"The Earth belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."
The Chosen People of HaShem
by Jagannatha Prakash, August 5, 2007
But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation:
ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.
-- Isaiah 45:17
The Chosen People of HaShem
Israel and Nations
Judaism of course does not accept that Y'shua ben Miriam was their long awaited Meshiach or Messiah, Christians of course do.
For the moment let's say Jesus was. Would this change anything about the rightful ownership of the Holy Land or the role of the Jews as the Chosen of HaShem?
The verses cited above, which Christians also accept as the Holy word of God never place conditions on the covenant HaShem made with the Jewish people, and yet some Christians believed that with the crucification of Jesus God's Covenant with Israel ended. But did it?
There is no evidence in the Bible that the Noahide Covenant ended with the giving of the Mosaic Covenant, nor that the Adamic covenant has ended. Indeed, what we find is that God's covenants are eternal.
The original followers of Jesus didn't think God had changed His mind:
Acts 1:When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
They were waiting for the Kingdom of Israel to be restored.
Paul was sent to preach to the Gentiles, but he didn't believe God had turned His back on the Chosen people:
Acts 13:16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
18 And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
23 Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
Indeed Paul was emphatic that HaShem had not done such a thing!
Romans 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Paul is very clear that what had changed was that now there was a direct place for the Gentiles within HaShem's Kingdom. This had always been the case of course. We often read in the Torah of Gentiles working with the Hebrews. They sometimes converted but often they did not; they worked with the Chosen People as B'nei noahidim, descendants of Noah. The Good News proclaimed by followers of the Way was that God had grafted Gentile Believers onto the Tree of Israel:
Romans 11:12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Paul could not be more clear.
Jesus' criticism of his fellow Jews was much the same as earlier prophets. He accused them of being too literalistic in their understandings. He said they strained the gnat but swallowed the camel etc. Jesus warned the Jews to repent, as had Isaiah and the other prophets. What Jesus did not say was that God had abandoned His Chosen people. Indeed, Jesus refused to even speak to Gentiles!
Matthew 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Jesus didn't teach Gentiles or even talk with them!
Clearly he didn't believe God had turned His back on the Gentiles!
But one will argue that this turning of the back occurred after the death, burial and resurrection and Jesus however this doesn't even make sense. From a standard Christian perspective it precisely this that brought salvation! Why then would God condemn the Jews for rejected Jesus? It makes no sense!
And it isn't what Jesus or his followers believed.
Paul specifically tells us in the above verses that the Tree of Israel still stands. The Church is grafted onto it. Paul also tells us however that at some point the Church will be removed while the root of the Tree, God's promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Jewish people will remain and that, “...all Israel shall be saved.
Paul is not the only with this understanding. In his prophecy to John the Apostle Jesus speaks of seven churches. There were, at the time, seven literal churches in the towns named, however we must consider the purpose of this revelation:
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Master Y'shua or Jesus is speaking prophetically to the churches rather than to these literal churches. As one studies these churches this is quite evident in my opinion.
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
As a dispensationalist I would point out, as does the noted Dr. Scofield and Dr. Larkin, that the term Nicolaitans historically references the priesthood. I would also point to the use of candlesticks as religious symbolism as denoting the rise of ritual. Hence, I believe that this first “church” signifies the creation of the Christian religion at the hands of Constantine and Council at Nicaea in 325.
Following on this view, and returning to my context, I see the seventh and final of these churches as being that spoken of by Paul, the Church that is severed from the Tree of Israel (Rom 11):
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
According to this view, the Seven Church Ages cover the period dating from the creation of the Christian Religion (circa 325) to the “unbanding” of Israel.
In his prophecies Daniel speaks of the Tree of Israel being “banded” for “Seven times.”
Daniel 4:13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
Rather than go too deeply into this here, I'll simply note that Master Y'shua referenced this unbanding as an important sign of the End Times in one of his lengthy, more impressive prophecies:
Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
The bands of diaspora were removed in either 1948 or 1967 depending on how one reads the prophecies. In May of 1948 Israel became a nation for the first time since 606 BCE (it was not a nation when Y'shua was on earth but a Roman province). In 1967 the Jews captured their national and rightful capitol city of Jerusalem. Scholars debate which event was the unbanding; one of them clearly was.
Note that following the Church's being vomited out of of Y'shua's mouth, the doors are thrown open so that, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
HaShem will at this point restore Israel to all of its rightful land and the Meshiach will reign from Jerusalem:
Zechariah 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.
22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.