Friday, January 21, 2011

The Salvation of Israel

The Salvation of Israel
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Romans 11:26a And so all Israel shall be saved

This is an often one of the most misquoted, mis-taught and misunderstood statements that Rav Sha’ul every penned or uttered. From such uneducated and ignorant statements like that the church is the new Israel and they will be saved, to even Jews who hate and willing reject Yeshua the Messiah will be saved; because they are Abraham’s seed they have a, get out of jail free card, so to speak; with all kinds of variations in between. So what does this verse really mean? To determine this we must first begin with finding out who Israel is.

Let me tell you who the Israel is not. It is not the modern day Christian church.

Israel is Jacob and all the sons’ descended from him who are biologically connected to him.

Gen 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

So then what and who is the “Church?”

“Church” is a mistranslation in the Scriptures.  It is an Anglo-Saxton word “kirke” or “kirch” which by definition means, “a pagan place of worship.”
That word is also said to have come from the pagan deity “Circe”.   

The word translated Church in the Scriptures comes from the Hebrew word “K’hal” and the Greek word “Ekklesia,” which both mean, “a called out assembly or congregation.” 

Therefore, the “church” did not start in the book of Acts at Shavu’ot (Pentecost), but B’ney Yisrael (The Children of Israel) was called the “church” at Mount Sinai, after the Exodus, when the Torah (Law) was given. It is no coincidence that Shavuot is the commemoration of that very event.

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

So Israel and the Church are one and the same. Christianity does not replace Israel.

Romans 11:1-2 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

Christianity must make themselves apart of Israel by accepting what Israel accepted when they were first called the church. They accepted Torah.

But isn’t the Torah only for the Jews?

Exodus 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.

Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

The mixed multitude made up of the 70 nations of the world accept Torah along with Israel. The 70 nations accept Torah on behalf of all Gentiles.

Yeshua came to back up the Torah and adherence to it, not to change or do away with it.

Matt. 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

What about those who are “Spiritual Jews”? Is there such a thing? If so, what does it mean?

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

The term “Jew” comes from the name Judah, which means “Praiser of YHWH” and this is the name given to the people of Judah and Levi, the Kingdom or the House of Judah who returned from Babylonian exile. How does one “Praise YHWH?” Not by singing praise and worship songs and lifting up the hands. One praises YHWH by the life they live, by living in obedience to the Torah, the Laws and Instructions of YHWH Himself. You praise YHWH with your life, not necessarily your tongue. You live according to the Torah and your tongue will follow suet.

Seeing as there was no official return of the rest of the 10 tribes from Assyrian captivity we still recognize the descendants of the Babylonian captivity as Jews. Romans 2:28 does not mean that just because you believe in the G-d of Israel that you are a spiritual son of Israel and thus a “Spiritual Jew” or “Spiritual Israel.” Anyone can believe in the G-d of Israel, but it does not make one a spiritual son of Israel.

Jam 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

You cannot have the spiritual without the physical, just as you cannot have a shadow without a body. All Rav Sha’ul was saying to the converts in Rome in this verse is that simply snipping off the foreskin of ones penis doesn’t make him a true Jew. A Jew is a Jew in his heart before he ever becomes one outwardly. We practice and express faith from the inside out not the outside in. This was the grave error many Pharisees, who were biological descendants of Israel, made. They kept the Torah on the outside, but not always on the inside.  Circumcision of the heart takes place long before the circumcision of the foreskin.

Rom 2:29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

So we have determined that Israel is the literal, physical, biological descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, or those who have officially converted to Judaism via circumcision.

Now that we have established who Israel is, we can now find out what it means that all of Israel will be saved.

In Romans chapter eleven Rav Sha’ul is speaking of a mass spiritual blindness of Israel, in that they couldn’t see Yeshua was and is Messiah ben David the King who first had to come as Messiah ben Joseph the Suffering Servant, in order for redemptive prophecy to be fulfilled and Gentiles come to the truth and keep Torah so well to the point it makes the blinded Jewish mass jealous. Yet in spite of the mass blindness there was and is a remnant of Israel who believes, understands and see clearly and they and the Gentiles will eventually help open the eyes of the blinded portion of mass Israel to the means of their salvation in Messiah Yeshua who they initially and vehemently rejected. Like an Olive Tree some indigenous branches have been broken off through unbelief and blindness and have been laid aside so that Gentiles, Wild Olive branches could be grafted it, which is a mystery for this is contrary to the natural world’s way of things. Being grafted is a literal act with spiritual ramifications. You can graft a physical limb to a tree. So what does this mean spiritually? It is referring to a Gentile converting to Judaism, being grafted in through conversion which for the male would be circumcision, a cutting, just as a physical branch has to be cut to be grafted in, so too if one wants to be grafted into Israel he must convert. The wild olive branch (referring to gentiles and the lost tribes) grafts and thus conforms to the Domesticated Olive Tree (Jewish Israel). The wild Olive Branches does not conform the Domesticated Olive Tree. This does not mean that one who chooses not to convert can't keep Torah or be close to G-d, it just means they choose not to physically and literally be come a Jew (Abrahamic Covenant), a part of Israel. It must be noted that on a spiritual level through Messiah's blood we are spiritually apart of Israel in keeping the covenant of Torah although not that of Abraham. Once the Gentiles that would come comes, then the Indigenous Branches that will, that have been laid aside will be then grafted back into The Tree and thus…

all Israel shall be saved… (Romans 11:26a)

Just as we would say, “The whole world was at war during World War I and II.” We understand that this is not as literal statement, but that the majority of the world, the main continents and countries were at war with one another. This statement obviously does not mean that there was no place on earth that didn’t have bullets and bombs flying by. So too with the verse in Romans 11:26; all, in the Greek can mean, “as many as” implying a majority, but not a literal “all.” So not every biological descendant of the Patriarch Israel will accept Messiah Yeshua and follow Him in the Torah, and they will share the same fate as Gentiles who reject Messiah and Torah.

Matt. 3:1-13 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

Yochannon (John) alludes to the fact that being a biological descendant of Abraham isn’t enough. He even hints about the broke off branches we read about in Romans 11. Yochannon emphasizes belief and practice of Torah from the heart and faith in the Messiah that was to come is required for salvation.

Restoration of sight from spiritual blindness in regards to the Jewish People is occurring right now, for more Jews are coming to Messiah Yeshua like never before and many of the lost tribes, also descendants of Israel are waking up to their true identity, but some will not fully believe until Messiah returns.

Zech. 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.

Some, even then will refuse to believe.

Luke 16:31  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses (Torah) and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (alluding to Yeshua’s future resurrection). – italics mine

Matt. 28:16-17 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Our job is not to ram Messiah Yeshua down the throats of non-believing Jews, but to simply, in bold humility walk the Torah in zealous love as Messiah taught us to, to provoke the blinded Jews to jealously, to cause them to investigate for themselves and see the truth and to be there when they come and ask us about the hope we have in Messiah Yeshua the Living manifestation of the written Torah.

I Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: