Does eschatology matter? Hopefully this war in Israel has helped you to see that your eschatology really does matter. If you hold to the preterist eschatology the news of the war in Israel didn't make you think the end of the world was near. You didn't see it as fulfilling prophecy because you know that all prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70.
Eschatology matters because the eschatology of preterism destroys the false doctrine of Zionism. Our political leaders today are ready to go to war and Christians for the most part support them because they falsely believe that modern day Israelites are the people of God. Zionism is a destructive doctrine.
James Perloff writes, "Christian Zionists have bought into the myth that Israel is only 'defending its right to exist' and that Palestinians are 'terrorists.' The Israelis have over 4,000 tanks and over 400 combat aircraft, thanks to a steady flow of about $3 billion annually from American taxpayers. The unarmed Palestinians have not one tank or plane; they fight their illegal occupiers primarily with stones."
Let me say here that Israel is not the problem. Israeli MOSAD Intelligence and The Ashkenazi Zionists inside Israel are the issue here, not Israel, per se, as a whole country. And Palestinians are not the problem. It's Hamas inside Gaza that is the problem. Don't let the MSM cause you to hate the innocent people in these countries.
As we saw in our last study those in Israel who call themselves Jews or those anywhere who call themselves Jews or Israelites are religious Jews who have no connection with the ancient Israelites who were Yahweh's chosen people. Most Christians today believe that religious Jews today are adherents of the Tanakh. Those who call themselves Jews today follow the Talmud, which rabbis consider superior to the Tanakh. The Talmud was a collection of Jewish writings that the Jews came to hold more sacred than the Scripture. Modern day Jews are converts to Talmudic Judaism and have no spiritual or ethnic connection with the people that Yahweh entered into covenant with at Sini. NONE of the so-called Jews today are following the Mosaic Law.
A very important ordinance in the Mosaic Law was the Sabbath. It was part of the Decalogue given to Israel.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11 ESV
The importance of the Sabbath is seen in.
You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Exodus 31:14 ESV
So, are those in Israel or anywhere else who call themselves Jews keeping the Sabbath? Notice what Sabbath worship included.
"On the Sabbath day, two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering: this is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. Numbers 28:9-10 ESV
When is the last time an Israelite sacrificed an animal? There have been no sacrifices since AD 70 when Yahweh destroyed the Jewish Temple. There are NO religious Jews or Israelites today. There are no followers of the Mosaic Law today, hence there are no religious Jews today.
Once Christ began His ministry only those who believed in Him where the children of God. The Jews who rejected Yeshua as Messiah were no longer the people of God. Once Christ came bringing in the New Covenant everyone who put their faith became a child of God and heirs of the Abrahamic covenant. Let's look at the New Testament has to say about who are the true people of God.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Yeshua and put no confidence in the flesh— Philippians 3:1-3 ESV
Three times he says, "Look out," they are all in the imperative. He is saying, "Be on the constant look out for, dogs, evildoers, and for those who mutilate the flesh." Paul has one hostile group in mind and describes it in three ways. Who are they? If you compare the word "mutilate" in verse 2, to the word "circumcision" in verse 3, you'll know he's talking about the Judaizers. In the Greek, you can see his play on words. The words he uses are katatome and peritome. The Judaizers were a group of people who went around in the first century promoting Judaism. They were pushing Judaism on the believers. They were saying that in order to be a Christian you must first come through the door of Judaism. You must be circumcised and keep the law. They were saying, "Yes, you must trust in Christ but you also must keep the law."
These Judaizers can be either one of two groups; they can be Jews who are not Christians that are just out pushing Judaism, or they could be believers, as Acts 15:5 indicates, "Pharisees who believed." They were believers who had not parted from the Mosaic system. The Judaizers didn't denounce Christ, they just said that what He did was not enough. We must add to it. They were teaching a faith plus works system.
They are to be continually looking out for "dogs." This comes from the Greek word kuon, which means: "a dog" literally or figuratively. Paul uses it figuratively here of the Judaizers. They were the apostles of apostasy, the evangelists of evil.
This is very strong language. You just didn't call people dogs in the ancient world. "Dog" was a derogatory term then, much more then it is today. We might use the expression today, "You dog", meaning the person is a low life. Or it may be used of an unattractive women, "she's a dog." As derogatory as it would be for a woman to be called a dog today, it doesn't compare to the strength it had in the first century.
"Dogs" of the ancient world for the most part were not pets, they were regarded with contempt, they traveled in packs and were scavengers and carriers of disease. In the Bible, the dog always stands for that which nothing can be lower.
Paul also says they are to be continually looking out for "evildoers." The word that Paul uses for evil is kakos, and the word for doers is ergates. Paul is saying they were evil, worthless, depraved. They thought they were working righteously but they were evil workers. They were evil, and they were working hard to spread their evil.
Then finally, Paul says they are to be continually looking out for "those who mutilate." The word "mutilate" is the Greek word katatome. There is a pun in the Greek here which is not seen in the English. The word "circumcision", in verse 3, is the Greek word peritome, which means: "to cut around." In verse 2, Paul uses katatome, which means: "to mutilate." Paul is saying, "We are the peritome but they are the katatome." Paul is telling them that all they were doing was physically mutilating their bodies, it had no spiritual significance. "You Jews think that you are circumcised, but in fact, you are only mutilated." This word, katatome, is used in the LXX of the pagan cuttings of the body that were forbidden by the law of Israel.
Paul uses very strong language when confronting the Judaizers, look with me at:
I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves! Galatians 5:12 ESV
The word Paul uses for "emasculate" is apokopto, it means: "to amputate or castrate." Paul says, "I wish you Judaizers would go all the way and castrate yourselves."
Those who add works to salvation are very dangerous, very destructive, they're dogs, evil workers and mutilators. Paul preached grace—salvation by faith alone. Then along came the Judaizers and said, "Yes, you must trust Christ but you must also be circumcised and keep the law of Moses." Many Christians would buy into this system, and it was confusing the church.
This morning I want us to focus on the theological significance of Paul's description of the church of Yeshua as "the circumcision."
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Yeshua and put no confidence in the flesh— Philippians 3:3 ESV
In the beginning of verse 3, Paul says, "For we are the circumcision." The "we" is a reference to Paul and the Philippian Christians. But what Paul says of them is true of all Christians. Theologically, this is very significant. This is Paul's description of the church of Yeshua the Christ. The church is "the circumcision."
Circumcision had great significance to Old Covenant Israel. Genesis 17, teaches us that circumcision was given as a sign of the Abrahamic covenant. In Exodus 12:44, we see that it was carried over into the Mosaic covenant. As it developed down through the history of Israel and even into the time of our Lord, it became very clear that "the circumcision" was a title, a technical designation of the children of Israel. Jews were synonymously called "the circumcision." There are many passages in Acts and some in Paul's letters in which instead of saying, "Israel" or "the Jews," they are simply called "the circumcision."
And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. Acts 10:45 ESV
The Jews who are called "the circumcised" were astonished because the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, "You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them." Acts 11:2-3 ESV
The Jews, "the circumcision party," were upset because Paul ate with the uncircumcised, the Gentiles.
since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Romans 3:30 ESV
The circumcised" was simply a way of saying "Israelites" or "Jews." The "uncircumcisied," were the Gentiles.
(for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Galatians 2:8-9 ESV
Peter went to the Jews, "the circumcised," and Paul went to the Gentiles, "the uncircumcised."
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— Ephesians 2:11 ESV
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Colossians 4:10-11 ESV
The term "the circumcision" was a technical designation for Israel. The significance of this should not be lost in Philippians 3:2-3. Paul says, "These Jews are not 'the circumcision' they are in fact the mutilators."
Who then is "the circumcision"? Paul tells us in Philippians 3:3, it is those who "worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Yeshua and put no confidence in the flesh." This is the Church, Christians, true believers. Paul is saying that the church is "the circumcision," the true Israel, and the true Jew.
I would say that most Christians believe that, "A Jew is someone who descended physically from Abraham, and as a sign of his covenant relationship with God had the mark of circumcision?" Paul seems to be telling us that "the circumcision" is not determined by ethnic derivation, not determined by the blood flowing in your veins, but rather by the faith that is in your heart. It's a matter of circumcision of the heart.
The majority of the nation of Israel rejected Yeshua at his first Advent, but he was accepted by the "little flock," the disciples and others. They were what constituted the believing remnant in the unbelieving nation as a whole. Throughout the Tanakh, even in times of extreme unbelief, there was always a remnant. Elijah thought he was all alone, but he wasn't:
"Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life." But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Romans 11:3-4 ESV
God always has His remnant. And at the time of Israel's national rejection of the Messiah, there still was a remnant who put their trust in Yeshua. The little flock that accepted Him were the believing remnant within the unbelieving nation:
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, Romans 9:6 ESV
All are not Israel who are from the nation Israel. There is a true Israel, a believing remnant, within the nation Israel. He was telling them that physical decent didn't mean that you were the true people of God.
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16 ESV
Yeshua is talking here to the Jews, and the other sheep that he says he has are the Gentiles. There is only one flock made up of Jews and Gentiles who form one body, the true people of God. Yeshua saw the realization of Israel's true destiny in the circle of His disciples, they are not a new Israel, they are not a different body but the true Israel, the believing remnant.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:18-19 ESV
Yeshua was not prophesying some completely different body of believers cut off from the Old Covenant people. Who were the people to whom He spoke these words? Who made up the early church? Jews made up the nucleus. They played a very important function in redemptive history. Not only were they the believing remnant of Old Covenant Israel who accepted Christ, but they were also the nucleus of the emerging church and those to whom the promises of Israel were fulfilled.
Point: Those disciples who made up the nucleus of the emerging church stand in direct continuity with Old Covenant Israel. We are not to think that the church is a temporary interruption in God's prophetic purpose for Israel. It is, in fact, the progressive continuation of that purpose. The church is not some new, entirely different, and distinct covenant body of people but rather the maturation of the believing remnant of Israel.
If you are familiar with dispensational theology, you know that it teaches that God has two peoples, Israel and the church, with two separate destinies, one earthly and one heavenly. This is not what the Bible teaches. The church is not a separate and distinct entity from Israel but we are the Israel of God. Philippians 3:3 does not stand in isolation in the New Testament.
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. Romans 11:17-20 ESV
We, Gentiles, were grafted in with them, Israel, and with them partake of the root of the olive tree. I would say that the root is Abraham and the promises Yahweh made to him. Paul taught that the Gentiles in the Church shared in the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant with Israel.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:11-12 ESV
What is "at that time" of verse 12? It is prior to Christ's first advent. They were without hope because they were aliens from Israel.
But now in Christ Yeshua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13 ESV
What were they brought near to? They were brought near to the commonwealth of Israel and the covenants and promises.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Ephesians 2:14-16 ESV
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Ephesians 2:19 ESV
Believing Gentiles have been admitted as citizens into the commonwealth of Israel. We partake in their promises and blessings.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. Galatians 3:16 ESV
If you by faith belong to Christ, you are Abraham's seed and an heir according to the promise. It doesn't matter who's blood you have in your veins, but who's faith you have in your heart. It is covenant, not race, that makes one a Jew.
Most Christians still consider the Jewish people as a race but there is no Jewish race today. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the nation of Israel, after the flesh, was scattered throughout the earth, and lost all tribal relations. This scattering was made immutable due to the fact that all tribal genealogical records were destroyed with the Temple in A.D. 70. The simple fact is that there is no existing Jewish race.
Consider the following quotation from The Encyclopedia Britannica (1973)
The Jews As A Race: The findings of physical anthropology show that, contrary to the popular view, there is no Jewish race. Anthropornetric measurements of Jewish groups in many parts of the world indicate that they differ greatly from one another with respect to all the important physical characteristics." (vol. 12, page 1054)
In a paper on Pubmed entitled Highlight: Out of Khazaria—Evidence for "Jewish Genome" Lacking, published on Jan 16, 2013. Eran Elhaik, a geneticist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, in a recently published study in Genome Biology Evolution, is calling for a rewrite of commonly held assumptions about Jewish ancestry. Instead of being primarily the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, present-day Jewish populations are, finds Elhaik, primarily the children of a Turkish people who lived in what is now Russia, north of Georgia, east of Ukraine. This civilization, the Khazars, converted from tribal religions to Judaism between the 7th and 9th centuries.
For Shlomo Sand, history professor at Tel Aviv University and author of the controversial book The Invention of the Jewish People, Elhaik's paper was a vindication of his long-held ideas.
"It's so obvious for me," says Sand. "Some people, historians and even scientists, turn a blind eye to the truth. Once to say Jews were a race was anti-Semitic, now to say they're not a race is anti-Semitic. It's crazy how history plays with us."
"There is no Jewish genome and certainly no Jewish gene," says the Israeli-born Elhaik. Instead, all humans are a mix of the same building blocks, built with slightly different architectures.
In an article entitled, Ashkenazic Jews' mysterious origins unravelled by scientists thanks to ancient DNA by Eran Elhaik on phys.org Erin states,
"For a more scientific take on the Jewish origin debate, recent DNA analysis of Ashkenazic Jews – a Jewish ethnic group – revealed that their maternal line is European. It has also been found that their DNA only has 3% ancient ancestry which links them with the Eastern Mediterranean (also known as the Middle East) – namely Israel, Lebanon, parts of Syria, and western Jordan. This is the part of the world Jewish people are said to have originally come from – according to the Old Testament. But 3% is a minuscule amount, and similar to what modern Europeans as a whole share with Neanderthals. So given that the genetic ancestry link is so low, Ashkenazic Jews most recent ancestors must be from elsewhere." https://phys.org/news/2018-09-ashkenazic-jews-mysterious-unravelled-scientists.html
Christians, those who trust in Christ are now the people of God. The Bible clearly teaches that if you are in Christ, then you are a true spiritual Jew. In 1 Peter 1:1 and James 1:1, the designation "the dispersion" is used for the Church. It was a technical term for Israel.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 ESV
Who is Peter writing to? The Church, believers. All of these terms are taken right out of the Tanakh, they were technical designations for the covenant people, Israel. Peter is saying, "You believers are now the covenant people of God."
and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:6 ESV
Who is the "us"? It is believers, all believers. That phrase comes from Exodus 19:6 and it is used when God, on Mount Sinai, constituted Israel as His theocratic community. The terms which God gave to Israel are now applied to us, that's why Paul says that we are the circumcision.
Are we redefining what constitutes a Jew? No, Paul did!
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 2:28-29 ESV
Being a true Jew has nothing to do with ethnic background, it has to do with being in a covenant relationship with God by faith, which comes from trusting in Christ.
James Perloff writes,
"Until 50 years ago most Christians accepted events recorded in the book of Joshua as something special for that particular time. We believed that the coming of the Saviour brought a New Covenant under which we no longer resort to violence to advance the kingdom of God. But when the Zionist movement began in Palestine around 1920, some Christians started to disregard New Testament principles. We would say it's wrong for us to kill our neighbor and steal his property, but if Jewish people did it in Palestine, then it was O.K. First it was thousands, then tens of thousands, and eventually hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were driven from their homes. All of their property was stolen by the Zionists. Forty percent of the victims were professing Christians, many of whom were born again believers. Yet, to our everlasting shame, many Christians in America have stood on the sidelines and cheered for the murderers. It's all O.K., we say, because Zionism is a fulfillment of prophecy. It is hard to imagine how any Bible believer with reasonable intelligence could endorse such things, particularly when so many thousands of conscientious Jews the world over have objected strenuously to Zionist aggression in Palestine."
Modern unbelieving Jews have absolutely no theological, and therefore, no historical and legal right to the land of Palestine. There are no racial Jews today, and those who hold to the Jewish religion are anti Christ.
James Perloff in an article on Christiam Zionism writes,
False-Flag Terrorism and War for the Rest of the World. "Contrary to the Zionist media’s spin, Israel has been the world's number one sponsor of terrorism, implemented "by way of deception"—the motto of Massad, Israel's intelligence service. This has included, for example the 1946 King David hotel bombing, the 1954 Lavon Affair, the vicious 1967 attack on the USS liberty, the 1986 Trojan deception that led Reagan to bomb Libya, and of course, the mother of them all, 911, covered with Zionist Israeli fingerprints. 9/11 led to the countless and unnecessary Middle East wars which were already foreknown in 2001. Those wars in turn produced a refugee crisis ravaging Europe today." (https://jamesperloff.com/tag/christian-zionism/)
Christian Zionism is blasphemy. Christians have no theological stake whatsoever in the modern State of Israel. Religious Israelites are anti-God because they are anti-Christ. Judaism is a cult, and unless they turn to Christ, they will perish. Look at what John wrote about the Christ rejecting Jews of his day.
"'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9 ESV
Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Revelation 3:9 ESV
Who would say they were Jews, but weren't? Physical Israel. Yeshua said that an unbelieving Jew was of the synagogue of Satan. Yeshua is quoting here from Isaiah 60:
The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 60:14 ESV
If we were an Old Covenant Jew, we would understand this prophecy of Isaiah as our Gentile enemies being subservient to us. But Yeshua uses this verse and applies it to the Church, that is true Israel, and it is Old Covenant Israel that is persecuting the Church. Yeshua said that the Old Covenant Jews were going to come and bow before the feet of the Church, the true Israel of God.
A true Jew, a true Israelite is one who has trusted in Yeshua and has been circumcised in heart. Those who are the Israelites of God's prophetic purpose are not those who are Jews ethnically or outwardly. But those who are the Israelites of God's prophetic purpose are those who are Jews spiritually and inwardly.
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Yeshua the Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. Galatians 6:14-16 ESV
Paul points out that whether you've been circumcised or not, none of it plays any significance in your salvation. We are saved only if we are in Christ. And we are in Christ only if we are a new creation. Who is a new creation?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Anyone who has trusted in Christ is part of the new creation.
"Israel of God" is a title for the Galatian believers. By giving this title to the Galatian Christians, he is able to summarize his major arguments that they are indeed the true children of Abraham (3:6-29), the children of the free woman, just as Isaac was (4:21-31). The false teachers were claiming that only those who followed the law belonged to Israel. Now Paul proclaims that all those who follow the gospel are "the true Israel of God". We, believers, are the Israel of God by faith in Yeshua Christ.
The church is not a temporary interruption in God's prophetic program for Israel. The church is the prophetic fulfillment of that program, because the church is Israel. Covenant, not race, has always been the defining mark of the true Israel of God.
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Yeshua and put no confidence in the flesh— Philippians 3:3 ESV
Philippians 3:3, in context, is teaching that fleshly accomplishments don't matter to God, race doesn't matter to God. The true circumcision, the true Jew, the true Israel of God are those who trust completely and only in Yeshua the Christ. The true believer worships by the Spirit of God, rejoices in Christ Yeshua, and has no confidence in the flesh.
A Christian is a person who trusts only and completely in Christ for their salvation. If they believe that they can somehow earn merit with God for salvation by anything they do, they are under the condemnation of God.
Those in Israel who call themselves Jews or those anywhere who call themselves Jews or Israelites are religious Jews who have no connection with the ancient Israelites who were Yahweh’s chosen people. Those who call themselves Israelites today are Christ rejecting God haters who John calls antichrist.
Who is the liar but he who denies that Yeshua is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22 ESV