December 5, 2011
Just like most of the "church" today is dead (Re3:1), so was Judaism and the temple service. (Mt23:27) After all, it was the Scribes and Pharisees who demanded that Pilate crucify Jesus. Since it was the temple where God had communication with Believers, the temple where God's -name- dwelt (2Ch20:8,2:4, 1Ki8:44,48), turn that around into today's terminology: It was the CHURCH that crucified Jesus. So naturally, if there is a church/temple/synagogue (Jn16:2-3) that 'crucifies' Jesus, and another that worships and obeys Jesus...is it any wonder that there are -different- (confusing) "gospels"; one, each, for the various 'sides'.
There are hints of this question in a past Q/A " Whose Gospel?"
First of all, Salvation has always been, and always will be through Jesus Christ. He was promised in the "Seed" of the woman (Ge3:15) and was fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Ga3:16) Jesus Christ is the -only- "way, truth and life" and there is NO OTHER WAY to the Father. (Jn14:6) And this is the Gospel the early (Jewish) apostles proclaimed, there is "no other name" (Ac4:12) than "Jesus of Nazareth" (Ac4:10) There are some who teach two -different- Gospels....one that Peter preached -vs- the one Paul preached: Repentance -vs- Faith. But Two Gospels shows that they both preached the -same- Gospel; Repentance -and- Faith. The link covers this so we won't re-detail it here.
When Jesus said to the woman that "salvation is of the Jews" (Jn4:22) He was not indicating that the means to Salvation had changed. He was still presenting -Himself- as the Author (Heb12:2) of salvation. But if you read the series Covenants & Dispensations God also chose out a nation for a special purpose. Abraham was covenanted a -land-, which was something Adam and Eve were never promised. And from Abraham's 'seed' he was promised a -nation-. And it was -through- this nation that "all families of the earth" would be blessed (Ge12:3) Jesus said that salvation was "of the Jews" because it was -through- the seed of Abraham, David, of Israel, that Jesus came to be born in the "form of man" (Php2:7, Heb2:14, 1Jn4:2)
Until Moses, God didn't give many laws to mankind. Essentially regarding only murder, eating blood (Gen9)....and although it isn't recorded that God commanded it, mankind knew that certain sexual perversities "ought not to be done" (Ge34:7)
And so, until Jesus would come, God gave the Law through Moses, through Israel, so that when Jesus would come to pay the penalty for sin, mankind would know what sin was; what He was dying for. (Ro5:13,20) In just societies a person is not arrested without being given the charges, and the judge does not pass sentence without trial to enumerate the offenses and hear testimony: that mankind "all [are] under sin" (Ro3:9, Ga3:22) And if pagans wanted to approach God to sacrifice, they would perform the rituals, 'become' a Jew, and would approach God under the "same law" (Le24:22)
But, just like having laws on the books (When there is misbehavior people intone: There oughta be a law!) does not keep law-breakers out of mischief; all those -laws- through Moses, also, DID NOT SAVE. (Ga3:21) It was not possible for -animal- blood to take away sins. (Heb10:4) It was in the -person- (body) of Jesus Christ. (Heb10:5, 1Co15:45, Is53:11)
But Israel, as a nation, is of finite dimensions. It has its earthly territory there in the middle east where God promised to Abraham every place the sole of his feet would touch. (Ge12:7,13:15,17) When this heaven and earth "pass away" (Lk21:33, 2Pt3:7-11), is it not obvious that the Abrahamic covenant of the -land-, where his feet walked, becomes null and void.
No, the covenant about the -land- (Eretz Yisrael) is not an "everlasting" covenant. In a few places the LITV, NASB and/or NIV get it correct. The YLT seems to be the only translation, next to the vw-edition, that gets it consistently correct. YLT uses some strange words, but the vw-edition uses "perpetual". Perpetual is not the same as Everlasting. This creation does NOT last (as JVI says) "forever and ever and ever and ever...world without end Eph3:21kjv" The eighth day doctrine is a false doctrine of Rome. When this "heaven and earth...pass away", any covenants dealing with this earth will have been fulfilled. Jesus says...
As Paul explains in Rom11. Right now the "fullness of the gentiles" needs to come in. (Ro11:25) But then "all Israel will be saved" (vs26) and will be re-established. Of course, there is the differentiation between Jew and Gentile. The Gospel proclamation was "to the Jew first and ALSO the Greek" (Ro1:16,2:9-10) because Jesus had come to earth as a Jew, but "His own" (Israel) did not receive Him. (Jn1:11-12) ...but the Church of Jesus Christ is neither "Jew nor Greek" (Ga3:28) but we are "one in Christ"; Jew -and- Gentile (Eph2:11-19) This 'oneness' in Christ originated with the promise of the woman's "Seed" in Ge3:15; when as yet there was no distinction between Jew and Gentile; there was no entity called "Israel". Abraham would yet be 3000 years future.
It is Jewish -pride- that suggests that Jesus 'ignored' gentiles. He healed several gentiles, and specifically seeks out the Samaritan woman.
And why would they believe in Jesus' "resurrection"? He hadn't yet died. In fact, they questioned "what rising from the dead might be" (Mk9:10) But once He had died, risen, and returned to Heaven, the -Jewish- apostles proclaimed the Resurrection, which was one of the main objections of the Jewish rulers. (Ac4:1-2) These were activities, arguments and persecution that was happening in Israel (Judea) amongst Jewish Believers and unbelievers. Gentiles were not even involved in these initial confrontations. When Paul stands before King Agrippa, he explains what was going on in Judea, it was not a 'Jew vs Gentile' thing, but also acknowledges the events were "not done in a corner" (Ac26:26) The outsiders (gentiles) were looking in on the events going on IN ISRAEL, amongst the Jews. As they discuss Paul's case, they talk about it as being "about THEIR OWN RELIGION and about a certain Jesus" (Ac25:19) So, if there are "two sides" to some argument in all this, it is -within- Israel/Judaism. One segment of Jews against another segment of Jews, before Christianity (by name) came to be embraced by gentiles. Remember that "not all those of Israel are Israel" (Rom9:6b) Just because they have the DNA of Abraham doesn't mean they are Believers. Even though Israel came out of Egypt, "with most of them God was not well pleased" (1Co10:5) because of their "unbelief" (Heb3:19)
And the trouble with Jews today is that they believe in a -religion- called "Judaism", not a -person- ("this man"), Jesus Christ. As Jesus condemned their following of "tradition" (Mt15:3), not found in Scripture, even today many who claim to believe in Jesus keep trying to hold to 'something' of those Jewish rituals. And many gentiles, thinking it to be, Oh I don't know, "holier"?, to cling to some sense of Judaism, try to have their own Gospel and doctrine.
But God is -one-. There is -one- Gospel. There is -one- Eternal Life. -One- eternity in God's presence. (Eph4) And there is only One Way to get there; Jesus Christ and "no other way". (Jn14:6) Only -one- Door by which to enter. (Jn10:7,9) whether it was the simplicity of Adam's day, the myriads of rituals given through Moses, or the "simplicity" (again) that Paul proclaimed through Christ. Even during the Law David knew that it was not all the complex rituals of the animal sacrifices....
"For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God." (Ro2:28-29)
But "if you....believe IN YOUR -HEART-....you will be saved." (Ro10:9)