“[Jews] Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:”-1 Thessalonians 2:15
Peter and Paul called the Jews "brethren." The Lord referred to Jews as "children" and, by contrast, he called Gentiles "dogs" (including believing Gentiles). When a Gentile approached him as "Son of David" in Matthew 15, he told her he was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. He would not even heed her request. She had no right, as a Gentile, to refer to Him as "Son of David." Only when she comes to him only as her "Lord" does he listen. For is Lord of the Gentiles too. But in listening to her request, he reminds her the children come first.
And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
This is not the Lord lying to make some point for today's church (as we know it). We do not level such a charge to the Lord. It is a metaphorical comparative, but a very real one. As the Lord says in John, salvation is of the Jew. As Paul wrote, the gospel is to the Jew first. We must understand these dispensationally, but tin Matthew 15, we take the Lord at his word.
"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to ISRAEL until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so ALL ISRAEL will be saved."
"you [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them [Israel], and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches [Jews]. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root [Israel], but the root [Israel] supports you [Gentiles]."
There was still an Israel in the Acts age, there will again be an Israel in an age to come.
"For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, 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, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen."
Jew-haters of our day would never call Jews their "brethren" and they believe themselves to be Israelites.
And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: “Men and BRETHREN, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death. But when the Jews spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation. For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of ISRAEL I am bound with this chain.”
The risen Lord taught his enlightened disciples for 40 days "things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" and they had one question: "will you, at this time, restore the Kingdom to Israel?" They are promised to sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the coming kingdom (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:20). Jews are The Lord's brethren.
No, the Israel in the land today is not there in faith. That is why a day is coming when God will sift her. But to hate them and call for their annihilation is foolish. And from a practical sense, it's a game of "eat me last." There is a plan for the earth and God will fulfill it through that nation, cleansed and believing.
Paul's statement in 1 Thessalonian 2:15 changes nothing in regard to the witness of scripture in regard to God's plan for the earth and his plans for the Kingdom restored in Israel and the twelve tribes. The Jews were (are) an enemy of the gospel, but the Lord grafted in Gentiles to ISRAEL, SPECIFICALLY "to make them [Israel] jealous" (cf. Romans 10:19, 11:11, 11:14) because, as Peter preached, the Lord could not return UNTIL ISRAEL repents (Acts 3). Did Peter mean the church must repent and accept the Lord? Did Paul mean Gentiles were grafted into the church to make the church jealous? And why could only GENTILES be "cut off" from Israel ("the church")?
Romans 9, quoted above, states that the promises and covenants and prophecies all belong to Israel. When the Lord returns, he will judge Gentiles (Greek: ethnos) as to how they treated "the least of these my brethren" (Matthew 25) which refers to Jews by contrast. The Lord =, in his earthly ministry, FORBADE the gospel of the Kingdom to be preached to Gentiles (Matthew 10). We must distiguished God's gospel and plans for the earth, in the Kingdom in the land, and his plans for the far above the heavens.
We do not preach "the gospel of the Kingdom." That gospel was for Israel alone (Matthew 10). The Lord was sent to Israel alone and the Kingdom Gospel is for Israel alone. It was forbidden to be preached to Gentiles. It had no cross, no resurrection. It is not preached today. We preach a heavenly hope. What Peter and Paul preached in the Acts age was Israel's earthly hope (see Acts 3, 15, 21, 22, 26, 28, etc.). You cannot make this the hope of "the church" (as men define it).
Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
This verse in the Revelation is trotted out by the Jew-haters as an accusation against Israel and Jews today. We first must note that the Revelation is for Israel in a coming age. But let's look at how they want to use it today.
Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
How can they ignore the context of the commission in Acts 1? The Lord taught the future judges of the twelve tribes in the Kingdom for 40 days about the restoration of the Earthly kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:3-6). That is the message they were sent with. Were they stupid? 40 days being taught about the Kingdom and they didn't get it, but you do? Was the Lord making false promises? First concerning their future as judges over the twelve tribes in the kingdom and, second, the fact that a kingdom would be "restored" to Israel?
Peter preaches that restoration to his "brethren" the "men of Israel" (not the church) after Pentecost (a Jew-only event) in Acts 3. The Kingdom is God's plan for the earth, centered in Israel. When they believe, they will have their kingdom, they will have all the land from the Euphrates to the Nile (Gen 15:18). We need to distinguish the difference between God's plans for the earth as spoken by the prophets and God's plan for the far above the heavens, not revealed to the prophets (Ephesians 3). If we fail to see the differences in the hopes of scripture, will will never see the truth and we will never experience the fullness of "the unsearchable riches of Christ."
In the Acts, Paul ministry was "to the Jew first" (was that the church?). In EVERY city, he went to the Jew first "as was his manner." Why? Do you do that, dear reader? Paul spoke NOTHING that was not spoken by Moses and the Prophets. NOTHING (Acts 26:22). He said he was in chains for "the hope of Israel" in the Acts. All the way until Acts 28. Is that our message for this current age?
"For this reason I have called for you [Jews of Rome], to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain"
Peter and Paul witnessed to truth revealed FROM/SINCE "the foundation of the world [ages]" regarding God's plans for the EARTH. In Ephesians 3 Paul reveals a hope unknown to the prophets and revealed to him, a hope hidden from BEFORE the foundation. This is a different hope. It is a hope dealing with the far above the heavens where Christ sits. That's what we preach today.
Paul was in chains "for the hope of Israel" in the Acts age. Post Acts, he was in chains "for the hope of you Gentiles." When the times of the Gentiles is complete, God will turn again to Israel. She will go through a terrible time, but a remnant of believers will be rescued and the Kingdom restored to Israel
For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, 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, [to whom] Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
If we believe the "church" today is Israel, try reading the church into every reference to Israel in the Acts and the Acts epistles. Acts 3, 26, 28; Rom 9, 11 just for starters. Do you believe the twelve tribes and the Dispersion are also the church in the epistles?
A special word to those who believe they are safe from jihad, because (as I was told) "Muslims teach Christians are also 'people of the book'."
Tell that to the Armenian Christians.
In Islam, "People of the Book" also refers to Jews. How's that working out for them?
‘Ahl al-Kitab‘ means those who possess the scripture or the divine book. The term, along with another term outou al-kitab ‘those who were given the Book’, occurs more than 50 times in the Qur’an. Both expressions denote the JEWS, believers of the Torah, and the Christians, believers of the Gospel. (See al-Baqarah 2: 113; Al-Imran 3: 64-65).
-Bashar Bakkour (Syrian researcher in Islamic Studies)
Don't let your hatred of Jews cloud God's plans for the ages.