Who Are the Jews in Israel Today?


Growing up under Christian Zionist and dispensationalist teachings, I took for granted that the following narrative that was presented to me was the correct one:

The Jewish people in Israel are direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God restored them to their land as a nation in 1948 in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are newly-arrived Arabs, mainly from Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, who flooded the land when they saw the Jews beginning to come back from Russia, Europe, and elsewhere.

Although it’s been a number of years since I learned that this narrative is far from correct, more recently I’ve learned some details that, if true, take this distortion to the next level. They show the claims of Christian Zionism and dispensationalism to be even further off-base, not only Biblically but also in terms of history. 

I recently read an article written by Schlomo Sand, an Israeli history professor at Tel Aviv University, whose parents were Polish Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. I don’t agree with Sand’s stance on the Old Testament, but he makes some interesting statements regarding the inhabitants of Palestine in the centuries prior to Israel becoming a nation in 1948:

“[After Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD], apart from enslaved prisoners, the population of Judea continued to live on their lands, even after the destruction of the second temple. Some converted to Christianity in the 4th century, while the majority embraced Islam during the 7th century Arab conquest.

Most Zionist thinkers were aware of this: Yitzhak Ben Zvi, later president of Israel, and David Ben Gurion, its first prime minister, accepted it as late as 1929, the year of the great Palestinian revolt. Both stated on several occasions that the peasants of Palestine were the descendants of the inhabitants of ancient Judea.

[See David Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, Eretz Israel in the past and present, 1918 (in Yiddish), and Jerusalem, 1980 (in Hebrew); Yitzhak Ben Zvi,Our population in the country, Executive Committee of the Union for Youth and the Jewish National Fund, Warsaw, 1929 (in Hebrew).]

Sand goes on to talk about the large impact of Jewish proselytizing, especially during the Middle Ages, when non-Jews, ethnically speaking, converted to the Jewish religion. He adds,

“The most significant mass conversion occurred in the 8th century, in the massive Khazar kingdom between the Black and Caspian seas. The expansion of Judaism from the Caucasus into modern Ukraine created a multiplicity of communities, many of which retreated from the 13th century Mongol invasions into eastern Europe. There, with Jews from the Slavic lands to the south and from what is now modern Germany, they formed the basis of Yiddish culture.”

[Yiddish, spoken by the Jews of eastern Europe, was a Germano-Slavic language incorporating Hebrew words.]

Sand was an Israeli soldier for three years and fought in the Six-Day War of 1967, so it’s interesting what he says next:

“The Israeli forces who seized Jerusalem in 1967 believed themselves to be the direct descendents of the mythic kingdom of David* rather than – God forbid – of Berber warriors or Khazar horsemen. The Jews claimed to constitute a specific ethnic group that had returned to Jerusalem, its capital, from 2,000 years of exile and wandering.

…Since the 1970s supposedly scientific research, carried out in Israel, has desperately striven to demonstrate that Jews throughout the world are closely genetically related… By validating an essentialist, 
ethnocentric definition of Judaism it encourages a segregation that separates Jews from non-Jews – whether Arabs, Russian immigrants or foreign workers… But Jews worldwide have always tended to form religious communities, usually by conversion; they cannot be said to share an ethnicity derived from a unique origin and displaced over 20 centuries of wandering.

*Please note that I disagree with Sand when he says that David’s kingdom was mythic.

Arthur Koestler (1905 – 1983) was a Jewish author and journalist from Hungary (later a British citizen) who wrote a book in 1976 titled, “The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage” (available in PDF form here). Koestler’s thesis was that a majority of Jews today have ancestral roots in the ancient Khazar region (corresponding to modern SW Russia, Eastern Ukraine, and Western Kazakhstan), where many members of the Khazar royalty and also of the general population converted to Talmudic Judaism in the 8th century AD and adopted the Yiddish language, which is based on the Hebrew alphabet. Toward the end of Koestler’s book, he summarized its contents with these words:

“In Part One of this book I have attempted to trace the history of the Khazar Empire based on the scant existing sources. In Part Two, Chapters V-VII, I have compiled the historical evidence which indicates that the bulk of Eastern Jewry — and hence of world Jewry — is of Khazar-Turkish, rather than Semitic, origin. In the last chapter I have tried to show that the evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular belief in a Jewish race descended from the biblical tribe.”

Koestler stated that his research undermined many accusations of anti-Semitism, since many Jews are not even Semitic. His work was understandably considered to be controversial. Some DNA experts were critical or skeptical of it, while others agreed. Dr. Eran Elhalk and Dr. Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin are two geneticists who agree with Koestler’s hypothesis. They conducted a 2012 study at John Hopkins University, finding that the European Jewish population featured a mix of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries. Their work is summed up in this abstract published by Oxford University Press:

The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The “Rhineland hypothesis” depicts Eastern European Jews as a “population isolate” that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the “Khazarian hypothesis” suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco–Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo–Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo–Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazars’ contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian hypothesis and compare it with the Rhineland hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe a major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications for the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and for medical studies.

Khazaria in 850 AD, Map Source

Martin Trench, the lead pastor of Gateway Alliance Church in Edmonton, Canada, shared similar thoughts in a closed Facebook group recently and gave permission to quote him:

“[There is a] modern misunderstanding of the terms ‘Israel’ and ‘the Jews.’ Moses and the people of Israel who crossed the wilderness were not ‘Jews.’ They were Israelites. The Jews of the post-Babylonian period until the time of Jesus were also Israelites, with some Edomites mixed in too who lived in Judea, but not in Galilee. And the Jews of today are a different ethnic group – roughly 80% of them are an ethnic mixture of non-Israelites who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages and follow a different religion than the Biblical Israel. They follow the religion of Talmudic Judaism, which was developed AFTER the time of Jesus, not the Old Covenant religion of Israel which requires a Temple, priesthood, and sacrificial system.

The true Israelite Jews in Judea at the time of Jesus either accepted him as the Messiah and so fled to Pella before 70 AD; or they stayed on and fought the Romans in the 66-70 AD war, with many being taken as slaves to Pompeii (which itself was destroyed a few years later by Vesuvius). The survivors who weren’t taken as slaves (because the Romans did not do whole-sale exile, like the Babylonians and Assyrians did – they left most poor people behind) stayed in the land as poor peasants, and the Pharisees, etc. went to different places – mainly Babylon where they wrote the Babylonian Talmud (which is very anti-Jesus and is quite vile and blasphemous). Those were the genuine Biblical Jews, but they were very small in numbers. In the Middle Ages, the Khazar kingdom in Eastern Europe converted to Talmudic Judaism. They were pagans before, known as the “serpent people,” but they had Muslims on one side and Christians on the other, so they converted to Judaism so they could trade with both – they became Ashkenazi Jews, the vast majority of Jews today.”

Concerning the point about “Ashkenazi Jews,” see the Wikipedia entry on this subject for a lot of well-documented information. Notable Ashkenazi Jews have included Theodore Herzl, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, and Golda Meir.

Concerning Talmudism, interestingly Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, submitted a new Basic Law to the Knesset in early May of this year that “would establish the Talmud, the core work of Jewish law, as an official basis for Israeli state law” (Source:Report: Netanyahu Promises Talmud Will Be Israeli Law,” Israel National News).

To whatever degree the above information is true, it doesn’t make Jews today, whether they are Semitic or non-Semitic, any more or any less valuable, human, or worthy of respect. What it does likely do, however, is further confirm that key claims within Christian Zionism are false.

The New Testament already clearly refutes the Christian Zionist idea that ethnic Jews (rather than followers of Christ) are God’s chosen people (see this post and this post and this post and this post for more on this). The New Testament also refutes other such ideas that emphasize Jewish ethnicity over faith. Christian Zionism stands strong on the idea that many of the plans, purposes, and promises of God flow to the ethnic descendants of Abraham, even those who despise God’s Son, Jesus. This is despite the fact that Scripture says all of God’s promises are made to Jesus and His followers (e.g. Galatians 3:16, 28-29). Christian Zionism has also chosen as its foundation the assumption that modern Israel is nothing less than the national gathering of Abraham’s ethnic descendants in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.* Biblically, these claims are far-fetched, and they are looking to be far-fetched historically as well.

*See this article for a refutation of the idea that Israel became a nation in 1948 in fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Here is another brief article of interest on this subject: “DNA of Ashkenazi Jews shows ancient female ancestors were converts from Europe.”

All of our studies related to Christian Zionism can be seen here.

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49 thoughts on “Who Are the Jews in Israel Today?

  1. Reblogged this on wrsurya and commented:
    this article may be one of the better pieces that tries to present a ‘contextual’ view of how modern israel and the modern jew came into existence… many things are taken out of context so clarity of focus is frequently tinted by emotion or motivation (such as some issues on present-day gaza – i know this because a few friends or acquaintances and many over the internet are driven by seemingly illogical thoughts for liking or disliking)… this is, perhaps, compounded by the fact that many people do not have enough time to assimilate the explosion of information on the web into something bite-sized and sensible; most people do not even have proper access to resources from differing thought groups and are simply left defenseless to the assault of whatever ideas are most hypnotically presented in the media… thank you for writing this one… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its irrelevant today anyway. The majority of Jews in Israel are Mizrahi and Sephardi not Ashkenazi. That is they are refugees from the Arab world or beyond. Their DNA is most closely matched with middle easterners such as the Kurds and the Palestinian Arabs.

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  3. Romans 9-11. God is probably wise enough to know who His chosen people are. These posts just make Him smaller and smaller, more and more incapable of being faithful and true to His promises. Israel is a nation again. Jerusalem is the center of extreme, inexplicable controversy again. Hebrew is being spoken in David’s kingdom again. (I am so glad you don’t consider that kingdom to be a myth!) The enemies that surround this nation on every side want every Jew killed and they will not be doing DNA testing or reading all these posts and articles, they will base it on what they see with their eyes. Just like IS put a “N” on the Christian homes. Christians are enduring terrible tribulation. Why does none of this matter to you? Why can’t you see any of this as a latter fulfillment of what Zechariah and others spoke?

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    • Yes, you are right. The word is now being divided into two sorts of people. Those who love the Lord and who love Israel and those who don’t. Whilst many may love the Lord and not Israel, they certainly don’t seem to be aware of the scriptures, and when the scriptures are unpalatable to them , they give them an allegorical meaning. Yet it is clear that there is no prophecy that was not fulfilled literally. As you say, we already see the beginnings of what Zechariah is talking about.

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      • “Those who love the Lord and who love Israel and those who don’t.” That’s clever, but it’s somewhat of a false dichotomy, though hatred (the opposite of love) has no place in the hearts of believers. I could be wrong, but if this is to imply that those who disagree with the behavior of Israel (especially its government and military) hate Israel, please remember that godly servants of God – the prophets of Israel, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others – rebuked Israel often for rejecting God, justice, mercy, and compassion. Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, was one of them. His ministry made a lot of people angry, but it was marked by love for his people.

        Is it really true that no prophecy “was not fulfilled literally” (i.e. that every prophecy was fulfilled literally)? How do you define “literally”? Isaiah 13 was a prophecy against ancient Babylon and how it would be destroyed by the Medes (verse 17). This was fulfilled in the days of Daniel (Dan. 5-6). Were the sun, moon, and stars literally darkened at that time (verse 10)? Was the entire earth literally moved out of its place (verse 13)? Or was this language indicating the collapse of a government and political upheaval due to one empire replacing another?

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      • Forgive my simplicity and/or ignorance Paul, but what do you mean by:

        “Yes, you are right. The word is now being divided into two sorts of people. Those who love the Lord and who love Israel and those who don’t”

        Are you saying that if we don’t love the state of Israel the love of God is not in us? Its as though you are lumping the two together (love God, love the State of Israel). I love God with every fiber of my being, but i don’t “love” the State of Israel. It’s a secular State…one which is of the world. The Word tells us:

        “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.…” 1John 2

        It’s like saying if i don’t love America then i don’t love God…or replace ‘America’ with any other Nation and/or State (Canada, Brazil, etc etc)

        This is called nationalism and has become the latest in new religions to sweep the world. I want no part of it.

        We are called to love people, not the Nations or States in which they abide. To love them enough to take the Gospel to them. All of them.

        The world IS divided into two groups Paul, on this i agree: those who are abiding in Christ (saved, born again) and those who are not. That alone is the dividing line.

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      • I would say Isaiah 13 is about the yet future “day of the Lord” verse 6, so the prophecy especially the part that you quote is not limited to Babylon or the Medes. Verse 6-16 seem bigger and more “awesome” than a simple human to human event. So yes, I would say that prophecy has not been, but will be literally fulfilled on the beyond human…anything… “day of the Lord.”

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      • This reply is meant for Adam: Here’s what Scripture says: [Rom 11:11-12, 15, 20-21, 23-29 NET] “11 I ask then, they [Israel=Jews as of the book of Esther] did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, did they [Jews]? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel [the word being synonymous with the words Jews] jealous. 12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world and their defeat means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their [Jews] full restoration bring? … 15 For if their [Jews] rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their [Jews] acceptance be but life from the dead? … 20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches [Jews] , perhaps he will not spare you [Gentiles]. … 23 And even they [Jews] – if they [Jews] do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them [Jews] in again. 24 For if you [Gentiles] were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree [Jesus], how much more will these natural branches [Jews] be grafted back into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their [Jews=144,000 See Revelation 7:4-8 for details] sins.” 28 In regard to the gospel they [Jews] are enemies for your [Gentiles] sake, but in regard to election they [Jews] are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the call of God are IRREVOCABLE.”

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    • Why are none of the promises repeated in the New Testament? If there is to be a gap of 2000 years would it not be a good idea to mention it in the Christian writings? Your theology is set before you even allow Jesus and the apostles to comment on it…and they did–The temple veil is torn–a sign of disinheritance. The Jewish religion still denies and rejects Jesus as messiah–nothing has changed sense the time of Christ. Peter says his blood is on their hands in his Acts sermon. Yet still if they repent and receive Christ God will accept them. All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. In this sermon the listeners give the altar call! What must we do to be saved? Sound biblical exegesis allows for the NT to be heard.

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      • A couple times I’ve seen you say that the torn temple veil is a sign of disinheritance, and that’s a good and interesting way of putting it. Thankfully, when this happened God was not without a temple to call His own and a temple which He considered to be His dwelling place. That temple, and that dwelling place, is His Son and all of us who follow Him.

        “Sound biblical exegesis allows for the NT to be heard.” Amen.

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  4. Yes, God does know who His chosen people are, and He has revealed this in Scripture:

    “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Peter 2:9-10).

    “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being chosen according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12).

    “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13).

    His chosen people are those who are in Christ, and that includes you and me.

    God is not small at all. One reason I think the information in this post is significant is because of what is pushed upon us by the Christian Zionist crowd. For example, the first part of Genesis 12:3 (“I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you…”) is used to say that Christians must unconditionally support national Israel in order to receive that special blessing from God, and that individuals and nations will have a curse hanging over their heads for falling short of that unconditional support. However, God made that promise to Abraham alone, not to national Israel, which of course wasn’t around yet. And Genesis 12:3 goes on to say, “…and through you I will bless all the nations of the earth.” As Acts 3:25-26 and Galatians 3:7-9 reveal, that blessing is salvation through Jesus Christ.

    Christian Zionism says or implies that God promised the blessing of Genesis 12:3 to Abraham’s physical descendants forever, and insists that the Jews in Israel today are those physical/natural descendants of Abraham and the recipients of God’s promise(s). Not only does Scripture say, though, that Jesus is the recipient of all of God’s promises (Galatians 3:16) and that His followers inherit them as well (Gal. 3:28-29), but it turns out that many Jews in Israel are not even the ethnic/physical/natural descendants of Abraham. Besides the information in this post, it’s also a reality that modern Judaism has long been allowing non-ethnic Jews to convert to Judaism and be counted as Jews. The claims of Christian Zionism don’t stand up in the light of Scripture or in the light of history, sociology, etc.

    As a side note, Christian Zionism seems to leave out the Jews who live outside of Israel when it applies the promise of Genesis 12:3 (and the promises in other Scripture texts) to national Israel. I don’t get it.

    Lastly, I assure you that I do care about the persecution Christians are going through at the hands of ISIS and elsewhere around the world.

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    • Adam

      I am surprised that under the title Pursuit of Truth, the Khazar theory has been presented. It has long been debunked, as we now have DNA to fill in the missing pages of History. The Askenazis enjoy with the Icelanders the dubious honour of being the most genetically studied people in the world for a number of reasons. One thing that there is a general consensus among geneticists is that there is no evidence of Central Asian Khazar ancestry in the Ashkenazi Jews. They are almost entirely Semitic as far as their why chromosomes are concerned and cluster closely with Middle Eastern Jews , Syrians, Palestinians, Cypriots , and Kurds. Maternally they are also Middle eastern. The most significant non Jewish component is Italian due to the conversion of Roman women in 200 BC. The same Italian markers are found in the Sephardic Jews from the same period. They are undoubtedly of Israelite descent, but even if you wished to dispute that theologically, to claim Khazar descent is to fly in the face of science. They are Mediterraneans. The Israelite descent is also backed up by the fact that along with Jews of the Middle East, their Cohen men share the same percentage of the Cohen Modal Haplotype associated with the maintenance of a jewish priesthood from Biblical times. See Kevin Alan Brook’s website. He is the world’s leading exponent of Khazar studies. Even the Palestinians have given up the Khazar propaganda in the face of such overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

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      • Hi Paul,

        Can you point to some good sources (with links) to back up what you’re saying here? There was, in history, a large conversion of Khazarian non-Semitic people to the Jewish religion. The theory presented by the folks I quoted in this article is simply that “the European Jewish genome [is] a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries.” It’s a blend of ethnic backgrounds. Even today, and in the last few generations, non-Semitic people have converted to Judaism and are counted as being Jewish. No matter whether they are religious converts, Semitic or non-Semitic, Christian Zionism lumps them all together and says that they are the seed of Abraham, heirs of God’s promises, God’s chosen people, the rightful (and sole) owners of the land of Israel, etc. These teachings and these ideas oppose Scripture and they oppose history.

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    • Here’s what Scripture says: [Rom 11:11-12, 15, 20-21, 23-29 NET] “11 I ask then, they [Israel=Jews as of the book of Esther] did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, did they [Jews]? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel [the word being synonymous with the words Jews] jealous. 12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world and their defeat means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their [Jews] full restoration bring? … 15 For if their [Jews] rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their [Jews] acceptance be but life from the dead? … 20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches [Jews] , perhaps he will not spare you [Gentiles]. … 23 And even they [Jews] – if they [Jews] do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them [Jews] in again. 24 For if you [Gentiles] were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree [Jesus], how much more will these natural branches [Jews] be grafted back into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their [Jews=144,000 See Revelation 7:4-8 for details] sins.” 28 In regard to the gospel they [Jews] are enemies for your [Gentiles] sake, but in regard to election they [Jews] are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the call of God are IRREVOCABLE.”

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  5. appreciate all view points, as i am a home schooled bible student—-so have a question related to the folks in israel at this time——does these folks represent the romans 11 fulfillment for the return of the folks to israel, and the end of the time of the gentiles

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    • Adam will have a differing point of view, but Romans 9-11 is THE only place in the Bible where the relationship between the church and the unbelieving Jew is spelled out. The actual people in the land right now are not the ultimate fulfillment, they have to go through the time of Jacob’s trouble 3 1/2 years of persecution, but at the end of that the spirit of grace and supplication (Zechariah 12) will be poured out upon them and the many prophecies about an entire nation being born in a day with new hearts will be fulfilled. The time of the gentiles ends on this same day, the “day of the Lord” when the fullness of the gentiles has come in. Simply read the scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding.

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    • Hi William. Thanks for your comment. As Chuck said, he and I view some of these things differently (but we are brothers in Christ and part of God’s family). I don’t see anything in Romans 11 about people leaving the nation of Israel and then coming back (or their descendants coming back) many centuries later. In other words, I don’t see “a return” to Israel prophesied in Romans 11. If you see it, could you point it out? Thanks.

      You may be interested in seeing a debate that took place in June concerning Romans 11:25-27, which was between Dr. Michael Brown and Don K. Preston. Here’s a link to that debate:

      http://kloposmasm.com/2014/06/07/debate-michael-brown-and-don-preston-on-romans-1125-27-video-and-notes/

      Concerning “the fullness of the Gentiles,” I personally believe that this is not related at all to Gentiles being saved, but rather to the Gentile nations that had dominion over Israel from the time of Daniel onward: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. This period would end with the 3.5 year trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles (compare Romans 11:25 with Luke 21:24 and Revelation 11:1-2). The significance is that New Jerusalem, the new covenant community, is free (Galatians 4:21-31).

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      • William you definitely should watch that debate, it is good. Many thanks to Adam for posting it. Jacob’s trouble, the great tribulation ends with a resurrection of the faithful, Daniel 12:1, and a national turning of the Jewish people, Zechariah 12:9-14, & Jeremiah 30:5-7. Neither of those events occurred in 70 AD so, there is a yet future fulfillment.

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      • Here’s what Scripture says: [Rom 11:11-12, 15, 20-21, 23-29 NET] “11 I ask then, they [Israel=Jews as of the book of Esther] did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, did they [Jews]? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel [the word being synonymous with the words Jews] jealous. 12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world and their defeat means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their [Jews] full restoration bring? … 15 For if their [Jews] rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their [Jews] acceptance be but life from the dead? … 20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches [Jews] , perhaps he will not spare you [Gentiles]. … 23 And even they [Jews] – if they [Jews] do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them [Jews] in again. 24 For if you [Gentiles] were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree [Jesus], how much more will these natural branches [Jews] be grafted back into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their [Jews=144,000 See Revelation 7:4-8 for details] sins.” 28 In regard to the gospel they [Jews] are enemies for your [Gentiles] sake, but in regard to election they [Jews] are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the call of God are IRREVOCABLE.”

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    • Hi PJ

      In my previous email, I stopped short of saying that those who do not support Israel are not believers. I did so, because judgment belongs to the Lord Jesus alone, and none of us have a full handle on the Truth .However, they way in which one views God’s dealings with the Jews, such as Romans 9, 10, and 11 has profound effects on central tenets of the Christian faith, such as Grace, prophecy, and the Truth of God’s Word.

      I do make the point however that the line between those who believe the Bible and those who don’t becomes increasingly apparent and vivid; similarly, the line between those who love Israel and those who don’t is becoming markedly polarized .

      I appreciate the fact that Adam allows posts on his site that oppose his ideas. A less honourable man would simply have erased them, and for this I thank him. I have however profound scriptural disagreements with preterism, and I have expressed them in previous posts. My disagreement with the comments on this site however, are made on the basis of academic and historical accuracy.

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      • Paul, since the inception of the new covenant, God’s dealings with the Jews are in the same manner in which He deals with all/any people(s), so im not sure what you mean concerning,

        “However, they way in which one views God’s dealings with the Jews…”

        For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all. Romans 11:32

        God does not ‘deal’ differently with different ethnic groups. All are originally lost and in need of salvation, and all find that salvation in one way: through faith in Jesus Christ.

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  6. Hi Adam

    Let me respond to some of your comments step by step. Firstly, biblically, the physical seed in Israelite history came always from the paternal lineage. That is why tribal origin was determined by the father, not the mother. Even in Biblical times, women converted into the faith, so the Mosaic of populations you mentioned already started then. It was the male lineage that s seemed to count, contrary to rabbinical Judaism. The European Jewish y chromosome pool is overwhelmingly middle eastern, so they certainly qualify as Abraham’s physical seed on a biblical basis. The maternal pool is mixed, showing European women, ( largely Italian ) who converted. Geneticists vary on the degree of European elements in the maternal pool, ranging from 60- 30 % on average. No one argues about the paternal y chromosomes.

    The first source to look at is Wikipedia itself under Ashkenazi genetics.
    There are so many scholarly studies on the subject it is difficult to choose. I suggest a recent one on http://www.geneticliteracyproject by Doron Behar. Look at the studies on Ashkenazim by Dr Harry Oster, and a very good one by professor Martin Richards. He tend s to overestimate the European contribution, according to many geneticists. They all agree on one thing however – no evidence of Khazar ancestry.

    Lastly, I have myself as an example. I took part in a study,in University College London. They sampled my y chromosome, as I have a Lithuanian born Jewish father. My mother is not Jewish, and comes from a long line of British Celts, so they couldn’t take my Mt DNA. The y chromosome from my father however, turned out to be typically Middle Eastern, and clustered with a Syrian, other Middle easterners,, and Moroccan Jews.

    As to the mass conversion in Khazaria to which you refer, it simply didn’t happen. The foremost Historian on the subject is the well known historian Kevin Alan Brook. The Khazarian nobility , and some of the upper classes converted, but the Khazarian masses were free to continue their own shamanistic beliefs. For this reason their genetic input is not even tracable. Arthur Koestler whom you quote was not an historian but a writer. He developed the theory to try to avert anti-Semitism. It had the opposite effect, and may have been the reason for his suicide. I suggest you look at http://www.khazaria.com.

    As to Scripture, you already know my views. The point made here is an historical and scientific one.

    All best

    Paul

    Having said all this, as one of your readers already pointed out, the majority of Israelis are Misrachi anyway, and never left the Middle East in the first place.

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    • Hi, Paul. Thanks for the links. The khazaria.com site is interesting, what I’ve seen so far. If I’m following their arguments correctly, they’re acknowledging that many Khazars converted to Judaism at one time in the past, but that evidence doesn’t seem to suggest that Ashkenazi Jews in Israel trace back to those people.

      For example, the front page says concerning Ashkenazi Jews, “Surprisingly, there is evidence for small amounts of Southern Chinese, North African, and Slavic ancestry in Ashkenazi Jews, but not for Turkic Khazar ancestry.” Then a little further down it says, “Over a thousand years ago, the far east of Europe was ruled by Jewish kings who presided over numerous tribes, including their own tribe: the Turkic Khazars. After their conversion, the Khazar people used Jewish personal names, spoke and wrote in Hebrew, were circumcised, had synagogues and rabbis, studied the Torah and Talmud, and observed Hanukkah, Pesach, and the Sabbath.”

      A little further down it also says, “Judaism was practiced widely among Khazars, as these authentic quotes from medieval chroniclers demonstrate” ( http://www.khazaria.com/khazar-quotes.html). Those quotes do suggest a mass conversion to Judaism among the Khazar people.

      I also skimmed through Kevin Alan Brooks’s article, “Are Russian Jews Descended from the Khazars?” (http://www.khazaria.com/khazar-diaspora.html) It actually appears that he did a lot to substantiate the Khazar theory, and his concluding thought was that “it is rational to conclude that some Jews also have some Khazar ancestors,” though he does say that “East European Jewish ancestry originates substantially from ancient Judea, and the same is true of most other modern Jewish populations (with the exception of groups like Libyan Jews and Ethiopian Jews).”

      This 2013 research article is also interesting, making the following claim:

      “Many of the maternal ancestors of modern Ashkenazi Jews were European converts, according to new research. Analysis of DNA samples has shown that on the female line, the Ashkenazim are descended not from the Near East but from southern and western Europe.”

      Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008112539.htm

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      • Hi Adam

        As I have already pointed out, the maternal ancestry is often from European converts, mostly Italian. The 2013 study is the one I quoted from,( Martin Richards ) although some of it’s methodologies were a little faulty. Kevin Alan Brooks data that you quote are now outdated ( I have already got him to adjust the new Lemba results , based on news research ). Look to him for the History, not the genetics. 54 % of the Ashkenazi ancestry is Middle Eastern at the very least ,and their PATERNAL ancestry is overwhelmingly Middle Eastern, which is what counts biblically. Kevin Alan Brook always refers to the Ashkenazim as descendants of the Israelites. This is for him historic fact. What is absolutely incorrect , in fact, false, is to claim that there is any significant ancestry from Khazaria in the Ashkenazim. If you read Kevin’s article closely, instead of quoting out of context, you will see that very few Khazars converted., only the ruling classes.. When he says it was widely practiced this is what he means. Kevin would be horrified if you said this meant a mass conversion. I suggest you read his entire site carefully. He would be the first to deny what you have mistakenly inferred.
        Elhaik, whom you quote is a young guy who , like many lesser academics, did not do his homework historically, and tried to fit data into a faulty historical hypothesis. hence he tried to see Middle eastern genetics as belonging to Khazaria. In fact, he should have examined Central Asian populations. This is why he has been laughed out of court by major geneticists. If the pursuit of truth is truly your agenda, then it is surprising that you have not published from Wikipedia the overall story about Ashkenazi genetics. There are also major historians by the way who do not believe there is sufficient evidence that Khazaria existed at all. All this should be taken into account when bringing the truth to the public.You say that hatred has no place in the heart of a believer. I really feel you should look deeply into yours and ask yourself why so many truths have been so disingenuously omitted.

        Paul

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      • Hi Paul,

        I’m sure there are many articles on this subject that I have “omitted,” simply because I am unaware of them and/or have never read them. I skimmed that article written by Brooks because it is a very long one, and I haven’t read through all the material on the Khazaria site because I haven’t had the time to do so.

        Tonight I read Brooks’ article more thoroughly. He takes a middle-of-the-road approach and doesn’t seem to land hard on one side versus the other concerning how widespread Judaism was in Khazaria. The first two-thirds of the article is made up of evidence in support of the Khazar theory and scholarly opinions in favor of the theory. These two ancient quotes had caught my eye earlier, especially because of how close they were in time to the Khazarian conversion in question:

        [1] “All of the Khazars are Jews. But they have been Judaized recently.” – Ibn al-Faqih, a 10th century author
        [2] “The Khazars have a script which is related to the script of the Russians [Rus]…. The greater part of these Khazars who use this script are Jews.” – Ta’rikh-i Fakhr ad-Din Mubarak Shah, a Persian work composed in 1206

        Most of the final third of the article is a lot of back-and-forth where Brooks’ discusses biases, overstatements, modern statements made before more evidence about the Khazar people was discovered and published, etc. I see that he believes Koestler’s work, referenced in this post, was tainted by sensationalism.

        As for any views which are contrary to what appeared in this post, they are not being censored here. You and others are free to share and explain contrary views here in the comment section, and I will leave them up so that anyone who comes across this post can evaluate things, make their own informed decisions, etc. By the way, in this post I did include Wikipedia’s entry on Ashkenazi Jews. It’s near the end, and has been there since the day this post was published.

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      • Hi Adam

        Many thanks for your measured response below, which is appreciated, and my apologies for overlooking the inclusion of the Wikipedia link. This said, it is an unfortunate fact that most readers do not research further than the information written on the front of a site.
        I have corresponded with Kevin Brook for some years now. He has always wanted to see a Khazar origin in the Ashkenazim and has been progressively disappointed down the years as improved DNA analysis has indicated otherwise. He has always been prepared to adjust his findings in the light of current knowledge, and for this, I respect him as an historian. Yet even he highlights certain genetic findings that he feels may link him to his original hypothesis – an example being the 1.1% Asian ancestry. This is in fact is extremely low as a figure, especially in view of the fact that the average Englishman is 14% Siberian ( which is Mongolian ) and continental Europeans even more, according to recent findings. When one has neither the time, and often the specialist knowledge to delve into scholarly articles, I find the best solution is to read their conclusions. Here are Kevin’s, after many years’ research. ” Are all Jews around the world descended from Khazars? Certainly not. East European Jewish ancestry originates substantially from Ancient Judea, and the same is true of other modern Jewish populations. But it is rational to conclude that SOME Jews have SOME Khazar ancestors.” Let me end with the conclusion of one of the latest whole genome studies, which are even more accurate by Behar.” Thus analysis of Ashkenazi Jews, together with a large sample of the Khazar Khanate corroborates the earlier results that Ashkenazi Jews derive their ancestry primarily from populations of the Middle East and Europe, and they possess considerable shared ancestry with other Jewish populations” Thank you again for allowing your readers to respond freely.

        Paul

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  7. Hi PJ

    The Romans 11:32 you quote is a wonderful revelation of God’s grace. Romans 10 v;12 says ” there is no difference between Jew and Greek – for the same Lord over all is rich unto them who call on Him.:

    However, the same author of Romans wrote: in 15:27 ” If the gentiles have been partakers of their ( the Jews ) spiritual blessings , their duty is also to administer to them ( the Jews ) in carnal ( physical ) things.”

    Romans 11:15 ‘ If their casting away mean riches for the gentiles, what will their return be but life from the dead?”
    Romans 11;28 ” They ( the Jews ) , concerning the Gospel, are enemies for your sakes,, but as touching the election, they are beloved because of the Patriachs” for v.29, the gifts and calling s of God are without repentance.

    That is the problem with text quoting. Since verses and chapters were added to the Bible, we have become a text reading generation instead of a context reading one. The whole book must be read to get the picture.

    The problem with reading the Bible, is not it’s statements, but what people say about it’s statements. It is it’s own best interpreter, and like nature is to the scientist, must be allowed to tell it’s own story.

    Paul

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    • Hi Paul,

      However, the same author of Romans wrote: in 15:27 ” If the gentiles have been partakers of their ( the Jews ) spiritual blessings , their duty is also to administer to them ( the Jews ) in carnal ( physical ) things.”

      This is speaking of the poor and suffering among the saints (believers) within the Church in Jerusalem Paul, who were in dire need. We know from God’s Word we are to care for those within the body of Christ, who are in need.

      Forgive me if im wrong, but i keep getting the impression you are attempting to point out we have an obligation to ethnic Jews (secular), besides taking the Gospel to the lost among them.

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      • Hi PJ

        The poor saints in Jerusalem were Jews, and this was Paul’s point. That is why Paul says ” for if the GENTILES have been made partakers of their spiritual blessings , , their duty is also to minister to them in carnal things” Paul could not have been clearer in the distinction that he was making. The context is all important. I refer you to the Scripture itself, not my opinion. My opinion doesn’t matter.

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  8. “have been made partakers of their spiritual blessings” , “25 For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret — that ye may not be wise in your own conceits — that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fullness of the nations may come in;
    26 and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it hath been written, `There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob,
    27 and this to them [is] the covenant from Me, when I may take away their sins.'” “17 And if certain of the branches were broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wast graffed in among them, and a fellow-partaker of the root and of the fatness of the olive tree didst become —
    18 do not boast against the branches; and if thou dost boast, thou dost not bear the root, but the root thee!” All from Romans 11 We gentile believers are grafted in to their tree. Please don’t put me into some dispensational, Zionist category. I don’t fit. Just reading Romans 9-11 led me to these conclusions. We gentile believers are brought into the fulfillment of the Jewish faith, their tent is enlarged to include us and that message was clear to the gentile believers in Acts and they rejoiced to hear of it. Somehow, somewhere along the way, “the church” began to be seen as a separate entity with a separate agenda. All the talk of the old covenant being past and done away with has to do with the Mosaic Law and Sacrifice code, it does not have to do with the Abrahamic or Davidic Covenant. The circumcised heart, the new heart, the writing of the law on our hearts, the creating of a clean heart, the truth of being born again, these are all clearly stated in the prophets. As Paul states in Romans 16 “25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.” This is a gospel of revelation of what has already been spoken. Ephesians 2 also makes this clear “12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 [m]by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might [n]make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, [o]by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the [p]saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy [q]temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” How can anyone read this section and think that the “church” is some new thing that has no connection to the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? We are now brought into the “commonwealth of Israel.” The Abrahamic covenant Gen. 15 involves land, like it or not. It was repeated to Isaac and Jacob, and Jacobs sons understood it as applying to them also. Moses and Joshua obviously thought the land was important. Satan still thinks the land is important. The Davidic covenant involves God’s rule and reign from this land. Hosea loves His Gomer and will love her in ways that seem extravagant and ridiculous to the natural mind. PJ I am grateful for your interactions in these comments, your thoughts cause me to think deeper and go deeper. And, as always, I am grateful to Adam for letting the “comments” section roll on till we have all been exhausted!!

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    • Just a quick question Chuck, and a longer one

      you wrote,

      “All the talk of the old covenant being past and done away with has to do with the Mosaic Law and Sacrifice code, it does not have to do with the Abrahamic or Davidic Covenant”

      What leads you to believe that when the old covenant was done away with, being replaced by the new and better covenant, the Abrahamic or Davidic (covenant) was excluded?

      Chuck i know you say you don’t place yourself and beliefs into the dispensationalist camp, but some of your observations say otherwise. Such as;

      “The Davidic covenant involves God’s rule and reign from this land. Hosea loves His Gomer and will love her in ways that seem extravagant and ridiculous to the natural mind”

      You seem, by your words, to place Israel (the secular nation today) into a category separate from the manner in which He deals with other nations. Perhaps you do this unintentionally, but nevertheless you do it. You appear, or at least come across as one who believes God deals differently with Israel. This IS dispensationalism Chuck. They believe God has a separate “special plan” for Israel and the Jews in the last days prior to the return of Jesus. That prior to our Lord’s return a “great revival and awakening ” will occur in Israel and every Jew will be saved.

      If im not mistaken, it was Ryrie who wrote (Adam, correct me if im wrong), “there is one main distinction between dispensationalist and non-dispensationalist: we, dispensationalists see a clear distinction between God’s program for Israel and God’s program for the Church”

      You seem to concur in your comments Chuck. Am i wrong?

      As Spurgeon wrote (concerning eschatology)

      “Why, every child of God in every place stands on the same footing; the Lord has not some children best beloved, some second-rate offspring, and others whom he hardly cares about”

      This is true, as is: God has not one way in which He deals with some people (Gentiles) and another in which He deals with others (Jews). He saves all (who are saved) in the same manner: through individual faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ. God has not postponed and put aside a “special time” in which those born as Jews will come to salvation, while all others may come now. He has no “special” love, different then another “type” of love, for those known ethnically, as Jews.

      God has one plan, known by Him before the creation of the world, to save mankind. One. He has one people of God. One. Those who abide in Christ Jesus. One elect, One chosen. And these are those who’s names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life—those in Christ. It is these who possess the promises of God.

      There is one Israel today, under the new covenant, which possesses all the promises: it is the Israel of God–Spiritual Israel, made up of born again, saved, Jews and Gentiles.

      The book of Romans was written to reassure (the Jews) and explain to the Gentiles, that God had not cast away all Israel–all Jews–but that there was a remnant who were (at that time) believers–saved and abiding in Christ. Paul’s obvious hope and prayer was many more would come to this wonderful salvation in the future; that many others would realize they must be saved by the blood of Jesus like anyone and everyone else: This was a new concept for many (Jews) to grasp—having believed prior to the Cross that their salvation and inheritance rested safely in the knowledge of their being “natural” descendants of Abraham. Now, this fact of natural descendancy mattered not a wit!

      If you disagree with the above, you are a dispensationalist Chuck. Though you may not realize it.

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    • PJ thanks for your questions, that is a good way to interact. I think I have differences with dispensationalism, but that is not nearly as important as your first question, so I will focus on that.
      Hebrews 8 and 9 is the primary place where we find the language of the ‘old covenant being replaced by the new covenant.’ The ENTIRE EMPHASIS of Hebrews 8 and 9 has to do with the Mosaic Laws, priesthood, tabernacle, high priest etc. Verse 8-12 of chapter 8 is a very long word for word quote from Jeremiah and it clearly shows this “new covenant” is for Israel and Judah, the physical people freed from the physical land of Egypt. We gentile Christians get grafted into this fantastic “new covenant.” The tent is enlarged to include us, Glory to God in the Highest for His great mercy!
      The fact that chapters 8 and 9 focus on Moses and the sacrificial system is the reason that I say the language, does not include the Abrahamic Covenant or the Davidic covenant.

      As to the “lesser question” I do not think the “church” was birthed at Pentecost, I do not think this is a separate “church” age that ends with a rapture. I think I have differences with dispensational thought which may not come through in the limited sphere of these “comments.” Thanks for asking questions, and keeping the discussion alive. I think other people can “look in on us” and see the differing points of view.

      Lastly, I would be interested to know what scriptures you use when saying, “Now, this fact of natural descendancy mattered not a wit!” I, of course, would have scriptures in mind that dispute this statement.

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  9. Chuck, im afraid i’d have to post most (or much) of the new testament. Entire portions of the new testament make it very clear that the Church (God’s people today) is a spiritual building made up of those in Christ. Any dependency upon flesh (or fleshly connections) count for nothing. Under the new covenant the relationship we must be concerned with is our spiritual relationship to Jesus Christ. It is through THIS relationship we possess salvation and the blessings and promises of God. This, is what the majority of Jews did not understand, still clinging to the belief that because they were descendants of Abraham, they were secure in their position in God (being the chosen, the elect). This wrong belief even led many of them to believe (until the very end) God would “surely” deliver them in 70AD when a demonic (murdering) insanity took over, and they brutally tore each other into pieces (some, even ate their own off-spring), even while the Temple burned down around them.

    John warned them as did Jesus, that being natural descendants no longer assured their positions, which they were very proud of.

    Matthew 3:9-12

    9 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. 10 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. 11 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: 12 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.

    Today, sons and daughters are spiritual, born of faith in Jesus Christ.

    Galatians 3:23-29

    23 Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. 24 So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

    Paul expounds upon this in Romans 2:17-29

    17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely upon the law and boast of your relation to God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed in the law, 19 and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

    25 Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. 29 He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.

    And continues (beautifully) to explain this in Galatians 3 and 4.

    3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? 4 Did you experience so many things in vain?—if it really is in vain. 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?

    6 Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 7 So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.

    10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for “He who through faith is righteous shall live”;[a] 12 but the law does not rest on faith, for “He who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”— 14 that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

    15 To give a human example, brethren: no one annuls even a man’s will,[b] or adds to it, once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many; but, referring to one, “And to your offspring,” which is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance is by the law, it is no longer by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

    19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained by angels through an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one; but God is one.

    21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not; for if a law had been given which could make alive, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the scripture consigned all things to sin, that what was promised to faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

    23 Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. 24 So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

    4 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; 2 but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3 So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.

    8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods; 9 but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days, and months, and seasons, and years! 11 I am afraid I have labored over you in vain.

    12 Brethren, I beseech you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong; 13 you know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first; 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What has become of the satisfaction you felt? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?[a] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose; they want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 For a good purpose it is always good to be made much of, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you! 20 I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

    The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
    21 Tell me, you who desire to be under law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. 24 Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[b] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

    “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and shout, you who are not in travail;
    for the children of the desolate one are many more
    than the children of her that is married.”

    28 Now we,[c] brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now. 30 But what does the scripture say? “Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

    I can post more if you’d like. Flesh benefits nothing under the new covenant Chuck.

    *On a sidenote* i would like to beseech you that read here to please pray for my friend and neighbor, Cel. A couple days ago she received word her youngest son (a Christian) who had recently fallen into deep despair, hung himself. We here at Grand Towers are a ver close community, knowing each other’s families, etc. and are grieving with Cel, but feel helpless/ She has many questions as to ‘where’ her poor son is now. We have no answers. I ask you to pray for her, and for God to give someone here the words to comfort her. We are all lost for words. Thank you

    (Adam, if you would leave this note up for a day or two, then remove it, i would greatly appreciate it. I don’t want it to interfere in the discussion but felt led to ask for prayer from your readers)

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    • PJ one more request, Scriptures that say the Abrahamic Covenant or the Davidic Covenant are finished/over and done with? I think I made a good case that Hebrews 8,9 was restricted to the Mosaic Covenant.

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      • Hi Chuck, happened to see this post/question in my mail tonight. I have a question for you concerning the Davidic covenant. In 2Sam.7 we read the words of Nathan to David;

        11 Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men; 15 but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.’”

        17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

        In reference (especially) to verse 16, “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever”, can you see this is pointing to Jesus? This was a reflection of the coming Messiah who was to rule forever. So yes, the Davidic covenant was indeed fulfilled. Not “over and done with”, but wonderfully fulfilled by God’s Son who sits upon the Throne today.

        Keith Mathison explains this beautifully in his message, “The Davidic Covenant — The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology”. http://www.ligonier.org/blog/davidic-covenant-unfolding-biblical-eschatology/

        “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. ” (Isaiah 9:7)

        “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness. ” (Isaiah 16:5)

        “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. “Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.” (Zechariah 6:12-13)

        “I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever And build up your throne to all generations.” (Psalm 89:3-4)

        “And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised” (Acts 13: 22,23)

        “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.” Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2: 29-36) – Emphasis added

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      • it is amazing to me how we can look at the same scriptures and see things so differently. The throne of David is a literal reference to the reign of Jesus. Jesus clarified that He as greater than David, but Jesus never rejected people who cried out for mercy using the title “son of David”. I was challenged recently, by God, to go back and look at Zephaniah. This section at the end of chapter 3 blessed me greatly. I hope it does you also. Zephaniah 3:12-20 ““But I will leave among you
        A humble and lowly people,
        And they will take refuge in the name of the Lord.
        13 “The remnant of Israel will do no wrong
        And tell no lies,
        Nor will a deceitful tongue
        Be found in their mouths;
        For they will feed and lie down
        With no one to make them tremble.”
        14 Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion!
        Shout in triumph, O Israel!
        Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
        O daughter of Jerusalem!
        15 The Lord has taken away His judgments against you,
        He has cleared away your enemies.
        The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
        You will fear disaster no more.
        16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem:
        “Do not be afraid, O Zion;
        Do not let your hands fall limp.
        17 “The Lord your God is in your midst,
        A [e]victorious warrior.
        He will exult over you with joy,
        He will be quiet in His love,
        He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
        18 “I will gather those who grieve about the appointed feasts—
        They came from you, O Zion;
        The reproach of exile is a burden on them.
        19 “Behold, I am going to deal at that time
        With all your oppressors,
        I will save the lame
        And gather the outcast,
        And I will turn their shame into praise and renown
        In all the earth.
        20 “At that time I will bring you in,
        Even at the time when I gather you together;
        Indeed, I will give you renown and praise
        Among all the peoples of the earth,
        When I restore your fortunes before your eyes,”
        Says the Lord.”
        This sure sounds literal, and surely has never happened in the history of the world, and if it were not a promise from God, it would be “over the top” ridiculous, “do no wrong, tell no lies”, amazing promises of restoration to a covenant people.
        I guess we are about done, I will let you have the final word.

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    • Hi PJ,

      I’m agreeing in prayer as well for Cel and all the rest of you at Grand Towers who are grieving with her, and asking God to use some of you to comfort her. This note isn’t a problem at all, and I’ll be glad to leave it up.

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  10. One last thing PJ and we could do this separately through e-mails if you feel we are imposing on Adam. What about Ephesians chapter 2, the whole thing, but verses 11-13 specifically, and the concept of coming into the commonwealth of Israel?? 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Also there is a deep truth in Samson’s suicidal death, being in the Hall of Faith of Hebrews 11, that requires that we put down the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and pick up the fruit of the tree of life)

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    • Hi, Chuck. You’re not imposing on me at all. (No one here is doing that.) I have to admit that I’ve read most of this post’s comments on my cell phone when I’ve had a moment here or there at work, and then time (and days) got away from me when I might have replied to some of them earlier. However, I don’t think anything here has been off-topic, and I don’t mind the conversations at all. You all are more than welcome to carry on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Chuck! i didn’t want to forget this (your question) so i had copied and pasted it in a letter to myself, aha… Anyway, i was re-reading it in my mail tonight.

      11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18 for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

      Chuck, im not really sure what you’re asking, particularly concerning verses 11-13 as they seem to be fairly self-explanitory. (I continued and finished posting until the end of the chapter just so we could see it in context)

      We know that before the Cross, Gentiles were alienated, but that now (at the time of Paul’s writing) were one with the remnant of believing Jews. One in Christ. One man, who now had obtained the promises of Christ. Paul is in essence pointing out the condition of Gentiles (as a whole) prior to the shedding of Christ’s blood, and the great and wonderful difference which existed afterward for those in Christ.

      You did ask “specifically” concerning the term commonwealth? Are you asking what that means pertaining to this verse? If so, i don’t believe Paul was thinking “naturally” as much as spiritually, as he is relating to the spiritual man and spiritual nation (see 1st Peter 2:9), now made up of both believing Gentiles and Jews, and the promises which belong to this “one man”. Paul in this verse, takes “Israel” to a spiritual level.

      I love expositor James Burton’s comments on this verse:

      Alienated from the commonwealth of Israel: – The use of this expression shows that Paul was already thinking of the commonwealth of the new Israel, the spiritual Israel, which is the church, which is not exclusively the possession of any race or class of people, but for “whomsoever will.” All nations, races and divisions of human beings are invited to membership in the new commonwealth. By bringing into view in these verses the Jews and Gentiles (Circumcision and Uncircumcision), Paul indicated that all other similar distinctions are likewise abrogated in Christ. The Jewish exclusiveness was actually hardly worse than that of the educated Greeks who divided the whole world as “Greeks and barbarians,” or that of the Romans who classified all people as either “citizens or non-citizens.” Summarized, any of these classifications actually meant, “We vs. all other people on earth”!

      Like i said, i may be missing your point, if so perhaps you could explain what it is you are specifically asking about concerning this verse or/and verses 11-13?

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      • I guess our “bias” is coming out as we read these verses. I do not see how Paul could be talking about Israel in the flesh in verse 11 and switch to “the church” in verse 12 while still using the same language. We are grafted in to an ancient vine, and those people and their covenants and promises. It is amazing to me what Paul ties together, lumps together in verse 12″ remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” That just seems so clear to me, that we are being brought into their promises, what they already have, we are being given access to. The faith of Abraham connected he and his offspring to the promises of God. All of the scriptures that you shared above have to do with the Mosaic covenant. We are agreed that has passed, but the Abrahamic and Davidic covenant go on to their full and complete fulfillment with a people and a land. (Genesis 15). I have enjoyed this exchange, I think it has brought some clarity.

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  11. Thanks for your patience Chuck. As i wrote Adam last evening, im still having pain (after the surgery) and its been impossible to sit longer then a few minutes at a time at the computer–it’s been very aggravating when you’re trying to reply to folks. 🙂 I definitely want to get back to this, just give me a little more (healing) time.

    And by the way, thank you for pointing out Samson being included in the Hall of Faith. Something to ponder upon…

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  12. […] The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The “Rhineland hypothesis” depicts Eastern European Jews as a “population isolate” that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the “Khazarian hypothesis” suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco–Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo–Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo–Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazars’ contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian hypothesis and compare it with the Rhineland hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe a major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications for the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and for medical studies. Read more here :  Who Are the Jews in Israel Today? […]

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