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The Jewish Question
Witnessing Tools
Monday, February 13, 2012
Pete Garcia

I firmly believe that this generation’s greatest strength is not in the technological or academic advances we have made, but in our unique position in time with over 20 centuries of hindsight to look back on and learn from.

It is our ability to look back and see that what the Bible said would happen, has.  Concerning the Jewish people, the question has been asked, ‘what are we to do with them?’  The Roman Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Gentile governments, and even the modern evangelicals have sought an answer to this.  Most often, it has ended tragically for the Jews, and it is to this point, I would like to speak to the condition of the Jewish people from the 1st century until today.

"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."  (Romans 11:25 NKJV)

The Apostle Paul, a former Pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin, wrote those words around 60AD under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the church in Rome.  Sadly, this has remained the case for 1,970 years.  But, it is a testament to God’s prophetic word, and has played out exactly as Paul states here in Romans 11:25.

The Jewish people would be in a state of partial-blindness preventing them from coming to know their Messiah.  Jesus said as much to the Pharisees and those listening in Matthew 23, that they would no more see Him again, until they said ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’.

True, Jewish individuals would come, and have always come to Christ over this time period, but no wide spread revival has broken out amongst the Jewish people.  As alluded to in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed, contrasting the high to low in Matthew (audience: Jews), with the reverse in Mark’s Gospel (audience: Gentiles).  So it has happened that the Gospel of Christ crucified would diminish amongst the Jewish community and flourish with the Gentiles.   

Reformation

Over the millennia, many well-intentioned Christians have reached out in good faith to the Jewish people, in an attempt to show solidarity with them and by so doing, attempt to win them over to Christianity.

Martin Luther was such a man, who after breaking the Papal bonds of legalism and ritualism, sought out the Jew as a friend.  Eventually, his frustration at their refusal to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, he became increasingly anti-semitic, to the point he wrote a book entitled, “On the Jews and Their Lies” in 1543.Despite the fact that his 95 Thesis were key to the foundation of the Protestant Movement, it is his anti-semitic views that began to flourish simultaneously in Europe’s dark religious under-belly.

Anti-semitism increased in Europe and was wide spread before even World War 1, and the Europeans asked the same question: what do we do about these Jews?  Ultimately, this question was answered between World War I and World War II, culminating and personifying in the man Adolph Hitler and his Final Solution.   

Modern Christianity

Now, it is not Christ or converting to Christ that is what is being discussed, but Christianity cloaked in man-made religion that always gets in the way of salvation.  Is it any wonder that the Jews are as leery of Christians today, than they are of Muslims?

At least with Muslims, they know outright where they stand.  ‘Christians’, and I’m using this term loosely, have over the centuries asked the question of what to do with the Jews.  They were God’s chosen people, the covenants and promises made to Abraham, Moses and David, yet, they rejected the One who all in the Torah looked forward to coming.  The result was, in my opinion, more dangerous, albeit less violent, in dealing with the ‘Jewish Problem’ through either Replacement or Dual Covenant theology.

Most mainline churches (both Protestant and Catholic) adhere to what is known as Amillennialism or Post-Millennialism.  An amillennialist believes there is no future kingdom coming on earth, but that it is spiritual, and that it is on-going currently.  All or most prophecies concerning Jesus’ Second Coming were fulfilled in 70AD, and that the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and the 19 century Diaspora are a testament to God being finished with the Jews.

Post-Millennialism is popular amongst Reformation, Charismatic, and Word-Faith churches who hold to either a Kingdom Now/Dominionism theology.  They teach the Kingdom will not come until the Church (their believers) reclaims the entire world for Jesus Christ.  In either case, the easiest solution for them in answering the Jewish question is simply to replace the Jews with the church.

Protestant denominations who promote Dual Covenant theology have not replaced the Jew, but believe that the Jews are still God’s chosen people, as is the Church today.  They have their path to salvation (Judaism), and the Church has ours (Christianity).  The only problem then would mean that if this were true, then Jesus lied in John 14:6

Out of all the eschatological and hermeneutical views available to the Christian today, only Pre-Millennial Dispensationalism deals with the proper relationship that the Jew and the Church experience today.  First and foremost, is recognizing that anyone who comes to Christ during this dispensation, becomes a part of the spiritual body of Christ (ie..the Church), regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile.  Secondly, the Church is not Israel, nor Israel the Church.  Israel has been temporarily set aside in order that God will take a people for Himself...but He is not yet through with the Jewish people.  They will come to a point when they recognize Jesus for who He was (and is), and so doing, ‘all Israel will be saved’.

As this age draws to a close, God will remove His Church at the Rapture, and will once again, return His gaze upon the apple of His eye and purge them with a refiner's fire during the seven year Tribulation known to the Jew as the 70th Week of Daniel.  I would say that leading up to that time, the Evangelical Christian would stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jew, but sadly, a disturbing and growing trend amongst evangelicals is that they too are buying into either Replacement or Dual Covenant theology, thereby turning their back on Israel at a time when they need Christians the most.

You don’t have to be a Pre-millennial Dispensationalist to be a friend of Israel, but it sure makes it a whole lot easier when you can see the beauty in the big picture, and know that our support for Israel and the Jews is not duplicitous in replacing them, or erroneously loving them into hell.  The question we ask, is not; what should we do with the Jew? But what could God do with us, if He could break His gifts and calling to the natural branches the Jews?

"Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all."

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!"

"For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?"

"Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?"

"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:28-36 NKJV)

About Pete Garcia

Last week: Club Med



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