Embrace pure Christianity

How should Christians treat the Jews? How should we treat Judaism?

Did Christianity replace Judaism? Does God still have plans for the nation of Israel?

Right through history, after 70 AD and the destruction of the Jewish nation by the Roman Empire, it really appeared that God was finished with the nation of Israel. The fact however, that God supernaturally brought the Jews back to Israel in 1948 indicates that He still has plans for this nation. If you also take the prophetic Scriptures regarding the restoration of Israel into consideration it is clear that God still does have plans for Israel.

Yes, Christians should love the Jews and they should extend a hand of friendship towards the Jews. Their attitude and acts towards Jesus Christ and the gospel of Christ was inexcusable but we cannot hold that against them. Scriptures indicate that the Jewish nation will repent and they will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This reality and the fulfillment of these prophecies are very near.

God is about to include the nation of Israel in the body of Christ but this time as part of the church. They will no longer be regarded “superior” or “higher” or “special” or “more important” than the gentiles but as equals. This fact is very clear in a number of Scriptures:

Collations 3:10-11

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Romans 10:12

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Although God still has a divine plan for Israel, for some reason the Christian Church stick to the belief that Israel is still the “chosen nation” and they have and will always have this special or superior place in the kingdom of God. Galatians 3:28 clearly says that there is neither Jew nor Greek. The old dispensation is something of the past. All peoples are equal in the sight of God. Christ is all in all. Romans 10:12 says there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. The Scripture says the Lord is rich unto all that call upon Him. This makes all nations equal in God’s sight. Neither Jew nor Greek means that in the church of Christ all are equal. Israel will take up their place in the kingdom of God. Just as all the other nations did. All nations who turn to Christ, as we now see happening in China, is as a nation equal to the Jews. There is absolutely no difference. Israel will not be a special nation in the kingdom of God. All are equal as all the above Scriptures clearly confirm.

We as Christians should love the Jews just like we love other nations of the world. We should pray for the Jews and we should extend a hand of friendship towards the Jews. In the days to come many nations are going to turn their backs on the Jews. The Jews are and will be hated like always. We as Christians should however stand with the Jews. We should show them that they are not alone. We will pray for them and we will help them wherever we can. We should NOT turn our backs on this nation like the rest of the world.

We should however stay true to the word of God and to Christ Jesus. We should stay true to the Christian faith. We should NOT incorporate Jewish rituals and customs into the Christian faith. Do not believe the false doctrine that there is still a place for Judaism or that these rituals are God’s rituals. Christianity did in fact replace Judaism. There are Scriptures that makes this statement as clear as daylight. Even the Jews as a nation, when they accept Jesus Christ, will turn their backs on Judaism. They will become Christians like us. They will replace the old with the new. They will realize and they will undoubtedly know that Christ Jesus did fulfill all those Old Testament Jewish types and shadows that pointed to Christ. They will not keep those rituals anymore for they will know that Jesus Christ fulfilled them all.

Yes, God still has a plan for Israel. He did not completely turn His back on them forever. The nation of Israel will eventually accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. This nation will repent and they will definitely become part of the kingdom of God the same way that the Gentiles became part of the kingdom of God; by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Israel is not condemned forever. The end-time prophecies regarding Israel will still come into fulfillment. The Jews will however definitely be a people equal to the rest of the children of God as these Scriptures above suggest. This is what Duane A. Garrett has to say about this:

Exile and Diaspora are the punishments God imposed on Israel for idolatry and unbelief (Dt 28:64-68; Is 6:11-12; 39:1-7; Jr 6:1-8; 19:1-13; Ezk 5:5-12; Am 8:1-12). Perhaps the primary passage on the subject is Dt 29:24-28: “All the nations will ask, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this land . . .’ Then people will answer, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . . They began to worship other gods . . . Therefore the Lord’s anger burned . . . The Lord uprooted them from their land in His anger, fury, and great wrath, and threw them into another land where they are today.'”

But this is not the whole story. The prophets also claimed that God would restore David’s fallen dynasty (Hs 3:5; Am 9:11) and give Israel a New Covenant to replace the one they had broken (Jr 31:31-34). And now, while Israel is in disobedience and Diaspora, the Gentiles are brought into the New Covenant (Rm 11:25-32). The true end of exile will be when Israel turns to their Messiah, Jesus, mourning over Him whom they have pierced (Zch 12:6-14).

– Duane A. Garrett

These prophecies will come into fulfillment soon. With Christs first coming however, Israel rejected him. God knew that this was going to happen. He knew that Israel will be disobedient again like so many times in the past. The nation of Israel could not surprise God anymore.

Romans 10:21

But to Israel He says, “All day long I have stretched forth My hands to a disobeying and gainsaying people.”

When Christ came to judge the Old Testament nations, He had to judge Israel also. The first nation that rejected Jesus Christ and who rejected the church of Christ, was the Jews. They murdered Jesus and they persecuted and they killed the Christians. John the baptist warned the Pharisees of the coming judgment in Matthew 3:7 when the Pharisees and Sadducees approached him in the desert of Judea:

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who have warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

In verse 10 he warned that the axe is already laid unto the root of the trees and that every tree which bringeth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.

In verse 12 he said that Jesus’ fan is in His hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Although John the baptist knew that the judgment of God is at hand, and although the apostles like John knew that Israel is facing the long promised wrath of God, the Jews were totally unaware of the time they were living in. They were totally unaware of the judgment of God that was upon them. John wrote the following in his letter to the church:

1 John 2:18

Young children [or, Dear children], it is the last hour. And just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, even now antichrists have become many [or, many antichrists have appeared], for which reason we know that it is the last hour.

From the above Scripture it is obvious that John clearly understood that the nation of Israel, at that moment, found themselves in their last hour. John wrote this letter between 47 and 70 AD or a few years after that. There are some scholars who believe that not only the epistles but even the book of Revelations was written before 70 AD. Even those who believe that it was written after 70 AD agree that it was definitely written long before the final judgment of Israel which occurred in emperor Hadrian’s reign in 137 AD. That means that although this letter of 1 John was addressed to the church, it was probably available or accessible to the Jews still in Jerusalem and Judea, who survived the first judgment in 70 AD. It was only after the final judgment during emperor Hadrian’s reign that the Jews were completely exiled from Jerusalem and Palestine. Israel was to be judged as a nation, according to Old Testament prophecies and promises. Christ dealt with Israel separately from the other Old Testament nations. Their judgment was also much more harsh and severe. This started happening in 70 AD. As Jesus prophesied, not even one stone of the temple was left on another. Their house (temple) was made desolate. The city was destroyed. The Jewish faith was destroyed. It started in 70 AD, it carried on in 115 AD and again in 132 AD with the total destruction of the Jewish nation. Even those who survived this ordeal were ruthlessly persecuted through the years. This judgment on Israel never came to an end.

The judgment on the Jews was and still is very severe. Almost 2 million Jews were killed between 70 AD and 136 AD. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were dispersed all over the Roman Empire. Jerusalem was renamed to “Aelia Capitolina”. The Jewish temple was totally destroyed and a heathen temple dedicated to the god Jupiter was built in it’s place. This temple was later destroyed and the Muslim temple of the rock was built in its place. This was God’s way to prevent the Jews from proceeding with Jewish rituals or practicing Judaism again because they need the temple for that. Up to this day the Jews could not sacrifice animals again.

Did you know that after 70 AD, the Jews were driven out of Jerusalem for almost 2000 years. It was only very recently, in 1948, that the Jews officially, but only partially, regained control over Jerusalem and a small portion of the land of Palestine (formerly Judea). In order for the Christian faith, to replace Judaism, God had to remove Judaism. For that reason it practically did not exist for almost 2000 years. Even today, and as from 1948, it exists only theoretically because even today the Jews cannot officially practice their faith. The mere presence of the temple of the rock on the temple mount prevents that from happening.

The Jewish faith and rituals are completely rooted in the temple. The fact is, the Jews haven’t got a temple and according to Scriptures, they will never have a temple again. Yes, the belief that the Jewish temple will be built again is not Scriptural. The Jews will abandon this plan when they accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. They will turn to Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, who is, along with the church, the real temple of God. The Jews will not want a temple. Even today, and not even being repented to Christianity yet, the majority of Jews do not want the temple to be rebuilt and they do not want to revert back to animal sacrifices.

Apparently all the building material for the temple have already been gathered and is stored somewhere. People already have their action plans ready in order to start rebuilding the new temple as soon as the opportunity arises. My opinion however is that this temple will never be built.

Many people who have close relationship with people in Israel and who are involved in evangelical outreaches to Israel all report the same thing: They say that more and more Jews are rapidly converting to Christianity. One preacher reports that he made an invitation to accept Jesus Christ to a Jewish crowd who gathered in a big hall for a meeting. To his surprise everybody in this hall accepted the invitation and became Christ followers. It appears that the veil over their hearts are lifting. Jews are beginning to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and they are beginning to understand the Old Testament prophetic Scriptures pointing to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

One person reports that she had a dream of Jesus Christ slowly walking past the Jewish rabbis at the Western wall in Jerusalem whilst they were praying. He was smiling at them and some of them looked back at Him. The lady reports that the look on these rabbis faces caught her attention. As soon as they made eye contact with Jesus these rabbis appeared to be suddenly recognizing Him as the Messiah. Jesus disappeared and these rabbis slowly walked away into a room. In the dream she followed them. Inside the room these rabbis looked at each other with somewhat stunned faces and then one of them said the following: “This changes everything”.

Now what did this rabbi mean in the dream with these words? My opinion is that this rabbi immediately realized that Christianity is the only true religion on earth. He immediately realized, exactly as Paul wrote in the book of Hebrews that the old must make way for the new. He immediately realized that Judaism is a redundant religion. This implies that the Jews will one day accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah exactly as Old Testament and New Testament prophecies predicted. The words, “This changes everything” is very significant. It implies that the Jews will change their plans, their faith and their ways!

I think this will leave quite a few Christians feeling very awkward that day. I can already see the red faces when the Jews turn to proper and pure Christianity while some Christians are still involved in Old Testament Jewish rituals like keeping the Jewish feasts, holidays, and all sorts of other Jewish rituals. Many Christians still believe the lie that these rituals are not Jewish rituals but God’s rituals. Although this doctrine is absolutely not Scriptural many Christians were conned and are still being conned to take part in these orthodox Jewish rituals. They have given up their freedom in Christ for the very old bondage of legalism once again.

The crux of the matter is that Christianity was never supposed to be mixed with Judaism and should never be mixed with Judaism. The Jews broke the old covenant and God moved on to a new and better covenant. The old cannot run parallel with the new. The old actually does not exist anymore. The old covenant seized to exist after the new came into effect. It is only up to now being kept in place by pure human effort:

Hebrew 8:13

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

In this Scripture it is clear that Judaism was destined to vanish away. This is what Paul told the Jews in the book of Hebrews. Judaism was supposed to disappear when the Messiah came onto the scene. Jesus Christ replaced the temple and Christianity replaced Judaism. Many people do not like this statement but this is the truth. Christianity replaced Judaism. This is a fact. God could not allow this obsolete religion to carry on. That is why emperor Hadrian forbid any Jewish religious rituals to be carried out. They were killed if found circumcising babies or performing any other Jewish rituals. Not a single Jew was allowed to stay in Aelia Capitolina (the old Jerusalem) and even Palestine (the old Judea) for hundreds and even thousands of years. This is very significant; a Jew could not put a foot in Jerusalem for all those years. They could not even visit the old city. Emperor Hadrian populated Aelia Capitolina with Greco-Romans. Judea was renamed to Palestine. The Jewish religion was totally banned and the Jews were dispersed into almost the whole world.

The popular belief that the temple will be rebuilt is not based on prophecies but mere assumptions. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that the temple will be rebuilt. Yes there is a minor group of Jews that want to rebuilt it but that is not proof that it will be rebuilt. Many people ask: What about the temple of Ezekiel? Contrary of what many scholars believe, this temple was not to be rebuilt in future. It was to be rebuilt by the Jews after they were released from captivity through the sanction of Cyrus and his son. The plans were available and were in fact taken into consideration with the rebuilding of the second temple. Eventually they however rebuilt Solomon’s temple. Why?

The reason for this is because there was no everlasting redemption. The Jews were not released from captivity by God because of repentance. They, in fact, did not repent. God allowed Cyrus to release them in order to set the stage for the coming of Christ. It was by then clear that the Jews will not repent and thus the old covenant was broken. He did allow them to rebuilt the temple but not Ezekiel’s temple. If Israel did repent, He would have allowed them to built Ezekiel’s temple. That however did not happen. Had they repented, Ezekiel’s temple would have been an everlasting temple. The old temple of Solomon was rebuilt instead.

It was however not even coming close to Solomon’s temple. Although it was bigger it lacked the grandeur and splendor of Solomon’s temple. And, very significantly, some very important original artifacts were missing: The ark of the covenant, The Urim and Thummim, The holy oil and the sacred fire. This is contrary to the prophet Haggai’s prophecy that the glory of the second temple will exceed the first. This is a very clear indication that the second temple is in fact Jesus Christ and the body of Christ. The second temple of the Jews was only rebuilt to set the stage for Christ’s coming. It was only built to emphasize the shortcomings of the old covenant.

The glory of the new will truly be magnificent. This glory far exceeds the former because God actually wants to dwell in people and not a building made of stone. Jesus and the church are filled with the Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus really is the arc of the covenant and the living God, the Holy Spirit, is also the holy oil and He will lead us and not an Old Testament method, which is the Urim and Thummim:

Haggai 2:3-9

3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? 

4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: 

5 According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 

6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 

7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 

8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 

9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

Now we know that the temple that Zerubbabel and Joshua, the High priest, had in mind was in fact the second Jewish temple. God was however prophetically referring to Christ because the gentiles were included as mentioned in verse 7 and we all know that the second Jewish temple did not exceed Solomon’s temple in glory. It actually fell far short of that.

This is what Mike Clinton has to say about Ezekiel’s temple:

EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE IS NOT A FUTURE TEMPLE

Ezekiel’s Temple is not a future temple. It was a temple that should have been built by the Jews when they returned from the Babylonian captivity. This article gives the reasons for this conclusion.

CHRONOLOGICAL CONFUSION

Ezekiel describes a temple that will have: animal sacrifices, mandatory circumcision: 44:9, separation between Jews and Gentiles: 43:10&11, a return to owning slaves: 46:17, a Temple only for the Jews: 43:10&11.

Because this vision of the Temple (40-48) follows the vision of the final regathering of the Jews and the battle of Gog and Magog (36-39) it has led many to believe it is in the future; but Ezekiel 40 does not follow 36-39 chronologically. This has led to confusion about the Temple being in the future. There is a 13 year gap between ch. 39 and ch. 40, see 32:1

ANIMAL SACRIFICES HAVE BEEN PUT AWAY FOREVER

The idea that there will be a future temple with animal sacrifices is flatly contradicted by everything written in the Epistles. (The Law was still in effect in the Gospels and Acts is a transitional book.)

One of the first books of the Bible that really interested me as a young Christian was the Book of Hebrews. I have read it in excess of a hundred times and studied it through in Greek, looking up every word in its occurrence in the New Testament. The book of Hebrews is a warning to Jews who had suffered persecution because they had become Christians. They were thinking about returning to the Temple and Judaism to escape persecution. The writer of Hebrews warns them that by doing this they would be rejecting Christ’s once for all sacrifice. He tells them that the animal sacrifices have been put away forever and that Christ’s sacrifice was the only sacrifice available to put away sins. Animal sacrifices were no longer valid and the old system would soon vanish away. The Temple would soon be destroyed and the customs of Moses changed.

Here is just one example from Hebrews: 10: 6-14 “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure. Then said I, See, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do your will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From now on expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

MEMORIAL SACRIFICES?

The explanation for this problem is that the sacrifices are only “memorial” sacrifices. Yet Ezekiel plainly says they are sacrifices for guilt and sin: e.g., 43: 19-26 and 45: 17,22.

THERE IS NO MENTION OF EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Hebrews 8:8,9: ‘Behold, the days come when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.’ That new covenant has not yet been made with the nation of Israel, but only with the true Israel of God. Nor can it be made with the Jews until they say ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ But when that covenant is made, it will be ‘not according to the covenant ratified with animal sacrifices and associated with tabernacle service that I made with your fathers….’ But what Ezekiel describes is a re-institution of those very things. Therefore his code is not for Israel in the day when at last they receive the blessings of the New Covenant in Christ.“

EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUILT BY THE RETURNING JEWS

THE KEY TO THE VISION

The key to this vision of the Temple is found in these verses:

Eze. 43:9-11 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

These verses tell us that if the Jews thoroughly repented and were ashamed of all their sins; this temple could be realized when they returned from the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel and the captive Jews were not interested in some distant Temple far in the future. They wanted to know what kind of Temple awaited their return. The destruction of Jerusalem and the first Temple is the context of the vision. 40:1 . What about Jerusalem? What about the temple? Will they be rebuilt? 

THE JEWS ENDEAVORED TO FOLLOW EZEKIEL’S INSTRUCTIONS WHEN THEY RETURNED FROM BABYLON

Rabbi Sholoma Yitzchaki

The second ascent to the Holy Land of Israel during the time of Ezra was meant to be like the first entry through Joshua—to come about by force and through a miracle. This is what the Talmud states, bringing proof from the verse where it states twice [the words] “cross over,” “Your people cross over, O G-d, until this nation that You have acquired crosses over.”

This building would have been fit for them then, when they emerged from exile, had there been an everlasting redemption. However, their sin caused this not to happen for their repentance was not suitable. In other words, they did not resolve to stop sinning. Therefore, they were freed only through the sanction of Cyrus and his son. Some say that their sin in Babylon was that they stumbled regarding gentile women.”

Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin

Indeed, when the Rabbis referred to the second Temple period, they would say it was a partial redemption only. For not only were the Jews still under foreign rule, but the second Temple also lacked some key components—including the Holy Ark. However, even though the second Temple did not have the everlasting quality of the Temple of Ezekiel’s prophecy, the builders did incorporate certain parts of the prophecy into its construction.”

Eichhorn

The temple described by Ezekiel should have been built by the new colonists; the customs and usages which he orders should have been observed by them; the division of the country should have been followed by them. That the temple did not arise out of its ruins according to his model, and that his orders were in no manner obeyed, was the fault of Israel. How far were they behind the orders of their first lawgiver, Moses? What wonder, therefore, that they as little regarded their second lawgiver, Ezekiel?”

WHO IS THE PRINCE?

There is a Prince mentioned in the Temple vision that some say is Jesus or a resurrected David, but, he has a wife and family: 46:16,17, he is subject to death : 46:17,18, he must be warned against oppression: 45:8; 46:18, goes no further than the court of the priests: 46:2, offers sacrifice for sin: 45:22; 46:10-12.

More likely, this Prince would have been a man like Zerubbabel if they had repented and followed Ezekiel’s instructions.

EZEKIEL – THE SECOND LAWGIVER

Israel, back from Babylon, needed a new code. They had no ark, no mercy seat therefore no Day of Atonement, no holy fire therefore no sacrifice. Lam. 2:6-9.The urim and thummim used by the priests could not be found. This is a new revelation for them emphasized by 40:4; 44:5; 43:10,11. In Ezekiel’s twenty-fifth year in Babylon 13 years after his previous prophecies about the valley of dry bones, he received a final vision. He saw a new Jerusalem and a new temple. Bear in mind, Ezekiel received this vision before the second temple was built in Jerusalem. His visions began with the destruction of the first temple; it is fitting that his visions end with the construction of the second temple.”

BACK FROM BABYLON THEY FOLLOWED EZEKIEL VERY LARGELY

The hints in Ezra and Nehemiah which connect their new temple with that described by Ezekiel are interesting and instructive.”

DIMENSIONS OF THE TEMPLE IN CYRUS DECREE IS IDENTICAL TO EZEKIEL’S

In Ezra 6:3 the details of the decree of Cyrus include the actual dimensions as given by Ezekiel — central sanctuary 60 cubits long and 60 cubits high. These are the identical measurements which are to be deduced from Eze. 41:2,4.”

SECOND TEMPLE ACCORDING TO THE COMMAND OF GOD AND CYRUS

Further, Ezra records that when the temple was finished, “they built and finished it according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, etc.” 6:14. What command of God is referred to here? There is none to which reference can be made except Ezekiel 40-48.”

NO PRIVATE DWELLINGS IN JERUSALEM ACCORDING TO EZEKIEL’S PLAN

It is useful also to recall that Ezekiel’s scheme required that Jerusalem be developed as a sanctuary area one mile square — approximately the size of the ancient city. There was to be no rebuilding of the business or residential area of the city, but instead Ezekiel planned another city called Jehovah-Shammah south of Jerusalem.”

HAGGAI, ZECHARIAH, AND MALACHI RECORD THE FAILURE OF JEWS

But the people of Israel were unable to carry the project through to its culmination. Their own efforts were halfhearted.”

When the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon, and they began to build a new temple, we see that, though initially excited to rebuild Jerusalem, had actually become worse by the time of their return from the exile. Ezra 9.6 They were more interested in their own houses than the Temple. God sent at least three prophets Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi to them, to warn them to repent, turn back to the Covenant, and build the Temple.

They broke the Sabbath. Nehemiah 13.15-18 They married pagans. Nehemiah 13.23-27″ 

THE PROMISED LAND WAS DESCRIBED BUT THEY FAILED TO POSSESS IT TOO

Some say that God would not spend so much detail on a Temple that would never be built, but a large part of the book of Joshua has many details about the Promised land that was never fully realized either.

After Moses died, God told Joshua that he would be leading the Children of Israel across the Jordan River into the “Promised Land.” God reminded Joshua where the geographic boundaries were. For a detailed description of the boundaries, from landmark to landmark, read Numbers 34:2-18. The Promised Land would encompass over 300,000 square miles.”

THEY TOO BEGAN, BUT DID NOT COMPLETE

The “Promised Land” never fully became the “Possessed Land.”

The most that the Israelites ever possessed was about 10%, a mere 30,000 square miles.

As Christians, every promise in the Bible is given to us to possess, but do we possess every promise in the Bible? How many of God’s promises have we made our own by conquest? They are given to us but we must take possession of them and make them our own.

Unfortunately, the Church, like Israel, has failed to claim the possessions given by the Lord.

EZEKIEL’S VISION WILL BE REALIZED IN THE NEW JERUSALEM

God’s plans never fail. What Ezekiel envisioned will one day be realized in the New Jerusalem where you will find many similarities with Ezekiel’s Temple vision.

Eze. 40:2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.

Rev. 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

But, the New Jerusalem will be for all nations, not just the Jews; the gates will never be shut, there will be no Temple, no slaves, and no animal sacrifices.

– Mike Clinton

Because the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and persecuted Christians, they carried on where they left off in the Old Testament. For this reason God severely punished the Jews according to Deuteronomy 28:15-68. For this reason God allowed nations like the Germans to kill and persecute the Jews through the years. During the Holocaust more than 6 million Jews were killed. God did not help the Jews during these dark times in their history. God severely punished Israel through the years exactly as promised in Deuteronomy 28. Please read this whole chapter and you will see that this judgment are still being carried out even today. God cannot be mocked. When they rejected and murdered Jesus Christ, when they started killing the prophets of God, when they cried out in Matthew 27:25 that the blood of Jesus Christ is on them and on their children, they mocked God Almighty:

Matthew 27:25

Then answered all the people, and said , His blood be on us, and on our children.

They again and again, right through the Old Testament and the New-testament, hardened their hearts towards God. They repeatedly rejected and ignored Deuteronomy 28:15 and they paid the price for it.

Deuteronomy 28:15-68

15 And it shall be, if you will not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses shall come on you and overtake you. 

16 You shall be cursed in the city, and cursed in the field. 

17 Your basket and your store shall be cursed. 

18 The fruit of your body shall be cursed, and the fruit of your land, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep. 

19 You shall be cursed when you come in, and cursed when you go out. 

20 Jehovah shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed, and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings by which you have forsaken Me. 

21 Jehovah shall make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from off the land where you go to possess it. 

22 Jehovah shall strike you with lung disease and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew. And they shall pursue you until you perish. 

23 And your heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth that is under you iron. 

24 Jehovah shall make the rain of your land powder and dust. It shall come down from the heavens on you until you are destroyed. 

25 Jehovah shall cause you to be stricken before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a trembling to all the kingdoms of the earth. 

26 And your body shall be food to all birds of the air, and to the beasts of the earth. And no man shall frighten them away. 

27 Jehovah will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with the hemorrhoids, and with the scab, and with the itch, of which you cannot be healed. 

28 Jehovah shall strike you with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart. 

29 And you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall always be pressed down and spoiled forever, and no man shall save you. 

30 You shall become engaged to a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, and you shall not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, and you shall not gather the grapes of it. 

31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it. Your ass shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you, your sheep given to your enemies, and you shall have none to rescue them. 

32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail for them all the day long. And there shall be no power in your hand. 

33 The fruit of your land, and all your labors, shall be eaten up by a nation which you do not know. And you shall always be oppressed and crushed, 

34 and you shall be mad because of that which you shall see with the sight of your eyes. 

35 Jehovah shall strike you in the knees and in the legs with an evil ulcer that cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 

36 Jehovah shall bring you, and your king which you shall set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. 

37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations where Jehovah shall lead you. 

38 You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather little in, for the locust shall eat it. 

39 You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but shall neither drink the wine nor gather, for the worm shall eat them. 

40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your coasts, but you shall not anoint with the oil, for your olive shall drop off its fruit. 

41 You shall father sons and daughters, but you shall not enjoy them, for they shall go into captivity. 

42 All your trees and the fruit of your land the locust shall possess. 

43 The stranger within you shall get up above you very high, and you shall come down very low. 

44 He shall loan to you, and you shall not loan to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 

45 And all these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 

46 And they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever. 

47 Because you did not serve Jehovah your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things; 

48 therefore you shall serve your enemies which Jehovah shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the lack of all things. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. 

49 Jehovah shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose tongue you shall not understand, 

50 a nation fierce of face who shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young. 

51 And he shall eat the fruit of your cattle and the fruit of your land, until you are destroyed. He shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your livestock, or flocks of your sheep, until he has destroyed you. 

52 And he shall besiege you in all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down, throughout all the land. And he shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land which Jehovah your God has given you. 

53 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, which Jehovah your God has given you, in the siege and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you. 

54 The man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his sons which he has left; 

55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his sons whom he shall eat, because he has nothing left to him in the siege and in the anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in all your gates. 

56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not have ventured to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 

57 and toward her young one who comes out from between her feet, and toward her sons whom she shall bear. For she shall eat them secretly for lack of all things, in the siege and anguish with which your enemies shall distress you in your gates. 

58 If you will not observe to do all the words of this Law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, JEHOVAH YOUR GOD, 

59 then Jehovah will make your plagues remarkable, and the plagues of your seed great and persistent plagues; with evil and long-lasting sicknesses. 

60 Also, He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid. And they shall cling to you. 

61 Also, every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this Law, Jehovah will bring them on you until you are destroyed. 

62 And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of Jehovah your God. 

63 And it shall be, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to destroy you and to bring you to nothing. And you shall be plucked from off the land where you go to possess it. 

64 And Jehovah shall scatter you among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other, and you shall serve other gods there, which neither you nor your fathers have known, wood and stone. 

65 And among these nations you shall find no ease, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest. But Jehovah shall give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind. 

66 And your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall fear day and night, and shall have no assurance of your life. 

67 In the morning you shall say, Oh that it were evening! And at evening you shall say, Oh that it were morning, for the fear of your heart with which you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see.

68 And Jehovah shall bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way of which I said to you, You shall see it no more again. And there you shall be sold to your enemies for men-slaves and women-slaves, and no man shall buy you.

Deuteronomy 28 is not really a prophecy. It is the promises of blessings and the warnings of curses. Blessings if Israel will listen to the voice of God and if they do observe to do His commandments and His statutes which he commanded them. Curses if they will not listen to the voice of Jehovah their God, to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which he commanded them. The latter part of Deuteronomy 28 describe the siege of Jerusalem, exile and dispersion.

The first was the exile of the Israelites of the northern kingdom (Samaria) carried out by the Assyrians. It occurred in two phases, first in 734 b.c. under Tiglath-pileser III (2Kg 15:29) and then, climatically, in 722 under Shalmaneser and his successor, Sargon II, when the city of Samaria was destroyed and the northern kingdom ceased to exist (2Kg 17:5-6). The next (second) major exile involved the destruction of the southern kingdom (Judah) and the city of Jerusalem. It, too, took place in several phases, all under the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (Jr 52:28-30), the most terrible of which was in 586 b.c. (Jr 52:29). This was when Solomon’s temple was destroyed and the dynasty of David came to an end.

The third major exile of the Jews took place under the Romans and also was in two phases. In a.d. 70 the Roman general (later emperor) Titus destroyed Jerusalem and Herod’s temple. A second Jewish rebellion (called the Bar Kokhba revolt after the name of its Jewish leader) took place under emperor Hadrian in the years a.d. 132-136. This was a bloody struggle, and at the end the victorious Romans decreed that no Jew would be allowed to live in Palestine. All of these events involved exile, the forcible deportation of Jews from the Holy Land by their conquerors.

Exile and Diaspora are the punishments God imposed on Israel for idolatry and unbelief (Dt 28:64-68; Is 6:11-12; 39:1-7; Jr 6:1-8; 19:1-13; Ezk 5:5-12; Am 8:1-12). Perhaps the primary passage on the subject is Dt 29:24-28: “All the nations will ask, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this land . . .’ Then people will answer, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord . . . They began to worship other gods . . . Therefore the Lord’s anger burned . . . The Lord uprooted them from their land in His anger, fury, and great wrath, and threw them into another land where they are today.'”

– Duane A. Garrett

Jesus Christ did prophecy the fall of the Jews and of the nation Israel. It happened in 70 AD and it continued right through the history of the Jews. They never had peace again until this day. They are still hated by many nations. People still shake their heads and laugh at them and mock them. They were murdered and trampled upon right through history. All the curses of Deuteronomy 28 were poured out on them through the ages.

After they were killed or exiled by the Romans, the Jews experienced troublesome and hard times during the ages.

God will not allow Judaism to be practiced again ever. It is a redundant religion. It was part of an old covenant and it was replaced by a new covenant. Since Emperor Hadrian stopped all Jewish religious rituals when the nation of Israel was destroyed, Judaism seized to exist. Judaism cannot really be practiced because they do not have a temple. They will however stop these Jewish rituals immediately after they accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

How should Christians treat Judaism? They should absolutely refrain from carrying out any Jewish rituals. Christianity should stay pure. It should not be defiled with Judaism.

Even Paul in Bible times already had a constant battle to keep Jewish rituals out of Christianity. Why? Because Jewish rituals put Christians back into bondage. This fact is very clear according to Scripture:

Colossians 2:23

Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Galatians 6:12-13

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised (Jewish ritual); only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Romans 14:5-6

One man esteemeth one day above another (Jewish holidays): another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord (Jewish rituals regarding pork and other meat), for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

2 Peter 2:1-3

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

Hebrew 8:13

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Galatians 2:4

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage

Why does Jewish rituals bring us into bondage? When we start keeping the law in stead of embracing the grace and the freedom we have in Christ, we are obliged to hold the whole law. We cannot choose which parts of the law we want to keep and which not. We either embrace the grace of Christ through faith or the law of Judaism through works. If you are keeping Jewish laws and rituals you are in the process of loosing your salvation through grace and faith in Christ. You need to repent. We owe it to Christ to keep our Christian walk and our faith walk pure in Him. In doing so we do not turn our backs on the Jewish nation but onto their religion.

This is serious people. Keep your faith pure and stay true and loyal to the redemptive work of Christ through grace and through faith.

This post is an extract from the book, “Understanding the prophetic times we live in”, by ASR Martins. This book can be purchased here.

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