Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are Jews God's Chosen People?

To claim that all Jews alive today, and who have entered Israel since it became a nation in 1948, are the natural descendants of Abraham, a Chaldean who lived some 3,000 years ago, is ludicrous and unreal. Since the Jews were scattered across the entire globe, they have married people who were not Jewish. Some have converted to Judaism while others have not. If a person's ethnic background (which gets farther removed the further you go back and the more ethnic introductions you find) is made up of one half Spanish, one quarter Dutch, one eighth English, one sixteenth German, one thirty-second African, one sixty-fourth Russian and one sixty-fourth Scottish, and that person was born in Australia, that person cannot call him/herself a Russian. That person's ancestors might have been Russian, and that person might have some Russian ancestry in him/her, but that person is not a full-fledged Russian. If you convert to Judaism, you have become Jewish. To be a Jew is to be a follower of Judaism, not a natural descendant of Abraham. There are people of every ethnicity and nationality who are Jews, and new Jews are being converted every day from every ethnicity and nationality. You might as well say that all Lutherans are the natural descendants of Martin Luther. That is how preposterous and nonsensical the statement that all Jews are the natural descendents of Abraham is. It simply is not true. Those who call themselves Jews today are no more the natural descendants of Abraham than those who call themselves Lutherans are the natural descendants of Martin Luther.

The Jews were the chosen people of God, but they are no longer the chosen people of God. Anyone who refers to Jews as God's chosen people today is ignorant of what their Bible teaches. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10). These words are spoken to and about Christians. The quotes and allusions from the Old Testament in these verses were promises spoken to Israel, but Peter's use of them says that they find their fulfillment in the church. In fact, most of the quotes and allusions from the Old Testament found in the New Testament were promises to Israel that are used to state that they find their fulfillment in the church—the true, spiritual Israel (Romans 11:17-24; 2:28-29; 9:6-8; Galatians 3:6-14, 29; Ephesians 2:11-22).

The statements "I know that you are Abraham's descendants" (John 8:37) and "If you are Abraham's children" (John 8:39) contrast Abraham's natural and spiritual posterity. Israelites and Ishmaelites are the former, while Christians, "who are of the faith of Abraham" (Romans 4:16)—whether Jew or Gentile, Old Testament saint or New Testament saint—are the latter. "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ" (Galatians 3:16). The promises spoken to Abraham were not spoken for the Jews, but for Christ Jesus and all who belong to Him, whether Jew or Gentile. "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendents, heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29). Ephesians 2:11-22 speaks more to this reality. The dividing wall that used to be in place has been destroyed. There are not two chosen peoples of God. Christians are the chosen people of God. If you are "of the faith of Abraham", then you belong to Christ Jesus, being God's chosen people. "Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7), just as the Sunday School song says: "Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had father Abraham; I am one of them, and so are you, so let's all praise the Lord."

Jews, as a chosen people, a chosen nation, are no more. They have been cast away. "And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12; cf. Luke 13:28). The Jews are not a special people who get a pass on salvation merely because they are Jews. That makes salvation by "race" rather than by grace. Unless they accept Christ Jesus as their Saviour, they will perish in hell like every other unbeliever. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). They cannot get to heaven apart from Jesus. The Bible also makes it clear "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Without faith in Christ, the Jews will find themselves in hell along with everybody else.

In 70 A.D., Jerusalem was destroyed. The temple was also destroyed, never to be rebuilt ever again (Matthew 23:38; Luke 13:35). God will never again dwell in buildings built by human hands. He now dwells in us, a spiritual temple (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:4 [this is a reference to the church, not the Jewish temple]; 1 Peter 2:5). The nation of Israel was scattered across the globe for the second time (as prophesied in the Old Testament). The land, now being up for grabs, was taken over by the Arabs (also being descendants of Abraham). We are often told that this land was promised to the nation of Israel forever, but this is false. The land was promised to Abraham and his seed forever (Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:18—the word translated "descendants" literally means "seed"). Remember what Galatians 3:16 teaches us? The seed is Christ Jesus—not the physical descendants of Abraham (which would include the Arabs). Now, if you want to read the promise literally, it says "to your descendants forever." Israel did not exist at that point. Abraham's descendants consist of both Israelites and Ishmaelites. After the Jews were scattered from the land once more, the Arabs moved in. So the promise was still being fulfilled by Abraham's descendants. However, the land that Abraham looked forward to was not a patch of earth located in the Middle East—it was heaven (Hebrews 11:8-10; 13-16). We are also often told that the nation of Israel never received the land God promised, but this, too, is false. Joshua (Joshua 11:23; 21:41-45 [esp. v. 43]), Solomon (1 Kings 4:20-21), and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:21-25) all confess that Israel received the land that God promised to give.

In 1948, that land was stolen from the Arabs and given to the Jews in a self-fulfilled prophecy by the Christian Zionists, which has kept the Middle East in war these last 60 plus years. God was not behind the Jews becoming a nation again. It is nowhere to be found in Scripture. The passages frequently cited are in regard to Israel returning to the land after their Babylonian captivity. Nothing more, nothing less. Read this testimony by Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson in regard to the state of the Middle East:
In 1970, I was working for Sen. Mark O. Hatfield of Oregon. He decided to take a trip to the Middle East. As governor of Ore­gon, he had visited Israel more than once, getting to know figures such as Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, Golda Meir, and others. But this time, he decided to visit a couple of Palestinian refugee camps in addition to meeting with political leaders.
When he returned, he shared with me the powerful emotional and political impact his visits to those refugee camps made on him. “There can never be peace,” he told me, “without addressing the issue of justice for the Palestinians.” So he decided to deliver a major speech on the Senate floor, and I began working on a draft. In that speech, he said, “Voices of moderation are diminishing and polarization is increasing. If voices that heretofore have been mollifying influences in the area are further alienated, chances for peace in a rapidly escalating confrontation will be severely curtailed.”
In the floor discussion that followed, Sen. Hatfield said, “We have found, as to the present problem in the Middle East, the attitude that if you are not for Israel, then you have to be for the Arabs; or if you speak favorably of the Arabs, then you are against Israel. We are being judged by these parties, in some instances, not by how much you are for them, but by how much we hate the other side.” “I fear for this kind of polarization within our nation,” Hatfield continued. “The United States has the power, the resources, the idealism ... to be a peacemaker. But if we are going to try to be a peacemaker there by standing purely on one side of the issue, with one group only, and say there is no cause and no justice on the other side of the argument, we totally eliminate the possibility of that peacemaker role.”
Sen. Hatfield was surprised, and so was I, by the attacks that followed. His exposure to facts, experiences, and relationships on the ground in Israel and Palestine collided with the standard political rhetoric around Israel and Christian Zionism at that time. He spoke clearly out of his experience and proposed what that might mean for U.S. policy. Today his measured words seem so painfully prophetic as we witness the tarnished and catastrophically discredited image of the U.S. as a peacemaker in the Middle East.
Christian Zionists have brainwashed individuals into thinking Jews are the good guys and Arabs are the bad guys. Everything Jesus condemned the Scribes and Pharisees for could be found in the Mishnah, an early version of the Talmud. Man's traditions over the commandments of God. Today, over 80% of Jews all over the world follow the teachings of the Talmud almost exclusively. The Talmud is just as bad as, if not worse than, the Qu'ran. In fact, I would not be surprised if the Qu'ran is largely based off the Talmud, but in retaliation (the Talmud attacks and puts down Christians, Muslims, and pagans whereas the Qu'ran attacks and puts down Christians, Jews, and pagans). Jews are just as bad as the Muslims. Both are anti-Christ. Both hate Christians. Go over to Israel and walk up and down the streets loudly proclaiming that you are a Christian and watch how many Jews come up to you and spit on you. During a particular holiday, every Christian stays in their home and locks their doors. You can imagine how bad it gets if they have to do that. The reason Jews are arrogant and think they are better than everyone else is because the Talmud says that non-Jews are not human and that they are dogs far below the Jew; that they do not have the same rights as a Jew. When we elevate the nation of Israel, we are saying that we agree that we are beneath them and that they are better than us. That is not what the Bible teaches! I do not support Israel because they are anti-Christ.

Let's stop elevating the nation of Israel to a position of godhood. The Bible is not Israel-centric—it is Christ-centric. All of biblical prophecy is not fulfilled in or by Israel—it is fulfilled in and by Christ Jesus. The entire Bible is not all about Israel—it is all about Christ Jesus, as He demonstrated on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13). Let`s stop worshiping Israel as a god and start worshiping Christ Jesus as God. The nation and people of Israel are nothing! Jews were supposed to be the representatives of God. Christians are the representatives of God. It is Christ and Christ's people—Christians, the church. It is not Israel or the Jews.