Jewish & Gentile Misunderstandings of Messiah
The last ‘Thru the Bible’ we had was called ‘Debriefing Jeremiah‘ where you all broke into groups and worked through the book facilitated by questions I used to guide the conversation and keep it on track.
Teri told me later that she thought it would be beneficial to have me discuss with you the last question offering my insights.
The last question was:
- Discuss how you see the particulars of Jeremiah’s most famous prophecy (written below) as having been fulfilled through and in the New Covenant.
Jeremiah’s most famous prophecy…Jeremiah 31:21-40,
“(21) Set up signposts, Make landmarks; Set your heart toward the highway, The way in which you went. Turn back, O virgin of Israel, Turn back to these your cities.
(22) How long will you gad about, O you backsliding daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth— A woman shall encompass a man.”
So the first part of tonight is going to be covering this prophecy of Jeremiah and the second part will be our covering something we will begin to see more and more as we work through the reminder of the Old Testament and that is where the Gentiles fit into God’s plan of redemption.
Messiah is perhaps equally misunderstood by both non-believing Jews, completed Jews and Christians and that is largely due to preconcieved ideas, poor teaching and in many cases an outright ignorance regarding the scriptures.
Part 1: Jeremiah’s Prophecy
This is yet another reference to the virgin birth. It is subtle yet for those with eyes to see it is quite clear.
The ‘New Thing’ God is creating is a covenant, yet we know from Jesus’ Own words that the New Covenant was IN HIS BLOOD. The bloodline does not descend through the woman, but the man. The word encompass means to house which is being used almost poetically here to refer to the womb of Messiah’s mother.
As such, all that follows is Messianic in nature of His person, His ministry, the New Covenant and its effects.
“(23) Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “They shall again use this speech in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I bring back their captivity:
‘The LORD bless you, O home of justice, and mountain of holiness!’
(24) And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all its cities together, farmers and those going out with flocks.
(25) For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (26) After this I awoke and looked around, and my sleep was sweet to me.”
“(27) “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.”
This was likely a way of saying He will prosper them. Much like in Deut. 28 talks of the increase of their offspring and of their cattle. Though this prosperity is Spiritual for the covenant is based upon better promises – ALL OF WHICH produce Christ in us, thereby making us partakers of the Divine nature! However, along with this promise is persecution in this life and this is necessary according to 1Peter chapter 1.
“(28) And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the LORD.
(29) In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ (30) But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.”
The Old Covenant was a national covenant. It was in fact contingent upon the individual to be committed to its precepts and each individual did bear their own guilt on some level. However, under certain circumstances entire families or tribes were punished due to its fathers and leaders. The New Covenant is a covenant with individuals who make up a kingdom. God deals with us largely as individuals, though His judgments are towards the body of Christ first, it is largely done on an individual basis.
“(31) “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— (32) not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
(33) But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD:
I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
(34) No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD.
FOR I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
God then reveals the surety of this proclamation – that it is as certain as the sun rising and setting.
“(35) Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name):
“(36) “If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever.”
(37) Thus says the LORD: “If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the LORD.
(38) “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that the city shall be built FOR the LORD—from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. (39) The surveyor’s line shall again extend straight forward over the hill Gareb; then it shall turn toward Goath. (40) And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Brook Kidron, to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east, shall be holy to the LORD.
It shall not be plucked up or thrown down anymore forever.”
This latter part in my opinion is a dual reference. First to the body of Christ being built a dwelling place for God in the spirit. Secondly in reference to the fulfillment of God’s word to the Jews that they would dwell in their land and that will follow the time of the Gentiles.
This is SUCH an important part of the scriptures which is largely misunderstood.
Regarding the Old COVENANT…
The Jews misunderstood Messiah…His purposes and His kingdom being spiritual and not natural at all. Because God had promised a future in their land where they would dwell in safety and Messiah would rule on David’s throne they assumed such was the entire purpose of Messiah.
So when He came born of a lowly birth, living the life of a wandering teacher, was condemned to die on a cross which made Him cursed by the law – it completely removed Him from consideration as Messiah in their view.
The Jews did not see the suffering of Messiah. This is why Matthew tells us that after Peter received revelation from Abba that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the Living God, that “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” ~ Matt. 16:21
The Jews as a whole also did not see the time of the Gentiles, nor a later fulfillment of God’s promise to them regarding their land and Messiah’s natural rule even though it was prophesied many times.
Now regarding the New Covenant…
The Gentiles misunderstand salvation. They believe everything culminates in Jesus a Savior alone and that ALL His purposes are ONLY spiritual which is also a mistake.
Christ is also Lord of our bodies in this life as well as that of the kingdoms of this world.
Surely His kingdom IS a spiritual kingdom, but in order to establish the Spiritual, God first uses the fulfillment of His natural promises to His people, which in the case of the Jews, will eventuate in their living again in their land.
“Their swords will be beaten into plowshares and they will have peace and Jesus will rule from the throne of David” – ALL of which are prophecies which have yet to be fulfilled.
If God is NOT going to be found a liar, they MUST BE FULFILLED and if they have not yet been fulfilled that does not simply ‘suggest’ a future fulfillment – it requires it!
As such, the devil has used both misunderstandings to advance his cause. The Jews refuse to acknowledge their Messiah and so reject eternal life as Paul said – Acts 13:46.
Many Gentiles not only fail to see the Millennial reign of Christ, but they believe Jesus has already fulfilled ALL Old Testament prophecies which in fact He has NOT!
This illiteracy among Gentile Christians has cost us much! One major impact it has had is upon the Christian view of the Jews. It has led to some Christians going so far as to believe that God has permanently set aside Israel even though Paul made it clear this is not the case. But such thinking has given rise to anti-sematism even in the Body of Christ. Even martin Luther became anti-semitic in his later years.
Do you see how NOT understanding these things advances the kingdom of satan and divides God’s people and works to slow down the progress of His work in the earth?
No wonder the scriptures say that all of Creation is waiting on us to simply GROW UP!
So, I was going to go on to the book of Zephaniah tonight, but the more I spent time with this the more I saw the benefit of just dealing with this subject while we are here.
Now it is quite impossible to do a thorough job of it, due to the amount of chapters but we will read through them and I will offer comments and insights as we go, but it will be far cry from a thorough treatment of the subject.
Let’s turn in our bibles to Romans 9-11 & 15 and we will be reading through to chapter 15. I’m confident that you will find that your learning up to this point will be sufficient to get quite a bit of confirmation of what I have said so far tonight by a simple reading of them.
“(1) I speak the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with the Holy Spirit– (2) that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart.
(3) For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my countrymen by physical descent. (4) They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.
(5) The forefathers are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, Who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
(6) But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. (7) Neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants.
On the contrary, in Isaac your seed will be called. (8) That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered seed.
(9) For this is the statement of the promise:
“At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.”
(10) And not only that, but also when Rebekah became pregnant by Isaac our forefather (11) (for though they had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand, (12) not from works but from the One who calls) she was told:
The older will serve the younger.
(13) As it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.
(14) What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not!
(15) For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
(16) So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy.
(17) For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: For this reason I raised you up: so that I may display My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (18) So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. (19) You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?”
(20) But who are you–anyone who talks back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?” (21) Or has the potter no right over His clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?
(22) And what if God, desiring to display His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience objects of wrath ready for destruction? (23) And what if He did this to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy that He prepared beforehand for glory– (24) on us whom He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
(25) As He also says in Hosea: I will call “Not-My-People,” “My-People,” and she who is “Unloved,” “Beloved.” (26) And it will be in the place where they were told, you are not My people, there they will be called sons of the living God.
(27) But Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: Though the number of Israel’s sons is like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved; (28) for the Lord will execute His sentence completely and decisively on the earth.
(29) And just as Isaiah predicted: If the Lord of Hosts had not left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.
(30) What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness– namely the righteousness that comes from faith.
(31) But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the law.
(32) Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.
(33) As it is written: Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over, and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
“(1) Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation!
(2) I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (3) Because they disregarded the righteousness from God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness.
(4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
(5) For Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them.
(6) But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this:
Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down (7) or, “Who will go down into the abyss?” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.
(8) On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim:
(9) If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.
(11) Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame, (12) for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him.
(13) For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
(14) But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe without hearing about Him?
And how can they hear without a preacher?
(15) And how can they preach unless they are sent?
As it is written: How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!
(16) But all did not obey the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message?
(17) So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
(18) But I ask, “Did they not hear?” Yes, they did: Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the inhabited world.
(19) But I ask, “Did Israel not understand?”
First, Moses said: I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that lacks understanding.
(20) And Isaiah says boldly: I was found by those who were not looking for Me; I revealed Myself to those who were not asking for Me.
(21) But to Israel he says: All day long I have spread out My hands to a disobedient and defiant people.”
“(1) I ask, then, has God rejected His people? Absolutely not!
For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
(2) God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.
Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the Elijah section–how he pleads with God against Israel?
(3) Lord, they have killed Your prophets, torn down Your altars; and I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life!
(4) But what was God’s reply to him?
I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to Baal.
(5) In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace.
(6) Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.
(7) What then? Israel did not find what it was looking for, but the elect did find it. The rest were hardened, (8) as it is written: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear, to this day.”
If you remember this is what Jesus was referring to when He said in Mark 4 that some were on the inside and some were on the outside. To those on the inside it was given to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to those who are outside all things come in parable so that “seeing they may see and not understand and hearing they may hear and not comprehend lest they turn and their sins be forgiven them.”
“(9) And David says: Let their feasting become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution to them. (10) Let their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent continually.
(11) I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not!
On the contrary, by their stumbling, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous.
(12) Now if their stumbling brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full number bring!”
Notice the affirmative word -WILL. Paul by the Spirit of the living God sees a future where Israel will be saved, yet he will reveal in a little bit that it will FOLLOW the of the Gentiles!
“(13) Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. In view of the fact that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, (14) if I can somehow make my own people jealous and save some of them.
(15) For if their being rejected is world reconciliation, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
(16) Now if the firstfruits offered up are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches.
(17) Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, though a wild olive branch, were grafted in among them, and have come to share in the rich root of the cultivated olive tree, (18) do not brag that you are better than those branches. But if you do brag–you do not sustain the root, but the root sustains you.
(19) Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
(20) True enough; they were broken off by unbelief, but you stand by faith.
Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. (21) For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either.
(22) Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you–if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
(23) And even they, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, because God has the power to graft them in again.
(24) For if you were cut off from your native wild olive, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these–the natural branches–be grafted into their own olive tree?
(25) So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: a partial hardening has come to Israel UNTIL the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (26) And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob. (27) And this will be My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.
(28) Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of their forefathers, (29) since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable.
(30) As you once disobeyed God, but now have received mercy through their disobedience, (31) so they too have now disobeyed, resulting in mercy to you, so that they also now may receive mercy.
(32) For God has imprisoned all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.
(33) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!
(34) For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? (35) Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid?
(36) For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
“(1) Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. (2) Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, in order to build him up.
(3) For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me.
(4) For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope.
(5) Now may the God of endurance and encouragement grant you agreement with one another, according to Christ Jesus, (6) so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.
(7) Therefore accept one another, just as the Messiah also accepted you, to the glory of God.
(8) Now I say that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises to the fathers, (9) and so that Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy.
As it is written: Therefore I will praise You among the Gentiles, and I will sing psalms to Your name.
(10) Again it says: Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people!
(11) And again: Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; all the peoples should praise Him!
(12) And again, Isaiah says: The root of Jesse will appear, the One Who rises to rule the Gentiles; in Him the Gentiles will hope.
(13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(14) Now, my brothers, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. (15) Nevertheless, to remind you, I have written to you more boldly on some points because of the grace given me by God (16) to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest of God’s good news.
My purpose is that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
(17) Therefore I have reason to boast in Christ Jesus regarding what pertains to God. (18) For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, (19) by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit.
As a result, I have fully proclaimed the good news about the Messiah from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum.
(20) So my aim is to evangelize where Christ has not been named, in order that I will not be building on someone else’s foundation, (21) but, as it is written:
Those who had no report of Him will see, and those who have not heard will understand. (22) That is why I have been prevented many times from coming to you. (23) But now I no longer have any work to do in these provinces, and I have strongly desired for many years to come to you (24) whenever I travel to Spain.
For I do hope to see you when I pass through, and to be sent on my way there by you, once I have first enjoyed your company for a while.
(25) Now, however, I am traveling to Jerusalem to serve the saints; (26) for Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution to the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
(27) Yes, they were pleased, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual benefits, then they are obligated to minister to Jews in material needs.
(28) So when I have finished this and safely delivered the funds to them, I will go by way of you to Spain. (29) But I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
(30) Now I implore you, brothers, through the Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to agonize together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf: (31) that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, (32) and that, by God’s will, I may come to you with joy and be refreshed together with you.
(33) The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.”