that mystery. Physical Israel has been “cast out.” Physical Israel is the “son of the bondwoman… and answers to Jerusalem that now is and is in bondage with her children.” The only thing that is “central” to the gospel is Christ:

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Outside of Christ there are no promises. God has “His only son,” those who “as Isaac are children of promise.”

The  “son of the bondwoman… Jerusalem that now is, and is in bondage with her children… will not be made heir with the son of the free woman.” That is the “heart of God” on who are “counted for the seed.” I have not decided who it is that is “counted for the seed.” God was the one who made that decision..

Gal 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is and is in bondage with her children.

This Biblical doctrine flies in the face of everything that is taught in orthodox Christian circles to this day.

Genesis tells us of Abraham learning that Ishmael was to be rejected as Abraham’s seed: “The thing was very grievous to Abraham…” just as it was very grievous to Paul to have to come to see that his “kinsman according to the flesh… these are not the children of God, but the children of promise are counted for the seed… and we brethren [ Gentiles Galatians] as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”

And what are we told is Ishmael’s relation to Isaac, now that he has been pronounced “the cast out son of the bondwoman?” Is he now to somehow be counted as a son of Abraham? Here is the ‘grievous’ scriptural answer:

Gen 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
Gen 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
Gen 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

There is but ONE ‘Israel,’ and it is not “according to the flesh.”

Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

Mr. Katz continues:

And the remarkable thing is that the Church, God’s agent towards them, is essentially a Gentile Church. That is to say, there is no natural reason why a Gentile should have any affinity or interest in this people, who are not comely and are stubborn, stiff- necked and having given God all kinds of fits, and even to this day deport themselves in a way that apparently does not honor God but defames His name, even in Israel! And it will get worse before it gets better. Yet their redemption is central to us as the Church in the wisdom of God! That is why Paul uses the word “mystery.” It is something that has been concealed and hidden but is now being revealed, that defies all rational understanding—as if God had gone out of his way to choose the most prohibitive and unlikely factors to succeed in His own coming as a King, first over that restored nation—that “the law can go forth out of Zion and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem” (Isa 2:3) to all nations—in a way which seems impossibly hopeless with an Israel who has no willingness to be chosen, a nation which has no apparent interest in fulfilling its own destiny—and in fact does not even seem to know it! And the principal agent in bringing this about? An essentially Gentile Church!

Thee “agent toward them is the “Israel of God.” And so far as scripture is concerned this is God’s “only son.” ‘Grievous’ as it is to the orthodox Christian church, ‘grievous’ as it is to Israel “according to the flesh,” here is “God’s heart” on this entire issue. I repeat:

Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these [ two wives of Abraham] are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai [ It was the physical descendants of Sarah who were at Sinai. It was not the descendants of Hagar. And yet the Spirit tells us…], which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. [ Be sure to read the newly posted paper Where and What Is Heaven?]
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28 Now we [ Gentile Galatians], brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

“But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” To this day anyone who disagrees with Mr. Katz and Mr. Baron; anyone who agrees with Paul, is persecuted and “cast out of their synagogues.” The carnal mind is simply incapable of understanding how the Spirit can call those at Sinai, those who received the law of Moses, “the children of Hagar” or “the son of the bond woman.” Nevertheless that is exactly what those who cannot see “the things of the spirit” are.

Now, if all of what Paul says here in Galatians four is true, then we should be able to verify it within his other writings. So exactly when does Paul tell us that God will fulfill His promise to bring “Israel according to the flesh,” to Himself?  Is it indeed, as Mr. Katz, Mr. Baron and the entire orthodox Christian church believes, “when the Millennial age commences?” We are not left to guess when “my kinsmen according to the flesh,” will be brought back to God. We are actually told exactly when this will occur. It is, as it always is, the exact opposite of what is taught in the fallen Babylonish ‘Israel of God:’

Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

“God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew” does not say that “Israel according to the flesh” will be reigning in the kingdom “when the Millennial age commences” as Mr. Katz and the orthodox Christian Church teach. So when does Paul tell us that Israel according to the flesh will be brought back to God? Paul is very clear on this subject. And it so happens that what Paul says on this subject agrees with what is revealed in the prophets; none of which agrees with what is taught universally in the orthodox Christian church. Here is what Paul taught:

Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid [ they have not fallen just for the sake of being fallen, but…]: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Rom 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their [ Israel’s] fulness?

And just when is this “fulness of Israel?” What Is Paul’s answer to this question? It matters not what men teach. What saith the scriptures?

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

There is our answer, right before our eyes. It has been there for two thousand years, and yet we cannot see it. Israel is to be restored when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in:”

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel [“their fulness”- verse 12] shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

“The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Does that verse say that Israel will be reigning in the kingdom “when the Millennial age commence?.”

No, it says nothing of the kind. Verse 29 does not contradict verse 25. Rather verse 29 agrees with verse 25. “Israel is blinded until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” When the “fulness of the Gentiles be come in… then all Israel shall be saved.”

Ezekiel 37, the “valley of dry bones,” is a prophecy of the salvation of “the whole house of Israel.”

Eze 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

But these bones symbolizing “the whole house of Israel” are resurrected and given a”heart of flesh” to replace their old “heart of stone.”

Eze 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you…

No one has ever had a “heart of stone.” What God is symbolizing in these verses is the fact that He will, in the resurrection and through the lake of fire, burn out of Israel the carnal mind they have always displayed and He will, at that time, replace that carnal, stony mind with a much softer heart, a spiritual heart, that will at last respond to His chastening in the figurative lake of fire. So ‘stone’ is used by God’s spirit to symbolize a carnal mind, and in this case flesh is used to symbolize a softer, more pliant, spiritual mind. Neither are intended to be taken literally.

So we have established that Israel’s “fulness” will occur when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” We have also established that “the whole house of Israel” (Eze 37:11) and “all Israel will be saved” (Rom 11:26). What has always been overlooked is that this is all dependent, not upon all Israel being saved, but instead upon the exact opposite being accomplished first. Israel will not be saved “ until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Then and only “then shall all Israel be saved.” It is right here in the book of Ezekiel that this Biblical Truth is founded and established. When exactly does Ezekiel tells us that all Israel shall be brought back to God? Why it just happens to be at the same time that Paul told us it would happen. For this corroborating scripture, we must go back to Ezekiel 16. This is a chapter which in many ways parallels Deu 28. Like Deu 28, Ezekiel 16, starts out on a positive note describing God’s blessing on Israel. But just like Deu 28 the vast majority of Ezekiel 16 detail just how far from God Israel ends up in her rebellion against being the wife of God. Here is that story. Notice exactly “when… Jerusalem and her daughters will be restored to their former estate:”

Eze 16:46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.
Eze 16:47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as [ if that were] a very little [ thing], thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.
Eze 16:48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

Not long ago, 60 Minutes, an American television news magazine, ran a story detailing an international prostitution operation which was taking advantage of the incredible poverty ravaging the former Soviet Union. Hundreds of thousands of young Russian and East European girls were being sold into slavery as prostitutes to wealthy men from all over the globe. And where do you suppose this international prostitution, this sale of “souls of men,” was headquartered? Was it New York? Was it London or Paris or Mexico City? No, it was none of those. Had it been one of those, there would have been an international outcry. This sale of the souls of men was headquartered in Jerusalem! And to hear those men who were profiting from this industry of fornication, you would have thought that they were doing these girls a great favor. And so God continues:

Eze 16:51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.
Eze 16:52 Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.
Eze 16:53 When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:
Eze 16:54 That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.
Eze 16:55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

There it is. It is a clear and consistent message throughout the scriptures. All of God’s Words agree with both Paul and with Christ:

Joh 6:63 …The flesh [ physical decent] profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Rom 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

To this all scripture agrees. Israel “according to the flesh” will be brought to God “when Sodom and Samaria are returned to their former estate.”

Mr. Katz teaches:

Yet their [ Israel after the flesh] redemption is central to us as the Church in the wisdom of God!

Mr. Katz has it in the reverse of the Truth. It is our fullness that is central to their fullness:

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved:

Mr. Katz is right when he says “And the remarkable thing is that the Church, God’s agent towards them…” That the church is the agent is not so remarkable because the church is God’s “seed of Abraham,” (Gal 3:16-29). And Paul emphasizes that it is “through this mercy of your s [ the election, those who are “counted for the seed,” “the Israel of God,”] that they [ Israel according to the flesh- the son of the bondwoman] will obtain mercy.”

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Joseph and his brothers are our example of how this will play out in that figurative lake of fire. Joseph’s brothers were “tormented in the presence of the Lamb.”

Gen 42:8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
Gen 42:17 And he [ Joseph] put them all together into ward three days.
Gen 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God:
Gen 42:19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
Gen 42:20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
Gen 42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
Gen 42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
Gen 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
Gen 42:24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.

Joseph could easily have just slapped his brothers on the back and acted as if nothing had happened. Instead he let them; no, he made them to be “tormented in the presence of the Lamb” for their own good, to come to see themselves as they were.

Psa 18:26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

The book of Revelation does not end like the book of Matthew. There is a maturing at the time of the end that is not evident at the beginning. And mind you this all has an Is, Was and Will Be character to it in the life of every Christian of every generation. Matthew ends with the commission to take the gospel to the world. But look at how the book of Revelation ends:

Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

I urge you to read Ezekiel 2 and three. Then I want you to read Rev 10 and 11. After you have read those chapters in that order I want you to get back to me, and tell me what you have gleaned from those chapters.

Your last question I think I have answered above.

Comment: Yes, but the Christian church is just as “under the curse of the law” as is Israel according to the flesh.” They all actually believe that the verse of scripture that states that “I will bless them that bless you and I will curse them that curse you” refers to the flesh. The “apple of Gods eye” is not his broken off, divorced people. It is rather his new bride, an “espoused virgin,” whose right to her husband recognizes that “the flesh profits nothing.” So long as we cling so tenaciously to the flesh, we will reap the consequences of that appeal. Christ may tell us to “love thine enemies.” But the flesh will tell you to kill your enemies and the enemies of Israel “according to the flesh” or else you will be under a curse. There is plenty of evil in this world. What has happened to Israel according to the flesh is tragic. But it is no reason to ignore the words of scripture that we are to love our enemies. Love is indeed the litmus test for “God is love,” and we are to “love thine enemies.” That love is to be ‘agape’ love; it depends on nothing that is done by others. Least of all does it depend on how one nation treats another. Agape love is unconditional love. And it is toward all men.

I hope this is all of use to you in your stated desire to “know the heart of God.”

Mike

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