"The mandate for evangelism, therefore, is all the more urgent because
Messiah has declared that he is the only way to the Father-John 14:6. This mandate must include our Jewish friends. To exclude
them would be the height of discrimination; from God's point of view, a violation of His Word. Yeshua came to save all people,
Jews as well as non Jews."
(Are There Two Ways of Atonement, Goldberg)
Some believe a
message of Jewish superiority or special privilege. A message that presupposes group exemption from the requirements that
this present dispensation imposes, or that this group is entitled to
special treatment because of past evils perpetrated
This is really counterproductive.
I think that this discussion
should show us how to love all people, including the Jew. We also need to recognize the inequity and discrimination that comes
to all when we show preference to groups or individuals.
I was part of a inner city church that was diverse ethnically,
and the pastor was a real personable guy. I started a visitation program and many people were enthusiastic about being a part
of it. The pastor really encouraged me in this area and gave me the needed
authority to do what was necessary to get the
I will always be grateful to this pastor and his congregation for this. However, on another issue this pastor
said the following:
"What happens to all the Jews from Christ to now, or this time who have not received Jesus as their
Messiah? The crucial issue is not necessarily receiving the Jewish Messiah which is contained in their
scriptures. In other
words, if they by faith in the promised messiah, even though they don't believe he's come the first time, their faith and
adherance to what God has commanded them will save them. For faith has always produced Grace, even though they don't name
Yeshua as their Messiah...But the truth of the matter is Messiah is in the Hebrew writings. The writings of the Old Testament,
and if they will receive that or accept that, they will be saved, Isaiah was saved, Hezekiah was saved and so forth because
believed in God's son. In other words what I am saying to you the name isn't important, the truth and principle are important...In
other words if I had never known of the name of Jesus, and I believed in God's son I have believed the truth, whether I knew
name or not. And so it is with Israel. That few by faith, their faith is counted unto them for righteousness after
the similitude of righteous Abraham. Didn't Jesus say Abraham rejoiced to see my day?
So Abraham believed in the messiah before he knew his name. And so it
is with Israel. They believe in the messiah they accept him and they obediently walk before him. Not based on works but faith.
recognizes their faith. And a few, a remnant will be saved according to what Paul says here." (Miller)
on the quote from the Pastor earlier:
At first it might seem that this pastor is only speaking of a time before the
New Testament. Yet what he says is that this is true until now. He said these kind of things more than once. What this pastor
has said here is dangerous. Make your own mind up but this
kind of statement opens the door for a progression (or digression)
toward even more perilous teachings, if we don't speak out against them. When a person teaches that a group or individual
from the universal requirement of faith in Jesus, they inadvertently open wide the flood gates for other groups
or individuals to use this same reasoning. Before long there will be an onslaught of teachers proclaiming the same for their
group. This teaching is
setting a precedent that will create a problem of universal proportions.
Some might think
I am overreacting, so lets look more closely at this pastor's statement. 'In other words what I am saying to you the name
isn't important. The truth and principle are important.' This
is setting a precedent that we will have very little recourse
against in the future. This statement alone should be enough to alarm Christians.
What about the scripture in John?
It says, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed
IN THE NAME of the only begotten son of God...(John 3:18, KJV). This statement by Jesus/Jeshua includes the people of
the Old Testament times. No one can get out of the obvious meaning of this passage without twisting the scripture.
Name is important as this scripture says.
Another part of this pastor's statement says, 'But the truth of the matter
is, Messiah is in the Hebrew writings, the writings of the Old Testament, and if they will receive that or accept that they
will be saved. Every bit as much as Ezekiel was saved, Isaiah was saved, Hezekiah was saved and so forth because they believe
in God's son." (Miller)
Where in the bible does it say that these Old Testament saints were saved? If a vague faith
in a coming Messiah was sufficient to save the people of the past, why would Jesus, before his ascension find it necessary
to go to the lower parts of the earth to preach to the people of the past.
"Now that he ascended, what is it but that
he also descended first to the lower parts of the earth." (Ephesians 4)
"By which also he went and preached unto the
spirits in prison; which were sometime disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah..." (1 Peter
"the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in
regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6). Before Christ descended and ascended
to heaven, at least two groups were in the lower parts of the earth. One group was on one side of the gulf,and the other on
the other side. Jesus preached to both sides, because even the ones with a vague understanding needed the details.
it came to pass, that the beggar (Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died,
and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom...have
me and send Lazarus, that he might dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue..." (Luke 16)
Christ ascended, there was a place in the lower parts of the earth. If the Old Testament prophets were already saved, what
was the purpose of Christ ascending and preaching. In reality this pastors teaching gets us one step closer to Universalism,
and takes away the incentive for Christians to preach, and all people to first believe the good news.
The Last part
of the Pastor's statement says, "For faith has always produced grace, even though they don't name Yeshua as their Messiah..."
This pastor has created a wall between Jew and Gentile (at least in his mind and his congregation) by creating
more than one way to
heaven. This doctrine teaches that the way for one group is by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8),
and the way for the other group is through ignorance, rejection or some kind of vague faith. What is to
stop the modern
day unbelieving Jews and Gentiles from using this reasoning to make the preaching of the gospel of no effect?
is not just through Yeshua it is through faith in Yeshua.
"Their faith and adherance to what God has commanded them
will save them. For faith has always produced grace, even though they don't
name Yeshua (Jesus)as their messiah." This
statement has no support in scripture. However, this is what Hebrews concludes of them, "These were all commended for their
faith, yet none of them
received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together
with us would they be made perfect.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us
throw off everything that hinders....Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 11:39-12:2)
Commentary says this about Hebrews, "The reward was only deferred till it was possible for Christ to come..."
to reach out to all people, for Christ, not just certain groups. To do otherwise would be to deny the very essence of the
gospel of reconciliation, and this would be the height of discrimination. How can the church condemn abusive practices in
the world such as, Group Think, preferential practices and
discrimination if they are practicing the same things through
subtle selection, targeting and the exemption of particular groups?
We need to stop making distinctions between groups
of people where there is none.
All are sinners, All are separated from God
All must place faith in Christ (Romans
Not preaching to the Jews is discriminatory. It is discriminatory toward
the Jew because the Jew needs to hear the good news. The good
news is essential to his spiritual future and well being.
Romans it says, "Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness
that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being
ignorant of God's righteousness and seeking
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted unto the righteousness of God. For
Christ is the end of the law
for righteousness to everyone who believes....But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, 'Lord, who hath believed
our report?' ...But I say, Did not Israel know...But to Israel he saith, 'All day long I have stretched forth my (pierced)
hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people."
Israel has heard and they get to heaven the same way
the Gentiles do, there is no preferential treatment here. The pastor mentioned earlier generalizes faith. He says, 'faith
in the coming messiah.'
In one way this bears a striking resemblance to the New Age Movement
that places an emphasis on faith at the expense of the object of the faith. Faith of this kind becomes more general and subjective
specific and objective. To them it is more important that one believes, than whom or what they specifically believe.
Many Jews believed in a coming Messiah and have followed the wrong Messiah's.
Some even claim to believe in a coming
Messiah, but rejected him when he came. "He came unto his own and his own received him not."
have speculated on who the Messiah would be or was. Many wanted a reigning king, as it talks about in the scriptures. Many
did not accept the suffering servant and saviour that the scriptures
also speak of.
It is not enough to believe
in in a coming Messiah, and it is not enough to believe in any Jesus, as the cults do. (2 Corinthians 11).
not reject who the messiah was and is, as revealed in the scriptures. The Jews sought to stone Jesus because he said, "Before
Abraham was, I am"
This sincere but sincerely deluded Pastor gets us one step closer to universalism and new age thinking.
This waters down the one faith, thereby opening the door to multiple ways to get to heaven. If one group can get to heaven
apart from faith in Jesus/Jeshua then why can't others?
These kind of statements can be used to short circuit evangelistic
efforts. This teaching reduces the urgency of preaching the gospel to every creature, not just every gentile creature.
one grants the possibility, that a Jewish person already has all he needs in the covenant made with Israel at Sinai, how then
can anyone in the Christian community legitimately seek to proselytize Jewish people to accept Jesus?" (Are There Two Ways
of Atonement, Goldberg).
The bible teaches that all must believe in Jesus for salvation, and so our mission is still
unmistakeable. I am not talking about targeting the Jews in any way. My purpose here is to show that they are bound by the
same rules as everyone else. Not warning them with everyone else of the impending judgement would be targeting, because we
would be loving everyone but them.
There are those that will no doubt perish. In Matthew it says, "Then they will go
away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Matthew 25:46)
Some have argued that if God hardens
some, how can he blame them and send them to hell?
"Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will? But
who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it. 'Why did you make me like this?' Does
not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some
pottery for noble purposes and some for common
use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared
for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of this glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared
in advance for glory-even us whom he called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?...
(Romans 9:19,20). The blindness of Israel is temporary and partial.
Placing faith in Jesus is still the mandate for all, including Israel.
God's Mercy does not automatically mean salvation for the Gentiles, it just extends the offer to all not just Jews.
what we are looking at here is a transition from Group Preference (to the Jew first) to whosoever will.
"God has concluded
all in unbelief so that he might have mercy on all." (Romans 11:32)
Some talk about faith as if it is a completely subjective experience. It is
as if it does not matter who or what one believes, as long as they believe, and feel good about doing it. Many shows and celebrities
on Television talk about God, but don't give us his name. Most of the time the God created in their image would not think
of judging sin and holding people accountable for what they believe and do. Being pleasant and following the line of least
resistance are what matters the most. Just listen to what they are saying and see for yourself. You see that the focus is
on the faith, not the object of the faith. As far as these folks are concerned our faith can be in a cucumber.
Look at what some people choose to place their trust in:
One group believes
in a blue effeminate guy that misleads silly women. (Krishna)
Another group believes in an overweight guy that sits around waiting for enlightenment.
Some only trust the one they see in the mirror.
Some 'trust in chariots
and some in horses, but I will trust in the Lord'
Still. others think all of these views are all right because they have faith
in faith not the object of that faith.
There have been some really touching shows about angels and we can learn many
good moral lessons. However, upon closer examination they often resemble New Age attempts to get people to accept a God in
man's image. What their gospel is missing is a Saviour from sin, named Jesus/Jeshua and the cross of Christ.
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you
by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing
you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a
gospel other than the one we preached unto you, let him be eternally condemned." (Galatians 1:8,9)
We might commend some of these shows for getting people started in the right
direction, but if we don't proclaim the whole gospel, people can then be lead off into many deceptive directions. Some alleged
bible teachers on television talk about 'faith' and the need to have more of it. Still they have forgotten the one that this
faith is supposed to be in. They are really talking about faith in faith or their ability to believe.
Others will try to bypass objective faith completely by saying, 'A remnant
will be saved by grace', and assume that this excludes the need for faith in Jesus. Grace and faith are a package deal.
"For it is by grace have you been saved through faith, and it is not of
yourselves, it is a gift of God lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8).
"So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by
grace, then it is no longer by by works; if it were , grace would no longer be grace."
Some wrongly use this verse to teach that some Jews do not need to place faith
in Jesus Christ for salvation.
Their assumption is that if chosen by grace, then it must not include faith.
Grace does not exclude faith here.
Faith is the avenue by which all, including the Jew receive that Grace,
as we look to the 'author and finisher of our faith' (Hebrews 12:1,2)
"What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain but the elect
did. The others were hardened..." Being chosen by grace does not exclude the faith tha one needs to receive that grace.
the subject of Sovereign Grace and Free Will in sanctification let me use an earthly example. In leadership the best leaders
are those that lead the people by letting them think they are leading
themselves. Leaders can inform and influence people.
However, the people will take that information and decide for themselves.
The scriptures tell us to 'work out our own
salvation with fear and trembling', but then the verses go on to say, 'For it is God which worketh in you to will and to do
of his good pleasure.' (Philippians 2:12,13) Here we see that the sanctification process is a
cooperative effort between
God and man.
Paul in Romans also says, "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the SAME lump of clay some
pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" Does the potter by creating the vessel he
wants do away with human
responsibility? God forbid! When God creates us as different vessels for different purposes, we still have a role to play.
He creates the vessel, but what we allow the vessel to be filled with is our choice. "In a large house there are articles
not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses
himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any
good work." (2 Timothy 2:20,21)
God's Grace saves us through faith, but someone has said regarding sanctification,
'It is our responsibility to respond to His ability.'
Paul shows that the Jew was first, when it came to salvation,
divine responsibility etc. However, with universal sinfulness being clearly proved, the Jew was just as needy as the Gentile
and in need of
faith in Jesus/Jeshua. (Romans 1:16; Romans 3:20-25)
Paul again shows that because of unbelief, this
group would no longer be preferred and the gospel would go to whosoever believes regardless of their group affiliations. (Romans
If the Jews were not to blame and in danger for their unbelief then Paul would have no reason to say, 'I speak
the truth in Christ-I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit, I have
great sorrow and unceasing anguish
in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own
race, the people of Israel. (Romans 9:1,2)
If the people of Israel were already saved or were going to be saved their
would be no purpose in saying this.
He is saying here, 'the people of Israel' which is not limited to the tribe of
Let us go on to another public figure that has had a great influence on millions
of Catholics worldwide. John Paul says of the seeker, 'In the very search for faith an implicit faith is already present and
therefore the necessary condition for salvation is already satisfied." (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, John Paul)
this is very dangerous statement. Nowhere in the scriptures does it mention any person saved simply because they were searching
for faith. If one seeks God, it is because God is drawing him or her,
but until they trust in Jesus, the necessary condition
for salvation is not already satisfied. The bible says that if we keep on seeking him we will find him.
A pastor, the
one mentioned earlier said that Cornelius (a Gentile) was saved before Peter preached to him. He might have said this
Cornelius was a devout man, was accepted or was searching for faith. He and all his family were devout and God fearing.
day at three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, 'Cornelius!' Cornelius
stared at him in fear. 'What is it, Lord' he asked? The angel answered, 'Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as
memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter...As Peter entered
the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made
him get up. 'Stand up,' he said, 'I am only
a man myself.' Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: 'You are well aware
that is against our law for a
Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call
any man impure or unclean...Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show
but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel,
telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is
Lord of all...We are witnesses of everything he did in the
country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third
day and caused
him to be seen." (Acts 10)
This pastor asked a question of his congregation concerning whether Cornelius
was saved before Peter preached Jesus to him. Then he corrected the ones that believed he was not. The pastor said that
was saved before the preaching of Peter. I was of them that believed Cornelius needed to first believe Peter's preaching before
he would be saved. At first glance it might look to some like Cornelius was already saved. He was devout, received visions,
in, and feared God, was accepted, and gave to the poor. Is not general belief in God enough, a coming Messiah or simply searching
for faith enough?
I went home that same night and did some thinking. Then I reread Acts ten, and decided to read Acts
eleven. In verse fourteen it says, "...He told us how he (Cornelius) had seen an angel appear in his house and say, 'Send
to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a message THROUGH WHICH YOU AND ALL YOUR HOUSEHOLD WILL BE SAVED."
being devout, a seeker, or good doesn't save you. Searching or even believing in God is not enough. If you believe in
God, you need to also believe in God the Son. (John 14:1,6)
How does this relate to the bigger picture?
some teach (especially in the pulpit) that all do not need to believe in Jesus/Jeshua to be saved or are somehow excused from
this requirement, they are in effect setting a dangerous precedent. This not only prepares the way for universalism but is
also a form of discrimination. This false teaching helps to divide people, including Christians.
"The mandate for evangelism,
therefore, is all the more urgent because Messiah has declared that he is the only way to the Father John 14:6. This mandate
must include our Jewish friends. To exclude them would be the height of discrimination; from God's point of view, a violation
of His word. Yeshua came to save all people, Jews as well as Non Jews." (Are There Two Atonements, Goldberg)