Israel, Church, Hebrew Roots

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Israel, Church, Hebrew Roots

Post by Jarhead on Mon Apr 22 2013, 16:56

Israel, The Church, And The Hebrew Roots Movement




This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley ~ http://gracethrufaith.com/selah/israel-the-church-and-the-hebrew-roots-movement/


I have always been a strong advocate of the idea that there is much
to be learned about our Christian faith by studying the Old Testament,
and especially the commandments and traditions surrounding the Feasts
of Israel. Having served for a time as the leader of a Messianic
congregation where we observed these feasts in their prescribed manner, I
saw how dramatically they reveal the Messiah. In my opinion,
Christians who don’t understand or appreciate the Hebrew origins of our
faith lack the perspective this knowledge brings us.



Sadly, many in what’s now being called the Hebrew Roots movement seem
to be going to extremes with this. It’s like they’re trying to become
the polar opposite of Replacement Theology. (Most of you know that
Replacement Theology claims the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan
due to Israel’s rejection of the Messiah). Where Replacement Theology
claims the only place for Israel is as part of the Church, some in the
Hebrew Roots movement assert that the only place for the Church is as
part of Israel.

While Hebrew Roots appears to teach that because of the Lord’s death,
obedience to the Law is a privilege and not a requirement, a number of
its teachers seem to be going well beyond that. They claim that in fact
Torah observance is a requirement for all believers. Some have also
abandoned the Greek based New Testament in favor of translations from
Aramaic texts, due to alleged errors in the Greek based texts. They say
those who call the Lord by His English name (Jesus) are actually
worshiping a pagan god, which according to them makes traditional
Christianity a pagan religion. They want us to believe that the only
acceptable name for the Son of God is Yeshua (His name in Hebrew), and
the only acceptable way to worship Him is by obeying the Torah and
observing the Feasts of Israel.

(One of the favorite tactics used by people on both ends of the
spectrum who can’t find support for their beliefs in the Bible is to say
it wasn’t translated correctly. And yet the best scholars of each
generation have poured over the ancient manuscripts to give us the most
accurate translations possible. There are about 5600 Greek manuscripts
of the New Testament in existence, and cross checking has shown their
consistency to be over 99%. In other words all these ancient Greek
manuscripts essentially say the same thing. For additional support there
are 19,000 early manuscripts in other languages. This exceeds the
manuscript base for any other ancient book by a very wide margin.

Most reasonable people would agree that for all practical purposes
our New Testament is an accurate rendering of these early manuscripts.
Therefore the only conclusions we can draw are that either 1) all these
scholars have somehow committed identical mistakes in their translation
efforts, or 2) they’ve all participated in a massive conspiracy to
mislead us that has spanned 2,000 years, or 3) the people who say the
Bible is translated incorrectly because it doesn’t support their
position are wrong.)

But even more importantly, neither Replacement Theology nor Hebrew
Roots seems to recognize that Israel and the Church are uniquely
different and that both have roles in the fulfillment of end times
prophecies that are mutually exclusive.

Give Us Some Examples


In the Old Testament, God promised Israel that He would return one day to dwell among them in their land on Earth forever (Ezekiel 43:1-7).
In the New Testament, Jesus promised the Church that He would come back
and take us off the Earth to be with Him in His Father’s House (John 14:1-3). Both these promises will come true, so Israel and the Church will fulfill their prophetic destinies in different locations.

The purpose of the rapture of the Church is to remove us from the
time and place of the end times judgments that will take place on Earth (1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 5:9, Rev. 3:10).

The purpose of the end times judgments is to completely destroy all the nations to which Israel has been scattered (Jeremiah 30:4-11) and to purify Israel in preparation for the coming Kingdom (Zechariah 13:8-9).

The Millennium For Israel


The primary purpose of this Kingdom (known to the church as the
Millennial Kingdom) is to give Israel its long promised Kingdom Age,
although the entire millennial world will benefit from it. After the
Lord returns, Earth will be restored to the condition it was in when
Adam was created (Matt. 19:28, Acts 3:21). This will
include restoring peace between man and the animals, bringing back
Earth’s original garden-like environment with its world wide
sub-tropical climate, eliminating foul weather, killer storms,
earthquakes and extremes of heat and cold.

Israel will be the preeminent nation on Earth during the Kingdom Age,
and surviving tribulation believers and their descendants from all
nations will come to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord. He will
settle their disputes, making war between nations a thing of the past.

The promised land will blossom as never before. The desert and
wastelands will be transformed into a garden paradise so lush and
beautiful that people will know its been transformed by the Lord
himself. Everlasting joy will crown their heads while sorrow and sighing
will flee away.

The wealth of neighboring nations will pour into Israel. Camels will
be brought from Midian. Gold and incense from Sheba will adorn the
Lord’s Temple in Israel. Flocks from Kedar and Nebaoith will be received
as offerings on His altar there. (Midian and Sheba were descendants of
Abraham and Keturah, the wife he took after Sarah died. Kedar and
Nebaioth were sons of Ishmael. Their descendants are all part of the
Middle Eastern Islamic nations of today.) The ships of Tarshish (Great
Britain) will bring gold and silver from afar. Any nation that refuses
to serve Israel will be utterly ruined by divine decree.

Although death will still occur among natural humans, the span of
man’s life will begin increasing again to approach those of the Genesis
patriarchs. Sickness and disease, those by-products of sin, will be
greatly reduced. It appears the population of Earth will be sustained by
their return to an agrarian economy, but with all the obstacles Adam
faced gone as the curse of Genesis 3 will finally be
lifted. The land will become so rich and productive that one season’s
crop will barely be harvested before it’s time to plant the next one.
Every man will easily produce enough for his family’s use, and enjoy
doing it. None will labor unproductively, or for the benefit of others.
Children will grow up without fear and adults will grow old in peace (A
summary of Isaiah 2:1-5, 4:2-6, 35, 41:18-20, 60:10-22, 65:17-25, Amos 9:13-15, Micah 4:1-8, Zech 8:4-5).

The Millennium For The Church


Meanwhile, life will be far different in the home of the Redeemed
Church. Although the Kings of the Earth will bring us their splendor,
no unbeliever can ever set foot in the place, nor even a believer in his
natural state. Our mansions in the sky will be built of the purest gold
as will the streets that run before them, their foundations made from
precious stones. There will be no Temple in the New Jerusalem because
the Lamb of God will dwell there and is our Temple. The energy source
that will light and warm us is the Glory of God, and our radiance will
in turn provide light for the nations of Earth. (Rev.21:9-27)

Other than calling us Kings and Priests, the Bible doesn’t mention
any kind of work for us. Our glorified bodies will have been released
from their dimensional bonds, allowing us to appear and disappear at
will, traveling back and forth through time at the speed of thought as
we plumb the limitless delights of God’s Universe (1 John 3:2).
No detail will be overlooked where our comfort and happiness are
concerned. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21:4), only the endless joys of exploration and discovery. As it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)

Our eternal home is not on Earth, but it’s not at the Throne of God
either. Coming down out of the heavens but never landing on Earth, our
home could be called a low orbit satellite in today’s terminology. 1400
miles high, wide and deep, it wouldn’t fit in Israel, let alone
Jerusalem. If we did touch down on Earth we’d need a space equivalent to
the area from Maine to Florida to the Midwest in the US, or all of
Western Europe from Sweden to Italy. The New Jerusalem will be over 4000
times as tall as the world’s tallest building. Being nearly 2/3rds the
size of the Moon, it simply won’t fit anywhere on Earth.

One God, Two Destinies


So the destiny of Israel has its place outside of the Church and the
destiny of the Church has its place outside of Israel. The two are not
the same and were never intended to be seen as such. The only thing
these two groups will have in common is their belief that Jesus (Yeshua)
died for their sins and rose again on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

But just as gentiles who converted to Judaism in Old Testament times
became part of Israel, Jews who convert to Christianity in New Testament
times become part of the Church. No matter what our background happens
to be, conversion to Christianity makes us a new creation, neither Jew
nor Gentile, part of an entirely new race of mankind.

Paul explained it this way. His (God’s) purpose was to
create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in
one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which
he put to death their hostility
(Ephes. 2:15-16)

Calling it a mystery previously unknown on Earth. He said, This
mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with
Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the
promise in Christ Jesus
(Ephes. 3:6).

In the beginning there was one classification of mankind. But in
calling Abraham, God created a new classification. From then on there
were two, Gentiles and Jews, and they are forever different. It remained
that way until the cross, when as Paul explained, a third
classification was brought into existence. Taking some from among the
Gentiles and some from among the Jews, but making them different from
either, God created a new classification called the Church. No matter
what their former status was, from Pentecost until the Rapture everyone
who comes to faith in the Lord becomes part of the Church and will
inherit the Church’s destiny.

Those who choose to express their gratitude for the free gift of
salvation through living by the Torah are free to do so. In the same
way, those who choose to express their gratitude by striving toward the
victorious Christian life described in the New Testament are free to do
so. But anyone who teaches that either form of expression is required to
achieve or maintain their salvation has run afoul of clear Biblical
instruction to the contrary.

Paul was a great Jewish theologian who, because of the revelations he
received, had a better perspective on this than anyone before or since.
He admonished us to go beyond “mere” salvation to battle for victory
over the flesh (1 Cor. 9:24-27). But in some of the clearest statements in the New Testament he said,

No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin (Romans 3:20).

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink,
or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a
Sabbath day
(Colossians 2:16).

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive
the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are
you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now
trying to finish by means of the flesh?
(Galatians 3:2-3).

There’s Nothing New Under The Sun


This disagreement over the proper response to God’s gift of salvation
is not new. In the earliest days of the Church there were those among
the Jewish believers who insisted that the only path to salvation for
Gentiles was to first put themselves under the laws and practices of
Judaism. The council of Jerusalem put that idea to naught and authorized
Gentiles to be received directly into Christianity. Still the
“Judaizers” followed Paul from city to city trying to undo what he had
done. Later, Gentiles who called themselves Christian forced whole
communities of Jews to convert to Christianity upon pain of death. Both
of these efforts were thought by their proponents to be pleasing to God,
but in the end we can see that neither was.

That’s because when God looks into our future it’s not Jews and
Gentiles He sees. It’s Israel and the Church. Each has its unique
origin and each has its unique destiny. Whether it’s called Replacement
Theology or Hebrew Roots, or anything in between, the idea of making
either one a part of the other is man made and cannot be supported in
Scripture. Selah 04-20-13
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