Originally Posted 12/29/2013
Proud and arrogant professing Christians among the Gentiles have failed to heed the apostle Paul’s warning not to go there. With the rise of manmade Christianity the religion in the second century already there were anti-Semitic voices among church leaders. By the 4th century Catholic bishop, Augustine of Hippo, through his allegorical method of interpreting Scripture taught that every promise made to Israel was instead for the Church as its replacement. This wretched and bigoted heresy took hold in Rome and was not forsaken by famous 16th century Protestant Reformation leaders Luther and Calvin nor has it been by many that idolize Augustine and the reformers today. Apparently, reform of the Catholic Church by them was intended to only be selective since replacing Israel with the Church is a sin of magnitude far exceeding for example, “indulgences” in wickedness and destructive damage given the apostle Paul’s plain and specific warning in Romans 11:16-22. 1, 2
How could they miss the fact that biblical Christianity is not some new thing separate and different from Judaism, but in fact, is its completion through Jesus the Jewish Messiah (Matthew 5:17-20)? The New Testament writers to a man certainly understood this to be true. The apostle John in the rich prophetic symbolism of the Lord’s Revelation, records ethnic Israel as His persecuted mother and Christians as “her offspring,” (Revelation 12:1-6, 13-17, NKJV). Interpreting God’s Word and especially prophecy as allegory where not warranted by the text itself is sin because He gave it to be taken literally or else why are we celebrating the prophesied birth of Christ and all that unfolded at His first coming as literal fulfillment? And why are we foolishly even waiting for His prophesied literal Second Coming if all biblical prophecy is obscured in the murky waters of allegory which is open only to speculative, subjective interpretation? 3
(I have posted my blog today to enjoy some extra days off celebrating Christmas. The Lord saying the same, I will post my next blog on Sunday, December 29, 2013. Merry Christmas to you and yours!)
If the cities or names of the seven churches of Asia addressed by the Lord Jesus Christ have any importance at all as to why He chose them, surely, the church at Philadelphia does as a name. Most commentators translate Philadelphia from the Greek as “brotherly love;” a name given to the city by an ancient king to honor his brother. Consistent with this, the Lord’s message to the church there was to His faithful Christian brothers that included those of His Jewish heritage. This is clear to see in the message that would have excited a Jewish Christian more than any Gentile given its quote of Scripture with Jewish specific application, experiences and prophetic references.
The Lord opens His message: “These things says He who is holy, He who is true....” Though all Christians would (or at least should) perk up with a message from the Lord opening like that, the Jewish Christian with joy immediately understands Him to be authenticating Himself as the promised Holy One of God, His Anointed, Son and Himself true God (Psalm 16:8-11, 20:6-9, 89:19-37; Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:6-7, 10:20, 12:4-6; Luke 1:30-35, 2:8-11; John 1:1-9, 14-18, 17:1-3)! Further, to ensure His identifying credentials were not missed, He quotes from Scripture: “He who has ‘the key of David,’ He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens,” (Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 3:7, NKJV).
In quoting from Isaiah’s passage originally spoken about the man that controlled access to king Hezekiah, the Lord instantly affirms its prophetic application to and fulfillment in Himself as the One who exclusively controls access to God His Father (John 14:6). All Christians are supposed to understand why He is the only way to God, but only Jewish saints painfully appreciate how important this is when their own heritage is attempting to block access to God through their common historical and traditional means such as worship at the Temple (destroyed by this time) and the synagogue.5 As in all of the churches, the Lord knew the individual works of those at Philadelphia.
The Lord greatly encourages the individual saints and especially His Jewish kindred of this church by setting “an open door” before them He says, “no one can shut” in applying His quote from Isaiah 22:22. He is doing this He says because they “have a little strength, have kept My Word, and have not denied My name,” (Revelation 3:8, NKJV). As I wrote earlier, historically, the wide river of the Jewish “remnant according to the election of grace” the apostle Paul wrote of (Romans 11:1-5, NKJV) narrowed to a tiny brook with very little influence in Christianity after the 1st century as the Lord here acknowledges and appears to prophetically forecast as their foreseeable future.
The historically oldest of Christians, though tiny, faithful Jewish saints were and would be dogged in displaying spiritual strength, keeping the Lord’s Word and not denying Him through the unimaginable pressure of persecution from family, community and the Gentile nations into which they were scattered with their unbelieving fellow Jews. In what should stagger no one, the Lord lets the Jews that believe in Him know, He sees and is watching them! As a result, His encouragement turns to rewards for faithfulness: future vindication and reversal in the form of former persecutors being forced in the manor of Haman of old to worship His faithful saints (Esther 3, 5:9-6:14; Revelation 3:9).
But His rewards do not end there. The Lord says “Because you have kept (past tense) My command to persevere, I also will keep (future tense) you from the hour of trial (testing) which shall come upon the whole world, to test those (all others) who dwell on the earth,” (Revelation 3:10, NKJV).6 I concur with all that interpret the “hour of trial” the Lord speaks of here as one and the same as “the great tribulation,” (Matthew 24:15-21, NKJV). This being so, His promise of protection cannot be “the rapture” as is taught since Christians are foretold to go through and many suffer martyrdom during it (Revelation 7:9-14).7 In context and consistency with who He is addressing, the Lord’s promise of protection is intended for Jewish Christians primarily living back in Judea at that time!8
Though the Lord’s promise of protection during the hour of trial speaks to the proven Jewish faithful believers in Israel at the time it occurs, this does not preclude Him in sovereignty extending it to select other faithful followers likewise proven throughout the earth. Together they will form the small number who are “alive and remain” at Christ’s Second Coming (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, NKJV). For this reason, the Lord warns He is “coming quickly” and exhorts the faithful to tightly grasp what they have in strength, obedience to His Word and loyalty to Him, so, “no one may take your crown;” unmistakably asserting that even with protection, there will still be persecution pressures (Revelation 3:11, 16:15, NKJV).9 The Lord’s rewards are still not done for those that overcome.
With yet more Jewish significant implications is the Lord’s promise to make him that overcomes “a pillar in the temple” of His God adding, “and he shall go out no more.” Also, He declares, “I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem...And I will write on him My new name,” (Psalm 48:1-3, 137:4-6; Isaiah 66:5-11; Revelation 3:12, 21:1-22, NKJV). Contrary to the lying deceit of these latter days, keeping His Word as it is written remains a critical part of the faithfulness Christ rewards! Those who are not doing so, put themselves in grave peril since disobedience is nowhere rewarded in the Bible (Revelation 3:13). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
5 Jewish persecution had led to those that were Christians being barred from entering or cast out of the Temple in the 1st century and it will be so again briefly when it is
rebuilt (Acts 21:15-30; Revelation 11:1-2).
6 The Lord led me to proclaim a timely six message series, The Hour Of Testing, now available in the Strong Man Store that instructs Christians on God’s biblically
taught purposes behind why He tests His people and fully explores the prophetic implications tied to the coming hour of trial our Lord speaks of in this post. Listen
to the series sample.
7 Faithful to the death as those at Smyrna, having overcome they will not be touched again by death; raised as they will be to eternal life and glory by Christ at the first
resurrection (John 5:28-29; Revelation 2:11, 14:12-13, 20:4-6, 11-15)!
8 What an amazing affirming prophetic disclosure by the Lord to Jewish Christians and all the church at Philadelphia, His faithful! Dispersed to the nations, as the Old
Testament prophets and He foretold, the Jews would one day return to their land and among them would be those that are followers of Him as Messiah (Matthew 24:
15-16; Mark 13:16). This prophecy of a return to the land became reality in 1948 when Israel once again became a nation with Jews from all over the world streaming
home since. Here again is the immutability of God on display to the world before our eyes (Malachi 3:6)! During this period of the return, growth in the number of
Jewish followers of Christ--many calling themselves Messianic--in Israel (still with hostility and persecution) and around the world has exploded though, their numbers
are still relatively small compared to the larger number of all Jews and their professed Gentile Christian brethren (Psalm 118:23-24)! Thank you, my brethren, for
your millennia long perseverance under trial in obedience to your Messiah--longer than any other ethnic group and an example to all in His Body! We who love you
rejoice in His righteousness of rewarding you in every way He will! Stay faithful through all that is yet to shortly come. To learn more about them, type “Messianic
Jews” into your favorite search engine.
9 Those who doubt the Lord can protect and preserve His people during times of persecution as well as His own acts of judgment should again acquaint themselves
with His Word as it is written (Exodus 8:20-24, 10:21-23, 12:21-23; Psalm 5:11-12; Joel 3:16; Matthew 2:7-15; Acts 12:1-11 as samples)!
As the Lord led me to write in the two-part post, Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time under the category, Bible Prophecy, starting January 5, 2020, He fully commended only two of those churches whose faithful individual members had stood and would stand to the end. Besides having the Lord’s full commendation, these two churches also share in common persecution stemming from the same source He identifies as “those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not,” (Revelation 2:9, 3:9, NKJV). However, one church He urges to “Be faithful until death” to gain a crown while the other is to remain faithful so no one takes theirs (Revelation 2:10, 3:11, NKJV).
In the midst of another growing wave of irrational anti-Semitism around the world, because of love for my Lord Jesus Christ who as I stated in a recent post is Jewish forever (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; Revelation 5:1-5, 22:16) and His people the Jews,1 I confess some discomfort at the prospect of being lumped in with those who hate them just for the cause of putting this post into its proper historical context and trumpeting the glorious prophetic end that results. Nevertheless, it is in the pure joy of celebrating that near at hand glorious prophetic end that I proceed; trusting that the Lord who has set me on this course will vindicate me in motive and His purpose.
Indeed, as the resurrected Lord Himself presents in messages to His two faithful churches, the Jews were vigorous persecutors of 1st century A.D. Christians. This is as He foretold and warned His Jewish disciples about when He was persecuted and about to be put to death by their religious leaders in Israel (John 15:18-16:4). Though the Gentile Roman Governor, Pilate, gave the order for His crucifixion, it was the Jewish religious leaders that had plotted, instigated and advocated for it (John 11:45-53, 18:1-14, 28-19:22)! Even so, He voiced His love for them all from the cross (Luke 23:34). After His death, Jewish leaders sought to cover up His resurrection (Matthew 27:62-28:15).
In fulfillment of prophecy, the risen Lord commanded His disciples turned apostles to proclaim the Gospel about Him “to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” which He reiterated just before His ascension back to Heaven and after being queried by them about the restoration of Israel’s kingdom (Isaiah 49:5-6; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-8). Only a short time after persecuting Christ to the death, the Jewish religious establishment started in on His apostles to root out and destroy the growing number of Jews becoming Christians if at all possible (Acts 4:1-22). The whole rest of the Book of Acts documents the persistent opposition of Jews to the Gospel across the Roman Empire.
By the time of Christ’s end of the 1st century Revelation that gives us the one and only post-ascension description of Him in His glory (Revelation 1:9-18);2 after the Temple and Jerusalem were destroyed and they scattered to the nations in A.D. 70 by the Romans as He foretold (Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:20-24), Jewish opposition and persecution of Christians is still strong as the Lord’s messages to the faithful churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia demonstrate. Part of the reason for their opposition to this day is divine judgment and part is the unbelief common to all mankind until the illumination of grace and salvation through faith (John 6:41-45, 12:37-41; Romans 9:6-11:10).
In declaring that those opposing the Gospel and Christianity “say they are Jews, and are not, but lie,” the Lord is not denying their natural descent from Abraham. He echoes what He spoke while on earth and later taught through the apostle Paul that a Jew God regards for now is one spiritually through new birth by the Holy Spirit of first importance (John 8:37-43; Romans 2:17-29, 4). Labeling them in their opposition to the point of blasphemy at Smyrna and Philadelphia as “a synagogue of Satan,” identifies its ultimate evil source and portrays their base of operations (John 8:44-47; Revelation 2:9, 3:9, NKJV). That opposition would stir up and be joined by Gentile authorities leading to the suffering, arrest, imprisonment and martyrdom of many Jewish and Gentile Christians.3
Dominant in the first generation of Christianity as it was spread by the apostles, Jewish Christians in the centuries that passed thereafter seemed to nearly disappear so small did their numbers become as a minority among Gentile churches.4 Many, of course, tried to maintain ties to their Jewish community to include the synagogue, but to this day continue to endure the hostility and rejection the Lord Jesus apparently addresses in His message to the church at Philadelphia. For while all of what He says is encouraging to any Christian seeking to be faithful under similar circumstances as I have personally experienced, the Lord’s message to the church at Philadelphia I am convinced of Him has special significance to those of His Jewish heritage.
1 See the February 2, 2020 post, Ethnically Diverse Mankind Is Of God, under the categories Black History and God’s Creatures.
2 Not only do we have an amazing description of the glorified Jesus Christ in His Revelation, but an objective reading of it puts more of His Lion Persona on display than
in the Gospels. This is because His first coming as the Lamb (gentle and lowly) was about being approachable and sacrificing Himself to take “away the sin of the
world,” (Matthew 11:28-30; John 1:29, NKJV). Mission accomplished, glorified and reigning seated on His Father’s throne at His right hand, Lord King Jesus is a Lion
(strong and a warrior) firmly in charge; ruling, judging and about to bring the Kingdom of God to earth in power, great glory and divine wrath at His Second Coming
(Revelation 2:5, 16, 21-23, 3:3, 14-19, 6:12-17, 19:11-16)! He is that Lion and Lamb composite (Revelation 5:5-6) the Father wills to make us over to be in Christ’s
image as aspiring strong men and great women of God (Romans 8:29)! Learn more about this in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy
or digital download at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy in the
Strong Man Store.
3 Severe persecutions by Gentiles would continue until in a few centuries, Christianity became accepted in the Roman Empire and a growing number of Gentile nations
beyond though, they would not cease entirely; continuing somewhere on earth to this very hour to the end and shortly to go global as the Lord Jesus foretells (Matthew
4 To learn more about Jewish Christians after the 1st century read this Wikipedia article. Life in predominantly Gentile churches was difficult for the tiny remnant of Jewish
Christians over the centuries especially when in the arrogance of manmade religion, many of their ostensible Gentile brothers turned on, mistreated and persecuted
them as anti-Semites. Persecution became all the more intense when professed Gentile Christians joined with their wider community of unbelievers such as during
Spain’s inquisitions, Hitler’s ovens and Stalin’s gulags. To the world, a Jew was a Jew whether a Christian or not. Fear of certain reprisal is no doubt why in part Jewish
persecution of Gentile Christians became rare.
In follow up to the two-part post, Christ’s Message To His Faithful, under the categories Bible Prophecy and Encouragement I concluded this past February 23, 2020, the Lord has led me to write this post specifically to Gentile Christians of any ethnicities that may have been offended He might actually retain a kinship love for His own ethnic people, the Jews. Though some would try to rebuke me on what they consider biblical grounds, the Lord rebukes and calls all that are guilty to repent from willfully forgetting biblical Christianity is of Jewish origin--He is first of all the promised Jewish Messiah and as He asserted to a Samaritan woman, “salvation is of the Jews,” (John 4:19-26, NKJV).1
Though Christianity after the end of the 1st century to this hour appears to have become a distinctly Gentile thing because the Jewish number of believers became so small, nothing could be further from the truth. The numerical dominance and power of Gentile Christians and their churches does not mean God had permanently cast aside the Jews, intended their full cultural assimilation to the abandonment of their own or cared nothing about their tiny presence in the midst. Only the most arrogant of Gentiles could believe this in willful defiance of Scripture and thus, scoff at any prospect Christ might speak to His Jewish brethren in their midst and would even attempt to replace Israel.
However, their historic small numbers and being dispersed throughout the earth has nothing to do with a plan by God to eliminate the Jews as His chosen people or replace Israel with the Church. The Lord Jesus affirmed what the Old Testament prophets beginning with Moses foretold that a day would come when the Jews would be scattered to the nations by God as judgment for disobedience and unfaithfulness to Him to include rejecting His Anointed (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Luke 13:34-35, 19:41-44, 21:20-24). Specifically in Luke 21:24, the Lord indicates the Jewish dispersion and trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles is tied and limited to “the times of the Gentiles,” (NKJV).
The times of the Gentiles about to be up is the period of time God has allotted for the punishment of the Jewish people, global dominion of Gentile nations and proclamation of the Gospel to them before His predetermined end (Hosea 5:14-6:3; Matthew 24:14). Indeed, God has foreknown the number of Gentiles to be saved from eternity as the great Jewish apostle to us Gentiles, Paul, intimates in Romans 11:25! And without coincidence, the apostle’s strongest statements about the proper attitudes saved Gentiles ought to have toward God and the Jews is made in his letter to the church at Rome that later became the largest professed Christian Gentile persecutor of the Jews.
Not arrogance and proud boasting, but humility, fear and thanksgiving to God for His grace and mercy to save from among us Gentiles; loving concern for the salvation of the unsaved Jew, love, admiration toward and support as needed for the Jews that are our brothers in the faith Paul instructs are our proper attitudes (Romans 11:11-24, 15:25-27). Always consistent, Christ through this same apostle teaches that our spiritual unity and equal standing in Him does not now, somehow obliterate our ethnicity, social condition or gender (Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 3:9-11). As a result, Christ does not lose sight of His Jewish people within His Church nor should we in all joy for them.2
Therefore, the Lord had me uncover and unpack the truth of His continuing vigilant observance of His Jewish faithful among all in Revelation 3:7-13; the truth obscured because interpreting eyes for centuries have been European Gentiles in dominance that refused to believe the Lord would care to make sure His Jewish brethren among them heard from Him too.3 Being part of a despised ethnic minority, I fully understand how the sin of racist superiority works to discount those considered inferior and of no account. Consequently, I praise and thank God for giving me the illumination, interpretative wisdom untarnished by Eurocentric or my own prejudices and courage to declare the encouragement the Spirit gives to the Jews amidst all of the Lord’s faithful in the churches.
Among all that enter the approaching hour of testing as Christians will be Jews to be martyred or protected in accord with the sovereign Christ’s criteria of previously proven faithfulness.4 Among all of those raised from the dead or translated alive to immortal glory at His Second Coming will be Jews (Daniel 12:1-3; Mark 13:14-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)! Stunned in great sorrow at first, but relieved in His forgiveness will be the unsaved, elect Jewish remnant who had been marked out, protected and preserved for the Day of their Messiah’s appearing (Ezekiel 9, 20:33-38, 39:21-29; Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Romans 11:26-36; Revelation 1:7, 7:1-8, 11:15-12:9, 13-16, 16:12-16, 19:11-21).5 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The Lord has had me write to remind us Gentiles of these truths in several previous posts. See for example, the two-part post that begins on January 28, 2014, Jesus:
The Jewish Messiah, under the category, Holidays.
2 So much for any rebuke on biblical grounds for discussing ethnicity at all in His Church much less Christ as the consummate Israelite who eternally loves His people
whoever they stand among. I wrote about the corrupt abuse of Galatians 3:26-29 and Colossians 3:9-11 as it concerned gender in the September 8, 2019 post, Con-
fusing The Issue, under the category, Call To Repent and urge you to read it.
3 These are the same folk in religion that guilty, presented the world a white, blue eyed, feminized Jesus with long flowing blond hair in their image, false justification
from the Bible for their cruel enslavement of my forefathers and the mis-timed “rapture” with supporting fiction in part, to avoid enduring anything like the same kind of
painful suffering their kindred nations have dealt and will yet deal out upon others until Christ intervenes in judgment at His coming and Kingdom (Daniel 2:31-45).
4 The Lord led me to proclaim a timely six message series, The Hour Of Testing, now available in the Strong Man Store that instructs Christians on God’s biblically taught
purposes behind why He tests His people and fully explores the prophetic implications tied to the coming hour of trial our Lord speaks of in Revelation 3:10. Listen
5 Read the June 12, 2016 post, The Day Of Israel’s Comfort, under the category, Bible Prophecy. How wonderful beyond words as the Lord showed me that even in His
glorious coming, imagery depicting the correspondence between Him and their forefather, Joseph, is used Jews can relate to (Genesis 37:31-36; Revelation 19:13)!
No one has been waiting longer for a single event than the Jews! Indeed, as an ethnic people they have been waiting for the coming of their King, the Son of David, nearly three thousand years if one begins at God’s covenant with their second king; almost four thousand years if God’s promise of a “Seed” made to Abraham is the starting point (Genesis 22:18; 2 Samuel 7:12-17; Galatians 3:15-18). The many wait to this day for God’s Anointed and their King as a never having ever occurred event because as their first century forefathers in unbelief, they did not take to heart the prophecy of Daniel for example, that counted down the time of His coming (Daniel 9:20-27).
The birth of Jesus of Nazareth not only perfectly fit Daniel’s prophetic timeline, but the prophesied genealogy of Israel’s King as the Son of David and Abraham as well as the miraculous nature of His conception and place of birth foretold in complete accuracy some seven hundred years before (Matthew 1:1-2:12; Luke 2:1-7)!1 And though He did many miraculous signs and wonders and taught among them with authority, knowledge and wisdom as no one ever before (or since), the Jewish religious leaders especially refused to believe in and rejected Him; instigating His death on the cross to be rid of Him (John 4:46-54, 6:1-21, 7:10-52, 11:45-57, 12:37-41, 18:1-14, 19:1-24, 28-30).
This all happened as Peter later preached to the Jews after the Lord’s resurrection according to “the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God,” (Acts 2:22-24, NKJV). The divine purpose was as the high priest unwittingly prophesied: ‘“...it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish,’” (John 11:49-52, NKJV). Thus, through the evil plotting and treachery of their religious leaders, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ occurred precisely as the Jewish prophets (including king David) had foretold far in advance to save the willing from their sins among them first (Psalm 69:1-21; Isaiah 50:4-6, 52:13-53; Acts 2:25-40, 3:18-26)!2
But thanks be to God from this Gentile among all others who have been saved by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ since the Gospel began to be proclaimed to us also by His apostles beginning with Peter according to His foretold will and plan (Isaiah 42:5-9, 49:1-6, 61:1-2; John 3:16-17; Acts 1:4-8, 10:1-48). After this, the Lord called and specially set apart another Jewish man to be His apostle to us Gentiles; Saul of Tarsus, also named Paul whose calling and conversion I recently wrote about.3 His missionary journeys and tireless labor brought the Gospel to Gentiles throughout much of the Roman Empire; paving the way for our joy the world over (Romans 15:7-13)!
Meantime, while not excluding the Jews from continuing to hear the Gospel of salvation and the coming Kingdom (Romans 10:14-11:6), during this nearly now, 2,000 years of “the times of the Gentiles” in world dominance and evangelistic focus God has also been fulfilling all that the Jewish prophets beginning with Moses and the Lord Jesus spoke concerning their punishment for sin to include rejecting Him (Deuteronomy 28:58-68; Jeremiah 16:1-13; Luke 13:34-35, 19:41-44, 21:20-24; Romans 11:7-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16, NKJV). And though after being scattered from the land 1,878 years Israel is back in it, “great tribulation” and grief still lie ahead (Matthew 24:15-25, NKJV).
When at last the time of Israel’s comfort comes--the Day of the Lord and triumphant arrival of her long awaited King, she will have “received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins,” (Isaiah 40:1-2; Jeremiah 16:14-18, NKJV).4 The tiny, mortal elect remnant that sees the Lord’s coming will understand what they formerly did not; namely, that their one foretold Messiah and King would come twice (Revelation 1:7, 7:1-8). His first coming was to save them from their sins as God’s “once for all” sacrifice (Romans 1:16-17; Hebrews 9:1-10:18, NKJV). Resurrected, ascended and glorified He returns to fulfill the promises of salvation to the redeemed, deliver remnant Israel and restore David’s kingdom (Isaiah 1:7-9, 10:20-23, 11:11-16; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Ezekiel 37; Romans 11:11-36)!
Consequently, God’s specially marked out and preserved, but unconverted mortal remnant of Jews will receive His promised Messiah and King of Israel; Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God and David who came, was rejected and now, has returned “with great power and glory” as He assured (Mark 13:24-27, NKJV)! In that day, the remnant of Israel will mourn, repent and receive forgiveness (Zechariah 12:10-13:1). They with the entire world will know why the Jews have suffered so. Then, under their King, the nation and the land will be restored exceedingly beyond the days of David’s reign so that they are the times of the Jews throughout the whole earth (Isaiah 49:7-26; Ezekiel 36, 39:21-29; Zechariah 2, 8:18-23, 14:16-21)! The King waits only on His Father for this (Psalm 110).
1 Read the two-part December 2013 repost, Jesus: The Jewish Messiah, under the category, Holidays, the first post of January 28, 2014.
2 For this cause, I rejoiced when the Lord led me to use the rendition of the praise song, Praise Adonai, by Messianic Jewish Worship Leader, Paul Wilbur, in our first Strong
Man Of God Online Rally. Seeing Jewish Christians who were the first take their place among us Gentiles at this hour means we have now, come full circle from the first
century (Luke 13:22-30). This is also yet another sign the Lord is at hand! Nevertheless, He warns Jewish Christians they should not be corrupted by any Gentile Christian
adulation or heretical doctrines nor should they be accorded infallibility by Gentile Christians apart from God’s whole Word as it is written (Acts 10:24-26, 15:1-21; Titus 1:
10-16; 2 Peter 1:16-2:3). You can view the Online Rally on our Web Site Page, https://thestrongmanofGod.org/Webcast or if you prefer, directly at this genuine and safe
YouTube link, https://youtu.be/m78j5JaRrIc.
3 See the August 1, 2021 post, Jesus Christ King And Judge!, under the category, Instruction.
4 Read the June 12, 2016 post, The Day Of Israel’s Comfort, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
The inward and supernatural character of the New Covenant is what gives rise to the apostle Paul’s rebuke of his fellow 1st century Jews still seeking to relate to God and earn salvation by attempting to keep the Law through their own strength and effort (Romans 2:25-29). Graciously included in the New Covenant, we Gentiles that believe do not have to futilely attempt to keep God’s Law and commandments in our own strength and effort either nor become Jews and practice Jewish rituals to be saved since it is impossible (Romans 3:9-20). But saved exclusively by grace through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit does His work in us too (Romans 3:21-30; 15:8-13)!
Just because we do not attempt by any means to keep God’s written Law and commandments to be saved in the New Covenant, does not mean God has voided their authority in our lives as Paul makes very plain in His anointed teaching (Romans 3:31, 7:1-14). Indeed, he uses his own experience as a Jewish Christian to illustrate how those “in Christ Jesus” go from futility because of sin in the face God’s written Law and commandments to victory through the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives. For not only does He put God’s Law and commandments in our minds and write them on our hearts, but He also fills us with love and power to fulfill and do them (Romans 7:15-8:6; Ephesians 3:14-21, NKJV)!3
This is what is fully behind the apostle’s instruction contrasting the Law as the physical “letter” written on stone that kills and it written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:1-6, NKJV). By letter in context, he does not mean “the letter of the law” as in legalism (though it too, kills), but as representative of the whole of God’s Law and commandments with the statutes, judgments, ordinances and instructions to Israel in all of the Old Testament as part of their Old Covenant relationship. These are perfect, but kill because no sinful mortal can keep them. Despite that, as Holy Scripture, the Old Testament retains beneficial value as Paul instructs his son in the faith (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Truly, with new revelation, the instruction by the Lord Jesus, His apostles and New Testament writers the Holy Spirit uses is an elucidation of the Old Testament as seen by how all quote from it; many using the phrase, “it is written.” From this truth, it should be very apparent that unless context or literary form dictate otherwise, the whole Bible is to be objectively understood through literally interpreting and applying it as it is written!4 So, while Christians do not have to keep any Jewish specific laws or rituals, the Holy Spirit leads us to discern and apply their spiritual, moral and ethical dimensions as well as transcendent truths to our lives (Mark 7:14-23; Acts 10:9-16, 24-29; 15:22-29).
Again, by way of example, Christians do not keep the Sabbath observance on the seventh day of the week as God commanded the Jews. Christians may consecrate any day to God for worship and rest before Him as the fullness of spiritual application of the Law taught by the Lord. Each of us enjoys personal liberty in Christ to select a day or many (Romans 14:1-13). By a voluntary consensus, most Christians have chosen to assemble together on the first day of the week as did the apostles (who as Jews, still also went to the Temple or Synagogue on the Sabbath) in homage to the resurrection of our Lord (Acts 3:1, 13:13-15, 20:7; Colossians 2:16-17).
Yet, as spiritual descendents of the 1st century Judaizers the apostle Paul had to contend with, professed Christian religionists have retained Jewish Sabbath keeping and tithing among many other requirements of the Law legalistically insisted upon in their invented forms of Christianity. Too, they have added church covenants, annual days, traditions, rules and regulations that give the outward appearance of religious devotion5 as well as created heretical doctrines upholding immoral behavior such as racism to this hour.6 These are the true legalists that insist on being saved by keeping the Law that exposes and condemns them (Galatians 3:1-14, 4:9-11, 5:1-15; 1 Timothy 1:3-11). They are also rebels in that they read what God actually commands and ignore it to do what they want.
Other rebels do the same and would corruptly have us believe that the parts of God’s Word they select are to be subjectively understood and subject to flexible interpretation and application. A case where this approach is fully evident in these latter days involves the roles of women in the home and churches. With subjective reading into and willful distorting of very plain Scripture texts as well as a high handed dismissal of Christ’s apostles (especially Paul),7 professed Christian men and women that are guilty set aside God’s order of mankind and direct commandments concerning women (1 Corinthians 14:34-37; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). I with others have stood against them on the Word as it is written as I do in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and are branded legalists.8
Nevertheless, it should be abundantly clear by now that the spiritual, moral and ethical dimensions along with the transcendent truths of God’s Law and commandments in the whole Bible have not been set aside by Him and Christians are expected to obey them. How could God have this expectation if His Word is not to be interpreted and applied literally? Because this is the case, our Lord Jesus even makes obedience to His commandments the proof of our love for Him (John 14:15-24; 1 John 5:3)!9 Therefore, it is not legalism to obey God’s Word properly interpreted and applied as it is written. For also, as we do so in the Spirit, the fully revealed apex of His New Covenant work is accomplished in us (2 Corinthians 3:7-18)!
Woe then, to the professed Christian rebels who reproach those that obey the Lord’s Word as it is written calling them legalists. Without repentance your judgment is near since you teach rebellion against the Lord and His Word as the false prophets of ancient Judah did (Jeremiah 28, 29:30-32). Hell also waits for the true legalists since you hypocritically ridicule and mock those of 1st century Israel and are just like them; those you even teach about that receive the Lord’s harshest words of condemnation (Matthew 23:1-33)! Those that "twist" and set aside God’s Word will not escape the eternal fire either (2 Peter 3:9-16, NKJV). “Blessed” are the Lord’s obedient (Revelation 22:12-17, NKJV)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
3 In the image of Christ, faithful Christians are enabled by the Holy Spirit to love God and neighbor which distilled down to those two commandments as the Lord and the
apostle Paul teach, fulfills the whole Law of God (Mark 12:28-34; Romans 13:8-10)!
4 The Lord has led me to prepare a free, one sheet document entitled, Seven Principles Of Bible Interpretation that readers can download in our Strong Man Store. It will
be helpful in properly interpreting the Bible.
5 A perfect example here is the rule of celibacy Roman Catholicism has imposed on its priests. Neither the Lord Jesus or His apostles anywhere in the New Testament
of the Bible teach celibacy as a requirement for any but the relative few God gifts and calls (Matthew 19:9-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9). For the record, a formal priesthood
of the flesh is not taught either. The sexual abuse scandals that continue to rock this form of Christianity are a direct result of the legalism of manmade religion which
sinfully goes beyond God to add and impose on men a requirement He does not!
6 Catholic and Protestant religionists equally share responsibility for enabling and propping up American slavery and other forms of the historic oppression of blacks and
other minorities rooted not in God’s Word, but sinful racism out of the human heart. Read my September 4, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion American Style, under
the category, Call To Repent.
7 Besides disrespecting apostolic authority, professed Christian male and female feminists pervert New Testament Scripture related to the roles of women in the
churches by attempting to claim Paul among the apostles are captives of their historical context and human in origin social customs that drive their teachings on the
subject. Such a conclusion undermines all New Testament teaching (including that of Christ who does so in the 1st century as a Jewish Man) and blasphemes the Holy
Spirit as an inconsistent, inattentive and sloppy Inspirer and Compiler of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 16; 2 Peter 1:16-21).
8 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store. The Lord has had me set forth
the divine good intent involved with His order of mankind and roles of men and women in my book and many blog posts including most recently, those made April 15-
May 20, 2018 under the category, God's creatures.
9 Read the September 2014 posts on obedience beginning with, Selective Obedience, under the category, Call To Repent. Aspiring strong men and great women of God
in the image of Christ even with many sin failures (confessed, repented of, forgiven and cleansed through His blood--1 John 1:9) are eager to obey God’s Word as it is
written exactly because we love Him--our Savior and Lord--so much (Luke 7:36-50)!
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now