Saturday, October 22, 2022

New Testament Israel - Did God Fail To Keep His Promises To Israel Through Christ? (Part 2) - Christians for Truth

Christ feeds His Israelite followers

Here we continue with Part 2 of Sheldon Emry’s essay New Testament Israel where he shows that while the majority of Christians may concede that Christ came for Israel, they also believe that Israel “rejected” Him — and that Christ, therefore, had no choice but to transfer the New Covenant blessings to another non-Israelite people to carry out His will. This “Christ” that most Christians believe in failed to do what He set out to do — and that God’s promises to Israel were for nought.

Emry, on the other hand, demonstrates that Christ did not, in fact, fail to fulfill the promises that God the Father had made to His people Israel — and that today’s Christians of European descent — unwittingly — are indeed Abraham’s seed and the Children of Promise.

That in their disobedience, the ten northern tribes of Israel [see James 1:1] would forget who they are should come as no surprise — as it was foretold in Psalms 83:4,

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”

You can read Part 1 of “New Testament Israel” here.

Emry continues:

New Testament Israel (Part 2)

We are comparing the history of the Christian people of Europe and North America, Australia and South Africa with the Bible prophecies about the descendants of Abraham. God told Abraham in Genesis 17:4,

“As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.”

Is it possible the nations of Christendom which worship Abraham’s God are actually those nations promised to come of father Abraham? Earlier we read in Galatians,

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

This verse seems to make a direct connection between those who claim to be Christians and the inheritance of something called here “the promise.” During this study, we will be examining both Old and New Testament passages to find out what that promise is — but first I want to demonstrate from the New Testament — which is that portion of the Scripture claimed by most Christian churches as their special religious book — that the New Testament is addressed to the descendants of Abraham called Israelites — or also known as “the House of Israel.”

And from that, later, I will show that — whether they know it or not — those nations where Christianity is the predominant religion are fulfilling prophecies made to the seed of Abraham — [not the “spiritual seed” but rather the literal seed of Abraham]. We read several passages earlier — including the long prophecy in Luke 1, which was made by the priest Zachariah, father of John the Baptist — where he said Jesus had come,

“That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy (promised) to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham” (Luke 1:68-73)

Now, if we as Christians are heirs of these Abrahamic promises — and one of those promises is that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us — then if God keeps promises, that would mean that the Christian peoples would be delivered from their enemies [for example, the Crusades, the Reconquista in Spain, and the Battle of Vienna in 1683]. But let’s go on reading in the New testament, to verify my claim that the New Testament is addressed to the Israel people.

You should also get a copy of the “Study Into the Meaning of ‘Gentile’ as used in the Bible” — this is basic to understanding the New Testament. Millions of Christians are confused about many New Testament passages because they have been incorrectly taught the word ‘gentile’ means non-Israelite. Such is not the case — “gentile” is not an English word — rather it is a Latin word which, for some reason, the King James translators used for the Greek word “ethnos” and also for the Greek word “hellen”. “Ethnos” [Strong’s #1484] literally means “nations”. And in most cases, if one just reads “Gentiles” as “nations” instead — [with the understanding that “nations” refers only to the original Genesis 10 nations] — it would make much more sense.

However, it is a little more complicated than that — and you really should read this other study on the meaning of “gentile” before proceeding here. An example of the confusion is in John 7 where Jesus said to the Pharisees,

“Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.” (John 7:34)

He was actually referring to His ascension into heaven, but they didn’t understand that — and we next read,

“Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?” (John 7:35)

The Greek word here translated as “Gentiles” is actually “hellen” [Strong’s #1672] — the ancient name for Greece. It is confusing that it was translated into “gentile” here — for what they were saying according to the original text is actually, “Will he go to the dispersed among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?”

[CFT noteAt the time of Christ, the people known collectively as “Greeks” were comprised of both lost Israelites (such as the Dorians) and descendants of the original Genesis 10 nations (such as the Ionians), which is why Paul brought the Gospel to them.]

We have religious groups in America which falsely claim that Jesus came to the American Indians while He was here on the earth — and they quote this passage from John 7 as part of their “proof” that Jesus went “to the gentiles.” No, the word is “hellen” — the ancient name for the land we today call Greece. You will receive a great benefit from this study on “gentile” mentioned above — it is found in the Sheldon Emry Memorial Library.

We have read a few passages from Mark and Luke which prove that Jesus Christ came to Israel, but now turn to John. Chapter 1 begins by writing about Jesus and John the Baptist — and then records the first meeting between them:

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” (John 1: 29-31)

“Manifest” — or made known — [to ISRAEL] — not made known to all the world or to non-Israelites, as most Christians are led to believe. John knew Jesus was to be known “to Israel.” Now those who say only the Jews are Israel tell us this has never come to pass — that the Jews simply have not accepted Jesus, [but this dispensational notion is refuted in John 1:12],

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

But strangely enough another race of people from Europe — if they have any religion at all — profess Christianity, or faith in Jesus Christ. So Jesus has been made manifest — or “made known” — to this European race — demonstrating yet another prophecy about Israel fulfilled in these Europeans.

In John 1:45, we read of an Israelite by the name of Philip saying to another Israelite, Nathanael,

“We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.”

Nathanael — upon meeting Jesus — says to Him, “Thou art king of Israel.” That title — “King of Israel” — is also used for Yahweh God in the Old Testament — so the Israelite Nathanael equates Jesus Christ with Yahweh, the God of Israel.

In John 3:35, John the Baptist is questioned about Jesus Christ, and he says among other things,

“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.”

That would corroborate Jesus’ statement to His disciples in Matthew 28: 18 which we read earlier:

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Then, tying in that doctrine that Jesus has all power — and that He is the King of Israel — with the doctrine that Jesus came to confirm the promise God had made to Abraham and to Israel, then we would naturally assume that the keeping of God’s promises to Israel has to be by and through Jesus the Christ. So, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to look to the people who believe in Jesus to see if the Abrahamic promises are being fulfilled in them through Christ.

Later, as we read the Abrahamic promises [see our film “Heirs of the Promise“], we will see that this is exactly what has happened.

In John 5, Jesus himself says the Old Scriptures are written of Him, but he also says, in effect, that one cannot understand and believe the New Scriptures unless one believes the Old. In John 5:39, He says to the Jewish Pharisees,

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Then In John 5:46-47, He tells the Jews why they do not believe in Him,

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”

Here Jesus states the vital importance of the Old Scripture — and refutes what many modern evangelists preach today who claim that they can lead people to believe in Jesus Christ using only the New Testament. Jesus says, “Not so!” — If ye believe not the writings of Moses, you will not believe the words of Jesus.

Jesus verifies and emphasizes this same point in His parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:29 Let’s consider that for a moment — you know the story — the rich man is in “hell” — and he is speaking to father Abraham to ask him to send Lazarus to his five brethren, but Abraham refuses saying,

“They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them….[and the rich man responds]….Nay, father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.” (Luke 16:30)

In effect, the rich man says, “No, don’t bother with the Old Scriptures, just send some man who has been resurrected from the dead to them and then they will repent.” Abraham replies — and remember this is Jesus telling the story, so Jesus is putting these words in Abraham’s mouth:

“And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)

So, we have Jesus teaching us twice — once in John 5 and once in Luke 16 — that men will not believe Jesus except that they first believe Moses and the prophets. Not only does this refute the evangelists’ claim — that they can teach belief in Christ using only the New Testament — it also refutes the Jews’ claim that they can believe the Old Testament while not believing Jesus Christ. Jesus said to them in John 5:46,

“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.”

Christ is plainly stating that the reason you Jews don’t believe me is that you don’t believe Moses. So we are faced with a dilemma — if we believe Jesus in John 5 and Luke 16, then we must doubt the veracity of those who say they believe in Christ yet ignore the Old Scriptures. And if we believe Jesus words in John 5 and Luke 16, then we cannot accept the claim of some that they can deny Christ, but believe the Old Testament. Jesus says that belief in one goes with belief in the other — confirming my earlier statement that the Old Testament and Jesus Christ are inexorably connected.

When we add that to what I am now proving — that the New Testament is written to and about Israel, then we find that we cannot separate Christendom from Israel — they are irrevocably linked. In the final analysis, the literal Israel must be found in Christianity.

Let’s go on to John 4:34 where Jesus says,

“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.”

And then He re-emphasizes this point in John 6:38,

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

Then in John 7:15, while Jesus is teaching from the Old Testament,

“And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?”

They thought a man had to go to their seminary or college for many years before he could teach — yet here Jesus — who, as far as they knew, had never attended any of their religious schools — was teaching the people from the Old Testament. Jesus answered them saying,

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.”

In John 8:28, Jesus repeats this point,

“I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.”

Now before we read on, let’s sum up a little about this Jesus we have heard so far:

1) Jesus came because of the holy covenant, the oath that God sware to father Abraham.

2) Jesus was to be made known in Israel.

3) Jesus was the King of Israel.

4) All power was given to Jesus in heaven and on earth.

5) Belief in the Old Scriptures and belief in Jesus Christ can not be separated.

6) All things that Jesus taught, His doctrine, was the Father’s doctrine.

7) Jesus came to do the will of the Father.

8) Jesus came to finish the work of the Father [see Jeremiah 31:31-33].

So it can be stated without fear of contradiction that whatever it was that God the Father promised, taught, or planned to do in and to Israel — according to the Old Scriptures — should be exactly what Jesus Christ intended to carry out, teach, or complete in Israel — with that total power that was given Him in heaven and on earth.

Now, of course, that doesn’t fit very well with what we are taught in the modern churches which teach — in effect — that while Jesus did come to Israel, He just failed to convince them of who He really was — completely ignoring the plain words of John 1:12 to the contrary — so He couldn’t carry out that plan and purpose of God in those Israelites. So He and his disciples simply gave up and they went off looking to see if some other non-Israelite people might believe in Jesus — and luckily they did find some “gentiles” there around the Mediterranean and in Europe — and they were able to convince some of them.

So God apparently settled for having His Bible taught by these non-Israelite “gentiles” and being worshiped by them instead of Israel. So He just stopped His prophetic time-clock and quit causing any prophecies to come to pass — and He has ever since bided His time for the last 1,900 years waiting until these “gentiles” goof up — and then He’ll step in and straighten things out and get back to His unfinished work among the Israelites.

Meanwhile of course, for 1,900 years His chosen people — the Israelites — have gone on defying Him — so as each generation of Israelites dies, God snatches them on down to hell where all of these Israelites will spend the centuries of eternity screaming and crying in pain and torture. It’s too bad that God did have this covenant with Abraham that would save these Israelite descendants of Abraham — but He just hasn’t been able to do it, although He will try again some time in the future — and may even save a handful of them for the Kingdom.

I guess, Jesus didn’t really mean it when He said He had all power in heaven and on earth. What He must have meant — according to these “gentile” Christians — was that He had some power in heaven, but not so much on the earth. And that in a nutshell — perhaps I’m being a little facetious — is the Bible story as it is taught in most of Christendom today. Not very flattering to Jesus Christ, is it?

And not very conducive to convincing our young people that Jesus Christ will do for them in the future what we say He will — since in the past He seems to have been a total failure among the people He actually said He came to save [see Matthew 15:24].

When we read Galatians 3:29 to our children, “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” how can we ask them to believe they have any certain inheritance when this God we ask them to trust has been so totally unable to perform His previous promises to Israel?

But has Jesus Christ really failed? Or is it possible — or more likely — that in our ignorance of just what these promises and prophecies about Israel were — that rather than having failed, Jesus has instead brought to pass just exactly what He prophesied He would.

Is it possible that the descendants of Abraham have been made into the many nations prophesied in Genesis 17? Is it possible that God has really blessed them above all people upon the face of the earth, as He said he would do to Israel? Is it possible that we are looking at the wrong people for the fulfillment of the Israel prophecies?

And that Israel — far from rejecting Jesus Christ — and being an unbelieving people for 1,900 years have instead believed on him by untold millions — and that even today very few of them worship any other god but Jesus Christ. That is true, of course, only of the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, Celtic and kindred peoples of Europe, America, South Africa and Australia — who are those Israelites.

For it is among those people — and in no others — that the religion called Christianity has flourished and spread across the world. They and they alone believe the God of Israel. When we see that, then and only then can we look across the earth and make sense out of history and Bible prophecy.

End of Part 2