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Old 08-06-2011, 12:14 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
5,295 posts, read 5,204,216 times
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The Gentiles And Israel - Covenant Preterism

All are welcome to interact with this discussion.

Messianic Jewish Bible scholar, David H. Stern, in the "Jewish New testament Commentary," points out that the word, Gentile has two meanings (see page 531). It was used in a "neutral" sense, of any particular nation or nations (which ones have to be determined by its context), or a "pejorative overtone" as "pagan, heathen." Thus, it also refers to "non-Israelites," but not exclusively so at times. Sometimes the singular form, ethne, meant the Israel nation itself, and the plural form, ethnos, was used to refer to non-Israeli nations, but again not exclusively, but for the most part, yes, always determined by its surrounding context.

The similarity in phrases seen in Roma 11:25 "fullness of Gentiles" vs. Gen 48:19 melo goyim "multitude of nations" seems to prove to some, that Ephraim was referring to the Gentiles. Yet, if we examine the Romans passage, the opposite is true.

What is happening to Israel is quite different from what is happening to the Gentiles in Romans 11. Israel, Not Judah, but Israel as a whole, is being hardened against the faith until the "fullness of the Gentiles" comes in. In Greek, this phrase contains "pleroma ethnos eiserchomai" or "repletion/completion of a race or tribe that has come or entered." Basically, until such a time that all the Gentiles, apart from Israel as a nation, who will believe, do believe. Israel is being HINDERED here, waiting for something to occur in a DIFFERENT people. Israel is contrasted by being in disbelief while another group finds belief. The best drash we could apply in Romans 11 from Genesis 48 is perhaps: "Just as God brought Ephraim to completion, He now brings Gentiles into their own completion." Such a drash doesn't alter the Israelite roots of Ephraim or the non-Israelite roots of Gentiles, though it can only state that both will achieve such repletion.

Scripture uses the terms Jewish and Israel interchangeably, and trying to invent some difference between the terms is really "reading back" into the Scriptures. A good example of the interchangeability is Romans 11:1 where Paul calls himself an "Israelite" of "the Tribe of Benjamin". Of course, Benjamin was part of Judah.

Just a few examples:

Nicholas, a Gentile convert to Judaism who came to believe in Messiah, was not called an Ephraimite or Israelite, but a proselyte (Acts 6:5).

Paul refused to circumcise Titus, a Greek, but circumcised Timothy, who had a Jewish parent (Acts 16:1-3; Galatians 2:3).

Gentile believers were called wild olive branches, and Jewish believers were called natural branches (Romans 11:17,24).

Jesus said, Make disciples of all nations - ethnos Matthew 28:19

According to Strong's, the Greek for nation is ethnos, and it means "a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan) Gentile, heathen, nation, people."

Revelation 5:9 You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. The word for nation here is also ethnos. Also, the word for tribe means "an offshoot, that is, race or clan: kindred, tribe.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. The word for world is kosmos, and, according to Strong, it means ". . . the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants. . . .)" - and that includes more than just the descendants of the man Israel.

Melchisedec was contemporary with Abraham, Rahab was a Canaanite, and Ruth was a Moabites. All were Gentiles who were saved prior to the cross and prior to the formation of the northern kingdom called Ephraim.

Zechariah spoke the word of the LORD in Jerusalem to the returnees of both houses of Israel from Medo-Persian captivity:

Zech 8:13 Oh house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing
Zech 8:22. So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.
Zech 8:23 In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."

The house of Israel was addressed as well as the house of Judah. Though, as with any nation, some of its members lost their identities among the foreign nations in which they resided, yet no tribe was "lost." Peter wrote to the dispersion, (1 Peter 1:1 Young's Literal Translation), "the Diaspora (the Dispersion)" being the technical term for Jews outside the Land. James wrote to the Twelve Tribes who are in the dispersion (James 1:1. Young's Literal Translation); and in Luke 2:36 we meet Anna of the tribe of Asher praying in the temple in Jerusalem. Both disciples focused their ministry in Judea and its surrounding states.

Also, by comparing verses 13 and 23, we see that the LORD recognized members of both houses as Hebrews, North and South, House of Israel and Judah, and distinguished them from the nations. The same distinction is made in Revelation 7:1-9: Israelites are the preachers, ministers and messengers, and a great multitude. . . from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues are the Gentiles who will be saved by Israelite ministers.

So, Gentiles without a drop of Jewish blood were saved prior 70 AD, and will be saved subsequent to the end of the Mosaic economy, as shown by Revelation 7:1-9 and by Zechariah 8:22-23. Why would God cut them off from the possibility of salvation right after Jesus died for the sin of the world John 1:29 just 40 Years before?

He wouldn't.

Now when we come to 2 Chronicles 15:9; 30:18; and 2 Chronicles 34:6, we discover that people from the tribes of Ephraim (son of Joseph), Manasseh, Issachar, Zebulun, Naphatli, Simeon, and "from all the remnant of Israel" are present in the Kingdom of Judah. That means men, women, and children from each of the northern ten tribes were living in the southern kingdom at the time the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom. Those living in the southern kingdom were not taken captive and deported by the Assyrians. They were taken to Babylon. This means that the ten tribes were not lost. At least some of them lived in the kingdom of Judah. As noted earlier, Luke 2:36 tells us that the prophetess Anna was from the tribe of Asher. This is one more example that the tribes were not lost. Nehemiah 11:20 tells us that men from all the tribes from the kingdom of Israel were living in the cities of Judah - the southern kingdom. The book of Nehemiah was written at the time the Jews were returning from Babylon. This means that none of the tribes have been lost. The book of Acts covers this theme as well during Pentecost when Peter speaks to in Acts 2:5,9-10,22

Acts 2:39 solidifies the continuance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for those who follow.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.

What is the scattering and regathering of Israel referring to?

Zec 1:18-21 KJV Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. (19) And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What [be] these? And he answered me, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. (20) And the LORD shewed me four carpenters. (21) Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up [their] horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Will not both houses and the tribes be regathered as the remnant?

Isa 11:11-13 KJV And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (12) And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (13) The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. Now we can argue as to whether this took place during the time of Ezra or whether it began on Acts 2. What is evident, is that all tribes were represented in these instances.

Romans 11 (Israel and Gentile Nations can't be one and same)

Rom 11:11-28 KJV I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (12) Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (13) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: (14) If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them. (15) For if the casting away of them [be] the reconciling of the world, what [shall] the receiving [of them be], but life from the dead? (16) For if the firstfruit [be] holy, the lump [is] also [holy]: and if the root [be] holy, so [are] the branches. (17) And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; (18) Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. (19) Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. (20) Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: (21) For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee. (22) Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (23) And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. (24) For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree? (25) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (28) As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.

It has been suggested by some that Israel mixed with the Gentiles and that the Gentiles are the true House of Israel. This passage flat out disputes that possibility. Throughout the passage (which begins with Paul referring to himself as an Israelite in verse 1). Israel is being contrasted to the Gentiles. Gentiles are the 'wild branches' being grafted into a foreign tree -- a tree not their own. Gentiles are NOT natural branches, they do not naturally fit into this tree, they are contrasted to Israelite branches which would fit in perfectly, lest Gentiles boast. How much more of a boast could Gentiles have than to actually claim they are natural when Paul has just announced they are "wild" and should NOT boast? Paul is revealing a mystery here, not previously understood, that God's covenant was open to Gentiles -- to non-Israelite Gentiles. Imagine, Gentiles, who have ABSOLUTELY NO TIES TO ISRAEL OR ITS COVENANTS being offered such a blessing of inclusion! Amazing, yet this is exactly the offer Paul is explaining to them, by virtue of their faith in the gospel of Jesus! Now, if this passage was really about the 'ten lost tribes' being grafted back into their own tree, that wouldn't be much of a 'mystery' since prophets for centuries had already spoken that Israel would reunite with Judah. The real 'mystery' here is that Gentiles are coming into the faith! Paul is explaining in Romans 11 that Gentiles are being offered the opportunity to accept Messiah and be counted among Israel. Paul is contrasting *two different peoples* -- non-Israelites (Gentiles) vs. Israelites. Note the contrasts: One has been grafted in, one cut out. One has sight, one is blind. One has found salvation, one still awaits that day. One has the gospel, one is an enemy of the gospel. One awaits her fullness, one is hardened. One is gifted with salvation, one is made jealous. The idea that Israel here can include Gentile nations is an untenable position. The two subjects of this discourse are Israel and Gentiles -- they CANNOT, through any fancy footwork, be made one and the same people.

Another aspect about some of these "lost tribe" theories, is that only Israel is saved. Redefining the House of Israel so it means Israelite-Gentile nations just creates an oxymoron. It's like saying "Jewish non-Jews." This theory would allow salvation to only be offered to Israelite descendants. It's akin to saying that all who believe in these latter days of the Mosaic economy are somehow just genetic Israelite descendants who had been lost. This negates God's promise about Israel being a light to the nations Isa 42:6 if the nations are Israel. It would mean that God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- and that only through being a descendant of Jacob could one find salvation. It would mean all the other nations never had a chance unless through some luck of genetics they found out that they were an Israelite descendant. Yet God tells Israel: The Lord YHWH, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, "Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered." Isaiah 56:8

Who are these people that are gathered to those He has already gathered? Can you add Israel to Israel? The only way to understand the passage is to agree that people who are not Israel are being gathered to Israel. Basically, wild branches are being gathered with natural branches. Gentiles, or Non-Israelites are saved and grafted into covenant with God.

I don't mean to oversimplify, or deny there are many strains to this type of teaching, but the bottom line is that by redefining the House of Israel or Ephraim, you redefine God's plan for mankind. The truth is, when someone from Israel or Judah marries into Gentile nations, they don't turn the Gentile nations into Israel, instead, they become cut off from Israel themselves. This is why Ezra and Nehemiah mention the putting away of foreign wives.

Note: the foreign wives and their children do NOT miraculously become Israelites through affiliation and marriage. Instead, the Israelite or Judahite loses that part of themselves which was Israelite (or Yehudim). Let me repeat: An Israelite marrying and mixing into the Gentile population does not change the Gentiles into Israelites but instead loses his own Israeli-ness. This is why God kept a remnant -- so that His people could not be lost in this way. Many from the House of Israel and the House of Judah did not return to Israel when they could. Many did choose to blend in with the nations. The Samaritans were an example of this. But God kept a remnant for Himself -- those who would not be destroyed forever.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

Did Paul forget about the "lost Israelites?" Clearly, the Israelites are already being counted among the Jews. Paul is taking the gospel to "all Israel" first, and then to the Gentiles.

Eph 2:11-13 Therefore, remember, that at one time, you, the nations in the flesh, who are called "foreskins" by what is called the "circumcision," which is made in the flesh by hands-- (12) remember that you were at that season separate from Messiah, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (13) But now in Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.

Now, if the Gentiles were the "lost tribes" then they wouldn't be of the uncircumcision but of the circumcision; further, they wouldn't have been strangers to the covenants since their forefathers received them along with Judah. Why mention in Ephesians 2:15 that God was creating "one new man" when it would really be just the same old Israel comprised of the same 12 tribes. The reason Paul is writing this in Ephesians is because it isn't about "lost tribes" rejoining but about non-Israelite Gentiles being brought in. This was the mystery Paul taught throughout his epistles, that non-Israelites were being given a chance to partake of the same covenants Israel had been given and upon that government and shoulder of Christ, the increase will continue henceforth, unto a world without end. The temple now stands in those who hold God and Jesus Christ, close to their hearts. The everlasting gospel brings down anti-christian governments and attitudes, as it did with the apostate theocracy of Israel Rev 14:6

Thanks for reading.

Ken Palmer
Covenant Preterism
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:20 PM
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"Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you."

Don't you just love parables?
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:15 PM
Location: East Coast
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Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

There is nothing beyond His recovery this is why He IS the Savior of the world. I cannot for my life think how Israel could be envious of what we serve up as being Salvation.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:31 PM
Location: Seattle, Wa
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Originally Posted by pcamps View Post
I cannot for my life think how Israel could be envious of what we serve up as being Salvation.
It really depends on what salvation is? Or is that another rabbit hole altogether?
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:50 PM
Location: East Coast
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Originally Posted by sciotamicks View Post
It really depends on what salvation is? Or is that another rabbit hole altogether?
If "Believe in Jesus or you are going to hell"(which by the way i know you don't believe) is Salvation, we are going to be waiting a long long time for the Israel to be in interested never mind envious in the Salvation of God.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:35 AM
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The Gentiles are people who do not know the true Living God which have a spiritual faith in Jesus Christ through His blessing of Abraham ...... People of Israel have intermarried with other nations and many different culture have adopted Jewish faith and as the result are not today the true descendants of the Israelites from Abraham ..... The lost tribes of Israel were the Samaritans who the Israelites rejected...... the Eastern Europe Jews are said to be an converted to Jewish of people of Khazars, but probably intermarried bringing the Faith of Jewish to other people , but this is a theory that is rejected by the United Nations today as the result of the security to Israel nation... Jesus said in John 8: 33-59.....``If you were Abraham children, you would do the works of Abraham.....But now you seek to kill me a man that has told you the truth which I have heard of God, this did not Abraham``
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