(Delivered at Hephzibah Meeting in Marlow, Bucks, England)
When I first became a believer in Jesus as Messiah, the Son of the Living God, my immediate instinct was that the Gentile believers had taken away everything from its Jewish beginnings and, in doing so, caused most Jews to disregard the claims of the Christian faith and religion. Then, as I began to read the whole Bible myself, the Holy Spirit began to show me that there was much truth in what Christians claimed, but there was little understanding to explain it in a manner that put it in perspective. Of course, we Jews were guilty of the same things that we accused Christians of being and doing!
A couple of passages early on grabbed my attention, one to open my eyes and mind to the sovereign ways of God in His dealings between the Jews and Christians; and the other as a warning to believers from falling in a similar fashion as Israel, angels, and ordinary people have done long before and all along the way. Mt 21:33-45 Jude 5-7
Then, of course, we have the letters to the Galatians and to the Hebrews – the Jewish believers — which plainly say that with the change of priesthood there is necessarily a change in the Law. In other words, my own natural perception – even after becoming a believer and being baptized in the Holy Spirit – was skewed and self-justifying, but God’s Word justifies God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Even in the O.T. YHVH God says through Jeremiah that the New Covenant would not be like the old, implying something different and changed.
It is my concern that believers hold fast to what we have so that no one can take whatever crown or any other thing which God wants to give those who love Him and so abide in Jesus. Pharaoh wanted Moses and Israel to leave things behind rather than giving all to God. Moses understood that it would be YHVH – not His adversary — who would direct Israel regarding what to give up for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
There are roots to our faith, and they are Christ, Messiah. Jesus Himself claims to be the Root and the Offspring of David (Is 11:1; Rev 22:16). He also says that before Abraham was, He Is – I Am (Jn 8:58). The seed of the covenant was planted in the soil of the Promised Land when YHVH God justified Abra[ha]m by faith, but that faith was in YHVH God and His Word. The Israeli and Jewish people have been brought up in the hope of those promises, but it is the believer in that Seed – whether Jewish or Gentile – who is the benefactor of even greater promises and hope than the Jewish people andIsrael have at this time.
For you here tonight, your witness and testimony to man, and your prayers to God will be the more effective as there is the salt of the covenant seasoned into them. So as to not fall from or leave our proper domain, let us consider some distinctives of New Testament faith and teaching that distinguish us as believers in Jesus from Israel – to whom Yeshua declared that all that is written in the Law and the Prophets will be fulfilled, every jot and tittle. These are to be realities, verities, so that we will remain in the faith delivered once for all to the saints.
The Church cp To Israel:
Gal 1:12; 1Cor 1:18-23 gospel is neither Jewish nor Greek, but rather a revelation from God in Heaven
Acts 17:6 the world turned upside down
Heb 9:11-15 redeemed by the precious blood of Messiah, of far greater worth than the blood of countless animals
Jer 31:31-32; 1Pt 1:4 New Covenant not like the Old; it is better by far
Rom 3:19-31 by faith we are saved, not by works of law for righteousness
Col 1:27; Jn 14:23; Rev 3:20 God is in us, not only for us or with us
Acts 2:16-18 Holy Spirit given to all believers, not only to prophets, priests, and kings; not only to Israelis or only to males
Jn 20:17 God is our Father through redemption, not only as Creator of all flesh and spirits, or of only the Jewish nation
Jn 15:14-15; Gen 18:17-19 we are sons and daughters and friends of God, not merely slaves or servants
Mk 7:18-19 food barriers are broken down; Jesus made unclean foods clean
1Pt 2:9 priesthood of all believers now
—Heb 7 Melchizedek vs Aaronic priesthood
—superior and transcending: Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham
—Ezek 44:9-10; Mal 3:3 Aaronic priesthood – an everlasting covenant of peace given to Phineas — fulfilledduring the Millenial Kingdom
—Eph 2:11-22; Is 56:6; Lev 21:18 priesthood in Messiah now and then from any family, Jewish or gentile, male and female, and we will rule with Him on His throne
—Is 56:4-5; Dt 23:2(3 Heb); Lev 21:17-23 in Messiah, those physically impaired (flat noses) accepted, as well as eunuchs and illegitimate children through redemption and justification
2Cor 5:16-18 new creation vs this present creation
–sins forgiven and we re justified (redeemed and saved)
–indwelling of the Holy Spirit
Rev 20:6 blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection: no fear of second death
2Pt 3:10-13 we look beyond the 1000 year kingdom to a new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells, not only reigns as it will during the Messianic Kingdom of God on this present Earth
Ezek 43 – 44 finished sacrifice of Jesus final for Christians, even during Millenial, vs continuing sacrifices forIsrael, even during Millenial
–there is no more sacrifice for sin for the Church
–no more need for those in Christ of a temple made with hands
Eph 1:22-23 Body of Messiah, who is Head of all things to the Church
–a vital union – head and body; husband and wife – in Christ
versus –Mt 2:2; Jn 1:49; 19:19-21 King of the Jews, King ofIsrael
Rev 20:6; Mt 19:28 we will rule and judge with Messiah for 1000 years overIsrael and the other nations
Ex 19:5-6; Rom 9:4-8 Israel’s call and destiny is to be a special treasure to YHVH, a priestly nation under the Lord Yeshua, serving in His greatness rather than failing without Him being her King
—Rev 7:4-8; Ezek 47:21 – 48:35 covenantal faithfulness
Lev 23:11,15-16; Mt 28:1; Acts 20:7; 1Cor 16:2 day after the Sabbath, i.e., the first day of the week (Sunday)
Gal 2:19 For I through the Law died to the Law that I might live unto God.
–Jesus was killed (offering Himself a sacrifice), being falsely accused under the Law, as a blasphemer and Sabbath-breaker
–The Law can make no one righteous; we all need God’s righteousness.
1Cor 11:26; Ezek 45:21-25 The Lord’s Supper is only for the Church, and this until He comes again; it is not forIsrael, even during the Millennial Kingdom.