Promises and Secrets

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The Israelites

VIEWPOINT



Why does everyone say that the Old Testament and all the law are only for the Israelites?

FACT



God spoke almost exclusively to the Israelites in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, he spoke to both the Israelites and everyone else as well - through the apostles, some prophets, and Jesus, all of whom were Israelites.


BLUE VIEWPOINT



Everyone says that the Old Testament laws are just for the Israelites.

Well, if that's the case, then Jesus does us Gentiles no good, because that's what He said about His own mission in this world (Matt 15:24
He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." (NIV)

). Not only that, He was the One who gave the laws to us - er, them - well, to everyone. If you disagree, which of the laws can we safely ignore? Based on what? Can we keep some, like 9 of the ten commandments, and ignore others , like the fourth commandment and Leviticus 11, but not others, like Leviticus 18? Where is the list of what we can and can't ignore? Who gets to choose and let us know?

God has a plan

Typical Christianity is a little frustrating for me. We learn throughout the whole Bible that God is on our side - with certain conditions. He worked with Adam, who failed Him often - but stayed on track. God worked with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and a host of others. They fell down occasionally, but stayed on track. God also established rules for all these people to follow - rules that they followed. Not all of them were Israelites, but they knew they had to follow His rules if they were to receive His blessings. However, we are constantly told by liberal pastors that we are so special today as Christians that we have to do nothing to receive those same blessings He denied His own people when they disobeyed.

His plan has a point

After some time of lesson-teaching to show them that they could not just go their own way, God gathered His people together and started working with them. During the time they spent in Egypt they were called Israelites. He saw them starting to follow the ways of the world, so He saved them out of their misery, and started teaching them the same rules He had used for all the others before the genealogy line even became Israelites.

So, how can we ignore it?

Why is it that we "Christians", especially in America, think that we are so special that we are not required to show faith in God and His word, but only have to "have faith" or "believe in" Jesus to be saved? Can we really, as you hear more and more in the "emerging churches", just ignore the laws of God? I mean, really, what's the difference? Isn't Jesus also God?

Christians today think that we are so special to God that He will freely just give us all the blessings He forced Israelites to earn through obedience. Earn? Yes. Not earn as in wages for work performed, but by demonstrating by their lives that they are on His side and not off on their own. These modern Christians forget that the only reason He uses us Gentiles is to get the Israelites back on track. You can read all about it in Romans 9 through 11.

Jesus said it Himself, Paul backed Him up

I know, that sounds like a lot of hooey. But the Scriptures are on my side. In Matt 15:23-24
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

we are told by Jesus that He was only here for the Jews. And, what do you think Paul was speaking about in Romans 11:16-20
16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.

? How many churches today are being very arrogant by supposing that they have replaced the Israelites, but feel they can do the same things as the Israelites did that caused them to be reprimanded? Not necessarily because they have been "grafted in", but because they feel that they have no need to obey God because they are "chosen" and have been given the "free gift of life". Isn't that what the Israelites thought? Now, where are they?

Yet, off we go...

Today you see the very same signs in the "I am saved no matter what I do" Christians, which prompted Paul's warning in the last words of this passage in Romans 11:20 - "Do not be arrogant, but tremble."

So, what happens if we become arrogant as did the Israelites? Isn't that what got them into trouble in the first place? But remember, we don't have Moses around to keep us in line - just a bunch of pastors who say, "That's OK. We don't have to do that. That's just for the Israelites."

What would have happened if Moses told that to the Israelites, saying those rules were "just for the Gentiles"? They would wind up looking just like we Gentiles look in God's eyes now.

Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at glenjjr@gmail.com and give us your view.

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