Rightly Dividing Israel
I'm used to the Replacement Theology folks confusing Israel and the Body. I've documented the fall of dispensationalists from a proper understanding of Israel and the New Covenant to a muddled one.
DO NOT let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. DO NOT let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, WHY, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human [church] commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Scriptural Background on Race
- The Human Race descended from the first Adam
- The separation of the nations after the flood
- The descendants of Jacob and the rest of the nations (Israel and gentiles)
These are the only distinctions of consequence. For the Christian, our concern is not race or ethnicity, but biblical standards consistent with this age and our hope and calling.
Enter here, the concept of culture:
But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.-Gen 15:16
God didn't hate the Amorites. He doesn't hate gentiles (thankfully), but he does hate sin. He is patient as he was here with the Amorites. To Nineveh (gentiles) he sent Jonah to offer them a chance at redemption, and they answered.
God does eventually deals with the Amorites. Men are impatient with God's mercy and long-suffering, then critical of his judgments. "Why does God allow sin!" followed by "Why must God judge!" In Jonah's case, Jonah was upset that God showed mercy to Nineveh.
Now to translate that into today. As a Christian, I see all men as equal before a thrice holy God. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. All are under the Adamic curse of death and decay. I make no judgment based on anything but God's gracious gospel (which is offered to all).
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
That is in regard to eternal life. However, there is the matter of culture. God does not excuse sin or error merely because it is a matter of one's culture or if it is a matter of one's race.
Manasseh was a king in the line of David from the tribe of Judah in the nation of Israel. He adopted, however, the wicked culture of the Amorites.
Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.-2 Kings 21:11-12
We judge no man by his race or ethnicity, yet we must judge all issues of culture by the Word of God. If something is not addressed directly or by principle, we offer liberty. But if something is opposed to the Word of God, it must be rejected.
We should not seek wisdom or help from Egypt (the world).
The race issue is a simple one in Christendom: we recognize all as equal before the one with whom we have to do. We believe in equality before the Lord. In regard to cultural issues, I will listen only to those who know the Savior, believe his word, and rightly divide it. Anything else is a waste of my time and an insult to God's word.
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
or consult the Lord!
And yet [the Holy One of Israel] is wise and brings disaster;
he does not call back his words,
but will arise against the house of the evildoers
and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are man, and not God,
and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
and they will all perish together.
We make a colossal mistake when wee seek answers from the unregenerate. Occasionally, they may stumble near the truth (Acts 17:28), but give no heed to their instruction. Bowing to unregenerate men and plead for them to teach us? May it not be so.