Friday, December 28, 2012

Great Discussion on Derek's Blog (Unless I Get Deleted as Usual)

Check out a wonderful post (yes, wonderful though I disagree with his conclusion) about James gezerah shavah in Acts 15 and how it relates to the Gentiles in the New Covenant.


In case he deletes me, here's a comment I wrote:


Re:  "Amos 9:11-12 is unique in its clarity that they remain Gentiles and yet are called by God’s name."

A Gentile always remains a Gentile, even a convert.  But such a Gentile is also part of the covenant--and that's all that matters.  Thus, Caleb was a Gentile even though he was an Israelite.  Same with Ruth (note that she's even called "Ruth the Moabite" despite belonging to the People of Israel).  

In other words, in a contest between ethnicity (gentileness) and covenant, covenant always wins.  

But don't take my word for it.  Isaiah 63:19 says that uncovenanted Gentiles are not called by His Name:

"We are yours from of old; but you have not ruled over them, they have not been called by your name."

So we see that this idea of being called by someone's name refers to covenant:

"In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, "We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!"" (Isaiah 4:1)

Remember that Abraham was accepted in covenant with G-d even prior to circumcision.  The circumcision is a sign and seal of the pre-existing covenant.  

"And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them," (Romans 4:11)

The covenant occurs apart from circumcision and thus salvation is possible apart from circumcision.  And recall from Acts 15:1 that this was the issue:  can Gentiles be in covenant apart from circumcision so that they may receive salvation even in an uncircumcised state?  And the answer, of course, was "yes."  Peter's argument before the council explained that the uncircumcised Gentiles had been called by His name and were, THEREFORE, saved by grace.  Note that James says that Peter made this argument about the gentiles being called by the Name of G-d.  

I hope you will engage and not delete.  




  1. Big appears my comment was deleted! : )

  2. must there be a contradiction?
    Ruth could not remain a Moabite to enter the congregation (Deut 23:3). Does this not imply that she changed her citizenship ("My God is your God")and thus became an Israelite ? (even if described as "Ruth the Moabite").
    I could read Amos and Yaacov (Acts 15) as "Those who are called by my name" being at that point in time but not saying anything about those gentiles status later on.....they are called by His name, and then they become Israelites.
    it is also written ("and they shall possess the Gentiles....", who is "They"? Is it Israel?
    Interesting quote from Amos: "Can two walk together, unless they agreed? (Amos 3:3)

    1. I don't understand what you mean. Could you rephrase in more straight-forward terms?

  3. sorry, I'll try and rephrase. I have two questions concerning Ruth and Amos:
    1) why is a gentile always a gentile? My reading from "Ruth" is that she became an Israelite and only an Israelite. She could not stay a Moabite due to the command in Deut 23:3 that no Moabite can enter the congregation.
    Is it not so that according to Deut 23:3, Ruth must have become only an Israelite ?

    2)My second question is concerning Amos 9.11-12 which you quoted from Derek. Amos mentions the gentiles called "by my name". Does it somewhere say that those gentiles remain gentiles as Derek states ? I cannot see this in Amos.
    Does the text not rather say that those gentiles are the possession of ( belong to ?) Israel ?

  4. Dan,

    Israel represents a national entity, thus being part of a nation does not mean you change who you are. Anyone can be an American, whether Chinese, Caucasian, Jewish, or Mexican, etc. Once an American, they do not stop being Jewish or in this case Gentile. Even if the gentile or as the scripture say, the 'ger' is considered a citizen of Israel, while always maintaining the distinction as a 'ger' all through scripture, that is because the ger never became a native born, even though ger did become a citizen.

    Concerning Ruth, this has been argued by biblical critics for a long time as being a contradiction.

    But instead a much more acceptable interpretation is that once a person has joined themselves to the Lord, as Ruth the Moabite did, she takes on covenant responsibility. The Torah makes a difference between the gentile who is in covenant and the gentile who is not in covenant. We see a perfect example of this in Isaiah 56. If you will note, we see the Eunuch cannot enter the assembly of the Lord(Deut 23), yet we see in Isaiah 56 that a eunuch who joins himself to the Lord, and to keep the covenant will not be cutoff.

    It can be summed up this way, either you are in covenant with God or you are not. For those in covenant, they can enjoy all that the covenant offers, for those who are not in covenant, they have no rights to what the covenant offers, it is very simple.

    Consider Isaiah 56 on the flip side, what about the gentiles who do not join themselves to the Lord?


    Great post by the way... I always point out that the covenant gentile always remained a gentile, and yet many of these teaches fail to acknowledge this simple truth, they always want to point out the distinctions, but since this breaks their argument, it is passed over.

    1. Dan,

      See Zion's comment above.


      Great summary!

  5. Zion,
    Thanks for your answer, I follow this blog for a while and find it very convincing, especially concerning OL. Your summary, Zion is great and very reasonable. However I still feel some unclarity, (which confuses me) about one passage in Ephesians 2:11-13:

    "11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

    Does not Paul state here that "they" were once gentiles (in the flesh) and now are Israelites (in the flesh). ?
    Grateful for an answer


  6. Hey Dan, thanks for your comments.

    It would be impossible to become a Israelite according to the flesh, no one can become a Jew, the Torah never taught such. The ger remained a ger, the ger did not become a native born.

    Paul in Galatians considered gentiles, who put their faith in Messiah to be sons of Abraham, but not by flesh, by Faith. We did not get a blood infusion or simply stop being gentile. If we are no longer gentile, then the promise to Abraham does not make any sense. This would also make God, only the God of Jews or better stated, only the God of natural borns, everyone else need not apply, or if you do apply you must change from being a gentile who God created you as and become a Jew who you are not, because God will not accept you as a gentile. The promise, is that Abraham would be the father of a multitude of gentiles, not just native borns(his own descendency). As a gentile myself, I am that fulfillment, and now a son of Abraham by Faith...

    Jews, are sons of Abraham by flesh(natural born), regardless whether a Jew has faith or not, gentiles can only be sons by faith. We are also what Paul called the grafted in or adopted, an adopted child does not take on the blood of the father who adopted them, but they are considered a son/daughter in every way.

    Per Ephesians, Paul says these uncovenanted gentiles were not citizens of Israel, but now in Messiah we have been given citizenship within Israel... so we are now responsible to Israel and our Jewish brothers as gentiles. We received citizenship and adoption as sons through faith, but we are still gentiles, we have taken on the covenants, but we are still gentiles. Which is an awesome thing, that we can be adopted.

    Sadly, you are going to run into some groups in Messiniac Judaism, that do not like the idea of gentiles being adopted, they will tell you as an adopted son, that you are stealing from the natural born son. Or they will tell you that the adopted son is not a full son, and thus you do not get to participate in the fullness of the family... Can you imagine that type of mentality put into reality today, DHR would be busting down some doors, lol.

  7. "It would be impossible to become a Israelite according to the flesh, no one can become a Jew, the Torah never taught such."

    Actually, what I see the Torah teaches is that in marriage "the two become one flesh". No more two but one.

    "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

    The child is also not born "half Jew, half gentile". It's one or the other? What of the men who put away their foreign wives and children?

    I'm guessing the Jewish woman who married a foreigner left the congregation?

    1. Anon,

      Wrong subject, we were talking about a ger who became a citizen of Israel.

      I never said anything about marriage, and even in marriage, my wife is still very distinct from me, in fact, so much so, that while I am at work, she is at home, two separate people. We did not morph into one person, last time I checked, and thank God for this, I am still a man, and my wife is still a woman. We did not morph into one flesh creature unknown to all mankind... thus you argument is a metaphor trying to be applied to a literal application, it does not work.

    2. Zion, love the sarcasm! lol

      The question is not what Zion believes, but what the Torah teaches. Perhaps I jumped ahead by referring to marriage. But, what exactly do you think the covenant is? Your marriage to your wife is both a literal application and a metaphor. The Torah teaches that, so does the New Testament.

      Now, the following you might realize is metaphor but also reality morphed into one teaching.

      1) Jerusalem is "a ger".
      2) She was adopted by the Father and given his name.
      3) She is born again from above and becomes "The New Jerusalem".
      4) She marries Yeshua Messiah her King.

      So, to the question.."Does not Paul state here that "they" were once gentiles (in the flesh) and now are Israelites (in the flesh). ?"

      When the King of Israel marries a ger, does she become Israel?

      Keep in mind "The Church" (The New Jerusalem) is female although we as individuals will become neither but as the angels.

      We will be in glorified bodies Jew and Gentile?

      No, we will be something new! The process is already started, we are changing.

      "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful."

    3. Anon,

      And again you are taking a metaphor and trying to turn it into a literal meaning... it does not work that way, if it was simply literal, their would be no purpose for a metaphor.

      You do not actually believe Yeshua is going to literally marry a city do you?

      When the bible says that Yeshua is the sacrificial lamb, do you actually believe Yeshua is no longer human, but a lamb? Because according to your interpretation above, I would need to believe Yeshua was a lamb and not a human.

  8. "You do not actually believe Yeshua is going to literally marry a city do you?"

    Well, that's a good question. You don't really believe G-d married Israel? It's just a metaphor? You may be right, I'm just asking.

    Just what does it mean that Yeshua will marry "New Jerusalem".

    What is marriage but a covenant between two parties, and only until death parts you?

    Is the covenant a metaphor or a reality, or both?

  9. "an adopted child does not take on the blood of the father who adopted them"

    I wonder what happens to us when we eat his flesh and drink his blood. Now, I can see that is a metaphor, but all metaphor points to some reality?

    If I incorporate Yeshua, do I become something different than someone who has not incorporated Yeshua?

    What makes Israel Israel? Did not both sons have the blood of Abraham? I thought Yeshua taught it was not the blood, but the Father?

    "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

    But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

    Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

    Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

    Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
    Ye are of your father the devil"

    So then, Isn't Israel those whose Father is G-d and not who has the blood of Abraham? I wonder if that is what is meant by "he is a Jew who is a Jew at heart"?

  10. So then, Isn't Israel those whose Father is G-d and not who has the blood of Abraham?

    Your belief is basic replacement theology... are you the same guy that was commenting on Gene's blog?

  11. Zion, yes, I was on Gene's blog.

    I finally think I am understanding what you are teaching. You say you are a "son of Abraham" but it's not real, it's only a metaphor?

  12. Is this replacement theology?

    "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."

    If we combine "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."


    "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all."

    If we have the same mother and the same father, are we not the same blood?

    Are we a real body, or temple of the living G-d? Or, is that a metaphor too?

  13. "gentiles can only be sons by faith. We are also what Paul called the grafted in or adopted"

    Actually, didn't Paul say it was the Israelite that was adopted. Or, am I reading it wrong? Didn't he explain it was by the Holy Spirit the gentiles who believe are also adopted?

    "Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen."