Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Priority or Enemy?

Paul seems to say two different things:

(1) Jews are enemies as regards the Gospel:


"As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers," (Romans 11:28)

(2) Yet the Gospel is to the Jew first:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile," Romans 1:16

The frightening thing is that Israel's heart has been hardened which is the same thing that happened to Pharaoh:

"16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden," (Romans 9:16-18)


Does this mean that a judgment is coming to Israel?  And what will this judgment mean for Messianics that have been grafted into Israel?

I'm just asking.  Don't get mad at me for asking.

20 comments:

  1. Check the Greek on Romans 11:28... I think you're using an old version of the ESV which throws in 'of God'.

    Pete

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    1. Yes, good point. However, it still says that they are enemies toward us for spreading the gospel. So this appears to be connected to the "hardening" of the heart. They hate the Gospel because of a hardened heart. But they have a hardened heart because of a judgment.

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  2. I'd say 70AD until about 1949 was the judgement...

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    1. But their hearts are still hard, are they not? Is a hard heart a blessing or a judgment?

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    2. Honestly; it's tough to say...I don't think we will truly be able to tell until we (Yeshua's disciples) begin to properly represent Him and His teachings.

      Based on my experience the teachings coming out of mainstream Christianity do more harm than anything else and must be corrected before a Jew will even begin to listen to you (us) about Yeshua.

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    3. Andre,

      It's not tough to say. A hardened heart is not a blessing. We can say that definitively. It is a judgment.

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  3. You always leave something out...Did you forget about the covenant that God has with Israel? Did He have one with Pharaoh?

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    1. So Israel can't be under judgment because it is in covenant? What about Deuteronomy 28?

      Listen to what Yeshua says in Matthew 24:

      "15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again."

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    2. Dan,

      "5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. "

      Has Israel taken back all of the Land of the Ancestors? No. So this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. And why not? Because of this part:

      "2 and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes"

      It is a matter of the heart. And what does Paul say? G-d has brought about a hardening of the heart.

      We won't see Deut. 30 come to pass until the matter of the heart has been taken care of.

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    3. How can they obey Him with all their heart and soul in exile where there was no functioning priesthood and a Temple?

      God says he will still forgive them...Equating them with Pharaoh is not good exegesis...

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    4. Dan,

      The issue is not whether they are like Pharoah or whether G-d will forgive them (they are not like Pharoah and G-d will eventually forgive Israel--those things are a given).

      The issue is how to share the gospel when we're speaking as a community that largely does not appreciate or follow Jewish tradition and Law.

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  4. You should really read Mark Nanos about it:
    http://www.marknanos.com/Callused-CentralSBL-5-6-10.pdf

    This is about the hardened issue. The issue of "enemy" is better treated on his book: The mistery of romans. Anyone who wants to get started in understanding Paul in his jewish context should be a eager reader of Nanos.

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    1. Thank you. I look forward to reading what he has to say.

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    2. Enjoyed the article. I think Nanos has a problem with the idea that Israel has done anything wrong and that it could be under any kind of judgment. It doesn't matter whether we use the term "hardened" or "calloused", the effect is the same: Jews HAVE (by and large) rejected Yeshua.

      Of course we keep sharing the gospel with them. That said, there is something spiritual going on here that everyone should be aware of. It's a matter of the heart. If you believe the Torah then you believe in Yeshua--this is from Yeshua Himself.

      What will make them accept Yeshua? Well, I don't claim to have a grasp on the book of Revelation. But it will take something monumental to make Israel see that Yeshua is the Messiah.

      I think all we can do now is to plant seeds for that future event. And we should know that the time is very short now.

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    3. I came away with the same impression Peter.

      Side note:
      I also noticed he said the tree of ingrafting is not Israel, he said he is not sure what the tree represents, he's only sure it does not represent Israel... lol, loved it. "I don't know what it is, I know what it isn't." Nanos has a lot of bias in the text, I can't tell whether he is more concerned with upholding the text or upholding is own world view...

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    4. What will make them accept Yeshua? Well, I don't claim to have a grasp on the book of Revelation. But it will take something monumental to make Israel see that Yeshua is the Messiah.

      I think all we can do now is to plant seeds for that future event. And we should know that the time is very short now.


      I agree, with your sentiments, no one really knows how it will all happen, but we need to be planting seeds. We are given the impression from scriptures in Deut and Romans, that somehow God is going to use a foolish group of gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy, this has never happened in history, but maybe it will happen in the future, maybe we are those foolish gentiles... it is time to start stirring the pot. :P

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    5. The Israel as not the tree stuff really is funny, but the callused makes all the difference: they are not hardened as Pharaoh was in order to be condemned, but they are protected. The article is good, but the book is really the best one! You should really read it!

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  5. Yes we know how it will happen...Zech. 12:10-14.

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    1. Perfect passage to quote. It is powerful and it shows that G-d is the one who causes heart-change:

      "10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.[b] 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves."

      Thanks for the reference, Dan.

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