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THE STONES ON THE ROAD OF THE GALLOP
THE WORD OF GOD ONLY, ALWAYS, JUDGES
AND WHEN THIS IS CONTRAVENED
DUST OBSCURES VISION, and
SOME BECOME BLINDED TO THE STATE OF THE RACE
BUT THE RACE CONTINUES ACCORDING TO HIS WORD
It may prove profitable to
consider in some more detail the 'Jewish' assault noted, in terms of Biblical
It appears confused and perhaps chiefly, and others may therefore benefit from its exposure.
Thus the STATEMENT presented on procedure is this: "My catchcry is and has always been that Scriptural truth must always be interpreted in the light of proven and incontestable factual-historic truth." This of course is contrary to the Biblical requirement, as noted for example by Paul in I Corinthians 2:9-13, by Isaiah in . Spiritual things are compared with spiritual: hence we interpret what GOD says, not by what we think, or 'scholars' of some school or other we may like, think in terms of their often egregious or liberal or reckless views, popular or unpopular, frequently contradictory, worldly or whatever, of what is the case, but BY ITSELF. This is brought out in detail in some material that should be made available on the Web, tomorrow (Galloping Events 2, *2).
'Proven' this and that 'truth' is readily claimed by many, who contradict one another with a regalia of almost regal indifference, in this generation, while philosophy captures the many butterflies and the 'obvious' is frequently absurd. But beyond this, these non-infallible criteria and sources are NOT AT ALL what is necessary when interpreting the Bible. The Book of the Lord does not stand by additions, which can fail and which it forbids (Proverbs 30:6); it stands alone, and its interpretation must be from itself.
But let us proceed to the
assault in more detail.
One of the summaries reads:
"1. All Israelites are
Hebrews and Semites.
2. Only a few of the Israelites were called Jews (or, Judahites, or Judeans).
3. Many non-Israelites were called Jews (Judahites, Judeans) simply because they lived in
I have added numbers for ready identification.
1 is correct.
2 relates to what is below in dark blue, and is incorrect.
The presentation does not follow either the evidence or the scripture.
In fact, when
Hence in Ezra 5:1 we are not to imagine that some division has been made, and many of those who returned were irrelevant to the call. Such would be as groundless as feckless. It would be creating what is not there in terminological distinction. There is no evidence for such a usage, division or setting aside of some. Quite the contrary, using the Biblical method of interpreting what it means by what it SAYS (Matthew 4:4), as is normal in non-patronising usage of speech, we find that a vast diversity of people from varied sources had come (Ezra 2).
There was, we learn, a most careful process of registration, involving careful attention to so much as complex issues (3:62ff.).
In Ezra 3:1
we learn that "when the seventh month had come, and the children of
I think this is enough. The
facts have now been demonstrated several times, are in any case irrelevant to
the issue. HE is of the tribe of
Hence the term "Jew" or Judah-ite if some wish it, depending on what slant anyone wishes to place on it, but in any case, as occurs in terminology, the PEOPLE to whom the term Jew or Judah-ite is now deemed applicable (perhaps because of their undoubted concentration from Judah in Babylon, from which they had just come, & cf. the blessings of Genesis 49:8,10), are the returning, non-differentiated, so-named, children of Israel. This identity contradicts the contrary assertion, not only verbally, but in substance. Any such limitation varies from the terminology and usage and substance and criteria of the text. ALL the Israelites WHO RETURNED, without reference to distinction here bore that name.
This is merely to add to the simple fact that many contexts have already been provided, to identify FROM THEM ALONE, from their substance and data, what is meant. This confirms it, though it needs no confirmation, for only by DISESTABLISHING these, one and all, can any beginning of question appear.
Point 3 above, is correct, in the first part, but not relevant to the contentiond regarding the Jews. It is one more non sequitur. Thus as noted, in Isaiah 56 AMPLE and LIBERAL PROVISION is made for proselytes. It is found also in Deuteronomy 23:8 that there is provision for the possibility of entry of people from Edom in the 3rd generation. Adoption of the Jewish faith was the criterion, and when it was Biblical in form, that was that, provided the various procedures were kept and the acceptance confirmed. That is, from the early times, there was no MERELY racial matter. England can accept Frenchmen if it wants, on its own terms, as citizens. It does not cease to be England, if not invaded. The Jews (the current term, and that current from Ezra as readily seen) could accept whom they would.
It is always amusing to find the question arise, CAN you refer to a CURRENT city, or a city extant at a time later than that of one's reference, BY its later name ? Of course you can: it depends as all sound writing, on your PURPOSE. If you want to specialise in nomenclature for some purpose, then you will want to look it up and put in the exact form contemporary to the period to which you make reference. If however your purpose is to tell people who NOW know what the NAME MEANS, what happened in that PLACE, then you can use the one which fulfils these specifications. This often happens. "London, at that time, was mainly marshes" is not ridiculous, but is using current name to specify unchanged or basic location, in order to transfer the mind to the site. If you wanted to, you could add what was its name earlier (then called so and so). Many might be expected to know the name was not the same as now, or the issue might be deemed beside the point. You are, in such a case, NOT saying, The place now called London then had the same name, and was mainly marshes, but simply specifying a place by a known name, in indicating a former situation.
Wars of witless words can proceed, fulfilling Paul's implicit admonition not to argue about words (I Timothy 6:4). It is the task really to make yourself clear, and not to state anything incorrect. If you want to fill in an ellipsis, you could say, "London, the place we now call this, was at ..." but for many this is deemed an insertion of problematic value, and perhaps patronising needlessness. The question is this: Do you mean what the name signifies by LONDON, and if so are you saying more than that ? Not actually. SO be it.
However, such points are merely peripheral. The criterion is what the context shows to be the meaning of the term, not the nuance attributed by someone else's cultural preference, on the basis of a certain viewpoint on the history of the term. If the meaning is the desire, this is the necessity, without addition.
Thus the children of Israel could ALWAYS have proselytes and these could enter the "congregation", and have a place, in some cases, as Isaiah is explicit in stating, BETTER than that of children, IF they were faithful to what it was all about, namely, THE LORD, for whom the children of Israel were a chosen instrument for praise, possessing as demonstrated in detail in earlier transmission, the guarantee of God for their continuity as a people.
The "simply cannot" phrasing (in point 3) CANNOT be accepted. It is a non sequitur. The facts are that the children of Israel was a common term, the call by Israel has been shown, by Jacob likewise, excluding non-line children of Abraham. The usage of Jew, and its correlation with the exile is of interest, but the designation of the term is clear from context, whether in Ezra or Esther.
The term "Jew" then can and should be used with complete freedom to refer to that body of people who fulfil whatever God promises Israel, as shown from the relevant contexts noted, in the materials sent, the descendants of the same. They come to the forefront to identifiability when they are aggregated in the way prescribed, in the site prescribed, for the purposes reviewed, as in Zechariah and Ezekiel, and the term, more recent in Biblical usage for this people, than Hebrews or Semites, and more specific in some usages, is not only good, but outstandingly precise. It leaves no doubt. It is the people who are racially derived, with whatever voluntary acceptances added, from Jacob, whose history has the facets traced in the prophetic contexts noted, who by culture, race or religion, or some combination, in terms of race and religion, make up a specifiable people. Call them what you will, they are designate and no possible ambiguity applies to their nature. In fact, we use various Biblical usages, but always assign the MEANING to ANY usage, as it allows, dictates and directs from context.
TO insist on some less historically clear term, or to seek to divest this clear Biblical usage from the scope of one's speech, is simply not Biblical. MANY terms may be used; but to EXCLUDE what the Bible uses, is inadmissible for anyone seeking to INTERPRET it. However, the main point is simply what one means, and this is made clear by the specifications in SMR Appendix A, and in the current volume.
The third point is
therefore a complete misnomer, without vestige of ground in any way whatsoever.
JEW IS HERE TO STAY AND THE BIBLE IS CLEAR ON ITS PORTENT
A SECOND STUDY (titled, Study No. 2) is similarly quite unfounded, and does not follow from any facts given. It apparently seeks to divorce Jesus Christ from being a Jew. It lacks nothing in daring, but fails in detail.
Thus Christ Jesus was born of Mary, of the tribe of Judah, and Christ accordingly was taken to the Temple for circumcision (Luke 2:22ff.) for the regulation sacrifice. In terms of Ezra's usage, He was therefore a Jew. It is not true that His movement to Samaria shows what, in this study, is erroneously claimed, that "This clearly indicates that Jesus did not practice the religion of the Jews in this matter." This error here comes about by ambiguous terminology, and logically constitutes a 'slide'. "The religion of the Jews" COULD mean, depending on context, Judaism of the ruling group, of the High Priestly party when in the ascendant, the religion which worked out from all the pressures and bases in their political and social conglomerates, or Old Testament Biblical religion. In the last case, it would be that PROPERLY the religion of the Jews, and in other cases, that ACTUALLY the (Biblically condemned in Isaiah 1 and 30) rebellious pollutant called by some the religion of the Jews.
We need to have our terms clear in logic. What it does show is this, that if you can find that those currently ruling the roost at that stage, in their traditional and political assemblage, forbad this, then Jesus did not follow that particular configuration of the contemporary power scene. That is meaningless RELATIVE to the point in hand, namely, whether Jesus was a Jew. Some Jews, like some Britons, do not cease to be such because they are not in alignment with the present power structure. Even less is it so, if that be unconstitutional, and they themselves ARE constitutional. In that case, they are very much Jews, or Britons.
It simply shows what Luke 11:53 and John 11:48ff. show very clearly, and much more so John 8:42ff. , that Jesus was condemning the CONTEMPORARY POWER CONSTRUCTION of Jewish religion under the authorities then current (especially the traditionalist additives as in Mark 7:7), much as Isaiah issued his declamation in the Lord's name, in Isaiah 30. When they put Christ to death, it was, one would think, clear without need of more words, that He contravened them, and they contravened Him. Since He was God, they were wrong, and as He made so clear continually, the scripture was the rule, and at that time, the scripture was the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-21), which were to be kept to the uttermost point, and would rule to the uttermost point.
The citation of Samaria in this fashion, is therefore is not even relevant to the question, Was Jesus a Jew ? It shows precisely what He actually uttered, that there was a move to make NOT a house of prayer but a place of merchandise, for example, the place God had provided. It was HIS FATHER'S HOUSE for which they took this liberty. He cited the (accepted) scriptures to show it (Matthew , quoting from Isaiah 56, with reference to Jeremiah ). In these things He was most careful, to keep the formal, proper requirements of the Old Testament, for as Paul says, He was born "under the Law" (Galatians 4:4).
He was not only a Jew, but the Messiah. He was in fact the One born "KING of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2), scarcely an alien to them (Jeremiah 30:21, Micah 5:1-3) and in the prophecy of Micah to which attention was drawn at the time of the birth, this One is He who is to be "ruler of Israel", the meaning of which term is not there open to question. It is the nation called from Jacob, whose name it bore. It is not part of the nation of which He is to be King; it is the nation. The King of the Jews in the Bible hence appears here also as the Ruler of Israel. It is an identity proposition.
Further, in Isaiah 49:6
(cited in Luke ), it is clear that He is to be the One to "raise up the
tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of
He is not given LESS than
Jacob (explicitly the source name, in Isaiah 49:6), further identified as
Even if names apart, their nature is defined. It does not alter the realities defined. Names however, for finesse, could be added. They are here Biblically Jews.
If, then, Jesus were not a 'Jew', it would not in the least alter any of the substance of the prophecies for the nation or His own being. It would of course alter the Bible in the ways shown, and be inaccurate.
It would merely mean we had defined the term for our pleasure, and as in mathematics, were invented a new anti-historical form of designation. Nothing would alter but our oddity in usage. Jesus would still be a descendant of Judah, of Jacob, of the children of Israel in the flesh, and as Paul states in Romans 9:5: in the flesh a descendant of the Israelites, the point at issue, whose promises are clear and sure, to Israel, their chosen vessel in human format.
It is interesting that Paul
here calls them Israelites, who are
Now these of Paul's day are those, he declares, "my countrymen according to the flesh", are those "who are Israelites, to whom pertains the adoption, the promises, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God and the promises, of whom are the fathers, and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came".
Point closed. Christ is of
Israel, of the children of covenant, promises and is racially a Jew and an
Israelite by his own cognisance.
CAN YOU DE-JEW CHRIST IN JOHN 4, IF NOT ELSEWHERE!
Let us now proceed to
another effort in the study in view. What does John 4 show of the Jewishness
of Christ ?
In John 4, incidentally, it is simply incorrect is seeking to divorce the term 'Jew' from Jesus. HE states this, "Salvation is of the Jews". HE IS the salvation (Luke 2:32-33, Matthew 1:21 with Isaiah 42:6), and this fact is here encapsulated in the term "Jews", as of current usage, as already shown. Their very simple adversative, and geographical relationship is encapsulated in the woman's remarks. There are: ourselves, and YOU. We are Samaritans and you are other. WE are of this kind, but YOU! You are Jews.
This was relevant when a Jewish menage arrives en scène, and the leader asks for a drink. The Samaritan woman's preoccupation was further revealed in her contrast of Jerusalem and their own famous (false) religious centre (John 4:20). There are no two other nations of which this contrast is true. Hence the one is the JEWS, as rendered by the dictionary for the New Testament usage, and illustrated constantly IN the New Testament for precisely that body, without respect to divisions or differentiations of race, requiring or being given distinction. Israelite ? Yes, it is treated without equivocation as JEW.
It is for this reason that when the High Priest seeks to determine the course to SAVE the nation, so called, He acts to murder Christ, so that what ? This: "Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews": He became hard of access for a time in the country. The NATION is about to act in terms of its authoritative officers; murder is afoot; Christ does not walk openly in terms of some sub-group ? Not at all, it is in terms of what Ezra called the nation, with similar lack of differentiation, in the all important BIBLICAL USAGE: JEWS. The national authorities were out to kill Him; He absented Himself from the relevant body, in the sense of being readily available. But let us return to Samaria.
Samaritans and Jews were two groups known; she indicated her relationship to the one, He His to the other.
But He transcended it, not by failing to be of the line specified amongst the children of Israel for this purpose, but by being God in flesh (Luke 1:35). It is a case of addition, Biblically, not subtraction. The distinction, as always, is important.
Of necessity, since HE IS THE SALVATION, and salvation is from the Jews, HE MUST BE A JEW, for otherwise the claim would be a lie. Again, when the lady refers to Jesus as "being a Jew" and so creating a confusion or tussle in her mind, He does not remove it by simply stating this, that she is mistaken, and that there is no problem. If she thinks He is a Jew, and He does not clarify it, or remove the error from her, He would become an accessory to confusion, not truth, a dealer in misconception, not truth, in this interested in the ways of darkness not light. In not removing this as a misconception, He would be abetting it, and as truth, calling it true. In leaving it as a conception, He speaks as He does, truth, implies as He states, truth, walks in a pathway of a given nature, truth.
What He does indicate by non-correction, is this: that He, even if it appears that He should be disqualified from such things as a Jew, were taken in terms of what nonetheless He can do, then she would not stumble so at this fact. Now the fact that the Jewish Messiah (to use Ezra's terminology), the One to raise up the tribes of Israel and restore the preserved ones of Israel (Isaiah 49:6) is an Israelite, as were Paul's countrymen by his own statement (Romans 9:1-4); that He is one of Israel, of Israelite ancestry from Jacob, of those called through Isaac, those to whom specifically were related the giving of the law and the promises, is clear and attested continually, just as Nathaniel was "an Israelite in whom is no guile". The nexus and tie-up of terms is complete, as is the substance to which they also refer.
This is so. But there is more, much more. We see that the One whom she addresses IS this Messiah. She also needs to be made aware that here is no mere oddity, but a culmination, a consummation, the whole ground in the end of salvation being from, out of, the Jews: HE IS IT.
Not only (AND OF COURSE) IS
He what the nation is in nationality, an Israelite, one of the nation,
"the Jews" whose people took up stones, and sought to kill Him (and
hence a Jew as defined by the dictionary of Greek terms, and cited of
the people, in John 10:33), one of a people of that NAME, Israelite, in the
flesh (a term used of his contemporaries of that nation by Paul - Romans
9:4-5), a people who also sought by their shorter name, Jew, to murder Paul (as
cited for that term in Acts 22:3, 23:12).
Paul was born one (Acts 22:3), stating "I am indeed a Jew", and concerning himself, he states that Ananias, a young of good report among the Jews, came to him saying, "The God of our fathers has chosen you". In Acts 26:16, we read: "I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you." Now the people who threatened Paul at the time he here reviews, were the nation, via its authorities. The people who are not the Gentiles, are the Jews. The people who are bound in one comprehensive overview, in the address to Paul, are the Jews and the Gentiles. It is precisely the same as in John 4 with the Samaritan lady.
Thus in being delivered from the Jews, Paul is sent to the Gentiles. There is no segmentation, or qualification.
He is threatened here as so often by this people, the "His own" to whom Christ came as in John 1.
HIS OWN ? These of course, for the Good Shepherd - Ezekiel 34, John 10, are as defined there, "The house of Israel are My people... You are the flock, the flock of My pasture" whom He will feed "on the mountains of Israel" . These are they for whom HE UNDERTAKES to come, and "search for My sheep and seek them out", so that in His coming, He achieved the result on the scope and ground-plan assigned, here as always and ever - Ezekiel 34:11, Isaiah 44:26. Unlike the false shepherds, God undertakes to do the job properly, thoroughly and unsparingly (Ezekiel 34:11, Isaiah 44:26). In coming where He came, as predicted, He covered the case, as specified: ISRAEL. He will be so zealous that He will bring His people "to their own land" of Israel (Ezekiel 34:13) and "seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away" - Ezekiel 34:16, and "be their God, and My servant David a prince among them: I, the LORD, have spoken." Unlike the false shepherds, God undertakes to do the job properly, thoroughly and unsparingly. In coming where He came, as predicted, He covered the case, as specified: ISRAEL. He has come and sought "the lost sheep of the House of Israel", restoring His people, and winning many of them also in Spirit (as in Ezekiel 37).
But let us revert to Paul. He, we find in the above data concerning him, is to be delivered from these same Jews, not some sub-branch or construction of the mind. This nation, duly constructed and operating in a power situation of its own, is the problem. It killed Christ and here threatens Paul. Paul is one of them. Christ is one of them, and was king of them, referring to them as the lost sheep of Israel, those not His already, in sharp and clear contradistinction from any other people, such as Syro-Phoenicians, close though they were. This then is the Biblical statement, this is the Biblical usage, its own repeated internal attestation in terms of which we proceed.
Thus in being delivered from the Jews, Paul is sent to the Gentiles. There is no segmentation, or qualification. He is threatened here as so often by this people, the "His own" to whom Christ came as in John 1. He is to be delivered from the same, not some sub-branch or construction of the mind. This nation, duly constructed and operating in a power situation of its own, is the problem. It killed Christ and here threatens Paul. Paul is one of them. Christ is one of them, and was king of them, referring to them as the lost sheep of Israel, those not His already, in sharp and clear contradistinction from any other people, such as Syro-Phoenicians, close though they were. This then is the Biblical statement, this is the Biblical usage, its own repeated internal attestation in terms of which we proceed.
Thus, then, does Christ make the Samaritan woman aware of the magnificence of her opportunity. Jew ? Yes, nothing wrong with that in ONE VERY CLEAR INSTANCE; a Jew, but not MERELY a Jew. Far from it. IF SHE KNEW... if she but knew what was to come FROM the Jews, AS He stated, then she would see the answer to her 'problem'. Yes He was a Jew like those to whom He came, for He came to His own and they did not receive Him (John 1), and these, they took up stones (John 10:31), and these, they were Jews of which He was indeed King, though they did not understand Him as a people, or His ways. This is the usage of the New Testament repeatedly without differentiation of any kind.
That nation ? Jews. Of that race or religion or both, out of that nation, Jews.
There is in this Study 2, to which we are referring, also a reference to a Greek preposition ek. The idea is that this word of Christ, rendered, salvation is of the Jews, is not really saying that. However endeavour to divorce this preposition from the meaning common to Micah 5:2 (Septuagint translation into Greek, where ek refers to Christ coming FROM little Bethlehem, despite its smallness), and John 4 is in vain. Salvation is from this source or womb is the basic meaning: it is out of there, relating to as a base. That is the lectionary meaning and the historically famous prophetic point, alike. Efforts to alter this dictionary fact to something else, and to remove the bulk of its array of meanings is simply in vain. It is rather staggering that it is even attempted. Ek is what it is.
There is no slightest suggestion of difficulty or even relevance to be found in any other consideration. The term ek is not , gives no problems when one follows the lectionary, and is a focus and feature concerning the Messiah, as to His arising.
What then does Christ mean ? He does not mean that salvation is NOT of the Jew, from the Jews, out of the Jews, through the Jews as a basis of transmission. It is HE who is out of Jerusalem, out of Bethlehem. Further, the translation 'out of' is simply one. The basic meanings from Thayer, for the preposition ek are: out of (place); from the midst of; down from (as from a local surface); from, of a direction; of a condition or state from which something comes; taken from. Then in addition, it means: of generation, birth, lineage, nativity; of various kinds of origin; of that on which a thing depends; of the cause... and in general it is very much like our English 'from', which can bear all these meanings. In this case, the relevant meanings would be: or origin, source, lineage, race, cause. There is not even a question. The Jews are not to be denied; it is from them that salvation comes (whether, terminologically, as a source, cause, lineage).
Which it is, is not relevant to the present point. It is FROM them! just as Christ was FROM Bethlehem, each was a causative element in His coming, by providing means. In Hebrews 7:14, to which reference is made in this Study 2, it simply affirms the prophetic fact that Christ had to come from a specific tribe, which had been selected for this purpose, that of Judah.
Here it says this, "Judah, of which tribe...", showing the intent, from Genesis 49:10. Revelation 5:5 is also cited, "Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David", but this simply affirms what is already stated, that the particular, predicted tribe, one of the indentikit facts of the then coming Messiah, is this: that He has a particular tribe, just as a particular birth-place and history, all of which things came to pass and are verified, and expose the more fully who He is. There is no slightest relevance to the question, WHO are the Jews ? or Was Christ a Jew ? It simply shows He was to be born from one of the tribes of Israel. Since Ezra and Kings alike use the contemporary term "Jew" to cover this body, as shown, then being an Israelite (as Paul uses the term in Romans 9), yes it shows He was a Jew. There is nothing very remarkable in that. From that follows with necessity, precisely what Christ so clearly stated, "Salvation is of the Jews".
To suggest that being out of, from, based in, having lineage from, means something less is without ground.
He says out of, let it be so, it is not NOT out of it. It relates to it as a source, base, basis and origin mode.
The reason is this, that the One who IS statedly the salvation, is a Jew. It is not that He is NOT Jew, who IS the salvation. That would be a flat contradiction. He who is a Jew IS the salvation, so that salvation both is and must be of the Jews. His statement is clear, its usage is not unusual, and HE is the salvation which arrives from the Jews VIA Himself, and of course all the prophecies which depicted Him, from the Jews, in advance. So far from its being 'blasphemy' to call Jesus a Jew, as this Second Study suggests, it is simple inaccuracy to try to divorce Him from the nation of which He was twice called King: King of the Jews.
The amazing effort to make the (current) Jews too horrible for Christ POSSIBLY to have come from them is so outrageously contrary to the Biblical specifications of Israel, call it what you will, its LONG-TERM indictments as in Isaiah 30:8-9), its exposures as in Jeremiah, its denunciations as in Isaiah 1, its degradations as in Isaiah 65, that it is apparent that in germ here we have another religion, one which is not satisfied with a Christ who is a Jew. Just as many Jews now use additive books like the Talmud, so did they use additive traditions, roundly condemned by Christ in His own day, and it was precisely this which made for them, void, the word of God as He states in Mark 7:7. Just as the ignominy and folly found then in their religion, leading to the murder of its Head, did not alter the predicted future of their nation, so it does not do so now; indeed, it is precisely in the very MIDST of folly and weakness, that the Lord undertakes to intervene for HIS OWN NAME'S SAKE, BOTH in Deuteronomy 32 and in Ezekiel 36-37, as also reflected in Romans 11.
That ANY other nation or group or people should want to be so pure that He might smile reflectively on their efforts to inhabit, from afar, the mountains of Israel, or become Jerusalem "in its own place - Jerusalem", is a matter for both marvel and horror. COULD anyone fail to see that ALL FLESH is to be exposed (Isaiah 2), that NO FLESH shall exalt, that ALL are condemned that those who believe might be GRATUITOUSLY and by grace delivered. Must the flesh cling even to the point that having as Head, a crucified man, is not enough to bring it to its base basis, in sin!
The entire irrelevance of the point concerning the term "Jew" and Jesus, is another venture into non sequiturs. First, Israel is as Biblically specified, defined and shown from it, on this site and in these expositions repeatedly. The history is the same, use what name you will, and the people are the same, who were in the Exodus, the restoration of Ezra, the day of Jesus in Palestine, who plotted against Him, resisted the gospel in Paul in their synagogues, who bore the persecutions and pogroms as predicted, were present in the national return as predicted, in the manner as predicted, for the purpose predicted, and fulfilled by now in all major categories, except the one thrusting into existence so vigorously, since the Jews had restored to them, their Jerusalem. There are more of them than this; but this is the Biblical focus, defined, determinate, indefeasible and visible to the eyes.
no other body but Christ, who bore sin;
no other nation but Israel, His own to whom He came, being not accepted as predicted (Isaiah 49:7, John 1:1-14); there were
no other lost sheep who in His day on earth were His vast focus; there is
no other Jerusalem which was to be ruined, stone removed from stone by the word of His mouth, and to be restored by the same word, "in its own place" - not in some other place, a flat contradiction - with the Gentile nations surging about it; there is
no other location which as such serves as a witness to the times and a testimony to His coming; there is
no other focus for the Jews who slew Him, in their national repentance but Jerusalem, where Christ is exposed to their view by His Spirit; there is
no other fulfilment to God's concern about His NAME which induces Him to bring Israel back to its land, and deliver them in it, but that to Israel, to the Jews of which He was King, to Palestine which was the place, use what name caprice may suggest or desire discover; and history knows
no other way of obeying, but doing what it does, following with minute precision, every detail of what is written, so that it is presented in this century, as in the last, to our very eyes.
All these things, step by step, have been verified in what has been presented in this topic, and are here summarised in part.
Nothing of value is gained by fiddling extra-Biblically and erroneously with terms. Even if it were right which is unbiblical, and since we are simply defining terms from the Bible that is excluded, the result is precisely the same. Secondly, that Christ is genealogically derived in the flesh from Judah, established no fact of any import, except to show He is an Israelite, a member of the nation of Israel where He was born. It has no effect on the meaning of "Jew" that one of its tribes has some things predicted of it. It does not alter the demonstrated New Testament usage of the term, that of Esther or Ezra after the Babylonian captivity, nor the lexicon's reflection of that fact in its definition of the Greek word used in the New Testament for this term.
In Sum to our present particular
sub-topic: the term 'Jew' here in John 4 - not that it matters to the
point, but it simply confirms it - is used by Jesus of Jesus, just as Paul's
first century A.D. kinsmen were ISRAELITES, and hence precisely those to whom
(if anyone should want to be preoccupied with various terms instead of
their demonstrable referents) the promises applies, as he also SAYS. Paul's
brethren, his kinsmen, ARE, not were, Israelites. Their continuity from Paul's
day is not difficult to find. Nomenclature from this or that religion or
philosophy, does not in the slightest degree affect facts.
LOVE IS OF GOD, AND SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS
Getting our Words' Worth is not without interest
The preposition, ek, transliterated, ek, incidentally, is used in Galatians 4:4, just quoted, in what is rendered, "born of a woman". It is similarly in his source sense used in the "love is of God" in I John 4:7 (just as salvation if OF the Jews). In each case, the ek signifies the source or place of derivation. In the former, it has the lexical meaning of derivation in lineage. Thayer explains this sort of usage thus: things "having their prototype in God, and being wrought in the soul by His power". This is the ek usage from a source or location, for derivation. It is normal.
Christ IS the salvation of the world, and HE states it is from the Jews. Incidentally, the dictionary whose task it is to deal with the verbal side of things, notes this: that Ioudaios means "Jewish". That is, as shown above, its New Testament usage. The dictionary is not in error.
Linguistically, OUT OF THE JEWS means from them as source, cause, origin or lineage resource. Hence the JEWS are the source, or basis, or recourse, the lineage resource for salvation. Jesus is it and hence is a Jew. Case closed. There is no difficulty, about things which can be imagined, as some may wish; this is the meaning of the word.
It is not subject to doubt. It applies in several of these categories, and its applicability is in this instance, as the Old Testament indicated it would be, relates to this people as lineage base, means instrumental and cause productive. THESE ARE ALL major cited meanings of the term, as to setting, force and overtone.
The statement of this Study being reviewed, on John 4, incidentally, that "Jesus disavowed his connection with either Jewish worship at Jerusalem ..." is another of a stream of non sequiturs. Actually, He took great pains to PURIFY it, which is an enormous connection. The statement simply does not follow from the premises, nor tally with the facts. It is an addition of outside thoughts to what is written... and this seems to be the difficulty all through, in a number of instances. God will not suffer this (Proverbs 30:6). What Christ actually said, was this: that the time WAS COMING (future in reference, one should perceive) when worship would not be Jerusalem centred, OR Samaria centred. It was closely coming. WHEN HE was crucified and rose, the Temple quickly ceased to have relevance to religious exercises; the New Covenant had come. HE was the centre; and HE is not Jerusalem. HE was however crucified there and uses it as He will.
That is all. That
consideration therefore does not bear on the point at issue to the slightest
DECLARING MYSTERIES, AND SOURCES OF WONDER
ROMANS 11 and Knowing your OLIVES
Again, on another topic
(the Study 3, or Third Study), unsustainable from the dictionary, it is claimed:
"There is a popular but mistaken notion that this blindness has to do with the Jews being blinded to faith in Christ, or the Messiah."
The term "mystery" appears used in some sort of effort to divorce the dictionary meaning from the contextual result, or to result in it. However the meaning of the term appears not entirely clear in the Study of our review. Thus Thayer of musthrion has this, for specifically New Testament Greek. If anyone want another language, perhaps he/she could invent one, but this is the one in which the New Testament is written. Thayer: "a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding"; a "hidden purpose or counsel, secret will; a mystic or hidden sense". Using the sense, "a hidden purpose or counsel; secret will", it provides for Romans 16:25, and more generally in the New Testament, for a of musthrion of God, this:
"the secret counsels" which are in God's determinations "in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly". Mysteries can as here be DECLARED (cf. I Cor. 15:51) or shown. Here the simple facts of what had been a marvel are uncovered. It is the same in Romans 16:25 as well. There is nothing left which is strange, by any necessity, or anything even hinted at here, in Romans 11, of this type. On the contrary, Paul in the end of this chapter, following this aspect, is exulting in the clarity which allows the complexities to be so surely discerned.
In Romans 16:25, this is the gospel which was already in the scriptures, as Paul declares, but now is made manifest. In Romans 11:25, it is not different or difficult. Further such usages are found in Ephesians 3:8-12, concentrating on the unsearchable riches of Christ, Colossians 1:26-27 and so on. This too relates to the Gospel now made manifest, in terms of Christ in you, the hope of glory. In Ephesians 3:4ff. we find it again, as not made known in former times AS NOW it is. To what then does it relate ? to Christ in you, His riches, Gospel.
Now then in Romans 11, the nature of the term musthrion both in Romans 16 and elsewhere frequently in Paul is clear.
It is a hidden thing, in part at least, which concerns the wonders of the Gospel, specified indeed but not as manifest as now, and revealed to those who find it. To this end Paul proceeds to "labour mightily" (Col. 1:29). What could spoil this effect ? "vain philosophy" is one culprit (Col. 2:8). Of whom does Paul speak in positive contravention of this result of revelation ? The Jews as Biblically defined, here Israel the nation, and those of the race/religion still dispersed or willingly so. Where do we see a prominent example ? In Acts 13:40ff.:
"Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:
"Behold you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you."
Where do we see the Jews, thus at work ? Why in Acts 13:42ff., the Jews, the same in name as those, the nation Israel, of whom Christ was King. What did they do ? "The Jews" found Gentiles there also rejoicing in this Gospel, they "raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabus... and expelled them from the city."
With such moods, small
wonder Paul made the above citation from the Jewish prophet, Habakkuk.
This puts together the Old Testament exposure of this state of affairs, in Habakkuk 1:5, and Paul's experience and denunciation in precise application of the generic statement about the mystery, STILL HIDDEN from the Jewish People as such, though not of course from many individuals, such as Paul himself, to whom God chose to REVEAL HIS SON (Galatians 1:15). That is the quite straightforward dictionary assessed, Biblically verified meaning of the term in Paul's usage generally in the New Testament, and there is no question or doubt about it.
Despite the Biblically verified, linguistic and contextual meaning of the term repeatedly in Paul, Study 3 another non sequitur to offer. But it is based on ignorance of another kind, perhaps. In this Study, the statement is made: "If this new covenant was to have its fulfilment in a very large measure, in the people of Israel, then Israel’s "blindness" in Romans 11:26, could not possibly have any anything to do with Jewish unbelief in Christ. Why? Because under this new covenant, Israel were to become known as Christians."
The error in this has already been in detail Biblically demonstrated, and here for teaching purposes, we expound it further. The Jews are OUT of the state of grace in the sense that the Old Covenant is broken as in Zechariah 11. They are PROGRAMMED (not in any impersonal way) to come back to the land. It is predicted as shown in Ezekiel 36-37, Zechariah 12, that this will be as still unbelieving in the Messiah.
WHEN they so DO believe as precisely and repeatedly predicted of the people of Israel, the one to be returned (as shown) to its land, then they will have a new name like the rest, as already shown in detail before. THEN OF COURSE they will be Christians. BEFORE THAT, the nation is NOT so.
For our part, then, we are not dispensationalists (see Biblical Blessings Ch), for this is not the authorised milieu of World Wide Web Witness Inc.. Only the word of God will hold. It is regrettable that in the Study such things or philosophical concepts seem to act as stimuli, or spurs to thought, even if it be negative. It is only the Bible which is in authority in this field. In reality, you are speaking to those whose pursuit is to follow what is written, PLUS NOTHING, for doctrine. There we differ from you by YOUR OWN STATEMENT.
Naturally, there is a different result. We follow God, you follow God plus whatever it is you call this strange series of non sequiturs and material of a secular kind, of this or that source or persuasion or opinion, not limited to the Bible. This of course is a major base of all your apparent errors. The Bible is quite relentless, like many authors and lawyers, in INSISTING on the reading of its text without outside intrusion of ANY kind. It is self-defining, not a contribution bin.
Moreover, when there is an approach of combining secular thought and Biblical statement, such as occurs in and is indicated for these Studies, which we are refuting, there is a completely different labour.
This fact then, concerning Israel being blind and back, is not only admitted, but consistently taught for years from this site, and has no bearing on the point at issue. They WILL after MANY VICISSITUDES (some enumerated in Zech. 12), be called Christians and this does not even relate to the point that prior to their return and succeeding events in the early stages of that return to the mountains of Israel, as traced so precisely in Zechariah, Ezekiel and elsewhere, they will NOT be called such. They will in fact be BLIND as a nation.
WHEN they become Christians in the sequence Biblically
specified, then the GENERIC New Testament will apply. Just as ALL scripture is
given for edification (II Timothy 3:16), so these things, each in its time and
season, occur; and the various other things as noted from the Bible, in SMR Ch. 9, will happen before that.
The movement in Study 3, from the incontestable sense of Romans 11, on this basis, therefore, is not relevant, far less effective. The point simply ignores the phases, like someone speaking of rain and puddles, and saying, no puddles, so no rain. There is a certain sequence in the word of God, as in many things. One cannot merely generalise from some eventual feature to some imagined preliminary, before the latter even applies!
In general, there is a basic error in these Studies, too constantly to ignore the refutations specifically made from the Bible, and not to treat them except indirectly. Worse, extraneous data are mixed, like rainwater with distilled water. The holy and the secular, the textually imprecise and the profanely intrusive, in the Biblical sense, are incompatible, the results are ineffectual, the process is impermissible, the practice forbidden.
We have, in fact, taught for years that it is the Jews who are noted in Isaiah 42 (e.g. SMR p. 794ff., 787), in terms of those such that the Lord asks, "Who is blind but My servant". Of course their state, so chronic and sustained until the dénouement cited in the Bible repeatedly, is one of blindness as Paul states specifically in Romans 11; and it is of course blindness relative to the ingredients which they acquired in their severance from the tree: failure to believe in the required way of salvation.
That was the axe. This is the reversal. That was the disease, of which blindness is the symptom in view. This is the cure. The disease goes. Faith comes, Salvation comes. That is the context, as distinct from thought. As to such thoughts, it is God Himself who declares, MY THOUGHTS are not as YOUR thoughts (Isaiah 55).
The point in this here ? It is impossible to ADD to the Bible what anyone should wish to deem and find, let alone with non sequiturs such as we find in abundance here, brought up so rankly and with no ground, and then simply assumed, and that in contradiction of the text as well.
What then ? This DEFINED unbelief (Romans 11:20,23), the STATED ground of their severance, continues UNTIL, as Paul declares in Romans 11, there comes the crisis in which the Lord Himself acts as also stated before. SINCE they are to change AFTER return to their land, this proves nothing except that the Bible is right, once again. Further, the REASON for Paul coming to the point of referring to the blindness at all, is this: that the Gentile believers were grafted INTO the olive tree, being wild, in a way "CONTRARY TO NATURE". How much MORE, reasons Paul, will the Jews be GRAFTED BACK into their own olive tree. This is what is written.
THIS brings up a point which Paul is in verse 25 stating with a declared purpose. What is that purpose ? It is SO THAT the Gentiles in Rome would not be "wise in your own conceits". And what is the declaration with this as a purpose for it ? It is this. That the blindness in part has happened to Israel ONLY for a time. This blindness is to GO.
The case then is twofold. It is not only, as just stated by the apostle, that it WOULD be so natural in one sense, if they came back to their own olive tree (v.24). It is also this: that this operation is one which IS TO HAPPEN (v.25). It is for this reason that the apostle says, "FOR" I would not have you ignorant. He is telling them what could readily happen, in a sense of the past covenant (v. 24), in this, that it is to be fulfilled (v. 25, cf. v. 15) in fact in terms of the New, which has the basic relationship to the stock. They were to return; they do so. They later are converted; they are not yet so.
At the present they are blind, in this mystery of God's PROVIDENTIAL and COMPLEX HANDLING of the thing now revealed by Paul. It is in this part of the matter, the Lord's manifold wisdom, that the apostle accordingly exults in the last verses of Ch. 11. The Gentiles had better not be anti-Jewish in luxuriating mythologies, and think thus: THOSE went, we stay. Why ? Because, says Paul, I tell you a mystery, that they are to COME BACK to the olive tree, to the tree of faith, their OWN original tree (v. 24), that of covenant, of the knowledge of God.
They left it ONLY because of unbelief in the final analysis (Romans 11:20). They remain blind. The Gentiles awaken in their "times" as noted. Then the end of the Jewish element of the mystery, in the blindness, departs. It is not for ever. Gentiles are not a category of wonder, the new boys, the white haired: it is all ONE. NO faith, no place; Jew or Gentile. Come in by faith ? (11: 20), so that you "stand by faith" ? Very well. Then do not boast against the branches, for there is a natural readiness to be conceived, for the Jews to return to their God, to their own tree. Much prevents, but this is a favourable consideration.
Further and IN FACT, they will do just that, says
Paul. Their blind unbelief, their unbelief that effectually severed Israel, and
can as well effectually sever any Gentile church or so-called church, was the
cause of the departure of Israel, just as it was the occasion for the Gentile
faith-arrival into the tree. BUT this blindness of Israel is for a
time only (as in John 12:389-40 and Matthew 13:13ff. in its two phases as in II
It is the basis of restoration that counts (and is parallel to that of excision): and this is already expressly defined as FAITH in Christ (as coming Messiah, as come), who saves. There is no other way to BE there, and hence from without, to GET there. These are the defined contextual dynamics, terms and usages. This is therefore the contextually defined meaning: what it says.
This is the teaching. These are the reasons. Here is the meaning of the "FOR", of the highminded, of the revelation just made on their return. The Gentiles are not superior race. They TOO have their TIMES. Nobody has for ever. There are times. It is time to be careful to make good use of the time, for Gentiles. Then comes the time when the Jews are restored, and this, it is like "life from the dead" as the apostle expressly states of them in contradistinction from the Gentiles which form one of ONLY TWO parties (other than the Lord Himself).
It is not some other tree. It is not some tree of which Israel is not the root. It is THIS VERY TREE. It is for that very reason that these very Gentiles do well not to be self-satisfied on NO grounds. The apostle declares that this is about faith, that Israel went on account of disbelief; the Gentiles may do the same. They should not boast or vaunt as Gentiles, as if better than the Jews; FOR the Jews are in this blind situation in relation to that whole program. This program includes FAITH to salvation as provided, so that the blindness lasts only UNTIL the Gentile era comes to its end, and there is this amazing completion for Israel, back in its own tree. Certainly Summer has come, and the Gospel is now out: BUT we are asked to remember this, that "you do not support the root, but the root supports you". To whom is this written ? The Gentiles. OF whom are they asked to remember this datum ? Of ISRAEL, who are to return to "their own tree".
This is the connection between the verses. These, THEY do not stray. They stay. Gentiles are not warned because the Jews will NOT come back. They are not advised because Israel that went is not Israel to come back. They are being warned because if they too fail, they will share the same faith-desecrated severance, as a people, as did the Jews, who will come back, and perhaps make some of the Gentiles who grew too heady, look rather foolish, since they who were so despised (as forbidden) now found themselves just where the so superior Gentiles thought they were, and now, through lack of faith, are not.
THEREFORE they are not to be highminded. End of story. Any difficulty for innovative controversialists and others varying from the text, is purely because of internal considerations which do not appear from the Bible. Yet we must justly seek patience, so let us do so.
Let us rehearse it then. PRIOR to their vast national conversion as specified in substantial measure, they are NOT Christians, blind as normal in so much, for so long, and especially as in Paul's day in resisting his proclamation of the divine mystery as defined Biblically, above, even in their synagogues, surging, thronging, plotting, stoning and the like. They are blind as are others (Ephesians 4:17-19, 2:1-12). Yet their blindness is special in one sense, since their nation crucified their own Messiah, after such amazing privileges as Paul specifies in Romans 9.
Others did not. They did. However though a special blindness, a specialised type, it shares much with the general blindness, which does not receive the word of God with faith, and hence is ready to be cut off, like the Jews, as the apostle declares.
WHEN therefore Israel is removed, this nation, and the time comes, it is given its "life from the dead". It is a substantially integral thing. Israel went out, Gentiles came in, Israel returns in. The sequence forces us to realise that the bodies retain comparability.
This removal of blindness, this life from the dead, however is special: it is not merely ordinary life from the dead. It is a superabundant fact, in this, that the Gentiles came in (life from the dead spiritually), but there is to be a further increment of wonder for the Jews, says the apostle. Why ? It is for this reason.
WHEN they came, the Gentiles, it was a wonderful donation, and a cause of much rejoicing; but when that which was, by its fall, the occasion of the Gentile admission (not the cause), when this Israel returns, it will be in a marvellous situation. It will have a reverberating superabundance. IF GOING FROM the tree caused so much blessing; what will COMING BACK then cause beyond this, for the happy heart that reviews the whole story! (Romans 11:12,14-15). Paul declares that he is emphasising this if by any means he might stir the Gentiles to some sense of emulation. Is this for the Jews ? How wonderful! Then they should take hold of what is offered with a sense of history and wonder, opportunity and action.. for themselves while it is still time.
Meanwhile, Israel as contextually defined, who were taken from the covenantal condition with God, are already since 1948 brought back according to the promises of God, and instituted as a nation, to maintain the body of Israel, that one called through Isaac. It is they who are to become in significant measure, Christians (Zechariah 12, Ezekiel 36-37). The NATION is born at once (Isaiah 66:6-9), wins its victories before massive conversion (Zech. 12), and comes into the place in its time, when the ecstatic delights of restoration spiritually (phase 2 as specified in Ezekiel 37:9) arise as Paul intimates in Romans 11. What the Bible defines, it does according to definition. This is what a scientist tries to do. it is what God in fact does. When you see it happen, check the terminology AS defined.
When this happens, THEN the Lord is imminently to be
back (Luke 21:24), since the "time of the Gentiles" is over. It is a
model of nearness, currently, with the strife and conjecture, and pressure.
However it is now so nearly a total Jerusalem take-over, that the point is
taken. Jerusalem is again Jewish (to use Biblical terminology). The Jews are
back in the land of Israel. The promise to Jacob's people is effected. The city
This is one of the New Testament signals. It is waving with no small measure of conspicuity, bemusing the world.
AFTER CHRIST COMES (as in Matthew 24), and His elect are gathered, then there IS no Israel, the converted remnant, and no church, because BOTH these components, so gloriously unified as Paul indicates in Romans 11, in unfolding the mystery of which the time of Israel's blindness was a part, are TAKEN (as in I Thessalonians 4). He does not take His bride (Revelation 19:8) in parts, but in a glorious and God glorifying unity. The issue is then PAST, FOR THE RELEVANT PEOPLE ARE GONE. At present it is current, for the blindness in part UNTIL, has yet to meet that grammatical conjunction in the word directions of the Lord.
When however He returns with "all His saints" (I Thess. 3:13, Zechariah 14:5) to Jerusalem, and when Armageddon comes, there will be further arresting indications of the divine mind as already spelled out in Revelation 19, and II Thessalonians 1.
(who ? why, the nation of the covenants, the promises, the fathers, the Israelites, biblically the same identity, to whom the scriptures were given, as Paul defines them in Romans 9, the Jews as declared in the New Testament repeatedly as in Ezra, a people which has continued since, most clear for persecution purposes, most distinguished in pogroms, in Romanist persecutions, in Hitleresque captures, specific historical narrations as in Hosmer*, in sendings out of nations over the centuries, and taking in, in Old Testament absorption and in accretions as defined also by Christ)
They are blind to the Gospel, since this is the only
way to sight. They are blind UNTIL, means this deficiency is remedied. Hence
they are no longer blind to the Gospel when this time comes. This is
demonstrable from the fact that the ISSUE is CONTINUALLY in Romans 11, that
JEWS rejected the word of God, which brings salvation; that Gentiles replaced
them in their own tree; that Gentiles got the Gospel, the mercies of God as a
result of this disposition of things; that this blessed the Gentiles; that this
was the fall of Israel; that this fall will not endure forever, but UNTIL. It
will be replaced by the restoration of Israel to that which they pro forma as a
nation had (a part in their OWN tree which operationally involves
the living relationship to God as in John 15).
It is a part in a tree WHICH IS STILL THERE. It is a re-grafting into their OWN tree, which was never England... or the Gentiles, or the world, or anything else. Its antiquity makes it a Divine Trust object. It is specified as their own, and to this they return, from which those presumptuous bodies who flaunt their imagined graces instead of obeying the caution, and living in faith, may themselves be severed.
The blindness is a contemporary means of excluding them. Its removal therefore of necessity is a coming means of including them. In fact, in predictive prophecy, it will come after their return to the land as promised as specified in Ezekiel, Zechariah, Jeremiah (cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 1), and so on, as shown repeatedly, in terms defined in the relative contexts (cf. SMR Appendix A). In the meantime, predictively, contemporaneously, regrettably, they are an Israel which is blind. HOW it is to change is also made most conspicuous in Isaiah 66, as noted above.
The non sequiturs which are exhibited in these studies, are so many that it is an experience to meet them, as a teacher and lecturer. Thus again, despite the text, the point is made whether it could possibly be (in any sense) a mystery that Israel does not believe! Do Moslems and others come to Christ readily ? Is there any mystery ? This is part of the Study's expostulation.
That, however, is not at all the point that Paul is making. It is not the RELATIVE difficulty of converting Jews which is in point, but the vast difficulty, which has a specialised reason for a specialised people, which, though it has much in common with all other highly DISPUTATIVE AND UNREASONABLE rejecters of well sown knowledge, is not the same as that for all people, not all of whom have such a specialised trait at first blocking, or being removed for their return to the Lord. Many resist; but this HIGHLY informed and EMINENTLY disputatious resistance.
It is in their HISTORY, this perspective of substance, which these Studies which we review, seem so frequently to overlook, as also the special detail of the texts. Thus the MYSTERY is that there is to be an unfolding, indeed the apostle makes it on the spot; but prior to this, it was indeed a mystery in recess of notable extent (cf. Ephesians 3:3-5). Such a people with such a past with such a Messiah, with such privileges (as spelt out by Paul in Romans 9:1-4 specifically, in speaking of contemporary Israel as Israelites), and despite all (exactly the same horror and consecutive nature of things as in Leviticus 26) ... they yet DO NOT BELIEVE. WHY ? What is the reason for this highly specialised case, with this highly specialised series of special birth privileges ? The answer is that it is a blindness UNDER GOD'S CONTROL. It is part of a plan, the existence of which puts raptures of joy into the heart of the apostle Paul, as in Romans 11:32ff.. It has bases in history and in wisdom, the latter in control.
For all that it is a mystery, now revealed, in this sense, it is one in yet another. This state of affairs, like a cancer citation from your doctor, is not the end. It is a mystery, as Thayer's dictionary specifically renders it with reference to overall New Testament usage here. It has things to know. It has plan and counsel from on high. It is part of a giant plan and it leads on to a giant consummation. THIS is indeed a mystery, of which perspective in these Studies seems blissfully unrelated, though it is written, the terms are clear, and there is a contextual necessity for the terms to retain their meaning in the text, as in the book of Romans, which defines everything in its place.
Unhistorical musings do nothing to improve the case, and leaving a then mutilated word, which is unclear because of that fact, just as Christ was 'unclear' when killed. It is necessary to get back to the Bible only, if there is desire to do justice to the word of God, for there is no one even like Him; and there must be an excision and an avoidance of non sequiturs like the plague, mere musings which do not follow, using to side-track from the indisputable meanings, as likewise in this, the substance, of what is written.
One should add, incidentally, that the concept of British Israel or any such Israel, modified, qualified, personalised or what you will, violates all scripture. It is IN JERUSALEM as stressed almost to the point of comedy (see *1 Ch. 2 of Galloping Events) that the Lord returns to the returned nation as in Zechariah 12-14. There the details are supplied for any and for all, from the word of God. The people IN ISRAEL (so called) in events directly leading up to the conversion of the nation there CALLED Israel, are also said to relate to Jerusalem, noting that
The Lord undertakes to defend the Israel that is about Jerusalem,
indeed in its own place - Jerusalem, as the word of God constantly
stresses, and it is there that they will look upon the Lord whom they have
It is not in New York or London that this people is said to have its own place. It is a nation which has two major elements from its past, Judah and the rest (Zechariah 12). The prophet tells us that Judah is not to be magnified, nor is Jerusalem with its mixture, of necessity not Judah, since the latter is actually here differentiated FROM IT.
No more will they be a prey to the nations (Ezekiel 34:28, the
chapter of the Messiah, the Good Shepherd cf. John 10). It is then and thus
that the nations shall know that "I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that
they, even the house of Israel, are My people" (34:30) and they "shall not
bear the shame of the nations any more" (34:29). These are they whose false
prophets, as so often condemned, abused them for profit, and whom the Lord
excised from the land to which He now, with such blessings and without their
continuing to be a prey, restores them. Such is the Biblical depiction, and for
our part, this is final because it is Biblical.
They are not even associated in their entire Biblical history with Panama Canal or any other location to be imagined. Indeed, the mountains are those of Israel, which as Moses predicted, would be left alone by the sabbath-breaking Jews so that they could enjoy their rest (Leviticus 26:34). For all that, as the Lord stated, He would not cast them away, but ...
Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand..". In this setting, He declares that He will repay His enemies, making "My arrows drunk with blood", "for He will avenge the blood of His servants" (from Deuteronomy 32:42-43).
This wounding and mortality, this military work, this vengeance and drastic divine action to deliver by power, is of course not the gospel, but the promise made to a chastened, indeed chastised people, whom He has expressly chosen to deliver in His own time, by His own specifications, not as if nothing ever happened, but with due regard to the incredible presumption of those who make use of His ways with one, to prey on them, to afflict them, as if it were they, and not God, who were acting with justice and judgment! In this, many have done much for centuries of almost incredibly cruelty, many nations involved, many religious people seemingly knowing nothing of the second commandment.
At this juncture, however, the pride of the proud will be humbled, and returning like a prodigal, Israel will be met with the power it once knew, but this time, first with the Gospel and then with the work which fulfils the faithfulness long promised. ONLY in their Messiah can it happen. WHAT happens is NOT Jewish hegemony, for NO flesh shall glory; but it IS Jewish deliverance according to the now so abundantly fulfilled word of God. THEY had to return to them, and then in the midst of insoluble perils, weak because of unbelief, they come to Him, whose strength is always adequate for anything. SO are they delivered, and SO all Israel will be saved.
It should be realised that so avenging and delivering and covenantally restoring His people, after their cumulatively disastrous departures into other religions (some of which the Studies reviewed, attempt to note), has two basic phases. It is first to the land promised ( recognisable by name and site as Israel, as for the patriarchs to whom and whose generations it was assigned - cf. Numbers 13-14, Genesis 17), and then in it (as in Zechariah 12-14, Ezekiel 36-39, Isaiah 66, Jeremiah 30-33). They return physically, and then in a considerable masss, spiritually to the Lord.
This deliverance from the engulfing nations occurs, for Israel, as a people, where it was sited: in their land. It was there that their historical failure to enter is geographically distinct (Numbers 13ff.), being precise and only at peril ignored by THEM, in their 40 years of subsequent wandering, before Joshua led them in to the property assigned, with the might of the Lord Himself. That is the scripture. It is not otherwise. That is the place, it is not other. These are the mountains temporarily to rest from their abuses, of which also Ezekiel speaks (36:12ff.) so that these mountains
These mountains, they are not in the Argentine, and though
New York has millions of Jews, which it has no difficulty in recognising to be
such, they are not to be found there. Actually, they are found very much where
they were, to which place Israel has divinely promised access, despite demerit,
by appointed and repeatedly rehearsed UNCONDITIONAL covenant with the fathers
as the Lord states. There is no need to turn then from the word of God; it is
clear, it is fulfilled, it is defined, its locations are as noted, its promises
But let us return to the Zechariah situation, where, upon their return, they repent of the "piercing" of the One whom they mishandled, and find the fountain of blood in Jerusalem, the faith of Christ in that place as it says - "even Jerusalem".
The house of David is to be but one component of the penitent on this occasion, traced both by Paul and by Zechariah in concert. Their notorious false prophets will cease, we read. It is then, in the prophecy of Zechariah, that the Lord is seen to answer a question about the wounds of His hands, which, He says, were gained from the house of His friends (Zech. 13:6). So does 12:10 expand its contours. We are being very friendly with Biblical facts and places, not invented ones.
We then learn that ALL the nations will gather against Jerusalem. It will be divided in two (as happened in 1948). The Mount of Olives (not known for being in the vicinity of London or other city) is to split in two. Various detailed locations of Jerusalem are then noted, for the scenario.
It is not really anywhere else at all, or everywhere else. It is distinct, geographically delimited, historically annotated, topographically a continuum with the past of Israel, the tree returning Israel. IT IS the place to which God absolutely undertook to return the Jews, Israel, the nation of promise. Nor is it in any other place that its city is found, but as it says so strenuously, it is this that is the position: "Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place - Jerusalem." It is apparent that emphasis is needed, so it is provided.
Let us emphasise then. It is indeed (cf. Appendix A, SMR) the very nation from which they were torn in discipline, to which they are to return in divine faithfulness, be protected in divine zeal, and be converted in divine grace; so that even the very mountains of Israel figure in their restoration (Ezekiel 36:4-8, 13ff., 38:8), and this return is one such that the mountains will no more become murder traps for defeated people of promise (Israel, 36:12), who are now coming home to soon meet their New Covenantal awakening (36:26), to their home where it is the Lord who restores the cities and the wastes (36:33).
This being so, the prediction is that God will return them to the land in question. Guess what ? It is the one from which HE TOOK THEM, wasted, a topic of jeering before, but restoration now. It is this continuity to which HE STATEDLY WILL RETURN THEM with this assurance of their keeping in it to follow (Ezekiel 37:26ff.). But WHO are so to come and so to remain ? Listen then to the word of God: "the whole house of Israel" - 37:11. There are to openings and comings, but this is the tenor of it, the substance of it (Isaiah 49:11-19). This is the focus, this is the location, this is the promise, these are the people.
The land is of course when the conversion Paul stresses, comes, soon to be evacuated in the Rapture of ALL the Lord's people. He gathers His elect, and Paul makes it pronouncedly clear that this contingent is of them, with them, their remnant a part of the unity which the Lord has redeemed. Meanwhile, this is its LOCATION. In terms of PROMISE He brings them back and THEN makes an everlasting covenant with them (Ezekiel 36:22, 32, 14*1), as He will "place you in your own land" abundantly defined historically and graphically, above in terms of events, mountains, waste and the jeering of history; and this restoration is something to be kept in continuity.
When the heaven
and earth are gone, who cares ? But the LORD has made HIS POINT, as He
repeatedly said He would (Ezekiel 36:13-15, 23, 34-35, 37:28). AND to
whom do they coming, look in this deliverance, but to "David their
King", by metonymy, the Lord, the Good Shepherd, who having come through Judah
of Israel, is indeed the fulfilment of the seed promised to David, to Abraham,
the hope of Israel (Acts 28:20).
That is the land. This is the Old Covenant. This is the New. This is what is written. It is useless to remould Israel to which they are restored, with a place they never knew. It is vain to ignore the word of the Lord and have the whole house of Israel somewhere not noted for their location, for characteristics, equipped with their mountains, featuring their city, inhabited by their past, covered by their covenant, fulfilling the promises, exhibiting their verification, and despite the word of Christ, NOT Jerusalem, delivered at length from the Gentiles, the nations (Luke 21:24).
When Christ told Jerusalem that Jerusalem would be freed from the dominion of the Gentiles, He meant Jerusalem to understand that Jerusalem would be freed, not Melbourne, or Rome or any other designable entity, as if reality were to be avoided by passion, misleading to be indulged in by spasm, wisdom were to relegate factuality by desire and the very place of which HE (without any problems) stated the ruin, with the destruction stone by stone of its temple, would no longer be given that name, so that reference to its coming deliverance would be understood to refer to something unknown, unheard of, and the name were to be used in continuity with the curse, to mean some other thing in restoration. Such is not found in Ezekiel, in Zechariah, and in the Bible, but only in the minds of men. This means that they become the authors of it. They then should put them own names to it, for it has nothing in the slightest degree to do with the word of God.
When the word of God changes its meaning, it shows it. When its meaning is changed without this, it is heretical. That is all. It is best to avoid it. The word of God is not writhed or contrived, but plainly written (Proverbs 8:8-9). Romancing is not one of the features it allows. IF imagination is to be used, it is that of the author. It is HIS BOOK. Even if romancing is indulged in, it is worse to contradict what it does say...
If one wishes to use one's own imagination, it is best, then, to write one's own book. That of another is to be construed from its own words, and contrary, alien or additive thoughts are not the prerogative of the one who did not write it, when saying what it declares. The promise, the fulfilment; the definitions of contexts which CAN apply ONLY to Israel of the Israelites, the country of promise; the words of the New Testament and the Old, of the Lord and of the apostle Paul suffer no alteration. The place, the people, the terms, the future for Israel in the place assigned, the gospel to which they stay blind for so long, and to which they come sighted in due course after their return, it is all there. "And SO all Israel shall be saved," says Paul.
It is IN THIS WAY that this premiss is executed (Romans 11:26). It is not in some other way. Blind for a season, and so removed from their tree, they are delivered from this condition at a time, Paul indicates, UNTIL, says Paul, the blindness goes, "and SO all Israel will be saved". This is the fashion of it; it is to come in a heap. This is to perform the task. It is constitutive of their history to be, the manner of it. The place of it Christ provides, Zechariah depicts, and the character of it is manifest, CONTRARY to, and other than, anything Gentilic, but rather does it in total contrast involve just two categories, Jews, Israel - and Gentiles ? Any other - only the Lord.
Its environment is categorical, its nation promised, its terrain described, its time of restoration of the requisite and relevant spiritual vision, NOT YET. When the blindness reaches its assigned terminus, then it is IN THIS WAY, and not some other, that ALL ISRAEL will be saved. Those who want it otherwise can have it any way they want, provided two things are recalled. THIS IS THE STORY which appears in the Studies concerned, not that of the Lord. It is a perilous intrusion if not delusion, to use the name of the Lord for your own story. It is best to stop erroneous allusion, for it can develop, like anything else when the word of the Lord is not followed.
In essence, also, a lot of your confusion comes from a mangling of concepts. Thus, it is true that Israelite is the common usage for the ancient nation, of its people; the term 'Israel' commonly of its Jacob descent, from the history of Jacob, the prevailer with God; that the term Israel is also used of the current nation and so on. It is true that current Israel is secular. It is natural, but natural that those lost to the Lord, or oblivious systematically or through ignorance, should stress the new secular State, the old theocratic rather less, the new nation of contemporary world, with some nostalgic reference to the old amazing rule of God direct and so forth. It is all merely a confusion however if from multiple sources, use is made of multiple philosophies to have multiple presentations for the same thing. It is necessary to know your subject Biblically, if the Bible is one's resource and place of call for interpretation. To present it, one needs to be systematically related to it, as in chemistry, where dirt is intrusion, and intrusion is dirt.
The new nation is PREDICTIVELY secular; the new one is SELECTIVELY restored to a DEFINITIVELY specified PLACE and series of places; then to the New Covenant, and so to the LORD, who intervenes in all the ways specified, most of which have already occurred, though the pinnacle is to come, reuniting this nation, in large bulk, with the spiritual and international nation, "the special people" of God.
Their continuity is of race, nation and place, as addressed by broken covenant, and the unqualified undertaking of God to Abraham, to Jeremiah, to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and so on. Their mysterious blindness is a radical event, amazing, as even one of their prime leaders now realises that this is prophetic fulfilment. Yet STILL they disbelieve. It is a mystery which has a sudden ending in Romans 11, in Isaiah 59. Mixing all these concepts, further, without respect to the ORDER of events in the Bible is rather like mixing the tibia and radius and several vertebrae. It is a bone of contention: it is a non-existent bone, found only in the mind which will not review the detailed facts, and keep only to the Bible.
Keep to what the book says, define its terms as it does, do not add or subtract as it requires (Deuteronomy 4 and 12, Matthew 5:17-20, Revelation 22:18ff., Mark 7:7, II Timothy 3:16 cf. SMR Appendix D), and there is not a series of breaches, contradicting itself and confused; but there is simplicity, series, sequence, Biblically implemented and historically verified. This is the way it works when you follow the word of God, all of it, nothing else, WHEN finding what it teaches. Add sinful man to God and what you get is confusion, such as is found in the presentations of these Studies, so often apparently seeking to follow the book, but violating it in elemental, demonstrable fashion, even in a given context.
This is the word
of God, and these Studies have left untouched all but entirely all that we have
presented from the word of God, extent in two points, both of which do not
address our presentation, but only concepts, and neither of which refute the
contextual statements made. For good measure, we have refuted these errors here
The idea of Jewish communism, with doubtful relevance to anything presented to us in the way of argument for a position, except perhaps that tendency to go from inadequate data to generalisations which no student can be permitted in the most ordinary secular sense. This has been dealt with before.
What then if certain Jews, atheistic and dispossessed of their religious roots, exhibit part of the blindness of which Paul speaks in terms of a rejected access to God, following their own deeds ? (and incidentally, the VOLUNTARY part of blindness is seen in II Thessalonians 2, where it is BECAUSE they did not receive the love of the truth that THEREFORE they got an active delusion! so that these two categories, once again, are to be chronologically distinguished, not made into a sort of pathology all in one - it takes differentiation, rightly dividing and FOLLOWING the word of God to proceed).
What if certain Englishmen from CAMBRIDGE oh là là, were to be communists. What a decadent society, how the English have fallen. Maybe, to a point. But then many Englishmen did not go to Cambridge, but to Oxford, and they even have some other universities. This shows a debased trend among some highly placed young Englishmen.
Are ALL Germans guilty of Nazism because so many were so weak, and so many others slavishly, with moral paralysis at best, carried out orders! Are the Aryans (even if the Germans were accurately so designable) then the REAL foe and so on ! This conspiracy, this generalisation, this typing and marking with inadequate bases often acts in the very essence of racism. Jews have made to suffer; and likewise they have suffered in ways which Hosmer shows are almost endemic to Europe over centuries, vicious, immoral, cruel, opportunistic, desolating. In their blindness they are obviously going to do something in their expatriate status. They did much wickedness, as did so many English, like those turning over Russian prisoners of war, to Russia in agonising circumstances. Wickedness is not a specifically Jewish invention. It is not a specifically Jewish trait.
Leadership by Jews is notable in politics, philosophy, mathematics, physics and so on; in things constructive, destructive. Their special failure NATIONALLY to relate to the only God there is on the basis of the clearest of covenants, has of course made a special feature, a national ground of rapport, for those who still reject the Lord, perilous and ungrateful as this is. It can indeed, as with others who wilfully resist, and have long resisted the clear teaching of the Bible, lead to delusion, and this to Communism or organic evolution or similar farces, in rich measure. But it is not limited to them. The Jewish people tends often to be highly specialised, but do not exhaust the categories of good and evil. Jews have been the most productive of all missionaries in many ways, being foundational to the church of Jesus Christ. Working condemnations based on opinions and selections does nothing for scholarly study.
On the other side, who with the word of Isaiah 30 behind him could possibly mitigate the things some Jews, and many others, have done! Revile what is sacred and people are asking for it. They asked. They do not now however become the criterion of evil, nor do some of their partisan polemics, people, groups, sub-sections or leavens become the nation, the people or the race. It IS however true that the foolish words of many (Matthew 27:25), as the NATION proceeded to the execution of Christ, all too well echo the coming of the negative side of the injunctions of Levicitus 26's prediction, concerning this nation, and of those in Deuteronomy 32, right up to their designated climax as a restored nation, presented in continuity with their earlier history in those places.
If someone invents a 'Jewish' idea because some Jews share in it, nails the nation because some of its people, the race, because some of its proponents, one section of that highly self-controverting society wants it then such a speaker in thsi, ceases to relate to fact; confining rather to a sensationalistic substitute. What is accomplished by such a thing ? Only a logical error on the one hand, and an incorrect representation, which some do not like... on the other.
Well, then, we
have demonstrated all that was needed. There has been no answer to the many
Biblical contexts given, and their clear teaching, and without exception, no
grounds provided for the teaching in question, as already and now further,
NOTHING alters what is written, or gives ground for the demission of its content. It is vain to act as if to demit one scripture because understanding is lacking of its correlation with another. This is like re-writing mathematics every time a student meets a nutty problem beyond his capacity.
Proverbs 30:6 speaks, on the contrary, of what is to be done.. It is unwise to proceed in error when the criterion is what is written. In Isaiah 8:20 gives further admonition. Such errors of teaching are common at this time, so that the world labours like one pressed down under them, sect upon sect, false prophet upon another, false teaching, liberal, conspiracy theories, radical, but all in vain. Their bases fail, their validity is vanished, their power is nil, their fulfilments futile cases of absenteeism. They themselves constitute another fulfilment of the Biblical specifications for it, as often exposited from the word of God, on this site.
Anyone who would like to add his tuppence-worth, needs authority to do so, and more, needs the Lord to suspend standing orders (Revelation 22, Galatians 1); and those who will not respond to what it says, need to remember Matthew 4:4. To ignore it here and there, in order to invade it here and there, it is not as easy as it looks. Unlike Holland in World War II, the word of God is not flat country. The righteousness of God is everlasting and His word likewise, and vain is the endeavour to "handle it", from whatever motive, or source.
Right in the midst of these prophetic verses of national and irremovable restitution, restoration, there is a simply quite amazing feature. There appears a spiritual sacrament that speaks for this New Covenant (as noted in Ezekiel 16:60, Jeremiah 31:31 in detail, in its utter transformation), that which is adorned with the Messiah King and Saviour (Ez. 34, Isaiah 52-53). Here is the disgraced people which had defiled the name of God among the nations, brought back to the land He gave to their fathers, and here is the location of these happenings, in the patrimony of God. Far greater is the blessing than its place; but eloquent indeed is the site in this reconciliation of majesty; and faithful He who concerns Himself to take pity on His name, though it be not for their sakes (Ezekiel 36:20-23, 28).
The two stage return to Israel, of the Jews, geographical followed by spiritual, spoken of above at some length, as in Ezekiel 37, has here the sacramental celebration, not in the mysteries of substitutes for faith, but as an expression of it. As there, they do not come BECAUSE they are clean; rather, having come, they reach the time when this cleansing becomes expressible in such a form, so near to what they knew, in sprinkling and cleansing; so far from it, now the Messiah has already been set at nought and crucified, in what ? In the fluid chosen.
And is it in blood ? Naturally not. It is water sprinkling which appears as introduction to this new state and status, signifying the necessary change to the New Covenant (Ezekiel 36:25-26 cf. Isaiah 62:1ff., 66:3ff. and see Questions and Answers 11). No more is the blood of circumcision apposite, with the attendant sacrifice (as in Luke 2:22ff.) as the new member enters the realm of the living.
Now it CAN only be water, sprinkled as in
purification (see QAA 11 as above), and blood no more appears in such matters.
The ONLY one which counts, was shed ONCE (Hebrews 9); but the cleansing occurs
OFTEN. It is symbolised for all and any of the Christian household, as always;
and speaks of redemption. No sacrament ever saved (Jeremiah 9:25-26, I Peter
3:21); but each one speaks, this way and that, of the faith and the Lord and
His dealings with His people.
Blood can no more speak, for now the only relevant one is already shed. It can be symbolised, but never shed.
Hence the substance is now WATER, and the mode is sprinkling, just as it was sprinkled on the priestly officials (or Levites - Numbers 8:7); for now ALL are priests (I Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6). Here then is a practice Christ so eloquently paralleled, to "fulfil all righteousness" as He declared, (John 3:13-17 - not to testify to ANY unrighteousness!), covering symbolism in its preparations, even though reality was now here IN PERSON! Such is humility and such is teaching.
He had the consecratory water sprinkling of priests, from John, being no sinner, in order that He Himself might supply the blood that dripped and was spent. Small wonder the prophet almost balked, for the righteousness of the action had to be perceived! What He supplied, He did not there therefore use. We do not use it, not because our blood is being shed, but because His has already been offered (Hebrews 9:14, I Peter 1:18).
BEFORE, in former days, the sacrament was voiced in vast expressions of meaning, in terms of cleansing, covenantal preparation or manifestation and unity with Christ: these were the terms of its testimony to the faith, necessary for all (cf. op.cit). Its usages covered the people like a veil. Now the usages are noted and the difference is covered in one simple act. THIS is the way the covenant will be exposed in its outset; and blood no more will be the medium of the sprinkling. So will the believers in Israel in that thronging time of repentance of which Paul speaks, exhibit the faith readily.
Previously, after the escape of the Exodus from Egypt, as they came near to the day, so very near if they had not wandered, for entering their land, there was the national action of Moses with blood sprinkling at Mt Sinai. NOW, in days soon to come, as many of the Jews come to the kingdom of heaven, and enter that, sprinkling once more is to be seen; not this time with blood, but with water.
So is the old turned into the new, and so does God smile at the ignorance of the notables who scorn Him, quietly speaking His mind over nearly 3 and one half millenia, as though He were looking at next week. So does He surround the new two-stroke entry of Israel to its land, and into the joy of the Lord, this time for very many of its people, as in Romans 11, with a new song, though it be linked to the old one, and a new look, though its novelty was gained at prodigious cost, and constituted consummation not innovation, in the completion of the atonement by Christ.
Thus arrives this very replacement of water for blood, and this sprinkled, just as the blood was sprinkled near the outset at Sinai, on both the altar and on the people (Exodus 24:6, 8). Now in the end, it is water that is sprinkled on these new ‘spiritual priests’ , whose High Priest is Christ (Hebrews 4).
This prophetic coup through Ezekiel is another of the many special manifestations not only of divine wisdom and control, but of His majestic overview of things to come with all the naturalness and sense of necessity, that accompanies for mere men, the happenings themselves. Thus does God speak before it happens, as if it were even now happening; and in Biblical, prophetic sequence, as we have seen (e.g. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, and in this current volume, Galloping Events), the time for such turning to Christ, within the nation of the Jews, is very near.
This word of
Ezekiel then, in 36:25-6, is another of the indications of the fellowship
of Jew (when converted) and Gentile, in Christ, which although not seen as
clearly as in the New Testament itself, is yet often exposed with deft touches
like these (cf. Ephesians 3:4-7). There is ONE covenant now and ONE meaning to
it. Through many tribulations and specifications many come TO it; but once come,
they are all one.