THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH & ISRAEL
Over the years the Christian church has made many serious
mistakes; one of which was to suppose that because Israel, in
the main, rejected the Son of God, Yahweh abandoned His chosen
people and transferred His favours and work to the Gentile church.
As mentioned previously, this is a colossal error; because the
Most High promised never to abandon His chosen people Israel.
All that happened when the leaders of Israel rejected Jesus Christ
was that the Holy Spirit directed certain Apostles to take the
Gospel to the Gentiles, who had previously been mostly excluded
from Yahweh's Truth. When Paul and Barnabas answered that
call, the 'Time of the Gentiles' began and a partial
spiritual blindness settled on Israel. But Israel
was not abandoned. She was simply blinded
to the Gospel which she had stubbornly refused to
accept. That spiritual blindness is being removed at this very
moment as thousands of Israelis around the world accept Yeshua
and the Gospel of Salvation their forefathers rejected many centuries
Another fact that comparatively few Christians realise is that every believer in Jesus Christ is considered by the Almighty to be a 'child of Abraham.' In other words Gentiles who believe in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) are spiritual Israelites - Jews! Here is proof of this little-known fact:
|Rom.2:28|| For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither
is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29: But he
is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the
heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not
of men, but of God. |
|Gal.3:26||For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29: And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.|
|Rom.11:16|| For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also
holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17: And if
some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being
a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them
partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18: Boast
not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not
the root, but the root thee. 19: Thou wilt say then, The branches
were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20: Well; because
of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith.
Be not highminded, but fear: 21: For if God spared not the
natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee
25: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this
mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness
in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles
be come in. 26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it
is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall
turn away ungodliness from Jacob:|
|Eph.3:6||That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:|
In view of these amazing facts, everyone, especially Christians, should treat the people of Israel - and their fellow Christians for that matter - with respect. To be sure, some Jews as in the days of old, are the 'children of the Devil' (John 8:44); but the whole nation must not be condemned because of the few. The Jew is the 'Apple of God's eye' and all who oppose them will find themselves fighting God! (Zech.2:7-8) How true were the words of the mercenary prophet Balaam, who, in spite of himself, pronounced this eternal truth as he lifted up his eyes and beheld the people of Israel:
It is also a dangerous thing for Gentile Christians to smugly gloat over Israel's blindness in rejecting Jesus and his Gospel. Gentile boasting is out of order, because the church, though paying lip service to Jesus Christ, has rejected the very commandments the Saviour came to magnify. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to save mankind from sin, that is from disobedience.
|Matt.1:21||And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call
his name JESUS:|
for he shall save his people from their sins.
|Rom.8:3-4||... God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.|
In other words, the purpose for which Jesus came to earth was to save believers from sin, that is, from breaking God's law, from disobedience. His final objective is 'that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.' But what do we find in the Christian church? We find that millions, like ancient Israel, have abandoned the law of God and are sinning with impunity. Indeed the average person would be hard pressed to tell you even five of the Ten Commandments, let alone all ten. Why this almost incredible ignorance of so important a law? The answer is, because the Ten Commandments are not being taught in most churches and schools. The law of God is considered, by many, to be impossible to keep and is now obsolete. Some even go so far as to say that it is barbaric! As for the Sabbath commandment, it has become an embarrassment to most Christian ministers and priests. Few will ever preach about Sabbath-keeping. But the fact remains, that without the Ten Commandments it is impossible to define sin, let alone cope with sin's horrifying consequences.
The Bible says:
|Rom.3:20||... for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
|Rom.7:7|| What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid.
Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known
lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.|
|1 John 3:4||Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.|
In other words, God's law tells us what actions are right and
acceptable and what actions are wrong and unacceptable - to
Him. If the Ten Commandments are not taught in the schools and
churches, then men, women and children will have absolutely no
idea how to behave. Nor will they feel guilty when they sin. They
will do as they please and the rule of the jungle will take
over. Is it any wonder that there is so much evil in the world,
so much violence and vice, so much sexual immorality and sin?
It is because the knowledge of righteousness, which God's
law alone imparts, is fading from the earth. Comparatively
few people know anything about the Almighty's standard of morals.
His commandments are not being taught any more; so evil is taking
over. As for the weekly and annual Sabbaths of the LORD, they
are despised and rejected. In their place we find an array
of human traditions and pagan celebrations - all abhorrent
to the Most High. Consider these staggering quotations about pagan
holidays in the Christian calendar.
Christmas is not a Bible festival. It is an ancient pagan festival masquerading as the birthday of the Son of God.
What about Easter? How did this pagan, fertility festival enter the Christian calendar? Most certainly there is no mention of Easter eggs in the Scriptures; no mention of bunny rabbits. Where did they come from? Is it wrong to celebrate Easter? The facts will surprise you; but here are a few quotations about Easter from Alexander Hislop's famous book The Two Babylons, published by S W Partridge & Co., 4 Soho Sq., London. (ISBN 0 7136 0470 0).
Similar quotations can be found in Hislop's 330 page book about other pagan traditions which over the centuries have crept into the Christian calendar, false teachings such as:
Not one of these practices is endorsed in the holy Scriptures.
They are pagan through and through. They were adopted centuries
ago by a spiritually blind ecclesiastical hierarchy which
had absolutely no idea of the sinfulness of its actions. Celebrating
these pagan festivals is nothing but baptised idolatry;
and as such is abhorrent to the Almighty and His Son.
THE TRADITIONS OF MEN
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with a human tradition - if it does not clash with a command of the Almighty God. But if a tradition conflicts with a divine commandment, as most of the popular Christian festivals do, then once they are recognised for what they are, their continued acceptance will neutralise one's worship, making it vain, pointless and futile. Their continued use can even jeopardise one's salvation. This frightening fact is clearly taught by the Master himself:
|Mark 7:6|| He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias
prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth
me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7: Howbeit
in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments
of men. |
|Matt.15:8||This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9: But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.|