Posts tagged ‘the Church’

The Church & The Old Testament Law

I have been on a journey.  It started when a friend introduced me to the idea that there was insight to be gained by studying the Scriptures through Messianic Rabbis.  Then while reading through the book of Romans, God revealed quite plainly that the Jews are still His chosen people, and that the Gentile church should honor them as the root of our spiritual blessings (since our Savior was Jewish, and it is through the Jews that He came, ultimately offering salvation to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile).  I had never been taught that the Church had replaced Israel as God’s people (Replacement theology), but in fact, I had never really been taught anything about Israel, the Jews, or their role in the world, or in the Church.  As I continued to study throughout this journey, God slowly on taught me about His plan for the Jews and the Church.

About a year ago I wrote a couple of posts detailing the 7 feasts of Israel…those Israel was commanded by God in the Torah (specifically Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) to observe every year.  My posts explained the direct link between the feasts and their purposes and prophecy, half of which have been fulfilled by the first coming of Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name…the one given by God).  Those feasts are the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, and Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks.  They were each prophetically fulfilled in Yeshua’s death (as Passover Lamb), sinless life (unleavened bread; leaven/yeast representing sin), resurrection (first fruits of those raised from the dead to eternal life), and Pentecost.  At the first Pentecost, God gave the Israelites the Law.  Salvation was obtained through obedience to the Law.  On Pentecost after the resurrection of Yeshua, He gave believers the Holy Spirit, marking us as obedient/righteous through the righteousness of Messiah.

These four feasts are in the spring, and all have been prophetically fulfilled.  The remaining three feasts are the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).  The spring feasts are at the time of planting.  The time of growth follows.  In the fall, the remaining feasts are at the time of harvest, and they have yet to be fulfilled.  They will be at the 2nd coming of Christ.  The seven feasts bookend the Church Age, which is the “summer” of growth period between the spring planting and the fall harvest.

Back to my journey; as I studied and wrote about the Feasts last year, I wondered what the Gentile Christian is supposed to do about them.  And what about the Law, which is the Torah?  Is the Church supposed to be observing the Old Testament Law, including the Feasts?  The laws regarding clean and unclean?  The Sabbath?  Other?  More and more as I continued my Bible study, I was increasingly plagued by the question of how closely the Church and the Jews should be connected.

All of this was compounded this spring when I came under conviction by the Holy Spirit that I am to observe Passover in place of Good Friday.  If you follow my blog, you may recall the post I wrote as a result.  This led to more questions on my part.  Since I felt led to observe Passover, did that mean I should observe all of the Feasts?  And then of course, did that mean I needed to observe all of the Law.

After a long time of prayer and study, I believe that I can say with certainty what it is that God has been slowly on revealing to me over the years, and what His message is for the Church.  Let’s begin with some basics.

First and foremost we need to understand the Yeshua, as I stated earlier, was Jewish.  He was born to Jewish parents who observed the Jewish Law of Moses.  We know this because they observed Passover (when he went to the temple as a 12 year old boy), and he was circumcised on the 8th day.  Yeshua Himself said that he was sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” in Matthew 15:24.  In John 4:22 He said that salvation was from the Jews.  So Jesus was a Jew, who was sent to the Jews, and it was through the Jews that salvation would come to all the world.  In Luke 24, Yeshua walked with 2 men on the road to Emmaus…remember?  While He walked with them, He revealed to them all the prophecies from the Jewish Scriptures regarding the Messiah and how He had fulfilled them, so Yeshua is also the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy.  There is a direct correlation between Jesus, our savior, the bridegroom of the church, and the Jews.  This connection did not end when the Church began, nor when it began to spread to the Gentiles.  The connection to the Jews will continue into eternity.  This we know because Revelation tells us the great city that comes down from Heaven will be called…the New Jerusalem.  It’s gates will be named after the 12 Jewish tribes and the 12 Jewish apostles.

God had a plan for the Jews which He fulfilled in sending Messiah.  But that plan did not end there.  It will continue into eternity.  God has not given up Israel, nor has He replaced her in His plans with the Church.  Read Jeremiah 31:6-9, Jeremiah 33:34-36, Romans 11:1-2, 10-26.  Note Romans 11:28 TLV – “Concerning the Good News, they [the Jews] are hostile for your sake [the Gentiles]; but concerning chosenness, they are loved on account of the fathers–for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  (Emphasis mine.)

Romans 11 is the chapter in which Paul (a Jew) explains how the Church is a wild olive branch grafted into the “cultivated olive tree” which is Israel.  He stresses that we are not to be arrogant, thinking that we are better than the Jews because we have seen the Messiah and believed when they have not.  It is because of them that Messiah came in the first place, but also we must remember that God allowed their hearts to be hardened so that salvation could go out from them to the Gentiles through a Jewish remnant who would believe.  Remember that the first church fathers were the Jewish apostles, and the first church members were Jewish.  And in fact, in Romans 15: 25-27 Paul commands the Gentile church to financially support the Jews.  Recall, too, that God told Abraham that those who blessed him (and his descendants) would be blessed, and those who cursed him would be cursed.  God is very serious about how the Church (and the world for that matter) treats Israel, and it would behoove us to examine our attitude and actions toward her.

The second point in this is that Jesus never intended for the Church and the Jews to be two separate entities.  The Old Testament Law is the basis for Judaism.  It is a religion that has been fulfilled.  The religion in its entirety points to the coming Messiah.  Thus, when Jesus came, He fulfilled Judaism.  The Church is built on the foundation of the original Old Testament Judaism.  The two, Old Testament Judaism* and the Church, are intended to be a union, two parts making a whole.  Ephesians 2:11-22 explain this.  In particular notice verse 14 which says, “For He is our shalom, the One who made the two into one and broke down the middle wall of separation,”  and verse 15b-16 which says, “He did this in order to create within Himself one new man from the two groups, making shalom and to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross.”

*Old Testament Judaism:  I am using this term to refer to the very specific written law that God gave to Moses in the desert and commanded the Israelites to obey.  This is the Law that is recorded in the first five books of the Bible.  Between that time, and the time that Yeshua came, many additional legalistic regulations were added to that written law.  They were called the Oral Law; Jesus referred to them as the traditions of men.  Since the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, there was also added the Rabbinical Law which was established to give guidance to Jews who wanted to practice the faith, but could not fully do so without the ability to include animal sacrifice without the existence of the Temple.

So far we have established the Jewishness of Christianity/the Church through our Jewish Savior, and as the very source, or basis of it.  And we have established that Jesus intended for believing Jews and the Gentile believers to be united as one body.

Next we look at the Law, or the Torah.  The Torah is contained in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  It begins with creation, including the Sabbath, the 7th day of rest; includes the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mt. Sinai; and it also includes all of the laws regarding cleanliness, sacrifices, and the Feasts.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18 TLV – “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets!  I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.  Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.”  He continued on to say in verse 19:  “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.  But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

It is clear that the Yeshua intended for the Law to continue and to be obeyed; obedience making righteousness.  When Yeshua was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said that it is to love God, and the 2nd is to love your neighbor as yourself.  All of the law is summed up in those two.  Paul refers to this as Messiah’s Law in Galatians 5:2.  If you consider the commandments (do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, honor your father and mother, etc.) this makes sense.  However, one commandment does not fit in under the love God and love your neighbor umbrella.  That is the “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” command.  This is really a topic for another post, so I won’t go into it in great depth, other than to say that God set the Sabbath aside as holy at the time of creation.  That was before the Israelites existed.  It is not a command just for the followers of the Jewish Law.  It is a command for all mankind.  Since Yeshua also said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, I understand that to mean that we are to observe a day of rest, and keep it holy, but we should not allow legalism to rule it.  In other words, whether it be on Saturday or Sunday doesn’t matter as much as whether or not you have a Sabbath rest.  Try to limit your work, spend time in worship, and rest.

Now back to the rest of the Law.  The Old Testament Law had three primary standards:  the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the Temple.  These three standards were all the responsibility of the tribe of Levi.  The priests were Levites.  The sacrifices were performed by the priests.  And the Temple was cared for and maintained by the priests.  These standards were necessary to fully observe the Law.  What do we know about Yeshua in light of the standards?  We know that He is the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).  We know that His death on the cross was the sacrifice that was once and for all (Hebrews 10:10).  And we know that our bodies (those of believers) are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  All three standards were met, fulfilled, in Yeshua.  Where the Old Testament Law pointed to righteousness, Messiah’s fulfillment of the Law became righteousness, which we receive by trusting in Him (Galatians 2:16).

I’ve shared a lot of information, but I still have not clarified what the Church should do about the Old Testament Law.  I already talked about observing the Sabbath.  I also think it is obvious that we should be observing the Ten Commandments as they are summed up in Messiah’s Law.  The sacrifices are no longer necessary as Jesus fulfilled them.  That leaves the laws regarding cleanliness, circumcision, and so on.  Is the Church required to eat kosher meat, and consider themselves to be unclean after coming in contact with a corpse, or observe the 7 Feasts?

Paul declared in Romans 6:14 that we are not under the Law, but under grace.  The question is, how much of the Law are we free from?  This was a question that received quite a bit of discussion in the early Church.  Since Jews were inextricably linked to Judaism, or the Old Testament Law, there was never a question of whether a Jew was a Jew.  If he was a believer in the Messiah, it did not matter, he was still Jewish.  He still attended the Synagogue and still observed the Law of Moses.  He just had a new understanding of the Law.  When Gentiles became believers in Messiah, new questions arose.  Are they Jewish?  Do they need to be circumcised?  Do they need to follow the Law of Moses?  In Acts 15:19-21, we see it was decided that the Gentiles needed to obey some of the Law, but were free from most of it.  James, the brother of Jesus, said, “Therefore, I judge not to trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God– but to write to them to abstain from the contamination of idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what is strangled, and from blood.  For Moses from ancient generations has had in every city those who proclaim him, since he is read in all the synagogues every Shabbat.”  The Gentiles who were becoming believers were meeting with the Jews in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  It was the only way for them to learn about God the Father, and His plans.  The portions of the Law that James listed as the areas to observe, were the specific things that would prevent a Jew from keeping company with them because they would have been considered unclean.  By observing this short list from the Law, the believing Gentiles would be allowed into the synagogue and could study and worship alongside the Jews.

Aside from this, there is nothing in Acts or the Epistles that instructs the Gentile believers to follow the Old Testament Law, with an exception, which I will get to in just a minute.  In Romans 14, Paul makes it clear that the believer is to do as his conscience leads him to do.  This is the passage that talks about being able to eat food offered to idols if one does not feel convicted of it as a sin.  But if one does feel convicted, then it is a sin because that person has gone against his own conscience.  It is also wrong to partake in such a way while in the company of someone who considers it a sin even if you don’t.  The gist of this passage is that nothing in and of itself is unholy as it is made by God.  It is what we do with it that makes a thing holy or unholy.

The exception to the Gentile observance of the Old Testament Law is with regard to the feasts, particularly the Passover.  In 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 NKJV Paul instructs the Gentile believers at Corinth in this way:  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (emphasis mine).  

We know that Paul continued to celebrate the Feasts.  Aside from the above passage, we also see in 1 Corinthians 16:8 that he reported staying in Ephesus until Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks).  And in Acts 20:6 it is reported that he sailed from Phillippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which followed immediately after Passover, so we can conclude that he observed both.  We also know that Yeshua observed the Feasts.  In Luke 22:7 He instructs his disciples to prepare the Passover.  In fact, the Lord’s Supper, Communion, is a miniature Passover meal, and Yeshua’s followers are commanded to “do this in remembrance of Me.”  We also see in Zechariah 14:16 that all the people of the earth during the time of the Millennial reign of Messiah will travel to Jerusalem to worship King Jesus, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

If Jesus observed the Feasts; and Paul, the disciple to the Gentiles observed the Feasts; and all believers are commanded to observe Communion, a miniature Passover; and Paul instructed Gentile believers to “keep the feast”; and the Feast of Tabernacles will be observed during the Millennium; and the Feasts are all prophecies pointing to either the first or second coming of Messiah…is there really a legitimate reason to not observe, or at the very least, recognize the 7 Feasts of Israel?  There is no place that I have found that specifically says Gentile believers are exempt from observing the Feasts.  Neither is there a place that explicitly instructs us to follow all of the Feasts.  But I do believe that instruction is implied.  Because sacrifices have been taken care of by Yeshua, they need not be a part of our observance.  It would be good to mark these dates on your calendar, though; study how God instructed them to be observed, and consider ways to observe at least some of each feast.  In doing so, won’t we be continually reminded of how Jesus fulfilled God’s promises for a Savior as the Passover Lamb, and be encouraged to look forward to the promise of the fulfillment of the remaining feasts in the return of the King?

Unsalty Salt in the Church: Worthless

Have you ever looked at the sodium content for a serving of jerky?  Wowza!!!  Makes your heart pump harder just thinking about it.  Yet without the salt, the meat would not be preserved for the length that it can be, and usable as food.  Just as salt is used, and has been used for thousands of years, to preserve the quality of meat so that it can be eaten days, weeks, even months after the kill, so salt is the preservative of the truth of God’s word in the Church.  Without salt in the jerky, the meat would spoil (never mind modern refrigerators and freezers).  Without salt in the church, it too spoils and becomes worthless.

In Luke 14:35-35 (NKJV) Yeshua says – “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

In Matthew 5:13 (NKJV) Yeshua says – “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

This verse in Matthew 5 is actually near the beginning of Yeshua’s Sermon on the Mount, right after the Beatitudes.  Chapters 5-7 are Yeshua’s instruction manual for how to live as His followers in a world that doesn’t believe in Him.  The disciples understood that salt was a preserving agent.  In referring to His followers as the salt of the earth in the middle of this sermon, his disciples understood, as should we, that we are the preserving agent of all that is godly in this world.

What is godliness?  Living our lives according to the ways Yeshua taught.  Just skimming through the Sermon on the Mount, one can see all kinds of instructions.  Avoid hatred and do not murder, do not judge, do not worry, stand on faith in God, be charitable, be faithful in your marriage, love your enemies, go out of your way to serve others, hunger for righteousness, be pure in heart, be peacemakers, be merciful.  The list goes on.  The passage in Luke 14 is right on the heals of Yeshua’s instruction to give up everything (father, mother, brothers and sisters) to follow Him, not clinging to this world, or he cannot be His disciple.

We are here to preserve godliness in the world of sinners.  We are here to preserve the truth of who God is, and what His Word says, in our every thought, word, and deed.  When we do not act as salt, we have lost our flavor, and are worth nothing more than to be thrown out and trampled on the ground.  Notice in Luke, we are not even worth using in the dunghill.  I’m not sure what purpose there is for salt in a dunghill, but if we aren’t worthy of that, we are truly not worthy of anything.

Now here is where we come to brass tacks.  Has the Church today lost its saltiness?  Unequivocally YES!  Oh, to be sure, there is an element of the Church that continues to preach the truth of God’s Word, without distorting it to the moral-less standards of the world.  But that element is shrinking by the hour it seems.  Church body after church body, pastor after pastor, follower after follower are sliding down slippery slopes of twisted doctrine, distorted Scripture, and outright lies about who God is and what He demands of us.  Sin is no long sin, but personal choice.  Everything is okay if you feel it is okay.  Anyway is good to get to Heaven, even thought Yeshua said that He is the ONLY way.  The Church has become spineless, squishy, weak, false, lightless-not just living in darkness, but teaching it-…the Church has lost its salty flavor.  It is worthy only of being thrown out and trampled on.

If this does not cause big red flags, bells, and warning sirens to go off in your spirit, then you need to recheck your faith.  Do you believe in the God of the Bible?  YAHWEH?  Do you believe in Yeshua (Jesus) Messiah, His Son?  Do you truly believe that God’s Word is HIS Word?  If you don’t believe everything in the Bible is His truth, then you have changed who He is.  You do not worship or serve YAHWEH, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  You serve a god that you have made up according to what you want to believe.  It is time for you to make a decision.  Choose YAHWEH, or choose the world.  As Joshua said, “Choose today whom you will serve.  As for me and my house, we will serve YAHWEH.”

If the lack of salt concerns you, but you know you have lost your flavor, it is time to digest some sodium.  Dig into God’s Word, get on your knees and pray, and create a thirst for righteousness.  Then stand in this world as a pillar of salt, a preserver of godliness and of His truth.

It is time we quit cowering at the face of feel-good, mushy, politically correct godless teaching.  It is time to stand as a beacon of light, with the strength of salt, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and unashamedly speak God’s truth…in love, always in love.

 

False Teachers and Tickling Ears

Recently I read an article that deeply saddened me, scared me, and gave me hope all in one.  It detailed how churches across our country are opening their doors to people of all faiths, including witchcraft, Hindu, Buddism and even Atheism.  Reading of “pastors” who openly state that they don’t believe in God, yet run a church where anyone can come to worship anyone or anyway that they please.  They say is it BYOG…Bring Your Own God.

How this must break God’s heart!  My mind goes back to the many stories in the Old Testament of the Temple being desecrated and used to worship false gods.  Now the Church is being desecrated in the same way.  The Body that was supposed to carry the torch that Israel dropped, spread the good news of Christ, His death and resurrection, and the hope of His return.  How many of us who are faithful are aware that this is even going on?

Scarier is the fact that young people who have been raised in the Church are leaving the solid foundations of Truth to join these secularized, no…more blatantly un-Godly congregations, denying the existence of the One, True God.  Where are your children?  Are you giving them a solid foundation in the Word of God so that they will recognize the lies and deceptions of false teachings?  Teach them now, while they are young, and they will not depart from it! (paraphrased Proverbs 22:6).  Get on your knees and pray for their protection, and yours, from Satan’s perverse ways and lies!

2 Timothy 4:3-4 is coming true before our eyes.  It says:  “For the time is coming when people will not have patience for sound teaching, but will cater to their passions and gather around themselves teachers who say whatever their ears itch to hear. Yes, they will stop listening to the truth, but will turn aside to follow myths.”

2 Peter 2:1 “But among the people there were also false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you. Under false pretenses they will introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and thus bring on themselves swift destruction.”

Matthew 24:24 “For there will appear false Messiahs and false prophets performing great miracles — amazing things! — so as to fool even the chosen, if possible.”

1 John 2:20-26 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.  I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.  Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.  These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.”

Where is the hope in this?  Simply this, that it is yet another sign that the return of Christ is near.  But what urgency that brings to share God’s love with others, and especially to to be preparing my own heart, and be teaching and praying for my children and loved ones, that we may all go to Christ together!!!

I am including the link to the article I mentioned so that you may read for yourselves what I have spoken of.

http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2015/April01/014.html

Are You A Replacement?

There is a common belief among Christians today that the Church has replaced the Jewish people as God’s chosen people.  Another equally confused belief is that the New Testament Covenant was meant only for the Church, and not the Jews.  Whereas the Old Testament Covenant was meant only for the Jews, and not the Church.  Both of these beliefs are misguided and wrong.

For some time now I have felt God’s leading as He has pulled me closer to the Jewish people.  Funny thing is that I don’t believe I know a single person of Jewish descent.  It really began when I was studying the book of Romans.  Paul states fervently in chapter 11 that it is the duty of the Gentile believer to materially support the Jewish people because it is through them that we are spiritually blessed.  It is in this discussion that Paul points out that the Gentile believers are grafted into the Olive Tree which is Israel.  He never states that the Olive Tree was uprooted and a new tree was planted in its place.  Once a person becomes a believer and receives salvation through Jesus Christ, Yeshua, he is grafted into the base tree, Israel.  In essence, the spiritual roots of the believer, Gentile or Jew, are Jewish.  God grafts us together and we become one spiritual family.  I have come to consider myself a spiritual Jew or Israelite; a spiritual descendant of Abraham.

I have been studying the Torah (1st 5 books of the Old Testament, often called the Books of Moses, or the Books of the Law), from the perspective of Messianic (Christian) Jews.  There is such a rich understanding of the Torah through the eyes of their culture!  It is an understanding I can’t possibly come to with my own genealogical background and culture in which I grew up.  I have learned so much, and look forward to learning much, much more as I continue the study.  I wish I could sit for hours each day to pour over it, but unfortunately I don’t have that kind of time.  To be sure, there is a lot of legalism within the Orthodox Jewish religion.  But that is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about Jews who have come to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, the One who was promised to them as their Savior.  When they study the Old Testament with their background in the culture it was written in, and in light of the New Testament (and the New Testament in light of the Old)…WOW!!!

Oh, and yes, I absolutely believe that the Old Testament Covenant is every bit as much for me as a Gentile as it is for the Jew.  And vise verse.  The  New Testament Covenant is not just for the Church, but for the Jews as well…those who believe in Jesus as Messiah.  This goes to the earlier comment about the Dual Covenant.  The belief that the Old Testament is for the Jews.  The New Testament is for the Church.  If we are indeed grafted into the Jewish people, their spiritual roots, then the Old Testament Covenant is just as much for us as it is for them.  That includes the laws and the festivals.  There are very specific meanings behind the festivals…and direct connections to the fulfillment of prophesy.  There is meaning there that we can never know without rejoining to our spiritual roots in the Messianic Jewish community.

The Old Testament Covenant did not end with Jesus.  He said, “Do not think I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”  (Matthew 5:17-18).  Jesus did not abolish the Old Testament Law or Covenant.  It is still in effect today, and prophecies connected to the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham are being fulfilled even now.

As for the New Testament or New Covenant, let me ask you this.  Who was Jesus speaking to when He said the following:  “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”  (Luke 22:20).  He was speaking to His disciples…Jews.  Jesus made the new covenant with Jews first.  Not the Gentile church.  Is it for the Church?  Absolutely!  But it does not exclude the Jewish believer.  So, the new covenant is for the Church, Gentile and Jew alike.  And the Old Testament Covenant is for the Jew and the Church alike, as people who share the same spiritual roots.

Finally, I go all the way back to Genesis 12:3 when God made His covenant with Abraham.  “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”  And I tie this verse in with Romans 11:16-18 –

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

How can we bless Israel if we boast against her?  If we view ourselves as her replacement, and look down our noses on the people from whom our Messiah, and theirs, came?  And how can we be blessed with the insight and knowledge they offer as the people and culture through which God gave His Word, the Bible?  Do not curse Israel.  They remain God’s chosen people, and as a believer, you are a spiritual member with them.  Bless them.  Come alongside them.  Support them.  Learn from them.  And be blessed.

walking on the narrow path.

walking on the narrow path with Jesus

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holdingforthhisword

Holding Forth The Word of God to a Wicked Generation

sarsrose

Sometimes faith. Sometimes life. Always whatever's in my head.

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

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