What the Bible Says About the JewBy Pastor Boffey on Saturday, April 24, 2010.
What the Bible Says About the Jew I. Oxford English Dictionary defines a Jew as “a person of Hebrew race; an Israelite. Originally a Hebrew of the Kingdom of Judah, as opposed to those of the ten tribes of Israel; later, any Israelite who adhered to the worship of Jehovah as conducted at Jerusalem.” A. The term “Jew” is derived from the name of the royal tribe of Israel which bore the name of the patriarch Judah, a son of Jacob. 1. The name “Judah” means “praise.” GEN 29:35. 2. The Lord Jesus Christ was born a Jew, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. REV 5:5; JOH 4:9, 22. B. The term “Jew” is fundamentally a term popularized about the time of the Babylonian exile, appearing only about ten times in the O.T. 1. In its plural form, it appears numerous times from the same period and forward. 2. The first occurrence of “Jews” is found in 2KI 16:6; a portion of Scripture likely written considerably after the fact. C. Some (like Christian Identity and white supremacist groups) have tried to make arbitrary and artificial distinctions between the terms “Jew,” “Hebrew,” and “Israelite.” Scripture, though, often uses the terms interchangeably. 1. JER 34:9. Hebrews are obviously Jews. 2. ACT 2:5, 22. Peter calls Jews “men of Israel.” 3. EST 2:5. Here a Benjamite is called a Jew. 4. ACT 19:14 c/w HEB 7:5. Here is a Levite called a Jew. 5. PHIL 3:5 c/w ROM 11:1 c/w ACT 22:3. Paul was a Benjamite but identified himself by all three terms. D. There are false Jews and false Israelites. REV 2:9; 3:9; ROM 9:3-5. E. Ultimately, the final identity of the Jew is left to God. II. The Jews of Christ's day were enamored with three things which they mistakenly thought made them righteous before God: descent from Abraham; circumcision; and having the law of Moses. A. Biological descent from Abraham is of little importance. LUK 3:7-8; 16:24. B. Circumcision meant nothing in the absence of faith and obedience. ROM 2:25-27; 4:9-11. C. The law of Moses only condemned men as sinners and they didn't believe Moses anyway. ROM 3:19-20; GAL 3:10; JOH 5:39-47; LUK 16:31. 1. Many mistakenly believe that Jews are the people who believe and follow the O.T. 2. According to the online version of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, modern Judaism is substantially the religion of the ancient Pharisees. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?id=252&letter=P&search=pharisees 3. Christ condemned Pharisaism and its converts. MAT 23:15. 4. Judaism is obviously at odds with Jesus Christ and is an antiChrist religion. 1JO 2:22-23. III. God did call Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees and entered into covenant with him. Great promises were made to Abraham and his seed. GEN 12:1-3; 15:5; 17:5-8. A. The Jews assumed that the promises made to Abraham and his seed included everyone who descended from Abraham. This was wrong. 1. Paul explains that God's covenant of promise was made to Abraham and only ONE other person: Jesus Christ. GAL 3:16. 2. All those who belong to Christ, regardless of race, nationality or circumcision are counted as that seed. GAL 3:28-29. 3. Abraham was the father of eight boys, including Ishmael. All were the seed of Abraham in a physical sense but God's covenantal promise to be a God to Abraham's seed was only established with Isaac. GEN 17:18-19; 21:12 c/w ROM 9:6-9. 4. Isaac was unique among his siblings in that he was born after the Spirit of God, like all the children of promise. GAL 4:28-29. 5. The example of Jacob and Esau graphically demonstrates who the seed of promise are and how they are made thus. ROM 9:10-16. 6. The seed of Abraham who receive the promises that God made in the Abrahamic covenant are any who are elected unto salvation and called, be they Jew or Gentile. ROM 9:22-24. B. The Jews mistakenly assumed for centuries (as they do to this day) that they became the beneficiaries of God's promise to Abraham through a national covenant, circumcision and the keeping of the law. However, 1. The inheritance of the Abrahamic covenant was established upon an unconditional promise of God which PRECEDED the conditional provisions of the law covenant. And the latter could not bring about or alter the former. GAL 3:15-19. 2. The promise of inheritance was not to those who trusted in their own works for righteousness, but who, like Abraham, trusted in God. ROM 4:13-14, 23-25. 3. Abraham was judged to have been a righteous man BEFORE he was circumcised on the basis of a greater token: faith! ROM 4:9-11. 4. Contrary to the belief of the Jews, the true circumcision are those who have received an operation on the inward man of a spiritual nature, whose sins are put off by the death of Christ, and who have proof of these things by a spiritual worship that has no confidence in the flesh. ROM 2:28-29; COL 2:10-11; PHIL 3:2-3; GAL 6:15. IV. Those who are Jews only by race, circumcision and law keeping have no part in the Abrahamic covenant nor the heavenly city. GAL 4:21-31. A. They are generally driven and blinded by commerce, especially banking. HOS 12:7-8 c/w ROM 11:7-10 c/w JOH 2:13-16; TIT 1:10-11 ct/w HEB 10:34. B. According to Paul's interpretation of Jacob and Esau, the natural-only Jews shall strive to rebuild their earthly glory but God shall ultimately cast them down. ROM 9:10-16 c/w MAL 1:4. C. They are damned forever in contrast to the church. ROM 9:27-29 c/w JUDE 1:7; REV 3:9. V. A word of warning needs to be issued here to believing saints, especially GENTILE saints. A. Christians need to steer clear of two extremes: 1. Being led to support the unbiblical errors of Judaism and the political supremacy goals of Zionism. 2. Being deceived into the error of guilt-by-association, class hatred “anti-Semitism.” Remember, Jesus Christ was a Jew, as were the prophets and the apostles. B. Gentile saints got the church from the Jews and could lose it as they did. ROM 11:16-22. C. God still has His elect among the Jews who may be graft back into their ecclesiastical heritage. ROM 11:23-28.