As I begin to write this, I know it will rub some people the wrong way. I know that discussions could begin. I’m not one to stir up controversy. I hate debates. I know what I believe in my heart. If you believe differently, than it is between you and God. I simply want to share what Holy Spirit has revealed to me over the past 20 years. It brought freedom to my soul and spirit. I found peace in the middle of the storms. I can only pray it stirs an awakening inside of you and brings you to a new place with your Father.
Just over 20 years ago I began to learn about Israel. I freely admit that early on I was hesitant. I enjoyed going to groups that taught a “Hebrew Roots” understanding, but it was more head than heart. Than in early 2005 that changed and I knew Israel would be an important part of my life.
That fall I took my first trip to Israel. The Lord brought circumstances into my life that allowed me to live there for the fall. It grew until travel back and forth happened for several years, than I lived there for a longer season.
Every time I went I felt like I was home. When I was there for long periods of time, I missed aspects of life in the US, but I knew I was where HE wanted me.
During these years I learned that the church did NOT replace Israel as presented by some teachers. Jesus did NOT start something “new” that did away with the “old.” We are NOT supposed to disregard the commandments in the OT because Jesus came and showed us love.
My heart hurts that these things are still actively taught today. It really should not be called the “old” and “new” testaments. It makes it sound like one should be done away with. The “old” is actually the FOUNDATION for what the disciples, prophets and apostles wrote about after Jesus lived on this earth. When the disciples, prophets and apostles wrote what we call the “new testament” ALL they had to rely on was the Torah and writings of the prophets.
If we truly believe that God NEVER changes, than WHY WOULD HE CHANGE HIS MESSAGE???? Why would He send a Son to save the world who would change His teachings???? Yes, Jesus changed the world, but He NEVER changed the message and commands of God! Jesus was the WORD of God in the flesh and He LIVED and BREATHED the commands of Torah.
There is a book by David Friedman called, “They Loved the Torah” that explains this truth in depth. Jesus and the Disciples were Jews who LIVED Torah and FOLLOWED the commands God gave Moses and the Children of Israel when they left Egypt. Those commands allowed the Jews to survive and because they LIVED, Jesus was born!
Jesus and the Disciples did NOT break the commands, rather they LIVED them to the fullest! To be honest, those who broke the commands were the Pharisees and Sadducees because they put up man-made religious fences to try and keep the commands of God. By doing so, they actually caused heart-ache in the eyes of God because they did not have a relationship with Him. They were caught more in the “how and why” of doing something than in the concept that God had written His Truth on their hearts and all they had to do was LISTEN to Him! Many people still live in this type of religion today. Jesus taught against this form of religion.
Romans 11 is all about Gentiles being “grafted into” this special group of people that God calls “His Children.” Those who have chosen to follow His Son are also heirs to this Kingdom. Those who choose to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who believe that Jesus was sent by God to put His Kingdom on earth and be the Messiah for ALL who believe, those people now have the right to be called, “Children of God.”
BUT, we do NOT replace the Jews. We now walk alongside them and support them. We now look to them and their teachings to teach us. It is a side-by-side working together to understand the ways of God in a deeper way. They can teach us and we can teach them.
There is NO old and new. There is a foundation that was laid by God through Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the Children of Israel. When Jesus came He helped it grow. He brought it LIFE and LIFE more abundant. Humans have messed it up and tried to remove God’s people from the equation. God’s TRUTH doesn’t change.
Deuteronomy 7:12-14 “Because you are listening to these rulings, keeping and obeying them, Adonai your God will keep with you the covenant and mercy that he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you, bless you and increase your numbers; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground — your grain, wine, olive oil and the young of your cattle and sheep — in the land he swore to your ancestors that he would give you. 14 You will be blessed more than all other peoples;
Isaiah 61:9 Their descendants will be known among the nations, their offspring among the peoples; all who see them will acknowledge that they are the seed Adonai has blessed.
Romans 11:2-12 God has not repudiated his people, whom he chose in advance. Or don’t you know what the Tanakh says about Eliyahu? He pleads with God against Isra’el, 3 “Adonai, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars, and I’m the only one left, and now they want to kill me too!” 4 But what is God’s answer to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not knelt down to Ba‘al.” 5 It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 (Now if it is by grace, it is accordingly not based on legalistic works; if it were otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.) 7 What follows is that Isra’el has not attained the goal for which she is striving. The ones chosen have obtained it, but the rest have been made stonelike, 8 just as the Tanakh says, “God has given them a spirit of dullness — eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, right down to the present day.” 9 And David says, “Let their dining table become for them a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a punishment. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they can’t see, with their backs bent continually.” 11 “In that case, I say, isn’t it that they have stumbled with the result that they have permanently fallen away?” Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Moreover, if their stumbling is bringing riches to the world — that is, if Isra’el’s being placed temporarily in a condition less favored than that of the Gentiles is bringing riches to the latter — how much greater riches will Isra’el in its fullness bring them!
God established Israel so that she would show us the way. When Israel chose to disobey, God’s plan was ALWAYS that Gentiles would be allowed to understand too. We as Gentiles are supposed to provoke Israel to jealousy. Once all of these things occur, Israel will bring its fullness and riches too!
Friends, it is time we stop looking at old and new. It is time we see the Bible as ONE COMPLETE teaching that builds on the foundations God gave FROM THE BEGINNING. Be a part of the remnant that God has kept through the ages.
Photo by Stacey Franco on Unsplash