Earlier today I came across this in Nanos' "The Irony of Galatians":
"The receipt of the Holy Spirit of God and miracles wrought among themselves bear witness that they are righteous ones--while yet remaining non-Jews-for they are children of Abraham, indeed children of God, and thus full heirs.This is Bilateralism in a nutshell, the idea that Gentiles are excluded from citizenship/membership in Israel (contra Eph. 2). And if excluded from citizenship in the Kingdom of Israel then Gentiles have no rights--and they are left in limbo--neither proselyte (covenant member) nor "guest" (non-covenant member):
These Gentiles, in Paul's view...are now equal in status with the historical righteous ones of God....These Gentiles have not become Jewish proselytes but fellow heirs of Abraham while remaining members of the nations....They have become the equivalents of proselytes--righteous ones of God though not of Israel, of a new community creation consisting of Israel and the nations worshipping together..." pg. 99
Footnote pg. 99: "...I believe [Gentiles] are rather equal with [Israelites], though actually remaining righteous Gentiles, so that both Israel and the nations are represented as one...though different relative to membership in Israel."
"But for these Gentiles, according to Paul's response in this letter, that will no longer do: Gentiles in Christ are not to regard themselves as liminals on the way to becoming proselytes and certainly not as mere guests needing to now commence this process," pg. 96.Well, that clears it up: Gentiles are not proselytes (family of Israel) nor are they "guests" (non-family members). What schizophrenic nonsense!
Did Yeshua come to bestow "liminal"(i.e. ambiguous) status on Gentiles? Did He come only to offer confusion and insecurity?
Or is it possible that Gentiles have a "right" to the Torah?
"Moses commanded us a Law, even the inheritance (Heb: "Morasha"; LXX: "Kleronomia") of the congregation of Jacob," (Deut. 33:4)If the Torah is only the inheritance of Israel then the only way Gentiles could have a "right" to this inheritance would be to somehow become part of the family of Israel. Thankfully, Yeshua is Israel (See Ex. 4:22, Hosea 11:1, and Matt. 2:14-15). Thus, given that Gentiles have "adoption to sonship through Yeshua the Messiah" (Eph 1:5), they also become adopted into the family of Israel and have a very real status as citizens in the Kingdom of Israel (Eph 2:12).
Still, the following passages seem to beg the question "what is the inheritance?":
"That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs (sunkleronoma), and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Messiah by the gospel" (Eph. 3:6)
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance (kleros) of the saints in light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.(Col. 1:12).If we consider that the Torah literally means "light" (from Hebrew word for light) then following passages help explain that Yeshua is the real Torah:
'I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"(John 8:12)
"Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a Light on my path." (Psalm 119:105)
So the Kingdom of Israel is a Kingdom of Light, illuminated by the Torah which is Yeshua. This helps us then to understand Eph. 3:6 and Col. 1:12--Gentiles may give thanks for being able to enter the Kingdom of Light.
This is the message then of the true Gospel (Good News): Gentiles do not have to live in a realm of darkness (a Torah-less Kingdom) but through Yeshua have an inheritance in the Realm of Light, the Kingdom of Israel.
The Bilateralist then preaches a different Gospel, that Gentiles are excluded from the Kingdom of Light, doomed to a realm of darkness outside of Israel.