"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Jesus Is the True Israel in the Everlasting Covenant

Orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians have very little in common. The English usage of the adjective Judeo-Christian may make a person think that evangelicalism and orthodox Judaism are similar. The two religions have little in common.

Admittedly, Judeo-Christian sounds more pleasant to the ears than Islamic-Christian to most American Christians, but there's about as much in common between religious Muslims and evangelicals as there is between religious Jews and evangelicals.

Don't misunderstand. I have some wonderful, delightful friends who are orthodox Jews and orthodox Muslims. I cherish our friendship and know my Jewish and Islamic friends to be just as American as I, and will fight for their right to worship freely.

I am puzzled, however, by fellow Christians who believe it is "of God" to support Jewish attempts to extricate Muslims from Jerusalem, tear down the Dome of the Rock -  a major Islamic shrine - and rebuild the Jewish Temple, re-institute Old Testament blood sacrifices, and re-establish Old Covenant Festivals outlined in The Law (the five books of Moses).

I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

"Kiss the Son..." (Psalm 2:12) is the instruction of God for all people of every nation, tribe, and family during these New Covenant times. It is God's command for both Jews and Gentiles. It matters not if you are born in the land of Israel, a Muslim land, a secular land, or even a so-called "Christian" land, every single human is instructed by God to embrace Jesus Christ.

To come to Christ by faith, and to declare "I have no righteousness except Him" is the essence of "good news," and it is the only way by which anyone will ever experience right standing with God and eternal blessings from God.

Orthodox Jews oppose the proclamation of faith in the Person and work Jesus Christ as much as Muslims do.  For evangelicals to support the re-building of a Jewish Temple, the re-instituting of Jewish institutional sacrifices, and the re-establishing of annual Jewish Festivals -- all of which Jesus Christ caused to disappear (Hebrews 8:13) -- strikes me as anti-Christ.

God established a New Covenant (agreement) with the world through the obedience of His Son. The Old Covenant was made with one nation (Israel) and is now gone (disappeared).  In the Old Covenant, the nation of Israel experienced God's blessings through their obedience to the Law and God's wrath for their disobedience to the Law. In the New Covenant, God's blessings are only received by not being ashamed of "the Christ of God" (Luke 9:20) and putting one's trust in Him.

This why our obedience to God in the New Covenant is called "the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26). We believe in Jesus Christ, embrace Him, refuse to be ashamed of Him, and claim we have no righteousness of our own, but only that righteousness which is found in Him.

When Christians spend their time attempting to explain why it's necessary for Jews to re-institute the rituals of Old Covenant, promoting the religion of Orthodox Judaism -- while at the same time denigrating Orthodox Islam -- we may have missed entirely the beauty of Jesus Christ and the good news (i.e. "the gospel").


Jesus Christ is the New Israel

Most evangelicals read the New Testament and come across the phrase "the last days" and think it has to do with "the last days" of this world. Not true. The New Testament writers, all of whom were Jews, wrote of "the last days" of the Old Covenant! God was bringing to an end the covenant He made with national Israel. Through His Son, God was launching a New Agreement (Covenant) with the world (Hebrews 8:13).

The Twelve original disciples of Christ knew they were in "the last days" of the Old Covenant, and this is why the Apostle John wrote in I John 2:18 that he was indeed living in "the last hour." Peter, when preaching on the day of Pentecost, quoted the prophet Joel and said Joel's words about "the last days" were then (in Peter's day) being fulfilled (Acts 2:17). Other passages like Hebrews 1:1–2 say the early disciples were living in "the last days,"  and that the "consummation of the ages" was "now" (i.e. during the time of the early disciples - see Hebrews 9:26).

Paul said the early Jewish followers of Christ were the people "upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (I Corinthians 10:11).  The New Testament books were written before the collapse of Old Covenant Jewish worship (A.D. 70), and the early followers of Jesus - most of whom were Jewish - were prepared by Christ to anticipate the destruction of their Jewish way of worship "in the last days."

In A.D. 70 God brought the Romans to Jerusalem to destroy the Jewish Temple, end the blood sacrifices, and scatter the Jews.  What happened in AD 70 is similar to what God did in bringing the Assyrians to Israel in 722 B.C.  to end the northern kingdom of Israel, destroy the false idols they'd built in the groves, and scatter the ten northern tribes. The judgment of God wrought in AD 70 was also similar to the manner in which He brought an end to Temple worship and the desolation of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. through the army of the Babylonians.

Believing God ended the Old Covenant age A.D. 70 doesn't preclude a belief that Jesus Christ is returning one day to raise the dead, judge the wicked, give His followers the rewards He has earned for them  (i.e., "we are co-heirs with Christ"), and usher in eternity - all of which I believe.

But what a proper understanding of the New Testament "last days" will do for you is help you put more of an emphasis on the Person and work of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom now rather than a nation whose covenant with God (the Old Covenant) has disappeared.

I support "national Israel" today because they are the closest thing to a democracy in the totalitarian despotism of the Middle East. I, like you, watch the news and feel sympathy and support for Israel because of the despotic enemies that surround them. However, to support "national Israel" because of a belief that God desires the re-establishment of an Old Covenant agreement with Israel is  - forgive my expression - to spit in the face of Jesus, the Christ of God.

Jesus is the new Israel in the eternal New Agreement that God has made with the world. God is now only concerned with whether or not people everywhere embrace His Son. That's why you can talk about your religion (i.e. "How you serve God, worship God, obey God, etc...") and the world will leave you alone. But the moment you begin to talk about Jesus Christ, all hell breaks loose.

Jesus is the Christ of God, and even the demons of hell know you must embrace Him or face the wrath of God. When you promote national Israel over the New Israel (Jesus Christ), you are no different in your religion than any other anti-Christ religion. Faith that saves is Christo-centric. Saving faith is "Christ-centered" and not Old Covenant national Israel centered.

"This Is My Son, in Whom I Am Well Pleased"

Let me show you how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the new Israel in the new, eternal agreement that God has made with the world.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, his parents took Him to Egypt to avoid the murderous plot of King Herod. Later, Jesus left Egypt with Joseph and Mary and settled in Nazareth. When Matthew recounts how Jesus was "called out of Egypt" (Matthew 2:15), he says that Christ coming out of Egypt fulfills the statement of Hosea 11:1 - "Out of Egypt I have called My Son."

Wait a minute! That Hosea 11:1 passage says:
"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son."
But the gospel writer (Matthew)  says that this statement from Hosea is fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus becomes the new Israel in the New Covenant. Unlike Old Covenant Israel, Jesus fulfills the Law - every jot and tittle of it! There are some evangelicals who believe that "the church" has replaced Israel in the New Covenant.

Not so.

Jesus is the true Israel.  National Israel only foreshadowed - and failed to accomplish - what Jesus eternally accomplished for those who trust Him. All the blessings of God are ours through Him.
Notice how the life of Jesus as the new Israel parallels the life of Old Covenant national Israel.
(1). The King of Kings was born in Bethlehem, the very place where King David was crowned King of Israel during Old Covenant days.
(2). After Jesus was born, He went to Egypt, just as national Israel fled to Egypt during Old Covenant days to avoid death (see Genesis 46:8) .
(3).  Both national Israel and the new Israel (Jesus Christ) were "called out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).
(4).  God gave the Law during the Old Covenant on a mountain (Sinai) through Moses; and He gave the new Law on a mountain through His Son (i.e. "The Sermon on the Mount").
(5). God told Peter, James and John to ignore Moses and Elijah, the great Law-giver and prophet of the Old Covenant, and to listen to "My beloved Son!" (akoute auton - "Hear Him"!"). Because HE is the Christ of God. We are to listen to Him alone! (see Luke 9:28-36).
(6). National Israel has a history of disobedience to God and failure to meet the conditions of  the Old Covenant. The new Israel, Jesus Christ, fulfilled every "jot and tittle" of the Law (Matthew 5:18).
(7).  Since the Law promised "blessings" from God for full obedience, and punishment for disobedience to the Law, national Israel experienced punishments from God throughout the duration of the Old Covenant (ending in AD 70). However, Jesus experienced and felt the full pleasure of His father ("this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased") because of His perfect obedience.
(8).  Before Jesus entered into His public ministry of mercy and grace, He endured 40 days in the wilderness; so too, before national Israel entered into Canaan, they spent 40 years in the wilderness.
(9). Jesus Christ was baptized at the very location (Betharaba) national Israel crossed the Jordan to enter Canaan.
(10). Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law's Festivals (born at Tabernacles, died at Passover, in the tomb during Unleavened Bread, raised on the Feast of Firstfruits, and sending the Comforter at Pentecost, etc...).
Because Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law in His perfect obedience, and passively fulfilled the Law in His substitutionary death (i.e. He paid the Law's penalty for sin) we have good news for the world! Tthe good news is that whoever forsakes trust in their personal obedience and places their faith in the performance and work of Jesus Christ, the gift given to them is life -- real life that lasts forever -- which includes God's forgiveness of every sin, the crediting of Christ's perfect righteousness to my account (i.e. "God sees no sin in His people"), and eternal rewards for Christ's performance ("the meek will inherit the earth when the curse is fully reversed").

In this New Covenant time period, we are thoroughly blessed by God, entirely pleasing to God, and the eternally loved, adopted, and rewarded sons of God (by adoption) because of the obedience of Jesus Christ (not our own) and our faith in Him! As it is written:
But whatever was to my profit (as an orthodox, religious Jew)  I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ. (Philippians 3:7-11
In Jesus Christ, we have true Rest.

So, before you get all caught up in the questions of what how a person should treat modern, national Israel, may I suggest that God is only interested in how you treat the new Israel - His Son, the "Christ of God"?  Christ fulfilled the Law whereas national Israel failed the Law. Christ is pleasing to God for His perfect obedience whereas national Israel experienced punishment from God for their persistent disobedience. Christ is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" for all those who put their faith in Him (i.e. "the obedience of faith," Romans 16:26). Whereas national Israel has gone down a path "that seemed right to man, but the end thereof is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

I believe any evangelical more concerned with one's treatment of national Israel than one's trust in the new Israel, Jesus Christ, is doing a disservice to the Kingdom of God. We miss the Gospel by mixing and confusing an Old Covenant with the New Covenant inaugurated by the performance of the New Israel (Jesus Christ).

I close with the words of the brilliant John Owen on why an understanding of the New Covenant and its corresponding freedom to those who embrace the New Israel (Jesus Christ) will revolutionize one's life and worship:
For “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty;” namely, to serve God, “not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit.”…And we may briefly consider wherein this deliverance and liberty by the New Covenant does consist, which it does in the following things:—
(1.) In our freedom from the commanding power of the law, as to sinless, perfect obedience, in order to obtain righteousness and justification before God…
(2.) In our freedom from the condemning power of the law, and the sanction of it in the curse. This being undergone and answered by Him who was “made a curse for us,” we are freed from it, Rom. 7:6; Gal. 3:13, 14.
(3.) In our freedom from conscience of sin, Heb. 10:2,—that is, conscience disquieting, perplexing, and condemning our persons; the hearts of all that believe being “sprinkled from an evil conscience” by the blood of Jesus Christ.
(4.) In our freedom from the whole system of Mosaical worship, in all the rites, and ceremonies, and ordinances of it; which what a burden it was the apostles do declare…
(5.) From all the laws of men in things appertaining unto the worship of God, 1 Cor. 7:23.
And by all these, and the like instances of spiritual liberty, does the gospel free believers from that “spirit of bondage unto fear,” which was administered under the Old Covenant.

Next time you experience a "spirit of fear" about the world's future, your personal failures, or the possibility of the loss of God's favor, you might check upon which Israel you are relying - the Old Israel which induces "a bondage unto fear" or the New Israel which brings life, liberty, and real happiness.

49 comments:

Shari England said...

Oh my goodness! I don't know where to begin. Free indeed! This answers SO MANY questions I've had regarding several passages you just shared. As well as all the hype surrounding heavenly displays of "last days". This piece is a tall glass of Living Water. Thank you so much.

Wade Burleson said...

You are welcome, Shari. Glad the article helped enlighten some things for you.

G Murray said...

Once again Wade,you have hit the proverbial nail 'on the head'- A complete and full explanation of what living under and in the New Covenant means and in particular our attitude and love for Israel.
For a long time I have struggled to explain to my friends that supporting Israel does not mean buying into every 'wacko' so called prophecies that come forth from those that major in the 'last days'..

Thank you for such a well needed article.. I have waited a long time,[since my UK days] to hear and read an article like this.. I despaired for so long that views like this were often attacked as being 'non biblical' and in my case excluded me from being a Pastor in the Free Church...

George

Wade Burleson said...

George,

"I despaired for so long that views like this were often attacked as being "non biblical" and in my case excluded me from being Pastor in the Free Church."

The church's loss, in my opinion, and no loss for you. In my experience, when people lose their focus on Jesus Christ - as Paul says, "I want to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified - then people end up becoming "religious" in terms of their Christianity instead of relational in their faith. Religious churches are disasters waiting to happen.

GMurray said...

You are right of course Wade... I was amazed and dissappointed when I first came to the US.. In UK the majority of Evangelical churches had in their Basis of Faith .a belief in the Second Coming of Christ without any interpretation of how,why and when that would take place.
Sadly, most denominations over here require that you have a stated 'pre mil' position as a requirement for accreditation...
A sad state of affairs ....

Thats why, articles like yours today need the widest possible circulation...
Keep them coming please..

Bob Cleveland said...

The ability to see through and beyond the fog of years of tradition, and through the noise of those wishing to cling to the assurance of something within their control, is a quality to be admired. Perhaps I shall attain to that some day.

I would like to re-post this on my blog, with credit where it is most certainly due. OK w/you?

And of course I know the source of the wisdom and insight displayed here. But you are at the very least due commendation for being faithful. In that sens, thank you, sir.

Wade Burleson said...

Sure, Bob - anytime! Blessings!

Christiane said...

Hi WADE,
since my Church doesn't have all the strange fundamentalist end-of-time theories, its perspective is explained in this way:

"580 The perfect fulfillment of the Law could be the work of none but the Divine Legislator, born subject to the Law in the Person of the Son.337
In Jesus, the Law no longer appears engraved on tables of stone but "upon the heart" of the Servant who becomes "a covenant to the people", because He will "faithfully bring forth justice".338
Jesus fulfills the Law to the point of taking upon Himself "the curse of the Law" incurred by those who do not "abide by the things written in the book of the Law, and do them", for His death took place to redeem them "from the transgressions under the first covenant".339 "

WADE, some biblical verses related to this perspective are given at the bottom of this site:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a4p1.htm

John said...

This is a topic I love and have great interest in since I am working to get this subject matter approved for my doctoral dissertation. Such truth so eloquently expressed. Jesus is the focal point , but so often people become tied to a system instead of Scripture in an attempt to force their beliefs into a mold that simply won't work. Jesus is the New Israel. Thanks Wade.

Wade Burleson said...

You bet, John. Would love to read your dissertation when done.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Right on!

I empathize with George. I know how he feels!

Gordon said...

Wade,

You have been blessed with a clear understanding of God's progressive revelation of salvation, culminating in the person of Jesus Christ. Thanks for rightly dividing the word of truth and for sharing it with us so consistently.

I am inclined to see Jesus, not as the new Israel but as the true Israel. All those who believe and trust in God's promises and declaration.. those from both pre and post Calvary....are part of Christ's body, the Israel of God (Galatians 6:6 and Hebrews 11).

I share your views on having a cultural appreciation for current political Israel...Israel after the flesh. The United Nations should recognise and protect both Arab and Israeli sovereignty but neither can claim any special spiritual destiny for themselves.....nor can any other nation do that, as some politicians would have us believe.
To my mind, Christian Zionists have lost the plot ! I am puzzled by the psychology that motivates their mistaken zeal.

Unknown said...

A thousand times, "Amen!" In my very humble (read: "unsophisticated") opinion, the greatest error of dispensational teaching (in soteriology, eschatology, and ecclesiology) is its preoccupation with God's (future) dealings with national Israel. An emphasis on God's trustworthiness in keeping his promises is wonderful, but failing to see that in Jesus they find their "yes and amen" seems dangerous.

mark sims

Anxiously said...

For years I have dealt with anxiety related to my eternal destination. Sometimes I fear Jesus will say He doesn't know me. It cripples me. It keeps me up at night. I struggle with how one believes in their head vs their heart (that analogy is confusing to me).
However when I read your posts about salvation, I feel energized, excited, and hopeful. I want to believe and ask Christ to save me in spite of my doubts.
Thanks for your powerful and truthful words. They help in cracking an otherwise fear-filled anxiety.

Wade Burleson said...

Anxiously,

Your words, anxiously, are food to my soul. You are Christ's. He has you - He loves you - He holds you. How do I know? When you hear of Christ -- just Christ -- you feel energized, excited, and hopeful.

So do I.

We are His. Thanks for being a great encouragement to me today.

Bryan Laramore said...

Hey there friend, when you wrote, "For evangelicals to support the re-building of a Jewish Temple, the re-instituting of Jewish institutional sacrifices, and the re-establishing of Jewish annual Festivals -- all of which Jesus Christ caused to disappear (Hebrews 8:13) -- strikes me as anti-Christ." Do you have any particular evangelicals in mind that are doing these things? Looking for examples...

Christiane said...

some thoughts about Our Lord as 'the New Israel'

I tend to agree with GORDON's comment, this: " All those who believe and trust in God's promises and declaration.. those from both pre and post Calvary....are part of Christ's body, the Israel of God (Galatians 6:6 and Hebrews 11)."

the reason is Gordon's mention of the 'ekklesia' as part of Christ's body, what many do refer to as 'the Body of Christ', in effect the 'ekklesia' or 'the Church'

if you look at the connection of Our Lord's 'Church' and 'the Body of Christ', this makes sense, especially when Saul was attacking the early Christian Church after the Resurrection and Our Lord appeared to him and said 'Why persecuteth thou Me?' . . . we can see from His words how Christ viewed His own relationship with His Church, and we can see why the phrase 'the Body of Christ' reflects that relationship . . .

those included in the 'called' ranges ever outward: first, a family, then a tribe, then a nation, then humanity . . . yes, it is very possible to see Christ as The Way

"He is the Word that brings salvation.
He is the Hand You stretch out to sinners.
He is the Way that leads to Your peace.

Our Father, we had wandered far from You,
but through your Son You have brought us back.

You gave Him up to death so that we might turn again to You
and find our way to one another." (from an ancient Christian prayer)

Wade Burleson said...

Bryan,

Not really anyone in mind. Much prefer advocating a principle in this scenario than acknowledging a person.

Gordon said...

Wade,

Apologies ! Correction : Galatians 6:16 " the Israel of God ".

The passage confirms the Christocentric nature of the Gospel : "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..... neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation " (these are the true Israel ).

Adam Sloat said...

Wade

Thank you for the great post but I am confused and would like clarification from you. On your most recent blog, you state, "Believing God ended the Old Covenant age in A.D. 70 doesn't preclude a belief that Jesus Christ is returning one day to raise the dead, judge the wicked, give His followers the rewards He has earned for them". Can you explain which scripture verse you use to hold this position that the resurrection, judgment, and Christ's return is future?

In your sermons and blog (Left Behind is for the Biblically Blind, Jesus is the New Israel in God's New Agreement, See Jesus in the Feasts of the Jews this Easter, The Feast of the Seventh Month: The Feast of Trumpets, The Creator of the Ages, Shaking Heaven and Earth, The Resurrection, An Eschatology of Hope, Without Reference to Sin and The 1,000 Years), you have said, that the apostles were in the last days (The End, Day of the Lord, Last Hour) of Israel. That the old covenant was known as the "Heaven and Earth". That Jesus Christ has fulfilled every "jot and tittle" of the Law. That Christ has already come to judge the wicked. That the godly and ungodly are sleeping in the dust of the earth and both will be resurrected at the End. That Christ kingdom is reigning on earth. That Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law's Festivals. And, you've said this was all consummated in A.D. 70.

Can you explain what scripture you use to determine that the resurrection, judgment and Christ's return it still yet future? And, according to Matthew 5:17-18, if Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets, then, how can old testament scripture that deals with judgment and resurrection and Christ's return be future from now and not part of what took place in A.D. 70?

Can you explain how "The End", "The Last Days", "The End of the Age", "That Day" etc means the end of the old covenant in some places in the bible and it means Chris's return, end of the current age of grace, etc in other instances?

Thank you for getting a little deeper into this!

Adam

Bryan Laramore said...

I understand that. I see the sentiment in some circles that your article is alluding to. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

One of many questions:

If, as you say, "Jesus is the new Israel", then how do passages like Romans 11:26 ("All Israel shall be saved.") make any sense? According to your supposition, it would then be saying "All Jesus shall be saved." And not only that, but it implies a future fulfillment???
Jo

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law (the "true" or new Israel) as opposed to national Israel who failed the Law. All those "in Christ" are saved - and thus, "all Israel" will be saved, for Christ ensures the blessings of God for all for whom He died. He is our positive righteousness and He took our sins upon Himself on the cross, fulfilling the consequences of sin (death) according to the Law. So, it might not make sense to you that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the "new" or "true" Israel, but it makes very clear sense to me, and being in union with Christ, I am delivered.

Wade Burleson said...

Adam,

In my opinion, and it is solely my opinion, Jesus speaks of "an hour" when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and be raised from the dead. I believe that is still future. I also believe that the entire narrative of the Bible is that God will redeem His people AND the earth (Romans 1), so that "all of creation is groaning, waiting for that day" of ultimate redemption. I, unlike full preterists, believe that Christ is returning to usher in "heaven on earth" when "the meek will inherit the earth" and this "age of grace" will end with the eternal age, where "the righteous will walk on the ashes of the wicked" (Malachi).

So, there are multiple texts which speak of "paradise restored" on this earth. That's why I believe in the future return of Christ, the future resurrection of the dead, the future judgment of the wicked, the future inheritance of the earth (for the redeemed) and "heaven on earth" for all of eternity.

Anonymous said...

Wade,so you consider yourself a partial preterist and if so maybe you should explain what that means.

John said...

Wade, in your theological training, was there a particular book or source that had a influence on you regarding partial preterism and the view that Revelation is primarily John's account of the Siege of Jerusalem? Would love to know. Curious because as you and I are SBC, I wonder what led you to embrace it? For me, it was picking up and reading Adam's Clarke commentary of Matthew.

Wade Burleson said...

John,

John Owen on Hebrews and John Gill on Matthew 24. Later, it was R.C. Sproul and others.

kt said...

Hi Wade, good article, I see many things written that I have also heard from your sermons on Sunday and Wednesday night.
For me the question becomes how much baggage does God allow that negates eternal salvation. I wrote you an email explaining my background and who I currently work for. Many claim that Jesus died for their sins and they accept them as their saviour, Does God allow men to add to His plan of salvation ie Roman Catholics, Southern Baptist who marry the Old and New Testament dispensationalist , Mormons who claim they accept Christ as their Saviour and add a bunch of rituals closely related to the Masons. These are just 3 examples of a religion changing who you speak of here Jesus the new Israel period. Does God say anyone who comes to me and accepts my Son as his saviour he will grant eternal life no matter how much he changes or adds to it?So how messed up can people be in their religion and still gain eternal life?
I am reminded of the verse Matthew 7:13.

Wade Burleson said...

kt,

You ask great questions. I will give you a short answer: Since it is a gracious God who saves through Jesus, and NOT faith that saves (i.e. " "we are justified BY GRACE through faith"), then the vehicle "through" which we comprehend our right standing with God (faith) can be cloudy, muddy, weak, small (as a mustard seed), etc... but since "salvation is of the Lord," our justification is strong and sure regardless of the amount, strength or deficiency of our faith. A little or clouded faith IN JESUS saves as much as a lot or clear faith saves. It's your enjoyment of Christ that suffers when you add things to your faith, not your salvation in Christ.

Rex Ray said...

Ahaaaaaaa!

I believe one of the best Scriptures is Job saying: “Though he slay me, yet I’ll trust him.”

With that thought in mind and just as some believe ‘mentalists or pre-mentalists’, I’d like to join those that are ‘pan mentalists’ which means its all going to pan out in the end.

Rex Ray said...

Well, looking at my comment makes me feel somewhat as a jerk because of the many great thoughts expressed…especially the one above mine.

Ramesh said...

Off topic to this post but relevant to the blog ...

I am slowly catching up to Wade's podcasts and I found this interesting story/snippet on Mikey Weinstein at mark 58:40 of the wed eve podcast Chapter 2: Sojourners in a Strange Land - Emmanuel Enid. Definitely an interesting turn of events!

Anonymous said...

These drifts into mixing the Covenants and idolizing the Jews began with the Scofield Bible and his take on blessing Israel or you're cursed and snowballed into what we see today with 'Hebrew Roots', etc.

What you've written here, and written wonderfully at that, is 100% truth.

I'd like to print this out, roll it into a tight scroll and then smack John Hagee on the nose with it.
He's the celebrity PooBah promoting this crappola and getting rich off it as well.

We need many more like this one, Wade, because countering these falsehoods will take everything we've got and then some.
Thank you for a bit more peace in my heart today. :)

Love, Faithful

Christiane said...

I do have to share one observation from a dear Jewish friend who is up on US-Israel relations and the involved politics in this country. My friend Kathryn says that many Jewish people 'appear' to 'appreciate' the Christian far-right interest in Israel as long as it leads to political voting in favor of Israel's interests;

HOWEVER, Kathryn also says that there is not one Jewish person she knows who TRUSTS the Christian far-right. She says that it is felt that the Christian far-right (fundamentalists) would turn on Jewish people in this country in a heart beat, if it suited them to do so.

So to her, it is a strange 'alliance' of people from opposite worlds which has no core of real trust on any solid base. She says that the 'history' of the Jewish people in the world has shown them who they can trust and who is not to be trusted, and the Christian far-right is in the latter group by its very nature.

Anonymous said...

Just how many regular run of the mill Christians would ever get this. Is Gods word supposed to be so deep that it takes a professional to explain it? If this is how it is then there are a bunch of us that will never "get it."

Ramesh said...

My reading is there are three components here: Israel nation, Jews in US and evangelicals in US.

The turn of US support to Israel came during 1967 war when Israel did the dirty work for US. Since then Israel and its hubris comes from that support. This support will last as long as US interests are held. Once they evaporate, this relationship will also vanish.

Jews were oppressed and marginalized in US till 60's. Now they enjoy preeminent favor in US. This too can and will change. So lot of the chest beating by the Jews in US is in doubt.

Evangelicals gained a voice since Nixon's footwork. The dynamics are not in their favor now and or turning.

The underlying power is the business and moneyed interests in US and they hold a large sway in the policy directions of US politics.

Ramesh said...

One more cent to the above two cents ...

One must not forget the brutal suppression of liberation theology in Latin America and muzzling of the voices within US with the help of the papacy in Rome and US policy. My guess is this also had a hand in conservative resurgence in the 70's in the south. All this is interrelated. Lots of interesting bed partners in their whoring.

Rex Ray said...

THIS POST HAS THE SAME TITLE OF ONE THREE YEARS AGO WHICH IS OK, BUT WHY HAVE 38 COMMENTS THAT WERE WRITTEN THEN?

Christiane said...
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Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I see you’re up to your ‘tricks’ again; that is quoting Scripture and sometimes adding your dope to it. (my opinion) :)

EXAMPLE
“…This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him.” (Luke 9:35 NLT) You said this Scripture told Peter, James, and John to ignore Moses and Elijah…We are to listen to Him alone!

WHAT! Are we to remove the first five Books of the Bible that Moses wrote?

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

You said, “There’s about as much in common between religions Muslims and evangelicals as there is between religious Jews and evangelicals.”

I believe there’s a big difference between the two religions because Jews don’t say, “Kill the infidel !”

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

The first five books of the Bible point to Jesus. “For Moses wrote of Me” (John 5:46).

Hear Him.

RB Kuter said...

Wade wrote: "So, before you get all caught up in the questions of what how a person should treat modern, national Israel, may I suggest that God is only interested in how you treat the new Israel - His Son, the "Christ of God"?"

I do not accept your suggestion.God is indeed interested in how a person treats modern, national Israel. I am puzzled as to why so many respondents to this blog are so excited. I am also puzzled as to why Wade does not recognize that God apparently continues to miraculously preserve the "nation" of Israel and the ethnic Jewish people for His providential purposes.

Perhaps there are those evangelicals that long to see the pre-"Jesus Christ"-practice of sacrificing animals in the Temple, but I do not believe that is the basis for most Evangelicals supporting the preservation of the nation of Israel and protecting the integrity of its identity as the Jewish nation.

How does a person discern when The Hand of God is involved in something, i.e., "providential" activity? I believe one important method is observing supernatural events occurring that evolve into an obvious miraculous result. The preservation of the nation of Israel for the past 2,000-plus years, the preservation of the ethnic Jewish people in spite of their being scattered among the nations for 2,000 years, the re-establishment of Israel as a nation, and even their being targeted with the Holacaust with 6 million annihilated, all portray to me the involvement of The Hand of God. How does this tiny piece of territory elicit global attention which is primarily hostile and bent on its demise, yet it continues to prevail as an independent nation? It tells me that God is up to something with the way He looks at the nation of Israel and the ethnic Jew. He continues to preserve the nation of Israel for His purpose, and that nation continues to be special to Him.

I believe that God blesses any nation that befriends the nation of Israel and harshly judges any that oppose it. It has nothing to do with my being in favor of the re-institution of Temple practices. My view in no way diminishes the exclusive identity of Jesus Christ as The New Israel. I acknowledge that I am more of a genuine "Jew" in the sense of being a child of God than an ethnic "Jew" who is without Christ. But I do believe that the nation of Israel was created to be the nation of the ethnic Jew and that when the Jewish people allow the integrity of its identity to become less than that they will be judged by God for failing in His charge to them. Of course, God's desire would be that they be ethnic Jews AND Messianic Jews, but He apparently has not abandoned His intent on that nation remaining the homeland of the ethnic Jews even though a preponderance continue to reject God's only way to redemption.

There is no comparison between the term "Judeo-Christian" and "Muslim-Christian" as depicted in this blog. "Judeo-Christian" portrays Israel as being the predecessor of the "Pre-Jesus Christ"-Israel, as Abraham is our fore-father and the Jew, Jesus, as being our Messiah. The Christian nation has evolved from the Jewish nation.

God maintains the origins of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as a means of His using it as His place on earth to establish His millennium Kingdom on Earth. Recognition of this is not to propose that a person is redeemed due to the ethnicity of their Judaism, but God does intend to continue to use this small piece of real estate to fulfill His promises.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I think we agree that we listen to Moses when he tells us to listen to Jesus.

Today’s newspaper: “Israel accused of airstrike on Syria; killing 14 people, including several Iranians, hours after President Trump warned there would be a “big price to pay” for Saturday’s alleged chemical weapons strike on a rebel-held enclave outside Damascus…killing nearly 50 people including children.

Russia has vetoed five Security Council resolutions that singled out Assad for condemnation. Trump indicated that his administration was still determining whether Syria, Russia, Iran or all three were to blame.”

Wade, if you’re not for Israel, who are you for?

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

"If you're not for Israel, who are you for?"

I think you misunderstand. I love the nation of Israel. I just love them for political and cultural reasons, not theological.

Wade Burleson said...

RB Kuter,

I know former Muslims with faith in Jesus Christ and I know former orthodox Jews with faith in Jesus Christ. They are family to me. I have friends who are Muslims without faith in Jesus Christ, and I have Jewish friends without faith in Jesus Christ. I would fight for the freedom, health, and security of both Muslims and Jews on the basis of their humanity.

RB Kuter said...

Wade said, "I would fight for the freedom, health, and security of both Muslims and Jews on the basis of their humanity." Of course you would. Me too.

I believe that you misinterpreted the intent of my response and that is no doubt due to my failure to articulate it clearly. Perhaps my statement,"There is no comparison between the term 'Judeo-Christian' and 'Muslim-Christian'" is the culprit causing the miscommunication on my part.

My intent was not in reference to "JBB" and "MBB" (Jewish Background Believers and Muslim Background Believers). Of course, both are my brothers in Christ. I intended to convey that there is a more defined connection between the Jewish tradition and the Christian tradition than with any connection between Islamic tradition and Christian tradition. Hence, the favored relationship between Jewish Israel and Christians.

You proposed that God did not continue to be interested in the nation of Israel ("God is only interested in how you treat the new Israel"). I was countering that by saying that the nation of Israel obviously does continue to have a favored status with God. That does not suggest that Jews who reject Jesus Christ are redeemed. It does propose that the connection between God and that nation has not diminished and that He judges other nations by their alliance or opposition to it. This includes defending the sovereignty of the Jewish Israeli nation.

Wade Burleson said...

RB Kuter,

I understand. I apologize for misunderstanding.

Possibly I'm the one unclear. I should have said TODAY there is no little difference. Of course, historically, Judeo-Christian is far different than Islamic-Christian.

And, I'm not speaking of RADICAL anything. I'm only speaking of religious Islam and religious Judaism in America today.

Thanks for the clarification.

Muff Potter said...

The only real friends the Jews have ever had are The Righteous Among the Nations memorialized by Yad Vashem in Israel.