Israel Moment #1 – Christians are Citizens of Israel (Eph 2:11-19)

This is the first part in a 56 part series put together by Pastor Steven Anderson.  I will share his videos at the top of these articles and then elaborate thereon afterwards.  This is an excellent series of teachings on the topics of Israel &  Zion and how they are defined in  Judaism and Christianity.

Note: Sharing the work of another does not mean that I agree with all of their works or even the entirety of the reference itself.  At the same time, quoting the work of another does not imply that they agree with all or any of my works or that they agree with my interpretation of their works.

 

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
Eph 2:12  That at that time ye 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:
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Eph 2:18  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Are unbelieving Jews saints (vs. 19)?  The saints are the household of God, built upon Jesus Christ.  Unbelieving Jews have rejected the cornerstone.

Saints = Israel (Psalm 148:14); Saints = Zion (Psalm 149:2); Saints = Body of Christ (the Church) (Ephesians 4:12; Colossians 1:2; Jude 1:3); Saints = those who keep commandments and have faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12); Saints = the Temple/House of God (Ephesians 2:19-22; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:9-17; 6:19; Hebrews 3:1-6; 1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:15).

Jesus is the Cornerstone which was rejected by fleshly Israel.

Psa 118:22  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Psa 118:23  This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

Mat 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Mar 12:10  And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
Mar 12:11  This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Luk 20:17  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

1Pe 2:4  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Scripture declares this prophecy is speaking of Jesus.

Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the foundation of the Zion…the Church

1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Eph 2:19 So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and of the family of God,
Eph 2:20 being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone,
Eph 2:21 in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the Lord,
Eph 2:22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Who/what then is the foundation of Zionism which rejects Jesus Christ?  Can a Christan join with a body of people who reject Jesus?

Near the end of His ministry, the Jews asked the Messiah where He got His authority to do what He was doing in which He asked them about their belief in the baptism of John (Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:2-8). He then gave them the parable of the vineyard where the workers of the vineyard kill the servants of their Master and eventually His Son so that they can seize the inheritance (Matthew 21:28-41; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16). Messiah said they rejected the cornerstone and as a result they were to be rejected and the vineyard/kingdom would be given to others (believers in Messiah – Ephesians 3:8-12) (Matthew 21:42-44; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17-19).

The Lord Jesus warned believers of those who did not bring forth fruit after their “field” was given dung that their “tree” would be cut down (Luke 13:8-9). The “vineyard” that rejects Messiah Jesus and does not bring forth the fruit of His Word/Spirit will be destroyed (Matthew 21:33-43). This was also the warning of John the Baptist (Luke 3:8-9)

When a Christian professes the doctrines of Jewish Zionism what is being said? Are they not joining with those who have been rejected because of their rejection of the Lord? Are they not denying the words of the Lord? He said those who reject Him would be rejected…Christian Zionism says the opposite.

Scripture teaches there was a big change in Israel when Messiah came and there was a split between those who were of His flock and those who were not (Luk 2:34).  Those who were not, later led by a man named Akiva, decided to make their own religion in opposition to God’s Shepherd.  They rejected Him, so they were rejected (1 Peter 2:7; Matthew 21:33-44).  All the branches of the Olive tree were cut off (Jeremiah 11:16-17; Luke 3:8-9) both Jew and Gentile must be grafted in (Romans 11:17, 24) to THE Olive of Israel who is Messiah (Isaiah 49:3-6; Luke 2:29-32).

According to Christ, the leadership of the Jews during His day (and consequently most Jews) were lawless and not walking in God’s Torah (John 7:19; Matthew 23:28).  Paul spoke of this same fact (Galatians 6:13). Scripture also says that those who don’t have Him don’t have the Father (John 15:23-24; 1 John 2:22-23; 2 John 1:9).

Mat 3:7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Mat 3:9  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.
Mat 3:10  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.
Mat 3:11  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:
Mat 3:12  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.

ALL the branches of the Olive tree were cut off.

Israel mixed with the heathens and grafted in their people and their ways making a alien/strange vine.  This is why God cut down the tree and made it anew through Messiah.

Jer 2:21  Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly a true seed. How then have you turned into the deviant shoots of an alien vine to Me?

Jer 11:16  The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.
Jer 11:17  For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.
Luk 3:8  Then bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham out of these stones.
Luk 3:9  And also the axe is already laid to the root of the trees; therefore, every tree not producing good fruit is being cut down and being thrown into the fire.

Both wild and natural branches must be grafted in through faith in Jesus (Romans 11:17, 24).

WILD BRANCHES GRAFTED IN
Rom 11:17  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

NATURAL BRANCHES GRAFTED IN
Rom 11:24  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

Jeremiah says that the Olive tree is Israel.  Who is Israel?

The Messiah is Israel (Isaiah 49:3-6; Luke 2:29-32)

Isa 49:3  And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
Isa 49:5  And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

This prophecy is speaking of Messiah.  Messiah is the Servant Israel.

Isa 49:6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel.I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

The Holy Spirit makes it clear that this prophecy is speaking of Jesus our Lord.

Luk 2:29  Now, Master, You will let Your slave go in peace according to Your Word;
Luk 2:30  because my eyes saw Your Salvation,
Luk 2:31  which You prepared before the face of all the peoples;
Luk 2:32  a Light for revelation to the nations, and the Glory of Your people Israel.

Luk 2:29  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Luk 2:30  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luk 2:31  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luk 2:32  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Luk 2:33  And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Luk 2:34  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
Luk 2:35  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Mat 21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Joh 3:20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Rom 9:32  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

1Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

God rose up “another nation” (Christians) that would bring forth His fruits.

Mat 21:33  Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
Mat 21:34  And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
Mat 21:35  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
Mat 21:36  Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
Mat 21:37  But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
Mat 21:38  But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
Mat 21:39  And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
Mat 21:40  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
Mat 21:41  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
Mat 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Mat 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Mat 21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

The fruit which Israel was called to produce was the ‘goodly’ fruit of His Word (Jeremiah 11:16). However, Israel did not produce this fruit but brought forth wicked fruit (Jeremiah 24:2-8). As a result, God brought fire upon this olive tree, breaking the branches thereof (Jeremiah 11:16-17). The Hebrew word for ‘goodly’ in Jeremiah 11:16 is תאר ‘toar’ which means a shape, form, outline or figure of a thing. תאר ‘toar’ is a cognate of the word תורה ‘torah’ which literally means instruction which defines the border of a people or the ‘image’ of a people. תורה ‘torah’ is most commonly translated as ‘law.’ Here we see that Israel was to produce the fruit of His Law which would bring forth His image to the world. His Image is that of love (1John 4:8, 16; Matthew 22:35-40).

Israel did not bring forth this image of love (Luke 7:36-47; 10:27-37; 18:9-14). Although they were zealous for the law (Acts 21:20; 22:3), in their zealousness they corrupted its true meaning (Romans 10:2). They were outwardly religious, yet inwardly full of wickedness (Luke 11:39; 16:15; 20:47; Matthew 6:2-5, 16; 23:5, 25-27). They separated themselves from the peoples of the world, declaring anyone who didn’t worship God according to their traditions was an unclean heathen (John 4:9; 8:48; Acts 10:28).

By their religious doctrine they had put up a dividing wall between themselves and others (Acts 21:28; Ephesians 2:14-15), preventing them from drawing nearer to God (Luke 11:52) as Israel was the custodians of His Word (Romans 3:2; John 4:22) which reveals His nature to man. It was these traditions which corrupted the Word of God (Matthew 15:2-9; Mark 7:3-13; Colossians 2:8) and perverted the message of His love to mankind, which led the Messiah to declare them as lawless (Matthew 23:28; John 7:19). It is because of this lack of love (Matthew 5:22; John 15:25) that the Lord was sent to Israel to separate the good trees from the bad (Malachi 3:2-3; 4:1; Matthew 3:10-12; Luke 3:9; John 15:2).

The religion which was set up by the leaders of Israel became known as the tradition of the elders (Matthew 15:3).  These traditions were a set of guidelines which the nation was to follow. In and of itself this is not a negative thing but the problem is that the people exalted their traditions above the Word of God. As a result, this religiosity became in reality, lawlessness (John 7:19; Matthew 23:28; Galatians 6:13).  The religious leaders of the second Temple were outwardly religious but inwardly were full of lawlessness (Luke 11:39; 16:15; 20:47; Matthew 6:2-5, 16; 23:5, 25-27; John 7:19; Matthew 23:28; Galatians 6:13).  Ultimately, this led to their destruction (John 15:25).

Sadly, this same thing religious spirit is seen in many religious believers today.  We who have been given a taste of heaven, ought not act in such a manner (Hebrews 6:4).  We should be bearing the fruit of love and mercy and forgiveness (John 15:1-10; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 1:11), not the thorns and briars of hatred and condemnation (Hebrews 6:8; Luke 13:7-9).

Luk 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Luk 6:32  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
Luk 6:33  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
Luk 6:34  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Luk 6:35  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Luk 6:36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Luk 6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

The true intent of the law/Word of God is not to make men religious but to reform men into the image of their God who is love (1 John 4:8).  It is this love that unites us and perfects us.  It is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14) which sets man free (Galatians 5:13-14).  This love is not intended only for a certain group of religious people, but for all mankind.  Scripture declares that in the Messiah shall the ‘gentiles trust’ (Matthew 12:21; Romans 15:8-12; Isaiah 11:10).  For Jesus is the true Light which enlightens every man (John 1:9; 12:44-46; Isaiah 49:6), sent to restore ALL of mankind back to God (Isaiah 45:22; Romans 3:29; John 1:12; 3:15-17).

The message of Jesus is universal.  It transcends religions, ethnic or cultural barriers.  It is a message of love and reconciliation back to God.  The message of victory over death which entered into the world when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:45-48; 55-56).  This message of forgiveness and restoration is not just for Israel, but whosoever shall believe in the Lord Jesus.

John 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus did not play religion.  He reached out the sick, the blind, the deaf, the adulterer, the sinner and the tax-collector.  Those who knew they needed Him (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 9:11).  Those who saw how helpless they were without Him.  This is what true religion is (James 1:26-27; Proverbs 21:3; Isaiah 1:17; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8; Matthew 9:13; Mark 12:33).  Not doctrine, but acts of love towards one another (John 13:35; 1 John 3:17; 4:12, 20-21).

This concept of love is found in every religion, it is the commonality which points back to Jesus who is the epitome of God’s love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-16).  It is not doctrine which leads others to the truth.  It is the love of God within us.  ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27).

Colossians 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Colossians 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
Colossians 3:12  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Colossians 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Colossians 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Scripture declares that love of one’s fellow man is equated with love of God (1 John 4:11-12, 20-21) and is the fulfillment and purpose of His Word (Matthew 22:39-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 6:2).  It does not say love of one’s fellow religious counterpart, but of one’s fellow MAN (Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 3 John 1:11), even our enemies (Luke 6:35).

Man was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27) but that image was corrupted when Adam sinned.  From there man took up the image of Adam which still pointed back to God, but in a corrupted form (Genesis 5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49).  Messiah came to earth in the very image of Almighty God (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), who is love.  His life displayed that love and He calls all those who believe in Him to display that love as well.  This is the essence of the concept of ‘Christ in us.’  It is through His love that man is formed into His image (Colossians 3:10; Romans 8:29) where there is no longer Jew or Greek, Barbarian or Scythian but Messiah is all and in all (Colossians 3:11).

This is the message of the Gospel.  Love.  Love that breaks down the barriers and walls which man has set up to divide (Ephesians 2:1-22; 1 Corinthians 12:13).  Love that breaks down the wall of sin which has separated man from God (Isaiah 59:2; John 3:16; 12:32; Isaiah 49:6; Revelation 5:9).  This love is revealed in our actions towards our fellow man, not in our intellectual proclamations.  All of us see through a glass darkly which keeps us from seeing eye to eye (1 Corinthians 13:12).  The only remedy for this is love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 John 4:7-21).  Love and patience towards one another until the Lord returns and His salvation is fully revealed (Isaiah 52:7-10).  Love allows man to understand that we can have differences of opinions but ultimately if we abide in love we can dwell in peace and unity (Ephesians 4:2-16, 32; 5:1-2; Colossians 3:9-17).

Eph 4:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Eph 4:3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The LORD is the God of all, who loves all (John 3:16) and desires that all come to salvation (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4) through Jesus who is the revelation of His name/memorial/character.  If believers are called by His name (2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 43:7; Daniel 9:19; Revelation 14:1), should we not do the same (Micah 4:5; Zechariah 10:12; Colossians 3:17; 2:6)?

Zionism – Little Guy in the Eye

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